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Nov 19, 2008

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Ron P.

Peter,

Accuracy has been a major problem with blogging in general, not just live blogging. Sadly, our electronic media capabilities have not increased accuracy. Several blogs have become nothing more than "drive by shootings". You correctly noted that bloggers can then just go on to the next post.

That is why it is important that integrity in bloggers and those that comment must challenge those that offer opinion without facts, and commentary without logic. That goes for those with whom I agree. It is one of the reasons I like your blog and comments across blogtown so much.

I still remember Frank Reynolds of ABC News yelling on camera when ABC had erroneously reported that James Brady had died during the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan. He said: "Let's get it NAILED DOWN...somebody...let's find out! Let's get it straight so we can report this thing accurately!"

If only bloggers would have the same passion for accuracy.

Blessings,

Ron P.

Debbie Kaufman

Maybe next time they will put their sermons online so that everyone can hear them. When they don't allow Calvinists to participate, although Calvinists invited Dr. Yarnell, and they don't offer free resources but charge for them, it's kind of difficult to be too understanding about their gripes of being misunderstood. Which judging by Dr. Allen's online paper, they were not.

peter lumpkins

Ron

Thanks brother. I think you are correct about blogging itself being a problem with accuracy. I am not perfect by any stretch. Yet, I attempt to fair with those views I examine.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

Debbie,

Whether or not a ministry must charge in order to make materials available is not even relevant to this discussion.

Even more, do you realize how absurd it is to suggest as do you that since the conference speakers/hosts provided no free written/media duplicates of everything presented, that they themselves are morally blameworthy if bloggers falsely perpetuate errors the presenters allegedly made?

Should one's pastor be held accountable for making statements a known critic misunderstood but consequently perpetuated simply because the pastor did not make handouts and taped messages available for free? Somehow, such a skewed understanding of moral responsibility makes no sense. Nor do I think you actually believe such.

With that, I am...

Peter

Debbie Kaufman

How do you do that Peter? Take what I have said and completely twist it around while calling for bloggers to be honest?

Jonathon

I was wondering why so many people say that a move towards "five point Calvinism" (the likes of Piper, MacArthur, White, Mohler, Dever) and the list can go on, is presented as a move away from the gospel?

I have no problem with those who wish to talk theology and debate the theological assertions of one group or another, but can we dispense with the logic that a move in that direction is a move away from the gospel? Please.

Maybe I am misunderstanding, since I am a busy pastor and don't have the massive amount of time you and other bloggers seem to have, is this move away from the gospel meant to convey a move away from evangelism?

If so, I believe that is a false assertion. Piper has done more for this generation in terms of pushing people to "not waste their life" than any other person on the face of the planet. Thank you GOd for working through him. Dr. Mohler is leading Southern Seminary (a hot bed of Calvinist) to produce more missionaries out of seminary than any other seminary within the SBC. Mark Dever is on record, with me since I did the interview, of saying that he desires to see the SBC remain the largest missions sending agency in the world. So on and so forth.

I am not conerned with whether or not you hold to five points or not, I believe it is the most God-honoring view of the Bible, however, it is not a matter that decides whether you can work together or not. What irritates me are these unfounded and unsupportable diatribes that a move towards five points is a move away from the evangelization of the world. Please stop.

If that is not what is meant by Dr. Allen, then fine. But others have said what I am aiming at.

I also would like to know how a group of Southern Baptist can get together, in the confines of a megachurch, talk about things they don't like, and then call a man a hyper-Calvinist who is out doing evangelism? That is funny! (James White is not a historic hyper-Calvinist.)

Ron P.

Debbie,

Please read carefully what you wrote. You clearly blamed the presenters because they did not put their sermons online. Peter did not twist your words.

I guess every pastor and teacher had better make every sermon, bible study, or presentation available online, no matter how big or small their church is, because if they do not, according to your newly invented standard of accuracy, the speaker is responsible if the hearer gets it wrong.

WOW! How does your church function under such a mammoth burden?

Ron P.

Debbie Kaufman

Ron: No one but those who attended was able to hear the messages and decide for themselves what exactly the speakers were saying. They decided instead to charge $50-$60 for the messages. A price most won't or can't pay. This was done purposefully by those who put together the conference. They have no one to blame but themselves for being "misunderstood" if they were. If they want to be understood properly, then they should have made messages available for access on line.

It appears that Mr. Brister and others were correct concerning Dr. Allen's presentation which also coincides with his recent white paper on the same subject.

Dr. Allen's recent white paper seems to concur with those who interpreted his message at the conference. IOW they appear to be pretty accurate.

Debbie Kaufman

BTW yes, if someone is going to cry that they were misrepresented at a conference, they should have the sermons available either in print or online so that people can read or hear for themselves and decide. Otherwise don't cry fowl with no proof.

peter lumpkins

Debbie,

Unless you are willing to show precisely how I twisted your words, I'll assume your response to me is simply emotional rhetoric.

