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Calvinists recruit W.A. Criswell to their cause?!

When you start with a fistful of straws, you eventually reach the last one. This is a good sign.

Steve Martin

Wow! Lot's here.

I do not agree with Calvinists on very much. They turn the believer back into themselves for any assurance. (not good)

I do believe that most Christians start off with an improper anthropology when it comes to their doctrine of "free-will".

I do the Bible has other, moe realistic things to say about it:


I think that is worth a listen. It's important.

Thank you


LOLOL Peter -- I loved your last sentence: The first semi pelagian calvinist in Southern Baptist Hitory!!!!

Peter, one comment. Your last article mentioned hyper calvinism. I believe that those who say that the gospel can only be found in the TULIP are hyper calvinists as well. Why? The Gospel is so very simple and is plainly defined in scripture. The TULIP ADDS to that smple Gospel message imho.

Thanks, Peter -- good post!!



I have read a number of perspectives responding and counter-responding to the Traditional Statement. In my estimation, the some of the greatest damage in the debate(s) has been done by failures to accurately present the opponent's side of the debate before critique. Those participating in the conversation feel like their ideas have been caricatured then skewered.

As a Calvinist, what I have appreciated from this post is the sense that my views were fairly represented. The critique against institutionalizing Calvinism was rightly aimed at personalities not as a necessary consequence of the theology. I'd say the institutionalizing ambition comes more from democracy than theology. After all who doesn't like the people who share his/her perspective in the place of influence?

I don't think that gaining positions of power or influence is really all that worthwhile. If God's strength is made perfect in our weakness, perhaps being marginalized is really the better place to be. I'd like to think that way, but I doubt that I do so all that often.

On one last note, I couldn't sign the Traditional Statement, but I could gladly sign Dr. Criswell's description of human free will quoted in your post. It is exactly what the "more robust Reformed groups" (see footnote 2a) confess when they say that God "ordained whatsoever comes to pass" without ever violating "the will of the creatures" (Westminster Confession 3-1). Criticizing a version of Calvinism that does not include this biblicist (in the best sense of the word) and robust version of free will is critiquing a version of Calvinism that is among the minority of Calvinists and one that has a relatively small place in the history of the Protestant Church.


This is very interesting. Thanks for introducing me to Z.T. Cody. I wonder, however, what you mean when you say that Z.T. Cody spoke "without fear of dispute". Do you mean to say that his emphatic tone suggests fearlessness of dispute (i.e. there was dispute but he didn’t fear it) or are you saying there was literally no dispute about whether or not Baptists were Calvinists, which is why he was fearless.

Thanks for the clarification.

peter lumpkins


Thanks. I first read Cody's piece in The Courier (S.C. Baptist paper) archives a few years back. I had heard of the piece and seen it quoted but I couldn't get hold of it. So, I finally got a free day and drove to SC and spent several hours sifting through the old records. Hence, when I found the piece, I sifted through several months of letters to the editors after the piece was published. What I found was stone-cold silence. No one challenged Cody's piece. Not a single, negative letter was penned--excuse me, printed--that I found in my query. I think there may have been one or at most two positive mentions.

Hence, my point (subjective, of course) would reflect a confidence in Cody that what he was writing at the time he believed to be empirically true at least to his experience.

I gave you perhaps way more than you wanted.

Lord bless, brother.

With that, I am...

Leslie Puryear


So what I hear Ascol saying is that they want to reform the entire SBC to Calvinism. Is that a fair statement? If it is, then how is this not an intentional takeover?


The Original Les


Peter, that Cody article is such a treasure for today!

I would love to hear from some of our Church history scholars why Calvinism historically either dies out or goes liberal then has a resurgence of sorts. Is it because of it's theocratic nature?


Sheesh! I see over at Pravda the Council of People's Commissar's are demanding the Prolitariat name names.

They do love "discipline". I wonder if there will be party discipline? But how does one discipline the Chairman of the Pilitburo?

Right, that is going to happen. We are going to put people's names on the internet. That would be grounds for a much deserved lawsuit. Can these guys please grow up? FAST!


Oops, I misspelled the name of the People's Congress: The Politburo.


Lydia, it's not for the purpose of discipline that they want the names and churches. It's so they can call those Calvinists and get their side of the story - which of course would be that everybody was just an anti-Calvinist, blah, blah, blah.

