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Mar 05, 2013

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Dr. R. Richard Tribble, Jr.

Peter,

Could you provide us a contact address for Free Church Press. When I google it requires sign in with password.

Would like to know more.

Max

"Need" is certainly the key word in your subtitle Peter. It's amazing to me that the majority of the majority of Southern Baptists don't have a clue about the theological tenets and implications of Calvinism vs. Non-Calvinism belief and practice. In my discussions with many folks in the pew, I have found that they are either uninformed, misinformed, or willingly ignorant. This series of Free Church Press publications is long overdue. Thank you for your effort to expand this much-needed conversation beyond the blogosphere.

Lydia

Peter, how does one go about purchasing these books?

Mary

OH NOES! First a John 3:16 conference and now! GASP! Books! Books about Calvinism! But they're not written by Calvinist idols teaching us all how to be good little Calvinists! How divisive! Only Calvinists are allowed to write about Calvinism. Who do these Traditionalist think they are? If they knew anything about Calvinism they'd be Calvinists!

the Old Adam

The Achilles heel of Calvinism, as with many other forms of Christianity, is that one must look inward for any assurance of salvation. And that is a very dubious activity which quite often either leads either to pride...or despair.

You (Calvinists and sympathizers) can keep Calvinism.

HaitiOrphanProj

Peter, I'd like to buy one as well. How do we buy it if not going to the conference?

the Old Adam,

"The Achilles heel of Calvinism, as with many other forms of Christianity, is that one must look inward for any assurance of salvation."

No so brother. The Achillies is in tact and in good shape.

"You (Calvinists and sympathizers) can keep Calvinism."

Thanks. We will.

Les

the Old Adam

OK, Les.

Fair enough.

Adam G. in NC

Steve, you old Lutheran, you

the Old Adam

Caught...red handed! Again! : )

peter lumpkins

All,

Thanks for your interest. I'll be putting up a page soon for purchasing the titles on line. I'm presently in Ft Texas at a Preaching Conference. Will be back soon.

Peter

peter lumpkins

Oh, btw,

While I haven't sen it yet, I'm told our fair & balanced critic, James White, has already started in on me and the small book on Calvinism I've just announced pretty heavily.

Thanks, James for the free publicity!!

pam knight

Yea ! Thank you so much Peter for taking the time to do this. I know it will be so helpful for people "in the pew" like me. I can't wait to read it and I will share it with others and encourage others to get a copy for their home library. Again thank you for taking the time to do this.
In Christ
pam knight

Byron Smith

Peter:

In fact, it was James Whites' mention that piqued my interest and pointed me in this direction.

Les:

I'm curious. As you might remember from my comments (as Byroniac), I was a five-point Calvinist, then became an Agnostic. I saw nothing externally that I could use to justify my salvation. So I turned inward, and found nothing really solid there, either. I reasoned (then, as a Christian) that without the genuine conversion from the Holy Spirit, a false convert might have everything else one could wish to show externally, good works showing strong faith and reasonable hope of salvation. But I could not rid myself of the nagging thought: what if I am not actually elect? I have no way to determine my own genuine conversion, and given the Parable of the Sower, the seed is good but the end result might be ruin, and that is not always known immediately. I want to ask the question, not as an atheist (what I am currently), but as-if from a Christian viewpoint, how does a Calvinist justify his/her salvation? Anything you point to, good works, strong faith, whatever, can all disappear and fall by the way side (I speak from personal experience, there).

Andrew Barker

This is an extremely good question Bryon Smith and one which has no easy answer. Essentially, Calvinists are forced into starting with the Spirit, ie their conversion is nothing to do with them, and then finishing with the 'flesh' ie they have to look to their own works ie way of life to justify their status. Naturally, they will say that their way of life is down to their change of heart but there is no way of proving this.

As a definite non-calvinist, I see things from a different perspective. God provides a means of salvation and I choose to take it. This of course is anathema for the Calvinist but it's their problem not mine. I don't claim any goodness or merit for my salvation and I don't believe scripture implies any either. God has provided our salvation in such a way that it is genuinely open to all but still requires 'all' men to exercise faith.