Now as for the White Paper, unless you can demonstrate how Dr. White's view in that paper somehow validates the bloggers I mentioned, I must again insist that your words offer nothing to this discussion. Sorry.

With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

Jonathan,

Thanks. First, the point I actually made concerned the accuracy of Brister's quotation of Dr. Allen's words. I presume you agree there is a difference between Five Point Calvinism and Calvinism. But even if you do not, my point remains untouched--Dr. Allen was misquoted, which has led to a wave of perpetuated misinformation about his views.

Secondly, to unequivocally assert that "Piper has done more for this generation in terms of pushing people to "not waste their life" than any other person on the face of the planet" is a commendable estimation of John Piper. However, it may also be the most ridiculous estimation of John Piper.

Aside from the fact that he himself, more likely than not, would not agree with making a statement like that about anybody, much less him, it is an unprovable assertion. It's kinda like saying Toyota makes the best car on the road.

Thirdly, Dr. Allen carefully gave precise definitions--definitions handed out at the conference--that led him to his conclusions pertaining not only to Five Point Calvinism, but also to his judgment that, given James White's publicly stated views which denies that there is any sense in which God wills the salvation of all men, White's view fits hyperism.

Hope this helps. With that, I am...

Peter

Byron

Debbie said, "When they don't allow Calvinists to participate, although Calvinists invited Dr. Yarnell, and they don't offer free resources but charge for them, it's kind of difficult to be too understanding about their gripes of being misunderstood."

Peter, you have interpreted this to mean, "Even more, do you realize how absurd it is to suggest as do you that since the conference speakers/hosts provided no free written/media duplicates of everything presented, that they themselves are morally blameworthy if bloggers falsely perpetuate errors the presenters allegedly made?"

I can see Debbie's disconnect here. All she said was, that it was difficult to be understanding or sympathetic to the complaint of being misunderstood when you do not make your source material free (so it is not easily obtained). That's not the same as saying that somehow the people are morally wrong for not making those source materials free, just that their complaint of being misunderstood is not worthy of sympathy (or as much sympathy, anyway) as if the materials were freely available. No blame was being assigned here. The only assault was on the legitimacy of a complaint, not the moral culpability of the ones doing the complaining.

I find it very interesting to read James White's response (humorous irony) as well as Phil Johnson's, concerning the accusation of hyper-Calvinism. I'm sorry, but this accusation is just plain silly. Of course, I wasn't at the conference, so I have no idea what the argument was exactly. I'm sure James White will dismiss it as not being worthy of being noted, if it were made.

I'm glad that Dr. Allen's response was not "Calvinism" generally but five-point Calvinism in particular. However, in my opinion, this simply means he is more specifically wrong. As long as he is not charging Calvinists with abandoning the gospel, then his complaint is simply a personal privilege I cannot deny him the right of executing. We'll simply disagree and go on.

Ron P. brought up a good point, that accuracy is a significant problem in all blogging, not just live blogging. I have a sneaking suspicion that waiting until an event is over before blogging about it, rather than live-blogging the event as it is happening and is still fresh in your mind, would not guarantee any more accuracy (though it might very well help with the overall quality of writing in the resulting blog post).

Also, I have to strongly (though politely) disagree with your disdain of live-blogging (though I've never done that, personally, yet). I care too much about First Amendment rights to want activities like live-blogging to be squelched. Is accuracy going to be a problem? Of course, but that's why I would hold to "the more, the merrier." There are smart enough readers out there to assimilate and process all of the information given, from all of the bloggers. The more bloggers writing on an event, the more accuracy I believe can be found in the long run. But even if this is not so, the freedom to do so and make personal opinions about the material is more important than even the principle of accuracy, not because accuracy is not worthwhile, but because (I believe) it must surface eventually in stark relief if any objectivity is involved in the process at all. It truthfully scares me, not just that you said live-blogging at events like the J136C should not exist, but even more that you may propose some solution for stopping it and silencing any opposing voices other than the "official" ones. I know you are a person of integrity, Peter, at least from your writings (which is all I have), so I hope this is unfounded paranoia on my part. But I automatically distrust any person or agency seeking to control approval and distribution of communication, especially in a spiritual context like this, when we already have a Master in heaven to whom we are responsible for our words and actions towards our brethren. Why not let Christ rule?

Thanks for reading this, Peter, and responding if you decide to do so.

Ron P.

Debbie,

At times, I find your passion admirable. But it is comments like you have made here, that leave me completely baffled. You have reached a predetermined conclusion that facts, reason and logic do not support.

On what evidence do you level accusations against the organizers of the J316 conference:

No one but those who attended was able to hear the messages and decide for themselves what exactly the speakers were saying. They decided instead to charge $50-$60 for the messages. A price most won't or can't pay. This was done purposefully by those who put together the conference. Emphasis mine.

Please present your evidence against these Pastors and brothers in Christ, or kindly retract your accusation.

Your presuppositions and blatant bias have once again led you down the road of insufferable folly.

