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Les Prouty

I agree Peter that the post got way off track with the very first comment and subsequent comments about that first one. And I do think her comment was very unhelpful in that regard and was out of place.

I've never listened to JW and really have no plans to. He has view and you and others have your views of what he said. Should make for a good discussion.

But, and this is not just on this thread, the comments can sometimes and fairly often descend into almost name calling, accusations, etc. Seems the very thing we should all decry, unkindness by JW if that is how one sees it, rears its ugly head in the comment section toward one another...and it happens on both sides of the C NC divide.

It's been said before, but in person I doubt we'd speak to one another the way we do in comment sections of blogs.




What is the difference between a 5 Point Calvinist, a New Calvinist or being completely "Reformed" believing all 5 Points of Grace?

Is it just the name change? To me it seems like they are all the same.

Les Prouty


I'm obviously not Eric. But if I may, I'm not yet sure what the difference is between a Calvinist and a New Calvinist. Maybe it refers to younger folks who have discovered Calvinism. I'm sure others here can make the distinction.

The Reformed is more broad and encompassing. It may include Baptists, Presbyterians and others. There is more to Reformed theology that soteriological considerations. More that the 5 points.

Warfield has a helpful summary of what it means to be Reformed. You may find it at this link. http://www.fivesolas.com/ref_faith.htm

I actually prefer to refer to myself as Reformed rather than a Calvinist. It says much more than just C when understood.


Wyman Richardson


I pop up every now and again here just to violate my own stated intention from a couple/few years ago not to post here again. :-) But if you'll allow it, let me just suggest that the first comment really does weaken your point, or at least opens you to the charge of inconsistency. I'm not taking the comment "Is James White ever going to die?" literally. It doesn't have to be literal to be inappropriate. If not inappropriate, then it's at least oddly ironic given the nature of your post about Calvinist abusive language.

When I first saw that comment come up I was sure you would delete it or call the commenter out specifically on the "when is he going to die" front. Apparently I'm not the only one who thought that.

I'll say it again: I'm no James White fan. I think he is frequently waaay over the top and I can take him in only very small doses. I've never read any of his books and have never heard him speak live. I'm not particularly interested in doing either (though I may get his new one on Islam because I'm trying to study that topic right now). On the other hand, some of his debates with Muslims have been a help to me, as well as some of his debates on a few other issues.

Also, I agree with you about the inappropriateness of the Calvinist comments you've pointed to ("theological raping" et al.). Those are big time out of line.

Regardless, I don't see how conceding the point about the inappropriateness and strange irony of "Is James White ever going to die?" weakens your point. It's just a strange comment to allow in a post about harmful language, literal or not, and an odd hill to defend when you're trying to make a bigger point.

My advice (not that you asked for it!)? Just admit that that particular comment is unhelpful and inappropriate and remove it. Of course, it's your site.

My .02.




Eric mentioned he was completely "Reformed" believing in all 5 Points of Grace but wanted to make sure he qualified that, suggesting he wasn't a Hyper-Calvinist.

It seems by going out of his way to making that distinction, could his theology can be confused with Hyper-Calvinism, which to me must mean those two Doctrine could be connected relatively close together?

Is it fair to suggest that being completely "Reformed" believing in all 5 Points of Grace, (which doesn't discriminate against different denominational affiliations) is part of the Calvinist School?

Les Prouty


I really don't know what he was trying to communicate. Except maybe since sometimes a few people will try to equate 5 point Calvinsm with hyper Calvinism. It is true that there are no HCs who are not also 5 point Cs. However it does not follow that all 5 pt. Cs are then necessarily HCs. HC is false teaching. 5 pt. Calvinism is well within orthodoxy no matter what a few NCs try to say or imply.

As to C and HC being closely connected, it's never far for any of us, Cs and NCs, to going off the theological rails. But that are no more the same than NCs can be called Arminian though some will argue that NCs hold to 4 of 5 points of what is traditionally known as Arminiasm.

I'm not sure what you mean about the Calvinism School. But a 5 pt. Calvinist is definitely a Calvinist. As is one who says he believes in the doctrines of grace.




Thank You for responding.

The Calvinist School as explained to me by a Calvinist, are ones that proclaim Some or All Points of TULIP.

To clarify what I'm asking: Is the 5 Points of Grace connected to TULIP?

If they are connected, then whether a person proclaims to be a 5 Point Calvinist, a New Calvinist, completely Reformed or a Reformed Calvinist they are still part of the Calvinist School thereby they are Calvinist.

peter lumpkins


"I've never listened to JW and really have no plans to. He has view and you and others have your views of what he said." Then, Les, what contribution do you have to offer in the thread staying on track? I posted White's words. And, if that's not adequate, I posted a link to his words marking approximately a 4 min spread to pick up the words I've transcribed. Even so, you say you don't have plans to listen to him. Based on that, Les, I'd like to know what you'd contribute about White's words, words you state you have no intention of assessing?


