« Nineteenth Century Mississippi Baptists not strictly Calvinistic | Main | On Learning to Write from a Martyred Anabaptist: Balthasar Hübmaier »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


"What is more, how does assuming the truth of one doctrine as biblical (i.e. divine sovereignty as defined by Calvinism) and the clear error of another doctrine as non-biblical (i.e. divine sovereignty as defined by non-Calvinism) actually heal or practically mend conflict between members sincerely holding each doctrine respectively."

If I'm understanding correctly.
The issue is with your heart. Its for you to answer why you cant co-exist in the same body with a "Calvinist". I attend a church were we have both "Calvinist and non Calvinist", ITS JUST NOT AN ISSUE OF CONFLICT. We each think the other is wrong and still worship and love one another.

peter lumpkins

"We each think the other is wrong and still worship and love one another."

As do I and countless others, Eric. But you're ignoring the obvious in Menikoff's piece. It's not just about thinking the other is wrong, which one could do with any number of biblical texts. Instead, it's about what's absolute truth to which God's Holy Spirit has "opened his eyes"; a truth which is "simply what the Bible teaches"; truth representing "good teaching," the "whole counsel of God," and "sound doctrine" whereby a "sound life" might take root. It's truth about which, if a person refuses, takes credit for his or her salvation; it's truth questioned only by the uninitiated, the weak, the immature, the one whose eyes are closed, who struggles with what the Bible simply teaches.

Start conversations with your non-Calvinist brother or sister with descriptors like that and see how long it remains a non-issue between you and him or her.


Hmmm, so three "categories"

1. Those who were blessed to be raised in a biblical home and raised right.

2. Those who overcame their upbringing and embraced sound doctrine.

3. And those who are struggling to overcome their background and must be looked on with grace because - the poor dears just didn't have the benefit of godly parents who taught them sound doctrine and took them to a biblical church.

But the good news is that this church is "increasingly embrac(ing) the truth of God's sovereign grace" - interpreted means he's moving the church toward Calvinization and when he feels comfortable he'll probably force members to sign a church covenant affirming the DOG.

Scott Shaver

Correct. Calvinism occupies the cat-bird seat of a free-falling former "baptist" denomination.

I don't understand why so-called "traditionalists" like Rick Patrick are crying about something they fully supported 20 years ago. This is their dream come true now that the convention is all "inerrant" and "conservative" (albeit with the most schizophrenic approach to soteriology thus far produced in history).

I've never read of Jesus, or Paul, or any of the early followers talking about "tertiary" doctrines.

Personally, I'm taking a whole new approach to my life-long involvement with "Southern Baptists". This denomination has out-lived it's usefulness in terms of accruing highly undesirable theological baggage and embellishments without even mentioning its gross financial mishandlings.

I want to see "traditionalists" die the same denominational death as their former enemies the "moderates". I will raise a toast to Honeycutt and Dilday as Mr. "Traditional" and his buddies are being shown the denominational back door following their historic CR surrender of SBC house keys to the current "powers that be".

"You gave me fortune, you gave me fame, you gave me power in your god's name....I tell you one and one is three, I am the cult of personality".

No secret I'm no fan of Calvinism but Southern Baptist "traditionalists" deserve EVERY MEASURE of what they're now receiving. Rick Patrick deserves to be first in line for denominational marginalization at the hands of his Calvinist "brothers"....he's worked hard for it.

As the SBC becomes more thoroughly "Calvinized" it will also become equally less relevant, less influential, and much less financially supported among true Baptist believers, especially in the "Southern" states judging by current rhetoric.

God hasten the transition.


For the sake of semantics and understanding that it helps to identify with a particular "camp", so that folks can have a general idea of where a person stands theologically, as you know, I identify as a reformed Baptist.

Would you say that the folks who administered the Baptist colleges during the watered down, liberal days, before the
What makes one person a "true" Baptist and another not.
conservatives came in and turned it around,where true Baptist?

Would you say that during the days of the Baptist churches slip down that liberal slope, that the members could be called "true" Baptist.

Would you say that those Baptist that say you are in sin for reading anything other than the King James version are "true " Baptist?

