Thursday, September 28, 2006

More on the Joshua Convergence

The Florida Baptist Witness again shows why it is perhaps the leading state Baptist newspaper in the SBC by releasing a more indepth article on the Joshua Convergence meeting near Orlando earlier this week. The article reports on each of the addresses on the seven principles of the statement issued earlier this week. There are some very interesting quotes included, such as this one from Jeff Crook, pastor, Blacksheaer Place Baptist Church, Atlanta, Ga, who spoke on gratitude:
"To fail to express gratitude and deny these men honor is glaring arrogance and profound ignorance," added Crook. "There’s some young preachers tonight that need to put their hand over their mouth. We need to repent of our arrogance and fleshly spirit of ingratitude. That's what’s keeping Holy Ghost revival from coming to our convention.
Brad Reynolds was also one of the speakers. You may remember him from some of his more than 75 comments offered on this blog in previous months. In one of his most infamous comments, Reynolds, who as a professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, has signed the Abstract of Principles, asserted that he could "affirm 3 of the classic points of Calvinism provided I can define them." He spoke on holiness and, predictably, brought up the SBC resolution on total abstinance. He went on to talk about the discussion on some blogs of this resolution after the convention meeting. According to the Witness, Reynold said this about of those bloggers:
One of them went on to say that he went to share Jesus with someone, had a meal with her and asked her for wine at the meal [and] she was so moved that a Baptist preacher would ask her for wine, that her heart just opened up to receive the gospel of Christ and she got saved.
"The very idea that the Holy Spirit of God is moved by the spirits of alcohol is contrary to God's word and sacrilegious," Reynolds said.
Wade has addressed this on his blog, with a link to his original post that Reynolds completely misrepresents. The irony here would be hilarious if it weren't so tragic.

Emir Caner spoke on identity. He made some great points, such as the following:
"… We must not waver in our commitment to the true church in order to accommodate the compromising methods of the modern-day, so-called reform groups who cry for a generous orthodoxy or twenty-first century relevancy and eclipse their view for church polity and purity," Caner said. "A Baptist church, from its inception, whether it be planted here or around the world, deserves to be defined explicitly and not to be depicted ambiguously. And if we faithfully follow scriptural methods for the church, I promise you, it will be relevant. It always has been. But if we do not do so, I'm afraid we will be up willow creek without a paddle."
The article is worth reading. If you have the time, the video of these talks is also educational.

I have one final comment to make about this issue. I hope those who met in Florida this week and preached these messages will never forget that there is a more important JC than "Joshua Convergence!" :-)


martyduren said...

I would also encourage everyone to watch as much as they have time to see. It is rather interesting.

I was sorry to see, however, Dr. Caner taking a cheap shot at a non-SBC related church while supposedly affirming principles of baptist identity. Unnecessary.

sbc pastor said...


It is certainly true that there is a "more important JC" than the Joshua Convergence and His name is NOT John Calvin :). God bless!!!

In Christ,

Scott said...


This again is sad in some places. It smells a little" Popery" on some things. How dare we question certain men who led in the Conservative Resurgence? First, I'm glad we had and have a conservative resuregence but the resuregence has been " Big Time" wrong on several doctrinal issues that have been the " Backbone" to Baptists historically and on it's way today. So, let's talk about honesty again:

1. Was Paige Patterson correct when he signed the Abstract of Principles at Southeastern claiming his faithul teaching to the defined definition on Election as stated in the Abstract ? Answer= NO So, we are not " Loving" to call him on it? So was Dr. Patterson wrong to go after the Liberals in the SBC ? Was he unloving to do that? Let me be clear that I'm glad he did and it was his duty to do so. So Baptistic Calvinist are wrong to call him on things that he has taught, mislead( I believe purposefully) on Southern Baptist History. My point is proved by Dr. Patterson's own qoute of the Manual of Theology by John Dagg( One of Southern Baptist finest theologian): Dr. Patterson( President Criswell Center for Biblical Studies) qoute on the inside of the book jacket " If one wishes to know what ( most) Baptists believed during the formative days of the SBC, he will discover it in this volume. With remarkable insight , John L Dagg- pastor, theologian, evangelist,teacher, and college president-presents the essence of biblical truth in a thoroughly readable, yet scholarly, presentation.
The indefatigable spirit of this early Baptist thinker, who suffered numerous physical reversals, glows with experiential insight into the crucial ( doctrines) honored by Baptists everywhere. Every pastor, professor, and seminary student should avail himself of the opportunity to become acquainted with one of the most sublime of our Baptist fathers".
Maybe the some of the men who don't actually call Dr. Patterson by name at the Joshua Convergence should note how Dr. Patterson endorsed John L Dagg and now please notice this little bit of info:

In 1879, the SBC gave strong expression to an endorsement of Dagg's basic theological position. Led by W. H. Whitsitt, the convention resolved " that a catechism be drawn up containing the substance of the Christian religion for the instruction of children and servants and that brother John L Dagg be desired to draw it up".
2. Well Joshua Convergence you ought to study your Baptist Historical Theology and ask Dr. Patterson why you both keep misleading our SBC on " Some" things but major and ask then why we are not honoring our Leaders when they are in error against the Word of God and how you have been keeping our churches " Dumb" with your one and two liners on Historic Baptist Theology. I for one must stand against you and let the people know that the truth has not been told to them!