Les, I am delighted you have taken a new tact with blogging comments since the early SBC Today days. Good for you! Are you becoming more of a benevolent dictator elder than a ruling elder in the Presbyterian system? :o)

Eric and others...
One of our problems is that the YRR have been taught to make mountains of molehills and make molehills out of mountains. Straining at gnats. Perfect example is Mohler's coddling and protection of the child molester church SGM and it's "Strong leader", Mahaney who fled to Louisville to "plant a church near the seminary". And before that, ignoring for years and years Driscoll's vulgarity, teaching of sodomy and porno divinations. All because they are "Reformed". None of these things seem to bother the YRR, in fact, they tend to love the authoritarianism of these guys......but stupid comments on a blog will set them off demanding what, I do not know. This behavior is narcissistic. How dare a great leader be impugned but never mind those children and our great leaders protecting and promoting such shepherding cults as SGM and Mars Hill.

There is a horrible lack of basic common sense or thinking skills in this movement. I know you do not agree with that as a "ruling" elder and do not buy into free church tradition. But this whole movement is like trying to talk to liberals. Their ideology is more important than facts or very bad behaviors.

The same problems ensue. Conservatives don't go for the "control" factor while liberals do. They want to "help" you by micromanaging your life. Same with Reformed doctrine and this shepherding cult mentality. It is all about controlling people and I say, no thanks.

So, Eric and others, your insults roll off my back. I know what I am dealing with and more and more are waking up even if you cannot see it for yourself what you have sold yourself to. It is uncanny...I never thought I would see so many "Christian" bullies" and indoctrinated people literally manufactured in the SBC.

So Eric and others, clean up your movement first, ok? Oh, nevermind, you are not allowed to publicly disagree with your leaders. If you are in ministry, it is a career killer.

BTW: Just to put a warning out there...anyone reading this do NOT sign a church covenant before you talk to a lawyer. These covenants are lawyer approved and binding on you
so they have already used the legal system to protect themselves so don't fall for that one. If you have signed one, the only way to leave that church is to make it legal with a certified letter removing your membership and they cannot contact you anymore. (A friend of mine just went through this with "elders" showing up at her house to tell them they did not leave "properly")

Some of these Reformed churches are becoming like the Hotel California where you can never leave. (After love bombing, of course but don't dare disagree with the young leaders who know what is best for your life since you cannot have the Holy Spirit)


"Mary: Your imagination knows no bounds. This is why no discussion happens. Too much hurdling. I never insulted you in such a way. That is simply not true. Again, ridiculous.

This is hate and sinful pure and simple. Christ should be glorified in even this but he isn't. And I'm going to be blunt, it's not because of anything I have said to you. "

Debbie, I always find it amusing that you seem to think your declarative comments are an example of what you demand of others....all I can glean from your comments is that the standard you demand is only for others.


Peter, I think it would be edifying for all involved if you would just call into the Dividing Line and speak directly to Dr. White concerning his criticism of your booklet. This way, you could avoid a similar accusation of avoiding direct conversation that you've leveled toward Dr. Mohler. Surely you'll speak directly to Dr. White to have this much needed conversation, won't you?

Les Prouty


"Then, Les, what contribution do you have to offer in the thread staying on track?" and "Based on that, Les, I'd like to know what you'd contribute about White's words, words you state you have no intention of assessing?"


Read my words again. I said I had no intention to listen to JW. I did not say I had no intention of interacting with your quotes of him. My immediate reason for posting was concerning the nature of some of the comments.


Les Prouty


"Les, I am delighted you have taken a new tact with blogging comments since the early SBC Today days. Good for you! Are you becoming more of a benevolent dictator elder than a ruling elder in the Presbyterian system? :o)"

I do like the sound of benevolent dictator I must admit. But for now I'll stick with ruling elder. Power and such ya know. :)

peter lumpkins


Thanks. First, I do not see at all how it weakens my point. How does anybody else's inappropriate language dilute the straight-forward fact that JW was grossly abusive in identifying a Southern Baptist scholar with arguably the most public heretic in Christian history? Furthermore, I dealt with the comment as soon as I saw it, approximately 20 minutes or so after it was posted. Nonetheless, critics were dissatisfied with what I did (presumably you as well).

Comment threads are notoriously very difficult to manage. No one does it I know who is the role model to follow. I have policies against anons and they still get thru. I've got dozens of words in the filter to catch comments from going public and yet they still go public. As for taking the comment down entirely, the truth is I did--for about 2 min. Then, I republished it. Better to know exactly how she worded her comment than have myths floating around.

And, yes some took the comment as a literal 'death-wish'. By the way, I find your assertion unpersuasive about the comment not having to be literal to be inappropriate. Whatever does that mean, Wyman? I took it light-heartedly and responded light-heartedly with the "Bob" character because of "Bob's" undying omnipresence to his psychiatrist. To therefore insist her words inappropriate when they very well were only a figure of speech depicting White's ever-living influence never dying out is absurd. One must assume she meant physical death not metaphoric death for your point to have teeth. And, the way it stands, we have no way of knowing that. It's simply too ambiguous to insist either way. I know. I took it without assuming the dark images. Thus the edited version remains.

Now, the fact that I decisively dealt with the comment ought to assist in affirming that when obviously visible verbal abuse is present, I acted. Granted I did not act in the critic's eyes the way they insisted. Nonetheless, I acted:

1) I decisively disagreed with it and expressed my disagreement to the commenter;

2) I publicly affirmed my view the critic had a valid point (at least on the vulgar moniker);

3) I expunged the vulgar moniker;

4) I exhorted the commenter to reflect upon it and did so I feel in a loving but not harsh manner;

5) I encouraged the commenter to make public amends.

