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Dec 09, 2016

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Scott Shaver

At the risk of sounding crass, if you look up the word "reductionist" there should be a picture of Dr. Tom Nettles.

This should be interesting, thanks Pete.

JND

Suppose, for the sake of discussion, that Nettles' thesis were 100% correct. Wouldn't that just mean that that's one more thing our great-great granddaddies were wrong about?

What am I missing?

peter lumpkins

JND, I think you are essentially correct, the correctness of which is built upon the sound principle that just because our forefathers believed X, it doesn't follow we must/should believe X too. But such a principle concerns the ought not the is or, in this case, the was since we're speaking of historical happenings not contemporary ones. Pursuing what was the case about Baptist belief should not be convoluted into what ought to be the case of what Baptists believe.

Scott Shaver

Just goes to show you that "scholarly credentials" are like the curly tails on a pig. They're cute but they don't add any more pork. Some of these "scholars" are the most out-to-lunch people I've ever met.

Max

Scott writes "Just goes to show you that 'scholarly credentials' are like the curly tails on a pig."

Education does not produce one ounce of revelation.

Max

I do believe that is "Crystal Geyser Alpine Spring Water" which Ascol and Nettles are drinking in the video ... or "geezer" water in their case. Only scholarly geezers would toss out priesthood of the believer and soul competency as key Baptist doctrines which distinguished the SBC for over 150 years. As I said before, education does not produce one ounce of revelation.

Lydia

"Pursuing what was the case about Baptist belief should not be convoluted into what ought to be the case of what Baptists believe."

This is what I could never understand. The concept of SBC Founders as restoring the Gospel is, for one, a PR disaster. People can read history. You can't pretend the reason/events for the SBC founding is not embarrassing. Confederate Chaplains, pro slaver Founders, slaves as Gods plan, etc.

I am thankful the SBC evolved to embrace free will. It was a decent place in my neck of the woods before the church growth movement and the Neo Cal resurgence. Not so anymore here.

Max

"Confederate Chaplains, pro slaver Founders, slaves as Gods plan, etc."

Slave-holding Southern Baptists (both in the pulpit and pew) believed sovereign God was on their side in the Civil War, until early Confederate victories turned to defeat. Following the war, SBC began to not only distance itself from racial sin but the theology which was used to justify it. For the last 150 years, it has been a free church in a lot of ways. Roots just need to stay hidden while the branches flourish.

peter lumpkins

Lydia,

Nettles acknowledges the blotch of slavery as one of the issues resulting in the formation of the convention. He seems, however, to minimize its role by citing other issues leading to the SBC consequently making slave-owning equal to or no more significant than the others. I think that's entirely too mild.

More importantly, while Nettles affirms most of the founders (i.e. Boyce, Manly, Johnson, et al) embraced slavery, a belief SBs today vehemently reject, they nonetheless got the gospel right (i.e. 5-point Calvinism). This, I think strikes closely to what you're suggesting. A question the professor might want to consider is, how could the same biblical hermeneutic they employed lead to complete error on one hand (slavery) and glorious truth on the other (strict Calvinism)? Is the reason we came to different conclusions on slavery because we adjusted their method in interpreting the Bible? If so, would this adjustment account, at least in part, for strict Calvinism waning also since their hermeneutic that led to slavery was adjusted, it followed their strict Calvinism would also be adjusted?

Assuming this to be the case, it would follow then that going back to the hermeneutic that led to strict Calvinism would mean going back to the hermeneutic that led to slavery. Would this not at least make one pause?

I don't know. Just thinking out loud...

Lydia

"A question the professor might want to consider is, how could the same biblical hermeneutic they employed lead to complete error on one hand (slavery) and glorious truth on the other (strict Calvinism)? Is the reason we came to different conclusions on slavery because we adjusted their method in interpreting the Bible? If so, would this adjustment account, at least in part, for strict Calvinism waning also since their hermeneutic that led to slavery was adjusted, it followed their strict Calvinism would also be adjusted?"

You have read enough SBC history to know better than me the trajectory but that is what I think actually happened. I mean how wrong can you get it and continue as deterministic? So the focus to go back to SBC Founding doctrine never made sense to me.

But I have to wonder if the ecclesiology evolved, too?

When I was growing up SBC, elders was something the Frozen Chosen had. Not us. Hierarchy was a big no no.

I look at the story of my maternal grandparents who married around 1910 much older than most for that time. They had been at college and moved back to teach school and start a business. The only church in their new community was SBC. She was Methodist. They were both from a long line of Abolitionists. My grandmothers work on Romans (from classes at Moody) shows no hint of determinism at all. She was a bit of a Catherine Booth type and no way would she have felt comfortable in a deterministic church. The SBC they were part of had no elders. They were very involved with the convention, seminary and WMU hosting missionaries and such. She was no stranger to teaching men and working to shut down bars as the stories are legendary in our family. :o)

Kentucky is not always a good indicator for the South so that may be part of it. But, I do believe the decades after that horror of a war had many rethinking what they believed and most likely the generation after the war made changes from the deterministic paradigm of their grandfather's ....much like the generation after the Puritans which include some of our Founding Fathers like Sam and John Adams who were reading Law, Locke and their Bibles.

