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gnashing, not knashing



My bad. I thought I ran a spell check. Obviously I either didn't or missed the red-marks. Thanks for the notice.

With that, I am...


Thanks Eileen for correction. Spelling is not a strength of mine.

Peter, how long before the parsing of words. The semantical loop jumping.

"You know, clearly, when they say Reform, they don't mean Reform, they just mean you know, Reform for those churches already Reformed with the true Gospel, not that they want to Reform unreformed churches or anything. CONTEXT!"

or how bout, "That was an old agenda, now that they've seized power at the Seminary and Institutional level they don't need to do the reforming on a church by church basis, since they can control what's being taught at the Seminaries and can plant Calvinist churches. So the agenda's changed now, but they don't actually talk about taking over the SBC since you know they are pretty far along in actually building the structure to do it, but that take over the SBC agenda was yesterday so stop your lying."



Yes, kinda like a Voices contributor attempted to recast Mohler’s words on the new Calvinist video into Mohler speaking to Calvinists about Calvinism. About the young, restless, and Reformed to the already convinced young, restless, and Reformed. Uh?  You mean Mohler was speaking to convinced Calvinists that they had no other option out there but Calvinism? That the existing Reformed would need to invent the non-existing Reformed if the existing Reformed didn’t exist.  Head spinning yet?  This is the type of nonsense one frequently faces when attempting to point out visible facts any 5th grader could understand. Denial, Denial, Denial. Make words into wax noses and bend them into any shape you want. And to boot, many times, when it’s pointed out to them, they change the subject or try to ignore it by becoming “light-hearted”. It’s too late for that when substance is ignored.

With that, I am…



I had dinner with an older friend a few nights ago who has been very well connected in Christian circles in our YRR ground zero city. He used to be very involved with the SBC but now is an elder in a non denominational mega church.

He agreed this Calvinist movement is much older than many think. He remembers it coming up in the late 70's when he was real involved with the local SBC groups.

However, he told me that it was only 15 or so years ago that Mohler made it clear to certain circles the SBC was dying and he used some numeric examples of the vast amount of churches in our regional associations with 60 people or less in them. He concluded these churches were dying because they were not reformed and this would continue to be the case and he was working at SBTS to change this. (I guess in reformed you are not allowed to leave?)

Now the above is ONE example. Not the litany of examples that lead me to believe certain things. And that is that Calvinism/Reformed is not really the issue but the rallying cry for the troops. All movements have a rallying cry for the troops to unite around. And all have an enemy. REformed makes an excellent issue to rally around because it is based on psuedo intellectualism. And impossible to argue against since the argument is always: You cannot understand.

Now some people have a hard time with really small churches that do not grow. They are kind of embarassing and are not good places to put graduating pastors who need a decent income and be somebody important. But I think differently. I would rather be in a Body of 20 serious sold out believers than a church building with 2000 lukewarm believers or even those sold out to Reformed where that is their focus.

My point? You get power by having the churches support and what better strategy than to plant reformed churches with SBC money? Add to that changing the name (my guess is that "Baptist" goes next) and you will attract even more YRR churches.

I was flabbergasted to learn of an acquaintance SBC youth pastor who is going to plant a church in Ga. As if GA does not hvae a church on every corner. It is just that they are not reformed churches. Your CP dollars at work

I think Al outgrew the SBC years ago and has been looking for a national platform. Scuttlebut on the streets here a few years back is that he was courted to take over for Dobson. But Dobson refuses to really step down and Al is too smart for that. He has plenty of autonomy where he is with very little oversight from Trustees.

Look for Founders, Mohler (SBTS), SGM, CHBC, Acts 29, Piper,etc, etc, to form some sort of cooperating alliance. The money made from materials, conferences, etc will be HUGE. Just as those of us in YRR ground zero know what a huge money maker T4G really is.

And it will be an uneasy alliance with all those big name egos. but the young minds full of mush will be in 7th heaven.


"Now imagine that Paige Patterson decided to employ as his Historical Theology Professor a man who serves on the board of directors of this "take back the SBC" movement. Imagine that Paige Patterson himself is closely, very closely affiliated with our Take Back the SBC movement. Imagine if Paige Patterson decided that he was going to clean house at Southwestern, get rid of any Calvinist and decide that only non-Calvinists would be hired in the future."

Did this not already happen at SWBTS? At least, that was the sense one gets from this article - http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/april/3.13.html.

"The president said he would not hide behind a screen of economic problems if he thought a professor needed to be removed because of certain Calvinist beliefs. 'I will say,' Patterson continued, 'that Southwestern will not build a school in the future around anybody who could not look anybody in the world in the eyes and say, "Christ died for your sins."'"

I know this article mentions the name of Wade Burleson, whose name is anathema around here, but going beyond that, is Mary's "hypothetical" situation not, at least in some sense, already taking place? Does the agenda not cut both ways? Do not both sides of the theological divide genuinely believe their take on soteriology to be correct, and seek to indoctrinate their students in their particular theological views?



It's hard to take your question seriously. If this *was* taking place at SW, where is the Tu Quoque charge from Calvinists? Please. The truth is, there are as about as many Calvinists at SWBTS as non-Calvinists. That's a fact*.

With, I am...

*I'm obviously speaking here of biblically-theologically oriented faculty


BTW, while Dr. Patterson may have said, "'that Southwestern will not build a school in the future around anybody who could not look anybody in the world in the eyes and say, "Christ died for your sins," personally I think that should be an absolute, non-negotiable presumption in every SBC seminary. Period.

With that, I am...