Now if that is not sufficient to satisfy you or others, then I am convinced there is no genuine satisfaction available.

To date, not a single Calvinist with whom I am aware has logged on to talk about White's scurrilous review of Adam Harwood, twice identifying him with Pelagius not to mention his other absurd conclusions he drew from what Harwood allegedly said. Why is that, Wyman? I don't think it's because the first comment was so atrocious, they forgot all about James White.

Nor has hardly anyone from the Reformed sector that I know of--including you--suggest I did the right thing by dealing with verbal abuse quickly and decisively (Les may be an exception to that). No. What's significant to them is how I horribly erred (or in your case, opened myself up for inconsistency). That's it. Nothing more substantial than that.

Finally, I'm fairly well done with this exchange on whether or not people will be pleased, etc. with the way I handled the issue. I've done what's done and I feel very confident I've been fair in what I've done with the opening comment.

Furthermore, while I certainly possess no aspirations to wallow in a self-righteous tub of warm water over this, the fact remains that at least I did do something about the verbal abuse I perceived. Contrarily, James White almost always gets a free pass from the Reformed community. They do virtually nothing or say nothing specific about his continued verbal theological slandering of those with whom he disagrees. For my part, Wyman, there is the real opening for inconsistency you mentioned.

Thanks for your contribution even if it is only ever so often...



In case you forgot about me.

The way a Calvinist explained to me, by being part of the "Calvinist School" was embracing some or all Points of "TULIP".

So I guess that would mean to me if one is Reformed, New Calvinist, Hyper-Calvinist any Point Calvinist or simply a Calvinist and you agree with some or all Points of TULIP you are in fact a Calvinist.

Les Prouty


Sorry. I did forget. Getting ready to go out for the evening with the little woman.

That explanation by your friend is debated. "So I guess that would mean to me if one is Reformed, New Calvinist, Hyper-Calvinist any Point Calvinist or simply a Calvinist and you agree with some or all Points of TULIP you are in fact a Calvinist."

So I would say that how you've framed it is not correct, though I'd still say its debated. In my view a person holding to one point cannot seriously be considered a Calvinist or Reformed. Of course a HC is a Calvinist even if he is also a distorted of Calvinism and is unorthodox.

If a couple of points is all it takes, then a lot of folks are Arminians, a label strenuously objected to by the Traditionalists for instance.


peter lumpkins

Hi Kaleb,

And what would I talk about with James White, Kaleb? The fact is, I invited White to come here and defend his words about Harwood. I suggest you go back into channel and reissue the invite.

As for my booklet on Calvinism, I'm planning to deal with his criticisms next week. If he wants to come here and challenge my responses, he has an open invitation...



Interesting debate between NT Wright and White. No accusations of heresy and I am having a hard time understanding why Wright is not being called a heretic according to Whites definitions in this debate. Perhaps White only does that on his radio show? But then calling Dr. Harwood a heretic is not going to keep him off radio and stages. But Wright is a different story.

Wright is a very irenic guy in every single venue I have seen him in no matter what the Piper's, etc have accused him of.


Les, Enjoy the title and power while you can cos when the kingdoms are joined, you won't have it anymore. :o)



I suggested earlier in a posting that if a woman is One Point Pregnant or 5 Point Pregnant, she is still Pregnant.

I have often wondered how it is possible for a 3 Point Calvinist to refute the other 2 Points of TULIP?

It seems to me TULIP is a step by step guidebook to being a Calvinist, each Point needs the backing of the other.

To a Calvinist picking and choosing which parts of TULIP to embrace would be comparable for me to pick and choose which parts of the Bible we choose to embrace.

TULIP is the step by step handbook Calvinist embrace that is authenticated by scriptures.

Lastly, Les do you agree with any or all the 5 Points of TULIP?

Eric Lockhart

Mark, what Les wrote about Calvinism and Reformed is what I believe. I am Reformed which encompasses more than soteriology, but I do affirm all 5 points of the Doctrine of Grace, and then I pointed out that I am not a hyper-Calvinist, not because I have confused the two, but because I have seen some, even on this site, confuse the two, so I was trying to head that off. Sorry, if that caused confusion.

Peter....well never mind, out of respect, I'll drop it.

Eric Lockhart

Peter, did Pelagius assert that there was no guilt from Adam's sin, and that while it tainted our will we could still choose good or evil?

Wyman Richardson


Just now seeing your response to my comment. Thanks.

James White's charges of heresy against Adam are, in my opinion, inappropriate.

Calvinist accusations of theological "rape" are, in my opinion, inappropriate.

The demonization of some non-Calvinists by some Calvinists is, in my opinion, inappropriate.

The demonization of some Calvinists by some non-Calvinists is, in my opinion, inappropriate.

The question "Is James White ever going to die?" (literal or not) as well as allowing that comment to stand in a post about inappropriate language is, in my opinion, inappropriate.

You did do the right thing in editing the one unfortunate word from the first comment. You did not do the right thing in allowing the other unfortunate phrase to stand.

