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Jan 09, 2015

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Rick Patrick

"And you see, our youth group was pretty intermingled between First Baptist and Coral Ridge Presbyterian." (Page 8)

This seems like a very interesting, very seminal form of PresbyBaptist cooperation. How formative was this partnership for Mohler? On cultural matters, I say, "Amen." But theological and soteriological matters are another story.

Lydia

The link says this oral history was taken in 1997. Talk about being asleep at the wheel! I guess it did not occur to any leaders to check up on the very young man they gave so much power to.

Josh

Lydia and Rick, do you realize that in this quote, Mohler s nt saying what he believes? He is not saying that he considers Arminianism to be one of the three great heresies SBTS was founded to combat.

He is answering a series of questions about the historical development of specific situations in SBC life at the time. He is explaining how someone else understood Arminianism and SBTS's relationship to it.

Did you follow the link and read the quote? Did you read the statement a few lines later when he said that his ambition is not to be a Calvinist?

Lydia

"Lydia and Rick, do you realize that in this quote, Mohler s nt saying what he believes? He is not saying that he considers Arminianism to be one of the three great heresies SBTS was founded to combat.

He is answering a series of questions about the historical development of specific situations in SBC life at the time. He is explaining how someone else understood Arminianism and SBTS's relationship to it."

Yes Josh, I got that. However have you not read some of Mohlers recent quotes about "marginalizing" Trads and New Calvinism being the only place to go if you want to see the nations rejoice for Christ....and so on. You must have missed all that.

"Did you follow the link and read the quote? Did you read the statement a few lines later when he said that his ambition is not to be a Calvinist?"

Then he was forced? 😉

dr. james willingham

Haven't you folks ever read Boyce' Abstract of Systematic Theology or his Memoirs by Dr. John A. Broadus or any of the Associational Records of the Charleston Baptist Association which recommends the works of Dr. John Gill to their ministers? Have you even read John Wesley's Journal where he admits that there are some who are elected of God and who might well reach a state from which they would never fall? Or how Spurgeon said John Wesley used words to describe the Lord's dealings with the Lost with regards to force, etc., that he Spurgeon would never use? Besides, have you all ever considered how the Lord sought to use the doctrines of Election, Particular Redemption, Total Depravity/Inability and even Reprobation as invitations to win souls, as shock therapies to help people come to realize their needs. Ever see the priest slap the fellow on Airport? It is sort of like that to make one wake up and realize his or her real need

Andrew Barker

Dr. Willingham: "have you all ever considered how the Lord sought to use the doctrines of Election, Particular Redemption, Total Depravity/Inability and even Reprobation as invitations to win souls, as shock therapies to help people come to realize their needs."

Since the Lord never mentioned or taught the doctrines of Election, Particular Redemption etc. etc. as you seem to imply, the answer to your question is an emphatic "No".

peter lumpkins

Josh says,

"He is not saying that he considers Arminianism to be one of the three great heresies SBTS was founded to combat.

He is answering a series of questions about the historical development of specific situations in SBC life at the time. He is explaining how someone else understood Arminianism and SBTS's relationship to it."

Excuse me. Mohler is specifically answering Hankins' question "Where does that [i.e. a strong Reformed Calvinist impulse] fit in to your views of culture, your views of church-state? Did that [i.e. a strong Reformed Calvinist impluse] play a role in your ending up in one camp, Southern Baptists elites being in a very different camp?"

And to suggest Mohler was merely "explaining how someone else understood Arminianism and SBTS's relationship to it" makes absolutely no sense to Hankins' question. Hankins didn't bring up a question pertaining either to historical development or Southern seminary specifically. Instead his question was to Mohler about Mohler's personal theological beliefs. Neither do either Mohler's actions or words since this interview lend credibility to your contention that Mohler was merely explaining somebody else's position.

With that, I am...
Peter

Lydia

"Haven't you folks ever read Boyce' Abstract of Systematic Theology or his Memoirs by Dr. John A. Broadus..."

Yes, I was especially enlightened by his high praise of Boyce's views on chattel slavery and how God provided a "captive audience" for discipleship.

peter lumpkins

Dr. Willingham,

Thanks. You write: "Haven't you folks ever read Boyce' Abstract of Systematic Theology or his Memoirs by Dr. John A. Broadus or any of the Associational Records of the Charleston Baptist Association which recommends the works of Dr. John Gill to their ministers?"

As for Boyce's Abstracts, which edition are you referencing? The 1888 edition or the 1899 edition where Kerfoot substantially diluted Boyce's strict Calvinism? Yes, I'm familiar with Broadus' Memoirs of Boyce. But what it has to do with the issue at hand I'm uncertain. That goes for the rest of the names and works you recite. Sorry.