Ron P.

Debbie Kaufman

Ron: Byron was right on target with what I have said. My point is exactly what Byron explained to you. It was done purposefully or I wouldn't have to pay that amount of money to access the sermons.

Tony Byrne

Jonathon,

James White was not called a hyper-Calvinist because it's thought that he's against evangelism or preaching to all. Rather, he was called a hyper-Calvinist because he denies that there is any sense in which God desires the salvation of all men (click for proof). That's also contrary to Tom Ascol's own position, which Dr. Allen quoted during the conference.

Iain Murray, in his book on Spurgeon vs. Hyper-Calvinism, presents one of "the most serious differences of all between evangelical Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism":

"If God has chosen an elect people, then, Hyper-Calvinism argued, he can have no desire for the salvation of any others and to speak as though he had, is to deny the particularity of grace."

Iain H. Murray, Spurgeon v. Hyper-Calvinism: The Battle for Gospel Preaching (Carlisle, Penn.: Banner of Truth Trust, 2000), 88-91.


Notice also that Iain Murray says, "Of course, Hyper-Calvinists accepted that the gospel be preached to all..." Ibid., 89.

Dr. Curt Daniel, an expert in the field, lists four "main Hyper-Calvinist arguments" against "free offers" along with the historic Calvinist reply. The fourth in the list says:

(4) "Free offers imply that God wishes all men to be saved. This contradicts the doctrine of election. It also implies that grace is universal."

Curt Daniel, The History and Theology of Calvinism (Springfield, Ill.: Good Books, 2003), p. 90.


Notice also that Dr. Daniel agrees with Iain Murray and says:
"In spite of their theological position on other points, the Hyper-Calvinists have stressed the primacy of preaching in a way that surprises many of their critics. Contrary to the opinion of some opponents, they nearly always believed that the Gospel is to be preached indescriminately to all men. This is not a minority view either, nor a later development, for we find it from the very beginning. Hussey gave as the first answer to the question above (Tony: the question was: “How must we preach the Gospel, if we do not offer the Gospel?”), “We must preach the doctrine of salvation to all sinners, in general, within the hearing.” The same opinion can be found in the special subject of our study, Dr. John Gill: “the Gospel is to be preached to all.” Of course, this applies only to rational creatures; but as all men have the natural duty to hear and believe what God reveals to them, so the preacher has the duty to preach and proclaim to all."

Curt Daniel, Hyper-Calvinism and John Gill (Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Edinburgh, 1983), pp. 448-449.


In order to refute Dr. Allen's claim that James White is a hyper-Calvinist, one would have to show that either 1) James White does NOT deny that God desires the salvation of all men or 2) the denial of God's universal saving desire does not constitute hyper-Calvinism, which flies in the face of the above scholarship on the point. It's not a "funny" matter at all. It's quite serious, particularly since orthodox Calvinists have always affirmed that God wills to save all men in his revealed will.

peter lumpkins

Byron,

Thanks for the hefty comment. First, pertaining to your point about Debbie's disconnect I do not agree, Byron. Was Debbie saying it was right or wrong for the conference leaders to charge for materials and then complain because others misjudged the content? She surely was not implying they were right, was she?

And, to even further substantiate my point, read her follow-ups: "They decided instead to charge $50-$60 for the messages...This was done purposefully by those who put together the conference. They have no one to blame but themselves for being "misunderstood" if they were. If they want to be understood properly, then they should have made messages available for access on line...if someone is going to cry that they were misrepresented at a conference, they should have the sermons available either in print or online so that people can read or hear for themselves and decide. Otherwise don't cry fowl with no proof."

As you can see, Byron, Debbie clearly frames this question morally. Thus, your point about Debbie's concern is lost.

As for the silliness of James White's alleged hyperism, I would not be too quick to push that aside either, Byron. Please note Tony Byrne's comment here. He deserves an answer since he's provided the sources for Dr. Allen's assertion about James White.

Now as for my concern I raised about live-blogging, this is what I wrote: "I am convinced blogging live should have no future for conferences like J316C." I said such because it's "too easy" for "serious mistakes" which "feeds" frenzies and consequently becomes "unfair" to the conference/speaker(s), allowing "no moral hope for a tool that caters to such unfair, ungodly consequences." That's what I said in caption form.

However, how you come to the conclusions you did, Byron, is incredible. From the above, you deduced such a disdain (hatred?) from my words for live-blogging that I would consider:

--forfeiting First Amendment rights in order for live-blogging to be squelched

--live-blogging should not exist

--I may propose some solution for stopping it to silence opposing voices except the official ones

The only solace I have from you that I do not embrace the above, Byron, is that you openly admit that what you just wrote may be "unfounded paranoia on [your] part." How your deductions appeared would be interesting to examine. I am willing to drop this point right here unless you ask me to proceed.