I'll not comment again on this particular aspect of this conversation as you've said you have no interest in doing so, meaning I'll not comment on any comment that you might offer in response to this comment. :-) Though I may comment on other aspects of the conversation.

Your reference to my being in "the Reformed sector" did make me chuckle a bit for a few reasons (and it would cause my staunchly Calvinistic friends to do the same), but I did indeed (happily) publish a book on ecclesiology through Founders Press so I guess that does put me in that sector in a sense.




Are the 5 Points Doctrine of Grace similar or the same as "TULIP"?


.."did Pelagius assert that there was no guilt from Adam's sin, and that while it tainted our will we could still choose good or evil?"

Sigh. Eric, do you have any idea how often and how long this issue has been debated to death within the SBC? The morbid fascination with accusing folks of heresy among the YRR is right out of the Geneva Tradition. Every single nuance of this issue has been discussed down to the varying historical councils. It has become downright ridiculous and your movement is fast becoming known as the heresy hunters who have no basic ability to love others who have fine point disagreements on doctrine.

You have no idea how blessed I feel that Founding Deists gave us religious freedom from you guys and it is illegal to burn us because I think many of you would and think you were doing God's work just as Calvin thought. Otherwise you all would let this ridiculousness go. And if your leader, Mohler, is convinced that he is being paid by and fraternizing with semi or full heretics, then he should step down and be a real role model to you guys. He should refuse our money, the status we have given him and man up on this issue.

JD Hall

Peter, you've made much of Dr. Mohler turning down an opportunity to comment on Dr. Harwood's contentions amid agreement that we need a discussion. So for public record, I would love to offer you the opportunity for a formal, one on one debate with Dr. White on the claims of your booklet (I'll buy you a ticket). You wouldn't turn that down, would you?

Les Prouty

Lydia, 1 pt. pregnant? 5 pts pregnant? What does that even mean?

"I have often wondered how it is possible for a 3 Point Calvinist to refute the other 2 Points of TULIP?'

As have I.

"It seems to me TULIP is a step by step guidebook to being a Calvinist, each Point needs the backing of the other.

To a Calvinist picking and choosing which parts of TULIP to embrace would be comparable for me to pick and choose which parts of the Bible we choose to embrace."

I agree that picking and choosing doesn't work in the end on TULIP. But it's nowhere near like picking and choosing parts of the bible. TULIP is an interpretation by men (sort of like the Trad document is). Scripture is God breathed.

"TULIP is the step by step handbook Calvinist embrace that is authenticated by scriptures."

Backwards.TULIP arises out of and from the scriptures.

"Lastly, Les do you agree with any or all the 5 Points of TULIP?"

I'm surprised you have to ask. I couldn't have been a Teaching Elder or a Ruling Elder in the PCA without embracing, in addition to many other doctrines, what is commonly known as TULIP.

Of, and the other comment about the ruling and power thing? I think you don't really understand the PCA RE thing. Maybe your experiences have tainted your view of anyone in the church having actual authority. IDK. Just saying"


peter lumpkins


First, I offered James White an open invitation to log on here and defend his scurrilous, theologically slanderous portrayal of Adam Harwood's presentation. Frankly, I don't think he's capable of defending it. It's so ridiculous on its face not even a single one of his advocates have even attempted to argue his points.

Second, contrary to many in your community, I didn't ride in on a turnip truck. I may look like a Georgia redneck, and sound like a Georgia redneck, but I'm no Georgia redneck. James White has repeatedly referred to me personally as a liar, a deceiver, a psycho, a man who desires nor has any regard for the truth. He personified me as "Alexander the Coppersmith" and called on his community to shun me and have no dealings with me. Furthermore, White continually pillages and personally, character-assassinates one Southern Baptist after another besides what he's said personally about me. Not only so, for at least 40 minutes or so, White referred to me as an ignorant man who couldn't understand the Scriptures, couldn't understand Calvinism, and had no right at all to witness or defend the faith once for all given to the saints in the public square, and encouraged me never to try. He laughed, giggled, and snickered under his breath the entire time he talked about my booklet with his sidekick, Rich Pierce, giggling in the background.

Given all this, you and your buddies, by order of James White, log on here and invite me to "debate" him and you'll even buy the ticket. Well, la-dee-da, J.D. What's a man to say to such kind generosity? I'm afraid I won't be taking you up on that now or anytime in the near future. When James White grows up, actually is humbled a bit, learns to treat his brothers with more respect, it could be more tempting, but as it stands, the answer remains obvious. About the only thing we could now "formerly" debate about is whether or not I'm a liar, a deceiver, a dishonest person who has no regard for the truth. No thanks.

I'm confused a little by this. I always thought James considered himself a scholar. And since I'm so incredibly theologically stupid as he continues to insinuate, why on earth would he want to waste his time with me? That's really an enigma. Well, not really. I know precisely why.

Tell James Louis Ruggiero still wants to debate him. White has turned him down time, after time, after time. Fair enough? Maybe you can pay for Louis' ticket. Want me to give Louis a call?



Thank You for sharing.

I'm not sure what you mean about the ruling and power thing.

As for being 1 Point Pregnant equates to being Pregnant. To me a 1 Point Calvinist is still a Calvinist.

