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Apr 18, 2013

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Andrew Barker

Peter, I'm sure I will enjoy reading your book even more now, when the postman has done his bit. How's that for a bit of synergism in action!;)

Robert Vaughn

Peter: "I’ve had many encourage me to just drop James White’s 'review' of my recent booklet on understanding Calvinism..."

It is a hard decision to decide whether and when to respond to personal attacks when they are also mixed with theological ones. I had that happen today and had that kind of decision to make. This does seem to be long on attack and short on review.

Rick Patrick

John MacArthur, John Piper and James White go to heaven and stand before God. God says, "Gentlemen, Calvinism is all wrong!" MacArthur says, "May I please borrow a computer? I need to revise my outlines." Piper says, "I TOLD everybody we were not professionals!" And White says, "But God, you just don't UNDERSTAND Calvinism!"

Leslie Puryear

Hubris thy name is James White. He accuses you of being unteachable? What a laugh. White's whole argument is "If you don't agree with me, then you don't know what you're talking about." That is the definition of being unteachable.

peter lumpkins

All,

Below is the kind of false innuendo Calvinists like J.D. Hall continue to publish and remains why it's next to impossible to have a real conversation with these guys. Recall Hall is the one who implied Adam Harwood & TMC were "theologically raping" students (and subsequently had to apologize). Some guys never quit.

Hall tweeted:

“JD Hall ‏@PulpitAndPen 14h
Correct me if I'm wrong,but I don't think P.Lump started calling it "booklet" until @DrOakley1689 correctly identified it as such his review”

Of course the fact is, I spoke of What is Calvinism? from the beginning as a "brief look," a "short work," and a "little book" as my opening post made clear. Furthermore, on my webstore it plainly has both Harwood's and my piece as "booklets" in the Free Church Press series. None of this, however, keeps Hall from spreading his inaccurate gossipy garbage. That's one reason I'm just about completely through with these incorrigible guys. There’s just no reasoning with them.

Max

Peter writes "There’s just no reasoning with them."

I'm not sure we totally appreciate the spiritual element of this debate. It's increasingly clear that there is a battle for the minds of the next generation of Southern Baptists. Much of the theological argument in SBC ranks can simply be reduced to human opinion, teachings and traditions of men, and intellectual arrogance. If the enemy wanted to hinder us from our mission to win the world for Christ, he would first distract our minds. In such an atmosphere, there is no reasoning with each other. Southern Baptists will continue to flail at the branches until someone rallies us to take an axe to the root of this tree. If I thought it could pass, I would propose a simple resolution at SBC-Houston ... "Pray."

peter lumpkins

Andrew,

I hope soon!

Robert,

I hear you. Sometimes it's very difficult to discern which to do...

Rick,

You gave me a much needed laugh, brother...

Les,

I think you've learned him well...

Max,

Yes. Pray, brother...pray...

Paul Owen

Peter,

Having read your comments above, it is quite obvious that you have a very good grasp indeed of the odds and ends of TULIP. Your opponent's sniping criticism reveals a man who is more interested in trying to look clever than with genuine theological dialogue.

It's a clever debate tactic, I'll admit. First, ignore your opponent's actual point of view. Second, change your opponent's view into something that is more open to criticism. Third, challenge your opponent to rebut your newly constructed straw man criticism. Finally, declare victory over your opponent when he cannot rebut your criticism, since in order to do so he would have to refashion his actual stated position out of the chaos of the poorly constructed straw man. This tactic is especially effective if your straw man is so far removed from the truth of your opponent's viewpoint, that he is at a loss as to how to even get back to his original position. This now leaves the (uneducated) audience with the impression that you are oh such a masterful debater, and the evildoer has been slain by your genius powers of analysis and cross-examination.

peter lumpkins

Dr. Owen,

Thank you, my brother.

In an exchange before the release of my booklet on Calvinism, White asked me in an email if I listed a "bibliography" so he could know what works I studied coming to my conclusions about Calvinism. I said I did but I couldn't list them all since my library is probably richer than most pastors (in my circles anyway) in Calvinistic works.

I think I have 28 endnotes referencing works in my little book. And, if I recall correctly, 21 of the 28 are directly from Calvinist sources--all mainstream Calvinist references (unless James White would be an exception to that, and I say that with no ill-intent whatsoever. James White may be a popular Calvinist in internet discussions and popular apologetics areas, but he is surely not in the league of widely popular Calvinistic authors like R.C. Sproul (upon whom I depended several times), or mainstream Calvinistic theologians like Berkof, the Hodges, Gaffin, Strong, Nicolle, Berkouwer, and Grudem among many, many others we could mention, others I've attempted to read through the years.

The truth is, Dr. Owen, I possess a profound respect for Calvinism, its undeniably rich and vibrant history in Protestant Christianity generally and amongst the Baptist movement particularly, its historic stand for biblical truth, and so much more I can mention. Still to this day, one of my favorite authors is a full five-point Calvinist--a Presbyterian no less! But I learned from one of my first professors early on when I enrolled on the campus at Southern seminary (at Boyce) in 1979 to just display toward those works I consulted, read, and learned to appreciate what he dubbed as common horse sense: eat the hay and spit out the briers. I've not forgotten that to this very day.

Thus, I have no ill-will toward either Calvinists or Calvinism per se, and gladly have their volumes on my shelf for theological reflection, edification, and assistance in understanding not only Calvinism better but bettering and maturing my own dissent to traditional Calvinism.

But as you rightly pointed out the other day, it's hardly doable or workable toward much of the YRR community to hold the common-horse-sense-approach my wise old professor counselled, an approach which gladly assumes mutual respect for various theological traditions necessarily coupled with a certain level of give-n-take about it.

Rather today we are facing a militant army of Calvinistic Crusaders who frequently if not exclusively employ a scorched earth, no-prisoners-approach in theological engagement, an approach many times calling for heresy trials at the drop of a hat if one sways from the "received orthodoxy" as they perceive it.

And, I say with not the least amount of joy or satisfaction, but rather with teary eyes: I hold little hope out for the SBC. This thing has taken us by whirlwind. I see no going back short of a real, substantial, verifiable intervention from our Loving God.

Moreso, I'm presently faced with a real possibility about which I've never yet publicly considered to date; namely, it very well may be God's providential ordering that the Southern Baptist Convention's time has now come to an end. We've just not emotionally accepted it yet; when we do, "fighting the good fight" will suddenly cease, and the Southern Baptist Convention will vanish into the night amidst a sea of numerous "splits," each community of which will gather around the particular theological fault-line for which it lobbied, fault-lines which have been invisible but nonetheless real for the last half-century or so.

Grace, my brother. I appreciate your contribution here.

Paul Owen

Peter,

I am sorry to see the division and contention that is being caused in your circle of fellowship by these militants. Part of the problem I think, is that Baptist theology does not sit easily with a thorough-going implementation of Reformed principles. The Reformed/Protestant model of the church is simply not a voluntary gathering of true believers. It is a mixed community that is normally entered through infant baptism, within which the elect and non-elect coexist until the eschaton. In this respect, the Magisterial Reformation continued in the trajectory of institutional Catholicism.

