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Oct 22, 2010

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JND

Would it be tacky to recall that moderates predicted this sort of thing?

peter lumpkins

JND,

Absolutely, positively not, my brother. I may get slammed from some of my conservative brothers who are sensitive about suggesting the "Moderate" theological container assists the SBC, I personally concede that Jeff Pool, in his book, Against Returning to Egypt (1998), forewarned all Southern Baptists of the cohesive Calvinist structure beginning to take place.

With that, I am...
Peter

Scott Morgan

Peter,

At one time I was probably the hardest calvinist toward noncalvinist in the SBC...example ...My attitude toward my former Pastor/Boss Johnny Hunt. I treated him so bad because he didn't line up with my theology. During that time God broke me and showed me that he was my brother and a fine Pastor and Christian.

He has truly forgiven me and we talk/text regularly. If I could take back what I said in public about him on the Founders blog I would. I know we don't line up on the doctrines of grace but you are my brother as well so I sure hope to one day sit down with you and fellowship as brothers and maybe even do ministry together somewhere. I know I have been rough on you before so please accept my sincere apology. Since we both live in Georgia I sure would love to buy your lunch at Mary Macs Tea Room in downtown ATL sometime. Great southern food. Honestly...both sides on this issue of calvinism need not to forget that we are brothers in Christ so we need to love one another. I currently serve under Dr. James Merritt as his Discipleship pastor and he always reminds me that we need to stand on our theology but not forget that we are brothers in Christ. As I have said before.. I do enjoy reading what you have to say next...don't always agree but I have been praying for you and truly hope you would allow me to buy your lunch and get to know each other. Take care.

Darby Livingston

Oh brother. I've yet to hear how non-Calvinist pastors are theological charlatans or decimate innocent churches. How one-sided can you continue to be Peter? We're often reminded by non-Calvinists that there were two theological strains that came together to form the SBC way back in the day. So why do Calvinists continue to be treated like dangerous interlopers in a convention they at least half started? After a while, it just looks like a gripe session.

Darby Livingston

On a lighter note, I'm not sure DA Carson could be termed young, hip or cool. :)

Jared Moore

Peter,

About Johnny's repentance. He says in the video interview that he is "greatful for God's forgiveness" for how he previously threw darts at the Calvinist movement. "Repentance" therefore is his emphasis, not mine.

About the Lifeway and NAMB study, I provided a link to that information. They did the research, and it is true, at least based on their research. Baptist Press posted an article with the results.

About all the individuals I mentioned concerning whether or not they are Calvinists, they may not call themselves the term; but, they all affirm at least 4 points of the T.U.L.I.P. All of the teachers associated with Southern had to sign the Abstract of Principles (Argues for at least 4-point Calvinism). So, Akin and Rainer both signed this statement of faith when they were teachers at Southern. Granted, they may have changed... but, I have not seen any evidence to suggest otherwise.

About your article in its entirety, I'm going to post a lengthy reply on my blog. My main goal is not to get Southern Baptists to affirm Calvinism, but is rather to get them to see that Calvinism is not a threat to the Southern Baptist life. There is room for both groups in the SBC; I wish you could see this.

Continue on for God's glory alone friend.

peter lumpkins

Scott,

I appreciate your logging on. And, I recall your own change of heart concerning JH. May our Lord be pleased. And, certainly. I would be delghted to dine with you. I've had southern grub at MMTR but it's been ages ago. Or, we could even just met for a fine, delicious cup of upscale brew at Octane or Dancing Goats in Decatur.

Grace, brother
With that, I am...
Peter

peter lumpkins

Darby,

You appear to strain at an insinuation I made in the OP: "I've yet to hear how non-Calvinist pastors are theological charlatans or decimate innocent churches," asserting how "one-sided" could a person be in his or her point. If you recall, I specifically made reference to the "Calvinist pastor who comes in quietly under-cover, when exposed for the dishonest theological charlatan he is."

A quick trip to a thesaurus reveals as synonyms for "charlatan" terms including--impostor, fraud, fake, phony. Couple such with "theological" and one has a person who is a theological fake or phony, who pretends to be with them--on the same page theologically-- when all along he actually wants to thoroughly change them, to "reform" them.

With that in mind, Darby, my point obviously was toward the scrupleless strategy of stealth tactics in getting into churches, a strategy not only Founders Calvinists are prone to embrace, but also a tactic encouraged by the very book which set the movement in motion.

Therefore, you can suggest I'm "one-sided" all you wish. But it is definitively not non-Calvinist SBC pastors who have demonstrated a problem coming in under stealth to "reform" a congregation.

With that, I am...
Peter

Ron Hale

Jared,
I believe there is room for both groups in the SBC, because this has been the case for many, many years.

What changed was the planned strategy on the part of the Founders movement to reform the SBC and work in unison toward that end.

I've asked several in the Founders movement a simple question: If a SBC congregation becomes reformed ... would that church ever look to call a non-Calvinist SBC Pastor when they form a Pastor Search Committee to call a new pastor.

I've been told, "NO!...why would they?"

What is your answer to that simple but important question?

Blessings!

Luke

Peter,

You said, "In other words, if it was alarming to grassroots Southern Baptists to support seminaries which taught non-inerrancy to the students they sent them--a doctrine the overwhelming majority of Southern Baptists did not embrace—why is it not equally alarming to grassroots Southern Baptists to support seminaries which teach Calvinism “as truth”—a doctrine the overwhelming majority of Southern Baptists do not now embrace?"

I would say that it is not equally alarming because these are very different issues - I will fight and die for inerrancy, I won't do the same for Calvinism/Non-calvinism. Inerrancy is explicitly affirmed in the BFM 2000 whereas there is room for both Calvinism and Non-Calvinism in the BFM 2000.

On another note, while I understand that there might be some "dishonest theological charlatans," I was taught at SEBTS to be open and honest about my theological positions. Our goal is not to convert churches to a theological position but to see lives, marriages, and relationships transformed by the gospel.

peter lumpkins

Jared,

Thanks for logging on.  I appreciate your clarifying the ambiguous—at least to me—statement concerning your intent about Hunt. As for the other clarifications you offered, Jared, I’m not sure they were needed. I didn’t disagree with anything you wrote but only rehearsed what you wrote.

I’m glad you’ll post a “lengthy reply.”  I do find your stated goal a bit odd, I have to say:

“My main goal is not to get Southern Baptists to affirm Calvinism, but is rather to get them to see that Calvinism is not a threat to the Southern Baptist life. There is room for both groups in the SBC; I wish you could see this.”

First, I’m under no false impression you wrote to get SBs to affirm Calvinism, Jared. And, since my post here implies nothing of the sort, I take it you’re referencing something else.

Second, you assure us your purpose is to show us Southern Baptists Calvinism is not a “threat to the Southern Baptist life.” I find this overwhelmingly odd, Jared.  Your entire piece I cited cataloged a litany of areas in Southern Baptist life which reflected radical change in the denominational infrastructure’s leadership; nonetheless, you assure Southern Baptists there’s nothing about which to be concerned? I have to say, you have a strange way of assuring people, Jared.

Third, you also confidently assure us that room remains for “both groups in the SBC” a reality, from your perspective, you wish I could see. Allow me to respond two ways, Jared.

First, had you made this statement about SBC life prior to the early 1980s, there would be no appeal to see the reality, for who could deny it? There indeed was room for “both groups” in the SBC.  Why? There have always been “both groups” in the SBC, an historically demonstrable fact. In 1982, things began to change with the public launching of Founders, a special interest group pushing the “doctrines of grace” upon all Southern Baptists.

Second, Jared, to state that there is “room for both groups” in light of the post you published--the reality of which you wish I could see--is profoundly absurd. Each of your "9 reasons" captures how Calvinism is saturating SBC sub-culture. As only one example, you cite, pertaining to SBTS, that “all faculty” are Calvinists and are “so vocal” that a “non-Calvinist” would feel unwelcome—“out of place” is your term.

So let me get this straight, Jared.  If “all” faculty are definitively Calvinist, how is such status indicative of “room for both groups”? In addition, supposing 9 of 10 Southern Baptists—or we could  even be generous and suggest 7 of 10 reflecting Stetzer's stats—stepped on SBTS campus or studied at SBTS campus, and felt “out of place,” how does that comfort all SBs that Calvinism poses no threat to SBC life? Indeed that’s a strange way of assuring Southern Baptists there’s “room for both groups.”

Also, you state Calvinism is taught “as truth.”  If Calvinism reflects truth, what does non-Calvinism reflect? Is there room for both truth and non-truth? Or, is non-Calvinism truth too, but only lesser truth, or sub-truth?   While I can openly concede there may be room for one perspective and another perspective when speaking of truth, I cannot grasp how there’s room for truth and non-truth when such is implied by suggesting Calvinism is truth. 

And, I hope by God’s grace, my brother, to continue on for His glory alone.

With that, I am…

Peter

peter lumpkins

Luke,

Your point is well-taken concerning the qualitative difference between Calvinism/non-Calvinism and Inerrancy/errancy per se. However, we are not just making a point about theological issues. Rather we're stating what particular perspective will saturate theological education--not to mention the rest of Southern Baptist infrastructure--and be taught "as truth."

Given that, there are a lot of issues I would personally "die for" on a convention level. I suspect there would be for you too.

With that, I am...
Peter

Jared Moore

Peter,

First, If you are concerned about Calvinism, then the article I wrote will concern you; however, if you are not concerned about Calvinism, and do not see it as a threat, then it will not bother you if every single leadership position in the SBC is lead by a Calvinist. The fact that you are concerned that Calvinists are "taking over the SBC," proves that you see us as a threat. If you didn't see Calvinism as a threat, you wouldn't care if a Calvinist or non-Calvinist was elected to these positions.

