« A. H. Newman on the "Radical Reformers" by Peter Lumpkins | Main | Calvinists react to Jerry Vines interview (part II) by Peter Lumpkins »

Jan 25, 2012

Comments

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

Mary

Here's the thing. Calvinists believe the "gospel = calvinism" so to them they don't have to explain Founder's belief that we've lost the gospel because they agree. It's the truth according to them and truth divides.

As seen in the last conversation, of course it's not a problem for Calvinists to write a SS curiculum and call it the Gospel Project because only Calvinists truly understand the Gosepl.

When we see Skippy up there whining and moaning about something being beyond the pale it's because someone has the audacity to disagree with Calvinists. The division is all because the nonCalvinists will not just shut up and admit that we are all biblically illiterate and don't really understand the gospel.

so on the one hand Calvinists will wail and gnash teeth over "divisive" statements all the while they will deny there own divisive statements and attacks against nonCalvinists because Calvinists statements such as "we've lost the Gospel" are divisive because they are true in their belief. And of course it's acceptable for Calvinists to take over seminaries and institutions because Calvinism is truth.

So people like Burleson, who is supposed to be a fighter for women, ignore things like Baptist seminaries going beyond the BFM and he doesn't go after guys like Driscoll and Mahaney because his Calvinist agenda is more important to him than standing up for women or making sure our instituions are actually inclusive of all in the SBC. An egalitarian Calvinist can only stand up for women if it's against the evil nonCalvinists. Driscoll may get a mention and than a rambling about Augustine, but Driscoll gets nothing close to the treatment that a Patterson or a Caner would get.

A blog like SBC Voices which is constantly declaring they want unity, again ignores big elephants of discrimination against nonCalvinists and Calvinists' behaving badly because the majority of the Calvinists who blog there are on board with the Calvinnization of the SBC and don't really want to just get along with everyone if it means speaking out against the very apparent Calvinist agenda.

Les Puryear

Good old Jerry. I stopped reading SBC Today a while back. Nothing edifying there.

Les

Mary,

"Skippy." Very classy.

Mary

Oh no Les, I think you topped me on "classy" with the edification crack! Which only makes sense, me being a lowly SBC laywoman and you being a minister of how many years?

Les

Mary, I think you are referring to the other Les who used his last name...Puryear. I'm a different Les.

Les

As to the substance of the article, Dr. Vines' statement:

"should the SBC move toward five-point Calvinism it will be a move away from, not toward, the gospel" is unnecessarily inflammatory. Now if one says, "Well the other guys aere inflammatory," to justify this statement...well. That's surely a childish way to look at it and certainly not consistent with a mature Christian walk.

Anyway, no matter how one tries to extricate Dr. Vines, he is still in a place of having at least intimated that 5-point Calvinism is not the gospel. Spun it surely will be to defend him. But it's pretty plain to see.

peter lumpkins

Les,

While it's easy to assert what is written here is "spin" I'm afraid you're simply not going to get off that easy. Surely you can show it if it is, as you claim, "pretty plain to see." Hence, either show how my explanation of Vines' words is spin, or drop the point.

With that, I am...
Peter

Mary

Oh, I see that now Les! These old eyes ya know? I think in order to avoid confusion I'll just call you Sparky, mkay?

Now please Sparky, edify as to why Founder's claiming everything we nonCalvinists have done throughtout our many years in the SBC doesn't matter. What we are actually guilty of having "lost the gospel" - we didn't just move away from it, but gosh darn it we put it down somewhere and "lost" it. Perhaps you and Skippy could get together and make a blog post decrying the words of Founder's against those of us who were slaving away in the SBC when you and Skipster were still in the nursery or in Skippy's case not even a glint in the eye.

Let's see you "extricate" Tom Ascol or will it be spin spin spin plain enough for even my old eyes to see?

I wish there were girl Calvinists who posted here, then we'd have a Skippy, Sparky, and Snooky!

Mary

Oh and Sparky, trying to call everybody childish because you're unable to actually deal with the content of the argument is, umn, how you say, childish.

Les

Peter, first perhaps you didn't read everything I said. I did not accuse you of spin. I said, "Spun it surely will be to defend him."

I don't think I ever asserted that what you wrote was spin, did I?

