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Peter, perhaps you'd like to add this link? Another home run. Poor Al Mohler the peasants are not staying quiet.



"my conscience is bound to the Word of God--alone."



peter lumpkins

Got it Mary. Thankx...

Eric Lockhart

so your defense that this is not semi-pelagian is to basically give a book review of a book about pelagianism? Ok. I would have thought Scripture would have been a better choice.

Jim G.


I can't seem to find the word "semi-Pelagian" in the Bible. If I could, I'll bet this issue would be more easily solved, don't you think?

Jim G.

Eric Lockhart

Jim that's exactly right, neither the word nor the teachings are in the Bible, so using Scripture to defend your stance would prove it not to be semi-pelagian; don't you think?

pam knight

Im so thankful for the highly respected and well known Pastors and leaders within the Convention to to be speaking out on this issue. I pray that they will be able to bring about some well needed answers for clairity with everything concerned with this issue..........In Christ.....pam knight



Why is that you think this document is semi-pelagian? After reading all of the different blogs that you have attacked commentors/bloggers with this terrible label I ask, why do you have to be so rude? The author himself answered and said that the article in question is NOT semi-pelagian. If you think that it is then you are free to think that. But then you would also have to believe that the BFM 2000 is also semi-pelagian as the language from article three in the BFM 2000 is almost verbatim to that in article two in the "Traditional" statement. So, with what little I have said; Why don't you go ask Dr. Mohler why he is a semi-pelagian since he was on the committee that drafted the BFM 2000. You want Scripture to back-up why it is not semi-pelagian? Here ya go: Genesis 3:15-24; 6:5; Deuteronomy 1:39; Isaiah 6:5, 7:15-16;53:6; Jeremiah 17:5,9, 31:29-30; Ezekiel 18:19-20; Romans 1:18-32; 3:9-18, 5:12, 6:23; 7:9; Matthew 7:21-23; 1 Corinthians 1:18-25; 6:9-10;15:22; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 9:27-28; Revelation 20:11-15

The very Scripture that the drafters used in forming the "Traditional" document.

I understand that no one has answered your question the way you want it answered. But the truth is no one will ever answer it to your liking...you simply just don't like the document...and that is fine. Stop falsely accusing this document, and its signatories, as heretics.

I look forward to hearing about your conversation with Mohler, though I doubt you will have the backbone to ask him!

Blessings from a young man who denies that Adam’s sin resulted in the incapacitation of any person’s free will or rendered any person guilty before he has personally sinned. While no sinner is remotely capable of achieving salvation through his own effort, we deny that any sinner is saved apart from a free response to the Holy Spirit’s drawing through the Gospel.




Seriously, An Amusing Juxtaposition, at Pravda, I have tears in my eyes from laughing.

Eric Lockhart

Jon, I have not called one person on here a semi-pelagian, so to say that I have attacked with that label is simply false. It is however the "accusation", though Mohler actually said "appears to be", that sparked this post; is it not? It was the reason Peter wrote this blog post. I get that the original document has Scripture, but if you're posting on it, why not explain that Scripture and why it disproves this claim. That was my question. I am not calling Peter or anyone else a semi-pelagian, nor have I.

I would ask Dr. Mohler, but I see no reason to believe he is. But thanks for the suggestion. That's like me telling you to ask Dr. Vines why he is a Calvinst, after all there are parts of the BFM 2000 that Calvinist would affirm.

Jim G.

Hi Eric,

If I may be so bold, I think I can answer your question.

Since Mohler did not specifically say "how" the document seemed to be leaning toward SP, I think Peter was prudent in working toward an understanding of exactly what SP is. In the past week, different explanations for SP have been given. The ones making the charge have been utilizing Herman Bavinck's description of SP often, but not universally. I think Malcolm Yarnell has cast sufficient suspicion on Bavinck's description of SP in a post on SBCToday.

So Peter picked up a monograph of a well-known (though not SB) scholar who has studied SP thoroughly in its historical context. Weaver notes correctly that SP was not a monolithic movement, but had different nuances depending on who was writing. She also states that SP arose not because of Pelagius, but as a check on the deterministic logical conclusions of Augustine's ideas. The SP solution was to keep some human free choice alive by saying that God had so ordered the world that the human will had both the freedom and the ability to take the initial step toward salvation, where grace would meet the decision and carry the person on into the riches of salvation.