People fall away from the christian way of life for all kinds of reasons but essentially it is always down to a break in the relationship. It's as simple as that. It's not down to theology or what you believe. The way to restoration is the same as ever ... repentance, faith, trust and obedience. It will certainly never be sorted out by trying to ascertain whether or not you are one of the elect, perish the thought!

HaitiOrphanProj

Byron,

I appreciate your question to me. I'd rather focus on you though. I want to say that I'm very sorry that you have apparently apostatized from the faith. I can only assume then that you never had genuine faith. You probably have much head knowledge about the scriptures and the gospel in particular.

So, I urge you and plead with you to seek the Lord while He may be found. If you are still breathing then the day of salvation is today. Repent of your sin and trust in the one true God to save you by way of faith in His Son the Savior of sinners. Don't delay Byron. The Lord of the universe stands ready to forgive you and save you.

You have violated God's law, and have incurred His just wrath and condemnation. You are guilty. But the good news is that Jesus Christ came to save sinners, that all who are to be saved must turn from their sins and embrace the Savior by faith. So today, Byron, turn from your sins and embrace Jesus by faith.

Then we can talk about assurance, etc. I'm praying to that end for you right now Byron.

Les

Byron Smith

Les, thank you for your concern, but I've been there, done that, got the T-shirt, and sold it off already. I understand the necessity and impulse to deliver the Christian gospel at every appropriate opportunity, and I suppose this is one of them, since I am reintroducing myself. But I am sincerely no longer interested or available for conversion. I'm much more interested in how a five-point Calvinist justifies (personal belief in his or her own personal) salvation, from a theological point of view. I enjoy the back and forth between proponents of different soteriologies, myself, since I consider all of it to be man-made inventions personally.

Marvin

Les,

Are you kidding me?!?! You, a five-point Calvinist, telling an apparently lost man to "seek" The Lord? I thought you and your kind believe that no man seeks after God? So how can he seek God, except the Holy Spirit draw him?!?!

You Calvinists drive me nuts with your circular and self-contradictory theology.

MM

Mary

Marvin, my personaly favorite is that those in heaven are there because of God's election/choice. Those in hell are there because of their sin - it's not that God didn't elect/choose them and don't you dare try to say people are in hell because God didn't choose them for heaven.

peter lumpkins

Mary,

Did you know JW mentioned you on his radio broadcast? Yep. Sure did. He read your comment to his listening audience. :^)

Mary

Peter, oh my I'm twitterpatted! The good Doktor (not a real doktor he just plays one on the radio) took notice of lil ol' moi? Which comment? I bet he had kind words for me.

peter lumpkins

He actually didn't do much talking. He primarily giggled as I recall for the entire 5 mins he mentioned my time-stopping announcement about the booklet...

Mary

Peter, that's great! You're gonna get so many sales from Calvinists with the intention to "review" it so as to mock, belittle and caricuture what you're saying. The only problem is their might be a few people who'll have their eyes opened since they've only ever been exposed to faulty arguments from fake doktors.

I had a chuckle when I saw one of the issues at Louisiana College was a fear of losing their accreditation - It doesn't matter you Calvinists! Just ask Doktor Jimmie of the store front doctorate!

Lydia

Hi Byron! I remember you from around the blogoshere several years ago. It is so good to see you here.

Boy, I cannot tell you how many ex Calvinists (not in ministry but the followers) I have met that have the same questions you have here. My issue with them is that they are more joyful after leaving that movement! What am I to do with that?

Here is how I am a heretic in the Calvinist movements eyes. I believe that we repent and believe (Would Jesus tell us to do that if we were unable to have any input in that at all?) Wouldn't He have said the Holy Spirit ONLY will cause you to repent and believe? You have nothing to do with it?Oh well.

See, I believe at that point you are Justified but sanctification is another matter. Now we live for Christ. And that DOES show up as fruit. God does not force us to obey the commands to love one another, have mercy, be just, etc. Nor did Jesus "obey for us" on the Cross as many YRR are teaching. I believe God created us with brains, ability to reason (Martin Luther said reason is a damned whore...and now I understand why and why he did not like the book of James!), logic things out, etc. We can choose to live justly and BE the Kingdom now.

How does this jive with what Calvinism teaches:

"22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do."

James thinks we can "do what it says". What is the perfect law? Jesus! What He said as in summing up the law....Love God, love others. Do you think that by Calvin putting to death other believers for disagreeing with him was "love" for others?

