WilI J.D. Greear Be Elected the Next SBC President? – Is He a Calvinist?

“Put your theological cards on the table in plain view for all to see, and do not go into a church [or convention meeting] under a cloak of deception or dishonesty. If you do, you will more than likely split a church [maybe even the SBC], wound the Body of Christ, damage the ministry God has given you, and leave a bad taste in the mouth of everyone.”

Dr. Danny Akin’s Article on Calvinism (6/8/12)

https://twitter.com/jdgreear?ref_src=twsrc%5Eappleosx%7Ctwcamp%5Esafari%7Ctwgr%5Eprofile

Screen Shot of Photo Atop J.D. Greear’s Twitter Page

Well, after months of hype, the BIG VOTE for the SBC presidency will finally take place tomorrow. If you are planning to vote, please be advised that you should register early! I believe the presidential vote is scheduled in the early afternoon shortly after the lunch break.

The candidates are J.D. Greear and Ken Hemphill. I find it so interesting that both of these men are natives of North Carolina, and I believe they are both currently living in The Tarheel State. Their roots are a mere 90 miles apart. Greear was born in Winston-Salem and Hemphill is from Morgantown.

J.D. Greear pastors The Summit Church in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area. This very large church (around 10,000 attendees) has nine campuses. In the interest of full disclosure, I have attended The Summit twice – once at the main campus in Durham and another time at the satellite campus in North Raleigh. My older daughter attended Greear’s church during her college years, so I heard quite a bit about J.D. back then.

The Summit is discussing the possibility of opening another campus in the Garner area. Based on my observations over the years, Summit leaders typically plant satellite locations in the vicinity of other conservative churches, and some degree of sheep shifting takes place. Sadly, some church youth groups get wiped out when The Summit sets up shop nearby. They want to go to the ‘hip’ church. Of course, there are some converts as the baptism number reflects, but I believe the majority that attends are already believers.

Greear’s church recently purchased land within a few miles of where I live to build HUGE facility (which will likely serve as its main campus). I can already hear the sucking sound coming from churches in its vicinity.

It’s been interesting to see all the media coverage regarding Greear’s candidacy for SBC president – from the local news (TV and newspapers) to the Indy Week Magazine, to the latest edition of Christianity Today (which arrived last week). I kept looking for the word ‘advertisement’ at the top of the CT article about Greear because I couldn’t find anything at all promoting Ken Hemphill. Perhaps I missed it??? Seems like equal treatment should have been in order…

This promotion of J.D. Greear in the news and on social media appears to be well-orchestrated. Even The Gospel Project leader’s guide has been promoting sermons by Greear of late. For Southern Baptist messengers who may be reading about this savvy 45 year old pastor and finding him to be impressive, I believe they should consider his theological leanings before casting their vote.

I have been researching Christian trends for nearly a decade, and here is some of the information I have come across regarding Greear and his church. Consider the following…

Shortly after we launched TWW, a conference was held in Raleigh called Advance. We were very much aware of this event at the time and began to take notice of the Christian leaders with whom Greear was associating. Conference speakers included: John Piper, Mark Driscoll, J.D. Greear, Ed Stetzer, and Eric Mason. You can view one of the sessions on the Desiring God website.

Notice the photo above, which J.D. Greear features at the top of his Twitter account. He is pictured with Tim Keller, a pastor in the Presbyterian Church of America and co-founder of The Gospel Coalition.

In addition, The Summit Church is listed in the 9Marks church directory.

There are a good number of articles about The Summit Church on the 9Marks website.

Greear joined Mark Dever and other Calvinists as a speaker at the 9Marks Conference held at SEBTS five years ago.

Unfortunately and to my great disappointment, The Summit Church played a significant part in bringing Mark Driscoll to UNC-Chapel Hill back in 2009. My daughter attended this Campus Crusade (CRU) gathering, and I wrote about it.

That same year (2009) Nathan Akin, Danny Akin’s son, interviewed J.D. Greear for Baptist 21 and asked a series of questions, which included the following: “Why do you network with Acts 29?” Acts 29 is a group of Reformed churches. It appears that The Summit Church is no longer affiliated with Acts 29. Does anyone know when Greear’s church pulled out of this church-planting network? I don’t believe it was that long ago.

Six years ago Greear wrote a blog post entitled “Pastor J.D. Are You a Calvinist?” A simple “Yes” or “No” answer would have sufficed…

When Greear was nominated for SBC president earlier this year, Eric Kemp published a post on his soteriology 101.com website entitled: “Is JD Greear a Calvinist?” It is definitely worth reviewing…

You can tell a lot about someone by investigating the books they read. Here are just a few of authors J.D. Greear includes on his Recommended Reading list –

  John Piper (Desiring God, Let the Nations Be Glad, When I Don’t Desire God, Don’t Waste Your Life, Life as a Prayer, The Supremacy of God in Preaching, Dangerous Duty of Delight)

 C.J. Mahaney (Humility and The Cross Centered Life)

 Mark Dever (9 Marks of a Healthy Church, The Deliberate Church)

Wayne Grudem (Bible Doctrine)

 Tim Keller (The Age of Reason, The Meaning of Marriage, Prayer, General Justice)

 D.A. Carson (Scripture and Truth, For the Love of God)

R.C. Sproul (Scripture Alone)

Kevin DeYoung (Just Do Something)

Mark Driscoll (Radical Reformission)

Dave Harvey (Rescuing Ambition)

Jared Wilson (Gospel Wakefulness)

One of the recommended books is entitled The Reformed Pastor

Please take the time to review this recommended reading list in order to discover for yourself that the vast majority of books Greear recommends have to do with Reformed Theology / Calvinism. I believe this is a very important indication of the direction in which the Southern Baptist Convention will be heading if J.D. Greear is elected SBC president. Can there be any doubt that 5-Point Calvinist Al Mohler, who 25 years ago became president of Southern Seminary, will be the puppet master? Look at the appointments that Mohler has influenced thus far – Kevin Ezzell, head of the NAMB, David Platt, head of the IMB, Jason Allen, Midwestern Seminary president, Russell Moore, ERLC President, Danny Akin, SEBTS president, etc. etc. etc. And Southwestern Seminary will likely be the next SB institution to be heavily influenced by 5-pointer Al Mohler. It does appear that what Mohler wants, Mohler gets, and the election of Greear to the SB presidency is no exception.

I’m not going to take the time to search for it now, but I do remember hearing an interview with J.D. Greear in which he reminisced about his wife and how when they were dating he was absolutely thrilled to discover that she is a Calvinist!

On another note, it hasn’t been that long ago that we heard of people joining The Summit who were clueless that it is a Southern Baptist Church. Was this not discussed in the membership classes? It is certainly downplayed on the church’s website and in the 2017 annual report. Check them out for yourself and see how infrequently the Southern Baptist Convention is mentioned.

It has only been during the last couple of years that The Summit has given generously to the Cooperative Program (CP). See screen shot below.

When Greear ran for president of the SBC the first time two years ago, CP giving suddenly increased. The side-by-side comparison above is with the church Ken Hemphill pastored in Norfolk.

Since the information regarding Hemphill has been limited (compared to Greear), here is some information for review.

 

Dr. Ken Hemphill

Dr. Kenneth S. Hemphill is the former president of the largest evangelical seminary in the world.

A native of Morganton, North Carolina, Dr. Hemphill was born April 17, 1948, the son of Carl Roderick and Ruby Kincaid Hemphill. Dr. Hemphill inherited from his father a deep love for the church, as well as pastors. The single greatest human influence in Dr. Hemphill’s life, Carl Roderick Hemphill dedicated 55 years of his life to pastorates in North Carolina, serving Carolina Memorial Church in Thomasville for 33 years.

Dr. Hemphill served as director of the Southern Baptist Center for Church Growth in Atlanta, a joint venture of the Home Mission Board and the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. He previously served as pastor of First Baptist Church, Norfolk, Virginia, taking the congregation from a membership of less than 1,000 in 1981 to almost 7,000 in 1992.

Education:
Dr. Hemphill graduated from Wake Forest University in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts in religion. During his years at that institution he was named twice to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Football Team, was listed among Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities, chosen Phi Beta Kappa and graduated Magna Cum Laude. He went on to earn the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His academic training then took him to Cambridge University where he earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree in New Testament in 1976. While there he studied under Professor C.F.D. Moule, the Lady Margaret Chair at Clare College, Cambridge.

Career:
Following his doctoral work, Dr. Hemphill began his teaching career on the faculty of Wingate College, Wingate, N.C. He then went on to pastor First Baptist Church, Galax, Virginia for four years, during which time he chaired the Education Committee of the Virginia Baptist General Board.

In 1981 he was called to the pastorate of First Baptist Church, Norfolk, leading that congregation in such extraordinary Sunday School growth that the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board awarded them three Eagle Awards. During his tenure there, Dr. Hemphill chaired the Norfolk Baptist Association’s Evangelism Committee and served on the Executive Committee of the Virginia Baptist General Board, the Southern Baptist Convention Resolution Committee and the Special Committee for Planned Growth in Giving.

Other Achievements:
In addition to his denominational involvement, Dr. Hemphill has been active in community relations, serving as chaplain of the Norfolk Cosmopolitan Club, member of the Committee on Gifted and Talented for the Virginia Beach Public School Board and Bible teacher for the Sunday Morning Bible Study broadcast on WTKR Radio, Norfolk.

Dr. Hemphill has served as guest professor and lecturer in seminaries and colleges throughout the United States and in Scotland, including the School of Evangelism in Scotland; Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky; Beeson Divinity School of Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama; Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee, and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Dr. Hemphill is also a prolific writer. Among his seven published books are The Antioch Effect, The Bonsai Theory of Church Growth and Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Discovering Your True Self Through Spiritual Gifts.

Personal Notes:
Dr. Hemphill is married to Paula Moore Hemphill of Greenville, South Carolina. Paula is a talented conference leader and travels around the world speaking at various Women’s Events.
The Hemphills share a commitment to, and passion for home and foreign missions, having participated in partnership missions to Brazil, Kenya, the former Soviet Union and England. Together they have served in schools of evangelism and church growth for the Home Mission Board, targeting pioneer mission areas.

Another insightful resource (that includes the chart featured in the screen shot above) is J.D. Greear and Ken Hemphill ‘By the Numbers’.

I am grateful that Southern Baptists are praying fervently about this important ‘election’.

May God be glorified!


Comments

WilI J.D. Greear Be Elected the Next SBC President? – Is He a Calvinist? — 278 Comments

  1. Well, it’s obvious to me that the trouble with all of you is that you’re looking for the perfect church.

    What I would say is, if you ever find the perfect church, don’t join it – you’ll spoil it.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Arnold Smartarse

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  2. Thank you for this information. We attend a large sbc and I have been trying to find out how many delegates our church has sent. This article has really given me a direction to pray. We are one of the few large sbc that is not Calvinist and has been consistently trying to weed the false and dangerous doctrine out to no avail do to so many young adults who attend and keep bringing it back in. It is a plague that unfortunately you cant just bring in the rat terriers to get rid of it.

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  3. Thank you for a good summation, Deb.

    As someone who has seen Hamilton twice on Broadway, once in Chicago, and will see it on Broadway again this fall, watching the Twitter feeds, hashtags, articles, and summaries has me channeling President George Washington in Cabinet Battle #1:

    “Ladies and Gentlemen! You could have been anywhere in the world this week, and you’re here with us in Dallas-Fort Worth! Are you ready for an Annual Meeting, eh?

    The issue on the table, Al Mohler’s attempt to complete the Calvinist Takeover, and push out the Traditional Baptists.

    Mr. Hemphill, you have the floor, sir…”

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  4. Greear has been acting like a real politician lately and I notice his posts have been mirroring Mohler’s quite closely in content and timing. He says there needs to be more women and minorities in church leadership, except his church has no women in leadership and only one minority (that I could tell).

