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2009.06.29

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Kevin Davis

remaining hopelessly wed to Rome in their lustful conjugation of church-state matrimony

No, that's not right. The magisterial Reformers were fighting for the very existence of the Reformation, lest the Roman Catholic Church regain her lost influence in the North. Rome was colluding with emperors and kings in order to re-assert her supremacy in the lands where the Reformation had come. It was imperative that Protestants seek the protection and support of their magistrates. The free churches, ultimately, would benefit from this arrangement, since it severely weakened Rome, allowing freedom of thought to gradually progress (imperfectly, to be sure) in Protestant lands.

Of course, lust and pride can be found in all movements, but they hardly form the dominant ethic for the magisterial Reformation nor does it help illumine the issue.

Steve G

Excellent analysis Peter as ever... I believe that what Tom Elliff is doing in prayer and revival is the only true key to real revival. In real revival the Lord does in a day what His Church usually does in a decade. Prayer for revival is the key. I think we all know it, we just don't want to go the hard yards that this implies.

peter

Kevin,

Thank you. You correction is noted.

Even so, I do remain skeptical--and think I possess fair reason--in accepting your proposal; namely, since the magisterial Reformers were "fighting for the very existence of the Reformation" therefore--lest Rome regain lost influence--Protestants insisting upon the "protection and support of their magistrates" remained imperative.

If I am not mistaken, Luther, but especially Zwingli, grew soft toward the state's role in church affairs. Of course, Calvin's notorious deployment of state force against Servetus cannot be seriously viewed as countering a threat from waxing papal authority. Instead, it was Protestant against Protestant use of the Crown's lethal power.

Furthermore, we must recall the human butchery against the Remonstrants after the Synod of Dort. Beza & Company's ecclesiology dwelt happily in the confines of state enforcement. They, too, were magisterial Reformers (at minimum, children of the magisterial Reformers).

Thanks again, Kevin.

With that, I am...
Peter

peter

Grosey,

Thank you. Absolutely. Prayer must be our first priority if remaining on course we want to be. Drs. Floyd and Elliff needs our prayers.

Grace. With that, I am...
Peter

volfan007

Peter,

Great analysis. Great insight. You ought to write a book. :)

The quote worth much money is when you said,"Is it possible the smoking lament rising in every sector, wailing the waning of Southern Baptist fire, be not because we have disconnected from current culture, consequently becoming irrelevant to culture and ineffective in culture, but instead because we’ve disconnected from Christian conviction, consequently joining culture, becoming irreverent with culture and indistinguishable from culture?"

We must be salt and light. We cant become like the darkness and expect to pull people from the darkness. Can we?

David

Calvinator

Curses! Foiled again! Our "Rules for Radicals" document has been uncovered! And on top of that, our conspiracy to move into leadership has been revealed. I guess we'd better break the news to Dr. Mohler. He'd be surprised to know that calvinsts are taking leadership roles in the Convention.

Oh, and while we're at it, we'd better go to the graves of Dr. Broadus, Dr. Boice, Dr. Manly, Dr. Dagg, W.B. Johnson, R.B.C. Howell, Richard Fuller and Dr. Mell and appologize while we're at it. They would all be surprised that calvinists *gasp* are becoming influential in the Convention.

Thank you, dear Peter, for defending the SBC against all evildoers and conspirators who meet behind close doors to plot strategies to gain control... oops! I got the wrong group. The calvinists have meeting in the open haven't they? Oh well, I know you're working hard, I'll let you get back to your quest.

Byroniac

Peter,

With all due respect, the Founders you know and the Founders I've experienced must be two different entities on two different worlds split between a parallel universe and this one. You offer assertions without proof (at least, in this blog posting). But this is nothing new, and I would not be very surprised if this sort of thing continues.

peter

Byron,

Since we possess no common ground on which to converse, being from "two different worlds" and all, not to mention my obvious "assertions without proof" which are "nothing new," no use attempting a conversation.

With that, I am...
Peter

Byroniac

I should have said this is nothing new for Founders, which is what I meant. I am surprised however, at the tack you've taken with Founders. Since I see no way to argue you to my point of view, I guess I will have to retire my end of the conversation as well.

