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2013.04.14

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hariette

one of the reasons I am convinced that miracles have not ceased is when I read your blog or anything you write and remember 1979. full circle. life is full of vipers and you have been called to preach to the masses, my brother. the venue may have changed, but the message has not...no more than the Savior who commissioned you. :)

peter lumpkins

Thanks H. So fond memories in Louisville during those years...

Mary

Peter, the Calvinists are just getting more and more mean. Have you noticed now how certain voices are declaring that if you're not a Calvinist you must be an isolationist/Landmarkist? A list of ten signs that you are an isoltionist/Landmarkist and what do all ten of those signs have in common? And where are those who boldly proclaim they call out such hateful rhetoric and attacks? Crickets as usual.

Lydia

Mary, We would be better off if the SBC had not gotten so deep with Driscoll or Mahaney. My guess is that they think that is isolationism. I say it would have been wise...discerning if you will.

This whole YRR movement is marked by a need to control people. That is a form of isolationism. The irony is that they need the methods/polity of the shepherding cults and Presbyterians to make this happen in the SBC so that pastors/elders have full control over the pew sitters in the local church EVEN when they say they are congregational polity. Clever.

Welcome to the 9 Marks.

Ever notice love is not in the 9? And of course those 9 Marks are their definition of what is "Biblical" using the Augustinian/Calvin filter.

Eric Lockhart

Debate can be a form of proclamation, evangelism and discipleship, though. Agreed? Let's take an apologist, we'll say James White for example, when he debates non-Christians, the Gospel is present as he demonstrates the fallacy of their arguments against the Bible and Christians. Or when debating other Christians, say NT Wright, even though that was a short debate, for all who listened and where Christians, both men gave some good insight and caused you to think and go back and look at Scripture to learn more about God and what you believe (discipleship). I agree that we have a propensity to argue about everything, but I don't think "debate" is in opposition to "preaching"/"teaching", but is another form of preaching and teaching.

peter lumpkins

Eric,

"Debate can be a form of proclamation, evangelism and discipleship, though. Agreed?" Whether particular mediums might be used under certain conditions as "forms" of proclamation, etc is not the question my post raises. I made this clear in the next to last paragraph of this short piece. Even so, there's not a single text in the NT with which I'm familiar which indicates either "debate" as being a particular form of proclamation, evangelism and/or discipleship or indicates the results you claim come from "debate" encounters--nurturing discipleship.

In short, there's just no emphasis at all in the NT on what you and others are referencing today as "debate," and there's certainly no focus on one believer calling another believer out insisting he or she "formally debate me." I'll be glad to be corrected at that point...

Max

Un"apologetically", I say debating is NOT preaching the Gospel! Lord knows that if a lost person were to tune into the SBC blogosphere, he would have a hard time sorting out the Gospel message from the jungle of argumentative words. I know that's not what blogs are for ... just saying.

I've always favored Mark's version of the Great Commission:

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

We sure need to be dealing with demons, snakes, and poison these days ... in the church! But, I suppose, Mark's contribution to the GC would be open for debate in SBC ranks, except for the Bapti-costals in our midst. So we will just fuss, argue and "apologize" until the cows come home.

peter lumpkins

Max,

Interestingly, apologetics seems to go against the theological grain of Calvinistic soteriology. I mean, think about it: what possible argument could a Calvinist employ to make any type of theological-spiritual sense to a person not born again? Unless a person is born again, they're incapable of seeing the truth. But most of those in the present frenzy are strict Calvinists.

Paul Owen

I would also add that there are different types of debating. Contrast our modern "Calvinist" debaters with someone like William Lane Craig. Most of Craig's debating (if you want to call it that) takes place in peer-reviewed, intellectually rigorous forums; academic journals and scholarly conferences that shape the discussion of those topics that have a direct bearing on the Christian faith. Publishing in scholarly venues is not for the money (since there is no financial reward), nor is it for the attention of an adoring public of uninformed fans (most of whom never read such journals). But it is Craig's hard work in such thankless arenas that gives him a real place at the table, so that when he does engage in open debates at university campuses and so forth, he does so as someone who has earned the right to be considered an "expert witness" in the trial of popular judgment. I have found that most of our "Calvinist" apologists today are more interested in the crowds and the acclaim, and less interested in the hard work that goes into earning the qualifications as an expert witness in questions pertaining to history, philosophy and theology.

