Sunday, November 26, 2006

Humpty Dumpty Theology [edited]

This seems to be an appropriate designation for those doctrinal speculations that have more in common with nursery rhymes and fairy tales than with Scripture. Humpty Dumpty, you may recall, is an anthropomorphized egg given to the world by Mother Goose. It was Lewis Carroll, however, that showed Humpty to be a preacher after the order of many modern ministers.

We learn this in Carroll's Through the Looking Glass during a conversation on sematics between the egg and Alice.
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean--neither more nor less."
You must admit, isn't that eggsactly what some preachers do with biblical words? For a recent example read Nelson Price's article in the November 23, 2006 Christian Index. The title gives away the content: "Evangelical Calvinism is an oxymoron." Even if one overlooks his blatant misrepresentations of Calvinism as a theological construct, it is hard to ignore the Humpty Dumptical redefinition of words taken straight from the text of Scripture.

Consider Price's explanation of election:
Election is clearly taught in Scripture. It is the definition given it that confuses persons.

Most Baptists believe in election when defined as God, having the sovereign right to do so, gave man a free will to choose his or her eternal destiny depending of his or her faith in Christ.
Yes, and most Baptists can run 100 yards in 6 seconds when a yard is defined as 3 centimeters. Price engages in similar Humpty Dumpty theology when he defines predestination and explains foreknowledge. For those who want to be further instructed in this vein Price gives his personal website, where he similarly treats elders, church discipline and "Calvinism and Non-Calvinism."

In his treatment of Calvinism and Non-Calvinism, Price demonstrates that he really does not know what he is talking about. I mean no disrespect, but this is demonstrably true. He opposes the TULIP acrostic with what he calls a "response" in the form of the ROSES acrostic, which, he says, "REPRESENT[S] THE POSITION HELD BY NON-CALVINISTS." Perhaps he never read the Lifeway publication entitled, Amazing Grace, written by Timothy George. That is unfortunate because it is in that book that George offers the ROSES acrostic, not as a non-Calvinist response to the TULIP, but as a restatement and less offensive way to declare eseentially the same thing! George has long referred to himself as a "Reformed Baptist" and has served on the editorial board of the Founders Journal. [EDIT: Nelson Price has changed this article on his website after having the erroneous use depiction of the ROSES acrostic pointed out to him. As a result, he has stuck with the acrostic but radically reinterpreted Timothy George's original meaning that was assigned to each point--once again illustrating the whole point of the title of this post.]

I genuinely want to see Southern Baptists engaging in theological dialogues. But if Humpty Dumpty's laws of language continue to dominate certain sectors of the denominational landscape, that will be hard to do.

164 comments:

Fletcher Law said...

I was shocked to see, on a continued page of the letter, who authored the letter you are writing about in The Christian Index. Is this standard Southern Baptist seminary training that has secret definitions for theological terms like election? This does not speak well for our seminaries or for future theological discussion with "leaders" of days gone by and of today.

Fletcher Law

Debbie said...

This in the article is unbelievable and further shows the ignorance, if I may use the word, concerning what the doctrine teaches:
"A graphic understood by many Baptists regarding predestination is illustrated by this. A mass of people are gathered at a bus stop marked �Planet Earth.� Along comes the Celestial Bus marked �Destination Heaven.� It pulls up and stops. The driver, who is God, opens the door, and says, �All destined for heaven get on board.� A number do. A missionary couple who with zeal have served Christ all their lives start on and God says, �Step aside. You haven�t been chosen to ride this bus.� A couple of infants start on and God tells them to step aside. Persons who from youth have loved and ministered in Christ�s name are told to step aside. As the bus is about to depart and the door is closing God says to those not on board, �Catch the next bus.� �No,� they plead, �here comes the next bus and it is driven by Satan and marked �Destination Hell.��

�Sorry,� says God. �I didn�t choose to save you. Your love and commitment to Jesus doesn�t matter.�.�"

Tony said...

I just do not know what to say. How many errors can you pile up in one article? If ignorance is bliss then this man is very happy.

What is sad is that this is how many people think and it is this thinking that stifles dialogue.

SelahV said...

HUMPTY DUMPTY: "all the King's horses and all the King's men, couldn't put Humpty together again." Isn't it nice that the KING of KINGS can?

irreverend fox said...

Tom,
there can only be one reason for such silliness...politics. So my question is this...what are the Armenians in our convention so afraid of? The technicalities of their soteriology doesn't bother me, most of my pastor friends and mentors are not reformed...they don't bother me a bit. Why is the reverse not the case? Many seem SO threatened by reformed southern baptists...why?

Tom said...

irreverend fox:

That really is the question. I don't have a definitive answer. It seems that many are afraid of serious theological dialogue at all. Some SBC leaders have whispered that the SBC is not ready for such discussion because so many pastors are ill-equipped to engage in it. That may be true. There are certainly no shortage of examples of blatant doctrinal misunderstanding that support that thesis.

sparrowhawk said...

Pride seems to be a problem, just by a cursory read of his web site. Just try to imagine Spurgeon having a separate page section of commendations. I can't imagine.

Gomarus said...

Great post, Tom. Thanks for the info. I believe you were correct in your comment to "irreverend fox." Rather than engage Reformed theology, which contradicts their teaching and understanding, it's easier just to slander it harshly in hopes that will satisfy their questioners or congregation.

scripturesearcher said...

He simply does not know what he is writing about.
What an understatement.

Deja vu - same old - same old - so what is new?

But the ignorance of truth is totally intentional on the part of so many in the SBC, and one fears that is the case with this guy.

There is a word for all who intentionally, persistently
and purposefully falsify and misrepresent the truth!

Sojourner said...

The bus stop analogy is so bad I'm stunned.

irreverend fox said...

Tom,

you just nailed it...I'm one of the few guys in our association not seminary "trained"...yet I'm usually the one in our group who initiates theological discussion...most guys seem to only want to talk about church growth…which is fine I guess so long as we are talking about church growth via evangelism and discipleship…that of course is not always the case…

regardless…you just nailed it I really think. many guys are shallow in their theology and seemed threatened by a well reasoned view that is contrary to the way they were first taught…

Scott said...

Tom,

Did you hear that Dr. Price preached against Calvinism Sunday night. Take a guess a what church? FBC Woodstock ! Is this a shock ? A friend of mine is a member at FBCW and called me and told me. Dr. Hunt was singing the praises of this great sermon by Dr. Price.Also, evangelist Tony Nolan who is a member at FBCW was overheard telling Dr. Price in line shaking his hand on how much that sermon was needed. Guess where Tony Nolan spoke a few weeks ago ( Southeastern Seminary). Does Dr. Akin know how many of his Chapel speakers hardly embrace one of the five points. Hunt, Price, Vines, Caners, and Nolan could not sign the Abstract with any integrity.
These men are very close to methodist theology. Hello Seminary Presidents( Does it matter anymore about guest speakers in what they believe) ?
If you want to listen to Dr. Price you can go to www.fbcw.org and go to their webcast section to listen to the message. The message should be up soon. A friend of mine told me what he said in his message Sunday night.

I have seen it with my eyes on this blog from some people that they think we can really work together with these men and that the tent of the SBC has enough room for us all( If that is the case then why have a Confession of Faith).

chadwick said...

Well, what other tactic could we expect? If they can't prove their case against Reformed Theology with the Holy Writ . . . their only option is 'school bus analogies.' It is the foolishness of preaching (the Word of God), not the silliness of 'school bus analogies', that will reform the SBC! Let them use those foolish analogies all they want. . . as for me, I will continue to preach, "Thus saith the LORD!"

Chadwick

Samuel J Bell III said...

Brother Tom,
I am Amazed at the levels these individuals will stoup to! They are trying to rid the church of the truth. If we lived in less civilized time peroid(for exsample the time of Athanasius) They would send mobs out to kill our preachers and murder the people of Chirst in order to stamp out the true teaching of Salvation. The old adage rings so true "People Hate What They Dont Understand."
I find it intersting that Semi-palagian Baptist are redifineing terms the same way that mormons and JW's redifne orthodox terms, in order to fit thier theology.
I thank God Daily For sending the Church men, like Brother White and You Brother Tom. To stand for the truth.
One last thing that bus ride analogy is intersting. It wants to play at the heart strings of the huministic mind. The intersting thing is, The individual is concentrating on the works of the indiviuals that God is telling that he hasnt chosen to ride the "Bus" to heaven. But I would leave that individual with one thought the words of Chirst in
Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

So I think for the most part this individual thinks that if he does A,B And C God owes him Salvation.
If any one dosent agree with my inferance let me know. But for now I will fade quitely in to obscurity untill I post Agian.
A Big Amen to you Brother Tom for leting the truth be known

peter lumpkins said...

Dr. Ascol,

Thank you for the post. Nor do I agree with portions of Dr. Price's piece. I think perhaps the weakest link is the "bus illustration" which needs some serious tweaking before it will work. I may just revise it and send him a copy :)

I do think he is right on spot, however, in his assertion that most Southern Baptists find repulsive the idea that God creates human beings for the specific purpose of damning them to Hell--all for His glory, of course. This is at least how non-Calvinists understand the stronger Calvinist confessional statement in the 1689 document.

In addition, most SBs equally deny God "decreed" sin which Dr. Price asserts comes from a popular living Reformed author, the identity of which, unfortunately, he does not name. I do not know of a recent Baptist theologian who has asserted such. Do you? I assume he may be perhaps refering to a theologian like Dr. Edwin Palmer, who, in fact, blatantly says such.

At any rate, if Dr. Price embraces theological Humpty Dumptism, I imagine that goes for over ninety percent of all Southern Baptists, including, of course, yours truly.

If so, how can one expect serious dialog to actually take place in such a fictious environment? For me, I have rarely found a conversation enriching when either I or the other person thinks the differing view a bit of a nursery rhyme.

I trust your day goes well, my Brother Dr. Ascol. With that, I am...

Peter

J.D. Rector said...

The Baptist preacher from Georgia has done it again. If my memory serves me well, Dr. Price was instrumental in leading NAMB (then known as the Home Mission Board ) to implement it's "speaking in tongues disqualifies you" policy for candidates seeking appointment.

Earlier this year, I heard a leading SBC man tell a group of young seminary students that the "Calvinists" and the "Charismatics" need to be removed from our denomination.

This "Humpty Dumpty Theology" needs to be removed from our denomination in my opinion.

Tom, thank you for your post and comments on this disturbing article by Dr. Price.

J.D. Rector

Greg B said...

Dear Brothers and Sisters:
I looked at Dr. Prices' site and looked over his misuse of Roses (my wife taught Amazing Grace to a group of ladies 3 years ago). I contacted him about the origin of the acrostic and how it was penned to be quite the opposite of his portrayal. He had a response back to me within moments. He said he was unaware of its origin and claims T. George as a friend. I suggested he seek out the study (it was in Lifeway here in Richmond just a few months ago)as it would explain the acrostic and maybe clear up some percieved misconceptions. Looking over the site, I believe he is one of our poor fathers in the ministry that are suffering from a liberal leaning education, but they do know that the Bible is inerrant, just not sure what it means. Gee, sounds a little like me.
Greg Bailey
Powhatan, VA

Seth McBee said...

When I see the phrase "Evangelical Calvinism is an oxymoron" it saddens me. And so does "We should remove Calvinists and Charismatics from our denomination." Am I a charismatic? No, but I am not haughty enought to act as though "I have arrived" in my theology. It sounds as though Price likes to speak for God instead of proclaim God. I don't mind speaking of the things of God but we still should be unified. Why must he, and others, denounce brothers so boldly as to say that "Evangelical Calvinism is an oxymoron" I don't agree with the ariminian camp or anything less than the 5 points of Calvinism but I am far from denouncing those opposed to that view point as less than evangelical. wow...

G. Alford said...

Deception of any sort is NOT OF GOD!

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44)

Word deception is a Lie… plain and simple.

Redefining theological words is a Lie… plain and simple.

Nelson Price's definition of Election is a Lie… plain and simple.

Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology is readily available on line at http://bible.crosswalk.com/Dictionaries/BakersEvangelicalDictionary/

I am shocked that such a vulgar display of lack of integrity is applauded by anyone, much less SBC Leaders. And I find it very disturbing that such dishonesty is printed in any Baptist paper… or that the author is allowed to speak at Southeastern Seminary and is invited to preach at FBC Wookstock.

It is clear that Price has no respect for the Abstract of Principles, or the BFC-2000, both of which contain a clear definition of the doctrine of Election.

Larry said...

I agree that bus stop thing is beyond ridiculous! It's the typical Arminian straw man of 'what about those people who truly want to repent but are not elect?' There are no such people!! I used to think highly of Neson Price. Sad he's come to this.

Mike-e said...

Who exactly is Price trying to convince? I think the bus illustration was probably the worste Calvinist mis-representation i've ever seen. Truly Sad.

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Brother Larry,

I have yet to look at Dr. Price's website but I intend to surf there later today. I think most any analogy can be viewed as ridiculous by the opposing view. And, the bus does seem to me a poor attempt to give teeth to a view one opposes. I personally attempt to do the very same thing by some of my little fables I invent. And to be honest, I too have laid my share of eggs.

Unfortunately, I do not share your view that the bus gig is the proverbial strawman which, many times, is purposely employed to misrepresent a view in order to defeat it. I personally think Dr. Price thinks he HAS been fair to Calvinist thinking. Thus, his view may be mistaken--I think it is, if he believes the bus illustration adequately captures the essence of Calvinist belief about Election--but, for me at least, being mistaken about a view and misrepresenting a view must be distinguished.

I do not know Dr. Price personally. I know he must have done a very good job as Pastor at RSBC all those years and has, up until his retirement at least, been a an active SBC leader.

Have a great day. With that, I am...Peter

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Brother g.alford,

Consider the following statement I recently told my wife: "Most people who celebrate Christmas, do so on December 24th."

Pertaining to the truthfulness of this statement, there are, in order to simplify, two possibilities:

A) I uttered the truth. Most celebrate on 12/24.

B) I uttered an untruth. Most celebrate on 12/25. But in uttering the untruth, there are, in order to simplify, two further possibilities:

a)I was sincerely mistaken. A study I read was proven flawed

b) I intentionly lied so I could get my new Dell Laptop my wife bought me sooner.

Surely it is easy to see the difference between these two forms of uttering untruth--sincere mistakenness on the one hand and intentional falsifying on the other (which my wife did not believe by the way:(

Three times, my Brother g.alford, you appear to call Dr. Price a liar. For my part, I simply cannot understand exactly why you choose to embrace the worst form of uttering--at least in your view--untruth. Do you possess a great deal more information about his character to which most of us are not privy that necessarily draws you to this stark conclusion? Moreover, is it at least a bare possibility that Dr. Price is not a deviant liar but simply mistaken in his view about Calvinism? I think that surely needs to be considered.

I trust your evening is filled with grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Greg B said...

Agreed Peter. I don't think he intends to lie, hence he isn't lying. However, he hasn't done his homework and this is what he should be called to task on as I hope he would call me to task on something he viewed me as speaking about out of ignorance. We have no need to demonize misled brothers.
Greg
Good to hear from you again.

G. Alford said...

Peter,

The man has spoken untruthfully…

I stated nothing about his views on Calvinism… he is entitled to his opinion, I can not for it, but he is entitled to it nonetheless.

What I have posted about is his false definition of a long established theological term (Election).

I do not think he has simply made a mistake… I think he has rejected the doctrine of election (as it is expressed in our Baptist Faith and Message) and in doing so it would appear that he believes himself free to redefine the meaning of the word.

It has long been the practice of liberals to redefine the established meaning of words in an attempt to change the meaning of scripture or historic documents… and in doing so they speak untruthfully and deceive those who are not so well versed, and who do not know the any better than to trust them.

I leave you with this (which you cannot deny)… “The man has spoken untruthfully…”

Doug said...

What is this man's doctorate in? Is it a Doctor of Theology or Ministry from a Southern Baptist Seminary? If so, we know that he had to take some languages, biblical exegesis, and church history courses. That being the case, he must have either have lost his memory, gone to a terrible seminary that can't even teach the basic theological definitions, or is lying.

I doubt very seriously that we can just say that he hasn't done his research. He has a doctorate and is a retired Baptist minister. To not know even close to the biblical definition of election or predestination, whether you agree with Calvinism or not, is without excuse.

SelahV said...

want...as for me, I will continue to preach, "Thus saith the LORD!"

May I ask you, Chadwick? Who says the SBC needs reforming? From all I've been reading lately, no one says anyone wants to "reform" the SBC. Do you know something I don't that I should be looking into? SelahV

SelahV said...

Samuel J. Bell III said: "They are trying to rid the church of the truth. If we lived in less civilized time peroid(for exsample the time of Athanasius) They would send mobs out to kill our preachers and murder the people of Chirst in order to stamp out the true teaching of Salvation."

May I ask Bro. Bell the Third, Who are "they"? As a minister's wife of over 23 years I have heard "they" used to describe groups of imaginary folks in every church I've been part of. "they" won't let us, "they" have never done it that way, "they" this and "they" that. Who are "they"? A person who doesn't adhere to the Calvinist Tulip? I don't adhere to it. But I don't think I am a "they". And even in my most uncivilized moment of anger, I would never send out mobs to kill anyone. Goodness! Who are "they" that would do such things if "they" weren't under the constraints of 21st century laws? SelahV

SelahV said...

Gomarus said: "Rather than engage Reformed theology, which contradicts their teaching and understanding, it's easier just to slander it harshly in hopes that will satisfy their questioners or congregation."

I ask you Gomarus: In reference to "Reformed theology that contradicts "their" teaching and understanding", I have not chosen to slander it harshly. No pastor I have had has ever tried to do so to satisfy questioners or congregations. I trust that this must be true of some, because you have stated so here in Founders blogsite. But I haven't heard any do this from a pulpit. How long has such slander been going on? And from all I gather in my trying to decipher "reformed theology" that's been around for centuries upon centuries, no one seems to be in total agreement with it within the "reformed" living community of bloggers. Everyone seems to have varying degrees of what being "reformed" is. Is it the 9 marks? The 5 points? The Tulip or a bunch of Roses? Help me. I am trying to be enlightened here. SelahV

Rhett said...

