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Jun 26, 2012

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Hobart M. Tucker

Peter,

Do not lose hope. Jeremiah preached four prophetic dooms about Judah, but he also offered a message of hope:

Just as I watched over them to uproot and tear down, and to overthrow, destroy and bring disaster, so I will watch over them to build and to plant," declares the LORD. Jeremiah 31:28

Keep the faith!

-- HMT

Dave

Peter,

Every time you've taken on Mohler, you've come away looking....well....not victorious.

I expect the same result again. (remember when you long windedly attacked him with a "question" (really a statement) about homosexuality at an SBC meeting?)

Oh, I'm sure the 10 or 12 rabid anti Calvinists that regularly blog with you on this site will concur with your comments and join with you in Calvinist bashing.

You know as well as I do that Mohler simply meant that those who seek to divide and conquer should be marginalized and he expressed hope that would happen. Yet, I suppose that twisting the words Of a fellow believer for your own purposes in more in keeping with your agenda.

I truly don't see where "those rascally Calvinists" are doing that.....but as for others....

Well, Cinderella.....if the slipper fits.

Ridiculous.

peter lumpkins

HMT,

Thanks brother for the encouragement...

Lord bless.

With that, I am...
Peter

Drew

Peter,

Your entire second point is made up of conjecture or your presumption of what Mohler is saying and then attacking him for that. I'm afraid you are marginalizing yourself in terms of credibility as a blogger about happenings in the SBC. Based upon what I saw in NOLA, Mohler is right concerning the tone of the conversation and happenings in SBC life.

The only ones saying that NOLA convention was either negative or accomplished nothing are those who didn't see accomplished the agenda they were hoping for.

Find a different axe to grind.

peter lumpkins

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the caution, but I remain unconcerned how I look. I am not in this to win a popularity contest but to speak what I believe to be the truth. Whether or not others publicly agree with me remains of little consequence (no offense, but including you, I might add). I could not live with myself if I sat idly by--not to mention silently by--while Zion's looted.

With that, I am...
Peter

peter lumpkins

Hi Drew,

Well, no it's not just "conjecture". If you have a better idea about what Mohler references "three weeks" before the SBC, then supply it. Nothing else other than the TS I know of approaches the exchange he references. Nor did I "attack Mohler" as you frame it. I dealt with Mohler's words. If you think I've misjudged his words, then you are welcome to dispute my interpretation. But do not just log a simplistic complaint that I "attacked" Mohler.

With that, I am...
Peter

peter lumpkins

All

Get ready for the persistent charge "you deserve to be marginalized" or "you're marginalizing yourself" as we log critiques of the words and actions of somebody's anointed leader. It's coming either here or elsewhere as David and Drew's comments already appear to demonstrate.

With that, I am...
Peter

D Arndt

Peter,

Al Mohler is not your enemy.

The continued use of inflammatory rhetoric found on your site is troubling. "Theological despots, " SBC Pravda," "Looting of Zion," etc, etc, etc.

It is not helpful. It is divisive.

Don

Drew

Peter,

My anointed leader is Jesus Christ. I take 1 Cor 1:10, Eph 4:3, & Gal 5:20 very seriously. I do not want to contribute to further divisions, so this will be my last comment to this post.

If you feel like Dr. Mohler has sinned against you, go to him. If you feel he needs to be removed from leadership or is harmful to Southern Baptist life, you are entitled to that opinion and are welcome to work through the proper channels to see that done. However, a constant stream of character maligning articles or, as you call it, a "logging of critiques" is slanderous, divisive, and wrong.

This isn't about who is being maligned, it's about the action itself. It cannot be dismissed as "information" nor "doctrinal debate." I urge you to either 1) repent of your sinful words against a brother in Christ; 2) publicly denounce him as a false teacher & clearly state how you believe the SBC should handle the situation or 3) continue your present course recognizing and admitting that because most SB are not comfortable with a "logging of critiques", it will result (rightly or wrongly) in your marginalization.

J

Peter,

The reason that people will be marginalized who make posts like the one you just made is not some difficult mystery, neither in the reasons for it, nor in who will decide. Your post is trying its best to find and sniff out reasons to be angry and offended. You stated, "words which rightfully ought to outrage." The point of your post is why we all ought to get seriously offended. Every sensible person can see that regardless of whether you agree with Mohler, he is striving to calm down the controversy so that it can be discussed civilly. It is a noble goal. Any reasonable person can see that is the goal of his posts when they read them. You stare at his words until you can find reasons to say they are contentious. When any reasonable person reads your posts they can see that what your post is trying to do is escalate the offense, outrage, and explosiveness of the situation. When a reasonable person reads your blog, they are going to see that. Then they will say, "This isn't helping. It will do nothing but raise tempers and hostilities." Why people who make posts like this will be marginalized is no mystery, no big conspiracy. Normal people, the masses of our convention, will rightfully see that you are extending no grace towards others, and they will simply move on from your posts and stop listening to you because of the attitude. The end result will be this "marginalizing." Normal people not looking for venom behind his every word can read Mohler and see this is exactly what he was talking about. He was recognizing that people that makes posts striving to see conflict will ultimately be ignored, NOT because anybody has chosen them as needing marginalized, but because the SBC has displayed from the 2012 meeting that it doesn't want to listen to people who are like that. And that is what Mohler was trying to say will happen, and he was agreeing it should happen. If you want to be listened to, you are going to have stop taking every thing the other view says and striving to make it into something to be offended over. If not, well, nobody is going to value anything you say. You say you are not trying to be popular. But I at least suggest you try to be biblical. Which I mean to say is reasonable, gentle, patient, and striving for peace.

Jas 3:13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.
Jas 3:14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.
Jas 3:15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.
Jas 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.
Jas 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.
Jas 3:18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Nasty man

Peter,

I mean the following with much love: You are an embarrassment to Christianity.

peter lumpkins

D.Arndt & Drew

Nor have I remotely suggested Al Mohler is my enemy much less personally slandered him as Drew absurdly implies. Many of his ideas, however, are repugnant to convictional Baptist churchmen (e.g. "marginalizing" unwanted voices).

Nor am I obliged to employ language which passes your personal idea of what is divisive. This is a privately-funded blog. CP monies do not fund the spread of my ideas. Hence, if you desire my "marginalization", be my guest. Stop reading my site. When enough readers stop reading, any semblance of influence will wither away and die (i.e. the "self-marginalization" spoken about).

On the other hand, Al Mohler is funded by CP dollars--my church's CP dollars,--to rattle off words which, among many other things, a) implicate his brothers and sisters in embracing heresy; b) calling for marginalizing voices with which he happens to disagree; c) Calvinizing our CP-funded institution.

Yet you, Drew, and a few others avoid any of that only to condemn me for publicly questioning his ideas and actions. What a Georgia hoot! I'm allegedly "slandering" Mohler as my "enemy" by raising the questions I do while Mohler calls for marginalizing voices in the SBC on the one hand and implicates leading SBs as heretics on the other all without a squeak from you! ROFL.

Nor is it about me thinking Mohler sinned against me personally. Good heavens, man. Do I have to explain Matt 18 to every new commenter who comes along? Click the button on the sidebar. D.A. Carson has a great piece dealing with this matter. I'm wondering now if Drew would call Mohler out and query if he followed Matt 18 before implicating Hankins, et al with embracing heresy? Personally, I doubt he did. But I am willing to stand corrected.

Now, I'm finished with you guys making this post about me personally. If you want to discuss an idea within the piece itself, be my guest. If not, I'll bid you a good afternoon.

Nor will I remain silent, Drew. And, I will not stand down.

With that, I am...
Peter

peter lumpkins

Dear Nasty Man

Thanks!

With that, I am...
Peter

P.S. you've got to log your insult. Now, unless you lose your cowardice and sign on non-anonymously, I'm afraid I can fund no more of your insults.

Chris

Peter,

I read Mohler's post that you quoted, and I was surprised by how gentle and kind he was with those with whom he disagreed. You could learn from him.

It is humorous that you attack Mohler for wanting divisive people marginalized when it seems clear that you wish the same for Mohler. Your problem is not with someone being marginalized but that you and others like you (divisive) may be marginalized.

peter lumpkins

Dear J,

No need to repeat what I wrote to Dave & Drew. It aptly applies to you as well. I encourage you to read it.

Suffice it to say, if grassroots Southern Baptists decide my voice should be marginalized, so be it. On the other hand, neither Mohler nor the EC nor any elitist person or organization within the SBC will shut me down or silence my voice. I dance to the beat of another drummer.

And, I'm certainly not going to be affected by the Daves, Drews, Nasty Mans, and Js who log on not to critically engage but to make this personally about me. I've put up with you guys for 6 years. I have no intention of letting you get to me now.

Hence...

I will not remain silent. And, I will not stand down.

With that, I am...
Peter

CASEY

I have appreciated over the years Dr. Mohler's strong Christian social stands in blogs, the news, CNN-Larry King, magazines and other venues.
But in the last 18 months his "pattern" of not answering questions, making unsubstantiated charges against fellow Southern Baptists, being obscure, avoiding accountability, telling Southern Baptists they're "homophobic".....the list goes on and on, is, frankly, disturbing. In essence his most recent comments on the 'Statement' are that he called two(2) of our SBC Seminary president's....heretics. When confronted...he attacks...he seems to have no desire to "come and reason together" except when he's losing the argument....and then only on his terms. Frankly, The Board of Trustees need to step in and a) control his outbursts b) hold him accountable to pew sitting Southern Baptists c) and require him to be Southern Baptist first, not Presbyterian or Evangelical first.
It is amazing how such a learned, formerly articulate and clear minded prof/president now takes 15 pages to explain the one page he finds so many to have 'misunderstand him'.
We've been through this before....in the late 70's and 80's. Turns out it was no 'misunderstanding' at all....but a shift in 'beliefs' that was 'covered up' with volumes of words and attacks. Could that be what's happening here? I don't know Dr. Mohler's heart....none of us do....but I don't like the 'pattern' of his communications that I am seeing and am very concerned about the future of Southern Seminary if this 'pattern' keeps up.......

Mary

Peter, I'm kinda getting the feeling that the Calvinists like this idea that someone higher up the food chain gets to decide who is allowed to speak and who is to be silenced.

I think what this type of conversation reveals, such as the one about Al Mohler isn't an employee and it's only the elders/Trustees who get to say anything to him is a clear lack of understanding of how the SBC was formed.