If one says they are 1 Point Calvinist admit they are a 1 Point Calvinist. If one is a Hyper-Calvinist identify them self as a Hyper Calvinist.

The questions I'm asking you is an attempt to understand why there are so many dialects within the Calvinist School.

If you embrace the 5 Points of TULIP and you say you are "Reformed" why not just identify yourself as a Reformed Calvinist?

Being Reformed and believing the 5 Points of Grace (by appearance) is just a cryptic way of avoiding admitting to being a Calvinist.

I make this point because our church went through split because a Stealth 5 Point Hyper-Calvinist attempted to indoctrinate our church without our knowledge.

peter lumpkins

BtW, J.D. Since you've logged on here, you mentioned you'd really like to try and do better in relations with Calvinists and non-Calvinists. At least that's the impression I got. Care to comment on White's theological vitriol toward Harwood? I realize you were excited about the generous offer you wanted to make and probably just forgot. But I think your input will be enlightening.

Les Prouty


The ruling and power thing was for Lydia. She knows.

As to 1 point making a Calvinist, as I said earlier that is debated. Though, it's not for me.

"If you embrace the 5 Points of TULIP and you say you are "Reformed" why not just identify yourself as a Reformed Calvinist?"

Well, if one is Reformed he is by definition also known as what is commonly called a Calvinist. I'm not ashamed of it. But as most non-Calvinists view things, my referring to myself as only a Calvinist doesn't say enough about what I believe. See my earlier reference to Warfield.

"Being Reformed and believing the 5 Points of Grace (by appearance) is just a cryptic way of avoiding admitting to being a Calvinist."

I don't know about cryptic. Cryptic means "having or seeming to have a hidden or ambiguous meaning." Maybe some do or have had hidden agendas. All of us should be open and up front about our theology. I'm certainly not ashamed to call myself Reformed or sometimes a Calvinist. I just don't think "Calvinist" says enough.



"James White has repeatedly referred to me personally as a liar, a deceiver, a psycho, a man who desires nor has any regard for the truth. He personified me as "Alexander the Coppersmith" and called on his community to shun me and have no dealings with me. "

Lovely. But it is ok when they say these things about people. Shunning is particularly popular in the Reformed movement over fine point doctrinal differences. If you read the history of the Reformed movement this is SOP. It is a bizarre way to live, but it does keep it insular and keep people silent to ward off attacks. One has to eat their wheaties to deal with the folks in this movement as lots of redefining of words and concepts is the norm.



I actually googled Reformed it doesn't always suggest Calvinist.

Openly admitting being a Reformed Calvinist is very descriptive.

Openly admitting to be a Calvinist is also descriptive and certainly can strike up a conversation.

"Reformed" in my opinion is the least descriptive.

My former Stealth Pastor finally disclosed he embraced TULIP after he was found out. (2 years into his tenure) He vaguely used the word Reformed and refused to use the word Calvinist.

He also split another church in Georgia.

Reformed Calvinist is very direct compared to "completely Reformed while believing the 5 Points of Grace" or purposely not disclosing your Doctrine at all.

Les Prouty

Mark, due to your experiences I can now see why you've been pressing the point. No pastor should be stealth about his theology.

Here is a statement from a Reformed site:

"Reformed theology......presupposes God's Word alone as our ultimate authority.
...stresses the sovereignty of God, that is, His reign over all things, meticulously determining (Eph 1:11)
all that comes to pass (i.e. God is never taken by surprise).
...ephasizes a Christ-Centered proclamation of the gospel, that salvation is wholly of God, by grace alone
through faith alone in Christ alone as revealed in the Scripture alone to the Glory of God alone.
...views the Bible as a redemptive-historical organic unfolding of revelation which is structured by three
covenants (redemption, works and grace)."

You can see more at http://www.monergism.com/directory/link_category/Reformed-Theology/Essays/.


Often when criticism is brought against White or another of the YRR leaders the comment thread is hijacked by pointless arguing, name-calling and seeming intentional misunderstanding by those who wish to defend the one person who really should be apologizing -- in this case James White.

I have really begun to wonder if this is an intentional rhetorical tool used to destroy momentum in the discussion and to distract from the original criticism. If so, they have won again. I will never read all the "noise" trying to search for some actual discussion of White and his boorish response to Dr. Harwood.

I have nothing against Calvinist. The church I pastor tends toward Calvinism and yet we have none of this childish behavior. There seems to be a sad respect among the YRR faithful for Whitish behavior and a desire to imitate it at every opportunity.



He practiced "Election Theology" on his Congregations, with no redemption language. (Emphasizing a Law and Sin Centered Ministry rather than Christ Centered, using TULIP as his guide)

So yes I believe precision theology identification by all Clergy is a must. Identifying being a Calvinist is simple and gives opportunity for honest dialogue between Pastors and Elders in a Church. (or even in sites like these)

peter lumpkins


Thank you for reminding me. I recall a few ears back when when I first publicly criticized James White. I had a couple of blogger friends contact me and say "get ready." I said, "Uh?" "You'll see," they said. And I did. Guys I'd never heard of showed up questioning every little point they could about most anything, of course but JW. I became the focus of the thread. I was wrong. I was a hypocrite. I was mean-spirited. I I I. It was all about me. Websites began to pop up as spoofs of me. The rest is history as they say.

