"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Where Have All the Men With Real Courage Gone?

United States Senator Larry Craig has issued an apology for pleading 'guilty' to a misdemeanor charge of Disorderly Conduct for soliciting sex in the men's restroom at the Minneapolis Airport. The police report is a narrative of sad events.

Larry Craig's apology for pleading guilty to the crime is even more tragic.

Senator Craig says that he falsely pled guilty in an attempt to save himself, his family, the people of Idaho, and his fellow Senators from embarrassment. He wrongly assumed he could keep the matter 'quiet' and make it go away by pleading guilty to a misdemeanor. Senator Craig pled guilty, and signed the papers from the District Attorney's office, in spite of these two sentences which were directly above his signature and audibly read to him before he signed:

(4). I understand that the court will not accept a guilty plea from anyone who claims to be innocent.
(5). I now make no claim that I am innocent to the charge of which I am entering a guilty plea.

I think most people are focusing on whether or not Senator Craig is guilty or innocent of the charges. Some are convinced he is guilty. Others, including evidently his family, believe he is innocent of all charges. Everyone conjecturing on his guilt or innocence has lost sight of the real issue with Senator Craig.

Either way, guilty or innocent, Larry Craig is a liar.

He either lied when he pled guilty to a crime he did not commit, or he is lying now when he says he is innocent of the crime.

We don't need lying, gutless leaders in the United States Senate.

Almost two years ago someone at one of our SBC agencies suggest to me that I should apologize for accusations of 'gossip' and 'slander' that had been leveled against me - even though he himself knew the accusations were not true. He said that the veracity of the charges was inconsequential. For there to be peace and harmony, he reasoned, it would be best to just apologize.

I steadfastly refused. In fact, before the unanimous vote of the board to rescind the recommendation for my removal, I told the entire board I would not apologize for one word of what I had written unless I could be shown how what I had written was not true.

Only cowards confess guilt to things they haven't done wrong.

And for heaven's sake, the SBC, not to mention the United States Senate, need men and women of courage to lead - not politicians who stick their fingers in the wind to see which way the breeze of public opinion is blowing.

In His Grace,

Wade

66 comments:

irreverend fox said...

AMEN!

Alan Riley said...

Well said, Wade. A poll this morning shows only 9% of Americans believe Sen. Craig is telling the truth, so his recent recantation of his plea isn't passing the giggle test with the public. The lesson for the church and church leaders is obvious. We are to speak the truth in love. Never are we admonished to speak that which is not true for the sake of love or political exdepediency.

Wade Burleson said...

Dead on Alan.

Looking forward to our partnership with 316 Broadcast Ministies.

Wayne Smith said...

Wade,

Profound,
We don't need lying, gutless leaders in the United States Senate. Almost two years ago someone at one of our SBC agencies suggest to me that I should apologize for accusations of 'gossip' and 'slander' that had been leveled against me - even though HE HIMSELF KNEW the Accusations were NOT TRUE.

This can only be one of 2 people that post or had posted on these Blogs. Maybe CA. or OK.

I also believe we should not be gutless or have gutless leader in the SBC. If all would Cowboy-Up, to use CB Scott’s saying, we would be bring more people into our churches and have more God Called Missionaries that pass God’s Test for the field.
Wade,
Did I get it right about one of two people being WIMPS?
In His Name

Wade Burleson said...

Wayne,

If I intended for people to know who this person was I would have named him. No guessing allowed - but no, you are not right.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes, your self-righteous moral superiority is just a bit overwhelming.

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

My sympathies to you for being overwhelmed.

Scott Gordon said...

Correct! The definition of most politicians seems to be gutless.

The good senator pleads guilty but claims he's innocent and is sorry of signing a statement falsely...maybe.

He should have entered his plea of guilty with a caveat to numbers 4 & 5 as to his belief that it is unfortunate that one has to agree to guilt before he can plead that charge.

:-)

SOLA GRATIA!

Darby Livingston said...

"a bit overwhelmed"

Isn't that a contradiction in terms?

Wade, I've just spent some time going over the your old notes that became the Happiness Doesn't Just Happen book.

Please allow me just one comment hijack. Wade, if you have the rights to that book, I hope you'll consider a new printing. You hit it, Brother. And people need to hear the message in the western church. It's sad we have to go back to Jeremiah Burrows for good work on Christian contentment. But your work truly brings the theme contemporary.

ed jones said...