Calvinists really do believe that the little people should shut up and only the "Elders" should rule.

If you truly are marginalizing yourself, why would anyone waste time here. Wouldn't your blog just whither away from a lack of hits with just rabid "anti" Calvinists speaking to the walls?

More and more what we are seeing is that the Calvinists in the SBC really do not want to have a conversatin AT ALL. They don't want to dialogue. They don't want to understand. They want to silence all who disagree with them.

Al Mohler doesn't want to be confronted with the fact that he took Southern Seminary and turned it into the Calvinist Seminary while people were asleep. He doesn't want to have to acknowledge that there were churches destroyed by his and Founders attempt to reform the SBC one church at a time. He doesn't want to have a conversation where he will be stopped in his tracks in his attempts to Calvinize the rest of the SBC Seminaries.

Light is the best disinfectent. Al Mohler doesn't want a conversation where light is shown on what he's done and light is shown so that he cannot continue doing what he's been doing. Al Mohler and the Calvinists who support him want to continue their Calvinization of the SBC and in order to do that they have to shut down any conversation any where that doesn't support that agenda. And they will all become as mean and nasty as they can to force that agenda all the while spouting words like unity and pretending to put on there Christian mantles attacking others with claims of bad behavior.

As you've pointed out, how many attacking you for making these points actually ever deal with the points you make, but instead continue time and again to try to make the conversation into personal attacks against the messengers.

I've said before and will continue saying it - This has nothing to do with HOW anything is being said, it's about WHAT is being said.

peter lumpkins

Casey,

You express my sentiments well. Thank you brother.


Hi Chris

Well, I suggest you read Casey's comment above. He seems to agree more with my summation than yours. Now, Casey could be wrong as well, obviously. But that's not the point. My point is, it's not just me who sees something amiss in Mohler's call to "marginalize" Southern Baptists.

Mohler gentle? And, which part of the it-appears-you-embrace-heresy implication was the kindest, Chris? Nor am I alone in my summation there either. Read the vp-response I linked. Are they all off base too?

With that, I am...
Peter

peter lumpkins

Mary,

You write: "This has nothing to do with HOW anything is being said, it's about WHAT is being said." You are spot on here. If another seminary president implicated Al Mohler as embracing heresy, in say, signing onto one of his many crusade issues he holds dear, the Calvinist community in the SBC would have experienced utter meltdown against the president and called for his resignation for employing such divisive language.

But when Mohler uses it against two other presidents--not to mention the other SBCers signing it--we can't even get them to concede it was unhelpful, much less divisive! In fact, I've yet for a single Calvinist to directly respond--either in person or online--to my bringing up Mohler's words. They won't even acknowledge he said it! They ignore it.

With that, I am...
Peter

J

Peter,

1. I actually did interact with your points. I stated that you have misunderstood what Mohler was speaking about when he spoke of people being marginalized. He was saying that based on what he saw at the 2012 convention, he believed that the majority of the SBC wasn't going to listen to people who purposefully tried to magnify the disagreement rather than give an honest attempt to find unity. Instead, you mistakenly think he is calling for some orginization or committee to censure people and that never was anywhere near his point.

2. He was gracious because he very very very careful refrained from accusing the posters of the traditional soteriology statement of heresy. He not only was willing to beieve that they didn't mean to embrace semi-pelagianism, but he stood in their defense in assuring others that he could personally testify that the framers and signers were not semi-pelagian. Now that does leave the implication that the document was poorly worded in such a way that it could cause that missunderstanding. But outrage over somebody suggesting a document could be worded better is hardly reasonable. It is nothing but offended pride. "How dare anybody suggest we could improve on our document or be more clear! And then he has the nerve to ask us to speak civily!"

3. You completely overlooked the personal appeal I did make to you simply because it was a personal appeal. Part of the point of James chapter 3 is that the test of spirit filled wisdom is not merely being right, but rather how a person handles being right. If the person who is theologically correct uses their knowledge to stir up increased strife, that is a clear sign of demonic-worldly wisdom. Even though they are right! A spiritual wisdom is not merely marked by being correct, but using that right knowledge to heal rather than to tear down, to bring peace if at all possible despite knowing it sometimes is not possible. Our outrage and indignation is not the way to correct. Rather scripture repeatedly calls us to correct with patience, gentleness, reasonableness, love...the list goes on. I am not suggesting that you should stop voicing your opinions. I'm suggesting that if somebody spoke a truth to you in the tone and spirit with which you are posting, you would certainly not be inclined to listen to them. Post in the spirit in which you would want a person to correct you. Is this really an invalid point I'm making? Is it an unbiblical one? Is it a right heart and mind that immediately rejects it as not applying to them as if they couldn't possibly be wrong in this? Would not a sincere heart familiar with its own bent towards sin not at least stop and consider if they have unintentionally fallen into this? Lets let our gentle spirit be known to all men as followers of Christ (Philipians 4:5).

If there is some unspoken rule that we are not to speak about such a thing in blog discussion then forgive me. I was not made aware.

Mary

It's interesting how a few thousand voices at the SBC Convention represent the majority view on something even though the votes taken were nothing close to what could be called "madates" and yet we have the Calvinists at SBC Today pointing out how statiscally small over 800 plus signers of the Traditionlist statement is and thus means nothing since "only" 800 people have signed to date.

And yeah that's real gracious of Al Mohler to proclaim that a document is poorly worded and he couldn't believe the men who signed it didn't understand how poorly worded it was since it was so poorly word that people were gong to think it was heresy. Didn't they see how poorly worded it was when they signed it? Al Mohler of course never words anything poorly as is evidenced by his lack of humilty in apologizing for unintentionally offending people with his poorly worded statements. He is NEVER guilty of anything and people who are offended by him are spiritually and intellectually inferior if they see his words as offensive. It's amazing how many of his so clearly worded statements require Calvinists interpretors to school all us who find his words offensive time and again.

Bigfatdrummer

Spot on Peter. I was just reading in my quiet time this morning, while I am at camp with students, a great verse that encouraged my heart and soul over the SBC issues..."Fight the good fight for the faith; take hold of eternal life, to which you were called and have made a good confession before many witnesses."

I too will not back down, and I will not sit idly by.

In His Ranks,

Jon
(Amos 3:3)

J

Mary,

I'd like to see you make a post that conveys Mohler in that same light, yet you ONLY use cut and pastes of his own actual words. I think you would have a very hard time getting him to match your characterization of him. I don't mean post one thing he says then you give five lines explaining how its nasty. See if you can do it with his own words. And if you can't, what might that mean about your portrayal of him?

peter lumpkins

J

Thanks.

First, you claim you did “interact with my points” stating that I “misunderstood what Mohler was speaking about when he spoke of people being marginalized.” Well, that’s hardly what you wrote, J.

A) You first judged my motives for writing my post at all. Rather than writing my post because I hold legitimate objections to Mohler’s ideas, you assert I did my best to “find and sniff out reasons to be angry and offended.”  How do those words square with “interacting with my points” because I “misunderstood” Mohler, J? It seems to me the “interaction” is solely about the interior of my life—I’m looking for reasons to be offended to angry.

B) You further claim you stated I “misunderstood” Mohler. Perhaps I did. But that isn’t exactly what you asserted: “You stare at his words until you can find reasons to say they are contentious.” Misunderstanding someone’s words is one thing. Purposely exploiting them for selfish reasons is quite another, J. Thus far, what part of what you wrote engages my actual words? Again, you implore me to “stop taking every thing the other view says and striving to make it into something to be offended over.” Now, how are these words engaging my ideas, J? Or, do they not suggest something about me personally?

Second, you claim, Mohler was “very very very careful refrained from accusing the posters of the traditional soteriology statement of heresy.” Not only is this completely contrary to his actual words I quoted in the OP, you conveniently overlook the response the VPs gave toward what you call Mohler’s “very very very careful” words. They collectively did not think he was very careful and were highly offended with his response. Nor did I in the least criticize Mohler poorly worded document. Whatever you’re trying to communicate I haven’t a clue. Mohler rarely communicates poorly. However, using the “H” word is never,ever a time to communicate poorly I’m afraid. Even so, J, your point makes entirely no sense whatsoever. If Mohler had communicated poorly, do you not think he would have corrected his error if he thought many were needlessly offended by his poorly worded statement?

Third, no I ignored your “personal appeal” because like so many other critics, you come on this site popping off your six guns about me personally without rather than taking issue with my ideas. Added to A) above, note the following:

  • “Every sensible person…
  • “Any reasonable person…
  • “When any reasonable person reads your posts…
  • “When a reasonable person reads your blog…
  • Normal people…will rightfully see…
  • Normal people not looking for venom behind his every word…

Each one of the above suggested “sensible,” “reasonable,” and or “normal” people will agree with you or Mohler implying, of course, that no sensible, reasonable, or normal person would hardly agree with me. After all, according to you, I am hardly biblical now am I?

Now, why should I listen to personal exhortation coming from someone who just tried to subtly slither away from implying I am an idiotic immoral nincompoop? It’s commenters like you, J, that give blogging a terrible reputation. You come on line, log on, and trash somebody all the while claiming the Bible as your inspiration and peace as your goal.

Believe it or not, there are a few of us traditional guys left who didn’t ride in on a turnip truck.

I have no intentions of remaining silent. And, I will not stand down.

With that, I am…

peter lumpkins

Mary,

I posted Mohler's words at length on the OP. What do his defenders do? Either ignore them or attack the one who mentions them ;^)

With that, I am...
Peter

peter lumpkins

Jon

Great to meet up with you at the SBC. Keep on keeping on, bro...

With that, I am...
Peter

Chris

Peter,

I think it is common for many of us to think of the person on the other side of an issue as the bad guy. Often this also leads to a strong bias against whatever the other person is saying. In effect, no matter what the other person says, we will always hear them saying something wrong or offensive. This seems to be the case for you and Casey. Still, I do disagree with you on Calvinism, so that could be leading to a bias affecting my judgment. ;)

Also, I don't think it is fair to say Mohler wants to marginalize Southern Baptists. He is a Southern Baptist. Clearly, he wouldn't want to marginalize himself. It seems more fair to say that he wishes for divisive Southern Baptists to be marginalized. I believe Mohler wants Calvinist Southern Baptists and non-Calvinist Southern Baptists to be united instead of divided.