All that to say, I think your point is well taken...

peter lumpkins


Just a quick note about leaving the infamous comment up. Yes it's ironic for a post with my title and theme to have a comment like that open the thread. But so what? I've never suggested there's been no inappropriate, over-the-top language from non-Calvinists though I did challenge anyone to find such language at the J316C (and the challenge is still valid by the way). Nor does the fact that there's inappropriate language amongst non-Calvinists deter me from pointing out the ridiculous literary short-comings of critics like James White. I will continue to do so.

In addition, the fact that I dealt with it should count favorably rather than unfavorably especially since few if any JW fans see fit to point out his absurd criticisms of those he attacks.

Finally, the only reason I can discern you believe the comment should come down is you think it's a "death-wish" and therefore judge it inappropriate. I've challenged your interpretation, however, arguing your reading of the words is entirely unnecessary, and therefore is not sufficient to warrant deletion. I certainly didn't read it that way and surprised, actually, anyone would. I'm quite sure there's plenty who agree with me as you stated others agree with you. Granted. Why not then just be glad we fully agree on the deletion of the inappropriate moniker and leave it at that?

Many thanks for agreeing I did some things right. Lord bless.

peter lumpkins


I've pondered alot about this particular comment thread perhaps mostly because I've participated more in it than I have in a long, long time. I just pay little attention to alot of what goes on anymore. It's not disinterest or carelessness which denies my time here. Instead it's time mostly.

Even so, while many of us bloggers long for higher levels of engagement where personalities aside, we can genuinely discuss issues of significance with vigor and passion without stepping over the bounds of community decency and especially disciple-neighbor-love our Lord teaches us. No blog I've ever read rises above all inappropriate chatter. In fact, were we to test it, I think we'd find blogs are hardly more filled with inappropriate chatter than many of our daily conversations, and in that sense blogs reflect some form of reality for us.

As I read back through the entire thread, unlike one commenter who said he logged on because of concern over the comments (which is why I suppose he felt quoting Scripture was appropriate) I have to question how this particular thread caused such a major alarm. It's true one comment unfortunately used a moniker widely considered in public forums as vulgar, the comment was dealt with swiftly and decisively when I was alerted to it's inappropriate content (about 20 minutes after it was logged). So far as I can tell, nothing further in the thread has merited any such indictment nor calls for concern the thread needed intervention other than trying to get it back to its original topic, something I continued to pursue. Note: I did warn at least two commenters to stop bringing up what I judged a failed point. Once an answer is logged to a question someone might ask, there is no need to continue bringing it back up unless, of course, the objector can show the answer is a point not well taken. Real exchange happens when this takes place. However, some seem to think that as long as they "disagree" with the answer, that's enough to continue the pursuit of the question. Well, no it's not. In fact, that's quite absurd for it only perpetuates a situation where no matter how thorough an answer might be, the objector need only say, "but I disagree" to perpetuate the exchange. Most of us have no time for tit/tat like that. I certainly don't.

Hence, when I judge an objector has been sufficiently answered, and no challenge to my reasoning in my answer is forthcoming, I seek to end the exchange. Many accept it. They understand they are guests here and that commenting is an invited privilege not an inherent right. After all, I pay money--yes real dollars--to keep this platform at typepad. Thus, people who comment here I'm literally paying for their comment to be public information for others to read. Nonetheless, some will attempt to test my will to end the exchange. That's usually when I tell them "Don't bring this up again. I've through with this particular point." Others leave angry accusing me of "deleting" their comments, or even write on their blogs I "banned them" from commenting, a complete falsehood. The most I do here is usually flag an IP address which pushes the comment temporarily into moderation, and it's usually only for that post.

Whatever the case, I'm simply not going to allow those who want to make a huge deal out of a single comment by a highly frustrated church member to overshadow the much larger and significant issue I penned on this blog. Namely the totally inappropriate, vicious theological slander by a highly public Baptist Calvinist who considers himself an Elder and Christian scholar toward another Baptist non-Calvinist who surely was wrongly characterized along with other J316 presenters. No amount of deterrence is going to get me to drop the unfair, bombastic spew James White aims toward those he criticizes. His own community won't reveal his absurd, mindless rhetoric against brothers in Christ. And, since somebody needs to do so, I intend to do just that until another steps up to the plate.

And, for those times I do mention White's criticisms as being unfair or not well-taken, he has a standing invitation to come here and correct my false perceptions. Be my guest.

Eric Lockhart

Mark, sorry about your experience with a Calvinist pastor. I really am. Yes, I affirm "TULIP". Given the heated feelings within the convention, I have made it a point over the 12 years of my ministry that any church I have talked to know what I believe. There have actually been a few times that I was turned down because of it, but I trust that to God's providence.

Eric Lockhart

Lydia, is it fair to say that if I am called "Calvinist" because of an understanding that I adhere to teachings of "Calvin", then those whose adhere to the teachings of Pelagius should be called "Pelagians" or at least "semi-pelagians"?