    Bunch of phooey to get elected, is what I think.

    https://www.christianpost.com/news/jd-greear-calls-on-sbc-to-better-include-women-in-leadership-recommit-to-exposing-abuse-224372/

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  5. I’m asking the Lord for His perfect will for the vote! It would be so nice if the “church” was run like a mission…. and not a multimillion dollar corporation.

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  6. So which is it?

    Is it let us return to the era of the reformation and try for the pure ideology of Calvin, or is it let us return to the era of the reformation and finally stomp out protestantism once and for all, or is it let us ‘return’ to the earliest days of christianity and ‘go primitive’ prior to later cultural adaptations, or is it let us just re-characterize christianity based on general principles history or no history?

    From the vantage point of an now outsider, and if I had to place money on it, I would bet that calvinism has not yet played itself out in SBC because there is power and money and influence to be had in that direction. Tweak a little here and a little there and calvinism still has a lot to sell to those whom Max keeps saying are pew persons who seem to have no idea what is going on.

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  7. Arnold, Janet, we don’t expect perfection, just accountability. And the leadership doesn’t want the pew sitters to see what goes on behind the ” Curtains at Oz.”

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  8. raswhiting:
    Beth Moore for SBC President – now that would demonstrate some repentance for the misogyny in the SBC.

    I saw some people talking about that…Serious question, are write in’s allowed? I’m not familiar with convention procedure on this.

    I think, Calvinist or no, neither of these guys are going to change the anti-woman bent of the convention (isn’t hemphill PP’s buddy?) so I’m not sure there is a good choice.

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  9. K.D.,

    I’ll betcha there are thousands, tens of thousands, of SBC pew peons that have no clue what has been happening with the two PPs …… They don’t even know the convention is this week.

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  10. Nancy2(aka Kevlar):
    K.D.,

    I’ll betchathere are thousands, tens of thousands, of SBC pew peons that have no clue what has been happening with the two PPs ……They don’t even know the convention is this week.

    Easily. My parents, lifelong SBC members, former Deacon and Children’s Choir Leader between them, have zero clue of all of it.

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  11. ishy: Bunch of phooey to get elected, is what I think.

    Let me channel Eliza: Words, words, words. I’m so sick of words. I get words all day through first from him now from you. Is that all you blighters can do?

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  12. Nancy2(aka Kevlar):
    K.D.,

    I’ll betchathere are thousands, tens of thousands, of SBC pew peons that have no clue what has been happening with the two PPs ……They don’t even know the convention is this week.

    And honestly, sadly, they do not care….

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  13. Lea:

    I think, Calvinist or no, neither of these guys are going to change the anti-woman bent of the convention (isn’t hemphill PP’s buddy?) so I’m not sure there is a good choice.

    As an SBCer, I agree……. all talk, no action (It’s in Dallas, so all hat, no cattle).
    Just a bunch of empty words to shut women up, and look good to outsiders. They’re just varnishing the cow patty.
    If you read it carefully, it’s easy to see that the resolution on “dignity of women” and “holiness of ministers” is hogwash …… it has no meaning.

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  14. Nancy2(aka Kevlar),

    Congratulations!

    Well, it’s time to work, and vaguely follow the goings on through twitter hashtags and TWW. I do see a few vague rumblings that all is not well in Dallas, but no real smoke yet.

    Also, Lea – nicely played! (toast)

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  15. “‘Pastor J.D. Are You a Calvinist?’ A simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer would have sufficed …”

    Numerous pastor search committees at traditional SBC churches have asked that question of young pastoral candidates over the past few years. New reformers have successfully eluded that question with mumbo-jumbo that satisfied the committee or out-and-out lied about their exact theological persuasion to gain entry into pulpits. These folks are masters at stealth and deception. J.D. Greear will be elected by New Calvinists gathered at SBC-Dallas. Following that election, J.D. will have no reason to continue concealing his identity. Like young pastors all over America who have taken over SBC churches by deception, he will use that office to Calvinize SBC.

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  16. Rambler: The issue on the table, Al Mohler’s attempt to complete the Calvinist Takeover, and push out the Traditional Baptists.

    It’s been the primary issue “under” the table at SBC annual meetings for the past several years. No one has successfully been able to take an axe to the root of the tree as SBC descends deeper into the New Calvinist vortex. SBC-Dallas will be no different. They will be distracted by the sins of the fathers (Patterson, Pressler, Page, etc) – and VP Pence’s visit – and largely ignore the gorilla in the room. The messengers will hold hands to pray in unity (sort of), sing Kumbaya, and return to SBC churches across America while New Calvinist elites continue to steal their denomination and its vast resources.

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  17. Mike Pence question: What are the odds that he is fishing for backing from what’s left of the evangelical political machine in the 2020 election?

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  18. Lea: …so I’m not sure there is a good choice.

    Like many elections, it’s a choice between a perfectly horrible candidate and one who is not quite as bad. The trick is figuring out which one is not so bad.

    It seems odd to me that Greear’s perspective on Calvinism is so hard to determine. It sounds as if he’s never made a really clear statement about his view, and that suggests that he’s trying to keep it hidden. For now, anyway.

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  19. Deb: It was just announced that there are 8,008 messengers that have been certified

    At SBC’s 1985 annual meeting in Dallas, there were 45,519 messengers! Traditional Southern Baptists have grown apathetic and complacent over the years … an easy target for the New Calvinist takeover. An important fill-in-the-blank is missing on the delegate registration form: Non-Calvinist or New-Calvinist? Thus, it’s hard to assess the theological leaning of the 8,000 in Dallas this week. Heck, presidential candidate J.D. Greear won’t even tell us who he is!

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  20. Lydia:
    Lea,

    Hemphill at least hired Dr. Sheri Klouda and Dr. Karen Bullock at SWBTS. So, there is that.

    Interesting. But would he hire them now? I get the impression things have regressed over time.

    And congrats Nancy!!

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  21. Nancy2(aka Kevlar),

    Not getting political here ….. just wondering …….
    And why are the SBC elite allowing him to speak? How much time will be burned up just by security measures while Pence is entering and exiting …….. long lines for security check …. strict rules on what can or can’t be brought in ……
    Is this going to be used as a time burner to prevent dealing with certain things, and to rush the presentation and votes on resolutions!

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  22. Lydia: I guess he found then the best candidates for the job?

    I hope that was the case. However when I was offered a job and a potential career with a university they were very up front that I understand that women in the academy were wanted and valued but not treated the same as men in the same university. They told me, quite frankly, that they had plenty of ‘hot-shot’ men but they needed to balance the faculty with women to actually carry the work load. ‘Somebody has to read the films.’ They told me that if all worked out well I could hope to eventually achieve associate professor level but no higher, because work load and not hot shot. They also told me that this was the common practice in medical academics. I believed them since I had the identical job offer from three different universities, one each in St. Louis, Baton Rouge and Louisville. One catholic and two secular. This was in the very late sixties. I grabbed the job and glad to get it, but a year later we moved on for unrelated reasons.

    I don’t know about anything outside that particular discipline in academics. I hope that was not what Hemphill was thinking. Does anybody know how that worked/works in religious academics?

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  23. Max,

    It is amazing to me that in such an inter-connected world that we live in, especially compared to 1985, that the participation has gone down so much. I suppose some of it is the weariness of being Battling Baptists, but I also think that quite a few people are asleep at the wheel, and are not truly rallying people to go to the meeting.

    Just a finger in the wind sort of direction finding, one of the neo-cal strongholds published an article today lamenting that forces are afoot trying to put together an anti-Russell Moore board for the ERLC to be voted on at the Annual Meeting. So there is definitely guerilla warfare going on.

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  24. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): Mike Pence

    “”We are excited to announce Vice President Mike Pence will be attending this year’s SBC annual meeting to express appreciation to Southern Baptists for the contributions we make to the moral fabric of our nation,” Southern Baptist Convention President Steve Gaines said.” (NBC, Dallas-Ft. Worth)

    Whoa! Did Pence’s team advise him on the latest immoral scandals of SBC elite (Patterson, Pressler, Page, etc)?! Or how about taking 150 years to repent of SBC’s racial sins, or the current New Calvinist movement to subordinate women by misinterpretation of the Bible? Talking about SBC’s “contributions … to the moral fabric of our nation” might very well backfire on Southern Baptists, as secular and religious media jump on the opportunity to beg to differ. This is by no means to belittle the contributions made at the local level by good Southern Baptists to be salt and light as they attempt to reverse the moral decay in their communities. But their national leaders seem more concerned about theo-politics.

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  25. Rambler: It is amazing to me that in such an inter-connected world that we live in, especially compared to 1985, that the participation has gone down so much.

    I guarantee you that SBC’s New Calvinists are inter-connected! They have used social media to their advantage in taking over the SBC. At SBC-Dallas, there will be a Twitter rally to get the young reformers back to the convention center, and out of coffee shops, in time to cast their vote for J.D. Greear.

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  26. I’m here here at work hovering over the live tweets. GJ, Wade!

    Lest you think I will get in trouble, my boss is a retired Baptist pastor, and I’m giving him updates

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  27. *chokes on coffee I’m not actually drinking*

    Ron Wilson, from Lakewood Baptist Church, Alabama: requests SWBTS executive committee resigns (Seconded) #SBC18 #SBCAM18 (PAIGE PATTERSON PAIGE PATTERSON)

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  28. ishy:
    *chokes on coffee I’m not actually drinking*

    Ron Wilson, from Lakewood Baptist Church, Alabama: requests SWBTS executive committee resigns (Seconded) #SBC18 #SBCAM18 (PAIGE PATTERSON PAIGE PATTERSON)

    I am 100% drinking coffee. If I were there I think I might just start calling on everybody who’s done or said anything shady to resign. Just for ages.

    Can you filibuster an SBC convention meeting?

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  29. ishy,

    From Sarah Smith:

    Motion: Committee shall not allow anyone holding public office at time of convention to speak from platform. Seconded. #SBCAM18 #SBC18 (I see….a theme)

    Ha. What a year to invite Pence, after all the vocal stuff about the BGR, too.

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  30. Lea:
    ishy,

    From Sarah Smith:

    Motion: Committee shall not allow anyone holding public office at time of convention to speak from platform. Seconded. #SBCAM18 #SBC18 (I see….a theme)

    Ha. What a year to invite Pence, after all the vocal stuff about the BGR, too.

    They say Pence wasn’t invited, that he asked to speak at the convention.

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  31. Lea:
    ishy,

    From Sarah Smith:

    Motion: Committee shall not allow anyone holding public office at time of convention to speak from platform. Seconded. #SBCAM18 #SBC18 (I see….a theme)

    Ha. What a year to invite Pence, after all the vocal stuff about the BGR, too.

    Shame they didn’t pass that one before Pressler/Patterson!

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  32. ishy: I’m here here at work hovering over the live tweets.

    You ‘must’ tune into the live stream … highly entertaining! Hunker around it with your boss – get some coffee! During the new motions session, I kept waiting for Wiley Drake to take the mic and propose something radical, like splitting the SBC into Non-Calvinist and New-Calvinist denominations. Rev. Drake is known for such sensational things at the annual conferences. He didn’t show up, but will have other opportunities during the conference.

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  33. Sarah Smith:

    Motion to completely defund @ERLC and give the money to soul winning. People actually laughing out loud at this one #SBC18 #SBCAM18

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  34. Just my own personal opinion having been through a few Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer ladies’ Bible studies (before I decided never again!) What they peddle has lots of “chosen” in it in the manner of Kay Arthur’s open Calvinism. Then there is a big dose of charismatic teaching such as Moore getting direct revelations from God for the church and lots of “Catholic guilt” of the “why doesn’t the church ever and why do we always?” when it is just emotional manipulation.

    So Moore would be the first either prosperity or new age SBC president, imho.