Todd Burus

Peter,
I would like to get your input on my recent article over at SBC Voices. Since you are among those who criticize (demonize?) the Calvinists in the SBC I would be interested to know why this is and if you think the average SBCer is or is not largely misinformed in their understanding of Calvinist convictions? Please, join us and help do something constructive.

peter

Todd,

Thanks. I am afraid you are incorrect, though. Rarely do I "criticize (demonize?) the Calvinists in the SBC." Instead, I am more properly focused on Founders Ministries' vision to thoroughly saturate the SBC with Calvinism. There is a difference.

As for the "racist" analogy you used, I think it is but another despicable image you've provided for us (similar in degree of 'vanishing into the night') with hope beyond hope to get your point across.

Unfortunately, by implication, the very people (non-Calvinists) whom you are so concerned will genuinely offer you their deepest reflections so you can "better understand" their position, have been slurred as racists. Care to explain how such a rabid slur fosters open, honest discussion?

As for the rest of the thread at SBCV, nothing exists that has not been hashed out many times over here and elswhere.

With that, I am...
Peter

Todd Burus

Peter,
I would have hoped that people could see the difference between being called racist and being told that the mindset behind the anti-Calvinist rhetoric bears a striking resemblance to the rhetoric behind racism: negative caricatures, anecdotal reasoning, unwillingness to engage even-handedly, fear mongering among the populace. Apparently this has been missed. Maybe I should have known better.

As for talking about it, shouldn't we? If last week's convention is any evidence then we still have a long way to go in building our theological knowledge-base as to what Calvinists really believe.

Luke

Todd,

"Known better." Just what are you trying to imply with that. Maybe what you should have said is, "I should have articulated my point better." Do NOT assume that people are disagreeing with you because they do not know better than to wring out what you apparently wanted to say but did not. But I would like you to address, my initial statement, just why should you have "known better"?

Peter, if you care not to indulge me on this side street on your post, you are free to delete this without me pitching a hissy fit.

Wade Rials

Peter,

With all due respect, the GCR debate is much bigger than the Calvinist/modified/anti/whatever debate.

I was their at the convention and Frank Page sold the GCR. Read his book on TULIP. He is no friend of the systematic theology known as Calvinism. Johnny Hunt is not either for that matter. The task force is well balanced.

At what point, can we move forward from these senseless ideological debates. I am a young pastor trying to lead my people to love the Word of God. They don't need my ideology they need Scripture.

I am convinced that the Conservative Resurgence of the 80's is the reason for this "movement." Be careful what you ask for. My generation 25-35 was given the Scripture and we are doing our best to rightly divide it.

I have every desire to continue to cooperate, but this talk of Founder's conspiracy is wild. You wrote,

The Southern Baptist Convention, I fear, is but a gnat’s breath from being lost. If indeed Southern Baptists have lost the gospel, what we’re recovering is definitively not that which we allegedly misplaced. Like the proverbial frog in a kettle, our Southern Baptist heritage is slowly boiling to death in the Founders waters of highly-aggressive Calvinism. And, antinomianism, its hedonistic twin sister, lingers not far behind.

I simply don't agree with you and want you to meet some of my dear friends who are part of the Founder's ministry and see for yourself their love for the Gospel and desire for holiness.

If nothing else, Orlando should be interesting. I just hope it's not so interesting to drive many young pastor's like me back to their churches and away from Cooperative Giving and Fellowship.

Walt

Brother Peter,

I praise God for you and the other 5% in Louisville who didn't bow down to Baal and the GCR. You are correct in stating that all doctrine in the Bible is primary doctrine. Those who create these distinctions between primary, secondary, tertiary doctrines, simply don't care about the rules. There has been so much criticism against the 1950's, but I for one think that we had a much more biblical theology in the 50's, compared to the relativism of the current time. Those who hate the 50's, hate biblical culture.

You are correct in taking a stand against the Founder's Movement attempt to infiltrate the SBC leadership. Although Akin was the speaker at the Founder's breakfast this year, this is only an appearance on behalf of the Founders. They are a bunch of fascicts and want everyone in the SBC to believe as they do. They are merely pretending to work alongside non-calvinists such as Johnny Hunt.

