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

The Problem of Calling People Hyper-Calvinists

At the John 3:16 Conference last week, Dr. David Allen, Professor of Preaching at Southwestern Theological Seminary, spoke in opposition to "Limited Atonement." Dr. Allen offered that many theologians known as Calvinists, including John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, and John Bunyan did not believe in a particular redemption (i.e. that Christ died for the elect), but they believed that Christ died for every sinner without exception, even those who will receive the condemnation of God in hell. I had no problem, at all, with either Dr. Allen's remarks nor the defense of his proposition. I found Dr. Allen displayed excellent scholarship, and enjoyed his presentation, though I would in the end disagree with a few of his conclusions.

There was one area of Dr. Allen's presentation, however, that did cause me some sadness. Dr. Allen felt it necessary to call several individuals "hyper-calvinists," including modern Baptist James White, 18th Century Baptist theologian John Gill (whom Charles Spurgeon called "my mentor in Israel"), and George Ella. Ella was listed as a "hyper-calvinist," along with about a dozen other individuals in one of Dr. Allen's handouts. I thought Dr. Steve Lempke of New Orleans, who followed Dr. Allen in the program, was dead on when he made the observation, "I am not sure that there is such a thing as a living hyper-calvinist. I find that those who call others hyper-calvinists have simply run into people more calvinistic than they are." The reason the "hyper-calvinist" label bothers me is because those who use it seem to believe that the alleged hyper-calvinist is not preaching the gospel, has no concern for the lost, and is not orthodox in his view of salvation.

Dr. George Ella, approaching 70 years of age, is a member of our church. He is a prolific author, having written many excellent biographies of 18th century saints, including Augustus Toplady, William Huntington and John Gill. The first time I met George was at the Oklahoma City Airport when I picked him up after flying in from Germany. He was crying. I asked him if everything was all right. He explained that he had spent the previous five hours sharing Christ with the young lady seated next to him. His soul was burdened for her salvation. George spent years among the Lap Indians of Finland, sharing Christ while serving as a missionary to the Laps. These Laps, the poorest of the poor and the outcasts of society in Finland, grew to love George. Dr. Ella learned their language, lived with them in their tent villages, ate their food, and became their father in the faith. This is the same George Ella, the linguist, who learned nearly 20 languages in order to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with people in their native tongue. This is the man Dr. Allen called a hyper-calvinist. If Ella is a hyper-calvinist, may God give the Southern Baptist Convention more of them.

I think that if it is the desire to build bridges in the Southern Baptist Convention, it would probably be best to avoid tagging people who believe differently from us with "labels" other than those things which Christ calls them. They are forgiven, they are brothers, they are His people, they are children of the King. My brother in Christ, Dr. David Allen, may disagree with Dr. George Ella on issues of the atonement, but it might be helpful if we avoided labeling people "hyper-calvinists" and simply discuss the issues of disagreement.

In His Grace,

Wade

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Robert said...

ALL.

Spurgeons...A defense of Calvinism

"The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. I cannot shape the truth; I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox's gospel is my gospel. That which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again."—C. H. Spurgeon

T IS A GREAT THING to begin the Christian life by believing good solid doctrine. Some people have received twenty different "gospels" in as many years; how many more they will accept before they get to their journey's end, it would be difficult to predict. I thank God that He early taught me the gospel, and I have been so perfectly satisfied with it, that I do not want to know any other. Constant change of creed is sure loss. If a tree has to be taken up two or three times a year, you will not need to build a very large loft in which to store the apples. When people are always shifting their doctrinal principles, they are not likely to bring forth much fruit to the glory of God. It is good for young believers to begin with a firm hold upon those great fundamental doctrines which the Lord has taught in His Word. Why, if I believed what some preach about the temporary, trumpery salvation which only lasts for a time, I would scarcely be at all grateful for it; but when I know that those whom God saves He saves with an everlasting salvation, when I know that He gives to them an everlasting righteousness, when I know that He settles them on an everlasting foundation of everlasting love, and that He will bring them to His everlasting kingdom, oh, then I do wonder, and I am astonished that such a blessing as this should ever have been given to me!

"Pause, my soul! adore, and wonder!
Ask, 'Oh, why such love to me?'
Grace hath put me in the number
Of the Saviour's family:
Hallelujah!
Thanks, eternal thanks, to Thee!"


Your browser may not support display of this image. I suppose there are some persons whose minds naturally incline towards the doctrine of free-will. I can only say that mine inclines as naturally towards the doctrines of sovereign grace. Sometimes, when I see some of the worst characters in the street, I feel as if my heart must burst forth in tears of gratitude that God has never let me act as they have done! I have thought, if God had left me alone, and had not touched me by His grace, what a great sinner I should have been! I should have run to the utmost lengths of sin, dived into the very depths of evil, nor should I have stopped at any vice or folly, if God had not restrained me. I feel that I should have been a very king of sinners, if God had let me alone. I cannot understand the reason why I am saved, except upon the ground that God would have it so. I cannot, if I look ever so earnestly, discover any kind of reason in myself why I should be a partaker of Divine grace. If I am not at this moment without Christ, it is only because Christ Jesus would have His will with me, and that will was that I should be with Him where He is, and should share His glory. I can put the crown nowhere but upon the head of Him whose mighty grace has saved me from going down into the pit. Looking back on my past life, I can see that the dawning of it all was of God; of God effectively. I took no torch with which to light the sun, but the sun enlightened me. I did not commence my spiritual life—no, I rather kicked, and struggled against the things of the Spirit: when He drew me, for a time I did not run after Him: there was a natural hatred in my soul of everything holy and good. Wooings were lost upon me—warnings were cast to the wind—thunders were despised; and as for the whispers of His love, they were rejected as being less than nothing and vanity. But, sure I am, I can say now, speaking on behalf of myself, "He only is my salvation." It was He who turned my heart, and brought me down on my knees before Him. I can in very deed, say with Doddridge and Toplady—

"Grace taught my soul to pray,
And made my eyes o'erflow;"


and coming to this moment, I can add—

"'Tis grace has kept me to this day,
And will not let me go."


Your browser may not support display of this image. Well can I remember the manner in which I learned the doctrines of grace in a single instant. Born, as all of us are by nature, an Arminian, I still believed the old things I had heard continually from the pulpit, and did not see the grace of God. When I was coming to Christ, I thought I was doing it all myself, and though I sought the Lord earnestly, I had no idea the Lord was seeking me. I do not think the young convert is at first aware of this. I can recall the very day and hour when first I received those truths in my own soul—when they were, as John Bunyan says, burnt into my heart as with a hot iron, and I can recollect how I felt that I had grown on a sudden from a babe into a man—that I had made progress in Scriptural knowledge, through having found, once for all, the clue to the truth of God. One week-night, when I was sitting in the house of God, I was not thinking much about the preacher's sermon, for I did not believe it. The thought struck me, How did you come to be a Christian? I sought the Lord. But how did you come to seek the Lord? The truth flashed across my mind in a moment—I should not have sought Him unless there had been some previous influence in my mind to make me seek Him. I prayed, thought I, but then I asked myself, How came I to pray? I was induced to pray by reading the Scriptures. How came I to read the Scriptures? I did read them, but what led me to do so? Then, in a moment, I saw that God was at the bottom of it all, and that He was the Author of my faith, and so the whole doctrine of grace opened up to me, and from that doctrine I have not departed to this day, and I desire to make this my constant confession, "I ascribe my change wholly to God."
Your browser may not support display of this image. I once attended a service where the text happened to be, "He shall choose our inheritance for us;" and the good man who occupied the pulpit was more than a little of an Arminian. Therefore, when he commenced, he said, "This passage refers entirely to our temporal inheritance, it has nothing whatever to do with our everlasting destiny, for," said he, "we do not want Christ to choose for us in the matter of Heaven or hell. It is so plain and easy, that every man who has a grain of common sense will choose Heaven, and any person would know better than to choose hell. We have no need of any superior intelligence, or any greater Being, to choose Heaven or hell for us. It is left to our own free-will, and we have enough wisdom given us, sufficiently correct means to judge for ourselves," and therefore, as he very logically inferred, there was no necessity for Jesus Christ, or anyone, to make a choice for us. We could choose the inheritance for ourselves without any assistance. "Ah!" I thought, "but, my good brother, it may be very true that we could, but I think we should want something more than common sense before we should choose aright."
Your browser may not support display of this image. First, let me ask, must we not all of us admit an over-ruling Providence, and the appointment of Jehovah's hand, as to the means whereby we came into this world? Those men who think that, afterwards, we are left to our own free-will to choose this one or the other to direct our steps, must admit that our entrance into the world was not of our own will, but that God had then to choose for us. What circumstances were those in our power which led us to elect certain persons to be our parents? Had we anything to do with it? Did not God Himself appoint our parents, native place, and friends? Could He not have caused me to be born with the skin of the Hottentot, brought forth by a filthy mother who would nurse me in her "kraal," and teach me to bow down to Pagan gods, quite as easily as to have given me a pious mother, who would each morning and night bend her knee in prayer on my behalf? Or, might He not, if He had pleased, have given me some profligate to have been my parent, from whose lips I might have early heard fearful, filthy, and obscene language? Might He not have placed me where I should have had a drunken father, who would have immured me in a very dungeon of ignorance, and brought me up in the chains of crime? Was it not God's Providence that I had so happy a lot, that both my parents were His children, and endeavoured to train me up in the fear of the Lord?
Your browser may not support display of this image. John Newton used to tell a whimsical story, and laugh at it, too, of a good woman who said, in order to prove the doctrine of election, "Ah! sir, the Lord must have loved me before I was born, or else He would not have seen anything in me to love afterwards." I am sure it is true in my case; I believe the doctrine of election, because I am quite certain that, if God had not chosen me, I should never have chosen Him; and I am sure He chose me before I was born, or else He never would have chosen me afterwards; and He must have elected me for reasons unknown to me, for I never could find any reason in myself why He should have looked upon me with special love. So I am forced to accept that great Biblical doctrine. I recollect an Arminian brother telling me that he had read the Scriptures through a score or more times, and could never find the doctrine of election in them. He added that he was sure he would have done so if it had been there, for he read the Word on his knees. I said to him, "I think you read the Bible in a very uncomfortable posture, and if you had read it in your easy chair, you would have been more likely to understand it. Pray, by all means, and the more, the better, but it is a piece of superstition to think there is anything in the posture in which a man puts himself for reading: and as to reading through the Bible twenty times without having found anything about the doctrine of election, the wonder is that you found anything at all: you must have galloped through it at such a rate that you were not likely to have any intelligible idea of the meaning of the Scriptures."
Your browser may not support display of this image. If it would be marvelous to see one river leap up from the earth full-grown, what would it be to gaze upon a vast spring from which all the rivers of the earth should at once come bubbling up, a million of them born at a birth? What a vision would it be! Who can conceive it. And yet the love of God is that fountain, from which all the rivers of mercy, which have ever gladdened our race—all the rivers of grace in time, and of glory hereafter—take their rise. My soul, stand thou at that sacred fountain-head, and adore and magnify, for ever and ever, God, even our Father, who hath loved us! In the very beginning, when this great universe lay in the mind of God, like unborn forests in the acorn cup; long ere the echoes awoke the solitudes; before the mountains were brought forth; and long ere the light flashed through the sky, God loved His chosen creatures. Before there was any created being—when the ether was not fanned by an angel's wing, when space itself had not an existence, when there was nothing save God alone—even then, in that loneliness of Deity, and in that deep quiet and profundity, His bowels moved with love for His chosen. Their names were written on His heart, and then were they dear to His soul. Jesus loved His people before the foundation of the world—even from eternity! and when He called me by His grace, He said to me, "I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee."
Your browser may not support display of this image. Then, in the fulness of time, He purchased me with His blood; He let His heart run out in one deep gaping wound for me long ere I loved Him. Yea, when He first came to me, did I not spurn Him? When He knocked at the door, and asked for entrance, did I not drive Him away, and do despite to His grace? Ah, I can remember that I full often did so until, at last, by the power of His effectual grace, He said, "I must, I will come in;" and then He turned my heart, and made me love Him. But even till now I should have resisted Him, had it not been for His grace. Well, then since He purchased me when I was dead in sins, does it not follow, as a consequence necessary and logical, that He must have loved me first? Did my Saviour die for me because I believed on Him? No; I was not then in existence; I had then no being. Could the Saviour, therefore, have died because I had faith, when I myself was not yet born? Could that have been possible? Could that have been the origin of the Saviour's love towards me? Oh! no; my Saviour died for me long before I believed. "But," says someone, "He foresaw that you would have faith; and, therefore, He loved you." What did He foresee about my faith? Did He foresee that I should get that faith myself, and that I should believe on Him of myself? No; Christ could not foresee that, because no Christian man will ever say that faith came of itself without the gift and without the working of the Holy Spirit. I have met with a great many believers, and talked with them about this matter; but I never knew one who could put his hand on his heart, and say, "I believed in Jesus without the assistance of the Holy Spirit."
Your browser may not support display of this image. I am bound to the doctrine of the depravity of the human heart, because I find myself depraved in heart, and have daily proofs that in my flesh there dwelleth no good thing. If God enters into covenant with unfallen man, man is so insignificant a creature that it must be an act of gracious condescension on the Lord's part; but if God enters into covenant with sinful man, he is then so offensive a creature that it must be, on God's part, an act of pure, free, rich, sovereign grace. When the Lord entered into covenant with me, I am sure that it was all of grace, nothing else but grace. When I remember what a den of unclean beasts and birds my heart was, and how strong was my unrenewed will, how obstinate and rebellious against the sovereignty of the Divine rule, I always feel inclined to take the very lowest room in my Father's house, and when I enter Heaven, it will be to go among the less than the least of all saints, and with the chief of sinners.
Your browser may not support display of this image. The late lamented Mr. Denham has put, at the foot of his portrait, a most admirable text, "Salvation is of the Lord." That is just an epitome of Calvinism; it is the sum and substance of it. If anyone should ask me what I mean by a Calvinist, I should reply, "He is one who says, Salvation is of the Lord." I cannot find in Scripture any other doctrine than this. It is the essence of the Bible. "He only is my rock and my salvation." Tell me anything contrary to this truth, and it will be a heresy; tell me a heresy, and I shall find its essence here, that it has departed from this great, this fundamental, this rock-truth, "God is my rock and my salvation." What is the heresy of Rome, but the addition of something to the perfect merits of Jesus Christ—the bringing in of the works of the flesh, to assist in our justification? And what is the heresy of Arminianism but the addition of something to the work of the Redeemer? Every heresy, if brought to the touchstone, will discover itself here. I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith, without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called, and suffers the children of God to be burned in the fires of damnation after having once believed in Jesus. Such a gospel I abhor.

"If ever it should come to pass,
That sheep of Christ might fall away,
My fickle, feeble soul, alas!
Would fall a thousand times a day."


If one dear saint of God had perished, so might all; if one of the covenant ones be lost, so may all be; and then there is no gospel promise true, but the Bible is a lie, and there is nothing in it worth my acceptance. I will be an infidel at once when I can believe that a saint of God can ever fall finally. If God hath loved me once, then He will love me for ever. God has a master-mind; He arranged everything in His gigantic intellect long before He did it; and once having settled it, He never alters it, "This shall be done," saith He, and the iron hand of destiny marks it down, and it is brought to pass. "This is My purpose," and it stands, nor can earth or hell alter it. "This is My decree," saith He, "promulgate it, ye holy angels; rend it down from the gate of Heaven, ye devils, if ye can; but ye cannot alter the decree, it shall stand for ever." God altereth not His plans; why should He? He is Almighty, and therefore can perform His pleasure. Why should He? He is the All-wise, and therefore cannot have planned wrongly. Why should He? He is the everlasting God, and therefore cannot die before His plan is accomplished. Why should He change? Ye worthless atoms of earth, ephemera of a day, ye creeping insects upon this bay-leaf of existence, ye may change your plans, but He shall never, never change His. Has He told me that His plan is to save me? If so, I am for ever safe.

"My name from the palms of His hands
Eternity will not erase;
Impress'd on His heart it remains,
In marks of indelible grace."


Your browser may not support display of this image. I do not know how some people, who believe that a Christian can fall from grace, manage to be happy. It must be a very commendable thing in them to be able to get through a day without despair. If I did not believe the doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints, I think I should be of all men the most miserable, because I should lack any ground of comfort. I could not say, whatever state of heart I came into, that I should be like a well-spring of water, whose stream fails not; I should rather have to take the comparison of an intermittent spring, that might stop on a sudden, or a reservoir, which I had no reason to expect would always be full. I believe that the happiest of Christians and the truest of Christians are those who never dare to doubt God, but who take His Word simply as it stands, and believe it, and ask no questions, just feeling assured that if God has said it, it will be so. I bear my willing testimony that I have no reason, nor even the shadow of a reason, to doubt my Lord, and I challenge Heaven, and earth, and hell, to bring any proof that God is untrue. From the depths of hell I call the fiends, and from this earth I call the tried and afflicted believers, and to Heaven I appeal, and challenge the long experience of the blood-washed host, and there is not to be found in the three realms a single person who can bear witness to one fact which can disprove the faithfulness of God, or weaken His claim to be trusted by His servants. There are many things that may or may not happen, but this I know shall happen—

"He shall present my soul,
Unblemish'd and complete,
Before the glory of His face,
With joys divinely great."


All the purposes of man have been defeated, but not the purposes of God. The promises of man may be broken—many of them are made to be broken—but the promises of God shall all be fulfilled. He is a promise-maker, but He never was a promise-breaker; He is a promise-keeping God, and every one of His people shall prove it to be so. This is my grateful, personal confidence, "The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me"—unworthy me, lost and ruined me. He will yet save me; and—

"I, among the blood-wash'd throng,
Shall wave the palm, and wear the crown,
And shout loud victory."


I go to a land which the plough of earth hath never upturned, where it is greener than earth's best pastures, and richer than her most abundant harvests ever saw. I go to a building of more gorgeous architecture than man hath ever builded; it is not of mortal design; it is "a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens." All I shall know and enjoy in Heaven, will be given to me by the Lord, and I shall say, when at last I appear before Him—

"Grace all the work shall crown
Through everlasting days;
It lays in Heaven the topmost stone,
And well deserves the praise."