Baptist ecclesiology is based on the model of voluntary association of true believers. Evangelism (including the altar call and sinners prayer) flows naturally out of that ecclesiology. In the historic Reformed model, conversion is a secret work of the Spirit in the elect, and not a condition for church membership. Calling those who have grown up in church to believe and experience the new birth in a subjective moment of conversion makes good sense on Baptist principles, but not on Reformed principles. Hence the "Reformed" Baptist objection to altar calls is really an expression of their theology, in which the identity of the elect and the moment of regeneration evade human scrutiny. Thus, the capacity for Calvinists and non-Calvinists to coexist in the long term within the SBC is fraught with difficulties, which do not exist in other traditions. Episcopalians for example, have a model of the church (not oriented towards soul-winning and personal evangelism), in which Calvinists and Arminians have been able to coexist more easily, for one's theories concerning predestination have little bearing on the liturgy and the celebration of the Eucharist, which occupy center stage for Episcopalians chrch life, rather than evangelism.

peter lumpkins

Dr. Owen,

An incredible insight, making so much sense within our current context of "push-back," particularly from neo-Calvinists against traditional means of historically acceptable evangelistic methods you indicate including but not limited to the "sinner's prayer," "altar calls," "open invitations," "revival" and "evangelistic" crusades, etc. In this scenario, then, contention would be more ecclesiologically driven than sotieriologically driven...

Paul Owen

Exactly! Evangelical Baptists like yourself have the ecclesiology of the free church, Anabaptist and radical reformation heritage firmly on their side. It is the "Reformed" Baptists who have imported foreign theological concepts that undermine altar calls, personal evangelism, evangelistic crusades, soul winning and revival meetings.

By the way, I think the "never said that" comment which you highlighted above unwittingly reveals an awful lot about the mindset and sense of personal importance on the part of your critic. It would appear that he is unable to separate his personality from the subject under discussion. As if he was the living embodiment of Calvinism, and the real target of any comment on the subject! Lol! What a Georgia hoot!

Lydia

"Episcopalians for example, have a model of the church (not oriented towards soul-winning and personal evangelism), in which Calvinists and Arminians have been able to coexist more easily, for one's theories concerning predestination have little bearing on the liturgy and the celebration of the Eucharist, which occupy center stage for Episcopalians chrch life, rather than evangelism."

I have wondered for a while now how Cals and nonCals could peacefully coexist in that Anglican tradition. The big question seems to be is NT Wright a Calvinist or a Non Calvinst? ;o)

Anyway, it make sense that the liturgy/Eucharist are center stage instead of such doctrinal differences on evangelism.

I also think the SBC has seen it's day but I do think it will take the money drying up for that reality to set in. I cannot see unity with those who do not believe I know the "true Gospel" yet expect me to help pay for them being indoctrinated to tell me that.

The sad part is that YRR leaders who encouraged this movement have done well but I suspect many young men who have been so infatuated with this movement will have a hard time finding or even keeping ministry positions. That is if they don't go bankrupt attending all the many conferences of the big Reformed names who are paid well to speak at them.

Mary

Perhaps a point we can add to the discussion is the movement to actually change the ecclesiology of the SBC. We see now a top down power structure coming out of Louisville and now we see that church plants are taking on these structures where the congregation has less and less say in the church and power is being handed to a few at the top of the structure - the use of "discipline" to keep members in line - there is no dissent allowed in these churches - discipline is used as a way to ensure conformity to the church's party line - and we hear from Mark Dever's 9 Marks that church members are not even allowed to leave a church without the permission of the church. The churches we are planting are not at all Baptistic in their structures and functions.

Lydia, I've mentioned before how I think we'll see a great falling away in the next dozen years or so. You have young men who have no life experience being given this huge responsiblity of planting churches - which is difficult for anybody to do - but the NAMB is investing millions to plant churches with untried/untested men who all have dreams they're going to be the next Matt Chandler. When the reality hits them that trying to plant these cultic type churches will blow up and cause destruction - because we've seen exactly where these types of churches end up - you're going to see a lot of disillusioned hurt people.

The SBC is going to be split into factions with each faction only supporting those like them. There aren't enough Calvinists to support the infrastructure they've taken over. So hard times are coming for them. The trust that the Calvinists are destroying will not be won back. The SBC will exist - but it will be very splintered and competing with itself.

Paul Owen

Lydia,

I think there is something which could be concretely done to stem the tide of the top-down trajectory you have noted within the SBC. I am Episcopalian, but if i were a Baptist I would advocate that all pastors be bivocational as a matter of SBC policy, meaning that they be required to hold at least a part-time job. The contributions of the church would serve to make up what may be lacking to meet the needs of pastors, not to provide their full income. This would underline the point that there is no clerical class in Anabaptist ecclesiology, and that all Christians are equally priests before God.

The elder-rule model popular among Reformed Baptists is a hybrid adaptation of Presbyterian polity, and tends to undermine the role of the priestly congregation as the locus of ministry and spiritual authority. Ironically, the Episcopal and traditional Baptist polities have a similar biblical structure. In the Episcopal model the bishop is the shepherd of each flock (defined city by city), assisted by deacons. Because the bishop cannot be present everywhere at once, his presence in multiple congregations within the cities as the church multiplies is represented by parish pastors who are extensions of his ministry. In Baptist polity each flock also has a single shepherd or bishop, assisted by deacons, but the flock is defined as a local congregation, not as a city. If the congregation becomes large enough, he may also need the assistance of other pastors.

peter lumpkins

All,

The following comment is long and not for everyone to read—at least read in full. I did want to post a reasonably accurate chronicle of some of my twitter exchanges with James White supporter, J.D. Hall. It could assist some who’ve experienced frustration in communicating with aggressive Calvinists like James White, including White supporters like Hall.

=====================================================

I do not want to kick the proverbial dead horse, but I want to show the readers just how totally unsensible, irrational, and  at times just plain ugly James White and his advocates are when it comes to carrying on even the simplest conversation. Below is a twitter exchange with J.D. Hall. Recall Hall is the Montana pastor who implicated Dr. Adam Harwood and Georgia’s Truett-McConnell College in “theologically raping” students with blatant heresy (note: Hall later apologized for such an inappropriate, unfair, and provocative description, what Hall called an unnecessarily “harsh” image). Hall pastors a Southern Baptist Church affiliated with the SBC and a Founders-friendly church; has dis-fellowshipped the local Baptist convention; leads the Reformation Montana project, a project calling for “repentance and a renewed commitment to God-centered theology” among Montana pastors. And, the theology to which they apparently but predictably adhere, promote, and call those who “repent” from unbiblical belief is strict TULIP Calvinism. Hall is very close to James White and seems, at least to me, to serve as White’s literary bodyguard. James White is speaking—excuse me, debating--at the 2013 Reformation Montana Conference along with John MacArthur's “right-hand man,” Phil Johnson.

Note below the beginning of a fairly lengthy twitter exchange I had with Hall (and, while I cannot promise something I don’t know if I can keep, I trust and hope it’s my last exchange). At least for me it was fairly lengthy. I ‘m actually not very active on Twitter. Observe:

JD Hall@PulpitAndPen18 Apr  Correct me if I'm wrong,but I don't think P.Lump started calling it "booklet" until @DrOakley1689 correctly identified it as such his review

peter lumpkins@SBC_Tomorrow19 Apr @PulpitAndPen @DrOakley1689 this is pure nonsense, JD. Do u have no conscience? http://goo.gl/FRfnt

JD Hall@PulpitAndPen19 Apr @SBC_Tomorrow @droakley1689 Perhaps your headline erroneously announcing your new "book" threw me off.

peter lumpkins@SBC_Tomorrow24h @PulpitAndPen @DrOakley1689 selective reading is no excuse for gossip, JD. Why don't u try accuracy 4 a change? Do u fear accuracy?


Hall began by presumably referencing James White’s “review” of What is Calvinism? as influencing me to adjust wrongly calling What is Calvinism? a new “book” to correctly referring to it as a “booklet.” I replied that this was pure nonsense and showed (via //link) where from the beginning I referenced What is Calvinism? as a “little book” and even have it in the bookstore listed under a separate category “Booklets.” Not to be swayed by facts, Hall retorts “Perhaps your headline erroneously announcing your new "book" threw me off.” And, while my tweet I published did have “New Book” released by Free Church Press, it also had a link which clearly showed I wasn’t attempting to make What is Calvinism? into more than it was—a short, brief, “little book”—i.e. booklet—explaining TULIP Calvinism.