As to how plain it is to see, let me put his words before you again:

"should the SBC move toward five-point Calvinism it will be a move away from, not toward, the gospel"

5-point Calvinism is the location away from the gospel per Dr. Vines. If you cannot see that his words at least "intimated that 5-point Calvinism is not the gospel," then I'm sorry. I can't help you.

Les

Mary,

I'm afraid I don't see the need to get involved in evaluating the Founders. They were not mentioned by Dr. Vines in the post referenced here. My only purpose was to point out the inflammatory nature of Dr. Vines' statement.

As to your, "Let's see you "extricate" Tom Ascol or will it be spin spin spin plain enough for even my old eyes to see?" statement, again. My dog is not in that hunt. Peter brought in Tom Ascol.

"those of us who were slaving away in the SBC when you and Skipster were still in the nursery or in Skippy's case not even a glint in the eye."

I have no idea how old you are and you have o idea how old I am, do you? So I do't really know if I was in the nursery when you were slaving away or not.

"trying to call everybody childish because you're unable to actually deal with the content of the argument is, umn, how you say, childish."

Maybe you and Peter can take a "closer reading" course together. I said above,

"...if one says, "Well the other guys aere inflammatory," to justify this statement...well. That's surely a childish way to look at it and certainly not consistent with a mature Christian walk."

Note carefully the word "if." I never called anyone childish, did I?

Sparky

peter lumpkins

Les,

Thanks. First, I do not need you to quote Vines' statement again. I've heard it and read it in more than one form. Second, Vines' words reflect a quote from Dr. David Allen at both the John 3:16 Conference and his chapter in Whosoever Will, the book specifically referenced by Vines. Allen made a form of Vines' statement after an extremely sophisticated introduction to Limited Atonement. Hence, Vines is not alone in his conclusion, including some hefty argumentation by scholar David Allen.

Third, your conclusion that Vines' words "at least 'intimated that 5-point Calvinism is not the gospel'" is both misguided and non sequitur. It is misguided because neither is 4 point, 3 Point, 2 Point, nor 1 Point Calvinism the gospel. To define the gospel as any kind of Calvinism remains patently absurd. Calvinism is a theological lens through which the gospel is interpreted. But if Calvinism is a theological lens through which the biblical gospel is interpreted, how can the interpretative lens be the same thing as that which the interpretative lens interprets? If I am correct, Les, your conclusion that Vines' words "at least 'intimated that 5-point Calvinism is not the gospel'" becomes entirely nonsensical. It reduces to gibberish.

Next, your conclusion that Vines' words "at least 'intimated that 5-point Calvinism is not the gospel'" is also non sequitur. That is, your conclusion does not at all follow any legitimate visible implications from Vines' actual words. For example how do Vines' words about "moving toward" A (i.e. 5 point Calvinism) being a "move away" from B (i.e. the gospel) necessarily imply anything about B (i.e. the gospel)? This is purely nonsensical, Les. Nothing at all can be legitimately inferred about A (5 point Calvinism) not being B (the gospel). I'm afraid again this reduces to sheer gibberish.

Even more I took time to explain in the original post precisely how Vines' words could be interpreted without making them into a nonsensical expression as you have done. On the other hand, Founders' focus on non-Calvinists' "lost" gospel cannot so easily be explained or accommodated. Therefore, I suggest you address my explanation I took the time to write rather than ignore it only to offer a misguided, non sequitur characterization of Vines' actual words.

Hence, I do not think you've been nearly as clear as you think indicative of your suggesting if I cannot see that Vines' words at least "intimated that 5-point Calvinism is not the gospel," then you can't help me. To the contrary, either explain how Vines' words mean what you say they mean, including showing how I misunderstood your interpretation, or, if I may be redundant, let the point drop.

With that, I am...
Peter

Les

Peter,

We will just disagree. I have not read the book he and you reference.

Second, as to the gospel, I'm not the first one in this Vines controversy to put Calvinism and the gospel together on the continuum. Dr. Vines did that.

Even still, I agree with Spurgeon, "Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else." Now obviously you don't. So, I'll be "patently absurd" along with Spurgeon. I will just say this: it is good news (gospel) that people who cannot save themselves and deserve nothing (T) and have been unconditionally chosen by God (U) and who have had the Savior dies in their place (L) and then have that same loving God effectually call them to Himself (I) to be His forever (P). That's good news (Gospel).

