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

A Little Humility in the Pulpit Is Needed in the SBC

I am surprised at the number of people in the Southern Baptist Convention, mostly pastors, who think that it is impossible to be anything but dogmatic when it comes to preaching the Scriptures. I agree with my brethren that the essentials of the gospel - those doctrines that define true Christianity - should be held with firm conviction. But when I explain to some of my SBC colleagues that my interpretations of tertiary doctrines or texts that are not as clear as others, are held by me firmly, but not dogmatically, there are some who seem to think I've lost my Southern Baptist mind. Further, when I explain that I am open to the possibility that I could be wrong in my interpretations and am unafraid to dialogue, listen to, and even cooperate, with those who disagree with me on the non-essentials, my loyalty to the Southern Baptist Convention is questioned. I, my family and my church can assure everyone who does not know me, but reads this blog, that I am as orthodox, conservative and Southern Baptist as any one person you can name in our convention.

I just happen to believe there needs to be a little humility in the pulpit.

My father, Paul Burleson, has pastored Southern Baptist churches for nearly the past six decades. He has pastored small churches and mega-churches before people knew what mega-churches were. He has trained hundreds of pastors who were receiving their theological education at Southwestern Theological Seminary in the 1970's. He is friends with several of big name pastors and SBC executives of today, but is known for his love and concern for the small church pastor. He and my mother, Mary, have led couples retreats for pastors and wives all across our convention. Everywhere I go, people know my father. He is a great preacher and he has every reason to be proud. Because of his maturity and years of experience in the ministry, he has every reason to insist he knows the truth - and is right in his views.

But he has taught me and others what it means to be humble in the pulpit. Listen to his words . . .

This is where I came to in 1980 in my own preaching when I determined to not preach anything as absolute except what I personally saw as clearly presented in the text. My message changed beyond anything I could have imagined. I came to grips with the fact that much/most of the things I was saying in the pulpit was coming from what I'd heard others, whom I admired, say was in the text or was generally Baptist held viewpoints because of traditions that were baptistic in reputation but had no real foundation in the text itself.

I also began to see that what Peter said of some of the things Paul the Apostle preached was correct. [This is also true of several matters in the text of scripture.] Some of the things he delivered WERE hard to understand and those that were the most difficult I decided I'd better hold my personal view as to their meaning lightly because the correct meaning was more important than my interpretation.

This is not out of a lack of confidence in the integrity or authority of the text but a true awareness of my own inadequacy to hear God accurately on occasion. Some things are clear. Some things are not that clear. When the text isn't totally clear I won't be dogmatic as to it's meaning. 1Timothy 2:15 and the "she shall be saved in child-bearing" is an example. From my present perspective the whole of that chapter may have been delivered through a glass a little darker than some are willing to admit. But that's another post.

Since the true biblical messenger is to be careful of proclaiming his/her own viewpoint, opinions or grievances, I tread lightly on some passages and some theological positions that others seem to state the meaning of with great personal conviction. More power to them. All I'm saying is the messenger CAN get in the way of the message if we declare as absolute our personal views on some issues where there are good people on both sides of a possible meaning of any given text.

I'm not sure but what God may have left some of His total message a little less clear than say the gospel so we will make clear with conviction that gospel and keep trusting Him for greater understanding of other theological areas. I love what Gene Bridges said... and I quote

"And, with that in mind, I think we can be more confident about our reliance on probabilistic reasoning, for if God has wanted us to have more evidence or better evidence, then it was within his power to do so. Hence we are judging certain questions on the basis of the evidence which he has left at our disposal. Therefore, we shouldn't be plagued by nagging, gnawing doubts about the possibility of being wrong. Even if I were wrong some of the time, it's out of my hands, and I'm in his hands. As a Christian, I don't require a godlike control over the evidence. I can go with what I've got because it's what God has given me to go by."

I have to say "amen" to that statement. I can give my understanding of difficult passages but respect others who differ with me trusting the God who gave it in the first place to be able to make clear His message ultimately.

To read all of Paul Burleson's excellent post and comment on it, go to his blog and read the two part article entitled The Foolishness of Preaching.

It's worth leaving up all during this September 9th preaching weekend. :)

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

This post has also described my theological journey very well.

Not to go off topic, but the same can be said of my reformed position as well. I simply believed the semi-pelagian view as correct because that's what I was taught...not what I discovered in scripture. But I digress.

As I mentioned in the last post, getting out here in the foreign mission field will improve many commenters "exegesis skills". Some of the things in scripture that should compel us all to study more deeply, yet some are so dogmatic about, will all seem less important and they will be forced to get back to (and stay with) keeping the main thing the main thing.

SL1M

Jason said...

Wade,
As always, great post. I think we get off on tangents alot of the time about doctrinal topics and get away from the truth of Jesus. That is one problem that I have with all denominational seperations.