More disturbing is, James White fully knew the nature of my little contribution to the discussion of Calvinism in the SBC. In an email exchange with White, he chided me for the number of pages What is Calvinism? contained. Below is my response in part to him in an email which though he responded to my email, he found it convenient to ignore my response and drop his sneering remarks about the shortness of What is Calvinism?, at least drop it via email:

“Now, James, before you and Rich start ROFL like two junior high school boys jockstraping up for their first football practice, consider a few very important factors concerning my 44 page (excuse me, 42 page) piece:


  • a) I consistently referenced What is Calvinism? as a "little work," "little volume," "little piece," and "little book." With this in mind, what real reason would you have to question the length, suggesting an "error," unless, of course, for some reason you'd want to offer a sideways insult or some backdoor ridicule?…
  • b) I say both in the work itself and in the introduction of the Free Church Press series on my site that these short books (more accurately "booklets") are intended for "people in the pew" not those with theological backgrounds… .  …
  • d) my little volume fits nicely into a literary genre Christians have produced effectively and successfully no matter their theological orientation. For example, I'm staring at two little volumes sitting on a shelf to my right by the astute and capable High Calvinist, John H. Gerstner. One is entitled A Primer on Free Will (P&R Pub, 1982) and the other A Primer on Dispensationalism (P&R Pub, 1982). After removing them from the shelf,  I quickly discover the titles having a total of 28 pages and 37 pages respectively--neither having more pages than mine


To continue, therefore, harping on and on about this is nonsensical at best and dishonest at worst.

But this is not even the real kicker. Hall drops my complaint concerning “booklet” and takes the conversation in another direction. To my question concerning his deliberate logging of known inaccuracies and fearing accuracy, Hall plays on the term “accuracy” to change the subject:

  • @SBC_Tomorrow @DrOakley1689 Why did you turn comment moderation on shortly after giving the "no Caner comment" rule. Do YOU fear accuracy?
  • peter lumpkins@SBC_Tomorrow16h @PulpitAndPen @DrOakley1689 your niche 4 inaccuracy knows no boundaries. Moderation went n2 effect way b4 that. Keep your gossip goin
  • JD Hall@PulpitAndPen15h @SBC_Tomorrow I'm pretty sure moderation went into effect ONLY for comments related to exposed and unrepentant fraud @erguncaner
  • JD Hall@PulpitAndPen14h @SBC_Tomorrow That you would accuse me of gossip for mentioning @ErgunCaner's public, proven fraud actually makes you guilty of slander.
  • peter lumpkins@SBC_Tomorrow14h @PulpitAndPen @erguncaner of course how stupid of me. You actually saw me flip the switch. Can't fool JD!
  • peter lumpkins@SBC_Tomorrow14h @PulpitAndPen @erguncaner sweet Georgia peaches. Can you not read a single line without skewing it? No 1 would believe w/o seeing it
  • JD Hall@PulpitAndPen13h @SBC_Tomorrow What did I skew, Pete?
  • peter lumpkins@SBC_Tomorrow12h @PulpitAndPen so long I'm done
  • JD Hall@PulpitAndPen10h @SBC_Tomorrow I guess that's an "I don't know."


Hall claims I “turned moderation on” shortly after I gave what he dubs the “no Caner comment rule” on the thread (April 12). Well I most certainly didn’t. I turned moderation on for all comments immediately after I edited the notorious comment deleting out an obvious inappropriate, vulgar descriptor toward White so as to leave the edited comment on the thread (without the vulgarity and totally uncalled for descriptor) which was a full week earlier on April 5!

Even more telling is, a so-called “no Caner comment rule” has been moderated since at least Feb 14, 2013. Take a look at this partial list of blocked words for my site.  Note all the forms for “caner” listed. The date to the right is the date I added the term(s) to my filter. So, in essence, there was no need to “turn comment moderation on shortly after giving the ‘no Caner comment’ rule” as Hall claims, a rule which would presumably, in Hall's mind at least, forbid discussion concerning Caner. Why? Because no comment would have been posted with Caner in it! Caner was already filtered out! Comments with Caner in them were, in essence, already moderated.

But even after I specifically informed Hall moderation on all comments went into effect well before Hall indicated (exactly a week before Hall claims, I had turned moderation on for all comments and will probably leave it on from now on due to the vulgarity posted; but "Caner" had already been in the filter for approximately 2 mos before I posted what Hall calls the "no Caner comment rule"!), Hall nonetheless still insisted “I'm pretty sure moderation went into effect ONLY for comments” related to Dr. Caner. “Pretty sure?” Pretty sure?” “Pretty sure” based upon what exactly, J.D.? Though Hall hasn’t one single slither of factual evidence to offer, he nonetheless repeats he’s “pretty sure” moderation went into effect “ONLY for comments” related to Dr. Caner. This demonstrates the mindless, vacuous but vicious and incorrigible tendencies some of James White’s supporters display in actual conversations. Do these guys communicate with their church members like this? Their mothers?  Their deacons? Other local pastors? 

Finally, to my “Keep your gossip goin” I offered, J.D. Hall responded yet again changing the subject: “That you would accuse me of gossip for mentioning @ErgunCaner's public, proven fraud actually makes you guilty of slander.” Of course, my “gossip goin” had to do with Hall’s complete rational breakdown in suggesting he knew when I turned moderation on for the comment thread.

What does Hall do?

He suggests I accused him of gossip for mentioning Caner, and then pronounces me guilty of slander! Sweet Georgia Peaches! One can hardly believe an incomprehensible response like that could be written by a man who stands before a congregation and says, “thus says the Lord.”

That’s when I suggested, “Can you not read a single line without skewing it?” rightly judging that “No 1 would believe w/o seeing it.” The truth is--and, I'm hardly stretching it--I've never been in communication with such garbled, incomprehensible exchanges in my almost 60 years of living. For me, there’s no hope for reasonable, sober exchange when perpetual attempts are made to undermine real communication. It's almost as if they visibly, openly go out of their way to be obnoxiously indifferent to genuine communication, deliberately undermining understanding at every turn, all the while they possess not the least embarrassment that people actually see and read their absurdities.

In response, J. D. Hall wondered what he’d actually skewed, and upon that, I gave my short farewell speech—“so long. I’m done.” I do not know if Hall was just yanking my chain, so to speak, by suggesting “I guess that’s an ‘I don’t know’” or if he was sincere. It really doesn’t matter.

My hope in posting this long comment is to warn readers that if they engage some of James White’s supporters like J.D. Hall, something similar to the above is undoubtedly what is awaiting you.

Lord be gracious and merciful to us,sinners as we inevitably are… 

Lydia

"I would advocate that all pastors be bivocational as a matter of SBC policy, meaning that they be required to hold at least a part-time job. The contributions of the church would serve to make up what may be lacking to meet the needs of pastors, not to provide their full income. This would underline the point that there is no clerical class in Anabaptist ecclesiology, and that all Christians are equally priests before God. "

I have two friends, both went to seminary in 40's for M.Div, who are doing this very thing. But they have the wisdom that comes from life experience in the real world, too. And you are right, for the young men, the notion that they are some special priestly class would evaporate quick enough.

I do believe our handing SBTS over to Mohler at the tender age of 33 might be part of the problem. Too much power too young? We see the same thing being done over and over. That does not mean there are not young men who cannot handle it but they are rare. Especially in this day and age where there is really not a lot of hard work, real world experiences in teen years.

Lydia

It is called baiting so they can frame the convo. There is really nothing you can do because this is their game. I saw this all the time on SBCV a while back but it seems to have settled down a bit. I think word came down (Setzer?) to trim their claws and many of them have stopped commenting there so much. They were becoming too obvious.