If only more believers would look to Christ instead of looking for celebrities who want large followings and making names for themselves!

Personally, I believe Calvinism is anti intellectualism. It really teaches that God does not want us thinking for ourselves at all. Only a few in the know can explain Him to us.

HaitiOrphanProj

Hi Marvin.

"Are you kidding me?!?" No, not at all. Byron's eternal state is not a kidding matter. Would that more on here would engage him praying all the while that God will open his heart as He did Lydia in Acts.

"You, a five-point Calvinist, telling an apparently lost man to "seek" The Lord? I thought you and your kind believe that no man seeks after God? So how can he seek God, except the Holy Spirit draw him?!?!"

Brother, you have thought wrong. Maybe someone misled you. Calvinists, while not always as faithful as we should be...even as non-Calvinists have not always been faithful, have always preached the gospel and told hearers to seek God. We know that if God is in it at that time in the person's life they will indeed seek him. Sometimes it's later on, as was the case with me. I heard the preacher scores of times tell me the same thing. Over years. Problem was I didn't want to. Then the Holy Spirit opened my heart and I sought Him and exercised my newly freed will and repented and believed.

"You Calvinists drive me nuts with your circular and self-contradictory theology." Sorry we drive you nuts, however you classify it.

I'm still praying God will open Byron's heart. Today!

Les

Marvin

You are not a Calvinist like MacArthur, Piper, or Sproul. They would never tell a man to seek God in light of Rimans 3:11.

HaitiOrphanProj

Marvin,

"You are not a Calvinist like MacArthur, Piper, or Sproul. They would never tell a man to seek God in light of Romans 3:11."

Well, being a Calvinist like those men of God is not my goal. My goal is to try and be faithful to scripture.

But for the record, I don't think you know of what you speak. I am ordained in the same denomination as Sproul. That doesn't mean we have the exact same view on evangelism. But if you have some evidence that Sproul would not tell a lost person to seek God after explaining the gospel, I would sure be open to it.

Ss For Pper, I've met him once and read some of his sermons. I don't think you're right, but I have no first hand experience.

As for MacArthur, I've actually spent some time with him over the years and actually have had this discussion. You're mistaken.

Les

Lydia

Marvin, The practical application of Calvinism does not work. That is why they teach one thing and do another. But then they claim they are not doing that at all.... we just don't understand. See, as Mohler implied on the GC video, we do not have the mental processes to understand it

HaitiOrphanProj

"The practical application of Calvinism does not work."

As some have repeated numerous times. If we would just be consistent!! Darn those Calvinist missionaries and preachers. What do they think they're doing? What could William Carey have been thinking? Or David Brainerd? Oh well.

Marvin

So, Les, are you saying men don't seek God until you tell thm to, or is Scripture wrong? Do men have the interstitial ability to chose God?

Lydia

Les, If those men told people to seek God then they weren't really Calvinist. See Calvin had a captive audience. The people he preached to had to be there they had no choice. So he was never really able to practically apply his own teaching.
He did not have to he had the magistrates.

peter lumpkins

Hi Les,

You would be presumptuous to assume Byron has not been engaged at length here and elsewhere.

HaitiOrphanProj

Marvin and Lydia,

Surely you two have heard of such a thing as what some call divine appointments, right? Where God orchestrates the timing such that a preacher preaches (or a person opens the scripture to an individual) and the Holy Spirit opens the person's heart right then and there? Or the next day or the next week. See that other famous Lydia.

Marvin, had to look up that word interstitial . I found, "situated within but not restricted to or characteristic of a particular organ or tissue —used especially of fibrous tissue."

You'll have to come at that question again brother.

See I have all confidence that I can explain the gospel to someone and trust that God can save. Right then and there. Or maybe later. Of maybe never (since we all know that salvation is of the Lord said Jonah and we also know that not everyone will be saved). God can handle it.

If I urge someone to seek the Lord I'm trusting that if they do genuinely seek Him for forgiveness that what Jonah said is happening. Simple as that.

Les

HaitiOrphanProj

Peter,

"You would be presumptuous to assume Byron has not been engaged at length here and elsewhere."

I apologize if I came across as presumptuous. I was referring to today's dialogue. We never know when the words we share may be the very words God uses that day, or this day, to prick a heart.