How ridi - no I think the word is actually stupid for anyone to DEMAND the names so he can confirm for himself that we are all a bunch of liars. So he can call his Calvinists brethren, they can lament together how mean these antiCalvinists really are, than he can come back and boldly proclaim that he investigated the situation and of course everybody who claims Calvinists have ever done anything wrong are a bunch a liars. So then what - we say here, how bout a couple more witnesses. Does this stupid fool not understand the amount of discord and division he's trying to stir up. But he is oh so proud thinking that's he's sure got all those liars where he wants them.

Seriously, is there no one at Pravda with a lick of sense anymore. Does this fool not get that he just demonstrated exactly the kind of attitude of this rabid Calvinists by declaring everybody liars because he demands a list of names and churches so he can stir up division and discord. But these are our young "leaders."


The problem is the YRR guys cannot see themselves or how they come off to others outside their NC bubble. In their NC bubble, this is the norm. This behavior is a natural result of being indoctrinated that you are right and the others wrong. And that age cannot discern well but are bold and will follow a leader they believe in which is why we have always sent 18-26 year olds into battle besides physical ability. The 40 year olds ask too many questions. :o) Some very interesting research out there on brain development and age.

Many who comment and post over at Pravda exhibit exactly what many are talking about going on in churches. 24 year olds making demands and insisting they ahve correct doctrine. They honestly do not see it which means it is a much bigger psychological problem since we are putting these types in Acts 29 and other church plants with power and position. What a recipe for disaster or a shepherding cult. It is not always pastors. In my neck of the woods it is often SBTS student volunteers with the youth or college age members.

Which by the way, am I understanding that their version of evangelism mainly consists of planting churches? Planting Calvinist churches.


What's amusing is to know that, Al Mohler, who is not stupid sees stupid posts such as "I DEMAND you tell me who this so-called aggressive Calvinist are or otherwise you Tradtionalists are all a bunch a liars. Every single one of you are LIARS!" - Mohler can see the action of the YRR at SBC Pravda and understand that those words are being sent through emails and passed along as proof that everything being said about Calvinists is absolutely true.

For all Pravda's wanting to be patted on the head by the Political elites in the SBC, they've done a very poor job at protecting the party line.

These guys just don't have enough sense that all the screams of heresy, stupidy and lies is only proving that there is a problem with young arrogant Calvinists in the SBC.


So, let's play this out. They demand names publicly which means the "investigation" needs to be public to make sure it is fair. Who investigates?

Then we want Suzy and Bobby to testify that a YRR student volunteer told the entire youth group their dad, the pastor, did not preach the true Gospel which meant they did not know the true Gospel. And this all has to be public, mind you. Not to mention old Mrs Vivian who was rebuked for speaking in a mixed bible study by a YRR student because women are not to teach men. Right, she is going to be investigated even though the YRR guy is now gone. Will they face each other in an "ecclessiastical" court? Who will preside? OR, will this be done in said church or para church organization where the incident took place?

Look, most churches who have dealt with this are so glad it is gone they just want to forget it like a bad nightmare. Their tolerance for differences in such things was taken advantage of by the bullies who view that as a weakness and green light to plow ahead.

Do these guys realize how much they sound like Mark Driscoll? Mind you, most of them think this is a good thing.

Sorry Peter. Back to Criswell who we now know was a secret Calvinist who believed in Libertarian Free Will. Okaay.


I'm not trying to stir up a fight here (honest!), but I am curious about your hatred of Driscoll. I get that you disagree with him on several doctrinal points, but I hope that would not lead you to hate someone. Is your animosity based on his sex book with his wife because they said married couples can do whatever acts they both want? If you disagree or think they were inappropriately detailed and personal then that is one thing, but I have noticed you refer to him with great disdain and even anger many times in different posts even though he is not SBC (and the topic of the blog posts was the SBC). I have to admit to curiosity about such apparent, personal hatred being directed at a pastor who is not part of this blog discussion.



Hatred? Telling the truth is hatred now? Did you know that characterizing such things is one of the tenents of spiritual abuse? I can tell you I do not hate Driscoll. I think he is a very sick man. I do "hate" the things he does and teaches.