Your browser may not support display of this image. I know there are some who think it necessary to their system of theology to limit the merit of the blood of Jesus: if my theological system needed such a limitation, I would cast it to the winds. I cannot, I dare not allow the thought to find a lodging in my mind, it seems so near akin to blasphemy. In Christ's finished work I see an ocean of merit; my plummet finds no bottom, my eye discovers no shore. There must be sufficient efficacy in the blood of Christ, if God had so willed it, to have saved not only all in this world, but all in ten thousand worlds, had they transgressed their Maker's law. Once admit infinity into the matter, and limit is out of the question. Having a Divine Person for an offering, it is not consistent to conceive of limited value; bound and measure are terms inapplicable to the Divine sacrifice. The intent of the Divine purpose fixes the application of the infinite offering, but does not change it into a finite work. Think of the numbers upon whom God has bestowed His grace already. Think of the countless hosts in Heaven: if thou wert introduced there to-day, thou wouldst find it as easy to tell the stars, or the sands of the sea, as to count the multitudes that are before the throne even now. They have come from the East, and from the West, from the North, and from the South, and they are sitting down with Abraham, and with Isaac, and with Jacob in the Kingdom of God; and beside those in Heaven, think of the saved ones on earth. Blessed be God, His elect on earth are to be counted by millions, I believe, and the days are coming, brighter days than these, when there shall be multitudes upon multitudes brought to know the Saviour, and to rejoice in Him. The Father's love is not for a few only, but for an exceeding great company. "A great multitude, which no man could number," will be found in Heaven. A man can reckon up to very high figures; set to work your Newtons, your mightiest calculators, and they can count great numbers, but God and God alone can tell the multitude of His redeemed. I believe there will be more in Heaven than in hell. If anyone asks me why I think so, I answer, because Christ, in everything, is to "have the pre-eminence," and I cannot conceive how He could have the pre-eminence if there are to be more in the dominions of Satan than in Paradise. Moreover, I have never read that there is to be in hell a great multitude, which no man could number. I rejoice to know that the souls of all infants, as soon as they die, speed their way to Paradise. Think what a multitude there is of them! Then there are already in Heaven unnumbered myriads of the spirits of just men made perfect—the redeemed of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues up till now; and there are better times coming, when the religion of Christ shall be universal; when—

"He shall reign from pole to pole,
With illimitable sway;"


when whole kingdoms shall bow down before Him, and nations shall be born in a day, and in the thousand years of the great millennial state there will be enough saved to make up all the deficiencies of the thousands of years that have gone before. Christ shall be Master everywhere, and His praise shall be sounded in every land. Christ shall have the pre-eminence at last; His train shall be far larger than that which shall attend the chariot of the grim monarch of hell.
Your browser may not support display of this image. Some persons love the doctrine of universal atonement because they say, "It is so beautiful. It is a lovely idea that Christ should have died for all men; it commends itself," they say, "to the instincts of humanity; there is something in it full of joy and beauty." I admit there is, but beauty may be often associated with falsehood. There is much which I might admire in the theory of universal redemption, but I will just show what the supposition necessarily involves. If Christ on His cross intended to save every man, then He intended to save those who were lost before He died. If the doctrine be true, that He died for all men, then He died for some who were in hell before He came into this world, for doubtless there were even then myriads there who had been cast away because of their sins. Once again, if it was Christ's intention to save all men, how deplorably has He been disappointed, for we have His own testimony that there is a lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, and into that pit of woe have been cast some of the very persons who, according to the theory of universal redemption, were bought with His blood. That seems to me a conception a thousand times more repulsive than any of those consequences which are said to be associated with the Calvinistic and Christian doctrine of special and particular redemption. To think that my Saviour died for men who were or are in hell, seems a supposition too horrible for me to entertain. To imagine for a moment that He was the Substitute for all the sons of men, and that God, having first punished the Substitute, afterwards punished the sinners themselves, seems to conflict with all my ideas of Divine justice. That Christ should offer an atonement and satisfaction for the sins of all men, and that afterwards some of those very men should be punished for the sins for which Christ had already atoned, appears to me to be the most monstrous iniquity that could ever have been imputed to Saturn, to Janus, to the goddess of the Thugs, or to the most diabolical heathen deities. God forbid that we should ever think thus of Jehovah, the just and wise and good!
Your browser may not support display of this image. There is no soul living who holds more firmly to the doctrines of grace than I do, and if any man asks me whether I am ashamed to be called a Calvinist, I answer—I wish to be called nothing but a Christian; but if you ask me, do I hold the doctrinal views which were held by John Calvin, I reply, I do in the main hold them, and rejoice to avow it. But far be it from me even to imagine that Zion contains none but Calvinistic Christians within her walls, or that there are none saved who do not hold our views. Most atrocious things have been spoken about the character and spiritual condition of John Wesley, the modern prince of Arminians. I can only say concerning him that, while I detest many of the doctrines which he preached, yet for the man himself I have a reverence second to no Wesleyan; and if there were wanted two apostles to be added to the number of the twelve, I do not believe that there could be found two men more fit to be so added than George Whitefield and John Wesley. The character of John Wesley stands beyond all imputation for self-sacrifice, zeal, holiness, and communion with God; he lived far above the ordinary level of common Christians, and was one "of whom the world was not worthy." I believe there are multitudes of men who cannot see these truths, or, at least, cannot see them in the way in which we put them, who nevertheless have received Christ as their Saviour, and are as dear to the heart of the God of grace as the soundest Calvinist in or out of Heaven.
Your browser may not support display of this image. I do not think I differ from any of my Hyper-Calvinistic brethren in what I do believe, but I differ from them in what they do not believe. I do not hold any less than they do, but I hold a little more, and, I think, a little more of the truth revealed in the Scriptures. Not only are there a few cardinal doctrines, by which we can steer our ship North, South, East, or West, but as we study the Word, we shall begin to learn something about the North-west and North-east, and all else that lies between the four cardinal points. The system of truth revealed in the Scriptures is not simply one straight line, but two; and no man will ever get a right view of the gospel until he knows how to look at the two lines at once. For instance, I read in one Book of the Bible, "The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Yet I am taught, in another part of the same inspired Word, that "it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." I see, in one place, God in providence presiding over all, and yet I see, and I cannot help seeing, that man acts as he pleases, and that God has left his actions, in a great measure, to his own free-will. Now, if I were to declare that man was so free to act that there was no control of God over his actions, I should be driven very near to atheism; and if, on the other hand, I should declare that God so over-rules all things that man is not free enough to be responsible, I should be driven at once into Antinomianism or fatalism. That God predestines, and yet that man is responsible, are two facts that few can see clearly. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory to each other. If, then, I find taught in one part of the Bible that everything is fore-ordained, that is true; and if I find, in another Scripture, that man is responsible for all his actions, that is true; and it is only my folly that leads me to imagine that these two truths can ever contradict each other. I do not believe they can ever be welded into one upon any earthly anvil, but they certainly shall be one in eternity. They are two lines that are so nearly parallel, that the human mind which pursues them farthest will never discover that they converge, but they do converge, and they will meet somewhere in eternity, close to the throne of God, whence all truth doth spring.
Your browser may not support display of this image. It is often said that the doctrines we believe have a tendency to lead us to sin. I have heard it asserted most positively, that those high doctrines which we love, and which we find in the Scriptures, are licentious ones. I do not know who will have the hardihood to make that assertion, when they consider that the holiest of men have been believers in them. I ask the man who dares to say that Calvinism is a licentious religion, what he thinks of the character of Augustine, or Calvin, or Whitefield, who in successive ages were the great exponents of the system of grace; or what will he say of the Puritans, whose works are full of them? Had a man been an Arminian in those days, he would have been accounted the vilest heretic breathing, but now we are looked upon as the heretics, and they as the orthodox. We have gone back to the old school; we can trace our descent from the apostles. It is that vein of free-grace, running through the sermonizing of Baptists, which has saved us as a denomination. Were it not for that, we should not stand where we are today. We can run a golden line up to Jesus Christ Himself, through a holy succession of mighty fathers, who all held these glorious truths; and we can ask concerning them, "Where will you find holier and better men in the world?" No doctrine is so calculated to preserve a man from sin as the doctrine of the grace of God. Those who have called it "a licentious doctrine" did not know anything at all about it. Poor ignorant things, they little knew that their own vile stuff was the most licentious doctrine under Heaven. If they knew the grace of God in truth, they would soon see that there was no preservative from lying like a knowledge that we are elect of God from the foundation of the world. There is nothing like a belief in my eternal perseverance, and the immutability of my Father's affection, which can keep me near to Him from a motive of simple gratitude. Nothing makes a man so virtuous as belief of the truth. A lying doctrine will soon beget a lying practice. A man cannot have an erroneous belief without by-and-by having an erroneous life. I believe the one thing naturally begets the other. Of all men, those have the most disinterested piety, the sublimest reverence, the most ardent devotion, who believe that they are saved by grace, without works, through faith, and that not of themselves, it is the gift of God. Christians should take heed, and see that it always is so, lest by any means Christ should be crucified afresh, and put to an open shame.

Robert said...

I guess my browser is anti-calvinist!

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade,

To be blunt, when I hear these folks talking about "hyper-calvinists", it merely reminds me that some highly educated and well-credentialed people can say some really stupid things. Talk about building straw men.

I've said it before, but the biggest problem with calvinism is what people who disagree with it, say about it. In my experience, so much of what they say calvinists say just isn't so.

Anonymous said...

Limited atonement is a transcendent overarching doctrine. Maybe TULIP needs to be the five points of reformed theology instead of Calvinism, who really did not in truth subscribe to them.

Kuya Kevin said...

Robert,
In the future, you may not want to post comments that are longer (or as long) as the original article. Just a little tip on blogging etiquette.

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Wade,

I am glad you pointed me to Dr. Ella and shared something about him. I have never read his works.

Oh, before I forget. Your closing line is one heck of a doozy, my friend. You write: "...it might be helpful if we avoided labeling people "hyper-calvinists" and simply discuss the issues of disagreement."

Excellent! But what if we exchanged "hyper-calvinists" with something else?

--it might be helpful if we avoided labeling people "moral legalists" and simply discuss the issues of disagreement

--it might be helpful if we avoided labeling people "semi-Arians" and simply discuss the issues of disagreement

--it might be helpful if we avoided labeling people "Fundamentalists" and simply discuss the issues of disagreement

--it might be helpful if we avoided labeling people [as] "acting like a cult" and simply discuss the issues of disagreement

--it might be helpful if we avoided labeling people [as] "teaching heresy" and simply discuss the issues of disagreement

--it might be helpful if we avoided labeling people "BI" and simply discuss the issues of disagreement

--it might be helpful if we avoided labeling people [as] "what's wrong in the SBC" and simply discuss the issues of disagreement


These work just as well, at least from my side of the swamp.

With that, I am...

Peter

NativeVermonter said...

Although there are some labels that I'd be honored to sew on my jacket:
Sinner, Born-Again, Redeemed, Repentant, Christian, Imputed Righteousness--indeed I'm most "hyper" about these labels.

Oh, and my I share my new year's resolution that I started a few weeks ago, I don't read anonymous comments anymore, just skip right over'em.

John in STL

WatchingHISstory said...

“Long my imprisoned spirit lay, fast bound in sin and nature’s night.
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray; I woke, the dungeon flamed with light.
My chains fell off, my heart was free. I rose went forth and followed Thee.”
Spurgeon closed the hymn book and exclaimed “Wesley, where is thine Arminianism now?”

Everyone uses this song to support their view of embracing both views; Calvinism/free will.
But for the last year or so I can't get an an answer. Isn't Wesley praising prevenient grace/enablement and not regeneration?

Perhaps a lot is atributed to Spurgeon that he did not say. Would Spurgeon confuse Wesley's words for regeneration? I personally don't think so.

"My chains fell off, my heart was free. I rose went forth and followed Thee.” -This is prevenient grace and not Calvinistic. Wesley wrote it! It is resistible grace.

Now if a Calvinist wrote he would probably use the same words but it woud be irresistible grace. If you think that this is resistible grace then you are not Calvinist.

..unless you call three points Calvinist. I just can't see it. You are not anti-Calvinist but non-Calvinist or just Arminian and ashamed to admit it.

Thy Peace said...

Wiki: Hyper-Calvinism

"Hyper-Calvinism is a pejorative for a theological position which holds that it is wrong to tell the non-elect to repent and believe the gospel. Hyper-Calvinism arose from within the Calvinist tradition among the early English Particular Baptists in the mid 1700s, and can be seen in the teachings of men like Joseph Hussey (died 1726), John Skepp (died 1721), Lewis Wayman (d. 1764), John Brine (d. 1765), and to some extent in John Gill (d. 1771). They denied the free offer of the gospel, and rejected the idea that a person who is not influenced by the Holy Spirit has a duty to "repent and believe" in Christ for salvation, on the basis that he does not have the ability to do so.

These teachings were called Hyper-Calvinism by critics who maintained that they deviated from the Calvinist understanding of the gospel. Although Hyper-Calvinism became widespread among the English Particular Baptists of that day, many Particular Baptists disagreed with the extremes of Wayman, Skepp, and Brine. While this doctrine is a distinct minority view, it may still be found in some small denominations and church communities today."

Thy Peace said...

James White's response to David Allen:

A Quick Refutation of Dr. Allen from London

"Isn't it ironic? I am in London, England, preparing to do public debates with Islamic apologists, seeking to present and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Lordship, and the Arminians are all gathered at Johnny Hunt's church to try to convince folks not to listen to the Calvinists. Don't you find something just a bit ironic in that? I'm out on the front lines pressing the claims of Christ and calling Muslims to bow to His lordship while those who will falsely accuse me of being a "hyper-Calvinist" are safely ensconced in the friendly environs of Georgia, sniping at Reformed folks---who, of course, were not invited to participate, debate, or discuss.

..."

Thy Peace said...

More of James White's response to David Allen:

Update from the PyroManiac/John 3:16 Conference

Thy Peace said...

This is getting too complex for me ...

John 3:16 Conference: Message on Limited Atonement by Dr. David Allen
Guest blog by Andrew Lindsey


"... (Dr. Allen asserted that Dr. James White is a hyper-Calvinist according to Phil Johnson’s primer on hyper-Calvinism, as Dr. White says that God does not have any desire to save the non-elect.) ..."

James White
by Phil Johnson


" ... Let me go on record here: I know James White well, and he is not a hyper-Calvinist.

The webpage Dr. Allen cited from me says nothing whatsoever about what God "desires." ..."

Thy Peace said...

Also checkout Peter's blog article and comments on the conference:

SBC Tomorrow - personal reflections of Peter Lumpkins: John 3:16 Conference

Bob Cleveland said...

I recall from my years in the Presbyterian denominations, that there's also, within their ranks, a "lunatic fringe" we used to call the TR's. That was short for "Truly Reformed", and they were the subject of much pointing and laughing, as they said THEY were the only one's who were truly reformed.

And that was a really small bunch.

I have yet to meet that first Baptist that came anywhere near being one of them.

Anonymous said...

I like your resolution Native. I also enjoy most of your comments. But please don't overlook me! Mine will say anonymous, but I will sign SL1M at the end. :)

"Dr. White says that God does not have any desire to save the non-elect.) ..."

Am I hyper if I agree with that?

Wow! If I think about it, I think I do agree with that.

Let me study on it more please.

SL1M

Thy Peace said...

On George Ella ...

Biographia Evangelica: George M. Ella

George contributes articles to:

New Focus

WatchingHISstory said...

Sl1M

HypoCalvinist say God has the desire to save all but the will to save only the elect. God has two wills.

I believe that atonement is simply limited. We witness unto Jesus before all men but the Holy Spirit does the soul winning. We direct the won souls to follow Christ in obedience.

peter lumpkins said...

Thy Peace,

One could ask, I suppose, what the point is of continuing to link to responses from High-Calvinists to Dr. Allen. I am unsure what they have to do with anything spoken either on the main post or the thread.

But since you apparently think Mr. White's response is sufficient to rebut Dr. Allen somehow, let's take a look at your first quote.

--"Isn't it ironic? I am in London, England, preparing to do public debates with Islamic apologists, seeking to present and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Lordship, and the Arminians are all gathered at Johnny Hunt's church to try to convince folks not to listen to the Calvinists." That James White is in London "debating" has exactly what to do with anything Dr. Allen said? Should the J316C have checked with him to see if his schedule would permit them to go forward?

Moreover, White refers to "the Arminians" as "all gathered" at Hunt's church. That is precisely the point of Wade's post--"the problem of calling people______." Not one in ten there would self-designate themselves "Arminian" and probably very few were "Arminian." I sat with a self-described Reformation Arminian the entire conference. He was an exception.

But White, who was not there, could peer across the vast ocean and see: "the Arminians are all gathered at Johnny Hunt's church."

Even more troubling is White's emotive outburst which so distorts the nature of the J316C in general but Dr. Allen specifically--toward whom James White is responding--it is hard to conclude other than it being simply an untruth. White writes: "to try to convince folks not to listen to the Calvinists."

On the contrary, Dr. Allen specifically and repeatedly challenged the conference goers to read the Calvinists themselves. Indeed his opening remarks were [paraphrase]: "I am going to demonstrate the invalidity of Limited Atonement historically, theologically and biblically and I am not going to quote one Non-Calvinist in doing so. All my sources will be from Calvinists themselves."

In light of such, for Dr. White to make such an unguarded remark is inexcusable. But, being spoon-fed second hand what was said, it is understandable how he could get embroiled within. Nonetheless, White is dead wrong.

--those who will falsely accuse me of being a "hyper-Calvinist" are safely ensconced in the friendly environs of Georgia, sniping at Reformed folks---who, of course, were not invited to participate, debate, or discuss." Dr. Allen carefully defined his criteria for "Hyper-calvinism." And, according to his criteria, he believed White qualified. Did White respond to the qualifications Dr. Allen stated? No.

Incidentally, James White may be the most vocal critic of Southern Baptists today. There may be no contemporary and popular non-"Reformed" Southern Baptist that White has not line-by-line, word-by-word "refuted" on his blog and radio show. That he is debating Muslims is noteworthy. That he goes to Salt Lake City is commendable.

But for White to whine about not being in Georgia when his name was mentioned as a "hyper-Calvinist" when even in his response he labeled all--ALL--at the J316C as "Arminians" is both laughable and absurd.

With that, I am...

Peter

Wade Burleson said...

Peter,

I can assure you that I am working to do my best to compliment people, show respect to my brothers, and simply point out disagreements. In no form or fashion do I wish those who bend toward a fundamentalistic, legalistic, or arminian view of the gospel to leave the SBC.

Wade Burleson said...

Peter,

Have you not just done, in the comment above about Dr. White, what you seem to oppose in your first comment?

Just asking. I may be not seeing something the way you see it, but why not just call James White a believer, or a brother, or a fellow Christian - why a "high-Calvinist"?

Just a little plank and speck checking.

:)

WatchingHISstory said...

Peter

If they are not Arminian and they are not Calvinist then what are they?

Oh well that won't work. They are Biblicist. There were no high Calvinist there, apparently. Really I would like to know what most SBC are, really.

My opinion is that most are Keswick of some sort. Or Reformed Arminians or closet Wesleyan.

Many have "Calvin envy" and believe they are Free offer Calvinist, which in my opinion is non-Calvinism.

I hop my comment does not come across as beligerent which is not my intent at all.

Anonymous said...

Good Morning, Wade

I LOVED your description of Dr. Ella. No matter what he believes about 'predestination' or 'Calvinism' or any secondary or tertiary doctrines related;
he appears to have NO problems with God's Infinite Mercy and Love.

A man lives as he believes.
So, I can see how it troubles you to see this good man labeled in a way that is painful and hurtful.

We cannot always put into words our faith;
but we can put our faith into our actions towards others
without the reservations and limitations put on oral and written expression, so often open to the misinterpretations of others.
These ACTIONS can witness of God's love to a thirsty world.

So, Dr. Ella's ACTIONS reveal his faith VIVIDLY to me; where I would not have seen it in his Calvinist doctrinal beliefs.

The Dr. Ella you describe: with the tears running down his face for the sake of the girl on the plane: I can see the Love of God for her in this good man.

That's all I need to know about Dr. Ella's beliefs:
that he wept for another in the Name of the Lord. L's Gran

Lin said...

A Calvinist will call himself a Calvinist. And he will call a non Calvinist an Arminian. But I have never heard a non Calvinist call themselves an Arminian. Perhaps they do but it seems rare. :o)

Bill said...

Dr. Allen is not right to call James White a hypercalvinist and Dr. White is not right to call those who disagree with him Arminians. Many assume that we are one or the other but that is factually incorrect. Most Baptists are probably 1 or 2 point Calvinists or you could say 3 or 4 point Arminians.

I don't like either of the distinctions because there is only one type of Calvinist and that is a 5 pointer. I think some of the non-Calvinist crowd is calling them Dortian Calvinists but I really don't know what that means.