Mohler is gentle. In his article, he states that he believes the Traditional Statement is semi-Pelagian in places, but says he believes some of those supporting the statement don't realize it or intend it. He is saying they seem to be making a mistake but that he is sure they don't mean to. Mohler's way is a kind and gentle way of saying that. He is trying to believe the best about those supporting the Statement. You are not extending him the same kindness.

Mary

J. WHAT???? So you're using the ol "taking him out of context" line? He gets to hurl insults but they aren't really insults since in other instances he's not insulting? Yeah right. Again you're pulling this "I'm the interpretor of Al Mohler and since I don't see his words as offensive you must be an idiot because obviously since Al Mohler's a great guy in my opinion your opinion must be based on your own idiocy and stupidity and "hatred" What does it say about you that you think we're all too dumb to understand the clear meaning of the man's words.

You and Al Mohler get to declare his words are clear and not offensive so that means obviously that people who find his words offensive are too stupid to know better.

Al Mohler is very clear in his words. He begins his statements with "unity" than will put a little poison in his statement than ends with "unity" so his sycophants can delcare "look how great he is." Of course I'm just one of the peasants who in Al Mohler's world doesn't deserve a voice in the SBC. It's only for great men to question a man like Al Mohler and since there is none greater no one may question him. Sycophants think Al Molher's divisive words can simply be ignored because "hey look here's a nice thing he said once."

Chris

Peter,

Just saw your comment about us Calvinists being unwilling to acknowledge Mohler's Statement. Which part?

Thanks,
Chris

JND

Wow! They ARE coming after you. I'm sorry to see it, but it was, unfortunately, predictable.

I'm guessing that none of us moderates are doing so?

Best wishes in your stand, and may God bless.

peter lumpkins

Chris,

Is it also the case with the VPs? How about any other who disagree with Mohler? Should we just chalk it up to bias or could there be merit in what in the criticism? Hence, to conclude it is just "me and Casey" makes exactly no sense at all.

Second, to suggest Mohler was gentle when he a) implicated them in holding to heresy; b) implied they were either too dumb to know heresy when they saw it or too apathetic to care and hence they signed their name anyway is "gentle" precisely in what way, Chris?

Third, of course Mohler doesn't want to marginalize himself. He only wants to marginalize those *he* deems as worthy of marginalizing. And, if he doesn't want to marginalize Southern Baptists, then who? Methodists?

With that, I am...
Peter

Mary

Peter, I think it needs to be pointed out here how the Calvinists are dealing with the "conversation" so far.

You all are idiots who don't understand a great man like Al Mohler. You all are divisive and deserve to be marginalized. We only want unity.

All the while they are ignoring the questions that need to be answered if any conversation is to take place.

Who exactly gave Al Mohler authority to declare that anyone in the SBC deserves to be marginalized.

Who gave Page the authority to decide what the conversation is going to be, who may participate and than we are assuming he will declare the conversation was had and is now over and everyone needs to conform?

Are the entities of the SBC supposed to serve the entire SBC are only one portion. Is it right that we have Calvinists seminaries that are only serving the Calvinists of the SBC. Are we now allowed to have Traditionalists Seminaries or will this be declared too divisive? If this is divisive (and it is) will we be moving to take the seminaries back to a place that they are serving the entire SBC. How can we trust Al Mohler to have any part of this since he is the one who has taken the seminaries away from serving the entire SBC to serving only those in his tribe?

Will NAMB begin focusing on planting churches that show the diversity of the SBC or will they continue to plant only Calvinists churches?

The list of questions goes on and on, but the only conversation that Calvinists want to have is how do we silence those who are pointing out that the only people in the SBC being pushed out are the Traditionalists.

Dave

Peter,

Why is that you consider yourself the defender of what is right for standing for "what I believe to be right"?

and;

A stalwart of truth when you refuse to stand by while the SBC is looted?

But;

Are totally unwilling to attribute the same positivity to those Calvinists who stand for what they believe is right, and refuse to stand by and watch as they and their friends are pilfered and shot at by those with other agenda's?

Are you and those who agree with you the only ones who know and understand the truth? Are y'all the ones that are the defenders of the doctrinal integrity of the convention?

Seems to me that you may have become exactly what you are accusing the Calvinists of being.... a 'leader' of tribalism and thereby a divider. Is it possible that YOU, sir are actually working against the convention instead of for it.

Max

Whew! Dr. Mohler speaks and the effort to marginalize begins! If the comments on this blog are indicative, it's going to get very interesting in the days ahead ... and certainly burdensome. When I think of folks who have been marginalized in our nation, I reflect on groups of our population which have been relegated to an unimportant or powerless position by overlords who have desired to control their voices and actions. America's history is stained with examples of ethnic and economic classes which have been pushed to the edge and accorded lesser importance ... a social phenomenon by which a "minority" is excluded and their needs or desires ignored. What Dr. Mohler needs to remember is that Southern Baptists who have endorsed "The Statement" represent "majority" SBC belief and practice. Brother Lumpkins' voice (often piercing) reminds us of the free church tradition held by the "majority" of Southern Baptists. It should be the majority calling the minority into account, rather than vice versa.

Chris

Peter,

I don't conclude it is just you and Casey. I am sure there are many more like yourselves demonizing Mohler mainly because he said something negative about your Statement. Really? You, Casey, and Mary are acting as though every Calvinist in the world is calling you bad names because you disagree with Mohler. We are just saying your conclusions seem to be heavily influenced by your negative bias towards Mohler as a result of his being a Calvinst. Is that so bad? ;) Also, I hope the VPs don't intend to be semi-Pelagian either.

You seem to enjoy misrepresenting Mohler or maybe you do not realize you are doing it. He a) said that their Statement at points sounded semi-Pelagian and b) that most of them probably don't realize it or intend it.

My point about "marginalizing" is that it is more fair or accurate to say that he wants to marginalize those few Southern Baptist individuals attempting to divide all Southern Baptists into tribes or camps against one another. Your way of saying he wants to "marginalize Southern Baptists" seems to be saying that he wants to marginalize all Southern Baptists as a group without distinction. There is a big difference between what he is saying and your restatement of what he is saying. You are not representing him clearly or fairly. Also, there are Southern Baptists that you would probably want to marginalize as well (probably racist Southern Baptists).


Dave

Also, Peter.....just for clarity's sake;

I would like to know what you mean by "Zion is being looted?"

Wayne

"Unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure if his statement refers to himself or not". precisely. so... is it is necessary to spend so much time and energy drawing conclusions?

"We do not compel belief" then what again was the purpose of the TS? Were the authors not trying to draw a dividing line between traditionalists and Calvinists? Can you not see the duplicity in what you say?

"Indeed marginalizing an opponent remains a significant strategy still used today by political opponents running for office and dictatorial regimes attempting to hold on to their political power." you would know, Peter.

"Dr. Mohler now desires to do for all Southern Baptists what the trustees allowed him to do at Southern seminary--marginalize those whose influence should be marginalized in the Southern Baptist Convention." do you honestly not see that this is precisely what you do every time you power up your laptop? I don't care if you do it or not, but just be honest man.

Ron Phillips, Sr.

Peter,

As one who signed the TS, let me state that I was offended by Dr. Mohler's ungracious comments. In essence he accused me and every other signer of possibly being a heretic or just as bad, not understanding what we signed. It is not a Calvinist nor Arminian view of sotierology but a long held Baptist view that is in agreement with the BF&M. I do understand what I signed and it is not heresy.

The claims of not understanding what we signed smacks of an elitist attitude or worse: a belief that they have some secret or special understanding of Scripture that we who do not agree are incapable of grasping. I reject that.

I choose to respectfully disagree with my Arminian and Calvinist brothers on the areas where we do not agree. I will work with them to proclaim Christ and Him crucified. But I will not call them heretics or claim they do not understand what they believe. I choose to leave the mystery of Salvation in the Providence and Sovereignty of a God who has chosen to not reveal all to us. We look through a glass darkly, and as I have gotten older, I have become content with knowing that there is a tension in Scripture on these issues that no man made theology has all the answers.

Blessings,

Ron P.

Chris

Mary,

I haven't called anyone a bad name.

Can't any one of us say an unhelpful type of behavior (for Mohler: divisiveness) should not be promoted or fostered among Southern Baptists and that those promoting this unhelpful behavior should be marginalized? If I were promoting something unhelpful or sinful, wouldn't you want me marginalized? It just so happens that because of Mohler's status and position that when he says divisive Southern Baptists should be marginalized more people hear him and listen to him.

Mary

Chris, you're repeating the elitist attitude that keeps getting pointed to as elitist and then telling everyone there's nothing wrong with that.

Men signed a statement that you and others declare semi-pelegian, but it's ok because you're sure they didn't mean to the illiterate dears.

So which is it a) these men blindly put their name to a statement which questions their integrity or B) they were too stupid to realize they were signing a heretical statement.

It couldn't possibly be you and Al Mohler are wrong. Because people who disagree with you must just lack integrity or just be stupid? Condescend much. Or maybe Al Mohler made a divisive statement that he should be held accountable for and he should be apologizing for. Oh no of course not the people who called him on it lack integrity and/or were too stupid to know what they were signing therefore how dare they call him on his divisive words.

But yeah keep blabbling on about how you and Al Mohler should now be the arbiters of who is and who is not divisive and who deserves to marginalized. The people declaring that men who signed what they have declared a heretical statement thus questioning either their integrity or their intellect are now the ones declaring they have the authority to declare who should be marginalized.

Chris

Mary,

Sometimes it's not an either-or situation. There are more than two options. I don't accept either the a or B options you put forward. I assume that the individuals who signed the Statement don't see part of some of the sections of the Statement as semi-Pelagian as I do, and they would not intend to be semi-Pelagian or sign a partially semi-Pelagian document. They and I disagree with each other about the Statement being partially semi-Pelagian. I don't think they are stupid. I just think we disagree about what some of the statements in the Statement mean. I don't see how that makes me elitist. Can you explain?

Infer much? You are ungraciously inferring ungracious attitudes in Mohler and myself. Mohler and I have each tried to be kind yet you seem very aggressive and unkind. I am sorry but I thought the new-Calvinists were the aggressive ones? It is definitely possible that Mohler and I are wrong. I have definitely been wrong before.

Also, I never said that Mohler and I should be the sole arbiters of anything, but it is nice of you to think of us. I said that anyone and everyone should be able to speak out against unhelpful and divisive behavior and that Mohler is just heard by more people because of his position.