Timmy said...

Tom says educational; Marty says interesting. I will need to watch this video. :)

Tom said...

Marty and Timmy:

I would encourage everyone to watch to the end, as well. I did that today. Maybe someone can answer a question for me. Why is there mood music played durin the prayers? I thought I heard it on the opening prayer, but on the last prayer, there is no missing it. The way the music gently flares at the moments of the most impassioned petitions, it almost gives the impression that the keyboardist had a script, or something.

Marty, Is this something that is becoming commonplace among younger leaders? I figure if anyone would know, you would. Or Timmy, maybe you can let us know if this is something that is being taught in our seminaries now.

Jeremy (sbc pastor):

You might get an argument about whether John Calvin is more important than the Joshua Convergence, but we both agree that Jesus Christ trumps them both. That's my concern about this movement, with all the emphasis on Joshua Convergence I am afraid these young guys will get so caught up in this new movement that they will begin to think about it rather than Jesus when the initials JC come up!!! It is a danger, you know! Many of the more mature leaders have warned about this very thing. :-)

Scott said...


We have a new winner of the free books offered by Crazy Scott Books:

1. David Kerr( M Div student at Southern)

David is currently deciding between:

1. Minutes of the Philadelphia Association

2. Dr. John Gill's Body of Divinity

3. Reign of Grace Abraham Booth

4. Baptist Confessions of Faith

Which one should he choose?

Here is my offer again that will happen each week right here on the Founders Blog: I will offer Two free books a week to each of the following Schools and these books are open to students and professors: Southern, Southeastern, Liberty, New Orleans, and Southwestern.




I would appreciate any free advertising of this by Tom Ascol. Also, I would like Dr. Ascol and Nettles to reccomend books to me so we can continue to get them out. Folks it's only here at the Founders Blog!

Scott said...


I forgot to add this: I'm working on trying to get my friend to work on a book deal on Dr. Nettles book By His Grace and For His Glory. I'm thinking that for every Liberty, Southwestern, and New orleans student that emails me gets a free copy of Dr. Nettles book on Historical Theology in the SBC. I'm not quite ready to officially put this deal out in the open for takers yet but I'm in the process. Sorry Southern and Southeastern students on this deal! Again only at the Founders Blog!

Tom said...


You are cracking me up! I will have to work up a special format for this new feature on the blog. Until then, keep those offers coming!

GeneMBridges said...


I'd take The Minutes of the Philly Association. Those are hard to come by these days.

"To fail to express gratitude and deny these men honor is glaring arrogance and profound ignorance," added Crook. "There’s some young preachers tonight that need to put their hand over their mouth. We need to repent of our arrogance and fleshly spirit of ingratitude. That's what’s keeping Holy Ghost revival from coming to our convention

A. Notice that any criticism of the Resurgence's leadership is taken as ingratitude. Yet, how many times have I seen and heard "young pastors" and bloggers repeat that they are very grateful for those leaders. They just think that, like all revolutions things have begun to get out of hand.

B. What history books is Brother Jeff reading? "Holy Ghost revival" generally comes when the church is highly critical of the Religious and Secular Establishment, and especially when she is persecuted. When it isn't we get the church of the the Imperial Age or the Divided Kingdoms and nominalism is a problem.

In one of his most infamous comments, Reynolds, who as a professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, has signed the Abstract of Principles, asserted that he could "affirm 3 of the classic points of Calvinism provided I can define them." He spoke on holiness and, predictably, brought up the SBC resolution on total abstinance. He went on to talk about the discussion on some blogs of this resolution after the convention meeting.

Reminds me of Eutyches' and his followers after Cyril died. They never did quite measure up to Cyril, did they?

You know, I find it highly ironic that the ones most vocally in support of Resolution 5 are prepared to assert with dogmatic precision the very percentage of alcohol in AnteNicene and biblical wine but they can't agree among themselves about the meaning of certain key passages in Scripture like John 6:44 - 45 for which the argument is quite simple, direct and straightforward and for which there is much less speculation.


Scott said...


We have a new winner for some books:

Ty Danielson( Southern Student)

He is currently deciding on Dr. Gill's Body of Divinity or Baptist Confessions of Faith by Lumpkin. So this means we have had two Southern students to claim the books. Southern Seminary has reached their limit for the week on books. Remember students that professors can win them as well.
This leaves us with the following schools to win books Southeastern, Liberty, Southwestern, and New Orleans.


X Law Man said...


Is there any way that the "Memphis" bunch and the "Joshua" bunch can get together and talk?

It kinda looks like people are talking "at" one another instead of "to" one another.

Kevin Bussey said...


I'm sorry you had to take a pot shot from those who go on every blog to stir up trouble. I am still very confused as to whom the battle is with? Can someone please answer me that question. Dr. Caner or someone?

Scott said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Scott said...


We have our first free book winner from Southeastern:

Jeff Spry ( SEBTS 1994)


art rogers said...

Marty also pointed out to me that Dr. Caner took the jab at Willow Creek during some comments on Baptism. Willow Creek's stance on Baptism is one of the strongest one could find. Marty said he found it easily on their site. I will read it for myself soon.

Oh, yeah, and they aren't SBC - so why the jab?

As for the JC, I thought the same thing, remembering Dr. Akin's comments in SBC Life. Interesting note from Jeremy. I wonder if he was referring to Dr. Akin's comments or if he was making a parallel implication.

Paul said...


I've heard some of the "mood music" used in pentecostal circles. If you can stand it, watch Rod Parsley on TBN sometime. It goes on all throughout his preaching.

I'm not sure why they took pot shots at anyone, given their published statement against those sort of things.

Scott said...


We have a new winner for a free book:

Brian Young( Liberty Univ)


Scott said...


We have a new free book winner:

Colin McGahey ( Southwestern M Div student).



Scott said...


I want to announce an update on one of our book winners:

Brian Young( Liberty 2006 graduate) but also currently enrolled at Southeastern. He won a free copy of the Minutes of the Philadelphia Baptist Association .



Scott said...


All the books for this week have been claimed just now! People need to be looking for new free offers around mid October at the Founders Blog. This could get exciting !

Scott said...


I promise one last thing about the books. My last email just thrilled my soul. A lady who is a student from Southwestern sent me such a kind email and it was filled with eagerness to learn the truth.
First, the two ladies that have responded have been a class act. They never said " What is the Catch on the books", " What is the gig", or I loved this one " Do I have to buy a vaccum cleaner" to get the books.The answer is no!
Second,the last lady admitted she was growing in her theology and she embraced the doctrines of grace but realized her studies were not over. I may just have to send her more books because of how eager she seems to be. Maybe I might send her a copy of a Manual of Theology by Dagg or James P Boyce on his Systematic Theology.
Third, it was a blessing to read the several emails from the different students and professors that have recently come to the truth that " Baptists are historically five point calvinist". We have more Calvinistic Baptists than just at Southern and Southeastern. People are finally being showed how they have been mislead on our historic theology as Baptists.
Last, as one student said " Liberty student" How can people argue the historical facts that we can read" . Good day to all and yes AUBURN BEAT SOUTH CAROLINA !

martyduren said...

"Mood music" is very common in many African American churches; it goes on through the entire message. (Sometimes it might help my own :^)

I don't think it has anything to do with being taught it and I can't say that it is any part of younger or emerging leader thought more or less than anyone else's. Sorry.

Amicus said...

Disclaimer: I haven't seen the video; my sound card is down -- so I'm just repsonding to Tom's post.

I'm not so sure that all this was directed at us (reformed Southern Baptists) and not at some other movements in 21st century American Christendom which we also abhor. Emir Caner's comments (quoted in the post) seem directed at least partly at the "Emergent" movement. "Generous orthodoxy" is of course from the arch-heretic Brian McLaren. And Caner's remark on the importance of methodology is certainly something with which we could agree. I for one have a lot of issues with the Willow Creek model, especially with the centrality of the felt needs of seekers and the introduction of unbiblical elements into worship.

These various movements out of the 1990s have considerable influence among all evangelicals, Southern Baptists not excepted. What is unfortunate is that Dr. Caner did not actually engage the issues but simply made sarcastic asides.

What is reprehensible is the vulgarity, in a meeting that called young ministers to task for profane behavior. I'm referring to "up willow creek without a paddle." Why do Baptist ministers think it is OK to stand in a pulpit and talk like that?

And what has me concerned is an unanswered question: Does somebody think that the reformational movement is connected with the Emergent movement or even with Willow Creek? Or is this a deliberate attempt to discredit ALL opposition with the broad brushes of distortion and suggestion?

One wonders if the overriding theme is not that the Conservative Resurgence solved all questions, so that any attempts at further change or reform are by definition liberal attacks.

We need to all do what Tom does so faithfully: Question presuppositions, challenge ignorance and incivility, and speak the truth plainly to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

J. Gray said...

I could barely sit through that whole was like watching a bad pastors conference...or like watching the pastors conference at the SBC, only much much shorter (thankfully).
A lot was said, but nothing was said all at the same time. Sound byte driven statements...just like the leaders which we cannot criticize.

But my big question is: what is the need for this?

What does the JC do? What does it solve? What does it promote?
Yeah it has a statement - but why is this statement needed? What is the point?

It just seems like another group of people that want to draw attention to themselves and take cheap shots at others.


J. Gray said...

Side note:


I find it odd that you spend your time trolling other blogs and making comments...yet you have turned off the comments on your blog.

I know you had trouble answering questions posed to you on that blog, but don't you think it's kind of wrong to not allow anyone to comment to your statements?

But I guess it fits. You think that there are people who above criticism and above discussion (all leaders in the conservative resurgence). You think that it is sinful (arrogant and ignorant) to actually critically consider the statements and sermons of these men. Evidently, you feel you are among them and above criticism and discussion as well.

Comments? :)

Tony K. said...

A Message for "Some" Young Preachers from the Joshua Convergence! This is one video “highlight” from the event.

Winning Truth w/Tim Guthrie said...

Tell me about the book giveaway. I am a Liberty grad - whats the contest or????

Scott said...


Thanks for your question about the books. First, I hope you are not a UT Vols fan? Auburn is the best orange team in the SEC. I wanted to get that out of the way. Also, I noticed you are in to History ? If yes, you are the perfect one to understand what I'm trying to do.
The free book offer is closed until mid October. There is something coming to the Founders Blog about free books starting around that time which will be a once a week offer to the SBC schools and Liberty. I gave away around twenty books the last two days that deal with Historical Baptist Theology. The way this will work starting around mid October is when the offer of the books goes up on the blog then the first two people from each SBC school and Liberty that email me personally win the books. That's how it will work. I have a man that is backing this as well and we are going to get really aggressive in getting these books out to SBC seminary students and professors which will get out to the churches.
Why am I doing this? Not to beat around the bush" I'm fed up with the lies and misinformation from some of our current SBC leaders about our Historical theological past as Baptist". I mean "Fed" up! Let me be clear that my desire is to see the " Lost" come to Christ and the "SBC" to recover the passionate Calvinism it once fully embraced. Many of our Mega church Pastors and Dr. Paige Patterson continue to lie about about our Calvinistic past. It's that simple! The reason I say that they are lying is because some of them know that it is recorded information that can be easily looked at. What breaks my heart is that when the avg layperson hears these men at conferences or in their pulpits yell and stomp and say" We don't need that Calvinism in the SBC" or " I'm telling you that God has elected everyone to salvation and these Calvinists just want their select few to get in". This type of preaching strikes at the heart of the avg layperson because they have never been shown the truth or seen the historical data. In otherwords I could sit down Drs. Patterson, Akin, Hunt, Vines, Gaines, Floyd , and the Caner brothers and put twenty books, confessions, qoutes from the first several SBC presidents in front of them and there is " No way" that they can say that we are not historically Calvinistic and how these early leaders warned the SBC against moving away from Calvinism. It's obvious that Dr. Patterson and others just will not heed that warning!
So, I'm going to get aggressive about getting this historical data out to the seminary students and professors and churches. I don't know where you stand but since you love History all one has to do is pull the information and read it. That's all! It's that simple when it comes to reading historical SBC theology. Of course the scriptures are the authority but the historical info only proves my point more. If you are not a Calvinist will you at least allow me to send "You" personally at least ten things that are recorded " Public" documents that show that the SBC was started with Calvinistic theology. If not then thanks for your time and if you ever change your mind then email me.

cate hanchez said...

These video clips from the JC are frightening to me. I am an older non-leader who lived through the CR and saw many Christian people damaged by it. One year the choir from my church went to sing at the Pastors Conference of the SBC in New Orleans. I was really looking forward to hearing some good preaching, and I did hear a little. But what I mainly heard was the most mean-spirited and arrogant "speechifying" I had ever heard. My heart was broken. I know it would not have mattered to anyone but me, but I regret to this day that I didn't get up and walk out of there. The same attitude seems to permeate the messages from the JC. Say it isn't so. There has been enough damage inflicted. I agree with Kevin--no more battles with our own brothers and sisters.

Scott said...

Guys and Gals,

I have gotten three personal emails today about the Baptist history books. Two of them indicated that they are not Calvinist" Yet" but they did say that they have been researching Baptist History and have shocked. They said there whole lives they have heard negative calvinism comments but they are seeing that it is our history. I sent both of them a copy of the Minutes of the Philadelphia Baptist Association.
These men have been honest and have admitted that they are studying the doctrines of grace but they do agree that they have seen the historical stuff the last several days and it is that we were a solid calvinistic denomination. You can work with guys like that. They are willing to study and investigate. This is why the books are important. I want to encourage everyone to print out Dr. Nettles article The Rise and Demise of Calvinism in the SBC. Pass it out to lay people. Also, let's be faithful to share the gospel with someone this weekend.


Tom amd All,

How can we Southern Baptist have Seminary Presidents and Professors that have a Theology where they don't believe or teach the Doctrine of Predestination, Doctrine of Election? Are these Presidents and Professors not paid by CP money, which are Tithes given for God's Work and for God's Glory. All of this is in the Bible and covered by the Lamb's Book of life. I believe we need to start having some accountability in the SBC and would like to see a motion go forth at the next convention instead of the unbiblical traditions of our SBC.

In His Name

Matt Snowden said...

The JC guys assert that the battle for the bible must be waged in each generation. The SBC is a very conservative denomination. What more do they want? It seems like there will be no logical end to their project. What do ya'll think?

kradzo said...

I notice that Midwestern and Golden Gate students and professors are not listed as being eligible for the book giveaway?

johnMark said...

Right or wrong here is on or my observations.


Scott said...


If you will notice where I answered Tim that I listed we will offer the books to the SBC seminaries. This is awesome that you are demanding that Midwestern and Golden Gate not be left out. It's like you are a college football fan and wanting to know why you team did not " Crack" the top 20 or if you are a Texas AM fan why you didn't get a BCS bowl offer. Well we know why Texas AM won't get a BCS offer( It's called not enough wins Baby)! I better be nice to Tom because he can " Pull the Plug" at anytime on the books.
Please forgive me for orginally leaving out Midwestern and Golden Gate. I wan't to be fair so I'm also considering Luther Rice and Mid America. Let me be clear: I said I'm considering.

Just for my curiosity:


Scott said...

Joel Breidenbaugh,

I need an address to mail your book. You have three days or it will go to someone else. Don't make me be the bad guy. Email me at .

PBrooks said...

"A Declaration on Declarations"

1) I love Jesus.
2) I don't know much about declarations, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night.
3) And, I saved 15% on my car insurance by switching to Geico.


PBrooks said...

"A Declaration on Declarations and Convergences"

I have met with myself to declare the following affirmations:
1) I love Jesus.
2) I don't know much about Declarations or Convergences, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night.
3) And, I saved 15% on my car insurance by switching to Geico.


Perry McCall said...

I do not disagree that we will always have to fight for the bible and contend for the faith in every generation. The point is that we are not fighting for the bible within the SBC anymore. The alcohol dispute is not over the bible it is over interpretation and application. Both sides are inerrantist!! Our battle is for the proclamation of the gospel in a world where public radio broadcast interviews with people like Mr. Harris who openly write and argue for the end of Faith in America. Our battle is not with those who would have women deacons but with those who deny that Jesus was the son of God nor did he ever claim to be the son of God. We are in a battle for the proclamation of scriptures it just isn’t with each other!! BF&M 2000 all the way!!

Timmy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Timmy said...

(Oops - made a typo.)


Sorry about getting back to you so late on the question. Been OOT. Concerning the mood music, I can't say that it is being taught in our seminaries any more than how to wear our pants above our belly button. But we do teach on how to preach the gospel if that helps.

The churches where I have experienced mood music usually, as I understand it, use it for transitioning into different parts of the service or to evoke certain feelings or inclinations during the service. But then again, I know as much about mood music as the percentage of alcohol in the NT. Sorry that I am not of any help . . .

Scott said...


I have just been made aware that it was announced Sunday morning and evening that Dr. Jerry Vines has been asked by Dr. Johnny Hunt to preach on Calvinism at FBC Woodstock this Sunday evening 10-8-06 . For those that don't know, Dr. Vines is a member at FBCW.

J. Gray said...

Re: Hunt/Vines/Calvinism

Good grief...are you kidding me?

Are we back on that dead horse? I thought they were still beating the alcohol horse. Well, 2 pastors - 2 horses.

You would think that a man like Hunt would be able to teach on that subject himself.

Afterall, it doesn't take much work to tear down something you aren't actually going to take the time to understand.

Does someone want to post the "typical SBC anti-calvinist" playbook and then compare what we'll hear Sunday with it? LOL

Greg B said...

Hey Tom: Since Scott has this give away going on, it leads me to ask is Don Reisinger still working the books service since Ernie's homegoing. Maybe it is time for another big program to get stuff into seminarian and young pastors hands.
Greg in Powhatan

Scott said...


Yes, Dr. Vines will preach on it. We need some Calvinists to wake up and realize that the noncalvinist and calvinist can't exist under one tent. Have you noticed a big difference between the two " Camps" about being vocal. The big platform speakers for the noncalvinist will speak up more against calvinism than our Calvinist big platform speakers.Our SBC calvinist side will only push so far ! We need to wake up! It amazes me how some of our big calvinist speakers in the SBC are so quiet. I'm not asking them to be hateful or anything like that but " Good Grief" come out and tell Dr. Hunt, Vines, Patterson and others that you guys are Wrong on Historical Baptist Theology! Where are the voices?
We can dance around this one all day. You can say some of our Calvinist leaders are approaching things different than Founders. What other scriptural way is there to do it besides " Calling someones hand on it" in Christian love. I do appreciate what many of our Calvinist leaders are doing but I find it real" Strange" how quite some are. The charge against my point by some is this " Scott, some Calvinist have a different agaenda than seeing the SBC turn calvinistic". My answer is if it is the scripture and this is our historical theology than what's the hold up? Are we afraid to speak up because it would be " Political Suicide". What about truth?

Greg B said...

Scott, I think you are way off. Everytime a Hunt or a Graham or a Patterson or a Falwell goes off (Patterson seems much better at this now) a host of seminarians and lay people start wondering what this Calvinism thing is about. When I was at SEBTS, everytime Dr. Patterson said something negative about Reformed soteriology or polity, I saw people who had never heard of Reformed church study it with diligence and more times than not either align themselves as "reformed" or include a lot of reformed distinctives in their views. Do not think we will succeed in helping right the ship by leaving. Everytime there is a debate or controversy the cause for God Centered theology and Church takes a step forward. It is hard to hear the constant drumbeat of negative and false characterizations by those that should know better, but by our stomaching it and continueing with grace, God is glorified.
Do you think (you experienced guys please chime in) that when Ernie Reisninger started sending books to SBC seminaries nearly 30 years ago that 10% of even conservative pastors would admit in a Lifeway poll to being Soveriegn Gracers? Do not grow weary of doing good!
Grace Alone,

Scott said...


You didn't understand my post and for that I apologize. I"m not at all saying the " We" should jump ship. Just the opposite and that's why I'm getting the books out! What I'm saying is that we don't need just to sit back and not speak up. I want to see our whole SBC turn to the doctrines of grace. However, when we use language like we can work together then I have problems with this. We have big doctrinal differences that make our methodology of ministry different from one another.
I do get excited when noncalvinist start talking about important things such as church discipline, expository preaching, and etc... . So, no jumping ship here however, I see this Calvinism debate getting much bigger and things getting much more intense. I can't work together with some of these men with their doctrine and practice but I'm not going to be the one who is going to leave! Hope this makes my position clearer!

Greg B said...

Pardon the interruption. LOL. Sorry for the misunderstanding. Having left the fold once, I really see how just hanging around, not necessarily compelling a stand-off is working. I would leave again if it was to serve a particular local church, but it would take a real "blood bath" for me to seek to leave again.
Thank you for your patience with my misunderstanding.
Grace alone

Bill Formella said...

Greg, I think you are dead right about the net effect of all the rantings against Calvinism. As a laymen, I have been a member of three different rapidly growing SBC mega churches in Gwinnett County Georgia. These churches have all grown so fast that they are filled with people who have no doctrinal foundation. Truth be known, multitudes don't even care that they are in a Baptist church. They are where they are because the preaching is exciting, the music is upbeat and there's lots of cool things for their kids and youth to do. Doctrine is often viewed as a dirty word that divides people.

The last church I was involved in, after I was nominated by my SS teacher to become a teacher, told me that "even though I was a godly man, had an obvious passion for God, and would certainly make a good teacher, it would be best if you found another church if you want to teach". The only reason given was my believe in the doctrines of grace which the Minister of Education admitted was the original foundation of the SBC.

What followed afterward was very interesting. Teachers, yes the teachers, couldn't understand why I was told I couldn't serve. One of them began asking questions of all the other adult teachers to see what they knew about this "Calvinism stuff". To his surprise, only one teacher in this mega church knew anything about it. But as a result of this several people starting studying it, conversations were coming up everywhere.

What the leadership didn't know was that many of their AWANA leaders and youth SS teachers were committed to the doctrines of grace. In fact, after the students started asking questions, one of the HS girls teachers taught the 5 points to her girls....including the Senior Pastor's daughter. ....To Be Continued

Bill Formella said...

Meanwhile, many of the ladies from the church were attending Bible Study Fellowship and coming home to their husbands saying things like, "This Calvinism stuff is all over the scriptures. How can we be against this?"

Scott Morgan, I love what you are doing with the books. I think we need to reach out to young seminarians and Pastors to expose them to the truth, but I think there is an even more powerful battlefield. I want you guys to read a quote from RC Sproul from an interview with Mark Dever and apply it the situation within the SBC:

“I always called myself a battleground theologian. My heroes were Luther and Calvin. .....the name of the game as a Christian was to win the world to Christ. ...we’ve lost it in the academic arena but there is something more important than the academic arena and that’s on the street. And we have to win the battle there and THE ACADEMIC WILL COME BEHIND IT. And the great theologians of history were the one’s who were able to take their message into the culture, into the street. To simplify without distorting is the highest task of a scholar. Anybody can regurgitate in academic language what he took on his notebook when he was in graduate school. But he has to understand it if (so) he can communicate it without distorting it. So my models were Luther and Calvin. They mastered the material but they TOOK THE MATERIAL TO THE PEOPLE and that’s what I want to do." Capitalization mine.

In my 15 years in these area mega churches I noticed a growing anxiety among lay people. They knew something was wrong. They grew tired of the politics, the showmanship, the manipulation and the cheesy material they were given to teach their classes with. And these are not pew sitters folks. These are the most active and loyal servants.

This is why I believe we must not quit but MUST COME UP WITH A PLAN TO REACH THE PEOPLE. They are hungry for something else and they don't know where to look.

This Pastor at my last church was going on a rant agains the ladies of our church that chose BSF over the ladies studies provided the church. I wanted to so bad to write a letter to that Pastor saying "an amazing thing happens when ladies get the taste of steak in their mouths. They like it."

Bill Formella said...

We don't need to worry about the big wigs of the SBC. It's true, they, for the most part control Baptist Press. However, in my 15 years in SBC mega churches in Gwinnett County Georgia I had never even heard of Baptist Press. Nor did I know there was such a thing as the Christian Index (Georgia's state convention paper). I guarantee you the multitudes know nothing of this stuff either.

Do you remember in the movie Luther when the two men were reading Luther's theses and one of them pulled it down off the door. The other scolded him saying "Brother Martin meant for this to be read by everyone." His reply was, "and they will read it."

How important do you think that one move, along with the future mass distribution of Luther's writings were to the reformation? This is what we need today, an army of lay poeple who take the truth and deliver it to the people.

Our mission should be a combination of evangelism of the unchurched along with an effort to reach these hungry, disillusioned people within churches across America. They're tired of being manipulated into bigger and bigger buildings with more and more debt. They are tired of listening to endless moralistic teaching on being good church servants and desparately need to see God's glory from the word of God. They are tired of watching churches grow only to find a greater and greater percentage of the people being worldly minded pew sitters in search of good entertainment.
They are out there my brothers, and they need to know that something different is available.

Bill Formella said...

Wow! I'm preaching to preachers. This is pretty cool. :)

Scott said...


You better enjoy " Preaching to Preachers" ! You are another example of a person who not only had his eyes open to Biblical truth but also to SBC historic theology. Go tell as many laymen in the churches you know that the truth has not been told to them in two areas:

1. The work of God in Salvation

2. SBC historical theology


allofgrace said...

It's true the battle for the Bible goes from one generation to the next. I think most SBCers are solid on infallability and inerrancy...I see the biggest weakness on the issue of SUFFICIENCY...the popularity of the pragmatic approach being one of the main proofs.

My church plays "mood" music during prayers...for's a distraction..I certainly don't think God's all that impressed with it.

Scott...keep giving those books away..the sheep need it..and it's true...feed people some meat..and they'll come back for more....they don't realize how hungry they are till they've heard the real deal. Press on!!!

Scott said...

the whosoever,

I will be mailing books out this week to the winners. Don't worry they will arrive.
One very interesting thing is found in one of the books that I sended.

Minutes of the Philadelphia Baptist Association by AD Gillette( pgs 201-203) Notice the circular letter by the Rev. John Gano October 5,6,and 7 1784. Theletter was sent out to all the churche3s in the Association. The subject was Effectual Calling! Our current SBC leaders want to say that Baptists are not historically Calvinistic. What? You ought to read what these early Baptist believed about the Lord's Supper. No unbaptized person was allowed to the table. This included Presbyterians. My point is that things like this were stressed in the early Baptists days but if " We" Calvinists talk about these things we are called " Know It Alls". This book so contradicts the current SBC leaders that it really is sad! We got to keep informing the SBC about our " True" past as Baptists and the early days of the SBC.


Greg B said...

Dear Scott:
Just an add on to our leave or not leave misunderstanding. As things are now, I think we in good conscience can still give to the CP. My biggest concern (when it comes to the divided mind your were referring to-people you don't see how you can work with)is actually in state and local associations. I know in VA, the new conservative Association has basically put out a Calvinists need not apply sign. I think that accentuates the need for local Founders Friendly groups where pastors and leaders, well whole congregations can encourage each other and promote mutual ministry (ie making local church planting a church or group of churches thing, not an associational thing). Interestingly enough, the ARBCA, FIRE and independent folks I know really are concerned for and pray for Reformed friendly SBCers, and many seek our fellowship. I know many assoctional folks get paranoid about such things, but if we use these fellowships transparently and humbly, I think God will honor it, and we may see a growing influence of God centerd theology and methodology.
Hey Bill, it does feel good to preach to preachers even if I are one sometimes.
Greg B in Powhatan

Greg B said...

All of Grace:
I agree with you, the battle that is simmering in most places is the BATTLE OF SUFFICIENCY. We see in evangelism and church growth, polity and discilpleship (counseling included). I find it strange how so many who fought for inerrancy seem to have little clue on wether that Inerrant Bible should be the 1st instrument on rule and practice of the church. I remember in my Supervised ministry class (the classroom part)my wife and I worked with a Biblical Counselor and gave a joint paper on Biblical Church Discipline. Half the class and the prof who was a retired pastor and former graceful battler in the Executive Committee were flabbergasted. Even though we emphasized preventative disc and Matt 18 (red letters).
Grace Alone,

Scott said...


Thanks for the interaction. I can work with the Founders " All Day Long". I just finished reading a section in the Minutes of the Philadelphia Baptist Association Book by AD Gillette. I was readind a circular letter on the Gospel and the letter was written by Rev. Samuel Jones Oct 6,7,nd 8 1795. Notice a little of the letter:

Samuel Jones ( Pgs 309-313) " In regard to the first, if atonement was made for all, it was God's intention that it should; that intention must have its full effect; the effect must be that all must and will be saved. If Christ answered the demands of law and justice for all, and paid the price in full, then there must be guiltless persons in hell for want of being made for heaven....... . I have hardly scratched the surface on the rest. This letter was given to all the churches in the association.

WE NEED TO GET THESE BOOKS OUT THERE AMONG THE PEOPLE OF THE SBC.iF ANYONE WANTS TO ORDER A COPY OF THIS BOOK PLEASE EMAIL ME AT and I will give you the persons name and number to order you a copy. Also, how does any SBC seminary History Professor teach otherwise is beyond me !

Scott said...

To All,

An update on the books: If you were one of the winners that requested Dr. John Gill's Body of Divinity book you must " Really" be in high favor with God. I just found out from the person who supplies alot of my books that I can get you " All of Dr. Gill's Works"( Theology, Commentaries, and Sermons) on CD for ten dollars cheaper than just getting you the one Body of Divinity book. This was a no brainer! I save some money and you get more. So I made the call this what you will be getting if you requested Gill. All others are stuck with their previous order. The Cd does include his Body of Divinity and The Cause of God and Truth( The best response to any Arminian) well the second best compared to the scripture. The other winners received Minutes of the Philadelphia Association and Baptist Confessions of Faith .

Debbie said...

I am a five point Calvinist yet I believe that the tent is big enough for both views. It's the Holy Spirit that illuminiates through books such as you are giving out Scott and through the preaching of the doctrines of Grace for example.

People need to get back to the Bibles that they believe are inerrant and infallible. They need to listen to other teachers and preachers but search for themselves. In the meantime I agree with greg b.

kingofbleh said...

I think I have said this here before, but the ideological undercurrents here are all to familiar. The leaders of the CR (and their heir-apparents) either fail to or choose not to faithfully study church history and fully exegete theological issues. I believe the main driver behind this is synergism. This synergism often takes the form of compromise between traditional, Biblical theology and liberal theology and/or postmodernism (and we have seen this in all too many churches).

More often, this synergism takes the form of compromise between traditional, Biblical theology and modern dispensationalism/political conservatism. Why do they seek synergy between these two somewhat exclusive ideologies? Because the fear is that if we fully commit to one or the other we will not be able to sustain the apparent church growth numbers that have been reported during the last 27 years.

I'm not picking on the leaders of the CR or those who are seeking to pick up their swords. Don't get me wrong, I will always defend the CR and it's leadership. Two of the best were my pastors of over 20 years and among my heroes in the faith - Dr. Homer Lindsay, Jr and Dr. Jerry Vines. We just need to remember that while swinging our swords for inerrancy we also need to swing our swords for true doctrine, intellectual honesty and the gospel.