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I appreciate the forthright statement in this post.

I do not agree with it, but at least I have an answer to what I had been asking before the SBC meeting.

I did not see the Traditionalists' statement as a large matter in practical terms before the convention. I think it is fine for groups to propose statements and to discuss theology within the SBC. The statement was significant, but it's practical implications were limited. The direction of the SBC in these regards, if limited to discussion, persuasion, conferences etc., would be determined over the course of years, rather than through political action.

You would have Southern and Southeastern abandon the Abstract of Principles which were adopted at their founding.

You have not directly advocated the next step if those institutions don't do as you have advocated, but it's not that far of a step.

That is - if the trustees of those institutions refuse to abandon those confessions, do you advise a strategy of seeking to elect SBC Presidents who will explicitly work toward that end and use their appointment processes accordingly.

Or do you advise a course that the Founders and other Reformed groups have used - the "Quiet Revolution" of teaching, preaching etc., as opposed to the open revolution of chosing sides and campaigning on that basis?

I personally do not favor another political battle across the SBC landscape. I would understand if you did, but I can't tell from this post.

I would be interested in your thoughts.


"seems nonplussed that the Calvinist would want his church to have an exclusively Calvinistic understanding of salvation

This statement to me seems to be saying why can't a Calvinist go into a Trad church and change it to Calvinism. Because of course no one cares what Nettles and Ascol are doing at their churches and no one has told them they need to change their churches.

Another falsehood that the Founders are pushing is that somehow the resurgence in Calvinism is just organic and happening without any influence from men. You can see how organic it is not when you look at the time line. As the Calvinists took over the educational institutions they started churning out more Calvinists. It's like the liberals in America - take over the schools and indoctrinate how you like and then you can build your base.

And yes the convention needs to get control of those institutions and start cleaning house with the Trustees who are not doing their jobs. When someone like Mohler can just time and again insult the majority of the SBC, when someone like Nettles can call the majority of the SBC apostate - and no one is holding them accountable? Then it is definately time to clean house.

The more you read their rhetoric the more you see that these men do not want unity - they want to get rid of all the "apostates."

peter lumpkins


Thanks. Not sure I have any strategy at all other than the "first step" you rightly perceived. Nor am I versed well enough in our conventional polity to gauge whether or not another "loophole" so to speak might be explored to avoid a long, grueling trickle-down trustee transformation process which, partly along with you, I don't know whether I possess either the stomach or even the time on this earth to see through.

What seems to me to be a very easy solution, so far as the confession itself is concerned, is all sides say they agree that the BF&M should be our central document. Granted. Nor did the TS author(s) or supporters remotely state they wanted to usurp the BF&M. Even so, Founders Calvinists like Mohler & Ascol appear to be duplicitous in their support. For example, they speak boldly of the BF&M being "our" confession while at the same time demanding "Founders-friendly" churches embrace at least one other confession other-than the BF&M, confessions which Founders deem as more explicitly "Reformed" than the BFM.

Moreover, Mohler was not commissioned to employ the AP as a hiring tool in place of the BFM. If he was, somebody needs to inform SBCers about this. Moreover, Mohler doesn't consistently employ the AP for he presumably doesn't demand strict adherence to Sabbath Day rest from "worldly" pursuits like Article XVII prohibits.

The truth is, the trustees wouldn't be the biggest obstacle in getting this done (i.e. employing the BFM alone). I think we know this. The heads of the institutions would be the bucking broncos.

With that, I am...


Peter, even if Mohler said fine we'll stop the using the Abstacts could he even be trusted to stop discriminating based on his conviction that Southern be the Calvinist Seminary.

We see in the Lifeway SS material where the Calvinist claimed that all the contributors to the Gospel Project adhered to the BFM and somehow we are to believe it was just a mere coincedence that they all happened to be Calvinist.

And it wouldn't be enough to stop using the Abstact for conformity but something would have to be done so that Southern and Southeastern are not just the indoctrination camps they are now. You have to undo the damage that has been done because of the Calvinization to bring them back to institutions that serve the entier SBC and not just a small minority.


"The changes that have come could with clear justification be called "theological apostacy." Nettles.

We keep seeing affirmations of why young men are so arrogant and bold and why it is not going away any time soon. They have been taught at a seminary, man Apostates have funded, that they are dealing with Apostates! This is truely incredible.

I am simply amazed that Nettles can work in a place that is funded by a lot of Apostates. Is that not hypocritical? He takes their money in the form of a salary all these years and calls them Apostates? We pay them to insult us, call us heretics and Apostates. Looks like the Trustees agree with them. What will the trustees do as more and more people find this out and the money dries up?

Do these men have a Calvin complex?