Concerning Southern's faculty, Mohler is simply having the faculty affirm its original statement of faith. He cannot help that the founders were Calvinists. Furthermore, there are other Southern Baptist seminaries that non-Calvinists can attend where Calvinists would feel out of place as well. Also, whenever I said, "out of place" above, I meant that Calvinism is commonly taught. Just like anything that is commonly taught that I do not agree with, those that disagree will feel out of place.

Calvinism is indeed taught as truth at Southern; but, I've never heard Paige Patterson waiver on the other side of the issue. Only one of them are correct; both cannot be. However, Calvinism is not affirmed as strongly as the resurrection of Christ; but, it is universally believed. Other Southern Baptist Seminary professors have publicly said that Calvinism is NOT true. What's the difference?

Finally, about comforting Southern Baptists. My point was to show them that Calvinists were all around them already, and THEY DIDN'T EVEN KNOW IT; and yet, ministry has continued? Thus, Calvinism is not a threat. These men are soul-winners.

If at any point, Calvinists seek to rid the convention of non-Calvinists, I will vocally oppose it. There is room for both groups. I just want us all to get along unto the glory of God.

Furthermore, my article was not about "celebrating," my article was about the Calvinists all around that pose NO threat to Southern Baptist life. If Calvinism Is NOT a threat, then why do you care if Calvinism is taught at Southern, or if Calvinists are in various leadership positions in the SBC? Why must it be that "Calvinists are taking over?" Why can't it be that "Southern Baptists are taking over" since that's what both sides are...

Jared Moore

Peter,

BTW: I didn't say that students that aren't Calvinists at Southern would feel "unwelcome." I said that they would feel out of place since Calvinism is taught as truth. Whenever I first attended Southern, I was NOT a Calvinist, but was leaning that way. I felt out of place, but not unwelcome. They were very loving and encouraging; literally, some of the godliest men that I've ever met, teach at Southern. I'm a better Christian today in light of their example and exhortation.

Don

Peter,

I am a student at Southern as well. I would not characterize the atmosphere at Southern at all the way Jared would. I am sure most if not all of the professors lean towards Calvinism. I do know there are varying degrees. But, I bristle a little when folks describe Southern as pushing Calvinism.

More so than Calvinism, I believe Southern is about the faithful, accurate, bold exposition of the Bible. The drum that is beat the loudest at Southern is for expository preaching. To rightly divide the Word of Truth, to contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints. Secondly, is an emphasis on taking the Gospel to a increasingly lost and dying world. For goodness sake, 4-5 billion people on thus world are going to bust open the doors of hell if the church of Jesus Christ.

Southern is leading the way in encouraging missionaries and church planters to go into all the world. The calvinism at Southern has not diminished the evangelistic heart of it's students, but rather has set our hearts ablaze to preach the Gospel.

The Calvinism at Southern is no threat to evangelism. It is a threat to watered down, man-centered preaching, to a church membership that is inflated to make us feel better about ourselves, and certainly it is a threat to business as usual. Let's be real, the SBC has been decreasing in influence for decades because we have allowed sight living in our members, and have treated church as our social club rather than an outpost in spiritual warfare.

God help us, if we do not stand on the truth of the word of God, preach it boldly, tell the lost, and disciple all the ones that God gives us.

If we cannot all see the deplorable state of preaching in our culture, then we need to remove the blinders.

Jared Moore

Don,

I agree with your statements concerning the emphasis on expositional preaching and evangelism. I'm however a theology guy; so, all of my electives are theology classes. Calvinism has always been taught as true in these classes. I wouldn't desribe Southern as "pushing" Calvinism; but, they do teach it. Calvinism is probably emphasized more in some classes than others (theology and history classes vs. ministry classes); but, it is affirmed across the board among the faculty (all at least 4 pointers due to signing the Abstract of Principles).

I went on a mission Trip with Dr. Sills to Ecuador. His fervancy for the Quichua was contagious. Calvinism did not destroy his evangelistic fervor; but rather fueled it.

peter lumpkins

 

Jared,

Thanks for the return. You seem to be confident that if one already possesses a concern about Calvinism in the SBC, then your article will add even more concern; but contrarily if no concern exists, then your article appears moot. How such squares with your purpose to assure SBs no threat exists is hard to tell. To whom are you writing, Jared? If you are writing to folk like myself, then you obviously missed your target since self-admittedly it would only heap on additional concern. If you were trying to persuade other SBs who do not feel Calvinism is a concern, I don’t understand your point at all.

Even so, Jared, how do you know it follows if A) one does not see Calvinism as a threat then, B) it will not be bothersome if every single leadership position in the SBC is lead by a Calvinist? By what logic do you deduce B from A? Suppose I do not see Premillennialism as a threat. Does it follow I would not be bothered if every single leadership position in the SBC is lead by a Premillenialist? I think your reasoning is a bit cloudy there.

As for why SBTS is as it is, I have not addressed, nor did you in the original point. Hence, whatever grounds of justification exist why the faculty is exclusively Calvinistic is quite beside the original point you made and the point to which I responded.  However, your assertion that “there are other Southern Baptist seminaries that non-Calvinists can attend where Calvinists would feel out of place as well” begs for address. 

First, we’re not speaking of others seminaries; we’re speaking of Southern. Second, SBTS belongs to Southern Baptists and to remotely suggest students can look elsewhere is so blatantly wrong-headed, Jared, it’s outrageous. You’re suggesting churches are free to send the fruit of their labors “somewhere else” when they pay the bills, Jared? When it’s our school? It doesn’t belong to Al Mohler nor the entire faculty nor the entire student body; SBTS is a Southern Baptist institution. And to suggest they can always “go elsewhere” is patently absurd. And as for other schools creating an environment which makes students feel “out of place” I would make the same judgment.

Also, you are correct in many “not knowing” Calvinists were all around them. Hence, I am committed to making sure people are aware of its very aggressive presence. The problem is, as I have stated, the stealth strategy has paid high dividends to the takeover of the SBC.

Finally, Jared, I do not know what you’re attempting to point out in your final paragraph. On the one hand you say “Calvinism is not a threat to SBC life” on the other hand, your article pointed out just how deeply Calvinism has penetrated all SBC leadership and denominational infrastructure, a denominational infrastructure claiming 46,000 churches, 43,700 of which are definitively non-Calvinist congregations. Your conclusion? Southern Baptists like myself should not be concerned; Calvinism is not a threat to Southern Baptist Convention life.

Sorry, brother. Your point remains completely lacking.

Oh, in the second follow up comment you denied saying that students that aren't Calvinists at Southern would feel "unwelcome"—“I said that they would feel out of place.”  Of course, my comment acknowledged your term “out of place”—twice—as well as elaborated on “out of place.” Nevertheless, I think you clarified nicely how such ultimately teases out whether we quibble over the descriptive word I used (unwelcome) or your literal phrase—“out of place”: churches and students can always choose another school. No use dealing with that one again.

Thanks.

With that, I am…

Peter     

peter lumpkins

Don,

Thanks for the contribution. I appreciate your testimony concerning SBTS. I also appreciate every focus on evangelism, church growth, and especially exegetical preaching of the biblical text.

Even so, the issue I've raised is whether it is healthy for the SBC--a convention of 46K churches, 95% of which are non-Calvinist in doctrinal persuasion--to be transformed into a Calvinistic convention of churches. Unless someone argues Calvinism is theologically determinable to evangelism, church growth, and exegetical preaching of the Word of God, I'm unsure how it can be maintained it is healthy or right for us.

On the other hand, if, as Jared appears to argue, SBTS (and I suppose Jared as well) teaches Calvinism is truth and as the Reisinger-Founders Revolution Principle proclaims, Calvinism is nothing more or less than "biblical Christianity" then it seems to follow necessarily that a Calvinist take-over of the SBC is not only spiritually healthy but morally obligatory.

Thanks.

With that, I am...
Peter

Jared Moore

Peter,

Paige Patterson, the President of Southwestern has been vocal against Calvinism on numerous occasions. I would feel out of place at a seminary that he was the President of. Are you saying that Patterson is wrong since Calvinistic churches give to the cooperative program that fund Southerwestern? Or, should I just choose another seminary? You pick and choose where you apply your logic; however, you cannot come against Southern unless you come against the convention's other seminaries. Each seminary has different emphases that yet represent Southern Baptists. My point is that both groups should co-exist in the SBC. We are glad to serve alongside you; but, you are not glad to serve alongside us.

You want to know what a Calvinist takeover looks like: Southern Baptists, both Calvinists and non-Calvinists serving together for the glory of God as we seek the nations with the gospel. What's wrong with that?

Your final paragraph simply puts words in my mouth that I never said or implied. If you continue to speculate negatively, I'll move on. I cannot change your presuppositions... the more you type, the more I realize it.

Jack Maddox

This is beginning to remind me of the old founders blog exchanges that Peter was involved in!

...picking up popcorn, sitting down and watching...


Jack : )

Mary

Jared, the facts on the ground, the actual reality is that Cakvinist do not want to work with non Calvinist. Churches have been damaged, split, and destroyed by Calvinist stealthly coming in and systematically removing any non Calvinist from any position on authority. Churches are being dismantled when Calvinist come into churches and demand members sign church covenants agreeing with the five points or be demoted to some submember status. The reality outside seminary is that Calvinist do not want to play nicely in the sandbox but they want absolute control over the sandbox. Too many people have experienced "the Quiet Revolution" for it to simply coincidental that "wow look a Calvinist is right there at the heart of the problem and whad ya know he's from Southern.".

Ron Hale

Jared,
Respectfully, I would like to ask my question again in a different way ... because I never got an answer.

Suppose a SBC congregation becomes reformed by a Southern grad and this SBC church has had no history of a reformed tradition. The reforming pastor leads the SBC church to adopt reformed confessions, catechisms, and elder rule. The reforming pastor is called to another church.

Would or should that SBC congregation be open to seriously and prayerfully consider non-Calvinists as their new pastor?