Scott Gordon,

You are proving Wade's point. Senator Craig nowhere put down on paper that he was innocent. He pleaded guilty in order to save himself embarrassment. In fact, had he signed with the confession, but printed that he was 'really innocent,' the court would have rejected the 'confession.'

On the other hand, the caveat that Wade wrote on signing the BFM 2000, expressing his differing view on closed communion and the teaching that people are not condemned for Adam's sin is both honest and acceptable. Nice try - but you are out of your league in terms of debate.

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks Darby.

We are hoping a reprint is upcoming soon.

Wade Burleson said...

Wes,

Post whatever you desire on your own blog. It is bad form to hijack another person's blog.

Wes Kenney said...

Wade,

My apologies; no hijack was intended. I will look forward to your removal of Ed's post above as well, since they address identical subject matter.

Wade Burleson said...

Wes, don't hold your breath in anticipated joy. I will allow Scott's and Ed's comments to stand - Scott is the one who initially diverted and I'm allowing Ed's one response. I am confident everyone else will be able to read all you think of the matter in your next post.

Blessings,

wade

RM said...

You have really opened a can of worms now! Deliberately lying seems to be an attribute of many in SBC leadership and without calling any names, it needs to stop.

Maybe a man like you will be able to effect some real and lasting change.

Anonymous said...

Can we not apologize on occassion to our wife, when we are in fact innocent? If not, I'm must say... "dang-it."

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

That's funny.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

It blows my mind that people would criticize you over caveats.

That you would put down what your caveats are should cause people to ESTEEM you as a man of integrity [even if they disagree with you on this or that].

Staunch Paige Patterson supporters,

Allow me to ask you some questions.

Would you please e-mail Dr. Patterson or visit him and ask him if he had caveats to these statements in the Abstract of Principles while President of Southeastern Seminary:

XVI. The Lord's Supper.
The Lord's Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, TO BE ADMINISTERED with the elements of bread and WINE, and to be observed by his churches till the end of the world. It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate his death, to confirm the faith and other graces of Christians, and to be a bond, pledge and renewal of their communion with him, and of their church fellowship. (emphasis mine)

V. Election.
Election is God's eternal choice of some persons unto everlasting life -- NOT BECAUSE OF FORESEEN merit in them, but of his MERE MERCY IN CHRIST -- in consequence of which choice they are CALLED, justified and glorified. (emphasis mine)

If Dr. Patterson had caveats to these statements, then I tip my hat to him for his integrity.

If Dr. Patterson did not have caveats to these statements and believed them, then I again tip my hat to him for his integrity.

Benji Ramsaur

Wade Burleson said...

Benji,

What if he didn't believe the Abstract on these issues and signed it anyway without caveats?

Anonymous said...

Wade,

ahem, no comment [mood uncomfortable:)]

Benji

Anonymous said...

Wade,

It is amazing that someone is called to the carpet on this blog for pointing out your courageous declaration of your bravery against such opposition. His grammar is derided and his point mocked. However, someone can come on this post and accuse SBC leaders of deliberately lying without saying who or giving examples. That is a mighty stern accusation that has been leveled. Not only is it extremely serious, but it would seem impossible to know someone's motive and heart. The hearts and motives of the agency heads is one area of SBC life in which even Ben Cole can't scrounge around.

As for your snide implication against the character of Paige Patterson it does not matter whether he produced caveats or not. What is the minimum that a person can believe and still sign something with integrity? Can someone provide a caveat with 2 articles, 9 articles, 16 articles and still sign it with honor? Can a person still disagree with the "consensus statement of belief of Southern Baptists" and be eligible for cooperation?

Michael York

Wade Burleson said...

Michael,

Michael, you make some good points. The fine points in the abstract on the use of wine and God's election and predestination of sinners are not issues of fellowship for me - and shouldn't be for Southern Baptists. Southern Baptists have differing views and we should cooperate in our diversity. I have no clue to what you refer about SBC leaders lying. Take a deep breath and reread the post.

Wayne Smith said...

Wade,
The 2 people I was referring to in my comment, have some kind of ax to grind.
One doesn’t allow comments with Scripture enclosed or mentioned and the other only allows comments to endorsed his book.
I just don’t know why they can’t Cowboy Up. Anyone that is a stumbling Block for sending Missionaries whom God calls and placed a burden on their Heart, has no place at the table with Cowboys.
TRUTH or CONSEQUENCES

Anonymous said...