The list is very long of the false teaching and spiritual abuse coming from him and Mars Hill. Here are a few:

1. Porno visions. If you are not familiar then let me know I will find the sampling of his divinatations for you

2. Spiritual abuse of "church discipline". Examples are boundless. But the problem is they could not spiritually abuse in some cases if the member had not trusted them with confession. And in at least one case, they made the information public to the whole church electronically of details.

3. Firing Paul Petry because Petry, a lawyer, disagree with Driscoll going from 40 voting elders when they had a church of 3,000 to changing the bylaws so when a church of 12,000 he would only have 3 handpicked voting elders. It was basically a coup to take over. And if you piece together the history of Mars Hill, many close "brothers in Christ' have been thrown to the curb when they disagreed with Mark.

4. Did you know there is a group of former Mars Hill attendees who have a support group for spiritual abuse? And no, I am not at liberty to name the group or where they meet.

5. I won't go into why he is really a false teacher and fits the book of Jude perfectly because most Driscoll followers cannot see it......yet. It would be a waste of time.

6. I do think that Sodomy in marriage is a huge health problem. When teaching at a marriage retreat Mark's teaching on this was that when wives are not up to the real thing then they should offer up their backsides. (He said it much more crude. One woman I know said it was the last straw for her and she left the church and her husband soon followed her out)

My guess is that people have become so desensitized to sin and false teaching they do not recognize it anymore. Which is one reason Driscoll has gone on for so long. But he got so bad (which is what happens) that Piper and many others are now distancing themselves quickly. Piper removed his "I love Mark Driscoll's theology" video promotion. All of a sudden Driscoll is stepping down from Acts 29 (He had just gone back as pres to get it on track as he said but when Petry's documents came out they had Acts 29 all over them as Scott Thomas was the go between for Petry's firing and "trial" which Petry was not allowed to attend. So Acts 29 was implicated and Scott Thomas all of a sudden steps down and decides to pursue other ministry opportunities)

So you can call it hate, Liz, if you want. But I really care about people who have been used and abused to build an little earthly kingdom for a charlatan. I also care about those who do not know better but to follow one. My hope is that as they know Jesus they will see such a disconnect between Jesus Christ and Mark Driscoll's teaching they will not be able to stand one more minute. But for too long, he has been the filter for many young minds when it comes to know Christ. It is a very wrong picture and there will be years of reprogramming for them to move away from it.

Mark will always land on his feet no matter what. This is what he does. He is a performer and seeks audiences. These cultic leaders calling disagreement with them hate has workd well on the sheeple who cannot think for themselves. It is what they do so well. They attempt to be the Holy Spirit for believers. My prayer is for people to come out of these cultic movements and really know Christ and be led by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not give porn divinations and lead teachers to mock Christ and abuse His sheep, my friend.


Liz writes "even though he is not SBC (and the topic of the blog posts was the SBC)"

While this may be off-topic a bit, you really can't go too far into a discussion on "C" without bringing up "D" at some point. Driscoll's DNA is all over the New Calvinism movement spreading through SBC ranks. There are numerous Acts 29 churches which are also SBC members. The new president of Acts 29 is an SBC pastor, with tremendous YRR influence. Certain of our seminary presidents and professors have endorsed him. LifeWay, the SBC publishing house, promotes his books. SBC's North American Mission Board considers his church planting method as a model to follow. YRR seminary graduates who adore him are standing in line for SBC church plants. Essentially, Driscoll "is SBC" in some corners of our denomination.


Liz, I wrote a long comment concerning the SBC and Driscoll DNA but my mifi went dead. Now that I am in a hotspot, I have little time.

Max is right.

Driscoll DNA is all over the NC movement in the SBC. Driscoll is quite the icon and his DNA is all over NAMB, SBTS, SEBTS and the YRR within the SBC. Many of the NC leadership are trying to act like this is not true but it is. In fact, Sojourn, an Acts 29 church plant in my city, issued a statement that they were leaving Acts 29 and doing their own church planting thing.....right after the whole Sodomy teaching and Paul Petry's "Joyful Exiles" website came online. EVen Piper took his "I love Mark Driscoll's theologoy" promo off the internet.