Last question and I'll leave you alone ... are you aware of any Reformed SBC congregations that have called a non-Calvinist pastor ...once they became confessionally Calvinistic?

Blessings!

peter lumpkins

 

Jared,

Perhaps I do “pick and choose where [I] apply [my] logic.” Granted.  But your asserting so does not make it so. You’re going to have to show how I am “picking and choosing” as you suggest. And, citing SWBTS and Dr. Patterson’s decided non-Calvinism could not be a more vivid example not to prove your point but mine, Jared. The fact is, while Dr. Patterson *is* as you rightly say a non-Calvinist, he nonetheless has on his faculty many Calvinists.  SWBTS cannot be cited as a non-Calvinist seminary.  In addition, SEBTS has both vocal Calvinists and vocal non-Calvinists on its faculty albeit they seem to be moving toward a more robust Calvinism. Yet, still it is not exclusively Calvinist or non-Calvinist. Hence, your point is completely moot.

Second, Jared, when Calvinists exclusively sit at the head of the table, controlling the direction of the SBC, saturating every entity, etc. as you yourself rehearsed in your original post, do not be surprised if your find many many Southern Baptists who simply will not buy into your assertion that “no threat exists” for Southern Baptists who are presently about 95% non-Calvinist Southern Baptists.

Finally, unless you show me how I am putting words in your mouth and making you assert things you never implied, I can’t address it. And, as for my supposed “continu[ing] to speculate negatively” Jared, what can I say?  If you do not like the conversation, you are free to bow out. I am dealing directly with your words, and how I am reading your words as my mind allows. If I am mistaken, correct me.  But please do not confuse my rejection of your argument because it is unconvincing to me with mere “negative speculation.”

I trust your evening well.

With that, I am…

Peter

Jared Moore

Peter,

I feel like you are twisting my words. Your presuppositions are defining my words, instead of my words defining themselves. I never said that students are not welcome at Southern. I said that if they were uncomfortable, they could attend another SBC seminary... just as I attended Southern instead of Southwestern.

Once again, Southern's original statement of faith is what Mohler has professors sign. It isn't his fault that it is what it is. I guess he could change it; but, why go against history if there are still Calvinists in the convention, and it's not part of the Baptist Faith and Message?

About your 95% reference: First, you cannot prove this statement. Most Southern Baptists don't have a clue what Calvinism is. What many of them have heard are caricatures. Second, even if you are correct, Southern Baptists decided in 2000 what would govern our leaders, the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. Because Calvinism is not included in it, we must assume that Calvinism is a non-essential to these churches. That is what their vote said. Your point in citing 95% of Southern Baptist Churches as non-Calvinists is pointless. Until they vote to change the B F + M, you have no argument.

Also, if there really are that many churches that are non-Calvinists, and you believe it's a big issue; why don't you bring it up at the convention to add non-Calvinism to the BF+M. Your ammendment should pass overwhelmingly. This will settle all of your concerns.

Do you believe that there is room for Calvinists in the SBC or not? Should we just be seen, and not heard? Or, can we lead as well?

Jared Moore

Ron,

It depends on how a church views its confession. Some have it at a distance; while others keep it close. Some only apply it to the leaders, and not to the membership. Or, they may have one strict confession for the leaders, and a looser one for the membership. I'm actually fine with a church calling a non-Calvinist. I have friends that are consistent, faithful, non-Calvinists that stand for the gospel, expositional preaching, missions, etc. The church may have to change their Confession though; or, they may have to keep it at a distance, and keep a more loose one closer. If the church however affirms Calvinism, why would they hire a guy they disagree with from the get go?

About Reformed churches that have called non-Reformed pastors. Look at many of the early churches in our convention. I imagine that many were Reformed at one time, but abandoned their roots :).

Let me flip the question on you. What about churches that are non-Calvinists; how many do you know of that have called Calvinists to be their pastors? My church is one; but, do you know of any others? It seems there are several anti-Calvinists in the SBC that want to encourage churches NOT to call Calvinist pastors. It just doesn't make sense to me... unless Calvinism is a threat, which it is not.

Jared Moore

Mary,

Then those Calvinists made some dumb decisions. I've seen the same thing with non-Calvinists, charismatics, arrogant leaders, etc. Southern does NOT teach what those Calvinists did. A church must be willing to change; it's not something that can be forced. A shepherd must love his people regardless their understanding of the doctrines of grace.

You can blame Calvinism for various splits, but I guarantee you that most of the splits that happen in the SBC are because of NON-Calvinist Issues instead of Calvinist issues. Non-Calvinist pastors come in and cause more of a ruckus than Calvinist pastors do... in many cases.

I think a few young, dumb Calvinists have ruined the reputation of many of us. Domineering leadership is not a Baptist idea. Please don't stereotype all of us because of them... I mean, I don't condemn all non-Calvinism because of stupid decisions some non-Calvinsts made. I'm not posting articles to churches, "Don't hire non-Calvinists! They will mess your church up!"

peter lumpkins

Jared,

I'm not speaking for Mary for she can speak quite adequately for herself. Nonetheless, you are simply ignoring the point we've made here, not excluding Mary's point, when you switch the subject to the actions of non-Calvinists. Even if your assertion is correct, nothing follows about aggressive Calvinists themselves.

Nor has anyone suggested SBTS teaches Calvinists to go into churches under stealth. I certainly have not.

What I have explicitly stated is, it is fairly common--enough so to raise serious questions--that Founders in some ways encourages this practice. I cited sources which seem to be at least part of the impetus which created this unfortunate strategy in "reforming" churches.

Nor am I aware of any network of non-Calvinists which encourages non-Calvinists to either "reform" Calvinist churches and certainly not to do so by way of stealth. If you are aware of such, I'd be highly interested in your information.

Admittedly, what I'm reiterating is similar in nature to Ron's questions above. At least your answers to his questions would shed light on what I've written here. I, for one, would like to here your response to his questions if you don't mind.

Thanks

With that, I am...
Peter

peter lumpkins

Jared,

If I may, you attempted to “briefly respond” to this post here with your current blog post at your site entitled, “No Place for William Carey? A Brief Response to Peter Lumpkins” I encourage everyone on this thread to read it and judge for themselves if you actually responded to anything I’ve written either in the original post on in this thread.  Quite frankly, I find it disappointing.

In short, you sum up with these words your “brief response” to me:

With the current anti-Calvinist movement in the SBC propagated by men like Peter Lumpkins, one must wonder if he or they would allow Carey to lead in the SBC if he were alive today.  Could this father of modern missions serve in the SBC today?  Not according to men like Lumpkins; for, they argue that Calvinism is a threat to Southern Baptist life.  Even though current Calvinists in the SBC prove their arguments wrong by their theology and actions, they seek to argue nonetheless.

First, Jared, nothing on this post or thread remotely suggests or explicitly states that, given your hypothetical question, I would not vote for William Carey to be a SBC leader.  Why would you deduce such from anything I’ve written? We’ve been discussing Calvinists saturating leadership not whether Calvinists serve in leadership.  We’ve exchanged over whether every sphere of SBC life is led by Calvinists not if a  Calvinist is elected to serve.  Hence, the two are so far from each other it is absurd to assume I would be con-Carey were your hypothetical true. Nice try.

Second, so there is a “current anti-Calvinist movement” in the SBC? Begging pardon, brother. What I have and will continue to lament is the very scenario your rightly published in your “9 Reasons” post. Calvinism threatens to absorb the entire SBC denominational infrastructure, an infrastructure of 46,000 churches, 43,700 of which are definitively non-Calvinist churches. Calvinism already has, by your own words, an entire seminary faculty and, from my observation, is gaining an alarming momentum at another. Calvinists, according to you, runs Lifeway, NAMB, and all the young, hip leaders are Calvinists.  Hence, if there is a “current anti-Calvinist movement” it is a movement which laments Calvinists dominating a denominational infrastructure which is solidly 95% non-Calvinist.

Third, leaving aside the ambiguous remark about the anti-Calvinist movement being “propagated by men like Peter Lumpkins—not sure what is implied in that phrase—you go on to state that even though "current Calvinists in the SBC prove their arguments wrong by their theology and actions, they seek to argue nonetheless.” Interesting, Jared.

While I’m quite sure my words are capable of being proved wrong, I was unaware anything I’ve said on this thread had been definitively overturned but I kept on arguing anyway. Perhaps you or another on this thread could point out to me precisely where I’m proved wrong on this exchange.

I’m all ears, brother.

With that, I am…

Peter

Tony Byrne

Hi Peter,

I have one question about the beginning of your post, as it seems ambiguous to me at this point. You wrote, "...Reisinger describes what he thinks ails the largest Protestant body in America—the absence of the gospel, the absence of Calvinism."

What's unclear to me is the comma between "absence of the gospel" and "the absence of Calvinism." It seems that one of two things may be meant:

1) the absence of the gospel AND the absence of Calvinism

or

2) the absence of the gospel, i.e. the absence of Calvinism

If you mean #2, then I don't think the quote(s) beneath it support that claim, even though one may be of the opinion that Reisinger equates those two things (i.e. the gospel with Calvinism). He's clearly equating the health of the church (or Christianity in general) with its adoption of Calvinism, but that still doesn't sustain option #2 above, I don't think.

Can you clarify if you mean option #1 or #2 by the comma? And if #2, for what reason?

Grace to you,
Tony

p.s. Just remember, even though I am a Calvinist, I am not one associated with the Founders movement (nor do I want to be), so I am not asking these things to come to their defense :)

Tony Byrne

Hmmm. Jared has stated his view that Akin is at least a "4-point Calvinist" (because of the Abstract) but Brister seems to call him (along with Hunt) a non-Calvinist. If my memory serves me correctly, Akin was a self-described "3-pointer" (because of quibbles over "Irresistible Grace") back in his days at Criswell College in about 1991. Whether Akin is a 3 or 4-pointer, there still seems to be a difference between Jared's description of him (a 4-point Calvnist) and Brister's description of him (a non-Calvinist), unless I am reading Brister's "the Hunt/Akin influence of non-Calvinists" remark incorrectly.