Would you say that those Baptist Churches which are "seeker friendly" and Baptist anyone who walks an isle regardless of that person confession are "True " Baptist?

Would you say that those Baptist Churches who are starting to accept the gay lifestyle are "True" Baptist?

Of course my point being that we (the Baptist Church) have wide variety of views which are not agreed on. Yet you may still accept them in the fold. (maybe not)

The Reformed Baptist Church is a conservative group who uphold the inerrancy of the Scripture, who are passionate in proclaiming Gods word to the whole world, who are passionate in calling all men to repentance and faith (that's all men)not just a select few, the list goes on.

My "Calvinistic" view, leads me to be evangelistic to ALL men, Leads me to give God the Glory for all things, Leads me to accept the life I'm given, both positive and negative, because I know God is sovereign and I can trust in him for all things. I know that even the "negative" things in life can be used for his Glory. leads me to have a freedom in evangelizing, because I don't need to worry about changing a person heart with my great words, I can simply proclaim the truth and know that God will do the work of the heart.

On and on I can go. Is my profession above really so dangerous to the "Baptist" confession?


peter lumpkins


Albeit you and I have very different perspectives on the Conservative Resurgence (CR), its positive values and all-to-often-neglected-to-mention vices too, especially from my side of the continuum, as well as varying levels of appreciation for all personalities representing all perspectives of the issues raised beginning in 1979, I continue to appreciate your perspective and friendship brother.

Personally, I'm hesitantly becoming less optimistic about any lasting good (good according to my judgement) the CR gave to us. For my part, with the rise of aggressive, and presently dominating Calvinism, we're arguably in very similar circumstances that we were pre-1979 when the so-called Moderates and perhaps at least a few out-n-out "Liberals" represented a convention the overwhelming majority of which remained unlike them.

Scott Shaver


#1 Personally don't give a rip about "baptist confessions"...never have. Have always tilted toward baptists of a nonconfessional stripe.

#2 Am old enough, educated enough, and soteriologically committed enough to part ways and fellowship completely with hyper-calvinists and their prized theological systems for the years I have remaining and never feel a pang of guilty consciense while also willing to stand clear-eyed before God to explain why.

Based on points 1 and 2 above, why would I have any interest in engaging "a reformed baptist" for the sake of "semantics".
Get real.

"WE" (you and your preferred religious constituency") do not comprise "THE BAPTIST CHURCH". 400 years ago you would have been murdering them along with your idol Calvin in and around the outskirts of Geneva....later across Europe and even in the colonies.

In short, YES, your profession REALLY IS DANGEROUS to the "baptist confession" (whatever you deem that to be).

Scott Shaver


As to all the other little extra-curricular witch hunts which occupy your "reformed" attention (i.e. homosexuality, inerrancy, King James only, liberalism ad nauseum ad infinitum)...I've seen more flirtation with these hot potato cultural issues by Russell Moore and current SBC "calvinists" than all the so-called liberals of the CR put together.

Not to mention the new theological climate of the SBC which could easily be described schizophrenic.

You're more than welcome to the kool aid my friend.

Scott Shaver


You've always had my respect, regardless of our different CR views, since seminary days my friend. You always will because of your honesty and integrity.

Scott Shaver


My problem back in 1979 with fighting "liberalism"remains the same today.

Across the years, and in my own experience, I've seen God bring liberalism to naught in his own ways and timing in a variety of manifestations. After all the heart of "liberalism" is a mindset at variance against God. God takes care of that by the power of His Word and human interference always seems to make the problem worse rather than better.

Lot of wisdom in the parable of the wheat and tares as far as baptist "denominations" linked together in a "cooperative" effort are concerned.

The current state of the SBC is primary case in point.


#1 Personally don't give a rip about "baptist confessions"...never have. Have always tilted toward baptists of a non confessional stripe.

If you don't give a rip about confessions why do you talk about "true Baptist believers" (I'm not looking for an answer)

Without a Baptist confession of Faith, you would have no idea what a "true" Baptist is. Unless you are the one who sets that definition.

So the confession of faith is helpful for obvious reasons.

