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

An Open Letter to My Calvinistic Friends in the SBC: Dr. Mohler, Dr. Ascol, Dr. Strachan, Et. Al.


I admire your love for Christ, your study of the Scriptures, as well as your systematic theology.

You all know that we share a mutual love for what is historically called The Doctrines of Grace.

I've believed in the doctrines of grace since I memorized the book of Romans as a boy.

My wife and I have been with you at many of the same conferences and conventions.

Rachelle once asked me a pointed question:
"Wade, why do so many Southern Baptists and Christians in general say they believe in "the doctrines of grace," yet they act so ungraciously toward Christian people?" 
It's a good question. Oh, I know plenty of legalistic, Fundamentalist Arminians who are hostile toward anybody who disagrees with them.

But one doesn't expect such hostility from those who say they believe in grace.

So here's my question for you:
"What in the name of John Calvin are you doing when it comes to the social media bullying of Beth Moore and her biblical position on women in SBC leadership?"
Owen Strachan, you started it with one of your Tweets.

Al Mohler, you continued it with one of your Tweets.

Dr. Mohler, the SBC leaders who wanted Miss Bertha Smith on faculty at SWBTS to teach our preacher boys how to pray were all believers in the infallibility and authority of the Scriptures. Beth Moore and other gifted women in the SBC are only walking in Miss Bertha's footsteps.

But Dr. Ascol, I'm saving my most pressing questions for you. I know you better than Al or Owen, and I must say, you really surprised me with this Tweet:

Oh my, Tom.

Do you know why Beth deleted that Tweet? I can't say for sure, but I've been around the block a few times, and I know bullying tactics when I see them.

You (Tom), Owen, Al, et al., are cyberbullying Beth Moore. 

She's family, guys. Cut it out.

Pick on me, Tom. I've written more on the subject of New Covenant gender equality than Beth Moore ever thought of writing. Beth does Christian ministry. She shouldn't need to defend her ministry to Southern Baptist caucasian males who've fallen into the doctrinal trap of the eternal subordination of women.

By the way, Tom, I look forward to watching and observing you debate my friend Dwight McKissic on whether women should be allowed to "preach" in our (Southern Baptist) "Lord's Day" worship services. I sure wish I could ask some questions of you regarding your definitions of "preach" and "Lord's Day" and "church," but regardless, it will be my privilege to be at the debate and observe, listen, and learn.

Tom Ascol, I heard that Hebrew professor Sheri Klouda will moderate that debate. I look forward to observing your submission to her instructions, which of course, will evidence the Spirit in you since the Bible commands a spirit of mutual submission within all Christians toward one another, regardless of gender (see Ephesians 5:21).

But back to Beth Moore.

You might respond:
"We're not attacking Beth Moore! We are protecting the Southern Baptist Convention from going down the path toward the ruination of biblicism."
So that's why you shamed Beth Moore for "linking" to an article on Christian women in ministry by Dr. Roy Honeycutt. the former  President of Southern Seminary (1982-1993)?

You shamed Beth for "linking" to an article written by Dr. Roy Honeycutt, a man that she probably never met before he died?


That's such an old tactic.

Dr. Patterson told me Roy Honeycutt was "the enemy" back in the early 80s. So did Judge Pressler.

"Oh sure," they'd tell me and others, "Dr. Honeycutt is an irenic Hebrew scholar. But that's the most dangerous kind. Yes, he 'says' he believes in the infallibility and authority of the Bible, but he's our enemy."

I believed them - then.

Not anymore.

I also believe the Southern Baptist Convention as a whole understands what is now happening to some of those once powerful men. Pride, indeed, comes before a fall.

By the way, Tom, I went back and actually read the awful, evil pamphlet written by Dr. Honeycutt on gifted Christian women in Southern Baptist ministry, the pamphlet Beth pointed out with a link. It's the first time that I've read it.

Listen to what Dr. Roy Honeycutt, former President of Southern Seminary wrote:
"Let no one misunderstand the commitment of this seminary to biblical authority." (p. 3)
Tom, Dr. Roy Honeycutt believed the Scriptures were the final authority for all Christian practice. One of these days, you may understand that your demands for conformity on tertiary issues are antithetic to Christian living.  In essentials unity; in non-essentials liberty; in all things charity.

Stop denigrating those who believe in biblical authority (like Beth Moore) just because they don't agree with your interpretation of the Bible. That's grace.
 "...we accept no student into a degree program at Southern Seminary who is not...committed to Christian ministry." (p. 6)
Uhm, Tom, it was President Paige Patterson, the so-called "architect" of the Conservative Resurgence and former President of Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, who admitted a practicing Muslim into the seminary. Paige did what Roy Honeycutt would never do. Tell me again, Tom, the definition of liberal in your eyes?

Dr. Honeycutt continues:
"In the admission of women committed to Christian ministry, the seminary deliberately shares decision making with local congregations." (p. 9)
Amazing Tom, is it not, that all the white caucasian males who lead the SBC today will shout "church autonomy" as the reason for not holding Southern Baptist churches accountable for allowing sexual predators to move freely within the Convention, but YET, when it comes to "gifted and humble Christian women of character ministering in local Southern Baptist churches," church autonomy is nowhere cited?

Except by Dr. Roy Honeycutt.

If I didn't know any better Dr. Mohler, Dr. Ascol, Dr. Strachan, et al., I would say that what is happening in the Southern Baptist Convention today, those things that cause you "concern," are not things that will lead to the ruination of biblicism in the SBC.

Rather, what is happening is a restoration of true biblicism, a return to real evangelism, and a revival of genuine congregationalism in our Southern Baptist churches.

The power games are over.

Christ alone rules in the hearts of His people and Christ tells us to love one another as He loves us.

Beth Moore is a gifted teacher. She's a Southern Baptist biblicist. She may disagree with you on certain points of theology, but it is far more beneficial to our Southern Baptist Convention to give grace to friends who disagree than to bully friends to see it your way.
Dr. Hershel Hobbs

Dr. Hershel H. Hobbs and I were friends for many years before he died in 1995. Southern Baptists once considered Dr. Hobbs the Southern Baptist Convention's premier theologian.

I thought Hobbs' soteriology particularly weak, but I thought Hobbs' Christianity particularly strong.

Hershel and I often debated theology. But we never let our differences get in the way of our friendship.

I consider William Paul Young, author of The Shack, a very close friend. I've watched Paul minister to men and women in my church in such Spirit-filled, life-transforming moments for each person who had the privilege to spend some moments with Paul, that I've modeled my pastoral ministry after what I learned from him.

Paul Young is a "hopeful universalist." He and I are on opposite ends of the theological spectrum, but he is a dear friend, and I dare say I've seen him accomplish more for Christ's Kingdom than any 5-Point Calvinist that I call a friend.

Former President Jimmy Carter is a friend. I don't think I've ever voted anything but straight-line Republican my entire life. Yet President Carter is one of my heroes. I may not align with him politically, but it's my honor to call him friend and brother-in-Christ.

Dee Parsons,  no Calvinist herself, features our worship services at Emmanuel Enid, a church where I have served for nearly thirty years, on her website Wartburg Watch. Dee advocates for victims of physical, sexual, and spiritual abuse. Dee and her friend Wanda, both of whom were instrumental in the creation of Wartburg Watch, are friends of mine. They are making a difference in the Kingdom. We don't agree on soteriology, but we understand Christian fellowship.

Why can't you be friends with someone who doesn't agree with your position that Spirit-gifted women of character should be silent on "the Lord's Day" and let men lead?

Could it be that fellow biblicists who believe in the authoritative nature of God's word (inerrantists like I am) can disagree with you and remain your friends, fully cooperating in all aspects of the SBC?

Of course we can. That should be a no-brainer.

Beth Moore is a God-honoring, Christ-exalting, Spirit-indwelling, Bible-believing teacher of men and women in the Kingdom of Christ.

She believes that spirit-gifted, humble Christian women of character should serve and minister in their local autonomous churches, exercising their gifts as the church sees fit (in contrast to your views). If you continue to go after people like Beth Moore and others, you will destroy the Southern Baptist Convention that you say you love.

I for one will never again allow our SBC leaders to betray our trust by convincing us that our friends are our enemies. I realize that you say, "No, THEY are not our enemies, but what they BELIEVE is our enemy."

Sorry, men.

That's an old tactic.

It no longer works.

We should learn how to fellowship, cooperate, and agree to disagree.

The Word of God is infallible and inerrant. Your interpretations are not.


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Bob Cleveland said...

Very, very well said. And thought out. I agree with you totally.

Bob Cleveland said...

And, by the way, I've been a Calvinist for many decades.

Florence in KY said...

Preach on, Wade.

Anonymous said...

What are they doing to Beth Moore AND others...? I wonder what will happen to the SBC when the women are so fed up they leave and take their children with them? No women, no kids, no future.

Terry said...

If more people would have taken a similar stand decades earlier, perhaps the SBC would still be a viable entity with a relevant message. Alas, not enough people spoke up and people like the ones you confront took us down that road that fundamentalists always take which leads to judgmentalism and condemnation. Your message is good, but too little too late.

Susanne Maynes said...

Thanks, Wade, for speaking the truth in love for the sake of the gospel. It's time to put aside petty power plays and stop getting in God's way when He calls women to minister. I appreciate your voice.

tallartist said...

Deborah here. I have the key and the strategy for IMB but Barak is not asking for help.

Gary Dennington said...

My heart was especially warmed to see your mention of Hershel Hobbs. Somewhere I have copy of the BF&M '63 that he signed for me when I was a teen. I didn't know him well personally, but did have dinner with him at my parent's home about 45 years ago. I have learned from, been challenged by, and grown from reading and listening to each of the people that you mentioned (and from your writings too). I have also watched in disappointment over the years as many of those same people have been demonized in parts of the Church, including the SBC. Thanks for using your voice as a reminder that we all can learn from our brothers and sisters, even those we are not in total agreement with. For the purpose of full disclosure, I parted ways with the SBC over a decade ago in support of the God gifted women in my family.

The Voice of Reason said...

The problem with Wade's response is he sounds very angry and bitter.....even if he isn't. If indeed he is a friend to the gentleman he's scolding, they probably won't be for long. He should have talked to him in person, not through social media. In my opinion that was not prudent.

Jacque said...

Unknown! How do you know that he didnt do that? Also, the bullying has been done on social media and the rebuke is on social media is therefore correct and appropriate! Also, there is nothing wrong with anger expressed appropriately. It is time we became angry at abuse. The Bible says Be angry and sin not! It is actually said 8n the imperative. “Be angry”. It does not say that anger is a sin! Thanks again Wade for your well thought out and well said response,

Christiane said...

I can speak for Wade's goodness to those who have been persecuted, that he has stood up for them at cost to himself.

He does not need my defense. Wade has the trust and respect of many in the whole Church. They sense that he is on the side of the angels and is 'pastoral' in his ministry to troubled people. It is his work on behalf of the persecuted that you might want to learn about.

David George Moore said...

It would be most helpful to have some working guidelines/criteria of how robust disagreement is distinct from bullying. Depending on the issue, it is easy for one group to say the former slips into the latter when that may not be the case.

Wade Burleson said...

Unknown, those who know me would tell you there is not a bone if bitterness in my body. Because I need or want nothing from people to further myself, I can speak freely without regard to what others think of me. I am concerned for the least, the littlest, and the lost more than I am the powerful, the patriarchal, and the political.

Anonymous said...

I'll be your huckleberry!!

Kelley Kimble said...

Their children and their money too...

David said...

Thank you, Wade for saying this so strongly and well. Some of us have believed almost from the beginning that the “conservative resurgence” had more to do with political power and male ‘pastoral authority’ than with the truth and authority of the scriptures. Dr. Mohler’s tweet made it clear that the ‘battle’ he thought was won was the eternal subjugation of women, not the inerrancy of the Bible.

It is no coincidence that this and the sexual abuse issue should arise at the same time. Does no one see that this ‘second class’ treatment of women inevitably leads to abuse?

Unknown said...

Lifetime Foursquare church member from the Pacific Northwest weighing in: Thank you, Wade, for a courageous, respectful and clear message regarding this issue. Praying for unity within the church and a clear revelation that our Lord' s love is not limited!

Christiane said...

"It is no coincidence that this and the sexual abuse issue should arise at the same time. "Does no one see that this ‘second class’ treatment of women inevitably leads to abuse?"

thank you, DAVID

it's the old sin of pride, this worship of male superiority, an age-old form of idolatry, but this form has victims . . . all involved whether the perpetrators or the objects of contempt, all are wounded by this sin

Anonymous said...


" David George Moore said...
It would be most helpful to have some working guidelines/criteria of how robust disagreement is distinct from bullying. Depending on the issue, it is easy for one group to say the former slips into the latter when that may not be the case."

if a person needs to ask 'what is the difference' between 'bullying' and 'robust disagreement', no explanation is possible

Doug Burleson said...

Good grief! Have the guts to put down your name. Replying as “unknown” is so unbelievably weak. And, yes, that makes me angry

Ron said...

Wade, Bertha Smith taught Old Testament to Chinese pastors at the Taiwan Baptist Seminary as did other female missionaries. The early conservative resurgence leaders considered her a conservative model. If they had told her she shouldn’t teach because she was a woman she would have taught them a thing or two.
Ron West

Rex Ray said...


Great post. I’d like to go back to when SWBTS was at its peak in prestige and enrollment. All students were preparing for a life in serving the Lord. Russell Dilday had been president for 16 years.

His book, “Columns: Glimpses of a Seminary Under Assault” tells how the Patterson-Pressler took over the SBC and at the same time appointed enough Board Members to have a majority to fire Dilday.

Ralph Pulley was a Board Member in 1977 and wanted his brother-in-law to be elected President of SWBTS, and resented Dilday being hired.

For 16 years, Russell Dilday had a favorable “President’s Annual Performance Appraisal. His Appraisal on March 8, 1994 was summarized by: “Russell, you’re doing a great job”. The next day he was fired.

When Dilday asked why, Ralph Pully said, “We’re the board, we don’t have to have a reason. We have the votes to do it.”

Page 283
On May 9, 1994, one Board Member, Ollin Collins, wrote letters to Fundamentalist, Adrian Rogers, James Merritt, Jerry Vines, Bailey Smith, Ed Young, Charles Stanley, and Homer Lindsey. His letter stated:

“I have to ask, why has there been such a strange silence from you men who have been in leadership over the SBC concerning the action taken by our board in terminating Dr. Dilday on March 9?
I say strange silence because it just seems strange that when we finally did what you men had been leading us to do, and saying needed to be done for some ten years now, and yet once it was done it was as though we had leprosy and nobody wanted to touch us or be associated with us.
We really feel like we have been hung out and left by ourselves. We received over 450 letters, are bombarded from every news media, Baptist included, telling us what reprobates we are, calling us ecclesiastical bigots and told that there are special places in hell reserved just for us.”

Ed Dingess said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wade Burleson said...