Dr. York,

I don't want to accuse Dr. Patterson or anybody else of anything in this comment. However, I am having a hard time understanding your logic in your last paragraph.

It seems, to me, that you are saying on the one hand that caveats do not matter for one individual but they do matter for other individuals.

I am trying to be tentative. Could you explain what you mean further?

Thank you

Benji

RM said...

Michael is probably referring to my comment. Have him email me personally and I can provide him numerous explicit examples.

Alan Cross said...

Re: Wade's caveats, I have no idea why people continue to criticize Wade for this. The same people who criticize Wade for his caveats also tell us to trust our trustees and that we are not to interfere in the business of the trustees within an entity.

If Wade was honest about his caveats BEFORE he became a trustee and the rest of the trustee board knew about his caveats, then don't Wade's critics have a problem with the trustee board of the IMB instead of Wade? Aren't they the ones who let him serve?

Here's an idea: why don't people quit with the criticism of Wade and address your ire toward the trustee board of the IMB who let Wade serve with two caveats. See what they have to say. You'll probably get the same answer that Wade got: Caveats are allowed.

If you would like to change that, I recommend that you elect new trustees by using the political process that we have in place.

As for your post, Wade, you are absolutely correct. We desperately need men of courage in leadership of the SBC.

Seven Star Hand said...

Greetings Wade and all,

Karma can be a bitch when the time to pay the piper for such staggering hypocrisy rolls around. Never forget that this is the crowd that enthusiastically gave us the Iraq war, torture, secret prisons, Abu-Garib, Gitmo, and spying on the innocent. Oh, how the arrogant are falling...

It just boggles the mind that holier-than-thou Christian leaders are so often involved in sick, sick, behavior. Just look at the history and current events of the Vatican and Papacy. See the patterns here?

Notice that Larry Craig was nabbed on June, 11th? Notice the pattern of pivotal events repeatedly occurring on number 11 days during recent years? How many unlikely coincidences are necessary before more people discern a strong pattern in the noise?

Here is Wisdom !!*
*********

Wade Burleson said...

Alan,

Thanks. To be fair to Wes, it's time to talk of something else.

The caveats on the Lord's Supper and whether or not people are condemned for Adam's one sin (I believe they are) is a non-issue - just as you have said.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

I did not mean to imply that you accused some in leadership of purposefully lying, but in "rm's" comment he said that purposefully lying was one of the attributes of many in SBC leadership. This is patently false and a harmful way of thinking. Not only are those in leadership men of God, but they are men of integrity. I earnestly believe that you agree with me on this, I just was upset that someone could make a claim that vile and it go unchecked.

I agree that the use of wine in communion is not something to break fellowship over, I also agree that predestination and God's choice of how he exercises his sovereignty is not an area upon which fellowship depends. I also should point out that these are not in reference to the BF&M, they are in the SEBTS abstract of principles. My point was that you have been touting for a while, that issues which are not in the BF&M are not issues over which fellowship should be broken. I disagree with your doctrinal positions on tongues, women in the ministry and the IMB controversy. I am glad that both our churches are able to pool our resources together to send able men and women around the world to preach the Gospel.

However you disagree with things that are in the BF&M, our consensus statement of belief. Can you rightly claim to represent Southern Baptists? Can you truly sign this with integrity? I know that you make your disagreements clear, but my question should be considered. How much of the BF&M can you disagree with and still sign it with integrity? I understand that there is a triage of beliefs and that some are more important than others, but you have repeatedly referred to the Lifeway survey and the lack of a reference to tongues in the BF&M as evidence of majority support. I submit that we have a document that is definitively supported by a majority of SBC'ers and that if someone is going to serve on the board of an SBC agency then they should wholly believe what the convention has adopted as our statement of belief.

Michael York

Wade Burleson said...

Uh, Seven Star, I think you should drink decaffeinated coffee.

Wade Burleson said...

Michael,

We agree on the essentials of the gospel. Closed communion is not an essential. Neither is supralapsarianism, infralapsarianism, and sublapsarianism an essential of the gospel. Southern Baptists differ on these philosophical approaches to soteriology and no confession should seek to teach a particular view to the exclusion of another. When you demand conformity on the non-essentials you lose sight of what cooperating means.

Wade Burleson said...

By the way Michael, thanks for clarifying that you were not referring to me or my post.