I am not a SP, but I agree with their desire to check the eventual determinism of Augustine's teachings. The SPs at Orange had the foresight to see where the deterministic leanings would go and wanted to stop them before they got started. Unfortunately, Orange did not do enough to prevent the determinism of later thinkers Bradwardine, Wycliffe, Gregory of Rimini, Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin - not to mention the entire Reformed tradition.

So then we must have a good understanding of what SP is before the charge can be effectively answered. Definitions of terms are so important. If we define SP to be the position of the historical losers at Orange (where grace meets our uninhibited free will and completes what the will started) then we must deny SP. Such a denial is easily biblically defensible. But if we take the definition of later Reformed thinking (that SP can be applied to anyone -or nearly so- who denies the full Augustinian categories of nature and grace), then anyone outside the Augustinian-Calvin synthesis can be accused of heresy. That is why so many keystrokes have been used lately.

Jim G.

peter lumpkins


First, while it’s rather difficult to get to what you’re actually implying from the BF&M, to suggest as do you that “Condemnation came before actual transgression in the first. Because we are imputed the guilt as well” means exactly what?  Mullins—the chief author of the 1925 BF&M--flat rejected imputed guilt from Adam and Mohler who sat on the 2000 edition apparently accepts imputed guilt from Adam. Your point makes little sense and using CAPS to Lydia doesn’t make your point stronger. Hear Mullins:

“Men are not condemned therefore for hereditary or original sin. They are condemned only for their own sins. They are called to repentance and faith by the gospel. It is their own act of rejection which is the basis of their condemnation” (Edgar Young Mullins, The Christian Religion in Its Doctrinal Expression, 1917p. 302).

The 1925 BFM was a definitive step away from high Calvinism, and more so than perhaps the 1963 since it explicitly denied regeneration preceded faith: “It [regeneration] is a work of God's free grace conditioned upon faith in Christ and made manifest by the fruit which we bring forth to the glory of God” (Article VII, italics added). Hence, for you to cite the 1925 BF&M as if it taught imputed Adamic guilt in contrast to the 1963 & 2000 editions is hardly believable.

Second, you write, “so your defense that this is not semi-pelagian is to basically give a book review of a book about pelagianism? Ok. I would have thought Scripture would have been a better choice.” Well, no I gave no book review. Nor is it a book on Pelagainism. I thought the title would have made that clear. What I did do was quote from a respected, scholarly historian on the Semi-Pelagian controversy. And, your response is to dismiss it and suggest we should just stick with the Bible?  What a hoot!

O.K. So, as Jim, inquired, where in Scripture do you propose to find Semi-Pelagianism, Eric? Where do we start? The problem is, even if you do quote Scripture, you would only be begging the question.

With that, I am…


peter lumpkins

Jim G.

Bravo!, My brother. Thank you. A much better summary than I proposed.

The problem I find with so many Reformed brothers is, they too often build their critiques on issues like these from critiques exclusively offered by Reformed theologians. If they want to critique Catholicism, they'll quote what Boettner said in his critique. If they want to critique Arminianism, they'll quote what Owen said about Arminianism in Arminianism on Display. Rather than dealing with the writings themselves, they will gauge what is there by what Reformed theologians have to say. Not saying the non-Reformed do not do so. Only saying it's fairly well indicative among our Reformed brothers.

Grace, brother.

With that, I am...

Jim G.

Hi Peter,

Thanks for the kind words.

I think you are hitting upon something important. We all have a tendency to begin a discussion from our own frame of reference. I think that is to be expected most of the time. But I think it is patently obvious that the present discussion contains the presence of two completely different views of how God interacts with the world he created.

Thus, in order to avoid talking past one another, we must begin to define our language in such a way that it is as free from our own frame of reference "baggage" as possible. That is why Malcolm Yarnell was so wise in not letting Bavinck have the last word as to what constitutes SP. Because he is so immersed in one view of the God-world relationship (the Augustinian-Calvin synthesis), his view of what constitutes SP will be much broader than one who does not share his view.

If we are going to be able to navigate this difficult season well, we must be able to be agreeable on terms and that likely means we will often have to agree to a "minimalist" definition on a lot of things. Minimally, there is no way the Traditional document is SP. But, in the Augustinian-Calvin synthesis view of things, where the definition of SP expands greatly, I can see where our Calvinist brethren are making their claim. But what we are calling an rose, they are calling a thorn.