You use words like "elitist", "condescend", and "blabbling" in reference to Al Mohler and myself. You also repeatedly misrepresent my position in very harsh terms. Is that what you'd like to be known for?

It seems wise and kind when stating a disagreement you have with someone to state the other person's position fairly and accurately so that the person you are representing would recognize their position. What do you and Peter have against that? You both seem set on inferring unkind intentions and unkind thoughts where they do not exist.

Chris

Mary,

This is probably my last post for the night though I might read any you post at some point later tonight.

I really am sorry if I or Mohler have written something that offended you. I don't think I am wrong but I could be. Either way, I would rather be friends with you than enemies. I am sure we have much more in common than not.

So I hope you have a peaceful, condemned-by-elitist-free evening. :)

John K

"We will stand within the "Baptist Faith & Message" and we will learn how to talk in a way that will help each other to be more faithful and biblical, not more hardened and bitter."

Can we at least find agreement on the above statement from Dr. Mohler and search for common ground about something maybe like:


Jesus Christ is the Only Way to Eternal Salvation With God the Father
We Are Saved by Grace Through Faith – Not by Works
Jesus Christ is the Son of God
The Incarnation of Jesus Christ
The Bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ From the Grave
The Ascension of Jesus Christ
The Doctrine of the Trinity
The Holy Bible is the Inspired and Infallible Word of God
We Are Baptized With the Holy Spirit at the Moment of Salvation
Regeneration by the Holy Spirit
The Doctrine of Hell
The 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ Back to our Earth

Can we maybe find common ground first on at least a couple of these points? Or is the hatred of Calvinist so great today we can find no agreement on anything?

I know Traditionalist have a long history of a Traditional Statement of almost 30 days. Some of us are slow and it takes time for us to digest your statement. After all some are still digesting Calvinism and it has been around in one form or another for over 400 years.

Traditionalist please give all little time to digest your Traditional Statement. Who knows with the great leadership in Traditional Soritology you may even sway Dr. Mohler into champion your Traditional views.

peter lumpkins

All,

Sorry. I've been out doing some necessary ministry visits. I have a few more duties which must be done. I'll try to catch back up this evening sometime.

Be nice...

With that, I am...
Peter

Christian

Peter,
Thank you for keeping us informed. And remember, we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness in high places. May the Lord bless your efforts in exposing the bias found in the SBC. I feel most of those who cry unity, unity are not at all interested in unity but power, power. It is obvious! I asked my pastor why he didn't attend the conference and he made a sad face, and said it was a waste of time! Believe it or not we lay people are starting to realize what we are funding! The elite are not interested in the lay person's opinion sitting in the pew, only interested in their money.

Mary

Hey John K., those crying BFM, BFM, BFM or the ones also proclaiming that it's ok for Al Mohler to go beyond the BFM in forcing a doctrinal purity at Southern. So if we're going to rally round the BFM does that mean everyone or just Traditionalists?

Chris, let me get this straight.

1. You and Al Mohler have declared the Trad Statement (TS)semi-Pelegian thus heresy.

2. You don't believe those signing the Trad Statement are actually heretics.

3. So since you don't believe those signing the TS are heretics you believe the poor dears just didn't recognize how poorly worded the TS was and that if they only knew what you and Mohler know they would have fixed the TS. It's simply a matter of the signers not knowing enough to realize what they were signing was actually heretical.

4. So you and Al Mohler have magnanimously decided to give the poor dears the benefit of the doubt. Of course they're not heretics they just don't quite have a clear grasp of heresy. They didn't actually believe it was heresy - you understood their intentions were good.

Either the TS Statement is heresy and a bunch of idiots signed it or they acually knew what they were signing and agreed with what you call heresy. There are no other options. If it's heresy the signers are either stupid or heretics. Chris and Mohler declaring that we know they don't mean to be heretics is the epitome of condescension and elitism.

The cries for unity are not about unity but about shutting down debate. They are about marginalizing a large segment of the SBC that doesn't wish to be Calvinized. Notice how many comments on these threads ignore the facts that Al Mohler et al have been pushing the agenda of Calviniztion.

Let's talk about the Seminaries and what are we going to do with them. Should there be a Seminary that is The Calvinist Seminary? Do the Traditionalist get a Seminary? Let's start a real discussion about the real issues. Because I can guarantee you Al Mohler does not want that conversation going on anywhere. And that conversation is where the rubber meets the road as far as those screeching unity and claiming they don't want to kick anybody out of the SBC.

Or the Calvinists could continue to distract and push the party line and say a whole of stuff about "unity" and ignore the problems in the SBC. You might want to visit Dave Miller at Pravda for more of the Party, we must silence dissent and all unify around the Party Agenda propoaganda. Ooh was that mean? Bad Mary!

Hobart M. Tucker


John K.,

Catholicism agrees with at least 8 of the 12 statements you listed -- so should we "maybe find common ground first on at least a couple of these points" with Catholics?

Using your logic, Southern Baptists shouldn't object to having a Methodist or a Lutheran lead one of our seminaries, and, NAMB supporting Methodist or Lutheran church planters.

Unfortunately, the theological divide on some points of Calvinism are too far to bridge (infant baptism -- Calvin's belief; double predestinarianism -- Piper's belief; etc.).

-- HMT

P. Miller

Wow,Mary. Just wow! Is it really necessary to be THAT way about it?

John K

HMT,
Just thought I would throw out points to see if anyone wanted to affirm any points of Christianity.

If you are unwilling to affirm Christianity why should Traditional or Calvinistic Soritology matter they only apply to “….depart from Me, I never knew you.” Can you imagine those words falling from our Savior’s lips? “depart from Me, I never knew you!”

Make no mistake about it; there will be people on the Day of Judgment that are going to be expecting to go to heaven, yet instead of inheriting the Kingdom,they are going to hear those saddening words of Christ; “Depart from Me, I never knew you.” There will be deacons, deaconesses, Sabbath school teachers, Elders, Pastors, TV evangelists, miracle workers along with countless others (ie. all church people!) that will be turned away–and all because they lacked one very necessary qualification; they didn’t truly know the Lord and so He will be forced to say to them, “…depart from Me, for I never knew you.”

And some will say "But Lord I am a Calvinist"
And others will say "But Lord I am a Traditionalist"
And the Lord will say “…depart from Me, for I never knew you.”

Fritos4001

As an 'old' dog that went through the CR 'wars', I am sadden to see Dr. Mohler 'diss', on the brethern who signed the TS.
I'm not as articulate as Mary, Lydia, but, it appears that Dr. Mohler, and the present leadership (EC), are taking the SBC down the 'Gospel According to John Calvin' road!

Unless the 'grass-roots' SBC can come together , I doubt they will, (they're tired), the SBC as we know it, is over!

Hobart M. Tucker

John K.,

Your statements do not address my comments but seem to be a strawman expression of emotion.

The point of my post above was to address the religious freedom and corporate rights of Southern Baptists.

I do fear for those who will hear the words "depart from me" and that is my concern about the gnosticism that has gripped so many in recent years -- within and outside the SBC (exampled by New Calvinism in the last decade, but evidenced in the 1980s and 1990s by the surge in Pentecostalism and in the 1960s and 1970s by the emphasis on Dispensationalism). Anyone who raises up a systematic theology as representing the Gospel is actually displacing the God-breathed with the manmade.

As for my beliefs, I affirm every word spoken from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21 and nothing else. I am neither a "Traditionalist" or a "Calvinist" nor an "Arminian" or "Pentecostal." I reject ALL manmade religious thought whether it is presented in the words of John Calvin, John Darby, John Wesley or Pope John (or "John" Mark Driscoll) (1 Corinthians 1:12; 4:6). And I call no man "Rabbi" or "Father" (Matthew 23:9).

I trust the Holy Spirit sent by Christ.

-- HMT

Mary

Fritos LOL! Love the handle. It reminds me of a song we used to sing way back in childrens church - Give Me Oil In My Lamp - we made up a verse on the buses Give me salt on my Frito God is neato, neato, neato, give me salt on my Frito I Pray...sing hosanna, sing hosanna. Of course we used to do the Sinner's Prayer back then too. It's amazing how many people just sorta accidently got saved despite the fact no one knew how to do church back then. I don't know how the SBC has survived this long with all the ways we've been messing up through the years.

And you seem articulate enough to me, so please help us out. Sounds like you've got some experience with these types of denominational shenagins. I think it's one thing that the youngins here miss is that when you've been around the block a few years you can see patterns and you know how this book ends unless we get some new authors soon.

John K

HMT,
No straw man intended on my part. My main point is Christianity, seems from what you said your main point is Christianity. I see no straw man in your point.

Soli Deo gloria

Mary

Peter, with all the hubbub around the sinner's prayer maybe someone could do a post as to how the Calvinists think you should "do it."

http://founders.org/info/follow-jesus.html

I thought of this today when I read a comment on a blog that I cannot remember now, where a person was sharing an experience at a Calvinist church where everyone was forced to go through a membership class. I've seen that happen also. People were required to give the definitions of words like propitiation and justification in the membership class I was exposed to. There were quizzes every week. It made me think about how much information the Founders believe is required before God can save a sinner.

Hobart M. Tucker

John K.,

Thanks for the clarification. It is sometimes too easy to read a "tone" in an email or a blog comment when none was intended.

-- HMT

David

What a great witness for the gospel all of these comments are. Not really. Peter, this is your blog. Repent.

peter lumpkins

Ron,

Thanks for logging on. You demonstrate nicely that what many of us have said about Mohler's words has not been ill-conceived. He really did speak offensively toward signers of the TS whether or not he or his defenders here ever acknowledge it.

Grace, brother.

With that, I am...
Peter

peter lumpkins

Chris, et al

You write, “there are many more like yourselves demonizing Mohler mainly because he said something negative about your Statement.” Excuse me. Please don’t suggest I’m “demonizing Mohler” just because I’ve written critiques of his views. If you disagree with my critique, then show where I’m wrong. Otherwise, drop the “demonizing” line Chris. Nor am I defending a statement that is mine (“your statement”). I’ll give you a shiny new nickel for every time you can show I’ve claimed the TS as my own. And, dismissing my critique suggesting I’m “biased against Mohler” proves what exactly?  That’s simply another way of making the issue me personally rather than what I’ve written. I could just as easily argue the sole reason you fail to see my points about Mohler is because you and guys like you are biased against me because I’m not a Calvinist.  This type of emotional nonsense only muddies the water. Deal with the issues not with the personalities involved, Chris.