If it is unwise to rebuke a group of Christian leaders in the SBC for rebelling against Jesus' command to serve others and not lord over other, as well as rebuke them for rebelling against Paul's command to be mutually submissive to one another (including women), then Beth Moore and unknown others who are abused - verbally, physically, and sadly even sexually - by men who have no biblical understanding of the gracious Christian servant attitude they are to have toward women, then the SBC needs to implode. The ungodly and unconscionable problems we have in the SBC (sexual abuse crisis, dominating patriarchy, and unbiblical leadership principles) are a reproach to historic Christianity, not to mention the Southern Baptist Convention. If anyone is being uncharitable, unloving, and ungracious to the Kingdom of Christ, it's those Southern Baptist who let the Ed Dingess of this world comment like what was said above without a rebuke. Sorry, Ed. You asked for it.

Ken F said...

Hi Ed,
It is interesting that you make an appeal to historical orthodox Christianity. In the last few years I have been investigating historical Christianity and have found many surprises along the way. It turns out that some "essential" beliefs held by Southern Baptists today would have been considered heresy by the ancient church. Penal Substitutionay Atonement is one of the major examples because it either divides the Trinity (contrary to the Nicene Creed) or it divides the divine and human natures of Jesus (contrary to the Chalcedonian Creed). Yet the SBC recently passed a resolution making it an essential belief. So when appealing to the authority of historical orthodox Christianity, it is good to know what are the things that historical orthodox Christians affirmed and condemned. You might be as surprised as I was.

I am aware of Beth Moore but have not examined her teachings, so I don't know whether or not she conforms with historical orthodox Christianity. But I do know that the SBC does not, at least in some major areas.

Christiane said...

for ED DINGESS, who does not understand yet:

"“Jesus invites us into a story bigger than ourselves and our imaginations…may we never lose our love for telling the story.” (Rachel Held Evans)

ED, Beth Moore couldn't 'stop telling the story' even if she tried at your command . . . 'the story' as it was called by Rachel Evans, IS bigger than any of us, and it is to be PROCLAIMED, LIVED, MADE VISIBLE to the world, not in silence before some male 'leaders' no, but in accordance with the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.

Male hubris and pride are SINFUL results of 'the Fall', ED; not some 'remedy' for it.

If a woman comes to tell of the Resurrection, and she is sent by God, then no 'restrictions' can hold her back from her purpose. If the news of the Resurrection was not and is not the greatest 'sermon' of witness, and if Christ ordered Mary to go and tell His disciples the News, then Jesus Christ Himself gave command to a woman to speak. And what she had to tell was 'transformative' in its effect, and the echoes of it STILL are heard in our world, and will be until the end of time.

Christiane said...

For ED, whom God loves, this message from Nadia, a sister in Christ:


Cathy said...

"Oh, I know plenty of legalistic, Fundamentalist Arminians who are hostile toward anybody who disagrees with them."

Oh my! Although I agree with your main point, it was hard to read past this line!

Rev. Catherine Howie, ordained minister of the Gospel in The Wesleyan (an Arminian grace-based) Church

Anonymous said...

The question is simple: Is Beth Moore (or any other women) teaching or exercising authority over men in the church or is she being silent?

It is hard to see how standing and preaching on Sunday morning in a church service is keeping silent. It is hard to see how that is not teaching or exercising authority. The text does not say to teach or exercise authority so long as a male elder lets you (something that would seem to fly in the face of the whole principle ... if you have to get permission from a man, are you really equal???)

Many SB have claimed to be against sexual abuse, but their lives and actions tells a different story. Might the same be true about biblical authority? Claiming to believe in biblical authority is not the same as actually living under the authority of the Bible.

Christiane said...

what is this 'exercising authority over' business?

every human person has a God-given conscience to follow, so who can tell them to do something ELSE and it's 'okay'? No one.

people are responsible for their own behaviors and thoughts in this world, and as far as interfering with someone else's 'private conscience', consider this:

"Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. "He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters."

so what 'authority' holds power to rule out a human person's moral conscience?

your conscience says 'don't do it', better listen and not to some self-appointed 'authority'

the old 'I was only following orders' line didn't work for the Nazis and it won't work now

Ken F said...

"The question is simple: Is Beth Moore (or any other women) teaching or exercising authority over men in the church or is she being silent?"

The more basic question: is anyone (male or female) supposed to exercise that kind of authority in the church? It boils down to how that verse should be interpreted.

Tom said...


If a woman preaching to men becomes a stumbling block for those men, then another way of reaching those men is needed.

If a man preaching to women becomes a stumbling block for those women, then another way of reaching those women is needed.

Do not put a stumbling block before people in attempting to reach those people, find another way of reaching out to those people so that they receive God’s Grace of Salvation.

Before the judgement seat all have the same status, “Do you truly love the Lord with all your heart?” And with all your strength in Christ? At the Judgement seat we will be asked, “What works did you do that will confirm that you loved the Lord with all of your heart and with all of your strength?”

If all are equal before the judgement seat of Christ, did you also treat all as equally qualified as you who came before you? Did you judge them as not being equal to you because of how you understood the scriptures and your expectation of how they should respond to your counsel.

Did you demand that they accept certain biblical verses as being a requirement to be a "Christian" or did you condemn them simply because they would not conform to your "proof text" of what is required to be a "Christian?"

Power and status take many forms in the eyes of mankind and our understanding can be deceiving and misleading if we will not listen to wise counsel directly from the Lord through His Prophets of either gender.

If God required Abraham to walk away from his country, where idols and concepts were worshipped, from his kinfolks, because they would lead him astray because of their worshipping of idols, and his father's household, because of the idols that his father worshipped, and journey with Him, towards an earth that He would show him, where righteousness and wholeness prevail, then why are we also not walking away from our "idols" of what is consider good worshipping and shepherding practices based upon precept upon precept, line upon line, towards a relationship where we become righteous and gain wholesomeness through our face to face relationship with God?

What are people prepared to walk away from so that they too can gain from a rightly based relationship with God? I believe that the answer to this question is, “Equality before God as His Sons/Daughters?” For Christians, where does this equality begin?


Ed Dingess said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ed Dingess said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Ed Dingess, what religion are you? (denomination)? (name of denomination)?

when you were growing up, did you witness your father treat your mother the way you treat your wife?

who taught you this?

Rex Ray said...

Hey know-it-all!

Your first sentence reply to Wade “…I had last night at MY anniversary celebration.” (didn’t say OUR anniversary celebration) was probably a true statement because I’ll bet your wife wasn’t celebrating anything like: “If men would learn to be men again, they would put their wives in their place and toss all her nonsense in the trash.”

I could go on repeating your stupid remarks, but you’re not listening anyway. I’ll bet you wouldn’t listen to a marriage counselor either. The only thing that might work if she had some brothers that’d take you behind the barn.

Christiane said...

who needs Christ's Presence:

"From a letter by Tertullian, an Early Church Father, to his wife, ca. 202 A.D.

” How beautiful, then, the marriage of two Christians, two who are one in hope, one in desire, one in the way of life they follow, one in the religion they practice.
They are as brother and sister, both servants of the same Master. Nothing divides them, either in flesh or in Spirit. They are in very truth, two in one flesh; and where there is but one flesh there is also but one spirit.
They pray together, they worship together, they fast together; instructing one another, encouraging one another, strengthening one another.
Side by side they face difficulties and persecution, share their consolations. They have no secrets from one another, they never shun each other’s company; they never bring sorrow to each other’s hearts… Psalms and hymns they sing to one another.
Hearing and seeing this, Christ rejoices. To such as these He gives His peace. Where there are two together, there also He is present, and where He is, there evil is not.”

Johnny D. said...

Wow Ed, you really need a deep cleansing of grace. You should read Charles Swindoll's "The Grace Awakening," and Phillip Yancey's "The Jesus I Never Knew."

"Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person." Col. 4:6

Wade Burleson said...


Oh my.

You, sir, are the reason I will remain SBC for the rest of my life.

I refuse to hand it over to men like you.

RB Kuter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

am wondering is Ed same person as this individual:


RB Kuter said...

Wade wrote in his post:
"Yet President Carter is one of my heroes. I may not align with him politically, but it's my honor to call him friend and brother-in-Christ."

Wade, I get how Jimmy Carter is a personal, close, friend and all, but to say he is a "brother in Christ" implies you consider him to be a born-again follower of Jesus Christ. For that to be an accurate assessment, President Carter would have to trust in Jesus Christ according to His correct identity, which is, of course, being the incarnate, One, true, eternal, creator, God Almighty.

Yet President Carter has stated that he believes Mormons should be considered as mainstream Christians even though they believe that God was formerly an ordinary man and they, Mormons, will be just like God. President Carter stated that he does not believe Southern Baptists should see Mormons as being in need of being evangelized. This said about a group that is probably the most heretical cults on the planet.

If President Carter assesses Mormons in this light, it might be a stretch to refer to him as being a "brother in Christ" given that he is apparently confused as to who Jesus Christ actually is. The correct portrayal of what it means to be a "brother in Christ" is indeed more critical than dealing with other "tertiary" issues, like women in ministry.

Of course, it's fine to love someone for their humanitarian contributions and I'm sure you and President Carter are close friends. At the same time, it may be risking your misleading some observers when you refer to the former President as being an authentic follower of Jesus Christ, even though he has been teaching Sunday School in his Baptist church for decades. That's another pretty scary thing to contemplate.

Wade Burleson said...

RB Kuter,

Jimmy Carter believes in Jesus as His Lord and Savior. He's told me explicitly and shared how his faith has kept him going all these years.

His confession of faith is enough for me.

RB Kuter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RB Kuter said...

Wade, I'm sure that is true. A Mormon would make the same profession.

Wade Burleson said...

I let the wheat and the tares grow together and let the Lord separate.

I make no determination myself that someone who professes faith in Jesus is a tare.

Gary Sweeten said...

As a friend said to me at church one time, “Without splits we would not have half the Baptist churches we have today.” I fear that is true for today. Membership is declining so another split is in store.

May I discuss I Timothy 2: from a different perspective. In verse 8 Paul says with full authority that: “I want all men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands without bitterness and dissension.” I suspect he is reaching back to Galatians where he lists the practices of people that are evidences of the fallen nature and the behavior that is evidence of the Holy Spirit’s prompting.
Fleshly is: biting and devouring each other, immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, dissension, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, etc.
Spiritual Behavior: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

I wish we could have great, insightful debates with the presence of the Fruit of the Spirit. That is a great challenge for all of us but prayer and kindness could solve a lot of differences.

Jerome said...

A blast from the past - real Southern Baptist history:

In 1933, the Southern Baptist Convention was meeting in Washington DC (from Friday May 19 to Monday May 22). On Sunday, messengers were welcomed at the local Baptist churches, many of which had guest preachers at their services, for example: Mrs. J.M. Dawson at Fifth Baptist and Miss Amy Lee Stockton at Metropolitan Baptist!

Read all about it:


[Metropolitan Baptist later changed its name to Capitol Hill Baptist. Yes, this was at the church now pastored by Mark Dever, a church that has been "always doctrinally conservative" according to its website. Pastor John Compton Ball had Miss Stockton preach there repeatedly in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s]

RB Kuter said...

Forgive me if I seem to be belaboring the point, but it is a critical issue. If I tell you that I believe that someone is saved and going to heaven who professes that God was formerly a man and they will one day be as God is and that Jesus Christ was an offspring of God and His heavenly bride, would it not give you pause as to whether or not I, myself, have an accurate understanding of who is Jesus Christ and whether I understood how a person is born again?

It is not judging the authenticity of someone's salvation or to say they are a "tare" (separated from God) if they themselves profess a misunderstanding of who is Jesus Christ. As a matter of fact, in such situations, we are being unfair to that person and disobedient to our Lord by our not pursuing whether they have an accurate understanding of what God requires for us to be saved. There are millions of lost people professing that they are "Christians" and trust in Jesus Christ but trust in His being something that He is not.

Perhaps you will feel led in one of your conversations with President Carter to simply ask him, "Do you believe the Mormons to have an accurate understanding of the identity of Jesus Christ?" For his sake.

Sorry to distract from the main point of your post, but thought it to be very important and to be something that surfaces on occasion.

Christiane said...

Hello Mr. Kuter,
can you please share with us what your own 'Christology' is and thank you (don't bother if you are not inclined to do so)

The Voice of Reason said...

Wade, perhaps you were not bitter or angry in writing what you did, but reading it made it seemed like you were. There was definitely some sarcasm in the piece, and an example of that is when you told Dr. Al: "I look forward to seeing you submit to the female moderator of the debate".

That certainly wasn't necessary. Dwight Mckissic is a very good friend, and I've already told him debating about whether women should speak on Sunday morning is really irrelevant, and it's not going to change the people's minds who believe what they believe, and since each SBC is autonomous, each Church will do what they want to do.

Ed Dingess said...
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Ed Dingess said...
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Rex Ray said...


I believe there’s a similarity in Paige Patterson getting Russell Dilday’s job and what happened to King Ahab for taking the vineyard of Naboth in 1 Kings 21 and 22.

Ed, do you enjoy being wrong?

Jerome said...

From the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives, a 1890 article by W.T. Ussery in the Tennessee state paper:


"...But there is yet another, yea, the most exalted work for Christian women. I mean the preaching of the gospel..."

Ussery is cited favorably by Mark Coppinger in Ascol's Founders Journal, among the early Southern Baptist doctrines of grace advocates:


RB Kuter said...

I removed my comment about something that was written by one person sounding like something someone would write as their own epitaph. It was probably removed too late to avoid it being offensive and disrespectful and I'm sorry if it was. Just to easy to blurt some things out before catching myself.

Doug Martin said...

My immediate response to the censorious judgmentalism expressed by certain "contributors" was to remember a phrase I first heard Dr. Adrian Rogers utter: "To live above with the saints we love, oh that will be glory... to live below with the saints we know well, that's another story!"

Doug Martin said...

A Biblical response to censorious judgmentalism:
"Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned." Titus 3:10,11 NIV

Victorious said...

As for who taught me that wives are to be taught by their husbands and that they are to submit to their husbands?

But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Eph 5:24.

Ed, I find the principle of submission directed to wives only suspect since:

- Eph. 5:21 clearly speaks of mutual submission. There are no exclusions mentioned in that verse so we cannot ignore the fact that it includes husbands to their wives.

- Nowhere in scripture is there found a command for husbands or men in general to take authority over wives or women in general.

- The verse you referenced in Eph 5:24 speak only of love and giving himself up for his wife as Jesus did for the church. The passage does not reference authority. But Jesus emptied Himself, humbled Himself, and took on the behavior of a bond-servant. (Phl 2:7.)

Again, if we base truth on a single word or even a single verse that's totally out of context with the entire counsel of God, the result will be an erroneous understand of what was intended.

RB Kuter said...

Thank you for asking about my conclusions on Christology, Christiane. I imagine it is very much like your own and that of Wade and all those who actively read his site. I sometimes may muddle my thoughts when writing in comments so as to cause my point and thinking to be confusing. I apologize for that. All that I believe about the personhood and works of Jesus Christ are taken from Scripture and I strive to stay true to that.