Btw, the Church was burning heretics long before Calvin. And, I have no desire to burn anyone at the stake, but I do desire to protect our convention from heresy. I hope we all do.



My former Stealth Pastor emphasized a Law and Sin Centered Ministry rather than a Christ Centered.

He practiced "Election Theology" on those who would become a Doctrinal Challenge to his 5 Point Doctrine.

He also emphasized that his wife was "always" saved from the very beginning.

Does this mean he embraced "Salvation before Faith" or "No-Will Salvation" Theology.

In Mark 2:16 the Pharisees practiced their own brand of "Election Theology" on the sinner, tax collector and then on Christ"

My former Pastor after he was found out 2 years into his tenure, vaguely admitted being "Reformed" and finally disclosed his 5 Point Doctrine of TULIP.

Don't you think it would've been better for everybody in the SBC, his first 2 churches he split and himself if he would've disclosed himself as being a "Reformed Calvinist" on his resume'?

Which brings me back to the article. The majority of the dialogue in this thread is about Ideology, one group who happens to be Calvinist or "Reformed" is arguing their case with the Non-Calvinist.

After what my Church went through, I find the word heretic or heresy directed at Non-Calvinist is offensive.

Les Prouty


Fom what you describe it sounds like he was deceptive...maybe. Maybe his choice to not use Calvinist as a descriptor is for the same reason I don't prefer it. I don't know. In any case, I think men should be very up front with their theology, whether its Reformed theology or Trad theology.

The wife thing, again without hearing his words it's hard to know. You seem concerned based on what you heard. But I've also heard people give their testimony at their baptism something like, "I don't remember a time when I didn't believe in and trust Jesus as my Savior." Was it something like that?

As far as Mark 2.16, what do you mean by "lee tion theology" and what does it mean to "practice" that on someone? I'm with my good friend Lydia here that definitions are important as she often says.

As far as using the word heretic to describe someone in these discussions, that for the most part should not be. I say the most part because there is a commenter on some of these sites who denies the imputation of Jesus' righteousness. As I understand heresy, that is an example.

But on these discussions of C or non-C heresy has no place in the discussions as far as I'm concerned.



Lydia, is it fair to say that if I am called "Calvinist" because of an understanding that I adhere to teachings of "Calvin", then those whose adhere to the teachings of Pelagius should be called "Pelagians" or at least "semi-pelagians"?

No Eric. Using your brand of logic, it would be "fair" to say you are a hyper Calvinist even though you say you are not. So, I get to say you adhere to the same teachings, so you are. That is if I am using your brand of logical thinking. :o)

"Btw, the Church was burning heretics long before Calvin. And, I have no desire to burn anyone at the stake, but I do desire to protect our convention from heresy. I hope we all do. "

And here we thought they were "RE" forming the Catholic church but since the Catholics did it, I guess that makes it ok. And I desire to protect our convention from "hyper Calvinism" but I won't call you the name of a heretic. However, I do think Calvinistic ST comes from a brand of philosophy that is pagan. But I would never want to burn you for being wrong. I love freedom and free church traditions. I love free speech even the sort of speech I do not like.


"I say the most part because there is a commenter on some of these sites who denies the imputation of Jesus' righteousness. As I understand heresy, that is an example."

Hmm. Depends on how you define it. If your definition encompasses the thinking that Jesus obeyed for us on the Cross so we have no responsibility for our continuing in sin after salvation because we cannot help it, then we have a problem. See, that is how I am understanding it from some Calvinists. Sort of like a perpetual justification because we can never become new creatures in Christ and be in true sanctification with the help of the Holy Spirit. In fact, one rarely hears about the work of the Holy Spirit in a believer from Calvinists. If folks understood it, they would not need a "ruling elder" over them. :o)

Andrew Barker


I feel that as a non-baptist I am somewhat trespassing on private grief in making a comment on this topic, however, if I am permitted I would like to add my penny's worth!

My family and I currently attend a Reformed church but at the time we started going we/I didn't really take much heed of the description ie 'contemporary reformed'. It didn't mean anything much to me. Over the last year I have gradually learned more and got to grips with the 'reformed' agenda. This has involved many hours of Internet search and Bible study which has been good for me!

One common factor I have noticed is this. The majority of published authors who do not hold a Calvinistic viewpoint give a balanced view of Calvinism and do not on the whole denigrate it unnecessarily. They are clear in pointing out deficiencies but do not in fact misrepresent Calvinism. There are of course plenty of contributors who do go off on a rant, but I simply put their comments to one side.

On the other hand, I find that men such as Piper, MacArthur, Sproul and the like cannot bring themselves to view Biblical truth in any other way than from a Calvinistic viewpoint. They do not take the truth head on but constantly sidestep issues and answer questions which are not put to them. For James White to accuse anybody of setting up a straw man is certainly one for the record books. This is definitely the pot calling the kettle black!

Furthermore, James White's gripe that nobody 'gets Calvinism' or has the 'faintest clue' about Calvinism is also a bit rich. A good number of the congregation of the average 'Reformed' church will believe that God's foreknowledge means that he can look into the future and on this basis carries out his work of 'election'. Now you and I and a good number (probably all) of the people contributing to this blog know otherwise and would not misrepresent Calvinism in this way. But I believe it is a popular misconception. Perhaps he ought to concentrate more on keeping his own 'flock' informed before complaining about others' misrepresentation of Calvinism.

