« Joshua Harris rethinks his views in bestseller, I Kissed Dating Good-bye | Main | Al Mohler is spot-on about Donald Trump but dead-wrong about evangelicals »



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

Scott Shaver

Jaded history by self-styled "baptist" historians makes it no less jaded.

Gano would fit right in with today's Calvinist storm-troopers and Ascol would cheer him on.

Scott Shaver

Makes one wonder what the future of "reconciliation" will look like in the fading SBC huh?

peter lumpkins

It's hard not to see a direct link to Philadelphia's attempt to "Calvinize" non-Calvinist churches and the "Quiet Revolution" of many of today's Baptist Calvinists in the SBC...

Scott Shaver

Would not surprise me at all if the historical trajectory of Calvinistic "reform" has not followed this pattern since the days of the "Radicals".

Christians not fascinated with pure unadulterated Calvinism will tolerate it up until the point it becomes socially unbearable or extra-biblically bizarre...which it has a tendency to do.


I have never understood the claim that Calvinists were not evangelistic. Evangelistic for Calvinism! After the Puritans, they went Universalist and such. Then there were the quiet frozen chosen or social gospel evolutions. It is exhausting to never get up off your sin sniffing mat and walk so I can understand the social gospel part.

You guys might enjoy this:

"The Calvinistic doctrines of election, reprobation, and the atonement are so repulsive to human reason that they can never obtain the assent of the mind, but through the medium of the passions; and the master passion of orthodoxy is fear.”
— John Quincy Adams —

"The Life of John Adams", page 53. Published in 1874. Started by John Quincy and completed by Charles Francis Adams. Free on Google books.

Robert Vaughn

An interesting look at this from the Free Will Baptist viewpoint can be read in When General Baptists Became Particular Baptists.


That's a great quote Lydia.
The natural man (human reason)cant understand the things of God.

So true.


"Is reforming churches from non-Calvinism to Calvinism the same as proclaiming the gospel to unbelievers?"



I can see a new line of "Gano Is My Homeboy" t-shirts for the gospel merchandisers. SBC's YRR church planters would love to have them!

peter lumpkins

Interesting piece Robert. Thank you!


"The natural man (human reason)cant understand the things of God.
So true."

Then why are there Calvinist pastors? Or, are they not "natural" men? :o)

Robert Vaughn

You're welcome, Peter. I read Davidson's history of The Free Will Baptists years ago (the old one, not the one cited in the article), but I had forgotten some of the details he brought out about the General Baptists -- which usually aren't brought in "regular" or "traditional" Baptist histories.


Ok Lydia ,
You got me back on that one :)

Scott Shaver

Notice that a pastor named Inserra has a blog posted at Baptist21 that basically amounts to rearranging furniture on the deck of the SBC Titanic and Jesus in not included in rearrangement. This thing is toast.

Scott Shaver

Guess this means u can't be baptist nor Christian without adhering to the pathetic BFM2000. Your denomination is quickly taking on cult-like characteristics.


Scott, I think this post by Todd Wilhelm explains best what we are seeing in terms of "rearranging" the deck chairs. The system has served the leaders. It is in danger.

DeYoung focuses on being accountable to his controlling type in a local church. The Baptist 21 guy sells the BFM2000 for unity ignoring all the other bad stuff from that movement in the last decade. Evidently, the BFM means we must revere Platt, etc



Eric, I promise you it is not about "getting back". I honestly believe that movement positioned basic thinking processes as "sinful" for the generation involved. They don't want thinkers. They want loyal followers of themselves.


I believe you and other here have reasons for what you believe.

My disconnect is that (although its limited to a few southern states) with all the Reformed.."Calvinist"...churches I have had contact with, they just don't think or teach what many here say they do.

So when you say they don't want thinkers....I have never experienced it...never.

I would never promote a system where basic thinking processes is sinful...that is one of the tactics of a CULT.


Eric, if you are totally "unable" as in depraved and cannot reason.....how would you know?

Scott Shaver

Amazing how Connect 316 is looking for middle-ground "unity" with Calvinist while, at the same time, attempting to re-brand the Fundamentalism that sent both Fisher Humphreys to Samford and Paul Robertson to Memorial Herman here in Houston.

Now they want to hold these guys up as being primary articulators of a "soteriological traditionalism" when 20 years ago they wanted their heads on silver chargers.

What Patrick really owes guys like Humphreys and Robertson are apologies for so-called "traditionalists" not listening to em sooner.

Southern Baptist have NEVER, repeat NEVER been "unified". Thus it was once called and functioned like a "COOPERATIVE PROGRAM". And also during that period folks looked to Jesus as opposed to a printed BFM2000.

