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Thanks for the article and sharing part of your journey.

Boyce probably entered Princeton Theological Seminary a "rank Arminian," but he was no match for Dr. Charles Hodge of Princeton. Could it be ... he graduated with his PhD from Princeton with a dream of calvinizing the young unsophisticated and unstudied Baptists from the hills and hollers? Well, after a century of moving away from Boyce's Presbyterianism, it looks like the old strategy is working again.


"Over the next few years I would embrace Boyce's theology and develop a settled appreciation to Ernest C. Reisinger for making the volume available to me as a gift."

Reformed influencers are now gifting Wayne Grudem's systematic theology text to indoctrinate young preacher boys.



Boyce's Presbyterianism? Give me a break.

peter lumpkins


You made me LOL. I don't think Ron's comment had the same effect on you, however (wink).

With that, I am...



Pardon … maybe my last phrase was too broad brush … maybe I could have said, “…after a century of moving away from aspects of Boyce's Presbyterian soteriology, it looks like the old stategy is working again."

Hopefully that communicates more clearly.


Does anyone have any insight into what he meant by "rank Arminians"? How was that word used in his day? Was it a pejorative? Is it "rank" as in rank and file? Or, rank as in rubbish?

And not to be flippant but didn't we read where Boyce also supported slavery? Do we need to rename Boyce college, too?

Robert Vaughn

Good question, Lydia. I would think he is using it like my Tennessee ancestors who brought their usage to us -- offensively strong, or utter, absolute -- but that's just me guessing. It would be helpful to know E.E. Folk's degree of Calvinism or lack thereof to get a perspective on what he might have thought qualified as a "rank Arminian". Also, Peter, do you know to what period of time he was referring?

peter lumpkins



That would have been toward the end of Boyce’s life in the late 1880s. It’s recorded in Boyce’s Memoirs (p.265).

In addition, here is another little slice of history which parallels Boyce’s “failure” (I say “failure” with deepest respect toward Boyce and intending no negative implications) to persuade all the “rank Arminians” to embrace his strict Calvinism. Timothy George writes in an essay entitled, “Systematic Theology at Southern”:

A. W. Middleton from Mississippi, a member of the second seminary class, was one student whom Boyce did not convert to his Calvinist views. A fellow student later recalled Middleton’s classroom controversy with Boyce:

----He was a brother with opinions. Not infrequently would Middleton raise a breeze in the lecture room when Dr. Boyce held forth from the professorial chair in Systematic Theology. He could not endure the perpendicular ‘Calvinism’ inculcated therefrom. His father had written a book in which the age-hoary differences had all been satisfactorily solved, and the son had proved apt scholar to the father. Dr. Boyce was a younger man then than later, and he was no stranger to the fiery zeal for dogma which usually inheres in men whose minds and hearts are thoroughly inbred with this school of theology. He did not take very patiently the dissent which the good brother from Mississippi sometimes ventured to express quite emphatically. Long since have I forgotten the particular points “argufied,” but I remember well Middleton’s bold and confident manner as he told the class “what father had said--- (Vol. 82: Review and Expositor Volume 82. 1985 (1) (33). Louisville, KY: Review and Expositor)

Z.T. Cody was even another student whom Boyce "failed" to persuade toward strict Calvinism. Cody was a household name among Southern Baptists at the turn of the 19th century.

With that, I am…




In Ernest C. Reisinger's book ... A Quiet Revolution: A Chronicle of Beginnings of Reformation in The Southern Baptist Convention, he makes many strong statements.

Chapter One is entitled: The Need for Reformation In The Southern Baptist Convention (How We Lost Our Way Along the Path).

As he closes this chapter he writes,

"What is interesting is that both liberal/moderate Baptists and (for lack of a better phrase) conservative, non-Calvinistic Baptists reflect that theological confusion [he is referring to the theological confusion that he feels ...E.Y.Mullins caused among Southern Baptists in moving us away from strict Calvinism]."

He continues,

"For all their differences (which we do not minimize), the two perspectives are alike in that their theologies are inherently unstable. Liberalism runs by nature to an intellectual abandonment of the doctrinal content of the faith. A conservative, non-Calvinist system runs by nature to a practical ignoring of the doctrinal content of the faith. In the end, there is no difference. Perhaps we will see that, another generation or two down the line, conservative, non-Calvinistic Baptist theology will end up being virtually indistinguishable from liberal theology. As Charles H. Spurgeon recognized in his day, the downgrade always ends up in the same place."

Reisinger lumps conservative non-Calvinists with liberals together and says,"there is no diffference." Why? Because conservative theology (without the Doctrines of Sovereign Grace)will look just like liberalism.

As I have read this man's book (the founders of Founders Ministries) it is evident that his disdain for conservative non-Calvinists continues to "rub off" on his disciples.


Ron, have you seen Reisinger's rant about dispensationalism which leads to liberalism which opened the door to the liberalism in the SBC forcing the need for the CR?


But yeah, there's no agenda to Calvinize the SBC. Founder's believe if we don't Calvinize the SBC that we the SBC will fall back into liberalism which ties into some of Mohler's notable quotes.


Here's a quote from Reisinger's article on dispensationalism:

"The issue before us is not a few minor differences or disagreements between those who hold basically the same position. It is not just a difference in eschatology. It is the whole system of theology that touches every major doctrine of Christianity. What is at stake is the saving gospel of Jesus Christ and the sinner's assurance that he is living according to God's plan for history."


Thanks for the link - very interesting.

Many can see the signs of ... The Agenda...but they just don't want to believe it. Some are more interested in their "career" than their calling; therefore the silence on these issues is deafening. Press on!


Ron, the biggest problem for the Calvinist who refuse to admit that there is an agenda to Calvinize the SBC is their own pride and the fact that they are Calvinist who want to see the SBC Calvinized.

Calvinists have always had a seat at the table and on the bus - that has never been a problem in the SBC. The problem today is that the Calvinist want to take over the bus and the whole table and kick off the nonCalvinists. The agenda is not for Calvinists to have more of say in the SBC. The agenda is to take over and get rid of all the liberal nonCalvinist(and all nonCalvinists are liberals according to Founders) in the SBC.

One only needs a modicum of reading comprehension skills and the ability to search the Founder's website to see what the real agenda is. To get rid of the nonCalvinists, not work side by side with us, to get rid of us completely.


"Calvinists have always had a seat at the table and on the bus - that has never been a problem in the SBC. The problem today is that the Calvinist want to take over the bus and the whole table and kick off the nonCalvinists"

Mary, I am going to disagree with this a bit. I don't think they want to kick non calvinists off the bus, I think deep down they think non calvinists are NOT really saved. They will say that is not true if asked point blank but everything they say or do points to this being their position. (Think Mohler and the GC video as one example of this but if you asked him point blank in front of the SBC convention, I bet he would say he thinks they are saved. Now the excuse for Mohler's words on the video is taht he thinks all SBC members are "Reformed". The irony is amazing in how this group will go to such lengths to redefine things)

I think it is more of a push to convert everyone to Calvinism (notice they think Calvinism is synonomous to the Gospel) and those who will not be converted are to be marginalized by claiming they are not intelligent or do not think God is Sovereign. They say they are willing to "cooperate" with non Calvinists but the only way they can do that is to parse what the Founders and Mohler say when they are inconvenient truths. (BTW: I love how the Founders are a moot point now because Ascol has not blogged in a while. Would someone please explain the logic of that declaration to me?)

Some are so eager to defend Calvin at all costs, they are willing to do some very hateful things to people. "Calvin" has become more important than anything else. I am wondering how long a cage phasse is to last for some? I find the whole thing very sad.

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