Max

Peter writes "... what possible argument could a Calvinist employ to make any type of theological-spiritual sense to a person not born again?"

Peter, the Gospel really is simple enough for a child to understand - I did shortly before I was "elected" into the Kingdom. No apology needed. Concealing the Truth in a complex theological maze is the greatest disservice of all to a lost world. We will all run out of arguments when we face Jesus.

eric

If you think apologetics and evangelism and calling folks to repentance etc. Goes against the grain of “Calvinism” you totally misunderstand “Calvinism” with respect to those items above. With all your discussions on “Calvinism” I would guess that you do understand, so I’m at a loss for your statement.
I added the other items other than Apologetics. Would you say that evangelism and calling the lost to repentance and faith goes against the grain of Calvinism?

peter lumpkins

Eric,

There's a sub-debate within Calvinism which deals with "preparationism." I suggest you check out that subject...

peter lumpkins

Dr. Owen,

Thank you. I think you are absolutely correct. And, to apply what you've mentioned particularly here, I think I am correct in stating this (but I'm sure it'll get quickly pointed out and publicized if I'm not), James White has neither a single published article in a peer-reviewed, scholarly journal nor has he more than a few formal debates, if any at all, on a university campus, debates sponsored by scholarly associations and/or communities as you described. If he does, I'd like to know which ones, out of the dozens of debates he lists, are debates sponsored by scholarly communities.

Lord bless...

eric

WILL DO

Tommy

I want to point out something. Of the past 10 posts you have, 7 of them are about critiquing other people(and all of a Reformed persuasion, no less). I wonder if you employ the same keen eye for how much you use your time and energy to dismantle others' positions.

I'll heartily agree that James White can be very ungracious, which I know you are happy to apply to most Calvinists, but I don't see much better coming from this site.

And this paragraph, "Unfortunately, there are some today who apparently place so much emphasis on "debating" the gospel or "debating" Christian truth, that it comes across--and surely comes across unintentionally we might add--that debating the truth has trumped declaring the truth...proving points takes precedence over preaching Jesus...devastating one's opponent seems more important than discipling the nations...competing in a duel ranks higher than communicating in a dialog..." shows just how uncharitable you can be. At least say "James White" instead of "there are some". You fool no one, and added with the accusations of obsession and stalking in this post, in comes off as very childish.

Paul Owen

Peter,

You are correct. White likes to point to his numerous debates and publications as evidence of his expertise and scholarship. Yet White has no scholarly articles in any blind, peer-reviewed journals to list on his CV, nor does he present his research in venues sponsored by professional academic organizations and guilds. His events tend to be sponsored by local churches, his own para-church organization, and various radio personalities. He has never to this day bothered to earn an accredited doctorate, nor has he published a single scholarly monograph on any subject whatsoever. The contrast with William Lane Craig could not be more striking. What this means is when he addresses questions related to Reformed theology, Koine Greek, Bible translations, textual criticism, the reliability of the New Testament, the historical Jesus, the Resurrection, the Patristic Fathers, Roman Catholic dogma, Mormonism, Islam and other religions, etc., he does so without any serious scholarly credentials in any of these fields.

peter lumpkins

Hi Tommy,

First, if you knew anything at all about this site, you would know it exists as a major resource on the Calvinization of the Southern Baptist Convention. Hence, one should not be surprised if the majority of the posts I put are deal with this subject.