The school bus story was just plain STUPID!! What a waste of ink and newsprint!!

Be blessed!!

SelahV said...

Irrevend fox said: "there can only be one reason for such silliness...politics. So my question is this...what are the Armenians in our convention so afraid of? The technicalities of their soteriology doesn't bother me, most of my pastor friends and mentors are not reformed...they don't bother me a bit. Why is the reverse not the case? Many seem SO threatened by reformed southern baptists...why?"

My question to you Fox: I thought it was Arminians not Armenians. And why is what an opposing person says, considered silliness and politics while what another says is simply "reformed"? And are those pastor friends and mentors of yours that are not reformed aware that you consider that they feel "threatened by reformed southern baptists"? Did Price say he was an Armenian? From what I am reading on Dr. Olson, I don't think I am an Arminian, but I don't agree with all the Calvinist theology either. So what am I? SelahV

SelahV said...

Dr. Ascol: What difference does it make what Price thinks? What difference does it make to the SBC? If in fact, no one with the Reformed theology plans on trying to take over the SBC like the conservative movement did years ago, what difference does any of this make?

If Calvinists have the truth, then surely we can rest assured that the truth will be like cream and rise to the top. All will bow some day to the TRUTH, won't we? He did say He was THE Truth and THE Way, didn't He?

If in fact, "some SBC leaders have whispered that the SBC is not ready for such discussions because so many pastors are ill-equipped to engage in it", then why are so many people blogging about it?

I have fellow Christians right now that don't agree with every ryhme and reason I have regarding Jesus....my salvation and my eternal destiny. I haven't let what they think about what I think influence me one whit.

But what really slaps my brain into Proverbs 11:29 is the: "Did you hear that Dr. Price preached against Calvinism Sunday night. Take a guess a what church? FBC Woodstock ! Is this a shock ? A friend of mine is a member at FBCW and called me and told me. Dr. Hunt was singing the praises of this great sermon by Dr. Price. Also, evangelist Tony Nolan who is a member at FBCW was overheard telling Dr. Price in line shaking his hand on how much that sermon was needed. Guess where Tony Nolan spoke a few weeks ago ( Southeastern Seminary). Does Dr. Akin know how many of his Chapel speakers hardly embrace one of the five points. Hunt, Price, Vines, Caners, and Nolan could not sign the Abstract with any integrity. These men are very close to methodist theology. Hello Seminary Presidents( Does it matter anymore about guest speakers in what they believe)?
If you want to listen...you can go to...and go to their webcast section to listen to the message. The message should be up soon. A friend of mine told me what he said in his message Sunday night."

That comment was so close to a talebearing gossiping woman I know that I simply cannot believe I am reading it in your prestigious blogsite, Dr. Ascol. Is this how we engage in dialog? By what someone heard someone say in the vestibule of the church? What is being whispered by others as fears the SBC has? Isn't this a hair short of a crewcut?

You know what I think, Dr. Ascol? I think you are right. "I don't think anyone has a definitive answer." And I think "there are those who speak rashly like the piercing of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Truthful lips shall be established forever, but a lying tongue is [credited] but for a moment."

Lately, I am having a great deal of trouble trying to distinguish one from the other. Just when I'm thinking I can begin to grasp hold of a doctrinal issue from one theological position, an argument erupts that causes me to question the view I was just considering. Politics? Definitely. Murmurings? Absolutely. Misunderstanding? Of course. But truth? I simply won't go there. I'll go back to Calvary and the Empty Tomb. SelahV

peter lumpkins said...

Dear greg b,

Hello, my brother. I appreciate your warm response. Too many times I think we jump to the conclusion that others are lying when they may be stating how, given their own study, they have come to interpret a particular doctrine/issue. I am glad you do not feel Dr. Price is lying.

For me, I have never understood my role primarily as a "corrector" of the Brethren--and that, even in my days as a Pastor. If I "corrected" every thing I heard in a SS class that I thought was either improperly worded or not precisely accurate, I am afraid I would lose more influence than I gain.

For me, I have come to learn that being right is not always necessary, but being loving is.

I understand, however, that since the media where Dr. Price voiced his view was a public newspaper, a public response may be, if not the best way, surely a perfectly legitimate way to respond. I only recently penned my disappointment toward Bill Curtis' post in the Baptist Courier who, to my surprise, posted it publicly on their site.

My hope ever is that in disagreement--even stark disagreement--love never lacks on either side of the aisle. Hence, with you, my Brother, I see no real benefit in demonizing those who may not have drunk from the same well as we.

May grace be yours this evening. With that, I am...

Peter

Joshua A. Hitchcock said...

Dr. Ascol, I have not even recieved my bachelor's degree yet, and I am astonished that so many supposedly educated men are ignorant of what reformed theology actually teaches, ignorant of baptist history, and are incapable of proper exegesis. What is wrong with these men? Will somebody please send an educated, exegetical, edifying article to the Christian Index? I am worried about the Georgia Baptist Convention because we have had two pastors made radical statements against Calvinism and also Dr. Ergun Caner is speaking at the Georgia Baptist Evangelism Conference. As a student at a Georgia Baptist College and a youth minister at a Georgia Baptist Church, I am concerned about the direction of the Georgia Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention.

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

Speaking of yesterday's sermon at FBCW - Dr. Price has been on the schedule for a long time and was asked to come and preach the message he preached.

I know some of the comments on this BLOG may seem ....trite but all should understand - the attacks and misrepresentations ... the venom .. The people are exasperated and are simply expressing themselves... at least their expressions are not in a bully-pulpit

What happened last night is perpetuating division and strife in the body.

Rather than trying to help brothers and sisters who may or may not believe correctly.. they are being falsely identified / defined and being called everything but a Christian.

No brotherly love.. none can be found

By the way - By the definition Price and Vines give of a Calvinist.. I am NOT one, nor have I ever met one or read one….

Grace & Peace to You

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Brother g.alford,

Thank you for your response. Unfortunately, I must not have communicated so well. I will try again.

First, g.alford, my point in the response I offered you was not his speaking particularly of "Calvinism" per se. Rather, it was about the threefold implication you gave toward Dr. Price being a liar and a deceiver.

Second, if you do not appreciate the distinction I attempted to make between "being mistaken" on the one hand and "being deceitful" on the other, I guess I will just record my disagreement and move on.

Third, to confuse Dr. Price's explanation of Election with either a Dictionary of Theology's article or the BF&M's statement describing a general consensus about Election remains inexplicable to me, my Brother g.alford. Surely we are not required to quote dictionaries or even the BF&M in explaining our view of any doctrine.

But even worse, I am afraid, you seem to make Dr. Price out to be a liar because he does not so quote one of the sources you mention. How does it count for lying about a particular subject because one does not quote a particular source? And to even suggest Dr. Price possesses "dishonesty" when he honestly gives HIS view of election seems, at least to me, humorous, were it not so unfair that he is dubbed a liar for doing so.

My hope for you, my g.alford, is that, if you are a preacher, your congregation will be much more repsectful and not immediately call you a liar and a deceiver when you make a pulpit mistake--whether doctrinal, historical, factual, whatever. And you WILL make some mistakes. Trust me:)

Grace to you for this evening and Peace for tomorrow. With that, I am...

Peter

G. Alford said...

Selahv,

You appear to take exception to those on this blog, including Dr. Ascol, who have reported what has been spoken or written in the public arena by Price and others…

Gossip is the spreading of lies and is not of God… reporting and commenting on the untruths that Price and others have published is not gossip.

If we are never to challenge and confront men with their errors then how can we be faithful to God’s command of Jude 1:3 “…it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints”.

Notice that this passage actually commands us to “earnestly contend for the faith”… I submit to you that this is what this blog is all about… it is a place where we earnestly contend for the faith… and yes it is in public so that we also may be held accountable, and from personal experience I can tell you that we are held accountable. Those who sin in public are to be rebuked in public… yes that’s actually in the Bible also and it is a blade that cuts both ways.

Grace, Truth, and Blessings

G. Alford said...

Dear Brother Peter,

If you can show me one widely accepted source of theological definitions that agrees with Dr. Price’s definition of Election then I will gladly withdraw my comments and delete them…

If not, you may disagree with my tone and choice of words (I confess that I am not often accused of mincing words), but you are my dear brother attempting to defend the un-defendable… This blog is not about me and my mistakes (and yes there are plenty of them)… it is about the awful and (intentional or not) false statement made by Dr. Price…

Blessings my Brother Peter

Samuel J Bell III said...

SelahV said... "May I ask Bro. Bell the Third, Who are "they"? As a minister's wife of over 23 years I have heard "they" used to describe groups of imaginary folks in every church I've been part of. "they" won't let us, "they" have never done it that way, "they" this and "they" that. Who are "they"? A person who doesn't adhere to the Calvinist Tulip? I don't adhere to it. But I don't think I am a "they". And even in my most uncivilized moment of anger, I would never send out mobs to kill anyone. Goodness! Who are "they" that would do such things if "they" weren't under the constraints of 21st century laws?"

First off you can call me Sam or Brother Bell you can leave off the Third. I belive that we are all friends here so I will try to explaine my self.
The proverbeal "they" refers to anyone who attackes the Reformed Faith with such unrequited zeal as to cast "us" (calvinist) out of the Kingdom. Which in fact you are not one of "them".
As to the fact of your statement "And even in my most uncivilized moment of anger, I would never send out mobs to kill anyone. Goodness! Who are "they" that would do such things if "they" weren't under the constraints of 21st century laws?"
If you would noticed I stated a perioud where this would be a responce of "They" (the time of Athanasius) I would sugjest you read a book by John Pipper that is in The Swans Are Not Silent Series intitled "Contending For Our All"
It tell About an incedent at Athanasius' Church in Alexandrea, Where The church was attacked in the middle of services. Women and children and men of the faith were murderd. Why? All because Athanasius
Defended the Doctrine of the trinity aginst and over the Arians.
I know in the 21st century, this would never happen and that was precisely my point. I pray that God blesses you and keeps you. I hope that this little tid bit history moves you to study more on the history of the Church.
SOLAS

peter lumpkins said...

Dear g.alford,

From my perspective, my Brother, I am under the impression that it is not required when speaking of a doctrine/issue that a literal wording of a source be given unless one wants to confirm or offer evidence or substantiate...verify, if you will. Dr. Price was doing none of this.

Rather, he was offering what HE THINKS about Election and what HE THINKS most Baptists find acceptable about Election. One may object that "Dr. Price is ill-informed" or "Dr. Price is mistaken in his view of Election" or "Dr. Price possesses a totally inadequate description of Election given what most standard theological works seem to say" or "Dr. Price appears to neglect many verses of Scripture that challenges his view of Election",or "Dr. Price doesn't understand Baptist History or Theology", ad infinitum...

What troubles me, my Brother g.alford, is not, in your words, "my defense of the defenseless." I have been known to do such from time to time. Nor is it the tone of your post or the choice of your words. Rather, it is the absence of a crucial moral distinction you appear not to appreciate in your posts, g.alford.

While Dr. Price may be rightly accused of all of the above, it seems to me, that it is simply unfair to categorize him as a deceiver or a liar. It is the difference between ignorance on the one hand and deceit or the other. Ignorance calls for teaching. All liars burn in Hell.

And, if you still do not appreciate my point, my Brother g.alford, I offer to you Godspeed. With that, I am...

Peter

Samuel J Bell III said...

Brother Peter,
I sometimes get a kick out of your posts. I noticed anytime another blogger calls something like it is. You atomatialy accuse them of being to harsh or the like. Not being reverant or understanding of the persons resons for the untruthful statement. It seams to me you are sticking you head in the preverbal sand. I leave you with a passage. And I ask you Can you honestly say that our Lord and Savior was too harsh on the Pharasies?

Jhn 8:39They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing what Abraham did,40but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did.41You are doing what your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.”42Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.43Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.44You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.45But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.46Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?47Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”

G. Alford said...

Brother Peter,

I appreciate the dialog also… but I think we are off topic just a little.

The issue is not the absence of any “crucial moral distinction” on my part between intentional deception and deception by mistake… unless you are in possession of some information (like an email from Dr. Price) that I am not that would lead you to the sure knowledge that Dr. Price has made a horrible mistake and that he wishes to make a correction.

Otherwise (intentional or not) the error, and thereby the deception, remain… his words spoken/written in public have inevitably caused some of God’s people to wrongly believe his definition of the doctrine of Election, and thereby they will inevitably wrongly interpret the meaning of this word as found in the Scriptures.

Every Minister of the Holy Scriptures will give an account of each and every word that he has spoken or written… As a pastor, I have made public mistakes from the pulpit and in print… and I have (without exception) never failed to issue the proper correction from the pulpit or in print.

If the error was unintentional on the part of Dr. Price… he above all should desire, without delay, to issue a correction.

I will now relent and yield my brother… your point is well stated and understood.

Grace, Truth, and Blessings

SelahV said...

G.Alford: Thank you for your information. I have been studying about the atrocities to early Christians who were beheaded, burned and wives and children drowned for daring to speak of what you and I obviously agree could be nothing but the truth of Christ. I was referred to sites by some kindhearted Calvinists who shared their blogsites with me.

It has broken my heart to see what Christian men and women who loved Christ endured and were murdered for as heretics in the early church. It is indeed gratifying we live in the 21st century where we do not ever have to worry about that happening. I don't think Iraq, Iran, Russia, Africa, China and Indonesia counts in this conversation. I am glad you and I do not have to worry about it (at this time), though.

I wholeheartedly agree with you on Jude 1:3 in which the author writes "it is indeed needful for me to write to YOU, and exhort YOU, that YOU should earnestly contend for the faith...."

You also said, "If we are never to challenge and confront men with their errors then how can we be faithful to God's command of Jude 1:3?" My point exactly, dear Bro. shouldn't we be taking Dr. Nelson to task rather than displaying the ire and anger on this forum? I don't know. I am merely stating what I see as a pattern of back and forth toward folks who in my opinion all love the Lord. Why the reformed, uninformed, pre-formed and deformed find such sport in pot-shotting each other is beyond me.

I have appreciated Dr. Ascol's site. He has been very kind to even let me dialog here. I've received warm advice from some here on the doctrines they adhere to. But some step far beyond Jude 1:3 in earnestly seeking to exhort a brother for whatever he or she believes.

I find it sad, disheartening and difficult to explain to others who are reading these sites yet do not dare enter the arena to discuss with those who carry such big swords sharpened to cut 4 ways rather than two.

And I appreciate the fact that you took me to task for what you considered me taking another to task, though I hadn't meant to include you in on that since I hadn't written to you in response to anything you had said, till you took me to task. But do understand, dear Brother, I am asking questions. I am trying to understand what this is all about. It is very difficult to hear the truth above the din of anger and malice.

I had already read what Nelson Price had written in the Index, before I even read the Humpty Dumpty Theology Dr. Ascol wrote in response to Nelson. I found it while I was looking for a letter I'd written to the editor to be printed in the same issue.

When I arrived here at Founders, where I frequent to gain insights, and found the Humpty Dumpty Theology, I was probably fourth on the scene. Long before the other parties arrived to dialog. The bus story baffled me too. And I was reading through Nelson's site to gain a perspective on why he took the views he did. I felt he would have been honest with me had I contacted him. And I still plan to do so.

Forgive me for interfering in your exhorting, challenging and confronting Dr. Price for his errors. I didn't know he was reading this blog. I thought you were talking about him and discussing among the commenters what an "ignorant, liar he was". I mis-read the posts. I'll go back and read them again.

No need to worry about me and what I think. I'm nobody. I have no degrees. I am un-informed. I am totally without the knowledge and understanding to the doctrines which you all are so educatedly speaking. So I promise, I won't interfere again. I'll continue to sit silently on my pew with my head covered and eyes closed.

May God's greatest blessings surround all of you in this discussion. May your hearts be enriched with God's grace and the fellowship of one another as you share your hearts. SelahV

peter lumpkins said...

My Brother Samuel,

Hello. Know I am glad to give you a kick by what I write. For me, kicks are to be much preferred over curses.

As for dealing with harsh responses, I think there are times when bluntness is appropriate. There seems to be no intrinsic wrongness in being blunt and to the point--as your Scripture you cite demonstrates quite nicely, I might add.

What I sense you are missing, Samuel, is that your apparent equation between Dr. Price's alleged misunderstanding of Election and his being a Pharisaical "son of Satan" demonstrates just as nicely that the concern I raised with our g.alford remains valid. The issue is not about calling a spade a spade. Rather it is about treating your opponent the way you yourself would desire to be treated--a person made in God's image, fallen yet redeemed by Christ's blood.

Sadly, while Jesus' words are appropriate for sons of satan, you, Samuel, seem to apply His words to sons of God. For me, I simply remain uninterested in drinking that brew. Dr. Price, from my view, deserves better.

Indeed our Lord possessed a much more apt word for sons of God: "by this all will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another".

It's late. I must head back to my sandpile. I've been out way too long :) I trust your evening a restful one.

With that, I am...

Peter

XB6 said...

I have listened to the sermon that Dr. Prince preached this past Sunday evening at First Baptist Church Woodstock and am a bit confused about his teaching of heathens in remote parts of the world "sending up signals" (his words) that they either want to know God or that they don't want to know God. According to Dr. Prince, God responds to the "heathen" based on the signal sent to Him. He says that God sends the Gospel to these lost folks based on the "signal" that they send up to God. This comes after the really poor analogy of the bus stop that misrepresents what Calvinists believe. Perhaps this is done completely out of ignorance of what Calvinism teaches but it is somewhat interesting that Dr. Prince is able to very eloquently quote Granville Sharp's rule and apply it to Scripture in order to show the deity of Christ from the text, yet he doesn't exhibit the same consistency and accuracy when dealing with terms like election and predestination.