This is where Yarnell's work is so vital. He rightly points out that the Reformed idea of SP in vogue the past couple of weeks was articulated by a man (Bavinck) who found Baptists almost as distasteful as SPs. We must remember that as Baptists, our ecclesiological distinctives cannot be divorced from our view of nature and grace. We aren't just free-churchers or credo-Baptists because we think it is a cool idea. We departed from the Augustinian paradigm on those topics and it must inform (and be informed by) our view of nature and grace.

Jim G.

Ashley Seuell

I completely agree with Mohler, Lumpkins, and the signers of the Statement that it is important and worthwhile for us to talk about salvation. But while we have this discussion, we must remember that ultimately, salvation is not ours to determine. We should discuss and study the Word and strive for better theological and biblical understanding, but we must not be distracted from our mission. Whether a person is saved because God initiated his own decision before the foundation of the world and the person then responded to that decision or whether God's choice was something other than the Calvinist definition of predestination and there is a general call without an effectual one, the end result is that person is saved by God's grace. If a Calvinist uses his understanding of election as a reason not to witness, that is a problem, but the idea that the SBC needs to stand against Calvinism to "protect" the Great Commission (as has been implied by some supporters of the Statement) is not at all accurate or legitimate. No one is saying that evangelism isn't vital. I know a large number of Calvinists in the SBC from churches around the nation, and the vast majority of them are actively, personally involved in evangelism, discipleship, and missions. Thus, the discussion has value, but only if we keep it in the proper context. There is no real value in marginalizing Calvinists in the SBC who are living missionally for Christ, and even a discussion of a legitimate topic can become illegitimate, divisive, and distracting if it makes us too inward-focused. Predestination has been debated in the church for centuries upon centuries, so let's not lose sight of the forest for the trees in an effort to win the day.

Les Prouty


"I know a large number of Calvinists in the SBC from churches around the nation, and the vast majority of them are actively, personally involved in evangelism, discipleship, and missions. Thus, the discussion has value, but only if we keep it in the proper context."

Amen and amen sister! Great comments.



Of course, I have personally had experience, as Dr. Allen shared at SBC Today, of listening to Calvinists talk about the gospel and use all sorts of "code" langauge like Sovereignty and Predestination and never actually getting around to explaining in clear English the actual Gospel message ie we are all sinners, Christ died for you (of course Calvinists can't say you) and salvation is available to you. My husband and I used to pass notes in church about the code language we heard the YRR speaking but never explain. We listened and listened but didn't hear the clear invitation of the Gospel. We joked that the YRR minister was afraid someone might accidently stumble into the club.


So Peter, I guess the reason for unpublishing this from the net and not publishing this with ink is "we don't won't to cause division by pointing out Al Mohler's divisive and insulting remarks?"

We'll just have to add these to all the other remarks that Al Mohler doesn't have to account for.

And no Skippy, the words of a retired minister are not the same thing as the President of a Seminary whose salary is paid out of the CP. Al Mohler is an employee of the SBC. Not a double standard, a higher standard.

First thing Traditionalists need to do is get control of the Trustees who refuse to confront Al Mohler about his disrespectful attitude and his divisive statements against a majority of the SBC.


Hey Peter, take a stroll down memory lane with me for a moment would ya! Remember way back when you began blogging and the Founder's blog was rip roaring and the YRR spoke openly in the threads about responding to Pastor search committees when asked if they were a Calvinist, they would reply no, because they knew the Pastor search committees were too dumb to really understand Calvinism. They also used to give tips on how to sneak the Calvinism into the church little by little til they could get a control of the Deacons and make changes.

But that's not what I wanted to remember with you. Remember there was a website devoted to "satire" just making fun on an almost daily basis of the Traditionalists in the SBC. Do you remember that? Ascol being the smash up guy that he is used to link to it frequently.

Those Calvinists can sure dish it out. Of course Dave Miller was gonna show us that he allows dissent on his blog. I bet he's got lot's of emails about the post today. These self righteous Calvinists don't care that this is pretty much how this man has been treated at Pravda, but hey the Calvinists are the ones who have the truth - it's their right to call people heretics and stupid.

From Pravda:

Sadly, I find nothing amusing about the post on 9 June 2012. In fact a previous post by the author caused me to say that I had lost all respect for this blog. Now I must say, I personally have lost respect for the individual AND the blog.

I am not better off by reading these posts, they do not cause me to grow in grace; quite the contrary, they drain me, leave me angry and that is not how I wish to live.