While admitting that I had to look up "Tu Quoque" to understand what in the world you meant, isn't that what I intended to do in my original comment? And is there some resource to which you could point me that suggests "there are about as many Calvinists at SWBTS as non-Calvinists?" That is certainly not the rumor in my neck of the woods.

And speaking of "Tu Quoque" charges, "personally I think that should be an absolute, non-negotiable presumption in every SBC seminary." So what makes your non-negotiable view of indefinite atonement different from another's non-negotiable view of definite atonement? Is it the oft-quoted 90% majority rule? Because if it is, and this is really a matter of majority rule (i.e., if 90% of the SBC believe in an indefinite atonement, and 90% of SBC funds come from those who hold to an indefinite atonement, then according to the dictates of congregational democracy, our SBC entities should teach an indefinite atonement) then I must concede that you may have a point. I'm still thinking that one over. But if your non-negotiable indefinite atonement is on purely theological grounds, then is it not a bit hypocritical?

With that, I am... (no, wait... that's yours. Sorry.)


"The SBC will be gone for good, and along with it, the mightiest missionary force since apostolic times."

I suppose the missionaries will be gone because Calvinists don't believe in missions and evangelism, right? Thanks for making sure that SBC party line was included in the post.



Please do not draw conclusions where neither conclusion nor implication is present. I can truthfully say, I have never, ever used as argument, contra Calvinism, that Calvinism in itself negates missions or evangelism. If you think I am blowing smoke, then demonstrate. Search this site all you wish. I'm confident you won't find it, brother.

Now, if you have any other contribution to make (i.e. one with teeth), please, by all means...

With that, I am...


Lmalone, absolutely, Al Mohler is looking to make the SBC Tent broad enough, I think this name change is an indication of that, to include Acts 29, SGM and any other reformed group out there.

It's always amusing to me to see the rants that the "young leaders" are leaving we have to appease them! Where they gonna go? The SBC has the power and the money the Calvinists crave.

Timothy I'm not sensing you got the "hypothetical" It's not actually hypothetical when you replace the "Take Back the SBC" reference with Founders and replace Paige Patterson's name with Al Mohler. All the things in the hypothetical have happened and are currently happening.

So the question becomes since we have Founders and Al Mohler is actively practicing theological discimination at Southern along with Danny Akin at Southeastern, would it be ok for Paige Patterson to only hire nonCalvinists. To openly state that Southwestern would be ground zero for the nonCalvinist agenda in the SBC. Should we have some sort of custody agreement in regards to what the seminaries are going to teach nonCalvinism or Calvinism? And can Peter, Lmalone and I and begin a ministry that is for the education and advancement of a nonCalvinist SBC. Everybody ok with that, no wailing and gnashing (Eileen? notice that I really don't put the S at the end of Calvnist plural consistently either) of teeth if we just start declaring seminaries as nonCalvinist and we start a ministry to try to unreform reformed churches?

And another point on ol Paige and his intention to hire only nonCalvinists - Wade like totally saved the day by exposing this diabolical plot at Southwestern. So I think Paige is watched very carefully, while nobody holds Al Mohler accountable for anything including his public insults against the majority of the SBC.


Thank you, Mary, I caught the "hypothetical." I'm not daft, and the scenario wasn't that oblique.

And, frankly, I'm okay with Paige Patterson only hiring non-Calvinists. And I'm okay with Al Mohler only hiring reformed professors.



A) Well, perhaps you were. If so, I would only ask how such addresses the assertion on the OP that Calvinists themselves have an agenda? It does not. That’s why it’s called Tu Quoque (“you too”). In other words, Timothy, even if it were true (it’s not, but supposing it were true) that non-Calvinists were doing what they charge Calvinists of doing (i.e. discriminating based on Calvinism), such a revelation counts exactly zero toward whether Calvinists should be doing so.  Saying “You too” may make somebody feel better, but it is less than effective in demonstrating a point.

B) So far as your “rumor” is concerned, all you have to do is pick up your phone and call. Very simple procedure. If they tell you differently from what I state here, let me know.

C) You write,

“And speaking of "Tu Quoque" charges, "personally I think that should be an absolute, non-negotiable presumption in every SBC seminary." So what makes your non-negotiable view of indefinite atonement different from another's non-negotiable view of definite atonement? Is it the oft-quoted 90% majority rule? Because if it is, and this is really a matter of majority rule (i.e., if 90% of the SBC believe in an indefinite atonement, and 90% of SBC funds come from those who hold to an indefinite atonement, then according to the dictates of congregational democracy, our SBC entities should teach an indefinite atonement) then I must concede that you may have a point. I'm still thinking that one over. But if your non-negotiable indefinite atonement is on purely theological grounds, then is it not a bit hypocritical?”

I am not sure what you’re getting at here, Timothy. You’ve got a lot going on in the comment which is unclear--at least to me it is. Allow me :

First, I don’t see the connection of the “you too” at all.

Second, I said nothing in my comment about having a non-negotiable view of “indefinite atonement” a strange phrase I would definitively not employ. You’re apparently equating Patterson’s words with “indefinite atonement” (your words and a problem Patterson himself would point out I’m quite sure) and then tagging me with it being my “non-negotiable” view. Begging pardon. a) I do not necessarily equate Calvinism’s “L” in TULIP with Patterson’s description of “[not being able to] look anybody in the world in the eyes and say, "Christ died for your sins." Nor presumably would Dr. Patterson. I personally know Calvinists—including LA Calvinists—who, consistently or inconsistently (in my perception), do look people (i.e. any person) in the eye and tell them “Christ died for you sins.” What I would say is that Calvinist, non-Calvinist, Baptist, Methodist, Catholic or whomever—if they can not look anybody in the eye and say, “Christ died for your sins” they have no business teaching in our schools.

