« Evangelism or Discipleship: a false dichotomy? by Peter Lumpkins | Main | Saturday Sunrise at Destin, Florida November 26, 2011 »

Nov 21, 2011

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Job

Or Al Mohler MIGHT have been talking about reversing the slide into liberalism at Southern Seminary. Consider this quote: "After nearly 20 years at the helm of Southern Seminary, Mohler has put the finishing touches on what supporters call the "conservative resurgence" and critics bemoan as the "fundamentalist takeover": the radical shift of SBC leadership from the moderate, even mainline-inclined theology of the 1970s to today's firm grounding in biblical inerrancy, a complementarian view of gender roles ... Before Mohler's appointment, Southern faculty celebrated higher biblical criticism and embraced evolutionary theory. Now the school is a bulwark of conservative ... theology and creationism."

Found that quote in a Christianity Today article that I first read after you linked to it here: http://peterlumpkins.typepad.com/peter_lumpkins/2010/10/justin-taylor-on-the-christianity-today-cover-story-on-al-mohler-by-peter-lumpkins.html
'Tis useful in providing a different perspective I would say.

Mary

Of course if we are to believe Al and Co "reversing the slide into liberalism" includes hiring only Calvinist at Southern Seminary. Are SBC nonCalvinist guilty of liberalism and thus not qualified to teach at Southern?

Max

Exactly Mary. It's increasingly clear that "Conservative Resurgence" = "Calvinism Resurgence" to Al Mohler. Conservative Resurgence was a noble idea to root out liberalism, but the pendulum swung too far in the wrong direction at Southern (and beyond).

Job

Mary:

Mohler requires faculty at SBTS to affirm BFM2000 and the seminary's Abtract of Principles. Before, SBTS had no such requirement, which allowed non-evangelicals to take over the institution. After Mohler began endorsing a formal doctrinal litmus test, it became much more difficult for theological liberals to either remain at SBTS or be hired there.

The SBTS abstract of principles is below.
http://www.sbts.edu/about/truth/abstract/
Some non-Calvinists in the SBC have no problem with it. While it is true that some non-Calvinists in the SBC do object to SBTS's abstract of principles, many do not, and SBC General Baptists who do not object to it are among those who have been hired by Mohler at SBTS. As such, your charge against Mohler is false.

Whether the Abtract of Principles needs to be changed is another matter. But since it was adopted in 1858, that is not something that should be held against Mohler.

Mary

Job, I didn't just fall off the turnip truck. The Abstract is being used to practice theological discimination at Southern Seminary. The proof is in the pudding. The so called "general baptists" who are hired at Southern Seminary are four point Calvinists like Russell Moore. NonCalvinists such Ardrian Rogers or Jerry Vines are the types of nonCalvinist not welcomed by Al Mohler. It's the U not the L that's the problem. We know that Al Mohler thinks the Abstract is to be used to promote DOG because his words are recorded very nicely over at Founders on the matter.

Since Calvinist are the ones who frequently go around the internet screaming about using anything beyond the BFM2000 I find it curious that Calvinist have no problem admitting that Al Mohler has decided to use the Abstract as a litmus test. Perhaps we should present the Abstract at the next SBC as the test for fellowship with the SBC. If we couldn't do that then it has no place being used at one of our SBC supported seminaries. Al Mohler is supposed to be a servent for the entire SBC not just the 4 and 5 point Calvinists.

Mary

From Al Mohler's first convocation at Southern:

http://www.founders.org/stand.html

Writing in 1874, Boyce detailed the principles which guided the drafting committee: The abstract of principles must be: 1. A complete exhibition of the fundamental doctrines of grace, so that in no essential particular should they speak dubiously; 2. They should speak out clearly and distinctly as to the practices universally prevalent among us; 3. Upon no point, upon which the denomination is divided, should the Convention, and through it, the Seminary, take any position. [3]

This explanation clarifies the Abstract's originating process and underlines the incredible theological unity of Southern Baptists at the middle of the nineteenth century. The members of the drafting committee were certain that Southern Baptists were undivided on "the fundamental doctrines of grace" and that the matters which threatened denominational unity--and were thus avoided by the confession......""

Al Mohler has been very clear in his words and his actions that he believes his mission is to take the SBC back to Calvinism.

Mary

Another quote from Al at his first convocation:

"...Teachers here should expose students to the full array of modern variants of thought related to their course of study. But these options are not value-neutral. The standard of judgment is found within the parameters of the Abstract. In this charter is found the platform for true academic excellence, where all fields of study are submitted to the most rigorous and analytical study; but also found here is the standard for confessional fidelity to the churches and the denomination, for these fields of study and research are conducted by those who have established their own confessional commitments and who make these plain and evident to those who come here to study and to learn..."

Sooo if the Abstracts is "A complete exhibition of the fundamental doctrines of grace, so that in no essential particular should they speak dubiously" and according to Mohler "other options are not value neutral" than that would mean that according to Al Mohler's words and his quotes from the dead dude who's name escapes me the Abstract is undubiously about DOG and DOG will be taught as the only truth???

