« Rick Warren's bridge to Mecca by Peter Lumpkins | Main | Al Mohler says to state editors: you must cover Calvinism (part I) by Peter Lumpkins »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


If the school respects the dignity of the community, then there should be no problems. If the school begins to proselytize in the manner of some, New England people are not the sort to passively accept that behavior.

Massachusetts has many people of different persuasions, and Massachusetts people are tolerant as long as respectful behavior is observed.

It all depends on whether Liberty intends to be respectful of the people of that town,
or not.

peter lumpkins


Thanks. Falwell's reported words didn't imply there'd be no disrespectful engagement with the townsfolk, a practice we all may appreciate. Instead, if we are to believe the words as recorded, Falwell implied there'd be no engagement at all, a position few, if any, evangelical can appreciate.

With that, I am...


Christiane, I'm a little confused on what your "trump" card is...Are you saying we shouldn't engage the neighborhood or witness about our Savior if they're going to be offended? Or if they would find this 'behavior' to be not "respectful", as you put it, then should we remain silent?
It seems to me this runs in conflict with our Savior telling us that they will "hate us" because of Him and "go tell"...without exception.


Dear Bro. Peter,

Can you please explain what Falwell Jr's statement has to do with Calvinism, Driscoll, T4C, or anything related? I hope that you are not trying to imply that Calvinists, and Calvinism, are as a whole, less evangelistic than other Christians. In a cursory reading of your post, that is the impression I took in what you were trying to imply.

In relation to that, i would like to point out something that has been happening at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in the years I attended there. The school has what are called "MET" teams, or "Midwestern Evangelism Teams" these teams would go out weekly (6-10 teams each week) to different areas around the Kansas City metro area. Some would go to the "club" and "bar" areas, others would work with existing churches to support thsoe churches in their outreach efforts. One area where the "MET" teams would NOT go, was in the area immediately surrounding the seminary. As a student, I personally was involved in a conversation where a person who lived directly across North Oak Traffic-way (the street MBTS is off of) did not know there was a seminary across from them. What caught their attention was when the new chapel was going up, and they thought it was a new church. This was a person who had lived in these apartments for several years. Now MBTS could hardly be considered a "calvinist" school. Especially not the faculty members responsible for the "evangelism" courses and "MET" teams. (Please note that I firmly believe these men are with out a doubt Godly men, doing Godly work, and I had no problems with them). While the school took no position on this lack of knowledge from our neighbors, the suspected reason was that churches in the area were opposed to MBTS doing evangelism in the area as it might impact their own work (which was non-existent). Again, this reason is rumor...But the fact remains that people across the street did not know a seminary existed right by them.

I state this because if you were to take JUST this person's views in to account, you might conclude that MBTS does not do any evangelism/outreach in the Kansas City area. That is not true. Furthermore, again with the MET teams, with the exception of a few teams who went to the "bar" areas of KC, most worked with existing churches. As such, it could be argued that MBTS itself, did not interact with the community, did not act as a church, and was simply a "good neighbor" (or a hidden neighbor in at least one instance). I would hope that you give Liberty, which has not even started its new extension site (or whatever type of school it will be opening), the same benefit as it begins to interact with the community. Ultimately however, it is not up to the school itself to interact with the community, but rather the students and faculty themselves to do so. Obviously, the students at MBTS as a whole, did not do a very good job in reaching out to folk living in an apartment complex right across the street.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Stephen V. Muschany

Hobart M. Tucker

My sides are splitting at the irony.

He invites Mark Driscoll to speak at Liberty -- at the spiritual peril of LU students (a la advocacy of a___ sex and sexual adventure with sex toys; use of Christ's name in vain in a vulgar homosecual joke; and some of the most absurd biblical exegesis by anyone) -- yet tiptoes so primly in caution about sharing the life-saving Gospel of Christ with locals in this New England town.