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVyFyauE4ig&feature=player_embedded (his porn divinations)

There are transcripts of this online. You might want to read it. He gives all these "visions" of adultery in counseling and then has the nerve to say "he might be wrong".

This man is a false teacher and very sick. (I wish I had time to go into the last 10 years of his preaching, his wife, 5 kids and the whole situation. He has been preaching to her about sex the whole time. Mark exhibits the behavior of the classic bully narcissist)



Thanks for the great quotes from Criswell.


Rick Patrick

God bless you for your usual clarity in identifying the issue--not so much the people or the theology of Calvinism but the "institutionalizing" of it in Southern Baptist life, against the will of the majority of Southern Baptists who do not share this view.

peter lumpkins

Thanks all. I appreciate the encouragement...

With that, I am...


Has the SBC been under a coordinated effort by New Calvinists to reform the SBC?

Yes, read a part of an article written by Tom Ascol in 2002:

“It is at just this point where the genius of Baptist polity shines brightly. Our polity makes reformation always a prospect because we do not have a "top-down" structure of government. Every church is independent. This is why from our beginning in 1982 Founders Ministries has focused on local churches and pastors. A local church can be reformed according to the Word. In fact, every church worth the name should be always striving for that--never thinking that they have arrived at some level that puts them beyond the need of further conformity to Scripture. Our efforts have been focused on helping churches see this and strive for it. For the same reason we have particularly aimed our efforts at pastors, convinced that if we help a pastor then we have helped a church.” (Why Work For Reformation Within The Southern Baptist Convention? Founders Journal, Spring 2002, pp.1-4).


I want to be clear that I was asking my question based only on what you wrote and the way your tone came across. I have never been to one of Driscoll's churches and do not know anyone who is a member of one (I'm not from the right part of the country for that), nor have I been influenced by him theologically. Others responded that Driscoll's influence in seen in "New Calvinism" in the SBC. While I'm sure there are people influenced by him, there are many Calvinists who are not. I, for example, was raised staunchly Arminian, but Driscoll had nothing to do with me coming to believe in a more Calvinist interpretation of scripture. I did not hear of him until well after I started questioning certain doctrines and studying scripture on certain points, and among the many Calvinists in the SBC I know, none name him as an influence. They name Piper and Spurgeon and many others. Calvinism in the Baptist church is hardly new. Some Calvinists in the SBC come from the influence of Driscoll, but a large number do not. I guess part of what I picked up on in your posts that prompted my original question was that you seemed to bring him up a lot when the posts were not originally talking about him.



It could be because I am at ground zero where Driscoll has much influence. And it could be you are not familiar with some of the SBC funded Acts 29 churches? Driscoll has a national and even international presence. There were actually UK Christians outside warning about him when he spoke at the Royal Albert Hall! He did finally take his SoS sermon he gave in Scotland offline it was so crude and vulgar.

His DNA would be recognized by the in your face arrogance of many YRR. And the 'sinning by questioning' stance of his elder rule, patriarchy and sex as part of the Gospel. Young NC men with power and position who are not yet wise enough to handle it. Pretty much what happened to Driscoll.

I am well aware there is a fast and furious attempt to write Driscoll out of our recent past. That was seen in the quick change of Chandler for Acts 29 (Driscoll is still on the board and Driscoll most likely will not go quietly)

The other interesting thing about Driscoll is up until a few months ago, if you linked to many YRR churches from blogs, there were Driscoll resources promoted. Those are quietly going away.

My concern is how much damage has already been done to the young minds that revered him and are now pastoring churches or even teaching youth in the SBC. A real concern for all of us.

Also, I cannot think of any "Arminians" in the SBC (although I guess there are some somewhere) and had not heard the term from anyone in all the SBC churches from my childhood until just the last few years when the NC started calling many people (Non Calvinists) by that term all over the blogs. I found that label curious and of course, had to do some research so I would know what I am according to the NC. (wink)

I guess I am a bit confused about "tone". Is there a nicer way to say teaching sodomy is wrong? Forming coups and firing elders to have consolidated power is wrong? In any event considering tone.... The interesting thing about NC YRR is that they tell you that you are ignorant and do not know the bible. That has been their tone. So, how does one deal with "Christian" bullies who see your tolerance for their tone as a weakness?

Perhaps I can apply some flowery adjectives and adverbs like Piper. :o)

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