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  35. ishy:
    Sarah Smith:
    Motion to completely defund @ERLC and give the money to soul winning. People actually laughing out loud at this one #SBC18 #SBCAM18

    Though I think this would require current agencies to actually be doing “soul winning” and I don’t think they are anymore.

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  36. okrapod,

    Makes one wonder how anything managed to get done before women were in the professions. Eh? I guess it didn’t.

    Lee Iocca in his book said he did not get rid of the secretaries (old word) when he cleaned house because they actually ran the place. Hee hee.

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  37. ishy: Our internet is terrible here, but I will try to time in a bit at lunch.

    You didn’t miss much. Thus far, no brave soul has been willing to pay the price and make a motion demanding that Al Mohler and his band of New Calvinist rebels go! I don’t look for that – the Christian camp atmosphere at SBC annual meetings has a way of forcing everybody to agree to disagree, get along to go along, and make room under the big SBC tent for stuff they wouldn’t otherwise! The messengers will get on the bus to go home and suddenly realize “Darn it, I should have brought that up!” I can’t think of any Southern Baptist leader who would be willing to take an ax to the root of the tree at SBC-Dallas.

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  38. Nancy2(aka Kevlar):
    Mike Pence question: What are the odds that he is fishing for backing from what’s left of the evangelical political machine in the 2020 election?

    I’m sure of it. Several articles online that he’s been grooming the GOP party machine since 2016.
    Might be the first time in history a Veep pulls a challenge to unseat a sitting President.

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  39. Lydia: Makes one wonder how anything managed to get done before women were in the professions. Eh? I guess it didn’t.

    It got done fine. There are plenty of men who are not ‘hot shots’.

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  40. tune in…I have the live feed going, twitter in the next tab, wartburg watch in the next tab, etc…i think they are going to lunch in a minute. When is the presidential vote? #goodthingsabouthavingquitmyjob…..I saw Wade Burleson make a motion…

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  41. Rambler: Just a finger in the wind sort of direction finding, one of the neo-cal strongholds published an article today lamenting that forces are afoot trying to put together an anti-Russell Moore board for the ERLC to be voted on at the Annual Meeting. So there is definitely guerilla warfare going on.

    The Game of Thrones.

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  42. Lydia: Lee Iocca in his book said he did not get rid of the secretaries (old word) when he cleaned house because they actually ran the place. Hee hee.

    Lee Iococca was no fool.

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  43. Lydia: Lee Iocca in his book said he did not get rid of the secretaries (old word) when he cleaned house because they actually ran the place. Hee hee.

    Ha. Smart man.

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  44. “former ERLC President Richard Land said, “We need the ERLC to speak to Southern Baptists and to speak for Southern Baptists” when the convention has “reached consensus.” (BP News)

    Good Lord, have Southern Baptists ever “reached consensus” on anything?! We need ERLC to represent the perspective of the majority of Southern Baptists in the meantime.

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  45. okrapod: There are plenty of men who are not ‘hot shots’.

    All businesses run on regular people doing the work, with a bunch of others coasting or, as you say, hot shotting.

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  46. Max: We need ERLC to represent the perspective of the majority of Southern Baptists in the meantime.

    Oh my, did you read the resolution though? It sounds like a hotbed of crazy nonsense, complete with ‘new world order’ mentions.

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  47. Max:
    “former ERLC President Richard Land said, “We need the ERLC to speak to Southern Baptists and to speak for Southern Baptists” when the convention has “reached consensus.” (BP News)

    Good Lord, have Southern Baptists ever “reached consensus” on anything?!We need ERLC to represent the perspective of the majority of Southern Baptists in the meantime.

    I’m going to do the charitable thing and bite my tongue regarding Richard Land.

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  48. jyjames,

    And the first speaker at the Pastors Conference, that preceded the Annual Conference agenda, said, “This is a pastor’s conference and while there are women in the audience this is not for you. I’m speaking only to pastors.” Or something close to that. Then he precedes to make sure that any woman attending was not to mistake ONE word of the golden words falling from his tongue as remotely applicable to them, by way of making continual reference to, “BROTHER-Pastors.” (Another Mark Dever influenced move to be sure that women don’t get any ideas about their “station.”)
    Juan Sanchez, Sr. Pastor of High Point Baptist Church | Austin, TX. You were HEARD loud and clear.

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  49. Augustine: And the first speaker at the Pastors Conference, that preceded the Annual Conference agenda, said, “This is a pastor’s conference and while there are women in the audience this is not for you. I’m speaking only to pastors.”

    Nice.

    Apparently, there were a number of women speaking at some sort of tea. Because of course.

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  50. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): They said Pence wasn’t invited, that he asked to speak at the convention.

    It’s my understanding that Pence’s office called the SBC. Given the atmosphere at this year’s meeting, they should have graciously declined his offer to speak. SBC’s theo-politics are thick enough without dragging national politics into the mess. Plus, it’s very difficult for the SBC to look “moral” these days as Pence tells them what a good job they are doing in that regard.

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  51. Rambler: I’m going to do the charitable thing and bite my tongue regarding Richard Land.

    Yeah, I know what you mean. As a good Christian, I’ve about bit my tongue off during my 60+ year stint as a Southern Baptist (which might end this week).

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  52. Praying for the For Such a Time as This rally as they begin their program. While the treat of Paige Patterson speaking at the convention seemed to be the catalyst for the movement, the underlying issues which he become the personification of still exist.

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  53. K.D.: And the leadership doesn’t want the pew sitters to see what goes on behind the ” Curtains at Oz.”

    Not to mention all them flyin’ monkeys in old fashioned military tunics.

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  54. GSD: It seems odd to me that Greear’s perspective on Calvinism is so hard to determine. It sounds as if he’s never made a really clear statement about his view, and that suggests that he’s trying to keep it hidden. For now, anyway.

    BINGO! Never mind what Danny Akin wrote years ago (quoted at the top of the post). Clearly, the end justifies the means…

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  55. The Vice Predidential address should not come as a surprise. It’s a show the flag moment.

    For me personally I have been pleasantly surprised at the very limited intrusion of elected officials and conservative pundits into the Church. I have called this one wrong. Initially following the election, I assumed attacks simular to the Ted Cruz 2016 convention incident would occur.

    If anything noteworthy has occurred, it’s been rapprochement of the Trump pre-election critics. Those few still remaining appear content with vague complaints that are little more than grousing.

    It’s been nice to live in peace and quiet.

    Longer-term, I still anticipate the Evangelicalism evolving into tomorrow’s battleground.

    Conservatives can not retain power without tens of millions of voters. Conversly,Evangelicalism can not exert social influence without public policy. We can chat all day about Jesus, gospel and what is biblical. But the public is controlled by public policy.

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  56. Max,

    You seem to understand what is going on between the Calvinists and non. I’d really like to see a biblical discussion on here about this subject. My dad (old fashioned- in a good way- SBC pastor of small country churches) is a non. My hubby is a Calvinist. I’m just confused and think we should just love God and our neighbor. Both my dad and hubby can come up with scripture for their respective belief.
    I will say that our current pastor is a Calvinist and has done away with the altar call. I do miss praying at the altar. Although I understand his argument that some come forward out of emotionalism with no real fruit afterwards.
    I guess, I just think none of us have God completely figured out.

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  57. I’m a little more concerned if Greear is a complementarian, more so than if he’s a Calvinist.

    On this blog about a month ago, I posted a link to a Twitter conversation he had with some other guy on Twitter (I later joined in and left Greear a few tweets that he did not reply to).

    I also saw something on ‘The Christian Post,’ where Greear was defending complementarianism.

    Greear (like a lot of comps) doesn’t recognize complementarianism as playing a role in the current wave of “Church Too” discussions.

    He belongs to the group that thinks the problem is not with comp itself, it’s only with “complementarianism done wrong.”

    It’s like two or three guys on Julie Anne’s SSB blog who think all sexism and sexual assaults in churches by Christian men of girls and women could come to a halt if only churches doubled down on complementarianism.

    If only all complementarian men were ‘warm and fuzzy’ about their Male Headship of women, they think.

    It makes me want to pound my head against a wall that these men are blind that one of the foundational problems of sexism and sex assault i the Christian community is due to complementarianism itself – even the “nice” type of complementarianism that does not always manifest itself as sexual assault or domestic violence.

    The underpinnings of violent complementarianism and “nice” complementarianism follow the same world views, biblical interpretations, and gender assumptions.

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  58. linda,

    Thanks Linda for your accurate account of Beth Moore’s and Priscilla Schirer’s theologies. We need a conservative biblical egalitarian woman to stand!

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  59. Daisy,

    Mohler just now at the convention, via Sarah Smith:

    .@albertmohler : “if you want to be a sinful abuser, complementarianism is an ideology you could grasp on to and own to justify your sinful behavior. Let’s just own that.” But then, he adds, “I don’t think complementarianism is the Weinstein problem.” #SBC2018

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  60. ishy:
    .@albertmohler : “if you want to be a sinful abuser, complementarianism is an ideology you could grasp on to and own to justify your sinful behavior. Let’s just own that.” But then, he adds, “I don’t think complementarianism is the Weinstein problem.” #SBC2018

    Half right.

    Weinstein was able to get away with what he did for so long because of power differentials. Complementarianism creates power differentials between all husbands and wives, and all church staff and women, and generally speaking between all men and women. It can’t help but contribute.

    In addition to creating power differentials where none should exist, comp *encourages* men to treat women as children incapable of equal thought. It encourages women to accept male domination. Comp does Hollywood one better in that it creates evils where they did not exist before. Deeply problematic.

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  61. :O

    @SEBTS: At Southeastern we just elected the first female chairman of the Board of Trustees in the history of our school. @DannyAkin #sbc18 #SBCam18

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  62. ishy: @SEBTS: At Southeastern we just elected the first female chairman of the Board of Trustees in the history of our school. @DannyAkin #sbc18 #SBCam18

    That this is noteworthy and only first happening in 2018 tells you a great deal. *facepalm*

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  63. linda: Just my own personal opinion having been through a few Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer ladies’ Bible studies (before I decided never again!) What they peddle has lots of “chosen” in it

    That’s why they are blessed by the New Calvinists, among only a handful of women teachers, as being OK to send their wimmenfolk to. The relationship with the reformed movement benefits Moore and Shirer in conference and book revenue. The grace-grace-grace, gospel-centered this and gospel-centered that message is selling well these days.

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  64. Augustine: Juan Sanchez, Sr. Pastor of High Point Baptist Church | Austin, TX. You were HEARD loud and clear.

    Wish I lived in San Antonio, I would stand outside of his church with a sign saying, “WE HEARD YOUR CONTEMPT FOR WOMEN LOUD AND CLEAR. YOU’LL MISS OUR TIME, TALENTS AND TREASURE!”

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  65. FBC Jax Watchdog
    FBC Jax Watchdog
    @fbcjaxwatchdog
    Breaking News: No need for SBC to vote to remove VP from agenda. VP Mike Pence refuses the invitation to address #sbc18 after he realizes they don’t ordain women and the leader of the SBC conservative resurgence is a pedophile. Doesn’t want to disgrace Trump Administration. Ouch.
    12:39 PM · Jun 12, 2018

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  66. Dennis: So J.D. Greear believes free speech is more important than life.

    /

    I suspect this is not about abortion, but rather the overwhelming dominance of the Orthodox Church in Russian politics. Many groups (not just Scientology, the JWs, and Mormons) have been affected by anti-proselytising laws. I don’t know how badly Baptist missions have been hammered, but I suspect they have not been spared.

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  67. Muslin, fka Deana Holmes: I suspect this is not about abortion, but rather the overwhelming dominance of the Orthodox Church in Russian politics. Many groups (not just Scientology, the JWs, and Mormons) have been affected by anti-proselytising laws. I don’t know how badly Baptist missions have been hammered, but I suspect they have not been spared.