As to sheer gibberish, keep looking at it. It will make sense at some point.

And actually, though, I'm going to let the point drop. I've stated what I wanted to state and you have been kind enough to allow me to do that on your site. Thanks. I'll bow out on this one.

peter lumpkins

Les,

I think it's good that you are bowing out since you refuse to explain clearly what your own words mean. I do find it telling that while you want to "just disagree" and "bow out" you nonetheless throw a parting barb my way suggesting if I just ponder your words long enough, you're sure your words will make sense at some point. Not only do I doubt that, I find it incredibly gratuitous on your part to suggest I ponder your words when you won't (or can't) even explain them yourself. Pretty funny really.

As to the Spurgeon quote, I'm afraid you could easily be matched quote for quote. Suffice it to say, I'll just agree with Dr. Greg Welty, a high Calvinist, who said at the Building Bridges Conference, that he found the quote by Spurgeon both "misleading and unhelpful" confusing the "essence of the gospel" with what actually is the "well-being of the gospel."

Finally, you curiously changed the way you expressed your conclusion in the last comment about Vines' words: "I'm not the first one in this Vines controversy to put Calvinism and the gospel together on the continuum. Dr. Vines did that." While you are correct that is what Vines did, you most certainly did not do that which is the fundamental objection I've raised against your view, Les. Good grief, brother! You clearly said of Vines' words that he "at least "intimated that 5-point Calvinism is not the gospel." Moreover, you come back with "Calvinism is the gospel." Begging pardon, Les. That is definitively not a continuum; it is an equation and a wrong-headed one at that.

Thanks for the exchange. I'm fairly confident readers can discern whether or not you've adequately explained yourself as well as whether or not my claim that your interpretation of Vines is gibberish has any teeth.

With that, I am...
Peter

Mary

Now, Sparky, I thought we were having a conversation and I asked you a question point blank about Founder's. I see you've answered now in a later comment.

Second, Peter, explained how Vines was not putting the gospel on a continium very nicely, I think, but I see again you don't actually adress the actual points Peter makes. You just continue in the childish "Jerry Vines is a meanie just because I say so and I don't have to interact with anything you say to prove it."

Thirdly, Sparky, I see you don't deny being "young" and if you're not YRR then I'm sorry but I'll have to take back the endearment of Sparky. Cuz it's cute to watch the young guys name call and try to make specious arguments, but at some point you have to grow up and it's just not cute anymore.

As to your childish reference, I think pretty clearly you were intimating that bringing Founder's into the discussion was a what's that latin phrase for "the other side does it too."

Now finally, Sparky, you demonstrate my first comment in this stream with your most recent comment.

Of course it's ok for Calvinists to claim that only
Calvinists have the Gospel. Skippy and Sparky demonstrate that the real crime of Jerry Vines et al is not in a statement that Calvinism is not the gospel anymore than arminianism/SBC nonCalvinism. The gospel is just the gospel. The real crime of Jerry Vines is he's not a Calvinist and thus according to Founders and now our new bffs Sparky and Skippy does not have knowledge of the "real" gospel. What does that mean for a man with a 50 year history in the SBC - he never preached the "real" gospel.

Oh the implications and the intimations!

Les

Thanks Peter. You had the last word on the matter.

peter lumpkins

Mary,

I think Les is bowing out. I appreciate his spirit but I do not think he actually grasps what he accomplished in his last substantive comment to me. He flat out asserts Calvinism is the gospel. Now, recall he characterized Vines' comments as inflammatory because, according to him, Vines "at least "intimated that 5-point Calvinism is not the gospel." Well, the most likely ones who would consider those words inflammatory would be those like Les who insist Calvinism is the gospel wouldn't you say?

More significantly, by Les insisting that Calvinism is the gospel, is he not necessarily implying that Vines, you, me, and other non-Calvinists most certainly do not have the gospel? I see no way out of this. If I am correct, Les becomes just as inflammatory in implying we don't have the gospel as he claims Vines allegedly is.

The glaring difference between Vines' words and Les' words is striking: while Vines' words do not explicitly state nor necessarily imply Calvinists do not have the gospel, Les' words necessarily imply non-Calvinists do not have the gospel.