Incidentally, I see that you've said you haven't met very many hyper-Calvinists, Jared. I'm sure that your life is the better for it. However, I can assure you that they are very much alive and well (though a minority), at least on the Internet and in Presbyterian circles. If you want to meet some of these people, I can introduce you to them so you can begin to suffer from their abuse like the rest of us that are actively resisting and opposing their unbiblical rationalism :-)

Tim Rogers

Brother Jared,

I studied under Dr. Patterson and I can assure you that Calvinist would learn much from him concerning Calvinism. As for your "feeling uncomfortable" in a seminary that he was President, you need to ask Dr. Akin how uncomfortable he felt. Or, you could ask Greg Welty, or David Puckett, or you may ask any number of Calvinist Profs he hired while he was at SEBTS. Dr. Patterson never squashed the teaching of Calvinism he only killed the teaching of it as the "truth" of all theological systems.

From what I am reading and your description of SBTS, therein is the difference. If SBTS is teaching Calvinism as the only "truth" of all theological systems then we have a serious problem again within our seminaries. Why? We are back to our pre-CR days where at least one seminary is teaching doctrines that Billy Baptist does not believe. You even give testimony of how attending SBTS changed you to be more vigilant for Calvinist doctrine.

Blessings,
Tim

William Thornton

I recall Reisenger coming to chapel back in 1979 or so to give all the students a copy of Boyce's theology. I still have the book.

I question that calvinists will dominate the SBC. It is one thing to express calivinism from the institutions but another to do so from the pulpit. Most of us have seen what is likely to happen when a rabid calivinist pastors a church.

Self-destructive tendencies seem to be a part of SBC calvinists.

Just my observations.

Jared Moore

Tony,

Brister refers to 5-point Calvinists as Calvinists. I'm not even that :). Neither is Russell Moore, Bruce Ware, or Danny Akin.

Peter,
There was a comment I posted that hasn't made it to the board yet. Do you have it; or did my Internet mess up? I'll post to your argument above later on today; but, at the latest tomorrow. I hope you have a great Lord's Day.

peter lumpkins

Jared,

Yes, in fact you had two not posted. My overlook.

With that, I am...
Peter

peter lumpkins

Tony,

Thanks.  I can clarify. I meant closer to your #2 when I wrote the statement—i.e., for Reisinger, the absence of Calvinism (Calvinism equals nothing less than 5p Calvinism Reisinger's view) is the absence of the biblical gospel. That’s the way I read Reisinger. For example, elsewhere in ‘Quiet Revolution’, Reisinger also claims:

"These doctrines [the "doctrines of grace" or the five points of Calvinism] are foundational to a God-centered theology. They are the heart of historical, orthodox Christianity"

"We rejoice that the Southern Baptist Convention began its existence as a Calvinistic, reformed denomination. Even more so, we yearn to see the day when our vision for reformation is shared by our contemporaries and the generations to follow"

"...evangelical Calvinism is biblical Christianity"

"Liberalism runs by nature to an intellectual abandonment of the doctrinal content of the faith. A conservative, non-Calvinistic system runs by nature to a practical ignoring of the doctrinal content of the faith. In the end, there is no difference. Perhaps we will see that, another generation or two down the line, conservative, non-Calvinistic Baptist theology will end up being virtually indistinguishable from liberal theology" (all emphasis mine)


You may be correct, Tony:  just the two quotes alone I offered may stand insufficient to sustain my rather strong claim.  On the other hand, if I understand Reisinger correctly--and the added quotes lend assistance to my claim—that for Reisinger--and, by deduction concerning Founders itself—the loss of five point Calvinism is the loss of the biblical gospel.

Thanks. And know you could never be mistaken as one of you know who ;^)

With that, I am…

Peter

peter lumpkins

Jared,

I missed some of your comments for some reason.  Hence, allow me:

First, you suggest I’m twisting your words because my “presuppositions” are apparently defining your words differently from your intention. You cite as an example, my supposed “twisting” or redefining your use of “out of touch” by suggesting you meant “unwelcome.”  Here are the exact words I used, Jared:

“As only one example, you cite, pertaining to SBTS, that “all faculty” are Calvinists and are “so vocal” that a “non-Calvinist” would feel unwelcome—“out of place” is your term….supposing 9 of 10 Southern Baptists… stepped on SBTS…and felt “out of place,” how does that comfort all SBs that Calvinism poses no threat to SBC life?”

While it’s true I mentioned “unwelcome,” that’s certainly far from all I said, Jared. I acknowledged your own term, and even asked the question based on the use of your term. Indeed my point was, as I stated later, quibbling over a nuance you may have not intended does absolutely nothing to the pointed question I asked, a question I don’t think you bothered to answer. Instead, you curiously insist I’m “twisting” your words, reading my own definitions into them. If that’s what you mean by “twisting your words” and “reading” into them, Jared, I give now. There’s no point in wasting time on a conversation like this; it will go nowhere.

As for SBTS, perhaps you didn’t read my statement. SBTS’s grounds of justification for changing a seminary into an institution unlike not only the SBC at large, but also unlike any other SBC institution, is not the issue here. Neither I nor you made this a point, and focusing on it now is simply smoke and mirrors.

Next you assert, “About your 95% reference: First, you cannot prove this statement. Most Southern Baptists don't have a clue what Calvinism is. What many of them have heard are caricatures.” A) You’re correct. But it is a reasonable deduction from what Stetzer found as well as consistent with a mountain of anecdotal testimony.  On the other hand, neither can you nor even Stetzer prove the stats you cited either. I’ve found stats to be greasy little critters and about the best we can do is attempt to handle them with a reasonable amount of care and responsibility.

That said, focusing on just the stats I cited, Jared, and not both the reality and question itself misses the entire point.  You seem to be assuming that the point I’ve made rests on incorrect data. It does not unless you want to argue that there exists substantially more Calvinists in the SBC than can be reasonably estimated. My simple point is this: even if we allow a generous 20-25% of SBC churches to be Calvinistic, or let’s do better; let’s allow a full third of SBC churches as definitively and unapologetically Calvinistic.  What follows against my contention about the unhealthiness of such a situation?  Is it  a viable notion that a Calvinist minority direct a convention of churches where 2/3 of the churches are definitively non-Calvinist? Not in my view. Hence, your point about percentages is completely moot it seems to me.

B) Similar to your objection to me above, your assertion that most SBs “don't have a clue what Calvinism is” remains unproven, Jared.  You don’t know that. And, so far as “caricatures” are concerned, I’ve heard and read these bleeding heart, vague assertion since 2006.  What’s telling is, it makes little difference whether a bone-headed boy from West Georgia like me critiques Calvinism or genuine scholar like David Allen, for example, offers scholarly assessment, the same whiny rejoinder comes—“stop misrepresenting Calvinism.” Go figure…

Finally, you ask, "Do you believe that there is room for Calvinists in the SBC or not? Should we just be seen, and not heard? Or, can we lead as well?”

Have you not read my responses to you, Jared? I have insisted not once that Calvinism was a deal-breaker per se.  What I have and continue to bemoan is the saturation of Calvinism in every sphere and as leaders of every entity in SBC life.  I will continue to do so. Now if you want to “twist” my meaning as you have charged me now several times, continue to assume I’m saying there’s neither no room in SBC life for Calvinism nor may Calvinists serve in leadership positions in SBC life. I have not suggested such nor implied such in this thread or on this or any post—so far as I can recall—I have ever published.. And, unless you can demonstrate where I have, I suggest you drop the point. There is a grand difference in suggesting no Calvinist should lead and no more Calvinists should lead because our entities are stacked with them.

With that, I am…

Peter

Michelle

Wow...reading this, I feel threatened. Sounds like the Calvinists next step may be to systematically start excommunicating all the people who keep holding their non-biblical untruths. And why wouldn't they? If they believe what they teach is "truth" why would they tolerate any other view? Yep, I feel threatened.

I wish someone would organize a conference for non-Calvinists where this topic could be discussed and training for church leaders could take place.

Jared Moore

Peter,

1) What about my reference to non-Calvinism NOT being included in the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. Because it is not included, does this mean that our churches view it as an non-essential? If they do, then you have no argument by pointing to 95% of our churches being non-Calvinists, for they don't care if Calvinists are leading them. You have to prove that they care for your argument to carry any weight.

2) Also, why single out Calvinism? Why not single out other non-essentials to Southern Baptists? I think you have a personal issue with Calvinism; and you want others to agree with YOUR personal issue.

3) Are you suggesting some sort of weird form of affirmative action? Only N% of SBC leadership can be Calvinists? If so, then what if hypothetically, the entire convention was lead by Calvinists, would you vote "no" to William Carey being the President of the International Mission Board simply because he is a Calvinist?

4) Finally, by you suggesting that you would vote for a Calvinist to be the President of the IMB, you nullify yet again your reference to the 95% of non-Calvinist Southern Baptists. The biggest issue, and the biggest difference (supposedly) between Calvinists and non-Calvinists is evangelism. If you would put a Calvinist in a major position where his Calvinism would influence him contrary to the other 95% of the convention (supposedly), then you destroy your own argument. You either 1) Think Calvinism is not a threat to evangelism, and/or 2) Think that a Calvinist in the likeness of William Carey would represent the convention well. If he would represent our churches well, then why does it matter whether or not every leadership position in the SBC is lead by a Calvinist? You say, "They don't represent the majority," but, if the majority believes the Baptist Faith & Message are the essentials, then YES, CALVINISTS DO represent the majority, for they affirm the Baptist Faith & Message 2000.