We are not dealing with reasonable men. We are dealing with angry arrogant men. So unless the pew setters continue to check their brains at the door, this is not going to last forever. People are not going to pay to be used and controlled forever. If you do not believe me then go look at how many churches/people have left SGM and even before the lawsuit came out.

One reason they love the word "Gospel" for everything is they get to then define it for us.Debating is Gospel, arguing is Gospel, insulting is Gospel, etc because only they have real truth. And since they get to define it, then they can also define what is sin/untruths for themselves and others which often are two different things.

If they used the words Jesus Christ, people would have a standard to measure with and that would not be good for them.

Lydia

"With applicable interest, consider the words of Francis Hodgson written in 1854 about how Reformed men perpetually whined and howled about how no one understood Calvinism but Reformed men. Hodgson said "The advocates of this doctrine complain loudly that they are misunderstood and misrepresented..."

Oh Thank you for those little gems. History repeating itself over and over. The problems seem to occur when Calvinism goes outside the state church and one is not in danger of burning for disagreeing. :o)

chris Gilliam

"It's almost as if they visibly, openly go out of their way to be obnoxiously indifferent to genuine communication, deliberately undermining understanding at every turn..." Peter, this lack of respect indicates that you are viewed as a Pharisee and Wolf. Thus,no need to discourse. I can see no other reason for such hostilities.

BTW, I just had a similar conversation on a recent sermon in which I stated God's heart is a heart of Love. I was rebuffed for not saying "God loves and hates." I demanded careful examination of the context and chapters in front and behind of the text and proof, exegetical proof to validate the rebuff. None was offered because it is not there, but the rebuff was still desired...

A Reformed pastor indicated that much of the problem is that an interpretive grid is from from the epistles and forced on the gospels. That was the error on my particular situation above. I asked the YRR what he reads and he said he is much more audio and video....where is critical scholarship in that?

Keep the FAith.
Chris

Andrew Barker


Lydia, thanks for the ref to Francis Hodgson, who I have since looked up and am in the process of reading through one of his 'little' but nonetheless useful articles namely The Calvinistic Doctrine of Predestination.

I suspect the reason why this is a constant response from the Calvinist 'elite' is because they are not used to being challenged by their congregations, who for the main part do not have the necessary skills to question what is being said. So people learn to toe the line, or get out.

Either those of us who don't 'get' Calvinism are intellectually challenged or something else is going on. I prefer the latter explanation of course! Indeed, it could be that we are actually seeing consequences which the Calvinists are missing.

To rationalise freewill and determinism you need compatiblism , of which I am fairly confident the average pew filling Calvinist has not the slightest awareness, leave alone understanding. But having squared this circle, a hurdle of their own making (don't you just love mixed metaphors), they (Calvinists) don't take it any further and see if this 'compatiblist' universe has other implications ..... it does!

So Peter is in good company being 'flamed' by the self styled 'Inquisitor'. If I said "nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition" it would probably be another joke which loses its meaning on crossing the pond, but hey, it's done now!

Svyatoslav

You didn't actually address what he said on the DL. Sure, you complained how he says, 'You don't understand Calvinism' but you didn't actually address the Biblical text. You never do. I don't think that my comment will get approved.

peter

'Svyatoslav'

Well, yes I did address what White said in the DL. What I didn't do is address ALL he said. I have no reason to do so. I addressed enough for readers to hopefully see White's unbalanced and even skewed reading of those whom he considers adversaries.

In addition your broad swath about my never addressing the biblical text will be believed by you and a handful of White supporters like you. Those who come regularly know I'm not shy about engaging Scripture.

Finally, there was no reason in and of itself to deny your comment. I log comments repeatedly which make absurd assertions as did you. However, if you expect to continue logging on, log on giving us your real identity or drop me an email explaining why you must 'protect' your real name. Otherwise, I probably won't pay for more of your comments to be housed here. Clear enough?

Mary

It's amazing how Calvinists think that no one has ever addressed scripture but them. If someone were actually interested in scripture they could just do a search of this blog and find where all the usual Calvinists proof texts have been addressed again and again. The people who declare "you never address the scripture" don't really want to know how anyone besides Calvinists address Scripture. They just want to attack people while pretending no one can "address Scripture" but them. It's this idea that if only you would read your Bible you would see it's Calvinist.

Svyatoslav kleshchev

Sir, this is my real name. I'm confused as to why you would think otherwise? My name is svyatoslav kleshchev. A college student at university of Oregon. I have nothing to hide. You seemed to imply that the only thing James white said is that you don't understand Calvinism, which I don't think is fair. Still not sure why you think this Isn't my real identity.

peter lumpkins

Svyatoslav

My deepest apologies concerning your name. I repeatedly get unusual names coupled with 'generic' emails. I appreciate your taking the time to correct my mistake. Again, deepest apologies.

Now if you'd only take time to show how this approx 3000 word response only implies White's repeated remark that I don't understand Calvinism, we could get somewhere

Patrick

Peter,

Maybe James White can coin a new acronym, T.U.L.I.P.L.

The last "L" stands for "Limited Understanding", meaning only reformed elect can correctly understand and define calvinistic theology. It is futile to attempt otherwise.

Lydia

"Lydia, thanks for the ref to Francis Hodgson, who I have since looked up and am in the process of reading through one of his 'little' but nonetheless useful articles namely The Calvinistic Doctrine of Predestination."

Andrew,

Peter gets the credit for Hodgson. He is the go to guy for the historical sources.

"To rationalise freewill and determinism you need compatiblism , of which I am fairly confident the average pew filling Calvinist has not the slightest awareness, leave alone understanding. But having squared this circle, a hurdle of their own making (don't you just love mixed metaphors), they (Calvinists) don't take it any further and see if this 'compatiblist' universe has other implications ..... it does!"

Your whole comment was right on target but this part is what concerns me the most. The foundational premise of Calvinism is totally accepted as there are only 2 options in their doctrinal paradigm since man has no real volition in the matter: Universalism or God chooses a few against their will because we are so totally depraved we cannot respond to the Holy Spirit. So the "results" don't matter when that is your only filter. Man never enters into the equation, really.

So, I think that filter is a good reason to never listen to them because they are humans...what do they know? :o)

peter lumpkins

Mary,

Exactly. White and many Calvinists who support him inevitably assume non-Reformed exegesis to be non-existent as least so far as reasonably sound interpretation is concerned.

Paul Owen

Peter,

Just want to make a few comments. First, I agree with your insight regarding Adam still having the capacity to "hear" God's voice even after the Fall. This fits the distinction between natural and moral ability that even many Reformed thinkers have historically acknowledged (e.g. Amyraut, Edwards, Shedd). Man remains naturally able to hear God and respond to God's sufficient grace even after the fall, while remaining morally unable to receive sufficient grace without efficient grace (given only to the elect).

Secondly, I would note that compatibilism (while dogmatically put forth by many modern Calvinists as the only consistent way to reconcile God's sovereignty with human freedom) has been modified (away from Edwardian compatibilism in the case of Charles Hodge) and sometimes outright rejected by many Reformed thinkers in favor of something more akin to libertarian freedom (following Aquinas). Examples include Donald Macleod, J. Oliver Buswell and most recently Michael Horton. Contrary to what a lot of modern Calvinists say, compatibilism is not the only Reformed option. Compatibilism (at least as Edwards expounded it) comes very close to occasionalism, in which human actions are mere effects of God's immediate causation, and this basically makes God the only efficient agent in the universe. That is dangerously close to pantheism. In fact, a lot of modern Calvinists are pretty much pantheists in their explanation of human choice. Sadly, most of these would be experts in theology don't know the issues well enough to even recognize that compatibilism is not a necessary feature of Reformed theology, and in fact seems to contradict what the Westminster Confession has to say about divine providence and free will.