XB6 said...

I apologize for calling him Dr. Prince instead of Dr. Price above.

Samuel J Bell III said...

Brother Peter,
I confess I am a Calvinst with a sense of humor. I know that is rare but not as rare as one might think. I understand that Dr. Price is not a Pharisaical "son of Satan" . He is though grossly mis representing true biblical Calvinism. So he is in error, and if he does not retract or admit his statements are in error then he is promoteing a falsehood. So for all objective purposes he could be labeld a liar. That was all I was trying to say. Brother Peter I enjoy you take on things. If you would be so kind as to check out my blog and let me know what you think about some of my articles. the Blog site is samtheman21.blogspot.com.
In Him

C.T. Lillies said...

While the SBC may not be ready for such a dialog I think it is desperately needed. As an example I'll offer this: Most of the church members I talk to will readily agree that sin is bad--I.e., we all sin, we're sinners. However, nearly all of them equivocate on the concept of SIN (total/radical depravity) as that thing that completely separates us from God. Frankly I haven't been able to get past this necessary point in discussions with any church member ever. Very few pastors I've known even want to go there.

The root of the problem, I've found, is that no one seriously wants to engage the Sovereignty of God in any way because of fear--and thats why they feel threatened. The general they are afraid of how it affects evangelism and worship style and even our polity. (Not to mention the bottom line of the CP--guilty Christians are giving Christians). I'm preaching to the choir here, but all one really has to do is compare the current Baptist Faith and Message with something like the Abstract of Principles and its pretty obvious. There's a serious shift from God to Man and we're all about the Man and his ability to choose right now.

Josh
"...the word of God is not bound."--2 Timothy 2:9

Travis Hilton said...

Price's attack is amazing when one considers what a drastic change has taken place in Georgia over the last 100 years. The very Baptist paper in which Price submitted his article pledged at one time to uphold those very doctrines.

Dr. Gregory Wills of SBTS has done some eye-opening research on the doctrines that were embraced by a majority of Georgia Baptists in the 19th century. In his book "Democratic Religion", Wills describes the doctrinal position of the editors of the Christian Index during this period: "When T.P. Bell assumed editorial responsibiities, he pledged that the paper would "stand, as it has done in years gone by, for the 'Old Theology.'" So frequently did the editors write and publish articles on Calvinist theology that a PLEDGE TO PROPAGATE CALVINISM seemed almost a prerequisite for holding the editor's chair. As late as 1899, the paper ran a six-month series on Calvinism's "doctrines of grace." What a 180! I wonder if Price is aware of this.

Furthermore, Wills has described in his research the doctrines predominately espoused by Georgia Baptist churches: "As early as 1800, most Arminian Baptists in the South had either died or been converted to Calvinistic ideas. The first enduring Armenian Baptist churches appeared in Georgia around 1830, under the leadership of Cyrus White. By 1846, Arminian Baptists numbered almost 2,000, but only accounted for only 3 percent of Georgia's 58,000 Baptists. By 1870, of some 115,000 Georgia Baptists, only 808 were members of Arminian Baptist churches."

Now, my question to Nelson Price would be, how in the world did those churches in Georgia grow if "evangelical Calvinism" is an oxymoron?

johnMark said...

Tom,

I submitted a letter to the Christian Index which may be included in the next issue. We'll see. I tried to quickly address several issues in a short amount of space. You can read my submission on my recent post at www.hereiblog.com

Thanks...

SelahV said...

JohnMark: Hello JonMark: First of all, let me say thankyou. I appreciate the fact that you took your concerns regarding Dr. Price's public letter to the Index. I also appreciate you taking time to explain your position on evangelical Calvinism or Reformed believers at your site.

I am not well-versed in this as you know. I've been on other sites where I've seen you post. I am learning. I appreciate men and women who will dialog about their faith. I was wondering from your post, if those whom some call Calvinist are not followers of Calvin, but instead reformed, then why do reformed connect themselves so tightly to Calvin? Shouldn't they simply be reformed? And if one is Reformed, what are they reformed from?
It is when the Protestant faith separated from the Catholic faith?

I know this is a lot of questions, but since you are the only one who I saw taking the issue with Price to its source, I felt you would feel free to explain these questions to me. Also, in what information I've gathered from the Calvinist community, I have been quite confused about the evangelism issue. Not from anything Price said. But from the views Calvinists and Reformed believers espouse.

You said, "It’s not a question of “Whosoever will?” but of “Who will?” Help me here, JohnMark. I seem to hear in the Calvinist, Reformed Church thoughts: It's not ARE you saved, it's Can you Be Saved? How far off am I in my thinking on this last statement?

Dr. Ascol, could you answer my last question to JohnMark, also? I would really appreciate it. SelahV

Larry said...

Peter wrote:

"Unfortunately, I do not share your view that the bus gig is the proverbial strawman which, many times, is purposely employed to misrepresent a view in order to defeat it. I personally think Dr. Price thinks he HAS been fair to Calvinist thinking"

Peter, I don't know which is worse quite frankly, his using a straw man to try to misrepresent Calvinism or your other option which is that he is completely and utterly ignorant of a major theological viewpoint's teachings. Given his education and years in the ministry, I tend to think the latter is worse than the former.

Highland Host said...

Indeed. I have been in e-mail communication with Dr. Price, and he seems to think he knows Calvinism pretty well, thank you. This is not mere ignorance for want of information, it is willful ignorance. He is not interested in any sort of dialogue on the article, and refused to even acknowledge my criticism of his bus illustration. In fact his reply bore so little relation to what I had said I suspect it is a form of some kind.
The Calvinists have been e-mailing him.

Not that I like to call myself a Calvinist. I prefer, for historical reasons, to be known as a Particular Baptist.

Tom said...

SelahV wrote:

ou said, "It's not a question of "Whosoever will?" but of "Who will? Help me here, JohnMark. I seem to hear in the Calvinist, Reformed Church thoughts: It's not ARE you saved, it's Can you Be Saved? How far off am I in my thinking on this last statement?

Dr. Ascol, could you answer my last question to JohnMark, also? I would really appreciate it. SelahV

I am not sure I understand your question. If you are asking me how far off you are in your thinking about what you seem to hear in Reformed churches, then I can't really give an answer, because that may be what you seem to be hearing. As I always say in premarital counseling, communication is difficult even under the most ideal of circumstances. There are always 6 messages present in any conversation: what you said, what you think you said, what I think you said. Then there is what I said, what I think I said, and what you think I said. The further apart those 6 things are, the less we have communicated.

On the other hand, if by your question you are seeking to know if Reformed churches are more intersted in knowing whether a person can be saved rather than if he is saved, I would simply say, "no." The fact that any sinner is saved demonstrates that any sinner can be saved. Our theology teaches that. This is the power of God's grace--it is sovereignly administered.

I hope I have come close to addressing your concerns. Blessings, tom

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Brother Larry,

The point of my post to you was to distinguish mistakenness about a view on the one hand and intentional deception on the other. Evidently from your response, you feel intentional deception is to be prefered over being sincerely mistaken. You, my Brother, have my express permission to accept such if you wish.

I trust your evening a pleasant one. With that, I am...

Peter

SelahV said...

Dr. Ascol, I like your approach. Thank you for your gracious response to my obviously obtuse question. Forgive me. I didn't think about the fact that the way I understand what reformed church teaches might factor into my question and how it may be interpreted. I will try to better phrase it. Would you mind if we took one question at a time? Not because you can't handle more than one question, but because I may not be able to phrase it, explain it and give you enough history behind my understanding of my question to ask it in a way you might understand the meaning of what I mean when I ask it. :)
First, are the elect the only people going to heaven? If you need to know what I mean by elect, then just tell me your own theology of what elect means then tell me if the elect are the only ones going to heaven. thanks...selahV

Tom said...

SelahV: Only those sinners who have been elected by God will be saved and therefore will go to heaven. That is my short answer. For a more thorough one, please send this little booklet called, A Southern Baptist Looks at the Biblical Doctrine of Election that we publish.

Larry said...

Peter, I'd probably term it 'inexcusably mistaken' rather than sincerely mistaken. However, you have a point that the desire to deceive would really be worse than failure to understand. However, theology is something Nelson Price should understand. Its not like he's a first year seminary student.

God bless...

Larry

Greg B said...

Guys and Ladies:
I have had a couple of exchanges via email with Rev. Price. We have not done much to discuss what we see as each others errors, but really how Christian bros and sisters should treat each other. He has recieved some very ugly mail from "Grace folks" (used with a bit of sarcasm). It has become obvious to me through my own walk that Soveriegn Grace should humble me. It should make me zealous for the truth, but also understanding of the limits we (all humans and all Christians)live with in this fallen world. I rebuke you (albeit through electronic distance) to consider if you emailed or contacted Rev. Price and your communication to him was anything less that edifying and God honoring, to seek his forgiveness. From what he has recieved, I would say many could and should be brought up on church discipline charges (whether by a fellow beliver or church leadership). Our ideals for Biblical Church and Christian Behaviour is no less valid in our treatment of those we disagree with and non-believers. We have not shown Dr. Price the practical outgrowth of the truths we espouse, but the divisive spirit many fear is a part of Calvinism. I thank Peter who braves this board to show us our pride, for Tom who truly gives us things to consider and moderates us and for others who have tried to bring love for others into our conversation, but today, with where God has taken us, we owe Him and Dr. Price more than just softening our language. If I had seen the prideful side of Calvinism before the Bible thoroughly convinced me of its validity, I doubt I would have studied with an open mind. God would have had to bring me a mental breakdown to do so.
With love to my brothers and sisters on this Board and that fight for truth in their congregations and associations.
Greg B

B Nettles said...

Selahv, you said:
First, are the elect the only people going to heaven? If you need to know what I mean by elect, then just tell me your own theology of what elect means then tell me if the elect are the only ones going to heaven. thanks...selahV

I would add that you not only consider what Dr. Ascol has said, but look at the Scripture. I believe that the section most pertinent to your question would be John 6, starting around v. 32. Then in John 10, starting v. 22.

All the Best,
Bill

Tim Rogers said...

Dr. Ascol,

Do you hold to Covenant Theology in that children of the elect will be elected based on the election of their parents?

This is one that came to me the other day and quite naturally concerns me. Can you help me understand what is meant by this?

Blessings,
Tim

Greg B said...

Dear Tim:
This is the weakest link in Presbyterian understanding of the covenant. Fred Malone has a great Baptist treatment of this in his book "Baptism of Disciples Alone" and a booklet called A String of Pearls Unstrung. Walt Chantry also has a good booklet explaining the Baptist understanding (Biblical understanding of the Covenant). I doubt you would find any Reformed Bapstist that would think the birth of someone into a family was much more than a blessing in being born to and raised by Christian parents and exposed to the gospel. It takes a work of the Holy Spirit in each persons life to bring them into the New Covenant.
Greg

J. Gray said...

Greg -

I am sure that some people have written some pretty harsh e-mails to Dr. Price. Maybe some people are in need of apologizing.

But I wonder, is Dr. Price going to apologize to Calvinists for the lies he told about them? Is he going to be "disciplined" for lying? Or is it only sinful to point out lies? (Is that even sinful?)

I am sure that he has received some "unfriendly" e-mail. But I am sure he is also a little defensive. I seriously doubt anyone blasted him with the same amount of hatred and misrepresentation he treated those with whom he disagreed.

I have a feeling he is of the same mind as his friend Johnny Hunt in this regard. They absically believe that if you criticize what they say, then you are attacking them. I would hope that Dr. Price would realize that the minute you make public statements, your statements stand under scrutiny. It wasn't like that 20 years ago, but it is now. If you can't stand the criticism, then don't say things worthy of criticism.

His statements were poor. They were ignorant of the issues at hand. They misrepresented those whom he would call brothers. I would hope he is man enough to take the criticism, because it is definitely deserved.

If his misrepresentations (lies) were out of ignorance...then he'd should admit he doesn;t know what he's talking about and he should stop talking about it.
But since he's claimed to have studied the issue for over 50 years, one could only conclude that his comments were purposefully misrepresenting Calvinists.

Have you called Him out on this?

You rebuked those here (which if they were mean and unfair, then they need to be rebuked)...but did you rebuke him for his statements?
Be fair, my friend.

Tom said...

Tim:

I would say amen to what Greg has written. I am covenantal in my understanding of biblical theology. But my view is not that of Presbyterian (or paedobaptistic) covenant theology. Some equate covenant theology with paedobaptism. I think that is a mistake.

I do not think anyone is elected based on their family connections. That has been a sticky wicket for our Presbbyterian friends to work out, and they have done so in a variety of ways, some of which contradict each other. Fred Malone's book is the best treatment of this issue I know.

Having said all of that, we Baptists have generally not done a very good job (at least in recent times) with articulating a theology of children (IMHO). My children, though unable to claim any salvific work because of their relation to me, can say this: "My Father's God is my God." Being born to Christian parents does not make one in the covenant, but it does place one in the incredible orbit of God's gracious provision of the means of grace. Therefore, I believe that Christian parents have good reason to believe that their children will be saved and absolutely no reason to presume that they will be.

Blessings,
tom

Samuel J Bell III said...

Tim Rogers said...
Dr. Ascol,

Do you hold to Covenant Theology in that children of the elect will be elected based on the election of their parents?

This is one that came to me the other day and quite naturally concerns me. Can you help me understand what is meant by this?

Blessings,
Tim


Brother Tim,
Another good book with the baptistic perspective of Covenant Theology Is "COVENANT THEOLOGY FROM ADAM TO CHRIST" by,
Nehemiah Cox and John Owen
You can get the best idea of baptistic covenant theology.
This book is available through Solid Ground Christian Books.
That web site is http://www.solid-ground-books.com/search.asp?searchtext=cox

I hope this helps you in your search Brother.

G. Alford said...

Greg B. said:


Guys and Ladies:
I have had a couple of exchanges via email with Rev. Price. We have not done much to discuss what we see as each others errors, but really how Christian bros and sisters should treat each other.

I rebuke you (albeit through electronic distance) to consider if you emailed or contacted Rev. Price and your communication to him was anything less that edifying and God honoring, to seek his forgiveness. From what he has recieved, I would say many could and should be brought up on church discipline charges (whether by a fellow beliver or church leadership).


Brother Greg I have not contacted Dr. Price, and I have not seen first hand any of the communications that were sent to Dr. Price… but seeing that you feel that some of those who have contacted Dr. Price “should be brought up on church discipline charges” I take it that you have been provided with the hard evidence that these brothers have actually sinned in their communications, and not just that Dr. Price was offended by their strong confrontation of him?

Offending someone by confronting them with their own sin (while dangerous to do at times) is not in itself a sin… However, I have not seen first hand these communications and I agree with you that if our brothers have sinned then they should repent and apologize for it.

I would like to add that Dr. Price has committed a gross sin… he has slandered and misrepresented (in public) the faith of millions of Reformed/Calvinistic believers throughout history and a call for his congregation to discipline him is very much in order.

Grace, Truth, and Blessings

Greg B said...

Gray,
As we have been taught Biblically by folks on this board and others (I hope)the place to begin is in the house of God. Or in our case I would say the House of Soveriegn Grace. As a father I frequently have told my kids, "I don't care what so and so's children do, I do care about what you do." The men and women who monitor and contribute to this board are my Bros and Sisters. I am seriously concerned about there behavior in a way I could not be with many others at this point. My converations with Rev. Price aren't open to outside eyes. They are private. With that I earlier posted that I informed him of his misuse of Timothy George's Roses acrostic and that if he viewed its true context he would do himself much good.
Brother if I have no idea what you have said here or elsewhere. I will not scan the posts to see if you are guilty of offense, but if you cannot see the necessity of us being Christian and Biblical before we expect others to do so, only God's time will open your eyes to it.
I was once, as many of us are or were an angry young Calvinist. Slowly but surely I learned that those emotions and behaviors were counter to what I professed and entirely tied to my pride.
I do not rebuke someone, anyone for contacting someone in error and engaging them on their error. This is the first job of a Pastor Elder, but accusing someone of being a liar or less than intelligent, or willfully negiigent in their portrayal of something without personal knowledge of that person is sin. That is why Matt 18:15 starts with going to your brother quietly, not vetting excommunication. Challenge publicly his doctrinal faults that he has publicized, do not demean him. You will be guilty of what you may think he did.
Greg

SelahV said...

Dear Brother Greg: Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have a greater hope of understanding Calvinists' theology now, and far more respect that what I might read here may be worthy of the KING. Blessings and grace be yours. A sister in the Lord, selahV

Amicus said...

Brethren,

Dr Price's remarks were a reframing of the abysmal ignorance of our position that we get constantly. His bus illustration is utter nonsense but the unchallenged assumption of most Baptists, no matter what degree they have after their name.

There now. I am with you all. But now let us hear the Word of the Lord:

"Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father." (1 Tim 5:1a NIV)

At Southwestern some 27 or so years (ouch!) ago, I willingly took Dr William Estep for Baptist History when Dr Tom Nettles was available. Dr Estep was of course to become the author of "Doctrines to Dunghill", a notorious attack on Calvinism, many years later. He was, frankly, a kindly Christian gentleman, but he was proud of the fact that his heroes, the Anabaptists, anticipated Arminius by a century. One day he went off about how Spurgeon did not really believe all 5 points of Dort. I was outraged, and the very next day marched up and shoved my copy of CHS's A Defence of Calvinism, appropriately highlighted, in his face, and read quite aloud and quite angrily the point about Particular Redemption, I think it was. Estep dismissed me with a wave of his hand.

I was overcome - I believe by God's grace - with shame at my behavior. On the third day I went up to Dr Estep again and apologized for my disrespect. "Oh, that's OK," he said in his kindly way. "It's good that you're enthusiastic."