I also believe that Biblical Truth can be given to us by The holy Spirit and that HE will not answer us inconsistently. In other words, if you and I each pray on a certain topic, He isn't going to give you one answer and me another answer. I think the problem is that WE (as humans) don't pray enough. If we were constantly in God's Face, praying and seeking His will, without ceasing, as Thessalonians says to do, then there would be less contraversy.

UNEDUCATED - because all knowledge that I possess is given to me by the Holy Spirit and not a man-made educational institution.

jasonk said...

Pride is the great sin of pastors everywhere. And if what I was taught growing up is correct, pride is the root of all the other sins. Yet, pride seems to be perfectly acceptable if you're a pastor.
Young preachers do not realize the power they possess over people. It sort of sneaks up on them. Then, once they begin to recognize it, they're addicted to it, and it comes out in the form of dogmatism. Oh sure, they will say it is just conviction, but its not. It is pride.
I'm glad that your dad isn't hung up on his own position.
I know several pastors like him--humble, contrite, truly aware of their own shortcomings when it comes to what they really know and understand about the Bible. Sadly, I know many more who are the opposite. I join you in your call for a little humility.

Anonymous said...

Do you think, perhaps, a little more humility could be shown on your part? For the past few weeks you have implied that if YOU don't think something is clearly revealed in the Scriptures then it must not be. Is it possible that you could be wrong when you conclude that Scripture does not speak definitively on a particular subject? After all, you seem to be calling out anyone that takes a different approach than you do.

Mike B.

Belief Matters said...

Jason, I have a seminary education. Its sounds funny that you promote your "uneducation" and make fun of seminary education. How do you tell the difference between the Holy Spirit and gas?

Jeff

Belief Matters said...

Jason, Also what we know about the truth of Jesus is doctrine because we must rely on the Bible.

NativeVermonter said...

When I see my sin compared to a Holy and Righteous God, well let’s just say humility is not a problem when your face is in the dirt. Our biggest battle resides inside and that is where we are to go to war.

John

Scott Shaffer said...

Wade,

You wrote,

I agree with my brethren that the essentials of the gospel - those doctrines that define true Christianity - should be held with firm conviction. But when I explain to some of my SBC colleagues that my interpretations of tertiary doctrines or texts that are not as clear as others, are held by me firmly, but not dogmatically, there are some who seem to think I've lost my Southern Baptist mind.

I can agree wholeheartedly with that statement. What doctrines would you say are clearly presented in Scripture, that is, those that can be held "dogmatically", and which ones aren't as clear and therefore can't be held dogmatically?

Scott

P.S. If you've already posted this elsewhere, just point me in the right direction.

Jason said...

BeliefMatters
I am not saying that a Seminary Education isn't good and I am not making fun of anyone. I wish that I had a Seminary Education, I really do. It is something that I have prayed for many times, yet I have never felt let by God to enroll in Seminary. Does this mean that NO ONE should ever go to Seminary? Of course not... it simply means that it isn't right for ME at this point in time. I hope that changes one day, but if it doesn't, so be it. My point was to say that people both WITH and WITHOUT Seminary education can pray and speak with the Holy Spirit and follow His example.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Great post Wade.

I find that manytimes, just because someone holds a view, others think they hold that view dogmatically.

There are many things I believe firmly but not dogmatically. I think you've said it nicely.

The hard part is recognizing that others may not be as dogmatic as we think they are.

Wade Burleson said...

Scott,

See here as an answer to your question

Wade Burleson said...

Mike B.

You ask . . .

Is it possible that you could be wrong when you conclude that Scripture does not speak definitively on a particular subject?

We have a local television commercial in Enid that always ends with the phrase, "Tain't likely." Why is it not likely that I could be wrong about my conclusion that Scripture does not speak clearly on a particular subject?

(1). The historical/ grammatical approach of interpretation offers two varying views among serious exegetes.
(2). There are a number of conservatives on both sides of the interpretations - not necessarily an equal number, but people on both sides.
(3). It is not an essential doctrine of the Christian faith, and thus, like Paul, a Christian can say, "I prefer"
(4). Nobody is in hell because they believe a particular way about this particular doctrine.

This is why it is fairly easy to say the Scripture is not as clear as one might assume.

Debbie Kaufman said...

And in turn you have taught your congregation well in this area Wade. We are studiers of scripture due to the principles in this area that you and your dad have given. I also believe this is why we are a congregation of grace. Something I am still working on but further than I was at the beginning of my Christian walk.

Mike Ruffin said...

The Bible itself offers us some guidance on how to determine the difference between "core" and "non-core" (I'm just tired of "tertiary" and "secondary" so I thought I'd try another one!) teachings.

For example, the gospels are in unanimous agreement that Jesus Christ died on the cross and was resurrected. They are not in unanimous agreement on some of the details leading up to those events.

For another example, the gospels make very clear what were the central teachings of Jesus. They do not always present those teachings in the same narrative context.