    I hate myself when I do this, but taking emotion out of it for a moment. Not saying I agree, but looking at this carefully, there is an awful calculus to consider. Pro-Life affects the one (as heinous as it is). Free Speech affects the one, the one’s offspring, the offspring’s offspring and so on. I think he is taking the angle that not being able to preach the Good News affects – over time – many, many more souls. In a perfect world, obviously it would be pro-life and pro-Jesus.
    Please don’t blast me to oblivion with vitriol. I’m just trying to see how one could come to the statement he made.

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  68. ishy: “if you want to be a sinful abuser, complementarianism is an ideology you could grasp on to and own to justify your sinful behavior. Let’s just own that” (Al Mohler)

    Well, Al, complementarianism is a monster you helped create and release in the SBC. So you do own it!

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  69. FW Rez: Curiously enough, there is all this push back on VP Pence tomorrow when Texas Governor Abbot spoke this morning.

    The amount of pushback really is interesting. Is it one camp more than another, or are people finally (maybe?) getting wise to being used by politicians?

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  70. Max: Well, Al, complementarianism is a monster you helped create and release in the SBC.So you do own it!

    As a professor, he has to decide is he a bad teacher of the ideology, the students bad learners, is it bad ideology, or all of the above? (Hint – it’s the last one, Prof. Mohler.)

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  71. Rambler: The amount of pushback really is interesting. Is it one camp more than another, or are people finally (maybe?) getting wise to being used by politicians?

    From the comments I’ve seen, there are three reasons people are not pleased:
    1. Takes time and focus away from other business and issues
    2. Some don’t want to be seen as combining church and politics
    3. Pragmatically, they don’t want the inconvenience of the added security and other restrictions (a lot of folks here in TX like to bring their guns along).

    Pence would have had a larger audience and been more welcome down the street at FBC-Dallas on Sunday (but a lot of folks would have still been sad about leaving their guns behind).

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  72. Lea: Complementarianism creates power differentials between all husbands and wives, and all church staff and women, and generally speaking between all men and women. It can’t help but contribute.

    This is the egalitarian argument complementarian apologists need to answer.

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  73. Lea: Weinstein was able to get away with what he did for so long because of power differentials. Complementarianism creates power differentials between all husbands and wives, and all church staff and women, and generally speaking between all men and women. It can’t help but contribute.

    That’s the whole idea.
    FEATURE, NOT BUG.

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  74. Dave Ramsey is now speaking at SBC-Dallas- another celebrity who has benefited from a cozy relationship with Southern Baptists. I’m sure the messengers will be able to get a free autograph on his latest book and a selfie out in the exhibit hall.

    SBC-Dallas will put “Dr.” Ravi Zacharias on stage this evening as a “Special Guest.” Seems to me he has been the subject of TWW posts.

    Brother!!

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  75. Rambler:
    You would think he would be everywhere.Jeffress doesn’t miss a chance at a camera.

    Jeffress is a real piece of work.
    I found his name mentioned in a 2011 TWW posting that comes up in the “Politics and Faith” category.
    Of course, these days he’s best known for sucking up to political power.

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  76. FW Rez: Curiously enough, there is all this push back on VP Pence tomorrow when Texas Governor Abbot spoke this morning.

    “Texas Governor” could actually make a case as his state is hosting the conference.
    That and Texas’ reputation for being contrary.
    And its location in the Bible Belt.

    But still, the thing both Eagle & I scratch our head over is the phenomenon of Born-Again Christians sucking up to the State like the False Prophet to the Beast. Which ramped up into Crazyland during the 2016 elections and has stayed there ever since.

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  77. Some dude on twitter said:
    Dr. David R. Brockman‏ @drdrbrockman · 5h5 hours ago
    Grant Ethridge, order of biz chair, says the SBC aligns itself with no political party. Says White House reached out to the SBC. Cites bible saying “Honor the king.” Says his committee would have honored the same request from Obama admin. #SBCAM18

    ‘Honor the King’?????

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  78. Muslin, fka Deana Holmes: I suspect this is not about abortion, but rather the overwhelming dominance of the Orthodox Church in Russian politics. Many groups (not just Scientology, the JWs, and Mormons) have been affected by anti-proselytising laws. I don’t know how badly Baptist missions have been hammered, but I suspect they have not been spared.

    To paraphrase Gandalf, “There is only One Russian Orthodox (State) Church, and they do NOT share Power!”

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  79. Godbeforemen:
    Max,

    I’d really like to see a biblical discussion on here about this subject.My dad (old fashioned- in a good way- SBC pastor of small country churches) is a non.My hubby is a Calvinist.I’m just confused and think we should just love God and our neighbor.Both my dad and hubby can come up with scripture for their respective belief.
    I will say that our current pastor is a Calvinist and has done away with the altar call.I do miss praying at the altar.Although I understand his argument that some come forward out of emotionalism with no real fruit afterwards.
    I guess, I just think none of us have God completely figured out.

    A few thoughts that may be helpful from someone who has had significant exposure to conservative groups on both sides of this schism in the evangelical movement.

    It appears to be that both groups believe that “the Gospel” is profoundly implicated and harmed by the position taken by the other side. It appears to me that, ironically, there is a deep agreement that underlies the disagreement: both agree that it is dangerous to believe that one’s own works contribute anything toward one’s righteous status in God’s sight. It is important to believe that one is “saved by grace, through faith, not of works …”. And I think that many on both sides would tend to doubt that a person who thought his works contributed toward his justification (say, on the basis of Mt 25), actually possessed “true faith”; such a person might be presumptively unsaved (from the perspective of non-calvinists) or unregenerate (from the perspective of calvinists). IOW, I think that an individual’s understanding of “the doctrine of justification” often functions, on both sides (in my experience of these groups) as a proxy for whether God has worked in the person’s life in such as way as to “save”/”regenerate”.

    In my experience, Calvinists tend to lump “faith” itself into the “works that do not save.” So if one believes that one produced one’s own faith freely, thereby taking credit for one’s faith in Christ, many calvinists would see that as a false belief in self-justification through works (the “work” being “I chose to believe in Jesus”). For calvinists, “true faith” is a rest in Jesus’ work that attributes exclusively to God (“monergism”) not only all the good visible fruits that flow out of faith in Jesus, but also that faith itself.

    And this points to what I think is the nub of the problem, the way each group perceives the other to, in one way or another, damage the Gospel.

    For calvinists, the non-cal position vitiates the Gospel of salvation “by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone” because it attributes to the unregenerate person some power to exercise faith and so find forgiveness with God. This may underlie the reluctance to employ the technique of “altar call”; they prefer to simply state the facts of the Gospel and rely on the Holy Spirit to produce new life and then faith (this order is important to calvinists) in the heart of unregenerate hearers. To openly exhort unregenerate hearers to faith risks creating false faith (false because it is a human work, rather than the work of the Holy Spirit). In my experience, this reluctance to exhort extended even to the more general category of “love and good works”; the preachers preferred to let the Holy Spirit make application to the hearers. So the sermons tended to be long on exposition and short on application.

    For non-calvinists, calvinist theory and practice has practical effects of damaging Gospel outreach, smothering evangelistic zeal, and generally inducing complacency and apathy on the part of those who reckon themselves to already be regenerate. One generally does not encounter calvinists who are deeply troubled by the fate that they believe awaits unbelievers among their acquaintance.

    ———–

    From my perspective, I wonder whether it may be that both sides are mistaken in believing that one cannot be saved if one’s theology of justification is flawed. That would seem to rule out essentially everyone prior to the Reformers.

    Having experienced emotional manipulation in independent baptist revivals, I sympathize with Cal concerns about how altar calls are performed (not to mention their concern that “altars” are for the offering up to God of sacrificial victims, and we don’t do that in Protestant churches). But I also see how Cal emphasis on God’s sovereignty really does seem to induce complacency and inaction on the part of the laity (this is compounded, in my experience, by Reformed ecclesiology (which neo-Cals substantially follow), which seems to locate all “ministry” within the offices and officers of the church, which in practice leaves the laity with little to do other invite guests to receive ministry from the church officers.)

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  80. Daisy: I’m a little more concerned if Greear is a complementarian, more so than if he’s a Calvinist.

    From this and other blogs, there’s quite a bit of overlap between Complementarian and Calvinist.
    Easily explainable by Lord Voldemort: “There is only POWER.”
    The Elect’s POWER over the pewpeons, the Man’s POWER over the Woman.

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  81. Watching SBC-Dallas live stream, something weird going on … during the nomination of Ken Hemphill for President, the video keeps flipping back to Ramsey’s speech (?) … probably some New Calvinist hacker.

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  82. Headless Unicorn Guy: Resulting in back-and-forth “DIE, HERETIC!”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let_That_Be_Your_Last_Battlefield
    (Captain Obvious Heavy-handed Message episode, but it does make the point.)

    Perhaps less tartly, this might be a way of understanding why neo-Cals prefer to either take over or “steal sheep” from non-Cal congregations. If you think that the non-cals have a deeply flawed understanding of the Gospel, so deeply flawed that the people who understand the Gospel in that way may be presumptively unregenerate/unsaved, then the neo-Cal approach to “church growth” actually may look to them like a highly valid form of evangelism.

    This is an attempt to interpret the neo-cals sympathetically, “from the inside.” Perhaps it is mistaken, and its more about power and money. I really don’t know.

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  83. Samuel Conner: For non-calvinists, calvinist theory and practice has practical effects of damaging Gospel outreach, smothering evangelistic zeal, and generally inducing complacency and apathy on the part of those who reckon themselves to already be regenerate. One generally does not encounter calvinists who are deeply troubled by the fate that they believe awaits unbelievers among their acquaintance.

    That has been an underlying concern by the Church for the past 500 years … and largely why 90% of Christendom throughout the world has rejected Calvinistic belief and practice.

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  84. Samuel Conner: Perhaps less tartly, this might be a way of understanding why neo-Cals prefer to either take over or “steal sheep” from non-Cal congregations.

    I figure that’s just Raid-and-Pillage: “Easier to steal than work.”

    If you think that the non-cals have a deeply flawed understanding of the Gospel, so deeply flawed that the people who understand the Gospel in that way may be presumptively unregenerate/unsaved, then the neo-Cal approach to “church growth” actually may look to them like a highly valid form of evangelism.

    Or that’s just the Righteous Biblical justification for the regime.
    Like the USSR and North Korea justifying everything “In the Name of The People”.

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  85. Max: That has been an underlying concern by the Church for the past 500 years … and largely why 90% of Christendom throughout the world has rejected Calvinistic belief and practice.

    You want to see the side effects of Calvinism, use the history of Islam as your pattern.
    For Truly Reformed Neo-Hyper-Calvinism, the Hyper-Islam of the Wahabi.

    Because both Calvin and Mohammed were extremely into Predestination and God’s Sovereign Will. Years ago, one of my writer contacts described a New Calvinist church he sampled as showing similar signs to Islam’s dark side; passivity and fatalism among the Low, Blind Ambition and Abuse justified by “God’s Will” among the High — and “Not My Fault! God Willed It!” as the ultimate excuse machine. I figure ANY belief system heavily into Predestination/Determinism will show these side effects. (And then “Can You Top This?” gets factored into the one-upmanship game of “More Elect/Devout/Correct Than Thou”…)

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  86. Max: That has been an underlying concern by the Church for the past 500 years … and largely why 90% of Christendom throughout the world has rejected Calvinistic belief and practice.

    Why “Go ye therefore. ….” when everything is preordained?

    And Dave Ramsey. …… bah! If he’s going to speak, he needs to get on the cases of seminaries, trustees, etc, about how they handle OUR tithe money!

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  87. Samuel Conner: But I also see how Cal emphasis on God’s sovereignty really does seem to induce complacency and inaction on the part of the laity (this is compounded, in my experience, by Reformed ecclesiology (which neo-Cals substantially follow), which seems to locate all “ministry” within the offices and officers of the church, which in practice leaves the laity with little to do other invite guests to receive ministry from the church officers.)