Now I obviously had no effect on the old man's bias. And he, of all people, should have known better about Spurgeon. But Spurgeon didn't need defending. Rather my disrespect and arrogance needed to be repented of.

I am not saying that any of you disrespected Dr Price like I disrespected Dr Estep. But Greg is right: sovereign grace should make us who believe in it, of all people, most humble.

Greg B said...

G. Alford. Please read my last response, and take it in a velvet glove. You see, I contacted the Rev. Price because he raised my blood pressure.
Maybe we need to note what liars and slanderers are. Both of these persons to be deserving of the names must be willfully committing those sins. Might I add, that this board is open to anyone, therefore we aren't venting our spleen to just like minded friends, but to the whole world. There is no way to know if someone is doing so without contacting the person (Matt 18:15 is Jesus' giving us opportunity to understand...misunderstandings so that false and divisive charges will not be made). In this case if we held those who used these charges to the same standard they held Rev. Price they would likewise be liars and slanderers (I for one have been guilty of the same sin in similiar circumstances).
I want to float something by the SR members of the Soveriegn Grace movement in Baptist life. How many times would a pastor who was college and seminary trained in 50 years ago or so have been given positive impressions of "Calvinism?" I remember visiting Southern in 1986 as a sr. in college (as a more than likely unsaved Citadel cadet thinking of applying for an educational delay w/the Army)and hearing a student (who I knew years before in Jr.High) challenge a prof who questioned the validity of an obvious Bible passage and having a woman PREACH the chapel sermon as with her own authority. Can anyone not see why alot of our older "conservative leaders" seem so confused. Tom or a Sr. brother please correct me if I am just way off, but I see we younger guys who were actually educated that the Bible was in fact inerrant now have a responsibility to respect those who made that possible, but also to .... train them in Biblical sufficiency. I actually believe that is what Calvinism, Soveriegn Grace, Founders theology is. We cannot do that if we don't model it. Personal accusations and angry talk do not do so. They show us to be of the world. Private rebuke and public debate may. I have not single one person out as I haven't take the time to personalize with anyone) I am sure the Ernie R's, Fred Malone's,
Tom Ascol's and Bob Selph's of the world (Bob was actually tried for heresy once), have had such slings and arrows thrown at them, yet I do not hear them calling anyone liars or slanderers. And if they ever did, it would be after trying to give the person every attempt to correct any misperception. Tom was very open and introspective about the debate controversy, that was a blessing when we stopped looking at the Caners as enemies, and began to see them as terribly misled brothers. I hope that is what we are doing.
This really does meander, but I think it will make some sense. I really pray it does. We are in a time of great opportunity if we walk what we talk. If we do not, but merely argue from our egos we will blow a great chance God may have prepared us for.
Greg

SelahV said...

Dr. Ascol: Thank you for your answer to my question. Although I have follow-up questions, I feel it necessary to disengage from the dialog because I have a lot of homework to do via the site you gave me.

Thanks for pointing out to me the way you approach communicating. I will remember that in the future should I venture back to ask another question.

Until then...blessings be yours and the readers of your blog. May God increase your knowledge and understanding of His Holy Word and give you His widom in conveying it to all those who find their way to this site. May they be given as courteous a welcome and as respectful consideration as you have given me. In fact, I pray they receive even more abundantly than I have received. SelahV

Greg B said...

Amicus:
So much better stated than what I said.
Thank you.
Greg

J. Gray said...

Greg,

That last post was my first post on Dr. Price and his article.

The only reason I posted is because you came across in a very condescending manner.

You "rebuked" people on here. Which I laughed at.

I would not have posted had I not felt you were not very even-handed in your statements. You "rebuked" people here for sending comments to Dr. Price that he felt were harsh. But you do not know if anyone here sent things that were indeed harsh, do you? No. But you still felt the need to rebuke.

I basically had 2 responses. First, I wondered aloud if there were actually harsh e-mails or if he just took offense because anyone happened to question what he said. This has been the response of others in the past. If any critiques their statements, they take it as a personal attack and say that people are going after them. That simply isn't the case.
If you note my post I also said that if there are any here that are guilty of such harsh e-mails, they should offer an apology to Dr. Price. That seems fair.

My second response was to ask if you had bothered to "rebuke" Dr. Price. You felt free to rebuke people here, but if you are running around rebuking people you don't know, why not be consistent. Of course, that was partially tongue in cheek, but on closer inspection I do see that if anyone is guilty of something worthy of rebuke it is one who misrepresents (and actually does attack) other believers.
Now, I make no judgment upon Price's motives...but what do we call it when someone misrepresents other people? (Lying? Yes...or better yet, how about "bearing false witness"?)

Now you may view it as "slander" to say that if someone lied they are a liar...but I think it is a fair statement.

I am not, and have not, attacked his character. I am sure he is an honest man who loves the Lord. But his statements in this article and this sermon are ones of either ignorance or falsehood.
Is it not fair, then, to call this brother to deal with the falsehoods?

I understand your attempt to be the peacemaker in this. But, in the end, Dr. Price can and should be able to defend his own statements. We all agree that doesn't give any of su the right to tear him down and attack him. But calling his words out for what they are is neither, Greg. His stances were public, they were addressed publicly on here (and elsewhere) by many. But also his statements are not made in a vacuum. He did not just make statements. He also made pronouncements about those that hold those views. Misrepresenting people is lying. Like I said, I hope this was done out of ignorance (not lack of intelligence, but lack of sufficient understanding of this issue) and not willfully. But neverthless it was done. For him to be called on the mat for that is fair.

I hope you can understand that.

J. Gray said...

How does critiquing errors show a lack of humility?

If that were true then nothing anyone ever said could be brought under scrutiny.

I understand what you guys are saying, and I don't disagree. There needs to be patience and humility...but there needs to also be an addressing of false statements made. That can and should be done with humility. But the fact that it IS done does not mean that humility is not present.

Greg B said...

Gray: I ask your forgiveness for a haughty attitude. It is amazing how proud I can be of my humility. My point, apparently not well made is that one is a slanderer or a liar if they knowingly do so. One cannot rightfully accuse someone of that publicly without seeking out the person. Matt 18:15. These accusations were made here. They have little basis without contacting Rev. Price and discerning his intent and his knowledge base. Challenging his error is Biblical and in this case doing so publicly is appropriate, but those who did accuse him of anything other than ignorance should repent and if they believe exposing his sin is so important, then speak to him themselves about their concerns before airing them here. Neither are we in a vaccum.
Personally, I am not above rebuke. Though it is not a altogether pleasant thing to go through, it is what my brothers and sisters are called to do to make me into what God wishes me to be. Ie, I need to check my online words to not appear....be so haughty.
But I honestly believe that the tone we were taking is wrong (tone on the internet?-words do speak to it even if voice and body language can't be seen), and does as much hurt to God's glory as our arguements against what was published glorify Him.
Let me add, inspite of my ranting about our tone and peacemaking, as I admitted previously, the article raised my blood pressure several points (thank God for Atenenol). I also wonder how rather decent, educated former or present pastors can seem as ignorant as they appear. Then all I have to do is think about a 2d year seminary student whom was given a copy of Todays Gospel: Authentic or Synthetic, and suddenly I am no longer so angry or incredulous. However, it took me along time to get there, and frequently takes me counting to a lot more than 10 to get there in many situations. By the way, Alan Williams, I still have the copy, and have given others to folks as you taught me. If you monitor the board I would love to hear from you.
huguenotbible@aol.com
Greg Bailey

farmboy said...

It is right and proper to expect that professionals exhibit professional competence. A basketball coach who subscribes to man-to-man defense over zone defense should accurately understand both defensive schemes. His preference should be based on this accurate understanding. He should be able to accurately describe both schemes. An economist who subscribes to an Austrian understanding over a neoclassical understanding should accurately understand both economic systems. His preference should be based on this accurate understanding. He should be able to accurately describe both systems. A minister of the gospel who subscribes to Arminian theology over Reformed theology should accurately understand both theological systems. His preference should be based on this accurate understanding. He should be able to accurately describe both systems. It is right and proper to expect this of all professionals.

In this case, Mr. Price's profession is minister of the gospel. Given this, either 1) he did accurately understand the Arminian and Reformed theological systems yet materially misrepresented the Reformed system, or 2) he did not accurately understand the Arminian and/or Reformed theological systems, falling short of proper and reasonable expectations of professional competence. In either case, by failing to meet right and proper expectations of professional competence, Mr. Price has been negligent in discharging his duties. In this evaluation, Mr. Price's intentions are not relevant. Neither is his educational background. Deficient education is not a defense against negligence.

Mr. Price was merely a conduit through which ideas were placed in the public square. The importance or truth of those ideas transcends Mr. Price, or any other human. When one places ideas in the public square it is right and proper that those ideas be critiqued and evaluated. If the ideas offered for consideration are consistent with the evidence and logically coherent, they should be able to withstand such critiques and evaluations. If the ideas offered are not consistent with the evidence and/or lack logical coherence, then the ideas should be discredited.

In the end, Mr. Price holds himself out as a professional minister of the gospel. It is right and proper to hold Mr. Price to standards of professional competence. In his role as a professional minister of the gospel, Mr. Price placed ideas in the public square. It is right and proper to critique and evaluate these ideas. If Mr. Price takes offense at right and proper evaluations of his professional competence or right and proper critiques and evaluations of ideas he places in the public square, maybe he should re-think his choice of professions. Note here that no one is evaluating Mr. Price as a person. Instead, how Mr. Price discharged his role as professional minister of the gospel is being evaluated. Additionally, the ideas that Mr. Price placed in the public square in his role as professional minister of the gospel are being evaluated.

J. Gray said...

Greg,

I think we are on the same page, brother.
As is often the case on these things, we can be saying the same thing and have the same point of view, yet talk right past each other.

I would never want to slander Dr. Price, who I am sure is a godly man. But there is simply no way around the fact that he misrepresented calvinism. But worse, he misrepresented people who believe in those doctrines. That is not something you can just chalk up to ignorance. It was done. He is guilty of "bearing false witness" whether he knew it or not. It really doesn't excuse the offense at all. If he truly didn't know any better (though he claims to have studied this subject for 50 years) then he should probably refrain from writing articles about it and preaching in front of several thousand people about it.

We all agree any critique of him must be done lovingly and stay committed to the issues at hand, and away from personal attacks. Unfortunately, it is hard for anyone to take critiques and not take it personally (myself included). But you can't always separate yourself from your statements.

But, Greg, thank you for the reminder that we do need to be mindful of what we say and write, as these are our real brothers and sisters, and not just nameless faceless internet people.

Greg B said...

Gray:
Ditto.
Greg

G. Alford said...

Greg B.

Thank you for your “velvet glove” response… and let me assure you that you have not offended me at all my brother.

On the other hand Dr. Price has offended me gravely; as he has many others it would appear… I wonder if it bothers him at all that so many men of God were personally and gravely offended by his remarks?

I can appreciate you warning us to be careful when rebuking an Elder in the Faith. However, (1Tim.5:20) makes it very clear that when an Elder’s sin is public we are to rebuke them in public. “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
Perhaps you feel that Dr. Price’s conduct does not raise to the level of sin? But I would dare to say that most (even those attempting to defend him on this blog) believe that in misrepresenting the faith of others in his intentionally provocative article titled "Evangelical Calvinism is an oxymoron." he is indeed guilty of sin.

There is a warning in (2Tim. Chapter 3) about the perilous times to come when men shall be “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth… deceiving and being deceived”. I do not think God gives these men a pass because they are mistaken and I do not think Dr. Price is going to receive a pass either. Being deceived does not release one from their guilt…

Grace, Truth, and Blessings

farmboy said...

James White has posted on Mr. Price's article on his blog (http://www.aomin.org/).

Greg B said...

G. Alford:
No pass was given. Rebuke his ignorance. Determine if he sinned. If someone has communicated with Rev. Price and has determined that he willfully misrepresented our stand, do so. But not until. Please read my words. His doctrine must be rebuked, but without doing what the Bible warrants with a loving heart, no one should accuse him lying or slandering, particularly in this public forum.

G. Alford said...

"Evangelical Arminianism is an Oxymoron."

A graphic understood by Arminians regarding salvation is illustrated by this. A mass of people are gathered at a bus stop marked “Planet Earth.” Along comes the Celestial Bus marked “Destination Heaven.” It pulls up and stops. The driver, who is God, opens the door, and says, “All destined for heaven get on board.” A number do, however at the same time a door at the rear of the bus opens and a number get off. A missionary couple, who with zeal have served Christ all their lives start on the bus but recognizing some of those getting off the bus as those they have lead to Christ ask the driver what is going on. God says “They lost faith… they got on the bus by their free will therefore they can get off whenever they would like”. The missionary couple get on the bus anyway, the wife turns to the man as says “I afraid”. The husband says “just stay strong”. God says “good luck”. A couple of infants are also at the bus stop as the door starts to close, but God not desiring that the next bus driven by Satan and marked ‘Destination Hell’ should pick them up holds the door open as long as possible hoping they will of their own free will chose Christ. But they are only infants and do not understand what is at stake and do not ask Jesus into their hearts. The door to Heaven’s Bus closes upon the sad old driver, if only he had the power to save men and keep them in spite of their “sovereign free will”.

Greg B said...

Just as wrong here as in the GA Index. But the wrongness of what he wrote is not at question, nor the need to correct it. Only how you determine what he is guilty of. And how it should be handled.
Greg

Greg B said...

Oooops, you inverted it. And a true Arminian would likewise say this was a misrepresentation. Though most of our fellow religionists are really semi-Pelagians who do pretty much see it as you wrote it.
Greg

G. Alford said...

Just trying to be funny...

Blessings my Brother, let's go to prayer meeting :-)

bristopoly said...

I'm kind of in the middle in a way in that I agree with some of what each side has said here.

I think the issue between the two perspectives I see here is whether lying and slandering must be intentional/willful in order to qualify as lying and slandering. I don't think the idea that it must be willful is Biblically defensable. There are those who are deceiving because they are being deceived. Take Mormons with their false gospel. Are we to assume then that they are not in sin by spreading a false gospel because they don't intend to spread a false gospel? Don't most people in the church who gossip and slander do so because they believe their information is accurate and true? Doesn't the world then get a pass as long as they are all ignorant and not willfully sinning against God? I certainly agree that willful sin is far worse, but it is not the only sin.

I also agree that any speculation on whether he intentionally sinned is just that: speculation and should not be done. It is a judgement of motive; and human's are not able to do it.

Secondly, I think we're playing a little loose with words here when we try to make a distinction between lying and ignorantly misrepresenting something. A lie is an untruth, i.e., that which is not true. Was what he said true or not true? If not true, then is it not a lie (unless you think lying must be intentional in order to qualify as lying---so the Mormon is free from sin with his false gospel if he really believes it)?

I agree that people should go to him with the intent to inform and restore in a respectful and humble manner, so I do not disagree there; but Biblically I think he has sinned by slandering (because I don't believe it must be intentional or willful) and therefore does qualify to be publically rebuked in order that other leaders will fear and watch what they say a little more carefully. I'm sure many of us are guilty of this type of slander or have been at one time, but when called on it, we need to have brothers rebuke us so that we might be restored and those we slandered vindicated. Otherwise, the slander is perpetual. So I don't think those who have accused him of sin here are guilty of the same unless they are judging motives by saying he intentionally did it when he has not admitted such (it is in fact possible to be ignorant of this issue for 50 years and tons of study if you are biased to see only what you think is being said), so we should give him the benefit of the doubt on the willful stuff.

Just a closing note. Paul actually calls believers ignorant all of the time ("i do not want you to be ignorant brothers" i.e., you are ignorant of this issue so now let me tell you how it is). Saying someone is ignorant is not saying they are unintelligent (like saying raca or something), but that they are uninformed. That is a huge difference. One is a fact and one is a slanderous sin. Just my two cents.

Greg B said...

Sorry, when I became a Calvinist, I had my sense of humor and smile surgically removed to live up to the stereotype. I wish we had a prayer meeting or small groups on Wed, we are working on it.
Greg

jbuchanan said...

Let me throw a monkey wrench into all of this by saying what I agree wtih in Dr. Price's summary. First, I agree that the Confession of Faith that he quotes in the article espouses double predestination and the my friends is hyper-calvinism. I think that we can all agree that this is wrong and represents a true blight on the church. Second, I agree with Dr. Price that Calvinist leaning Pastors should be honest with their congregations. Integrity demands that we be upfront and honest about our doctrinal positions and our vision for the church. Third, I agree that the majority of baptists have the same view of election that he does and that they view Cavlinism in the same way that he does (eg. the infamous bus stop analogy). When I talk with other Pastors these are the sterotypical reponses that I hear. Fourth, I agree that the type of hyper-calvinism that Dr. Price is speaking of and the lack of integrity that he has witnessed by certain Pastors will be a "dagger" in the life of the church. Hyper-Calvinism has always been the enemy of evangelism and it always will be.

However, what I think that Dr. Price does not see and that so many of our well meaning brothers is that the Doctrines of Grace when properly understood and applied can be the best friend evangelism has ever had. Let me cite the fact that Spurgeon, Judson, Broadus, and Boice were all devout Calvinists and yet fervent evangelists. There are some among the Calvinist camp that are not evangelistic and shame on them. But this is not the whole lot.

Dr. Price has been a faithful Pastor and denomiational leader for longer than most of us have been alive. There ae points in his article that I agree with and others that I do not. My prayer is that we, who claim the Doctrines of Grace, would become more gracious in the way that we handle our critics. I agree with Greg B. We are not helping the situation by making careless accusations that the whole world can read. I say this as one who has been the chief offender in many situations. May we all resolve to always speak the truth in love.

Tom said...

Jbuchanan:

I appreciate the spirit of your post...and that of many others who have attempted to shed more light than heat on this situation. If we who espouse the doctrines of grace really believe what we profess then we ought to be the most humble critters in the barnyard. That doesn't mean spineless, but it does mean thinking more highly of others than we do ourselves. After all, we should know ourselves far better than we know others, and that knowledge should simply reinforce the apostolic admonition. So, thanks for your good words about all this.