The eternal title given to the Christ, as His being God working in this world and eventually entering it as humankind's redeemer, is "The Word". He, The Word, is the manifestation of The One, True, Eternal, Living God who came into the world as the "Son of Man" through the miracle of God's causing a wonderful young lady to conceive a son who was named "Jesus" upon His birth. Being that the Holy Spirit (who is also the One, True, Eternal, Living, God) caused her to conceive through His overshadowing her with His infinite, creative power, we call the child born from this woman and the works of God's Holy Spirit, THE SON OF GOD; hence, The Son of Man and The Son of God.

Scripture repeatedly and straightforwardly insists that this Son of God, Jesus Christ, who is The Word made into man, is the physical incarnation of Almighty God. He has existed for all eternity as "The Word". He created all Creation, and is indeed, the manifestation of the One, True, God Himself.

I personally believe that He is the same Word that met and fellowshipped with Adam and Eve in The Garden prior to their sinning. It was The Word who met with Abraham, along with two angels, to announce the coming conception of Sarah with Isaac and to announce the judgment upon Sodom and Gomorrah. I believe it was probably Him, The Word, who was seen with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, walking around in Nebuchadnezzar's fiery furnace. I believe it was Him, The Word, who manifested Himself as a burning bush to commission Moses to lead the children out of Egypt to create the nation from which He, The Word, would later be born in Bethlehem as Jesus Christ. Although admittedly, Scripture does not articulate in these instances that it was "The Word" who manifested Himself in all of these situations, given how His work and function are described in many places, I conclude that it was.

Especially helpful to me is 1 Corinthians 8:4-6 and Hebrews 1:1-3 and of course, Philippians 2: 5-11. All of this truth makes the crucifixion of Jesus Christ all the more astounding to me and the resurrection all the more believable and expected. How amazing that Almighty God would go through so much Himself to save me and you and give us access into His holy fellowship simply blows me away.

It also causes all of those who presume to distort and pervert the identity and works of The Word to be all the more repulsive and demands that their pagan, heretical claims be challenged and not left unanswered. It makes yours and my salvation all the more precious having been purchased through such a truly divine, exclusive, redemptive work performed by God as He promised He would do in conversation with Eve in Genesis 3 following the entry of sin into the world. Wow!

Anyway, that's the way I see it. Thank you for asking.

Victorious said...

And we should not overlook Paul's words in 1 Cor. 7:

Paul demonstrates the equality and reciprocity within marriage throughout this chapter.

7:2 each man . . . each woman
7:3 husband . . . wife
7:4 wife’s body . . . husband’s body
7:5 mutual consent
7:10 wife must not separate . . . 7:11 husband must not divorce
7:12 wife . . . 7:13 husband
7:14 unbelieving husband . . . unbelieving wife
7:15 man or woman
7:16 wife . . . husband
7:28 you marry . . . a virgin married
7:33 please his wife . . . 7:34 please her husband

Ed Dingess said...
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Ed Dingess said...
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Christiane said...

"But God said to Abraham,
“Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named."

(Genesis 21:12)

Ed Dingess said...
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Christiane said...

Good morning, Ed Dingess

I think your argument is not with me or with Victorious.

Nor is it with the great matriarchs of the Holy Scriptures.

Let me leave you with this image: from an old folk song about Christ, this . . .


I think it is interesting to remember that the Holy Spirit, God, was sent among us as a 'Paraclete' to help us and minister to us;
but it is also interesting to realize that the Holy Spirit points us not to Himself but only to Christ.

So, perhaps that might be a 'model' for ministry . . . . that humility . . .

Even then, for those who minister to others in imitation of Christ, they need to take to heart that the only time Our Lord was Himself raised up above others, it was on a cross.

'Leadership' in Christianity is a paradox. To be a 'leader', you become a servant.

We cannot 'lord it' over others, no. If we are Christian people, we can help people to bear their burdens. The 'servant model' is the true Christian model. There is only one 'Lord' in any Christian wife's life, and it is not her husband.

Wade Burleson said...


"There was definitely some sarcasm in the piece, and an example of that is when you told Dr. Al: "I look forward to seeing you submit to the female moderator of the debate". That certainly wasn't necessary."


Necessary is an interesting word.

Necessary for what? It may be necessary to show the logical fallacy of attempting to keep women silent in any arena by men who believe that "authority" is investing in men like it is God the Father, and submission and subordination is mandated on women like it is God the Son.

Sometimes I press to show singular stupidity, but think Dr. Tom Ascol and the others are brilliant men with general insight - just completely unbiblical in this one area.

But you know what? I can fellowship with them all.

Wade Burleson said...


"There was definitely some sarcasm in the piece, and an example of that is when you told Dr. Al: "I look forward to seeing you submit to the female moderator of the debate". That certainly wasn't necessary."


Necessary is an interesting word.

Necessary for what? It may be necessary to show the logical fallacy of attempting to keep women silent in any arena by men who believe that "authority" is invested in men like it is God the Father, and submission and subordination is mandated on women to men like it is God the Son to God the Father (eg. "the doctrine of eternal subordination.")

Sometimes I press to show singular stupidity, but think Dr. Tom Ascol and the others are brilliant men with general insight - just completely unbiblical in this one area.

But you know what? I can fellowship with them all.

Ed Dingess said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RB Kuter said...

"Victorious' twisting of Scripture is a perfect example of pagan values."

Ed, it's a dangerous stretch to say about a brother or sister in Christ that they are twisting Scripture and have pagan values.

You may say the same about me in that I do believe that Scripture says a husband is to be submissive to his wife:
Ephesians 5:21 "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God." and then it goes on to say HOW a wife AND husband are to "submit" to one another.

That is NOT to say that I do not have a complementary viewpoint as I believe it to be described in the Bible. Indeed, I feel confident that this passage in Ephesians perfectly describes how a Christian husband and wife submit to the distinctively unique, defined, roles assigned to them in marriage so as to cause both to fulfill their God-given purpose in the relationship. The husband is to serve as the benevolent leader in the household who provides, nurtures and presents the Godly role model that all the family should follow and in so doing, please God. The wife is to be by the husband's side to encourage, support, and contribute to the mission of their family being the body that God intends. They function with the utmost respect for one another and with the recognition of their dependency upon one another to function as guided by God's Spirit. They do fill distinctively male and female roles, but there is no conflict our counter-productive result due to their being different.

I bet that Ed and Victorious function within their own Godly marriages in this way. We may simply describe it somewhat differently.

Ken F said...

Hi Ed,
Since you are writing about leadership in the church, can you comment on how the father in Luke 15 managed the situation with his two sons? Specifically, would the way he managed his household disqualify him to be an elder? What council would you have given to him on how to appropriately respond to his sons?

Ed Dingess said...
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Anonymous said...

The father is often compared to God receiving His wounded child with great love.

Ed Dingess said...
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Ken F said...

What very specific truth is that parable teaching? The reason I ask about that father's management of his household is because it has impact on whether or not he is the type of father/husband/elder to emulate. Did Jesus use him because he is an example to follow or a counter-example of what not to follow?

Anonymous said...

" David George Moore said...
It would be most helpful to have some working guidelines/criteria of how robust disagreement is distinct from bullying. Depending on the issue, it is easy for one group to say the former slips into the latter when that may not be the case."

if a person needs to ask 'what is the difference' between 'bullying' and 'robust disagreement', no explanation is possible


so much for 'robust disagreement' . . . same old, same old

Ed Dingess said...
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Anonymous said...

so maybe Christian 'leadership' isn't what it's cracked out to be after all, 'eh?

Ken F said...

How is it completely unrelated to leadership? Do you think that father was a real or hypothetical person? And would he be qualified to be an elder?

Florence in KY said...

Mr. Kuter, someone once asked my pastor husband if he thought Albert Schweitzer was a christian. He answered, "He acts like one." He would say the same of Jimmy Carter.

Rileydogbarks said...

I guess if the SBC is going to make the role of women the main argument on which to cooperate, I want to know who is going to sponsor the makeup removal stations at our churches and store the gold earrings and jewelry that Paul clearly tells us is not allowed in worship? Why is one part of the passage interpreted culturally and the prohibition against women a "hill on which to die"? The answer: power. How do we control the power and the money? Grrrrr....

RB Kuter said...

Ed says in response to an "RB" comment, "We hold the Word of God in contempt when we play with it in such a fast and loose manner." and earlier, " I cannot get my head around the sheer ignorance I see in this comment thread. From the article to comment after comment after comment. It is utterly ridiculous."

Whew! Ed, give the Holy Spirit some credit for working in the hearts of other followers of Jesus just as He does yours. Do I detect a bit of anger and perhaps even a bit of conceit in your insistence that your interpretation is the only viable option to a conclusion regarding Scripture and that everyone else commenting is ignorant and ridiculous?

What if someone else actually has a more clear channel to hearing the voice of God's Holy Spirit than you on these matters? What if there happens to be something in your heart, or mine, that is causing static in that line of communication? We might be rejecting an aspect about God and insight into His truth that He is offering through another person.

And for you to tell me, "No, RB, you cannot redefine complementarianism using egalitarian views and still call yourself complementarian." is indeed an arrogant and ridiculous statement insinuating that you have a license on how to define such broad terms within your specific parameters. Who are you to tell me how I can or cannot define the terms or whether or not I fall within the Biblical proposition of one instead of another?

But still, I will consider any logical, rational, Biblically supported views you may offer and try to objectively assess their validity. That will be easier to do if they are offered with a bit more humility. After all, maybe you have a more clear channel through which the voice of God's Holy Spirit speaks than me.

RB Kuter said...

"Florence in Ky", you are right, he does often "behave" like a Christian even when the things he says confuses attempts to assess that. I guess Gandhi behaved like a Christian in a lot of ways, perhaps the Dalai Lama, and a lot of other really good folks.

Victorious said...

Ephesians 5:21 submission is talking to the church members being in submission to the body itself.

Wouldn't that include husbands and wives. They are church members. Or are you still implying everyone needs to submit to one another but husbands are exempt?

Have you overlooked my comment about 1 Cor. 7?

Anonymous said...

I must have missed the part where B. Moore lead a hostile rebellion to take over church platforms on Sunday mornings from their male leaders...

You do realize that anytime she speaks at a church she is doing so at the invitation of a man? Why don't you attack them instead of her? After all... THEY are the leaders (which I know you believe). So... really, shouldn't THEY be the ones held accountable?

Rex Ray said...


What about listing some things we can agree on?

I’ll start my list:

1.Our brains have different ‘filters’ based on our experiences. Just now, my sister called and wanted to talk to Judy. I replied, “I’ll get her, she’s cutting grass with scissors.” “GET HER IN THE HOUSE, TIE HER UP AND RUN” :)

A person in Chicago has a different “filter” than a person in Bug Tussle, Texas that had a population of around 30.


2.God inspired men to write the Bible.
3.God did not put them in a trance and ‘hold their hand’ as they wrote.
4.Paul was not God, and wrote through his “filter”.

Paul did not have a perfect memory: “…I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius…” (1 Corinthians 1:14 NLT) vs. “(Oh yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas, but I don’t remember baptizing anyone else.)” (1 Corinthians 1:16 NLT)

Another example.

“Then Festus wanting to please the Jews…But Paul replied…no one has the right to turn me over to these men to kill me. I appeal to Caesar!” (Acts 25:9-11 NLT)

Paul tells his story to King Agrippa with none of his accusers present. (Acts 25:23-26:29). “Agrippa said to Festus, “He could be set free if he hadn’t appealed to Caesar.” (Acts 26:32 NLT)

Years later, (with a poor memory) Paul said: “The Romans tried me and wanted to release me…But when the Jewish leaders protested the decision, I felt it necessary to appeal to Caesar…” (Acts 28:18-19 NLT)

Christiane said...

Hey there, REX RAY

where would we be if the Good Lord didn't make use of imperfect people?

I suspect that many errors and mistakes and misunderstandings are made unbeknownst to these imperfect servants of the Word, but it takes a spirit of good will to sort it out and this is something we must learn STILL is needed among Christian people. I like to think that the work of the Holy Spirit in this world is to help people of good will communicate with each other and that WITHOUT that 'good will', communication shuts down quickly. . . .

In my own thinking also is the idea that through the sacred Scriptures, through these millenia, in the hands of so many 'imperfect' souls, still is contained the information needed to seek God and His salvation. Maybe that is something more important than 'perfection', that the core reason for the Word has not been overcome by our foibles and misunderstandings . . . . that there is something 'more' of blessing there that we couldn't mess up and that it survived all the bad translations, all the divisions, all the mis-communications and mis-understandings and STILL in our own time, some poor hurting soul in a hotel room can pick up a Gideon bible and open it and WHAM, the Holy Spirit uses the Word to bring him to healing. If that doesn't speak to us of the power of God to make use of our foibles, as long as somewhere along the line, there was the presence of good will, then I don't think we 'get it' that He is on our side in a way we cannot fully know.

So sure, there will always be human error because we ARE human. It takes the Coming of the Holy Spirit to work through all that so that good will come. We have been helped, we are being helped, and we will be helped by something greater than our own efforts. It continues. :)

Christiane said...

'behaving like a Christian'
I had to smile when I read that. :)

What does it mean? Especially these days, when people 'co-opt' the term for agendas that far from how a Christian is to be 'known' (?)

At the core of the faith, might it still mean something like this:

"1 John 4:7
Beloved, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

1 John 4:8
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."

Positively Matthean, those verses: the stuff of sheep versus goats.
Throwing the label 'Christian' around won't make it in the end, thank God . . . He will know us for how we loved and did not love in this world. He, Who IS 'love', He will know.

David said...


Thanks for a clear, balanced comment on this discussion. The last few days have certainly exposed how little we tend to heed Christ's main command - to love one another.

On another note, I had always been told (and read) that the Conservative Resurgence was all about the Inerrancy of Scripture - but reading Al Mohler and others makes it seem like that was just used as a cover for gaining control of SBC institutions. Was he lying then, or is he lying (or misremembering?) now?

Anonymous said...


In my opinion, ‘the battle for the Bible’ was just a smokescreen to get control of the SBC by getting ‘their man’ elected as President who has the authority to appoint those under him who will do his bidding.

Judge Paul Pressler’s book (“On a Hill which to Die”) title should be changed to ‘On a Hill which to Kill’.

Rex Ray said...


In my opinion, ‘the battle for the Bible’ was just a smokescreen to get control of the SBC by getting ‘their man’ elected as President who has the authority to appoint those under him who will do his bidding.

Judge Paul Pressler’s book (“On a Hill which to Die”) title should be changed to ‘On a Hill which to Kill’.

Gary Sweeten said...

May the God of peace be with us all.

The heat of this interaction indicates to me that some of these issues

Mt. 5:21 Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment:

and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

I have a hot button and anger comes out in my tongue. But I have studied scriptures a lot about the importance of caring interaction with other believers. "Death or life are in the power of the tongue!" I am trying not to be in hell.

Tom said...