Mary, I am not sure they want to get rid of us. They need our money. What they want is to "rule" over the Apostates. That is why you see elder rule as their choice of church polity. Add to that lawyer vetted membership covenants and keys to the kingdom teaching, discipline and you are talking control over people. (Anyone who signs a membership covenant needs to have a lawyer look at it first because you are probably agreenig to be "disciplined" by the ruling elders and they get to decide what needs to be disciplined)

And all of this is another reason you see a seminary president who is not a pastor but an employee of an SBC entity totally comfortable to speak of marginalizing people and insulting his learned brothers publicly. If anyone understands raw power, Mohler does. And he has it.


Louis, Do you support Nettles, a paid employee of an SBC entity, in calling us Apostates? You are on the SBC Foundation Board (or were) so I know you might have trouble answering.

Also, why was the donation by SGM and CJ Mahaney taken off the SBTS donor lists? TWW reported on this a few months back.


Lydia, you're right it's not so much get rid of the apostates at this time. The emphasis is on ruling them now, but I do think they see the future as gradually weeding out the apostates which is accomplished by the ruling now. You will either conform or..... Servetus.

But of course they need the apostates to continue funding their Calvinization. They have counted on the peasants staying asleep and apathetic. The TS is waking people up from sleep and apathy and that has to be quashed.


Dots and more dots. We had a preacher once who often declared "There's a devil behind every bush!" I used to doubt that, until my Christian journey took me through various spiritual battles in and out of the church. Yep, there's a devil behind every bush! But what we need to remember folks, is that the flesh in front of us is not the warrior. This current SBC debate has taken on a spiritual dimension I'm not sure we really see at this point. Souls are at stake! Take up the armor of faith!



I do not agree with Dr. Nettles' statements about Apostacy. True, there has been lots of it in the SBC, but I don't count Jerry Vines and Paige Patterson or their friends in the that group. I am taking you guys word for it on that, but assuming that's what Nettles meant, he is wrong.

I don't know about the donations of other groups. I have never met Mahaney or seen him at any gathering at Southern, thought that may change with his move to Louisville.

Peter, I am with you. I was very active in the CR. I think that I am older than you. I am 51. I don't have another CR in me.

Actually, the Abstract has a sort of legal effect at Southern. Every full professor, I understand, has signed it, since its adoption, including the promise to teach in accordance with and not contrary to the Abstract.

You may know this, but Mohler's use of the Abstract as a check on the faculty was very useful re Molly Marshall Green and others. The Abstract was very helpful in that regard.

Mary makes a good point. Even if there were no Abstract, the emphasis of an administration eventually shows up in the institution.

I am not sure that this type of thing can or should be legislated. One of my friends goes to a mainline church who called a pastor that he did not care for. The Pastor there gives homilies that last 15 or so minutes. It is a liberal church. Committee run. Lots of big business people there. If I listed names, you would know them.

At any rate, my friend took the attitude that it was his church, too, and that while he might not have control and his perspective might be different (he is more liberal in some things, less than others), he was not going to leave. He was going to be a presence.

I am not in the position of advising anyone here, but if I were a Reformed person in a Trad world or a Trad person in a Reformed world, I would simply be who I am, exert the influence I could reasonably exert and keep showing up. I might not control things. I might have the minority perspective, depending on which meeting I was attending, but I would always show up and present my viewpoint as consistently and kindly as possible.

We have more influence than we realize most of the time.

peter lumpkins


Unfortunately, I think you are right. Just bleeding the air of their tire by dismissing the allegiance to the AP would not solve the issue entirely. The fact is, it's such a mess, I'm not sure what it would finally take. After all, we've got Founders Calvinists now rewriting our history suggesting our BFM (especially 1925) is a strong Calvinist document. Completely overlooking the the historical circumstances in the development of the BF&M, they happily claim it. Yet, both Nettles and Mohler blame E Y Mullins as the main cause for the demise of Calvinism in the SBC, while Mullins was the chief author of the 1925 BF&M. That this all makes no historical sense at all does not seem to bother them.

I guess in the end I'm thinking if we can bleed the air out of their tire, we at least slow the thing down so we can catch up.

With that, I am...

peter lumpkins


No sir, brother. I turn 59 in a few weeks :^)

With that, I am...


Louis, Seeker and liberal churches are notoriously hierarchical. They just present it differently. REmember, Mars Hill was ruled by committee, too, until the bylaws were rewritten for it to be ruled by 3 guys. They just called it something different than a comittee or committees.

It is part of the fleshly belief that somebody has to rule the adults instead of Jesus Christ and the guiding Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ ruling the body is much harder to actually live out as a corporate body.

Thanks for answering my questions but I did not ask if you had seen CJ around Southern as I doubt you are there that often since you are in Nashville. I asked about his donations to SBTS both as CJ and as SGM. So his donations would not be known by the Foundation?