However, I must take exception to your claim that the Westminster Confession's claim on predestination is "hyper-Calvinism," pure and simple. If double-predestination is to be equated with hyper-Calvinism then we are faced with the unusual conclusion that Calvin was himself a hyper-Calvinist. Along with him we would have to include John Bunyan, John Piper and maybe even James P. Boyce, who called the Westminster Confession, "our Confession."

Now, having said that, I think the Second London Confession makes a great improvement of the Westminster at this point when it says, ""others being left to act in their sin to their just condemnation, to the praise of his glorious justice." However, it is not accurate to declare that those who see this more blatantly as an act of positive God's decree are hyper-Calvinists.

Blessings,
tom

Grosey's Messages said...

Thank you tom for quieting the reaction there... by the way, Bunyan was "a double predestinator"
(sounds like Terminator 4) in his book "Reprobation".

Steve

Jeremy said...

First, I just want to say that I am a Member of First Baptist Church Woodstock and love my Church and Pastor very deeply. I was also present to hear the message by Dr. Price Sunday evening. This is why I was so deeply discouraged to hear Dr. Nelson speak. Within 10 minutes of the sermon I was astonished and dismayed of what was being said. I am tired of hearing analogies. All it does is play on the heartstrings of our simple human minds. Why can’t Pastors just preach from the Word of God without giving us their opinion?

His sermon took away the sovereignty of God and replaced it with man’s freewill. However, he believes that man has something good within him that would allow him to seek after God. And if man seeks God, then God is obligated to man to save him. God owes man nothing! Any person, whether it be a mature or baby Christian knows that no man seeks God. It is clearly written in the Word. This is not up for debate!

John 1:5 “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

John 6:44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Romans 3:10-12 “As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; Thy have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one” ------Man is totally depraved.

Romans 8:7-8 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Ephesians 4: 18 “having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart…”

It can clearly be seen that man’s heart is dark, corrupt, filthy, unrighteous, blind, and so on. There is nothing in our heart that is good that would give us the desire or to seek after God, unless He draws us. He, the Light, came into the world and the darkness, mankind, could not comprehend it.

This is what so frightened me in his sermon. He placed salvation in man’s hands – not God’s.

Greg B said...

Jeremy:
I was putting together a little email for Rev. Price, but you having been there for the sermon is powerful. Could you forward to him much of what you sent here. I would add the common and holy vessels from the same lump of clay in Rom 9 and his misuse of Eph 2:8-9 (he ignored that the faith that saves is a unique gift of God). A loving question about these scriptures would do much more than our rants (that includes my rants-it is all about me!).
Greg

Joe Tolin said...

I know that I am either the 93rd or 94th comment so this probably will not get read. But here goes anyway. I listened to Dr. Price's sermon last night and I must say he should have changed his invitation at the end. He should have said, "God has sovereignly decreed your sovereignty so come and save yourself by your faith and repentance. You have the power within you to choose to save yourself."
His sermon was neither correct nor helpful to the ongoing debate over election and predestination. He is guilty of twisting the Scripture into his own theological mold. He would do well to do some more exegesis on the subject.

Joe

C.T. Lillies said...

Jeremy wrote:This is what so frightened me in his sermon. He placed salvation in man’s hands – not God’s.

This is done every Sunday in every church in the SBC that toes the line on the Baptist Faith and Message. I'm of a mind that we ought to be scared folks. How long is God going to put up with a Denomination that is more interested in worshipping itself rather than the God of the Bible?

Josh
"...the word of God is not bound."
--2 Timothy 2:9

David & Mary said...

I am not a Calvinist, but I can certainly see why those of you who are would take offense to this article. Even I can see that the article did not provide a good representation of what a Calvinist believes. It also didn't do an accurate portrayal of what those of use who are not Calvniist believe. This seems to be an issue - I read here that many feel like Calvinism is being misrepresented but at the same time I can tell by a lot of the comments here that there is a complete misunderstanding of what being "not a Calvinist or Arminian" means.

SelahV said...

Hello Bro. Jeremy: You said, "This is what so frightened me in his sermon. He placed salvation in man’s hands – not God’s."

Fear not, Jeremy! The Lord is with us. And a Sovereign Lord will not allow any man to place His salvation anywhere but where He wants it, when He wants it.

I must correct something I wrote to Dr. Ascol in an earlier post. I said: You know what I think, Dr. Ascol? I think you are right. You said, "I don't think anyone has a definitive answer." By the blog comments I have been reading, I now believe people do have definitive answers.

But I still think "there are those who speak rashly like the piercing of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." (As in what Greg admonished us all to do for healing in this Humpty Dumpty debate.)

But I think my Bible must be errant, because it says, "Truthful lips shall be established forever, but a lying tongue is [credited] but for a moment." And according to the commenters on this site, Dr. Price is an "ignorant intentional liar". And his lying tongue has obviously been credited for far more than a moment. His letter to the Index came out on November 23rd. And his words are still being weighed and credited.

So my Bible has got to be errant. What's a woman to do? Can anyone suggest another version? selahV

RefBaptDude said...

Below you can find the website for Nelson Price and he has a number of articles

http://www.nelsonprice.com


Refbaptdude

RefBaptDude said...

Notice the book list on his website under - BookWeb Books.

It looks like the reading list for Robert Schuller.


Refbaptdude

Greg B said...

RefBapDude:
Yeah???? That is rather dissappointing. I think this may go back to my point about older leaders and the gap between inerrant and sufficiency in scripture.
Greg

Greg B said...

By the way Tom. I read the articles from the posted Journal. Fred Malone and Rev. Noblitt's writings are priceless. If you are interested in reform in local and particularly SBC churches read them and know that it isn't very glamorous, but it is worthwhile.
Greg

Scott said...

refbaptdude,

I just looked under Dr. Price book section as you pointed out. I agree with what you said. I noticed Joel Osteen was recommended by Dr. Price.

davidinflorida said...

Maybe someone could help me out here. Im just visiting this blog, as the one I usually participate in (Wade) is having a blog fast.
Why all the hand wringing and gnashing of teeth about whether someone believes in Calvinism or Arminianism. Does believing in one mean that you are not a brother or sister in Christ with someone believes the other?
Some of the spirit here resembles shiites vs sunnis.
Does it really matter (Titus 3:9), or is it a waste of time.
How many people have you told about Christ today?
I dont get it...

stilldesiringGod said...

Since this is Humpty Dumpty Theology, with all of our human flaws and how gracious God is to us in spite of our stupidity, I decided to add to the bus illustration! Come on guys, it wasn't that bad! ;-/ I wrote it two nights ago, but had trouble keeping up reading all the great blog entries before I could enter this one. Interesting that my blog is now entered after David in Florida. Here is your help. Thanks for reprinting the "Real" Bus analogy. You all can read it by scrolling up to g.alford 4:22 PM, November 29, 2006 Then my story will make more "sense".

For your reading pleasure.
The Baptist Bus Stop.
An Arminian, a Semi-Pelagian, and a Pelagian are all waiting at the bus stop when along comes the Celestial Bus marked Destination Heaven. It pulls up and stops. The driver, who is God, opens the door, and says, "All destined for Heaven get on board."

The Arminian says to God, "God, thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to choose you or reject you. I know that I have the right and ability at this moment to get on this bus choosing my eternal glory or stay right here damning myself forever if I so choose to do so. Thank you for giving up Your free will so that I may have my free will."

The semi-Pelagian having heard this looks down on the Arminian and says, "God, I know that You have no time for these theological games, and although I thank you for this offer to get on the bus, I know that it is not really that necessary. At this very moment if I so choose I will just merely step onto Your bus and live eternally with You, my will be done."

Then the two Baptists get into an argument, imagine that! The Arminian Baptist claiming a long line of succession and history, his roots from a good stock of Baptist forebears. The semi-Pelagian admits that his line is not as full as his Arminian brother, but it was about this time when a shout from the bus interrupts their argument.

"Hey, would you two shut-up and get on the bus!" shouts the Pelagian. The Arminian and the semi-Pelagian look onto the bus perplexed as their Pelagian brother is now seated in the driver's seat behind the wheel.

"Where is God?" asks the Arminian. It seems Arminians are always asking this question at one point or another.

The Pelagian then tells his Arminian and semi-Pelagian cohorts that he told God to go to the back of the bus, that it was his bus now and that God really was not needed any longer. He could just take the "back seat".

The Arminian and semi-Pelagian look at each other a little afraid and a little confused at first, simultaneously break out in a choir of, "Cool!" and quickly jump on board the Celestial Bus marked Destination Heaven.

At this point God asks the three, "Where are the Calvinist and the Charismatic?"

The three all at once look to their feet and begin to mutter to themselves. It is not as though God did not know where they were, a la God asking Adam and Eve where they were in the Garden of Eden. He was merely testing them.

Not too terribly far away from the bus stop is a big, I mean really BIG church with two fellows standing outside drinking a beer. The first one says to the other, "They got you, too?"

"Yeah. Calvinist. How about you?" replied the one shivering in the dark cold night.

"Yup. Charismatic. No, questions asked. Asta la vista, baby." Said the Charismatic trying to stay warm.

"Ha. Questions. That's a good one. I have so many knife wounds in my back I look like Jesus. Well, now that I come to think about that, I guess that is what the good Lord promised us, didn't He?" the Calvinist asks with a new sense of fulfillment in his persecution.

"At least you got to be persecuted, most folks considered me a second class Christian if one at all." The Charismatic said shaking his head.

Back on the bus God says to the three malcontents, "Well, boys, I suppose it is time to head for your new home."

To this the three cheer, "Hurray! Alright! I can't wait to see Heaven! Awesome!"

God, "Heaven? I am reminded of the song that goes, 'It's hot down south tonight, it's hot!' It was sung by a band named Bride. I love my Bride, you know?"

Arminian asks God, "God, if we are not going to Heaven, where are we going?"

God answers Arminian, "You know your buddy Tim LaHaye? Let's just say, you've been officially Left Behind."

To this the Arminian responds, "Hey, THAT'S NOT FAIR! That is not my will! I did not choose that!"

God snaps back, "Hey, I didn't either!* But, it is 'FAIR' it is My will and I did choose that!"

The Pelagian decides to jump in and demands that his rights have been violated, "God, I have decided that this is definitely not going to work for me. I am going to Heaven with you, like it or not. I already made up my mind. There really is no point in discussing this further."

At this God's brow furrows and He takes a step towards Pelagian and says, "Pelagian, get out of My seat. Sit down, and shut up. I never knew you."

Upon hearing this, the semi-Pelagian gulps very loudly and says to God, "Will this seat over here be okay for me, God?"

God winks and says to semi-Pelagian, "I always get what I want, don't I? Take a seat, we will be arriving at your new home shortly. Then I will have to come back and pick up those other fellows outside the church before I make My way back to Heaven."

Semi-Pelagian then asks God, "But wait God, will I get my second chance, and why is this Celestial Bus marked Destination Heaven?"

God's response to semi-Pelagian is this, "This bus is going to Heaven, and with all of those whom I have chosen to go with Me will go. And I am taking you to your heaven where you will stay because you would hate being in My Heaven if you came with Me on the Celestial Bus."

Semi-Pelagian thinking this was his second chance jumps on the opportunity and yells, "Sure, I would love Your Heaven! I would love everything about Heaven! Heaven is, heavenly! And I think it is the place I will go, take me there after you drop these other guys off, okay?"

God, knowing semi-Pelagian is still in a state of denial corrects, "semi, when I explain it to you, you will not understand. And when you hear it you will reject it. But one more time, Heaven is where I AM! Therefore you will hate it. Now, I am not saying you are going to like your living arrangements that I have made for you, but it is not really your choice, contrary to popular opinion. Nevertheless, you are still responsible. Responsible for your actions. Responsible for your sin. Responsible for your nature. Responsible for your rebellion. Responsible for your wickedness. Responsible for the effects of Adam's curse. Responsible for everything that I hate."

Upon hearing this, semi-Pelagian's felt needs were not being met and he was not feeling very positive about himself and out blundered this statement, "Oh, yeah, God, well, You're not making me sound very good."

To this divine revelation God merely replied, "You're not." And God said, "Gentleman, if there is nothing more, I think we can be going now."

Upon hearing this Pelagian quickly blurted out this gem, "God, I do not know if You had considered this yet, in church a few years back there was this speaker and he said that You did not really know the future, so maybe this is one of those times and You are just experiencing this as we are and are waiting on us to make a move and responding to us as we respond to You? What do You think about that?" Pelagian full of pride for having devised a carefully crafted doctrine even God Himself could not get out of!

God’s response to Pelagian was one carefully crafted, "Pelagian, of the hundreds of trillions of cells in your body, if I, as God, wanted to make every one simultaneously explode as a plasma explosion as big as the sun, each and every cell across the whole of the expanse of the universe, who is going to stop Me?"

Pelagian, "Uh?"

God, "And in this universe, where exactly were you when I hung those stars?"

Pelagian, "Uh?"

God, "Did I happen to ask you for blueprints, roadmaps, directions, formulas, did I happen to ask you for a single thing, Pelagian?"

Pelagian, "Uh, I guess not."

God, "I guess you’re right. Man, Job's answer was so much better than yours."

Semi-Pelagian then jumps in, "But what about my second chance?!"

To this God merely looks out the back of the Celestial Bus but instead of seeing their world they see Calvary, Golgotha, the place of the skull.

To this Arminian announces, "Exactly! Our second chance! Christ dying for us gave us our second chance! It gave everyone in the whole world a second chance! A little sprinkle of faith here, a littler sprinkle of faith there. And whosoever will may come! Right, God!?"

God answers knowing this will not win any friends or influence people, "You sort of quote My Word and are SO wrong. My Son died for My children. He died to reclaim His Bride. All those who are His will hear His voice and come in, but you all do not have ears to hear nor have eyes to see. You are religious, but are far from me. You look and smell and act like the real thing. You do many things that look wonderful in the church, and cry out to Me, Lord, Lord, but, I am telling you, I never knew you. Now I will cast you far from Me where you will suffer and burn for all of eternity as punishment for your sins. Although the most recent Barna poll shows My Hell as lagging behind in popularity, believability, and perhaps even a deterrent to sin, it is still where lost sinners go when they die. For all of those who are not elect in My Son Christ Jesus are reprobates, left in their sins to be eternally damned. If you still have a problem with that, do not worry, you are going to Hell for that, too."

tHE eND
*reference to man's "choice" to fall. Truly mankind's only display of free will, the freedom to sin.

For those who were looking for a happier ending, never fear, the wheat and chaff have been separated! The great marriage feast will occur! The Bride and Groom will meet in purity for eternity! We, those predestined before the foundations of the world, will be glorified! We will sin no more! We will see our Creator! We will worship Him for eternity! God will get the glory of His creation and we will bow in reverence, true reverence for the first time! Oh, what a day of rejoicing it will be! None of the non-elect will want to be a part of this celebration. We have nothing to be eternally sad about. This is GOD'S decree for mankind, not ours! Not our neighbors! Not our relatives! Who are we to say to God that any aspect or element has the slightest bit of sadness to it? It is for His glory, and He will be glorified in all that He does! He has proclaimed it, He will bring it to pass! We get to enjoy the ride, as AWANA calls it, the Ultimate Adventure! What an exciting adventure He let's us be a part of. To see it all unfold and play out for all of eternity. We get too caught up in our part. We are just a tiny itty-bitty fraction of a cell in the massive body of Christ, known as His Bride, that He will present to Himself one day, holy and pure, without spot or blemish, clean in His sight because He made Her that way on the cross and with His perfect life's work on Earth. We really are saved by works, His! Without them, no substitutionary atonement. A passing thought about those dying in sin from Paul Washer, "All of creation will stand and applaud the day you die and leave the face of the Earth."

Theological note: for those of you who wish to take this little Humpty Dumpty Theology for more than a cute story, a few deep nuggets for thought.

Pelagius was written off by the Roman Catholic church as a heretic, yet our Baptist churches have quite a good number and good influence of Pelagian heresy being ushered in the back door.

Very well respected and highly educated men such as Drs. R.C. Sproul and Derek Thomas both challenge us to believe that Arminian teaching is not an acceptable doctrine of a brother in Christ, but is a damnable doctrine that a brother may hold to only temporally in confusion and misunderstanding of Scripture. If this brother clings to this doctrine consistently as a belief system for an extended period of time as a means of salvation he or she is in rebellion to the true teachings of Holy Writ and is revealing the true nature of their spirit within themselves, lacking the ability and the Spirit of the living God to teach them His precious truths, instead claiming doctrines of men for their salvation. This rebellion of the Truth is a rebellion against God, His Word, and the very salvation they are claiming.

A contradiction that manifests itself as infighting with those who are truly in Christ; those who understand God’s plan of redemption. We call them Calvinists, nowadays. But we prefer to be identified with the One to whom we seek to model our lives after, CHRISTian.

But name calling is becoming more and more irrelevant since people are taking it upon themselves to redefine historical terms, erasing and blurring what has taken centuries to establish and uphold. One thing that is repeated by myself and others here is that one thing must remain consistent, love shown from us to others. Whether we agree with them or not, whether they want to kick us out of the church or not. And sometimes that is hard. No one likes to be treated the way that Jesus was treated. It was sinful the way we humans treated Him then and it is wrong the way we treat Him now through each other. Thankfully His grace is greater than my grace allows and His forgiveness is faster and far superior to anything I could comprehend. And thank You God for sending Christ to be the propitiation for my sins. I would not have even have had a chance without Your patience! Thank You Lord for ransoming Your people for and to Yourself. And God, help us to love each other as You have loved us, because it is really, really hard. I mean, since when and why has the world been easier to take than the "Church"? Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

P.S. For those wishing to hear more on this issue of the Arminian debate by R.C. Sproul and Dr. Derek Thomas check out the Akron 2005 Conference Audio Series for five tapes $22.00 https://store.ligonier.org/products.asp?idDept=A&idCategory=TH&whichpage=1&pagesize=6

The five C.D.s can be obtained here for $30.00
https://store.ligonier.org/product.asp?idDept=C&idCategory=TH&idProduct=AKR05CC

And as with much of the theology I have come to embrace, this was an affirmation, not a cornerstone or an epiphany. But if it is for you, then that is fantastic. Then move on and get back to the work of saving souls and making disciples in Christ's name. Works of an EVANGELICAL CALVINIST!