Second, nor should it be alarming if more posts go up on one particular idea than another particular idea. What should concern the interested reader is, what are the sources employed to make the author's point; and whether the author makes correct inferences from the sources he employs. Thus, clumping them altogether hardly tells us anything about whether or not the author's points are well-taken.

Third, that I do take time "dismantling" another position means exactly what? I'm not here to "debate" issues. For example, I didn't ask you to log on and state objections (don't take that personally, Tommy; it wasn't meant to be personal). But you did so. I use this blog to offer my opinions, views, and fruits of my own study. That's all. I'd still write if no one ever commented. But, of course, a "debater" cannot debate unless he or she has a debating partner.

Fourth, I think your chastising me for not mentioning James White in the paragraph is both humorous and fantastic. I get blasted when I do mention White. And, I get accused by guys like you of being uncharitable when I don't mention James White. Nor was I attempting to "fool" anyone. Sweet heavens, man.

Finally, well, no stalking and obsession is a real life phenomenon. Some people get so obsessed with another person they begin to act really, really weird. Thus, that you see that as "childish" means little to me, Tommy. What can I say? And, for the record, it is not my practice to mess around with White. I have to continually keep pointing this out to you guys: James White started this. He started this. H-E S-T-A-R-T-E-D T-H-I-S.

With that in mind, I've got a couple more I'll probably put up on White's criticism of the J316 platform and my little booklet. And, I'll just have to say, Tommy, if my pieces are too "childish" for you, please, for your own edification, just don't read them.

Thanks...

Tommy

Hey Peter,

Let me back up a sec and let you know, I try to fight against the temptation(and it is a strong pull) to jump into debates, leave grace behind, and make my points. You and I share a fantastic Savior, and we can join together in prayer. By the way, there were bombs that went off at the Boston Marathon right now, and at least a few are dead. Check your news to look into it and pray.

I will point out, though, that, just as you see your site as focusing on a particular subject, James White's is an apologetic site. So you shouldn't find complaint with that being his focus. Apples to Apples here.

Also, I couldn't care less who started it. Neither should be uncharitable. If he started it, then he did. We're responsible for our actions AND reactions. And me pointing out that you dismantle points serves only to compare to what James White does in his writings and debates. SO if it's unacceptable for him to focus on that, it should be for you to as well.

And please, feel free to post what you want. But this post here suggests that James Wite should curb that topics that he posts about.

Tommy

Please excuse a couple of typos in there. :)

Mark

Eric,

I'm focused on Abuse and the need for Calvinist to come up with Doctrinal Clarification.

How can you expect Christian Churches who don't embrace TULIP, to see it your way when the Calvinist themselves are unable to come up with consensus to what they believe.

As a matter of fact many Calvinist who embrace some or all Points of TULIP aren't even disclosing that, to their Christian Churches.

When we challenge this known fact, some of us have to endure verbal retaliation.

O12

Look Dr. Lumpkins, the calvinistic sycophants behave EXACTLY the way athiestic sycophants act to defend the likes of Dawkins, Hitchens and co. When you oppose,automatically, The infallible Dawkins(or "Dr".white) can do no wrong and you are dishonest,rude and even the small action of saying "hi, I'm Peter Lumpkins" will be meet with severe criticism. It's rather pathetic this hive mind mentality.

Andrew Barker

"By the way" Tommy ........ "by the way" ?! I'm lost for words.

eric

Mark,
You wrote:
How can you expect Christian Churches who don't embrace TULIP, to see it your way when the Calvinist themselves are unable to come up with consensus to what they believe.

That is a totally foreign statement to me, based on my 30 years of experience. I have a non reformed Baptist beginning with the last 20 years being in reformed Baptist circles. With all the contacts I’ve had with other reformed Baptist churches, they all share a common faith and doctrine.

Of course we can and do differ in nonessential areas, and there are differences on some tough questions as well, such as infant salvation.

Are you telling me that you don’t think (in general) reformed Baptist churches share a common doctrinal statement? As you wrote, they can’t come up with a consensus to what they believe?