5) If you are this concerned, then why don't you bring it up to the SBC. If you are worried about the other 95%, propose some sort of ammendment. It should pass overwhelmingly.

peter lumpkins

Jared,

1) I haven’t the first clue the point you’re attempting to make by suggesting “non-Calvinism NOT” being in the BF&M and anything it’s supposed to mean really

2) I gave you an analogous situation pertaining to Premilleniamism which serves well to answer the question here. Please refer to it…

3) Look, Jared. It’s really very simple: you obviously see no problem whatsoever in Calvinists exclusively directing the leadership of the SBC. As for me, I have profound difficulties in the leadership of the SBC being exclusively Calvinistic. Common sense really…Now if you want to pursue absurd notions about my allegedly holding some type of “weird” AA, you have my express permission to believe as you wish…

4) Your assumption that the biggest issue between Calvinists and non-Calvinists is “evangelism” is just that, Jared, an unproven assumption. I have a simple question: have I implied your assumption on this thread? Did I imply “evangelism” to be the “biggest issue” in the original post?  If not, then please do not assume what you have no clue concerning.  Indeed to my recall, I have never—not once—ever suggested, as a critique toward Calvinistic theology, the point often referenced as “non-evangelistic.”  If you think you can find a quote from me on that, be my guest. Until then, since a) your assumption is incorrect, then b) so is your conclusion, Jared.

5) Why I personally have not brought up anything on the convention floor has absolutely jack squat to do with anything on this thread, nor reflects positively or negatively on any thing we’ve addressed thus far so far as I know.  Know this:  when and if it gets to the point where I think it needs to be brought up at the annual convention meeting, I will not hesitate…I will not blink…and success or no success I will do as my conscience and as I believe my Lord requires…as I believe being Baptist requires…

Now, Jared, I think I’ve pretty much answered your questions though there are several you failed to answer in the exchange, not to mention Ron’s questions.  Even so, my guess is, this exchange is fairly well exhausted itself.

Wishing you the best.

With that, I am…

Peter

Ron Hale

Jared,
Thank you for dealing with one of my questions [above].

Of course, one of your sentences stands out to me like a fashing neon sign, as you state, "If the church however affirms Calvinism, why would they hire a guy they disagree with from the get go?"

In other words, why would a truly reformed SBC congregation think about calling a SBC non-Calvinist pastor?

Immediately, Amos 3:3 came to my mind as it says, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" Now, I know that this verse is talking about the agreement between God and man, the question is pertinent to the SBC as two theological systems march forward in time and within one Convention.

Your response affirms that Reformed SBC congregations may not see non-Calvinists as potential servants of God; that men like me will be shunned and excluded from even prayerful consideration. Why; because you see a separating difference.

So while in the minority, you declare that Southern Baptists should have no fear of its Reformed Brothers. Jared, you have talked about feeling shunned and shut out of SBC life as a young reformed man, but could it be that your vision of the future is filled with ominous clouds for old guys like me ... that have always lifted up Jesus Christ, but hold no convictions to the teachings of John Calvin?

Blessings!

Jared Moore

Peter,

I answered Ron above; did you miss it; or, did you just not like my answer?

I have evidently misunderstood your position; and for that, I apologize. So, you're not anti-Calvinist, but you're against Calvinists leading the majority of the positions in the SBC? You're not against Calvinist leadership, just Calvinists leading a majority of the positions? I assume that you're fine with non-Calvinists leading a majority of the leadership positions in the SBC, correct?

I don't have a problem with either group leading, as long as we're faithful to the gospel. As a matter of fact, we've had the majority in leadership be non-Calvinists for a long time.

You argue that you don't have some weird version of Affirmative Action in mind, but you argue that you don't want Calvinists exclusively leading. Well, they're not exclusively leading, so I don't see what the fuss is about? If you're fine with Calvinists leading some positions, I don't understand why you're writing against a "revolution" now?

You argue that we have an entire seminary that is Calvinistic; you are correct. It's because of the original founders, like it or not. I wonder what percentage of our professors at other seminaries are Calvinists? I assume you're fine with a majority NOT being Calvinists?

Finally, concerning evangelism. I'm not pointing to you believing that evangelism is the problem, I'm pointing to the 95% you keep mentioning. You say it's unproven, but what is the #1 argument against Calvinism. Read Nathan Finn's article where he documents several Southern Baptist evangelists and seminary professors that bring up Calvinism eventually killing evangelism: http://jaredmoore.exaltchrist.com/2010/10/22/exposing-myths-about-sbc-calvinism/. The link at the bottom of the page takes you to the full article.

I mentioned the BF+M 2000 because it is essential. If Calvinists and non-Calvinists agree with it, then it's not exlusive either way. You cannot cite 95% of our churches as proof for why Calvinists should not be allowed to lead the majority, unless you can prove that they agree with you. There is no indication that the 95% agrees with you, whether they are Calvinists or not. Just like I view our eschatological views as non-essential, many of these churches may view Calvinism the same way. In other words, they may not care if Calvinists lead the majority...

I think we're winding down. You say I have not answered your questions. Tell me what specific questions you want me to answer, and I'll do my best to answer them.

I do remember 1 question. You ask if there's any such "stealth takeover" encouraged by non-Calvinists. The answer is YES. Rick Warren's purpose driven church model, or something similar by Warren, has caused many problems in our churches. I would argue that his model has left many casualties in its wake in the SBC; more so than Calvinism.

Hope all is well brother.

peter lumpkins

 

Jared,

A) I missed it. My bad.  It looks like he’d like an answer to his other question. 

B) Apparently, Jared, you do not or cannot see difficulty in leaders with one theological paradigm exclusively directing and leading the entities of a convention which overwhelmingly are of another theological paradigm. I think you have every right to hold your view. However, do not come back here attempting to make an absurd charge again about how this reduces to some “weird version of Affirmative Action,” a point I addressed in my very first rejoinder to you.  There you asserted,

“First, If you are concerned about Calvinism, then the article I wrote will concern you; however, if you are not concerned about Calvinism, and do not see it as a threat, then it will not bother you if every single leadership position in the SBC is lead by a Calvinist.”

To which my reply was, a reply I do not think you bothered to answer (it does ask a question):

Even so, Jared, how do you know it follows if A) one does not see Calvinism as a threat then, B) it will not be bothersome if every single leadership position in the SBC is lead by a Calvinist? By what logic do you deduce B from A? Suppose I do not see Premillennialism as a threat. Does it follow I would not be bothered if every single leadership position in the SBC is lead by a Premillenialist? I think your reasoning is a bit cloudy there.

You may fill in the blank at leisure and the point I make about your skewed logic remains: whether A is a threat or not does not necessarily mean one would be for B:

A) I do not see Premillennialism as a threat B) It does not follow I would not be bothered if every single leadership position in the SBC is lead by a Premillenialist. Hence,

  • I do not see Amillennialism as a threat It does not follow I would not be bothered if every single leadership position in the SBC is lead by a Amillenialist
  • I do not see Postmillennialism as a threat It does not follow I would not be bothered if every single leadership position in the SBC is lead by a Postmillenialist
  • I do not see private prayer language as a threat It does not follow I would not be bothered if every single leadership position in the SBC is lead by a Charismatic
  • I do not see Lankmarkism as a threat It does not follow I would not be bothered if every single leadership position in the SBC is lead by a Landmarkist
  • I do not see Mega-church-pastors as a threat It does not follow I would not be bothered if every single leadership position in the SBC is lead by a Mega-church-pastor

Thus, Jared, if you do not see this point I’m making, please drop it. Because until you can actually tell me why it is incorrect to hold what I believe to be a common sensical view, I’m uninterested in chattering back and forth about it. Either critique it or drop it.

to be continued…

With that, I am…

Peter

Mary

Jared, you absolutely ignore the REALITY of the last many years in the SBC. It was not a FEW bad apple militant Calvinist who have set out to reform churches creating division and discord. It has been many, many, many militant Calvinist out to reform churches creating division and discord. The whole purpose of the Founders movement is to reform the SBC. So forgive us when we're skeptical of this sudden "we just want to get along" from someone like Brister and Ascol et al when for years they have treated nonCalvinist with nothing but disdain and disrespect. The actual real life MO of Calvinist has been going into nonCalvinist churches and removing and replacing nonCalvinist from positions of authority. When we've seen this many, many, many times - not a few, not a handful, not some kind of anomaly - but many, many, many times how then are we to believe that the Calvinist who hold positions of authority in the SBC are not going to replicate at the national level what Calvinist have been doing for years now in individual churches.

Please spare me your arrogant Calvinist party line that most of us in the SBC don't know real Calvinism but only the caricutures. I know, Jared, as I have been told for years by Calvinist that if I really understood Calvinism I'd be a DOG lover too. We're really just a bunch of dumb uneducated subpar barely Christian hicks and it's for our own good that Calvinist use stealth and deception to try to reform us. This whole Calvinism fear is really just one big misunderstanding perpetuated by some eveeeel Aremeeeenians like Rick Warren. Just ignore the fact that Calvinist like Brister et al for years have ridiculed, mocked, disrespscted and caricutured nonCalvinist. I hear Timmy is really, really sorry now and any day he is going to ask Peter's forgiveness and seek some kind of reconcilliation for all the bad things he's ever said about nonCalvinst and Peter in particular - Timmy is not going to publically bash Peter in his blog anymore - no sirree, Timmy has learned his lesson and will not pretend like he knows Peter's heart and mind by publically attacking him in his comment section. No Timmy is not going to pretend like he is the most superioriest, humblest, coolest Christian ever.

peter lumpkins

Jared,

(continued from above)

For me, the worst kind of dialog is the kind when one must go line by line.  With most I do not ind this necessary. At times I do. Hence the rest of the response will take this form (help me, Lord): Jared will be bold and my response follows:

“Well, they're not exclusively leading, so I don't see what the fuss is about? If you're fine with Calvinists leading some positions, I don't understand why you're writing against a "revolution" now?” Jared you’ve more than once made the statement that you wouldn’t care if all Calvinists were in leadership, and chided my view as “weird.” Further, the entire thread has focused on Calvinists penetrating all spheres of SBC leadership. Indeed your own post rehearsed the ubiquity of Calvinism with the self-stated purpose to assure SBs all was O.K., even suggesting when Calvinists gain the majority, “I want you to know that whenever we outnumber you, which is inevitable, we will show you more kindness than you have shown us.” When you then state “Well, they're not exclusively leading, so I don't see what the fuss is about?” it’s hard to take your conversation here seriously. And, again, you have not been paying attention:  I have written on the quiet revolution since 2006; I did not began yesterday or the day before.