Firstly, let me apologise to you for putting a stumbling block in front of a blind person, based on Lev. 19;14. It appears that this issue of having a female person in the role of leadership within the body where they may also provide counsel from the word of God is a stumbling block to many people within the body of Christ. The above verse also exhorts us to not curse a deaf person.

I have an elderly uncle by marriage who was a shepherd of a flock who I challenged one day concerning the Parable of the Manias over who was the man who went away to get a kingdom. He had been using this parable and the parable of the Talents for years to encourage his flock into diligently working very hard towards bringing in the kingdom of God even though this was contrary to what Jesus said in John 6:29. I discovered that he had inserted Jesus into the parables as the lead character instead of seeing that Jesus was speaking of Satan in the parables. He became very angry with me because I had undermined his theological constructs because I was able to show him that the lead character in these two parables had no right to the increase from the field where the seeds had been scattered while he was away. Or at any other time for that matter.

We all have our blind spots in understanding the scriptures. The Titus 2 passage you have referred to states that the older women in Christ should admonish the younger women in Christ to take on the attributes of Christian living, which includes loving their husbands. Why? So that they may not be a stumbling block in the salvation of their husbands. Why? Because the older women in Christ would have empathy with the newer/younger women in Christ whereas the men would not.

In my previous post I spoke about the relationship that God wanted with Abraham by encouraging him to walk away from, i.e. leave, his country etc. and go with God towards an earth that God would show him as found in Genesis 12:1. This same inheritance is promised to all of the Saints in Christ. Perhaps the way I expressed God’s covenant with Abraham was not the usual manner that you have heard the Abrahamic Covenant presented and it too became a stumbling block for you with respect to my previous posted comment.

What you posted in response to my comment was, “That is literally one of the most unbiblical posts I have ever read. Who cares what Scripture teaches? If Scripture is a stumbling block, toss it out. Well guess what Tom, Scripture IS THE STUMBLING BLOCK. The utter ignorance on display here is indeed the problem. False Christians need to be sent packing. Remove them from the community. They are not interested in obedience, in God's truth, or anything else remotely resembling that which submits to God's Word. They are interested in a god of their own liking, one that will affirm them in whatever narcissistic nonsense they wish to embrace.”, cause me to carefully consider how I should respond to you.

Initially, I wanted to respond and tell you off, but first I was prompted to Google your name on the internet and discovered how many people you have offended through your activities on the internet. It is not uncommon for Christian people to offend others on the internet, (and probably the people around us where we live), when we put our un-Christ-like attitudes and views on display for all to see.

My heart went out to you and the pain that you must be feeling.

A friend of mine put this on Facebook:

Don’t let anyone be the cause as to why you leave CHURCH. They are not the reason why you go to church in the first place.

May the Lord continue to draw you to Himself and His loving embrace as you continue journeying/walking with Him during the rest of your life.


Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ken F said...

If you are still following the comments section, is there a reason you removed all your comments?

Anonymous said...

Prayers for his wife.

Jacque's Blog said...

I wonder is he will ever write an article like this about the heresy of patriarchy! https://albertmohler.com/2015/06/23/the-heresy-of-racial-superiority-confronting-the-past-and-confronting-the-truth/

RB Kuter said...

Impossible to say, but maybe Ed is like me in the sense of my often writing things that I regret so I return to delete them, probably not before inflicting damage to some reader or another. Dialogue on Wade's blog gets pretty intense, probably due to the subjects broached which lie close to our nerve endings.

Christiane said...

Mr. Kuter,
what subjects do you find disturbing when they are discussed here?
Only share if you care to, of course.

Larry said...

KenF said, "The more basic question: is anyone (male or female) supposed to exercise that kind of authority in the church?"

Of course someone is. What's the alternative? Someone has toe exercise authority.

Tom said...

Hello Ed,

The body of Christ needs people who can bring a challenging word from the Lord because they are able to see things from a very different perspective. It seems to me that you have this gift but that you have difficulty in expressing it in an acceptable manner that draws people back to God.

I too see things from a very different perspective and can and have offended people when I post in haste.

I find that I must control my feelings on the internet when other people do not understand the point of view that I am expressing. It is so easy to see their faults but the fault that we want to fix in other people is often because it is easier to tell others how they should go about fixing the fault that they have, than to apply that same fix to ourselves.

Ed, I was genuinely expressing my heart to you in the Prayer that I expressed towards you. We all need God throughout our lives to be drawing us closer and closer into His loving embrace. My Prayer for you was not an expression against you or a judgement of your character as we all need to prayer that same prayer for ourselves. "Lord, I give you permission to continue your work in me of drawing me further into your loving embrace this side of heaven such that when we meet face to face in Heaven the equality between us will not divide us but will unite us in our responses towards one and other as being part of your family."

May you be able to see God's guiding hand throughout the rest of your life as it draws you into a deeper relationship with Him.


Christiane said...

Authority ????

some well-known advice:

" Re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book
and dismiss whatever insults your own soul."

(Walt Whitman, 'Leaves of Grass', 1855)

Ken F said...

Hi Larry,
The question is what is "that" kind of authority? If you are suggesting that someone has to be in charge to call the shots while others have to obey, I don't see that type of authority taught in the NT. NT authority is based on humility, servanthood, sacrifice, selflessness, putting others first, etc. If that is what you mean by authority, then ok.

Christiane said...

Bravo! well-said, Ken

Gary Sweeten said...

As a retired Therapist I am quite leery of the terms "Accountability" and "Authority". I have seen so much damage even from trained Therapists who take it upon themselves to "Break the will of the person" rather than "Come along side a Brother or Sister and seek God's wisdom and discernment. (I am not speaking about abuse or other illegal acts. Those must be handled differently and swiftly.)

"If we see a person in a trespass, those with "spiritual maturity are to help them in a spirit of gentleness being careful lest we be tempted." Galatians 6:1 As I see it we are usually tempted in one of two ways: Too harsh or too soft. Condemnation from my own unhealed emotions or Compassion with no truth from my own unhealed emotions.

This requires something we lack in most churches, "Equipping to Minister".


Ken F said...

Hi Gary,
Quite a few years ago I did an exhaustive search on the word "accountability" in the NT and was shocked by how little it is used and how it never applies to believers being accountable to each other or to their pastors. Given all the emphasis on Christian accountability, this was a stunning find.

Rex Ray said...

Ken F.

You asked Ed, why he removed all of his comments. I’ll bet if you’d made his statements, you’d be ashamed also.

Ed Dingess said... “If men would learn to be men again, they would put their wives in their place and toss all her nonsense in the trash.”
“The single biggest problem in the churches today is the complete abandonment and ignoring of the practice of discipline or fencing the community.”

Anonymous said...

logical reason:
his wife made him remove those comments

Ken F said...

That's the answer I am sticking with.

Ed Dingess said...

That's not why I removed them. I removed them because people who lack integrity will lift them out of the context of this comm box and post them on twitter. As people can see right now, I am being slandered as a man who probably abuses his wife because I affirm the biblical model of male leadership in the home and in the churches. This is the only comment I will make and leave up at this site. For the record, my language was a metaphorical poke in the eye, a sarcastic slap designed to mock those who reject biblical truth while claiming to embrace it. Mission accomplished.

Ed Dingess said...


Ken F said...

Hi Ed,
It sounds like you don't know the definition of slander, so here it is: "oral defamation, in which someone tells one or more persons an untruth about another which untruth will harm the reputation of the person defamed."

For someone to slander you it has to be oral (not written), they have to know it is not true, and the purpose must be to harm your reputation. How have you been slandered in this exchange?

I am wondering why you won't answer my questions about the father in Luke 15. That father was clearly leading his household, but did his leadership disqualify him from being an elder because of how his younger son behaved? If he was a bad leader, why did Jesus use him as an example? If he was a good leader, in what ways is he a role model for church leadership?

Also, did you notice that Jesus was not qualified to be an elder because we was not married, had no children, and did not have a household to manage? What are your thoughts on this?

Wade Burleson said...


I assume you refer to me when you write "I removed my comments BECAUSE people who lack integrity will lift them out of the context of this comment box and post them on Twitter."


The entire comment from you that I posted on Twitter stood alone. There was no context except the comment itself. The entire comment.

How many people called you to take it down? How many people emailed you asking you to remove it?

Ed, I have experience in issues like this one in the SBC. I learned a very long time ago that you never post anything unless you are prepared to leave it up. Men who resort to attacking the "integrity" and "character" of other men are usually covering up for their own weak arguments (notice, I am using the word "arguments" (eg. doctrine) and not character).

Your own words have come back to haunt you.

"Out of the mouth flow issues of the heart (or mind)" It might do you well to actually contemplate and consider what your're saying might actually be unbiblical, anti-Christian, and antithetical to the teachings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Welcome to the ballfield where the winner follows the commandment of love, the principles of New Testament equality, and words that honor Jesus and empower people.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Wade: Yes!

Christiane said...


well said! :)

how strange that what might have brought Ed back to speak with us is the anonymous implication that maybe his wife intervened on his behalf and he responded to her wishes, which in my own mind is what I think a good wife is all about: trying to help her husband if he is in need . . .

Or maybe I thought Ed might have run afoul of Nadia's opening blessing at Rachel's funeral:

Or maybe some good had been done by the free exchange of thoughts permitted here at this healing blog.

But God works over time in ways we cannot understand and all that is intended for good is blessed, so there was hope for Ed, even in his chosen absence. :)

I am grateful for having witnessed this 'ballfield' as Wade has described it. It was an honor and a blessing to see how some very dear Christian people try to help someone who is wounded. :)

Larry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Larry said...


This 'exercising authority over' business is the language of Scripture. Individual soul liberty is a Baptist distinctive. It means each individual can exercise their conscience. No one can force their conscience. But that doesn't mean that everyone is correct. Scripture is clear that there is authority in the church and they are to be obeyed (Heb 13:17; 1 Tim 3; 1 Thess 5; Titus 1; Acts 20). It is also clear that that authority over men is not to be exercised by women (1 Tim 2). You are free to disagree in your conscience. And you will be held responsible for that.

This is not about authority to rule out a human person's (is there any other kind) moral conscience. If your conscience says "don't do it," then don't do it. But your conscience must conform to Scripture. "I was following orders" won't work unless those orders are scriptural.

Here's the question: If God intended to forbid women from teaching and exercising authority over men in the church, how could it be clearer than 1 Tim 2? What more than "I do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man to to remain silent" would God need to say to convince you that a woman is forbidden from teaching or exercising authority over men in the church?

Larry said...

>>>The question is what is "that" kind of authority? If you are suggesting that someone has to be in charge to call the shots while others have to obey, I don't see that type of authority taught in the NT. NT authority is based on humility, servanthood, sacrifice, selflessness, putting others first, etc. If that is what you mean by authority, then ok.<<<

The authority exercised in 1 Tim 2. It is clear in the NT that there is elder authority in the church. It means that someone calls the shots and others obey. Heb 13, 1 Thess 5, and other passages talk about this. The primary method of that authority is the clear preaching of the Scripture: "This is what God says. This is what we are to believe, to think, or to do." Such authority is based on humility, servanthood, sacrifice, selflessness, putting others first, etc. I am not sure where you come up with the dichotomy other than getting your ideas from how some have disobeyed Scripture. Many have failed, but that doesn't change God's commands for authority.

Just as it is disobedient to disobey God's commands about how to exercise authority, it is disobedient to disobey God's commands about how to exercise authority. And yes, I just repeated myself intentionally, because God commands humble servant authority and oversight by elders and he forbids women to exercise it. You can't demand one while ignoring the other. Scripture is not a smorgasboard. It is authoritative or it isn't.

Jacque's Blog said...

Larry, Wade has written several excellent peices on this. Fraudulent Authority is an excellent book. So is this article “https://www.wadeburleson.org/search?q=+Authority”. The SBC looks and sounds more like Bill Gothard than it does Scripture, we have become control and power based and that is not God’s word for the church.

Ken F said...

Hi Larry,
I don't think you and would have significant disagreement over the authority of the Bible, but I suspect we would very much disagree over its interpretation in various places. This is in the spirit of the Protestant Reformation, where thousands of denominations have split over disagreements on what the Bible means.

So what do we do when you and I disagree? If it matters, do we appeal to some kind of higher human authority to resolve the problem? And if so, who sets the standard for which authority to trust? Should it be based on academic standing at a certain type of university? Should it be a denominational leader? Or what?

I have read quite a few different viewpoints on this, probably more than you have. I find NT Wright's viewpoint here compelling: http://ntwrightpage.com/2016/07/12/womens-service-in-the-church-the-biblical-basis/. I have also learned quite a lot from Katherine Bushnell. Have you heard of her?

One important point about the word "authority" in 1 Tim 2:12 - it is only used once in the NT. Not only is it a type of authority that women are prohibited from exercising, there is no command or permission for men to exercise that authority. If you truly took the bible seriously, you would not let anyone, man or woman, exercise that type of authority.

RB Kuter said...

Christiane asked, "Mr. Kuter,
what subjects do you find disturbing when they are discussed here? Only share if you care to, of course."

I did not mean to imply there are "disturbing", only intense in the sense of Wade often opening up discussion on topics that a lot of people feel strongly about. It's easy to take comments made personally and then feel like we have to defend the territory of our ideological or theological position. It's a challenge to maintain civility sometimes and not strike back at someone who may have a position opposing our own. Know what I mean? Kind of like politics.

There is a lot of diverse positions on just about all issues as well and that really makes things interesting and lively. Also, most people who comment are well informed, educated, well versed in Scripture and often humorous. It's a lot more entertaining than TV news programs and a whole lot more sane and intelligent. If a person tries to maintain some objectivity and openness to considering new proposals on issues, you can learn a lot.

I didn't mean to suggest that I don't love this blog site and Wade's posts. Given the amount of time I spend reading it and commenting and just checking in to see what's up, that would be obvious.

Wade Burleson said...

RB, Ken, Jacque, and Christiane,

I'm hiring you all to answer my questions. Well done.

Could not have said the points you make in response to questions better.

Larry said...

I have read a lot of Wade's writing on this and I disagree with your assessment of it. I don't think it is good. I don't think it its well argued. I don't find it to even be a starting point of discussion because of its deficiencies. I can't comment on the SBC and Gothard since I don't know much about either. I agree that there is abuse of authority in some cases, but the answer to that isn't to change either the idea of authority or the biblical commands about it. I find it a bit humorous that Wade writes about this trying to convince others to agree with him. That is authority. I find it interesting that someone like Wade would force his conscience on his church by allowing women to preach. What basis does he have to do that?

Here's the question for you and Wade and all others that I asked earlier: If God intended to forbid women from teaching and exercising authority over men in the church, how could it be clearer than 1 Tim 2? What more than "I do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man to to remain silent" would God need to say to convince you that a woman is forbidden from teaching or exercising authority over men in the church?

Anonymous said...


How could it be any clearer that God intended equality than Peter saying at Pentencost, "Your sons and daughters will prophesy?" How could it be clearer than Paul saying to the Galatians, "There is no male or female...we are all one in Christ?"