With that, I am...
Peter

Josh

"Josh says,
'He is not saying that he considers Arminianism to be one of the three great heresies SBTS was founded to combat.
He is answering a series of questions about the historical development of specific situations in SBC life at the time. He is explaining how someone else understood Arminianism and SBTS's relationship to it.'

Excuse me. Mohler is specifically answering Hankins' question "Where does that [i.e. a strong Reformed Calvinist impulse] fit in to your views of culture, your views of church-state? Did that [i.e. a strong Reformed Calvinist impluse] play a role in your ending up in one camp, Southern Baptists elites being in a very different camp?"

And to suggest Mohler was merely "explaining how someone else understood Arminianism and SBTS's relationship to it" makes absolutely no sense to Hankins' question. Hankins didn't bring up a question pertaining either to historical development or Southern seminary specifically. Instead his question was to Mohler about Mohler's personal theological beliefs. Neither do either Mohler's actions or words since this interview lend credibility to your contention that Mohler was merely explaining somebody else's position.

With that, I am...
Peter"


I am not disagreeing that Mohler is a Calvinist. I am not even saying that he doesn't want to influence other people in that direction. (If he thinks that the bible teaches calvinism then he would be expected to and should try and influence people in that direction.)

My only point is that his quote doesn't prove that. There are much better places to find where Mohler has clearly explained hat he believes. He hasn't exactly hidden it!

The point is that some people are so anti-mohler because they are anti-calvinist that they tend to see it everywhere in everything even when it is not there.

Josh

"'Did you follow the link and read the quote? Did you read the statement a few lines later when he said that his ambition is not to be a Calvinist?'

Then he was forced? 😉

Posted by: Lydia"

No. You might ask whether or not he was forced if he had said that it was not his desire to be a calvinist. He did not. He said that it was not his ambition to be a calvinist. I.e. he did not care to be known as a calvinist. He (apparently), like Spurgeon and others, wants to be known as being faithful to the Bible. If people call that Calvinism, then he is ok with it(again, apparently. Since he did not answer this specific question, because he was not asked this specific question, I am taking some liberty and making some inferences based on things he has said elsewhere), but being known as a Calvinist is not his ambition--his goal.

This is the issue here. Some are acting as though he answered a different question than the one that he was asked.

peter lumpkins

A couple things concerning your responses, Josh. First, you don't have to quote the entire comment block in responses. This makes the thread needlessly thick. Just quote the relevant statement please. Second, if you're going to use stylistic enhancement (i.e. embolden, italics, etc.) then please use the proper coding. I had to manually fix both your last comments because you put incorrect code for embolden and italics.

Thanks.

With that, I am...
Peter

peter lumpkins

Now to your denial/affirmation:

a) you claim you're not disagreeing that Mohler is a Calvinist;
a) nor that Mohler "doesn't want to influence other people in that direction;
c) your point is the OP's quote proves neither
d) some people are so anti-mohler because they are anti-calvinist that they tend to see it everywhere in everything even when it is not there

In response, neither a) nor b) address in any way my words to you. Nothing. Hence, neither does c) since I nowhere suggested the quote in the interview proved Mohler is a Calvinist. Good heavens. Who would be naive or ignorant enough to need proof of Mohler's strict Calvinism? Neither I nor most others here I assure. Thus, why you're even addressing this is puzzling.

In addition and contrary to your claims, what I raised about your words concerned your contention that in the interview Mohler was answering a "series of questions about the historical development of specific situations in SBC life at the time" and explaining how "someone else understood Arminianism and SBTS's relationship to it." That's completely incorrect. Hankins' question to Mohler had nothing to do with "historical developments"; rather Hankins specifically asked if Mohler's supposed "strong Reformed Calvinist impulse" fit his views of culture and the difference he had with other SBC elites. In short, Hankins' question was directed to Mohler's personal theological beliefs and implications of those beliefs upon his understanding of culture (more specifically his notion of church and state).

Please. If you're going to chide others for not reading a document, I think you need to begin with your own faulty perception first.

Finally as for being either "anti-Mohler" or "anti-Calvinist" why not include the anti-non-Calvinism in the explicit quote from Mohler?

With that, I am...
Peter

Josh

"Finally as for being either "anti-Mohler" or "anti-Calvinist" why not include the anti-non-Calvinism in the explicit quote from Mohler?

With that, I am...
Peter"

This is my point exactly. The 'anti-non-calvinism" or anti-arminianism in the quote is not Mohler's. It is Boyce's.

In fact, my guess is that Mohler would not even agree with this quote. He definitely thinks Arminianism is in error but almost assuredly he would not say that this error rises to the point of heresy. Mohler would call pelagianism a heresy but surely not classic arminianism.

peter lumpkins

Once again Josh you ignore the bulk of my response to point out your "exact" point I supposedly made for you, a point you seem to be claiming you've been arguing along.