You say I “seem to enjoy misrepresenting Mohler.” Fine. Show it then instead of writing nonsense about bias. Nor are your comments on Mohler’s words about marginalization persuasive. A) I’ve not so much as hinted that Mohler wants to marginalize “all Southern Baptists as a group”. How dumb would that be?  He wants to marginalize all 16m SBs?  Please. And, B), no. If a person is a voting member of an SBC church, then he or she should not be “marginalized”. Even talk of marginalization is wrong-headed so far as I am concerned.

I suggest those of you who want to defend Mohler stop the emotive spewing indicative of Chris’ approach above and deal with the words Mohler writes as well as the words his critics actually write. Anything else is just going to muddy the water.

With that, I am…

Peter

peter lumpkins

All,

I've waded through a lot of comments addressed to me since I last had time to exchange. Much of it is emotion, silliness, and even humorous at times. Even so, I'm not going to respond to all the chatter. If anyone wants to ask a legitimate question, I'll be glad to respond. But I'm through tit/tatting over whether or not some think I "need to repent" or am "biased" or "twisting" Mohler's words, etc. Emotional accusations like these without also showing precisely how I'm supposed to fit the crime do not affect me in the least. It only demonstrates that many of those who complain fail to offer reasonable objections to what I've written.

With that, I am...
Peter

Chris

Peter,

Thank you for responding to my posts. I did attempt to show that you were unfairly representing Mohler by your stating that he wants to "marginalize Southern Baptists" instead of saying that he wants to "marginalize divisive Southern Baptists." We can agree to disagree about that.

"Demonizing" may be too strong a word. Maybe "harshly criticizing" would be better. Also, I apologize for wrongly assuming that you supported the TS which is what I meant by calling it your Statement.

In regards to bias, my issue in my posts addressed to you is with how you are representing Mohler's response to the TS. So you are a big part of the issue I am talking about when I am writing to you. So your bias is relevant. It's more than possible that I am biased. It seems difficult to believe that anyone who cares about an issue isn't biased toward one side or the other. The question is how greatly does our bias for our position affect our view of those who disagree with our position. Bias seems to influence your inferences about Mohler.

Also, I have enjoyed writing back and forth with you, and I have not intended to be emotional in my responses. If at points I have stated things too strongly or otherwise been affected inappropriately by my emotions, I hope you will forgive me for it.

Thanks for the conversation. ;)

Chris

Mary,

I don't think you should be so hard on the signers of the TS. I don't think they are a bunch of idiots. I just think they made a mistake while attempting to do something good. <== That sentence sums up my position. Again, I think there are more than two options.

I respectfully disagree with you that believing someone made a mistake unknowingly and unintentionally is the epitome of condescension and elitism. I imagine that you believe I am unknowingly and unintentionally believing Calvinism to be true when you believe it is not. Does that make you condescending and elitist? I think not.

With how many times I have posted, I hope you don't think I am against debate. I am against unkind and angry debating. We are friends and not enemies, and we should act like that. But even if we were enemies, Christ calls us to love our enemies. So even then we are still supposed to be kind one toward another.

Also, every pastor and Christian who puts forward a position as true either Calvinistic or non-Calvinistic is inherently promoting a doctrine by putting forward the position. So the signers of the TS are promoting non-Calvinism in some form. I think the non-Calvinists get Paige Patterson's seminary. ;)

I am sure Southern Baptists have many problems, but I don't think the main one is the presence of Calvinism in some churches or seminaries or the spreading of Calvinism into some churches or seminaries.

peter lumpkins

Chris,

Of course bias may be relevant. The problem is, you offer not a scintilla of evidence. You merely continue to assert it. If I just continued to assert "ah, you are just biased against me because I am not a Calvinist" you would rightly protest. These remain nothing more than ad hominem responses and do not deal with what is actually written.

The fact is, I offered tangible evidence which ought to count against your assertion of being biased against Mohler--a statement written by 4 academic VPs who, so far as I know, have never written or spoken a single syllable contra Al Mohler. Their interpretation is precisely my interpretation of his words. Even so, you continue to assert my alleged "bias" contra their testimony.

In addition, at least one signatory of the TS has logged on and explicitly stated Mohler's implication of him embracing heresy was indeed offensive. This stands as yet another indicator that it's probable my alleged "bias" is not as you suggest and that Mohler's words were highly offensive like this post maintains. His testimony was also ignored.

Hence, so far as I am concerned, Chris, charging me with "bias" has little to commend it on the one hand and goes against some hefty corroborating testimony on the other.

Thanks.

With that, I am...
Peter

Mary

"I respectfully disagree with you that believing someone made a mistake unknowingly and unintentionally is the epitome of condescension and elitism"


Chris, there's really no point in trying to dialogue with you. If you don't see that these words of yours are arrogant and condescending than God love you. NO Chris I don't think you unknowlingly and unintentionally are mistaken because you are a Calvinist. I think perhaps you've studied and spent time studying and come to a different conclusion than I have in my studys. I have respect for that and in humilty realize I may very well be wrong, but it's not because I haven't tried. It's not because I havent' thought deely and sought counsel of the Holy Spirit and those who know more than me. I've made careful study and and I know what I believe and why I believe. But I DO NOT look at those who disagree with me and think "poor dears they are so wrong, but it's ok because I know their hearts are in the right place."

You are assuming that the signers of the TS didn't think about what they believe, haven't studied enough, weren't careful about how things were worded and if only they had thought things through as carefully as you and Al Mohler they would see their mistakes because of course they didn't mean to make the mistakes they're making. You are exhibiting perfectly the arrogance and the condescension inherent in the YRR with this if only you knew better you wouldn't be mistaken, but it's ok you forgive us because you really believe that we don't know how deluded we are. You continue with this attitude of "poor dears, they really don't know what they were doing, but bless their hearts for trying maybe some day they'll graduate to the Unversity with me and Al."

Lydia

Here we go again. A man who makes a very nice living communicating publicly has to have his word meanings parsed for us by his young followers who have the great secret understanding we cannot have because we are just biased.

They are not going to see it, folks. For the same reason so many SBC guys (and leaders) did not see the problems inherent in Driscoll's many horrible words?

It is the Reformed bubble.

"He is trying to believe the best about those supporting the Statement. You are not extending him the same kindness."

For those of us doing spiritual abuse exit stuff we can tell you the words above are red flags. In fact, I am ashamed to say in my mega consulting days we often used a variation of this to shut people up from disagreement. We used: Trust positive intentions. Mahany was big on using: believe the best.

Problem with these sort of declarations is that they are meant to marginalize people. If you disagree or point out obvious problems with something then you are not, "believing the best". You bad sinner~! You just want to sin and not believe the best.

But Christians are all about fruit. Not "intentions" or blindly believing the best.

If Mohler were "trying to believe the best", he would not stated on his blog that his brothers in Christ who are as learned as he is did not know what they are signing. Nor would he even have mentioned SP.

He did that on purpose to shore up his base followers who have been taught this for years. He could not very well say, hey we did not really mean those who do not believe like us are SP.

Here is basically what I see some Reformed followers on blogs proposing now:

We implied you are leaning toward heresy because you are. We are right but we do want to get along. Now you are being mean for not admitting and agreeing the TS leans toward heresy and accepting that. We want to cooperate with you anyway and be able to imply you are heretics but you are not cooperating and are being mean now. Mohler has been very gentle with those of you leaning toward heresy but now he has to marginalize those of you who won't accept that and be nice and gentle like he is.

This is Orwell with a Kafka twist or The benevolent dictator.

The youngen's can't see it because they have not been taught to think. They have been indoctrinated. And because of that they must parse the meaning of words for a man who has made a living communicating publicly for a long time. Amazing that.

Cognative dissonance is alive and well in the Reformed movement. But if you read enough Luther, you can pick up on it right away.

Lydia

Also, If you all notice Mohler always stays on "offense" and people fall for it and start 'defending' themselves in response or try to point out the cognative dissonance in his "offensive strategies" and his actual words that prove different.

Forget all that. Mohler is a brilliant tactician. He knows exactly what he is doing and it won't be long before the Tradionalist leaning folks who are leaders will be speaking about unity and pretending Mohler never said all the things he has said.

It is gamesmanship and Mohler always wins. Why? Because others simply do not have the stamina, strategic foresight or deceptive gene it takes to play that game.

This is why Mohler can insult and impugn the very people he claims he wants to cooperate with. His followers will insist he is gentle and nice.

I am only guessing Calvin's defenders did the same thing in Geneva when the magistrates were pounding on the door of their homes. :o)

Lydia

And this is only my opinion but my guess is the last thing Mohler wants is for Calvinism to be debated in the public square with no rules from the magistrates. It was one thing for a few traditionalists to visit the reformed leaning blogs and do some debating and quite another for PhD's and others to present their position.

Such public debates can lead to big trouble. Calvinism has always done better when contained in a less freewheeling bubble with rulers and magistrates. It has not fared so well in freedom. Which is why historically it either dies out or becomes somewhat liberal.

I believe this is because of the Platonic bent of Calvinism/Augustinianism where man is totally incompetent and stupid and needs those few who ARE enlightened to rule over them and explain how things work to them. This is a theme that has persisted since the 4th Century. It is the theme of the smart guys who took Christianity to a state church government and killing believers for believing differently than the smart guys.

I guess the smart guys did not realize they were imprisoning, torturing and drowning CHRIST when they did such things to believers who believed differently.

Now that is illegal so new tactics are needed for the smart guys like marginalizing different views and using the H word.

Chris

Hi Lydia,

Thanks for quoting me. I am not often quoted. ;) (Not talking about comments on this page...just in life in general)

I think you have misunderstood me. I am not trying to "shut you up" as you put it. I am happy for you and all the other non-Calvinists like yourself to say whatever you want. Really. The one request I have is that you be fair and accurate in what you say. My point has been that I don't think Peter, Mary or you have been accurate in representing Mohler. Is it wrong for me to want you to be fair and accurate?

If you are wanting an example of your own inaccuracy, I have already given you one. You were inaccurate in saying that I want to "shut people up."

It is interesting to see how several of the posters on here see evil designs in Mohler's comments. I saw him as trying to guide those reformed/Calvinist persons who might read his comments toward unity rather than tribalism. You use his comments to promote the exact thing he is against.