Les

HaitiOrphanProj

Peter,

I commented right after you on this and it disappeared. I must not have hit submit.

"You would be presumptuous to assume Byron has not been engaged at length here and elsewhere."

I apologize if I came across as presumptuous. I certainly didn't mean it that way. I was referring to today's comments to Byron. We never know that the Word we share today or our words will be the very ones on this day that God will use to prick a sinners heart and open it for salvation.

Byron Smith

Les, thank you for your genuine concern for my spiritual state (if such a thing even exists). I must politely decline any invitations to conversion as I am sincerely disinterested in acquiring any religious beliefs. I have an external observer's interest in theology, though, for whatever its worth, I am drawn to the five-point soteriology of Piper, Sproul, and James White, over non-Calvinist perspectives. But I'm not looking for personal assurance or anything else. I am simply resigned to apostasy in my personal view, to use Christian terminology in which I no longer fully believe.

peter lumpkins

Thanks, Les. No problem.

All,

I haven't a clue why my spam filter is so sensitive but I found two more comments in it which shouldn't have been there, one from Byron and the other from Les. Earlier, Pam's comment landed there. My apologies to all...

HaitiOrphanProj

Byron,

I understand. I really do. I've had two experiences with folks in situations very similar to yours. One kept rejecting the gospel for almost 10 years. But God...! He was saved by God and now serves in Christian ministry for a number of years now. The other? Well I have not given up after about 5 years. He's still breathing the air God has provided. So I hope, pray and persist.

You'll need to find another Calvinist to engage you on theology questions. You can have some intellectual understand, but until you're born again you'll never really get it. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. You've read that too.

Jesus said, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)

I urge you to find rest in Him.

Les

Lydia

Les, How did divine appointment work in Geneva where they were forced to go listen to Calvin preach, baptize the infants, etc.

HaitiOrphanProj

Lydia,

I don't know. Never been to Geneva. Your question is not relevant to Byron's situation.

Lydia

It is very relevant to what you base your beliefs on which is always deflected upon being questioned closely and claimed to be "biblical" but based on Calvin's system, no less. I would suspect that divine appointment was the reason for being a "ruling elder", too. I am sure you or any other man had nothing to do with it since you are "unable" to do anything and God controls every molecule.

"Ruling" elder is by divine appointment.

See the closer we take a look at the practical applications of Calvinism the more ridiculous it looks. But I do disagree you guys are not evangelistic. I think you all are big evangelists for Calvin.

HaitiOrphanProj

Lydia,

I base my beliefs on the bible. You can continue to look silly by saying otherwise, as if you have insight into my heart, but my beliefs are biblical no matter how much your dislike of Calvin leads you to say such things.

Ruling really bothers you...authority issues?

Evangelist for Calvin? Read what I wrote to Byron and square that with this ridiculous statement.

Les

Byron Smith

Les, I mean you no personal offense, but I disagree with the sentiment that I will never get it, and never be able to spiritually discern things. Those are your beliefs, not mine, based on your view of the operation of the Holy Spirit on people's souls. To me, no offense, but it might as well be magic in my view. I used to believe this same way, too, as a Calvinist, until one day it finally dawned on me that "lost" people COULD and DID understand the Bible, at times better than I did. All I wanted was your personal theological view for curiosity's sake. I understand you take your religion seriously, and I respect that. But are you afraid that you cannot just answer my question directly for some spiritual reason? Anyways, take care, and have an excellent day.

Mary

Les, the only people who look silly are two-faced hypocrites like you who go into other blogs bashing and blasting with your buddies like Mr. Unity and then pretend that you have any crediabilty to come and declare what is and isn't Biblical.

And Byron's biggest problem is that he is still listening to lunatics like James White. He should broaden his heart and his mind a little bit away from the vitriol of people like White. I don't think Byron turned away from Christianity as much as he's turned away from Calvinism, but he can't see that because he was young and indoctrinated into this idea that to be smart you had to be Calvinist. He still thinks he knows all just like your typical Calvinist, except now he's the atheist spoken of so often in the Psalms.

HaitiOrphanProj

Hi Mary.

Vitriol and James White?

You call me a two faced hypocrite?