The fact is that a person can be a Calvinist and fall completely within typical Baptist doctrine but one cannot be Arminian and Baptist at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Allen may call me a hyper-Calvinist, but He is not a Hyper-Lover....
''By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one for another.''

Attacking Fellow Believers Personally/ SHAME ON YOU DR ALLEN

Dr. Paul W. Foltz

Greg Alford said...

Dog-gone-it Wade!

I was just thinking about setting down to write a post blasting these John 3:16 guys as being “Hyper-Arminians”, “Hyper-Pelagians”, “Hyper-Ventilating”, or just “Full of HYPE”.

Now you have ruined it for me… :-)

Grace Always,

Anonymous said...

Seeing as we do, 'through a glass darkly', we are told that much will be made clear to us only 'when' God chooses to reveal it and we are ready to receive it, in eternity.

In the meantime, we must put all 'isms' in their proper perspective: they are our inadequate attempts to make human sense of Mystery and Majesty beyond our level of understanding.

It is not wrong to search for God: our spirits are created to reach out to Him.
It is however, beyond us to humanly know the extent of His unsearchable ways which are far above our ways.

Let us put our 'isms' down as our human efforts to comprehend what may be beyond us now, and remember:

'there is none other Name under heaven given among men . . '

CHRIST be in my mind
CHRIST be on my lips
CHRIST be in my heart

Take courage: There is much confusion among men as to 'believe this' or 'believe that'

so the need exists to keep your focus always on Him
and His Words and Actions.

And then, you will not lose your way, OR be able to feel contempt for others. L's

Scotte Hodel said...

This thought is a bit off topic, but isn't there some sort of convention that a blog comment shouldn't be any more than, say, three times as long as the original post?

"Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief."

Jon L. Estes said...

It should be illegal to make a comment longer than the original thread.

Goodness, if this keeps up I'm never going to get my study finished. Dr. Akin never gave me this much reading when I had him in school (referring to comment #1).

Yo, Robert... I fell asleep trying to finish your novel.

Anonymous said...

SCOTTE HODEL said,
'"Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief."'


Here is good advice from another Christian:

PREACH THE GOSPEL ALWAYS.
IF NECESSARY, USE WORDS.

St. Francis of Assisi

Anonymous said...

History,

I believe in limited atonement like everyone else. I just believe the work of Christ was limited in scope (reformed) and not in power (non-reformed).

This is as opposed to the more common, traditional view in that it was limited in power but not in scope.

Of course, there has to be two wills. Otherwise 2 Peter 3:9 shows us a God that sits in disappointment continually at the mercy of men and powerless to do anything about it.

My point was that I didn't know that my atonement view made me a hyper. I have never considered myself a hyper and this belief does not make one a hyper if we use the historical meaning of hyper.

If I'm a hyper, I must wonder why my family and I are living away from our families and friends serving as missionaries?

Here again is the quote that apparently makes one a hyper. Again, I don't think I'm a hyper, but I'm not sure I disagree with the following:

"Dr. White says that God does not have any desire to save the non-elect.) ..."

Still studying!

SL1M

Robert said...

CB Scott,
I as understand the historical use of the term hyper-calvinist; You would be incorrect.

I did not put it up but I think the wiki article is correct.

Seems to me that Dr Allen is being a little POMO here....trying to redefine a Hyper-calvinist.

The Caner brothers were terrible on this matter.

From the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

Elisabeth said...

My first pastor was a Calvinist. Then, later, I was going to an Assembly of God church, and the pastor there was an Arminian. I have had pretty good exposure to both view points, and I think they are both wrong - and both right. I think some of this is trying to understand an infinite God with a finite brain. ;-)

Also both pastors were very strong with living for God, loving God, loving people, and for witnessing. Can't go wrong with that. ;-)

johnMark said...

The same folks should put on a new conference.

The Hebrews 6:4-6 Conference: Why We're Not Arminian

This way we could take what they don't believe about the Calvinist and Arminian positions and try to figure out where they actually stand.

This would probably help clear things up in some respect.

Mark

Anonymous said...

Choose your 'doctrine' with care. Some 'doctrines' lead down some very dark roads. Best to follow along the Way of the Cross.



THE ROAD NOT TAKEN

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

Anonymous said...

WATCHING HISTORY said,

" God has two wills."

"I believe that atonement is simply limited."

Robert said...

A General Comment.

1. Reading never hurt anyone....yes even long articles.

2.In case you did not catch the intro ...the first article was by Spurgeon.

3.My purpose in putting the whole article up was show that Spurgeon really was a Calvinist. Too many people like Dr Allen and the Caner bros need to stop trying to re-invent the man.
He was no General Baptist!

4.Yes, yes I know we worship Christ and not Spurgeon or Calvin.



From the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

Bob Cleveland said...

SL1M,

For whatever it's worth, your view of the atonement is precisely what was taught me as a Presbyterian. And in THREE different Presbyterian denominations, not just one.

They even have NT scripture passages to use as "types" or "models" of that thought.

Also, I don't agree with the Westminster Confession on some of the points, either, albeit I am certainly a 5-point kind of whatever that makes me.

debbiekaufman said...

Dr. Allen said that according to Phil Johnson's definition of hyper-Calvinist the following men fit the bill. Yet Phil Johnson himself wrote a post over at Pyromaniac stating that James White was not Calvinist.

greg.w.h said...

CB:

I viewed the purpose of the post as the defense of George Ella from a scurillous accusation. That a pastor would defend a member of the local body from such an accusation is admirable. And those people who failed to do that during the Conservative Resurgence enabled the worst excesses of the CR. Worst excesses that many admit in general but not in detail even to this day.

Wade wrapped that defense with other examples in an attempt to keep it from LOOKING personal probably because Wade believes it IS NOT personal and would like to keep it that way.

Greg Harvey

Anonymous said...

PSYCHIATRIC HELP: 5 Cents Please
THE DOCTOR IS IN.


Charlie Brown: "Would you like to sign my petition? I am collecting signatures in support of asking God to let Snoopy into Heaven."

Lucy: "HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND?" It doesn't matter what how many signatures you get,you idiot, your cause is lost. Snoopy is simply unacceptable.

Charlie Brown: "But Lucy, it is said that even the animals around the manger rejoiced when Jesus was born. If the animals acknowledged Him, then maybe He will acknowledge them, even maybe he will accept Snoopy."

Lucy: "You idiot, that's just a silly traditional legend. What do animals know about Jesus? "

Charlie Brown: "They know about Him when we are kind to them."

Lucy: "So what's the point? Do you actually BELIEVE that showing love to another creature is teaching about Jesus?"

Charlie Brown: "It's all Snoopy can understand."

Lucy: "This session is over !
You are a hopeless case. That will be five-cents please. "

Thy Peace said...

"Lucy: "So what's the point? Do you actually BELIEVE that showing love to another creature is teaching about Jesus?""

Wiki: St. Francis of Assisi

"Many of the stories that surround the life of St Francis deal with his love for animals.[21] Perhaps the most famous incident that illustrates the Saint’s humility towards nature is recounted in the 'Fioretti' (The "Little Flowers"), a collection of legends and folk-lore that sprang up after the Saint’s death. It is said that one day while Francis was traveling with some companions they happened upon a place in the road where birds filled the trees on either side. Francis told his companions to "wait for me while I go to preach to my sisters the birds".[21] The birds surrounded him, drawn by the power of his voice, and not one of them flew away. Francis spoke to them:
My sister birds, you owe much to God, and you must always and in everyplace give praise to Him; for He has given you freedom to wing through the sky and He has clothed you…you neither sow nor reap, and God feeds you and gives you rivers and fountains for your thirst, and mountains and valleys for shelter, and tall trees for your nests. And although you neither know how to spin or weave, God dresses you and your children, for the Creator loves you greatly and He blesses you abundantly. Therefore… always seek to praise God. ..."

greg.w.h said...

johnmark:

Or a Hebrews 6:7 Conference On Why We Are Ineffective Spiritually in a World That Desparately Needs Jesus

Greg Harvey

Thy Peace said...

.

An Internet Chat on Duty Faith and the Protestant Reformed Churches by George Ella

""I make no apologies for disagreeing with the esteemed Dr. Ella for the simple fact that the hyper-Calvinistic error that he espouses must be rejected. It must be rejected as unScriptural and unReformed. Orthodoxy has no place for the hyper-Calvinistic error of the denial of the duty of the sinner which is incumbent upon him to exercise in repose on God in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The PRC therefore must always disassociate itself from hyper-Calvinism."

My comment: As you have not shown me to be either in error or a Hyper-Calvinist, but merely postulated this myth, I cannot comment on this passage. However, since you bring the PRC into connection with Hyper-Calvinism, I must confess that, in this matter, I am far more a moderate Calvinist, being a Sublapsarian, than Prof. Engelsma, who, in my circles, has the reputation of being a most ardent Hyper-Calvinist. This shows how little the term is worth and perhaps we should be more careful in our use of such theological swear-words. I did not understand the English of your pen-ultimate sentence, so I cannot comment on it. Perhaps you would do me the favour of explaining its purport to my illiterate self."


59 The Industrious Dr. Gill

"Dr. Gill has suffered many attacks. It has become usual to call him “a Hyper-Calvinist,” although it would appear that is frequently given without full examination of the man’s writings. Some say he was Suprarlapsarian, while Gill wrote of the difference between being Supralapsarian and Sublapsarian [Gill’s own word] “lies in the ordering and arranging the decrees of God; and for MY OWN PART, I THINK both [schemes] may be taken in.” A century earlier “Dr. Twiss the great Superlapsarian” considered “the difference between the two parties was only apex logicus, a point of logic.” Others claim that the Baptist denied preachers “the right to offer Christ to unregenerate sinners.” Many find Dr. Gill guilty by association, because he was friendly with Hyper-Calvinists, and later men of that class expressed great appreciation of Gill. What is certain is that Gill was a feeder of many sheep over long periods, rather than an entertainer of goats."

Anonymous said...

CB SCOTT,

Open My Eyes Lord, Open My Eyes Lord.

Read what Greg Harvey commented and that is the Rest of the Story.

johnMark said...

Greg,

I believe the answer to your question is in the title of your proposed conference. That is, "why we are in effective."

Mark

Tom Parker said...

Robert:

You said--"What "moderate" Southern Baptist does not hold him in comtempt.All one has to see is the funding of the ERLC being dropped from the General Baptist Convention of Texas."

Any thoughts on why "moderates" hold him in contempt?

What do you consider a "moderate."
How would you label yourself?

My thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

If the issue is that Calvinists don't share the gospel, instead of saying "Hyper-Calvinists" why not call a spaid a spaid and call these folks "people who don't share the gospel with the lost." That address the issue, after all there might even be some from the other side to fit that bill.

What I get from the statement "hyper-calvinist" is a person that is looking for a reason to attack a doctrine they don't like, instead of addressing the real issue, which is...people don't share the gospel.

Robert said...

Tom,
Iam a conservative politically and theologically!

Dont know for sure about why "moderates"
dislike Dr Land but suspect it is because they believe left politics are Biblical.
Disagree with his conservative theology.

BTW-I dont think most "moderates" are
calvinistic

Anonymous said...

"people who don't share the gospel with the lost."

QUESTIONS:

1. Who are these 'people'?
2. What is the 'gospel' that they
believe in?
3. Who are the lost?
4. Do the 'people' know who the 'lost' are?
5. Why would they not want to share with the 'lost'?

Greg Alford said...

A quote form James White

“If you can evangelize, call men to Christ, believe in common grace, etc., and still end up smeared by the "hyper" name, then clearly the debate has devolved down to a level beneath what is proper for believers.”

peter lumpkins said...

Wade,

Actually, no, I did not. In fact, James White would not at all refuse the designation "High-Calvinist." But both "hyper-calvinist" and "Arminian" (at least among SBs) are designations hardly anyone either desires or owns up to.

The real question is, Wade, how you can make the statement "...it might be helpful if we avoided labeling people "hyper-calvinists" and simply discuss the issues of disagreement." when over the last several weeks you have employed...

--moral legalists

--semi-Arians

--Fundamentalists

--acting like a cult

--heretical teaching

--BI

--what's wrong in the SBC
...

as descriptors of those with whom you disagree.

The way I see it, designating someone a "High-Calvinist"--especially when they themselves do not refuse the term--is no where near the borders of where the above are. Sorry.

With that, I am...

Peter

Anonymous said...

Bob - I didn't know that. Very interesting. I have held that view from scripture and wasn't influenced by theologians until after the fact.

It seemed simple to me. Did God set out to accomplish a work at the cross or did He set out to hopefully accomplish a work at the cross?

The whole "God did 99% and you only need to do 1%" nonsense never set right with me. Why? Well, because I realized all the power lied in my 1%. Without my 1%, God's 99% was worthless. Perish the thought! I know you already know all of this Bob.

On a side note, someone really likes Snoopy cartoons. I don't understand why they are speaking cartoonish nor do I care enough to try and decipher it, but it seems weird to me. If the message is worthwhile and beneficial, someone feel free to translate it.

SL1M

Bob Cleveland said...

SL1M,

How about dropping me an email? There are some other things in my Presbyterian background I'd like to share.

I'll even send you a pic of my snailmailbox. The one with Snoopy, atop his doghouse, on it. :)

WOW. The "security word" is "subhunt". hmmmm....

Anonymous said...

wtreat here


Hey Brother,

I can honestly say that I have used the word hyper-Calvinists in conversation without any malice or intent of slander in any way.

I would use it only as a means to distinguish between the norm and the extreme.

However, after reading this post I will be more aware that some see this as a negative thing

If I have offended any on this board with this term then I apologize.

In His Service
wtreat@centurytel.net

Wade Burleson said...

Dog Eared,

Your comment has been deleted. You may disagree with CB and Peter, but you are not to attack them personally. In the same manner, other comments that attack the motives of people and the character of people have been deleted. Deal with the issues, but be Christian and refrain from projecting knowledge of what is unseen in others.

Blessings,

Wade

Anonymous said...

SLIM said,
"On a side note, someone really likes Snoopy cartoons. I don't understand why they are speaking cartoonish nor do I care enough to try and decipher it, but it seems weird to me. If the message is worthwhile and beneficial, someone feel free to translate it."

It is a parable.

In this parable, there are 4 participants:

Lucy: one of the 'elect' and
boy, does she know it
Charlie Brown: well, he's very
trusting of the 'Good
Shepherd' He doesn't
understand that neither
he nor Snoopy is one of
the 'elect' and might not
count with God.
Snoopy: beloved dog of Charlie
Brown; one of the
'unelected', but at least
he is not a goat.
God: the Mystery Guest! what will
He do? Will Snoopy be
saved? Will Charlie give
up hope?

IS THERE MERCY ENOUGH TO GO AROUND FOR CHARLIE AND SNOOPY TOO?

Slim, don't worry about a little parable.
Parables were only used by Jesus for the rest of us.
When 'all wisdom' is given to you by God, you don't need parables.
Just us lost ones, who can't understand Doctrine but can figure out 'Dog-trine' Pray for us unless it is a waste of your time.

DOGS RULE! :)

Thy Peace said...

.
John Gill and the Charge of Hyper-Calvinism by George Ella

Wiki: Calvinism

Anonymous said...

Most irenic Wade,

Thank you for the correction. "Woof" Any future accessment of CB or Peter's contribution will be seasoned with grace.

-Dog-eared

Anonymous said...

Snoopy - You lost me, but I think you are trying to insult me in some backhanded way. Not interested.

From what I do gather about your explanation (which again, is very little), the cartoon section is exactly where it belongs. Try the bible. It's a better read.

Take care,

SL1M

Bob - Look for my email. Would love to hear it.

p.s. My security word is noomets. But I suspect it will be the same ol' Mets next year. :)

RM said...

Ed Young in today's Dallas Morning News called on all his married church members to have sex every day for a week--beginning this Sunday.

Now would he be a Calvinist or an Arminian? (He also had a double bed on the altar to further prove his predestination.)

I'm sure their church will be packed this coming Sunday!

Anonymous said...

TO SLIM:

Hi Slim, I found this.

It is written in memory of the theologian Charles Schultz, the author of the 'Peanuts' series:

"Perhaps it is not only poets who are the "unacknowledged legislators of the world" as Shelley suggested.
Perhaps in our age it is also the cartoonists.
Comic strips are often modern day parables which yield eternal truths about the human predicament. " L's

Anonymous said...

This blog is sure getting interesting!

Wade, this is a good topic. So far I am still not completely disappointed with this conference in its tone.

Reformed people are just going to have to get over the fact that some people in Baptist life will say things about them or reformed theology that are not correct. The more influence reformed theology has in the convention, the more likely it is that some silly things will be said. The best thing to do is not panic or react, but just move on in service to Christ and teaching according to one's beliefs.

Robert, thanks for the post from Spurgeon. Great reading.

Robert, you doubted whether most moderates are Calvinists. I don't know the answer to that. I suspect that most moderates are, well, "moderate" when it comes to many classical theological questions.

In my estimation you will not find moderate meetings having lengthy discussions about theology in propositional context. They might discuss it in a forum-like, educational atmosphere with a round table with all sides dissected. But not in a way that would seek to persuade anyone that one theology is correct over and against another theology.

Again, from what I can tell, most moderate controlled and organized meetings revolve a few themes: Church/state issues (from a strict separationist position - and they are VERY propositional about that), Baptist distinctives (again, Church/state or Priesthood of the believer) - with the apparent goal to make people better Baptists, experiential discussions (being the presence of Christ, feeling like Christ, being Christ-like) and social gospel type ministries (you can even add missions here).

Moderates are also very institutional in nature. They are not happy as independents. There must be a college or organization to rally around.

The independent Baptists who left the SBC in the 40's - 60's immediately became completely independent and saw leaving the SBC's insitutions as part of the price of leaving the SBC. They had nowhere to go. They started their own institutions or joined other conservative insitutions that had been started earlier.

Moderates could never live like that. That's why the CBF still won't declare itself a denomination and get on with it.

In the old days moderates loved to talk about the programs in the SBC, and if I heard, "The genius of the SBC is the cooperative program" once, I heard it 1,000,000,000 times.

So, that's my take on it.

A discussion about the particularities of reformed vs. non-reformed theology (outside of a classroom in historical theology) would not interest most moderates.

I would be interested, however, in hearing what the moderates that comment on this blog call themselves, and what they think others in the moderate quarters call themselves when it comes to reformed theology.

But don't hold your breath waiting to see if a bunch of moderates are going to attend "Together for the Gospel" or the "John 3:16 Conference." Neither would appeal to them.

Here are the titles of some conferences that many moderates would find interesting.

"Perspectives in Reformed Theology and why the SBC Will Come Apart Over it."

"The Evils of the Religious Right."

"The Ministry of Peace in the New Obama Administration."

"The Separation of Church and State - our True Baptist Heritage" hosted by Bill Moyers."

"Civil Rights in the 21st Century" hosted by Bill Leonard.

"Why all the Baptist Colleges left the Baptist Church, and why Moderate Baptists should celebrate this development."

"Raising Your Child to be Open to and Tolerant of Other Faiths, Except the SBC and Fundamentalism" hosted by Kirby Godsey.

"Let's Talk About J. Frank Norris."

"Jimmy Carter; The Best President and Best Baptist Ever!"

Louis

debbiekaufman said...

Correction: That should be Phil Johnson wrote a post that James White was not Hyper-Calvinist by his own definition. He's definitely Calvinist. :)

Peter: I also read James White response and he does not accept the term Higher Calvinist to describe his view either. Not by your definition. Hyper Calvinist and High Calvinist being defined as essentially the same.

Thy Peace said...