Finally, know I have no conception of an indefinite atonement as if no design or eternal purpose was in place for His death. Such a conception is repugnant to me.

With that, I am…



Sorry Timothy, didn't mean to imply you were daft.

And you know what I wouldn't really care if Southern remains the Calvinist Seminary. The problem is nobody's admitting that there has been an agenda to calvinize the SBC. The problem is the Calvinist are not happy with the control of two seminaries - they've got tbeir sites on the third when ol Paige retires. Are Calvinist gonna rise up and say that's not right the nonCalvinist deserve to be have their needs met by our seminary system. I hardly think so.

And Timothy you're ok with Peter, me and others forming ministry to eduacate churches about the true Gospel found in or nonCalvinism?



My apologies. I was simply using "indefinite" as the opposite of "definite." Poor choice of words. I certainly would not want to charge you with thinking there were no design or eternal purpose in place for Christ's death. I was trying to avoid the usual terminology of "limited" and "unlimited" atonement, because I understand how those who do not hold to the traditional reformed understanding of limited atonement would (rightly) cringe at the term "unlimited atonement." I intended the word "indefinite" to refer to a rejection of the idea that the atonement was designed from eternity past to be intended and effective for a definite number of elect individuals.

As far as Dr. Patterson's comment, how exactly would you interpret it if not to mean that he would not hire anyone who could not look anyone in the eyes and tell them, "Christ died for your sins"? You do not think that was his way of saying that he wouldn't hire someone who held to a definite/limited atonement?


BTW, Timothy,

Many of us not only dissent from your fairly confident assertion that you have no trouble with Patterson hiring only non-Calvinists and Mohler Calvinists, but believe such a position to be destruction to cooperation which has made SBs SBs for well over a century. Mohler nor Patterson has any commission from Southern Baptists to build a school based on their own theological yearnings. Rather they are responsible to all Southern Baptists to build schools respectable toward Southern Baptists, not particular or favorable ideology.

This is precisely what Mary refereed to in her comment. 90%+ of the SBC is non-Calvinist yet all SBs support all seminaries. Hence, there remains no legitimate reason for one or all to float a particular salvific vision when *all* SBCers support *all* schools via the CP. What SBTS & to a lessor but nonetheless significant extent, SEBTS is doing so as well.

I will continue to express my reservations on this. The CP is dissolving right before our eyes all the while Calvinists who say they want to cooperate stand idly by and watch Mohler become more and more exclusive.

With that, I am...



No problem my brother. Sorry I misunderstood. As for Patterson's words, no, I do not think he meant to suggest no one who embraces LA or DA could be on faculty. Dr. Greg Welty, who is fully a "High Calvinist" Dr. Patterson hired himself. While Welty is now at SEBTS, the very time the story came out in CT about Patterson (I'm fairly positive it was the same time frame) and Burleson's blog implicating Patterson as wanting to get rid of all the Calvinists, Dr. Welty wet on Burleson's blog an d called him to repent of the nonsense about a "meeting with Calvinists" for it was not true. He was one hot dude over that.

What Patterson was getting at, I'm sure was a proclivity amongst some--some--new Calvinists to deny invitations to Christ, or ever saying publicly "Christ died on the cross for you", a breath-taking allusion toward hyper-Calvinism. But he want not meaning it as a denial of anyone embracing LA. I think I am right. If not, I may just get an email telling me to "stop putting words in my mouth" ;^)

Thanks for the chat, Timothy.

With that, I am...


May I pose a question(s) to you, Mary? Do you believe that those with reformed and non-reformed beliefs can co-exist within the same local church, or would it be better for churches to declare themselves "reformed" or "nonreformed" (or whatever label you choose)? Can the same local association include both reformed and nonreformed churches, or would it be better to form separate associations? What about the same state or national convention? And I don't just mean, "In a perfect world, they could coexist." Do you think that true and productive cooperation is possible at the seminary level, when professors and presidents disagree about fundamental issues of educating future pastors and missionaries? Do you think the "two tributaries" that flow into the SBC can truly form one stream, or would it be best to remain two separate tributaries? In short, is this a debate worth having, or are we just wasting our time?


One more thing that I think plays into the vague notions of what is actually going on:

My friend I had dinner with knows Ezell quite well. He adamently states that Ezell is NOT a Calvinist. I pointed out all the indicators that Ezell is following the Reformed party line from what has happened at Highview (taken over by Reformed) to him being placed at NAMB.

I am concerned that I see too many playing the fence on this issue and ignoring the implications. And I understand why they do this. Job security, promotion, position, etc. Which way is it going to go, they ask themselves and they don't want to be divisive. This hit home to me a few years back when many of these leaders should have been rebuking Driscoll but instead were silent while his DNA was all over the seminaries.

To not make too fine a point of it, some of it is about being culturally relevant...


Oh Timothy, we are so totally wasting our time.

Calvinists refuse to even acknowledge the unambigous purpose statement of Founders and the blatent theological discrimination of Al Mohler so how on earth can anybody do anything or talk about anything when the majority of Calvinist will attack anyone who dares voices a word against the Pope of Louisville.

Can Calvinist and nonCalvinist coexist peacefully? Well it was happening from the founding of the Convention until the time that Al, Founders, and Co came up with the agenda to infiltrate churches and institutions for the reform of the SBC. The SBC has always had nonCalvinist and Calvinists.

SBC Professors and Presidents don't have the authority to set the agenda at the seminaries. That's why we have Trustees who are accountable to the Convention as a whole. If Al Mohler disagrees with the agenda the Convetion sets for Southern than Al Mohler needs to leave. It's not Al Mohler's seminary and he never had the authority to take it in a direction opposed to the majority of the SBC. The problem is that no one has been minding the store holding Al accountable so he thinks he can do whatever the heck he wants regardless of the majority view of the SBC. And he's right because the calZombies will come out and jump through semantical hoops to defend him when he clearly insults the majority of the SBC several times.