Alycelee said...

There was a time, not long ago actually when I became overly concerned about our impact on Gods reputation.
I often wondered and frankly worried how those in the world really saw us, with our quirks, sins and attitudes exposed. Ugly. How very ugly.
I finally realized God reputation is not in question.
I also saw that this ugly exposure was His doing.
It is sad and ugly-but does not put God at risk.
Just so you know I'm not hijacking-
I know many godly men of courage and conviction. Many men who do not lie or compromise their integrity. I'm encouraged, hopeful, waiting with confident expectation.
I don't want to pour salt in the wounds of your enemies, or pander to you Wade.
But you are such and man and I thank God for you and count you as a friend.

CB Scott said...

Wade,

Good post.

Wayne,


I guess we could say; Let the Devil take the hindmost parts with those that will not "cowboy up" when it is necessary. :-)

cb

Joel Rainey said...

Wade,

Some good points in this post. And when you find a US Senator who isn't a spineless liar, I'd like to meet him or her. :)

Michael,
I'm a little confused by your comments. Forgive me, but while I understand your arguments against Wade being able to accurately represent Southern Baptists because he signed with caveats, it seems that you don't feel the same way about someone like Patterson when it comes to the Abstract of Principles. Forgive me if I misrepresent you here, but if I am correct, how can you say Wade's signing of the BFM while he disagrees with certain points is any different than Patterson signing the Abstract while disagreeing with the statement on election contained therein?

btw, are you the same Michael York I met while you were a student at Boyce College?

Anonymous said...

Dr. York,

I do not want to put words in your mouth.

It seems "to me" that your logic is that to sign the BF&M 2000 with caveats is to do something without integrity BECAUSE IT IS A CONSENSUS STATEMENT, but to sign the Abstract of Principles with caveats is an act of integrity because it is NOT a consensus statement.

Is this accurate?

Thank you

Benji

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

Thanks for the suggestion.

Wade Burleson said...

Jeeves said 'shucks' and anonymous wanted him removed. I complied.

:)

Anonymous said...

Joel,

I am the same Michael York that you met while I was at Boyce College. Benji, I am not Dr. York, I am working toward that end, but I am not there yet.

I am not saying that if Patterson disagreed with those statements then it is alright for him to sign a statement saying so, what I am saying is that we do not know what he believes concerning those statements, we do not have free access to his heart and mind. I am saying that he signed that statement, and I take for granted knowing what I know of Dr. Patterson, that he signed with integrity. Wade could not sign the BF&M with integrity so he stated the points with which he had disagreement. This is an act of integrity. If Dr. Patterson signed SEBTS' abstract of principles I take for granted that he agreed with them.

I do not attempt to know what Dr. Patterson believes concerning these issues. Just because he is not a five point Calvinist does not mean that he cannot agree that we are called by an act of mercy and not because of any internal merit.

Michael York

Anonymous said...

Michael,

I thought I was mistaken after I already commented. I thought you were the professor at Southern.

Here is what Dr. Patterson said on November 1, 2000 [student forum] as President of Southeast Baptist Theological Seminary [I have it on audio]:

"by unconditional election many Calvinists mean that God does everything, that He elected you in eternity past regardless of anything that He foresaw, anything of that nature, and that nobody has anything to do with it whatsoever. If that's what you mean by unconditional election, sorry I can't buy into that. If you mean by unconditional election the fact that salvation, from beginning to end, is God's act, then I accept that totally and completely. Now as it comes to election there are two times in the Bible when the Bible says
elect according to the foreknowledge of God--whom He did foreknow them He did predestine to be conformed to the image of His Son. Now, I'm well aware of the Calvinistic response to this "Well, if God knows it to be so in eternity past can it be any other way?" I'm well aware of that response and I would be the first to say [unlike the Calvinists who think they can explain it] that I can't explain it, I actually can't explain it, it's a mystery that is as just as much a mystery as the Triunity of the Godhead itself. But I do know this, being a thoroughgoing biblicist, that twice the Bible says that in some way or another the electing act of God is bound up in His foreknowledge. Now, exactly how all that works I don't know, but I believe the Bible's true and so I'm going to go with election based on foreknowledge--whom God foreknew them He did predestine to be conformed to the image of His Son"

* Everyone: This quote is not intended to start a debate on whether Unconditional Election is biblical or not.

Benji Ramsaur

Bennett Willis said...