So, was Paul lying when he wrote to Timothy about "the woman," or was he lying to the Galatians? And do you not believe in the events at Pentecost, or do you just believe in everything except that one declaration by Peter because it doesn't fit your tradition?

Ken F said...

Larry wrote: "If God intended to forbid women from teaching and exercising authority over men in the church, how could it be clearer than 1 Tim 2?"

Hi Larry,
It looks like you are using that verse inappropriately - like you are assuming what you are trying to prove. You seem to fail to notice that this verse is talking about a despotic authority that no one in the church is supposed to wield. If God meant to forbid women from teaching or leading, this is not the verse he would have used. This verse prohibits abusive authority.

This conversation reminds me of those hidden 3D images called stereograms. Even though the images are not actually hidden, some people can easily see them, some can see them only fleetingly, and some can never see them. In my earlier years of bible study I was like someone who spent all my time analyzing the 2D picture up close without ever stepping back to find the 3D image that was there all along but not discoverable by studying individual pixels.

It’s also like an optical illusion that can be seen in more than one way, but often takes effort to see it the other way until it becomes impossible not to see it both ways.

Larry, perhaps you need to do some research outside of your small little bubble. Your arguments are unconvincing, mostly because you seem to be ao unaware of the strong point of other arguments. Instead of addressing those points, you seem to be pounding the table, as if being loud makes you right.

Larry said...

Anonymous wrote, "How could it be any clearer that God intended equality than Peter saying at Pentencost, "Your sons and daughters will prophesy?" How could it be clearer than Paul saying to the Galatians, "There is no male or female...we are all one in Christ?"

It could be clearer by defining what those things refer to and what the audience is.

So what is the prophesying? And who is listening? You assume it is preaching and you assume there are men listening to the daughters. But that's not in the text. You just made that up. The text has to be the authority, not our imaginations about the text.

Galatians is explicit that it is talking about standing in Christ, not about roles in the church.

So both your examples fail the test.

I don't think Paul was lying. I see no contradiction there in the text. You create a contradiction by assumptions that are not warranted. So frankly, those are not even challenging texts for this issue.

Christiane said...

Hello Larry,

The 'verse' I see that settles 'it' for all time is this:
"There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28)

We see things differently.

You would think that I would be hard-core authoritarian, being Catholic, but the misunderstanding is that we believe that God gives us 'choice' and writes His laws upon our hearts and we are RESPONSIBLE for our own choices and behaviors, especially towards one another. So 'authority' may advise us, and we may be subject to 'laws', but IF the 'authority' is vile (think Nuremberg trials) and the IF 'laws' contradict the Royal Law of Christ, then we can only have one Master, and in my faith, it is believed that our moral consciences point us towards doing good and away from doing evil. We also must look at personal circumstances. In the final scene, we will be judged on our love, and how well we cared for those the Good Lord put into our pathway.

My own husband has been very, very ill, and I have assumed some degree of supervision of seeing that he is consistently taking medications as prescribed and keeping medical appointments, and I often drive him myself if there are any distances involved, although he does keep some independence which is also good for as long as he can. If we had 'set roles' where my husband was 'patriarchal', then the present time that could not hold up well, and I am there now to support him by making decisions in his best interests. It is what it is. But we married sacramentally in the Church and I took it to heart, and we said 'in sickness and in health', and I meant what I vowed. Those vows are holy to me and I do now what I'm sure my husband would do for me if our situations were reversed.

Larry, we see things different. I thought Ed's comment about how he related to his wife involved an active disrespect and an unkindness in the sense that she was being treated as 'less'. I don't think that connects well at all with Galatians 3:28, no. But what's worse is that Ed does not REALIZE what is wrong, and that is heartbreaking to see. So he is prayed for as are all who are so wounded that they do not know that unkindness is the greatest of all sins.

Different perspectives? yes,
but thank you for sharing yours and I am aware that it took time (and probably patience) to do it. Wishing you well, know that God's mercy awaits us all. :)

Wade Burleson said...


You write, "I find it a bit humorous that Wade writes about this trying to convince others to agree with him. That is authority."


I don't give a tiny rat's behind whether believe me or not on the equality of women. Nor do I give a tiny rat's behind if you or your church ever allow a woman to preach or teach "on the Lord's Day" (whatever that is because I thought every day was the Lord's Day in the New Covenant age) or "lead men."

I don't care what you do.

I just don't want leaders of the SBC telling me, my church, or anyone else that you CAN'T be a believer in the Lordship of Christ, the infalliblity and reliability of Scripture, and a Christian in good-standing with the Southern Baptist Convention IF YOU HAVE A WOMAN PREACH!


Wade Burleson said...

Sorry for the caps.

You got me going. :)

Anonymous said...


Thanks for your response, I am not sure how to respond. When you say Gal 3:28 settles it for all time, I have to ask what "it" is for you. I would suggest that Gal 3:28 only settles the "it" about which it is talking. It settles no other "it." I fully affirm Gal 3:28. The idea that complementarians don't fully affirm that is, dare I suggest, disingenuous. I have no qualms about that whatsoever. But "it" is our standing in Christ. The previous comparisons (Jew, Gentile; slave, free; Barbarian, Scythian) all indicate that leadership roles in the church (whatever position is correct) is not what Gal 3 is talking about. The argument of the passage makes clear that it is standing in Christ that is in view. If that opens the door to women in ministry, what else does it open the door to? The logic used there is staggeringly dangerous.

If you think we differ because you take care of a sick husband or because of Ed's comment (whatever that was, I have no idea), then I don't think you are hearing me. If you think that I think that we are not responsible for our choices and behaviors, then you are not hearing me. If you think vile authority is to be obeyed, you are not hearing me. In short, I have said nothing of any sort that would apply to or even refer to anything you have mentioned, much less in an approving way. I don't know how you get from patriarchy to not being able to care for your husband in his illness. That's bizarre to me. I can't fathom that.

I think part of the problem in this conversation (generally speaking, not just at this blog post) is that people don't listen, they make up stuff out of thin air, and/or tar their opponents with the worst possible representation. If I were to tar all egalitarians with the very worst examples, I would be wrong to do so and you would be right to object to it. So why do it to the other side. We should assume the best of others and respond to the best representations or to actual comments.

If someone says complementarianism means a wife can't drive her husband to the doctor or that vile authority must be obeyed, then you will be in line behind me confronting that nonsense. And you will have to wait a while because I will wax long and eloquent about that foolishness. And there are a long line of complementarians behind me that you will have to wait behind as well. We have been addressing that sort of stupidity for generations.

Let me say it again: The Bible says that women are not to teach or exercise authority over men in the church but to remain silent. That's my point.

Gal 3:28 has nothing to do with that.

Anonymous said...


First, the assumption that I haven't studied this or read much is a strange one. How would you know that? I may well have read and studied as much if not more than you have. I don't find it productive to assume that disagreement means lack of exposure or knowledge. My world may indeed be bigger than yours since I have theological degrees both from fundamentalist institutions as well as a major egalitarian evangelical institution. I have heard it passionately from both sides and read from both sides from numerous authors. So I am far from uninformed on this.

Second, you say it is a despotic authority, but you offer no evidence for that. I understand that is common view. But that seems to be a sort of special pleading, as in, "It means this because it can't mean something else because that would contradict the position we want it to mean." The word is only used one time, as you admit. So you just declare it to be a certain kind of authority, and then say not even men should exercise it. But that leads to this question: Why doesn't the text say that? What did Paul single out women here instead of saying what you say? Perhaps because he meant something different than you mean. Furthermore, the women are to keep silent. How does that work with teaching? You are not to teach or exercise authority but remain silent. Do you apply all that to men? Do you pick one of the three to apply to women? Can a woman keep silent while exercising the kind of authority you suggest?

I don't think it is 3D picture. It is more like a photograph. It is explicit. There's nothing really controversial in the meaning (if you don't assume a very negative meaning). There are matters of matters of legitimate interpretation in Scripture--such as the meaning of a word, the progression of an argument, the correlation with other Scripture, etc. This is not one of those.

Here's a line of argumentation that has to be addressed:
Tell us how you concluded that authentein means abusive authority.
Tell us why men are not prohibited from exercising this authority.
Tell us why the alternative to "teaching/exercising authority over men" is "keep silent."
Tell why women can teach and do not have to be silent even though the text says they do.
Tell us why the reasons given are creation reasons rather than reasons connected to the historical circumstance.

Anonymous said...


I comprehend perfectly. I disagree. This is an honest question: How can you affirm the authority of Scripture while refusing to live under it? I don't get that.

Again, I ask, If God intended to forbid women teaching and exercising authority over men in the church, how could he have been clearer than 1 Tim 2? What would he have needed to say to convince you that is what he desires for the church?

You want to say "exercise authority" has a very particular meaning, and let's assume that is true. Where is "keep silent" in your understanding of a woman's role in teaching and exercising authority? How does a woman remain silent while standing in front of a group teaching?

BTW, your response to me seems the very opposite of the kind of gentle leadership you claim you believe in. I don't really care personally. But it seems odd given your attempts to create a gentle and humble leadership demeanor.

Ken F said...

"Second, you say it is a despotic authority, but you offer no evidence for that."

Hi Anonymous Larry,
I apologize for assuming you had not investigated both sides of the argument. You wrote as if you were unaware of how that one word in 1 Tim 2:12 is challenging to translate. Instead of accusing you of being uninformed, I now accuse you of being disingenuous for the way you portrayed this passage as only having one possible meaning. If you have indeed studied both sides it can only mean that you are being intentionally misleading. It's a very simple matter to find well-reasoned opposing views. Here is one I found this morning: http://juniaproject.com/defusing-1-timothy-212-bomb/. Here is another one a friend sent to me a few weeks ago: https://youtu.be/iqZQLAvgIWc. There is also the long article by NT wright that I referred to above. Did you read it?

Disagreeing over how a passage should be interpreted is fine. But to dogmatically insist that there is only one right way to intrepret a challenging passage like this is not.

There are also those passages in the Bible condemining leaders who "lord it over" others. The way you describe church authority sounds a lot like what these passages prohibit.

Christiane said...

Hello Anonymous/Larry

you wrote, this:
"Let me say it again: The Bible says that women are not to teach or exercise authority over men in the church but to remain silent. That's my point.
Gal 3:28 has nothing to do with that."

I think Galatians 3:28 does have a deeper meaning than is in your understanding of it. The Incarnation makes Gal 3:28 stand out in this way: the verse states the words 'NO LONGER'. From the time Our Lord came among us, and He assumed our humanity in order to heal it, we who are Christian have died 'in Him' and will rise 'in Him'. For us, eternity has already begun. Did you not know this? Think about the Holy Gospels, about the meaning of Holy Baptism. I may be asking too much, as my own understanding of it is from another tradition, so sorry if I have assumed too much and please forgive me.

Here is a Lutheran point of view about the Incarnation:

“” We now know that we have been taken up and borne in the humanity of Jesus, and therefore that new nature we now enjoy means that we too must bear the sins and sorrows of others. The incarnate lord makes his followers the brothers and sisters of all humanity. The “philanthropy” of God (Titus 3:4) revealed in the Incarnation is the ground of Christian love towrd all on earth that bear the name of human. The form of Christ incarnate makes the Church into the body of Christ. All the sorrows of humanity falls upon that form, and only through that form can they be borne." (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Christian martyr)

Anonymous said...

I personally know Tom Ascol and have known him for many years. Mr Ascol needs to focus on his own sin before he points his finger at someone else.

Unknown said...

Only biblical comment so far.

Anonymous said...


You say, "I think Galatians 3:28 does have a deeper meaning than is in your understanding of it."

Even if we assume you are correct about all that, that still doesn't make the verse say anything about leadership roles in the church. It is about salvation and the fact that Jews, Greeks, slaves, free, men, and women all are one in Christ. There are no second class Christians. That says nothing about leadership in the church. It is not about another tradition. It is about the words on the page in their context.

Rex Ray said...

WOW, I just read 43 comments that have been made since I checked this post that Wade wrote seven days ago. It seems Larry has stirred up a Bumble Bee’s nest. (Once my father turned over a bale of hay and was attracted. He could limp but couldn’t run. He yelled for our mother to come help fight them. DUH)

I smiled at a couple of guys telling what degrees they had. To join them, I’ll say I set a record at SWBTS. (Fastest dropout they ever had.)

It’s easy to note the disagreeing comments centers around what Paul has written.

“Paul…I am a Pharisee, as my ancestors!...(Acts 23:6 NLT)

He was more educated than any of the twelve disciples:

“Then Paul said…I was brought up and educated here in Jerusalem under Gamaliel. As his student I was carefully trained in our Jewish laws and customs…” (Acts 22:3 NLT)

Gamaliel was smart:

“…the high counsel…decided to kill them. But one member, a Pharisee named Gamaliel…So my advice is, leave these men alone…The others accepted his advice…” (Acts 5:33-40 NLT)

As smart as Gamaliel was, did he even come close to Jesus? Paul missed being trained by the greatest teacher that ever lived.

There’s not much disagreement over those trained by Jesus (Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John) but with Paul it’s a different story.

I remember what my father told me once: “Rex, you’re always right, but when you’re wrong, you’re dead wrong.”

And so I believe it is with Paul.

Anonymous said...


You can accuse me of anything you want. In the end, it will not matter because we still have to deal with the text. Blog comments are not great places to do that because conversation tends to degenerate quickly and substantive comments and interaction require extreme good will from both or all parties. I enjoy the exchange and sharpening and am always looking to interact with people who disagree. It helps to clarify and even change my thoughts at times.

Yes I am well familiar with all those arguments and they are not convincing for a number of reasons. Yes, I am familiar with Wright and have read his article. Again, it is not convincing. Some of these argument reminds of the Proverbs where the sluggard lies in his bed because he claims there is a lion in the streets. I am not equating egalitarians with laziness. I am making the other comparison, namely, that everyone around him can see there is no lion. Yet he is undeterred. So here, the text says what it does and it isn't difficult unless you need to explain why it doesn't mean what it says. It appears, as I said, a case of special pleading. It is a conclusion in search of an argument. Even if we assume the meaning of authentein that you suggest, it still doesn't "seal the deal" and it doesn't make it more likely. Even with that definition, it doesn't overcome the obstacles. Teaching is still forbidden. Keeping silent is still enjoined. Women are still singled out (rather than men). And the reasons for it go back to Genesis and are still true.

I wonder why you won't answer basic questions about the text. You can lean on this meaning of authentein (while acknowledging it is a hapax and very controversial according to you, which should make you hold it with less dogmatism), but can you explain to us why men are excluded from that command if it is so negative. The support given in 1 Tim 2 singles out women rather than men. If you are correct, shouldn't everyone be prohibited from teaching and exercising authority over men and commanded to keep silent?

Secondly, how can a woman keep silent (the positive command) while teaching and exercising authority?