    I will say in my (non-evangelical) presby church,

    1. There are officers, but they rotate regularly – to the point where it appears many if not most long term members have served as officers.

    2. There are many ministries fully open to membership, from committees to counseling groups, to soup kitchen and other community activities, and they regularly recruit members to them. They might be organized in some fashion with deacon or elder involvement, but it doesn’t limit regular members in any way in my experience.

    So I haven’t found this particular point to be an issue. Handled differently, it can be of course.

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  88. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    I understand interpretations of the neo-cals that see them as acting in bad faith. It may well be. The thing that troubles me more about both neo-cal and the more traditional calvinists that I have been exposed to is that there does not seem to be a whole lot of “love of neighbor as self”. The early churches (ie, the ones we get glimpses of in the NT) seem to have been communities in which the people really cared about one another. That’s surely part of why the early churches were able to survive and even thrive in spite of the outrageous novelty of their teachings. God really was “among them” in ways that the pagans could not deny. While those churches were “in the world”, they emphatically were not “of it.”

    NT Wright, in one of his 2018 Gifford lectures, described the churches that Paul founded in these terms: “ethically rigorous philanthropic fictive kinship groups.” It strikes me as an apt descriptions. I think that many contemporary churches are deficient on one or more of these dimensions, and some are deficient in all three.

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  89. Headless Unicorn Guy: From this and other blogs, there’s quite a bit of overlap between Complementarian and Calvinist.

    There is overlap with evangelicals and complementarianism. You are only looking at this brand of Calvinist who have bought into this. Skewing your data 😉

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  90. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): And Dave Ramsey. …… bah! If he’s going to speak, he needs to get on the cases of seminaries, trustees, etc, about how they handle OUR tithe money!

    Nice. But then they might not continue this cozy little relationship with their churches and Dave’s group…

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  91. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): Why “Go ye therefore. ….” when everything is preordained?

    To a New Calvinist, “evangelism” is harvesting the elect not reaching the lost with the message of Christ for ALL people. That’s a world of difference when it comes to one’s view of the Great Commission. Frankly, I can’t see how two distinctly approaches to God’s plan of salvation can coexist in a single denomination. To a watching world, Southern Baptists are speaking out of both sides of their mouth.

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  92. Max: To a New Calvinist, “evangelism” is harvesting the elect…

    Er… are you sure about that? It’s probably more about pulling in more giving units.

    I suspect we’re actually barking up the same hymn-sheet here.

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  93. dainca: GMFS is “good morning from Scotland,” where Arnold has his domicile…

    Quite so, though it was actually I who wished Wartburgers the world over a good morning. Mr Smartarse was the next comment.

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  94. Lea: I will say in my (non-evangelical) presby church,

    1. There are officers, but they rotate regularly – to the point where it appears many if not most long term members have served as officers.

    2. There are many ministries fully open to membership, from committees to counseling groups, to soup kitchen and other community activities, and they regularly recruit members to them. They might be organized in some fashion with deacon or elder involvement, but it doesn’t limit regular members in any way in my experience.

    So I haven’t found this particular point to be an issue. Handled differently, it can be of course.

    Yes. Part of the problem in the evangelical churches, IMO, is that they are so fixated on the “Pascal’s Wager” imperative of avoiding post-mortem punishments that “love one another” tends to get truncated to “make sure that one another are saved/regenerate”, with a similar posture toward outsiders (if there is any evangelistic concern at all). The “most important thing” tends to become “the only thing” when resources are limited.

    The fruits of the modernist/fundamentalist controversy are still with us.

    While I mentioned above that I think it may be wrong to believe that “an accurate grasp of soteriology is an indispensable part of saving faith”, I also have come to suspect that there might be a much deeper problem in the evangelical movement (one that transcends the cal/non-cal divide), a misapprehension of what the Bible means when it speaks of “the wrath of God.” Perhaps I’ll be buried in following comments, but I wonder whether we should understand this to simply refer to the bodily death that necessarily follows from denial of access to “the Tree of Life.” OT conceptions of wrath are entirely “under the sun” and even in Paul’s letters (Romans, for example) post-mortem realities are not prominent, aside from the ultimate resurrection of those who belong to Jesus. IOW, maybe “conditional immortality” is a better “take” on the bible’s view of personal eschatology. That is of course a really disfavored view at present; I’ll take my lumps if I have offended readers.

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  95. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): And Dave Ramsey. …… bah! If he’s going to speak, he needs to get on the cases of seminaries, trustees, etc, about how they handle OUR tithe money!

    One of the biggest takeaways from the past few weeks for me has been that the SBC is organizationally dysfunctional. Patterson and Pressler saw the weaknesses within the system and rather than build an agenda to help establish better practices they decided to leverage the system in place to accomplish their political goals. It became common place to make appointments according to political loyalties without regard to adequacy for the task. I read recently where Russell Dilday and the other seminary presidents were pleading for better qualified individuals to serve on the boards.

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  96. Max: I guarantee you that SBC’s New Calvinists are inter-connected! They have used social media to their advantage in taking over the SBC. At SBC-Dallas, there will be a Twitter rally to get the young reformers back to the convention center, and out of coffee shops, in time to cast their vote for J.D. Greear.

    Jesus said, “Upon social media I will found my church, and the gates of hell (insert Arminiasm or egalitarianism here) will not prevail.”

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  97. Nick Bulbeck: Max: To a New Calvinist, “evangelism” is harvesting the elect…

    Er… are you sure about that? It’s probably more about pulling in more giving units.

    ‘Sheep stealing’ is how most churches are getting growth in this country. At best, you might be pulling in a backslider 🙂

    As for Evangelizing, yes, certain types have been more forward about ‘sharing the word’ and so on and so forth. However, the emphasis put on this can make for heavy handed approaches that are not well received at times. I have generally thought that general outreach, feeding the poor, helping your widows and orphans, while also being ‘biblical’ can be more effective in general than overt evangelizing. So I’m not sure how big a problem backing off that focus would be, it might even be beneficial provided you are actually doing traditional church helpful stuff.

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  98. ishy,

    Wow. I have a personal connection to one of those locations, albeit earlier than the abuse occurred.

    One can’t help but wonder how many of these pastors that protect predators are predators themselves, and how many are just hard hearted men with poor theology.

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  99. Evangelicalism can not be separated from Calvinism. One is an evolution of its predecessor. Evangelicalism tolerates a limited spectrum of doctrines due solely to pragmatism.

    Evangelicalism defines evangelism as social engagement, for the purpose of social influence, and societies’adoption of specific traditions.

    Harold Ockenga. 1947
    “We repudiate the ‘Come-outist’ movement which brands all Denominations as apostate. We expect to be positive in our emphasis, except where error so exists that it is necessary for us to point it out in order to declare the truth. The positive emphasis will be on the broad doctrinal basis of a low Calvinism”

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  100. Samuel Conner: OT conceptions of wrath are entirely “under the sun” and even in Paul’s letters (Romans, for example) post-mortem realities are not prominent, aside from the ultimate resurrection of those who belong to Jesus. IOW, maybe “conditional immortality” is a better “take” on the bible’s view of personal eschatology. That is of course a really disfavored view at present; I’ll take my lumps if I have offended readers.

    No offense taken. I no longer believe in the medieval view of hell as post-mortem punishment whether you (generic you) believe you deserve it or not. I now lean toward conditionalism.

    When I was a Calvary Chapel fundagelical I didn’t dare and question the doctrine of eternal torture by fire, because it was part and parcel to getting ‘saved’.

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  101. Headless Unicorn Guy: To paraphrase Gandalf, “There is only One Russian Orthodox (State) Church, and they do NOT share Power!”

    There was a time when the Cossacks would periodically butcher Jews in the Pale.
    All under the auspices of the bearded orthodox patriarchs.

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  102. Muff Potter: When I was a Calvary Chapel fundagelical I didn’t dare and question the doctrine of eternal torture by fire, because it was part and parcel to getting ‘saved’.

    And any doubt of any part of the package means YOU’RE NOT SAVED(TM)!
    The threat of Eternal Hell can be quite a Loyalty motivator.
    As well as such all-or-nothing package deals are extremely fragile; any crack in any part and you may as well be a None.

    Speaking of take-it-or-leave-it package deals, living near CC’s Ground Zero in the Eighties taught me that CC distills down all the ways Christian groups can go sour into a single package.

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  103. Samuel Conner: Part of the problem in the evangelical churches, IMO, is that they are so fixated on the “Pascal’s Wager” imperative of avoiding post-mortem punishments that “love one another” tends to get truncated to “make sure that one another are saved/regenerate”

    “So what if I rack him ’til he die? For I shall have Saved His Soul.”
    — “The Inquisitor”, Mark Twain’s Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

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  104. Greear is one of the co-authors of this (see link below). I’m just skimming it over.

    While the advice does not appear to be entirely horrid, so long as Greear keeps defending Complementarianism (which he has done in the past), Southern Baptists are still going to have a difficult time dealing with Domestic Violence.

    The Male Headship teachings in Complementarianism play a role in domestic violence.
    If Greear really cares about helping DV victims, he’ll encourage SBs to abandon the “wives agree to graciously submit to your husbands” type of complementarian doctrines they have enshrined.

    4 Myths about Responding to Spousal Abuse>b?
    Despite our good intentions, these misconceptions can turn a bad situation worse.
    by Bruce Ashford, J. D. Greear, and Brad Hambrick
    https://www.christianitytoday.com/pastors/2018/may-web-exclusives/4-myths-about-responding-to-spousal-abuse.html

    I notice after skimming that divorce is not presented as a valid option for a Christian woman in an abusive marriage. It mentions separation as possibly being okay, but not divorce.

    Snippets from the page:

    And sometimes pastors hesitate to advise a separation because they want to prevent separation from becoming divorce.

    When we don’t do what we should because we are trying to prevent someone else from doing what they shouldn’t, we allow that person’s folly rather than godly wisdom to dictate our actions.

    They do at least offer solid advice such as:

    “This is why involving an experienced abuse counselor is so important.” – and:
    “…Myth 4: As a pastor, I’m the best person to solve this problem.”

    They at least acknowledge that they are not the experts on this.

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  105. Headless Unicorn Guy: “So what if I rack him ’til he die? For I shall have Saved His Soul.”
    — “The Inquisitor”, Mark Twain’s Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

    It’s a good (fictional, though one cannot doubt that such things did happen IRL) illustration of how theological system can override explicit commands of Scripture. My guess is that this “system > text” dynamics happens in all the various threads in the tapestry of the history of the churches. It seems to have happened (though the “system” was less developed) in Old Israel too.

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  106. Daisy: I notice after skimming that divorce is not presented as a valid option for a Christian woman in an abusive marriage. It mentions separation as possibly being okay, but not divorce.

    This is what I look for. It’s a tell if they only mention separation and not divorce. No bueno.

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  107. Samuel Conner: While I mentioned above that I think it may be wrong to believe that “an accurate grasp of soteriology is an indispensable part of saving faith”, I also have come to suspect that there might be a much deeper problem in the evangelical movement (one that transcends the cal/non-cal divide), a misapprehension of what the Bible means when it speaks of “the wrath of God.” Perhaps I’ll be buried in following comments, but I wonder whether we should understand this to simply refer to the bodily death that necessarily follows from denial of access to “the Tree of Life.” OT conceptions of wrath are entirely “under the sun” and even in Paul’s letters (Romans, for example) post-mortem realities are not prominent, aside from the ultimate resurrection of those who belong to Jesus. IOW, maybe “conditional immortality” is a better “take” on the bible’s view of personal eschatology. That is of course a really disfavored view at present; I’ll take my lumps if I have offended readers.

    I’ll stand beside you. I tend to think we lost our way the day Constantine captured the ekklesia and bound them tightly to The Church. I have grave concerns about much of what we have been taught concerning who God is, how he loves his creation and all that he offers us. The power and politics struggles displaced knowledge of God.