Duane Triplet

Why don't you just call up Dr. White on his show?

Jon

Just for kicks: I do know Pastor Ronnie Rogers personally, love the man, love his preaching, have attended his church regularly...but he does not understand Calvinism. I've addressed it on my own blog..

peter lumpkins

Duane

Since it looks like you may be new, please read the comment linked below. It answers your question, an answer White's supporters hardly accept but it IS my answer and I'm not interested in pursuing it further...

http://peterlumpkins.typepad.com/peter_lumpkins/2013/04/an-open-invitation-to-james-white-my-response.html?cid=6a00d83451a37369e2017eea39ae86970d#comment-6a00d83451a37369e2017eea39ae86970d

peter lumpkins

Hi Jon,

O.K. You love Ronnie Rogers. You think he's a swell guy. You've regularly attended the church he serves. You judge him ignorant of Calvinism. You said so on your blog. Granted. But I'm afraid none--zero...jack squat--of the above remotely qualifies as sound reason(s) for us to accept your unproven conclusions, Jon.

But you are entitled to hold them just the same whether or not we accept them...

Les Prouty

Jon,

I've started reading your review of the book. So far, you are making your case very well. Thanks for the excellent work.

peter lumpkins

Les,

Please. It gets entirely ridiculous with Calvinists showing up here continually popping off about how ignorant others are about Calvinism. Don't you guys ever learn? Can't you come up with another line? A line I showed above was as prominent in 1854 as it is today?

What's even more interesting is, you've proven more than once in our exchanges that you many times simply cannot articulate a reasonable defense for the points you attempt to make about Calvinism. And, yes I'll be more than glad to link some definitive moments, if I need to, when you simply tucked tail and run.

Even so, you now proudly log here commending Jon for allegedly making a case "very well" in establishing Ronnie Rogers's theological ignorance--"he does not understand Calvinism." Why log that here, Les? Why? If you want to insult Ronnie, why not do that on Jon's blog instead of doing it here in some snotty drive-by similar to Jon's drive-by above?

This type of subtle theological snobbery, in Dutcher's words, lends itself toward "Killing Calvinism" from within. Why you and others--perhaps even Jon--do not seem to get this is anybody's guess.

Les Prouty

Peter,

I cannot imagine how you see my comment as "popping off." I looked up definitions, and just don't see it brother.

"Don't you guys ever learn?" What am I supposed to be learning? A new line different than 1854? It's not whining to disagree with a brother over theology.

'you've proven more than once in our exchanges that you many times simply cannot articulate a reasonable defense for the points you attempt to make about Calvinism."

Well brother, two extensive examinations in three different presbyteries says otherwise. I would love to see many of others here and other sites go through the PCA ordination examination process. Maybe not to your satisfaction. But then, that's not my main goal in life. As to having "tucked tail and run," well I would expect you to see it that way and to characterize it that way.

"proudly log here?' Peter, how can you see the pride in my comment (i.e. in my heart)? How?

Have you read Jon's posts? If he is not making his case, then dismantle his posts. The fact is, in my opinion, DR. Rogers mischaracterizes Calvinism. That is either intentional or ignorance of true Calvinism. I choose to believe it is not intentional.

Why log it here? This is where Jon commented. And why is my comment commending Jon seen as an insult? Man. Can't we disagree without taking it personally? And snotty? Peter, it was just a comment that has a different view than yours. This is not a playground.

peter lumpkins

“I cannot imagine how you see my comment as "popping off." I looked up definitions, and just don't see it brother.” Not sure what dictionary you consult. But it didn’t take but a few seconds to get a fairly accurate nuance concerning my intention from a common dictionary source: “to express oneself volubly or excitedly and sometimes irately or indiscreetly: [e.g.] He popped off about the injustice of the verdict” (//link).

‘"Don't you guys ever learn?" What am I supposed to be learning? A new line different than 1854? It's not whining to disagree with a brother over theology.’ It’s not disagreeing with another’s theological position; it’s repeatedly and redundantly suggesting others don’t know what they’re talking about that constitutes the whining I mentioned.

“'you've proven more than once in our exchanges that you many times simply cannot articulate a reasonable defense for the points you attempt to make about Calvinism." Well brother, two extensive examinations in three different presbyteries says otherwise.” No, it says nothing about anything at all in what we discuss here and whether you articulated your point well.

“I would love to see many of others here and other sites go through the PCA ordination examination process.” Is this more snobbery poking its head up?  It kinda sounds a little like it.

“As to having "tucked tail and run," well I would expect you to see it that way and to characterize it that way.” Good. Perhaps we finally agree on something.

"proudly log here?' Peter, how can you see the pride in my comment (i.e. in my heart)? How?” Please Les. There’s more nuances to “proud,” “proudly,” “pride,” etc than what you’re assuming; i.e. that I both judged your heart and implied you “sinfully” logged on, for heaven’s sake. Consult the very same dictionary I linked above. Don’t make this more than it is.

“Have you read Jon's posts? If he is not making his case, then dismantle his posts.” As a matter of fact, I have scanned them. Even so, the only one of Jon’s posts relevant to the present discussion is above—his emboldened claim that Rogers does not understand Calvinism; after all, he addressed it on his own blog. So, no I don’t have to “dismantle” his posts to conclude he offered no evidence here but an unproven assertion, and offered it “just for kicks.”

Now, here’s my challenge to you, Les. Since you state how “very well” Jon made his case that Rogers does not understand Calvinism, I challenge you to make the case here on this thread. In other words, demonstrate how Jon proves Rogers doesn’t understand Calvinism. This should be an easy feat for you since “so far” Jon has made his “case very well.” So, Les, what’s “very well” about Jon’s case?

“The fact is, in my opinion, DR. Rogers mischaracterizes Calvinism.” Well, then substantiate your claim, Les. Let’s hear your evidence.  And, unless you’re going to put up, brother, don’t come back here slamming him again as ignorant. I’m fed up with that line. Either show it or shut up about. That’s pretty blunt; but it’s time to get blunt with some of you guys.

“That is either intentional or ignorance of true Calvinism. I choose to believe it is not intentional.” O.K. prove he’s ignorant.

Why log it here? This is where Jon commented. And why is my comment commending Jon seen as an insult? Man. Can't we disagree without taking it personally? And snotty? Peter, it was just a comment that has a different view than yours. This is not a playground” If you don’t get commending a guy who “just for kicks” logs a sideways insult that another man is ignorant of Calvinism with atta-boy like praise that he’s made his case “very well” it will be hard to explain it, Les. Especially on a post where a) I’ve shown droning on and on and on about non-Calvinists being ignorant and misrepresenting Calvinism has been around in Reformed circles since at least 1854; b) a post showing where James White repeatedly denounces everything with non-Calvinist leanings as sheer ignorance, you don’t see your atta boy comment as needlessly heaping insult to injury, like I say, it’d be hard to explain it to you.

Yes, we can disagree without getting personal. But repeatedly implying somebody is ignorant without showing the guy is ignorant is not personal in what way, Les?

And, no your comment was not a comment that just disagreed with mine. Your comment was a bandwagon comment that Ronnie Rogers is theologically ignorant. Now, perhaps he is. But you saying that (and Jon saying that since he wrote about it on his site) doesn’t make it so. Like I said: Either show it or shut up about. Prove to our readership Ronnie Rogers doesn’t understand Calvinism or don’t make that claim here again. By the way, Les: have you read Rogers’ book?

Finally, if I am correct about what you mean by this not being a playground, I wish you’d explain that to Jon who logged that a Southern Baptist pastor albeit a nice and swell guy is ignorant of Calvinism, a theology he fully embraced for upwards toward 20 years, and he logged about Rogers' ignorance “just for kicks.”