Now I've answered your questions, did you answer mine? Have you drunk the kool aid turning you into a calzombie? Or do you freely admit that there has been a very definate agenda to Calvinize the SBC? And would it be ok for nonCalvinits to get together all for the purpose of uncalvinizing it?


LMalone, Ezell is a four point Calvinist. The Calvinists will come out and say they do too cooperate with nonCalvinist meaning 4 pointers. Akin is a 4 Pointer, Russell Moore is a 4 Pointer. Therefore, Al Mohler and his zombies will try to defend themselves by claiming all the 4 pointers as nonCalvinist. They are not Adrian Rogers/Jerry Vines nonCalvinist. It's the U not the L that matters. Al Mohler with Founders want to get rid of all Adrian Rogers/Jerry Vines nonCalvinists.


Now, Lmalone, I will add that there are some real nonCalvinists who are cooperating with Al and his zombies. (this is harsh but it's what I believe from what I hear) those high profile nonCalvinists cooperating are interested in power and fame and really believe that doctrine doesn't matter too much. Some people are more intested in hitching to the rising star than in any concern about the direction of the doctrine in the seminaries.


Mary, "calZombie" is a mental image that makes me chuckle. Let me try to answer your questions:

(1) I've never thought of myself as a kool-aid drinking "calZombie." Perhaps I am. But not in the "Thriller" kind of way. I dance like Elaine Benes from Seinfeld.

(2) I think there is an agenda to reform the SBC. At least I suppose that is the stated purpose of the Founders Ministry. But frankly, I'm not well-acquainted with them. And I cannot speak for Mohler, Akin, Ascol, or anyone else as to their motives. If there is an agenda, I'm for it. I believe it would be best for the SBC.

(3) Yes, it would be okay for you to get together to uncalvinize the convention, that is certainly your prerogative. But being a "calZombie" (still loving the image of myself in "Thriller"), I would hope you wouldn't succeed in doing so. I believe it would not be best for the SBC.

Thank you, Mary, for the engaging dialogue this afternoon. I hope you won't take my forthcoming silence as rudeness or or an unwillingness to continue dialogue. I'm not in the habit of commenting on blogs, and I have found the experience to be a terrible thief of what could otherwise have been productive time. So I'm signing off. Best wishes in your quest to expose the agenda :)


Sorry, Timothy, but there will be no red MJ Thriller Jacket in your stocking this Christmas.

The reason why you do not qualify as a calZombie is that you are too honest. CalZombies will not admit there is an agenda to take over the SBC. They will call all manner of names and insinuate all types of things about one's intellect and the location of your computer in your momma's basement. CalZombies will not admit that he thinks the SBC should be taken over and that it would be a good thing. Perhaps a CalZombie will take you under his wing to coach you in the proper way to "dialoque" with an "antiCalvinist" like myself.

I disagree of course about the Calvinist takeover, but I also don't want to see Calvinists pushed completely out or even see their voices marginelized(sp pulease). I've learned more about the Bible in the last ten years that I've been exposed to the rabid Calvinist zombies than I learned the whole 35 years before. Iron sharpens iron.

The problems arise because people are not honest and when they hear things about their "side" they don't like they attack instead of showing a Christian empathy and humilty. The problems arise when people who have a thirst for power decide that they will decide the direction of the entire convention without consulting the convention.

Thank you Timothy for your dialogue. Don't get sucked back into the time drain or you may accidently drink a cup of kool aid someone places before you.


"LMalone, Ezell is a four point Calvinist. The Calvinists will come out and say they do too cooperate with nonCalvinist meaning 4 pointers. Akin is a 4 Pointer, Russell Moore is a 4 Pointer. Therefore, Al Mohler and his zombies will try to defend themselves by claiming all the 4 pointers as nonCalvinist. They are not Adrian Rogers/Jerry Vines nonCalvinist. It's the U not the L that matters. Al Mohler with Founders want to get rid of all Adrian Rogers/Jerry Vines nonCalvinists."

This is exactly my experience and why Ezell can tell people with a straight face, he is not a Calvinist while promoting the Calvinist 5 pt agenda in the SBC.

I only mention this because a few years back he wanted to make Highview elder led. But that would not go over well if just announced and implemented. After all, people like having input. So, it was a back door endeavor. And those who did not like it were free to leave. That is all I can say about that without permission from my sources.

And I agree many non Calvinists are hitching a ride because that seems to be where the action is. I have been somewhat amazed at the former PDL type pastors who are now Calvinists.

Phil Miller

Peter and Mary, I really think you're missing the "big picture" here. The growth of Calvinism/reformed is really not an Sbc issue; it's really a generational issue. While I think there are numerous causes for this, I think there are several that have especially impacted the Sbc. The first is the growth of the internet and the ready availability of the "primary sources". I'm probably a good example of that. When I arrived at Liberty Univ (a few years ago :) I hardly knew what a calvinist believed; I just knew from my pastors and SS teachers that they were "bad". I think that was the norm amongst my fellow students, however that was about the time the internet exploded and suddenly there was this wealth of resources available and it was in the very words of the "calvinistic" influencers of the day- McArthur and Piper and then Mohler and soon many others. Suddenly Calvinists were no longer the "boogey-man" we were led to believe they were. We could now read them in their own words and not through someone else's opinions. I think most of my thinking friends left LU at least sympathetic to Calvinism, if not outright persuaded. The second major reason for this generation shift is the lack of influencers for this generation from the non-reformed persuasion. I don't think I'm exaggerating much when I say that almost all the "thinkers" of my generation are leaning reformed, while most of the "doers vs. thinkers" are emergent. With all due respect, I really think you all would do well to try and reach the minority of the youth of your churches that actually stay in the church from being pulled into "relevantistic" and "emergent" thinking, rather that fight a personal and loosing battle against "reformed thinking". I don't think it will happen. The influencers of this generation have already changed that.