What is sad is that he is not the "next" generation, but the generation that lived when Jerry Falwell, Sr. lived.


I understood your point in this post until the last sentence. You seem to imply that a partnership with T4G, The Gospel Coalition, or Passion would be a bad thing. (I left Acts 29 out of that list because I understand your issues with that particular organization.) So I guess my question is, would you consider a partnership with T4G, the Gospel Coalition, or Passion to be something that would move Liberty away from the Gospel and fidelity to Scripture?

peter lumpkins


Nope. No implications toward or against Calvinism whatsoever. I had nothing in mind when I wrote the commentary implicating any other school or insinuating lack of evangelism in Calvinistic circles. Every implication pertained to LU itself--at it is led by Falwell, Jr.

If you recall, a couple of years before Jerry Falwell, Sr. passed, he got into really hot water with Calvinists because he indicated Limited Atonement was heresy, and therefore would never be taught at LU, etc. Jerry Jr appears to be leading the school contra his dad's vision (for good or ill will be answered differently by different people) at every turn. Mark Driscoll's provocative sex-in-marriage tour (his Calvinism a nice little bonus), focusing more on internet learning, now a totally weird statement about not engaging the culture all are indicative of the change.

Hence, the T4G, TGC, YRR tag at the end because that would again be against daddy Falwell's vision.

Hope that helps.

With that, I am...

peter lumpkins


SVMuschany asked similarly. Please read my response. It's not so much T4G, TGC, Passion, YRR would be a bad thing but a completely opposite thing from daddy Falwell's vision for LU (now, I do have reservations about these groups but that is not and was not the point of my mentioning them. Instead it's about the opposite not the bad). This just isn't where LU has been--Driscoll on campus, a man who talks openly about a___ s__, not to mention his "Reformed" thinking an aside. Now we have Falwell Jr. assuring a community the students will not "bother" them.

My bottom line point: LU may very well be dead in the water. Understand, that may excite some people to see it change. Perhaps, for example, it excites you. So be it. But from what it was to what it seems more and more to be, as Dorothy would say, we ain't in Kansas anymore.

With that, I am...


Bro Peter,

Thank you for the clarification. I am a little weary of people who use the argument "Calvinists are against evangelism", and jumped to conclusions with your post. Thank you for showing me that was not what you intended.

I also wish to point out and clarify that while I would like to give Liberty (and Falwell Jr) the benefit of the doubt, IF his statements means the school would in anyway restrict or suggest to its students not to reach out and be Christians in the immediate area, that indeed is a troubling position to take.

peter lumpkins


You're very welcome. Truth be told, I rarely, if ever, bring the "Calvinists are against evangelism" line up in any of my reservations about Calvinism. The reason is not hard to see: all one has to do to overturn "Calvinists are against evangelism" is produce a single Calvinist is who not. Of course, we both know there are an abundance of Calvinists who are not. More troubling is, there are an abundance of non-Calvinists who are!--at least in practice.

There is some pay dirt to be found in a particular form of the argument about Calvinism conflicting with evangelism but, alas, we'll save it for another day. :^(


With that, I am...


"They displayed a silent disappointment when it was revealed LU was among the top candidates" - Peter

It would appear on a broader reading of the article, Peter, that the residents were disappointed more generally that the owners were adamant on housing Protestant, evangelicals on the campus, people who don't think "broad enough to understand that it’s not the only religion in the world," (said Moody's great-grandson, who we are not sure is actually a local or is actually evangelical himself?) but instead "be a witness for the truth of God’s word in the area" (the wishes of the current owner).

I still do not know what to make of Falwell's "reassurances" to the community; it seems misleading at best. I would charitably read Falwell's words as SVM above. I would assume that any students moving to the area would join churches or start their own churches/fellowship groups that would actively engage the community, and Falwell meant that the school would not be holding big community protests or other negative public proselytizing.