As one who was birthed in the traditional Baptist church, I know that consensus in the non reformed Baptist church on some issues can be hard to come by as well. As such, my point would be that this is hardly an issue of Calvinist not being able to come to consensus on some things.

Unless you are a member of a cult with total control, I would challenge you to find full consensus on all things in your camp, you will not find it.

peter lumpkins

You curiously write, “Let me back up a sec and let you know, I try to fight against the temptation…By the way, there were bombs that went off at the Boston Marathon right now, and at least a few are dead. Check your news to look into it and pray.

I will point out, though…”

Tommy, I don’t know what to say. That may be one of the weirdest, most insensitive logs on this site in a while. I’m supposed to “check it out and “pray” while you prattle on about me on this site?  What in the world are you thinking? Why didn’t you just stop you’re commenting and pray yourself?  Sweet heavens, man. You again go on to log how you judge me “uncharitable” while Boston suffers? I don’t think I’ll be taking you seriously when you make those type of ridiculous swaths in the future thank you very much.

Second, you state “…just as you see your site as focusing on a particular subject, James White's is an apologetic site…” My points have jack squat to do with comparing James White’s website with my website. “Apples to apples” my hind foot. Deal with what I deal with in the post, Tommy, or don’t deal at all.

Third, you say you “couldn't care less who started it.” Well, all things being equal, you might have a point. But like you’ve kinda been doing with my OP and comments, Tommy, you ignore what I actually write and post responses to what I didn’t. Listen up: the reason I keep reminding people White started it is because many of his supporters keep telling me I need to stop—I, that is, me, Peter—needs to stop logging posts about James White. Fairly simply.

Fourth, you write, “And please, feel free to post what you want. But this post here suggests that James White should curb that topics that he posts about.” Why thank you, Tommy. Thank you very much for allowing me to “feel free” to post about things I count necessary to address. I shall treasure that for the rest of my blogging days I assure. As for this post here suggesting “James White should curb that topics that he posts about” here’s my offer, Tommy: I’ll give you or anyone else a shiny new  nickel for every word in this post which you can show that either explicitly states or necessarily implies “James White should curb that topics that he posts about.” What a Georgia hoot.    

Mark

Eric,

When an SBC Stealth Hyper-Calvinist or "Reformed" is consumed with his Methodology more the Message of Jesus Christ, yes I consider that the type of Cultism is realistically happening and it isn't isolated.

You think I'm magnifying the strife that the Stealth Calvinist have created, which appears to be isolated in your eyes. I think you are marginalizing what Stealth Calvinist are doing in SBC Churches and Seminaries.

Believe it or not there are Stealth "Reformed Calvinist" in the SBC that are more focused on their Methodologies and theological differences of SBC Christians and Calvinism. These guys are retaliating against anybody who questions their Methodology and I witness them verbally bullying Christian women who don't believe in Calvinism.

Maybe you are not as focused on the differences of Christian and Calvinist Theology which is a good thing.

Tommy

Hey Peter, and Andrew, I won't say any more about the post itself. I fear you misunderstand my point, and if there's misunderstanding on my end, I apologise. I'm only going to respond to me bringing up the bombings. My point there was to let you know I gladly pray alongside you. My office had just gotten wind of the bombings, and I simply was putting it here in case anyone hadn't heard yet. So that we could be praying. Please don't put dictate what my motivations are. And I did, and still am praying for them. And still, despite your barbs and malice, gladly pray alongside you.

peter lumpkins

Hi Tommy,

I don't blame you for not saying "any more about the post itself." As I've pointed out several times, you're not dealing with the post itself anyway; rather you're sorta making up as you go along. You know, like making the comparison about my website and James White's website--"apples to apples" you insisted--yet hardly something with which I dealt in either my OP or my comments.