My time is done, I have removed the blog from my favorites, I have unscribed to the feed, and I already feel better by doing so.

. 22 Mike Leake June 9, 2012 at 7:16 pm


I doubt you’ll ever read this reply and that is sad. Though I’m not taking the steps you are I whole heartedly understand. Had this been written by a Calvinist it’d be one thing. I think sometimes speaking to our own camp like this can be helpful, but speaking across the aisle is too loaded to be helpful in my opinion.


OK now I'm gonna have four comments in row on this post. Peter can you move that one comment about the Response to Al Mohler to the appropriate thread. Thanks as always


"Thus, the discussion has value, but only if we keep it in the proper context. There is no real value in marginalizing Calvinists in the SBC who are living missionally for Christ, and even a discussion of a legitimate topic can become illegitimate, divisive, and distracting if it makes us too inward-focused. Predestination has been debated in the church for centuries upon centuries, so let's not lose sight of the forest for the trees in an effort to win the day. "

Ashley, Who decides if something is marginalizing or not? Who decides proper context? Who decides what is divisive? Illegitimate? Who would that person be? And that is one reason this debate is so important. The YRR see that person as Mohler or Ascol for the SBC. We claim that we are of the priesthood and all are welcome to engage. (One of the highlights for me has been reading this view from the Traditionalists who wrote the statement)

You see, one of the problems is that the Traditionalists have allowed the Calvinists to frame all debate. That was the tactic with semi Pelagian accusation. And guess what happened? We ALL learned more about Pelagius than we ever imagined and how difficult it is to even interpret what happened in history as the historians do not even agree! We also found that Calvinists were selectively quoting sources. I hate to say it but that has happened a lot in other doctrinal areas. They are big on quoting history and making it fit scritpure. This whole debate is a positive thing. Because we are not about indoctrination. But they are and it is becoming more and more obvious.

In fact, this entire debate has been needed for a long time. And it is helping people actually see the forest instead of a tree.

I am not sure how one can marginalize Mohler and his followers. The SBC, through him, brought in Acts 29 (complete with a sodomy teaching founder) and SGM the shepherding cult that is moving to Louisville to "plant a church near the seminary". . He is more closely identified with the authoritarian hierarchical Calvinist Reformed movement of T4G and GC as a New Calvinist than as SBC. That is just not us. His colleagues have been appointed to many positions in the SBC to carry out the Reformation of the SBC whether they are "Calvinist" or not. In fact they aren't Calvinist when it is convenient. He has practically my entire state sowed up power wise. Not many KY signers. I know many who love the Traditional statement so why not sign? Because it makes your life miserable here in many ways I will not get into. Mohler is a pope here.

Many think Mohler's power is ok and totally back it. They even cheer over his arrogance in saying the people who signed the document don't really believe it. Mohler helped to create a tribe then says not to be tribal. That is the Calvinist arrogance and logic.

My message is this: Calvinists are not being marginalized. If anything it is the opposite as churches wrecked by the havoc of the arrogant YRR around here attest to. There is a cognative dissonance in the NC movement where they cannot see that their actions and words totally negate their denials. They are in your face yelling, "Where are all these mean Calvinists!!! Prove it!!!". It is almost a mass delusion of sorts.

If the debate needs to be framed, let it begin by refusing to engage from an Augustinian/Calvin filter. Now that is a real debate for us and long overdue.

I have been delighted to find out we have some really sharp cookies in our Traditionalist wing. Since i live at ground zero, I don't get to see much of anything else but NC and the attitude from a 20 something....of you must believe like us or you don't believe the bible or the true Gospel. It gets old.

Jim G.

Hi all,

Peter, if you feel that this post is out of line, please remove it and know there will be no hard feelings.

I hesitated in writing this, but I feel I must. I think you know that I have defended the more "traditional" side in this debate, but I think we must remember the ultimate goal.

As I see it, "victory" in this debate does not consist in winning the argument. It is not to drive Calvinists out of the SBC or even away from the love of our hearts (which I think sarcasm tends to do). Victory is achieved when we can place the unity of the brothers and sisters above our own ideas about what is right. Let me explain what I mean.

I am a non-Calvinist by conviction. The chances of me ever becoming one are zero. I think Calvinism is not the best theological lens through which to understand God and his works. I'd be lying if I said otherwise. At the same time, I fully understand that Calvinists by conviction see such a lens as the proper one. They would be lying if they said otherwise. But I believe Calvinists are as much Christian as I am. They are not less in the Kingdom of God in any way. And I understand why Calvinists think they are correct. It does make perfect sense to them. But this paragraph is hardly anything new.