That said, your final 3 questions impugning various Calvinistic movements are naturally linked, at least to this reader, with the question located a couple lines above it, which impugns a twisted non-evangelical form of Christianity. Do you wish to say that LU is bound to the vision of its deceased father? Do you wish to say that LU is becoming less evangelistic? Do you wish to say that LU may partner with one of the larger church planting movements, a network that is fairly open in its desire to in fact engage with culture? I'm not sure which point you're making.

peter lumpkins


I think I explained the use of my rhetorical questions to both Scott & SVMuschany above. Thanks.

With that, I am...

Hobart M. Tucker


I would offer that Christ impugns ALL Calvinistic movements … as well as all Arminian movements and all Dispensational movements and ... .

Using Paul, Christ instructed the Corinthians to avoid the love of manmade knowledge. Read carefully 1 Corinthians 1:12 and 4:6 and ask yourself if any systematic theology passes the test. He made the same point in Colossians 2:8.

Systematic theologies were contrived generations after Christ, although some have "backdated" bits and pieces of their belief systems to Augustine or Irenaeus in an effort to claim “seniority” over other manmade religious philosophies -- as if that gives any credibility.

The point is that Christ did not explain His Gospel, any of it from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21, in terms of the specific ideas (or for that matter even contextually) of any systematic theology. All of this “mystical knowledge” was developed well after Christ spoke His last Word on earth and well after He inspired the last written Word of the Sacred Text.

Men were deceived then and are deceived now.

Then they wanted to craft a golden calf, and pretend it is a god, even while hearing God thundering about on Mount Sinai, and after having witnessed Him physically in their presence doing miraculous things.

Today they create phrases and traditions that are false idols and modern day Nehushtans.

“Grace” and “Gospel” and “Great Commission” and the “five Solas” are thrown about as if they are holy in and of themselves or as if they have some inherent power. It has the same shame as Israel’s misappropriation of the brazen serpent (2 Kings 18:4) and the temple (Jeremiah 7:4).

It is bizarre how a man of any of the sects of Calvinism or Arminianism or Dispensationalism can read Matthew 23:9 and feel somehow this Bible passage does not apply to him. Christ charged men NOT to call other men "rabbi" for the same reason He decries sectarianism in 1 Corinthians 1:12.

Men who supposedly know better call this “tertiary” when Christ COMMANDED it not be so.

I hear and read men quote more esoteric passages from out of print books than they mention Christ's eternal Scripture. And if they do quote Scripture it is not pure, but with footnotes of observations and comments by the same dead men who wrote the out of print books. Crusading Calvinists in particular have created an insane genealogy of "rabbis" that they believe one must read in order to learn “truth.” It is as if they have created their own Mishna and Gemara as part of a Calvinistic Talmud.

It is all Gnosticism.

What I see today in the YRR movement is a modern day version of the “Judaizers” or the “party of circumcisers” (only they seek circumcision of thought).

As for LU and the purchase of the New England property, Falwell Jr. should have the boldness to say that Liberty will train up men and women to love the world enough to minister to those who are hurt and in need, and that includes sharing the Gospel with anyone who will listen.

Donald Holmes

AKA Hobart M. Tucker said "Today they create phrases and traditions that are false idols and modern day Nehushtans."

In your ramblings (and I mean that in the nicest way possible) you do present kernels of valid thought. There is an error when one studies a system of thought with more vigor than the text itself. Even more so, when the text is ignored or the meaning changed to support the system of thought over the text itself.

I do think that you overstate your case. Just because an idea is given a name does not invalidate the idea itself. A good example is The Trinity. The Trinity is plainly taught and easily defended by the text. Now, if you toss out the idea of The Trinity because you don't find the word in the text, then you have fallen into heresy.

There is hubris in one assuming that he can come to the text completely void of preconceived notions about God. The key, then, is to know your own axioms and why you accept them. You also must be prepared to wrestle with them when they come up against the text.


The comments to this entry are closed.