Louis, I don't agree that we should throw up our hands and declare - well the Founders set it up so what can we do! This is exactly the argument that Founders Ministry makes which is that the only right SBC is the SBC that goes back to it's orginal Foundation.

And then there is the practical implication of what you are saying, which is the seminaries can be divvyed up between Trads and Cals. Firt off the Cals will not allow seminaries to use the TS as a litmus test in hiring, and yet Trads are told there is nothing that can be done but use the Abstract at Southern and Southwestern. But even if we could agree on how to divide the baby - what happens as people decide to start designating funds to only those institutions who are like them? Declaring that Calvinist own Southern and Southeastern because of what old dead dudes who don't pay the bills did is to just hasten that the destruction of the CP.

It amazing that everybody thought it was a great ideal to go through an official/unofficial name change - changing the name from what the old dead dudes declared the convention would be called, but trying to make sure the institutions are serving the SBC we have today is seen as an impossible task and one is guilty of blasphamy against the Founders for even thinking SBC Institutions should reflect the entire SBC. Those dead guys don't pay the light bill. Maybe it's time the people paying the bills are in charge of the instituions.

Adam B. Embry

Peter, I'm very hesitant to post, as I can only speak for myself and do not want to enter into this SBC debate. I've read through enough blog comments on SBCToday the past month to realize that the same people keep commenting, talking past each other, and probably have never met anyone from Louisville. With that said, I offer this:

I have been at Southern Seminary since 2002 (am still currently a student) and have never heard the term "theological apostasy" used by anyone, ascribed to anyone, or even heard the phrase at all. I had Dr Nettles for a masters level class and a doctoral colloquium. I don't read The Founders Journal, attend their meetings, or read their blog. I was never indoctrinated with theology at Southern, as I already had doctrinal convictions before I went. I read the comments in YRR on Southern and thought, "Wow. Some of these seminary experiences at Southern aren't normal. This isn't what it's like for most!"

Again, I don't want to "get into it" here on your blog. I read Dr Hankin's article on the sinner's prayer where he said, "I felt that the underlying criticism of the Sinner’s Prayer from New Calvinists is related to the fact that they do not believe that all people can pray that prayer because some people are hopelessly condemned,” and I wondered, "Where's he meeting these people? I don't know the people he's talking about. I've never heard anyone articulate that view. I've never even had a discussion on this before." So, please just accept my comment for what it is, just a simple comment from someone in Louisville, at "ground zero" as it's put.

peter lumpkins


I want to challenge something about which you alluded above and spoke more directly on Voices. Above you queried whether I might advocate 'the "Quiet Revolution" of teaching, preaching etc., as opposed to the open revolution of chosing sides and campaigning on that basis" and on Voices you wrote:

...the Founders’ use of the term “quiet revolution” is now being taken to mean something it is not...The insinuation of some Traditionalists is that the Founders have somehow used the political process or something akin to it to gain prominence in the SBC. They have not. They have only persuaded.

About whom do you speak here? I am one of the few who even mentions the "Quiet Revolution" conceived by E. Reisinger and promoted by Founders Ministries. Rick Patrick may have written on this some time back but very few ever mention the "Quiet Revolution." In fact, some Founders advocates swore they'd never even heard of Reisinger while some of the younger Calvinists claimed that a fringe figure like Reisinger could could make any difference (if I recall this is on the comment thread in the post Patrick wrote at Voices).

Know my point is not to get you to "name names." I'm only suggesting few even bring this up so it was surprising to read your suggestion that some are misusing this term. Frankly, I've not spoken of Founders doing much political posturing though I think it surely goes on behind the scenes (for the record, I offer no complaints about the political aspect). My point is, I do not see the "Quiet Revolution" as either political posturing on the one hand or simply persuasive rhetoric on the others. Rather a chief strategy you fail to mention in Reisinger's "Quiet Revolution"--and the strategy I've most often lamented--is the grand cover-up on speaking openly and honestly about Calvinism. In other words, Reisinger promoted Calvinists go into churches via stealth and form an underground support system before making known to the church that they would go through the "Reform." All of this is well documented in Reisinger's book.

And, it is a process that has unfortunately backfired on Founders because they got tagged as being not good strategists who would take the church through a slow process of change, which is how they perceive themselves. Rather they got tagged as deceptive annoyances who ultimately destroyed some churches while splinting others. This is a horrid dark blotch on Founders that no amount of denial is going to wash away. They created this horrible, vicious circle by not being straight-up about who they were in the beginning. In that sense, the "Quiet Revolution" is a colossal failure and one in which critics are right to point out.