You argue that we have an entire seminary that is Calvinistic; you are correct. It's because of the original founders, like it or not. I wonder what percentage of our professors at other seminaries are Calvinists? I assume you're fine with a majority NOT being Calvinists?” Are you serious?  Jared I quoted your post concerning SBTS. You began the exchange on this, not I. Now, I did not argue differently. However, to imply I’ve brought up SBTS as a part of “my argument” is just absurd. Nor is SBTS exclusively Calvinistic “because of its original founders.” To the contrary, Al Mohler actively and SBC trustees passively have made SBTS into an exclusively Calvinistic seminary, like that or not. The AP cannot be appealed to as grounds of justification for SBTS being exclusively Calvinistic. If so, someone needs to alert Danny Akin to his implied hypocrisy in not making SEBTS an exclusively Calvinistic seminary. As for other seminaries, I haven’t a clue.  I do know there is not exclusivism practiced at SWBTS by non-Calvinist president Paige Patterson. SBTS *does not* look like nor embrace the beliefs of the overwhelming majority of the contributors to its finances.

Finally, concerning evangelism. I'm not pointing to you believing that evangelism is the problem, I'm pointing to the 95% you keep mentioning. Correction. You wrote in the comment stream above making application to me, “The biggest issue, and the biggest difference (supposedly) between Calvinists and non-Calvinists is evangelism.” And excuse me again, Jared. I dealt with at length the “95% I keep mentioning.” And what do you do?  Ignore it and go right on as if nothing were stated. I even conceded, for argument’s sake, it doesn’t have to be 95%! 

“You say it's unproven, but what is the #1 argument against Calvinism. Read Nathan Finn's article…” Sorry, I read Finn a good while back. Anecdotal info is good and can be used in conjunction with some more substantial evidences but cannot be cited exclusively, Jared. Nor is this a thread about the weaknesses of Calvinism. I suggest you read both Whosoever Will and Salvation and Sovereignty to explore more scholarly reservations concerning Calvinism.

“I mentioned the BF+M 2000 because it is essential. If Calvinists and non-Calvinists agree with it, then it's not exlusive [sic] either way… You cannot cite 95% of our churches as proof for why Calvinists should not be allowed to lead the majority, unless you can prove that they agree with you…”  I beg pardon, Jared, where have I stated that 95% of the SBC agrees with my assertion that Calvinists should not have the monopoly on leadership in the SBC?  Search till you drop and you won’t find it. What I have said is, 95% of SBC churches are non-Calvinistic. Hence, the tiny minority of Calvinists should not and must not lead the overwhelming majority of non-Calvinists.  For all I know, no other non-Calvinist on the planet agrees with me (of course there are some and have stated so on this thread). Hence, you’re convoluting what I’m affirming with your mistaken notion I’m saying 95% of non-Calvinists agree with me.  I think this sorta makes your point moot were I asked. A final thing here: the BF&M is not intended to be a maximal document but a minimal guide. I hope enough is said on this…

“You ask if there's any such "stealth takeover" encouraged by non-Calvinists. The answer is YES. Rick Warren's purpose driven church model…”  Oh my. I think I’m just going to let that one lie, brother. If that’s your idea of my “stealth” notion, we’ll do best to leave it alone. 

As for the other questions, I assure you they are there (one is in this post). However, don’t sweat it.  I’ve learned to take what one can get. Besides, I think we are through too.

Grace, brother.

With that, I am…

Peter

D.R. Randle

Peter,

Let me get your take on a few situations I know of personally. What do you think of lay Church leaders who read on the internet and possibly in state papers of negative images of Calvinism and Calvinist pastors and then begin to work in their Churches to rid them of their own Calvinist pastor who until that point had not mentioned Calvinism and whose heart was never set on some sort of "hostile takeover" (and yes, I know personally of 5 incidents - if you want names, I can provide them to you)?

Additionally, what do you think of the recent study of GA Baptist Churches which concluded that of the 90 or so pastors in the state that had been fired in the past year or so, in only 2 of those instances was theology the major factor for firing (overwhelmingly, the study concluded that leadership style and personal conflicts led to the vast majority of firings)?

Isn't this issue of a possible "hostile takeover" of Calvinism actually small in comparison to the larger problem of continuing worship wars or even of those pastors seeking to impliment "purpose-driven" models, which in the end comes down not to theology, but to a lack of leadership?

Finally, have you actually done the research into your the basis for your assertions (in such a way as you could provide statistics), or are you relying instead on word of mouth and ancedotal evidence? For instance, what percentage of Churches in even your own state of GA have actually experienced the "best case scenario" you present above of Calvinist being fired? How many of the worst case scenarios? And have you done research into these cases that you know of that would lead one to conclude that clearly there was intent of a "hostile takeover" or instead have you only heard one side of the story?

It seems that before you can adequately jump to the conclusions you have made above, you would need to establish that a legitimate, widespread problem exists that is worse than other theological problems facing Churches in the SBC (like say the implimentation of the purpose-driven model, Gospel-lite preaching, health, wealthy, prosperty teaching, or even ultra-political speach masquerading as Gospel-centered preaching).

Jared Moore

Peter,

1) About Affirmative Action. You have some sort of number in your head that you’re cool with, and another number you’re not cool with. I’m just saying that your number is arbitrary.

2) You said, “Even so, Jared, how do you know it follows if A) one does not see Calvinism as a threat then, B) it will not be bothersome if every single leadership position in the SBC is lead by a Calvinist?”

If Calvinism is not a threat, then why do you care? That’s my point. If I don’t care about the eschatological beliefs of those that lead me, then it won’t matter if they’re Amil, Premil, etc. I do think that Charismatics can be a threat, but if they’re biblical, this wouldn’t even bother me. I think you’re strange for not wanting a majority of Calvinists to lead, if you don’t see them as a threat.

3) You said, “Nor is SBTS exclusively Calvinistic “because of its original founders.’”
Yes, it is. The Abstract of Principles is a Calvinist document. Mohler has all the professors sign it, just as the founders did at one time. I don’t know if the other seminaries had such founding documents. If they do, then they should revert back to them or change them, IMO.

4) Finn quotes non-Calvinist SBC professors and leaders that have referenced Calvinism as being detrimental to evangelism. It proves that evangelism is the huge issue.

5) You said, “I beg pardon, Jared, where have I stated that 95% of the SBC agrees with my assertion that Calvinists should not have the monopoly on leadership in the SBC?” Well, until you can prove they agree with you, your pointing to them proves nothing. It doesn’t matter if they’re Calvinists or not; it matter if they care or not.

6) BTW: the 95% study you previously referenced is only made up of 5-point Calvinists. I’m not even included in that 5% (I’m a 4-pointer). So, if we want to get technical about it… Southern Seminary IS made up of Calvinists (5-pointers) and Non-Calvinists (4-pointers). Mohler is a 5-pointer, Moore is a 4-pointer, etc. Limited atonement is often a large problem as well. This is what the search committee was concerned with when they interviewed me.

Jared Moore

Mary,

If I thought it would be fruitful, I would reply...

peter lumpkins

D.R.

A) I think any actions by any church members of any theological persuasion outside the parameters of NT ethics is deplorable and should be judged as so

B) Haven’t read the GA study. Is it on the GBC website?

C) No. There is no more pressing issue than Calvinism in my view for the SBC to address, in part, because of the scenario rehearsed on this present post

D) If there is anything particular in a post I write which you doubt evidence, ask. A generic question concerning “research” is much too vague to address

E) No, I am not relying exclusively on anecdotal info. In fact, I offered the intellectual impetus behind the anecdotal incidences

F)D. R.  I’ve been “establishing” the Reisinger-Founders mindset and strategy since 2006.  This post was not hatched from a spontaneous hunch.

G). To even suggest the “purpose-driven model” is even in the same category as the Quiet Revolution Principle is absurd. Nor is there a network of “purpose-driven-model” people who insist this template must be imposed on churches to “reform” them into “real” churches which have “found” the “lost gospel” which is “the purpose-driven model”

There, I think I answered the ‘few situations you know of personally.

Have a great day.

With that, I am…

Peter

peter lumpkins

Jared,

I’m not sure why you’re continuing to log onto this thread. Both of us have expressed it’s time to say, adios.  Yet you seem unwilling to leave well enough alone.  I suggest, if you think you’ve got more to say about this, go back and write an entire blog about it at your place. Who knows, I may come over there :^). 

Now, I’m going to post this once more.  I started the conversation with my original piece. The conversation ends here.

“About Affirmative Action…” Jared, please.  Your analogy of my contention that no organization—church or otherwise—should be led by a tiny minority group representing a fraction of the thinking of the greater whole to Affirmative Action is absurd. Whether a denomination or a business, it remains ridiculous. If you had any empirical evidence to demonstrate the idea is not so ridiculous after all, you might gain some traction. As it it, all you do is keep asserting it. Well, go right ahead—on your site. But do *not* bring this point up again here, unless you’ve got empirical evidence that contradicts my contention. If you do, I will not post your comment.  I’m perfectly willing to allow others to judge whether your analogy has teeth.