Additionally, to argue "the more [bloggers] the merrier" because the more bloggers "writing on an event" means "more accuracy" in the long run, Byron, is mathematically absurd. "More accuracy" relative to what? It is also morally absurd because it assumes internet bloggers will not knowingly perpetuate error. And all along, I thought you believed strongly in Total Depravity (wink, wink).

The cherry on top of your moral reasoning begs for comment: "But even if [more accuracy in the long run] is not so, the freedom to [blog error] and make personal opinions about the material is more important than even the principle of accuracy..." Byron, this statement qualifies for the Baghdad Bob award :^).

May I just say that no principle of freedom morally trumps the principle of truth. If we used as foundational the principle I hear you suggesting, Byron, what moral construct exists on which we could argue for accuracy in media from the NYTimes, ABC, or even Fox? After all, the "more the merrier"...

Now, if you want to automatically distrust me because I raised the question about the legitimacy, usefulness and accuracy of live-blogging you have every freedom to do so. Nor will I question such. What I will request is fairness and accuracy in how my words, your words and others words are used. And, when we don't know, then we withhold sweeping judgments (similar to Debbie's indictments about the J316C).

Furthermore, every agency and/or individual should be able to control what is lawfully considered their property without rebuke from those who are not owners. It simply does not follow that because something owned is "in a spiritual context" that therefore, it should possess uncontrolled distribution. If that is so, every Christian music artist, every Christian author, every commentary should never possess copyright. We both believe that to be absurd, I assume.

Grace, Byron. With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

Ron,

My brother your point needs immediate response from Debbie...

Debbie,

Not only should you immediately consider Ron's point, but statements like this need to stop now: "Otherwise don't cry fowl with no proof." Debbie, this is patently false. Who is crying foul with no proof?

Now you may not agree with the proof offered. Fine. State how the proof is inadequate. But to suggest here there is no proof given is absurd. State your disagreements all you wish. But do not falsely accuse of providing no proof. Period.

With that, I am...

Peter

Jonathon

Peter, thanks for your response. You seem to have all the answers....I do not think I have seen you concede one point in the entire time I have read your blog. Great work.

About John Piper: say what you will. When I say he has done more than any other, I mean to imply that God has used him (as I said in my original post "thank YOU GOD for using him) in a way that has done more for this generation than the ministry of any other. It may be a stretch to make that sweeping generalization, and so I concede maybe the language was too strong. I will put it this way, being part of this generation of younger pastors and students (those under 30), from my perspective he has done more than any other. It is funny (and sad) to see so many people driven to missions by the way he preaches the Word and writes while others who do not like his theological position on Calvinism berate the man.

Byron, it is also funny how many different definitions one will find on what actually denotes hyper-Calvinism. According to Dr. Chad Brand, the criteria you use (or in the case Dr. Allen) to say one is hyper because one does not believe God wills the salvation of all men, is void in the definition that he provides. Of course you can make up your own definition or ascribe to some other that has been handed down.

Byron, are Calvinism and Five-Point Calvinism different? Or historically, what has be meant by Calvinism is TULIP and a move away from that is simply moderate Calvinism? And who decides? Peter Lumpkins? Dr. Allen? Some Arminian? When I say I am a Calvinist, I say that because I understand Calvinism to denote the five-points, anything less is less than honest and pure Calvinism.

All that is pretty useless. Can you guys help me understand if what was meant as a move towards five-point Calvinism is a move away from the gospel really meant away from evangelism?

Dave Miller

I have two observations:

1) These things always seem to devolve into a my-word-against-your-word kind of thing. One person hears one thing, another hears another. It is hard for people like me who were not at the conference and who did not hear the actual sermons to figure out what went on.

I am afraid that Southern Baptists need remedial tutoring in the art of reasonable theological debate.

2) Whether we like it or not, live-blogging is here to stay.

Ron P.

Dave,

I agree. Personally, I like live blogging, but I am a computer geek. I take blogs for what they are: a persons thoughts posted online for the world to see. I accept that it is their personal opinions, world view and bias that filters what they type. It is much more than you would find (hopefully) a sermon, white paper, thesis etc. Blogging, especially live blogging, does not give one time to stand back and evaluate what is being written. For that reason, I am careful as to which bloggers I trust. Someone may be a good writer and thinker, but blogging, especially if they are a passionate personality, can land them in territory they would otherwise never go.

What bothers me is what both you and Peter point out as to the problems with blogging. Peter rightly addressed the problem of accuracy. You have rightly brought up the issue of reasonable theological debate. This has been raised numerous times in blogtown. It does nothing for the discussion when one can not discuss points back and forth, without feeling personally insulted just because you do not agree with the person. Further, it is useless to try and reason when you are unwilling to address points raised. I may disagree with points raised, but I surely must at least bring something that is more substantial than just my opinions and conclusions. As a former high school debater, it saddens me to see that arguments (points of debate) are completely ignored in discussions with the sole rebuttal being one's opinion or feeling about the matter. We should stand our ground for what we believe, but debate the issues and points raised with facts, quotes, and evidence. Use sound reasoning and logic and accepted standards for dissent. It is then that we have earned the right to post our conclusion and opinion.