I posted a comment to James White, if he would accept the term that he was a "high-calvanist" on his web site. I also asked him, if he could come here and leave a comment. We will see.

Anonymous said...

rm said,
"Ed Young in today's Dallas Morning News called on all his married church members to have sex every day for a week--beginning this Sunday."

Can't you just see a flood of new members joining the Church? And I am not just referring to the baby-boom that WILL take place in about nine months.

L'Chaim: To Life ! L's

Thy Peace said...

I can not find anywhere, that James White has said, he is a High-Calvinist. There are links to his website (but not on his website or his sayings), that add the description that he is a High-Calvinist (added by people other than James White). I do not know the full story. Both the Wiki and George Ella have definitions of both High and Hyper Calvinists. I will research it later.

Anonymous said...

SLIM said,

"Snoopy - You lost me, but I think you are trying to insult me in some backhanded way."


SNOOPY replied,
"Woof, woof, and woof."

(Translation: We love you, Slim, we don't hit people, and that includes YOU.)

(Snoopy has read the 13th Chapter of Corinthians and he is up on the 'not easily provoked' thing.

As a result, Snoopy hasn't bitten anyone in years. Unlike the President's dog Barney who hasn't read anything and loves to bite reporters.) :)

Anonymous said...

THOUGHTS FROM THE "Peanuts" THEOLOGIAN: CHARLES SCHULZ

Charlie Brown is "everyman." As Schulz writes, "Charlie Brown has to be the one who suffers, because he is a caricature of the average person. Most of us are much more acquainted with losing than we are with winning. Winning is great, but it isn't funny. While one person is a happy winner, there may be a hundred losers using funny stories to console themselves." . . . I once read a newspaper article that labeled Charlie Brown 'a loser.' That never occurred to me. A real loser would stop trying. Comedy has always revolved around characters who are 'losers.' Look at Charlie Chaplin or Laurel and Hardy. . . Happiness is not very funny. . . . I am 100 percent Charlie Brown."

Schulz understood that paradox and irony are part of the human condition. Charlie Brown often wonders why he seems to get so much of the flotsam and jetsam of life.

Charlie Brown: Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, "Why me?" Then a Voice answers, "Nothing personal. Your name just happened to come up."

Poor Charlie Brown: Life isn't easy. But with all its problems he has found a unique way to cope. Linus asks him:

Linus: Life is difficult, isn't it, Charlie Brown?

Charlie Brown: Yes, it is.
But I've discovered a new philosophy.
I only dread one day at a time. (Pause) Gee, I get depressed easily.
I don't know what's the matter with me. I just don't know. Sometimes I think my soul is full of weeds.

Charlie Brown's friend Lucy is a fussbudget, the great curmudgeon, the eternal skeptic, the prototypical cynic. She has a way of taking the wind out of your sails. As Schulz said, "Lucy comes from that part of me that's capable of saying mean and sarcastic things.

Anonymous said...

"Slim, don't worry about a little parable.
Parables were only used by Jesus for the rest of us.
When 'all wisdom' is given to you by God, you don't need parables.
Just us lost ones, who can't understand Doctrine but can figure out 'Dog-trine' Pray for us unless it is a waste of your time. "

This is a common misconception about why Jesus spoke in parables. But here is what Jesus told his disciples about why he spoke in parables:

Matthew 13

10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:


‘ Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should[a]heal them.’[b]

16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

and

Mark 4

10 But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. 11 And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, 12 so that


‘ Seeing they may see and not perceive,
And hearing they may hear and not understand;
Lest they should turn,
And their sins be forgiven them.’”[c]


13 And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?

and

Luke 8

9 Then His disciples asked Him, saying, “What does this parable mean?”
10 And He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that


‘ Seeing they may not see,
And hearing they may not understand.’

Lydia

peter lumpkins said...

Debbie,

First, I did not say White's response mentioned High Calvinism. Secondly, I gave no definition by which to judge "high" and "hyper."

Third, that "Hyper Calvinist and High Calvinist [are] essentially the same" is decidedly false. All Hyper-Calvinists are High Calvinists but not all High Calvinists are Hyper-Calvinists.

With that, I am...

Peter

Anonymous said...

Hi Lydia - Good luck talking theology with Snoopy. I thought about throwing in some bible to our dog friend to reveal their error as it pertains to parables, but I realized scripture would only cloud the matter for them.

You are about to find this out I'm afraid.

Louis said, "Reformed people are just going to have to get over the fact that some people in Baptist life will say things about them or reformed theology that are not correct."

So true. So sadly true.

SL1M

Thy Peace said...

Within scholastic Calvinist theology, there are two schools of thought over when and whom God predestined: supralapsarianism (from the Latin: supra, "before" + lapsare, "to fall") and infralapsarianism (from the Latin: infra, "after"). The former view, sometimes called "high Calvinism," argues that the Fall occurred partly to facilitate God's purpose to choose some individuals for salvation and some for damnation. Infralapsarianism, sometimes called "low Calvinism," is the position that, while the Fall was indeed planned, it was not planned with reference to who would be saved.

Source: Wiki: Calvinism

WatchingHISstory said...

“Long my imprisoned spirit lay, fast bound in sin and nature’s night.
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray; I woke, the dungeon flamed with light.
My chains fell off, my heart was free. I rose went forth and followed Thee.”
Spurgeon closed the hymn book and exclaimed “Wesley, where is thine Arminianism now?”

Everyone uses this song to support their view of embracing both views; Calvinism/free will.
But for the last year or so I can't get an an answer. Isn't Wesley praising prevenient grace/enablement and not regeneration?

Thy Peace said...

.
Here is the link of Robert's first comment:

The Spurgeon Archive: A Defense of Calvinism

.

Wade Burleson said...

Watchinghisstory,

I imagine you will have to ask Wesley his intent when you see him in heaven.

Spurgeon, obviously, felt the words conveyed regeneration, not prevenient grace.

debbiekaufman said...

Well Peter you'll have to forgive me, you guys are tagging so many labels onto the word Calvinist, it gets pretty confusing. Both definitions seemed to convey the same meaning just different words. Give me time though, I'll get it. Or not. :)

Ron said...

Louis,
I am not sure what you mean by moderate but if you are talking about moderate in theology I don’t know many moderates in SBC life. If you are using it in the way most supporters of the pseudo-conservative resurgence use it, then you mean those who do not support the CR and it has nothing to do with theology. I would disagree with you that those who oppose the conservative resurgence do not wish to discuss theology and in fact it is the leaders of the conservative resurgence who fear getting into discussions of theological issues with those who do not support their political organization because they might he held accountable for the labels the use on others. For example, in the early days of the takeover the seminary presidents organized a conference on inerrancy at Gorietta and invited all the leaders of the conservative resurgence to come, discuss and question the seminary presidents on their beliefs on inerrancy. None of the leaders, Rogers, Patterson, Pressler, Elliff or Smith attended except for Jimmy Draper who was on the program. Draper did not even discuss inerrancy but gave a talk making inaccurate claims of theological problems in the SBC. Another example is the SBC peace committee. It was packed with a majority of CR supporters and chaired by Charles Fuller in order to ensure no serious discussion of the theological charges made against the seminaries and SBC could be studied. As a result, it was a failure and simply gave the same old charges with no proof being offered. They sealed their papers and I am not sure if they have been made public yet. Another example is the SBC pastor’s conference and most state pastors conferences. They guard the invitations to speak very carefully to make sure that no one who does not support the CR is allowed to speak or expose their slanders. You can never get CR leaders in a discussion of theological issues in a setting they don’t control or where they will be held accountable for the statements.
One theological subject those you call moderates are willing to discuss is the Great Commission . The reason we are talking about a Great Commission resurgence in the SBC today is because the CR has neglected the Great Commission and concentrated on personal kingdom building. That is why so many CR leaders are such poor supporters of the cooperative program and the IMB/NAMB.
If CR leaders are not interested in institutions, why are they so intent on controlling the trustee boards of the institutions and why are so many ex SBC presidents so anxious to be employed by SBC institutions and then employ their family members and friends.
Here are some of the subjects that CR supporters love to discuss at their meetings.
The lack of a moral compass for pre-CR SBC leaders led by Al Mohler.
How to keep the WMU under control and hardwire them in to the SBC structure.
The sayings of W.A. Criswell including; “integrationists are a bunch of infidels”, “separation of church and state was the figment of some infidel’s imagination”, those who oppose the CR are half-infidels.
The cooperative program is the “golden calf” of the SBC.
The inerrancy of the Republican Party platform.
One more for Louis only. Why we should support state lotteries.
You asked for where moderates stand on the reform question. Even though I am a theological conservative and inerrantist, I will answer your question. I am a 3.5 - 4.5 point Calvinist. Because I believe inerrancy should have meaning in the way you live your life and not just the way you talk, I have never supported the conservative resurgence.
Ron West

Anonymous said...

The good Samaritan (Luke 10:37)

The good samaritan can be explained mystically in detail, and is therefore as much an "allegory" as a parable.

It was spoken by the Lord and must be reverently received as a teaching about Redemption.

It does not exactly reply to the question "Who is thy neighbour?" but propounds and answers a larger one:
"Whom in distress should I like to be neighbour to me?"
and gives an everlasting instance of the golden rule as a response.

At the same time it breaks down the fences of legalism, triumphs over national hatreds, and lifts the despised Samaritan (unaccepted) to a place of honour.

In the deeper sense we discern that Christ is the Good Samaritan,

human nature: the man fallen among robbers, i.e., under Satan's yoke; neither law nor Prophets can help; and the Saviour alone bears the charge of healing our spiritual wounds.

The inn is Christ's Church;
the oil and wine are His Blessings for Healing.
He will come again and will make all good.

The Fathers, Sts. Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome, are agreed in this general interpretation.

Mere philanthropy will not satisfy the Gospel idea;
we must add, "the charity of Christ presseth us"
(2 Corinthians 5:14).

Anonymous said...

SLIM and LYDIA,

Did Snoopy touch a nerve?

Imagine that!

Anonymous said...

Wade:

Is there ANY cool person who is NOT a member of your church?!

Way to go, EBC-Enid!


David

Anonymous said...

SLIM and LYDIA,

Did Snoopy touch a nerve?

Imagine that!

Wed Nov 12, 10:24:00 PM 2008

When someone implies that our Lord used parables so that all will understand, I get a bit antsy because, if you read the verses I posted earlier, you will see that the Lord says the opposite. So, yes, a nerve was touched on that score. :o)

Lydia

Anonymous said...

Ron:

Thanks for your response. I agree with you on reformed theology. If TULIP is the guide, then I am somewhere around a 4.

I could not disagree more with you about the moderate leadership who tried to lead the SBC. They are much more programatic than theological. I am sure that there are many moderates like yourself. I am also sure there are many as I described them.

I went to a Baptist college. None of the profs in the religion department there would hold to central doctrines of the faith, let alone inerrancy. The question posed to the SBC was what to do with professors like those. The conservatives wanted to address that. The moderates did not.

Your summary of SBC history is inaccurate. Most of all, the Peace Committee summary. Even Cecil Sherman came away from the experience admitting that there were deep theological disagreements at the heart of the dispute. Dr. Sherman's solution, however, was not to get into theology of any Profs at the seminaries, but to simply paper over it by saying the Priesthood of the Believer meant that no Baptists could tell the profs what to believe and academic freedom meant that no Baptist could tell them what to teach.

I also remember when Dr. Honeycutt reported at one convention that Southern understood that the Baptist people wanted more conservative profs, and he reported that Southern was taking steps to address that. I think that he reported on the hiring of David Dockery at that convention.

I really can't tell from your response, but it seems that moderates fall into 2 camps. One says, there are no theological differences and never were any. The other says that there are theological differences, but we just should do anything about it because of the Priesthood of the Believer.

It seems that you may fall into there never were any theological differences camp. I am sure that there is no way that I am going to convince you to change your mind. I will, however, simply remind you that many Baptists attended seminary and college from say 1950 to 1980. Too many of them had experiences that would dispute your view. Too many of them would say that their profs did hold views that were not widely shared by Baptist people.

Last year I listened to a set of CDs recording a faculty retreat at Southern where Dr. Mohler invited Ralph Elliott, Wayne Ward and Duke McCall to come back to the seminary and dialogue with the faculty. I won't bore you with the details, but let me assure you that these men all in unison agreed that the faculty views among many at Southern regarding the Bible and major Christian doctrine did not match up with what Baptists in the pew believed. Elliott and Ward talk about having to speak in guarded ways around laymen versus when they were at the seminary. McCall's view was that such matters were a matter of faculty governance over which he had no control. Of course, McCall fired 9 professors in 1959 or so. I am not sure that I have the number or year correct, but it was over an issue of faculty control. I don't think that any of the conservatives ever fired that many in one year.

I would encourage you to call Southern and see if you can buy a set of these CDs.

So, may Elliott, Ward and McCall are lying or too stupid to realize that there were no differences theologically, as you suggest. Maybe Cecil Sherman was wrong when he finally admitted that theological issues were an important part of the divide. Maybe Honeycutt was stupid to try and comfort Southern Baptists by telling them that Southern was trying to hire more conservatives.

Also, I note that you really did not take issue with my description of moderate conferences today.

Where has the SBC moderate leadership gone? What are they doing? Aren't they having the very conferences that I described (even though I used hyperbole). Just check out the Mainstream publications and meetings and the CBF stuff. It's all the same.

I with you on emphasizing the Great Commission, but we have to make sure that we know what that means. I can tell that you and I would agree on that. But a agreed upon doctrinal foundation is a prerequisite to any meetings that emphasize mission. Getting together on Missions without getting together on Doctrine is a disaster. Sure, care has to be taken on what points need to be agreed upon, but BFM is good enough for me.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. We won't come to an agreement on this, but I want you to know that I think you write well, and I can tell if the matter was just between you and me, there would be no problem. I wish you good luck in all that you are doing.

Louis

Anonymous said...

LYDIA wrote:

"When someone implies that our Lord used parables so that all will understand, I get a bit antsy because, if you read the verses I posted earlier, you will see that the Lord says the opposite. So, yes, a nerve was touched on that score."

The parables can be understoon on MANY levels, Lydia. I can, myself, understand the parable of the Good Samaritan as an allegory and a parable.


What happens to those who cannot understand the parables? What does this mean?

Anonymous said...

Heyhttp://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/february/8.19.html

Wade,

You probably haven't seen this article, I just ran across it the other day, to my suprise. I wasn't suprised by the tone or untruths, only that it had made such a popular and widely distributed publication.

Jeff Brock

Anonymous said...

Creator makes humans:
some to keep and some to burn

He lets the 'keepers' know they are 'keepers' so that they can PRAISE HIM and rejoice that they are not like the others.

He gives no aolace or help or comfort or chances to the ones who will burn.

QUESTION: Jesus was sacrificed for the 'keepers' only.

WHY, then, did God make the humans to burn? Did He do it so that the 'keepers' could feel superior to them? So that they would PRAISE Him that they were saved?
Did the keepers ALSO need the sacrifice of the lost ones, in addition to the sacrifice of Jesus?

WHY, knowing that the lost ones were scorned even before they were created, did God create them?
WHO benefits from their sacrifice?

Anonymous said...

It was Calvin who elaborated the doctrine that an absolute Divine decree from all eternity positively predestined part of mankind to hell and, in order to obtain this end effectually, also to sin.

Anonymous said...

The Holocaust: burning of Jews because they were Jews.
(men, women, children, babies)

Hell: burning of the 'non-elect' because they were 'non-elect'
(men, women, children, babies)

What's the difference?

The Nazis gathered up existing Jews to send to be gassed and burned.

God had to CREATE his 'non-elect' to sin and to burn.

The Nazis burned six million Jews without mercy.

God has, is, and will burn billions of pre-destined non-elect, without mercy.

WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?
If God is doing all this burning, what is Satan doing? Helping?

This is weird Christianity. It makes God look like a monster.

WHY WOULD GOD WILLINGLY PLAN AND EXECUTE THE CREATION OF EVEN ONE HUMAN TO SIN AND TO BURN?

Does God's Nature permit that He creates and programs a person to sin and die and burn? WHAT AN
OBSCENE DOCTRINE.

Anonymous said...

Yes Snoopy, you hit a nerve with me. I'm intimidated and cowering in the corner. Please just interact with others and let me be so I can recover.

Thanks so much.

SL1M

Ron said...

Wade,
I apologize for using you blog for my dialogue with Louis but I haven't bloged much lately and will try to not clog you blog up in the future.

Louis,
Thanks for your kind words. I am sure we could agree on most things theological but still might disagree on certain political and historical facts about the SBC as well as the need for a state sponsored lottery. I am still in deep depression because my home state of Arkansas finally passed a lottery bill after 5 attempts by the pro-gamblers.

Now a question. Why are you referring to me as a moderate? Do you know my theological beliefs? I can assure you I am a conservative theologically and politically. I just do not support the CR and do think that is a requirement to be a conservative.

I am sorry about your Baptist college experience. That was not my experience at Ouachita Baptist University back in the 60s and I know it is not true today. I doubt if it was true of many Baptist colleges but that is a state convention issue and should have been handled by your state. I also went to Southwestern Seminary where every professor I knew was a solid theological conservative. That would include Jack Gray, Rush Bush, Jack McGorman and many others. I know many who went to a Baptist College from 1950 to 1980 and most would say although there were certainly theological questions about some professors just as there are today, that the leaders of the CR have been wrong with their blanket accusations of theological liberalism against our seminaries. I think even Adrian Rogers could never name more that 5 – 10 out of the 400 or so that were out of bounds theologically.
I do not fall into either of the camps you mentioned. I would say there were theological problems, especially at Southern and maybe Southeastern with a small group of professors and that they should have been dealt with by firing some or all of those professors. I do not think that should have been used by the leaders of the CR to run off many of the theologically conservative professors and others who demanded accountability from the resurgence leaders for their actions. If the CR was about theology, they would have dealt with the theological problems and stopped there but they really wanted control not theological purity.

The Peace Committee was a failure and no one takes its report serious. For example it gave a clean bill of health to Southwestern with no problems but that didn’t stop the leaders of the CR from firing the president and destroying the heart of the seminary. You quote Cecil Sherman but Cecil Sherman was not a spokesman for me or those who opposed the CR. He was a pastor with little influence on the SBC or its leaders. He may have had deep theological difference with the CR but the leaders of the SBC did not. I am talking about those leaders I personally knew such as Baker James Cauthen and Keith Parks at the FMB and Robert Naylor and Russell Dilday at Southwestern. Also Lloyd Elder at the SS Board. Each of these men were in leadership of the most influential institutions of the SBC and are just as conservative theologically as the leaders of those institutions today. So what has been the purpose of the CR? It has not made those organizations more conservative theologically.

I haven’t listened to the CD you mentioned and don’t need to in order to know what was said. Ralph Elliot was a liberal who had not been part of SBC life since the mid 60s when he was rightly fired. His words have no relevance to any of our discussion. Wayne Ward was a good professor and a conservative who was not part of the CR therefore considered an enemy by those in the CR. I have read Duke McCall’s book, An Oral History” and suggest it as a good source on the beginnings of the CR.

I couldn’t agree with you more that a doctrinal foundation is important in missions. I have served with the IMB for 30 years and can assure that we have had a solid conservative theological foundation for all of those years. It is no truer today than when I began in 1979. That has not kept many supporters of the CR from calling us liberals and heretics. When I confront them and ask for proof, they can never back up their slanders. That is the true legacy of the CR.

Our different view of thing might be because of our backgrounds. I grew up in a conservative state, Arkansas, and went to a conservative Baptist college, Ouachita, and seminary, SWBTS. You obviously have been around liberals most of your time in Baptist life. I don’t know why that was true but I hope you have escaped their influence. Feel free to move to Arkansas if it will help.
Ron West

WatchingHISstory said...