For yet another example, Genesis clearly teaches that God created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them. It also offers two different treatments of that subject.

My point: the shape of the biblical materials themselves give us some clues to go by in determining what is core and what is non-core, in addition to those that you and others have noted (such as Paul's "not the Lord but I").

Jeff said...

Debbie, You are right on with your comments that we ought to create an atmosphere where people study the Scriptures for themselves, and not just take our word for it. Good post.

Jeff

NativeVermonter said...

I will share one Core, Essential, Primary, etc., that is a hill upon which this Native Vermonter would die—Imputed versus Infused. Some might say “Grace through Faith,” and while the terms are the same the definitions are an eternity apart.

David Simpson said...

Wade posted, from Paul Burleson's sermon,
"I came to grips with the fact that much/most of the things I was saying in the pulpit was coming from what I'd heard others, whom I admired, say was in the text or was generally Baptist held viewpoints because of traditions that were baptistic in reputation but had no real foundation in the text itself."
This can be applied just as easily to our worship through music. It took a while before my SBC upbringing allowed me to see that the lifting of my hands was actually biblical! We love to sing "Shout to the Lord," but if you really did, in many SBC churches, you might be shown the door.
Thanks for the encouraging post...

jthomas899 said...

David, Your post made me smile because I am at the same place you are in my worship journey. I used to think there was no need to lift hands in worship, now I desire to do so but I don't because it still freaks people out at the church I serve.

Jeff

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade: Fine post.

I need to remember that, as I contemplate the need for humility in the pulpit, it's needed just as much in the pew. A WHOLE LOT more people see pew-sitters than pulpit-standers.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

We love to sing "Shout to the Lord," but if you really did, in many SBC churches, you might be shown the door.

Now thats funny! Sad but true.

Chuck Bryce said...

Jthomas899,

Lift 'em up Buddy. If you truly feel "led" the do it then be obedient. I was like that once until someone pointed out that somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 times Scripture speaks of lifting up Holy hands to the Lord.

Once I did other people in the church decided it was ok. Turns out there were more who wanted to do this but were afraid. i had one couple complain. I invited them to sit on the front pew with me so they would not see others doing it. Thye are still in their middle pew and I have not heard a thing about it in five years.

Blessings
Chuck

Anonymous said...

Mike Ruffin; Some examples of your examples might help me understand what you speak of. Thanks, Jim Sadler

traveller said...

We all need a great deal of humility, most of all me.

One of the reasons people adopt absolute positions related to theology and the Bible is that it allows for control. We love to control not only ourselves and others, but God as well. We can shape him into our image instead of the other way around.

Yes, our God is changeless but He is constantly changing us into the image of Christ, which means by definition we will be grasping and understanding the Bible more clearly and correctly as the Holy Spirit works in our lives individually and collectively.

Oh, that is another issue, not only do we like to be in control we really are afraid the Holy Spirit might actually do something in us or around us that we cannot control. Why are so many afraid of an expression of the Spirit through speaking in tongues? Because it is something humans cannot control unless, of course, they interpret Scripture to exclude it.

Yes, God will not contradict himself or his Word but he will certainly help us see how we may see in a certain position a contradiction that is not there as the Spirit teaches us where our doctrine needs refinement.

May we allow the Holy Spirit to do the work in our midst that Father wishes to accomplish.

Mike Ruffin said...

Jim Sadler,

Thanks for the question. The examples I offer are certainly not original to me; others have noted them.

Examples of my first example can be found by comparing John with the Synoptics. In the Synoptics, the meal that Jesus shared with his disciples is the Passover meal (Luke 22:7, for example). In John, the meal seems to come before the Passover (John 13:1). In John's Gospel, it is Mary Magdalene alone who first goes to the tomb. In the Synoptics, there are other women with her and the numbers vary from Gospel to Gospel. In John's Gospel, Jesus cleanses the temple at the beginning of his ministry. In the Synotics, he does so at the beginning of Holy Week.

As for an example of my second example, one would be Luke's "Sermon on the Plain" as opposed to Matthew's "Sermon on the Mount." Some but not all of the same sayings occur in Luke that occur in Matthew. In Luke, the sermon is led into by some Sabbath controversies that in Matthew's narrative occur well after the Sermon on the Mount.

As for examples of my third example, it seems clear to me that we have two creation narratives in Gen 1-2. In Genesis 1, the vegetation is created before human beings while in Genesis two the man is created before the plants. There are other such differences.

My point is not that such differences are unimportant. To the contrary, they point us to the distinct theological emphases of the various inspired writers/editors of the Bible, all of which are worthy of preaching and teaching and without any of which we have a less than complete presentation of the truth. But, I think the text itself guides us to see that while the crucifixion and resurrection are (obviously) central and crucial, we need not be dogmatic about some of the details of presentation. I would say the same about the teachings of Jesus and creation.