Peter, if you want to help me out here with block quotes and italics for clarity I'd sure appreciate it. I always leave my macros open so that everything from here on out would get messed up.

Job

Mary:

So, your position is that SBTS should not have any doctrinal litmus test beyond BFM2000? If that is the case, then
1. it means that your position is that SBTS should discontinue their Abstract of Principles, otherwise it would not be worth the paper that it is printed on and
2. the other SBTS seminaries should discontinue their own policies and also rely solely on BFM2000.

Do you disagree? If so, please state your disagreement. Thank you.

Mary

Job, my position is that the seminaries should support all of the SBC not just a minority.

My position is that Al Mohler needs to come clean with the fact that he is using the Abstract to discriminate against the majority view of the SBC.

My position is that Calvinist who post volumnes against autonomous associations who refuse association with an Acts 29 church should be outraged and posting just as many words against Al Mohler for his use of the full resources of the SBC to discriminate against the majority position of the SBC.

My position is that it's time for Calvinist to come clean with the fact that there is a very real agenda to Calvinize the SBC by Al Mohler, Founders and others. Now some Calvinist are honest and say that's great. But there are many Calvinist who deny the very real evidence and want to claim that "antiCalvinist" are making up stories. We can't claim to want unity in the SBC when someone like Al Mohler is deliberately and consciously seeking to push his Calvinist agenda.

The seminaries should have very clear theologically guidelines that support all of the SBC not just the 4 & 5 pointers. The abstract needs to be gone along with Al Mohler. No one ever gave Al Mohler the authority to Calvinize an SBC seminary. And any trustees that are in agreement with Al Mohler and this Calvinization need to be gone as well.

All the Calvinist who claim to not want to kick out the nonCalvinist in the SBC and claim to want unity can't have it both ways. There is an agenda and it's time to admit it and put a stop to it or the SBC will continue to split because nonCalvinist churches are not going to support those who wish to see them gone.

Mary

And Job, if the Abstract is so great than bring it to the floor of the convention and shine the light of day on it. Let's see what the messengers say about Al using the abstract to discriminate at Southern.

Colvin

SBTS did require its professors to sign the
Abstract before Mohler took over as president. The Abstract is the confessional document put in place by the founders of Southern Seminary. What Mohler did was make sure that those who signed the document actually believed what they were signing. If the seminary did not have a confessional document in place when he started, he would not have had the leverage to clean house as quickly as he did. On another note, I am thrilled to see that there is a book out in honor of Dr. Nettles. I knew he was a great teacher before I had the privilege of spending time around him as a PhD student at Southern. Having spent time around him, I now know that he is not only a great professor, but also a very godly, passionate, and pastoral man, husband, father, and pastor.

Mary

The Founders of the Southern Baptist Convention decided that the name of the Convention is the Southern Baptist Convention. Since we are to be bound forever and a day by the Founders the "task force" to examine the idea of a new name is not necessary. Some old dead guys tell us what to do today. It's in the original charter.

Are we trying to claim "poor ol' Al Mohler would like to be a servant to the entire SBC but his hands are tied because of the Founders of Southern, there's nothing else he could have done, but to "clean house" of all the nonCalvinist while taking all that lovely nonCalvinist money."

Has Al Mohler ever publicaly stated that the Abstract of Prinicples does not represent the entire SBC today so it should be changed? Of course he didn't because it fits his agenda that Calvinists have denied for years now.

Al Mohler and Founders Ministries has caused untold division and discord within the SBC. Why are they not to be held accountable?

Paul

Hi Peter, I have some important information that I think you'd be interested in, but I want to pass it on to you privately. Last Saturday I emailed it to:
from my email address.
Did you receive it?

PH Mell

Mary,

It seems that you are a very angry and bitter woman. At times you don't come across very " lady like " . Remember that Mohler is not Satan so when you want to disagree publicly with his writings or things he has said please don't communicate with sarcasm. I write this so we all remember that Mohler is a brother in Christ and you are a sister in Christ so lets treat each other with kind words even when we disagree.

Steve Evans

Al mohler is a brilliant man,no doubt. But he IS an employee of the entire SBC and should act accordingly - not divisively!

Mary

PH Mell, you know nothing about me so attacking me personally doesn't speak well of you.

Now can you deal with the facts or do you just want to attack. Al Mohler is an employee of the SBC. The facts clearly show us that Al Mohler has used his position to cause division and discord. Can you dispute anything that's been written here or are you here only to try to distract with personal attacks?

Joshua

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) also requires the affirmation of the Abstract of Principles for all faculty.

If you view Mohler as being "discriminatory" because of the Abstract of Principles, then be sure to include Danny Aiken in your protestations.

I, however, see no discrimination taking place at either SBTS or SEBTS by the use of the document.

peter

Joshua, et al

I have no reservations in criticizing SEBTS if it employs the AP in precisely the same manner as SBTS. Nor am I reluctant to assert it may be high time to consider the question whether all seminaries should dismiss every confession and abstract except the BF&M2K. The simple fact is, none of the confessions is actually needed other than the BF&M2K. This includes the extra-baptistic confessions like the statement of gender, the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, and etc. The time may have come to consider this.