Now, that I‘ve answered your concerns, Les. I’m interested in pursuing but a single assertion you made: “The fact is, in my opinion, DR. Rogers mischaracterizes Calvinism.”

So demonstrate it.

Les Prouty

Thanks Peter.

"Now, that I‘ve answered your concerns, Les. I’m interested in pursuing but a single assertion you made: “The fact is, in my opinion, DR. Rogers mischaracterizes Calvinism.”

So demonstrate it."

Read Jon's posts. He demonstrates it very well so far as i can tell. im basing my opinion that Dr. Rogers doesnt characterize Calvinism well based on the quotes Ive read on Jon's site and SBC Today. I have not read the book. i should do that first. Have a good night brother.

Andrew Barker


Les, you said in your post ....

"Read Jon's posts. He demonstrates it very well so far as i can tell. im basing my opinion that Dr. Rogers doesnt characterize Calvinism well based on the quotes Ive read on Jon's site and SBC Today. I have not read the book. i should do that first. Have a good night brother."

I normally keep out of conversations like this, but I will make an exception this once.Peter has the patience of a saint, I think! He asks YOU to "demonstrate it" and you tell him to read Jon's posts, when he's just mentioned above that he's already read Jon's posts and found them somewhat lacking in substance.

You then expand to say that in your opinion Dr. Rogers doesn't characterise Calvinism well and this is based on quotes you've read on Jon's site and a book which you haven't read.

The truth is Les, that nobody is going to charactise Calvinism well for you, unless they agree with it, which is a rather sad state of affairs, but I think that is an honest assessment of where you're at.

Les Prouty

Hi Andrew. Like that name Andrew. My oldest son is named Andrew.

"He asks YOU to "demonstrate it" and you tell him to read Jon's posts, when he's just mentioned above that he's already read Jon's posts and found them somewhat lacking in substance."

I certainly realize he asked ME to demonstrate... I have no intention of "demonstrating" why I think Dr. Rogers is wrong on Calvinism. Jon the book reviewer has made that case. I agree with Jon so far as I've read his reviews. I simply stated an opinion about Jon's review. As I said, I have not read the book and base my opinion on what I've seen in Jon's posts and what I've seen at SBC Today.

Now, Peter has every right to demand of me to "demonstrate" why my opinion is what it is. He can even tell me "not to log on here again" until I've done so. It's his site. But the inconsistency of such a demand should be glaring.

Just recently Mary said, "When Mr. Unity Chris Roberts continues to label Traditionalist as semiPelgian heretics it's wrong" on another post. Did Peter demand of Mary that she "demonstrate it?" I didn't see it if he did so. But Mary and Peter agree almost all the time. Peter and I disagree almost all the time. Maybe that's why Mary wasn't told to back up her comment that Chris "continues to label Traditionalist as semiPelgian heretics."

"The truth is Les, that nobody is going to charactise Calvinism well for you, unless they agree with it..."

Well, I don't know how you can know that Andrew.

Les

Svyatoslav Kleshchev

Mr Lumpkins,

It's okay, no worries!
//Now if you'd only take time to show how this approx 3000 word response only implies White's repeated remark that I don't understand Calvinism, we could get somewhere//

I'm sorry, I do not think I was clear. I said that you implied in your response to White's latest response that the only thing he said is that you don't understand Calvinism. He said, "In addition, White predictably insisted that I didn't understand his criticisms I catalogued below, adding that the reason I didn't understand his criticisms is, can you guess? Yep! Because I do not understand Calvinism! "

That's not all he said. He spent not that much time on this comment when compared with the rest of the show.

Lydia

'Jon,

I've started reading your review of the book. So far, you are making your case very well. Thanks for the excellent work.
'

Les, I guess some of us are trying to understand the strategies. Why leave the above here and not just on Jon's blog? Why bring it here? What is the thinking behind doing that....considering the thread topic, etc?

Lydia

"Well, I don't know how you can know that Andrew."

Experience? Listening to the mantra for years: You don't understand Calvinism.

I think Mohler explained it best: We simply do not have the mental processes to understand it. Now I understand, according to many YRR who are his internet interpreters because we cannot understand what he says as a public communicator, that I did not REALLY understand what Mohler was implying in that scenerio.

I know there has to be a Calvin decoder ring for us ignoramouses somewhere in the world? But then, that would defeat the purpose. (wink)

Mary

Hey Les, would you provide the link where Mr. Unity has recanted on his declaration that Traditionalist are semi-Pelegian? Thanks a bunch! Or maybe you could go get Mr. UNity himself to come here and declare that no, no he doesn't still go around declaring that the Trad Statement is semiPelegian. Has he changed his mind? See the difference Les, as you try to insult and get a dig in at me and Peter, is that what I stated can actually be proven and Mr. Unity doesn't go around denying that he's calling the Trad Statement semiPelegian.

YOU Les in your usual way that you choose to go about insulting and stirring up as much division and discord as you can while giving attaBoys - you think as a typical Calvinist that just stating your opinion that Dr. Rogers is some imbecile who really doesn't know anyting about Calvinism is the same as the fact that Mr. Unity continues to call Trads semi-Pelegian. Your opinion Les does not rise to the level of fact. But Mr. Unity is one of your attaboy friends. He could come here and declare that he doesn't go around on blogs like Pravda and label Trads as semiPelegian which historically is heresy. Oh I know Mr. UNity is soooo impressed with himself that he's decided that just because semiPelegian is historically heresy he in his generosity doesn't think it's heresy so he thinks he's not actually calling people heretics.

Hey I know! Mr. Unity could offer another resolution at the SBC this year. His resolution could declare that he has determined that despite all the historical references of semiPelegianism as heresy that he's decided it's not so the SBC could allow these heretic semiPelegians to you know bring pot luck or something.

Lydia

"Just recently Mary said, "When Mr. Unity Chris Roberts continues to label Traditionalist as semiPelgian heretics it's wrong" on another post. Did Peter demand of Mary that she "demonstrate it?"

She does not need to, most of us have seen it over and over the last year. In fact, Chris, as Mr. Unity, does not see a problem with a Unity Resolution and insisting we are Semi Pelagians who won't just admit it. There is almost an Islamic feel to his insistence. It is eerie.

That is how tone deaf and tin ear this movement is. That is the type of narcissistic thinking it is producing because it is modeled from top down and the youngen's are indoctrinated. not educated nor convicted with hearts of love for others. Their idea of "love" is "their definition of truth".

What is happening is that they are losing the benefit of the doubt. More and more people are seeing the cognitive dissonance (deceit and strategy) in the words/actions and are pushing back. They accuse others of being deceptive when their movement was started and built on the principles of the "Quiet Revolution" which turns deception into a program and calls itself Christian.

Here is my prediction:

The new code word for Calvinism will be "conservative". I am already seeing it thrown out there in this neck of the woods.

Again, you gotta pay attention to definitions. They are a sneaky bunch for Christians.

Mary

I bet if we could find Mr. Unity's blog we'd find ol Les attaboying Chris for calling Traditionalist heretics. But here we have Mr. Unity still insisting Trads are heretics.


http://sbcvoices.com/southern-baptists-and-spiritual-myopia/#comments

Chris Roberts April 10, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Addendum to my points: as has been pointed out over and over again, all the furor over Mohler doesn’t even make sense considering how little he actually said about semi-Pelagianism in the Statement. Most of the rage has required imposing motives and meanings on his few words. Even if he had called it semi-Pelagian (which, let me say yet again, he didn’t), he would be in the clear – both because it is SP and because even if it isn’t, it’s an issue that can be legitimately debated. But such an action is very different from a generic charge of treason for quoting non Southern Baptists.

Andrew Barker

Lydia, thank you!