Don said...

First of all, I want to say to Mr. Ascol that I am in awe of the awesome work God has done through you and Dr. White. Keep up the good work. It is refreshing to see a friendly conversation about Calvinism going on.
The central problem right now in our churches seems to be a lack of Biblical authority. Dr. Price seems to believe his own opinion over the inerrant, infallible Word of God.

willreformed said...

If anyone should ask me what I mean by a Calvinist, I should reply, "He is one who says, Salvation of the Lord." I cannot find in Scripture any other doctrine than this. It is the essence of the Bible. "He only is my rock and my salvation." Tell me anything contrary to this truth, and it will be a heresy; tell me a heresy, and I shall find its essence here, that it has departed from this great, this fundamental, this rock-truth, "God is my rock and my salvation." .....


"There is no soul living who holds more firmly to the doctrines of grace than I do, and if any man asks me whether I am ashamed to be called a Calvinist, I answer I wish to be called nothing but a Christian; but if you ask me, do I hold the doctrinal views which were held by John Calvin, I reply, I do in the main hold them, and rejoice to avow it.

But far be it from me even to imagine that Zion contains none but Calvinistic Christians within her walls, or that there are none saved who do not hold our views. I believe there are multitudes of men who cannot see these truths, or, at least, cannot see them in the way in which we put them, who nevertheless have received Christ as their Saviour, and are as dear to the heart of the God of grace as the soundest Calvinist in or out of Heaven."

CHS, A Defense of Calvinism

farmboy said...

"Why all the hand wringing and gnashing of teeth about whether someone believes in Calvinism or Arminianism." No hands are being wrung or teeth being gnashed because someone, based on a careful, thoughtful evaluation of the evidence from Scripture, subscribes to either a Reformed or Arminian understanding of Scripture. In the present case Mr. Price has constructed and rejected a caricature of Reformed theology, a caricature that would never flow from a careful, thoughtful evaluation of Scripture.

As a Reformed Baptist I have great respect for and can easily and effectively work with an Arminian who accurately understands and portrays the Arminian and Reformed theological systems. The hand wringing and teeth gnashing are due to gross, negligent misrepresentation and the negative consequences that accrue from this gross, negligent misrepresentation. Were I to become aware of it, I would respond in like manner to someone who creates a similar caricature of Arminian theology. In neither case is the cause of truth served. There are important differences between the Arminian and Reformed theological systems, caricatures of the sort constructed by Mr. Nelson only distract us from profitable study of and reflection on these important differences.

As part of my own studies I am currently working through John Girardeau’s “Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism.”

G. Alford said...

Hey Tom,

Seeing that Ergun and Emir Caner (have decided of their own free will not to participate in a debate) and you and Dr. White (being predestined by God not to have to suffer debating them) perhaps Dr. Price and Hunt would be willing to take the Caners place and debate you and Dr. White?

Perhaps it could be held at FBC Woodstock? I have friends in the area (although I cannot reveal their names you know) and I would be willing to drive from Florida to Atlanta to hear Dr. Price and Hunt attempt to defend their provocative anti-Calvinism positions.

Grace, Truth, and Blessings

Greg B said...

Farmboy:
Girardeau is excellent. I used it in 98 as a resource for a Systematic Term paper. He and Shedd were very well written and understandable even with the difference in time and language. It is neat to think that Girardeau wrote it mainly to refute the strong free-will current going through the youth in his church in Columbia, SC (when Columbia Seminary was actually in Columbia).
Greg

Scott said...

Tom,

I agree with g alford. How about you and James White or you and Dr. Nettles debate Dr. Johnny Hunt and Nelson Price or Dr. Jerry Vines. I could be your bodyguard. That probably would not be very safe for you for me to do that for you because I would be putting you in danger at FBCW( Being formerly on the Pastoral Staff).
Just kidding about being the bodyguard but I would love to see you guys make the offer. Two former SBC " Very High Level Leaders"(President and Mega Church Pastor) told me today that they don't understand why Dr. Hunt and FBCW have stepped up to be the voice against Calvinism. Both agreed that Drs. Hunt, Vines, and Price sound like Methodist in their theology ! These men call themselves " Four Pointers".It's not just " Five Pointers" that are realizing that these men are wrong scripturally and historically(Baptist theology).

johnMark said...

I will be at FBCW this weekend to see Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort. Shall I set something up while I'm there? -grin-

Mark

stilldesiringGod said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tom said...

StilldesiringGod:

I removed your comment because I judged that it crossed the line, which I assume you anticipated in light of your invitation to be "chastened." You might want to check out the "Guidelines" link under the "Policies for Comments" on the right.

Blessings,
tom

J. Gray said...

Davidinflorida -

You wrote:
"Why all the hand wringing and gnashing of teeth about whether someone believes in Calvinism or Arminianism. Does believing in one mean that you are not a brother or sister in Christ with someone believes the other?
Some of the spirit here resembles shiites vs sunnis."

I think you might have missed the point. I don't believe anyone here is upset with someone for believing differently than them. They are upset because their beliefs were misrepresented and they were maligned because of that misrepresentation.
If someone were to lie about you, say you believe things that you don't believe...and then spoke to thousands of people and convinced them you were in error because of those things you don't believe, would you be offended? I think so.

No one here believes that those who disagree on this issue are not fellow believers. (Though we have seen that from those on the other side...Ergun Caner, for example...not to mention the repeated attacks based out of 1 church.)
I think you may have misread or misunderstood people. I have read every comment on this post, and have seen nothing that would warrant a charge of being like shiite and sunnis. That is grossly unfair.



You wrote:
"Does it really matter (Titus 3:9), or is it a waste of time."

I think it does matter. Evidently many on both sides agree. I don;t think this would fall under a Titus 3 issue since this is a debate about how to understand God and His Word, not a foolish argument about genealogies or something fo that nature.
Do you not feel it is important to rightly understand what God does in salvation? I could think of few discussions more profitable.


You ask:
"How many people have you told about Christ today?"

I suppose this is meant as a rebuke of some sort, but I don't see how discussing this precludes us from sharign the gospel with others. That kind of response really is unhelpful to this issue. It's like saying, "you wasted time today to sleep and take a shower???? why weren't you out witnessing."

David, I truly encourage you to join this conversation. It IS profitable. It's a discussion about the very nature of God and His salvation of sinners.

BTW, David, I live in the same town as you (based off your profile)...I would love to meet with you sometime to discuss these issues (and others) if you so desire. My e-mail is jgrayhound@yahoo.com. Please contact me.

David & Mary said...

The statement has been made that we need to dialoque on theological issues but the tone of these many posts seem to be wanting not a discussion among brothers and sisters in Christ, but a wrestling match where you believe your side will "school" any and all comers. Incredibley disturbing to see such giddiness by Christian men at the thought that other men who've given their lives in service to the Lord are simply idiots when it comes to theology.

J. Gray said...

Mary,

I think what you've seen here is people who feel hurt by constant misrepresentations and attacks by people who disagree with them.

I don't think anyone is happy (or "giddy") that others have shown their misunderstandings in public forums. Everyone here, I'm guessing, would much prefer that those who cannot accurately represent the issues at hand just not say anything.

All the men who have been discussed in this issue have put themselves out there for criticism. No one would have ever even mentione Dr.Price if he hadn't written an article and preached a sermon where he made such blatant errors. When you make public statements, you invite public criticism. This is the result of those decisions.

No one is saying these men are "idiots". But some have said that they may be "ignorant" of this subject. That does not mean they are stupid, simply that they are not completely informed on all facets of this issue.
Judging by the comments made by Dr.Price, is that not a fair statement?
He clearly misrepresented Calvinists and their beliefs...did he do this out of ignorance or did he do this on purpose?
Mary, what do you believe to be the case?

sparrowhawk said...

While just thinking about the entire bus analogy, it reminded me of the Great Divorce by CS Lewis.

Interesting that in Lewis' story, the riders on the bus are there by choice yet totally miserable as they travel toward and arrive in the beautiful Heaven, instead, they long and desire the very Pit of despair from which they were taken.

Not an exact comparison to Dr. Price's usage, granted, but there are enough intimations to our need for loving and enjoying God versus the bondage of the will and one's 'free' choices to make for interesting thought.

Greg B said...

Dear Mary:
As one who called people to task over a the attitude, I must admit, the Soveriegn Grace believers are constantly bombarded by blatant misrepresentations by ignorant and sometime maliscious folks. It does take a very thick skin and several helpings of grace not to lose ones cool. Valid explanations of what evangelical calvinists and hyper calvinists believe are contained in many theology books by neutral (or semi-neutral) folks. I think of Millard Erikson's Theology as one (he call himself a mild calvinist). So thank you for your correction, but also understand where much of the bile comes from. Great men such as Wm. Carey, John Bunyan, Spurgeon, Judson (the first american baptist over-seas missionary) were all evangelical calvinists and this is in every Church History book. With this in mind I think you could understand the .... yeah, anger that can arise.
Greg

David & Mary said...

Gray and Greg B, thank you for your kind tone in your response to me.

I certainly understand why the article by Dr. Price was offensive. As a non-Calvinist even I could see the misrepresentations. And I can certainly understand the frustration over being misrepresented. I have not seen one poster on this thread who seems to understand what I mean when I say I am not a Calvinist, Arminian, Pelegian or semi-Pelegian. There seems to very little available in cyber-space representing what in my experience is the side of the non-Calvinist Southern Baptist. The misunderstanding and misrepresentations are flying both ways and feeling get hurt both ways. Where does it stop?

Gray, you asked me if believed Dr. Price was writing out of ignorance or purposely misrepresenting what Calvinism is. Please consider the following copied from StillDesiringGod

"Very well respected and highly educated men such as Drs. R.C. Sproul and Derek Thomas both challenge us to believe that Arminian teaching is not an acceptable doctrine of a brother in Christ, but is a damnable doctrine that a brother may hold to only temporally in confusion and misunderstanding of Scripture. If this brother clings to this doctrine consistently as a belief system for an extended period of time as a means of salvation he or she is in rebellion to the true teachings of Holy Writ and is revealing the true nature of their spirit within themselves, lacking the ability and the Spirit of the living God to teach them His precious truths, instead claiming doctrines of men for their salvation. This rebellion of the Truth is a rebellion against God, His Word, and the very salvation they are claiming."

End Quote

When I read this it seems to say that one is either not quite smart enough to get Calvinism or if they have studied it and rejected it are dead in their sins. If they reject Calvinism after careful study and review they are not a Christian. So if this is what some Calvinist believe then it would seem to me that they really do believe that a person can call themselves a Christian, study the Bible and even be involved in a ministry like missions and yet they are living a lie and therefore will not be allowed on the "bus" if they reject Calvinism. I also understand that a majority here will simple say a non-elect person could not be involved for any length of time in a Christian ministry, but this is not what the above quote seems to be implying.

So did Dr. Price intentionally misrepresent Calvinism? When I read the above quote I think he's pretty close to what these men are saying. His election definition was completely off and I would tend to say that was just ignorance or mispeaking on his part. But at the end of the day who am I judge what's in the man's heart and mind?

Again I can completely understand the frustration, but what I don't see very much of on this blog is simply "This is wrong and here's why it's wrong from the Bible." Sola Scriptura. Personally I'm not impressed by names from the past who believed this or that and references to this confession and that confession. What does the Bible say is all that matters.

WalterJC said...

Mary,

You hit the nail on the head. I have been reading many of the posts here for several months. When we start talking about needing bodyguards at a debate in a church with Hunt, Vines and Price that's silly. I know Scott was kidding but I have read some of his posts and there is definitely bitterness within that is spewing out.

Ephesians 5:8
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.

I don't think continual hammering on these leaders within the SBC is Christ honoring. The rhetoric I read is absent of brotherly love. If you disagree state your case but don't personally attack the person you disagree with. Being a child of God does not allow you the luxury to be unkind. One wrong does not make a right.

Andrew said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
David & Mary said...

Yeah, that's gonna help things along.

Andrew said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
J. Gray said...

Walter,

You wrote:
"I don't think continual hammering on these leaders within the SBC is Christ honoring. The rhetoric I read is absent of brotherly love. If you disagree state your case but don't personally attack the person you disagree with. Being a child of God does not allow you the luxury to be unkind. One wrong does not make a right."

Why do you think that these issues keep coming up?
It is because some of these leaders feel necessary to continually preach sermons against calvinism. They also continually make the same mistakes and errors in their misrepresentation of calvinists.

I have not seen ANY personal attacks.
If you have seen some please quote them directly.

I want to make clear, that addressing what a man says publicly is NOT a personal attack. if you don;t want your words to be criticized, don't say anything.

Walter, I think you have turned this situation on its head. It's those who are anti-calvinistic who are making the personal attacks and continual misrepresentations. Please don't fall back on "don't attack them personally". I've seen noone here do that in this case.

This is very reminiscent of when Johnny Hunt made comments about this issue. His comments were critiqued and he and his church members got defensive saying that he was attacked personally. He wasn't. His comments were addressed, and he (and his followers) got defensive.

The rhetoric, IMO, is coming from one side. Just look at all the sermons that are coming out about the subject. (Heck, just look at the ones from ONE church...can you say "agenda"?). The attacks are coming from one-side.
I agree the rhetoric is sinful and absent of brotherly love...but I think you have misdiagnosed the source.

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

WalterJc Said:

I don't think continual hammering on these leaders within the SBC is Christ honoring. The rhetoric I read is absent of brotherly love.


Walter do you think these leaders are honoring Christ when they write articles that are intentionally “PROVOCATIVE” with such titles as “Doctrines that lead to Dounhills” and “Evangelical Calvinism is an Oxymoron” ?

Tell me when is the last time a Southern Baptist Calvinist was guilty of writing an inflammatory article attacking the faith of other Southern Baptist? Can you name even one? Perhaps it has happened but I have not heard of it.

To start with not one of the State papers would publish such an article, and rightly so, but many it seams have no hesitancy to publish one attacking Calvinism; why is that you think? I think brother Gray is right “can you say "agenda?".

I agree “The rhetoric I read is absent of brotherly love.” and “I am so very tired of the personal attacks upon my faith by these SBC Leaders!”

Grace, Truth, Blessings

Greg B said...

Dear Scott:
Though I am a big "have the more Christ like attitude types here, I thoroughly understand where you are coming from and having run through the posts, I do not see you being anything but passionate, and you have been personally wronged by someone who should know better and has no excuse.
Greg B

stilldesiringGod said...

Dear Tom, I have read the guidelines and did not think I in any way crossed them, or else I never would have bothered writing a post like that. In the guidelines you have put forth that there is much policing and brotherly correction within the blog and I have seen it played out many times just within the Humpty Dumpty blog itself, it has gotten rather long. The invitation was to a specific person who has done some policing and correcting of perhaps a dozen people on this blog within just the last month. I welcomed his brotherly critique, although I may not always agree to the barriers of sensitivity that he has personally. I write with a little more passion, sometimes graphically for the sake of getting a point across, but I did not name someone that has not already been mentioned here before, or perhaps the PDB comment was viewed as out of line. I am not sure since you did not state. I addressed difficult theological issues and did take a position, if this has caused the issue because I named names, then I will accept your rebuke and be more careful in the future understanding that it is off limits on this blog site to discuss those issues to that extent. If you wish to e-mail me personally and do any further explaining so I may learn from an elder, then I am all ears. As you read at the bottom of my blog I came with humility to the delicate subject matter and offered others to take objection, ask for clarification, or they could have just outright disagreed. Thank you for considering these things.

WalterJC said...

A couple of examples:

Step Right Up Folks,

Scott said...

Yes, here we go again with Dr. Johnny Hunt. By attending his Bonfire Conference you can win a Hummer, I Pod, and many other prizes. Check out www.fbcw.org and click on Bonfire and register so you can possibly win the Hummer. The cancellation of the debate and now this. Where does it stop Guys? The event will be held at the church. A former member and member brought this to my attention !

Scott said...

Tom,

Fire engine Baptistries, Soul A Month Club(Bailey Smith), Johnny Hunt and FBCW giving away a Hummer, Beach Vacations, XBox, and Car giveaway, giving out cash at Youth event, and etc.... . I rest my case !

3:50 PM, October 12, 2006

Just some examples.

I am not condoning what these guys do but I don't think having a gossip column about their tactics is proper. This is becoming a glorified gossip column.

stilldesiringGod said...

I have reread the Guidelines, and am assuming that I, as you wrote in your guidelines, crossed your subjective opinion of what was personal. I totally see that and understand. If you e-mail me, would you please also tell me whether the blog could be rewritten generically and therefore be considered inoffensive? Thank you. I guess I do need to be considerate of not getting you into the hot seat for something someone else wrote on your blog, from misunderstanding or strong disagreement with what I wrote. I tried to take care of the first part, although I am sure most would read and go on their way, and the last part I will apologize for entering the public arena with knowledge that this is not a private conversation amongst friends and not taking into consideration the potential outcome. And in confession, I knew that and wanted those things read by others, too. So for that I apologize for allowing myself to be too complacent with your blog-site. I will try not to let that happen again.

J. Gray said...

walter,

How is it gossip to talk about something that they advertise on their websites???

BTW, those examples did not show any "personal attacks". People barely even discussed those issues, they simply mentioned that they were taking place.