Blessings,

Ron P.

Byron

Peter Lumpkins,

I am sorry for misinterpreting your words, now that I have re-read the original post and your comment summary concerning live-blogging. From your writings, I believe you are a person of integrity and that you seek fairness and objectivity. Even if I disagree with most of your conclusions, my disagreement should be bound to that context which I failed to abide by in my comment. I was wrong here, so we can drop this particular point.

Debbie Kaufman is actually making two assertions that I can see. The first is that any complaint of being (too easily) misunderstood is difficult to sympathize with when you do not make the materials under discussion easily obtained (though I suppose what constitutes "easily obtained" could in itself be a separate point of contention here). Her second assertion is that the powers that be governing the conference purposefully decided to make these materials difficult to obtain (again, perhaps this is a third arguing point in itself). I support her first assertion as I understand it. Her second assertion, with all fairness to Kaufman, has not been proven yet. It may not be probable, but it is possible (and personally, no, I do not hold to this second assertion). Debbie Kaufman has integrated both assertions into her argument against charging for the conference materials, but personally I think this has not been substantiated yet. Time will tell, I suppose, but "innocent until proven guilty" should be the words used here.

Now, concerning James White's alleged hyper-Calvinism, now I have an additional problem to what I stated previously. James White and Phil Johnson have both responded to Dr. Allen's charge, which referenced Phil Johnson's own document on the subject. Is Phil Johnson's interpretation of his own document now wrong (after all, this is not the conclusion he himself comes to!)? Will future uses of the document by Dr. Allen include a relevant disclaimer? I've read both responses by Dr. White and Phil Johnson, and recommend them to both, and especially to Tony Byrne. He has already been answered to my satisfaction.

http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=2955
http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2008/11/james-white.html

I want to say a few more words about live blogging, but first let me say something about Calvinism. I most certainly believe in Total Depravity (I see it every morning when I look in the mirror, which is both an ugly surprise and a bad habit). In fact, I am pretty much a staunch Calvinist to the point of not immediately seeing any distinction between "Calvinism" and "Five-point Calvinism." To me, any Calvinism which is less than five-point Calvinism is hypo-Calvinism, or lesser Calvinism (a hyper-Calvinist buzzword from what I have read, and no, I do not mean the same thing by it that the hyper-Calvinists do). I would call any Calvinism less than the five-point kind to be "Calvinistic" but not full-fledged Calvinism, but I am not sure I could argue that point, so I will chalk that up as personal opinion.

When it comes to live blogging and Total Depravity, there seems to be all the more reason to me to not restrict or discourage blogging to a select few, precisely because people are not basically good and are perhaps never entirely objective (I certainly cannot claim to be with any integrity). More communication is better than less. More freedom is better than less. Freedom of expression and the right to dissent is better than censorship and control. Truth will still win out in the end, if for no other reason because Christ reigns on the throne and will set all things right at the end of time. But more importantly, because I do not trust people to naturally rise up and do the right thing, I believe He raises up people both to do His will and sees to their passion for truth and objectivity. Again, why not let Christ reign, especially among Christian brethren?

And Peter, I am sorry, but I do trust you and did not intend to communicate that as a serious assertion, rather it was framed in that fashion to illustrate a point, which arose from what I have already acknowledged above being an error on my part.

Lastly, I do believe in copyright protections, even for Christians. That is, the conference producers have every right to copyright their materials and sell them even for profit, if they desire, according to what is both legal, ethical, and moral. That they must do so (which no one is arguing), or should do so, would be a separate concern (that Debbie Kaufman and I have an opposing viewpoint on compared with some here, though we do not necessarily agree in the particulars). Though I would not seriously expect them to have done so, there is nothing stopping the organizers of the conference and the speakers from donating everything needed, including the production and distribution of media, from their own resources at their own expense. They are free to do so to any extent, and also refrain from doing so. But my concern is that supposedly "Christian" materials wind up becoming much more part of an industry, rather than a ministry, by their vary nature of being business products and subject to marketing concerns. Why sell the materials at all? But if you do sell the materials, then complain that you are too easily misunderstood even though the materials are not readily obtainable to all you are complaining against, why not simply give those materials away for free at least to those whose opinion you are concerned about? Otherwise, just forget about complaining, because the complaint does not deserve a lot of sympathy in my view.

Debbie Kaufman

"Round and round and round we go, where it stops noone knows."

The proof is inadequate Peter because it's simply your word against the live bloggers. I cannot listen to the messages to hear for myself whether they were misrepresented or not without first purchasing the messages. A reading of Dr. Allen's white paper which you have featured here and anyone can read online, which I have done, seem to agree with the live bloggers. You ask me to prove it, but to do so would be to try and put a large document on your comment. People can go to the SWBTS theological site and decide for themselves.

peter lumpkins

Jonathan,

You are very welcome. I get the idea, however, the congratulations I receive is something for which, were I an imbibing man, I would do well to keep the corks in the bottle: "You seem to have all the answers....I do not think I have seen you concede one point in the entire time I have read your blog. Great work."