I'm afraid our Les simply logged on a little too long.

Grace, Mary.

With that, I am...
Peter

Mary

So just purely for the sake of argument IF Jerry Vines had actually intimated that the SBC moving toward Calvinism is a move away from the gospel because Jerry Vines believed that His nonCalvinism IS the gospel - that statement we are told is divisive and "beyond the pale"

BUT

A Calvinist stating that Calvinism IS the gospel, therefore, anything less than Calvinism cannot be the gospel is not considered "divisive" or "beyond the pale"

So the Calvinists are allowed the conviction of their beliefs, but they believe us nonCalvinists need to shut up and keep reading and maybe eventually we'll graduate to the "University of Election." if we somehow accidently got saved under all that nongospel preaching we've been exposed to.

Debbie Kaufman

Mary: I don't know why you or Peter are even mentioning Founders. Tom Ascol has not responded to anything that has been written yet this year. It's like you are trying to goad them into a fight. A fight which they are not going to respond to. And for good reason. How do you respond to something that is absolute bunk? Answer: You don't.

Mary

Peter, I think our posts have crossed in the air! Even if for the sake of argument we concluded that Les' interpretaion of Vines is correct, Jerry Vines, or you and I are not to be allowed the conviction of our beliefs because only Calvinism is the gospel. To say anything less is divisive and beyong the pale. So what we see is that it's not Vines so-called divisive comments which are the problem but the fact that Vines not being a 4 or 5 pointer doesn't even have enough knowledge to be speaking about what is and isn't the gospel because only Calvinists have a true understanding of the gospel. Again I say it proves the points I made in my first comment.

Les

Ah Mary. Though I will nor continue the back and forth with Peter (fruitless), I'll reply to you.

The Founders: As I have already said, that was not part of the original post. Peter brought them in. I don't know why. I have nothing to say about the Founders. They are not the point.

You: "You just continue in the childish "Jerry Vines is a meanie just because I say so and I don't have to interact with anything you say to prove it.""

Wait, how old are you? Do your parents know you're on the computer?

You: "Thirdly, Sparky, I see you don't deny being "young" and if you're not YRR then I'm sorry but I'll have to take back the endearment of Sparky. Cuz it's cute to watch the young guys name call and try to make specious arguments, but at some point you have to grow up and it's just not cute anymore."

No, I did not deny being young. I do have four grandchildren. I've been married north of 30 years. So here. Take Sparky back. I really liked it.

In fact, though I was first ordained as a SBC pastor, I later became a PCA teaching elder and am currently a ruling elder in a PCA church. And I'm still ordained in the SBC!

So I have no qualms at all saying Calvinism is the gospel. Heck, I've taken ordination vows to that effect! But I am not saying that a non-Calvinist cannot proclaim he gospel. I've met many Arminians who affirmed that it is God who saves sinners who cannot save themselves, and that He won't lose any whom He rebirths.

So in one sense, I really don't see what the problem is in the SBC with a growing Calvinist contingency. I know that when I was at MABTS back in the 1980s, this wasn't even on the radar. Yep Peter, I had Tom Nettles for church history. Godly man.

Last, I think the coexistence of the Calvinists and non-Calvinists cannot ultimately last. IMO, you all would be beter off separating into two groups. That'll never happen though.

peter lumpkins

Mary,

We are thinking closely tonight! :^)

Les,

Whether or not you decide to go back and forth with me because you judge it "fruitless" is your own business. However, your not going to continue writing gibberish to any commenter and get a free pass. Sorry. It just doesn't work like that here.

So now, I'm afraid you once again prove your unwillingness to keep up with an honest discussion. While before, you refused to explain your words I fairly well showed made little sense if any sense at all, you now suggest mention of Founders failed to make the cut in the original post. You write to Mary:

"The Founders: As I have already said, that was not part of the original post. Peter brought them in. I don't know why. I have nothing to say about the Founders. They are not the point"

Incredible! Les. I cannot believe what I just read. Did you even read my original post? Are you trying to discuss and respond to questions about an issue you are uninterested in understanding?

As any person with eyes can see not only did I mention Founders, Founders was one of the first pieces of evidence I logged in the original post, and the only one for which I specifically created a custom graphic!