Brother, continue to stand against the relativism that is creeping into the SBC.

One last thing, I highly recommend Alcohol Today to all of the readers of this blog, and your church members. Brother Peter is taking a stand in that book against the those that seek to make indulgence a tertiary doctrine. Someone such as Timmy Brister, who thinks that it is acceptable to drink and smoke is clearly a relativist (even if he doesn't drink and smoke himself). He marks the amount of alcohol that one can drink at .08, but what if the law were to change, to .1, this seems to imply that the biblical rules change then too. Clearly this is relativism. When it comes to alcohol and indulgence I agree with you brother Peter--mark it zero.

--Walt

peter

Luke,

Not at all. I think perhaps Todd would do well to respond.

Grace, bro.

With that, I am...
Peter

Byroniac

Walt,

One of the problems with SBC Fundamentalism (in my opinion) is that no distinction can exist between primary, secondary, and tertiary doctrines. If one dares to disagree, and sometimes if one just questions, whether alternatives to the doctrines of the vox populi exist, then one is guilty of disobedience to Christ and the Bible to the extent that one disagrees with whatever hermeneutic gold standard previously adopted. It grows rather tiresome at times, and it shows the brittle inflexibility of the fundamentalist mindset which seems to tolerate no opposition. Thankfully, most people in the SBC I've talked with aren't like this, but I have met a few.

And I think you have a misconception, that taking the moderation stance towards smoking and drinking implies relativism. This is not necessarily the case. Just because there is no hard and fast rule about the percentage of intoxication and what constitutes moderation does not mean that the concept itself is unworkable (but the fundamentalist mindset has difficulty from what I've seen in operating without concrete, precisely defined rules for every permutation of possible factors governing behavior). For example, if the percentage changes from .08 to .1 because of legal redefinition, that does not imply the Biblical rules change too, because this still remains a Romans 13 matter (along with other Scriptures).

Apparently it is not enough to grant liberty for others to abstain from alcohol. Abstinence grants liberty to no one, and that is where it crosses the line for me, when my freedom is imposed upon by the Scriptural hermeneutics of others. This may not be a matter you are open-minded about any longer (and that is fine), but you will have to accept, whether you like it or not, that others will continue to disagree with you even while granting you the same liberty you deny to them by your principles.

Byroniac

Actually, I didn't really explain what I was driving at concerning relativism. A hard and fast rule on this is not going to work for everybody, anyway, concerning intoxication because hard and fast rules do not perfectly fit anyone in any area of society except for those (or the person) for which the laws (i.e., gold standards) are tailored. There are different dietary requirements (including caloric requirements, nutritional concerns, and the link) between individuals, but because enough individuals have been sampled from the general population at large, we have general nutritional guidelines to which we can appeal, for example. Even if I granted that moderation as a practice is Scripturally invalid (I don't), this principle of "individual dynamic limitations" remains true, and if moderation is Biblically valid, then no hard and fast rule is needed here. But obviously, guidance by the Holy Spirit (which some fundamentalist types seem to either dismiss, ignore, or minimize) is critical, along with wisdom, and knowledge. In short, though I cannot convince you of the fact, your concerns are already well addressed by others.

peter

Wade,

Thanks for your input. Know in large part I agree with you: "the GCR debate is much bigger than the Calvinist/modified/anti/whatever debate."

There are a few minor items I'd differ about.

For example, Dr. Page did not sell the GCR. Absolutely no one--not one--so much as hinted during pre-SBC discussions that a motion on a task committee appointment would fail. If I missed it, I'd be very much interested in correction.

Also, there was no "debate" about the GCR--unless one would classify, as "debate" that factually speaking, the proper parliamentary procedure was followed. Nor out of the 2 men who spoke against Dr. Mohler's motion was a reasonable objection raised--at least, in my opinion anyway.

Incidentally, I have read Dr. Page's book on Calvinism and reviewed it here. I was not impressed with the arguments of it, nor he of my review!