You said, “Even so, Jared, how do you know it follows if A) one does not see Calvinism as a threat then, B) it will not be bothersome if every single leadership position in the SBC is lead by a Calvinist?… I think you’re strange for not wanting a majority of Calvinists to lead, if you don’t see them as a threat. ” You *did not* answer the question I asked, Jared. You only reiterated what you said. I asked you about how you got B) from A). You never even mentioned it in your response. Nor does it matter what you think about strangeness. Strange does not equate with either wrongness or skewed reasoning. Hence, again, you didn’t deal with my reasoning; you only pronounced me as “strange” without showing why…

“You said, “Nor is SBTS exclusively Calvinistic “because of its original founders.’”
Yes, it is. The Abstract of Principles is a Calvinist document. Mohler has all the professors sign it,…”
(underlining mine). Listen, please: the AP *is not* the reason SBTS has thoroughly shifted to exclusively Calvinism. The AP has *no* authority over us nor do the “founders.”  We can look to them and learn from them, but as Baptists we don’t appeal to them—either AP or ‘founders--in the same way, for example, Presbyterians appeal to WCF.  Rather as I said, SBTS shifted because of a proactive president and passive trustees (along with a passive convention).  You even admit such in your response to me, Jared, when you write, “Mohler has them sign…”

And, if you are ignorant of other seminaries, perhaps you need to consider:  SEBTS also has the very same AP as SBTS. Nevertheless, there definitively are non-Calvinists at Southeastern; Southeastern *is not* exclusively Calvinistic because of the Abstract of Principles. Rather it is inclusive because of a president who believes as do you (and me for that matter)—there is room in the SBC for both Calvinist and non-Calvinist; hence, he does not allow the AP to slice out one particular perspective nor, as Mohler, to make the seminary in his own theological image. Unlike Patterson who hires on a principle beyond Calvinism/non-Calvinism, Mohler makes Calvinism a deal-breaker.There's room for Calvinism/non-Calvinism at other seminaries. But for SBTS, it is exclusively Calvinistic. Interestingly, other presidents allow the seminary to reflect some kind of diversity among its faculty. Only SBTS, so far as I am aware is thoroughly Calvinistic, exactly backwards from the SBC at large.

Now, if you do not agree with this fine, Jared. Believe as you want. But no use coming back here saying, “SBTS is exclusively Calvinist because of AP” when AP has not a single thin line of authority over us as Baptists

Finn quotes non-Calvinist SBC professors and leaders…[and] proves that evangelism is the huge issue” If we are referencing the same paper, Finn quotes a lot of people, but proves nothing. And, no, while being or leading to non-evangelism has been a problem for strong Calvinism, one needs to look beyond this to more serious obstacles Calvinism faces. I gave you two book titles to consider.  Have you considered them?

You said, “I beg pardon, Jared, where have I stated that 95% of the SBC agrees with my assertion that Calvinists should not have the monopoly on leadership in the SBC?” Well, until you can prove they agree with you, your pointing to them proves nothing. It doesn’t matter if they’re Calvinists or not; it matter if they care or not.”  Jared, this really is getting old and quite frustrating. If you do not, cannot or will not understand that --a) the SBC really is overwhelmingly non-Calvinistic (95%, 90%, 85%, 80%, 75%, take your pick) b) I speak as a non-Calvinist but not for all non-Calvinists and didn’t claim otherwise c) your confusion I suggested 95% of the SBC (all the non-Calvinists) agreed with me when all I actually stated was my personal contention not the contention of all non-Calvinist Southern Baptists—if you cannot, do not, or will not see this clear distinction, I have nothing else (and I mean nothing else) to say about that.

BTW: the 95% study you previously referenced is only made up of 5-point Calvinists. I’m not even included in that 5% (I’m a 4-pointer).”So, if we want to get technical about it…Southern Seminary IS made up of Calvinists (5-pointers) and Non-Calvinists (4-pointers)...”  Well, it’s funny you’d want to get “technical about it” in the last point you’ll make on this thread, especially after you wrote just the opposite at your site—“Whenever I say “Calvinism” in this article, I mean a 4 or 5-point Calvinist; a person that affirms all 5-points of the T.U.L.I.P. or affirms all points except Limited Atonement.”. Your definition of Calvinism includes 4 & 5 points, which serves your purpose in including more in your rehearsal on the ubiquity of Calvinism in the SBC. Founders on the other hand, has little to nothing to do with those who insist on “Four” and not the full flower petal (unless of course, they’re men of influence;^).

In addition, you now curiously suggest, “Southern Seminary IS made up of Calvinists (5-pointers) and Non-Calvinists (4-pointers)…”  Jared, for heaven’s sake man, what in the world are you thinking?  You’ve been on this thread defending Calvinists’ presence…Calvinists’ influence…SBTS’s exclusively Calvinistic shift because the AP is a “Calvinistic document” etc etc etc and now you state “technically”  SBTS has Calvinists and non-Calvinists, implying you yourself are a bonafide, card-carrying member of a non-Calvinist persuasion.  

Thanks for a good old-fashioned gut-busting laugh my little brother. The joke’s on me. I’ve been duped for the first time in a long spell. I’ve been sitting here for four days exchanging with someone I thought sure was a genuine, passionate Calvinist but ended up being a simple non-Calvinist like myself (Tony! Tony Byrne!  Did you get that?  You no longer have to hide your association with me and Dr. Allen!  You’re a non-Calvinist too!! No wonder JW won't have anything to do with you! :^0

It’s been good, Jared.  Know all my frustration is now purged for sure.

Thanks and Lord bless.

With that, I am…

Peter

Mary

Of course you're not going to reply Jared - like your buddy Timmy you believe that those who disagree with you are delusional, living in some alternate reality. A cancer to the SBC. (What else did wondersful, Christlike humble repentant Timmy say in his attack on Peter and all those like him in the SBC) Oh here's the money quote from Timmy you must have taken to heart being such Biblical sorts "leave fools to their folly." People like me are simply not worthy of you and Brister. Yet another example of the arrogant, condescending Calvinist. No the backlash against Calvinism has nothing at all to do with the behavior of Calvnist whatsoever. This whole Calvinism problem is completely made up.


Peter the new "well so what if Calvnism causes problems throughout the SBC - the Purpose Driven Life is divisive too so there" seems rather desparate if not amusing since their main problem with Rick Warren is that he's not a Calvinist and he's sold a whole ton of books.

mary

One more thing buggin me and then I through. The idol worship of the abstract of principles and the founders. Jared makes the case that these Calvinist are taught this veneration of the abstract. The abstract is not God's word and the founders were not the same thing as Paul. The canon was closed. But somehow in the SBC we have Southern Seminary telling the entire SBC that if you're not a Calvinist you are qualified to teach here even though the majority of the people paying the bills keeping the doors of Southern open are not Calvinist. But very young Jared here will "well the abstract it's holy writ doesn't matter the makeup of the SBC some old dead dudes said this is the law."

so Peter going OT any predictions on which rising Calvinist star will be appointed to head IMB? After all there really isn't a power grab being played by Al Mohler et al it just simply only Calvinist are qualifed for these positions. Not one qualified nonCalvinist anywhere. Maybe they'll try the he's not really a Calvinist because he's only a 4pointer cuz they insist they love "building bridges".

Posted by: Mary | 2010.10.26 at 08:37 AM

peter lumpkins

Mary, Thanks.

For the record, Mary--your comment above was posted on wrong thread (Denny Burk post). I copied and pasted it above. Below is my comment I posted on the wrong thread as well....

===========================================

Mary,

I always appreciate and look forward to reading your contributions albeit sparks fly at times :^).

Eyes are on Johnny Hunt to be tapped for IMB but it is really, really 'tight' on any info being floated. Though Danny Akin assures many he *is not* the man, little birdies keep chirping he is still being vetted.

Of course, either of the men above is a slam-dunk for Louisville; both men are loyal to Mohler. One favorable quality for Louisville if Akin were to go, SEBTS will get a new president. Count on it being Mohler's protege, Russell Moore, if that scenario takes place.

Whatever the case, however, Russell Moore will surely be the next seminary president when the presidency comes open. Southwestern will be available in no more than 5 years. Moore would be a slam-dunk there as well, from Louisville's perspective.

These guys have a master plan analogous--at least to them--to the master plan of the CR. As for Hunt staying in Woodstock, what do you want to bet First Baptist Woodstock does not, in the near future, host one of the many young, restless, and Reformed conferences--T4G, Passion, 9Marks, Resurgence, or even C.J. MaHaney's Sovereign Grace meetings? Since his "repentance" and now purported acceptance of Akin's 4P Calvinism, the time is ripe. And what a statement it would make--HEADLINER---

Young, Restless & Reformed hold Conference where only 3 years earlier Anti-Calvinists bashed Reformed theology in the notorious John 3:16 Conference at FBC Woodstock

Oh, look for one of the next big-ticket items at the annual convention to be a revision committee for the Baptist Faith & Message 2000K. It may wait till New Orleans in 2012 though that's be risky it seems to me.

Just thinkin out loud. That's all.

Grace, Mary
With that, I am...
Peter

peter lumpkins

 

Just so ya'll know, our brother Jared logged another comment which I am not going to post.  There has to be an end somewhere. I encouraged him to post it at his site if he felt what he wrote was necessary to post.  You’ll find his blog is here if you want to check it out.

While I think I’m both fair and reasonable in the comment thread, I can only leave it with the readership to gauge their own judgments about that. Exchanges with passionate young Calvinists like Jared can become down and dirty. Kudos to Jared for only confusing points at times and not becoming so frustrated, he dips into the oil-spill and tars those who disagree with him as liars and moral thugs.

I think in the end, it was shown on this comment thread that we have a movement on our hands in SBC life indicative of a lot of influence yet lacking much factual verification and sound reasoning.

Anyways, have a great afternoon…

With that, I am…

Peter   

Mary

Peter you have the patience of Job.