Now as for actually using the AP, it seems to me that it may be that only some of the tenets of the Abstracts are employed. For example, Article XV speaks of baptism being a "prerequisite" to "participation in the Lord's Supper." While I do not know if this is enforced among faculty, it may very well be an article that's sorta slipped by the wayside. Perhaps we can check into this and see.

More confidently, I am willing to assert that Article XVII is definitively not enforced upon the faculty:

"The Lord's Day is a Christian institution for regular observance, and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private, resting from worldly employments and amusements, works of necessity and mercy only excepted

If I am correct on not enforcing this Article on the Christian Sabbath, the natural question is, why are the other articles sacrosanct?

With that, I am...
Peter

peter

All,

Unless I've missed a comment (I could have for I only scanned them) notice not a single element of the OP is challenged. Nothing. Yet dissenters show up changing the subject of the OP and logging complaints about other issues.

Interesting. Very interesting.

With that, I am...
Peter

mary

Joshua, I've asserted here many times that Akin is going along with Mohler in this Calvinization of the Seminaries. Of coures Calvinists see nothing wrong with hiring only Calvinists to work at the seminaries.

A couple years ago now Wade Burleson had a conniption when he alledged, wrongfully it turned out, that Paige Patterson had decided to get rid of all the Calvinists at Southwestern. Calvinists went into hysterics of course. Certain discrimination within the SBC is acceptable.

Peter, it's not just that we need to get rid of the abstract. We need to get rid of those men who thought they should be allowed to practice theological discrimination and hide behind the abstract to do it. Even without the abstract how could we ever trust these men to not continue their practice of discrimination.

I think it's also time that we dealt with the very real sin of division and discord that this Calvinization agenda has caused. Of course Calvinists don't believe sin has occurred because it's perfectly acceptable to them to stir up division and discord when they believe only they have the "true gospel" Al Mohler and Co believe they have been fighting for the Gospel against those of us who don't have the true gospel. That's the heart of it.

PH Mell

Mary,

FYI, I was not attacking you at all(Far from it ). I have been zooming in on your writings and notice how sarcastic you come across. I have no issue at all when you challenge things but just " Relax your tone" and people will want to communicate with you more. Just how you responded to my very gentle word to you earlier proves my point. To quote Dana R from a previous statement to you on another article: Mary, put some heels on girl".

Colvin

Mary,

I do not attempt to hide any sort of claim inside my statements. I was simply stating a fact about the Abstract, Southern, and Mohler, because someone earlier had stated that Mohler adopted the Abstract as Southern's confessional document. Feel free to use that fact however you wish.

lmalone

"It seems that you are a very angry and bitter woman. At times you don't come across very " lady like " . Remember that Mohler is not Satan so when you want to disagree publicly with his writings or things he has said please don't communicate with sarcasm. I write this so we all remember that Mohler is a brother in Christ and you are a sister in Christ so lets treat each other with kind words even when we disagree. "

Mary, Let us call this Exhibit one in the Calvinist arsenal. "Bitter", "Angry" woman. Oh, and the worst bomb in the arsenal: Not ladylike!

In their world, these rebukes work like a charm. Remember the monstrous regiment. Women cower when called these things and notice, Pell Mell claims he was not attacking YOU. Now, in his/her mind it was simply descriptive because, as a superior Christian, who is "theologically minded" (s)he has a corner on truth.

So pomposity and condescention is perfectly ok and not sin when they do it. But to tell it like it is from a woman is the absolute worst sin than can be committed. It is worse than pedophilia to these guys.

Mary, know your place:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ou0X5D8KKB0

lmalone

Mary, Pell is the arbitur of "tone". S/he will tell you when your tone is correct or not.

But Mohler cannot be my brother in Christ. For one reason, he said publicly that I am not theologically minded and do not want to see the nations rejoice for Christ.

So, I am not sure what Pell was referring to...Mohler is the one who is seperating and deciding who is the real thing or not.

Rick Patrick

Peter,

I love reading your blog. This information is simply not available anywhere else. I would like to know more about the AP at Southern. Do the other five seminaries possess their own confessional statements or do they all use BFM2000? It would seem to me that since Southern Baptists are footing the bill for all six seminaries, the confessional requirements should be consistent across the board.

I keep hearing that we do not need to amend BFM2000 to clarify soteriology and ecclesiology since it was intentionally written broadly enough to include all perspectives. If that's the case, then ALL of our seminaries should set the example by not going beyond it in their own confessional statements.

Does the convention not have the authority to ask Southern to use BFM2000 and only BFM2000 as their confessional statement?

peter

Mary,

The quote you logged from Mohler above defies reasonable boundaries as to why Southern Baptists have not demanded accountability. I quote it once again:

Teachers here should expose students to the full array of modern variants of thought related to their course of study. But these options are not value-neutral. The standard of judgment is found within the parameters of the Abstract. In this charter is found the platform for true academic excellence, where all fields of study are submitted to the most rigorous and analytical study; but also found here is the standard for confessional fidelity to the churches and the denomination, for these fields of study and research are conducted by those who have established their own confessional commitments and who make these plain and evident to those who come here to study and to learn..."(embolden added)

For Dr. Mohler, it appears the standard of faithfulness to which we must adhere is a confession, words written by uninspired men. Would someone please point out how Dr. Mohler's unflinching loyality to the Abstract of Principles is substantially different from Creedal Presbyterians' holy matrimony to the Westminster Confession of Faith?