Lastly, I can only assume that James White's reaction to your book is in part down to you touching one or two raw nerves? Which is not the only reason you should keep on writing and blogging, but it is one good reason for doing so!



Thank You again for responding.

The heretic language is getting tiresome and offensive.

Oddly, the first time I heard the word Heretic a couple of years ago, was directed to a Non-Calvinist by an admitted New Calvinist.

I compare to what happen in our church to what the Pharisee's practiced on the sinner, tax payer and even Christ.

The Pharisee's were in fact judging the earthly demise (and probably their heavenly demise) of the sinner, tax payer and Christ. They were rebuking Christ for giving redemption guidance to the sinner and tax payer.

Our Former Pastor from the beginning of his tenure centered his Methodology around a "Law and Centered" Ministry rather a Christ Centered that was dominated with minimal or no redemption language.
From the beginning he proclaimed he didn't see enough suffering or persecution, works and even suggested that you could be doing everything "right" and still not be saved.

I didn't know we needed to wear our persecution and suffering on our sleeves.

Maybe he thought the Elect didn't need to be taught redemption through Christ because they already had redemption and teaching the Non-Elect would've been a waste of time.

You didn't have to worry about our church having any kind of joy when they walked out of church, that would attract new attendees. Now why would anybody want what the people in our church have in Christ when by appearance the people not attending appear having more noticeable joy that the people coming out of the church. The body was shrinking and kids Sunday completely died.

He seemed to embrace his Method more than the Message, which was very similar to the Works, Doubt and Guilt Theology Catholics embrace)

After a year of this non-sense he was approached by a Member who was seeking understanding of a Methodology "unlike" anything he has seen. The member used the word "cryptic" in trying to describe the Pastor's unfamiliar Methodology, which the Pastor only described as "Truth". Instead of taking the opportunity in disclosing that he was a "Reformed Calvinist" he rebuked that member.

When he was finally found out that he was a Calvinist, that Pastor "Elected" to conduct by invitation or "Election" only TULIP theology class that was going to be authenticated by his interpretation of scriptures.

In reality the Pastor essentially was denying certain members of his class, access teaching of scripture. Which sadden the elders.

The State Convention had to get involved in the mediating and then the healing of the Church and were deeply disturbed of the Pastor's Stealth behavior. Members later contacted his former Church who suffered a split that was ignited by his unwillingness to disclose his Doctrine on his Resume'.

You may feel uncomfortable at times admitting being a Reformed Calvinist but it is necessary.

Les Prouty


Just standard orthodox, historically understood imputed righteousness. As in how JI Packer says,

""Salvation in the Bible is by substitution and exchange: the imputing of men’s sins to Christ, and the imputing of Christ’s righteousness to sinners. By this means, the law, and the God whose law it is, are satisfied, and the guilty are justly declare immune from punishment. Justice is done, and mercy is made triumphant in the doing of it. The imputing of righteousness to sinners in justification, and the imputing of their sins to Christ on Calvary, thus belong together; and if, in the manner of so much modern Protestantism, the penal interpretation of the Cross is rejected, then there is no ground on which the imputing of righteousness can rest." (J.I. Packer, Introductory Essay in James Buchanan’s “Justification,” published by Banner of Truth, p. xiii)"

How does that look?


Try this one...probably have to read the whole thing...

"What then is this vindication, this dikaiosis? It is God’s declaration that a person is in the right; that is, (a) that their sins have been forgiven, and (b) that they are part of the single covenant family promised to Abraham. Notice that opening phrase: God’s declaration that. Not ‘God’s bringing it about that’, but God’s authoritative declaration of what is in fact the case. This is the point, of course, where some have accused me of semi-Pelagianism. That might be so if I intended to denote, with the word ‘justification’, what the tradition has denoted. But I don’t. Paul, I believe, uses vindication/justification to denote God’s declaration about someone, about (more specifically) the person who has been ‘called’ in the sense described above. Vindication is not the same as call."


I realize your lot thinks he is a heretic and I don't agree with him on everything either.


" is it fair to say that if I am called "Calvinist" because of an understanding that I adhere to teachings of "Calvin", then those whose adhere to the teachings of Pelagius should be called "Pelagians" or at least "semi-pelagians"?"

I'm not Lydia, but no. Calvinism, Pelagianism, and semi-Pelagianism have standard definitions and these terms must be used according to that definition. While it is, perhaps, rhetorically useful and fun to remind Calvinist that they go beyond Calvin and so are technically hyper-Calvinist is would be wrong to insist that they take on that title.

This is not the same thing as happened recently (and I assume the point you really want to make). A while ago, many of the YRR crowd wanted to redefine semi-Pelagianism to make the title fit the Traditional Statement. It was shown, many times, that the document does not fit the term. However, there was an attempt to force the issue to try to paint the rest of us into a heretical corner. This was most forcefully done by Pastor Chris Roberts (of unity resolution fame) but want all the way up to Al Mohler. None of these folks repented or apologized.

While the hyper-Calvinism barb has a touch of technical truth, the semi-Pelagian charge was purely a rhetorical lie.

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