Phil, I agree that there is a generational aspect to Calvinism. Calvinists have been out ahead on the internet. But I don't believe we can understate the impact that Al Mohler's takeover of the flagship seminary for Calvinism has had on this generation. And as the seminaries are only churning out Calvinists than of course there is going to be more Calvinists "thinkers" Again the influence of Mohler et al. And again this means that in an SBC of majority nonCalvinist Al Mohler is not a servant to the majority in the SBC but only Calvinism.

You didn't just accidently, suddenly come upon Calvinism. Al Mohler with Founders have been working to push those Calvinists authors you "found" years ago, Calvinists have been sent to churches and institutions to introduce this generation to the DOG. THATS the WHOLE PURPOSE of the FOUNDERS which began over thirty years ago.

Now unfortunately, our churches have been theologically deficient. And what I've found in many of this generation of Calvinists is that they really had no understanding of what it truly means to be an SBC nonCalvinist. They've only been taught what they thought they were believing by Calvinists and thus embraced Calvinism because of the caricutures that the Calvinist push of nonCalvinism are wrong too.

And with all due respect, when the influencers of your generation start paying the bills, then we can shut up. Of course I think it's time my generation start making our voices heard with our money. If we ever had a Calvinist seminary and a nonCalvinist seminary and churhces decided to designate which seminary they were going to support guess which goes belly up?

But I like that more young Calvinist are admitting that there is an agenda to take over the SBC by this generation. Now if your generation only had the money to actually fund the SBC you wouldn't have a problem would you? But since you need our money maybe we might want to consider making sure the SBC and it's leaders are truly serving the entire SBC and not just a minority community.

And maybe the "influencers" of your generation might want to brush up on what the Bible has to say about how you treat those who've gone before you. HINT - no where in the Bible will you find this idea that "young leaders" have a right to go around throwing temper tantrums demanding a seat at the adult table or they're gonna take their ball and go home. You also won't find the attitude of "get out of the way grandma we're taking over now, with all due respect, of course, we'll let you do nursery duty."

Ron Hale


I have enjoyed your writings this day. Just another day at the office ... right. Blessings!


Hey Ron would you like to join our Decalvanise and find a cure for the virus causing the CalZombie group? I know impressionable young Calvinist think dancing as a Thriller Zombie is cool, but HELLO we are old fogey old fashioned uncool fundy Baptist - we don't drink, smoke, or DANCE! Duh!

I always enjoy reading what you have to say Ron, with your correct spelling and that weird way you have of being nice all the time. It works for you!


"The growth of Calvinism/reformed is really not an Sbc issue; it's really a generational issue."

Phil, I think you are dead on. I totally agree with this. And it is probably the reason I did not stay with it for long after all the reading and listening I did. And I am thankful I had a very strong belief in the Priesthood so I was more apt to question everything. If I had been younger, it would have appealed to me too much and I would not have the experience behind me to question certain things. I would have fallen for Piper's Christian Hedonism in a heart beat.

And I agree the appeal is largely due to the shallow doctrine that came out of the seeker and emergent movements. A backlash to Rick Warren, Billy Hybels, Brian McLaren, etc. Although, I am starting to see an emergent flavor in some NC groups.

But it is destined to crash and burn but not before it rips the Body apart. And that is because it lacks the one thing needed and most important: Love.

Steve Evans

Off the subject but still pertinent is the fact that churches should be the ones planting other churches. I served a church in eastern kentucky where we planted 7 mission churches. To date all but one of those plants became strong churches in their own right. It is not (in my opinion) the state or national convention's place to plant churches. We did ask the association to recommend places in which to start said missions. just a thought................

Phil Miller

Mary, there are many who would say this is a move of God on this generation; a revival of sorts, if you will. I would certainly agree a lack of theological depth in many local churches has certainly contributed to the contrast, and hence the passions on both sides.
As for a "takeover" at SBTS or no, I'm no longer Sbc and really have no dog in that fight. However, my bigger point is that this generational shift is much wider, and bigger, than just the Sbc. This is impacting the whole breadth of evangelicalism. That leads me to think perhaps you're giving Mohler and the Founders to much credit. This shift would be impacting the Sbc regardless. I also can't help but think there are strong influences from the Doctrines of Grace on students even in schools where they are actively opposed by the faculty/administration. I know this was the case at Liberty when I was there.
I guess the bigger questions remains. Is this a renewal/revival from God on this generation, or is it not?

Phil Miller

"But it is destined to crash and burn but not before it rips the Body apart. And that is because it lacks the one thing needed and most important: Love."