With that, I am...

peter lumpkins


Thanks for your perspective. I do not doubt your experience. On the other hand, there are tangible evidences which seem to prop up the analysis I offer here, evidences such as Nettles' written words, his recent speech, and even bloggers like SBTS student, Jared Moore, who swore Calvinism was virtually ubiquitous at one time--that is until people started taking his words seriously ;'^)

Lord bless you in your work.

With that, I am...


"Peter, I'm very hesitant to post, as I can only speak for myself and do not want to enter into this SBC debate. I've read through enough blog comments on SBCToday the past month to realize that the same people keep commenting, talking past each other, and probably have never met anyone from Louisville."

Word on the street here is that students are being cautioned against commenting on non Reformed blogs in this debate. I think they are worried about more cage stage Calvinists out there affirming the real problem.

""Wow. Some of these seminary experiences at Southern aren't normal. This isn't what it's like for most!""

Adam I do not doubt your experience at all. I totally believe you. What might be the difference is what we would describe as normal or indoctinated. Some do not know when it is happening. Especially the young. I seriously doubt a prof is going to come right out and say we are Apostate in class since so much SBC money is from what they deem as Apostates. It simply is not done that way. First you are indoctrinated then it is easy to come to that conclusion. And we have seen this played out with the charge of "semi Pelagianism" which some have had to bring down to error as some of their learned Trad brothers pointed out other scholarship besides their indoctrination. That should be a warning sign about the education people are receiving.

This was brought home to me by quite a few 30-40 something friends who went back for grad work who are Calvinist leaning. They were appalled and could not wait to get out of there.



You are exceedingly well preserved!

We have never met, but the only photo I have ever seen of you does not indicate that you are 59.




I don't know what CJ and his various groups contribute because I really don't keep up with that. That may be known to everyone who gets the seminary annual report of giving or the magazine. I guess its avaialable to all. I just don't read it.

And even though you did not ask, I have never seen CJ there.

When I go to Louisville, I usually have dinner, tour the campus, go to Chapel, take in a class or two. It is really enjoyable. I would enjoy meeting you there sometime, if you would be inclined.

None of these topics come up, though the Abstract did in earlier years as Mohler was getting his feet under him. I first started going up there not too long after he had been made President.



I am not suggesting that you just throw you hands up.

I would be very pleased to be involved at any of the SBC seminaries as a visitor, supporter or whatever. I have friends who teach in a 4 of them. They all have different histories and emphases, so to speak. I cannot control them, nor would I try to do so.

I would encourage your continued involvement in whatever way you decided to be involved.



I was referring to the comment streams that I have seen on Voices, this blog (not just you), and maybe others, though there are others that discuss Calvinism, but perhaps not in the context of the Founders.

From what I know about the Founders, they have not done anything nefarious. I have said that here, I believe.

I am probably not as knowledgeable of the Founders as you are. I don't know Reisinger and haven't read his works.

I have been to a couple of Founders breakfast meetings over the years, and have read some of their literature. I have never seen or heard of any stealth strategy. They appear to me to be very explicit in their beliefs and teaching.

My pastor started attending the Founders meetings about 20 years ago. He went for about 5 years in a row, and hasn't been back. He met Mark Dever there 20 years ago (or something like that) and likes him, as do I.

What I have read about the Founders was that they wanted to affect the SBC, not through overt tactics of the CR, but through what they considered to be solid teaching.

I am not discounting in any way what you have said about Reisinger, but have not read carefully all that you have wrote, and have certainly not read him.

I have said in other places why I believe the emphases of Reformed theology are having a rebound today. I believe there is a core of that teaching that is very important. There are particulars that I do not buy, but I don't worry about it.

Maybe because I am not a theologian or pastor, I only have so much time and pick up what I can. I am in a secular profession, so it always a joy to find anyone out who just believes the Bible. So I really do see common points more than differences in debates like this.

The common points in the SBC are so strong. I just do not get that worked up about the other stuff. I can easily appreciate Al Mohler, Mark Dever, Adrian Rogers and Paige Patterson all at the same time, and have a really hard time getting worked up about them.

Hope I am making some sense here.


Adam B. Embry


I have been a student since 2002 and an assistant pastor in Louisville since 2007. Having been here a decade, I believe I know the place fairly well. So, I don't mean this to be rude in any way, but I'm having a hard time understanding what you mean about in your comments about Southern and what you hear "on the street" about indoctrination. I'm simply at a loss for words every time I read that word typed on these blogs in this discussion. I'm not meaning Peter Lumpkins' blog, by the way, as this is the first time I've read his. And, by the way, I appreciate his kind manner in responding to me.