I think you are LOOKING for things to find fault with over here. So far you have said that gossip and attacks have taken place, but neither are true.
Just because you disagree with people does not make their discussions sinful.
Any discussion of any statements made by anyone, especially those that the people themselves make public (sermons, books, articles, websites, etc.) are open to critique.

Greg B said...

Walter:
I honestly want to know your point. Many of us do not hear these things until they trickle down to a local church or even one we are in.
I remember the post you referred to and we were discussing something that was in a mainstream Baptist publication (the firetruck baptistry). These things are harmful and need to be exposed and discussed. I am the first to admit we get bent out of shape for a little too long and at times say things that we often don't know (someones intent or heart attitude), but I was in that discussion and it was passionate, but it was not in the spirit of gossip. Afterall, what we discussed was publicly published. Also, in the vein of understanding, many treat this board as their Founders friends to blow off steam and seek how to proceed. Many do not have folks in their close by area to do this. For a year after moving to a new area, I had no one to discuss these things with and to express my passion on a regular basis. This is a public forum, but understand much of the communication is intimate, and as such ideas and emotions are tested. Passion and rudeness or gossip are not the same things.
Greg

G. Alford said...

Walter,

I am not trying to win any debate… and after reading my post to you I must apologize for coming across as I did.

Yes some of us tend to get a little “blunt” with our criticism of what some do to attract attention to their ministries… but in both of the cases you mentioned the criticism was based upon things these churches actually did.

In the case of these SBC leaders whom we have been critical of on this blog; they have misrepresented (in the State Papers) what Southern Baptist Calvinist actually believe and then attacked us for believing such. You have to admit there is a difference, and if as you say This is becoming a glorified gossip column then I guess the same is true of our State Papers.

As I mentioned in my last post… “I am so very tired of it all… and I wish they would just leave us alone!”

Blessings my Brother

WalterJC said...

I have no problem whatsoever with good honest debate or discussion. I think it's good for the cause but there has to be a line drawn on how far these passionate debates go.

In reply to g.alford:
"As I mentioned in my last post… “I am so very tired of it all… and I wish they would just leave us alone!”

I know Calvinist Pastors that preach the same way but from a Calvinist perspective. The sentiment is preached on both side believe it or not.

Why can't we run the race that is set before us, keep our eyes fixed on the Lord and let our obedience speak?

J. Gray said...

Walter,

Certainly you are not saying that there have been equal attacks from Calvinists are you?

How many articles have been written by Calvinists in State papers attacking non-calvinists?

How many speakers at the SBC Pastors Conference have attacked non-calvinists?

Give me a break.

I am sure there are some who speak against non-calvinism, but I do not think there is groundswell of people trying to get rid of non-calvinists from the SBC or implying that they may not be brothers and sisters in Christ (Caners) and outright declaring that calvinists do not evangelize (many others).

A certain phrase my grandma used to say comes to mind....."don't pee on me and tell me its raining". Get real, Walter.

BTW, are you going to respond to my previous post. You accused those here of gossip and attacks...yet you did not substantiate your claims. I would suggest that you either prove your point or apologize for looking for things here to complain about.

(Why is it ok for everyone to misrepresent calvinists? Even here on this blog. Hrmph.)

Greg B said...

Gray, you make a good point. On the floor of the convention do we rail about the sins of free will? No, we ask for a vote on reporting stats accurately and running the church as Jesus taught us (my rut, church discipline). It would be interesting to compare published accounts of pro-Soveriegn Grace meetings and well, Anti. I don't recall alot of anti arminian rallies. Does anyone else. Having listened to Founders meeting tapes and attending many local Fraternals, I do not recall any. But as for me and my house, we will try desperately to give no one offense and continue to make positive arguements to trust soveriegn grace, and not my own works.

Greg

C.T. Lillies said...

Walter and gray, all

I think a better question is "How many state papers will publish Calvinist articles?" either attacking or not. My guess is going to be "not many."

Josh
"...the word of God is not bound."
--2 Timothy 2:9

Greg B said...

In view of an earlier observation, this appears to be an interesting article by Dr. Mohler on Dr. Whitney's website.

http://www.spiritualdisciplines.org/mohler.html

Greg B

Samuel J Bell III said...

Mary said...
I have not seen one poster on this thread who seems to understand what I mean when I say I am not a Calvinist, Arminian, Pelegian or semi-Pelegian. There seems to very little available in cyber-space representing what in my experience is the side of the non-Calvinist Southern Baptist. The misunderstanding and misrepresentations are flying both ways and feeling get hurt both ways. Where does it stop?

Mary, if you are not a Calvinist, Arminian, Pelegian or semi-Pelegian. What are you? The reason I ask is because you are acting like you can be a Christaian with out a soteriology. All the nicknames you gave are discriptions of an indivduals soteriology. I will remind you if you claim you are not a Calvinist, Arminian, Pelegian or semi-Pelegian... Iam a Baptist. I will quote Brother James White
"That makes about as much sence as saying I am not a Democrat nor a Repulican I'm Blue." Let me know Mary Do you have a soteriology Because your stament shows to me your ignorance of the subject of soteriology. I pray that God blesses you in your search for this understanding.
SOLAS

Tom said...

StilldesiringGod:

I have pretty liberal policies about comments here. My reason for this is that, for good or ill, I think it is overall helpful to know how people are thinking and responding to the various issues that are addressed here. If nothing else, this approach allows for a more realistic cross-section of the readers of this blog. I could edit out all those who disagree with me theologically or methodologically or who express things in ways that I find unhelpful or even distasteful. Were I to do so, then the impression left might be nicer but it would also be less realistic.

The reason I deleted your comment is not because of the position that you took but because of the way that you expressed it, primarily in the latter part of what you wrote. Thanks for understanding.

Stephen Pruett said...

Is soteriology important? Sure it is. However, the understanding of soteriology required to be saved is pretty minimal I would think. Salvation is by grace alone through faith in Christ. Isn't that about the depth of understanding required? Please correct me if I am wrong, but don't most Calvinists and Arminians agree on this? If so, the deeper and more difficult issues, though important, are not essential. If so, we should be very reluctant to disrupt fellowship or to divide over these issues. I am not a Calvinist (though I am in the process of studying it more deeply), but some people who attend my church are, and we all work together and fellowship together without friction. It can happen!

David & Mary said...

Mary, if you are not a Calvinist, Arminian, Pelegian or semi-Pelegian. What are you? The reason I ask is because you are acting like you can be a Christaian with out a soteriology. All the nicknames you gave are discriptions of an indivduals soteriology. I will remind you if you claim you are not a Calvinist, Arminian, Pelegian or semi-Pelegian... Iam a Baptist. I will quote Brother James White
Samuel J. Bell III says:


"That makes about as much sence as saying I am not a Democrat nor a Repulican I'm Blue." Let me know Mary Do you have a soteriology Because your stament shows to me your ignorance of the subject of soteriology. I pray that God blesses you in your search for this understanding.
SOLAS


Your comment reminds me of the last time we went to McDonalds for dinner. Those young people who work there get so accustomed to the customers ordering from the combo menu ("I'll have a number 2," or "I'll have a number 4") that they often forget that there are other things on the menu. I ordered something that didn't have a number, and there was a moment of confusion followed by a call for assistance. A manager was needed to help the worker place the order, because it didn't have a number to go along with it.

Labels don't always tell the whole story, and that is never more true than when we discuss soteriology. It sounds to me as though you have forgotten that point. Your comments suggest that if a person doesn't adopt one of the labels on your list, that person doesn't even have a soteriology. Even the manager at McDonalds would tell you that is not a correct assumption.

The short answer is "yes," I have a soteriology, which I will set forth in my own blog in the near future.

Finally, I should point out that it is just that type of condescension and name-calling demonstrated in your comments that make a mockery of Christianity and stop dialogue between believers who have honest disagreements. I certainly hope unbelievers aren't reading this blog. They would laugh at us and be convinced that Christians are no different from the world.

G. Alford said...

Greg b.

Thanks for the link to Mohler’s article, I think it is indeed “Spot On”.

Mohler said:

To a great extent, our personal libraries betray our true identities and interests. A minister's library, taken as a whole, will likely reveal a portrait of theological conviction and vision. Whose works have front place on the shelves, Martyn Lloyd-Jones or John Shelby Spong? Charles Spurgeon or Harry Emerson Fosdick? Karl Barth or Carl Henry? John MacArthur or Joel Osteen?

Stephen… if only these SBC Leaders were members of your congregation.

Brian Hamrick said...

Mary,

You said:

The short answer is "yes," I have a soteriology, which I will set forth in my own blog in the near future.

Finally, I should point out that it is just that type of condescension and name-calling demonstrated in your comments that make a mockery of Christianity and stop dialogue between believers who have honest disagreements.


I think the point was that there is not another major form of soteriology outside of those categories he listed. So with your statement above, we are all sitting eagerly to see what this "other" soteriology might be. It will be interesting for many of us to read whether or not you have truly developed a soteriology that is somehow Biblical and at the same time worthy of a new category, or if you are just label dodging, as he suspects. None of us would say that labels tell the whole story (or even the most important part of the story), but the likelihood that your theology fits one of these historically recognized categories is extremely high. So please make us aware of your soteriology post when it is complete. Thanks.

farmboy said...

"Is soteriology important? Sure it is. However, the understanding of soteriology required to be saved is pretty minimal I would think. Salvation is by grace alone through faith [alone] in Christ [alone]. Isn't that about the depth of understanding required?"

This formulation of salvation has one of the five solas of the Reformation and is close to having two more, by adding "alone" as indicated in the brackets above. Were one to reformulate the sentence in question as follows: "Salvation [implying justification] is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone as revealed in Scripture alone for the glory of God alone." He would have captured the five solas of the Reformation and have a good start on a Reformed understanding of Scripture.

One could understand salvation at this minimal level and not have consciously embraced a specific theological system. I was there once. I had taken quite a few book study and biblical theology courses without taking any systematic theology. If you can believe it, I still thought that Arminians were people that came from a country in eastern Europe. However, once I began to study systematic theology I discovered that there was a term, "Reformed theology" that accurately described my understanding of Scripture. For several years I had been a Reformed theologian and didn't even know it!

"I have not seen one poster on this thread who seems to understand what I mean when I say I am not a Calvinist, Arminian, Pelegian or semi-Pelegian." This statement implies a person that understands salvation beyond the minimal level of the statement referenced at the beginning of this comment. To say that one is "not a Calvinist, Arminian, Pelegian or semi-Pelegian" implies a sufficient understanding of those theological systems to support their rejection.

On many metrics the Reformed and Arminian systems exhaustively cover the theological landscape. For example, what about the eternal security, perseverance and/or preservation of the Christian? On these metrics every Christian holds a position that is either Reformed or Arminian. Given exhaustive coverage, there can be no other outcome.

It's logical to assume that a person with sufficient theological knowledge to know that he is "not a Calvinist, Arminian, Pelegian or semi-Pelegian" would be able to use accepted theological shorthand to describe his theological position. I suppose, for example, that a person could claim that he is a Dispensationalist or an Anabaptist. Adherents to Dispensational theology, however, generally line up with either the Reformed (defining Reformed theology more narrowly than Covenant theology) or Arminian systems, while Anabaptist theology is generally consistent with the Arminian system.

GeneMBridges said...

Maybe someone could help me out here. Im just visiting this blog, as the one I usually participate in (Wade) is having a blog fast.
Why all the hand wringing and gnashing of teeth about whether someone believes in Calvinism or Arminianism. Does believing in one mean that you are not a brother or sister in Christ with someone believes the other?


a. This is not something which folks here believe.
b. But the great irony is that the things Dr. Price, Hunt, et.al. say are almost exactly like the things stated by Romanists and Anabaptists. They make the same errors and borrow, irony of irony from the same source material.

can tell by a lot of the comments here that there is a complete misunderstanding of what being "not a Calvinist or Arminian" means.

Well, that just depends on who says that trite little phrase doesn't it? For the average Joe, that's a category error, or an attempt to state that these two points of view can be harmonized. However, if you believe in eternal security and uncondtional election, there is neither an exegetical reason to deny irresistible grace, nor an exegetical one.

Second, there's a term for those who are genuine 4 Point Calvinists. It's Amyraldian. Those trying to harmonize should give up the trite phrases and make up their own terms instead of coopting Calvinist or Amyraldian.

Third, "Arminian" contrary to popular belief does not mean "a person who believes a person can lose his salvation. Nor does it refer to those who affirm the governmental theory of the atonement. Rather, it has a varigeated usage that means all of that and more, including those who, like Dr. Price, Dr. Vines, and Johnny Hunt affirm the content of 4 of the five points of Arminianism, and, dear sister, if you'd bother to read those with whom the Reformers and their immediate successors disputed, you'd also find that Drs. Price, Vines, et.al. repeat their same arguments. They may deny the term "Arminian," but the label sticks. Likewise, it is generally used here to refer to all the adherents to libertartarian action theory with regard to soteriology. Perhaps, dear sister, is you who needs to be disabused of what the phrase you name means here.

Lastly, we have others, like the Caners, for when the Caners call themselves "Baptists not Calvinists" they may not so much be making a category error, but claiming common currency with Continental Anabaptistry. This is *also* how they can weasel around being called "Arminians." Their version of Baptist origins, if I understand them correctly, does not place the genesis of Baptistery (at least theologically) in the 17th century; rather, they go back to the 16th century and Anabaptistry, thereby antedating Arminianism and placing them in conflict with Calvinism. So, from their perspective, when they say they are not Calvinists or Arminians they are Baptists, they are, in fact, making the claim of the Radical Reformation; thus accusing them of a category error, in my opinion, falls on deaf ears for that reason.


Here's a key equivocation. To say that X is Baptist can mean either of two things:

i) Baptist is a member of the theological tradition begun by English Separatist groups in the 17th century and considered part of the broader Protestant Reformation.

ii) Baptist is a member of the theological tradition known as Continental Anabaptistry and others whose theology, while not specifically Roman Catholic or Lutheran in origin, shares common currency with this tradition.

John Spilsbury, Shubal Stearns, John L. Dagg, Tom Ascol, and James White are examples of (i).

The Caner brothers fancy themselves examples of (ii). Ergun even names the name of Balthasar Hubmaier in his emails to you!

Based on this ambiguity they can say historically:

a. that they (the Anabaptists) were not Calvinists...they were Anabaptists,

b. ergo, today, "we" (the Caners) are not Calvinists, we are Baptists (Anabaptists), and

c. historically, the Anabaptists were not Arminians, because Arminianism was yet to come,

d. ergo, the Caners are not Arminians...they are (Ana)baptists.

This equivocation and the consequent syllogisms are what need to be disambiguated.

WalterJC said...

Gray,

I did not say there have been equal attacks on non-Calvinist. I guarantee if a majority of the bloggers on this site had the platform some of the SBC leaders have they would be firing right back.

Ex:

Scott said...

Steve,

That would be great! I hope I didn't come across harsh to your response. It's time to make real noise in the convention. The "Big Boys" don't want that. Things if possible need to be brought to the convention floor. Also, it would be helpful to write or email Dr. Mohler and let him know just how many of us are out there so he can feel the support. God alone is enough but we all need support from each other. My friends: It's time to really back Founders and really start to meet and plan. Dr. Roy Hargrave( Pastor Riverbend Community Church Ormond Beach, Fla)is one to call as well. He is ready to lead the way. Roy pastors the largest SBC calvinistic church. I know the " Big Boys" can't stand that Riverbend is growing and reaching people for Christ. They have a strong Pastoral staff and a very committed church to the doctrines of grace. Riverbend's website is www.riverbendchurch.com. Let's contact Nettles, Ascol and the Founders board and really let them know that we are ready to be aggressive.
2:27 PM, October 24, 2005

also...



Steve,

Thanks for your response! I have served at three of the largest mega churches in the SBC on the Pastoral Staff. This is not to brag because I'm ashamed at the stuff our staff taught and practiced. I know alot of these men very well! These men and myself have had many lunches and dinners together. I have heard the conversations and plans for the direction of the SBC. Certain men are trying currently to get medium and smaller churches that look up to the "Big Boys" to start blasting "Calvinism" in the pulpits. They have a plan just like they did with the conservative resurgence. That's why we must call, email, and most importantly try to meet with them. My earlier blog was meant for SBC "Calvinist" to start being more direct with these men instead of dreaming about how we wish things were different. You have to"hit" these men straight on just like the scriptures teach. The scriptures also teach to turn away from these men as well.As far as holding them accountable in any significant way, this is the way to start going about it.We need to start having mtgs maybe at the Founders conferences on developing a scriptural plan for how we can start using our numbers(people) to speak up as they do.Trust me when I say I know these men very well!
12:09 PM, October 24, 2005

I have already made my point on the gossip and attacks & provided posts.

God bless..enjoyed the dialogue..I'm calling it a night.

Tom H said...

Hi
I must admit that I am getting a little perplexed at so called Christian misrepresenting other Christian's theology. It is certainly not something that Christians should be involved in.

I am curious if anyone knows whether or not any Arminians theologians or pastors have confronted people like the Price and the Caners?

Samuel J Bell III said...

Mary said... "Your comment reminds me of the last time we went to McDonalds for dinner. Those young people who work there get so accustomed to the customers ordering from the combo menu ("I'll have a number 2," or "I'll have a number 4") that they often forget that there are other things on the menu. I ordered something that didn't have a number, and there was a moment of confusion followed by a call for assistance. A manager was needed to help the worker place the order, because it didn't have a number to go along with it."

Mary what does ordering a meal at McDonalds Have to do with how God saves men. Or for that manner your beliefs on how God saves men.
Do you honestly think you can pick and chose your theology from a menu. I.E. I take a double Pelegian burgger with a side of Calvinism, and a order of Arminianism. That my dear sister is not consistent. Which is why I made the comments I made.

Mary said... "Labels don't always tell the whole story, and that is never more true than when we discuss soteriology. It sounds to me as though you have forgotten that point."