Imalone, I found this comment most intriguing and, frankly, troubling. Troubling, because on the one hand if you judge from some blogs -and I'm sure from many individuals- you're right, but if you judge from my own experience with the wider movement, I would suggest that that is so wrong on numerous levels. I guess I would make the argument that this "renewal" is primarily based on a renewed love in this generation; a renewed love of God and a renewed love and fidelity to His Word. But I think you have a troubling point, for some reason this has caused a great deal of interpersonal conflict, and that is indeed problematic. I really hope though that you're wrong about it crashing and burning. I really believe this renewal has been a good thing for my generation. I really think that the "fight" in the Sbc in the previous generation over inerrancy greatly contributed to the rise of calvinism/reformed thinking in my generation. They taught us to love the Scriptures as the very Word of God. We took these Scriptures to heart and fell in love with a "high view" of God. I really thinking on a theological level that is what the "debate" is all about; a high view of God or a more man-centered approach to understanding who God really is. Unfortunately though, that is far to seldom where the conversation goes. To often it dissolves into interpersonal disagreements and generational power struggles. That aspect cannot be from God.
I really wonder though what would happen if we could step back a moment and consider a few questions. Where would the seminaries and younger pastors be theologically today if not for the "renewal struggles" of the Battle for the Bible of the last generation? Did that battle not often result in interpersonal conflicts and generational struggles as well? Is the Calvinism/reformed movement of this generation not really the next, inevitable, step for those who have a high view of God and a high view of His Word?
So whether or not it "crashes and burns" I suppose will be determined by its' source and will be revealed in time. In the mean while, may God help both sides to learn how to better love one another in spite of our differences and conflicts.


I personally think a split would be great. The Calvinists could simply leave the convention and the SBC could completely be comprised of non-Calvinists. That's how I would do it. I'd keep some type of relationship with the non-Calvinists but I would leave the convention being convinced in my own mind. I don't believe that you can have Calvinists/Non-Calvinists (specifically Arminians)together as deacons, elders, or seminary professors. Furthermore, I think that's okay and frankly, everyone at this blog would most likely appreciate that as well. If we're all honest, we don't really want our preacher or professor teaching contra to our strong convictions.

As a Calvinist, I'd be totally content to be removed from the SBC. Sure it has a rich history and has stood strong with its fundamentalism (in the positive sense), but in the end the SBC seems to simply be a title that doesn't state the doctrine of salvation specifically enough. Having a looser view may be helpful for the congregation but it does not help the leaders of a church.

Lastly, I think it would be helpful for people here to simply state, "I think Calvinism is dead wrong, therefore I don't want my preacher, deacon, or professor to be a Calvinist. If he is a Calvinist, I will not agree with him and therefore I can not be under his leadership. As diverse as we want to be in the SBC, I think that the "Calminian", Arminian, or "middle knowledge" view on salvation is the clear biblical teaching." That is what I hear and it would be nice for people to own it.

So there's some honesty.


And lmalone:

What do you mean by "I would have fallen for Piper's Christian Hedonism in a heart beat."

Are you saying that his view on the chief end of man is a trap? A snare?

Or are you simply saying if you were younger you would have agreed with it much more quickly?


"Is the Calvinism/reformed movement of this generation not really the next, inevitable, step for those who have a high view of God and a high view of His Word?"

Phil, when Al Mohler said this, it was insulting and maybe you missed it there was this huge dicussion about it being insulting. Why on earth do you post about trying to "love" one another better than insult the majority view of the SBC?

But, here, let me answer your question. Uhh no Phil, Calvinism is not the inevitable next step for those who have a high view of God and high view of His Word because Calvinist don't corner the market of a "high view of God and high view of His Word" The men who fought the CR, nonCalvinist, had a very "high view of God and high view of His Word" and for someone who has such a high view of His Word I would really like you to start giving some Scripture pointing out this idea that "generational struggle" has anything to do with a high view of the Word of God. You Calvinist just can't seem to help but insult anyone who diasgrees with you.

Cody, it's not the Arminian, Calminian, nonCalvinist havinging trouble owning what they believe. I agree that it's difficult to have a church with a mixture of soteriology, but I don't agree that we shouldn't be able to cooperate within associations and conventions. The problem is that one side has an avowed purpose of taking over from the other side - they don't want to cooperate, they want to take over. That's the whole point of the original OP. If Al Mohler really wanted to cooperate than he'd have on staff a theologically diverse group of people teaching the diversity of beliefs within the convention without the indoctrination that is clearly prevalent.

I don't want to hear that Al totally shook Paige's hand one time so that proves he wants to cooperate - what he's done with no accountability at Southern proves he absolutely does not want to cooperate. His actions speak to his motivations and his words - the ones where he's not being divisive, but attempting to look concilliatory - his words do not match his actions.

The problem we're having in this great Calvinism/"Arminian" debate isn't the theological nuances and whether we can own what we believe. It's the blatent attempt to continue covering up the fact that Founders purpose statement is not just "rhetoric" - the whole reason for the very existence of Founders is to reform the SBC and when people continue to defend Founders and the theological discimination of Al Mohler using SBC resourcs - there can be no beginning of any discussion about what do with the division in the SBC. The caricutures are not just in our heads, made up. There really is a movement to take over the SBC. There really is someone who has a lot of power in the SBC who has been allowed to push through his agenda through his position of authority. People calling you a liar and a sinner for stating facts are in denial. Those who try to ignore facts by making them seem like only rhetoric are in fact themselves the sinners and liars. So when those same people wring their hands and claim to want unity, they are actually just contributing to the disunity by refusing to acknowledge that nonCalvinist have very real significant reasons for being suspicious of the Calvinist claiming "I just want to get along." There are too many actions, too times, too many places for the nonCalvinist not to be skeptical.


This whole discussion reminds of times as a mom, my kids would run in with a new idea or something new they saw - turns out it wasn't actually anything I didn't already know and they look at me suprised like "how could you know that?" at which time I remind them I've been on the planet for quite a bit of time now and I know stuff.

That's this idea this generation has suddenly discovered the Bible and God like no one ever anytime in history has before. Us darn old fogey's don't know what a treasure the Word of God is to us. We don't appreciate how great our God is. Only the young, the cool, the educated, are capable of truly understanding anything about anything to do with God. I guess every generation does it - that the generation before just didn't quite "get it" as well as they get it.