I was going to explain to Les, that he is quite right. I do not have absolute certainty about my comment. However, it was not plucked out of a vacuum, but resulted from a certain amount of experience and patience, looking and 'listening' on this blog before making a single comment. But of course Les doesn't know that either, how could he!

So Les, the ball is in your court. Explain to me(us) what it is that those of us who do not hold your Calvinist views are getting wrong. Because until I hear to the contrary, I'm likely to err on the side of thinking, Les hasn't got a proper answer so he's going to opt for the "you just don't understand it" button. It's rather worn and a bit of a cop out Les isn't it?

Paul Owen

There is a big elephant in the room here that often goes unnoticed. Arminian critics of Calvinism often understand Calvinism much better than the YRR crowd. So, given the fact that these "Calvinists" themselves often do not understand what they are talking about, it is no wonder that they accuse Arminians of misunderstanding Calvinism. An accurate description of Calvinism will look like a misunderstanding to them!

Les Prouty

Boy, where to start? Mary,

"Hey Les, would you provide the link where Mr. Unity has recanted on his declaration that Traditionalist are semi-Pelegian? "

Mary, I have not questioned your your use of SP. you said, SP "heretics." So, if you could just provide the link where he calls "Traditionalist as semiPelgian heretics" that would be great.

Lydia, only a select few of us get the decoder ring. And, "She does not need to, most of us have seen it over and over the last year. In fact, Chris, as Mr. Unity, does not see a problem with a Unity Resolution and insisting we are Semi Pelagians who won't just admit it. There is almost an Islamic feel to his insistence. It is eerie.

See my comment to Mary. It's the H word in question and looking for a quotation. Maybe he did. I've just seen him say explicitly SP is NOT heresy.

Andrew, I don't know what your views are. How do you describe Calvinism? If you agree with Dr. Rogers, see Jon's posts.

Paul, so glad I'm not a YRR.


peter lumpkins

Dr. Owen,

Thank you. I defer my time to you. You have the floor. :^)

Mary

Les, semi Pelegianism is heresy. Now you and your buddies can go around with your secret language where words only mean what the Calvinists say they mean but you and your buddies like Mr. Unity continue to expose yourself for the arrogant divisive people that you are. Calvinists do not own the world and they do not own all theological definitions.

peter lumpkins

How entertaining. While Les continues to state his "opinion" that Ronnie Rogers is ignorant of a theology he embraced for almost two decades, when asked to serve us some pudding to test whether there's any proof in it, he announces he'll do no such thing; and to boot, if we want to know how he came to his "opinion" we'll need to go and read somebody else's "opinion" to tell us how he came to his "opinion." Well, now that's just peachy...

Les Prouty

"Well, now that's just peachy..."

As I stated earlier, I have yet to read the book. I said at first, "I've started reading your review of the book. So far, you are making your case very well."

Then, "He demonstrates it very well so far as i can tell. im basing my opinion that Dr. Rogers doesnt characterize Calvinism well based on the quotes Ive read on Jon's site and SBC Today."

Then, "As I said, I have not read the book and base my opinion on what I've seen in Jon's posts and what I've seen at SBC Today."

I honestly don't know why this is so hard to understand. I agree with what Jon has posted so far as I have read it. I suppose I could copy and past his posts here, but that wouldn't fly. You want to see my rebuttal to Dr. Rogers? See Jon's posts. I can't improve on what he has written so far as I have read them.

Now Mary, about that quote from Chris?

Ron Phillips, Sr.

Peter,

I guess we just don't understand circular reasoning either. :)

Blessings Brother!

Ron P.

Lydia

"See my comment to Mary. It's the H word in question and looking for a quotation. Maybe he did. I've just seen him say explicitly SP is NOT heresy."

Les, You missed the irony? See above Mary's idea for Chris' next resolution.

Now if you can just convince me that Mohler does not think Semi Pelagianism is heresy we might be on to something. Otherwise you are reaching and splitting some hairs that already have split ends. But I give you guys credit where it is due. You all can parse better than Clinton!

Paul Owen

Here's some typical straw men you will hear from the YRR and others we might call "old restless and reformed":
* Arminians do not believe man is helpless to turn to God without divine grace freeing their enslaved will
* It is semi-Pelagian to deny that Adam's guilt is imputed to the human family
* Universal atonement is a curious compromise of Calvinism, rather than a longstanding view within the tradition (represented by many both at Dort and Westminster)
* No true Calvinists believe that fallen man retains a natural capacity to follow and obey God
* No true Calvinists reject compatibilism in favor of libertarian freedom
* No true Calvinists believe that God not only commands but truly wishes every human being would repent and be saved
* No true Calvinists have agreed that justification and regeneration can be enjoyed for a season (by the non-elect) and then lost

These examples show that many of these debates are made incapable of compromise through the lack of understanding which many would-be Reformed types have of the potential common ground between the Arminian and Calvinist traditions. People like this are more interested in preserving division than moving toward common ground.

Mary

Peter, I know you've noticed this perhaps Dr. Owen has also. It's not enough that only Calvinists understand Calvinism and everyone else gets it wrong. Calvinists truly believe that only they understand anything to do with anything to do with theology. Thus they believe they can control all definitions and control the conversation. So we see where semiPelegianism which was declared heresy for centuries is now not actually heresy. And it doesn't matter which current day scholars try to patiently explain that the Traditionalist statement is not semiPelegianism - Calvinists have decided that they have the right to tell everyone else what is they believe!

So we see the hubris of YRR like former Presby Mr. Unity who thinks he has a better handle on what the majority of the SBC believes then men like a Vines, Patterson et al - former SBC Presidents, current SBC Professors, State Denominational leaders, local Associational leaders - people with hundreds of years of service to the SBC between them and we're told by the Calvinists in the SBC that these people have no clue what the majority of the SBC they've served when these YRR were not even a glint in their dear ol' Presby momma's eye - these people have no clue what the SBC has believed during their years of service. Not only that but these people are too dumb to know that what they actually signed was a centuries old heresy. These people are dismissed as an aberration in the SBC because these YRR know more than those who've gone before them.

Paul Owen

The above examples are given to illustrate that the YRR and ORR tend to lash out against Arminian positions which have historically been allowed a place even within the Reformed tradition. Furthermore, modern Calvinists are locked into problematic doctrines that Arminians rightly criticize. For example, Arminians rightly point out that Calvinists today typically deny the sufficiency of Christ's death for all men. That is biblically hard to defend (just watch Nettles' antics). Calvinists usually respond by saying his death could have saved all men had God willed it. But what Arminian denies that most Calvinists could affirm (unlike Nettles) such a thing? The reply misses the point. Arminians point out that Calvinists usually deny unregenerate man has any chance to believe (despite the fact that many have affirmed man's continued natural ability). Calvinists reply that this is a straw man because they affirm man still has a will. Like Arminians aren't smart enough to know that Calvinists believe man still has a will! Or, Arminians will say that Calvinists deny man has any free will (many do). But then, Calvinists say that's a straw man, and appeal to the freedom of spontaneity that you have with compatibilism. But compatibilism (as Edwards explained it) still makes our "free" choices necessary in their mode of operation! Is that real freedom? Not according to the Westminster Confession!

Another habit of Calvinists is exegetical naivete. They so often think that John 6:44 and Romans 9 settle the argument simply by citing them and proceeding to "exegete" them. Like Arminians cannot give reasonable explanations of these same texts! Or on the other end, Calvinists actually think their artificial readings of Matthew 23:37 and 2 Peter 3:9 can pass serious exegetical scrutiny! They cannot, and Arminians typically give much more plausible readings of these passages, not to mention John 3:16, Hebrews 6 and 10, John 15:1-6, etc.