As for moving on from ideological debates, there will never be such a time, at least, this side of Glory. But you have the right attitude about it brother," I am a young pastor trying to lead my people to love the Word of God." Very encouraging.

Finally, you suggest my post is conspiratorially loaded: "this talk of Founder's conspiracy is wild...I simply don't agree with you..."

Wade, a conspiracy implies an undercover plot, something done in secret. And, more times than not, the plot is evil.

Is this what you are suggesting I'm saying concerning Founders and Calvinism? If not, what do you mean by conspiracy?

If so, may I ask what part of this post implies Founders and/or Calvinists are "secretly" plotting to take over the SBC? To the contrary, Wade, Founders' vision is very clear and very public. One needs only read their material to understand what they are about.

Nor is the criticism here meant to indict anyone and everyone who is affiliated with Founders. Indeed, were such so, I would have indicted a dear church I was privileged to serve as pastor for almost 7 years!

With that, I am...
Peter

peter

Byron,

Of course! All of us SBC FUNDAMENTALISTS hold a "brittle inflexibility" indicative of our "fundamentalist mindset." Consequently, we "tolerate no opposition." We're known for our shout downs and never our engagement.

That's the reason you cannot state your opinions here on this blog, Byron, as flawed and uninformed as I may think them to be. What a pitiful shame, do you not agree?

With that, I am...
Peter

Byroniac

Sorry, Peter, I guess my thinking has pretty much polarized on these subjects. But if I ever needed an example of times when Christian fellowship and reasonable dialog become difficult, if not well nigh impossible, with opposing viewpoints, Walt pretty much handed me Exhibit A. Sad thing is, I used to think like he does, like others still do out there in the blogosphere. My mistake has been trying to get them to see where I am coming from, and to date I have not been successful.

Byroniac

Well, that didn't sound right. I should have said, I used to hold that position, but I have since changed my mind. It's possible I could return to those same viewpoints, but not likely. I think I understand where Walt is coming from, but I could be mistaken.

Todd Burus

Luke,
You ask, "just why should you have 'known better'?" The reason I said this is because I should have 'known better' than to think "that people could see the difference between being called racist and being told that the mindset behind the anti-Calvinist rhetoric bears a striking resemblance to the rhetoric behind racism." If you check out the post at SBC Voices you will see what I intended by this comparison fleshed out more, particularly in comment #70.

peter

Walt,

Thanks for logging on. Also, thank you for your warm recommendation of my book. I'm so glad it was helpful.

May I gently exhort you, my brother, to be particularly cautious in your assessments of Calvinism and Calvinists. While you, I and many, many other Non-Calvinists in the SBC not only may but must record the theo-biblical weaknesses we perceive in a particular sector of SBC life, I think it remains entirely unhelpful--not to mention inadequate and incorrect-- to employ terms like "facist" to castigate our theological counter-point.

Indeed we need not stoop to such unhealthy methods of conversation. Aggressive Calvinism lends itself to valid criticism quite apart from the improper label "facist."

Know, however, I realize many aggressive Calvinists affiliated with Founders hold no moral scruples whatsoever about castigating their Non-Calvinist brothers.

Ironically, Todd Burus, who logged on above, invited me over to his post to "do something constructive" in genuine dialog. Yet, Todd had this to say about Non-Calvinists:

I will just be honest for a minute, it pisses me off when I hear someone like David Allen or Steve Lemke get up and run Calvinists into the ground with phony-baloney arguments, bad scholarship and caricatures of the truth.

Leaving aside the horrid breakdown of conversational etiquette Todd put on public display by his juvenile expression of anger**, here is a very young aggressive Calvinist with no credentials, no qualifications, and no earned theological accomplishments whatsoever, confidently pronouncing, in effect, that two accomplished Southern Baptist scholars--who are both Non-Calvinists, of course--as little more than convention-paid theological idiots.

The striking irony is, not only does Todd's position perfectly demonstrate the quintessential, aggressive Founders affiliated Calvinism concerning which this post originally addressed, but Todd blindly possesses the audacity to invite Non-Calvinists over to help "do something constructive."

Were it not so pitifully sad, I'd get a belly-busting laugh out of it. How is it possible to take serious a confidently but crassly asserted position which oozes such hopeless gooberism?