I hope this helps to clarify my earlier nebulous thoughts.

Jack said...

"How do you tell the difference between the Holy Spirit and gas?"

Is it possible that our current denominational leaders' phobic aversion to all things charismatic is leading some to reject God?

(see "Holy Trinity" for more)

-jack-

PS: I have not spoken in tongues - publicly or privately - but I know that God could change that so I will not ridicule those that do -- lest I ridicule the work of God.

jack said...

PS: I do not want my previous post to be viewed as an attack against any individual. If I have offended the original poster I beg forgiveness.

I am - though - concerned about an increasing number of posts I have read on this and other SBC blogs that demean The Holy Spirit or gifts of The Holy Spirit because some feel they don't fit into "Baptist Distinctives."

-jack-

Jeff Thomas said...

Jack, That was a question I wanted a poster to consider. I wasn't trying to be funny. There are some people who have told me the Lord has told me you should do this or that. The Spirit has spoken and this is what you should do. The Spirit still speaks today, but not outside the bounds of the complete reveal revelation of God given via the Bible. So my question is that feeling you feel how do you know it really is the Holy Spirit?

I am cautiously open concerning the gifts, or to put it another way I am not sure they available today. I have friends who would be called charismatic and that's ok with me.

Jeff T

Wayne Smith said...

Jeff,
When you are Born Again in Jesus Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit you are on fire for the Lord. At that point in time you thirst for God's Word and you will never stop. There is no other High and I have never taken Drugs or anything. The Holy Spirit Corrects and Guides you each and every day. I was a 40 years old (what I thought was a Christian) before being Born Again in 1975. I was even a Elder in a church, because I was a VP of a Bank. I now lift Holy Hands unto to LORD and Thank God for Saving Me.

In His Name

Jeff Thomas said...

Wayne, Yes, I know that you are filled with the Holy Spirit. My point is that some people confuse a feeling with the leadership of God.

For instance, I was run off from my last church. I didn't feel led to lead, but others felt lead that I should leave. Which one was right?

Jeff

Anonymous said...

"just happen to believe there needs to be a little humility in the pulpit."

In the words of one of my grad professors, "No Duh!"

Unfair, however, to confuse passion for one's convictions as dogmatism. Where's the humility in that? Reminds me that you, like everyone else, chooses what to be passionate about and what not. Careful, lest you get entirely too self-righteous in calling for others to be humble!

I long for the days when great men examine their own hearts rather than try and be a collective voice.

Reminds me of secular liberals who say everyone should leave everyone else alone--except, of course, those with whom they disagree. We can agree to disagree unless we disagree that we can agree to disagree. Who decides what the "main things" are? And are you right? Who says, well, of course, you say. No Duh!

"Oh, what a tangled web we weave...."

Wayne Smith said...

Jeff,

If I’m reading you right and you were asked to leave, then you had no choose, Paul suffered for Jesus Christ as You too are suffering for Jesus Christ. God will use this opportunity to grow you and also to place burning coals on their head of those who persecute you. My pastor also was ask to leave because he was preaching the Whole Gospel and the church wanted their ears tickled. God had a better plan for our Pastor and he is now Preaching 7 miles away from his former church. God is heaping burning coals on his former church members and they now realize their mistake. They need to repent for their sins of what they have done, but being Baptist of Tradition’s that is out of the Question.


In His Name

Wayne Smith said...

Anonymous,
Is that you Peter examining your own Heart?

In His Name

Anonymous said...

Mike Ruffin,
We can close our dialog here. The Scripture you referred to I have no trouble understanding and to me they the answer is plain. I have just referred to each for myself and I find no connection with them and the words that you tire of and would replace with "teachings" teachings I understand the other words to me are synonymous with "compromise."
Jim Sadler

Mike Ruffin said...

Jim Sadler,

OK. Blessings to you.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Anonymous: I really hope that you reread this post, then ask yourself if this post may not be what you yourself needs to do. I really hope that by professor, you are not speaking of a professor in seminary because I would hate to think there are very many preachers with the attitude and anger you have displayed here out in Southern Baptist churches spreading that anger ummmm "passion."

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

wade-off topic

is there an rss or atom feed from your blog? i'm missing it.

thanks
dm

Anonymous said...

What do you think is the main thing?

A.

Passing out bible's to those who have never been exposed to the gospel in a former communist country.

Inviting them to a home bible study.

Lord willing, conversions follow.

Training those converted to lead these bible studies and also help to begin more.

OR ---

B.

Passing out bible's to those who have never been exposed to the gospel in a former communist country.

Inviting them to a home bible study.

Lord willing, conversions follow.

Training those converted to lead these bible studies and also help to begin more...

unless the new convert happens to be a woman...

or drinks a little wine...

or is still studying the doctrine of the security of the believer...

or wants to be baptized by his mother who, as a Christian already, had been faithfully "planting and watering" in her son for years...

or...

or...

or...