If you think, as a reformed Baptist, that my idol is Calvin. You are being deceived...either by yourself or another. I say deceived because after years of reading your comments on this site, something is driving your disdain for all things "reformed" or Calvinistic".

I don't say that as fighting words.You should know very well that just because one is a "Calvinist" doesn't mean Calvin is an Idol. You also don't know that I would be murdering Non Calvinist.

Scott Shaver

History defines "true baptist" for me Eric.

Beyond that you're more than welcome to your systematized theologies, discussion groups and social betterment classes. Most importantly, you're welcome to your group's "confessions".

That's another word I don't find in the New Testament outside professions of belief by faith in Christ and the subsequent temporal experience of that "confession" in the life of the INDIVIDUAL BELIEVER.

I may be "DECEIVED"... but it won't be by you and your Genevan pals, believe me.

"Calvinism" itself drives my "disdain" for same there Eric.

Yes, I think your idol is the theological strain of John Calvin in the blinking year 2016

Scott Shaver

Here you go Eric:

Tell me again how much Calvinists are "all about Jesus".


Scott Shaver

3% of the SBC's entire foreign missions personnel comes out of "The Summitt Church".

Might as well elect Greear "president". He already influences an impressive portion of the personnel.

Laughing out loud here.


I don't want to get started on how i feel about current IMB news. I'm an old curmudgeon When it comes to the bloated bureaucracy of the IMB or any other religious organization.
I know its not fair but i just don't trust any of them for anything.

What i can tell you is that in all my years of being involved with reformed baptist churches (Calvinist), folks are very evangelistic and are "all about Jesus".

I have 10 personal friends from one town who were sent by the IMB to a very hostile area of the world to proclaim The one true God. While i have issues with the IMB organization. The individual missionaries are on the field with the sole purpose of making disciples and the IMB did take care of them.



The Menikoff piece was introduced on another blog where people were aghast he thought he was presenting a sort of unity bridge for the non cal peasants. . His arrogance is breathtaking.

First of all. Let's us all acknowledge his church has a Calvinist pastor! Duh. How kind of him to have patience with the ignorant non Cal rubes. Have they signed a membership covenant yet?

Personally, I believe it takes blindness or a tyrannical bent to subscribe to Calvin at all. These days I simply assume ignorance of history, Jesus Christ or an evil bent toward controlling others to feel superior. Take your pick.

Who talks like this? " the jaw of my heart dropped to my chest". This is bad Piper. And don't read and walk. There are telephone poles out there. Maybe that explains his silliness?


"that in all my years of being involved with reformed baptist churches (Calvinist), folks are very evangelistic and are "all about Jesus".

Eric, it is a bait and switch. Being evangelistic for Calvin means you do not tell them upfront about whether or not they were chosen before the foundation of the world . That part comes later. And these days being "evangelistic" in Calvinese means you plant a reformed church in a high income zip code and call it evangelism. NAMB has been doing that for years partnering with Mark Driscoll and such fellow travelers. Are you seriously trying to tell me that Calvin was evangelistic in Geneva? Have you read no history, my dear boy ?

Since your gurus got rid of the old fogey missionaries of the IMB, throwing them to the curb, there will now be a new push to take Calvin to the ends of the earth with SBC pew sitter money . All hail Calvin!

Btw, Neo Calvinist are very careful in quoting Jesus Christ. He is not good for Calvinism. Jesus Christ says 'repent and believe' as if people really do have the ability to do so or not . That simply does not fit into the Calvinist construct. Jesus Christ is dangerous to the Calvinistic doctrinal stance.

I highly recommend you do some historical reading. You have absolutely no idea what is a "Baptist". No king but Jesus! Real Baptists could not coexist with Calvin long . That is why it did not last before. Independent thinkers don't stay with Calvin long.

Calvin is state church mentality. Calvin is all about controlling people. Calvin is all about determinism . Baptist is all about soul competency and the priesthood. Baptist is all about freedom of conscience. Calvin is all about you not being able cannot to trust your depraved conscience . In Calvinism, You need some philosopher King, supposedly appointed by God, to tell you what to think and believe . Calvinism cannot even coexist with our constitution. Our Constitution says that we have the ability to govern ourselves. That idea would not right die up to the civil rights movement . Calvinism says we do not have the ability for such. Some guru has to govern us totally depraved and unable sinners. Have you ever bothered to look at what happened to the Puritans? Or what happened after the civil war when the determinist slavers did not win?