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  108. About ‘what now’ for disaffected SBC folks, if you leave.

    The Free Will Baptists of which we were a part for several years after leaving SBC are Arminian evangelicals. But their distribution in the US is limited.

    When we moved here there was no FWB church available. I checked out an AoG church for a while but we ended up UMC for several years.

    If you look at the reference from Grainne you can see how that could happen. This is a logical progression theologically depending on one’s hierarchy of doctrinal values.

    Meanwhile I was investigating Roman Catholicism at the same time, based on my prior contact with catholic institutions and also my doctrinal dissatisfaction-a personal thing and not a logical progression from UMC. My current status as anglo-catholic episcopal pulls together the two strains of thought. That would not be right for everybody by any means.

    Nevertheless I do think that following one’s progression of thinking (aka ‘faith journey’) can be an extremely good thing to do, and no doubt varies from person to person. My ‘journey’ took 70+ years and only happened because things kept falling apart about the minute I though they had settled down. I wish I had paid more attention sooner.

    Best wishes to all.

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  109. okrapod,

    Myself, I am part of the ACNA, after growing up SBC (Parkwood Baptist in Jacksonville, Park Cities in Dallas, Roswell FBC in GA, Johnson Ferry in Marietta – Bryant Wright’s church), going to Samford, studying under William Hull, Bill Leonard and others. Also spent about 10 years at North Point Community Church with Andy Stanley, as an aside.

    I seem to be younger than most here, at 44 years of age, but my faith journey has always been towards, not from something. You end up happier that way. In my head, my hands are bound, as the Holy Spirit leads me where I did not want to go, but I am happier for it. Intellectually, theologically, spiritually, emotionally. It’s weird to call myself an Orthodox Anglican, but there you go.

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  110. “My biggest takeaway from today’s SBC was the number of skinny-jeaned, millennial messengers who not only refused to say the pledge & sing the National Anthem – but insisted on looking defiant & annoyed while they abstained.” (Janet Mefferd, Twitter)

    A glimpse of the next-Gen SBC that J.D. Greear now leads. I’m sure these folks voted for him.

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  111. Saw several people on Twitter wonder about the shaved skulls and beards. That’s the Calvinist army, you fools. Right there in front of you.

    I say this as someone sporting a nice moustache and goatee myself. But it’s strategic. I have a baby face and blessed with no gray on my head. The moustache and chin are dark with streaks of white in the goatee. I actually look old enough to manage people this way.

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  112. Rambler:
    Saw several people on Twitter wonder about the shaved skulls and beards. That’s the Calvinist army, you fools. Right there in front of you.

    I say this as someone sporting a nice moustache and goatee myself. But it’s strategic. I have a baby face and blessed with no gray on my head. The moustache and chin are dark with streaks of white in the goatee. I actually look old enough to manage people this way.

    I believe the term of art is ‘distinguished’ 🙂

    My big red beard has been slowly, slowly going gray. Or as I like to call it, ‘silver threads among the gold’ 😉

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  113. Again, Wesleyan Arminians are most definitely not what Olson and others deem Reformed Arminians. Wesleyans are a blend of that plus parts of Catholic theology. So righteousness is not just imputed, but can be imparted. Sin is also defined differently from the Calvinist “missing the mark.” It is only sin if it is deliberate disobedience to the known will of God. Free will must come into play for sin to attach.

    But here is a challenge for SBC readers of TWW who are nonCalvinist:

    ASAP call your pastor and tell him you have a personal crisis and need to meet with him as soon as possible. If you are convinced he is a Calvinist, don’t do this. He will eat you alive. I am saying if you believe your church and pastor are nonCalvinist good guys.

    Tell him when you meet you cannot in good conscience support what you believe is a false gospel in the name of unity or “winning the lost” since they would not truly be won under Calvinism. Tell him you support him and love your church, but cannot contribute one penny more until your church drops the CP, Annie Armstrong, Lottie Moon, any and all giving beyond the local church. Be prepared for argument. Don’t even try. Just keep repeating “not one penny.” Don’t be conned into designated giving, as that just allows them to give more of someone else’s money to the SBC. If your pastor is truly a good guy he will support or at least understand and not belittle you.

    But if your pastor is a Calvinist and you didn’t see it, or just not one of the good guys, you will be ostracized so if you don’t want to take the risk, just sit on your wallet.

    These takeover guys are in it for the money. Cut off the money and they will move on.

    Or of course, just walk away. Investigate the other churches in your general area or start one. Or worship with a friend or two. I’ve known some to find a good Bible study and let that be church for them when their denoms had gone nuts.

    But do something. Don’t just sit there, moan, and give 10%.

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  114. truthseeker00: I tend to think we lost our way the day Constantine captured the ekklesia and bound them tightly to The Church. I have grave concerns about much of what we have been taught concerning who God is, how he loves his creation and all that he offers us. The power and politics struggles displaced knowledge of God.

    I’ve been trying to read writings from pre-Constantine church fathers. While the coziness of church and state that started with him is a problem, I don’t believe it’s as pervasive as many claim. Certainly he had some influence in the first ecumenical council, but he was dealing with quite a lot of stubborn bishops who survived the earlier persecutions and were not willing to fold on what they believed. Constantine seemed to be more concerned with Christian unity than he was with the actual theology because disunity was having a political impact. The first council upheld Trinitarian theology over Arianism even though Constantine favored Arianism. In fact, it was not long after that council that Arianism made such a strong comeback that it nearly became the Christian standard. Hence the phrase, “Athanasius against the world.” My conclusion is I don’t think Christianity stands on flimsy legs.

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  115. Samuel Conner: I also have come to suspect that there might be a much deeper problem in the evangelical movement (one that transcends the cal/non-cal divide), a misapprehension of what the Bible means when it speaks of “the wrath of God.”

    I agree. Just for fun, try searching the internet with “orthodox wrath.” The Eastern Orthodox have a view of God’s wrath that is very different from we Protestants are normally taught. Here is one example: https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/glory2godforallthings/2009/01/15/gods-wrath/. This view of wrath is making a lot of sense to me.

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  116. I was watching some of the convention as they were promoting racial unity and understanding. They are pushing a free video for churches and my goodness I thought, If only Paul and the other Apostles had these resources back in the day when Jews had to put up with those pesky gentiles! Oh, but wait! They just gave clear instruction from the Holy Spirit on how to “live in community” with one another! Really, Christianity is not hard and loving your neighbor as yourself isn’t that difficult if you Read Your Bible, Pray Everyday Then You’ll Grow Grow Grow! Does anyone remember that sweet little song kids sang in Sunday School before they replaced it with stupidity and self worship?

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  117. Donna: Really, Christianity is not hard and loving your neighbor as yourself isn’t that difficult if you Read Your Bible, Pray Everyday Then You’ll Grow Grow Grow!

    This is it – this is my Christianity. It’s not hard! Well, it’s really hard to put into practice sometimes. But not hard to understand what Jesus expects…

    Donna, I’m really looking forward to your 500-page book on systematic theology 😉

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  118. Ken F (aka Tweed): I agree.Just for fun, try searching the internet with “orthodox wrath.”The Eastern Orthodox have a view of God’s wrath that is very different from we Protestants are normally taught.Here is one example: https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/glory2godforallthings/2009/01/15/gods-wrath/.This view of wrath is making a lot of sense to me.

    There are infernalists in the Orthodox camp, but also universalists (and, doubtless, conditionalists). Orthodoxy stopped promulgating binding dogma quite early compared with the Latin church and, of course, Protestantism.

    I’m very impressed with the theologian David Bentley Hart, who is in the Orthodox communion though not in an official post. His “God, Creation and Evil: The moral implications of creatio ex nihilo” is a stunning argument. There is a Youtube video of him presenting a slightly modified version of this paper. The Orthodox seem to think very differently about God than we “Latin tradition” christians do. I do think theirs is a more beautiful vision.

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  119. Too close too call. But, you will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.
    The problem is that people dont use their title of sheep everytime they greet their shepherds.

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  120. Samuel Conner: I’m very impressed with the theologian David Bentley Hart, who is in the Orthodox communion

    My list of desired reading material is piling up faster than I can read, and now you just added to my problem. 🙂

    I see that he and NT Wright (whom I also respect) got into a bit of a tiff over NT translation. Seems a bit like the Luther-Erasmus dialogue.

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  121. Roebuck, I love your comeback and your horse picture. Sorry, I would not have time to write that 500 page report that you would like to read because I am too old and have learned to keep things simple so my Christianity can be easier and much more effective then when I was young and self righteous! If that’s your horse enjoy! All our horses died of old age long ago!

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  122. Paul,

    Actually, her perception of the young reformers match my observations. At SBC New Calvinist churches near me, they don’t recognize veterans on Veterans Day or Memorial Day. They don’t display American flags in their churches. I asked a young pastor at one of those churches what was up with that. He explained that he wanted everything that went on in the church to be about “God” not us. These folks have a strange way of looking at things.

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  123. Donna,

    Yes, my Great Work of systematic theology might amount to 500 words, if that. Simplicity, read the Gospels, pray, and do unto others.

    That picture is of my last horse, Blossom, aka Awesome Blossom, a wonderful Percheron mare. She was my best friend, and a great worker, a great logging horse. A doer. And loved to go for cart rides on our back roads here – she was sort of a character in this neck of the woods. She died a few years ago. I’m too old and broken (and broke, for that matter) to get another, but the barn is full of memories, as I’m sure you will understand.

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  124. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    It seems to me that both Wright and Hart harbor rather radical (and IMO radically beautiful) visions (see Hart’s “Christ’s Rabble”, for example). I think they’re both committed to “getting inside the heads” of the original authors in order to avoid anachronistic interpretations. This is an explicit part of Wright’s “understanding Christian origins” historical project.

    That tiff is, I think, more about translation philosophy than about the content or meaning of the text.

    As a single example of their concern to understand the text on its own terms, both Wright and Hart seem very aware of the importance of the “Christus Victor” theme of Christ’s triumph over “the powers” in Paul’s writings and in the early church. This idea is pretty alien to protestants, for whom the great victory of Christ was actually against “the Father’s wrath.” This has even been a ground of criticism of Wright by conservative Reformed theologians.

    They’re both IMO doing work of great value. I can’t wait for the next volume in Wright’s “Christian Origins and the Question of God.”

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  125. Max:
    Paul,

    Actually, her perception of the young reformers match my observations.At SBC New Calvinist churches near me, they don’t recognize veterans on Veterans Day or Memorial Day.They don’t display American flags in their churches.I asked a young pastor at one of those churches what was up with that.He explained that he wanted everything that went on in the church to be about “God” not us.These folks have a strange way of looking at things.

    My Lutheran church is pretty much the same way…minus the Reformed theology of course. We’re very liturgical and believe that church is a time of worship and to hear the Gospel proclaimed and the Sacraments administered. Patriotism and nationalism can be celebrated the other 167 hours of the week.

    (Otherwise we wouldn’t be Lutheran, lol.)

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  126. Paul, it’s strange you think it weird churches actually worship God rather than use man-made calendar days for special recognitions.

    Also, to the folks saying Calvinists don’t evangelize, some of the biggest Baptists and evangelists in history were full-blown Calvinist, such as Spurgeon.

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  127. linda: There is non Calvinist evangelicalism. There is the whole Weseyan Arminian side, which is really a modified Catholicism.

    No offense, but it is intimidating or maybe humbling is the right word to come to Faith and the Faith life via the Bible but without a legacy or a label of Episcopal, Orthodox or Neo-, Lutheran – ELCA or Wisconsin or Missouri, Catholic, Presby., Method., AOG, Calvin, Non-Calvin, Neo-Calvin, Arminian, Baptist – General or SBC or otherwise, COG, EFree, Cov. – and try to sort out what everyone is talking about. Sorry if I missed someone.

