Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Chadwick Ivester interviews Bill Curtis

Bill Curtis is a South Carolina pastor and chairman of the trustees of NAMB. He has spoken very helpfully and publicly to some of the most important issues facing the the SBC. Chadwick Ivester is also a pastor in South Carolina and has published the first part of an interview with Bill Curtis. It is worth reading and then praying that the Lord will use Pastor Curtis to help point Southern Baptists forward in healthy pathways.


Doug said...

I hope Bill Curtis speaks with Richard Land from the SBC. He was just quoted in the Washington Post in this way:

"Winability is a bigger issue in this campaign because of the Darth Vader-like specter of a Hillary Clinton presidency," according to the Rev. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's policy arm. Evangelicals "want the most socially conservative candidate they can find, who can win," he added.

Now, I am a political conservative myself. But I can't stand it when someone who speaks for the SBC alienates every Democrat in existence by being an apparent spokesman for the Republican Party.

It's about the gospel, stupid!

Seth McBee said...

Tom...maybe I should email you this question...let me know if you would rather me do that instead...but do you know anything of an Independant Fundamental Baptist Church named Lancaster Baptist Church in California?

I am going to write a refutation of an article that I saw in their publication named, "What's Wrong with Calvinism?" and just wanted to know any info you might have on their church and/or leadership.


Tom said...


I do not know that church.


Seth McBee said...

thanks though...I found out a little more about them through their affiliating themselves with the Independent Fundamental Baptist movement...interesting to say the least...

If you feel like it you can check out the intro to my series...


Arthur Sido said...


My church got a copy of that in the mail as well, and I was planning on refuting it in a letter to the Vice-President of West Coast Baptist College, John Goetsch. Editorials of that sort drive me crazy, at least if you disagree with Calvinism you can be honest and interact with the Reformed position, but that article is so full of misrepresentation that I was not sure where to begin!

Joseph Botwinick said...

Typical middle of the road, can't we all just get along gibberish. The problem I see Curtis' comments is that he also misrepresents the problems within the SBC and then generalizes it to all critics. For example, not all critics of contemporary worship styles and methods are against it because they are simply against change or because of generational differences. I am 35 and oppose much of the emotionalism in worship becuase it is man-centered, and not God centered, and devoid of good theology. Sometimes it is also connected to their theology as well. Many who endorse purpose driven methodology and church marketing begin with the idea that not all lost people are that bad and if we just listen to the lost a little better and come up with a more persuasive argument, maybe we can convince them of the truth of the Bible. This goes back to Arminianism, and there is just no nice way to say this, is a virus in our churches.

In the end, all I see is a bunch of unity for the sake of unity bologna, regardless of what the Bible says. I believe the Church should be unified around the truth of the Word of God no matter who is offended by it and no matter how many lost people accept it. The Great Commission is not about compromising the truth for unity sake and to get the lost on board.

dbridges said...

Mr. Botnick . . . as a member of Pastor Curtis' church, I can assure you he is theologically conservative. The only bologna you will find is in the fridge.

If you will read Curtis' articles in the Baptist Courier and the latest edition of SBC Life, I believe you will see that he is not demanding unity (and complete conformity), but encouraging cooperation.

I agree with you in that many churches engaged in contemporary methodologies, you will find emotion-driven, people-centered worship with little emphasis on scriptural truth. However, from your remarks, it appears as though you believe that to be true for every church that has a contemporary approach. I guarantee if you spend time in a service or two in the church Bill pastors, you would agree that is not the case! He makes no apologies for the truth of God's Word, and is a strong believer in accountability. Please don't make assumptions based on his relevent approach.

Joseph Botwinick said...

Mr. Bridges,

You are right that the knife of over-generalizing cuts both ways in this issue. For that, I apologize if I make the wrong assumption about your pastor. He does, however, strike me as a "Can't we all just get along" type guy when he states that he can work with those who are 5 pointers and everything in between. I find all forms of Arminianism to be a plague to the Church. I am quite sure this will get me labeled an extremist, but it truly is how I feel.

I do, however, agree with you that not all contemporary worship is based in Arminian Theology. Much of it, however, is a market driven, Arminian approach to get them to believe at any cost. It isn't simply a matter of preference with me. It is, however, a matter of pleasing God with our worship, without regard to what the lost think about it. If I misunderstood Bill, please forgive me, I hope he will forgive me and correct me (I am certainly open to that), and may God forgive me.

Joseph Botwinick said...

"2. Respect the theology of those who affirm the 2000 BF&M."

I have a really hard time respecting the theology of men who are Arminians and who affirm the 2000 BF&M.

"3. Reject the divisive rhetoric in our convention."