Thirdly, why do the arguments given in support of this refer to Eve and the fall? People often want to tie this to the first century and local issues (i.e., 2 Tim 3:6), and yet the reasons given have nothing to do with though Paul could have said that (e.g., Phil 4). Paul had no problem naming people and specific problems. Yet here, he reaches all the way back to creation for something that is always true for the basis.

Leadership that "lords it over" is forbidden. I am not sure any description I have given would deny that, but if you will point it out. I will gladly correct it. But you have assumed that is in view here.

The argument in this text doesn't depend solely on the meaning of authentein. Even if that were granted, you still have to deal with the argument of the text, and you still have to deal with the rest of Scripture in which there is no clear example of a woman teaching or exercising authority over men in the church. That is a very high bar.

BTW, the Anonymous/Larry thing is because sometimes my browser has my log in and sometimes it doesn't. I don't know why.

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray said, "Paul missed being trained by the greatest teacher that ever lived."

Galatians says, "For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. ... But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother's womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus" (Ga 1:11-17).

This is yet another place where the authority of Scripture rises to the top. There is some debate about the timing of these events, but there is no debate that Paul received his truth from Jesus Christ (unless some of those words have some other meaning). So the claim that Paul was not taught by Jesus is false.

Not to mention that all Scripture is God-breathed, and so even if Paul had not had the revelation of Jesus Christ directly, he was writing of Scripture still came from God.

And it is doubtful that Mark and Luke were trained by Jesus directly. They were not apostles. Luke wrote because of his careful research, not his relationship with Jesus. Mark is generally associated with Peter and may have been around during the ministry of Jesus.

So, to borrow a phrase, it may be that "when you're right, you're always right but when you are wrong, you are dead wrong."

Gary Sweeten said...

As to “Women being “silent”, am I wrong that the Greek term here, I do not have my books with me, can be translated, “In quietness” or “peacefully”?

Help me out, please.

Ken F said...

Hi Larry,
Thanks for the feedback. I suspect we will not come to agreement on this particular topic, which is ok. The reason I did not answer all of your questions is because your questions themselves depend on an interpretation of the text I don't agree with. For example, you ask why Paul did not instruct men to not exercise that particular authority. But a better question is why did Paul only command one woman to not exercise that authority rather than all women (in that verse Paul shifts from the plural form for women to the singular form. Why was that?). You appear to only be able to see that verse in one very specific way, but I (and many others) see it in a different way.

You called me out for not answering all your questions, while at the same time you neglected to answer all of mine. Why is that? Here is one question I will repeat:
"So what do we do when you and I disagree? If it matters, do we appeal to some kind of higher human authority to resolve the problem? And if so, who sets the standard for which authority to trust? Should it be based on academic standing at a certain type of university? Should it be a denominational leader? Or what?"

Many churches go by the standard or majoring on the majors and minoring on the minors. Do you agree with that approach and do you consider this a major or a minor issue?

Anonymous said...

Thanks KenF,

As to my questions, defending your definition doesn't depend on my interpretation. It is part of yours. And you still have to defend the rest of the passage using your interpretation. Which was my question: How, given your definition, do you interpret these other things.

You ask what we do when you and I disagree. My answer is "Defend your position using Scripture." The Scripture is the authority. So use the words, the clauses, the connections, the illustrations that God gave us to defend your position and persuade. In that, you will appeal to academia or a denominational leader. But the ultimate appeal is the text, and that's what my questions centered on.

The idea that Paul only commanded one woman to do this misses the grammar. It is anarthrous, referring to any woman, not a particular woman. That generic anarthrous singular is a common use. It is something that applies to womanhood. The evidence for that is in the references to women generally. We use words this way all the time as did ancient languages.

As for major or minor, it is common division. A better division is clear or unclear. Obedience to God doesn't just matter in major things; it matters in minor things. It is a legitimate debate as to whether 1 Tim 3:11 refers to wives of deacons or to deaconnesses. Scripture is not clear about that and there are good reasons to go either way. This, however, is clear.

We are back to the question of what would God have to say to make it clear to you? I still am not sure of the answer to that question. For me, "I do not permit ..." is clear enough. I don't see how we can permit what God does not permit, even if it seems odd or out of step.

Ken F said...

Hi Larry,
After going around this merry-go-round a few times we appear to be back where we started. You see scripture clearing saying something I don't see it clearly saying, and it appears the only authority to resolve our differences are the scriptures over which we disagree on interpretation. More of the same approach won't resolve this, so I suppose it's best to leave this where we started.

Rex Ray said...

Anonymous who quoted me saying, “When you’re right your always right, but when you’re wrong…”


Before Paul went to Arabia, he was “taught” by Jesus on the road to Damascus.

“Who are you Lord? Saul asked. I am Jesus…you will be told what you must do…he was blind…did not eat or drink for three days…Lord said…Paul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings as well as to the people of Israel.” (Acts 9:5-15 NLT)

Anonymous, in the Scripture above or when Paul conveyed not with flesh and blood in Arabia, was God’s message this?

“I do not let women teach men or have authority over them.” (1 Timothy 2:12 NLT) and “Women should be silent in church meetings. It is not proper for them to speak.” (1 Corinthians 14:34 NLT)

That sure puts a gag on Beth Moore.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure when those messages were revealed to Paul by God. It could certainly have been in Arabia or Damascus or some other time. It would be pure speculation.

It should put a gag on Beth Moore. I understand there are other reasons as well.

Anonymous said...

Two men endorsing gagging a woman, even metaphorically, is all the proof point we need that things need to change within the SBC.

Anonymous said...

When the scripture says I do not permit, the *I* pronoun referred to Paul, not the Lord. If it had been the Lord that did not permit, Paul would have said so.

Anonymous said...

If that is a reference to my comments, I was quoting what someone else said. I would not use that word otherwise, However, quite clearly, gagging as a metaphor is not a problem. It is commonly used to refer to stopping someone from speaking. You should not be bothered by that at all given the meaning of the word.

When Paul said, "I," he did so under inspiration of the Spirit which means it carries the same authority as the Lord, because, you know, the Spirit is God. This idea that you can drive a wedge of authority between parts of Scripture in that way is false. It is bad theology.

Rex Ray said...


I agree with your reply. I think if we stop ‘butting heads’ and put them together, we might figure out why Paul had his attitude toward women.

I think you’d agree that Paul started out being a fanatic on persecuting Christians until Jesus told him he was wrong and then he went the opposite direction.

I mean he told Christians it was so important to tell the world about Jesus that “…I wish everyone was single just as I am…it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am…If you do not have a wife, do not seek to get married…” (1 Corinthians 7:7-8 NLT)

I was going to go with more, but Wade’s latest post explained why Paul was wrong about the role of men and women because he got it by going back to the Creation. Wade asked would men rule over women in heaven.

Jesus explain the role of men with the “Lord’s Prayer” in Matthew 6 verse 10: “…Thy will be done in earth as in heaven. (KJ)

Ken F said...

"When Paul said, "I," he did so under inspiration of the Spirit which means it carries the same authority as the Lord, because, you know, the Spirit is God."

That's an interesting conclusion, but I don't find it in the bible. Where does the bible say that every written word of Paul has the same authority as the Lord?

Ed Dingess said...

14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,
15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you,
16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), 2 Pe 3:14–16.

Let that sink in...especially the words UNTAUGHT, UNSTABLE, DISTORT, REST OF THE SCRIPTURE, and DESTRUCTION.

Ken F said...

"Let that sink in...especially the words UNTAUGHT, UNSTABLE, DISTORT, REST OF THE SCRIPTURE, and DESTRUCTION."

Hi Ed,
You do realize that what you wrote cuts in more than one direction, don't you? And, the verse you quote does not say that Paul has the same authority as Jesus. I do believe that Paul's writing carries weight. But to agree he has the same authority as Jesus is a bridge I can't cross.

Anonymous said...

>>>That's an interesting conclusion, but I don't find it in the bible. Where does the bible say that every written word of Paul has the same authority as the Lord?<<<

This is age old Christianity.

2 Peter 3:15 says that Paul's writing make up the rest of Scripture. 2 Tim 3:16-17 says that all Scripture (of which Paul's writings are part) is breathed out by God, and Titus 1 and Heb 6 say that God cannot lie. So you have to deny one of these. Which do you wish to deny?

Why would the authority of God who breathed out Scripture be less than the authority Christ who is God in human flesh? Or the Spirit is who is God?

Anonymous said...

If we understand inspiration, we know exactly why God had this teaching about women in the church: God inspired it by revelation.

Wade's post that you reference is flawed in so many ways it is difficult to understand why Wade would post it. It is almost like a stream of unconscious thought typed out by someone who has never read Scripture .At the heart of it is a fundamental flaw on what equality means and a fundamental disregard for the words of Scripture. The fact that Wade asks about men ruling over women in heaven is bizarre. Where would a question like that even come from? The answer is yes, BTW, since Christians (among whom are men) will rule over others (among whom are women). But that has nothing to do with how one ought to conduct himself in the church (1 Tim 3:15) which is what 1 Tim is all about. So God writes through Paul to tell us how to conduct ourselves in the church and Wade thinks about how heaven might work. Why?

The fact that Paul goes back to Eden is evidence for the current application of that. The teaching of 1 Tim 2 is true and applicable so long as the basis for the teaching is true. So as long as man was created first and woman was deceived, the result of that (women not teachin/exercising authority over men in the church) will be true. If the teaching of 1 Tim 2 was based on some first century thing, then the application might change when the situation changed.

It is the same principle involved in God changing his mind or repenting. He changes his mind because the circumstances change. If the circumstances remain the same, God remains the same. (But he changes so that he can remain unchanged.)

In the end, this is simple. We either submit to the authority of Scripture or we do not. Which will we do?

Ed Dingess said...

What do you think Peter was doing when he classified Paul with "the rest of the Scripture?" Second, what do you think destruction means? How could it be destructive to me for me to twist, say, your teaching? It isn't. What Paul writes, Jesus spoke, God speaks. You are NOT free to reject Paul and to set up varying authority in Scripture is fatal flaw. After all, Jesus never wrote a thing. What you have is what Matthew said that Jesus said, and Mark, and Luke, and John, and others. If I follow you, I end up with a fallible text and at least at this time, there is no room in the SBC and certainly not in Christianity for those who hold such a pernicious heresy. ALL Scripture is God-breathed. Paul's writings were Scripture too, according to Peter. Therefore, Paul's writings were God-breathed.

Rex Ray said...

Ken F

Hang in there! You’re disagreeing with those that hide behind “Anonymous”. (Sure, that’s the only way some can make a comment, but it doesn’t prevent them from writing their name.)

For a better word to identify “Anonymous” I’ll named them ‘CONFUSED’. (and Ed)

CONFUSED said, “2 Peter 3:15 says that Paul’s writings make up the rest if Scripture.”
CONFUSED didn’t quote the verse because it doesn’t say that:

“And remember, the Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him.” (2 Peter 3:15 NLT)

CONFUSED said, “2 Timothy 3:16-17 says all Scripture (of which Paul’s writings are apart) is breathed by God,”

CONFUSED, would you agree if any of Paul’s writings are NOT true, then all his writing are NOT breathed by God?

“I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, for now no one can say they were baptized in my name.” (1 Corinthians 1:14-15 NLT)

Opts, that’s not true Paul, because the next verse says otherwise.

“Oh yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas, but I don’t remember baptizing anyone else.” (1 Corinthians 16 NLT)

CONFUSED, is this Scripture “breathed by God” or was Paul writing with a poor memory?

Verse Acts 25:11 vs: Acts 28:19

While being tried by Festus, Paul said, “…no one has the right to turn me over to these men to kill me. I APPEAL TO CAESAR!” (Acts 25:11 NLT)

Afterwards, Paul told his story to King Agrippa and much later after being shipwrecked, Paul arrived in Rome where he said:

“The Romans tried me and wanted to release me…But when the Jewish leaders protested the decision, I felt it necessary TO APPEAL TO CAESAR…” (Acts 28:18-19 NLT)

ANONYMOUS, did God forget when Paul appealed to Caesar, or did God twist the facts to fit the occasion?

Verses Acts 23:6 vs: Acts 24:21

“…I am on trial because my hope is in the resurrection of the dead!” (Acts 23:6 NLT)

“Ask these men here what crime the Jewish high counsel found me guilty of, EXCEPT for the one time I shouted out, ‘I am on trial before you today because I believe in the resurrection of the dead!’” (Acts 24:20 NLT)

I believe Paul had a guilty conscious in a way that denied Jesus because his preaching Jesus was why he was on trial.

Ken F said...

Ed and Anonymous,
You are reading more into what I wrote than what I actually wrote. The question is not whether or not Paul's epistles should be included in the NT. The church resolved that long ago. The question is whether Paul has the same authority as Jesus. The bible makes no claim for Paul having the same authority as Jesus. Historical Christianity has nearly unanimously filtered all other scripture through the four goapels, which gives the gospels more weight/authority than the other writings. "High church" protestant services still reflect this by standing for the gospel readings while sitting for the OT and NT readings.

I find it odd that a protestant would appeal to tradition over what the Bible says in this matter. So much for sola scriptura...

In the bigger picture, Jesus Christ is the Word of God. All writings that claim to be inspired have to bow down to Jesus, not to Paul.

Ed Dingess said...

Rex, your views are not reflective of historic orthodox Christianity. Paul's words were THE SAME as Christ's words because they had their source in the Holy Spirit who took from Christ and gave it to the Apostles to be handed down to us.

Historic Christianity does not affirm a canon within a canon even if some historical figures may have done so.

Also, try using a translation that is worth something for one thing.

Paul was not mistaken because he had not completed his thought. If you read that in a paragraph together, you would NEVER say that he was wrong about his completed thought. What a silly remark!

All writings, that is all of Scripture, graphe, ARE inspired. Bowing down to Christ does nothing to lesson apostolic authority in the writings of the NT. The entire NT was written by apostles or their very close associates under their supervision. Any attempt to drive a wedge between the gospels and the other writings will inevitably destroy the authority, inspiration, and inerrancy of Scripture and Christianity along with it.

Rex Ray said...

Thanks for the reply.

Strange that you criticized NLT but didn’t quote another translation to prove NLT wrong.

How about King James translation of that Scripture?

I’ll quote KJ first and then put NLT in ( ) Corinthians 1:14-16.

“I think God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Less any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.”

(I think God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, for now no can say they were baptized in my name.”)

“And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.”

(“Oh yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas, but I don’t remember baptizing anyone else.)

Ed, if all Scripture is breathed by God, did God forget who Paul baptized?

Ed, two Scriptures tell a different time when Paul appealed to Caesar. Which one is correct?

I don’t think you’ll reply again because I believe you’re close to being ‘converted’ and not like Anonymous who fits the category, “There’s none so blind than those who refuse to see.”

BTW, Paul is my hero in teaching Peter he was wrong in withdrawing fellowship from Christian Gentiles because Peter was afraid of those who came from James. (Galatians 2:11-14)

AH, James. I believe he was involved in the oldest “cold case” in history, but that’s another topic.

Ed Dingess said...