For the record, my young brother Jonathan, I have, I will, and I shall concede any and all points made against any and all assertions I make which demonstrate any or all points I make are not well taken. There is no virtue, as I can tell, in conceding to faulty objections, however. But I am willing to stand corrected on even that.

And many thanks for toning the estimation down about Piper--or at least making it more palatable. Once again, just for record's sake, I haven't a clue about whom you speak, who because of dislike for Piper's theological position on Calvinism, "berate the man." It certainly has not been done on any post I have written here. Nor do I know one non-Calvinist Southern Baptist--outside of Professor Yarnell--who has, in any serious way, engaged his positions. Even so, Dr. Yarnell by no means "berated" him. If you can point me to some sources, I'd be grateful.

Moreover, your appeal to Dr. Brand is interesting. I am curious if he has viewed Dr. Allen's lengthy explanation of his definitions serving as the platform for his paper on Limited Atonement? Indeed, no one is speaking about subjectivism in dealing with Hyper-Calvinism as you appear to imply: "Of course you can make up your own definition or ascribe to some other that has been handed down."

Thanks to Tony Byrne, who assisted Dr. Allen in formulating it, the conference chart is available as a pdf. file download for any interested reader. I commend it to you.

Perhaps Tony will offer some more help about Hyper-Calvinism and the Allen proposal if he cares to.

Your open confession, Jonathan, that you understand Calvinism to denote that Calvinism is defined in the theological construct of full Five Point Calvinism with "anything less" constituting "less than honest and pure Calvinism" is the very construct with which Dr. Allen contended.

His historical rehearsal of Calvinists themselves dissenting from the strict particularism of many Calvinists then--and, to the dismay of Southern Baptists, strict particularistism today--was designed to challenge any view of the atonement that suggests our God and His Christ do not salvifically love all people, providing full payment for the sins of the whole world (Redemption Complete) but, in the end, saving only those who believe (Salvation Contingent).

Allen's concern was well documented, not the least of which was the vanishing dimension of the well-meant Gospel offer if strict particularism is embraced. This, Jonathan, is the move away from the Gospel about which Dr. Allen rightfully lamented.

At least, that is my understanding of his proposal. And, know I will be happy to be corrected if I am mistaken.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Byron

I meant to say that "hypo-Calvinism" is "less than Calvinism" and that hyper-Calvinism is "more than, or exceeding, Calvinism".

Also, I meant to recommend both of the URLs I gave to everyone who reads my comment, that "both" responses are worthy of reading, but I was careless in what I wrote.

Byron

If I am not mistaken, Peter, was not the election of SBC president also live-blogged which I believe you attended? I cannot help but think of live-blogging as a good thing in its very nature involving freedom of expression and all that... Well, enough of that, as I have already stated it previously.

peter lumpkins

Debbie,

To the contrary, it is definitively not the case that "it's simply [my word] word against the live bloggers." If you could point to an error I've made in this post, I'd be obliged.

Nor is it "simply [my word] word against the live bloggers" when it comes to Dr. Allen's words. I have both exhaustive notes on his paper and the mp3.

Nor is it my problem because you "cannot listen" to hear for yourself whether bloggers "misrepresented or not" without first purchasing the messages. If you cannot know, Debbie, why under Heaven do you even comment? Why not reserve comment if you do not have the proper documents to make an intelligent evaluation?

Unknowingly, Debbie, your present comment perfectly demonstrates my point in this particular post. In fact, it stands as the quintessential theme of this post, Debbie--Prejudged, haphazard, careless, uninformed assertions when one does not have their facts straight. Indeed integrity demands we hold off making judgment until we can make a sober, intelligent one. Why believers would settle for anything less passes right by me.

Nor is it acceptable, in absence of proof, to claim, because the White Paper is big "to do so would be to try and put a large document on your comment." To even bring such up, Debbie, is utterly ridiculous.

If you've read the document but cannot quote from it, offering the gist the author seemed to be making, you have no business in a discussion about evidences. Nor the unbelievably confident assertion that Dr. Allen's White Paper book review "seem[ed] to agree with the live bloggers" take on matters presumably contra my own. You implicate me (Dr. Allen, ultimately) in an apparent contradiction without the least bit of data. None. Nothing.

My advice to you, Debbie, is to make evaluations only on those issues where you are sufficiently informed to do so.

Secondly, to learn to either briefly quote or accurately summarize a resource to demonstrate a point about which you are interested, instead of thinking you have to post an entire document in a comment thread. I mean that as help but our history precludes me thinking it will be accepted as such. And, that is sad.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Jonathon

Peter,

I will only deal with the Brand issue. The appeal was not to Dr. Brand as the final authority on what denotes hyper-Calvinism. It was simply to assert that there are a myriad of definitions concerning this word "hyper-Calvinism" which one can find.