Wade

You think that Spurgeon thought that Wesley was praising regeneration!

I don't think I will have to wait till I get to heaven, I am that certain that Wesley was praising prevenient grace.

Isn't this the same as BF&M "divine enablement"? Isn't this a preparation for regeneration, the enablement for the sinner to make a choice?

BTW I hear that "wait till you get to heaven" answer too often by preachers.

jasonk said...

My definition of hyper-calvinist:
"Anyone who is MORE Calvinist than me."

Bob Cleveland said...

It seems to me that some who question what God would or would not do, would do well to read Job again.

Anonymous said...

Ron West:

I assumed that you were a moderate by your first response. Sorry for that assumption. I should read more carefully.

Your experience at SWBTS does not surprise me. My father in law also went there, and served with the IMB from 1965 to 1995 or there abouts. His experience was as you described. Also, I have no problems with the men whose names you mentioned as theological conservatives.

I do not think that it was correct for Dr. Parks and Dr. Dilday to publicly come out in support of Winfred Moore and against the re-election of Dr. Stanley.

I also think that Dr. Parks, Dr. Elder and Dr. Dilday did not handle their situations well and do not hold them faultless for the way things turned out for them, though for purposes of our discussion those issues are more personalty and management driven and not really what I was focusing on.

On firings and such, the only Seminary that I have watched carefully was Southern. I don't believe that Dr. Mohler has fired many people there. He gave Molly Marshall Green the option of resigning or being fired for teaching outside the Abstract of Principles. Ms. Green admitted that she had, and decided to resign. I think that most of the defections from Southern were voluntary, and the profs who left there went on to more liberal theological schools.

Thanks for remembering my position on state lotteries. In the abstract they are a sign of culture hooked on entertainment. But as a revenue measure they are completely voluntary. And in my state where we have had a lottery now for many years, the things that one would measure to see if the lottery has caused problems have really not come about. I feel the same about horse racing. I find dog racing repugnant and cannot understand why anyone would want to go to West Memphis to watch that.

By the way, both of my grandparents on my father's side were raised in Arkansas, one in Texarkana and one in Mineral Springs. My grandfather graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1921 and was first in his class. His name is in the side walk not far from the entrance of Old Main, the first building on the campus.

I am glad that people like you are in the SBC. It does not bother me at all that you did not support the CR because I can see from all that you have written that your theology is right in line with the BFM and Baptist tradition. Having supported or not supported the CR should not be a test of fellowship. But having doctrinal views outside the BFM should be - even if one is a prof at a college or seminary.

My original comment was made to address the question of whether moderates are reformed or not. I still believe that my comments about moderates are well founded. Most are not at all reformed, and as a practical matter, they are not at all interested in doctrinal discussions about reformed theology, but are interested more in the things I have mentioned.

Take care.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Dear SLIM,

Snoopy is going to spend a retreat at the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm so that he can learn to be more humble.

He is now 'in the dog house' reading the book of Jeremiah.

He hasn't even eaten his dog food.

He wishes you to know that he is sorry for upsetting you. He hasn't been able to wag his tail since he found out about it.

C.Brown

Anonymous said...

I accept your apology. No harm intended from me, I'm just looking for a more substantive conversation. I was making myself dizzy trying to figure out what you were saying through the cartoons. I still don't know. I would never learn anything at the rate our conversation was going.

All is forgiven. Let's move on.

SL1M

Anonymous said...

Louis - Do you know what M. M. Green specifically taught that was outside the Abstract of Principles?

I have been aware of this resignation but lacked details and never really found out.

SL1M

Ron said...

Louis,
You obviously have some good genes. My name is also on a sidewalk at the U of A.

Anonymous said...

WADE WROTE:

"Dr. Allen offered that many theologians known as Calvinists, including John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, and John Bunyan did not believe in a particular redemption (i.e. that Christ died for the elect), but they believed that Christ died for every sinner without exception, even those who will receive the condemnation of God in hell"

Do you suppose those that believe that Christ died for 'every sinner' got their text from the Gospel of St. John 1:29 ? L's

"The next day, John, seeth Jesus coming unto him,
and saith,
'BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD,
WHICH TAKETH AWAY
THE SIN OF THE WORLD'

Anonymous said...

TO SLIM who wrote:

"I was making myself dizzy trying to figure out what you were saying through the cartoons. I still don't know."

What was the author doing there?

1. Injection of a different genre
to discuss the topic.
2. A little humor to add some
some light on a very mean-
spirited discussion
3. No one is forced to read, or
agree, or disagree, just
asked to think about it if
if they choose to.
4. Always good to look at a topic
from Charlie Brown's point
of view: he is sometimes
representative of people
at their most vulnerable in
a mean-spirited world.
Strangely, he remains trusting
and hopeful, it spite of
everything.
5. If something was jarring and
upsetting: attack the IDEA,
not poor Snoopy.
Remember: he may be just a
dog, but he is
not a goat.

Let's try to keep our comments free from personal attacks on each other; Snoopy is VERY upset.

Anonymous said...

SL1M:

No, I don't know the details and did not press for them when Dr. Mohler told the story.

He said that he had a conversation with her about doctrinal issues and gave her the option of resigning or he would bring the matter to the Trustees and ask for her termination. She chose resignation.

I think that she went to another seminary to teach. I have not followed her career since then. I would have thought that the she might ascend to prominence in the CBF. I do not follow them closely, but I have not seen her name in years. I don't think that she spoke a the New Covenant Baptist Confab in Atlanta either. But that doesn't mean anything.

I just know that she was a big star to Baptist liberals when she left Southern.

Interestingly, I have a physician friend who had taken some seminary extension courses from Dr. Green when she was on the Southern faculty. He liked Dr. Green personally very much, and I think told me that Dr. Green's husband is an internist or pediatrician or something. However, when he heard of Dr. Mohler's confrontation which led to her resignation, he wrote Dr. Mohler a personal letter telling him that despite his personal like of Dr. Green, he thought that the confrontation and resignation were appropriate. My friend considered Dr. Green to be a Christian and had no doubt that he would be with her in heaven one day, but was very concerned about her theological perspective that he heard in the extension class. He mentioned "re-imaging God" issues, I believe. Calling God "mother" etc. But that's all I can remember, and I don't know if this was one of the issues that Dr. Mohler was addressing.

Sorry I can't be of more help on the details.

Louis

bryan riley said...

I'm guessing God never labels us anything but Son or Daughter. My dearly beloved Son or dearly beloved Daughter.

I think we all need to get a grip on our pens, keyboards, and tongues when we find ourselves eating so hungrily from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It's easy to do and I am quick to grab that luscious fruit, but our ability to judge someone's thoughts and intents just don't match God's and we were not designed for such a purpose.

Anonymous said...

Louis:

Winfred Moore was my pastor at FBC-Amarillo during the 1980's. No person blogging here, and the great-grandmommas of none of us (including Dr. Stanley's--and he himself), is more conservative theologically than Dr. Moore! Winfred, however (along with 98% of all SBCers), probably can be considered moderate politically--meaning that he will not force nor attempt to force any individual to believe the Holy Bible percisely as he does (a trait, instead, of fundamentalism), realizing that each of us must answer to God for our beliefs and practices. That doesn't mean that FBC-Amarillo under Dr. Moore's leadership as senior pastor didn't seek to disciple believers so that they understood the Scriptures correctly for themselves; no congregation anywhere in the United States had a finer discipling ministries than FBC-Amarillo while Dr. Moore served as pastor and Roy Kornegay served as minister of education.


David

Wade Burleson said...

To all

Thanks for pointing out the offensive comments. They have been deleted.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Louis,

Assuming the accuracy of your statement that Dr. Mohler "gave Molly Marshall Green the option of resigning or being fired for teaching outside the Abstract of Principles. Ms. Green admitted that she had, and decided to resign", do you believe that Dr. Mohler, as Southern Seminary President, should not only teach in accordance with the Abstract but also practice the Abstract's teaching that "The Lord's Supper is...to be administered with...wine"?

Grace

Benji

Benji Ramsaur said...

Louis,

In the light of B.H. Carroll's statement--"Suppose we take the twelfth chapter of First Corinthians. If you want to get muddled you should read what the commentators say on the subject. What is it? It reads in the King James Version this way: 'By one Spirit we are all baptized into one body.' It reads in the new version, 'In one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.' Notice the difference in the two renderings. The King James Version makes the Holy Spirit the administrator, 'By one Spirit.' THE HOLY SPIRIT NEVER ADMINISTERS BAPTISM. He is the element, not the administrator." (Emphasis mine--"The Holy Spirit"; Pg. 29 from AGES software)...

Do you believe that the committee, appointed by then President Dr. Paige Patterson, should have included the statement "The Holy Spirit...baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ" in the BF&M 2000 and included the statement "We are not embarrassed to state before the world that these are doctrines we hold precious and as ESSENTIAL to the Baptist tradition of faith and practice" in the BF&M 2000 Preamble? (Emphasis mine)

Grace

Benji

P.S. Surely I should not expect the "poorly worded" argument from you:)

CB Scott said...

Glad to be of help there, Wade.

We certainly want to keep this blog irenic in nature and completely wholesome in content.:-)

cb

Anonymous said...

DEAR PASTOR WADE:

if Dr. Land believed this:

"He desires all to be saved, He gives His Son for the atonement of all sins without exception. . . "

'HE DESIRES ALL TO BE SAVED'

then, as instructed by Jesus, we should truly pray with conviction: 'God's Will Be Done
On Earth As It Is In Heaven'

Wade, I have learned that SOME Protestants no longer pray the Lord's Prayer.
I have asked 'why?' and I have never received an answer.
Is it maybe because the prayer includes the phrase:
"Thy Will Be Done" ?
There must be a very important reason to these people if they have chosen not to say that prayer, I just don't know what it is. L's Gran

P.S. Is there any hope among Calvinists that God loves ALL sinners enough to give ALL possible helps and interventions in order to be consistent in His attentions to mankind? I have always believed that it was the SIN that God rejected, not the SINNER?

Many trust for God to be CONSISTENT in His love for ALL of us, so that we could have hope for all and contempt for none.

Greg Alford said...

Anon…

“ Many trust for God to be CONSISTENT in His love for ALL of us, so that we could have hope for all and contempt for none.”

Just a few questions for you to think on…

“Has every man who ever lived upon the face of the earth heard the Gospel?”

“If not then how shall they be saved?”

“Of those who have heard the Gospel, have they all heard it equally and as often?”

Grace Always,

Anonymous said...

CONSISTENCY:

Is God able to love impartially all of Mankind? YES

Is another way to say 'Gospel'
GOOD NEWS ? It is.

Can you say when and how and in what manner God will speak the Good News to anyone? You cannot.

Can a mere man understand the One who was able to calm the Sea and the Wind? No.

Power of God cannot be limited, it just cannot be understood completely by our limited abilities. Put your pride away.
Honor Him and His Ways. You do not understand all of His Ways.
If you think you have got Him figured out, then you do not know God. God will do what He wills and is not restricted by our small minds and hard hearts.

Anonymous said...

There is this to think about:

that the self-proclaimed elect
who have no compassion
for the LOST,
may be the MOST LOST OF ALL.

Anonymous said...

WADE WROTE THIS: "The first time I met George was at the Oklahoma City Airport when I picked him up after flying in from Germany. He was crying. I asked him if everything was all right. He explained that he had spent the previous five hours sharing Christ with the young lady seated next to him. His soul was burdened for her salvation."

'his soul was burdened for her salvation'

Thank you for this witness, Wade.

Anonymous said...

Snoopy - I didn't mean any personal attack against you and I don't think I did. I sincerely accepted your apology and I sincerely meant what I said that the more you talk the less I understand what you are trying to say. I still sincerely mean both of those things.

Don't take this the wrong way, but please give up on me. You will obviously continue to speak in parables via a cartoon character and I will never understand what you are saying. Never. It's my fault.

Thanks for understanding.

Louis - I do remember something about the "god the mother" thing now that you mention it. I was just wondering if she had any direct violation of "calvinistic" portions of the Ab of Pr...if you know what I mean?

Thanks for your reply.

Gran - I know we disagree on this issue but I would ask also that you sincerely consider Greg's thoughts. I appreciate your sincerity in wanting to understand better as opposed to those who just want to mock and run...all in "christian love", I'm sure.

I am so glad that no one is engaging them and I'm glad that Greg engaged you and offered you things to consider. Please share your thoughts on what Greg as said if you like.

Also, addressing your other concern. I'm not sure why you think that Protestants don't say the Lord's Prayer any longer, but I certainly do.

Maybe you are referring to times such as during services? In this case, you would be correct that most don't. I'm not sure why either. I don't think it's because we have a problem with "Thy will be done". That cetainly doesn't bother me.

Have a great day!

SL1M

Anonymous said...

Hi Slim,

Thank you for your kind remarks.
You wrote:
"I'm not sure why you think that Protestants don't say the Lord's Prayer any longer, but I certainly do."

I asked because I had a bad experience where I had assumed all Protestants said that prayer and I was abruptly advised by a lady otherwise. The lady had some theory that St. Paul and the Holy Spirit had REPLACED Jesus' teachings, and that the Lord's Prayer was no longer relevant to Christians. ( ! )
I KNOW that many Protestants say the prayer and I'm glad that you do too. I just never understood this lady's beliefs and I feel that there is very little that I can take for granted about what is shared in faith.
I know that YOU have not replaced Christ' importance and that is a great comfort to me, for all that we may see things differently. L's

R. L. Vaughn said...

Some folks regularly speak & write about and against "Hyper-Calvinists" as if that is some readily identifiable group. It is not.

Free Will Baptists look at Southern Baptists and say they are hyper. Southern Baptists look at Calvinistic Southern Baptists and say they are hyper. The Calvinistic Southern Baptists look at the Limited Predestinarian Primitive Baptists and say they are hyper. The Limited Predestinarian Primitive Baptists look at the Absolute Predestinarian Primitive Baptists and say they are hyper! You get the picture.

You would think the Absolute Predestinarians wouldn't have anybody to point the finger at, but then there's the Outside the Camp folks who think a true Christian "...obviously believes that Arminianism is a false gospel, that all who hold to it are lost, and that all who claim to believe the true gospel but who speak peace to those who bring a false gospel of Arminianism are lost." I'm not sure if there is anyone more "hyper" than that.

The point is that "Hyper-Calvinism" is a matter of perspective. Besides that, the use of the term is generally pejorative, a type of argumentum ad hominem (sometimes called poisoning the well).

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"The point is that "Hyper-Calvinism" is a matter of perspective. Besides that, the use of the term is generally pejorative, a type of argumentum ad hominem (sometimes called poisoning the well)."

…from your definition of Hyper-Calvinism (H-C). But if one takes the wiki definition, then it becomes a matter of "how" and "to what degree" one is to evangelize. I would be happy to be called a H-C by the wiki definition (with clarification of course). I find no expressed or implied mandate in Scripture to lead the non-elect to the Lord. It would be a waste of time and of no effect. The issue though is how on earth does one go about evangelizing the non-elect intentionally? Obviously the notion is impossible. But the methods employed are very real. By this I mean preaching a false Gospel--a non-biblical, wide-grace Gospel which seeks to make converts of many to anything other than Christ. We are all guilty of this in one form or another. Rick Warren's flagrant use of 1 Cor. 9:22 might be to blame, low church coffers might be to blame, egos might be to blame, who knows, but in the end, the H-C will seek a biblical, non-pragmatic approach to sharing the Gospel to those who will hear, to those whom the Spirit puts in our path, etc. Sometimes people use the label of H-C to name someone who holds to a high view of Calvinism and who shuns the seeker-friendly evangelistic style. This is not necessarily being used in the pejorative sense.

At least that is how I see it.

K

Anonymous said...

Benji:

Not sure if you meant to address this to me?

I Cor 12:13 - the Holy Spirit is the medium in which, by which and with which (possible translations of en) we are baptized into one body.

Neither the 1925 nor the 1963 BFM address this. The 2000 BFM does, but inartfully, as you have pointed out. "By" is not a bad translation (KJV; NASB), but again, it means the Spirit is the medium, not the Baptizer.

Just shows even good committees with good theology fail to be careful now and then. I suspect that if we discussed this issue with all of the men and women on this committee (I couldn't believe how many I know or knew - Rudy Hernandez was a great guy) that they would immediately recognize this. I doubt any of them think that the Holy Spirit Baptizes.

In the world of statutory law, legislatures have what they call a "technical corrections bill" which corrects typos and misconstructions like this in bills where it is not caught, but doesn't open up the bill to another debate from scratch or complete redefinition.

It appears we could use such a vehicle in Baptist life.

First, it was neat comparing the 1925, 1963 and 2000 BFM versions in this regard. The 2000 version with regard to the work of the Spirit (despite the error/typo you have noted) is superior. It probably came about to help correct a lot of bad theology from the Charismatic world when it comes to the activity of the Holy Spirit.

Second, I would worry about this if I really thought people on the committee and common Baptists really believed that the Spirit baptizes. I think that most Baptists would readily understand both the true meaning of the verse and the true intent of the BFM.

Congratulations to you on passing along the error. Don't know if you take credit for it, or if someone pointed it out to you.

I don't believe that the preamble is a problem. The error lies in taking the verse from the KJV and putting it in the confession with the syntax that was used. Again, if I thought there was real error here, as opposed to a mistake, I would have a significant concern.

On the other hand, I hold out that there is probably some smart theologue on this blog who can make an argument in favor of the BFM reading. I don't know. I only stuck with the I Cor 12:13 verse.

In the future, do not ask me questions that require so much homework please. I have been out of college for 25 years and law school for 22. I hate the thought of homework.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Thou art Fire:
enkindle in me Thy love.
Thou art Light:
enlighten my mind with the knowledge of eternal things.
Thou art the Dove:
give me innocence of life.
Thou art the gentle Breeze:
disperse the storms of my passions.
Thou art the Tongue:
teach me how to bless Thee always.
Thou art the Cloud:
shelter me under the shadow of Thy protection.
And lastly, Thou art the Giver of all heavenly gifts:
animate me, I beseech Thee, with Thy grace;
sanctify me with Thy charity;
enlighten me with Thy wisdom;
adopt me by Thy goodness as Thy son,
and save me in Thy infinite mercy;
so that I may ever bless Thee, praise Thee, and love Thee;
first during this life on earth,
and then in heaven for all eternity. Amen.

Thy Peace said...

James White has "claimed" that he is a "high Calvinist".

Update from the PyroManiac/John 3:16 Conference by James White

" I noted last evening the irony of my being in London to do four debates on Islam (one on the Trinity and Shirk, one on the Deity of Christ, and a two-parter with Shabir Ally on Jesus and Muhammad in the Bible) and the "John 3:16 Conferenc" in Woodstock, Georgia. As those of you who travel thousands of miles across seven time zones know, the day of your arrival can be a little bit surreal, and I wrote that post in that state. Hence its brevity! In any case, I noted last evening that Phil Johnson had commented on the issue as well, and his post can be found here. I thank Phil for taking time out of his busy editing schedule to post that. I will be seeing him at the end of this journey. Unfortunately, last I knew, his travel schedule will not allow him to attend the dialogue with Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah at Duke University the evening before our conference begins. In any case, I am thankful for the clarification.