As to your last claim, if you could only argue the point you've made all along from either Mohler's exact words here or his words/actions elsewhere.

So, what? You think Mohler was disagreeing with the thrust of Boyce's supposed words? If so, I'd like you to educate us please since we apparently are too "anti-Mohler" or "anti-Calvinist" here to fairly evaluate Mohler's words and actions. Please show us Mohler's amenable position toward non-Calvinistic theology. Please inform us where proof can be surmised for a presumable disagreement with Boyce.

With that, I am...
Peter

dr. james willingham

Dear Andrew: Consider Mt.15:21-28 and Lk.4:16-31 and you will find, not only that our Lord used election and particular redemption, he spoke of them with reference to someone else as if the person or persons addressed or at least implied in the address were not included. The woman of Canaan hearing that He was not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel came and fell down at his feet in an act of worship, where as His fellow citizens in Nazareth were enraged by His speaking of Elijah and Elisha ministering to people of other nations and not even doing as much for Israelites. Our Lord also spoke to the woman, saying it was not right to cast the children's bread to dogs, a term which surely points to total depravity/inability and even reprobation (especially since the dog returns to its own vomit as Peter so vividly indicates in II Pet 2:22). The woman agrees with him that she is a dog, saying, "Truth, Lord," and then using His words as a reason to be heard, "but even the dogs eat of the crumbs that fall from their masters' table," which earned our Lord's honoring of her with these words never accorded to any other than the Roman Centurion, "Great is your faith." Also God asked of the rich young ruler that he do the impossible, namely, sell all he had and give to the poor and follow Him. We learn in our Lord's exchange with His disciples after that event that being saved is impossible with men but only possible with God (Mk.10:17-27). And in the case of Nineveh, the Lord approaches them by a prophet who did not want to see them saved with a message totally unconditional and offering no hope, Jonah 3:4, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown." Not one word is said about any conditions, not a word about, "If you repent, God will spare the city." Jonah would have hardly told them in any case. He wanted to see those people destroyed, but he suspected God was going to spare them. The explanation according to counseling might well be shock therapy which, indeed, it was from my perspective of having been a professional counselor, something our Lord came up with before counseling as a profession every made its appearance. Then there is Jn.5:25 where he says the hour sis coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of Man, and they that hear shall live. Just imagine dead people hearing a living person's voice and being made alive by it. Our Lord even tell us in Jn.5:34, "these things I say, that you might be saved."

Andrew Barker

Dr. Willingham: None of your quotes or examples provide any support for particular redemption. This is not surprising because there is no such thing as particular redemption in scripture. In fact, what they do is show exactly the opposite of the view you are trying (failing in my view) to establish. The Canaanite women enters into discussion with Jesus about the exclusivity of his message. He agrees she is correct!! The Centurion was obviously not in the 'elect' and yet Jesus said he hadn't found greater faith anywhere else. Now, what's that verse? the just shall live by faith. Looks like he's going to be included in that group! The people of Nineveh were going to be destroyed and they repented and God 'repented' too! It's strange how you folks keep banging on about particular redemption, limited atonement, call it what you like, when all the time God is seeking to save ALL who repent and show faith in Him. No matter who they are, God seems to want to save them. Nothing 'limited' in that at all.

I have no intention of entering into a long discussion at this point into the rights and wrongs of PR. I would point out that it is hardly germane to the topic in hand.


Max

Lydia writes "I guess it did not occur to any leaders to check up on the very young man they gave so much power to."

Lydia, I find it incredible that Dr. Mohler was not challenged in the early days of his rebellion against SBC majority belief and practice. His 1993 convocation address at Southern entitled “Don’t Just Do Something; Stand There!” was filled with warnings which majority SBC leadership should have more effectively dealt with while the window was open. In his charge to rally his Southern troops around the Abstract of Principles, he made the following statements:

“The Abstract remains a powerful testimony to a Baptist theological heritage that is genuinely evangelical, Reformed, biblical, and orthodox ... We bear the collective responsibility to call this denomination back to itself and its doctrinal inheritance. This is a true reformation ... ”

It's clear that the "reformation" he had in mind was Calvinization of the Southern Baptist Convention. Folks who accuse postings on this blog as being "Anti-Calvinist" need to know that expressed views are more about "Anti-Calvinization" of a non-Calvinist denomination than theological problems with Calvinism alone. The SBC I have known for 50+ years has had a long tradition of non-reformed belief and practice. The denomination's trajectory has clearly been away from Calvinism as a default theology, until the New Calvinism movement rallied a population of young and restless to become reformed. "Old" Calvinists (of the Founders sort) needed the energy and militancy of "New" Calvinists to make this happen ... and it is happening to the dismay of the whosoever wills amongst us.