Victory (for all of us!) will happen when, on this issue, we comprehend that being loving is greater than being right. Don't misunderstand - being right (or at least thinking we are right) has its place of importance. But being loving is, as 1 Corinthians says, the more excellent way.

As I see it (and I know there is disagreement on this point), the traditional document exists as a push-back against a perception (more grounded in reality than some want to admit) that an uncompromising Calvinism is growing within the SBC. By "uncompromising," I mean a mindset that embraces a particular way of thinking as the ONLY viable or orthodox way for Southern Baptists to worship and/or practice. This mindset also expresses astonishment that anyone could possibly see things differently and immediately casts some sort of suspicion on the one who is different. (I think we have seen numerous clear examples of this sort of behavior over the past few days.)

In reality, Calvinism (though I still disagree with it as a theological system) is not the enemy. This ethos of exclusivity in doctrine and practice is, and it has taken up residence in some (but certainly not all) SBC Calvinists. I also think it is present in some non-Calvinists. Allowed to remain unchecked this ethos will have disastrous consequences for any ecclesiological body, but particularly one that is congregational/free church. It is almost as if some form of Neo-Fundamentalism is at work, only this time it is engineering, rather than demanding, conformity.

Victory will come when this ethos is defeated. We desire neither the defeat nor the discouragement of any of our brothers or sisters. We must not repay bad behavior with more bad behavior. HOW we handle ourselves is of utmost importance now. We are news and the world is watching.

Victory will be ours when we can say in all honesty, that I may disagree with my brother over theological structures, but I know he is my brother, because the Spirit in me communes with the Spirit in him. When I see him, I see our Elder Brother. And because I love him so much, I will not let our differences be an issue.

As a man with some married years under my belt, I have learned it is often (if not almost always) more important to be loving than to be right. In this debate, victory only comes if we all win. The road to victory will not be easy. There is an entrenched ethos that must be dealt with on both sides, but it is worth the price. If we split, the ethos wins and we all lose.

We can't break our bruised reeds.

Jim G.


Peter, I have just found the time to really engage this post. It is so very interesting! Ya think Mohler would dare listen to a woman scholar? Lol

"Weaver also mentions that while the council “unequivocally endorsed the Augustinian emphasis on the priority of grace” (p.231) the council failed to explicitly endorse Augustine’s divine determinism. In other words, on Augustine’s scheme of absolute, meticulous predestination, the council remained stone-cold silent. On the other hand, on Augustine’s predestination to evil, the council specifically denied."

So, it seems many have been horribly mistaken if this author has it right. At the very least, throwing out such accusations or "leanings" toward heresy is very dangerous. It is concerning that every single historical event and scritpure must be interpreted through this determinist God filter. It is wearying and despairing.

The idea of a determinist God just would not go away even after not being endorsed by this council. Earlier today Brad Whitt linked to a site by Estepp. I have read one of his books but was not familiar with that site. I was astonished to see he said something I said on this site earlier...perhaps yesterday. That the determinst god of Augustine/Calvin is similar to the determinist Islamic Allah. Interesting that came about in the 7th century and we know Mohammed simply borrowed from several systems including Jews and pagans. One wonders if he met some Augustinians on that trade route crossroad? :o)

My question for discussion has always been: What is the lure of a determinst God? Anyone?


Jim, I think you are totally right. And I think the NC is a strain that some of us have never seen before. I can remember worshipping with Dutch Calvinists in Michigan as a kid when we went to Western Michigan during the summer. Very conservative, hard working, honest people who were very welcoming.

What I think we are dealing with and why it is so hard is that we are dealing with a strain of intellectual and tactical bullying. And for that reason, I think this debate is the best thing that could happen. You might not understand this part but since I live at ground zero, I can tell you the debate we are having now has not really been a possibility at this level in my neck of the woods because it is always framed for you and most people, like me, are not scholars on things like the Council of Orange. So there has been an uneasy alliance of sort that says, don't rock the boat. Just try to get along and hope some do not split the church. There has been an intellectual elite intimidation factor involved.

The question might be how do we deal with "Christian" bullies who think they have the only truth and are only trying to save you? They view their bullying and censorship as loving. It is quite the conumdrum.