Am I one of the "youngen's" who "have not been taught to think"? Is this irony? You and others here are offended at Mohler for assuming things about those who signed the Statement and then here you go assuming things about me. Actually, I didn't grow up a Calvinist or in a Calvinist church. I had to think about it to become one. Mohler was not particularly influential in that decision/process. I don't know you, but I hope it is true that you came to your viewpoints through careful thought and careful study of Scripture.

However, in the Southern Baptist and independent Baptist churches I grew up in, I never heard substantial, accurate teaching regarding Calvinism. I only heard straw men and caricatures. Those churches were the ones attempting to inoculate their members without really engaging texts of Scripture or arguments. Maybe, your church is different.

Also, how do you know how young or old I am?

Are you implying that Mohler has some sort of deceptive gene that allows him to deceive all of these people? Do you think he is evil? Because that seems to be what you are implying.

Chris

Mary,

We can disagree and that be okay. I am honestly not trying to be condescending or elitist towards anyone. I am sorry that I seem to be coming across that way to you.

Chris

Lydia,

I just saw your most recent comment about Calvinists not wanting to debate in public. Have you heard of James White of Alpha and Omega ministries? I mean I assume you don't like him if you know about him but he seeks debates on these issues. He wrote a book with a non-Calvinist debating this issue (Calvinism).

Do you really believe Calvinists are afraid of debate? That just seems hard to believe. I would understand that about non-Calvinists. I went to a college that was very conservative and very anti-Calvinist. They prohibited students openly discussing Calvinism. No Calvinist college or seminary would do that.

Lydia

Chris, Yes, I am familiar with James White and his debates...especially with Muslims. :o)]

I had no idea he is SBC!!! When did he become SBC?

I thought I had laid it out that I am talking about a "debate" in the public square with few rules where even tbe peasants can join in without being harranged by the "enlightened we are smarter than you NC guys"..

I find it interesting that James White represents you as an NC. I am finding a lot of non SBC Calvinists joining this debate. I have NO problem with that but do find it interesting. I would still like to find that clip of Driscoll trashing the SBC as backward. One of these days I will find it.

I don't think SBC Calvinists are afraid of debate at all if they can control the venue. I think that it was a bit soon to have some other smart guys present an opposite view that did not allow the NC movement Calvinists to redefine them upfront as Arminians.

peter lumpkins

Chris,

Lydia is correct. James White has absolutely nothing to do with Calvinism in the SBC unless it is influencing some of the younger, naive brethren to go down the pike into Hyper-Calvinism. Nor are we speaking of having "professional" debaters come in and make our case for either side. The convention belongs to the people known as Southern Baptists, not Primitive Baptists nor Reformed Baptists (i.e. ARBCA).

With that, I am...
Peter

Lydia

Oops, missed this one...

"If you are wanting an example of your own inaccuracy, I have already given you one. You were inaccurate in saying that I want to "shut people up."

Your posturing/parsing would never shut me up because I recognize it for what it is but many people out in the pews don't. They really take it to heart when a seminary trained person says "believe the best" or trust positive intentions and believe it is sinful to do anything else even when rotten fruit is evident. They really do, Chris. They have been taught to trust their leaders. They have been taught to come to church and be 'fed' instead of serving the Body and also being taught by the Holy Spirit Who is the Best Teacher.

"It is interesting to see how several of the posters on here see evil designs in Mohler's comments. I saw him as trying to guide those reformed/Calvinist persons who might read his comments toward unity rather than tribalism. You use his comments to promote the exact thing he is against."

A person who wants unity does not use terms such as "marginalize those who should be marginalized" when he is nothing but an employee of the SBC. A man who wants unity does not say that his learned brothers in Christ did not know what they are signing and lean toward SP which you all recognize as heresy.

The fact you cannot recognize these obvious conclusions only proves to many of us you have been indoctrinated and cannot come to logical conclusions outside of your bubble.

"Am I one of the "youngen's" who "have not been taught to think"? Is this irony? You and others here are offended at Mohler for assuming things about those who signed the Statement and then here you go assuming things about me."

Mohler did not "assume", Chris. That is where you are blind.


"However, in the Southern Baptist and independent Baptist churches I grew up in, I never heard substantial, accurate teaching regarding Calvinism. I only heard straw men and caricatures. Those churches were the ones attempting to inoculate their members without really engaging texts of Scripture or arguments. Maybe, your church is different."

Did those churches teach you that from Augustine to the Reformers like Luther who invented the foundation of the Systemized religion you follow and Calvin himself imprisoned, tortured and drowned OTHER BELIEVERS WHO DID NOT BELIEVE THE WAY THEY THOUGHT THEY SHOULD? Did they mention that when these so called brilliant theologians imprisoned, tortured and drowned other believers that according to Jesus' words.... they DID IT TO HIM?

I think your education has been incomplete.

And yes, I think it would be more honest if Mohler played the GC clip we have all been talking about, to the convention and just came clean what he really thinks. All this parsing and obfuscation on every word said is very deceptive. And it makes it worse that he is a public communicator and people understood his culture war pieces. But now, all of a sudden we all have him wrong. Interesting, that.

Hobart M. Tucker

Peter,

I apologize for momentarily hijacking the present discussion from the philosophical direction on which it has been heading. But as I thought about the impasse that exists in the form of the endless give and take on the Internet, it occurred to me that for all the discussion about Mohler’s Calvinism, other bases for assessing his leadership and management effectiveness have been overlooked.

The Organization Manual for the SBC states that the purpose of our seminaries is “to prepare God‑called men and women for vocational service in Baptist churches and in other Christian ministries throughout the world through programs
of spiritual development, theological studies, and practical preparation in ministry.”

So the basic question needs to be asked and answered: How many SBTS graduates are employed in “vocational service in Baptist churches” or “in other Christian ministries”? I know that the Executive Committee has made this request before and SBTS has responded essentially that it “does not have the ability to track students after they graduate.” I reject this notion, because they (as well as all the seminaries) seem very able to track down these same alumni when it comes to making pleas for donations.

However, a related action would be to look at the “front end” of the process to see how well the seminary is doing in attracting students into its programs of seminary study (master’s degrees and doctorates).

I pulled data from SBC Annuals (2011 and 2009) that was provided by the Council of Seminary Presidents and I found an interesting trend regarding enrollment at SBTS and its Calvinist sister, SEBTS:

2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010

SBTS: 2,223; 2,198; 2,108; 1,836; 1,770 (5-year drop of 453, or 25.6%)
SEBTS: 1,628; 1,501; 1,428; 1,364; 1,381 (1-yr. gain of 17 students, but 5-year drop of 247, or 15.2%)

Essentially, what this data shows (measured in Full Time Equivalents, or FTEs) is that Southern Seminary has experienced a 5-year decline in master’s degree and doctoral level students – almost 26 percent! Yet, Mohler has announced “record enrollment” from the podium at recent annual meetings. If both points are true (declining FTEs but rising enrollment), then apparently SBTS is failing at its primary mission while enjoying success in a secondary role (undergraduate programs). Do not miss that Southeastern has the next highest decline. Despite a one-year gain of 17 students, it experienced a 5-year drop of more than 15 percent!

Out of the other schools, only SWBTS is close in terms of a negative trend. After holding fairly steady for three years, it ended the 5-year period with a loss of 255 graduate students, or 12.2 percent:

SBTS: 2,091; 2,017; 2,091; 1,981; 1,836 (5-year drop of 255 or 12.2 %)

This should be at least part of the discussion of whether Mohler (and Akin) should continue as an SBC seminary head.

-- HMT

NOTES:
(1) All SBC seminaries have seen undulations in enrollment and head counts, but I did not include the other three schools because only the FTEs (full time equivalents) for SBTS and SEBTS have dropped precipitously (with SWBTS on the heal of SEBTS). For those who might not know, the seminaries are CP-funded only for students enrolled in graduate level courses (referred to as FTEs because of the formula used to calculate CP share among the seminaries). However, undergraduates are a cash cow for the seminaries because they pay tuition and fees (albeit at a cut rate compared to secular schools or our Baptist universities). Moreover, for SBTS and SEBTS, undergraduates are something of a windfall in terms of the opportunity to shape young minds with a theology in a box.

(2) When the seminaries pitched the idea of undergraduate programs, the rationale was that they need to offer an option to the 30-something pastor who had some undergraduate work but was serving a congregation and unable to complete his bachelor degree, thereby unable from entering seminary-level studies. What seems to have evolved is that the undergraduate programs attract mostly teenagers who have no ministerial or life experiences to speak of (FWIW, I know a number of pastors and entity leaders who have taken advantage of this option for their sons and daughters because it’s a lot cheaper than our Baptist colleges, whom Southern Baptists already have charged – and funded -- with this mission).

(3) For those not connecting all the dots, prior to the push for the GCR and the drastic “overhaul” of NAMB, a frequent theme among the Baptist 21/New Calvinist crowd was that Southern Baptist churches would not hire the YRR. No pulpits for young Calvinists -- hence the move to emphasize “young leaders” as church planters and essentially centralize authority (i.e. funding) for church planting at NAMB (which is now Calvinist leaning) and largely taking it away from the oversight of the local church (except for Calvinist friendly “parent” churches).

Lydia

Thank you, HMT. You are correct and your last point #3 is well known in my neck of the woods. Another aspect of the undergrad studies is catching them while very young. It is much easier to indoctrinate toward NC (among other things) than it is a 35 year old guy coming back for his M.Div.

As one of my friends who had gone SBTS to work on his PhD told me that they were trying to incorporate Family Integrated Church concept into their PhD programs but it was not going over well. If you are not familiar with FIC it is very popular in the Dominionist Patriarchal wing of Christianity. Scott Brown, Voddie Baucham, Paul Washer, etc. These are guys who think girls should stay home and serve their fathers until they are married off through parental controlled courtship. Voddie is the one who said on CNN that Sarah Palin should be home serving her husband.

Hobart M. Tucker

Lydia,

I think Proverbs 31 dispels many of the notions that Voddie Bauchum, Bruce Ware and John Piper claim about the role of women.

The fruit of her hands includes:

-- v. 14 she conducts a business enterprise perhaps even the import and export of goods

-- v. 16 she engages in commerce that includes real estate and agribusiness

-- vv. 18. 19. 24 she procures raw materials and with hands on leadership oversees the production of clothing, and some she sells to other merchants

In sum, she leads people, oversees business operations and manages finances -- and Scripture says it is not to the neglect of her family but to their good.

