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Mar 05, 2012


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My sense is that grassroots Southern Baptists and the grassroots Southern Baptist churches are much more likely to be persuaded by editors like Harris and newspapers like The Christian Index than the folks in Nashville and at Baptist Press. All politics is ultimately local. Local wins the day.

When Bill Leonard predicted years ago that the SBC would one day divide over Calvinism, he did so because he understood that grassroots churches like the ones he grew up in and around in east Texas have a real aversion to Calvinism.

There has been an influx of Calvinism and Reformed influence at the elite levels among denominational leaders and academics. Even some megachurch pastors who were once hostile to Calvinism now appear sympathetic. But that Reformed influence hasn't trickled down. At least it hasn't from what I observed. That's a huge problem for the elites and it's a reality that comes at a rather inconvenient time for a number of reasons.

Mohler can offer distractions by pointing to the CBF and predicting division and drama on the horizon. He ought to tend to the mess in his own backyard first...

Fred Johnson

What's more, King offered no corrections to Harris' piece. Nothing. He didn't challenge the factual basis of a single assertion Harris made.

This is factually incorrect. Mr. King wrote, "For instance, you say Trevin Wax, the managing editor of our new Bible study The Gospel Project "admits he has been influenced by Reformed pastors and authors" and then you list seven names. Trevin has never said that, however, Trevin did interview someone on his blog once who said that list of people had influenced HIM - not Trevin."

I don't know the legal terminology, but Internet terminology is a challenge to a factual basis of what Harris said. King did challenge Harris and in doing so proved him wrong.

peter lumpkins


Thanks. I was responding responding to the piece in the Christian Index entitled "SBC agencies respond to Index editorial" the above link of which takes one to a page with those responses. I did not know King & Ebert responded further via another page entitled "Open comments from NAMB and LifeWay to Index readers." Though you didn't link it, I appreciate your pointing this out which took me back to the site looking again. I'll put a notation in the OP.

A couple of things in addition. A) I do not know what you mean by "Internet terminology is a challenge to a factual basis of what Harris said." B) Well, no King may have challenged him but it's hardly time to conclude King proved Harris wrong. I think I'd be willing to wait and see what Harris has to say...

Thanks again, Fred.

With that, I am...

peter lumpkins


For the record, King states: "For instance, [Harris says]...Trevin Wax,... "admits he has been influenced by Reformed pastors and authors" and then you list seven names. Trevin has never said that." First, it doesn't take long fishing around on Wax's site to find favorable quotes about almost all the names Harris mentioned. In fact, the only one I could not find was S. Ferguson, from which I draw no conclusions against Harris or for King. I didn't try that much.

Second, for King to hold Harris to raw literalism (i.e. Trevin didn't say he was influenced...") is specious. Well perhaps Trevin didn't "say he was influenced" in so many words. But Trevin certainly implied he was influenced by all these men (perhaps excepting Ferguson), at least from my reading of his words. For example, if Trevin Wax said, "I'm a fan of John Piper," would this not imply influence?

Hence, King appears like he's grasping at straws here. Perhaps a question Trevin Wax could answer is, "Do you deny you're influenced by Reformed pastors and authors?" I think we know what Wax's answer would be.

With that, I am...


Check out Trevin Wax's review of the collection of essays titled "Why I am a Baptist" compiled by Nettles/Moore. Last two paragraphs in particular:



Trevin Wax quote taken from review cited above:

"The only complaint I have with this collection is that the majority of the writers lean to the Reformed side of Baptist life. This fact is most clearly seen in many of the authors' journeys between Presbyterian and Baptist churches. Several of the essays could have just as well been titled "Why I Am No Longer a Presbyterian." While I enjoyed these essays, I would have rather heard from a broader spectrum of Baptist theology."

Bill Harrell


Down in South Georgia where I am originally from, we have an old saying that goes like this: "The hit dog always hollers". It is referring to the fact that when one tosses a rock into a pack of dogs, the one that gets hit is the one that hollers. I think Gerald Harris lobbed some stones and those hit have hollered.

Bill Harrell



That review was written 4 years ago. Lots can change in 4 years when the YRR train is moving on.

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