From one of Michael York's comments: "I submit that we have a document that is definitively supported by a majority of SBC'ers and that if someone is going to serve on the board of an SBC agency then they should wholly believe what the convention has adopted as our statement of belief."

Since none of us have any data from the "rank and file" of the SBC, we are apparently free to draw our own conclusions on the support that the details of the BFM would have if it were broken apart and each piece reviewed by "each" SBCer. I think that a high percentage of us would have reservations about the closed communion and a really large number of us would have problems on the other point and there might be some other details that (if SBCers really thought about how they feel about them) would come up short.

But we have been cooperating for years without bringing it up. Of course this was before "signing contemporary documents" got to be such a trendy thing.

While I personally think that signing all these documents is a load of ******, I also think that if the rule is that you have to believe it all that you should have to believe it all--and honestly believe it. I think that most sign these documents like I "sign" the "agreements" that appear when I open software--this is something that I have to do to use the software and I hope that the fine print never comes into play.

Bennett Willis

peter lumpkins said...

Benji,

I am unsure what you are intending to suggest by your quote from Dr. Patterson. His understanding, if I read it correctly, is perfectly consistent with one of at least three streams of interpretation *within* historic Baptist understanding concerning precisely how unconditional election is teased out.

If this is so, your point about Dr. Patterson's signing the document at SE weakens substantially.

Wade,

You are correct: we do need courageous men and women who lead us in SBC life. The question remains as to whether we actually possess them. I take it from this community's view, there exists a lack. The evidence for such, however, at least till this point, remains unconvincing.

No amount of rhetoric, conspiracy theories, guessing games or similar tactics make up for hard facts' absence.

Grace, Wade. With that, I am...

Peter

Joel Rainey said...

Michael,

I will have to differ with you on what Patterson believes, as he has been very clear (particuarly at the Greensboro Convention in 2006)that he believes in a conditional election based on God's "foreknowledge" of future decisions. This isn't about whether he is a five-point Calvinist, but to sign the Abstract one must at least hold to three, and he has admitted that he does not. This is clearly in opposition to what the Abstract states.

With that said, I am happy that he was at Southeastern, and applaud the work he did. Personally, I would have no problem, as one who affirms the Abstract, in removing it and having only the BFM2000. I do not believe Patterson or anyone else should have to subscribe to a Calvinistic view of election. The BFM2000 allows for both conditional and unconditional views. The Abstract clearly does not.

With that said, I would contend with you that we have the same issue with Patterson that you rightly say we now have with Wade. I think the question before us is "is this OK?"

Glad to know you are doing well, and blessings to you as you continue toward completion of your doctoral studies.

Joel Rainey said...

One point of clarification from my post above.

The question is "is it OK to differ at certain points with a confession of faith?" I'm not answering the question here, but simply stating that if it is OK for someone like Patterson, then it should be OK for Wade. If it is not OK for Wade, it should not be OK for Patterson (or anyone else). My plea is simply for consistency.

With that, I go to bed. :)

Darby Livingston said...

John Piper has a series of biographies - The Swans are not Silent. I guarantee you there are swans in the current SBC who have the clarity of thought, allegiance to Scripture, courage of convictions, love of the brethren, and sharpness of pen to lead us through this century. We may not even know who some of them are yet. But who knows, someone may even write a biography of them someday.

Dr. Danny Chisholm said...

The SBC will NOT allow its women to lead. Interestingly, I don't know of many women leaders who are "gutless" as you have indicated.

Otherwise, I appreciate your sentiments.

Anonymous said...

Peter,

The issue is not whether or not his view fits within any, what you call, "stream" in Southern Baptist life.

The issue is whether or not his view is consistent with article 5 [Election] in the Abstract of Principles that he signed.

If you want to provide us your interpretation of that article and maybe show other figures (published authors, historical figures, etc.) that agree with your interpretation, I'm sure it would be interesting.

It wasn't too long ago that I read Dr. Akin's interpretation of that article in a book and, if I understood him correctly, I think his interpretation was consistent with mine.

I've been wrong before, but I think when it comes to what Article 5 means, there is a common/standard interpretation.

God Bless

Benji

Anonymous said...

