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Enjoyed the post and somewhat surprised to see Dr. Berger write about Southern Baptists. Not sure if you know this but Dr. Berger has also taught a class at Baylor for about 4-5 semesters now. I took his class a year or so back just prior to beginning the dissertation stage. During that course, I brought up my research interests and mentioned Southern Baptists. I was taken a back when he stated that he didn't know much about Southern Baptists and was more familiar with "Northern Baptists"

peter lumpkins

Thanks, BDW. I've always respected Berger's contributions and commentary on social issues. But his little essay just goes to show that even the highest intellects can, at times, lay a literary egg.


With that, I am...

Tim Rogers

Brother Peter,

You beat me to the draw, huh? Great piece. I think you article has presented to all of our Calvinist friends that we are not going to accept slushy, interpretations that leave the door open for the usual criticism--we do not understand Calvinism. You do a great job calling out the flaws in this article.


Chris Roberts

I admit, I read your article expecting to find you praising Berger. Grateful to find that you highlight a number of the many errors in his article.


Certainly agree with this article taking Berger to task on failed scholarship of his subject.

However, in looking over this blog, and in order not to be guilty of flattery, it should be noted that there is a difference in scholarship also between Peter Lumpkins view on the use of beer, wine, and strong drink and Calvinists of history. (The arguments are that of fundamentalism which brought both a faulty soteriology and redacted theology and gospel while retaining a short list of fundamental doctrines which liberals had attacked).

It is also absolutely important to state about Southern Baptists of earlier years that they were absolutely correct in regard to slavery, unless one dare to assert that the "servant-master" relationship clearly stated by the apostle in Ephesians, Colossians, and Titus (the Holy Scriptures which do not err) has been rescinded by the Holy Spirit of God in order to comply with modern political-correctness. For from the same spirit of Humanism that brought Abolitionism, the same brought forward Feminism and anti-authoritarianism (the spirit of modern marriage, family and society, now in disarray) in subsequent years and the branding of old Southern Baptists by the New Calvinist John Piper as "racist".

The subject of Christian sociology certainly has bearing here which is why Berger began by bashing Southern Baptists with the Abolitionists' club to justify his position against particular redemption (which double predestination is an axiom of), and likely why he felt qualified to make his (fallacious) logical point: Old Southern Baptists believed in slavery (the master-servant relation in scripture), today "we" do not; ergo, double-predestination is not right either. His faulty premise (too often accepted by politically-correct modern Southern Baptists) leads to a faulty conclusion (i.e. error by association), which is the same argument liberals use for homosexual marriage (please note that).

What is wrong with New Calvinism is that it selects some doctrines of soteriology while ignoring the commandments of God, confusing the doctrine of sanctification, sets new politically-correct standards of Christian living that many have called worldly (e.g. Dr. Peter Masters).

What is needed is a full examination of what Southern Baptist believe now versus the sober doctrinal and practical theology of their Old School like James P. Boyce and Richard Furman (the founder of the Southern Baptist society), whose orthodox views Southern Baptists, Berger, and likely Lumpkins all oppose, without considering the clear teaching of Scripture otherwise.

peter lumpkins


I appreciate the agreement though admittedly am baffled by the unnecessary disagreement, especially in light of the reason you offer for posting your long, irrelevant comment:  “in looking over this blog, and in order not to be guilty of flattery…”  So you think agreeing with another on one point necessarily implies being guilty of flattery if disagreement is not logged on another point? It sure seems that way to me.

Even so, I have no interest in unraveling you’re your knotted history other than making two corrections.

A) You wrote: “there is a difference in scholarship also between Peter Lumpkins view on the use of beer, wine, and strong drink and Calvinists of history” suggesting presumably that the arguments I offer are consequently introducing among other things “fundamentalism” into the discussion. First of all, it depends on which historical era of Calvinists about which you speak. I make this statement in my book: “The Presbyterian Church was at the forefront of the Temperance Movement from the early 19th century until after Prohibition in the 1930’s” (p.29), after citing several sources. In fact, the first part of my book peeks into the historical situation on consumption of alcohol (especially the 19th century). You’re welcome to challenge what I write. However, please do not challenge what you’ve obviously not read nor apparently considered in history.

Nor is it at all historically tenable to suggest “Calvinists of history” take a decidedly different view from my alleged “fundamentalist” view inserted into the debate here. Indeed some of the strongest opponents of moderate consumption of intoxicating beverages have been Calvinists. I demonstrate this in the book.

B) You also wrote: “It is also absolutely important to state about Southern Baptists of earlier years that they were absolutely correct in regard to slavery…” First, neither Berger’s essay nor the thread mentions slavery but you do. Why is irrelevant. Know this: contrary to your view of the "absolute importance" of stating here how "correct" Southern Baptists (et al) were on slavery, I have no interest, William, in coddling moral ignorance. If you want to argue such an ethically asinine proposition, be my guest. But do not expect to do so on my nickel, especially when the subject has not been breached on the main post. Hope that's clear albeit a bit sharp.

Thanks for stopping by.

With that, I am…


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