I am living proof that a "high Calvinist" can be biblically grounded and yet can stand firmly against hyperism. I am often identified as a "compromiser" by the small cadre of hypers out there, some of whom live behind a keyboard. I drive them nuts since I am obviously unashamed of my Reformed position and in fact identify it as the heart and soul of my apologetic zeal. I fully know how my views could become cold and academic, and I know there have been those in the past who have fallen into that trap. Of course, I can identify the dangers of loss of balance in reference to almost any theological position, any divine truth. Beware the genetic fallacy when evaluating argumentation! It is one of the most common flaws in modern thought.

In any case, the hypers detest me, and there is a reason for it! I do everything they detest while upholding the Kingship of God in glorifying Himself in the salvation of His elect. Meanwhile, the synergists of all stripes, including those modern Southern Baptists who refuse to use historical terminology of their position (indeed, who rarely have sufficient "system" in their "systematic theology" so that their views can be identified in any consistent fashion other than "non-Reformed"), will continue to throw the "hyper-Calvinist" moniker around as a scare tactic, hoping, it seems, that their significantly less than compelling argumentation will be enough to keep the promising young minds in their churches from considering Reformed theology. But, alas, just as is the case amongst the Calvary Chapels---when you direct folks to the Bible, you are directing them to the very heart and soul of Reformed theology, the living text itself. So you have to try to overlay it with as much human tradition as you can lest they see with clarity the power and freedom of God that shines from every page! That seems to have been the purpose in this conference in Georgia as well. Give the pastors some kind of argumentation to use---not a full response, not a meaningful exegetical position to espouse, but just enough of a response to deflect interest.

Well, much to do in preparation for this time of ministry, so I shall leave it there. Continue to pray for the upcoming debates here in London!"

Anonymous said...

Jimmy Draper
The Baptist Press


"The phrase "baptism of the Holy Spirit" does not appear in Scripture. Christ is always described as the baptizer in the Gospels (see for example Matthew 3:11) and Acts, and then the Holy Spirit is His agent in the epistles.

The only verse that actually deals with the doctrine of "the baptism of the Holy Spirit" is 1 Corinthians 12:13. There are narratives in the book of Acts that deal with encountering the Holy Spirit under special circumstances. Acts is a history book that details the supernatural origin of the church. It is a transitional book. It is descriptive, but not generally prescriptive. It describes that unique time in history when Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be the Paraclete, comforter and companion. But Pentecost was not the beginning of the work of the Holy Spirit any more than the incarnation was the beginning work of Christ. We cannot build a theology of the Holy Spirit from the book of Acts.

One thing is very clear today. We need the Holy Spirit! We need Him now, we need Him desperately and we need Him always. There is an experience for believers that is called "the baptism of the Holy Spirit". We need it and we need to understand it.

It is a misunderstood experience. We actually have misnamed it. We refer to the baptism "of" or "in" the Holy Spirit as if He is an impersonal substance. From Scripture it should be "by" or "with" the Holy Spirit. First Corinthians 12:13 is a good example. The Greek preposition "en" can be translated "in," "by," "with" or "of." Here it is clearly instrumental and should be translated "by."

Thy Peace said...

There is one comment in Amazon.com, that stood out, for this book: Spurgeon Vs Hyper Calvinism: The Battle for Gospel Preaching by Iain H. Murray.

A Very Misleading, Poorly researched Polemic, July 31, 2003
By Stephen Hancock "Scholar ,born 300 years late." (Snellville, GA United States)


"As much as I admire some of Iain Murray's writing,("The Puritan Hope" is great.),I was very disappointed in this book. For reasons that are best discussed a length elsewhere, Murray and his publisher Banner of Truth, have launched a very deceptive campaign against what they term "hyper-calvinism" under the guise of the "Free Offer Controversy". The problem is, that the people they attack, (John Gill and William Huntington amoungst others) DO NOT hold to the views that they are charged with here, and in several other current books. Part of the problem is sloppy research (relying on biased older works of men who had personal agendas against these men and weren't above outright lying) and partially redefining words that the authors attached other meanings far different than those defined by Murray and his modern compatriots. I'd strongly urge that before reading this work, you check Dr. George Ella's website (http//www.evangelica.de/),invest in one or more of his numerous biographies or check the magazine he frequently contributes to (New Focus at http//www.go-newfocus.co.uk/). Spurgeon himself greatly admired Gill and kept his portrait in his ofice! Check out this quote from Spurgeon about Gill's commentaries:"His great work on the Holy Scriptures is prized...by the best authorities, which is conclusive evidence of it's value." Writing about Gill's pastoral ordination, Spurgeon says: "Little did the friends (parishoners) dream what sort of man they had chosen to be their teacher, but had they known they would have rejoiced that a man of such vast erudition...indefatigable industry...sound judgement and such sterling honesty had come amoung them." - quoted in "John Gill & the Cause of Truth" by George Ella, 1995.
The same argument goes for virtually all the evangelists Murray misrepresents."

Anonymous said...

12 segments making up the Fruit of the Holy Spirit: "charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, [and] chastity." Many Christians believe that the fruit of the Holy Spirit are enhanced over time by exposure to the written word of God and by the experience of leading a Christian life. They further believe that the Fruit of the Holy Spirit are products of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit: "wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord."

Anonymous said...

The HYPER-LOST


"The self-proclaimed 'elect'
who have no compassion
for the LOST,
may be the MOST LOST OF ALL."

Benji Ramsaur said...

Louis,

If the language of the confession said "through/by the Spirit every believer is baptized", then I could see what you are saying.

That would be in line with the KJV/NASB language.

However, the language of the confession explicitly declares the Holy Spirit to not merely be the medium, but the agent of various things:

"The Holy Spirit...He inspired...He enables...He exalts...He convicts...He calls...He baptizes..."

If the sentence on the Holy Spirit baptizing was isolated, then I might be able to swallow your mistake/error distinction.

However, this sentence is not isolated but harmoniously fits into a section with a definite flow.

Therefore, for you to say "I would worry...if I really thought people on the committee...really believed that the Spirit baptizes" when the confession itself says "The Holy Spirit...He baptizes" is a bit odd to me.

I honestly don't know how much more explicitly one could say it.

You are basically arguing that "He baptizes" does not mean "He baptizes".

Saying "by the Spirit" comes across as a mistake from the KJV.

Saying "He baptizes" comes across to me as saying what you mean and meaning what you say.

For persons on the committee to now come out and say "When we said 'He baptizes' we did not mean that the Holy Spirit baptizes" might cause some to wonder "Then what were you thinking saying it the way and in the place you said it?"

Grace

Benji

Benji Ramsaur said...

Here is the full list of the Holy Spirit "doing" things in section II.C of the BF&M 2000.

"The Holy Spirit...He inspired...He enables...He exalts...He convicts...He calls...and effects...He baptizes...He cultivates...comforts...bestows...He seals...He enlightens...and empowers..."

Benji Ramsaur said...

Louis,

I do have to admit though, it would be entertaining to have persons from that committee come out and explain what they meant as follows:

Alright boys and girls...

Does the Holy Spirit inspire? Yes!

Does He enable? Yes!

Does He exalt? Yes!

Does He convict? Amen!

Does He call? Yes!

Does He effect? Absolutely!

Does He baptize? Ohhh no, no, no silly willies, what would ever make you think of something like that?

Does He cultivate? Yes!

Does He comfort? Yes!

Does He bestow? Yes!

Does He seal? Yes!

Does He enlighten? Yes!

Does He empower? Yes!

WatchingHISstory said...

anon

You said: "It probably came about to help correct a lot of bad theology from the Charismatic world when it comes to the activity of the Holy Spirit."

elaborate about the bad theology the Charismatics hold in regards 1 Cor 12:13. Thanks

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic: [Gross Topics]

Did you know that Martin Luther got the ideas of Reformation in a "lavatory" or bathroom? That he wrote his 95 theses on the toilet?

Luther's lavatory thrills experts

The Guardian on Martin Luther

Martin Luther's Toilet Flushed Out

---------------------------------

[More Gross Stuff]

Ed Young and Seven Days of Sex: Sex Sells

----------------------------------

I am sure preaching is difficult now-a-days, but come on ...

Bob Cleveland said...

Baptism: isn't it supposed to be a SYMBOL of something? Is our death/burial/resurrection, represented thereby, physical or Spiritual?

If it's spiritual, then does it represent something the spirit of the baptizer did in us? Or does it represent something the Spirit of God did?

If there is ANYTHING Spiritual element to our water baptism, then it's the Holy Spirit that's doing the baptism. Otherwise, it's just some guy getting us wet.

And if there isn't a spiritual element to water baptism, then it is nothing more than an initiation ritual.

My personal opinion: I don't HAVE TO BE water baptized to be saved .. to be a part of the Body of Christ .. but if I'm a part of that Body, then it was the Holy Spirit Who immersed me into it. THAT's the baptism that's essential, IMHO.

Or not....

Anonymous said...

Benji:

I don't disagree with you. The line up of all the things the Spirit does is what caused the problem. If you read 1 Cor 12 and are putting a sentence together like that, you end up with sticking it in.

You may be correct, however, that all the people on the committee thought about this, considered whether the Spirit is the medium or the actor, and they chose the actor view (I think someone posted something that is from Dr. Draper that says that).

By the way, did you mean to send this to me? And while I have enjoyed the discussion, what is the point as it relates to me? I had posted some things about reformed theology and SBC history (dialoging with Ron West) when I saw your question.

Though I am flattered that you thought I would write you a nice opinion on it, let me know what the point is.

Take care.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Traditional Prayer

Send your Holy Spirit upon them
to be their helper and guide.
Give them the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of right judgment and courage,
the spirit of knowledge and reverence.
Fill them with the spirit of wonder and awe in your presence.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Anonymous said...

Augustine says: "Whence hath water so great power, that it touches the body and cleanses the heart?"

And Bede says that "Our Lord conferred a power of regeneration on the waters by the contact of His most pure body."

When Christ was oblated for us on the Cross, WATER and blood poured from His Side.
If the WATERS of Baptism are just a 'sign', then let them be a sign of those waters from Christ's Side:
those waters of cleansing and healing and Salvation.

All in Christianity flows from Christ and back to Him. If you keep your focus on Him, you cannot get lost. L's

NativeVermonter said...

Everyone seems to poo-poo my view that if you call yourself a Calvinist then by definition, you subscribe to all of his views.

Dr. Lemke cites Richard A. Muller in the article: What is a Baptist? Nine Marks that Separate Baptists from Presbyterians. Here is a brief quote, “To be a Calvinist requires much more than the five points often associated with the Synod of Dort. For Muller, to be truly a Calvinist requires affirmation of other beliefs such as the baptism of infants, the identification of sacraments as means of grace, and an amillennial eschatology” (Page 22, at the bottom).

So in my view, if you’re in for a penny, you’re in for a pound. If you call yourself a Calvinist, I’ll assume you subscribe to all his views which would make a good Baptist shutter.

Thy Peace said...

THE PARABLES OF JESUS CHRIST

With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand.
He did not say anything to them without using a parable.
But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.
Gospel of Mark 4:33-34

Thy Peace said...

Calvinism (sometimes called the Reformed tradition, the Reformed faith, or Reformed theology) is a theological system and an approach to the Christian life that emphasizes the rule of God over all things.[1] It was developed by theologians such as Martin Bucer, Heinrich Bullinger, Peter Martyr Vermigli, and Huldrych Zwingli and influenced English reformers such as Thomas Cranmer and John Jewel, but it bears the name of the French reformer John Calvin because of his prominent influence on it and because of his role in the confessional and ecclesiastical debates throughout the 16th century. Today, this term also refers to the doctrines and practices of the Reformed churches of which Calvin was an early leader. Less commonly, it can refer to the individual teaching of Calvin himself.[2] The system is best known for its doctrines of predestination and total depravity.

Source: Wiki: Calvinism

Anonymous said...

Hi Native,

I agree with you about the name Calvinism and all the baggage that might come with being called that name.

However, I find myself not being bothered by it so much. If someone cares enough to ask me about being associated with the name, I will tell how I differ from Mr. Calvin and what I mean when I call myself a Calvinist.

But if they don't care enough to ask, I don't care enough to tell them.

Of course, with the all encompassing present day "christian attitudes and behavior", they will probably misrepresent me and my position to others. But if that is in their heart, they will misrepresent me and my position anyway.

I would prefer to be viewed through the reformed name, but if it helps someone to designate me a calvinist, then that's okay too. Even though some "christians" will mean that in a harmful way.

I see your point though.

Bob - Did you get my email?

SL1M

Bob Cleveland said...

SL1M,

Nope. Did you send it to Mighty(at)Charter(dot)net?

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"Everyone seems to poo-poo my view that if you call yourself a Calvinist then by definition, you subscribe to all of his views."

John,

I am a Calvinist, I hold to all 5 points and I also think we should burn heretics at the stake. :)

I do hold to a believer's only Baptist though...does that mean I cannot be a Calvinist?

ezekiel said...

Serious question not that the calvnist and armenian civil war seems to be ebbing....

How can a calvanist say that a person can't reject God when it is clear that that is exactly what Israel did? I mean they did it in degrees over and over. In the wilderness, in Samaria, in Judah, Jerusalem and frankly, many in the church do it today. See Num 11, Hebrews 3, 6, 11 and Jude.

Why did Paul preach to examine ourselves daily? For a calvanist, shouldn't once be enough?

And then for those hard core arminians out there, another question.

How does one justify the idea that your salvation is based on your faith and responding to His call when you would have had to have received a call from Him to begin with and responded with faith that He gave you to begin with?

Sort of a half right/half wrong thing for both camps?

ezekiel said...

Please excuse the typos...

Benji Ramsaur said...

Louis,

I appreciate the interaction.

This will probably be my last response for today [sermon prep and a date with my wife awaits me:)]

You said "Having supported or not supported the CR should not be a test of fellowship. But having doctrinal views outside the BFM should be - even if one is a prof at a college or seminary" and I wanted to question that view.

However, there is a sense in which I can respect it in that the BF&M 2000 preamble says everything in it is "essential".

I simply think that the preamble is in error in the light of Baptist history on the grounds of B.H. Carroll's disagreement with it alone.

B.H. Carroll: "The Holy Spirit never administers baptism"

BF&M 2000: "The Holy Spirit...He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ"

I don't think someone having Carroll's view or Bob Cleveland's view should keep one from the mission field through the IMB.

Ultimately, I believe I have the same/similar hope of Timmy Brister who said "I am hoping for a Baptist confession for the 21st century to be written."

I don't think the Convention is maximizing its potential.

I think a lean and mean, streamlined confession without the excess baggage[?] of statements on things like "peace and war" might be a good thing.

I think if this kind of confession could unify the denomination in large part, it would be a good thing.

I think a new confession that flows from good biblical theology instead of an over systematized theology would be a good thing.

I think a new confession that includes a statement that baptism symbolizes union with Christ would be a good thing [contra the BF&M].

I think we have the theologians to be able to produce this kind of confession today.

Schreiner/Akin/Dever/Hammett/Köstenberger/Dockery/George/etc.

I think that recognizing that all have mere clay feet but One would be a good thing.

I understand that the phrase "desperate times call for desperate measures" could give birth to unbridled pragmatism.

However, if kept within the sphere of Holy Writ, it might be good to consider.

God Bless

Benji

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"Sort of a half right/half wrong thing for both camps?"

You sort of answered your first question with the second. But I wonder if you deny the doctrine of election? Also, and with that in mind, do you not believe that that which God purposes to be done will in fact be done?

Of course we have a choice. Calvinists believe we have a choice. But the choice is life or death. All whose eyes have been opened will choose life.

The problem though as I see it, is that some will choose a "better life" when their eyes have not been open. They seek a better state of being but they do not choose God. If the better life is called "g/God" then they will take it. But they do not take it because of grace. All are offered the goodness of God, but not all are offered His grace.

May we know the distinction and pray that all this day receive grace.

Kevin

NativeVermonter said...

Kevin,

Since you have the burning of the heretics part down, we can overlook the Believers Baptism :)

I like Calvinistic Baptist or Reformed Baptist, they seem to do nicely.

ezekiel said...

Kevin,

I don't deny the doctrine of election. That is after all what the WORD says I think.

As to your other question, see 1 Cor 1:9, 1 Thes:5:24, 2 Tim 2:13, Heb 3:6 and 10:23.

Everything He purposes will be done. I would also think that top on His list of purpose is justice. Condemnation for those that reject Him and salvation for those that accept Him.

Having said that, didn't He purpose to save a people from bondage in Egypt? It says He did and it says He accomplished that. Then destroyed them in the wilderness because of their grumbling and unbelief.

I am just wondering why anyone would think that He has changed or thinks that He won't do the same to us. Many of the books of the NT seem to indicate there is great danger in thinking that He won't.

I read Romans 11 literally and don't put too much stock in any man's doctrine. It seems that the most important things could well be obedience, coupled with prayer and supplication to continue in his kindness.

Grace and mercy indeed.

Anonymous said...

So in my view, if you’re in for a penny, you’re in for a pound. If you call yourself a Calvinist, I’ll assume you subscribe to all his views which would make a good Baptist shutter.

Fri Nov 14, 10:19:00 AM 2008

That is my view, too. And why I find it incredible so many baptists call themselves Calvinists.

Lydia

Anonymous said...

Benji:

I see. Thanks.

I have never really thought that the BFM was a work of art, and thought that a new start should have been made in 2000.

I would not oppose one now, especially if the people whom you mentioned were invovled.

On the other hand, an organizations' history has a lot to do with how matters like this are approached.

I represent a client that has a schedule of its rates, charges and fees. It is long, exceedingly complex document that is very difficult to read. However, it was first written 30 years ago, and it has been altered and added to from time to time as new situations arise. In that way, it's development cleary tracks the legal and financial changes and challenges that the organization has gone through.

It would be much easier to write a new one. Short, simple, modern language etc. But the problem (or concern) is that something would get lost along the way, and that the document, though clunky and verbose, contains a secure sense of history within its provisions that a new document would never have. Some have told me that the NCAA rule book is the same.

So, even though I think that the BFM is not the doctrinal statement that I would draft, I am not sure that doing that would be a productive or helpful thing at this time.

Also, the moderates got apoplectic enough with the few changes that were made the last time around. I never heard so much caterwalling in all my life.

So, the committee followed the form and substance of the 1963 statement and made alterations where necessary.

It's a good catch for you (or whomever turned you on to it) to find an error like the one you found. I think that someone has mentioned the differences between the Abstract of Principles and the BFM. There are probably other "errors" or places in the BFM that don't comport with what churches are doing nowadays that could be pointed out.

But there is a reality to confessions like the BFM. They are awfully hard to write. They are harder to enforce. I think that people (pastors, church members, doctrinal statement committee members etc.) therefore have an unwritten rule of tolerance when it comes to minor deviations from documents like the BFM, regardless of the fact that the BFM is presented as a certain word which should not be transgressed.

It obviously won't do to put in the preamble that everything hereafter sounds good, but you can follow it or not, so long as you send your checks to Nashville.

Also, no one wants to do the job at this point in our history of doing re-writes, edits, changes unless absolutely necessary.

In other words, regardless of what the BFM says on I Cor 12:13, I would be surprised to find any committee member or group of Baptists who would not accommodate both those who think that the Spirit is the medium and those who think the Spirit is the actor. Regardless of the preamble.

Ah, but one's sense of consistency and logic are violated by this accommodation. And if we don't fix this, we can't complain about any violations. Logically, that is true. (Now is the time for the quote, "Consistency is the hobgobblin of small minds" or something like that).

It's just that the options for repairing the problem are more unpleasant than living with the inconsistency.

Don't respond to this. I am just talking.

Good luck on the sermon. Please don't get as technical as any of our posts this time around. Many of your people are probably one step away from financial ruin, medical disability, or moral collapse than you'll ever know. Give them a double dose of your kind spirit and God's word.