And I "bash and blast?" I really Tur not to, but if you can quote me bashing and blasting, I'll own up to it and beg pardon.

Have a blessed evening Mary.

HaitiOrphanProj

Byron,

I meant no offense to you and I certainly was not offended. Byron, not afraid at all.

Les

peter lumpkins

Hey guys,

Let's tone it down, Kaaaaay?

HaitiOrphanProj

Will do Peter. Sorry. And Mary, Tur should have been try.

Mary

Sorry Peter.

And Les, Calvinist never apologize since they are never wrong.

And no I'm not a hypocrite who behaves one way on this blog or say SBC Today and then goes to other places and gossips and maligns. I behave pretty consistently. And no I'm not vitriolic, I'm "passionate" - oh wait sorry only Calvinists can pull that.

Lydia

"Ruling really bothers you...authority issues?"

Yes.

HaitiOrphanProj

Mary,

I apologize if you thought I was calling you a hypocrite or accusing you of bashing and blasting and vitriolic. I was not calling you those things. I was quoting you. Should have used """ marks.

Have a blessed evening.

Les

Byron Smith

Mary, for the record, I am no longer able to believe any of the fundamental tenets of Christianity or God (at least in any Christian sense). So essentially my "unbelief" goes much deeper than differences over soteriology, though those are also primary to many Christians. I would still be a five-point Calvinist, if I could become a Christian. I was as genuine as I could be for 25 years, mentally assenting to the essential doctrines of the faith (and many non-essentials, especially in the periphera of Calvinism). I am sorry, Mary. I used to think I knew it all, and now I realize I did not: not as a Christian, and certainly not now. I do not know as much about the religion I used to believe as is possible.

But of course, this assertion excludes the possibility of Christianity actually being true and actual conversion and spiritual faith abiding in souls which exist as real entities. There are three components to Christian faith, as I see it from a secular standpoint: cognitive understanding, mental assent, and social framework. Of course, Christians would add a fourth which is primary: the spiritual realm, under the authority of God and subject to His decrees, and interpreted to humans by the Holy Spirit through the inerrant Word of God, which bears witness to Christ and His work of divine redemption.

To call James White a lunatic is to claim his irrationality, and I do not think that can be sustained. His beliefs have definitely been polarizing, especially in the area of soteriology, however. From what I can see, the debate centers upon different interpretations and harmonization of key scripture passages. I no longer believe in the Bible either, so I no longer feel the need to defend or oppose any particular interpretation with any passion. That can simply give way to curiosity on my part.

Mary

Byron, we've talked about James White in the past and disagreed so we'll just agree to disagree on his irrationality and lunacy.

What I think is happening with you Byron is that God is not through with you - you wouldn't still be listening to Doktor Jimmy or popping in here and there to these blogs. I don't think it's an accident that you're not completely gone. I pray this is a season for you Byron and that you'll come to a deeper and greater faith one day. What I see with young men like you (and FWIW I live with two teen age boys) is you simply think too much. You want to make things more complicated then they are. There has to be some difficult deep explanation when really it's very simple. God is wooing us and we'll never have all the answers but we can feel in our hearts that He's here with us.

I think I remember you sharing you've lost both your parents? I know sometimes we go through tough times and your faith can break. A year ago my son was admitted to the hospital in serious condition, he needed blood transfusions and I can tell you it was one of the worst nights of my life as I watched blood being pumped into him and the efforts to get him stable. Then the months following as we tried to get him into remission and the nasty side effects of the drugs and he never complained. I still tear up. I know what it's like to go through tough times and bury your parents. For some people those times rip at their faith. I've learned and what I've tried to teach my children is to look for God in those times because it's when He's the closest. His blessings are abundent in those times and very evident - not simply to be explained as conincidence. I think one problem I see in Calvinists - and especially young male Calvinists (or even young male nonCalvinists for that matter) is the mistake of dismissing the heart over the head. Faith is a heart matter. And sometimes it really is about the feeling that others will describe as irrational, but you know it's real.

I've rambled on Byron, but I hope you'll keep seeking and I hope you'll be willing to pay attention to those places God is wooing you because I'm confident that He is.

peter lumpkins

Mary,

Yes, 'passionate' is a perfect descriptor for you! :^)

Ron F. Hale

A timely word ... Mary!

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