Even so, my brother, Walt, just because angry young Calvinists get satisfaction by maliciously maligning reputable Non-Calvinist scholars, not to mention, imply Non-Calvinists are somehow likened to "racists", gives no free pass to Non-Calvinists in improperly criticizing their brothers.

Thanks, again, Walt. And, log on anytime.

With that, I am...
Peter

**Anyone thinking of posting the typical lame rejoinder about how I am participating in that which I am despising, save it. No time to consider Third grade criticisms...

UPDATE: TODD HAS LOGGED AN APOLOGY AT SBC VOICES FOR HIS HORRID REMARK REFERENCED ABOVE. HE IS TO BE COMMENDED FOR IT.

Byroniac

Peter,

Looking back, I have made plenty of observations of my own without proof, such as the adjectives I chose to describe Fundamentalism (ironic because I am more fundamentalist myself in some ways than perhaps anything else). I have not been objective or fair, or even tried to be or cared that I was not. That is not to say I do not have certain rather strong opinions on some things, that are not easily overcome. Thank you for your corrective to Walt concerning his adjective of "fascist" for Founders (I chose to ignore it in my comment). And I am sorry you find my opinions to be "flawed and uninformed" and no doubt there are those who agree with you, and I am under no illusion otherwise. But, thank you for your sense of fairness, as I do appreciate it.

cb scott

"....here is a very young aggressive Calvinist with no credentials, no qualifications, and no earned theological accomplishments whatsoever, confidently pronouncing, in effect, that two accomplished Southern Baptist scholars--who are both Non-Calvinists, of course--as little more than convention-paid theological idiots."

Peter,

You have again identified a serious problem.

And herein lies the problem. It is the age old problem of the tail trying to wag the dog.

Peter, I do not believe you hate or fear Dortian Calvinists. I believe you have seen a dangerous pattern with some who do not really understand everything they think they do about what they promote.

Recently when you were attacked for using the term "Dortian" is a prime example as is the statement above.

Hang in there, Peter.

cb

Luke

Todd,

With all due respect sir, the very TITLE of your post implies more than your PARALLEL. IF you truly want a Calvie/non-Calvie dialogue, drop the rhetoric and speak plainly without insinuating. You could learn much from the discussion between Patterson and Mohler. Don't think I heard Mohler make the same parallel you are attempting because he is wise enough to know that the statement is not a conversation starter, it is a conversation stopper. You want conversation? Don't stop it BEFORE it can begin.

Luke

Peter,
I too echo the sentiments of Byron in your correction toward Walt. Thank you brother.

Luke

Todd Burus

Peter,
You said,


The striking irony is, not only does Todd's position perfectly demonstrate the quintessential, aggressive Founders affiliated Calvinism concerning which this post originally addressed, but Todd blindly possesses the audacity to invite Non-Calvinists over to help "do something constructive."

I'm sure you will deny this being your implication, but since you consistently use my name in a breath with Founders, I feel it is worthwhile to note that I have no affiliation with Founders other than doctrinal conviction.

Also, "do[ing] something constructive" is the onus of the actor. You did not have to choose to focus on my comments. If you really wanted to be constructive you could have been. Please don't try to use myself as an excuse for your lack of desire in this endeavor.

peter

Todd,

That you apologized for your remarks referenced above on the thread at SBC Voices is commendable. I applaud such.

Nonetheless, please do not spoil it by attempting to make me the issue.

With that, I am...
Peter

Todd Burus

Peter,
Well taken. I appreciate your response.

Have a nice 4th.

peter

Todd,

Thanks, brother. And, may I issue to you and yours the same.

With that, I am...
Peter

Chris Gilliam

Peter,

I like the article and agree with much of it. I am a bit confused with your following statement:

"Like the proverbial frog in a kettle, our Southern Baptist heritage is slowly boiling to death in the Founders waters of highly-aggressive Calvinism. And, antinomianism, its hedonistic twin sister, lingers not far behind."


My confusion lies in if you are connecting the two and if so how/why? I for the most part don't see them connected, so perhaps I'm missing something?
Chris

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