The reason I hesitated in commenting at all wasn't because any one from Southern told me not to comment. It was because I've read a good number of the blog comments on SBCToday the past month and realized no one who comments is from Louisville and really knows Southern. My hesitancy was an issue of prudence. To be honest, I won't be reading about this discussion in the SBC much anymore, as it's quite discouraging. Also, I've noticed you're a frequent commenter on SBCToday, and I just don't have the time or energy to go back and forth on Peter Lumpkins' blog.

I've learned a lot about loving God and loving people from my professors. I'm so thankful for them, their godliness, and their commitment to the Word. Having read Dr. Wills' book on the history of Southern, it's simply amazing that the school is conservative, now. I'm so proud to have gone to Southern and be taught by these men.


Adam Embry,

Have you been a student of Dr. Bill Cook? (Sorry for the wayward rabbit here Peter, but I ask for your indulgence.) I was a student of his at former(Florida Baptist Theological College,now Baptist College of Florida). Just wanting to know if he is still the fantastic man he was in Florida?


peter lumpkins


I think I understand and, for the most, I would not get worked up either if all Founders wanted to do through the years is educate. However, it’s obvious they intend to not only educate about SBC origins from their perspective but implement practical “reform” into the structure of both the local church and the SBC.  I put together several of Reisinger’s quotes here, a selection which fairly shows a common denominator between him and Founders today, including Tom Nettles who presently sits on Founders Board.

Louis, you come across as both sober and perceptive. Do you not see some serious issues with the language of Founders suggesting “Traditional” Southern Baptists are outside historic Southern Baptist Orthodoxy and can thus be described as embracing “theological apostasy”? Not to mention Al Mohler’s clear and undeniable infatuation with the AP being the birth child not of Philadelphia’s confession like one would think he would claim. Rather he traces its inspiration to Westminster. What in the world was he thinking? Strong Calvinists so often accuse Traditionals of “making stuff up” like suggesting they are more interested in Presbyterianism than Baptist ecclesiology. Why Mohler cannot be legitimately cited as spawning the supposed “made up stuff” is not easily defended.   

And, this language has been non-stop from Founders up until a couple of years ago when, from all appearances, it looked like Calvinists had gained a significant, measurable advantage over traditionally-oriented people. In that sense, the TS document symbolized an unchallenged 10 point run down the court. Now both Ascol and Nettles are on the defense again.

Whatever the case, Founders philosophy and “take-over” strategy is anything but a conspiratorial motif. One may easily rummage through their writings and see the theo-philosophical footprint of Nettles and Mohler intertwined throughout

With that, I am…


Adam B. Embry


I didn't have Dr Cook for any classes, and I don't know him personally. However, a good friend of mine did his PhD under him and has only good things to say about him. I know several people who go to his church, Ninth & O Baptist, and have benefited from his preaching and the fellowship there.


"It was because I've read a good number of the blog comments on SBCToday the past month and realized no one who comments is from Louisville and really knows Southern."

There are few signers from Ky much less Louisville and there is a reason for that. For the non Calvinist pastors here it simply is not prudent for them and they know it.

I have been involved with SBTS since being a kid from about the 70's's as a ton of my family went there and we have been involved in many ways. We were very supportive of the CR and Mohler's hiring. But that changed. My concern for SBTS goes back to what was done to the very gentlemanly and senior Paul Debusman in Mohler's early days when he was about 34. And from there a ton more very mean things done to people to consolidate power. Adam as long as you don't rock the boat and go along with whatever, you will be fine. It is not a great place for independent thinkers.


"Not to mention Al Mohler’s clear and undeniable infatuation with the AP being the birth child not of Philadelphia’s confession like one would think he would claim. Rather he traces its inspiration to Westminster. What in the world was he thinking? Strong Calvinists so often accuse Traditionals of “making stuff up” like suggesting they are more interested in Presbyterianism than Baptist ecclesiology. Why Mohler cannot be legitimately cited as spawning the supposed “made up stuff” is not easily defended. "

This is one I do not get. People are not thinking. Not taking a hard look or connecting dots. Perhaps they just don't want to?

This has not been a big secret here in nonCalvinist circles. The joke here for the last 10 years or so, has been for a long time, the real Presbyterian seminary is SBTS.

I think this is why Mohler sought out so many Calvinist alliances outside the SBC. He had to.

D R Holmes

During my time at SEBTS, we had a number of great men who were able to sign the Abstract of Principles who were not Calvinist. These include Paige Patterson, Waylon Owens, Emir Caner, Keith Eitel, and Stephen Rummage: all of whom have signed the TS. The problem is not the Abstract.

There are also other Statements that are useful in clarifying beliefs. At SEBTS, we also adhered to the Chicago Statement on Biblical Hermeneutics and the Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

I don't really see the problem with an institution having statements that go beyond the BF&M, as long as they do not conflict with the BF&M.