We have a serious problem on our hands here. Southern Baptists wanted a return to an Inerrant Bible, and apparently we've been sold a bowl of Presbyterian pottage.

With that, I am...
Peter

peter

Rick

Thanks for the encouraging words, brother. A forthcoming attempt seems inevitable to scrub Southern Baptists of our folly in juggling far too many "confessions" for all our agencies. We no longer need the Chicago Statement on Biblical inerrancy for the BF&M has a short but effective statement on Scripture. Nor do we need the Danvers statement on gender at SWBTS. The BF&M2K sufficiently addresses both gender issues from a decidedly complementarian perspective as well as makes a firm statement on homosexuality. Nor is there a need for the New Hampshire Confession since our own BF&M used it as a model (1925). Hence, it seems the question may need to be examined as to whether one confession of faith suffices for all our entities and agencies on the SBC level..

And, employing Dr. Mohler's response to those who raised objections to the GCRTF and more recently, the "name change" task force, "What are we afraid of? What will it hurt to ask this question?"

With that, I am...
Peter

mary

lmalone, my husband, who does know what his lil woman is up to on the internet is getting fed up with these guys trying to bully my into keeping quiet because they cannot deal with the actual words I'm posting. It's a classic case of discredit the messenger since they cannot deal with the message. As a committed complementarian it's frustrating to see those who call themselves complementarians use the doctrine to abuse women. They give complementarians a bad name. I have a mind and I have opinions. But alas I'm not girly enough and should put on some heels. I've made my case here, which I believe I've proven by using the words of Al Mohler himself. I laugh it off because I know from whence I came and I know Who holds my hand today.

Rick Patrick you'll want to go to Founders.org and type Abstract in their search to find some interesting articles. I hope someone with some computer knowledge is saving that Founder's site before they decide too many people are having their eyes opened.

Colvin, sorry if I've misinterpreted your words. I think the facts point us to believe that Mohler is using the abstract as a purity test at Southern as is Akin now at Southeastern. Only 4 & 5 Point Calvinist allowed. I will also state that I disagree with your assessment of Nettles - Godly men do not sit on Boards of Ministries whose sole purpose is to takeover churches without full upfront disclosure causing untold pain, division and discord. God doesn't need men to hide the "truth" from churches for their own good. As an employee of the SBC Nettles should not have anything to do with Founders and their pledge to reform the SBC, he should have been denouncing it. Now of course Calvinist disagree and think Nettles is a hero in the reformation movement they deny is taking place and thus the idolazation ooops I mean "honoring"

Darn it there I go being sarcastic again and I've curled my hair and put on girly clothes today.

Peter, my husband was struck by the same thing as you about that quote - "isn't the Bible supposed to be our standard" I couldn't get over the fact that he blatently states back in 1993 that he would push Calvinism as the ultimate truth to be taught above all.

mary

Rick Patrick I always love your humor:

"Does the convention not have the authority to ask Southern to use BFM2000 and only BFM2000 as their confessional statement?"


Haven't you heard we have a Pope in Louisville?

Oh man there I go again, let me see if I can find something pink and frilly maybe that will help my sarcasm.

And even if we did say BFM2000 only do you honestly think Mohler would adhere to it. How would you police the classrooms to make sure they're not teaching Calvinism as the absolute truth that us mere mortals just don't get? It's a very serious problem we have here. Al Mohler and Founder's have created the infrastructure to take over the SBC for Calvin - it would require a huge house cleaning to correct at this point. Of course just getting people to start opening their eyes and realizing that they've been deceived by these people all these years is a monumental task in itself.

Colvin

Mary,

I do not idolize Dr. Nettles. I respect and love him as a brother with a deep love for Christ. I think you would to if you got to know him.

mary

Colvin, I'm sure he's a very nice man who believes he's doing what is right.

He and others need to be held accountable for the damage they have done to the SBC and SBC churches with their agenda to reform it against the wishes of those who don't wish to be reformed.

Ron Phillips, Sr.

Peter,

Excellent points. Let me add that it seems it is the aggressive/founders type Calvinists that "muddy" the history of Baptists and Southern Baptists. Like you, all I ask is give me a name and quote of someone/anyone who denies the influence of Calvinism on Baptist and Southern Baptists. I have never seen a single citation yet.


Mary,

Well said. Let PH and others address the issues you raise, rather than attacking you because you are a woman.

(Hijack alert - sorry Peter): I just wonder why a certain few people are silent on this? If it had been Dr. Patterson PH was admonishing Mary about, they'd be here right now (or on their own blog) with tar and feathers for PH. But hmmm, nothing but crickets. Sad to see that inconsistency is still alive and well.

Blessings,

Ron P.

mary

Peter, look Nathan Akin at B21 is going to join with is in calling out Al Mohler et al for using anything beyond the BFM2000!!!!