Not all of it is simply rhetoric. Some of it is heart felt convictions. Much of it is divisive, yes. But, to simply dismiss it as rhetoric because it is divisive is wrong, IMO.

"4. Refocus on the biggest problem facing Southern Baptists: the overwhelming number of lost people and our failure to do very much about it."

I disagree that this is the biggest problem in the SBC. The biggest problem is the lack of sound doctrine being taught in many Churches for the sake of win em at any cost market driven mentalities. I think Dr. Ascol discussed this in an earlier post when he talked about whether or not we have lost the Gospel.

Joseph Botwinick said...

I forgot to post the link to the quotes in my last post. If I knew how to edit my own posts, I would. My apologies, everyone...here it is:


Tom said...


While I have never met Pastor Curtis what I have read from him and about him leads me to belief that your initial judgement was indeed incorrect. I do not interpret his words as being unconcerned for truth or advocating unity at any cost. Rather, he strikes me of having the same spirit of Martin Lloyd-Jones or George Whitefield, who were both strongly committed to the Reformed faith and willing to cooperate with believers who were not.

Regarding Arminianism--I don't think that is our problem today. Our problem tends to be "a-theology," or a lack of any serious theological reflection or appreciation. True Arminianism would be a step up from what is typical today. In fact, Arminius, Wesley and even Charles Finney hiimself would all be embarrassed by much of passes for Christian life and ministry in our day.


Thomas said...

I have been reading this blog for a few weeks, and I agree with your positions on SBC issues.

I am 15, and my father raised us with reformed theology. My question is, what is arminianism? What does an arminian believe? I have heard that term a lot on this blog, but I don't know what it means.

If you could answer my question, I would appreciate it.

Tom said...


Thanks for your comments and question; and thanks for reading my blog! Here is a short answer:

The five points of Arminianianism may be summarized as follows:

1. God elects or does not elect on the basis of foreseen faith or unbelief.

2. Christ died for every man, although only believers are saved.

3. Man is not so corrupted by sin that he cannot savingly believe the gospel when it is put before him.

4. God's saving grace may be resisted.

5. Those who are in Christ may or may fall completely away.

These views (with slight modification) were the basis of a protest filed in the Dutch Reformed Church in the early 17th century. They were called the "remonstrant" articles. The response to them, that came out of a formal church council called the Synod of Dort, came to be called the "Contra-Remonstrant" articles and later the "5 points of Calvinism."

I am glad to know that you have an interest in these kinds of theological issues. They are important, and they challenge us to keep studying our Bibles to make sure that our thinking is being shaped by what God has revealed in Scripture.

Thanks for asking!

Doug said...

Regarding Arminianism--I don't think that is our problem today. Our problem tends to be "a-theology," or a lack of any serious theological reflection or appreciation. True Arminianism would be a step up from what is typical today. In fact, Arminius, Wesley and even Charles Finney hiimself would all be embarrassed by much of passes for Christian life and ministry in our day.

This is a sad but true situation. I have often said that the belief system, or lack thereof, in most churches is closer to Semi-Pelagianism than anything resembling Arminianism.

G. Alford said...

Tom & Doug,

I agree, sadly the Baptist church today is best described by the words “a-theological & Semi-Pelagianism”

The result of this is extreme theological apathy… this is way for most Southern Baptist there are no “hills upon which to die”… and therefore when we see the “narrowing of the parameters of cooperation” all we hear from most Southern Baptist is “Crickets”… Actually I think 99 Crickets just approved Dr. Sullivan’s “a-theological” proposal to impose his views upon the Florida Baptist Convention.

Most Baptist simply have no deeply held convictions… and as long as they are not next on anyone’s list for exclusion for service they simply don’t care…

Article 17 should be “Stripped” form the BFM…

Grace to all,

Cap Pooser said...

Tom, Article three of the Remonstrance states:That man has not saving grace of himself, nor of the energy of his free will, inasmuch as he, in the state of apostasy and sin, can of and by himself neither think, will, nor do any thing that is truly good (such as saving Faith eminently is); but that it is needful that he be born again of God in Christ, through his Holy Spirit, and renewed in understanding, inclination, or will, and all his powers, in order that he may rightly understand, think, will, and effect what is truly good, according to the Word of Christ, John 15:5, “Without me ye can do nothing.” Seems like you are describing the semi Pelagian position . The remonstrants seemingly believed that the new birth was necessary before saving faith could be exercised, same as
BFM art 4a. Our leaders are right when they say thaey are not Calvinists or Arminians, because they believe that faith produces the new birth. Regards, Cap

G. Alford said...

Great to hear from you... as always you are "Spot On".

I would love to have coffee or lunch sometime... here is my email: