Monday, June 12, 2006

Observations from the Pastors' Conference in Greensboro

Back in February I predicted that this year's SBC would draw more younger messengers than in recent history. If today's pastors's conference participation is any indication, that is certainly true. In the two break-out sessions that I attended this morning the average age of those attending seemed considerably younger than the average age of those who typically attend the annual SBC meeting.

Drs. Mohler and Patterson did a very fine job in their seminar on differing views of election. Dr. Mohler had to show up in dark sun glasses due to his eye surgery yesterday. His presence at this important and historic event was heroic. Both men were extremely gracious (to no one's surprise) and both spoke persuasively for their views while being respectful of each other's differing views.

Dr. Patterson gave several things that he appreciates about most Calvinists, then several concerns he has about some Calvinists. Then he gave several reasons that he is not a Dortian Calvinist.

Dr. Mohler identified himself as a 5-point Calvinist while making it clear that identifying with Calvinism as a system is not a great concern of his. He also issued some cautions that Calvinists should take to heart.

The specifics of their comments will have to wait, since I did not take many notes and I do not have access to the audio files. Once I get them, if no one else has given the substance of their comments, I will. I will offer some perspectives at that time, as well.

I can say that I was very encouraged by how the session went. Dr. Patterson warned his non-Calvinist friends not to make the charge that Calvinism is inherently anti-evangelism and anti-missions. That was a helpful comment based on an accurate theological assessment. Dr. Mohler warned Calvinists not to be more concerned with debating Calvinism than evangelizing. That also was a helpful comment and should be taken to heart by every lover of God's Word.

You will want to purchase a copy of this CD. I said that this was a historic event. It was wonderful to see Southern Baptists discussing substantive theological issues--and doing it with a packed crowd...twice! Over 2600 people attended each of the 2 presentations of this session.

It should also be noted--as Dr. Mohler pointed out--that this kind of discussion could not have happened without the conservative resurgence of the last 27 years. As those who have endured much and fought some long, hard battles over the authority of Scripture, Southern Baptists are in a position to discuss the specific teachings of the Scripture.

The same can be said for the session on church discipline, led by Mark Dever and Art Wilder. Mark did most of the talking in the presentation time, while Art made some helpful observations of how discipline is practiced at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Georgia. Over 600 people packed the room both times this seminar was given. Mark addressed 5 questions about discipline, quoting the first writing Southern Baptist theologian, John Dagg who wrote, "When discipline leaves a church, Christ goes with it."

It was tremendously encouraging to see the response to this presentation. Men were genuinely interested in the idea of a recovery of church discipline. I dare say that when Mark read Matthew 18:15-18 and 1 Corinthians 5 that it probably was the first time those inerrant texts have been read publicly at a SBC pastors' conference.

Not everything that was said today at the conference was as encouraging as what I have described above, but truth loving Southern Baptists have reasons to be very encouraged by what did transpire in these two sessions. Bryant Wright, the President of the Pastors' Conference and Pastor of Johnson's Ferry Baptist Church, is to be commended for putting these kinds of presentations into the schedule.

Tomorrow morning is the Founders Breakfast. Mark Dever, DV, will speak to a sold out crowd on Election, the Gospel and Evangelism. Pray that the Lord will be honored as we meet.


Charles said...

Tom said, "Dr. Patterson warned his non-Calvinist friends not to make the charge that Calvinism is inherently anti-evangelism and anti-missions."

Charles Spurgeon is proof that a Calvinist can be evangelistic. But the "born again before faith" kind of hybrid/extreme/hyper Calvinism tends to be very anti-evangelism and usually produces small, dead churches.


Peter D. Nelson said...

Yeah like how Spurgeon believed regeneration preceeded faith.

Faith in the living God and his Son Jesus Christ is always the result of the new birth, and can never exist except in the regenerate. Charles Spurgeon from the sermon Faith and Regeneration

Tom said...


Are things getting slow over at the flyswatter? Please remember--or read for the first time--the guidelines for commenting here. Your recent comments here indicate that you are not interested in the kind of collegial exchange that most of us are--and that Drs. Patterson and Mohler commended and exemplified.

You have been down this road before. Consider this your only warning.

johnMark said...

I am very interested in what the leadership of Johnson Ferry Baptist have to say as they are in my backyard.


Jeff Fuller said...

I hope Baptist Calvinists will have more proof for evangelism than Spurgeon as we continue to faithfully share our faith! Everyday, every chance we get.

Ben said...

"Dr. Patterson warned his non-Calvinist friends not to make the charge that Calvinism is inherently anti-evangelism and anti-missions."

Does anyone else find this warning from Patterson ironic? I need to look for the tape to confirm my recollection, but I heard him say something to that very effect at SEBTS a few years ago. I don't think it was HYPER-Calvinism he was referring to when he said that he would oppose any system of theology that discourages evangelism and missions.

D.J. Cimino said...

Ben, maybe Patterson has had a change of heart...?

Darel said...

Or maybe, like many a human being, he said something that he wishes he could take back. Maybe he, like all of us, struggles with sin, even in the area of encouraging the brethren.

Sometimes we all find ourselves doing or saying something counterproductive to the cause of Christ, the command to exhort and encourage. That doesn't mean we can't recognize it, and warn other people against it. In fact, all the more reason to tell others!

centuri0n said...

Let's be serious for a moment. Is it any less antagonistic to say, "I hope Baptists who are calvinists will have more to show for evangelism than Spurgeon" than it is to say, "Calvinism leads to the death of evangelism"?

The solid reformed baptists who comment here are all examples of calvinists who are openly, actively evangelistic -- myself being the least and the worst example, but guys like Gene Bridges, and ScriptureSearcher, and Tom Ascol; and some who do not comment here like James White, and Phil Johnson, and John Piper, and Mark Dever, and Al Mohler.

Let's not wag a finger in the face of the reformed theology camp when it is unquestionably lead by and populated with men who are daily seeking to present God's word and the truth of the Gospel to sinners -- and then disciple them so that their faith is not in vain.

Last of all, let's also keep something in mind: presenting the Gospel is not a graduate-level course in systematic theology. Paul summed up the Gospel in less than 50 words; Peter summed it up on several occations in less than 500. The point is that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures; he was buried, and was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. And it is in the call to be with us -- that is, to be in faith in Christ before God rather than to be in God's wrath in unbelief -- that we are preaching the Gospel.

If you are preaching that Gospel, you are my brother and I am glad to be with you. End of story.

Jim said...

I trust that no one will mind if a non-SBC guy pops his head in here. :-)

On Thabiti Anyabwile's "Pure Church" blog, he provides a running transcript of the meeting. According to that, one of Patterson's concerns with some Calvinists is their "antinomian tendencies". Does anyone have any idea what he was referring to? I would think that the more common accusation would be that of legalism.

Jim Harrison
Conservative Baptist Spurgeon Fellowhsip

Jeremy Weaver said...

Right on, Centuri0n..

Darel said...

As a Baptist calvinist, I did not feel "antagonised" by being exhorted to be even more evangelistic.

I don't know Fuller from a hole in the ground, maybe he meant it in a mean-spirited way, but good gravy, if someone says that we ought to take advantage of every opportunity to be evangelistic I can't just assume that's an attack.

Scott said...

Well They( Messages on Theology and Calvinism From the FBC Woodstock Student Summer Camp) are in. Yes, Dr. Johnny Hunt pastor of FBC Woodstock taught summer camp on Theology and Calvinism. First, he has every right to do this because he is the Pastor of the church. Actually I'm glad he decided to teach on Calvinism. Let me be clear on this so I'm not accussed of not giving Dr. Hunt a break on things. Again, I'm thanful that he is wrestling and talking about theology. We need this in our churches. I was told from a friend at FBC Woodstock that these CD's went on sale this past Sunday and can be purchased at . I hate to support a ministry that is openly teaching against plain doctrine and also what Southern Baptists have historically believed. After hearing these CD's I want to know a few things:

1. How can Dr. Akin ever have Dr. Hunt preach at SEBTS again unless he repents of his error ?

2. How can Dr. Mohler ever reccomend Southern students to a Dr. Johnny Hunt conference again unless he repents of his error ?

3.How can Dr. Akin and Mohler endorse men like Dr. Floyd and Hunt for SBC president?


Brian Hamrick said...

A little off topic, but Mark Dever's message this morning at the breakfast was one of the most timely I have heard in some outstanding exposition of Romans 9-10. I hope it will become available to those of you who could not be here in Greensboro. I'd love to own a CD or MP3 of it.

Sam Hughey said...


You stated, Charles Spurgeon is proof that a Calvinist can be evangelistic. True, but why that should surprise anyone is a mystery unless one has assumed the position (on the absence of fact) that a Calvinist cannot be Evangelistic. Perhaps one day the anti-Calvinist will actually start using what they call 'free-will' and think for themselves (Biblically) rather than having someone else develop and invent their understanding for them. You think?

You stated, But the "born again before faith" kind of hybrid/extreme/hyper Calvinism tends to be very anti-evangelism and usually produces small, dead churches. You were doing good with the previous statement but now this! Your understanding has an unregenerate person who is dead to the gospel, an enemy of Christ, thinks of the gospel as foolish and as the Apostle Paul clearly stated, blinded by Satan so that he cannot see the light (truth) of the glorious gospel actually exercising salvific faith without salvation. Now, I would like to see an example of this in Scripture since the anti-Calvinist seems to think it is so evidently clear in Scripture.

However, you really exposed your lack of understanding concerning Calvinism by forcing invented and misrepresented terms to be associated with Evangelical Calvinism such as hybrid/extreme/hyper. You agree Spurgeon (who was none of these) was Evangelistic (who also believed in the Biblical doctrine of regeneration prior to faith) but it seems as though you want to force the word Calvinism to be directly associated with all these terms and can have no other meaning. What a shame the 'free-will' of an unbeliever ceases to exist once one becomes a believer who is forced to accept the beliefs of others of their own genre instead of clear Biblical exegesis.

Sam Hughey

Castusfumus said...

God bless you all who are in attendance while some of us work and eagerly comsume your feedback.

Thanks all, my prayers are for you and our denomination's speedy recovery to Biblical correctness.

Deb Jones said...

I wish I could be there! I plan on attending a Founders Conference someday with my dad...I've already expressed interest to him, but he was unable to get off work for the breakfast. I'm very interested to hear Calvinist preachers, as there is a serious lack of them at LU ;)

Pastor Doug Brown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pastor Doug Brown said...


Do you know if there is any available audio of the "Reaching Today’s World Through Differing Views of Election" for those of us not able to go?

Doug Brown

Caddiechaplain said...

Go to and order away dude!

jdlongmire said...

link to a transcript of the dialogue.


Pastor Doug Brown said...

Caddiechaplain & JD,

Thanks a bunch!

Pastor Doug

Amicus said...


Thanks for your review of the dialogue between Drs. Mohler and Patterson. Those of us who couldn't attend are looking forward to getting the CD and/or transcript. In the meantime, it is good to hear that the discussion took place in a high tone and in a spirit of brotherly affection. One is especially relieved to learn that Dr. Patterson asked his fellow non-Calvinists to stop falsely saying that Reformed theology is un-evangelistic.

I am looking forward to reading/hearing how Dr. Mohler presented the reformed position. I am sure he did a wonderful job to the glory of God and the advancement of reformation in our denomination.

My earnest suggestion is that we let the Mohler-Patterson discussion be the definitive Southern Baptist debate on soteriology for 2006. Let's not engage Dr. E.M. Caner in what promises to be a free-for-all and threatens to be a divisive and ugly shouting match for the entertainment of readers of National Liberty Journal. Let us continue to contend for the whole counsel of God, and let us continue to have earnest and searching discussions and debates with brethren with whom we disagree. But let's refrain from involving ourselves in angry controversies with those who are only interested in (or perhaps, charitably, only capable of) distortions and name-calling.

Mathew Sims said...

I did not read through all of these comments, but has posted a transcript of sorts about this discussion.


David B. Hewitt said...

I'm eagerly anticipating some reviews of the Founders Breakfast and Dever's message. I'd love to hear/read it!


MarieP said...

Frank Page just was elected President of the SBC by getting a majority of less than 1 percent.

MarieP said...

Dr. Ascol,

What is the update on your church membership resolution?

Brian Hamrick said...

The vote was something like:

Page 50.4%
Floyd 24.9%
Sutton 24.0%

(I know that isn't 100%- some votes were disqualified)

I think the key for Page was CP giving. That has been a hot potato at this meeting. I could not believe Johnny Hunt even had the nerve to say in passing in his nomination of Floyd that he would be a good supporter of Cooperative Program giving in the Convention (I am paraphrasing).

Tom said...


I have have hope that at least some version of my resolution may make it out of committee. If not, due to the arrangement of the order of business, it does not look like there will be time to attempt to present it from the floor. We will know tomorrow.

BTW--Frank Page won on the first ballot by 44 votes.

pastorleap said...

Highlights of the day (Tuesday):

AM- Great breakfast, Dr. Dever did a fantastic job, everyone should get the tape. It should be abundantly clear from his message that reformed-thinking Baptists are VERY clear in their affirmation of evangelism.

Got to finally meet Tom in person. Nice.

In Morning motions session:
- One msgr. makes a motion that a committee be formed to study the impact of Calvinism on our denomination and churches (paraphrase). This one really stunned me.

- When Dr. Vines spoke against an amendment resolution and then had someone call a "point of order" (which Welch ruled against), some knucklehead sitting just left of me yells "Just because your name is Jerry Vines doesn't mean you get special treatment!" I respect Jerry Vines ALOT, but seriously, You would've thought someone cursed the pope's mother! The crowd gasped and everyone turned to see who it was. I didn't see...and it WAS definitely a cheap shot, but the drama gave me something to remember in years to come. I joked to a friend that there may be a gallows set up after lunch...

- Morris Chapman's embarrassingly bad debacle. In what was supposed to be his "Executive Committee" report, MC took the opportunity to "set things straight" among SBs by first scolding Calvinists, telling us that "our Calvinistic theology was fine for discussion in the seminaries, but it needed to stay there, and stay out of the churches where it will only create division." (Paraphrase). I thought this was the most ridiculous comment of the day. Actually laughable. Why don't we just keep ALL divisive theology out of our churches...that will mend our troubles! Wait...isn't that why we are suffering with pitifully weak churches now? Haven't we (SBs) been keeping serious theology out of our churches long enough? And BTW... isn't this the same posture our Roman Catholic friends take about "deep theological issues."

- He went on to pontificate about the error of plural eldership, saying the trend needed to stop because it was already ripping churches apart (again, paraphrased)

I had never had any reason to be critical of Dr. Chapman. In fact, I always respected him and enjoyed most of what he wrote. AFter today, I felt that he demonstrated a great deal of hubris standing before pastors of autonomous churches that hold the same statement of faith as he and rebuking them and telling them what to stay away from and what to "stop preaching."

I wasn't surprised to see DR. Page win... the convention air was thick all day with the energy of a CP pep-ralley. My friends and I did the math and figured out mathematically that he only carried the majority (literally 50.4%) by 22 votes! Without 22 votes, he would've sank below 50% and there would have been a run-off. My opinion, bottom line, he won because he was CP strong AND an outsider, and LOTS of the young guys (reformed or not) are sick and tired of the "good ole boy" nepotism and elitism of the convention. Incidentally, I ate lunch at a restaurant where one of the "BIG GUYS" (pastor of a southern state mega-church, former high-ranking officer, etc...) was eating. It was almost comical to watch all the "little people" coming up to him and introducing themselves and wanting to talk shop and pick his brain. Everyone in my group was commenting about how much like "celebrity worship" it has become. How sad. Many after the Mohler/ Patterson discussion were rushing the stage to get their Bibles autographed and their photos made with the celebrities.

The general tone of the day seemed to be "CP Missions and cooperation at ALL costs." It seems to me that more and more folks are leaning toward this "theology doesn't matter so much" mentality, as long as there is CP support (incidentally, at a recommended 10% "tithe.") Everyone seems to agree that is, except those who feel that "Calvinism" is the source of all SB problems. They apparently just want the Calvinists "investigated" and thrown out. I want to see just how they go about this without shredding our own confessional documents.

HIGH POINTS: Wade Burleson's motion for investigation; well recieved, very courageous; NO PROTESTERS THAT I COULD SEE ANYWHERE (if they were there, I missed them!)

LOW POINTS: DR. Chapman's tirade, bonehead calling out Dr. Vines, the scorched coffee that I payed $2 for during Chapman's ordeal.

This post and more comments to follow at my site:

pastorleap said...

I can't believe I misspelled "paid" by typing "payed." Forgive me. In a hurry I guess.

Scott said...


Thanks for the info. Actually I'm surprised Dr. Chapman said what he did about Calvinism staying in the seminaries. I really am however, another example of how far downward our denomination has gone and what history of theology they have forgotten.
I find it sad that people want to say that Calvinism is splitting our churches. Based on church health it would seem good that most do because probably most of them don't fit a healthy picture of one found in scripture. I have been reading the scriptures and Dr. Nettles book of late again to remind me of what Southern Baptist believed when we came together in 1845 in Augusta, Ga. It keeps me motivated to act upon what Dr. Ascol told me the other day " ONE PERSON AND CHURCH AT A TIME "!

Will Langford said...

Scott, I am truly amazed at your post concerning Dr. Hunt and his need to repent before he be invited back to SEBTS. Dr. Mohler clearly warned Calvinists about arrogance. I think you should take heed to that warning.

SBCTulip said...

The way this article reads it appears as we now have the "liberal resurgence."

Unrelated note to those who want to run in the future...give over 10% to the CP and you too can be the President of the SBC.

Frank Page wins SBC presidency
in upset over powerbrokers
By Greg Warner

GREENSBORO, N.C. (ABP) -- In a major upset, outsider Frank Page of South Carolina was elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention over two candidates closely tied to the SBC's conservative power structure.

Page, who described his election as a victory for grassroots Baptists, was elected with 50.48 percent of the vote on a first ballot against Arkansas pastor Ronnie Floyd and Tennessee pastor Jerry Sutton, both high-profile leaders in the conservative-dominated SBC.

Sutton, pastor of Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville, Tenn., received 2,168 votes, or 24.08 percent. Floyd, pastor of First Baptist Church of Springdale, Ark., received 2,247 votes, or 24.95 percent. Page, pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C., received 4,546 votes -- a mere 65 more than necessary for a first-ballot victory.

Page's election signaled a defeat for the SBC's conservative powerbrokers, who have hand-picked all but one president since 1979. Only Orlando pastor Jim Henry, elected in 1994 and 1995, lacked the endorsement of the SBC's conservative leaders.

Floyd lost despite the endorsement of three SBC seminary presidents, including Paige Patterson, the SBC's most powerful leader. Sutton reportedly had the support of Paul Pressler, another SBC conservative architect.

The surprise election also reflected grassroots dissatisfaction with officers who direct the SBC's work but offer little financial support to its central missions budget, the Cooperative Program. Page's church contributes 12.1 percent of its 2005 undesignated receipts to the Cooperative Program. Floyd's church gave 0.27 percent of undesignated receipts to the Cooperative Program in 2005 and an additional 1.6 percent to other SBC causes. Sutton's church gave nothing to the CP in 2005 but sent 2.7 percent to SBC causes.

After his election, Page, 53, said he would seek to create a more open Southern Baptist Convention, but added: "I'm not trying to undo a conservative movement that I have supported all these years." He said he would continue the trend of appointing leaders who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible but who also have "a sweet spirit."

"I'm an inerrantist -- I believe in the word of God -- I'm just not mad about it," Page said in a post-election news conference.

"I certainly did not expect to be here, so it is sort of a surreal moment for me," Page, a self-described no-name pastor of a 4,000-member church, told reporters.

He said his election signals a victory for grassroots Baptists who have supported the SBC's conservative movement but not been involved in leadership before. "It means the Southern Baptist Convention belongs to the Lord and his people, ... and we can do together a lot more and a lot better than we can do separately," he said.

A smaller-than-expected crowd of 11,346 messengers were registered at the time of the vote.

But Page's supporters said their candidate benefited from the participation of many messengers previously uninvolved in convention life.

"This election is about the people being heard," said Wade Burleson, an Oklahoma pastor instrumental in Page's election. "Every Baptist counts."

Burleson said the election signaled "a turning point" in Southern Baptist life -- "not theological by any means," but a change in methodology, toward more openness and inclusiveness.

"It's no longer kingmakers; it's the people," said Burleson, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, Okla.

"I am more excited about the Southern Baptist Convention today than I have ever been in my life," he said.

Burleson, a trustee of the International Mission Board who has argued against exclusivistic tactics of that agency, was himself considered a possible candidate for president. But his influence, plus that of young Southern Baptist bloggers, was credited with energizing support for Page and for a broadening of SBC leadership.

Page agreed the bloggers, a new phenomenon in SBC politics, made a difference. While the bloggers are few in number, he said, "I think there are a large number of leaders who do read those blogs. I think they played a role beyond their number -- perhaps an inordinant amount of influence given their number -- but they are a growing phenomenon in Southern Baptist life."

Page is a graduate of Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, including a Ph.D. He grew up in Greensboro, site of the Southern Baptist Convention, and likely benefited from regional familiarity.

Page was nominated by Forrest Pollock, pastor of Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon, Fla., who said the SBC needs leaders who model support for the Cooperative Program. "You know and I know our Cooperative Program is in trouble. Our convention is in trouble."

"We've got to work together if we're going to accomplish the Great Commission," Pollock said. "We need a leader who has the integrity to stand before us and encourage us to give more."

Floyd was nominated by Johnny Hunt of Woodstock, Ga., who described him as a seasoned and visionary leader who has become personally involved in Baptist missions globally and locally.

Hunt invoked the name of previous SBC President Jerry Vines as supporting Floyd as a candidate of character, integrity and courage whose "commitment to God's Word have never been questioned." He will "lead us into a renewed commitment to Southern Baptist life," Hunt said.

Sutton's nominator, Calvin Whitman of Applewood, Colo., said the Nashville pastor is "above the vulgarities of political wranglings" and has the "moral authority" and "strength of conviction" to lead Southern Baptists.

Stephen Thomas said...

Although I would have preferred "none of the above" as president, as a Texas Baptist who affirms innerancy but abhors character assassinations and slander, I rather like the ABP article about the election. Any time the power monopoly can be broken, it means that there is still some autonomy in SBC churches.

Someone asked what Paige Patterson's reference to antinomian tendencies was all about. From what else I've heard, it seems that he mentions the fact that Calvinists believe that Christians can drink alcohol is an example of this antinomianism. I suppose that there is nothing in the word "antinomianism" that specifies whether the law is man's or God's, so I guess in one case, Patterson is correct. But if we take it as meaning God's law, then this is just another example of "fundamentalists" adding all sorts of laws to the Bible, let alone the fundamentals of the Bible.

pastorleap said...


Just for further context, as Dr. Patterson was arguing that calvinistic soteriology leads to antinomianism, he lamented that so many SBs have lost the doctrine of "separated living." He made some other assertions that seemed so out of line to me that I was stunned that someone as intelligent and informed on the subject would make them. He further implied that calvinistic soteriology would lead one to imbrace church-state magisterialism (thus, Calvinists seeking to build a state-supported church), and that it would lead us toward pedo-baptism, which I suppose he sees as a must for anyone who holds a strong election view. Both arguments need to be refuted, but the breakout session did not provide the proper time for such.

Scott said...


I'm truly amazed how you can read into my heart and say that I was being arrogant about the need for Dr. Hunt to repent before he would ever speak at SEBTS ! Let me be clear again as I have said in the past No one is above repentence except for Christ ! I have heard some of the tapes and Dr. Hunt flat out teaches against doctrines that would be called by Christians " Grace". If you and I were to teach error in the scripture should we not repent ? I believe so . What he taught on the tapes would not allow him to be able to teach at SEBTS and Southern unless the Abstract is just a paper that means nothing.
I actually said Dr. Hunt had the right to teach the kids at camp because he is the pastor however if a man teaches error and finally is shown his error he should repent before God and try to go back to as many of the people and say that I was in error. I have done this before before my own congregation. The teaching shoots down " Grace" and put man as not dead but powerful enough to get salvation when he was ready. Are you saying that I'm wrong for saying he needs to repent over false teaching on those doctrines?
It's almost as if you are saying " How dare you Scott for saying that how Drs. Akin and Mohler can't have him speak for what he said". Since you have not heard any of the tapes I think your comment to me about being arrogant is way off for a couple of reasons:

1. You have not heard the tapes.

2. You assume I don't have a clue to understanding right/wrong theology.

3. You assume that I have no right Biblically to confront Dr. Hunt if I did in person. I guess this would make me arrogant.

4. SEBTS has a confession of faith that the school is supposed to honor. By having Dr. Hunt come it would make no sense for him to be allowed to teach there because he openly has and just taught against what the school confession holds to.

I have no problem with being corrected and even apologizing but I have said nothing "Overboard" about the need to have Dr. Hunt repent for false teaching on grace.Sorry I can't after hearing some of the messages. I will stand by my words again DR. HUNT SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO TEACH AT SEBTS OR SOUTHERN AFTER HEARING THE TAPES HE JUST PREACHED ON THEOLOGY AND CALVINISM UNLESS HE REPENTS !
You and I will have to disagree on this one. Thanks for your comments and I have just prayed that you and I will serve our Lord faithfully. Also, how is my comment to repent any different than Dr. White or any other saying the same thing to someone else about teaching error. Scott Morgan, Tom Ascol, James White, John Piper, Will, and any other man need to repent if any of us teach error.

Scott said...


One thing I forgot to point out that you highlighted " Dr. Mohler warned calvinists about being arrogant". Informing someone who is teaching error in many areas( More than one) that they need to repent is not a "Calvinist Thing." I didn't know that confronting someone who is teaching error makes one a calvinist. By your statement it makes me arrogant because as a shepherd my ears have heard " Great Error" and I'm wanting to warn the sheep. Guilty as charged if this makes me arrogant !

Greg B said...

Dr. Patterson's antinomianism commment I definitely believe comes from most Calvinists not making the jump from prohibiting drunkeness to total abstinence (and include tobacco use in there).
As a SEBTS alumni (96-00), when I read this post I knew just what he was thinking of. Or atleast I made an experienced, informed guess.
What I don't get is that the doctrine that would encourage antinomianism would be perseverance of the saints, the old once save always saved. You know, the one we seem to almost universally share in the SBC. And of course PP always refers to the Calvinists he knows living holy lives. This seems like his former confusion between Hyper and Biblical Calvinism which he seems to have outgrown.
Like many Soveriegn Grace friends, I worry that we may slide into a shallow legalism.

Amicus said...

I am astonished that Dr. Patterson is charging reformed Southern Baptists with a tendency to antinomianism.

Antinomianism is rampant in the SBC, and the one place it is not coming from is reformed theology. It is the express theology of teachers who combine an otherwise semi(?)-Pelagian system with a bizarre form of "once saved always saved" that assures professing believers that if they have "accepted Christ as Savior" and prayed the prayer "as sincerely as they know how", then they may live however they please and even quit believing and still be guaranteed heaven. This is not an implication of their theology but their express teaching. These teachers do not hold to one-point Calvinism; they openly reject perseverance of the saints as "works" and hold to "always saved" without perseverance.

This view is probably believed more in the pew than it is preached, but it is preached and taught. There are teachers who, for example, acknowledge that the apostates of Hebrews 10 are truly apostate, but say that what they suffer are only temporal judgments. This real antinomianism is the theological root of our rejection of church discipline and at the core of the issue of unregenerate church membership in our denomination. We reformed Southern Baptists should humbly ask Dr. Patterson to join us in our consistent testimony against it.

Charles said...

Tom, Hello!

You wrote, Are things getting slow over at the flyswatter?

Never better. Thank you for your concern. I hope things are also well with all the Reformed bloggers who leave their blogs and post here much more often than I do. I know you have concern for them as you have for me, my brother.

Please remember--or read for the first time--the guidelines for commenting here.

I reread your guidelines and to my knowledge I am following them. I appreciate your willingness to allow the occasional diverse and opposing opinion on this blog. Not every blog owner is as open as you are.

Since you don't mind the occasional opposing opinion I hope what I have said on your blog in the last few days has been within the guidelines.

I look forward to more comments from you on the Convention. It's been fun, hasn't it?


Will Langford said...


Thanks for your reply. It is obvious that we actually do agree on a couple of things. I agree with you that no man is above repentance. I also, agree that we need to be willing to confront false teaching. (By the way, how did it go when you spoke to Dr. Hunt about your concerns?)

However, while I agree with you on these two issues I still have some some concerns.

First, you stated that when your ears heard "Great Error" you felt like you needed to confront it. I believe the key phrase is "your ears" because there are many who feel like what Dr. Hunt believes about salvation is scriptural. I think it is awesome how God has used his preaching and teaching as a tool to see many lives transformed.

Second, you stated that you felt the need to protect the sheep. As a pastor I can really identify with the desire to protect the sheep. However, in your first post I had the impression that you were beating up a fellow servant....not protecting sheep. Perhaps I just struggle with the approach you take to protecting.

Finally, you stated that Dr. Hunt's beliefs on salvation violated the SEBTS statement of faith. You felt like Dr. Hunt needed to repent before being invited to preach at SEBTS again. But what about Dr. Akin? Should he not repent for asking Dr. Hunt to come and teach and preach? Should Dr. Mohler and Dr. Akin repent for endorsing Dr. Hunt and Dr. Floyd? I personally have a great deal of respect for Dr. Mohler and Dr. Akin. I think they have done a wonderful job in representing Christ and our denomination well. I trust their judgement on this matter.

Perhaps they know that while Dr. Hunt may not go over well in a Presbyterian Seminary, he is a very good fit in a Southern Baptist Seminary.


Scott said...


Yes we will disagree on some things.Yes, I think it's not right to invite Dr. Hunt to preach at both schools since he is not even close on the Abstracts that both schools promote. Yes, I think Drs. Mohler and Akin have made mistakes on this. What good is the Abstracts if a school is not going to live by them. However, both men are doing great jobs at their schools. I agree!
The question we need to answer is that if Dr. Hunt preaches error on whatever doctrine is this not sin? Let me be clear that I have been and will probably be in the future " Guilty as Charged". The things he taught on the tapes are WRONG ! They are not even Baptist. Bad doctrine will not build up the saints! Thanks for your comments and press on for Christ.

Christopher Redman said...

Dr. Patterson expressed his "two streams" flowing into the SBC, the Charleston Stream and the Sandy Creek Stream. However, what amazes me is that even Dr. Patterson admitted that the Sandy Creek confession had calvinism in it!

So where are the "two streams" of calvinists - particular baptists and arminian - general baptists? And, BTW, all of the delegates meeting in Augusta, GA in 1845 believed calivnistic soteriology. That is "one stream"!

The question I would have liked to ask Dr's Patterson and Mohler if I were there during the session is:

"How many points of Calvinism are represented in the Abstract of Principles?"

I know from a friend/student at SBTS that Dr. Mohler believes 4 point calvinists can sign the Abstract with a clear conscience.

Dr. Patterson and other faculty at SWBTS and SEBTS, I suppose, apparently think that one or two point calvinists can sign the Abstract with a clear conscious.

What gives?


denver dan said...

I'm new here, sorry if my comment is confusing or not quite appropriate here. I'm am a "newly-reformed" believer, and recently left the SBC because I don't believe any of the Rick Warren teaching and that's about all one can find in the SBC churches here in central Ohio. From reading all I can find so far about this SBC meeting, I haven't seen any mention of Warren and his unfortunate influence on the denomination. Is there any information on this?

Christopher Redman said...

Denver Dan:

Rick Warren is a fad. Not every SBC church has bought into it. His influence is passing like every fad passes. Andy Stanley seems to be the new Warren like leader today.

However, for their faults, I have benefited by "some" of their advise on "changing" some of the structures, decision making processes, and practical aspects of church organization. I am careful to maintain solid doctrinal emphasis but I now have a new members class before someone joins the church. I have a leadership and ministry class for all leaders in ministry. I have increased accountability on members and leaders. Most of this has been highlighted by Warren/Stanley.

Again, I do not advocate 40 days and pragmatism of their sort, but some things have been helpful.


jmattingly said...

Denver Dan,

Where in central Ohio are you? Hope you've found a solid church in your area.


denver dan said...

We are in the Columbus area, and we have just begun attending a small reformed church. The increase in the amount of doctrine that we're learning now is stunning. I wish that I had discovered the Doctrines of Grace years ago. But so far we are very happy to be at this church and learning again. Thank you.