At our church plant, we adopted the Abstract because it was very friendly to our majority Reformed membership (part and parcel of being a family integrated church). It was also a document that I had reconciled with while at SEBTS, even though my personal convictions are much more in line with Dr. Caner and Dr. Patterson than any form of Calvinism.

If we do not wish to have institutions controlled by Calvinist, then we need to direct efforts at resolving that issue. Doing away with statements will not accomplish that any more than having the Abstract made SEBTS Calvinstic while Dr. Patterson was there. The issue seems to be the Seminary Presidents and the direction they are taking their institutions.

Bobby Mullins

I grew up a Southern Baptist and have never been anything but a Southern Baptist and know the date, time and place that I was saved at 10 years of age in a Southern Baptist church during a revival. I never even heard of Calvinism until I attended Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in the late 1980s when Dr. Tom Nettles was there and pushed Calvinism, which some of the students embraced and then arrogantly promoted as much as they could get away with. It was a good day for Mid-America when Nettles left. I am for Nettle, Mohler and the other Southern Calvinists forming the Southern Calvinist Convention and moving out of the SBC. But, they should not be given Southern Calvinist Seminary. It needs to get back to being Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Jeremy Crowder

For those of us that don't know what exactly is the major difference in the Abstract used at Southern and Southeastern vs. the BFM. I've read that non-calvinists signed the abstract which sorta confuses me about it. I've never read that document though I will definitly be looking it up now.

Sad Reader

All I have to say is that this whole discussion has made me sad in how Traditionalists right now are the ones creating a big divide and causing things to head in direction where there will probable be some type of split.

Tim G

Sad Reader,
We Traditionalists only stated and defended that which we believe. Pleasevtell me how this is divisive? Keep hearing this but I am shockec each time. Please tell me?

peter lumpkins


Thanks. A few things. When one uses a document the way Mohler has to systematically "weed out" Traditionalists from Calvinists, it's time to take the toy away. You mentioned that the AP didn't appear to keep non-Calvinists from signing it but then suggest your own church embraces it because the AP is "very friendly to our majority Reformed membership." If the AP is as neutral as you suggest, then why is it particularly appealing to a Reformed constituency?

Finally, we don't need the AP anymore. The truth is, we haven't needed it since 1925 and perhaps should have been dumped then. Nor is there a reason to keep either the Danvers or CSBI since we've addressed both issues in the BFM2K. Nor is there necessity for SWBTS to have the New Hampshire Confession or NOBTS to have the Articles of Faith they have. It's really out of control. If we all actually embrace the BF&M, then why not show we do by having it exclusively the statement of faith our agencies embrace?

Thanks again.

With that, I am...



Thanks for the compliment. I try to be reasonable.

I read the Reisinger quotes, and I appreciate your sending them to me.

I do not read those quotes as a strategy for a Reformed pastor going into a decidedly non-Reformed church by hiding what he believes and then convincing people over time to become Reformed.

They appear to me to be read as advice for someone who is Reformed who is going to a church that is probably not heavily theological in any direction on these lines and how to introduce the concepts in a way that communicates.

Any person who intentionally hides his convictions or lies about them is going to come to ruin. I would never counsel a person to do that, and I don't believe that should be done. I don't believe that is a successful strategy anyway.

I don't want to speak about all Baptist churches, but I have been around many in my years that really did not care about the theological particulars that are at issue here. I don't think that in any event an ardent non-Reformed person or and ardent Reformed person needs to make a big issue about that. Most churches I know are not looking for that. They are looking for a pastor that majors on big issues and loves people.

If a pastor does that, he will have a good ministry. If he doesn't, he will not. He can be Reformed or non-Reformed and introduce his perspective on that. If the church goes one way or the other, that does not concern me.

If would concern me if the person lied, however.


I have not read what Mohler said about theological confessions and where they came from.

But aren't most Baptist confessions in the U.S. the progeny of The London Confession in some way? And the London Confession was the progeny of the Westminster Confession.

It is true that at some point we may be several iterations away from the London Confession so that is makes little sense to speak of Westminister as being the basis etc. I don't think of the BFM in that way, but even that has some DNA of Westminster.

Certainly the Baptist confessions of the 18th and 19th Centuries are close enough to have some connection.

peter lumpkins


Unfortunately, many Founders Calvinists have read them precisely as I did, and the results were tragic.

As for the confessions, Louis, I'm afraid there is much, much more to our history than tracing our Baptist DNA back to London and exclusively through Particular Baptist confessions as if they were the only kids on the block. If we're going to trace origins, then Particulars lose hands down for the first Baptists were decidedly General Baptists and were on the scene an entire generation before the Particulars showed up in the 1640s.