Mary

Les, I already provided the quote. To call someone a semiPelegian is the same as calling them a heretic. Take it up with the Council of Orange if you've got a problem with that. Words have meaning. Just look at all the hulabaloo over calling it treason when an SBC employee cares more about reaching those outside the SBC than those within. You can be all smug and act like you've proven a point but the only thing you've proven is that Calvinists like you think you can redefine historical defintions for your own convenience. Pretending like you don't know that semiPelegianism has been defined as heresy for centuires doesn't make you look so good there Leslie. So glad we've dropped the pretense that you're moving toward a "more grace filled blah blah"

Remi

I've known a lot of godly calvinists in my life. Many are dedicated to understanding the Bible, God, and theology in general. Many are humble.

Then there are those such as James White and the other foaming-at-the-mouth, dogmatic hyper-calvinists. They are able to justify any unchristian and hateful behavior yet still claim to be on the moral high ground because only they have the correct theology.

The correlations between they and a lot of Catholics are pretty startling. Many Catholics, and orthodox, will justify the most unchristian behavior by telling you, should you point out an inconsistency, that, "we are the ones that put the bible together, and we are the only ones with the right theology, who are you to question us?" In other words, we cannot hold them to the standard that they claim to represent, because we do not have that authority as people who have incorrect theology, and their lessers. They are an elite group of "super Christians" that the rest of we spiritual peasants are unworthy to question.

What I have seen from James White over the years, in terms of his own personal behavior, and those in his employ such as his anonymous attack dog TurretinFan, is worse than I have seen from many who openly claim to not be Christian. It falls under this bizarre idea that hyper-calvinists tend to espouse, that somehow, other parts of the bible are not as important as parts referring to the 5 points of Calvinism. i.e., you can be as unholy, wicked, hateful and arrogant as you like, and your "theology is correct" as long as you are a 5 pointer. You hear this same nonsense from those who defend Mark Driscoll's gutter preaching. "But his theology is correct," they say.

How can one's "theology" be correct if they act so contrarian in terms of love, holiness and humility?

Mary

From the Quiet Revolution which can be found at Founders - just plug semiPelegianism into the search - this is the first link:


"The Westminster Confession of Faith and the First and Second London Baptist Confessions of Faith refute the heresies of Arianism, Socinianism, Gnosticism, Pelagianism, Semi-Pelagianism, Universalism, Arminianism and Antinomianism without even mentioning them by name."

Maybe Les and Mr. Unity can wander over to the newly relaunched Founders blog and tell them they don't know what they're talking about when they define semiPelegianism as heresy!

Mary

Peter, I found this wandering around Founders. Tom Nettles had some ideas why we lost "Historic Baptist Soteriology" - see when you go to outside sources that lead you away from Calvinism - bad, bad, bad. Buuuut don't point out that Calvinists are now using outside sources to lead others to Calvinism because that's just a ridiculous idea! You're just paranoid, living in your mom's basement eating doritos with a tin foil hat. How dare anyone suggest that the SBC can influenced from outside resources!


http://www.founders.org/journal/fj11/article3.html


Demise of Historic Baptist Soteriology........


......Another factor is the popular dominance of Dispensational theology. Southern Baptists were not forced to form alliances with Dispensational and largely Arminian teachers in the fight against Liberalism, as were orthodox men in other denominations (the Presbyterian Church being one example, which resulted in a weakening of that denomination's adherence to the Westminster standards). Still, among Baptists, the influence of popular, non-Southern Baptist, evangelical literature along with growing acceptance of the Scofield Reference Bible brought doctrines into Southern Baptist life that were not consonant with the doctrines of grace. It might be argued that the late twentieth century controversy mirrors the earlier controversy in other denominations minus the influence of leaders who are themselves committed to the historic Baptist doctrine of salvation

peter lumpkins

All

Sorry. We hosted a regional vbs clinic at our church today. Fairly consuming. Found two of Dr Owen's comments in trash. Church them out...

Andrew Barker

Les, communicating with you can feel at times like a re-run of that old joke .."why do you always answer my questions with a question of your own" .... (pause for effect) .." well, why not"?!

So, if you could please explain where in Peter's 'book' Calvinism is misrepresented, I will then give you my honest chapter and verse, strong's numbers, multi-version checked opinion on whether or not I agree with you.

Les Prouty

All,

I response to Peter above, "What's even more interesting is, you've proven more than once in our exchanges that you many times simply cannot articulate a reasonable defense for the points you attempt to make about Calvinism,"

I will be posting on "What is Calvinism" at my seldom used blog. Feel free to comment there (or on my Facebook page where the links to this article are public) if you would like to interact on the subject. I plan to even bring in quotes from Peter's booklet of the same (partial) title from time to time.

Les

http://reformedfaithandlife.blogspot.com

peter lumpkins

Sitting in DC airport. I welcome Les' interaction. I'm surprised however Les just didn't refer everybody to James Whites review :)

Les Prouty

Peter, have a safe flight. BTW, I don't follow JW.

Andrew,

"So, if you could please explain where in Peter's 'book' Calvinism is misrepresented..."

I'll refrain from answering you with a question such as "Where did I Peter has misrepresented Calvinism?"

Rather, I'll say that I don't think I've said that. I have ordered his book and have received it. I've not yet read it.

"...I will then give you my honest chapter and verse, strong's numbers, multi-version checked opinion on whether or not I agree with you."

Feel free to do just that at my site when I do quote from Peter's book. BTW, I assume Peter and I will have some disagreements, but I cannot know for sure since I haven't read it yet. I know we disagree on much of Calvinism. I do not know that he has misrepresented it in his book though.

Les

Andrew Barker

Les,

I guess I'm guilty of getting my retaliation in first, since you haven't read Peter's 'little' booklet. However, from your previous response ....

"Don't you guys ever learn?" What am I supposed to be learning? A new line different than 1854? It's not whining to disagree with a brother over theology.

'you've proven more than once in our exchanges that you many times simply cannot articulate a reasonable defense for the points you attempt to make about Calvinism."

... I'm not exactly holding out much hope for a change of heart.

In addition, I think I've picked up on the fact that have definitely stated that ...
"The fact is, in my opinion, DR. Rogers mischaracterizes Calvinism. That is either intentional or ignorance of true Calvinism. I choose to believe it is not intentional."

My belief is that Peter is pretty much in agreement with the way Dr. Rogers explains himself and hence when you call Dr. Rogers ignorant of true Calvinism, by inference you are calling Peter ignorant. This I fully accept is 'guilt by association', but then as a true Calvinist yourself, I would have thought you are more than capable of understanding the consequences of holding such beliefs? NO?

Lydia

"There is a big elephant in the room here that often goes unnoticed. Arminian critics of Calvinism often understand Calvinism much better than the YRR crowd. So, given the fact that these "Calvinists" themselves often do not understand what they are talking about, it is no wonder that they accuse Arminians of misunderstanding Calvinism. An accurate description of Calvinism will look like a misunderstanding to them!"

I do not know how I missed this comment! Excellent and so very true.

I think it has been great to put Calvinism/NC/YRR/DoG/REformed doctrines in the public square to be debated/argued by the peasants and scholars. It has not really ever gotten such a publicb airing before as it was against the law up until a few hundred years ago to disagree. But now we have social media really taking a close look. And the seminaries, Reformed pastor celebrities, etc are not preparing the youngen's who are involved in the trench debate. The celebs don't get questioned in public...they only tell others what to think.

All these guys end up knowing to say is: You mischaracterize Calvinism or you don't understand it. That is why Mohler's "mental processes" comment was so important for them. So obviously there has been indoctrination. Not education. Our Public school/University system is much the same...most students have NO idea how a free economy works so we are on the road to Serfdom. Calvinism is a perfect partner for political serfdom: Take care of me and tell me what to believe since I am a worm and have no ability to think or make decisions.

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