Since, most people, take it to mean that a person is a hyper-Calvinist that sees no need to share the gospel, should we not avoid this terminology in regards to our brothers and sisters who most certainly do not believe that? I think it would be a wise move.

I wish I had to time to interact with the Piper argument. I don't. I will simply say that the overwhelming majority of the time that he, or his position, is mentioned on your blog and those who are like-minded, it is in the negative, with little grace in view.

I am done....I must go....this Calvinist, a strict particularist, must get to the buisness of Romans 10. For the preaching of the gospel is the ordained means to the ordained end.

peter lumpkins

Jonathan,

Thanks for your gracious spirit. First, I know you did not appeal to Dr. Brand as "the final authority on what denotes hyper-Calvinism." Nor did I suggest you did. My statement was: "I am curious if he has viewed Dr. Allen's lengthy explanation of his definitions serving as the platform for his paper on Limited Atonement." That's all.

Moreover, while you are correct that hyperism includes that one "sees no need to share the gospel." it does not follow that that is all it means. Indeed, Dr. Allen employs the definitions to which Calvinists themselves broadly adhere. I trust you downloaded the document I linked.

And, know I wish you the best in Romans 10. With that, I am...

Peter

Ron P.

Debbie,

If I may, allow me try to illustrate my point with the following fictional story:

Let's say a blogger at the recent meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, "live blogged" about comments made by the moderator (your pastor). Let us assume that the blogger generally has views that are in opposition to Wade's stated views. Let us further assume that you were in attendance and had handouts and audio of the comments. You then put forth the evidence on your blog quoting from the audio and handouts that refutes the "live blogger".

But, according to your way of thinking, your pastor would be to blame. It would be entirely his fault if the "live blogger" was in any way inaccurate because it would be your pastor's responsibility to ensure that bloggers across America get the transcript and audio. If he does not, he is purposefully doing this and has only himself to blame.

I think it would be safe to assume that you would not treat both situations equally.

Blessings,

Ron P.

selahV

Peter, live-blogging can be a great tool for giving a moment by moment accounting of events. But one time when I needed a hammer to pound a nail in the wall, I couldn't find one and so I used the handle of a knife. The knife slipped and put a dink in the wall and knicked my knuckle in the process. Some things are better used for the purpose for which it is intended, I think.

How does one listen and blog at the same time? Not easy. Even with copius notes, one can miss a great deal of what a speaker says in real time. But then, that's me. I suppose others have greater talents than I. As a reporter, I always recorded an interview so I could go back and get ensure an accurate account. Guess I had to be there to understand completely. Thanks for keeping folks honest. selahV

Jacob

Should we take this to mean that Critics are unwanted? Or only critics of things you enjoy and like?

I dare say that if the men truly believed that what they were saying was the truth and needed for it to get out to the masses, they would give it away for free. Mark Driscoll knows this, John Piper knows this. Its a shame that these men do not share the same view of freely giving. Furthermore, since this was a close-knit conference, or a better term is a conference that shut out opposing sides, wouldn't it be logical to not only post these files online (and if you are going to charge, charge it at cost for bandwith or the cost of CD's, not 50 and 70).

I know that the lectures are going to be published in a book. Agian I will reference Mars Hill Church. They recently published a book online called "Porn-Again Christian". They are planning to actually publish the book for store distribution. That did not discourage them from posting the book online. They encourage people to not only make copies, but to FREELY give them out.

Until these speakers make their information available not only at a reasonable cost, but also in a timely manner (book), I will still hold the conviction that this was about making money.

100 (roughly) per person for the conference. 800 (roughly) in attendance. If my math is correct (since I am using a calculator I think it is) that is $80,000 that the Jerry Vines Ministry made off of the conference. I will be generous and say no other revenue was made from the conference (audio/video...) and say that they spent 30,000 in advertising, speakers fees (which is unlikely since the only speaker who was not representing a school was Keathley) and everything else. That is still atleast 50,000 in the pockets of Jerry Vines Ministries.

This conference was about making money, Controversy creates Cash. I would even go a step further that this was partly a bankroll effort for the new Sunday School Curriculum being put out by Jerry Vines Ministries. I am fully aware of the charges I am putting onto Jerry Vines Ministries. I am also aware that I will probably be written off as some young buck calvinist with an axe to grind. That's fine. But I bet that Vines and Hunt were vocal in opposition to the leadership of the Convention prior to Rogers, and I will be vocal against what I see as the corporate mentallity of church, where its all about nickels and noses. I'll stick to the reformed guys who are willing to give their stuff away, so that even the poor can access it.

Soli Deo Gloria.
Redbeard

peter lumpkins

Jacob,

Thanks. As for "tak[ing] this to mean that Critics are unwanted? Or only critics of things you enjoy and like?" I haven't a clue to what you refer.

Nor is it sober judgment that because one ministry provides certain ministry materials at no cost to the public, that other ministries can do likewise. Why you would assume such a ridiculous idea, I do not know.