Any idea what the main thing is?

SL1M

K. Michael Crowder said...

Wade,

I simply and humbly disagree with your post. I am of the opinion that pastors (specifically our fellow SBC'ers) need to be more absolute and preach with more authority. The days of the pastor/theologean are quickly fading. My greek professor is constantly hammering home the point that more pastors need to study from the original languages. Parse the text, exegete the text, work the text, and then let the text work them. I speak as one who has only yet delivered 2 sermons....and only one if you count only those over 15 minutes. But I want to do it right. How can I preach on a passage of Scripture that I cannot proclaim with absolute authority? Anything less, imho, is disobedience. Dr. Moore says it here about as good as anyone. But that being said, a pastor can still preach with total authority, say all the "hard stuff" and fill his congregants full of Scripture and theology WITHOUT being an arrogant prick. Or without filling 20 miutes of an hour with unbiblical anecdotes and JOKES! One thing I might agree with you on, however, is the fact that most pastors need to concentrate on the ills of their own congregations than the ills of others.

Anyway, my real reason for commenting today is to ask you a question Wade: What is your opinion on the use of orality? I just learned about it this past week. My understanding is that it is a growing tactic used in missions (including the IMB) where a people group may not have a written language. This is done both solo by some organizations, AND in conjunction with groups such a Wycliffe as a means to an end of putting the written Word in "the hands of the heathen."

Despite my disagreement with you on several tertiary issues, I am truely seeking more information on this topic and the climate surrounding it in the IMB from a policy standpoint. I, as of yet do not have an opinion one way or the other, except for seeing the potential misuse as a stand alone method apart from an attempt to create a written language and a subsequent translation of Holy Scripture for each and every people group. Your thoughts either public or private and in a time frame convenient to you would be most appreciated.

-Kevin

Anonymous said...

I gotta hand it to you preachers! I really don't see how y'all do it.
Steve Austin

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

How can I preach on a passage of Scripture that I cannot proclaim with absolute authority?

I do it alot. I explain the various (orthodox) sides of the issue and encourage the listeners to wrestle with the topic.

I feel like it encourages the listeners to be Bereans rather than just swallowing whatever theology pill I force feed them.

I actually do this quite often even on topics I'm really convinced of one side on. I will still let them know there are other views.

Jeff Thomas said...

I think you can preach with passion your convictions, and still have compassion for those who don't see it your way. I am not sure people want to hear every angle of a passage, but they want to know hear the Word of the Lord. This is not to say we don't present both sides. For instance I have been preaching thru I Corinthians and the last few months we have been in I Corinthians 12-14. I have attempted to say this is how I see it, and this is what I believe. I have also pointed out how some people see this differently than me. I preach with authority, and conviction, but not without compassion for others.

Jeff

K. Michael Crowder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
K. Michael Crowder said...

"I do it alot. I explain the various (orthodox) sides of the issue and encourage the listeners to wrestle with the topic.

I feel like it encourages the listeners to be Bereans rather than just swallowing whatever theology pill I force feed them.

I actually do this quite often even on topics I'm really convinced of one side on. I will still let them know there are other views."


You'll have to forgive me, but I am inclined to think this sounds an aweful lot like a liberal seminary's purpose statement.

I agree that pastors need to allow their congregants the ability to "descern" for themselves that which is being presented. But that which is being presented MUST be from Scripture alone except where a clarification of context is needed. We are not called to preach from commentaries nor "be" commentaries from the pulpit. We are to exposit the text IN a descernable way to the hearer of the Word.

I DO NOT agree with the idea of giving the sheep 3 different paths from which they might choose and let them at it. We are to be Shepherds. We are to lead the sheep in the ONLY way.

k

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

So if you teach on say, the book of Revelation, you would only tell your congregation the dispensationalist view (assuming you are a disp.) and never mention there are other possible interpretations?

I DO NOT agree with the idea of giving the sheep 3 different paths from which they might choose and let them at it.

Would it be ok if I gave them three different orthodox positions and also gave them the tools (hermeneutics) to practice how to wrestle with scripture?

Or should I just tell them what I think on a topic and assume they will never hear about any other views? And also assume I will always be around to lead them down the straight and narrow.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

I have attempted to say this is how I see it, and this is what I believe. I have also pointed out how some people see this differently than me. I preach with authority, and conviction, but not without compassion for others.

Exactly.

Debbie Kaufman said...

So if you teach on say, the book of Revelation, you would only tell your congregation the dispensationalist view (assuming you are a disp.) and never mention there are other possible interpretations?

It happens. I truly did not know there was any other view but dispensationalist for many years. I dealt with it by never reading the book of Revelation.

Jack said...

Thanks, Jeff - for your explanation.

You are right, of course, that The Holy Spirit will not lead someone to do something contrary to the clear and consistent teachings of scripture.

I am sorry to hear of your recent experience. I am always saddened to hear of a congregation that asks a pastor to leave.