I bet you are a great pastor. Where is your church, by the way?

Louis

Bob Cleveland said...

Can you imagine how hard it is to be a Calvinistic Baptist and be a charismatic, too?

I ought to know. I'm getting worn out.

Oh, wait. I'm 70. Maybe that explains it.

Thy Peace said...

Can someone explain in simple terms why a Calvinist should not be a Baptist (and/or vice versa)? It does not have to be through, but at least the important points or differences. Thanks.

Thy Peace said...

Correction: "It does not have to be thorough ..."

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"I don't deny the doctrine of election...Everything He purposes will be done."

Well at least we agree in summation. But I think your example of the nation of Israel being freed from bondage needs some further study. The Israelites were freed from "physical bondage" not "spiritual bondage." This is not different than many today. God's goodness gives them increasing happiness in terms of quality of life, but his grace gives them eternal life. The distinction needs to be made. Only the elect are benefactors of His grace. Israel, though chosen as a nation, were not all elect. Abraham's faith was counted, but the faith of many of the Hebrews was not; and to them will be said, "Depart from me..." (This was never a falling from grace, but a never had grace poured out.)

Grace does not persevere through good works, but rather is fleshed out through good works--evidenced by...

True faith given by grace was not evidenced in the lives of many of the Hebrew children. Thus though they were part of a chosen nation, they were not elect.

True grace gives true faith which excites a then true believer to true good works because of the work of the true Christ to the glory of the true Father.


K

ezekiel said...

Kevin,

I don't agree with your analysis of physical Israel.

See Ex 12:5,7,13 and...

Exo 24:8 And Moses took the blood and threw it on the people and said, "Behold the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words."

It was a covenant of salvation and deliverance from bondage.

Israel broke the covenant. God didn't. What, other than the very spirit of God keeps us from breaking ours?

Anonymous said...

1. Is God ALONE responsible for everything to do with Salvation?

2. Did God abolish the free co-operation of the will of man in gaining Salvation?

3. Does mankind have the freedom of will to choose God?

4. Does mankind have the freedom of will to NOT choose God?

5. Does God, then, force mankind to sin, having removed all decision-making power from mankind?

Is the person who is not elected NOT REALLY FREE TO SIN?

6. If a person is not really FREE TO CHOOSE TO SIN, then the one responsible for that Sin is not the person, but GOD.

7. So, if Calvinism is correct in its suggestion that God is ‘in control’ and determines who is saved and who is not:

with no free response allowed or needed from either the saved or the damned:
then, God is responsible for all salvation and all damnation.

In this case,
The non-elected person cannot be blamed for sinning, if he never had any control or freedom over whether or not to sin.

Thy Peace said...

Calvinism and the Baptists by Dr. Laurence M. Vance

Are Baptists Calvinists Or Armenians? by Pastor John Reaves

Are Baptists Historically Calvinists by James Beller

WatchingHISstory said...

anon

You said: "It probably came about to help correct a lot of bad theology from the Charismatic world when it comes to the activity of the Holy Spirit."

elaborate about the bad theology the Charismatics hold in regards 1 Cor 12:13. Thanks

Anonymous said...

DON’T BLAME ADAM AND EVE"
or The Tale of The Bad Apple


1. God made Adam and Eve. He put them into Paradise: Eden.

2. God placed the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in Eden. God PUT IT THERE.

3. God allowed the Serpent ‘Satan’ to enter Eden.

4. God had created Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit.

5. God had predestined Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit.

6. Adam and Eve NEVER HAD A FREE CHOICE NOT TO SIN,
because God had decided BEFORE they were created that they were
not among His ‘elect’.

7. God is guilty of the sin of Adam and Eve, because they never had
any power to decide for themselves whether to sin or not to sin.

God had already decided for them.

8. God predestined their actions and their fate before they were
created. God’s warning not to eat the fruit for they would surely die, was not a THREAT , it was a PROMISE.

9. GOD IS IN CONTROL.
If elected, we do nothing to earn salvation.
If we are not ‘elected’, we can do nothing to earn salvation.

10. Therefore, God has predetermined our fate. We have no power over it, one way or the other.


SINCE ADAM AND EVE HAD NO POWER OVER WHAT THEY WOULD DO, IT WAS GOD WHO CHOSE THAT THEY WOULD SIN.

THEY ARE INNOCENT OF ANY CHOICE BECAUSE THEY HAD NO CHOICE.
IT WAS GOD’S WILL.
GOD ENGINEERED THE FALL OF MANKIND, USING ADAM AS HIS PREDESTINED INSTRUMENT.

GOD PLANNED EVERYTHING.

Stephen Pruett said...

This is a very interesting discussion, and most disagreements focus on the issues and are stated with respect-so applause to all! With regard to the issue at hand, I am still not clear as to how evidence from the Bible of human free will can be ignored. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!" Luke 13:34. Christ wanted to gather them (meaning save them, I think), and they CHOSE not to be gathered. Is there some other way to interpret this without going through some really strange gyrations?

Then there is, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." Of course, there is also, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven." There are 100 occurrences of "whosoever" in the King James Bible, and there is nothing in the context of any of them to make one think that they really mean, whosoever (is one of the elect) shall confess me....

Doesn't the Sovereignty of God include the possibility that He has the power to allow human beings to choose Him or reject Him? It is an interesting paradox, but insisting that man cannot have a choice, but God alone must choose who is saved, limits the sovereignty of God by bending it to our understanding. If God is truly sovereign, he has the authority to delegate, as do earthly sovereigns.

Granted, there are several passages that are entirely consistent with and support the view that God alone selects and human beings have no real choice. However, these do not negate the passages above. They clearly are not consistent with this idea. Which brings me to my real point. I believe this is one of the mysteries of which scripture speaks that we simply cannot understand conclusively. Coming down on one side or the other is just a matter of picking one set of passages to believe and the other to rationalize, and there is no definitive guidance in the Word as to which is best. The bottom line is that this is a matter of OPINION. If that was not the case, this issue would have been settled long ago and the side with the most powerful argumentation would have won. Since that hasn't happened, I must conclude that this is a mystery which we do not need to understand and this is exactly what God intended it should be. We should simply be content to continue to study and to respect other believers who lean in a different direction from us on this issue.

Anonymous said...

STEPHEN PRUETT quoted:

""The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

That part about God being 'not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance'

That scripture should answer to those who see God as VERY SELECTIVE.

These people would have you to believe that God is merciful if even just ONE human is saved.

Can they not see that this is an argument for the victory of Satan over the power of Jesus?
Their point being:

TEAM GOD: one human in heaven

TEAM SATAN: billions of humans
in hell

Like: those who do not see the great power of Christ to save mankind whose team are you on?

Those who limit the power of Christ to save, in the same breath extoll the power of Satan to seize men's souls.

Christ is able to overcome Satan. The victory score will not even be close. He will surprise us all.:)

Kevin M. Crowder said...

" ezekiel said...
Kevin,
I don't agree with your analysis of physical Israel.
See Ex 12:5,7,13 and...
Exo 24:8"


EZ,

I will preface this with saying that my knowledge of the OT, along with most Baptists, is sorely lacking. But I will give a go none-the-less.
I read the verses you suggested and honestly wish I could put into better words that I will type, the answer that my mind has formulated based on my knowledge to date of the overall biblical plan, or covenant of redemption for all peoples of all times. First though, did the blood over the door post save the people from the immediate plagues? Or did it give them eternal life? I am going to guess the first. Secondly, did any sacrifice in the OT really save? I am going to chose door number NO. So now we come to the Old Covenant. We know that God did not break the Covenant. But Israel as a nation did. Does that mean that all Israelites will go to hell? No. It is like saying that America has turned her back on God; and she will be judged for it. That does not mean that I will go to hell. The blood of Christ is an eternal salvation.
Again, I have weak knowledge of the OT. My current degree has a concentration in the NT. I hope to delve more deeply into OT theology next fall in seminary. The dichotomy between Israel (OT/OC) and the Church (NT/NC) is quite perplexing to me. Too many great scholars disagree, and we Baptists have been passing down garbage like dispensationalism which has its roots an anti-Semitic vein.

One day we will all be right.

Kevin

Lin said...

Some of you will get a kick out of this:

http://tominthebox.blogspot.com/2008/11/john-316-conference-finally-proves-that.html

ezekiel said...

Kevin,

Hebrews 9 and Romans 11 among others give us some insight into the old covenant and the relationship that the jews had/have with God.

To me, the dichotomy that you speak of is one that we have been taught, one that doesn't exist. I have heard a lot of teaching that expounds on the differences/dichotomy between the old and the new but in reality the old seems to be a parable...see Hebrews 9:9-14.

We have to remember that Abraham was saved by faith long before the law or the ceremony of the sacrifices ever came to be. But we also have to remember that the covenant with Abraham was ratified by blood of a sacrifice as well. Genesis 15:9-10.

There were people that were saved all down through the OT but all of them were saved the same way we are, the same way Abraham was and that was by faith.

As you agree, as God's people we are very ignorant of the OT. But then you would probably agree that we are really ignorant of the NT as well. To make things much worse, we have teachers and preachers that teach a dichotomy where none exists. The OT was pointing to Christ, the NT is looking back on Him, but either way it was all about CHRIST.

Here is a scripture that realy brings home the point.

1Co 10:1 For I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea,
1Co 10:2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,
1Co 10:3 and all ate the same spiritual food,
1Co 10:4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.
1Co 10:5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
1Co 10:6 Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.
1Co 10:7 Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play."
1Co 10:8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day.
1Co 10:9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents,
1Co 10:10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.
1Co 10:11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.

Then we have this....

Jud 1:5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.


So I spend a lot of my time trying to understand the mistakes of Israel so that I can avoid them. If we look at the things we are doing today (the church) it isn't hard to see Israel all over again. I think it will be that way, just getting worse and worse until Revelations happens. Extremely similar to Israel's Jerusalem....Wipeout.

In other words, it looks to me like the exact same history that played out with the physical decendants of Abraham is playing out with the spiritual decendants of Abraham. Israel didn't have any more to do with their delivery from physical bondage in Egypt than we have to do with our delivery from spiritual bondage when Jesus died on the Cross. It is all His works (calvinistic).

But lets not forget that at one point in time, Elijah thought he was the only faithful one left. The whole, entire nation of Israel had turned to worship Baal. He asked them to make a choice then (1 Kings 18:21) (Arminian). Frankly speaking, a question that I would ask from your pulpit Suday morning if I were standing in it.

I am confident that the more time you spend in the OT the smaller the dichotomy you have been taught will get.

Blessings Brother...

Kevin M. Crowder said...

EZ,

Thanks. I have much to study now.

K

Benji Ramsaur said...

Louis,

If you are interested, I may respond on Monday.

God Bless

Benji

Bob Cleveland said...

I am as staunch a calvinist as anybody, I suppose, and I have never heard it said that man doesn't have free will. But there are some things we are not free to do.

We cannot die for the sins of mankind.

We cannot physically be in two places at once.

We cannot fly like a bird, breathe water like a fish, or hibernate for several months like a bear.

We're simply not free to do those things. UNLESS there is an intervention which enables our natures to do such a thing.

The bible is clear that the natural man is not free to, of his own volition, perceive or understand the things of the Spirit. It seems to me that the biggest disagreement in this is that some folks think God illuminates .. reveals .. enables EVERYBODY, and then they choose to accept or reject.

Calvinists say God does that only for the elect, and they always respond (in line with the irresistible grace thing). We're not going to sort that thing out this side of heaven.

And where I live, the calvinists are doing a much better job of evangelizing, out of simple obedience, than the baptists are out of any burden.

oc said...

"We're not going to sort that thing out this side of heaven."

Then why lable yourself anything but Christian?

Bob Cleveland said...

OC,

I really don't understand objecting to labels. They're just ways to tell in a word or three, a lot of things about me. Why object to that?

Christian is a label too. It tells many things about me, if I'm actually that.

But then, so does baptist. So does calvinist. So does pentecostal. So does father. So does brother. So does husband.

Those things are convenient descriptors and are most useful. Even to people who somehow want to be divisive.

They also save typing, which my carpal tunnel appreciates.

:)

oc said...

OK Bob, if you are happy with that, so am I.
Love you brother.
oc.

Stephen Pruett said...

Bob,

"The bible is clear that the natural man is not free to, of his own volition, perceive or understand the things of the Spirit. It seems to me that the biggest disagreement in this is that some folks think God illuminates .. reveals .. enables EVERYBODY, and then they choose to accept or reject.

Calvinists say God does that only for the elect, and they always respond (in line with the irresistible grace thing). We're not going to sort that thing out this side of heaven."

Very well stated. I agree with you that it takes a person with strong faith to be a 5 pointer, and I agree that by simple obedience many are much more effective evangelists than most non-5 pointers. However, there should be room on both sides to accept those on the other because, "We're not going to sort that thing out this side of heaven."

oc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Suppose, just suppose, that it was the 'elect' who are those who do not believe in limiting God's powers and will to save mankind?

Suppose it is the self-appointed 'elect' who are the non-elect and are not permitted to glimpse the full glory of God's justice and mercy, and who also think they are 'better' than others.

Seems to me, thinking you are one of the 'elect' for sure is the opposite of humility. It sets up not for behaving in a righteous way, but for claiming to be self-righteous.

Then, there are the self-appointed 'elect' who show contempt and lack of compassion for those whom they consider the 'non-elect'.

It is these self-righteous ones who are the most LOST of ALL.

Manichaeism, Jansenism, Albigensianism, Calvinism, on and on: extreme.

One extreme: the Deists who say God created, but then didn't care and abandoned His Creation

Other extreme: Calvinist-related doctrines that say God is only willing to make effort on behalf of His 'chosen'. And those 'others', well He abandons them without even trying any interventions to give them a chance.

Result?

TEAM GOD: a few elect go to
heaven

TEAM SATAN: billions go to hell

Who is more powerful? God or Satan?

I think you can call yourself a Cavinist all your life, and never need to call yourself a Christian.

Bob Cleveland said...

Anonymous,

"...Self-appointed elect.."?

Two thoughts: if the bible were to say that Christians ARE the "elect", would they still be "self-appointed"?

Would you, then, say that Christians who don't hold to the doctrines surrounding the elect are, somehow, "self-appointed Christians"?

ezekiel said...

Interesting discussion. Can anyone pickout the calvinist, the arminian, the self appointed elect and the self appointed christian?

Mat 11:9 What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
Mat 11:10 This is he of whom it is written, "'Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.'
Mat 11:11 Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Mat 11:12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.
Mat 11:13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John,
Mat 11:14 and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come.
Mat 11:15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
Mat 11:16 "But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their playmates,
Mat 11:17 "'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.'
Mat 11:18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.'
Mat 11:19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds."


If we hold true to our namesakes and preach the same message that they preached, don't we also prepare the way for the His second coming?
What was the spirit and the message of Elijah? Is there any more apropriate message for our churches today?

1Ki 18:21 And Elijah came near to all the people and said, "How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him." And the people did not answer him a word.

ezekiel said...

Kevin,

Let me know if you make it down to Memphis. I will buy you some barbeque.

More on what I think about the dichotomy between the OT and NT.

Here

Anonymous said...

"For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."

WHO is the Son of Man?
How did the Son of Man come?
Why did He come?
What does the word 'seek' mean?
How will He save?
What is 'that'?
Where did He find 'that' which was lost?
When did He come?

HOW DID THIS PERSON
SAVE
SOMETHING THAT WAS LOST?

HOW DID HE 'SEEK' THAT
SOMETHING. WHERE DID HE LOOK?

WHY WAS THAT SOMETHING LOST?

Anonymous said...

Reading James 2:24 with the surrounding verses, it is apparent that the point being made is that what one believes modifies one's actions - thus true faith in God results in a desire to follow his instruction to love one another, and thus would result in good deeds.

Calvinists need to work to have the Book of James taken out of the Bible. This book is not in accordance with their beliefs.
It must be degraded, debased, and removed, before it can contaminate Calvinist Truth.

Thy Peace said...

Anon said ... "Reading James 2:24 with the surrounding verses, it is apparent that the point being made is that what one believes modifies one's actions - thus true faith in God results in a desire to follow his instruction to love one another, and thus would result in good deeds.

Calvinists need to work to have the Book of James taken out of the Bible. This book is not in accordance with their beliefs.
It must be degraded, debased, and removed, before it can contaminate Calvinist Truth.",


It's actually the opposite of what you say. From the Protestant Reformation and Martin Luther's writings in theological opposition to Catholic Church, has opposed James 2:24.


"The epistle has caused controversy: Protestant reformer Martin Luther argued that it was not the work of an apostle.[1] Roman Catholicism[2], Eastern Orthodoxy[3] and Mormonism[4] claim it contradicts Luther's doctrine of justification through faith alone (Sola fide), which Luther derived from his translation of Romans 3:28.[5] The Christian debate over Justification is still unsettled, see also Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification and Biblical law in Christianity."
Wiki: Epistle of James

"The verdict of the assembly was that his books were to be burned; his writings destroyed and all future writings to be censured before publication. Luther planned to return to Wittenberg under his safe-conduct but he was fully aware that when it expired in 21 days he was liable to be arrested and executed as a heretic. To protect him Fredrick of Saxony brought Luther to the safety of the Castle of Wartburg and spread the rumor that he had been found murdered. Luther spent the next 10 months sheltered in the safety of Wartburg castle writing his German translation of the Bible, which he completed in 1534. This was not the first translation of Sacred Scripture in the German language. Eighteen other translations had been made previously but none, including Luther's, were accurate, scholarly translations. For example, in order to support his false doctrine of justification by "faith alone" Luther he added the word "alone" after the word "faith" in Romans 3:28 and he omitted the New Testament Epistle of St. James, which he called "a straw Epistle" because the letter of St. James taught "..a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone" [James 2:24] and "..faith without works is dead" [James 2:26], which was contradictory to Luther's teachings.

Luther's call to separate from the Church established by Jesus Christ and to follow doctrines that denied free will, asserted the complete corruption of human nature by Original Sin, the doctrine of justification by "faith alone", and the Scripture as the sole authority (sola Scriptura), denying the authority of the Traditions passed down from Jesus to the Apostles to generations of Bishops, began what became a shattering of the Body of Christ that has led to the formation of thousands of different "Protestant Christian" denominations. The first results of this disillusionment began with war. Aroused by Luther's teachings and his disregard for authority the peasants rose against the state authorities in a war that devastated Germany. Monasteries, convents and churches were attacked; priests were murdered and nuns raped. Luther renounced the violence too late. When the revolt was finally crushed the peasants were reduced to greater hardships than before the war began. Before long every principality in central and northern Germany had broken with Rome and had its own "State Church" with each elector or prince as its chief bishop and these states made war against states that had kept faith with the Catholic Church. Peace finally came with the Peace of Augsburg in 1555, which sealed the Protestant heresy in Europe. The princes of Germany could choose their own religion and this religion was what their people were obliged to accept. From the Lutheran break the cancer spread as Lutheranism was followed by numerous movements like Calvinism and later Anglicanism in the defection King Henry the VIII of England who established himself as head of the Church in England in order to obtain a divorce, which the Pope had refused to grant, from his good Catholic queen so he could marry his pregnant mistress."