Rex, do you understand how modern translations work? Prolly not based on your response. Paul may have forgotten but God didn't which is why Paul ultimately didn't forget either.

There is no contradiction between Acts 23:6 and Acts 24:21 but that you think there is reveals an intense and extreme bias. You are a man with an ax to grind and that seems pretty clear.

If Paul had baptized more that he had forgotten about, it seems obvious that God did now want that information in the letter. So what. What does that prove? That Scripture is false? Nope. Paul said he could have baptized more. Is it a contradiction? Nope? Do you like it that Paul left out details or couldn't remember? Seems like you don't. Who cares? Doesn't make the Bible any less true or authoritative.

Just to show you how "close I am to being converted" Rex, how about you and I do a formal debate on the Reformed Rant? I love dismantling the logical and exegetical fallacies of wolves who claim to know Christ but do all they can to undermine the faith with their false teachings.

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray,

If by "anonymous" you are referring to me, you are not reading. My name is known and I have been called it here.

However, I assume your previous post was tongue in cheek because I don't know anyone outside of a radical skeptic, a very new believer, or someone being intentionally absurd who would think those are somehow contradictions or problems for inspiration. Some of them are not really even intelligible as objections.

Further, it leads me to think you don't have an informed opinion on this because anyone remotely familiar with the topic would have known the reference was 2 Peter 3:16, not 3:15. In typing, I hit the wrong key and didn't catch it in proofing. A person informed about the topic and qualified to articulate an argument would have recognized that.

My guess is you are not a radical skeptic. Based on reading here, you give evidence of being very uninformed on the topic and being persuaded by things that have long been answered. You seem to think that inspiration equals dictation and that is simply not the case. It is common misconception among the untaught, but it isn't held by anyone except far right King James Only kind of people and I have heard one person argue for that in thirty years of pastoral ministry.

In the end, this is not a difficult topic at all.

Anonymous said...


You are incorrect, both historically and theologically. The "canon within a canon" is a relatively recent view. For most of orthodox Christianity in church history, all the words of Scripture were held on equal authority. The idea that Jesus' words rule over all others flies both in the face of history as well as the face of theology.

The words of Christ are in the same Scripture that Paul's words are in and all Scripture is God-breathed and profitable ... Not just the words of Jesus. There is no biblical reason to put the words of Jesus above the words of the rest of Scripture.

And it wouldn't help this discussion anyway because Jesus gives no contrary instruction that could be held above Paul in 1 Tim 2.

Again, the authority of Scripture is the issue. Either you believe it or you don't. If you suggest that words of Jesus have more authority than Scripture, then you are rejecting the words of Jesus himself who preauthenticated the NT in John 16. He held the future words of the apostles on the same level of his. This is true in Matt 28. The apostles teaching would be the teaching of Jesus.

Ken F said...

"You are incorrect, both historically and theologically. The "canon within a canon" is a relatively recent view. For most of orthodox Christianity in church history, all the words of Scripture were held on equal authority. The idea that Jesus' words rule over all others flies both in the face of history as well as the face of theology."

Anonymous (or is it Larry? There appear to be several people commenting under that title),

You and I must be reading different history. Eastern Orthodoxy, whose traditions and beliefs are very old, esteems the gospels above the rest of the bible. They view all of the bible as authoritative, but they insist that all of scripture has to be interpreted in light of the four gospels. I believe Roman Catholics believe the same. The practice of giving greater respect to the gospel readings over the other readings was a tradition carried forward by the reformers, which suggests they did it for a reason other than tradition since they rejected so much else from Roman Catholic tradition. To put all scripture on equal footing is actually the newer tradition.

The question is whether or not the practice of giving greater respect to the gospels is correct. The bible is silent on this, which leaves it up to each of us to decide for ourselves.

Ken F said...

Hi Ed,
This might be too far off topic, but I am wondering if you could comment on an observation I have about reformed theology.

It appears to me that if unconditional election is true, what one believes doesn’t ultimately matter. The only thing that really matters is whether or not one is on the list God made in eternity past of who will be saved. If one is on the list, there is nothing one can do to get off of the list. If one is not on the list, there is nothing one can do to get on the list. So for all the emphasis people like you place on believing the right things, it does not matter what one believes because the only thing that matters is whether or not a person’s name is on that unchangeable list. If beliefs matter, it must only be in some kind of secondary way - gifted only to the elect.

Rex Ray said...


You said, “…I don’t know anyone outside of a radical skeptic, a very new believer, or someone being intentionally absurd who would think those are somehow contradictions or problems for inspiration.”

I’ll try to defend myself.

As far as “a very new believer”, I’ve been a Christian 77 years, my favorite song is “We’ll work till Jesus Comes.”

Worked with “Volunteer Christian Builders” 10 years, and 5 years with “The Master’s Builders”.

Constructions trips:

5 to Israel.
1 to Kyrgyzstan.
13 to Japan.
I’ll relate with Paul in saying, I can’t remember how many to Mexico.

I think the mistake I’ve made is supplying too many Scriptures where Paul contradicts himself. So, I’ll just ask you to explain one.

When did Paul appeal to Caesar; before his defense with King Agrippa (Acts 25:11), or after his defense with King Agrippa? (Acts 28:19)

Hint: “And Agrippa said to Festus, “He could have been set free if he hadn’t appealed to Caesar.” (Acts 26:32 NLT)

Maybe you should read the Bible without the song: ‘Rose Colored Glasses’.

I doubt very much you’ll answer the question.

Ed Dingess said...

I will answer your question:

11 “If, then, I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die; but if none of those things is true of which these men accuse me, no one can hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar.” Ac 25:11. (NASB)

The verb "I appeal" is in the present tense. Festus' response indicates that it was at this time that Paul appealed to Caesar.

After this Paul went before Agrippa in Acts 26.

And Agrippa said to Festus, “This man might have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.” Ac 26:32.

No contradiction here.

Acts 28:19 is Paul speaking with the leading men of the Jews:
17 After three days Paul called together those who were the leading men of the Jews, and when they came together, he began saying to them, “Brethren, though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. Ac 28:17.

He is retelling the story. That is the context of v. 19.

No contradictions here or anywhere in Paul.

How do you know you are a true Christian? What does one do to become a Christian?

Ed Dingess said...

Ken F,
What one does always matters regardless of what God has decreed. Reformed theology teaches that men freely choose their actions AND that all actions are predetermined by God.

22 “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know—
23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. Ac 2:22–23.

I can't think of a greater sin than the murder of the Son of God. Scripture teaches that God predetermined the event just as it happened. Scripture also teaches that these men were responsible for their actions. They acted freely. Their choice to murder Christ was a genuine choice AND it was predetermined. How can God predetermine our choices without engaging in force or coercion? I don't know. I also don't know how God is Triune, or how a virgin can have a baby, or how God can become a man, or how Jesus rose from the dead, or how God can create something from absolutely nothing. My ability to perfectly reconcile all God's acts is not the criteria for my conviction that a view is true or not. The Scripture is the only criteria for truth. It is our final authority. So Reformed Theology asserts both, divine sovereignty is absolute and human beings are responsible for all their choices because Scripture clearly teaches both.

You also seem to be forgetting that there has never been a man who, in and of himself, wanted to come to Christ but couldn't because he was not elect. That never happens. Scripture clearly teaches that all men are God-haters, natural born enemies of God and his truth.

What we believe matters because God told us what to believe. Even the view that beliefs don't matter that much is a belief that its proponents think matters a lot. So it isn't that you don't think beliefs matter that much. It is that you think some beliefs don't matter that much and that, Ken, is a belief that you think matters a lot.

Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray, Glad for all your trips, but I am not sure how that is relevant to anything.

Your mistake isn't giving too many verses. Your mistake seems to be not actually reading them.

In Acts 25, the Jews are bringing charges in objection to Paul and his ministry. At a hearing before Festus, Paul appeals to Caesar. In Acts 26, Agrippa concluded that Paul had done nothing and wrong and told Festus that he he could have been released were it not for his appeal to Caesar. In Acts 28, Paul merely recounts the story, most likely just compressing the events. It is entirely possible that Festus would have released Paul but held him as a concession to the Jews given his status as a ruler who needed to keep them happy. Acts 25:9 says it was a favor that Festus was going to take Paul to trial, presumably rather than releasing him.

In any event, there is no contradiction here that doesn't involve distorting the text and the nature of recounting past events. You simply followed a made-up one.

The very thing you complain about in 1 Cor is actually in the text. That is just absurd to claim that Paul is wrong because he got it right.

These are the kind of contradictions that are foolishness. If you have been a Christian for 77 years, it is well past the time that you should have learned this. Heb 5:12 comes to mind that by this time you ought to be a teacher but you have need for someone to teach you.

Rex Ray said...

Ed Dingess,

You expressed the thought “how God can create something from absolutely nothing.”

Old science believed matter could not be created or destroyed. Example: wood is burned but turns into smoke.


“Albert Einstein’s famous equation (E=mc2) explains how a tiny amount of matter contains a tremendous amount of energy.”

Ed, the reverse of Einstein’s equation would produce matter.

That’s how I believe God created everything; from his energy. With that thought in mind, God resting on the seventh day takes on a new meaning.

On the subject of how good does the NLT express the word of God, compare the text in King James vs. NLT of John 16:21.

King James: “A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, SHE REMEMBEREDTH NO MORE THE ANGUISH, for joy that a MAN is born into the world.”

My daughter-in-law said, “That was obvious written by a man!”

NLT: “It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world.”

Ed Dingess said...

Your response is irrelevant. God's energy is not a material thing. Matter from nothing. Energy as we know it from nothing. Nothing is absolutely nothing. From nothing, God created everything that is. And I don't understand how he could do that.

The rest of your comments are eye-rolling nonsense hardly worth serious consideration.

Ken F said...

Hi Ed,
It seems like this boils down to whether salvation in monergistic or synergistic. If it is monergistic, the only thing that matters is whether or not a person is on the list drafted in eternity past. If one is on the list to be saved it will necessarily follow that God will effect the grace needed in that person to believe the right things. If one is not on the list that person will never be given the grace to believe the right things.

The idea of wanting to be saved is interesting. What do you make of Calvin's teaching on "evanescent" (vanishing) grace in ICR? If he was correct in this teaching, it means that God gives some of the reprobate a sense of grace where they truly feel like they are among the elect, but then later withdraws it. While they have it, they want to be saved. But when it is withdrawn they no longer want to be saved. This makes it difficult to know who is actually saved. How do you personally know you are not one of the reprobate who was given this evanescent grace. According to Calvin, it is indistinguishable from true saving grace. So how can you know?

I personally believe synergism makes more sense than monergism. Monergism has only been believed by a small sliver of Christians throughout history. Perhaps that is how God presestined it...

Ed Dingess said...

First, you are correct. Salvation is of the Lord. Scripture teaches this over and over and over. Why do some men NOT believe? Jesus answered this question clearly: “But there are some of you who do not believe. For this reason, I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.” Jn 6:64-65

That is pretty clear. I do not know now how else he could have said it to make it clearer.

No unregenerate mind wants to be saved. That is a godly desire for godly reasons. Unregenerate men do not have such desires as is plainly taught in Scripture: THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; Rom. 3:11

Clearly, God sends unregenerate men a deluding influence. That cannot be called into question by any serious student of the Bible. For this reason, God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. 2 Th 2:11–12.

As for Calvin, he was one of the greatest theologians who ever lived. He was a true gift to the church. But I do not follow Calvin everywhere he treads. I am Baptist after all. I do affirm God's common grace.

Monergism logically leads to the rejection of total depravity which is a doctrine that is fundamental to Christianity. It is essentially an unwitting denial of sola gratia. Ephesians 2 contradicts monergism top to bottom. Romans 3:10-18 clearly contradicts this concept. Man is not sick and just inclined to sin. He is dead and completely in love with his sin. He hates God.

Rex Ray said...

Ed Dingess,

God predetermined the death of his Son, but he didn’t predetermine anything about you because you’re not Jesus.

I should have known better than trying to tell you how science shows that destroying mater produces energy. I mean it looks like your attitude is since you don’t know then no one else is smart enough to know either.

You’re like the guy that said, “My mind’s made up; don’t confuse me with the facts.”

Do you still believe men should put their wives in their place and throw their nonsense in the trash?

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.

Quoting your words; I hope this helps.

Ken F said...

Hi Ed,
Common grace and evanescent grace at very different. Evanescent grace is only given to some (very few) of the reprobate whereas common grace is given to all. I am asking you how you personally know that you have not been given evanescent grace. Also, in your last paragraph I think you meant to use "synergism" instead of "monergism."

As for total depravity, very few Christians in all of history have believed in it in the sense that Calvinists believe in it. If you want use history to support total depravity you pretty much have to reject what you are trying to prove because history won't get you where you hope to go on this topic.

Rex Ray said...

Anonymous (who are known by a few)

You say I ought to be a teacher. Well, I try but it’s like Shlomo Riskin said, “When you're one step ahead of the crowd you're a genius. When you're two steps ahead, you're a crackpot.”

I’m far from being a genius, but it’s easy to be ahead of those blinded by wearing “Rose Colored Glasses” like you’re saying: “Paul merely recounts the story, most likely just compressing the events.” (Referring to Acts 28:18-19): “THE ROMANS TRIED ME AND WANTED TO RELEASE ME, BECAUSE THEY FOUND NO CAUSE FOR THE DEATH SENTENCE. BUT WHEN THE JEWISH LEADERS PROTESTED THE DECISION, I FELT IT NECESSARY TO APPEAL TO CAESAR…”

I’m sure you believe Paul is referring back to the account in Acts 25 and 26.
You can’t deny that Paul appealed to Caesar in Acts 25:11 and Acts 26:32 states: “And Agrippa said to Festus, “He could be set free if he hadn’t appealed to Caesar.”

In the first place, the Romans didn’t put Paul on trial to determine if he should be put to death. Agrippa simply asked Paul to tell his story and Agrippa said he could be set free if he hadn’t appealed to Caesar. (Acts 26)

In the second place, in Acts 26 there were NO Jewish leaders present when King Agrippa heard Paul’s story. So why did Paul say, “But when the Jews leaders protested the decision, I felt it necessary to appeal to Caesar…” (Acts 28:19)

Anonymous, the Ten Commands state, “You shall have no other gods before me.”

Can the Bible be made into a god? Maybe the Lord didn’t want the Bible to be perfect to avoid this temptation.

Ken F said...

"Can the Bible be made into a god?"

Hi Rex,
This even has a name: bibliolatry. The definitions available on the web are interesting. A closely related theme is addition to theology or doctrine. I don't know the word for that.

Ed Dingess said...

I think I answered your questions by saying that I do not tread on all the same ground that Calvin does. I do not have a position on the concept of evanescent grace. I only have a position on common grace.

I know that I have come to know him because of the witness of the Holy Spirit who drives me to keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

The number of "professing" Christians who have embraced a doctrine is irrelevant to the question, does that doctrine have exegetical warrant?

To be clear, I affirm monergism and reject synergism.