Nor are the materials you cite from other ministries given "away for free," Jacob. That strangely sounds like the "free" stuff the government gave to so many people under the Welfare state. Taxpayers, of course, paid the bill.

Somebody pays major bucks for the "free" things any ministry offers. Some ministries have grants given by wealthy people who finance all the "free" stuff about which you speak. Some ministries are so tight they can barely meet budget week to week. Neither I nor you know where these ministries are financially, nor how much it cost to host the conference, despite your guessed calculations.

The difference between us is, you have judged them no less than dishonest hucksters in it for a buck on the basis of sheer, unmitigated ignorance. You have sinned against God and against these men. Don't come back on this site with such godless accusations. Take it elsewhere.

I hope you have a great afternoon. With that, I am...

Peter

Jacob

Godless accusations?

When nothing was free except the Candy at the vender booths, my accusations are not baseless or Godless. No matter how much you dislike them.

I agree that some ministries simply cannot afford to give their material away. Are you saying that Jerry Vines Ministries is so close to being bankrupt that they can't afford to put audio files online instead of selling them at $50 each?

I have not sinned against God in my accusations, who are you to make that claim? You brought me to your blog, I never asked to come here. You brought me.

And when Convention and Co-op dollars go into things that these men do (Patterson's TWO self portraits come to mind), I have EVERY right to question their actions because it is my money that is being used.

If they were not in it for a profit this stuff would be free, say whatever you want about some Ministries, JVM and Woodstock FBC do not fall into the category of people who can't afford to give it away. The attempt to make me look like a socialist was a cute touch btw,sorry to disappoint, but I am a libertarian. I will be the first to defend someones right to earn money, but making Christians pay for something that you see as vital is insane.

Since this conference was infact a response to Together 4 the Gospel, I see it as very fitting to check out prices on the conferences.

T4G - Audio is available for free download
J316 - $50 for the CDs, no Downloads available.

Interesting. And the difference is, T4G could make alot of money for their audio. Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever, John Piper, RC Sproul and John MacArthur. The shear name value is enough to bring in money, but they freely give their audio away.

You can hate me and my comments, but until you provide Biblical support to say that I have sinned against God, its best not to lob that attack.

And since you have said not to bring my Godless arguments here, I would assume you are saying that I am a)not a Christian, b) Not as good of a Christian as you, or c) someone who pisses you off. Whatever it really is, I don't care. But since you brought me onto your blog by questioning whether or not I went to the conference because I did not remember it the way you did, I figure I will stick around.

Besides, your blog is called SBC Tomorrow. And I am the SBC of Tomorrow. A Young Calvinist in Seminary who hopes to Pastor a church and work in the Convention.

S.D.G.

Byron

Jacob, from one Reformed guy to another, please do not take this the wrong way, but I agree with at least two of Peter's basic points. The first is that just because one ministry gives away materials for free, that does not mean others can as well, and two, that someone somewhere winds up paying for all the "free" stuff (there is no such thing as a free lunch).

My basic complaint remains that I afford much less sympathy for being misunderstood when the victim(s) do not make their materials easily obtainable. I'm not sure how major a point that even is. The bottom line is, though I can fault the J136C for their theology (and do), I do not fault them for seeking and even making a profit. The most gracious thing to do is to give away your materials for free, but if it is required of you, it is no longer gracious on your part but obligatory. I applaud Reformed ministries for giving away free audio, because I think it is both gracious on their part and a smart move in making their theological viewpoints readily accessible. I do not know the reasons that J136C did not follow suit, and I do not wish to speculate, other than saying I believe they would have helped their cause more by making the audio at least freely available (they're just shooting themselves in the foot, even if it's just a grazing blow, in other words).

Now, if Co-op or other SBC money is being spent on things you disagree with, you might have a legitimate bone to pick there (I don't know as I'm not very plugged into the SBC world though I belong to the denomination). That's part of the discussion I cannot participate in due to ignorance on my part. But with all due respect, unless you can prove something along those lines, your argument is going to basically go nowhere in a hurry.

Speaking of theology, if James White is a hyper-Calvinist then the SBC could use some.

peter lumpkins
All: I closed these comments because I sensed the unbridled accusations were much too offensive. May our Lord forgive us not for hating our enemy but appearing to hate our brother...


Jacob,

I am sorry you cannot seem to understand what is not welcome here. And, yes, it was godless accusations you made out of sheer, unmitigated ignorance. You asserted

"This conference was about making money, Controversy creates Cash. I would even go a step further that this was partly a bankroll effort for the new Sunday School Curriculum being put out by Jerry Vines Ministries...I am fully aware of the charges I am putting onto Jerry Vines Ministries... I will be vocal against what I see as the corporate mentallity of church, where its all about nickels and noses..."

That is cheap, unchristian, anti-Christian blather. Create your own smut blog. Goodbye.

With that, I am...

Peter

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