Goodbye and good riddance to the bureaucratic SBC. They're getting the final dose of their own medicine.

Scott Shaver

Here's an SBC Unity Platform for you.

By vote of acclamation, let Rick Patrick and Dave Miller be SBC co-presidents for consecutive terms.

If we're going to be a dual-natured religious convention, we might as well have a dual-headed president.

As SnagglePuss would say....."Unified Even".

We could run the whole two years of the tenure via satellite as gag reels after Wednesday night suppers in our local churches.

Might as well have fun with it.


Chris, but this has been my general experience of reformed and reformed churches.

As one example, I asked one of the leaders of a reformed church plant (members of three reformed organizations including the Gospel coalition and partnering with two other reformed organizations, and no partnership with any non-reformed organization– I found this out from the smaller print at the bottom of their website)the following questions:

(1) "Tell me about your church."

He answered that it was a non-denominational, Jesus-centered church.

(2) "I'm a Southern Baptist. How is your church similar or different?"

He answered that it was about the same, just non-denominational.

(3) "What are your church's distinctives?"

He said they were just a non-denominational church.

(4) "Are you in leadership?"

He said he was.

He did not mention that they were Reformed, members of 3 Reformed networks, and only partnering with several other Reformed networks. All he said was what I've written above. Maybe it was his revealed will that they were a nondenominational, Jesus centered church but it was his hidden will that they were an exclusive reformed church. Now what it is theology would lead him to act that way?? I later politely talked with him and another leader of the church about there deceptive behavior and how they might be training people slowly to be reformed without people attending knowing what they're getting into at the beginning.

In my experience of a total of over 100 individual encounters with the following groups I found, as a class, Calvinists when discussing Calvinism to be ruder,more deceptive, and more willing to shut down the conversation when it's not going their way than atheists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons (except Mormons, though very polite, are about as deceptive), and Muslims. And when I talk with Calvinist I talk with them as brothers in the Lord, when I talk with the others I'm evangelizing them.


peter lumpkins

Fisher Humphreys remains one of the kindest, most gentleman believers I've ever met. I graduated from NOBTS just about the time he was transiting to Beeson in Birmingham. For a while I kept up with him, and we even had coffe together in Birmingham.

At the time I was at NOBTS, I had quite a bit of Calvinism in me, and it was Fisher who introduced me to Southern Baptists' first writing theologian--J. L. Dagg. Not agreeing with Dagg's Calvinism, he had kind and commendable things to say about him nonetheless and encouraged me, as a fairly strong Calvinist at the time, to read and absorb Dagg's Manual of Theology.

I am under no illusion--nor should others be--that the CR was a needless correction to a theologically drifting denomination. There were some professors in our schools that needed to find places to teach elsewhere. However, some good and godly people got swept away in the current...some good and godly people were severely hurt. I wish we could go back and fix some of that. But alas, it's unfortunately too late...

One of the unintended consequences of our religious war--especially as it touches upon today's conflict over Calvinism--was the theological vacuum created when so many who were either swept away by the current or voluntarily walked away, a rich, scholarly vacuum which could exist as a much-needed balance to the Calvinist machine now in charge of convention affairs. Indeed as far back as 1998, moderate Baptist theologian, Jeff Pool, predicted the Calvinist takeover, chronicling in his book Against Returning to Egypt what we now see happening as strict Calvinism seems on the threshold of being reinstated to its early 19th century position as majoritarian theology of Baptists in the south (insofar as the reigning SBC leadership is concerned).

Frankly, I don't think a single CR leader saw what Pool saw and accurately predicted. Yes, we are reaping what we sowed, whether intentionally or unintentionally.


Oops!!! I meant Eric, not Chris.



"Southern Baptist have NEVER, repeat NEVER been "unified". Thus it was once called and functioned like a "COOPERATIVE PROGRAM". And also during that period folks looked to Jesus as opposed to a printed BFM2000."

Exactly. I honestly think the "unity" mantra is not only about rebranding the crumbling Neo Cal movement but a deceptive move to discourage voting in favor of a more magisterial SBC government. I put nothing past those guys.


Great comment Peter. When my mom was in a nursing home a long retired Professor sbe knew from sbts came to visit her. They were very old friends I remembered him visiting our home quite a bit. He left sbts not long after Mohler came because, as he said, he saw the handwriting on the wall there would not be an academic focus. He went to a small College to finish out his teaching career. He was a lovely down to earth man but I can see how he would not have fit in as one of Mohlers loyalists. It reminded me that conformity is often sold as "unity".

peter lumpkins

Thanks Lydia. War--whether religious, political, cultural, or other--is nasty to the core. There's no such thing as non-causalities of many innocents when war is declared. It's surely why in part the Apostle placed the caveat in his exhortation to live at peace with all--"as much as lieth in you" (Rm 12:18). He infallibly knew the destructive power of WAR, and resorting to it ONLY as a last resort...