Mary, you are so refreshing to read. You are the me inside my brain that keeps sending signals to bite my tongue. As I swallow the blood my raw tongue emits, I am reminded of the reason God gave me a brain: Listen to the truth, hear the truth, accept the truth, then take that truth and stand in the gap for those who cannot or will not speak the truth.

Truth is, the horse is in the courtyard...and many simply do not know it. I didn't for 23 years.

The "ubiquitous" one,


'Is this a renewal/revival from God on this generation, or is it not?"

If this is what renewal looks like we are in trouble. A focus on authoritarianism? Using scriptures as a club to beat people with? Running around claiming they have a high view of God and others don't simply because we do not focus on one side of Sovereignty but on both sides which includes a God that emptied Himself to come here and hang on a tree for us? And for including that focus we are accused of not having a high view of God. Quite frankly, the fact His Sovereignty includes the Cross awes me every day.

Calvinists have chosen to focus on that view of Sovereignty to almost the exclusion of His love, mercy, grace. I have a Savior that calls me His "friend". That is awesome.

The only thing the Calvinists have brought to the table is more following of man. I hear more about Piper, Mahaney, Mohler, etc, than I do about Christ from them. Everything they believe is filtered through their popular experts.

Personally, I am glad we have fewer celebrity experts. Jesus said He was sending the Best Teacher and that is the Holy Spirit. Not John Piper. And I can have that Best Teacher just as you can.

I honestly believe that if we were a church/state, things would be much uglier than they are.

I fear what the REAL appeal of Calvinism is to these young minds. I have my theories but they are scary to contemplate.


Imalone, you are not alone in your thinking. unfortunately the frogs are in the pot and they simply don't feel the heat.

I've almost--not entirely--but almost stopped reading anyone's books other than Job, Isaiah, Matthew, Luke, John, Paul, and well...you get the idea. I do wish I had a million dollars and could buy more of Urgent by Joe Donahue to distribute to every single solitary person I come in contact with. It is absolutely the best book on the market in my opinion if you want to share Jesus with a lost world.

And all this bunk about systems, abstracts, and the like is nothing compared to the Way, the Truth and the Life that is offered freely to all who believe and trust in Jesus the Christ who died to save us from our sins. He promises some very simple things. Believe on Him, confess with your lips, and He is faithful to cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Then He will give you the Holy Spirit to guide, teach, comfort and convict you when you need Him. You lack zip, zero, nada, nothing, when you become a child of God. He gives it all. He gives the knowledge, the wisdom, the brains to grasp the wisdom and knowledge. It's not the other way around as some suggest. Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father. Even if we wanted to do something good for another, it's God who gives us the inclination through the Spirit who has written His covenant on our hearts. If we abide, He abides. When we shove Him in the closet of our lives and fill it with man's wit and wisdom, man's theories and systems, man's limited brain-power, we dishonor Him as head of the table in the temple He has created for us to use while we sojourn on this earth.

Okay...I'm getting wild...I need to stop before I say something embarrassing...like Jesus is the Answer, the only answer we need. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. We need to pray for "these young minds" who appeal to anyone other than Jesus and He alone. selahV


"What do you mean by "I would have fallen for Piper's Christian Hedonism in a heart beat."

Are you saying that his view on the chief end of man is a trap? A snare?

Or are you simply saying if you were younger you would have agreed with it much more quickly? "

Oh at 25 or 30 I would have loved it. But lets be honest. All Piper has done is redefine a term and claim it for Christianity. In fact, it takes us down a wrong road and it would take lots of words to explain that and I doubt any Calvinists are listening close. It is a crime? No. But it is a great strategy for collecting followers.

And please do not whip creeds out on me. I won't go there.

His "Scream the Damned" was more problematic doctrinally. But once again, the only thing the NC apologists can say is that we don't understand or we are misinterpreting him. (As if he does not make his living communicating)

I think I will write a book and call it "Rogue Christianity" and twist a lot of things around. That will appeal to the young minds full of mush and make me some money.


Selah V, You are preaching my sermon. I have what I call the ignorant Romanian peasant test for the Gospel based upon my PhD cousin going into the mtns of Romania and witnessing to illiterate peasants and planting churches.

But psuedo intellectualism sells here. "We have a higher truth you do not understand. This makes us superior to you. Although we deny this thinking, it comes out in most of what we say and do. You don't think as highly of God as we do. You do not understand because you have not been given he light to understand."

I know the drill. I live at YRR ground zero and studied the NC for several years....as I was attracted to it as an anecdote to the shallow doctrine coming from so many in the seeker movement.

I recommend a book, too, although I rarely do anymore. This one is a historical review. Ironically, it was sponsored by the Calvin Foundation back in the early 50's when the church/state archives of Europe had opened up to researchers. It is called "The Reformers and their Step Children" by Leonard Verduin.

I will let those who read it decide how it fits into the discussion of the NC today.



Agreed. Piper has redefined terms. I don't think he would say its new even though the term is new. Like it or hate it, if its simply redefining terms for a younger crowd, its working. If Christian Hedonism is faulty, foolish, or unbiblical, the Passion conferences must cease. I don't see this wrong road you speak of. I personally can't believe when people cringe or disagree with these three quotes.

"God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in Him"

"We exist to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things, for the joy of all peoples, through Jesus Christ."

"The chief end of man is to glorify God BY enjoying Him forever" (obviously he added by)

Why would you not want all your GA's, RA's, and youth groups happily agreeing with the above? Those quotes sum up "Christian Hedonism." If its semantics, that's fine. But if you disagree with the thesis and the heart of it, that's weird.