Oh wait! Bad Mary, with the sarcasm again.

http://www.baptisttwentyone.com/?p=5893

It is the desire of B21 that the SBC will be characterized by cooperation around a theological confession (BFM2000) for the expansion of the Gospel among all nations......It is our belief that our Confession and Convention are big enough for Reformed and non-Reformed to lock arms and march to the Lost together. We are grateful for all SBC churches with robust theological convictions and a heart for the nations to bow to King Jesus. It would be our hope that more reformed and non-reformed leaders alike would stand up for this church and call out this association for the sake of gospel cooperation.


Now here's a few questions maybe some really smart man could answer.

If B21 claims to want cooperation around the BFM2000 only shouldn't they be outraged that at the institutional level Al Mohler and Danny Akin are using something beyond the BFM2000? Why all the fuss about some autonomous association when they ignore the big elephant in the room?

Or is it only the nonCalvinist who are supposed to stick with the BFM2000 and the Calvinist are allowed to use whatever means necessary to reform the SBC?

Or are the folks over at B21 dumb, ignorant or just being intentionally deceptive?

Oh wait do you think they may try to play that trick where they claim 4 Point Calvinist are not really Calvinist and men with the soteriology of Adrian Rogers and Jerry Vines are not being discriminated against?

Ron, Calvinism will be defended at all costs. It doesn't matter the rank hypocrisy involved to defend it.


pam knight

Peter, so thankful for your availability to the Lord for such a time as this. Remembering you in our prayers.
In Christ
pam knight

Jerry Corbaley

I am listening to various opinions and do not yet have a conclusion of my own. I offer the following as a kind of "point of information".

People have mentioned that Dr. Mohler is an employee of the SBC, and that perhaps the SBC should tell the SBTS what to use regarding the assessment of doctrine. This may not be true at all. I am not saying that such a desire is either good or bad; I am saying that the organization of Southern Baptists might be misunderstood.

The IMB and NAMB, and I would suspect the Seminaries, have a huge trust of autonomy. The SBC can elect the Board of Trustees and remove trustees, and they can cut funding. But that is the only power the SBC has over our entities that are governed by boards of trustees.

If I am wrong regarding the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, then I apologize and will bear my embarrassment.

If I am right, then it is only the trustees of Southern Seminary who can call their employees to account. Further, every single motion passed on the floor of any convention meeting will only be referred to the appropriate board of trustees to consider.

Perhaps this can help?

Max

The BFM2000 provides those with reformed leaning all the wiggle room they need for their platform, without having to incorporate other theological confessions. See Russel Dilday's analysis of the BFM2000 revision: http://www.baptiststandard.com/2001/5_14/pages/dilday.html

Mary - I don't view you as contentious, but contending for the faith. You have every right to do so ... there is neither male nor female, we are all one in Christ Jesus. Thank you for standing with a clear voice.

Peter - Thank you for shedding light on these matters, while other outlets of information, such as Baptist Press, remain silent on issues critical to majority Southern Baptists.

lmalone

No offense to anyone here but Peter is simply bringing up things those of us at ground zero have been concerned about for over 10 years. At ground zero it is all about confessions and ST. it is all about the Reformed brand. And that is what it is, a "brand".

And it is by design and strategy that Mohler has a large group of Reformed leaders outside the SBC that he is a part of in marketing the Reformed brand.

Yes, the trustees are responsible but we all know how that works. They are awed by Mohler. Mohler runs the show. He is simply one of the best political strategists out there. He is the Karl Rove of the SBC. And I like Karl Rove....for politics.

Jerry Corbaley

My experience with trustees is that many of them have great courage and they are awed by no man. Kind of like Mary; you know?

Blogging is great for raising awareness. But eventually awareness of a perceived problem should result in a Christian effort to effect change in a Christian way.

At some point that should include (among other things) trying to work within the system.

Frankly, I really like Al Mohler. However, I also truly respect Peter's ability to gather facts and keep them in context. Without Peter, I would tend to just 'blow this off' as one more explosion of blogging grumbling.

If someone were to find out who the trustees are, and happen to find one whom they respect and know; then one might find an advocate for their point of view on the board. This is how it is designed to work.

Mary

Lmalone, Karl Rove??? Really? You are right that Al Mohler is a master at the political. He's taken advantage of complancy within the convention.

Jerry, I agree we need to work within the system. First, I think we need to get people to recognize that there is a problem that has to be fixed. For years now we've been called liars and all manner of names for pointing out that there is a movement to take over the convention -Founder's one church at a time and Al Mohler through the seminary. I think people are starting to wake up a little bit. The question is will all those who've claimed for years that they don't want to kick out the nonCalvinist and only want unity - will those people have the integrity to stand up and say "Stop this is exactly what we've been told wasn't happening and exactly what we don't want to happen." I don't have a lot of faith in that happening at this point because it's hard for sycophants to realize they've been duped and they've played right along with deception by attacking those sounding the alarm all these years.

Now personally I don't care if Al Mohler and Tom Ascol and Tom Nettles are nice men and people think they're great - their actions have led to damage that at this point may be unfixable to the SBC. They should be held accountable.