Second, you ask Andrew and I to not "dictate what my motivations are." I didn't. And certainly Andrew didn't (why you even brought him into the comment to me I don't know). Nor have I suggested we couldn't pray alongside you. Why you've mentioned that at all is strange. What furthermore remains strange regardless of your explanation, Tommy, is your insistence on calling us to pray for a horrible situation all the while you kept prattling on and on about me. You may have had good intentions granted. But that doesn't relieve any tension whatsoever in what you continued to write--or moreso that you continued to write--being both weird and strange.

Finally, you close with "despite your barbs and malice..." Now I don't mind you characterizing my comments as barbs. Many times they are. But why would you even bring Andrew into this? What is more, no call at all exists to characterize me with "malice." That's terribly unfair. So now I'm malicious along with being uncharitable.

Do you guys not know how to have a single exchange without making it into a personal issue? Can you not stay on ideas without getting personal and making the other fellow into a sinner in the way he or she is behaving?

Apparently not.

Now, Tommy, since you are the one who said you're not going to address the post anymore, I take it the exchange is over. As for me, I simply have no desire in exchanging with you about whether or not I'm malicious and uncharitable.

Have a good afternoon.

With that, I am...
Peter

Yahya Snow

Hello Peter and all

In football (soccer) we have a saying, playing the man and not the ball.

I think with debates things get heated; egos and pride can get the better of people at times resulting in a personal dual rather than a battle to simply getting your message over.

Debates can feed the ego. Folks involved in such have to guard against this.

Paul Owen

I would add that Calvinism (in its modern evangelical form) is inherently combat and convert-driven and divisive. The operating center for TULIP Christians is not the precious blood of Christ, but the precious doctrines of grace. It is TULIP that makes Christianity interesting to these people. The Bible plainly teaches that Christ died for all people, that his grace is sufficient for and made available to all people, and God truly desires the salvation of all people. By denying these plain teachings of Scripture, and then claiming to prove their positions through supposed "exegesis" of the various biblical texts which get in their way, the angry men who fill the ranks of the Calvinist army are able to feel clever and intellectually superior to their less enlightened brethren. This, plus the fact that they think a narrowly defined TULIP is the only pure expression of the "gospel," makes it impossible for today's Calvinists to coexist with others in fruitful Christian fellowship.

Les Prouty

Paul,

Broad brushing quite a bit there tonight. "Calvinism (in its modern evangelical form) is inherently combat and convert-driven and divisive." Can you substantiate that "inherently" part?

"It is TULIP that makes Christianity interesting to these people." "these people? I'm of the Reformed faith. How do you know what makes Christianity interesting to me?

"...angry men who fill the ranks of the Calvinist army..." Again, broad enough brush?

"...clever and intellectually superior to their less enlightened brethren." Broader still?

Brother, I tend to think that if you wrote in such a way here speaking against non-Calvinists you'd get dissected faster than a Presbyterian can say "Cheers!"

Mark

Les,

Could you please define "Non-Calvinist".

I don't think "Non-Calvinist" is a specific Doctrine.

Is it a nationality?

The best way I can define whom the Non-Calvinist or the Non-Reformed are, would be the Christians and people who reject Christianity.

Andy F

Well Peter let me first of all say that much of this is agreeable.I think some Christians(Ive been guilty of it myself)of debating with the wrong motives.I also think that is quite natural that a greater emphasis is put on the neccessity of apologetics(& it is impossible to do apologetics without some level of debate )in the post-Christian west that we currently live as opposed to 50 years ago.However,I see no reason to put evangelism over apologetics in chain of biblical commands.Both are undeniably affirmed in scripture & both must be practiced if the church is to follow the biblical example & thus honor Christ.Jude 1:3,1 Peter 3:15,the multitude of passages in the book of Acts, are just as inspired as the Great commission that I affirm with as much zeal as you do.Imagine also if we didn't have those great and Godly men down through the ages to stand firm in their convictions and defend it.What if Athanisius said "we'll this trinity thing isn't that important" & what if Luther said "faith alone,not worth causing a fuss".Granted,the issue of Calvinism is not the issue that those were,& I do know many good & Godly non -Calvinists,but it is an issue of importance & has implications on how we view God,the Gospel,the church,the Christian life & the world around us just to name a few.

