A picture of Hurricane Dorian from the ISS.
“I always had a mentality we would forever be friends but to my shock forever got very shorter than I ever expected.” link
Surprisingly, my area of North Carolina may get more rain and wind from the hurricane than originally predicted. Even schools are being cancelled. I live in an area surrounded by huge pines which tend to fall when there is too much rain and wind. So, if you do not see a post by me on Friday or the website is down, hang in there. I will try to make an announcement on Twitter if that happens.
The history behind the celebrity centered conference known as T4G:
It’s about a specific group of celebrities who thought the name was rather cute. Together for the Gospel really means ” 4 best buddies who hang together for the gospel™ as defined by them.
Here is what TWW posted back in 2012
Ligon Duncan spilled the beans on the T4G blog several years ago by explaining:
“T4G is a biennial conference that grew out of a set of now Gospel friendships. Mark Dever, Al Mohler, C.J. Mahaney and I had all been friends for a number of years (Mark, Al and I have known one another since the 1980s, and Mark introduced Al and me to C.J.).”
At one time the link to Duncan’s comment on the T4G blog worked (http://www.t4g.org/blog/page/3/); however, the website has been revamped and the Together for the Gospel blog no longer exists. Oh well… At least we know with certainty who introduced C.J. Mahaney to Al Mohler and Ligon Duncan, namely Mark Dever.
Here is a link to all of the posts TWW has written about T4G.
in 2010, TWW noted that there was a bit of a split occurring over ordinances of the church.
In this post, we quoted the following from Sam Storms.
“Ligon Duncan, on the other hand, is a Presbyterian paedo-baptist. Because of this, both Mark Dever and Al Mohler made it clear that if Duncan were in attendance at either of their churches they would not permit him to partake of the elements of the Lord’s Supper.”
Let me repeat that. Because of Duncan’s paedo-baptist convictions, both Dever and Mohler would prohibit his participation in the Eucharist. They would deny to him partnership in the table of our Lord. They would withhold the bread and the cup from him because of his disagreement with them on who are the proper recipients of Christian baptism.
As best I can tell (and I’m open to correction on this point), since Jesus clearly commanded (believer’s) baptism, a paedo-baptist (says Dever in his recent blog post) is guilty of “disobedience” and “unrepentant sin” (however unintentional it may be) and is thus disqualified from participating in the Lord’s Table”.
….I have tremendous respect for both Mark Dever (whom I count as a good, personal friend) and Al Mohler (although I don’t know Dr. Mohler personally). Truly I do. They are both an incalculable blessing to the body of Christ. I also agree with them concerning the proper subjects of Christian baptism. But I find it remarkable that they would turn away Ligon Duncan from that ordinance of the church that above all else signifies and expresses the unity of the brethren in the body of Christ.
This may be offensive to some, but the claim to be “Together for the Gospel” rings a bit hollow to me when some would decline to fellowship with others around the Lord’s Table because of their disagreement on the proper recipients of baptism.”
Now, I’m not here to tell churches how to do communion. I am Lutheran, after all. However, it was apparent to me that there were going to be problems down the line. Imagine Dever saying that Duncan was guilty of disobedience and unrepentant sin for his views on communion? There was no nuance. No love exhibited. No grace extended. No agreeing to disagree. Nope he threw out the sin card. Meanwhile Dever demonstrated his own superiority by patting himself on his sin free back.
I got to thinking about all of the differences between these BFFs and predicted that there would be problems going forward. This is the year in which it is happening.
Who was part of the in crowd of T4G?
lyBelow is the picture of the former tight friends:
First row (left to right): David Platt, John MacArthur, John Piper, Kevin DeYoung, Thabiti Anyabwile
Second Row (left to right): Matt Chandler, CJ Mahaney, Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan, and Mark Dever.
Missing: Bob Kauflin, CJs right hand man, who always did the music at the conference. He was never in the picture but his presence was a given
Now, notice the green x on the faces of those who will not be attending/speaking:
John MacArthur, Thabiti Anyabwile, Matt Chandler, CJ Mahaney. Bob Kauflin will not be doing the music even though he is never in these pictures. He was always there but no more.
CJ Mahaney and Bob Kauflin: SGM/SGC ministry plagued by reports of child Sex Abuse coverup. They are most likely permanently gone/
This year, Al Mohler finally threw Mahaney under the bus and distanced himself from Sovereign Grace Churches which leaked over to Bob Kauflin. Here is a link to the T4G page that shows they featured the music from Sovereign Grace at their conference. (Scroll down to see the music listed.)
Al Mohler finally gspoke out against CJ Mahaney but the rest of the gospel dudes in this picture have no done so publicly or specifically. Piper likes going to Mahaney’s church from time to time but has been rather quiet as of late.
Sadly, every single one of the men in this lineup protected Mahaney in spite of numerous warnings of the reports of abuse in that ministry. Only Al Mohler has spoken out against Mahaney and his churches and that took years to accomplish. The rest of them have been quiet. Some even continue to recommend Mahaney’s books.
Bob Kauflin is almost as much to blame for the pain in Sovereign Grace as Mahaney and that is most likely why he hasn’t been invited back.
Matt Chandler: Plagued by reports of mishandling of counseling and abuse and a pending lawsuit at a time when these guys are supposed to be *caring well* for victims of abuse. He is not making his annual celebrity appearance.
Chandler/The Village Church is being sued for $1 million by the victims who was molested/raped at a TVC camp. Chandler’s church has had some bad publicity.: Karen Hinkley, Counseling issues, the clean steak company, etc. I’ve heard there is more to come as well. And he was supposed to be the kinder, gentler Mark Driscoll.