Peter,

By the way, if a "stream" that you are thinking about is the Sandy Creek, then this is part of what the Sandy Creekers said about themselves:

"the Lord Jesus Christ, who alone is the mediation of the new Covenant, and alone Redeemer of god’s Elect, without any merit in us, or moving because of good in us FORESEEN to merit his mercy, was delivered to death for our offences" (emphasis mine)

And their committe had this to say about this "faith and covenant" as a whole:

"We the Committee Certify that this is a true Copy of the original faith and Covenant of the Church at Sandy Creek Meeting house N.. Carolina F. County July 6th day 1850"

You can read it in its entirety here:

http://strangebaptistfire.com/2007/08/11/the-alabama-baptist-and-dortian-calvinism/#comments

Also, Peter I know how you like Mullins. Here is what he had to say:

"Does God choose men to salvation because of their good works or because he FORESEES they will believe when the gospel is preached to them? Beyond doubt God FORESEES THEIR FAITH. Beyond doubt faith is a condition of salvation. The question is whether it is also the ground of salvation. The Scriptures answer this question in the NEGATIVE. (emphasis mine)

THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION IN ITS DOCTRINAL EXPRESSION by E.Y. Mullins. Copyright 1917, by Edgar
Young Mullins, the Judson Press, Philadelphia. Reprinted November, 1949. Page 343.

I agree with Mullins here. Good stuff.

God Bless

Benji

irreverend fox said...

Wade...I know I'm late in reading this...but I must say reading:

"My sympathies to you for being overwhelmed." has given me a much need laugh out loud session...

I'm going to steal it!

peter lumpkins said...

Benji,

To the contrary, Benji, my view of the abstract is totally irrelevant.

Nor is acknowledging either foreknowledge as being intrinsically wed to election, or claiming unconditional election and human agency a "mystery" and consequently inexplicable, similarly to the triune nature of God, as did Dr. Patterson, a view that is not found in earlier explanations among Baptists.

Dr. Patterson, according to the quote you offered, stated that "If you mean by unconditional election the fact that salvation, from beginning to end, is God's act, then I accept that totally and completely." From my view, to insist one state something stronger than this stands incredible. Unless, of course, one is insisting that all Baptists be Dortian Calvinists.

With that, I am...

Peter

Debbie Kaufman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
peter lumpkins said...

Benji,

If you desire to trade historical quotes, I'd be happy to oblige you elsewhere, not on Wade's nickel--especially a thread not given to this subject. I've already had my warning shots and if I'm deleted, I want it to be worthwhile.

And, no, I was not thinking of Sandy Creek. Nor do I disagree with Professor Mullins. You'll be happy to know I have his text close to my desk at all times.

With that, I am...

Peter

Anonymous said...

Peter,

Interesting.

How can your view of the Abstract be totally irrelevant when the issue is whether or not Patterson agreed with Article 5 in the Abstract [which seems to necessitate one having a view of the Abstract in order to have anything meaningful to say on this issue in the first place]?

By the way, thanks for sparing me the back and forth. If I had to pump out all of the pro Dortian Calvinistic articles from 1800's Biblical Recorders that I have here, I think it might wear me slam out.

God Bless

Benji

Anonymous said...

Oh, Senator Craig - you picked the wrong party to join. If you'd just gone the other direction when it came to politics, not only would you have ended up on page B43 of the papers, but you'd be invited to speak at this summer's DNC Convention about diversity with Barney Rank, uh, Frank.

Steve Austin, layman

peter lumpkins said...

Benji,

I must confess your question of relevancy to me and the Abstract is priceless. I shall treasure it a model for those who desire to continue a conversation but unfortunately cannot think of anything to say.

O.K. Benji, I risk my hide. Here is you one to suck on a while.

In an essay entitled "Predestination" the Rev. Richard Fuller of Baltimore, MD writes in 1885:

" I am going to offer you some thoughts upon this difficult subject, treating it first doctrinally, and then practically...

The problem to which I refer is that of God's decrees and man's moral agency, to solve which two systems have been advocated, two parties have been formed...Libertarians and the Necessarians.

Even if the theory of the Libertarians were not a plain evasion, it would be impossible for us to accept sucha solution; for it dethrones Jehovah; it surrenders the entire government of the world to mere chancce, to wild and caprice and disorder. According to this system, nature, providence, grace are only departments of atheism; God has no control over the earth and its affairs; or--if that be too monstrous and revolting,--he exercises authority over matter, but none over the minds and hearts of men...

This heresy is condemned on every page of the Bible..."