God-bless,Andy F

peter lumpkins

Andy

Thanks for affirming what we can agree upon. Even so, not a single biblical reference did you cite which affirms, suggests, and/or implies "debate" in the way you, James White and others employ it, Andy; i.e., the way I used "debate" in the OP, and the way you and White anachronistically use "debate." "Debate me! Debate me!" on the lips of the Apostle Paul or Apostle Peter in the book of Acts seems quite absurd.

With that in mind, please don't suggest the premier significance of "debate" (as you anachronistically use it) while at the same time presuming the sufficiency of Scripture.

peter lumpkins

Les,

I'm not sure Dr. Owen cannot defend his "broad-brushes" as you call them. I think one particular line is magnificent:

"The operating center for TULIP Christians is not the precious blood of Christ, but the precious doctrines of grace. It is TULIP that makes Christianity interesting to these people."

Hardly a "broad-brush," Dr. Owen, a Reformed scholar himself, has captured the quintessential motif I've observed displayed amongst innumerable Calvinists with whom I've conversed on this blog in the last several years. So, if it is a "broad-brush," it is one which describes many, many Calvinists in the SBC/YRR Calvinist community...

Les Prouty

Mark,

I was using "non-Calvinist" in the sense of someone like Peter and other Christians who comment here for example.

Peter,

I suppose it depends how one defines "broad brush." Lydia is right again. Definitions. I'm sure you have observed such as you've conversed here. I, on the other hand, have observed in my 20+ years amongst "TULIP Christians" men and women who love Jesus, demonstrate love for others and have displayed much grace in their interactions with others, even those with whom they disagree. And they are people who have as their operating center " the precious blood of Christ."

So, it comes back, I guess, to our anecdotal experiences which defines "broad brush." It's each of our opinions and as I suggested above to Paul, not "inherent" in Calvinism.

peter lumpkins

Well, no it is not just "each to his own" opinion, so to speak, Les. What Dr. Owen says, if true, carries profound consequences. When the "doctrines of grace" serve as more or less the criterion by which to judge orthodoxy, it's not each to his own. Many of us are judged heretics by your community for daring to sway from the "doctrines of grace." So how that teases out as each to his own, so to speak, is hard to accept.

Paul Owen

Les,

You seem like a nice enough guy. But if you cannot grasp the truth in what I'm saying, then I am not going to try and persuade you. Having eyes, you see not, having ears, you hear not....

If you have found the Calvinist army to be a setting in which love, patience, kindness and the fruit of the Spirit of God are abundant, then count yourself fortunate my friend. Many others (even moderate Calvinists like myself) have found it to be otherwise.

In Christ Our Lord,
Paul

peter lumpkins

Dr. Owen,

Thanks. There are many Reformed believers and scholars like yourself who display the same worrisome reservations toward neo-Calvinists. You are correct: Les is a "nice enough guy." And he comes here cool and calm, commenting often about the "doctrines of grace" as if nothing alarming is taking place. However, the so-called "doctrines of grace" propounded by the neo-Calvinistic armies, armies you rightly describe in many ways, is chewing our convention to pieces while Les is cool and calm and collected...an all around "nice guy."

The truth is I have little qualms with Calvinists per se.. Over the last 2 months, I've had 3 (three) Calvinists speak in my church at my invitation. Two of them hold to the traditional Limited Atonement (i.e. '5-pt. Calvinism) and one would be considered a "moderate" Calvinist like yourself (not holding to Limited Atonement). Les knows the sheer aggressiveness of these new types you describe but chooses to defend them all the while they wreak havoc upon Southern Baptists.

Les Prouty

Peter,

To the extent that you and others are judged heretics is extremely unfortunate and absolutely wrong. Any Cs judging so should take up another venture and should relinquish the C name. But still, you and Paul are stating opinions, nothing wrong with that, based on your experience. I am as well.