To make matters worse, Chandler has essentially outed the membership covenant. It is a legal contract, a fact that the gospel boys have been hiding for years and I’ve been talking about for years.
They want him back. Remember, they threw out Mahaney once or twice but always managed to bring him back until Mohler got called on the carpet for laughing about Mahaney’s wretched google presence.
I just heard that he is leading a tour to Alaska with his wife so he is still benefiting from his status. Don’t shed any tears for his lost opportunity.
John MacArthur and the anti social justice gospel divide. Now he is gone from the lineup.
Here is a link to John MacArthur’s The Statement on Social Justice & the Gospel.
Specifically, we are deeply concerned that values borrowed from secular culture are currently undermining Scripture in the areas of race and ethnicity, manhood and womanhood, and human sexuality. The Bible’s teaching on each of these subjects is being challenged under the broad and somewhat nebulous rubric of concern for “social justice.” If the doctrines of God’s Word are not uncompromisingly reasserted and defended at these points, there is every reason to anticipate that these dangerous ideas and corrupted moral values will spread their influence into other realms of biblical doctrines and principles.
Here is a link to John MacArthur’s explanation of The Injustice of Social Justice
The point that Mohler spends a lot of time addressing relates to victims.
The Statement reads:
We reject any teaching that encourages racial groups to view themselves as privileged oppressors or entitled victims of oppression. While we are to weep with those who weep, we deny that a person’s feelings of offense or oppression necessarily prove that someone else is guilty of sinful behaviors, oppression or prejudice.
While Mohler does believe there is a victim “culture and industry” in our society, there are also real victims. “There are victims right now of social forces of oppression,” Mohler says. “Just because those on the radical left point to everything as oppression doesn’t mean that nothing is oppression.”
As believers, Mohler says, we have an obligation “to speak on behalf of the victims and not on behalf of the oppressors.”
If you read through the names who have signed MacArthur’s statement, you will see Tom Ascol’s name. Ascol has also added to further divisions in the SBC as the head of The Founders. I predict further splits. Rumors abound that Tom Ascol is going to run for President of the SBC. This will be awkward since some of the current leaders are supportive of social justice initiatives.
Do a Google search with the terms The Gospel Coalition and social justice. Here is one result.The FAQs: What Christians Should Know About Social Justice by Joe Carter.
Whether we use the term or not, Christians are engaged in social justice when we advocate for issues such as abortion, racial reconciliation, religious liberty, and sex trafficking. We engage in social justice whenever we seek moral reform of our society in a way that ensures every person is treated with dignity and given their due. As Mark Tooley says,
Christians and churches definitely should advocate social justice in the sense that ever sinful society needs constant moral reform. The church’s chief tool in this advocacy is the gospel itself. Redeemed humanity is likelier to care about justice than unregenerate humanity. But even the redeemed need an ethical framework for social renewal. And even the non-redeemed can be enlisted in good causes with appeals to conscience, natural law and self-interest.
…Social justice, as a biblical concept, is not a term we should abandon without a fight. To paraphrase Colson, we should not shrink from the term nor allow the secular world to distort its biblical meaning.
It appears obvious that there are differing views on the subject. However, it is my impression that there is a major split occurring along these lines. John MacArthur was in no mood to let this fall under the tertiary issue category. I bet he is also upset that Mohler refused to sign his statement. I find it rather interesting that Tom Ascol did. Get ready for fireworks when it comes to social justice. It may end up being the new *complementarianism issue* in the coming months. In other words, sides will form. In fact, it appears they already have.
Thabiti Anyabwile and the social justice/racial justice dividing line.
Thabiti attempts to engage Tom Ascol’s anti social justice platform in Is There an Evangelical ‘Social Justice Movement’?
Tom Ascol is one of the chief spokesmen against “social justice” among conservative evangelicals in the United States. He is one of the framers of the Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel and as executive director of Founders Ministries has hosted or participated in a variety of conferences, podcasts, and blogs sounding the alarm against “social justice.” Arguably, Tom has invested as much or more energy in anti-social justice efforts as anyone else.
,,,Jarvis Williams’s Book Recommendation. First, Tom mentions Jarvis Williams of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary as someone introducing CRT into SBC institutions. His evidence for this claim is Jarvis recommending someone read Richard Delgado’s book on critical race theory (see Ascol’s comments beginning at the 13’ 40” mark). Here’s Tom’s comments:
Jarvis Williams, professor at SBTS, has urged every evangelical to read Delgado’s book. He did so because evangelicals tend to be decades behind on critical race discussions. Delgado openly admits CRT grows out of radical feminism, built on Antonio Gramsci and Jacques Derrida. You can’t follow Gramsci and Derrida and follow Jesus Christ.
That book recommendation is enough in Tom’s mind to associate Jarvis with a Satan-inspired incursion of worldly ideologies shifting people away from biblical truth. It’s a heavy charge—especially since it’s highly doubtful Jarvis’s intent was ever to suggest that following Gramsci and Derrida would be an appropriate way to follow Jesus.
Anyabwile also posted Why Engage the ‘Social Justice Debate’ Now?
It appears obvious to me that Anyabwile is not pleased with how this discussion is proceeding. A few of us have heard rumors that some of the TGC members are not pleased with Thabiti’s fanning of the flame. Now, Thabaiti is gone from the lineup.
Is the Calvinist conservative resurgence in danger of fracturing?
That remains to be seen but it looks like things are not going particularly well for these celebrity BFFs. It sure is an interesting time to be a blogger.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts and predictions.