Sister Labels do tell the story. It is called defineing your terms.
You could Lable yourself a Christian, but if you worship Budda would'nt that make you a Buddist? I have met manny people who claim to be a Baptist but After they descibe what they belive the are no ware close to believing what the majority of Baptist believe. So, Yes, Mary Lables do tell the whole story.


Mary said... "Your comments suggest that if a person doesn't adopt one of the labels on your list, that person doesn't even have a soteriology. Even the manager at McDonalds would tell you that is not a correct assumption."

When did the manger at McDonalds become the athority on the subject. And Yes you must adopt one(in my opinon) of the lables because these are the only ones avaiable with consitancies.

Mary said... "The short answer is "yes," I have a soteriology, which I will set forth in my own blog in the near future."

Thank you for avoideing the question. I quess you need time to think about it. I hope it is consitant and not a subterfudge of all postions avaiable

Mary said... "Finally, I should point out that it is just that type of condescension and name-calling demonstrated in your comments that make a mockery of Christianity and stop dialogue between believers who have honest disagreements."


I am sorry Mary that my claiming you were ignorant(which means you have a lack of knowlage in an area) of something offended you. But I refuse to put my head in the Sand and ignore some of the statments you made.
I wonder where we would be If Martin Luther Stuck his head in the sand?

Mary said..."I certainly hope unbelievers aren't reading this blog. They would laugh at us and be convinced that Christians are no different from the world."

Agian Sister you are missing the point! If someone dos'nt point out errors. Then there can be no dialoge. With no dialoge no understanding. Therefore we all sound like a bunch of fools(inconstant rehotic).
And dear sister let me let you in on a little secret, the world already laughs at us because we believe that God came in the form of a man died on a cross to save US from eternal Judgment and gave US eternal Life In Him and Only Him.
I leave you with a passage from Jude 1:3
Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.
New American Standard Bible © 1995 Lockman Foundation

This is why We happy few stand up and speek up when we see error.

Amen

David & Mary said...

Samuel J. Bell III says,

Mary said... "Your comment reminds me of the last time we went to McDonalds for dinner. Those young people who work there get so accustomed to the customers ordering from the combo menu ("I'll have a number 2," or "I'll have a number 4") that they often forget that there are other things on the menu. I ordered something that didn't have a number, and there was a moment of confusion followed by a call for assistance. A manager was needed to help the worker place the order, because it didn't have a number to go along with it."

Mary what does ordering a meal at McDonalds Have to do with how God saves men. Or for that manner your beliefs on how God saves men.
Do you honestly think you can pick and chose your theology from a menu. I.E. I take a double Pelegian burgger with a side of Calvinism, and a order of Arminianism. That my dear sister is not consistent. Which is why I made the comments I made.

Mary said... "Labels don't always tell the whole story, and that is never more true than when we discuss soteriology. It sounds to me as though you have forgotten that point."

Sister Labels do tell the story. It is called defineing your terms.
You could Lable yourself a Christian, but if you worship Budda would'nt that make you a Buddist? I have met manny people who claim to be a Baptist but After they descibe what they belive the are no ware close to believing what the majority of Baptist believe. So, Yes, Mary Lables do tell the whole story.


Mary said... "Your comments suggest that if a person doesn't adopt one of the labels on your list, that person doesn't even have a soteriology. Even the manager at McDonalds would tell you that is not a correct assumption."

When did the manger at McDonalds become the athority on the subject. And Yes you must adopt one(in my opinon) of the lables because these are the only ones avaiable with consitancies.

Mary said... "The short answer is "yes," I have a soteriology, which I will set forth in my own blog in the near future."

Thank you for avoideing the question. I quess you need time to think about it. I hope it is consitant and not a subterfudge of all postions avaiable

Mary said... "Finally, I should point out that it is just that type of condescension and name-calling demonstrated in your comments that make a mockery of Christianity and stop dialogue between believers who have honest disagreements."


I am sorry Mary that my claiming you were ignorant(which means you have a lack of knowlage in an area) of something offended you. But I refuse to put my head in the Sand and ignore some of the statments you made.
I wonder where we would be If Martin Luther Stuck his head in the sand?

Mary said..."I certainly hope unbelievers aren't reading this blog. They would laugh at us and be convinced that Christians are no different from the world."

Agian Sister you are missing the point! If someone dos'nt point out errors. Then there can be no dialoge. With no dialoge no understanding. Therefore we all sound like a bunch of fools(inconstant rehotic).
And dear sister let me let you in on a little secret, the world already laughs at us because we believe that God came in the form of a man died on a cross to save US from eternal Judgment and gave US eternal Life In Him and Only Him.
I leave you with a passage from Jude 1:3
Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.
New American Standard Bible © 1995 Lockman Foundation

This is why We happy few stand up and speek up when we see error.

End Quote

You are not pointing out errors, as you claim. You are attacking people who won't adopt a neat label of your choosing. It occurs to me that since you and your learned colleagues know all of the answers already (such that you have confidently reduced all of your soteriology to a few labels) then what is the possible point of your spending so much time on this blog?

Your comments provide the answer. You are not interested in debate, or even pointing out errors or differences of opinion. You are interested in verbally tearing down writers who don't hold your views. Your use of the term "ignorance" is simply a thinly-veiled attempt to politely call someone else "stupid." It is name-calling, and we all taught by our mothers and fathers not to do that.

I used the McDonalds example to point out how ridiculous it is to assume that everyone's soteriology can be reduced to labels of your choosing. You actually proved my point with your response. You said that labels do tell the story. Then you proceeded with an example that proves the opposite, that labels don't tell the story. You pointed out, correctly, that if a person adopted the label of "Christian" but actually worshipped Buddha, that person would be a Buddhist. But that example proves my point, not yours.

You indicated that it was a "secret" that the world is laughing at Christians because of the offense of the cross. If you really believe that is a secret, you should consider spending less time blogging in the ivory tower about soteriology and more time telling people about Jesus.

I think we should all declare that we have completed our work here on this blog. You have pointed out every error, and you have identified every soteriological belief system and named it. Now we should leave academia and do something about it.

Actually, we do agree on one thing: defining terms is important. But a dictionary also tells you how to spell words, not just how to define them. You may want to check your manuscripts, because your comments are replete with misspelled words. This undermines your authority with some people.

Samuel J Bell III said...

Sister Mary,
I understand your points, and I thank you for your comments. As to my misspelled words you are corect in pointing that out. I have been working on that. Check over my post twice and if I miss something Iam sorry. But no one is perfect. I think Dr. Caner can even admit everyone misspells something every now and then. I dont want to use this as an excues but Iam curently in Iraq working with the army. So I hope you could cut me some slack on this issue(i.e. misspelled words) I do not have access to the same resorces you do. I also rarely have time to post. But I care about this site and the men and women on it. Yes I am zealous mabye too much so. But I have the best intentions at heart. I pray that you well forgive me if I offened you. That was not my intent.

You stated " You are not pointing out errors, as you claim. You are attacking people who won't adopt a neat label of your choosing.

Mary, Iam not attacking anyone. I love you like a Sister in Christ.
I just had some comments on your post I felt needed to be addressed.

Also you Stated:
"It occurs to me that since you and your learned colleagues know all of the answers already (such that you have confidently reduced all of your soteriology to a few labels) then what is the possible point of your spending so much time on this blog?"

Mary, I dont spend that much time on this blog. I only post when i feel it is important. I dont know it all.
And yes the Soteriologys I mentiond are the norms and genaraly accepted positions.

Also you Stated:
"Your comments provide the answer. You are not interested in debate, or even pointing out errors or differences of opinion. You are interested in verbally tearing down writers who don't hold your views."

Yes I am intersted in debate but in a debate you need to know your terms and the terms of your opponent and how he defines them. If your opponent wont hold to something how can you claim to know what he means. I have not verbally torn down anyone. I just ask that some look and exsamine themselves and their position befor the comment. You dont have to agree with me, Just hear me out.

Also you Stated:
Your use of the term "ignorance" is simply a thinly-veiled attempt to politely call someone else "stupid." It is name-calling, and we all taught by our mothers and fathers not to do that.

No I am not calling you "stupid" I am simply stateing that mabye you have a lack of knowlage in a certin area. That is it. Also mary you have pointed out That I am not the best speller in the world so I have an Ignorance(lack of knowlage) in spelling. I know this and I am working on geting better at it.
You see I was not offened by your pointing my error(of spelling)out. But you seem very upset by my showing you an error of yours.

Oh well, I will bow out of this one and leave it to the people who can spell properly.
Till I post agian
SOLAS

bristopoly said...

Mary, you have displayed more arrogance here than anyone you have called into question on this blog.

1. You state that Samuel's entry was nothing but an attack on people who disagreed with him. You then proceeded to attack Samuel for disagreeing with you---even to the point of trying to degrade him for spelling errors (everyone typing here is going to have them. we're not writing for an English class).

Mary said: "The statement has been made that we need to dialoque on theological issues"

Actually, it's "dialogue." Should I discredit everything you've said then? We all make spelling errors. Let's not act like a person is stupid because of it. The hypocrisy is obvious to all.

In reality, you seem to be highly offended that people would dare question you for stating that the four major positions held throughout history are all wrong and you alone have found the true fifth position (especially when you make category errors).

2. You're claim that the four major positions in history don't take into account your brilliant fifth option is astoundingly arrogant. I agree with all who have posted: It is YOU who don't understand the issues. There is NO FIFTH OPTION. You only think there is because you're probably picking and choosing (inconsistently) from a couple views.

Your McDonald's argument is a false analogy. A more appropriate one would be if you approached the menu and it classified all foods as either burger (meaning having any element of burger) or non-burger (meaning absent of anything burger). You then say to the manager,"I would like a third option please." His laughter would be aimed at you. Are we saved because God chose us and we played no part, or are we saved because of some part that we play into it? What other option is there?

So let me ask you, if you are willing to answer:

In your fifth option, is man's choice to be saved by God completely, partially or not at all based on God first choosing to save him?

Is God's election/choosing specific or general?

Is man's ability to make a choice for God completely free, partially free, need to be freed by an act of God, or does he need to be given the complete ability and effectual desire to choose God?

Does man need to be drawn by God in some way? Does this drawing always result in the person coming to Christ, or can the person reject it?

I have a strong feeling that you are assuming the answers to some of these, describing your idea in a more generic way, and therefore thinking you have another option. Really, as you can see, there isn't another.

BTW, I'm kind of expecting to be attacked in your response, since it seems that anyone who calls you out on something is narrow minded and unteachable. I prefer however a more civil discussion where we can learn from one another without the personal attacks (my calling you out on your arrogance and hypocrisy is a reprovement on my part and are not meant to cut into you, so please take it for what it is).

Tom said...

Brothers and sisters:

Let me plead with you to lower the rhetoric as this dialogue continues--if it does. We have some of the most helpful commenters in the blogosophere participate here. I am grateful for the challenge and help that this kind of participation affords. No one should feel unwelcome because he or she does not agree with the views of the blog's owner or with the majority of those who comment.

Bristopoly and Samuel, allow me to be a bit harder on the two of you as brothers with whom I stand shoulder-to-shoulder on the theological issues at hand, than I am on some others, at the moment. Mary does not strike me as arrogant. She is, by her own admission, new to this whole arena of commenting on blogs. This forum can be intimidating and confusing at first. The feedback is almost instantaneous and the opportunity to respond is the same. That lends itself to writing more like we would speak in a conversation than we would in a formal paper or article. Yet, we are still reading the words communicated, not hearing them. Nor are we seeing the facial expressions or hearing the tone of voice or incidental (yet, often explanatory) remarks that go with verbal conversation. Sometimes grunts and um hmms go along to to enhance communication!

Let me plead with all of us to be forebearing with each other here. That does not mean do not speak, nor do not speak plainly or rigorously to make your point. But it is an appeal to speak truth in love.

I know that is what we all desire and aspire to do. Take this simply as a reminder.

stilldesiringGod said...

Dear Mary, thank you for being on this blog, and for that matter SelahV. Not enough women take enough time to engage in deep theological discussions. Perhaps it is because we men get too huffy about our beliefs and sometimes wear them on our suit sleeves. Our passion crossing our judgment can be seen at least ten times on this blog link alone if you scroll up and read all of the apologies to one another! At least we are the Church! We are actively giving testimony to the fact that the Lord is good and He is convicting our hearts about our sin, thus the humility and softening of hearts in responses. It does not mean that we have changed positions doctrinally or our views have swayed from the point we just took, but the heart in which we said it changes due to our experience with interacting with each other and seeing how we respond. Better here than on an unbeliever.

As the very nature of being women you are gifted with the ability to see things in a softer sense, or feminine way and enable us men to be complemented and completed in the Bride of Christ, for you are coheirs, perhaps just not as big as loud mouths. One last thing, at first when SelahV said she was leaving the blog by going to just sit and read it from then on and not engage I felt loss for the rest of us because although I did not agree with her positions I saw the benefits of her calling out the men on the blog with whom she disagreed or desired to learn from. And from who better, SelahV, you have modeled true humility for us. Thanks for not leaving.

And who am I? Just some nobody I guess. I am the least to be on here since I am one of the three Tom just called out in two days! Bye!

Samuel J Bell III said...

Brother Tom,
Let me ask of you in the deepest reverance to forgive an overly zelous child of God. I understand that some tatc is needed on this blog. I have humbley apologized to Sister Mary. I also dont think she is arogant. I think she is just as zelous for her beliefs as I am. Thank you Brother for always steeping in when you need to. And agian I ask for your forgiveness this is not the way i wanted to get noticed by you brother. I will be more dicerning in the future.
Thank you agian Brother.
In Him

Andrew said...

Mary said
"I should point out that it is just that type of condescension... makes a mockery of Christianity and stops dialogue between believers who have honest disagreements."

Strangely, when I posted my "honest disagreement" with davidinflorida a few comments back, Mary left this thoughtful comment in its entirety:

" Yeah, that's gonna help things along."

Mary, this condescending remark quite literally "stopped dialogue between believers who have honest disagreements." I immediately removed my comment directed to davidinflorida when I saw your response to it.

I realize you are new to this whole arena of commenting on blogs. Please feel welcome here and take your time getting acclimated to the pace and style of dialog here in the comments section. Be mindful that, just as with real life, your credibility in the blog world is directly proportional to practicing what you preach. If you do that, you do well.

bristopoly said...

I'm kind of torn here, since my calling Mary arrogant was in no way intended to be some sort of pejorative cut, but was linked to the fact that she came into the blog claiming that no one here or in history understands a superior fifth option. Perhaps there is a far better way to describe it and I used a word that is too explosive. For that I apologize. I probably could have gone without the hypocrisy comments as well and just let the irony to itself. So I was simply trying to point out that Mary was guilty of the very things with which she had accused others. I really wasn't meaning to add fuel to the fire. Instead, I was hoping that that sort of rhetoric would then end from her side and we could then continue the discussion without the ad hominem.

If anyone else had rebuked me for it, I probably would try to defend my choices here, but since it is you, Tom, I will defer to your wisdom and apologize for any statements that could be construed as overboard; and try to communicate tone, which you've pointed out is hard to do on a blog, through my word choices as well (especially if you are blunt person like myself---bluntness often comes across as anger or something and that was not the spirit in which I wrote my post).

So thank you again, Brother, for your kind rebuke and wisdom. May God increase you and your ministry.

humbledbygrace said...

I am writing to say that Dr. Nelson Price is the intern pastor at our church (FBC Morristown,TN). I have been a member there all of my life. He has already spoken to our church about what he thinks calvinism is. The last pastor we had just left this past summer and he was a calvinist. Dr. Price has a wrong interpretation of scripture and is thus turing people away from the Truth of the gospel. I have come to know the truth and now it is frustrating to me to have to drive an hour to go to church. I am praying that God would raise up people who won't be ashamed of the gospel and thus will speak the truth no matter what the cost. May God be glorified in all He does.

volfan007 said...

mary and all,

just because someone is not a five point, reformed calvinist does not mean that they are not preaching the truth. they just dont hold to the same point of view that you do about deep doctrines in the bible. many wonderful men of God...who loved the Lord....who led many to Jesus...who believed the bible....were not five point calvinists.

volfan007

Mike said...

testing 123

Mike said...

some say arminians are not Christians. Some say calvinists are not Christians. Some say both are Christians. People seem to disagree on who is Christian and who isn't. THIS is the question that should be debated more now than ever. Will anyone address this issue on this blog with serious Biblical proof backing them? We need to stop just dividing over thin\gs and actualy prove what should be divisive and what should not. This issue has been giving me heart burn!! ppleease reply.

Mike said...

It is so important and I think one whole post or page shoul be dedicated to answering the question. It is more important to know what it means to be a Christian than to know about John Calvin unless it involves John Calvin in some way or Arminias. Agreed?

Tony Nolan said...

Hello Guys!
This is Tony Nolan. Just wanted to point out that someone missed it when they said," Also, evangelist Tony Nolan who is a member at FBCW was overheard telling Dr. Price in line shaking his hand on how much that sermon was needed." I actually just thanked him for serving the Lord and for loving Jesus. Who said that I said the other? It looks like it was an attempt to leverage your conversation.
Anyways fight it out boys (and ladies) but in the mean time, I think I am going to go and talk to that that dude over there with the spike in his lip and ink art on his arm. I think he would like to learn that Jehovah God broke down the dividing wall and elected to make a decision to invite all sinners who were infected with sin to receive forgiveness and salvation. Or should I ask him if he is "an" elect? Be careful not to muddy up the refreshing waters of grace and repentance and mercy with arrogance.

Don’t post a response instead write me at tony@tonynolan.org. I really don’t want to contribute to the gossip but would love to engage in healthy dialogue about how great God is and how much he loves sinners and desires for them to be saved.

Mike said...

As far as being chosen is concerned God is Love. Love blows where it wants to wouldn't you agree? I mean, have you ever tried to force yourself to like something you don't like? It doesn't work does it?