For someone to do a whole blog post highlighting how Calvinist are taking over the SBC but then to innocently claim the Calvinist are not trying to take over the SBC is hysterical. And the constant whine of the poor, mistreated, innocent, misunderstood Calvinist has just gotten pathetic. Maybe in your correspondence with Akin you could point out that these young Calvinist refusing to acept that Calvinist are responsible for their poor image in the SBC is not exactly good PR for them.

But what do we know we are irrelavent and a cancer on the SBC according to Brister and his ilk. You'd think they'd have a little gratitude for the education which has been provided for them by such cancerous irrelavent nonCalvinist. Who knew that it's really the young who are in possesion of all wisdom.

D.R. Randle

Peter, in addressing your points by letter:

A) Glad you seemed to agree with me that pushing good pastors out of congregations simply because of their BF&M compatible theology is Reformed is absolutely wrong. Now, since you wrote an article which doesn't seem to distinguish good Reformed Pastors from "charlatans" who seek a "hostile takeover", wouldn't you agree that some sort of disclaimer should be in order just in case any of your readers use your words like say some did when a 2006 editorial in Tennessee’s Baptist and Reflector by Lonnie Wilkey led to the firing of at least one pastor that I know?

B) I'm not sure where the research can be found, but it was revealed to me and a group of pastors here in Athens last year by a GBC employee. I'm sure you could contact Danny Watters at the GBC for more details. Still, I would like your take on my assertion based on this evidence that it is leadership, not theology that overwhelmingly divides Churches, be it by a Reformed pastor or a purpose-driven one.

C) Speaking of the purpose driven model, you seem to suggest that Church problems arising from Calvinism are much more common than those resulting from the imposition of purpose-driven models on Churches. However, the research doesn't seem to hold up (hence my question regarding your research into the problem). You contend that Calvinism is a much greater problem, but offer no statisitical research for your assertion, only ancedotal evidence. So here is some powerful evidence from Baptist Press, The Wall Street Journal(original article not available, but the BP article speaks of it as well as this /blog post), as well as a couple of separate articles online (here and here - where you will find a testimony from an SBC Church)regarding numerous more problems with the purpose-driven model than with Calvinism. There is even a book written on the issue - see here. What all this reveals is that your perception is flawed (or perhaps biased) when it comes to the reality of problems in SBC Churches.

...to be continued

D.R. Randle

...continued from above

D) The type of research you should provide is statistical. How many churches have split in your association, your state convention, the SBC over the issue of Calvinism directly? What percentage of problems in Church arise from Calvinism? Out of all Calvinist pastors in the SBC what percentage of them have tried to impliment these "hostile take-overs"? Really any statistical evidence beyond your own opinion would be helpful, especially since you point to your scenario above as evidence that "[t]here is no more pressing issue than Calvinism in [your] view for the SBC to address."

E) Intellectual impetus does not imply statistical data.

F) Not sure how your disapproval of Reisinger's pattern for Reform translates into the type of post that suggests that there is some huge problem in the SBC that the convention needs to deal with. If this were the case, then statistical data would indeed point to such a problem. So far you have failed to show any. Can you produce such data? Or even refute any data (or ancedotal evidence) that I have presented?

G) See above for my response to this last one.

peter lumpkins

 

D.R.,

A) Care to read more closely what I actually write?  I specifically identified what Calvinist pastor I had in mind-- “the Calvinist pastor who comes in quietly under-cover…”—as the theological charlatan

B) No use commenting on a study to which you can’t even identify or locate..

C) No, D.R. what I’ve suggested is, there *is no* network of Purpose-driven pastors attempting to “reform” the SBC and certainly not under stealth. What research?  Unless you can point to something—some hint—that a network exists, I don’t see your point. Thanks for the book.  Does it reveal a network of non-Calvinists bent on “reforming” Calvinistic churches or a purpose-driven-model likewise? If not, what is your point, D.R.? What does it have to do with what I’m suggesting?

D) Well, if you think all I need is “statistics” I think you have every right. Wht’s missing is, any real attempt to overturn something I actually do say. Care to engage what I actually write? And, if you do not find my estimation that Calvinism is one of the—IF NOT THE—issue of the day, be my guest.  I will continue to inform Southern Baptists concerning the absolute saturation of Calvinists in the SBC.

E) Unless you tease out the statement, I have no comment

F) As you wish, D.R. My view is Reisinger’s “quiet revolution” of reforming the SBC is paying huge dividends in its retooling toward leaders and entites rather than one-church-at-a-time. Nor do I expect you to agree. In fact, I suspect you embrace the Founders’ vision as well as SBTS’s reformation philosophy. 

G) Whether you think my contributions fail to show the proposition I claim is up to you to decide. Know, also I will leave others to make their mind up. In the meantime, I shall continue to post as I have been posting. Somebody has to do it.

Thanks.

With that, I am…

Peter

Don

"I shall continue to post as I have been posting. Somebody has to do it."

Why Peter, why does someone have to do it?

peter lumpkins

Don,

If the present post and current post offer nothing by way of at least some explanation, Don, I have no response. None. My only hope is, others will find what you do not. Know you are not alone. Neither does D.R. On the other hand, Jared, and I agree--Calvinism is ubiquitous in the SBC. The difference is, he sees no problem (and you and he may be alike here) whatsoever in Calvinists running Nashville while I have major problems...

Thanks.
With that, I am...
Peter

D.R. Randle

Peter,

I don't have time to address everything, but on Point C, you ought to know that there has actually been such an organization that helps Churches move toward the purpose-driven model. It was called "Church Transitions" and was led by Dan Southerland, who wrote a book on the topic called “Transitioning: Leading Your Church Through Change”. Here is a website that talks about what was formerly found on the "Church Transitions" website.

As for statistics, it seems that while I have at least presented my knowledge of a study that exists (and could be accessed by you by calling Danny Watters at the GBC), you still have presented no evidence of any serious problem in the SBC (at least not nearly as serious as the infiltration of the purpose-driven model).

What I see is more of a crusade by you, using ancedotal evidence, which will ultimately hurt any pastor who happens to be a Calvinist. If you can convince readers that there is some nefarious plot taking place by Calvinists to somehow "hijack" the SBC, then you will succeed in beginning an open season on all Calvinists, which seems quite unChristlike to me.

peter lumpkins

D.R.,

Two quick things. First, equating "Church Transitions" led by Dan Southerland which has no had "reform" agenda to theologically remake a church into "Reformed" Baptist churches--or transform the church's theological heritage--and to do so "quietly" may be the type of "convincing" evidence about which you claim I lack. If so, you have my express permission to appeal to such non-sense all you wish, D.R. Put up all the posts you care to about it. Make your best case with your impressive solid evidence.

Second, I possess little concern you view me as on a "crusade" to reveal what you refer to as a "nefarious plot", D.R. Indeed I expect such from Calvinists such as yourself. But I remain resolved.

Now, unless you have something particular to address rather than just post your personal feelings about me or my writings, I really need to get back to my "nefarious plot" manufacturing...if you don't mind ;^)

With that, I am...
Peter

Mary

There is an organization which helps reform churches. It's called the Founders. If one were to go back to the years before the lighnening strike you all kinds of evidence of hints and tips being given to the YRR crowd on how to infiltrate churches and mislead the congregation all for their own good. They even have a book "the Quiet Revolution". It's incredible the stuff you read over on thar blog. In fact you can actual find a statement in which the Founders actual admit that their while purpose is to reform the SBC.

One cannot dismiss ancedotal evidence and then think ancedotal evidence is going to prove anything. Should we place a bet on how many articles in State and Local papers can be found detailing the problems churches are having with Calvinism vs PDL? This is a red herring and an example of the political games and tactics being encouraged now in the SBC. Why are some nonCalvinist leaders embracing the YRR? Politics and power. Could it be all genuine and everyone just wants to get along? Sure. But when the Calvinist in power are outnumbering the nonCalvinist in a convention of majority nonCalvinist churches it just doesn't pass the smell test.

It's politics babies and Al Mohler is the kingmaker.

Mary

Peter, I want to encourage everyone to click on DR's links of which he claims provide solid evidence. BP had four churches and how many of the four were SBC and what the article say about how serious the problems are? Two of his other links are purely ancedotal which he dismisses and the one women with the funny name has all sorts of interesting ideas and theories that some may refer to as "tinfoil"

what is absolutely unChristlike is this absolute refusal of Calvinist to admit the bad behavior of these last many years and now this trying to excuse it away with this "well yeah we're not the bad ones it's Rick Warren so there!". Rather pitiful and sounding desparate.

peter lumpkins

Mary,

Thanks. And I hope D.R. sees that just putting links up does not necessarily constitute compelling evidence, especially to those like yourself who will actually follow them up. Interestingly, I'm lectured about the lack of compelling evidence while examples are offered from critics which do not even "fit" their main complaint.

All,

I too encourage you to follow D.R.'s links and judge for yourself.

With that, I am...
Peter

Juscot

Peter, I'm not a Baptist, I'm Catholic. But I'm hoping you and your friends win the war against Calvinism in the SBC. Why, since I don't have a dog in this fight? Well, this is my take on it. One, The Founders/Calvinists are using deceitfull methods to achieve their goals. Two, they're promoting an elitist attitude that says 'I'm number one and you're not'. Three, Calvinism, as a system of religion, is based on seeing God in his power, not in his mercy and forgiveness. Four, Calvinism, when it is in full flower, always becomes a dictatorship. Look at Geneva. And this brings vme to my main point. These Calvinist won't keep their ideas and methods behind church doors. They, like every other religion, will carry their ideas and methods into the world, and try to shape it into one that suits them. My question for you and yor fellow Baptists is this: If you think the Founders/Calvinists have caused trouble in the SBC, what sort of trouble do you think the rest of us are going to have when these fanatics go at it outside the church walls? Please Peter, get these people out of positions of authority and power before they can get this far!

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