Paul,

Thanks. Sometimes, rarely albeit, I get referred to as a nice guy. Would that more people could see this! :)

Seriously though, no need to try to persuade me of your opinions. They're yours and I have mine along with my experiences. For instance, I don't remember being thought of as one who can be characterized as part of a group (army?) known as"...angry men who fill the ranks of the Calvinist army." But then again, you and I have never met.

I have had a great and gracious experience (not perfect) in my 20 plus years living and serving among the Reformed community. Wish you could meet some of these men and women, some of the sweetest people on God's earth.

We can leave it at that. God bless.

Les

Les Prouty

Peter,

"Les knows the sheer aggressiveness of these new types you describe but chooses to defend them all the while they wreak havoc upon Southern Baptists."

Sorry if I misled. I do in fact know these types exist. I don't know how many, but I know they are there in the SBC. And I wish they would be gripped by God's grace (and I'm not referring to the "doctrines of grace) and display true love and compassion for and with those with whom they disagree. So I am not defending those types at all. I was just making an observation to what looked like some broad brush painting.

peter lumpkins

Les,

Please, it may be opinion but it's not just opinion, Les. It's absolutely reflective of what's taking place in our convention. And, I have facts to back this up. You come here from two contexts which make it extremely difficult for you to accept this. First, your own theological fellowship is non-contentiously Calvinistic. We have no such theological fellowship in the SBC. Second, you serve in a capacity where you are required to be at peace with almost every theological persuasion (i.e. evangelical theological persuasion perhaps but nonetheless bearing a loose ecumenicism). But when you step into SBC life, it disappears, Les--right or wrong it disappears. So please don't suggest to me it's all just opinion.

Paul Owen

Peter,

The big difference I see between Baptists of the Calvinist type and those who are non-Calvinists, is that the non-Calvinists respect the fact that intelligent, biblically literate, exegetically responsible people can be found on both sides of this debate. So people like you can be friendly to the other side. But for typical Calvinists today (especially in Baptist circles it seems), Calvinism is the inevitable result of honest, objective "exegesis" of the Bible. Failure to be a "Calvinist" is a failure to set aside human traditions (supposedly). That dynamic makes it very difficult to get along.

peter lumpkins

"Sorry if I misled. I do in fact know these types exist. I don't know how many, but I know they are there in the SBC...So I am not defending those types at all."

Give me a break, Les. Would you like me to copy and paste the perpetual barbs and frequent flaming arrows toward non-Calvinists and non-Calvinism you log elsewhere on SBC blogs, blogs which are hardly as, shall we say, adversarial to neo-Calvinism as my site? It wouldn't take long to gather up enough colorful comments you've logged at SBC Voices, The Daily Bleat, and SBC Today to crash the server for the comment thread I assure!

So for Pete's sake (no pun intended), don't insist, Les, you don't defend these types because I'll just quote your own words on this site you've logged elsewhere.

Les Prouty

Peter,

I'll drop this discussion on my part. This, though, I didm't understand: "you serve in a capacity where you are required to be at peace with almost every theological persuasion (i.e. evangelical theological persuasion perhaps but nonetheless bearing a loose ecumenicism)"

Not sure what you mean by this. I'm a ruling elder in the PCA (and past teaching elder in same). We have a confession of faith. Subscription to the WCF is required to be an officer. I'm just not sure what you mean by the statement.

But, as to the rest of the discussion, done.

Les

peter lumpkins

I was referencing your vocational ministry. So far as I understand your ministry is non-denominationally funded. If I am incorrect, my deepest apologies, Les.

As for the rest of the discussion, I'm glad you are backing out (I really don't have time to gather the comments but I would make some time if necessary) and think it wise. Some of the comments you've made elsewhere are not pretty...

Have a good day, brother.

Les Prouty

Oh, my Haiti ministry. I see, No worries. Yes, we work with many different groups...Baptists, Presbys, Methodists, companies, and even some unbelievers have been on my trips.