I pray that you will find a congregation that appreciates your gifts and embraces your calling -- if you have not already.

Blessings,

-jack-

Lin said...

"I agree that pastors need to allow their congregants the ability to "descern" for themselves that which is being presented."

Allow?

What takes true humility is to pastor a church of Bereans!

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

I truly did not know there was any other view but dispensationalist for many years.

Debbie,
I was 30 when I found out. And it ticked me off. That may be why I try to tell of other views on certain topics. It left a bad taste in my mouth.

The older I have gotten though, I realize(d) that there are a lot of preachers who STILL dont know there are any other views, let alone examined them carefully and fairly. So I have decided to not be so upset about not being told earlier.

Jeff Thomas said...

David, You mean there other views?
:)

I am reminded of a church (which I did not attend)in the city where I went to college that had the following on their sign.

KJV 1611, Fundamentalist, Pre-Mill, Pre-trib disp. There were a few other things but I can't remember them.

There are several different views within the disp. camp. I have preached thru Revelation twice and each time, my view changes a little.

Anonymous said...

History itself teaches that the most dangerous thing in the church are leaders and preachers who think they have all the answers on every sentence in Scripture at all times.

It doesn't matter if they are Baptist or catholic or anything else. It doesn't matter if they are looney left or looney right.

When a group of people force their will on another group it becomes less than what the NT teaches.

Can anyone say "inquisition"?

John Calvin used the state to execute folks that disagreed with him.

Martin Luther had a death sentence on his head for daring to be right and stand alone for it.

No man, no group has all knowledge on everything at any time.

No man or group has an "inerrant" interpretation of the text.

All such thoughts are based in pride and God Himself had something to say about pride.

grace
Darrell Treat

K. Michael Crowder said...

"History itself teaches that the most dangerous thing in the church are leaders and preachers who think they have all the answers on every sentence in Scripture at all times."

Funny how ones comments can be taken to the most far extreme of the farthest reaches of the tiny human mind.

I do not believe that there is one single passage in Scripture that is beyond our comprehension in terms of the intended revelation of our Most High God. Have I comprehended it all? No Has someone at sometime somewhere comprehended at least part whereby a total comprehension can be acheived by the sum of the knowledge of the learned? Yes.

And I will seek to absorb as much of the knowledge given to me by the inspired minds of man and by the Spirit of God. And at which point I am compelled by the Spirit to preach a passage to which my knowledge is less than adequate to proclaim the absolute divine revelation of God, then I shall find that knowledge, either in heaven or on earth before such time as I am to proclaim--for woe is me to proclaim anything less that total truth. "Error taught by a Godly man is the most dangerous thing." ~A.N. Martin

Another thing. All of Scripture is profitable..., but not all "topics" that pop into the head of every preacher are divinely inspired. I am a premil/pretrib dispensationalist (I even like to read Hagee and Van Impe) But I hardly think a sermon on the Rapture would do anyone any good. But rather preaching on the Hope of the Second Coming and the end of sin with passages in 1 Thes 4 or Rev 19 and 20. This is not skirting the issue, it is being an effective pastor.

No one wants to hear your extensive knowledge of escatology.

But then we come to topics of vital importance to the church, namely her leadership. Baptist pastors are not teaching on the plurality of the eldership nor the qualifications of the office of elder and deacon......why? a host of reasons. The Burleson's do not preach against women in the pulpit but would not attend a church where there was one.

Either is it right or it is wrong! Stand up for doctrinal purity for your posterity. But then sending one's children to Baylor (a "christian" school that denounces intelligent design)......well, I shall not continue that line as it might get me in trouble.

I will never have the answers to every chapter and verse in the Bible. But when I need an answer, I will get it.

And right now I am more curious about the practice of orality than all this jiberish... :)

k


My church is having a revival starting tomorrow--pray for us and ALL the convention that a revival and a renewal will emerge in the hearts of all believers in our midst.

Anonymous said...

"I do not believe that there is one single passage in Scripture that is beyond our comprehension in terms of the intended revelation of our Most High God"

One Question, does this mean that your opinion of what is God's interpretive revelation {to you and your closest friends or teachers) is always inerrant?

Sad how you took the chance to bring up a woman issue and also attack wade.

Martin Luther also said "Every Jew should have the back of thier necks cut and their tongues pulled out from behind" he later learned better and repented. A great lesson here.

a tiny mind (next to an incredibly large Creator)
Darrell Treat

Jeff Thomas said...

This is off comment, but this thing about John Calvin killing folks at will is simply wrong. He had some infl, but he was not the king of Geneva. In fact he didn't always get his way. The councils didn't always agree with Calvin. Please refrain from saying that Calvin kill folks at will. He didn't.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

No one wants to hear your extensive knowledge of escatology.