Nor is it proper to say the least to trace our origins to the Presbyterians at Westminster as did Mohler. This remains almost humorous if it were not so darn tragic.

Finally, albeit Mohler & Nettles to the contrary, Southern Baptists first confession of faith was 1925, not 1859. And, the confession was neither built upon the AP, Charleston, Philadelphia, London, nor surely Westminster. Rather it was built upon a confession written right here on American soil by American Baptists who made a conscious shift away from High Calvinism in the NE. Of course, all the Founders Calvinists are aware of this but they continue to suggest theories to the contrary like "The BF&M teaches regeneration precedes faith" or "The BF&M teaches imputed guilt from Adam". This will never end, I'm afraid. Where is our old Training Union which taught us our Baptist history when you need it? :^)

Grace, Louis. I've enjoyed the chat. Perhaps we'll meet up sometime.

With that, I am...


" ... committed to Calvinizing the Southern Baptist Convention ... through our educational institutions."

If anyone doubts that strategy, they should take a journey back to the 1970s-80s and consider the "Boyce Project." That ambitious effort was to republish "Abstract of Systematic Theology" by James P. Boyce, and put it in the hands of every student graduating from the six Southern Baptist seminaries at that time. Led by Ernest Reisinger, the "Project" republished and distributed over 12,000 copies of Boyce's book to SBC seminarians ... planting the seeds of the "C" Resurgence.

Is this all about influencing young minds at our seminaries? You bet!

You can read all about the Boyce Project in Reisinger's book "A Quiet Revolution" at http://www.founders.org/library/quiet/quiet3.html


Max, what's amazing is that in Ascol's recent writings you see him try to push the view that the surge in Calvinism is just some sort of natural organic thing. If that were really true the TS would pose no threat to him at all. And you better believe the TS is a threat to the Founders Movement. As to the rise of Calvinism being organic, it's as organic as the rise in liberalism in this country. The Calvinists and the secular liberals are using plays out of the same play book - first indoctrinate the young, then build your base off of them to take over the institutions. And some young fools think it's great that there's a generation gap with Calvinists being the YRR. GEE, you think it's an accident that the Calvinists are mostly young. When the young fools point out the generation gap what they don't realize they're saying is they think the older generation was just too dumb and biblically illiterate to understand the glories of DOG like them. There is a reason why Calvinism is on the surge and it's because it's been taught thanks to the Founder's Movement. You better believe Founders does not want the Traditionalist side to be taught.


Mary, it has been sad to watch the "old" Calvinists use the "new" Calvinists in this way. I am burdened over the generational shift I see occurring in SBC ranks. Founders-type folks are capitalizing on the new-found energy of the YRR movement. Under normal circumstances, the YRR would have nothing to do with the old guys and vice versa ... but they need each other at this point. This is not a "natural organic thing" in the works - it's increasingly clear that the "C" Resurgence has been carefully crafted and masterfully directed. How any thinking SBC "traditionalist" can't see that, is beyond me ... and why it has been allowed to fester and remain untreated by our leadership is disturbing, indeed. As this conversation expands, I sure hope the rank and file get properly educated in this regard. Once you see it, you can't un-see it.


My name is Casey and I am a Calvinist [this feels similar to the opening greetings at an AA meeting].

I grew up in a family that taught me the gospel. During my years in university I came to the conviction that the doctrines of grace were proper soteriology. And for a few years I was quite belligerant about it. I sniffed every song, sermon, and article like a drug dog searching for narcotics. It wasn't a very joyful period of my life, not because of the doctrine but because of my immaturity.

I knew I wanted to see the gospel advance to the Nations via church planting, so I enrolled in Southern Seminary.

Through the instruction I received at SBTS I now have a greater respect for those with whom I disagree [in terms of soteriology]. My convictions have not softened, in fact, I feel more certain about the doctrines of grace than I ever have. However, through the faithful instruction and proclaimation at SBTS I can now say that I'm a "recovering belligerant."

I'm down with those who want to bang the "Preach Christ, not Calvinism" drum. Calvinism can be taught and preached in a way that totally misses Christ. So can Traditionalist SBC dogma.

In my experience, most of the discussion on the blogs and forums in regards to the hoopla among SBC-ers right now has little to do with what is actually happening [especially as it regards SBTS and SEBTS].

I also resonate with Adam's comment/testimony above.

And for the record, Dr. Bill Cook is still quite the gentleman and scholar! Not to mention a seasoned and respected pastor in the community.

peter lumpkins

Hi Casey,

Thanks for logging on. I appreciate your perspective as I did the other SBTS students. The analysis I have focused on here has been inferred from the words your professors and president have stated. What they say in classroom lectures, etc. I have no way of knowing. But the public statements they've made, the reading public will judge.

Grace to you.

With that, I am...