My church has several Calvinist as staff ministers and it has not been a problem at all because they do not focus on converting people to Calvinism. So it is not really Calvinism per se that bothers me even though I totally disagree with it (And I think it is healty to debate it).

What bothers me more is that we are funding or affirming (in any way) Mars Hill (Driscoll) clone churches and possibly SGM type shepherding cult churches. This really concerns me because I have seen a lot of the damage from these systems up close and personal from many. I am very concerned about the teaching coming out of TG4 about church discipline (done badly) and "keys to the kingdom" where elders decide who is saved or not. And that is just a few things. These are things I am hoping the SBC will not be willing to unify around. I see them as cultic and spiritually abusive and very unBaptist.

Eric Lockhart

Peter, you either: don't read all the comments you willfully choose to ignore context to make your point stronger or your reading comprehension is lacking, which makes me not even care to respond to the rest of your remarks, as it is apparent you twist for your own argument sake. I will address the CAPS, as your shot there is ridiculous.

Never did I say that it made my case stronger. In fact, I went our of my way to explain why I used CAPS. I stated it was because I could not bold or underline and Lydia had asked which part of the statement did I see as affirming imputation of guilty, so I wanted to emphasize that part in response to Lydia. Not to make my argument stronger.

You should be better than that. You really should be.

peter lumpkins


I'm trying hard not to laugh. Even so, rather than stooping to degrading, juvenile insults, I suggest you address the comments I propose. In addition, unless you're willing to show precisely how I've allegedly "twisted" your words to suit my own argument, don't ever bring that back up again--at least here. You're, of course, free to do as others allow you on their sites.

With that, I am...


I think part of the problem with these discussions is that you have Calvinists who either naively or just intentionally have believed this elite party line:

"Calvinists have not caused any problems in the SBC, there's nothing wrong with Southern and Southeastern discriminaing against Traditionalists, it's perfectly acceptable for NAMB church plants to be a majority Calvinist, we really want to rally round the BFM except in those places where the Abstacts can be used to ensure doctrinal purity, Calvinists are the Founders so get out of our way...."

All these people have been sharing their experiences and their concerns about the Calvinization - those people have been dismissed as liars and antiCalvinists. Some radical fringe of haters. The Calvinists convince themselves that there is no problem in the SBC except for a few Calvinist haters.

With the release of this statement you can't remain in denial anymore. First off it has exposed the nasty side of the YRR with their declarations of heresy and the fact that they have openly discussed on blogs that they will call anyone who affirms the TradDoc a heretic and now they believe the conversation has to move to whether these Traditionalist should be welcomed in the SBC. The elitist Calvinists attitude that they have always been better than everybody else is right out there in bold print now for all to see.

Secondly, the people who signed/affirmed the statement are not so easily dimissed as liars and lunatics on the fringe. If a Pastor signs that statement, than it's a pretty good bet his church would support him. If an Associational leader signs that Statement than it's a pretty good bet that the churches in that Association and the members of those churches are on board or would be on board once they've been educated by their leaders. If State Convention leaders have signed that Statement it's a pretty good bet of what the other leadrs throughout that State and the churches are thinking. The signatures on that document don't represent hundreds - they represent thousands that can be rallied.

That is a serious problem for the Calvinists in the SBC. Now I'm sure emails and conference calls have been a plenty as to how the Calvinist elite want to deal with the situation. They're going to make a plea for unity. But you can't plea for unity and still call everyone liars, stupid and heretics at the same time. There is a problem in the SBC. The first step to solving the problem is admitting there's a problem. The Calvinists think they can still dismiss everyone as liars and now heretics. Al Mohler still believes he has so much power that he can publically insult the intelligence of Traditionalists and no one can hold him accountable. There can be no unity as long as one side thinks they don't have to play by any rules.

Eric Lockhart

Well, I guess that answers which one it is - don't worry about banning or making threats; I won't be back. Take care.


I see the new talking points have been handed down by the elites this morning.

1. Since calling Trads heretics is making us look really bad let's trying calling them Landmarkists and see how that works.

2. Let's keep trying to rally around the BFM. Continue to ignore that Calvinists are using the Abstract to discriminate.

3. Keep pretending there is no problem in the SBC. The only problem is that there are those who are antiCalvinists. Continue to claim it's a lie that Calvinists have caused division and discord in churches.