Unfortunately, when some people listen to/read Hagee/Van Impe/LaHaye they come away with the idea that Israel should be able to oppress Palestinians. Many demand a one state peace plan (drive the Palestinians out of Israel) and that GWB is "poking his finger in the eye of God" by suggesting a two state peace solution.

So eschatology can matter in the real world. Humility in the pulpit on the topic can lead to humility in the congregation on the topic which can lead to humility in the government on the topic.

K. Michael Crowder said...

Dear "a tiny mind":

I regret to inform you that despite several years of attempting to be the contrary, I am indeed a humble errant man. That said, I will desire and strive with the utmost servitude to teach and preach ONLY that which I am certain is the will of God for me to preach. My friend, where God's will lies, there also lies His provisions. Most of the "do this's" and "do that's" that come from the pulpits in America are the haughty desires of preachers to impose a rule of law. Where it should be the Spirit that directs throught the hearing and preaching of the Word.

I will always use 2 Cor. 3:4-6 as a motto for my ministry.

Also, I did not "attack" Wade. I simply disagree with some of his choices and find them inconsistent with his stated views on said subjects. I welcome the "bringing to light" the apparent inconsistencies in my posts and comments as well. We can all learn from the views of those who watch us.

To David:
Genesis 12:1-3 ought to be a warning and woe to any nation who turns their back on Israel. Yes, the Palestinians are to be driven out just like the Cananites. You sound like Joshua in the 7th chapter and 7th verse of the book that bears his name: "why dd you ever bring these people across the Jordan to hand us over to the [Arabs] for our destruction? If only we would have been content to remain on the other side of the Jordan [or in the concentration camps, or scattered abroad the face of the earth.] (side note, ow ironic it is that many will indeed be more happy to remain on the "other" side of Jordan.

GWB is not poking his finger at God...I simply think he knows not what he is doing. But between his Israel policy and His North American plans, he is being used by God to bring to fruition the structure needed for the antichrist to reign. Sad commentary on his life.

k

Debbie Kaufman said...

Mr. Crowder: You have just given a good example of the misuse of scripture. Thank you as I was trying to think of one example. The one in your last post however was perfect.

K. Michael Crowder said...

Debbie,

In a review of my comment, I submit that you are in error. But thanks for playing!

k

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Thanks for bringing up Joshua. Might I point you to the following:

JOS 23:14 "Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the LORD your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed. 15 But just as every good promise of the LORD your God has come true, so the LORD will bring on you all the evil he has threatened, until he has destroyed you from this good land he has given you. 16 If you violate the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, the LORD's anger will burn against you, and you will quickly perish from the good land he has given you."

Notice this is clearly talking about the land promise. And, as promised, they lost the land when they disobeyed. Because of God's grace they were able to return, but it was not with a new promise. They disobeyed and lost the land. By the way, the land was only a type of the inheritance and rest we find in Christ.

As for the Genesis 12 reference, that is a promise to Abraham (those bless will be blessed/curse will be cursed) not Israel. Read it again. As far as the fulfillment of Gen 12, see Joshua above.

It was Hagee, if I remember correctly, who said GWB was poking his finger in the eye of God.

And for the record, I firmly believe Israel has every right to protect themselves. But that is political and not theological. But I do not beleive they should be allowed to oppress others on theological grounds.

But I will gladly teach all sides of this issue.

I wont debate this topic anymore on this blog for fear of taking the comments in a direction different from Wade's point. My bringing up eschatology was merely an example of why we should consider teaching other views as long as they are also orthodox.

feel free to email me anytime. you can find me thru the webdomain that is my user id. (My way of being VERY un-anonymous.)

K. Michael Crowder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
K. Michael Crowder said...

David,

Thanks for the insight, I had not considered that point of view. Someday I shall take time to delve into that more deeply. I have just preordered John Hagee's new book "In Defense of Israel." And shall be reading it over Christmas break. (I am little bogged down right now with baby Greek) :)

But I will say in closing this sub-thread that your hermenuetical approach to this passage in Joshua seems to be a tad on the partial-preteristic side of the fence. From my point of view, being "In defense of Israel" is a clear directive from God. Just look at Britian. That nation is paying for turning thier back on God's chosen nation. The wrath and anger in vv 15, 16 are God's, not ours.

k

Anonymous said...

Wade, this is a great post! The Scripture says that Jesus taught as one with authority (as opposed to the Pharisees & Saduceess who were always careful to quality their teachings with Rabbi so-and-so says, . . . but Rabbi so-and-so said, . . , so all the people got was uncertainty). As I see it, we misunderstand that to mean to we have to be certain--dogmatic--about everything. I have heard people say no one should be quoted from the pulpit except Jesus, and if Jesus didn't say it, it's not worth repeating, etc., etc., etc. What such tripe results in is an exagerated sense of our own intellect, and virtually slaps the Holy Spirit in the face by saying that He could not have possibly spoken to anyone between the close of the New Testament canon and the beginning of the Southern Baptist Convention (some would allow John Calvin and maybe Luther, but others restrict it to only late 20th century presidents of the SBC & her institutions). When we get a dose of real humility, maybe then God will really work through us!