Still, I think most Calvinists today would dismiss the hermeneutic question with the tired excuse, 'they were just men of their time'. Not that their hermeneutic actually endorsed a historical human scourge on society.

Robert Vaughn

"...Baptists cannot afford to leave either their theology or their history to the 'professionals'."

Amen to that. And yet, for the most part, with the subject of our history we have done just that.

Max

"... Baptists cannot afford to leave either their theology or their history to the "professionals."

I spent a long career managing teams of professional chemists and toxicologists. One thing I discovered early on was that intellectual folks were not always very smart. In fact, many of the most highly-educated scientists that I worked with didn't have a lick of common sense! As I became more involved in SBC churches, I discovered that ivory-tower theologians and seminary professors just did not stack up with common folks who were filled with the Holy Spirit when it came to proper exegesis of Scripture. The "professionals" are just too entrenched in making sure that the jots and tittles line up with their theology, no matter how much they have to twist Scripture for it to fit.

The best Bible teachers I've had over the last 60+ years never went to college or seminary. They immersed themselves in the Word of God, entrusted their study to the Holy Spirit to teach them, and then administered spiritual life to their students. In SBC life, we have largely surrendered the ground to intellectuals and theologians who are leading us down rabbit holes, having relegated the Holy Spirit to the back pew resulting in very little revelation now coming forth in SBC ranks. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with education - I have too much - but education does not produce one ounce of revelation.

Lydia

Max, I can remember my PhD poly sci prof extolling the greatness of Mao like it was yesterday. I sat stunned. How could dumb old me know different?

Scott Shaver

Let's face it. The entire "Founders" movement came into existence to change the trajectory of the Southern Baptist Convention during a time when it was at war with itself via the shibboleths of "inerrancy".

The mission has not changed nor most of its primary players.

peter lumpkins

What many fail to see is the role Founders has played in hoisting so many of today's key power players into national prominence. It would be hard to name an SBC power broker among our entities who was absent from the platform of Founders Conference over the last 20 years. We can start with Al Mohler and Russell Moore.

JND

Peter,

Thanks for your response and to others that followed. I have, from time to time, been a bit cranky in my comments here. I appreciate the chance to participate.

Merry Christmas to all!

Max

Peter wrote "What many fail to see is the role Founders has played in hoisting so many of today's key power players into national prominence."

I was at a thrift shop yesterday and ran across Tom Ascol's book "From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist Convention, What Hath Geneva To Do with Nashville." I thought about spending a dollar for it to see what made Mr. Ascol tick, then laid it back down after a slimy feeling came over me.

As it turned out in recent years, Geneva has had a lot to do with Nashville!

Scott Shaver

Peter is right about the role of Founders in the current SBC quagmire and its power brokers.

Articles like the one just posted at Pravda by Bart Barber serve to illustrate just how far the theological bar has been lowered among otherwise astute Southern Baptists in hopes of coexisting "peacefully" with the "Founders" element of SBC life.

Since inception, when has the "Founders" element ever played the role of "peacemaker" among SBC theologs?

Even SBC rank and filers have become a strange and mixed breed over the lat 20 years. Interesting to watch.

At some point I'm looking for the primary statistical reason for folks giving up their allegiances to the SBC to be primarily that they "grew up".

Lydia

"What many fail to see is the role Founders has played in hoisting so many of today's key power players into national prominence. It would be hard to name an SBC power broker among our entities who was absent from the platform of Founders Conference over the last 20 years. We can start with Al Mohler and Russell Moore."

I admit I had no clue. It seems to come off as power grabbing using "correct Doctrine" as the beard.

Scott,

Bart is the Rodney King of the SBC. Let's just forget the years of deception and stealth power grabbing and pretend it never happened. Now you are a sinner if you don't go along and trust the deceptive thugs.

Why people feel compelled to go along, I will never understand. They have proved untrustworthy for crying out loud.

Max

Scott wrote "Even SBC rank and filers have become a strange and mixed breed over the lat 20 years."

Yep, I'm just as alarmed by hybrid Calvinists/non-Calvinists in SBC ranks as I am the New Calvinists which are coming in by the gobs. SBC hybrids are those who are willing to accept any theology as long as you don't mess with the potluck dinners. The SBC has been easy pickins' for the new reformation because multitudes of hybrids just don't care enough to challenge it. If their pastors (at 45,000+ churches) won't stand against New Calvinism, why should they bother?

Scott Shaver

Along that line, Max, perhaps the biblical role, work and office of pastor needs some good old-fashioned and prayerful re-examination.

And not necessarily en masse by those holding "advanced" theological degrees so much as those who seek God in Christ with their whole hearts under the Spirits guidance

Max

Scott, most holding advanced theological degrees rely on their intellects rather than the Spirit's guidance. Calvinization of the Southern Baptist Convention has been successful because the SBC masses bought the lie that those with advanced degrees must also be spiritual and therefore right. Alongside this has been a de-emphasis in SBC ranks on teaching long-held Baptist doctrines of priesthood of the believer and soul competency ... that every believer is a priest and can hear God himself. When you toss those aside as non-essentials, direction of the Church is held in the hands of a few elites.

Scott Shaver

Except for those of us who don't recognize "the elites" as final authority

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