I am quite sure you like that Benji and would so wish our Dr. Patterson would use such strong language. But let us watch Rev. Fuller sling his ax yet again:

"The system of the Necessarians is condemned by the Scriptures as unequivocally as that of their opponents. The cases which I have just now cited to establish the doctrine of predestination, are equally as convincing as to man's free moral agency. For you remember that the inspired writers expressly charge the crimes upon their authors, without the slightest intimation that God's decrees have anything to do with man's guilt...Indeed, it is manifest that every call, every threat, every expostulation, every exhortation in the Bible supposes that man is a free agent. If he be not free, if he be the passive victim of inexorable, irresistible destiny, the Sacred Volume is a compilation of glaring inconsistencies--of sheer downright falsehood and mockery...

Where is the arbiter to be found, who perfectly comprehends these deep things of God, and to whom we may with perfect confidence refer the difficulty?...It is God Himself. He understands fully His decrees; he also comprehends man's free agency; and he declares as we have seen, that all our speculations are wrong; that both these doctrines are true; and of course, there is no discrepancy between them. I have shown that it is *impossible for us to reject either of these great truths* and it is *equally impossible* for our minds to *reconcile* them...If we attempt to explain and reconcile the doctrines of predestination and free agency, we find impassable barriers hemming us in, and sharp adamant striking us back. Their harmony we must leave with God."(1)

That's a long quote, my brother Benji, but worth the read, especially by Dortian fundamentalists who, more times than not, insist on uniform language in explaining Election.

Dr. Patterson, in his statement leaving the final "mystery" of Election to God sounds very similar in construct to Richard Fuller, I'd say.

Personally, I believe it's unmitigated crock to question, therefore, Dr. Patterson's allegiance to the Abstract because he believes Election belongs to God's "mysterious" knowledge in working out the details rather than his speculation.

With that, I am...

Peter

(1) Rev. Richard Fuller, "Predestination", Baptist Doctrines: Being an Exposition in a Series of Essays by Representative Baptist Ministers of the Distinctive Points of Baptist Faith and Practise; Rev. Charles A. Jenkins, Editor; St. Louis: Chancy R. Barns, 1885; pages 479-516

Anonymous said...

Peter,

First of all, let me say "God bless you brother".

Second of all, without thinking on the Fuller quotes too much, it seems like pretty good stuff to me. "Free agency" and "God's decrees" are both true--sounds good to me.

Third, you have provided your interpretation of Dr. Patterson and it is an interesting one.

I'm glad you were able to look at a primary resource and think about it.

I'm sure others are doing that as well.

God bless you Peter. If I were near you right now, I think I'd walk right up to you and give you a big bear hug.

And if I were french...[ahhh, just kidding]

Love you brother, love you.

Love you, love you, love you, love you, love you...

Benji

Jason said...

Awesome post. I couldn't agree with you more, Wade.

Anonymous said...

Benji - I haven't laughed that hard in years.

At least not when I am all alone staring at a computer screen.

SL1M

Kerygma said...

And then there's Coy Privette, who pleads guilty to six counts of prostitution and refuses the next day to resign as a county commissioner, saying he's put that all behind him and is ready to move on.

Putting stuff behind you used to take a long time. Now, it's a matter of days.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Or in some cases hours.

tovel said...

Just want to say that while we should defintitely hold our politicians and ourselves to high standards.

Always remember that they're human just like us and as such do falter none of us is perfect.

Bryan Riley said...

Does it seem sad to see all these comments after what was just a good post on a current event about the lack of (and need for) integrity in leadership?

Anonymous said...

To me, pleading guilty to a crime that you didn't commit seems foolish, not cowardly. And to refuse to apologize when someone asks seems stubborn or proud rather than brave. If your career is on the line or the safety of your family is in jeopardy, your actions can either be cowardly or brave. But what did you stand to lose by refusing to apologize? Anything?
Katie

Stephen Pruett said...

Congressman Livingston of Louisiana is one example of a politician caught in sin who at least did the honorable thing once his acts were exposed. He committed adultery. He apologized and resigned. He didn't blame anyone else or issue false denials or stonewall and hope the problem went away. He is one exmple of a politician with a spine.

jthomas899 said...

Bryan, What's sad about it? The post was given to discuss.

Anonymous, It is not uncommon for innocent people to plead guilty to things they didn't do for various reasons. A guilty plead simply doesn't mean what it should mean.

Kerygma said...

No, it doesn't seem sad at all