"would you not want all your GA's, RA's, and youth groups happily agreeing with the above? Those quotes sum up "Christian Hedonism." If its semantics, that's fine. But if you disagree with the thesis and the heart of it, that's weird."

Now, you are going to disagree with this and try to twist it to mean pleasure. I know this going in. (wink)

What I want these children to know is that taking up the cross and following Christ does not always mean pleasure or even joy on this earth. There IS joy even in suffering because of the HOPE we have but I do not think that is what Piper is communicating.

I am trying to find Christian Hedonism in Job's suffering. I am sure YOU can. yes, God restored Job but he never got his kids back, either. It is a simple truth.

I want them to understand that in this fallen world it is ok to grieve when suffering. I do not want to put a burden on them that grief has to bring pleasure or they do not really know God.

Bottomline: I want them to trust and obey God no matter what happens. That might NOT mean seeking pleasure at certain times in their lives. It is about faith, trust and obedience.

If that makes me weird then I am weird.


SelahV, thank you for your encouragment. I fear I don't bite my tongue enough. I loved the story of Rowdy and I intend to leave you a word over there at your place.

LMalone, I can't remember if it was you who touched briefly on the Cultic practics on SGM. If you're not familiar with them you check out Vision Forum, Doug Phillips and a blog that can be heartwrenching No Longer Quivering. I think the NC is right to point out that our church discipline has been lapse, but those mentioned above take the idea too far and destroy the Priesthood of the believer which I think leads to very dangerous practices.


Mary, I am very familiar with Doug Phillips, Doug Wilson, Federal Vision, NLQ and all that dominionism stuff. SGM is another brand of cult that came out of the Shepherding movement and is still practicing a "Charismatic Reformed" Brand of Shepherding. What is going on in sgm now is a huge sham and Mohler is supporting it.

I have always said that if Mohler had aligned himself with the lead "Apostle" of the "People of Destiny", he would be laughed out of the SBC. But he has done exactly that...they just changed their name and added "reformed" language. (sound familiar?)

The focus on church discipline has been a red herring from the beginning. Who gets to decide? A handful of elders who don't like it when you question the pastor on doctrine or behavior?

Even Jay Adams, who I like, added a step to Matthew 18 that is NOT in the text when he presented at a church discipline conference at Noblitt's church in Muscule Shoals a few years back. He added 'take it to the elders" before taking it to the entire church. There is nothing in that passage about taking it to elders or even taking elders with you as the witnesses.

We must be vigilent. They are adding to and twisting the word in subtle ways. And the youngun's are buying it lock stock and barrell.


Phil, I missed your earlier comment to me so let me address it now.

The SBC is the largest Protestatent denom - if the SBC doesn't elevate Piper et al their books remain in some publisher's warehouse collecting dust. I don't think it's too far of a stretch that the time that Calvinism is on the rise is the same time that Founders plots to take over the SBC by recommending Piper et al and it's the time that Al Mohler and Co take over the largest seminary of the largest denomination also pushing the reading of all the so-called "influencers".

God will always work through men and women who are committed to His work and the spread of His Word. Believe it or not Phil revival has come at various places and times through various people with various doctrines. Does that mean that God was stamping their particular belief system as the one, only, true, real honest doctrine? Truth is settled by the dominant doctrine of the day? By popular opinion? Nah. Could God be using Calvinism in this generation? Absolutely! There are many fine Calvinist churches doing incredible work and I think this Calvinist movement has been good to push us all to figure out what it is we actually believe. But the truth is that God has worked, is working, and will work through brothers and sisters in Christ who don't hold all the same beliefs.

Now I don't think God is working quite as much with those people who are following a "movement" more than following what they believe to be His teachings. And I think that people following a "movement" are those like Founders who believe that somehow God's truth needs to be hidden so they can infiltrate churches via "A Quiet Revolution" or this idea that some will defend Al Mohler being divisive with insulting words because the "movement" must go forward at all cost.

God never needs you to insult people to spread His truth. God never needs you to hide what you believe if he's leading you to be a Pastor of a Church. God never needs a "Quiet Revolution" His Will will be accomplished, but He never needs us to be less than He has called us to be in His Word. And people roaming around the internet insinuating that there belief is the only one which holds a high view of God and His Word are showing an arrogance that is no Christlike. If God is willing to work through those who don't think like you who are you to insult those people?



"There IS joy even in suffering because of the HOPE we have but I do not think that is what Piper is communicating."

If you don't think Piper communicates well joy and hope in the midst of suffering, you have not read Desiring God, Don't Waste Your Life, nor are you at all familiar with his sermons.

You make Piper and people who hold to his view of Christian Hedonism out to be proponents of the Prosperity Gospel.

Do you fully agree with this video?



Cody, You assume I do not know Piper, never met him or have not read his books or listened to him. I have done all the above. In fact, my niece and her husband left Wheaton after graduation to go and study with him for 2 years and intern there. And it was an insufferable 2 years.

They were so altered from that experience we hardly knew them. They disdained their family who were made up of Born Again believers. But that changed when they needed to gain support for the mission field. (Not sBC) Now we are not so "unenlightened" or at least they stopped pointing it out. But they made it clear we were not on the same plane as the Piperettes.

And I have followed his trajectory for years. And could make a list a mile long of problems with him and his teaching.

Don't give me a clip to agree or disagree with. There is much he says that I agree with. But overall, he is a silly little man who delights in being a shock jock and having his followers be his apologists who claim he is so brilliant and passionate we simply cannot understand him. I understand him perfectly well. But I do think that if he had to stop using adjectives and verbs, he would not be so popular. (wink)

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