MARTIN LUTHER and the REFORMATION

Below are Martin Luther's preface to James and Jude:
"Though this epistle of St. James was rejected by the ancients, I praise it and consider it a good book, because it sets up no doctrines of men but vigorously promulgates the law of God. However, to state my own opinion about it, though without prejudice to anyone, I do not regard it as the writing of an apostle, and my reasons follow.
In the first place it is flatly against St. Paul and all the rest of Scripture in ascribing justification to works 2:24). It says that Abraham was justified by his works when he offered his son Isaac (2:20); Though in Romans 4:22-22 St. Paul teaches to the contrary that Abraham was justified apart from works, by his faith alone, before he had offered his son, and proves it by Moses in Genesis 15:6. Although it would be possible to "save" the epistle by a gloss giving a correct explanation of justification here ascribed to works, it is impossible to deny that it does refer to Moses' words in Genesis 15 (which speaks not of Abraham's works but of his faith, just as Paul makes plain in Romans 4) to Abraham's works. This fault proves that this epistle is not the work of any apostle.

In the second place its purpose is to teach Christians, but in all this long teaching it does not once mention the Passion, the resurrection, or the Spirit of Christ. He names Christ several times; however he teaches nothing about him, but only speaks of general faith in God. Now it is the office of a true apostle to preach of the Passion and resurrection and office of Christ, and to lay the foundation for faith in him, as Christ himself says in John 15[:27], "You shall bear witness to me.? All the genuine sacred books agree in this, that all of them preach and inculcate [_treiben_] Christ. And that is the true test by which to judge all books, when we see whether or not they inculcate Christ. For all the Scriptures show us Christ, Romans 3[:21]; and St. Paul will know nothing but Christ, I Corinthians 2[:2]. Whatever does not teach Christ is not yet apostolic, even though St. Peter or St. Paul does the teaching. Again, whatever preaches Christ would be apostolic, even if Judas, Annas, Pilate, and Herod were doing it." (__ibid__).

But this James does nothing more than drive to the law and its works. Besides, he throws things together so chaotically that it seems to me he must have been some good, pious man, who took a few sayings from the disciples of the apostles and thus tossed them off on paper. Or it may perhaps have been written by someone on the basis of his preaching. He calls the law a "law of liberty" [1:25], though Paul calls it a law of slavery, of wrath, of death, and of sin.

Moreover he cites the sayings of St. Peter [in 5:20]; Love covers a multitude of sins" [1 Pet. 4:8], and again [in 4:10], "Humble yourselves under he had of God" [1 Pet. 5:6] also the saying of St. Paul in Galatians 5[:17], "The Spirit lusteth against envy." And yet, in point of time, St. James was put to death by Herod [Acts 12:2] in Jerusalem, before St. Peter. So it seems that [this author] came long after St. Peter and St. Paul.

In a word, he wanted to guard against those who relied on faith without works, but was unequal to the task in spirit, thought, and words. He mangles the Scriptures and thereby opposes Paul and all Scripture. He tries to accomplish by harping on the law what the apostles accomplish by stimulating people to love. Therefore I cannot include him among the chief books, though I would not thereby prevent anyone from including or extolling him as he pleases, for there are otherwise many good sayings in him. Therefore I will not have him in my Bible to be numbered among the true chief books, though I would not thereby prevent anyone from including or extolling him as he pleases, for there are otherwise many good sayings in him. One man is no man in worldly things; how then, should this single man alone avail against Paul and all Scripture.

Concerning the epistle of St. Jude, no one can deny that it is an extract or copy of St. Peter's second epistle, so very like it are all the words. He also speaks of the apostles like a disciple who comes long after them [Jude 17] and cites sayings and incidents that are found nowhere else in the Scriptures [Jude 9, 14]. This moved the ancient Fathers to exclude this epistle from the main body of the Scriptures. Moreover the Apostle Jude did not go to Greek-speaking lands, but to Persia, as it is said, so that he did not write Greek. Therefore, although I value this book, it is an epistle that need not be counted among the chief books which are supposed to lay the foundations of faith."

Did Luther consider James Scripture?

Thy Peace said...

"It's actually the opposite of what you say. "

Martin Luther based his opposition to the Catholic Church, and one of his principal oppositions was with James 2:24. Catholics built their theological foundation based on this epistle and Martin Luther opposed the foundations of this whole epistle as to it's origins and the substance as in 2:24.

Calvinists came during and after Martin Luther.

Do you consider Martin Luther a Calvinist, since he believed in loss of salvation?

The Protestant Reformation

Thy Peace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thy Peace said...

Caution: Some of the links I posted of Martin Luther are "biased" by Catholic believing authors. But the facts related to James 2:24 are correct. They are "biased" in the sense, they do not show the whole truth of what happened in that period of Catholic abuses and the origins of Martin Luther's questioning of the Papacy.

WatchingHISstory said...

BF&M

"Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation."

Is this a Biblical belief and what scriptures justify it?

Anonymous said...

The study of Calvinism has painted HISTORY in a new light:

Calvin believed that babies and children who were not of the elect were damned to hell.
He would have considered the Jews to be damned.

It IS possible that Hitler was able to expedite the murder of six million men, women, CHILDREN, and
BABIES, because of the 'Christian' prejudices against the Jews which of course were exacerbated by Calvinism.

Interesting. The more connections one makes of the effects of Calvinism on the world: the more evil emerges. Let's all continue to see where our study leads next.

Anonymous said...

Some psychiatrists feel that we are 'hard-wired' to choose a 'we' versus 'them' dichotomy, rather than see people as individual people.

Making Us/Them distinctions leads to not being all that nice to the Them. But what is anything but hard-wired is WHO counts as an Us and WHO counts as a Them —we are so easily manipulated into changing those categories.

We can be biased towards making Us/Them dichotomies far more kindly and humane than they tend to be now.

Say, by making all of us collectively feel like an Us with Them being the space aliens that may attack us some day.

Or making the Them to be mean, intolerant people without compassion.

But, I'm sure not very optimistic that we'll soon be having religious cultural leaders likely to move us effectively in that direction, anytime soon.

Many extremist religions teach a version of the 'we saved' vs. 'you trash' dichotomy. So the world will not see more humane treatment from the followers of such religions, as compassion and mercy are not prized values.

Anonymous said...

Essentially, Calvinism was a variation of the chosen-race myth. Its key element was a spiritual "elect" whose elevated position is preordained. The only way one can know if he or she is among the Elect is by his or her level of worldly success, in other words, if you’re rich, it’s because God loves you.

CALVINISM + WEALTH = REPUBLICAN

Bob Cleveland said...

Anonymous,

I am a calvinist. I am not rich. Thus, I question your explanation.

But not for that reason. For a whole host of others, but I see no reason to explain.

Anonymous said...

What in the world could the bible possibly mean when it says He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world...

or that He predestined us...

Who chose according to the bible?

What does predestine mean?

Some people are off their rocker and they make it seem as though they have never read the bible.

Elect, chosen, predestined, and every other word anony seems to despise are not words that Hitler, or me, or anonymous, or anyone else "made up". These are words from SCRIPTURE.

Anonymous, your problem is with scripture. Not with John Calvin or any other "ism".

And here we are trying to converse with them Bob. :)

It makes me wonder who the messed up one's really are. haha

I do feel better to know that a Osama supporter is obviously not a bible student. "Birds of a feather" proven once again.

Anonymous said...

"Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation." bf&m

Is this a Biblical belief and what scriptures justify it?

WatchingHISstory said...

What about the souls of infants who die before they have committed personal sin?

The Catholics say they are saved through baptism. The Baptist say they are not saved untill they make a decision for Christ.

The certainty of faith says that all who go to heaven go through the blood of Christ. Since there is no "baby section" in heaven then it must be assumed that the elect babies goes to heaven. For them baptism nor decision has any effect.

Is God unfair if an unelect baby perishes? No! He is merciful if one baby goes to heaven.

This oppressive misery came not from God but Adam. The mystery is that God is sovereign and that he shared free will with Adam. Our will is corrupted, our soul is dead. We are born with a connection to Adam's sin. We were conceived in iniquity.

We don't choose Christ we are chosen, elect of God. At regeneration we are given freed will to joyfully follow Christ.

We follow Christ in repentance, confession and baptism.

Anonymous said...

WATCHING SATAN'S STORY:


History wrote:
"Is God unfair if an unelect baby perishes? No! He is merciful if one baby goes to heaven."

HEAVEN: one baby

HELL: all the rest of the babies
burning forever in fire

I see, you are explaining that Satan's power is greater than the power of God or Christ.

I see your point.

I must disagree with your 'unfair' comment: fairness has nothing to do with our God. You describe Satanic practice at best. You would have had no problem working the gas chambers and crematoria of Hitler's death camps for the 'unelected' Jewish men, women, CHILDREN, and BABIES.

In Christianity, Jesus said, 'suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for such is the Kingdom of Heaven.'

I think your argument of a just and fair God is at the expense of the teachings of Jesus in the quote given above.
This quote of Jesus could not be acceptable to any Calvinist who holds with the burning of 'un-elected babies'.
There appears to be a conflict.

WatchingHISstory said...

The fact that a baby perishes is not with a fair God nor an evil Satan but a foolish man, Adam.

Adam sinned and we all have sinned.
We are born into a state of sinfulness. We are all without excuse.

This has nothing to do with Hitler, Adam is responsible for more deaths than Hilter could imagine. Hitler sent men to graves, in mass. Adam is responsible for men perishing in hell. Hitler killed the body Adam killed the soul.

Anonymous said...

Bob said: "I am a calvinist. I am not rich. Thus, I question your explanation."

Calvinism: Praise God that 'I' and my kind are saved; and the hell
with everybody else.

Many Calvinists voted Republican. The last eight years have proven EXTREMELY beneficial for the wealthiest in our country. EXTREMELY
But the rest of us paid for it.

Republicans counted on this:
1. If they stated they were opposed
to abortion, they would be
believed: The sheep voted.
2. The sheep would also buy the
argument that the rich had
a 'right' to what they
'earned' at the expense of
the poor and the middle class
who bore the burdens of
paying to enrich the rich.
3. The teachings that the 'elect'
are those who prosper are a
mantra for 'we got ours and the
hell with everybody else'
VERY REPUBLICAN SENTIMENT
which is related to the
Calvinist theme of 'we'
versus 'them': We are
to benefit by His choice,
'them' ain't.
4. Combine this with 'filthy rags'
description of efforts to
relieve the sufferings of
others, and you get MORE votes
'csuse it's cheaper not to
have to help others, saves
paying taxes
5. Republican leaders robbed our
nation of its wealth, its moral
stature in the world, and
seduced many humble, God-fearing
people who trusted these creeps.
More votes.

In the end, the majority of our
nation saw through the 'leadership' for what is was:
opportunistic and cynical greed for power and wealth.

RESULT: The sheep woke up. They may be sheep but they can spot a wolf when they see one, AFTER they see through the sheep costume, and
realized that the 'wolf' in sheep's
clothing was eating them alive.

The only sheep who continued to vote Republican did so because they believed that the WEALTHY were God's elect and deserved their support.

Also, these Republican sheep still trusted in men. Might have been better not to.


Feel sorry for those who were blind to the Republican leadership, because the warnings were there in the Bible against putting your faith in men.

Americans live in this country. ALL Americans together live in this country. If you want to divide us into 'elect' and 'not-elect' you cannot. We believe in our country as Americans: from many: one.

Our sons and daughters who gave their lives for their country have guarded our RIGHT to vote with their blood. That right to vote HAS prevailed. The blood of our soldiers was not shed in vain.

Thank God that enough sheep woke up before we were all devoured by the wolves.

Anonymous said...

DON’T BLAME ADAM

Nothing happens that is not the WILL OF THE SOVEREIGN GOD:


1. GOD made Adam and Eve. He put them into Paradise: Eden.

2. GOD placed the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in Eden.

3. GOD allowed the Serpent ‘Satan’ to enter Eden.

4. GOD had created Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit.

5. God had predestined Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit.

6. Adam and Eve NEVER HAD A FREE CHOICE NOT TO SIN,
because God had decided BEFORE they were created that they were
not among His ‘elect’.

7. God is guilty of the sin of Adam and Eve, because they never had
any power to decide for themselves whether to sin or not.

God had already decided for them.

8. God predestined their actions and their fate before they were
created.

God’s warning not to eat the fruit for they would surely die,
was not a THREAT ,
it was a PROMISE.

9. GOD IS IN CONTROL.
If elected, we do nothing to earn salvation.
If we are not ‘elected’, we can do nothing to earn salvation.

10. Therefore, God has predetermined our fate. We have no power over it, one way or the other. The 'elect' do not 'choose' Christ, they are pre-programmed
by God to do it.


SINCE ADAM AND EVE HAD NO POWER OVER WHAT THEY WOULD DO,

IT WAS GOD WHO CHOSE THAT THEY WOULD SIN.

THEY ARE INNOCENT OF ANY CHOICE BECAUSE THEY HAD NO CHOICE.
IT WAS GOD’S WILL.

GOD ENGINEERED THE FALL OF MANKIND, USING ADAM AS HIS PREDESTINED INSTRUMENT.

GOD PLANNED EVERYTHING.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous says: "What in the world could the bible possibly mean when it says He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world...

or that He predestined us..."


ANONY, HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE ONE OF 'US' ?

"US" and 'THEM" is hardwired in eternity, according to you.

You might just be one of 'THEM' and no matter WHAT YOU DO, you cannot be one of the 'US'.

Why might you be an 'unelect' ?

Does God not create apples to rot and other apples to be saved in 'humble pie'?

Silly presumption. But it does allow you to look down on others.
Be careful you don't fall over the edge.

Anonymous said...

WATCHING SATAN'S STORY:

WatchingHISstory said...
"The fact that a baby perishes is not with a fair God nor an evil Satan but a foolish man, Adam.

Adam sinned and we all have sinned.
We are born into a state of sinfulness. We are all without excuse.

This has nothing to do with Hitler, Adam is responsible for more deaths than Hilter could imagine. Hitler sent men to graves, in mass. Adam is responsible for men perishing in hell. Hitler killed the body Adam killed the soul."

WATCHING SATAN'S STORY says:

Are you saying that Adam's sin was more powerful than Christ's ability to redeem?

Once again, Christ has been demoted.

Satan is having a good day.

Anonymous said...

Watching History:

said, "Adam is responsible for men perishing in hell. Hitler killed the body Adam killed the soul."

So we have new doctrine:

A human being was given the power to kill the souls of other humans.

Question is: WHO gave Adam this power? There is only one Master of the Universe. And it is NOT Satan.

If Adam sinned, he was pre-destined to sin: he had no choice whether to sin or not to sin.
No free will.
God chose for Adam.
God is sovereign: what happens is only what He allows to happen.

WatchingHISstory said...

Are you saying that Adam's sin was more powerful than Christ's ability to redeem?

No are you saying that Christ cannot save a person who will not choose him? Your God is impotent!

My God does save people who will not choose him! He drags us clawing and scratching to himself!
And one quick sweep of breath they suddenly just love Him dearly as a son loves a father.

Sinners cannot be wooed, enticed or lured to accept Christ's forgiveness. The Holy Spirit drags them to salvation. He creates the joyfull acceptance of Christ demands.

Anonymous said...

Anony,

You quoted me and then went on to vomit nonsense that had absolutely nothing to do with my quote. Is this the way you communicate in all facets of your life?

I would enjoy having a dialogue with you regarding this topic because I always learn when I have coherent dialogue. Even when I talk to people who are infatuated with Hitler and Osama.

But you are so skewed in your view of scripture we would never get around to actually talking about scripture.

In the quote, I never said I was a calvinist and I never said I was of the elect.

I will narrow it down to two items for you and I will re-word it so even a 10 year old can understand it. Since your replies have shown it is possible you are under 10, please forgive the big words.

1. Is the word "elect" in scripture?

2. Is the word "predestined" in scripture?

Given the evidence you have shown regarding your lack of knowledge of scripture, it wouldn't surprise me to see you write, "No, that's not in scripture.".

However, let's assume you say the correct thing and you agree that those two words are in scripture. Therefore, my question is a simple one:

What does it mean to you when you read words like "elect" and "predestined" or when God says the elect were "chosen before the foundation of the world"? How do you feel when you read that God loved Jacob and hated Esau, before either one had done anything good or bad?

If your infatuation with Osama and Hitler continue, then I'm out. If you want to dialogue responsibly about scripture, I'm in.

Your call.

WatchingHISstory said...

I don't know who is anon. I know one is a very angry confused person. He is unreasonable and perhaps a waste of time responding to.

The Bible squarely puts the blame of sin and it's consequences on the shoulder of Adam. I would have thought that was unquestionable.
Apparently not.

Perhaps I am overstepping by saying Adam killed the soul. God had said the soul that sins shall surely die. Adam and Eve sinned and they experienced a spiritual soul death. A gap developed between themselves and God and that gap was bridged by blood sacrifice of animals and eventually God' dear son.

There was no effort on the part of Adam and Eve that could bridge that Gap. It was a one way bridge that God himself would have to cross to reach them. There is no half-way point between God and man.

It is an all or nothing for our salvation. Salvation from start to finish is determined by God.

Anonymous said...

Some people (typically Americans since they have an inherent sense of entitlement) will always require of God that they get at least a little credit for their salvation. That's just the way it has always been and that's they way it always will be.

As for me, well I will give God ALL the glory for my salvation (not some of it or even most of it) as I daily try to spit out the words "Thank you Lord Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith."

Anonymous said...

"As for me, well I will give God ALL the glory for my salvation (not some of it or even most of it) as I daily try to spit out the words "Thank you Lord Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith."

YOU COULD NOT EVEN ANSWER FOR YOUR OWN NAME, SUCH IS YOUR TESTIMONY.

Anonymous said...

"A gap developed between themselves and God and that gap was bridged by blood sacrifice of animals and eventually God' dear son."

So now, the blood of animals bridged the gap . . .

Are you confused?

There WAS no bridge before Christ.

You have a strange doctrine.

WatchingHISstory said...

"Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation." BF&M

This is a denial in part of original sin. In the absense of OS are actual sins, trangressions.
Actual sins come from the inclinations sinners have from Adam. Condemnation comes from actual sins.

This departure from OS opens the door to free will, Arminianism. There could not be free will with the orthodox belief in OS.

The Baptist and the Catholic faith have committed the same errors by ignoring OS while at the same time giving lip service to it, the Catholic more so than the Baptist.

The resultant belief in baptisimal regeneration and decisional regeneration are the compromises.

Orthodox views of OS were established in the fifth century as well as the fifteenth century in the councils of Orange and Trent. Pelagianism was ruled heresy.

The Modern Evangelicals, forgetting OS have embraced Wesleyanism, Keswick, Higher Life, Deeper Life, Victorious living theologies. You can master the distance between committed actual sins with discipline, self control and accountability structures.
You can 'nearly' achieve perfectionism and sinlessness knowing that if you fail you have immediate restoration. Which no one seems to readily admit to!

This is all a result of Pelagianism creeping into our theologies. This perception is pickup by young eager believers who assume that perfection is also their goal.

When I was raised up a Wesleyan I heard an old fashion Baptist preach on the radio about "sinners saved by grace" That little bit of leaven leavened my loaf.

Chains of free will broke loose (oxymoron phrase!) and I was free to choose my faith. Early in my childhood I chose to keep God sovereign in my heart and mind.

When everyone around me was testifying about holiness I knew they were lying! I refused to lie. I knew I was a sinner saved by grace. No pretense! I knew early on that I could anticipate glorification and perfection lay ahead of me in heaven.

I believe that the Baptist have quit preaching "sinners saved by grace" and all we hear are encouragements for self-improvement.

The Catholics consequently have their saints to encourage them ownward and the Baptist have their heroes who they look to for help.

Anybody can be a sinner saved by grace. Just know that the present possiblilty of sin abideth in you every moment of every day and nothing will separate you from it till death. That will humble you and God seeks the humble to bless.

But the selfmade and arrogant God will resist.

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