-- HMT

peter lumpkins

One thing is for sure, Hobart: you've raised some interesting questions, questions that really need to be explored further...

With that, I am...
Peter

Hobart M. Tucker

Peter,

I think Southern Baptists ought to know that Southern Seminary is engaged more in the work of a Bible college rather than
the business for which it was intended -- graduate level studies worthy of a seminary. It seems we pay him above the rate for most seminary presidents, but essentially he is doing the work of a headmaster.

-- HMT

Chris

Peter,

You believe James White is a hyper-Calvinist? How do you define hyper-Calvinist? At this point, your credibility concerning Calvinists and Calvinism is in question with me because you are labeling someone a hyper-Calvinist who is clearly not one. My point in bringing up James White was only to say that Calvinists are not afraid of debate. I wasn't limiting myself to Southern Baptist Calvinists but was speaking of most Calvinists whether Southern Baptist or not concerning their willingness to debate. Sorry that my point was unclear.

Lydia,

I clearly said that I don't want to shut you up. Why do you continue to talk as if I have said otherwise? As I have previously stated, I grew up in mostly non-Calvinist Baptist churches, and in most of those non-Calvinist churches everyone was taught to follow the leader in a similar way as you describe it in some Calvinist churches.

Lydia says,
"A person who wants unity does not use terms such as 'marginalize those who should be marginalized' when he is nothing but an employee of the SBC. A man who wants unity does not say that his learned brothers in Christ did not know what they are signing and lean toward SP which you all recognize as heresy."

So you are saying that a person who wants unity shouldn't speak out against those who are actively working against unity (Mohler on marginalization)? And you are saying that "a man who wants unity" will not speak up when "his learned brothers" make a mistake? When I talk about unity, I mean that we should work to be unified based on our agreement on the fundamentals of the faith and Baptist doctrine while "kindly" disagreeing with one another on secondary matters. Are you saying we shouldn't speak up when we have disagreements or we think someone is wrong? I thought you said that is what is wrong with the Calvinists that they blindly follow or ignore mistakes.

Lydia says,
"The fact you cannot recognize these obvious conclusions only proves to many of us you have been indoctrinated and cannot come to logical conclusions outside of your bubble."

You know I could state this word-for-word back to you about your response to any of my comments. "Since you don't agree with me, you can't think logically and you live in a bubble." Is that how you win an argument? Everyone's conclusions are obvious to them and everyone else who agrees with them. Saying I must be wrong because I don't agree with you isn't really a strong argument for your being right. I'd like to know if I can employ that argument back to you and immediately win this argument?

I don't have a problem with the idea that Mohler assumed something. I have stated I think that I believe he tried to assume the best about the signers of the TS. It's funny that you are upset about Mohler's assuming, but ignore the fact that I have pointed out that you make false assumptions about me. I also noticed how you make assumptions about every Calvinistic Southern Baptist church though it is unlikely that you have attended every such church and therefore know what everyone of them is like. For someone upset about assuming, you are doing a lot of it yourself.

I am familiar with the mistakes Calvin and others have made. Again, you assume incorrectly about me by assuming I am unaware of these historical events. Again, irony...you get upset about Mohler and his assumptions and yet you make so many false assumptions yourself. Calvin and others made mistakes. However, it is not a tenet of Calvinism to persecute those with whom you disagree. Because a person makes mistakes in part of their life (persecuting other believers), it doesn't make them not brilliant in other parts of their life and thought. David committed adultery and had a man murdered. Do you still read the Psalms? And if you respond that God inspired the Psalms and so it doesn't matter that David committed adultery and murdered a man, I will say David and the Psalms still proves that God can use a sinful man to write brilliant, godly literature in spite of that man's mistakes.

Hobart M. Tucker

Chris,

You miss an important point about that account of David's life -- he lost the child who was created as a result of that sin. There is a cost for our sins.

Moreover, this controversy masks Mohler's leadership and management failure in the seminary's primary function -- intellectual development at the graduate level. There is no excuse for a 5-year drop of 26 percent in FTEs. With the amount of compensation he receives, he needs to be held accountable.

-- HMT

Hobart M. Tucker

Chris,

It is one thing to say God can use a sinful man to write godly literature. It is another thing to suggest I or anyone else must accept that Calvin wrote godly literature. Even Satan quoted Scripture, but he twisted it for his own ends.

-- HMT

Lydia

Chris,

The only thing scarier than the content of your comment is that you actually believe it. (I like the way you softened it to "mistake" his "learned brothers" made instead of they did not know what they were signing and were kinda sorta heretics ergo SP. Good one. Now it is a kinder gentler "mistake")

So.....let me get this straight: Mohler wants "unity" and the way to achieve it is to marginalize some people.

Pol Pot thought the same way as did many of his contemporaries in that field. He used different methods that are illegal in America, though. Too bad. But Mohler's thinking pattern fits the church/state model of thinking when it comes to dissidents. Can't help but think of Felix Manz right now....

And we wonder why our country has become so socialistic when young men actually think this is a normal way to operate and look up to men who do.

Funny how Mohler thinks of himself as neutral and fit to be on this committee that will "marginalize" people. Guess he really is running the show.

Lydia

Chris,

Re@ David.

I love it when you guys trot out David's bad behavior to excuse the very bad behavior of your historical icons such as Calvin torturing and imprisoning BELIEVERS.

Chris, you are a pastor, right?

What did Jesus say to S/Paul on the road to Damascus? Did he say, Saul why are you persecuting MY people? Nope.

He said:

4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

Ya think Calvin, the brilliant theologian, did not know this passage when he was torturing and imprisoning BELIEVERS? Perhaps it did not apply to him in that century.

Using David to excuse persecuting Christ through his believers over and over is beneath you as a pastor.

Lydia

Hobart, Are you familiar with the UPS Metroversity program? I know SBTS participates. Does the tuition assistance apply to grad school or only undergrad? I was thinking that might be one of the reasons for more enrollment at Boyce considering the work at UPS and age group of undergrads doing such work.

Hobart M. Tucker

Lydia,

I'll have to give some thought about how to look into this one using publicly available sources. But the source of the funds is irrelevant anyway. We know that there is a set amount of tuition for each student and that every increase in the undergrad population adds to the bottom line,whoever pays the bills. As for CP funding, there is a limited pot and the funding formula only determines how to divide CP into shares. Graduate students also pay tuition, too (with the offset by CP). But SBTS seems unable to attract men into masters and doctorate programs.

-- HMT

-- HMT

Chris

Lydia,

I am not a pastor...just a normal layperson.

I do not intend to excuse Calvin or anyone else's bad behavior. Calvin was wrong and in sin for his part in the death of Servetus. My point is that the fact Calvin committed grossly sinful behavior does not mean his writings cannot be brilliant and beneficial (Like David). However, I would like to make clear that I am not a Calvinist because I read Calvin or look up to Calvin so much. I am a Calvinist because I see the doctrines of grace in Scripture. Now I understand you don't see them there. We can agree to disagree about that. But I just wanted to be clear I am not following Calvin but what I see in Scripture.

Also, I agree with you that Calvin should have seen the account of Paul's conversion and other texts of Scripture as clearly showing that persecution of anyone (especially other Christians) is sinful.

I do believe Mohler wants unity. I believe he wants those being divisive and working against unity to have less influence than those working toward unity. If in your church there were a group of people who seemed more interested in dividing your church into cliques over secondary doctrinal differences instead of uniting on core doctrinal agreement, I don't think it would be wrong for you to say that you were against those people having a lot of influence in your church. I think Mohler is doing this on a broader scale.

The comparison of Mohler to Pol Pot is unfair. Mohler is attempting to work toward unity in the church, and against those working against that unity. It seems as though you think Mohler wants to shut up all non-Calvinist voices in the SBC. I disagree with that assessment. Mohler wants all voices seeking to divide Southern Baptists into warring tribes over Calvinism/non-Calvinism to be ignored whether those voices be Calvinist or non-Calvinist.

Chris

Hi Hobart,

Thank you for bringing up the important point of consequences for sin. I agree with you that there are big consequences for Calvin's sins as well as David's sins and my sins. I did not intend to imply consequences do not follow sin. I just don't believe disregarding everything a person says because they sinned should necessarily be a consequence of sin. Again, a consequence of David's sin is not normally that people ignore his Psalms. I don't know why we should automatically treat Calvin differently.

You are right that you don't have to accept that Calvin wrote godly literature. And I would understand your not agreeing with everything Calvin wrote. I don't agree with Calvin's view of the Lord's Supper. However, it would be surprising to me to find out that you have read a lot of Calvin's works and not found some of it godly literature. But I have been surprised before.

I would say that Calvin is like many if not all of the believers we find in Scripture. Some of them commit great deeds and/or write godly literature but all of them are sinful and in need of God's grace. David wrote the Psalms and was a man after God's own heart yet he committed adultery and murder. Abraham lied repeatedly, Samson chased women, and the apostles forsook Christ...just to name a few examples. Again, I am not saying what Calvin did was okay, but I am saying that every human vessel God uses is sinful, and that we shouldn't automatically disregard the good God does through them because of their sinfulness. Of course, the one exception to all human vessels used by God being sinful is the sinless God-man Jesus Christ.

Mary

Chris, everything in Al Mohler's career in he SBC screams that he DOES NOT want unity. He cleansed Southern of anyone who is not a 4 and 5 point Calvinist. He was influential in getting Danny Akin appointed at Southeastern which is now going through the same cleansing process. He was instrumental in getting Kevin Ezell appointed to NAMB which is now a Calvinists church planting network. Unity is not proclaiming that Seminaries will be taken back to the Calvinists Founders. Unity is the instituions serving the entire SBC. Al Mohler has a history with actions that show he is absolutely not striving for unity in the SBC.

peter

Chris,

As for whom Dr. Mohler desires to marginalize, we have not a word in his latest piece. So filling in the blank on his behalf does not assist understanding, unless of course you have something else to gauge your filler.

The difference between Lydia, Mary, myself and others and you is, we most certainly do have many indicators about whom Mohler may be speaking. For example, Mohler systematically marginalized a non-Calvinist presence at seminary by claiming he was commissioned by SBCers to take the seminary back to its "confessional roots" which for him was Calvinism. We also have Mohler on record telling state editors "Reformed theology is the future of the SBC" and Christianity Today that non-Calvinism cannot protect the gospel since it is "unaware" if the "strictures" of Reformed thinking. Furthermore, he''s unequivocally stated that no theological option exists for deeply-theological, biblically-oriented young evangelicals who are missionally-minded but New Calvinism.