History is not our final authority for truth nor is the church. Scripture is the final authority for faith and praxis. EVERYTHING always comes back to Scripture. Total depravity has been affirmed in the Christian church since the beginning. There has never been a time when the church did not affirm this doctrine. It does not matter what the percentages were.

Even Arminius affirmed total depravity, yes, the reformed doctrine.

Ed Dingess said...

In God, whose word I praise,
In God I have put my trust;
I shall not be afraid.
What can mere man do to me? Ps 56:4.

In God, whose word I praise,
In the LORD, whose word I praise, Ps 56:10.

Ken F said...

Hi Ed,
Isn't interesting how people who take the bible, history, and faith so seriously can come to such different conclusions?

Calvin invented evanescent grace as a way to explain how seemingly sincere Christians can end up rejecting the faith and dying in that state. We all know people who had genuine fire for the Lord but later turned away. Since it cannot be possible for a saved person to feely reject salvation (violates the I and the P in TULIP), the only answer he could come up with was a vanishing grace that God gives and then withdraws. Very few Calvinists seem to be aware of this Calvinist teaching, and even fewer are willing to defend it. It's as if it is the silent point of Calvinism. Yet it does hold TULIP together.

Perhaps you have not read enough Eastern Christian history. Total Depravity was invented by Augustine and was never accepted in the East. Even in the West its acceptance has been somewhat limited because it has not been consistently defined in the West. Here is a sample Eastern Orthodox article: https://conciliarpost.com/christian-traditions/eastern-orthodox/an-ex-calvinists-tiptoe-through-tulip-total-depravity-2/. You can find many more very easily on the web.

I find it odd that you appeal to history when it supports your argument but reject history when it doesn't. Why is that? It seems as if you pick and choose based on your preconceived conclusions. I wish it was all as simple and straightforward as you describe. But it simply isn't. Christian history is complex, and there has been much more disagreement about doctrinal matters over the centuries than you admit. While it is very possible that nearly every Christian for the first 15 centuries was mostly wrong, I find this unlikely. But for Calvinism to be true, all those other Christians had to be wrong.

In the old testament days people believed in tribal gods. In new testament times it was not much different. But the OT prophets and the NT apostles consistently tried to break that paradigm and present God as the God of all people and tribes. Today, tribal lines seem to form along doctrines. But God remains the God of all people, not just the the people of a particular dogmatic tribe.

I suspect the conversation has just about run its course, and this post will soon disappear into the archives. Thanks for the discussion

Anonymous said...

Rex, Have you even read the accounts? You seem to not even know what it says. There are many good resources for explanations about these texts. If you think they are a problem, it's because you don't understand them. There are difficult passages in the discussion of bibliology. This is not one of them.

Can the Bible be a god? I don't see how.

Anonymous said...

>>>On the subject of how good does the NLT express the word of God, compare the text in King James vs. NLT of John 16:21<<<

This is a good example of how translation works. The Greek text uses a word for "no longer" and "remember." Therefore a good translation will use the idea of "no longer" and "remember." The NLT has a distinct philosophy away from actual translation. While it might at times get a clearer meaning, it is usually not a good thing to obscure the words being used by the text. I actually enjoy reading the NLT, but it is not a good translation as the only translation.

Rex Ray said...


On the discussion of King James vs: NLT on John 16:21. Which is more accurate:
“…she has brought a new baby into the world.” (NLT)
“…a man is born into the world.” (KJ)

Did you know that about 108 Bible scholars spent years writing the NLT?

Ed Dingess said...

1. I would never describe apostates as having "genuine" fire.
2. Irresistible grace is completely consistent with people freely rejecting God's offer of salvation. (You are thinking about a hyper view in this case.) Irresistible grace is the grace God extends to the elect in regeneration.
3. TULIP is not threatened by the fact that some appear to hear but actually didn't. The parable of the sower answers that question.
4. I am fully aware of the church's acceptance of Augustine and its rejection of certain parts of Augustine.
5. Calvin's views on evanescent grace are, at worse, perhaps not the best way to think of these experiences. That said, Matt. 13 gives us all we need to explain what happens to men who we thought were illumined but who were not. There is both internal and external proof for assurance.
6. I have studied Church history seriously. I have close to 30 volumes just on that subject in my library. I have never called on the church or history as my final authority. This is why I deny that total depravity began with Augustine. It did not. It began in Scripture.
7. Not every tribe who claims to belong to God actually does. Matt. 7 is clear that there will be many tribes, in fact, most who claim to belong to God will prove otherwise.

God's tribe accepts God's word as it has been given. God's tribe confesses God's truth and considers such confession extremely important, essential to the community even. God's tribe demonstrates God's fruit in holy living and good works before the world. You cannot reject God's truth and be in God's tribe. You cannot practice evil and sinful behavior and be in God's tribe. You cannot belittle what God says and be in God's tribe. These are all marks of false Christians.

Anonymous said...


The Greek text has the word for "beget" or "give birth to" and the word for "man" or "mankind" or "person" (anthropos can be translated in a number of different ways. The word "new" is not there, but the understanding is clear from the idea of giving birth. What else would you give birth to? An old baby? Of course not.

But picking out individual phrases for consideration can go any number of ways. I don't use the KJV and haven't for almost three decades. I don't think it is a particularly good translation, particularly for today. If that and the NLT were the only options, I would choose the NLT.'

Yes, I am well aware of the NLT's history. What you say of it could be said of any translation. I got an NLT when it was first published in 1996. I enjoy reading it. But consider the NLT's philosophy: "It renders the message of the original texts of Scripture into clear, contemporary English that was written to be read aloud." (From Tyndale's website).

The idea of rendering the message as opposed to the words give an insight into the translation philosophy. For them, the words are secondary and so we can translate the words or not. The idea is "Let's find the best way to communicate the message today." For a translation like the NASB (the most formal translation perhaps) or the NIV, the words are more important to them. The desire is not to hide the message but to use the words of the original language text to communicate the message. There is a good discussion to be had about message vs. words and it is not nearly so easy as some make it out to be. But words matter and it should be good and robust discussion.

I prefer the more formal translation of the NASB or ESV for preaching. I have used the NASB for over 20 years for preaching. I prefer a less formal translation for reading.

Anonymous said...


In specific answer to your question, while there are some grammatical and syntactical considerations, I don't think either is particularly more accurate than the other in that particular example.

Ken F said...

Hi Ed,
I think I have only one more question for you. In light if the fact that I reject all five points of Calvinism, do you consider me to be a false Christian?

Ed Dingess said...

Absolutely not! I would never say that those rejecting the five points are not Christian because they reject the five points. I have a real problem with my Calvinist friends who take this that far. I fear they do not realize the seriousness of their own error. I do not question the genuineness of a person's confession based merely on their position regarding the doctrines of grace.

Rex Ray said...


In 2001, Paige Patterson (President of the SBC) preached at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas. It is a mega church with an average attendance of 17,000. After the service, people were lined up to shake his hand. When my turn came, I told him my son was a missionary in Israel, and I wanted to ask him a question about the Forward he wrote to The Criswell Study Bible.
I showed him the Bible and pointed to where the Forward said:

“Harmonization of apparent discrepancies and explanations of passages thought by some to contain error are afforded the reader.”

I said, “Does that mean you got all the errors or just some of them?”

He shouted to the crowd, “We got all of them!”

I asked, “What about the ruler’s daughter being dead in Matthew, and only near death in Mark and Luke?”

He whispered in my ear, “We got all we could.”

BTW, a new Convention (Southern Baptist of Texas Convention-- SBTC) split in 2000 from the old Convention (Baptist General Convention of Texas—BGCT that started in 1886.)

The new convention did everything they could to get churches to switch to them. They publish a newspaper, “Plumbline” that criticized the old Convention…going so far as to say they promoted child pornography.

Ok, back to what happened to Prestonwood Baptist Church that was in the old convention. They switched to the new convention, and their pastor, Jack Graham was elected by acclamation to be President of the SBC the next year. Sounds like a deal was done.

Rex Ray said...


I missed hearing Patterson preach that night, because before he started I’d put 400 papers under car’s windshield wipers. I’d written why churches should stay with the old convention. I got caught and under the threat of calling the police, I was ordered to remove them.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for that, I guess. I am not sure why you think I care about the SBC or Patterson or Prestonwood or Jack Graham. I have nothing to do with any of them and don't really care one way or the other. There has been a lot of problems over the years alongside a lot a good things.

I imagine Patterson's comments about the Criswell Study Bible had to do with providing explanations in the notes. The Criswell Study Bible did not have its own translation. And it is common for study Bibles to address various issues including harmonizations of texts that seem conflicting. As for the story you reference, there are a number of possibilities that don't involve error. If you presume there is error, as you do, then you see it. If you presume there is no error, then there are easy to see explanations for it. It seems most likely to me that Matthew condenses the story, omitting the messengers that came later and cutting to the chase that the daughter had died. It is true that Jesus received that message prior to going to the man's house. It is common for Matthew, Mark, and Luke to tell stories differently based on a number of reasons, none of which involve error. This is a common way we tell stories today and no one accuses someone of lying for it. You seem to be trying to create conflict where there is none.

Again, the issue is authority of the Bible. You either accept it or you don't. It appears to me that you want to subject the Scripture to your authority by which you accept that which you agree with or understand. If you don't like it or don't understand it, you write it off as an error. Has it occurred to you that you don't know everything? I wonder if withholding judgment might be a good practice of humility.

Ken F said...

Hi Ed,
Thanks for clarifying. Your earlier comments left me wondering.

Rex Ray said...


Is your telling me, “I wonder if withholding judgment might be a good practice of humility” is making a judgment yourself. :)

Paul wrote: “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.: (2 Timothy 2:15 KJ)

The question arises; how do you divide truth.

As grain is thrown into the air and wind blows chaff away, read the Bible and let the Holy Spirit separate any untruth as Jesus said the Holy Spirit would teach us.

Anonymous said...


Yes, it is a judgment I make of myself and everyone. We must be humble enough to submit to the Scriptures, not to try to force the Scriptures to submit to us. I always try to do that. There are difficult issues in Scripture about which people in good conscience may disagree, but there must be a fundamental posture of humility towards Scripture rather than sitting in judgment on it. I think the posts here by you and some others indicate a fundamental posture of resistance to Scripture. How else would we account for the foolishness that has been paraded about here? The Scriptures say what they say and "That's just your intepretation" is silly in a great number of things, perhaps even most things.

The idea that the gospels and words of Jesus are superior to the rest of Scripture is unscriptural. Jesus taught the opposite. He fully affirmed the OT as equal to his words and he preauthenticated the words of the apostles in the NT as equal to his words. The idea that a woman can be silent while teaching and exercising authority over men is ludicrous. This is pure foolishness.

Then you get to John and apparently don't even read the passage. Jesus didn't say the Holy Spirit would teach us. He said that to the disciples in a preauthentication of the NT. In other words, Jesus was teaching the very point you are denying. He would guide them into all truth. That means without error. That was Jesus' assurance for us that the NT was truth. Do you believe him?

The idea that there is chaff in the Bible is fundamentally in error. Your throwing it up to blow away has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit and everything to do with your mind, it seems. You accept that which you like or that which you understand and reject the rest of it. I accept all of it, whether I like it or not, whether I understand it or not. I think it is arrogant to sit in judgment on the Bible and make claims about it that are contrary to what the Bible claims for itself.

In the end, there is a fundamental posture that we should have toward Scripture and you do not appear to have it. For you, it appears that Scripture is a tool to support what you already believe and you feel free to accept or reject Scripture based on whether it supports your preconceived notions. That's not good.

Ken F said...

"He would guide them into all truth. That means without error."

What do you make of the fact the there are thousands of Christian denominations that divide over sharp disagreements about what the Bible means? Nearly every Christian denomination backs up their beliefs and practices by scripture, while using scripture to prove the others are false/wrong. In what way is that verse true in light of all the deep factions among Christians?

Ed Dingess said...

Hey Ken,
I will be even clearer. While I do not reject a person's claim to faith or confession over the Doctrines of Grace, I would refuse to affirm the faith of anyone who rejects the divine inspiration of the Bible, it's inerrancy, authority or infallibility. Once we begin to judge God speaking in Scripture, you step outside the realm of orthodox Christianity into something other than Christianity. Just want to make sure we are clear on that.

Anonymous said...


People are sometimes wrong, both because of good-faith error and bad-faith apostasy. This is why that verse has to be interpreted the way I said, as a preauthentication of the NT on par with the OT. It is not a promise of individual revelation to each of us because then we would all agree. However, if the Spirit guided the apostles into all truth to write the NT, then people can be wrong in interpretation.

Denominations exist because people believe different things. And because of that, we can't worship together and serve together, though we might spend eternity together. And we might not with some of them because some interpretations of Scripture are the result false teachers that the Scripture warns of.

So the deep factions in that verse prove it cannot mean what Rex suggested, namely, that each is being guided into truth by the Spirit. It must mean something else, namely, that the Spirit guided the apostles into all truth, disclosing to them the things to come, with the result that the wrote the NT without error.

Ken F said...

"I would refuse to affirm the faith of anyone who rejects the divine inspiration of the Bible, it's inerrancy, authority or infallibility."

Hi Ed,
In my own personal experience, I have not interacted much with Christians who question these things. But I h2avw had Christians accuse me of not affirming these things because my interpretation differs from theirs. This is why I started looking into church history. I found that there are core beliefs that have been pretty much believed by all Christians everywhere. These things appear to be non-negotiable. But there are other beliefs that have had different conclusions over the years, such as the how of the atonement, age of the earth, etc. It seems the current trend is to elevate these secondary issues into primary issues, and then label others as apostates or heretics for having the wrong view on these secondary issues. Interestingly, the Bible does directly not say anything about its inerrency or infallibility, which means we have to derive them from tradition. These are topics that became essential only in recent decades. I was not expecting to discover this.

Ken F said...

"This is why that verse has to be interpreted the way I said,"

This is the crux of the problem. There are thousands of voices claiming certain things have to be interpreted "the way I say." In reality, sincere believers disagree over the meaning of many texts. They cannot all be right, which creates quite a problem. I have heard differing opinions on many passages that all sound very compelling and biblically supported. I would like to think as you do, that every verse in the bible has one primary meaning. But I've been exposed to too many compelling arguments that show otherwise. It is leading me cling tightly to teachings such as the Trinity, Jesus's incarnation (life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension), etc., and more loosely hold to other beliefs such as the order or salvation, the extent of the atonement, etc.

Rex Ray said...


At 87, maybe you can teach this old dog new tricks, or can you?

You said the Holy Spirit would not teach us, but the Holy Spirit would teach the disciples and guide them into all truth. “That was Jesus assurance for us that the NT was truth. Do you believe him?

Lets see how that worked out with Peter and our need to be baptized.

“…Only eight people were saved from drowning in the terrible flood. And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It [baptism] is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 3:20-21 NLT)

“…whereunto even baptism doth also now save us…(1 Peter 3:21 KJ)

“Peter replied, Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38 NLT)

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent and be baptized…in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38 KJ)

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