Calvin Islam-ized Christianity. It is that simple and that evil.

Come on home, Eric. Jesus Christ believes you are able to repent and believe. You are responsible and accountable made in the Image of God.


"don't say that as fighting words.You should know very well that just because one is a "Calvinist" doesn't mean Calvin is an Idol"

You cannot hear how that sounds, can you? Your very religion is named for a mere human and yet you claim he is not an idol. You really believe this, don't you? I fully expect in a few hundred years there will be Grudemites, Piperites or Mohlerites. But for now, Calvin has nothing to do with Calvinism, right? Calvin=Jesus.


I've said this before, so many times we talk past one another. Not just us, but when those in one camp talk with another.

When you write the following:
"You cannot hear how that sounds, can you? Your very religion is named for a mere human and yet you claim he is not an idol".

I'm sure you sincerely believe that statement. Even so, what you wrote is a total and complete lie. I'm not calling you a liar,(you do believe it to be true) I'm saying your statement is a lie.

You see, my religion is not named for a mere human. My "religion" is named for the one God/Man name Christ.
I am a Christian. Calvin was a sinful man like everyone else who wasn't given some Devine insight into a new theology.

Calvin got some things right and some thing wrong, he was a mere man. The reformed Baptist Church (while "Calvinistic") does not place Calvin on a pedestal above any other man. Those who do, are worshipping an idol. I do not, and most reformed Baptist I know, do not prefer to call themselves a Calvinist, because we do not follow Calvin.

Unfortunately, I do not really have a choice in referring to myself as a "Calvinist". Because that is the term that stuck in describing those who see the "5 points" being taught in scripture.

I suspect that you yourself demand that I refer to myself as a "Calvinist". If I were before a Pulpit committee (I'm not a Pastor) and was asked if I was a Calvinist, I could honestly say no. I don't follow Calvin, I don't identify with Calvin, I don't read Calvin.

I DO believe that the Bible teaches what is described as "Calvinistic". I also believe that much of what Luther taught in the reformation, but don't consider myself a Lutheran.

Even so, as much as I want to identify with Christ and what the Bible teaches, not with any mere man. I suspect You would think I'm being deceptive in not calling myself a Calvinist.


Actually Eric, go back through your own comments. You identify and even clarify with "Calvinists". You are telling me to ignore what you write?

I have been down this road many times With Calvinists who claim they don't identify Calvinism with Calvin. It is mind boggling cognitive dissonance. Why not call it Bob?

So, if you are "stuck" with Calvin because of TULIP, you honestly don't think it is deceptive to deny your Calvinism to a pulpit committee? You could say you agree with Calvin on TULIP. Why the deception? How is that of Christ? I ask that question of your entire movement who have been so deceptive with pulpit committee's. They know the word "Calvin" carries major baggage. So they deceive because they think the pulpit committee's are ignorant rubes who don't know the true gospel of Calvins determinist God. So they deceptively try to infiltrate Non Calvinist churches so they can teach them the "true gospel". Now that more and more people are on to them they are talking about unity. Let's just forget all the deception and be unified the Menikoff way. :o)

Nice try with Luther. Calvin and Luther have the same a father: Augustine.


"I have been down this road many times With Calvinists who claim they don't identify Calvinism with Calvin. It is mind boggling cognitive dissonance. Why not call it Bob?'

I don't think it is Cognitive dissonance. Of course Calvinism is identified with Calvin, hence the name, there is no way around that. maybe they, like me, are simply saying they follow Christ and not Calvin.

Remember what Paul taught us:
I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree together, so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be united in mind and conviction. 11My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12What I mean is this: Individuals among you are saying, “I follow Paul,” “I follow Apollos,” “I follow Cephas,”a or “I follow Christ.”

13Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? 14I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. 16Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that I do not remember baptizing anyone else. 17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with eloquent words of wisdom, lest the cross of the Christ be emptied of its power.

Paul's point is very clear, I don't identify and should not identify as a follower of Calvin or "Bob".
I am a follower of Christ.