It should not surprise us then when he speaks of "marginalizing" those whose influence should be marginalized to be indicative of a theology he's dissed quite frequently. Your demagoguery aside, until Al Mohler realizes he himself represents the very division about which defenders like you grandstand, there is going to be little to no progress in this conversation. In short, Al Mohler and his rhetoric is a large part of the reason we are where we are today, something I realize his defenders cringe to even hear much less consider.

With that, I am...
Peter

Lydia

"The comparison of Mohler to Pol Pot is unfair."

The roots of tyranny start somewhere. And they start small like speaking of unity and marginalizizing those HE thinks don't want unity.

Pol Pot also wanted unity. And he also "marginalized" those who he claimed did not want unity.

That is how tyranny starts my friend. And we do have a lot of young folks who do not recognize the language of tyranny.

Unity has yet to be defined. One who wants unity does not react to a statement the way Mohler did.

I think he knows that now and is trying to step out front and pretend like he is Mr. Unity and lead the process. However, those who question a fake unity will be marginalized.

From my perspective he sees the people who developed the statement as those to be marginalized. Who else could it be?

Here is a tip for you, Chris. When leaders speak vaguely of marginalizing people who they think don't want unity, they are playing a game. He gave us no hint who he is talking about so guess what happens? What do his followers do? Assume they know who he is talking about? Anyone not on board with their views should be marginalized?

This is a tactic and it is wrong. A leader who wants unity would NEVER put something that vague out there for people to start speculating about.

Define Unity as Mohler uses it
Define Marginalize as Mohler uses it.

So, who are the people to marginalize? You guys are real big on demanding names but won't do it yourself?


" Mohler is attempting to work toward unity in the church, and against those working against that unity. It seems as though you think Mohler wants to shut up all non-Calvinist voices in the SBC. I disagree with that assessment. Mohler wants all voices seeking to divide Southern Baptists into warring tribes over Calvinism/non-Calvinism to be ignored whether those voices be Calvinist or non-Calvinist. "

The irony of the above is that Mohler has been growing a "tribe" for years. I do not expect you to see that. And one reason is because he is brilliant tactician. He can be tribal for years then chastize others for being tribal when they disagree and develop a statement. That is Mohler. And young guys believe him.

Lydia

"I did not intend to imply consequences do not follow sin. I just don't believe disregarding everything a person says because they sinned should necessarily be a consequence of sin."

Sheesh! According to the scriptures Calvin persecuted Christ! I am confused why that fact does not disqualify him from teaching us anything. Yet his name lives on as a great man of God for so many. No problem, that persecuting believers that scripture tells us is really persecuting Christ is not really a big deal. Just a "moral failing" like David's. Perhaps it has to do with total depravity and God has overlooked it because Calvin could not help himself.


I get it.

Mary

Peter, if there were truly a desire for "unity" the first thing leaders in the SBC would do is denounce the Founders Movement which has been the leader in the divisiveness in the SBC.
Correct me if I'm wrong but the TS was very clear that there should be room for all in the SBC. The Founders Movement's very purpose is to reform the SBC.

Tom Nettles, who an employee of the SBC at Southern Seminary is on the board of Founders Movement. Al Mohler has for years been involved with and connected with Founders.

Al Mohler took the avowed purpose of Founders to Southern Seminary where he commenced in "reforming" it. He has been instrumental in the gradual reformation of Southeastern and now we're seeing only Calvinists being used at NAMB and Lifeway.

So perhaps if someone like our new 2ndVP were actually serious about "unity" than the first thing to do is to denounce the Founders loudly and vehementaly. How can there be anything but division when there is a movement that has been approved of and in fact has had its mission forwarded by leaders in the SBC.

The first move to unity would be denouncing any movement which seeks to push anyone out in the SBC. And Founders should be named at the top of the list.

We know who Tom Ascol and Al Mohler think should be marginalized in the SBC because they've been doing it for years. They do not want UNITY - they want reformation. What they want is for those who reject "reformation" to get out of their way. Calvinist continue to show they do NOT WANT UNITY when they remain quiet about the Founders Movement and the divisiveness and discord they have been sowing for years.

Hobart M. Tucker

Chris,

You would never have learned a system of so-called "Doctrines of Grace" by simply reading God's Word. You only "see" them in Scripture because your vision is distorted through the lens of a manmade system of thought. Sadly, this is true for adherents of Mormonism, Arminianism, Dispensationalism, etc. Christ needs no human "improvement" on what He said.

-- HMT

Lydia

Peter nails it in his above comment. That is what I meant by Mohler being tribal for years. We have his public quotes implying NC being the only place if one wants to see the nations rejoice for Christ. And what he told the state editors about the future of the SBC and on and on.

Problem is, the trustees were not doing their job and Mohler has gone on with this sort of things for years with NO accountability. And now Hobart brings up some great questions about SBTS grad programs. Mohler has been a busy guy out there doing all sorts of non SBC stuff with T4G, propping up his shepherding cult friend, Mahaney (who is moving to Louisville to plant a church near the seminary), GC and all the other stuff. He is an employee whether you guys want to admit that or not. He has no right to talk of marginalizing anyone.

Mohler has been tribal for years and for him to now chastize others for what he calls "tribal" is Orwellian.

BTW: A friend out of state called us and asked us to put up a young man he worked with who was coming to T4G. We were delighted to do so. This young man was BROKE. We packed him lunches and even put gas in his car to get home. He had a wife and a child at home but the most important thing in his life was getting to that conference.

It reminded me of the Amway folks we saw in churches in the early 90's who would have their kids go without to make some conference. It was the most important thing in their lives to make the Amway conference. More important than their own kids having decent shoes.

There are no mere men on this planet that are worth that. And certainly not celebrity Christian men who make a nice profit from guys like this misguided young man. We prayed his car did not break down with the 600 miles he had before him when it was over.

Sorry but that is tribal thinking.

Mary

Hobart, I think you make a point that often gets overlooked. at least 9 times out of 10, those who went over to Calvinism did so because someone taught it to them. I wonder if in Baptist History or in Christianity in general if it wasn't the rule that when people were away from such high priests as Seminary Professors and all they had was the Bible that they tended to not find DOG in the Bible. It's only when you have people telling you that words like all and world don't really mean what they mean in English that you see people embracing DOG.

Chris

Peter,

I was making my inferences from Mohler's response to the TS and his post-convention comments.


Lydia,

As I said, I did go to a very conservative college that prohibited students from ever openly discussing Calvinism. I have personally seen Christian groups attempt to limit the freedom (to discuss a doctrine) of its members. We disagree that that is what Mohler is doing.

I don't think you should be marginalized. I hope this conversation and others like it helps us better understand one another, and helps us come closer together instead of farther apart.

I believe Mohler means by "unity" a coming together or working together of all Southern Baptists based on mutual assent to the BF&M instead of dividing into warring tribes over whether persons are Calvinist/Traditionalists or not.

I believe Mohler mean by "marginalization" a reduction in the influence of those who seek to divide Southern Baptists against each other over Calvinism whether those seeking to divide are Calvinist/non-Calvinist. I don't think Mohler intends that we not realize that there are both Calvinists and non-Calvinists among Southern Baptists. I think he intends that we don't see each other as enemies instead of friends who disagree. It is possible that I have misunderstood Mohler on unity and marginalization but I don't think I have.

peter

Chris,

"I was making my inferences from Mohler's response to the TS and his post-convention comments." And precisely what parts of the 4,000+- words served as the basis of your inferences?

With that, I am...
Peter

Lydia

"I believe Mohler means by "unity" a coming together or working together of all Southern Baptists based on mutual assent to the BF&M instead of dividing into warring tribes over whether persons are Calvinist/Traditionalists or not"

Chris, Mohler's own words....many of them....in many venues prove this is not true. He has been the leader of 'divisive'. He thinks NC is the only place for those who believe correctly. And he has made it clear that the SBC should go that route.

You and others can parse him all you want but his words are out there and since he makes a living as a public communicator and was easily understood as a culture warrior, we can understand his divisive words, too. They are what they are. And there are many of them out there unless he is working furiously to try and black out the video's, etc, as Piper did with his video about Mark Driscoll. They do that, you know.

Where did you go to school that Calvinism was not allowed to be mentioned? Personally, I think we should study Calvinism as both theological and political history so we will know we never want to repeat that history and what happens when mere men get too much power to define God for others.

Mary

Chris, how do explain that Al Mohler implemented a purity test beyond the BFM at Southern Seminary for staff members. A purity test that has now been instituted at Southeastern. That ain't unity. His actions and words prove time and again that he does not mean unity. You want to ignore years of his actions and words and act as if they have no bearing on what he said in regard to the TS. His years of divisiveness tell us exactly what kind of "unity" we can expect from him. And Al Mohler's unity does not mean what you think it means. He has never pursued unity in the SBC. His actions have been the opposite of unity.

Paul-N

"Ted, I'm sure I got elected when I gave my life to Christ. "When I stood up from that tear-stained altar, the Holy Spirit gave witness that I was a child of God. I haven't looked back since! In my long life as a Southern Baptist, I've seen a lot more folks get called and elected in the red hot fires of revival. Oh God, bring back the evangelist to SBC ranks!

Posted by: Max | Jun 13, 2012 at 01:22 PM"


First time commenting but I was reading an older article and read this from Max; it brought me to tears and I just wanted to say thanks. Thank you Max and may God richly bless you!

and Thank you Mr Lumpkin, I am blessed by your writings. Blessings on you! (sorry for going off course).

The LORD bless you all!

Chris

Lydia,

I am from NC (North Carolina)...so when you first put NC, it took me a second to think New Calvinism. I was thinking I do like North Carolina, but I didn't realize Mohler liked it so much. ;)

I went to a smaller Christian college (Baptist-like but didn't take the title) in the panhandle of Florida. Their ministerial students at that time were required to read Dave Hunt's book "What Love Is This?". One day in chapel one of the Vice Presidents of the college told students that the college was making a small booklet against Calvinism available in the bookstore for the students to purchase to read about Calvinism, but that students were not allowed to discuss Calvinism or even the booklet regarding Calvinism.

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