Josh

Max,

Instead of assuming that anyone has "the Calvinization of the Southern Baptist Convention" as his goal (especially in this context since Dr. Mohler clearly says that that is not his goal just a few lines after the ones that were quoted) why not give a fellow brother or sister in Christ the benefit of the doubt and assume that the only goal in mind is to teach the Bible accurately and faithfully.

The was the goal of the original reformation of the 1500s. It was not a reformation to calvinism. It was a reformation to a foundational commitment to the Bible as the only authority. Why not give Dr. Mohler the benefit of the doubt (as a brother in christ) and assume that the reformation he had in mind and spoke of in the early years of his presidency at SBTS was not a reformation to calvinism but a reformation to a complete trust in the Bible as our only authority.

Since Dr. Mohler is a calvinist and believes that the Bible teaches what has come to be known as calvinism, the end result will be basically the same only without the charge of sinister motives and hidden agendas.

You yourself have shown us from the quote in your previous post that Dr. Mohler wasn't exactly hiding his understanding of what the Bible taught. He was very upfront and honest with the people at SBTS publically. We should only assume that he was as upfront and as honest with those sub-committees and finally the full board of trustees that was responsible for his hiring.

peter lumpkins

It's extremely hard to accept with any seriousness what I'm reading, Josh. And, this remains one of the primary reasons why few of us here honestly consider the attempts of some like yourself to defend the nonsensical rhetoric of those who are imposing Calvinism from the top down as the default theology for the Southern Baptist Convention.

Here's the bottom-line absurdity you're asking us to consider:

Mohler believes X because Mohler equates X with Y. But Mohler is not interested in people accepting X, only that they accept Y. Forget about X. Y is the only necessity even if Y and X are either equal or X necessarily follows Y. Hence, let's talk only about Y even though if Y is accepted, it logically follows X be accepted.

Fundamentally absurd were one to ask me.

And, I'm still waiting on your definitive proof of Mohler's amenable theological acceptance of non-x in words and actions since this interview, Josh. Either show us the goods or rescind your previous claim.

With that, I am...
Peter

Lydia

"Lydia, I find it incredible that Dr. Mohler was not challenged in the early days of his rebellion against SBC majority belief and practice. His 1993 convocation address at Southern entitled “Don’t Just Do Something; Stand There!” was filled with warnings which majority SBC leadership should have more effectively dealt with while the window was open. In his charge to rally his Southern troops around the Abstract of Principles, he made the following statements:..."

Everyone was too busy reading and listening to his culture warrior stance-- which they agreed with. Which is interesting if you think about it. Why would someone who believes we are "unable" bother with a culture war against millions of "unable" people? Defies basic logic.

Lydia

"The was the goal of the original reformation of the 1500s. It was not a reformation to calvinism. It was a reformation to a foundational commitment to the Bible as the only authority. "

As a student of history I find this patently absurd. So if their foundational commitment was to the Bible as authority why remain a "state church"?

Why "Reform" the Catholic beliefs and keep things such as sacraments as a means of grace, infant baptism, etc?

The Reformation was POLITICAL first and foremost. And the church had been political for centuries. The power players changed. If you recall correctly, the big thing were indulgences. The 95 Thesis is mostly about indulgences.

The Reformation only changed who was in power over the little people. And the irony is the contradiction in Calvin's system and practices. If he really believed in predestination as he outlined it, why was church attendance mandatory? He mandated everyone in Geneva was elect?

Max

"Instead of assuming that anyone has "the Calvinization of the Southern Baptist Convention" as his goal ..."

Josh, it is hard to believe otherwise when Dr. Mohler makes statements like:

"... if you’re committed to the gospel and want to see the nations rejoice in the name of Christ, if you want to see gospel built and structured committed churches, your theology is just going to end up basically being Reformed, basically something like this New Calvinism, or you’re going to have to invent some label for what is basically going to be the same thing, there just are not options out there ..."

Josh, I probably have more SBC years notched on my belt than you. I can tell you that the non-Calvinist majority of Southern Baptists have been "committed to the gospel and want to see the nations rejoice in the name of Christ." We don't have to invent or adopt some other label to accomplish that mission. Oh, and by the way, Southern Baptists have "a complete trust in the Bible as our only authority" ... countless whosoever-wills won to Christ across the world by Southern Baptists will give testimony to that.

Max

Lydia writes "So if their foundational commitment was to the Bible as authority why remain a "state church"?"

Indeed! That's why they called it "magisterial reformation". Calvin's 16th century church was characterized by an interdependence of the church and secular authorities. Calvin relied on the authority of the magistrate to enforce discipline and suppress opposition to his theology ... as Servetus and numerous Anabaptists found out. What love is this?!

Scott Shaver

At least he's consistent. Mohler's warped view of history hasn't changed much since the days he was slinging propaganda as a newsletter editor.

JND

"slinging propaganda as a newsletter editor"

I love it!

Brent

This post is yet another far cry from the truth.

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