The fact is, Founders was mentioned in three different sections of my original piece, two times of which is detrimental to the point I was making. For the life of me, man, what are you doing here if you will not read what I clearly wrote but even contrarily claim I didn't write what, in all fairness, cannot be missed?

Here is the "fruitless" reality, Les: your statement exposing a fundamental unawareness about what I actually wrote in the original post ought to embarrass the snot out of you. But from the engagement thus far, including your curious unwillingness to explain your own words and conclusions, I unhappily doubt any embarrassment will surface.

So here's the deal, Les: until you show you know precisely what I actually wrote in the original post, you don't have to bow out of this conversation; rather I'm bowing you out. You're not going to continue prattling on and on--especially with the theological mumbo-jumbo that "Calvinism is the gospel"--when you make such ignorant claims about something that is right under your nose...my original piece having Founders interwoven throughout it staring you right in the face. In short, no more comments, Les, until you acknowledge you obviously failed to examine what I actually wrote.

With that, I am...
Peter

Christopher Bullard

Mary,

The Scripture has plenty to say to men and women concerning our roles in the following areas: Marriage, raising children, roles of men and women in the church, and our speech. As a brother to a sister you need to stop the sarcasm. You have a problem with this. While I don't agree with you on Calvinism you seem to struggle with sarcasm. You actually are an outstanding writer and you carry out your thoughts well. We all have been guilty of this in communicating with each other at times but you seem to stick out in this one area. BTW, I have seen plenty of Calvinist men do the same thing in blogging. If you will just ask the Lord to help you repent of this then ...we all better watch out because though I disagree with you on Calvinism you are " one tough cookie" in debating :). You seem to have some " Attorney Traits " in you. Keep blogging my sister !

Clark Dunlap

What gets me about this blog is the way it parses ad nauseum a few comments made in what appears to me to be an emotional digression by another author. The phrase "move away from the gospel" is pretty simple and hardly required that kind of detail, because how far a 'move' was not defined by Vines. A question countering that statement to clear it up could easily be phrased as, "Have we moved so far that we cannot lead someone to faith?" Honest Question.
I am not anti-Vines, I appreciate it when calvinists and non-calvinists respect each other and work together. I was even impressed once when Paige Patterson introduced Mark Dever very graciously at SWBTS.
But you don't need to be Vine's defender against shots from the calvinist margin. You sound a tiny-bit rabid in this blog.
Be nice, logical, and yes, avoid the spin.

Mary

Christopher, thank you for the kind words. I will consider them, but seriously I consider my style more of a "dry wit" rather than just a "snotty sarcasm" - well ok sometimes it's "snotty" but I think some get the literary device. It's not for everyone, but sometimes you've gotta do what you gotta do to get the point across.

Attorny traits???? Where is that attorney husband of mine - he's got some 'plainin' bout his traits rubbing off on me.

Sparky, I'll make an exception only for you gramps.

I see Peter, already responded so let me explain that the problem with the Calvinists in the SBC is not that there are Calvinists in the SBC it's the fact that the Calvinists in the SBC have decided to reform all of us and so wish to kick all of the nonCalvinists out (the purpose of the Founder's). If we've truly lost the gospel than what on earth are we doing? So when we see someone like our friend Skippy up there trying with what is really just a specious argument to attack Jerry Vines, we remind them that there are those in the SBC who's very purpose is to tell us all that we don't know the gospel, so when will they start holding them accountable for their divisivenss and beyond the pale statements. The answer of course is they won't ever hold them accountable because young Skippy believes himself better than Jerry Vines since Skippy holds the true gospel of Calvinism. So again the problem with people like me and Peter and Jerry Vines in the SBC is not that we make divisive statement, but that we simply have no knowledge of the gospel and we should keep our mouthes shut while the YRR rescue the SBC because you know all these years we've barely just been getting by until our hereos in the YRR crew come in to save the day with the glorious DOG.