To your second point, ANY pastor should be totally upfront and honest about his theology. While I can honestly say I am not a Calvinist. I don't follow him, I don't read his work, I don't identify with him (calling myself a Calvinist).

I must declare WHAT I do believe, that I do accept the "5 points" There is no acceptance of being a deceiver...that is of the evil one, not of Christ

Scott Shaver

Eric, if I'm not mistaken Jesus, during his wilderness temptation and in a weakened condition,told the scripture quoting deceiver to get lost. What others jewels of insight from the text are you attempting to sell on behalf of determinism and the God of John Calvin?

peter lumpkins

"I have my own opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else." -- Charles Spurgeon

For "Reformed" Baptists to deny they're Calvinists and embrace Calvinism seems to me sheer absurdity not to mention morally suspect...


I am Reformed baptist and i do not identify as a Calvinist.
Why is that absurdity in light of what Paul told us. I will add that it is what our God also tells us.

I've been in baptist churches for 30 years but i choose not to identify myself as a Baptist, "I'm a Christian, a Follower of Christ, I'm not a Baptist.

Its a big deal to me that i identify as a follower of Christ and not a "Denomination" or person.

As I've said, I have to use the term Calvinistic when discussing My theology because its the label that its given. Nothing wrong with a label, it helps us all understand where the other may be coming from...Theologically.

Why is it wrong or absurdity for me to want to identify as a follower of Christ and not a follower of Calvinism.
especially in light of what Paul taught us.

Scott Shaver

Eric, you may not be "reading Calvin" but you're definitely not reading any history.....AT ALL.

You can't refer to yourself as a "reformed" Baptist without tacking to yourself all that strict Calvinism entails.

If you say you don't follow Calvin and don't want to be associated with his...."shortcomings" I would advise you to never mention the word "reformed" in reference to your religious persuasion ever again.

Doesn't matter whether as a "reformed baptist" you identify yourself with Calvin or not. The rest of the world (both believing and unbelieving) will assign the identification for you based on your own use of terminology.

Scott Shaver

"Reformed Baptist" is a curious oxymoron IMO.

Anabaptists (also included historically as "radical reformers") were not so much "reformers" as they were nonconformists.

They refused to conform their beliefs/convictons to the established religious structures and institutions of the day while insisting on believer's baptism by immersion and the primacy of the Holy Spirit for guidance.

"Reformers" was a word that would have prompted our baptist forebears to seek hide-outs in the caves and forests of Europe.

Scott Shaver


I not nearly as concerned about how many people "Calvinists are winning to Christ" as I am about how many they're running off.


peter lumpkins

Eric says,

"I am Reformed baptist...but i choose not to identify myself as a Baptist"

Uh, I don't think I'm following on that one.

What is more,

"I am Reformed... and i do not identify as a Calvinist."

Nor do I follow this one either.

For one who doesn't care for labels you surely do care about "Reformed" and "Baptist."

Or do you...?

What a hoot.


"I don't think it is Cognitive dissonance."

I know. It blows my mind. It's like going around telling people you're a vegetarian but you don't identify with vegetables.


How would Menikoff classify those Natives who fell from grace and became Baptist Traditionalists? Would they just chalk it up to God's sovereign will?... or maybe deceptive grace?

Scott Shaver

Ask Southern Baptists "traditionalists", Ernest. They're about to "fall from grace"...at least in a denominational sense😀

Scott Shaver

I know Pete, Eric likewise has me tripping with his terminology and disavowals.

One thing I've noticed about the religious and theological "speak" of the new SBC...it doesn't have to make even a modicum of sense but no questions should be raised for the sake of unity and "the gospel".

Reminds me of "The Path".


Guess I'm not getting invited over for BBQ on the 4th.

Scott Shaver

You're more than welcome to hang with me on the 4th, Eric.

Doubt you'll enjoy the company.

j thomas

While the piece has section under the heading "Churches are not monolithic" the rest of it reminds one of Elwood Blues asking the lady behind the bar "What kind of music do you usually have here?" reply: "Oh, we got both kinds. We got country AND western."

The comments to this entry are closed.