I cannot believe we have a system where trustess and a seminary president can set themselves up to set an agenda for the entire SBC. Something needs to be done before we let them destroy the SBC completely. Too many nonCalvinist churches have awakened to the plot and are waiting for someone somewhere to start the movement to truly fix what's wrong with the SBC and bring about true unity where Calvinist and nonCalvinist are treated with the respect they deserve. That will not happen until someone cleans house at ground zero and topples the Pope of Louisville he has seized through a coup de tat.

lmalone

Mary, I do see some tiny pockets of resistance to Mohler that were not there a few years ago. When you are touted as brilliant (in secular media no less! Remember when he was one of Time mag 'up and comers' in the 90's?) and take over a seminary at 33, there is not much you can do UNLESS you go outside the SBC for support and a more national platform. And that is what he did both with his culture war and with Non SBC Reformers.

As to trustees, let's not forget how they are chosen. And how that works. As I said, I doubt if Al has too many trustees who are not in awe of him. I know a few and (and former ones) as long as the numbers stay good there is no problem. Numbers...that is the achilles heel, IMHO. And SBTS outshines the other seminaries.

Mary

lmalone, trustees are chosen? something to do with the President of the SBC? and who just annointed the next president of the SBC and who chose as the next president a man that if anyone were to raise questions the charge of "racists" would be flung. Playing the political game and what's sad is the good men and women who are used as pawns to further an agenda they themselves might denounce.

The trustees at Southern obviously haven't done a very good job at keeping track of things there - Mohler should be smacked down for his blatent support of Mahaney and Driscoll, but alas the YRR zombie monster would pitch one of their tantrums threatnening to leave if anyone came against their idols.

It is a huge mess, but God is good and if this is the end of the SBC than so be it. We all will stand before God some day and answer not just for our sarcastic words (gasp) but for our actions. I wouldn't want to be in the shoes of those who've caused all this division and discord in the greatest missionary orgazition in several life times.

Steve Lemke

Just a brief historical note. The first three SBC seminaries wrote their own doctrinal confessions because these institutions were founded before the first Baptist Faith and Message (1925). So Southern's founders wrote the Abstract of Principles (later adopted by SEBTS), Southwestern's founders adopted the New Hampshire Confession (which is foundational to the BF&M), and New Orleans Seminary's founding faculty wrote the "Articles of Religious Belief."

Let me chase a rabbit and just make a small but important point here -- those who deny that seminary faculties were required to sign or affirm confessions what they call "creeds") are simply mistaken historically. It was so from the beginning.

However, when the BF&M 1925 was written, as amended in 1963 and 2000, that became Southern Baptists' primary confession. So it would be strange for any other document particular to one SBC institution (and I am including NOBTS's Articles of Religious Belief when I say this) to take precedence over the denomination's primary confession. Hopefully, this is not the case at any of our seminaries.

Joshua

Steve,

SEBTS has used the Abstract of Principles since its founding in 1950. The BF&M was already in existence and yet SEBTS chose to include the AP.

I say this to correct any notion that the Abstract of Principles was only used because the BF&M had not been written and agreed upon. SEBTS intentionally went above and beyond the BF&M.

This is found in the SEBTS catalog:

"Since  Southeastern’s  founding  in  1950,  each  elected  member  of  the  faculty  has  publicly  signed  the  Abstract  of  Principles  at   the  beginning  of  his  or  her  teaching  career  at  the  Seminary."

Eric Opsahl

Let's say those with the power put the brakes on, with no litmus test.

Should we have 50% reformed teachers and 50% non reformed?

Steve Evans

Eric, that sounds reasonable

Scott

Mary, show me one place where Mohler has supported Driscoll.

peter

Dr. Lemke

I appreciate both your and Joshua's contributions concerning NOBTS & SEBTS. I've read closely the ARB to which NOBTS holds and find it an even more helpful document than the AP of SBTS and SEBTS so far as reflecting broadly Southern Baptists at least for the last century or more, though I cannot recall seeing precisely when the ARB was written. Was it penned when NOBTS began (even before the name changed from BBI)? Who was the primary author?

Concerning SEBTS's embracing the Abstract, one would find that as no surprise. Wasn't Southeastern's origins as a "satellite" so to speak of Southern? If so, it's obvious why it embraced the AP. Even so, I find it fascinating that the AP seems presently employed as a "Reformed" filter to sift out the "non-Reformed". By no stretch could this have said to have been happening over the last century until the Mohler years at SBTS.

Yet, contrarily, no "charge" to take the seminary back to its "confessional roots" exists, at least exists in the way our brother and fellow servant, Dr. Mohler, insists. The SBC in 1993 had no yearnings to go beack to 19th Century Calvinism. What we did want was a seminary uncompromisingly committed to the Word of God. The "Reformed" filter is the decision of one man not the SBC.

In fact, I would argue Southern Baptists are, in a real sense, in the very same predicament we were pre-1979. Then we had seminaries with faculty, the overwhelming majority of which were teaching principles incompatible with grassroots Southern Baptists. While it was neo-orthodoxy and even outright Liberalism in some respects, it nonetheless was contra the overwhelming majority of the SBC.