Your comment was hilarious! Thanks for the grins because I have encountered the "university" you a hundred times in and out of church over the past 10 years or so.

I wish all YRR were like you.


@Peter - Thanks for the response. Maybe I read it wrong, but it seems as if you are implying the president and professors at these institutions are being duplicitous. I am not trying to prop up anyone or any institution; we are all responsible for what we say and write. However, I would like to know what words [specifically] you are referring to when you say: "The analysis I have focused on here has been inferred from the words your professors and president have stated."

I don't mean to beat a dead horse [pardon the metaphor, but it works in Kentucky!], but I would appreciate a few links so that I can become better acquainted with the words that are causing the rub in so many circles.


@Lydia - I'm glad you enjoyed a good chuckle at the "university me." Hopefully it didn't bring up too many frightful memories of YRR-types of ages past, of which there are apparently hundreds. To be honest, I've never referred to myself as YRR or even been labelled the term until now! I'm not entirely sure that I the Young & Restless part, but if the shoe fits then I'll gladly add it to my growing list of SBC-isms to remember: IMB, NAMB, CP, GCR, WMU, BF&M, AP, BP, LCR, ERLC, and B21, not to mention all the seminaries, colleges, and state conventions.

Oops, I forgot to mention TULIP.



Casey, I wish they were "ages" past. Most of them have come out of SBTS.

BTW: Peter provides plenty of links on this site to the questions you ask just takes time to do some reading. Do you think we (royal we) are Apostate as Nettles claims?

I had to laugh at your comment about sniffing out doctrinally unsound sermons. I once heard a YRR lecture over Wed night dinner at church how "Jesus is Tenderly Calling You Home" is not doctrinally sound. (It seems Ms. Crosby's doctrinal crime was to be a Methodist)


@Lydia - SBTS is a big ship, so there are bound to be some loose nuts and bolts here and there. A proper question might be: Would you rather meet a 1980 SBTS grad in the pulpit or a 2012 grad?

Also, Wednesday night dinners can be dangerous places for YRR-types and those in their line-of-sight. Spike a Calvinist with enough coffee and free spaghetti and there's no telling what could happen. Throw in a Fanny Crosby hymn and its like chummin' the water for Jaws. But hey, at least you had somebody show up to your church on a Wednesday night!

No Calvinist I know would deride all Methodist hymn-writers. In fact, most Calvinists I know would say the best hymn writer to ever live went by the name of Charles Wesley! Though I wonder what his brother thought about some of his Calvinistic tendencies...Do you think they ever had a squabble over spaghetti? If they did, I would have paid to see it.


Casey, One of the most amusing things about Calvinists is their ability to make any historical figure "Calvinistic".

Ummm, I am thinking about the 1980 question as I grew up around SBTS. Let's just say they (as in grads and even faculty) tended to be much nicer and not as elitist as I remember from lots of interactions. So not sure the CR accomplished what it wanted in the first place. Arrogance, revised history and psuedo intellectualism combined with a Determinist God is just as much as a barrier as liberal doctrine can be. Sorry, just my opinion.


@Lydia - I wasn't trying to kidnap poor Wesley into the Calvinist camp. Though it wouldn't have been a long trip if I had, since he and his brother claimed to be only a hairsbreadth away from Calvinism as it was. O horrible decree! I think the nature of this disagreement lends itself to some sensualizing of the differences. The fact that we can all sing the same songs in full-fledged agreement should cause us to pause and consider what it is we are arguing about.

Did you personally know many grads and facutly in the 1980s? Do you know any current grads or faculty members on a personal basis?

Calvinists don't have a corner on arrogance. Have you ever met a New England Patriots fan?

As for revised history, have you read John Calvin? I'm sure that we can both agree that he's been revised beyond imagination.

I'm not sure what pseudo intellectualism is, but it sounds expensive and something for which I would need a prescription.

If a Calvinist determinist ever says to you that God is the big cog in a universe full of little teeny cogs, and that you should just learn to deal with it, then you just need to inform him that he is about as Calvinistic as John Wesley's hatband. Then you could proceed along these lines: "A mechanical Muslim determinism is not Calvinism. Fatalism is not Calvinism. By the way, have you read Calvin's Institutes? If you've got the time to let me show you in chapter 1 where..."

I'm opining as well.


I can't find my old hymnal - wasn't Pass Me not O Gentle Savior Fanny Crosby? We had a music minister once who would have all the music in the service be Fanny Crosby. I miss the old hymns with the organ. The electric organ/pianos just don't do justice. I remember being young and watching the fabric coverings move where the pipes were and wondering if those coverings would fall.


Casey, that's a funny question. Do we want a liberal from pre CR or a Calvinist? How bout we want the Traditionalist like what we grew up with.

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