So no, Les, we cannot coexist peacefully with the Calvinists in the SBC because the Calvinists do not wish to coexist any longer (Calvinists and nonCalvinists have coexisted up to the point of Founders movement) The Calvinists want the whole ball of wax, the seminariars, the NAMB/IMB, Lifeway, everything. Is the SBC going to split? As nonCalvinists churches wake up to what's going on I think they'll just stop supporting the CP and move to a societal giving method. Just a gradual queit fading away. And then the SBC becomes less, because Calvinists have no respect for us, but they sure do love our money.

PCA? So ya sprinkled them grandbabies, huh!

lmalone

Mary, I admit it was amusing to see Mr. Bullard remind you of your female "roles". You are the known comp lady here. I am the evil mutualist who believes that Eph passage starts way up with the imperative "be filled with the spirit...". I often wonder how Joanna was allowed to sin so bad with Jesus in Luke 8 but I digress...

Mary, allow me to school you on sarcasm. It is not ladylike and you risk becoming one of those "monsterous regiments of Diva's" Phil Johnson wrote about. It is ok for very young YRR guys and of course for St Paul (I think of his alluding to castration for some the Judaizers) but not for women. Thankfully, Mr. Bullard is upset with some Calvinists for being a bit sarcastic. I just wonder if he has the nerve to call them out as he did you?

Peter,

I am seeing several problems on both sides. First of all, it is absolutely imperative you have every single Calvinist define what they mean when they use the term: Gospel.

One of the reasons I have found it so hard to engage Calvinists is because they redefine many things and tend to view those definitions as doctrinal intellectualism. Every single thing in scripture is seen through the lens of Calvin. God's story is what Calvin says it is.

Another problem is the fact that you have to work within their parameters. You are not allowed to bring up the Founders (or their mission/purpose statement) because their leader has not engaged in a while or it is inconvenient. Not sure of the logic of that position, but there it is.

Once we have figured out their definitions and the parameters, there is really nothing to discuss because:

He who defines, wins.

Steve Evans

Les, If I may, an observation off the thread here.... If you are not Southern Baptist - why not return your ordination papers to the church that ordained you? It would be the forthright thing to do. Just an observation.

Mary

Oh lmalone, lmalone, a mutualist? Really? Well you were pulled from the dark side of Calvinism so there's still hope for ya.

When people question my style I'm always reminded of Nehemiah:

"...I rebuked them and called curses down on them. I beat some of the men and pulled our their hair...."

Nehemiah 13:25


Les

Steve Evans,

"If you are not Southern Baptist - why not return your ordination papers to the church that ordained you?"

Though I am not right now in a SBC church, that does not mean that I'll not eventually go back to an SBC ministry of some sort. I don't think my theological convictions warrant that I demit my SBC ordination. I may be wrong and would appreciate any feedback on that.

Les

Steve Evans

Les,

I suppose if said church was aware of the change of denominational ties they would be responsible for contacting the person of interest. I have seen this happen under these circumstances several times when the church became aware of such a change. There were other times churches decided to call for the return of ordination papers, etc.

peter lumpkins

Clark,

If I may respond without adding to the ad nauseum "parsing" you feel is taking place. You write: "The phrase "move away from the gospel" [i.e. the emotional digression you mentioned] is pretty simple and hardly required that kind of detail, because how far a 'move' was not defined by Vines." You are correct. Vines did not define it. But you completely ignored the reason for "parsing." What I addressed was the equation of "moving away from" with "an absence of" making Vines out to be denying Calvinists "have the gospel" at all. My purpose was to show them the absurdity of equating the two metaphors. Now you may call that needless, ad nauseum "parsing" all you wish, but I'm afraid you're missing the point entirely.

Second, you complain: "you don't need to be Vine's defender against shots from the calvinist margin. You sound a tiny-bit rabid in this blog. Be nice, logical, and yes, avoid the spin." First, I've posted 3 defenses of Jerry Vines' words in 6 years (that's 3 posts out of 1,000+ posts). So pardon me if your words make little sense, Clark. To my knowledge you've never posted here before. Even so, you show up instantly judging "what gets me about this blog" rhetoric, the quintessential drive-by complaint which deals not with the substance but complaining about the person.

Finally, it's easy to throw out the "stop spin" mantra. It's much more difficult to show how someone really is spinning. The solution is simple: either show it or drop it. But do not come back only to hurl insults and then piously walk away while whistling "be nice and be logical."

With that, I am...
Peter

The comments to this entry are closed.