4. If somehow asks for proof to where Trads are claiming to want to kick out Cals and they point out that it's actually Cals who are discriminating on the National SBC level - ignore those points and use words like "Unity" and "Great Commission"

5. And no one, absolutely no one should discuss Founders Ministry and their purpose to reform the SBC. If anyone points out that there is a list of Founders Friendly Churches who support the Founders Ministry in their goal of reforming the SBC so how is that any different to the Trad document, ignore.

6. Absolutley, none of the SBC elite Blogs like Pravda should address the insults of Al Mohler's response. That would cause disunity.

7. Simply deny, deny, deny, and distract, distract, distract. Perhaps the peasants will get tired and go back to sending checks while keeping quiet.

8. By all means continue with the hand wringing, woe is me, why can't we all just get along blog posts and posit we should all just ignore all elephants and portions of elephants for the sake of unity and the Great Commission. See if you can shame people into shutting up.


Does anyone else see, historically, the mapping of the belief in a determinist God to those who believe in such being somewhat tyrannical? From Augustine to Calvin to the Puritans to now with the idea that if you don't believe in the determinst God you are not the real thing?

William Marshall

Jim G.
Just wanted to say that I really appreciated your comment. So much of this issue has very little to do with Calvinist/Non-calvinist theology and so much more to do with the need to win an argument (pride), so often at the expense of love. We need to have these discussions. We need to labor to understand the Word and get our doctrine right. But if in trying to do that we fail to love, then we make the same mistake that Jesus rebukes the Church at Ephesus for (Rev. 2:1-7). I hope this discussion will make us all better theologians, but I also hope it will help us love each other more (in spite of our differences). Thanks Jim for your post.

You have twiced referred to SGM as being a 'cult' in the comments. I think that language is uncalled for and would encourage you to rethink your assesment of those Churches. Thanks as well,



"You have twiced referred to SGM as being a 'cult' in the comments. I think that language is uncalled for and would encourage you to rethink your assesment of those Churches. Thanks as well,

Trust me, William. I don't throw that word out carelessly. And I sincerely believe that people must be warned and be cautious. Not only from getting involved with Mahanay in any shape or form but him being any part of the SBC.

I am pretty well versed on the cult tactics of spiritual abuse and I have pieced together the founding of what is now SGM by Larry Tomzak and CJ Mahaney which was and remained a shepherding cult(Take and Give, People of Destiny and now SGM). I have also read 5 years worth of documented experiences in SGM churches all over the US and even in England at sgmsurvivors and all the sgmwikileaks docs and even Doris and Larry Tomzaks transcript of the blackmail phone call from Mahaney.

We should be quaking in our boots that Mohler has hooked up with Mahaney (Dever too) and not only supported him but protected him from the very consequences Mahaney insisted on for SGM pastors who were "disciplined".

If you do the research and contend that it is not a cult, then you and I have nothing to discuss. Mahaney has left a long line of bleeding and wounded to build his empire. It is now falling apart and he is moving to Louisville to be near SBTS and "plant a church near the seminary". His SGM pastors were only required to attend a 9 mo "pastors college" to pastor an SGM church. That seems to be changing and he is hooking up with SBTS (Whom he has donated a lot of money to in the past about 200,000 that we know is documented when SGM pastors have to oay their way to the 9 month course, btw). His son in law former CLC staff pastor left CLC during the scandal and is now enrolled at SBTS.

Mohler made a statement to the secular paper, the Courier Journal when CJ stepped down which basically said that the bloggers did not like "firm leadership" and he supporte CJ in going to CHBC (Dever's church)

So my question to you is why Mohler felt like he had the gravitas to speak for the SBC to the secular press in affirming the spirtual abuse of Mahaney which is well documented?

I call it a cult because it is a shepherding cult. Up until a few years ago, CJ referred to himself as "The Apostle" of it.

William Marshall

Per your question, it sounds to me as if Mohler voiced his own opinion to the Courier Journal (not trying to "speak for the SBC"). As for your view on SGM churches, we will just have to disagree, but I stand by my original caution for you to be careful in how you refer to a group of Christian Churches. Thanks for taking the time to respond,



Hi William,

No one knows better than I how much loyalty there is toward men over truth in what passes for Christendom these days. I would not call them "Christian churches" but "shepherding cults". Your caution is wasted. I do my homework before speaking or writing. Did you ever think Mohler would be supporting an "Apostle" from the "People of Destiny"? Every time Mohler speaks, he is representing SBTS which is SBC whether we like it or not. The secular article gave his title and position. That is how it works.


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