I'm tired from a 1200 mile trip taking my daughter back to college, and I pulled a back muscle while unloading her junk and lugging it up to a second floor dorm room (no elevator), so I'm going to say something that I ordinarily would not: Mr. K. Michael Crowder, get over yourself! I have been impressed by the humility that Wade & Paul Burleson, and some of the folks who post here like David McLaughlin; you and I could both learn something from them. To preach to our congregations the way you suggest is almost to imagine that they are totally unable to read the Word and get anything out of it except by spoon-feeding it to them. You will find--and I hope gently, but if you speak to the congregation the way you address folks like Wade, Paul, and David, it may be less so--that you will do better to equip the congregation than to be dogmatic with them. In fact--that is rather Biblical (Ephesians 4: 11-12).

John Fariss

Jeff Thomas said...

How do we handle those passages where the prophets stood and said Thus Saidth the Lord. They didn't say This is what the Lord might have said. I do think we ought to be humble. We ought to enter the pulpit with fear and trembling in our ability, but not in the Word of the Lord.

Jeff

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

kmc,
Might I also suggest reading one or more of the following:

Last Days Madness, Gary DeMar
The Apocalypse Code, Hank Hanegraaff

In all seriousness, I would only suggest you read them just to hear other views for you to consider.

But I will say in closing this sub-thread that your hermenuetical approach to this passage in Joshua seems to be a tad on the partial-preteristic side of the fence.

It's not a tad on that side. It's all the way on that side. The question is not though whether it is disp or part pret, or other. The question is, is it sound exegesis. I'l let you decide.

Finally, I am not angry at Israel. Nor do I think they can do no wrong. There are many Palestinian Christian brothers we should be concerned about.

K. Michael Crowder said...

David,

I will one day get around to reading The Apocalypse Code. I respect Hank on so many levels, but disagree with him on this singular issue. Just as I respect and value the teachings of R.C Sproul, but again disagree with him on this issue.

The thing is, and this is my opinion and conviction, it is waisting one of the precious 52 times the pulpit is open on a Sunday morning (or less these days)on such a topic as the events in question regarding escatology, save the assurance of the future, emanant return of our Lord, His future Kingdom, and the eternal state.

Here is a good question to through out there to someone who might know: Does Wayne Grudem preach like he writes? I doubt it. ST is a great resource to study and learn the truth of God's Word. But once one has learned said truth, one must preach, unequivocally that truth.

K

***Totally ignoring john fariss*** (hoping he is not a prof as SBTS that one day might have to give me a grade) :)

David Richardson said...

Wade - This post is right on the money. I totally agree with you. My late grandfather used to say, "There are no graduates in the school of Christ." in other words, none of us should ever arrogantly think we have "arrived" and know it all. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. David Richardson

GeneMBridges said...

Wow, quoted by the Elder Elder Burleson...:D

I'd just like to note that my statements, in their original form had to do with the Protestant Rule of Faith as opposed to the Roman Catholic Rule (or the Eastern Orthodox Rule).

Sola Scriptura commits us to the material and formal sufficiency of Scripture, the infallible rule. Consequently tradition is secondary and fallible.

So, by adhering to this rule of faith, we are, in fact, committed to "playing the hand God has given us." Frankly, it's like playing Poker. The deck is stacked in our favor, but we aren't dealing it. Rather, we have a certain number of cards we know, and we can see them clearly. However, some cards are still face down on the table. So, we may have a particular hand (say a royal flush) or we be off by that one card. We don't know - and we don't have to know, because God has promised a royal flush. Based on what He has shown us, we can be reasonable certain. If not, then we know that the hand will still be something close to what we think it is, if not exactly what we think it is. It will still be the winning hand, compared to the latitudinarian or the apostate who are denying they can clearly see any cards at all.

To say that we must strive to have some sort of infallibilist knowledge is to adopt the Roman rule of faith (or the Orthodox). They have a low view of Scripture because they have a low view of providence, and they in turn feed off each other.

This isn't to say we shouldn't preach with certainty. Rather it is to say we preach certainly about what we know to be clear. We do systematic theology by looking at the exegetical data and by as best as possible weeding out any rationalistic principles that we might impose on the text. That's what the first Protestants did; that's what our Baptist forefathers did, and that's what we should do too.

We shouldn't say we have it all together, but then we shouldn't preach like the scribes who told what so and so said and Hillel said, etc. and then said, "This is what I think." Rather, we give the best exegetical arguments we can and leave the rest to the Lord. Scripture is amazingly clear about many things, but others - like eschatology or closed communion, etc. it is not so clear. Some of what say is because of examples - like our church government structures between churches (local church autonomy), but we should always remember that examples are not expositions.