Presently, we have at least one seminary--and a second seminary fairly close behind--which teaches doctrines which the overwhelming majority of Southern Baptists do not embrace. Albeit High Calvinism is neither Liberalism nor neo-orthodoxy, nonetheless it still is against most Southern Baptists' belief. Nor is it relevant that the new Calvinism is conservative. While Southern Baptists are conservatives, their conservatism is not necessarily in line with new Calvinists' conservatism.

Hence, we have a situation where CP monies--monies coming from 90%+ non-Calvinists--is used to filter out non-Calvinists on the faculties of the institution for which we pay. Something is seriously wrong in a situation like that.

With that, I am...
Peter

peter

I have an audio of Mohler on Driscoll where he favors Driscoll over Osteen. And, if I recall, unlike MacAuthur who minces no words pertaining to Driscoll, Mohler simply refused to offer criticisms. I'll post that when I get an opportunity.

However, one way Dr. Mohler explicitly but indirectly supports Mark Driscoll is through his decided support of Acts 29. Driscoll is the CEO. How one fails to miss the connection remians confusing.

With that, I am...
Peter

lmalone

"Mary, show me one place where Mohler has supported Driscoll."

Peter said it but I will say again: Acts 29 has Driscoll DNA all over it. So not only is that support but the FUNDING of Acts 29 churches takes it a step further.

But let's look at reality. Mohler's real claim to fame is his culture war. He writes on all sorts of cultural topics. And one of the most popular Reformers with the young is the vulgar Driscoll who claims he is even given porn divinations in counseling sessions.

Driscoll has been very popular among the students at SBTS. Mohler is aware of this and offers no rebuttal even though he is a culture warrior. His silence on Driscoll screams support. If I can, I will find the Akin quote on Driscoll I came across a few years ago.

Personally, I think they are afraid to come out against Driscoll in any way. It is not just Driscoll. There is a Driscoll/Piper connection and we all know that Piper is considered a god in these young Reformed circles. It is a question of leadership and wanting to be relevant to your followers. The focus is on non Calvinists and ignoring the likes of Driscoll or Piper (and his cozy cozy with Rick Warren, etc).

I find Mohler's very public support of Mahaney (and rebuke of sgmsurvivors) just as perverse. And this one I think will come back to bite him. Way too many facts coming out of the spiritual abuse of sexual molestation victims at SGM which is systemic and not isolated at all. Mohler cannot claim he did not know there was an sgm wide problem because he pointedly rebuked the bloggers who have been around for 4 years.

lmalone

"Nor is it relevant that the new Calvinism is conservative. While Southern Baptists are conservatives, their conservatism is not necessarily in line with new Calvinists' conservatism."

Now here is an issue that needs to be explored has has many facets to it and could well be the catalyst that wakes more people up to the problems with NC.

lmalone

"Should we have 50% reformed teachers and 50% non reformed?
"

IMHO, this will not work for the simple reason that the NC 50% sincerely believe the other non NC 50% are not theologically minded.

mary

Steve Evans, no I don't think 50/50 nonReformed/Reformed is a good idea - if the SBC is majority nonReformed why should it be equal representatiion?

The problem isn't do you have reformed v nonreformed professors, the problem is are the seminaries allowed to take one view and teach it as THE biblical view, THE correct view over the other? Al Mohler seems to believe that he can decide to take over a seminary and that HE will decide what is the TRUTH for the seminary over what the majority of the SBC believes. It's as Peter stated so well above - we're in the same mess we were in when the liberals were in attempting to take over. A few men coming in and deciding to take the entire SBC into a direction opposing the majority view of the SBC.

There is an agenda to reform the SBC. Anybody still denying that is denying reality. The question now becomes will all those Calvinists who claim to want unity and claim that oh no we don't want to get rid of the nonCalvinist in the SBC - where are they? Are they going to start denouncing what Al Mohler and Co are doing at Southern? Are they going to stand with those of us who want to see changes with how the seminaries are being run?

Regarding Mohler, Driscoll and Mahaney. I don't want some mealy mouth statement from Mohler that Driscoll sometimes goes too far, but he's a good guy mostly. Mark Driscoll has an obsession with sex and now his obsession with sex has led him to believe that God is giving him "visions" of sexual violence. Mark Driscoll is a hero to the YRR of the SBC and Al Mohler should be leading that group which he's helped indoctrinate through the years. CP monies were used to bring Driscoll to at least Southeastern against the wishes of Southern Baptist - the man is a misogynist, nobody who speaks about their wife in public the way Driscoll has in demeaning terms can claim to have any respect for women. No one in the SBC shold have anything to do with this man - certainly not our so-called "leaders"

Now "Apostle" Mahaney has been running a cult. Evidence has been posted all over the internet about the abuses going on in SGM through the years. Mohler along with Mark Dever are now trying to censor the evidence against Mahaney by attacking people trying to bring the evidence to light. Dever is said to have told his congregation not to read anything against Mahaney.

It's astounding that when a man is accused of embellishing his resume/past and happens to be a nonCalvinist that volumes are written all over the internet and yet a man like Mahaney who now is being accused of protecting sexual predators in his cult but because he's a Calvinist he's protected by silence. If Driscoll and Mahaney were nonCalvinist Al Mohler and Mark Dever would be looking for jobs because of their protection of these men.