Scott Shaver

Pete, your perspective on the CR is much appreciated. And your little snippet from history on GANO opens a rather untimely can of worms for the "unity" and "theological tradition" mantras reverberating now through the SBC.

Some of us remaining SBC constituents are just just high enough above the stupidity bar to not be confused by the ideas of "unity" and "uniformity". Uniformity is the rigid, goose-stepping, pseudo-agreement on everything with no allowances for deviation. It takes the Nazi-like approach of denigration, exposure, and removal of anything that is disagreement.

And it has to have a TIGHT inner circle.

That is a picture of the SBC Fundamentalism of the 80's. Unity finds the higher alliances (redemption of man, the gospel mandate, etc.) within divine initiative and orientation and ALLOWS for differences (Social practices, biblical inspiration theories etc.) within that framework.

One of the most telling stories of the Bible is the episode where John told some followers of Jesus to refrain from casting out demons. Whereupon, Jesus pointed John to a higher reality and truth.

The rallying around the BFM is an artificial attempt cloacked in cheap-ingredient perfume of "unity" for the sake of promoting "UNIFORMITY'.

In other words....IT AIN'T THE GOSPEL!

Patrick and kin (on both sides of the Calvinism fence) are attempting to bring seminaries, agencies and the entire "SBC" into a position of "uniformity" through an errant, man-produced doctrinal statement (changed twice in the last 15 years).

Hey Trads.....good luck with this rearrangement of chairs on a denominational Titanic.

Scott Shaver

Toss Jesus out of your guiding, organizational principles for cooperation in favor of a man-made statement for the purpose of uniformity and the modern SBC is what you get.

Thank God you can't toss Jesus out of the folks He owns.


"Thank God you can't toss Jesus out of the folks He owns".

Well Scott, you are starting to sound like a reformed baptist.. I like it :)


Come to my neck of the woods and you will not be shut down when it doesn't go our way.

Its very unfortunate that it has happened the way you describe. Not the way it should be.

Scott Shaver

Eric, I have no interest in "reform". And despise hyper-calvinism. Didn't know Jesus was bound to either.


Actually Scott, from my experience they rarely mention Jesus much less the Holy Spirit unless they are promoting ESS and it is necessary to mention within Trinitarian teaching. Jesus is much harder to turn into a determinist. :o). With The Holy Spirit it is impossible.

Scott Shaver

True in my experience as well Lydia. In the light of current SBC "disagreements/divisions", I have no problem rallying around a copy of the 2000BFM....to set it on fire with a Bic lighter.

Scott Shaver

Pete mentioned what a great guy/Christian is Fisher Humphreys. Same holds true with Paul Robertson. He was chair of my DMin Committee and one of the most solid baptists I've ever met in my life.

Couldn't keep a home in SBC life due to his theological honesty.

It's like the line from the movie Major Payne...."I saw what you did to my friends".


"rue in my experience as well Lydia. In the light of current SBC "disagreements/divisions", I have no problem rallying around a copy of the 2000BFM....to set it on fire with a Bic lighter."

Everywhere I read in those circles is an appeal to the BFM. Creedalism! One has to come to the conclusion they think Creeds will provide cover for all sorts of abuses and deceptions. People who stay in such circles loose their ability to think.

Scott Shaver

I maade contact with Paul Robertson yesterday and told him about the Connect 3:16 (Rick Patrick) heralding of he and Fisher's joint work.

He said he wasn't familiar with Connect 3:16 so he looked it up. When he realized it was a "Southern Baptist" site he said, and I quote, "I didn't bother to read any further."

They may endorse him but I don't think the feelings are mutual.


"Everywhere I read in those circles is an appeal to the BFM."

That's what threw off the Calvinism committee a few years ago. If the New Calvinists agree with the BFM, they must be alright! The BFM2000 was revised in a way to allow diverse theologies to coexist under one SBC tent. It's a form of deception to keep the SBC family together to help finance Calvinization of the denomination ... and the traditional giving units in the pew ain't got a clue. The SBC-YRR church planters may hide a link to the BFM2000 on the beliefs section of their websites, but there is no visible indication that they are affiliated with the SBC. If you asked most church plant members what denomination they belonged to, they would have no idea!


Max: Do you think the change in the 2000 BF&M Creed about the Priesthood of the believers was made to satisfy the 5 Point Calvinists?

The comments to this entry are closed.