    Tried to watch the livestream from Dallas a bit but couldn’t figure it out. Forgive me. No secret sauce here. No special handshake. It seems that in Dallas, women aren’t included in the inner sanctum. But maybe I’ve got that wrong, too.

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  128. roebuck: Yes, my Great Work of systematic theology might amount to 500 words, if that. Simplicity, read the Gospels, pray, and do unto others.

    I have 6:
    Love God
    Love others
    As self.

    Thanks for sharing the photo and your story about Blossom, aka Awesome Blossom. Lovely.

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  129. Samuel Conner: While I mentioned above that I think it may be wrong to believe that “an accurate grasp of soteriology is an indispensable part of saving faith”,

    That’s good, likely the vast majority of people don’t even know what “soteriology” means.

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  130. Rambler: Saw several people on Twitter wonder about the shaved skulls and beards. That’s the Calvinist army, you fools. Right there in front of you.

    THUG LIFE.

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  131. Thersites: That’s good, likely the vast majority of people don’t even know what “soteriology” means.

    Fancy language aside, the underlying question is valid — can you be saved if you seriously misunderstand “how salvation works”? It strikes me as a bit odd that calvinists seem to say “no” in spite of their monergism. Demanding accurate understanding of “how salvation works” looks to me a bit like synergism, which Cals repudiate. Calvinists affirm that regeneration precedes conscious faith (their reasons for affirming this look valid to me). But why do they insist that the conscious faith has to match their standards of theological rigor?

    There’s always danger of brief statements slipping into caricature or worse, but it looks to me like the charge against the Cals brought by some non-Cals, that their position looks a lot like “saved by faith in faith in Jesus” rather than “saved by faith in Jesus”, looks valid to me.

    I write this as one who embraces monergism (on the basis of texts such as Phil 2, “.. it is God who works in you both to will and to do according to His good pleasure”) and its predestinarian implications. People of tender conscience tend to be shocked and distressed by the implications of those when combined with infernalist personal eschatology, and IMO rightly so. Calvinist theodicies that attempt to answer this problem at the core of our understanding of “who God is” look to me to be elaborate forms of special pleading.

    There’s a serious problem when you try to combine monergism/predestinarianism with infernalism. But where is the problem located? I’ve come to suspect that the problem is in infernalism and that theologians of universalist bent, like David Bentley Hart, may be seeing the Biblical text and its vision of God more clearly than I do.

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  132. ishy,

    I find it very telling when someone starts spouting they need more minority’s or women in leadership! I guess I’m wondering why that is even a statement coming out of their mouths.

    It seems to me like it’s a Political statement or something a corporation would say! Either doesn’t belong in the church!!!

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  133. ___

    Silent Service: Gently Simmering Unsuspecting Folks Towards Calvinistic Conformity, Perhaps?

    hmmm…

    TWW: SBC Parishioner Advisory Service?

    (grin)

    Greetings Rambler,

    Illustrious Doctor Albert Mohler extraordinaire believes in quiet progressive Calvinistic iterative adaptive SBC upgrades?

    huh?

    The Distinguished Doctor, need not necessarily push or usher out the traditionalists from the SBC, nor anyone else for that matter.

    What?

    Please remember his good friend with deep pockets, and a great smile, C.J. Mahaney, went on to convert his entire ‘denomination’ to Calvinism so throughly and so skillfully, so succinctly, that his parishioners many many years later did not even perceive, know, comprehend, nor understand, that they were now ‘comfortable’ members of a Calvinist/Reformed T.U.L.I.P. planting/growing 501c3 church organization.

    Island of Dr. Mohler?

    Gump.

    The salient PDI/SGM/SGC theological revolution came and went without even a whimper. The Avant-garde Doctor Mohler knows this. And this is just one example; there are others.

    When the proverbial watchmen sleep, —prisoners are taken, and slaves made, Neo…

    (but, just maybe they were slaves to begin with…)
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iCBL33NKvPA

    …follow the white rabbit.

    (could b)

    *

    The tyrannical religious Augustinian morphological strain (1) becoming the master?

    KRunch!

    …might wanna sleep with one eye open, eh?
    https://youtu.be/UBfsS1EGyWc

    These 501c3 religious ‘junkies’ main-lining Calvinism —you speak of, will never ever hear the Lion Of Juda comin’… Seven billion men could not stop this man! I can assure you, with all of Heaven, He is ‘at His best’!
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=aKgKWincPV0

    ATB

    Sòpy

    https://youtu.be/UBfsS1EGyWc
    (1) A population of 510c3 homogeneous religious theological organisms possessing a set of defined doctrinal characteristics, I.e. specific host cell(s) designed or selected and optimized for theological reproduction, and the advancement of reformed distinctive products.
    Bonus: https://youtu.be/D295vdVGJu4

    🙁

    – –

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  134. Lea: Interesting. But would he hire them now? I get the impression things have regressed over time.

    And congrats Nancy!!

    He hired them as women teaching males at seminary during the days CBMW dominated the scene –big time. Both Patterson and Mohler did the opposite.

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  135. This whole southern Baptist convention institution with its hierarchal leadership mimics the harsh Roman Empire. Worship of pastors or any other form of leadership is pure, unadulterated idolatry and praise be to our LORD, the Gospel is reaching people not because of “the SBC presidency” or even that of a self proclaimed “pastor title,” instead, the Gospel is reaching people because of the priesthood of believers sharing the Gospel in love with souls who realize their need for a Savior.

    The Holy Spirit moves like a mighty wind WITHOUT the Nicolaitan system, which is alive and well within the ecclesia…..called out ones! To Him be the Glory, not that of any man or woman!

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  136. Lydia:
    Lydia,

    I would add Wade’s Church has no female pastors. Even in the children’s ministry the female does not have a title of minister or pastor.

    That doesn’t really surprise me. Thanks for the info on hemphill too, although it’s a bit moot at this point I suppose.

    To the people getting upset about beards, they are just popular right now. My last two bf’s have had beards. NBD.

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  137. Lydia,

    They can’t be SBC and call them pastors. They would get kicked out.

    Mohler’s comment yesterday that women can be ministers but not pastors was the first time I had heard that. And I think the distinction is ridiculous. But then, I don’t believe pastors are an office with inherent authority over members. Christ should be our only authority.

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  138. POP-Corn anyone?

    (He says knowing that only the elect will accept the free offer of the snack)

    … just getting in greear for watching the SBC today

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  139. ishy,

    Where did you get your information about Summit’s minority leadership? A cursory look at their website shows they have many minorities in leadership roles. You counted one?

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  140. ishy: [Grear’s] comment yesterday that women can be ministers but not pastors was the first time I had heard that. And I think the distinction is ridiculous.

    Honestly, the Director/Pastor thing is sheer semantics, just as minister/pastor is. This stuff made me quit even bothering with SBC churches. It makes no sense.

    So you can either play stupid word games to make sure women aren’t given titles, no matter how much they are actually leading or ministering or yes, pastoring, or you can go the opposite direction and tell women they aren’t even allowed to lead sunday school or speak in church. Or you can chuck it all like I did and just join a place that treats women as completely equal.

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  141. Jon,

    In leadership roles or staff roles? Because I did say leadership roles. I didn’t spend a lot of time looking, but I did only look at leadership.

    Greear’s argument was purely leadership one. And on the issue of women alone, that argument fails.

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  142. ishy: In leadership roles or staff roles? Because I did say leadership roles. I didn’t spend a lot of time looking, but I did only look at leadership.

    If you click on ‘staff’ you see that Greear himself is listed as staff along with a whole plethora of other people many of whom are listed as pastor. If that is not leadership then we need to go back to basic definitions of what we are talking about. Anyhow the pastors are diverse with white, black, latino and one asian. In my book that is diversity at a level more than enough to put this church as an example of racial and I assume ethnic diversity.

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  143. ishy: Just because people are saying pastors have authority in these churches doesn’t mean they do.

    Leadership and authority are not identical terms. Again back to vocabulary definitions.

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  144. ishy: women can be ministers but not pastors

    Do the work with neither title, nor pay, nor authority. IOW, volunteer or more pejoratively and desparagingly, slave, at someone’s beck and call. Prop up someone else.

    “But that someone promises to love you like Christ loves the church, so you must submit, winsomely, whole-heartedly. This is whom God made you to be, according to correct dogma. So shine in your calling.”

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  145. ishy: elders supercede pastors and ministers in most New Calvinist churches. They are the leaders

    1. Look at the power – who makes decisions?
    2. Follow the money – who gets the resources?

    For the congregation:
    1. Who are you following? Who controls the narrative? Who is the voice?
    2. Who is taking your $$$ and time, and to what end? Who is the consumer?

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  146. okrapod: If that is not leadership then we need to go back to basic definitions of what we are talking about.

    When this stuff gets discussed, I often think churches need to look back at their definitions of ‘leadership’ as it tends to be synonymous with position.

    You cannot keep women from leading simply by keeping them out of positions of ‘leadership’.

    [not really getting into you and ishy’s convo, just saying.]

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  147. jyjames: 1. Look at the power – who makes decisions?

    2. Follow the money – who gets the resources?

    Interesting way to look at it, because Lay Elders, would presumably be making many decisions, but not getting paid.

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  148. Lea,

    Agree. If Greear hadn’t made that statement defining authority between titles in that same speech, then it might be open to more debate. But I don’t think it is in this case.

    I did notice he tellingly left out elders, who are the real power in his church and many of the churches of his buddies.

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  149. I can’t speak for others. I am a Calvinist now, I wasn’t always a Calvinist, because someone took me to the scriptures and explained to me the meaning in context of “election, predestination, foreknowledge” etc. The words and concepts of election and God’s sovereign chose in election seems to be all over the New Testament. It was not attractive to me when I first heard it. I thought to myself “I chose Jesus to save me didn’t I?” But how could I deny what Jesus taught? John? Paul? I misunderstood it too. I am not as dogmatic today as I once was. People taught me, rightly so I think that, it is not as strongly assumed in what scripture teaches as I once thought. However, I have not abandoned my belief in the scriptures teaching. I now see that the responsibility of men and women to believe is totally assumed by the New Testament. But that doesn’t change my belief in the sovereignty of God in salvation. As you stated, we don’t have it all figured out. I don’t think we ever will.
    It is true that there are hyper-Calvinist that do tend to sit and wait for God’s irresistible grace to bring people to Jesus. But I don’t think it represents the Reformed camp in any large portion. Pretty small percentage.
    I once agreed with complementarianism. I no longer do. At least not as taught by the main purveyors of it in the Neo-Cal movement. Through this blog and other input it doesn’t make sense and they don’t even agree among themselves as to what it is. The harm it can do is too great also and is there for anyone to see.
    So if someone can explain how Calvinism isn’t really what the New Testament teaches, I will listen. But all I really see here doesn’t add up to refuting the Sovereignty of God in salvation from scripture or even logically. That is my opinion.

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  150. Ken A,

    I think limited atonement and double predestination are the big problems for me. I also sometimes have issues with these discussions because I do not believe they are one or the other (ie Calvinism or Arminianism). There’s a lot more views and variations.

    I do think some New Calvinist leaders are not truly using Calvinism because of belief, but because they see it as a way to assert authority over other believers. The reason I think this is because they constantly change their message and even theology depending on audience. But I do try to distinguish when I am talking specifically about New Calvinism.

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  151. ishy,

    In leadership roles. Plain to see that there are many minorities in leadership roles at Summit.

    There are a lot of churches called “Summit” — maybe you’re looking at a website for the wrong one? Or perhaps just parsing the word “leadership” in an oddly restrictive sense?

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  152. Lea: To the people getting upset about beards, they are just popular right now. My last two bf’s have had beards. NBD.

    Idunno. I’ve seen some pretty bad beards lately — Ned Kelly Urban Bushrangers and Gimli Gloinsen Dwarvens.

    Hopefully your bf’s did without the Ironic BCD Glasses, Ironic Fedoras, and Ironic jewelry Ironically braided into the facial crabgrass.