The SBC should have nothing to do with anything to do with either of these two men. And yes that includes Acts 29 as long as Driscoll is in charge. Driscoll should not be in charge of anything anywhere.

mary

lmalone, you get the point exactly re Driscoll. The YRR is a monster - if you come out against one of their idols you would get wailing and gnashing (sp Eileen???) Mohler being a political animal doesn't want to tick off his base of support by going against their idol.

Steve Evans

Mary, I was only saying that it would be a good start to have a 50/50 split. I agree wholeheartedly that the overwhelming majority of the SBC is non-calvinist. I desire to be considered a baptist not a calvinist of arminian. So, no disagreement with you on aforementioned opinion.

Steve Evans

BTW, at our convention in South Carolina last week while voting on the GCR an Acts 29 pastor ran from one mic to one all the way across the hall to call the question and hence limit ANY debate on the GCR. I was livid because it was clearly a set up job by the convention to railroad through the vote without allowing ANY time for debate. I know, I know it's off the subject but it shows the acts 29 crowd's desire to push an agenda.

Jerry Corbaley


There may be useful facts in this comment stream, but it is very unpleasant to search for them. It is like coming upon a brawl in full bloom; it is hard to consider the curses of the combatants as possibly being objective enough to trust.

mary

Steve, I think too, and I don't know if this was your intention but it makes me think this - I used to think, well let's let Southern be the Calvinist Seminary and hold the line with the other Seminaries - we'll divvy up the seminaries in some formal custody agreement. The problem with that is it does divide us along Calvinist/nonCalvinist lines and then the CP gets messed up with people contributing to the seminaries they affiliate with. Plus the seminaries belong to the SBC not the Calvinists or the nonCalvinists - why has it ever been ok for everyone to refer to Southern as the Calvinist Seminary? It's the SBC's Seminary and should reflect and serve the SBC. It does not serve the SBC at this time.


The whole GCR thing is more of the same agenda from the elites - it's trying to cover up the activities of the elites with the idea that there are those of us who care about the Great Commission and then some of us don't if we question the elites. It's holding a shiney new object while they can continue doing what they've been doing. If we care about the GCR won't we want to cooperate with these Cavlinist organizations? The GCR and the name change is all a ruse in my opinion to bring in Acts 29 and possibley SGM so there would be more Calvinists to complete the take over.

Jerry Corbaley, what's going on in the SBC isn't pretty and it's not for the faint of heart. Facts have been presented and people can choose to deal with them or ignore them, but I think people are getting the idea about those who would try to discredit the messenger because they can't deal with the facts.

peter

My brother Jerry,

I do appreciate both your contribution here and patience in searching for reasonable ideas and or factual data to consider from others. Sometimes, as you well know by experience, emotive language runs rather thick on blog threads. Actually I think this one has been fairly well tame compared to some I have to wade through. Also, I think those tators that may possess too much black pepper are mostly driven by passion for the convention and not necessarily personal animosity toward any one person. At least my hope is that anyway. Even so, point accepted.

I mentioned above my yearning to throw out the question as to whether it's time for Southern Baptists to consider one confession across the board. It is only an undeveloped idea. So far as I know the only entities affected would be seminaries, for those agencies are the ones which employ others confessions other than the BFM2K. I haven't a clue what would be involved in accomplishing such. You having served as trustee on the IMB may have some insight. Also, Dr. Lemke would be a great sounding board on this question. However, it could be a fairly sensitive issue.

Grace, brother. I trust your ministry in the Islands is going well.

With that, I am...
Peter

Jerry Corbaley

Aloha Peter,

My concern here is for your cause, and your name, Peter.

Assuming your cause is both factual and communicable; you will raise awareness. When you raise awareness, you will have three kinds of people read your posts and your comment streams. Some will be like-minded. Some will be looking for information. Some will be opposed to you and looking at what you say through a predetermined negative bias.

You, Peter, will most certainly be consigned to the spiritual category that your comment stream tolerates. If it is radical, then you will become radical in the eyes of others. It won't matter how many disclaimers you lay before others. The flavor of the comment stream will stick to the skin of the host.

I think you deserve better.

I agree with you that passion turns up the heat of our rhetoric. It can happen to us all. The like-minded enjoy it. But those who are seeking to learn may conclude that if they happen to disagree with those who are passionate, then all the unfortunate judgmental language will be applied to them for daring to disagree.

I think you deserve better.

When those who come with a bias happen to read rough rhetoric, they are further polarized, and real understanding becomes even more difficult.

I am no better than anyone else, and what I have said here could be said on many blogs. I hope I have not offended anyone.

To those to whom I may sound offensive, let me end with this sentence. Peter's name will be affected by your choice of words; like it or not.

Your brother in Christ; hope to meet you someday.

Barry King

Mr Corbaley speaks the truth.

peter

Jerry,

I appreciate your candid words, brother. And also our brother Barry's. I shall ponder it deeply over the next few days.

With that, I am...
Peter

The comments to this entry are closed.