As to other comments elsewhere, I'm sure I have. Trying to live and show grace more and more.

You as well brother.

peter lumpkins

Dr. Owen,

You said it well: "The big difference I see between Baptists of the Calvinist type and those who are non-Calvinists, is that the non-Calvinists respect the fact that intelligent, biblically literate, exegetically responsible people can be found on both sides of this debate."

I personally believe we have some of the best Calvinistic Baptist scholars on the planet at Southern. To question their scholarship only a fool would do. On the other hand, we've top notch theologians and scholars who're not Calvinistically inclined. M. Yarnell (theologian) and D. Allen (NT exegesis) come quickly to mind. I respect them all. But the neo-Calvinists will quickly tout only Southern's scholarship while in many respects either ignoring or at worst ridiculing the scholarship of Yarnell and Allen. What you say is precisely what is presently taking place in the SBC.

Lydia

"Give me a break, Les. Would you like me to copy and paste the perpetual barbs and frequent flaming arrows toward non-Calvinists and non-Calvinism you log elsewhere on SBC blogs, blogs which are hardly as, shall we say, adversarial to neo-Calvinism as my site? It wouldn't take long to gather up enough colorful comments you've logged at SBC Voices, The Daily Bleat, and SBC Today to crash the server for the comment thread I assure! "

Les, this is what I have tried to articulate to you in the past but came up short. It is like there are two blog Les' out there so the trust level is low for a real convo. I think the whole trust thing is a big problem for the YRR movement in general.

I can appreciate you are trying to show more grace but why not tell people who you have had vitriolic interactions with in the past...that very thing?

But I am also learning not to play the proof text game because it is a big black hole with our different filters for interpretation. The issue is problem behavior on a mass scale coming out of a movement. To deny it is a problem is a lot like how SGM handled child molesters: You are a sinner too so lets move on. Or, Mars Hill in teaching that people are sinning by bringing it up. I use those two examples because they are indicative of the thinking in the movement on issues people can understand. The sinning by bringing it up.... That is a big favorite on many Reformed type blogs. If we ignore it, it will go away? I think not. It is much too big and ingrained in the system for that now.

I have given you a push back hard time, I know. I can accept and love you as a believer I just don't want the SBC to become Presbyterian and have ruling elders so don't expect me to accept it as I have dealt with the whole "elder led" issue for years in the mega industrial complex and see the horrors involved. I am full free church. Period. I believe the Miss Mildred's out there are capable and deserve a vote on how their money is spent and other things the "Body" engages in together.

Les Prouty

Lydia,

""Give me a break, Les. Would you like me to copy and paste the perpetual barbs and frequent flaming arrows toward non-Calvinists and non-Calvinism you log elsewhere on SBC blogs, blogs which are hardly as, shall we say, adversarial to neo-Calvinism as my site? It wouldn't take long to gather up enough colorful comments you've logged at SBC Voices, The Daily Bleat, and SBC Today to crash the server for the comment thread I assure! "

Funny that when I commented earlier at 8:07am I didn't actually see this paragraph of Peter's comments. I wasn't reading carefully as I was trying to get out the door.

You and Peter be my guest. Paste away. I've surely made comments here and elsewhere that I shouldn't have made. No doubt. If you do go paste them here, I would hope you see a progression towards a more graceful interaction. Not perfection mind you. But hopefully a progression.

Funny that I've called attention to my tone in commenting and so I am (fairly) put under the microscope. I suppose it best to not claim to be trying to be more graceful in Christian conversation on blogs. Then, maybe I could skate by as some do here, who can we all agree are much less graceful than I try to be?

But y'all go find all my comments at Voices, Bleat, etc. and put them up. That's fair.

Mark

Les,

Thanks for the feedback.

I prefer "Non-Calvinist" language not be associated with Christianity because globally most Non-Calvinist don't consider themselves as being Christians.

Thanks for your understanding.

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