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  153. ishy: I do think some New Calvinist leaders are not truly using Calvinism because of belief, but because they see it as a way to assert authority over other believers.

    i.e. Just another steppingstone to POWER.
    The latest Angel of Light Transformation mask to get to Hold the Whip.

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  154. ishy: double predestination

    When we looked at the book of confessions for my church, there was something specifically in there for people who differed on points of doctrine, iirc, because many people do not believe in double predestination. There was also something about being ‘guided’ by the confessions, not bound to them. Which I liked.

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  155. Jon: There are a lot of churches called “Summit” — maybe you’re looking at a website for the wrong one?

    There is a link in the thread, did you follow it? It had JD right there.

    She is looking at elders. There were no women and one minority. The staff page has more people, obviously, but not all of them would be considered leadership.

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  156. Headless Unicorn Guy: Hopefully your bf’s did without the Ironic BCD Glasses, Ironic Fedoras, and Ironic jewelry Ironically braided into the facial crabgrass.

    They both had pretty short, clean beards, because I tend to like clean cut men.

    I don’t know what BCD Glasses even are. Current bf has oakleys.

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  157. Lea,

    I like that.

    When people ask me whether I believe in free will or predestination, I usually just say “Yes.”

    I actually think our attempts to define a lot of this stuff falls outside our ability to comprehend it. And I’m okay with that. But, boy, I’ve met some people that are incensed by the idea that they might not be able to understand everything perfectly.

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  158. ishy: Christ should be our only authority.

    In the 21st century church, Jesus has little to no authority in groups that call themselves by His name. All authority is His in heaven and in earth, a fact that is being ignored by the institutional church in many places. Men and their religious systems now rule. It is possible for a young pastor fresh out of seminary and his band of young “elders” to have more authority in a church than Jesus Christ has! That is why Christ’s influence within the church is becoming less and less; we are left to our own schemes and the consequences. The Lordship of Christ among 21st century worshipers has been largely forgotten.

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  159. ishy: I actually think our attempts to define a lot of this stuff falls outside our ability to comprehend it.

    Same.

    I used to be appalled by predestination growing up Baptist, but now that I’m in a Presbyterian church I see where it comes from and I think support is there for both stances. So I’m at peace not understanding.

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  160. Lea,

    Cherrypicking who counts as leadership in order to cast shade at Greear doesn’t really lend strength to the argument though, does it? I could further cherrypick and say that 20% of the staff elders are minorities. Bottom line is that Summit is unquestionably making a real and continued effort to raise up minority leadership, while it still has a lot of ground to cover.

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  161. Lea: Same.

    I used to be appalled by predestination growing up Baptist, but now that I’m in a Presbyterian church I see where it comes from and I think support is there for both stances. So I’m at peace not understanding.

    I am still appalled by predestination.

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  162. Lea,

    I attend a Methodist church now, and I don’t think I hold the same theology on soteriology, but I also don’t see how it matters.

    When I moved here, I tried a bunch of churches of different denominations. I looked for two things: Are they preaching Christ and are they actively showing love outside their walls.

    This church happened to be the closest of those that had those qualities, but the ones that did were all different denominations. There were unfortunately a number I visited that didn’t. Maybe denominations are no longer the best way to discern that.

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  163. Jon: Cherrypicking who counts as leadership

    It’s not cherry picking to say elders are leadership.

    Or you could join the other discussion about how position and leadership don’t always align.

    However, you completely swooped over the fact that NO women are in positions of leadership, because obviously that doesn’t matter to you. So. Meh.

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  164. ishy: Maybe denominations are no longer the best way to discern that.

    I think I’ve mentioned this before, but also the theology of your congregation is never going to align perfectly with a church or denomination. Everybody has come from different places, and has had different experiences, and likely takes different things from their personal scripture reading. And as protestants, how can we not be ok with that?

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  165. Jon,

    Pointing out something or asking a question about a public statement doesn’t mean someone is “throwing shade” at a person. Whatever that means.

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  166. emily honey,

    Hiya Emily! Did you hear the shocker about SEBTS getting a female chairman?

    I’m still shocked…

    Though this morning Mohler kinda went on about how women can’t have seminary positions. Only got short summaries, but guess we won’t be seeing that at SBTS.

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  167. Lea,

    I can’t take much credit, as someone else pointed it out to me. But I do think its interesting Greear avoided talking about elders and their leadership role.

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  168. ishy,

    I saw that on social media a few weeks ago or whenever it actually happened. Maybe it was a few months ago lol. Then they talked about it at the convention yesterday?

    Whenever it happened in real time, they were really impressed with themselves for doing so and patting themselves on the back on social media. That’s what’s really important, of course. That we congratulate them on these what should have been done years ago normal things. And we need to make sure we let them know we’re so impressed and thankful for their “efforts”. It’s not really about women. It’s about them and their appearance. I experienced that first hand.

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  169. Lea: I don’t know what BCD Glasses even are. Current bf has oakleys.

    BCD = Birth Control Devices.

    Originally referred to thick “horn”-rimmed Army-issue glasses — “make you so geeky/fugly you’ll never get any wearing them”. Now part of the Hipster uniform.

    Never heard of an “Oakley” before — I’ve worn “aviators” for close to 40 years.

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  170. emily honey,

    I must have missed it the first time. But they were pretty self congratulatory, you’re right.

    I am still a bit wary that she is someone who everyone knew would play along with the crowd.

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  171. Lea: It’s not cherry picking to say elders are leadership.,

    Agreed. It is cherrypicking to say that only elders count as leadership. Unless, again, you’re just trying to dismiss JD’s words as a bunch of phooey.

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  172. Headless Unicorn Guy: I’ve worn “aviators” for close to 40 years.

    Tried to buy some the other day but my wife vetoed the color. I’ll have to settle for the FAA issued certificate in my wallet to make me feel like a real pilot (even though I haven’t flown in years).

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  173. I wonder if there has been some definitive and scholarly research on how Southern Baptist churches claim both congregational and “elder led” governance. Some of the examples I’ve seen include the congregation voting on a very short list of items in annual meeting, i.e. budget. I have a suspicion that a lot of churches are operating outside of their established by-laws since it is hard to tell at what point they are congregational and at what point they are elder led.

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  174. FW Rez,

    They’re autonomous. So usually the bylaws are changed when the church is changed to elder-led polity. Going by the playbook, you get another church to help send voters to “replant”.

    I know of one church pastor that just threw out the bylaws and appointed elders, saying congregational-led was “unbiblical”. There’s usually no enforcement built in. And since the BFM 2000 removed the priesthood of the believer, there’s not much basis left.

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  175. ishy: I know of one church pastor that just threw out the bylaws and appointed elders, saying congregational-led was “unbiblical”.

    Good night!

    Even in my Presbyterian polity, elders and deacons are voted on, along with a number of other issues such as pay for pastors, by the congregation. I think when you just throw out the rule book and replace it with whatever seems good to you, you end up with a mess.

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  176. Jon,

    Tell it to JD, whose website id’s the elders as leadership. You shouldn’t accuse people of bad faith for things they’ve taken directly from the churches own site.

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  177. Lea,

    It wasn’t a very large church and that probably helped. But I do think one reason New Cals chose to take over the SBC was because their polity made it easier.

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  178. ishy:
    Lea,

    It wasn’t a very large church and that probably helped. But I do think one reason New Cals chose to take over the SBC was because their polity made it easier.

    And that’s where the BIG $$$$$$$$$$$ was.
    Plus a chance (Pay to Play) at political POWER, like Calvin in Geneva.

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  179. Lea:
    Jon,

    Tell it to JD, whose website id’s the elders as leadership. You shouldn’t accuse people of bad faith for things they’ve taken directly from the churches own site.

    Yes you can.
    If the Party Line says so, Two Plus Two Equals Five.

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  180. FW Rez: I’ll have to settle for the FAA issued certificate in my wallet to make me feel like a real pilot (even though I haven’t flown in years).

    “Seat of the Pants”, huh?

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  181. ishy:
    Headless Unicorn Guy,

    I’m super stylish! I wear clip-ons to my bifocals.

    One gift seminary gave me was quickly diminishing eyesight.

    I didn’t need a seminary for that; my eyesight’s been poor clear back to grade school.
    Plus eight hours a day staring at screens does a real number on you @ 62.

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  182. ishy,

    Lea,

    My daughter wanted to check out a church in downtown Raleigh called “Vintage” when she was in college, and the Sunday we were there they appointed an ‘elder’ who had been chosen by the other elders. No input WHATSOEVER from the congregation. I was stunned! It was full of young people who are just supposed to trust the leadership.

    It must have been ‘providential’ that we were there that one time to witness it.

    BTW, it’s an Acts 29 church.

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  183. Deb,

    Yeah, most do not believe in any congregational choice. Absolute authority is the only “biblical” way. And many appoint extremely young “elders” only based on their ability to agree with the lead pastor, not on their character or ministry experience.

    And “Vintage” is a really dumb name for a church!

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  184. ___

    “Like A Mighty Wind, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    The Sovereignty of God?

    huh?

    Ken A. ,

    (A willingness to listen?)

    Whew!

    Greetings!

    Respectfully, it is important for you to experientially know the provisional nature of the Almighty —‘in your bones’. Beyond theology, in conjunction with His words. He can do that for you if you allow Him. If you let Him, He can take you well beyond Calvin’s Institutes Of The Christian Religion, the prime source of John Calvin’s theological system. Just ask Him: and hang on… Faithful He is, and faithful He is to bring it to pass. He doesn’t carry the great name IAM, for nothing…

    ATB

    Sòpy

    TWW Reference:
    Wed Jun 13, 2018 at 11:22 AM
    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2018/06/11/wili-j-d-greear-be-elected-the-next-sbc-president-is-he-a-calvinist/comment-page-1/#comment-374276

    ;~)
    – –
    Notes:
    The Age Of Vulture CultureDiablo Swing Orchestra

    Lyrics: Diablo Swing Orchestra :’The Age Of Vulture Culture’

    “Take all my honour and throw me away
    spit on me, tell me I do not belong here
    haunt me and make me run for my life
    set my home on fire and burn it down to ash

    Meet my eyes or look away now
    no love is hiding behind those words
    I beg ’cause of exclusion
    and dream a distant dream
    where insensibility is history

    Let us love, let us be
    release and set us free
    to find us a place to call our own
    once a thought in a mind
    now it’s labelled genocide
    to find us a place to call our home
    fight for a place to call our own

    You give me nothing more than just lies
    wrapped up in those beautiful words
    haunt me and make me a fugitive searching for dignity
    they say “you’ve got yourself to blame!”

    Take my hand or turn away now
    tell a story so they can hear
    for those who run because of persecution
    and dream a distant dream
    where insensibility is history

    Let us love, let us be
    release and set us free
    to find us a place to call our own
    once a thought in a mind
    now it’s labelled genocide
    to find us a place to call our home
    fight for a place to call our own

    Now sleep
    The world I know is callous
    they blame the people they don’t know
    awake in times of deception
    and dream a distant dream
    where insensibility is history
    Let us love…” —Daniel Hákarsson (1)

    ***

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacifisticuffs
    “(1) The Age of Vulture Culture” (2017)
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diablo_Swing_Orchestra
    http://www.diabloswing.com

    ;~)

    – –

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  185. ishy: FW Rez,
    They’re autonomous. So usually the bylaws are changed when the church is changed to elder-led polity. Going by the playbook, you get another church to help send voters to “replant”.

    Bus ’em in like the Rajneeshees.

    According to my informant who lived in Northern California at the time the Rajneeshees were trying to take over Antelope, Oregon, the cult would send buses down as far as Redding to scoop up the homeless, bus them to the cult compound in Antelope, and sign them up on the voter rolls. (And if they went as far afield as Redding, they would have done the same with the larger homeless concentrations in Eureka & Arcata.)

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