Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Missouri Baptists axe Acts 29

Scott Lamb lets the word out on a decision by the Missouri Baptist Convention's Executive Board that establishes "a 'no-partnership with Acts 29' rule for MBC church plants." Scott is not privy to all of the details, yet, but has enough information to know that churches that affiliate with Acts 29 will be judged unworthy of support from MBC church planting funds. This hardly seems like a kingdom focus regarding church planting, does it?

Recently I read research from Ed Stetzer done for the North American Mission Board that indicated that only 68% of church plants are still in existence after 4 years. I wonder what that rate is for Acts 29 network churches?

Perhaps the MBC Exec Board has good, theological reasons for rejecting the Acts 29 network of churches in toto. If so, then I wish they would show me, and not simply resort to the tired and hackneyed response of "trust us, we know what is best for you." Missouri Baptists should not let this decision go unexamined. Neither should they settle for superficial rationales. At a time when we need to become more aggressive and purposeful in planting gospel churches throughout our land, this type of action seems more provincial than evangelical.

77 comments:

John said...

Tom, my guess would be that it has something to do with Mark Driscoll's views on alcohol. Also, Acts 29 network holds a reformed soteriology.

Brad Williams said...

Let's hope that they do have good theological reasons for this move, and that they will avail themselves to their newspaper to enumerate them. If not, it sort of chaffs that a state convention, who gets millions of dollars to do things we are generally unaware of, would pull funds supporting the most important thing that brought us together in the first place: the mission of the gospel.

GUNNY said...

I hope this isn't a trend.

We have a guy at our (SBC) church that is planning a church plant in Wisconsin and is planning/hoping for sponsorship from both the SBC & Acts 29.

If pressed between one or the other, I'm not sure which he'd choose, to be honest.

Mike Leake said...

It is probably more the alcohol issue than it is the issue of reformed soteriology. As of yet the politicians in the MBC are more concerned with alcoholism; my guess is that once they "win" that war they will begin attacking those "Calvinistic" churches. But I probably should keep my mouth shut until the full report. Scott Lamb asked whether this is a 9Marks/Founders "fight" or not? Being one in Northeast Missouri that is a proud friend of both I say yes! I know one of my personal friends pastors a new church plant and is affiliated with Acts29--decisions like this are really harmful to the "Kingdom work" that the MBC preached this year at the Convention. This truly breaks my heart!

Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Leake said...

scott, thanks for clarifying sorry if i misrepresented. I knew your intention was to challenge Founder and 9 Marks to make it an issue. I do see how my comment could have been read another way--thanks for clarifying :-)

Scott said...

Mike, [I tried to edit the previous comment, but just ended up deleting it...]

For the record, my point was that it IS a fight that touches Founders/9Marks.

Pastor Dever is spoke at our Missouri Pastor's conference and is due to speak at an Acts 29 bootcamp.

And, apart from the alcohol issue (maybe), what separates the theology and methodology of Founders from A29?

It sounds like we are on the same page Mike.

J. K. Jones said...

I will pray and pull for Acts 29 in this.

I think we need more Calvinism and more moderate alcohol consumption.

Tom said...

I wonder if alcohol is not the tail on which the donkey of fear, ignorance and old-school denominationalism is being pinned.

I don't pretend to know a great deal about Acts 29, but the material I have read from them and the men associated with them that I have come to know have given me great encouragement that the Lord is doing some wonderful things through this network for the advance of the Gospel.

I appreciate Danny Akin's attitude about this when he hosted the Convergence conference at Southeastern Seminary a few weeks ago. He acknowledged that Mark Driscoll has some things to teach us. God have mercy on us if we are not willing to learn!

Ben said...

Tom,

Last I heard, Acts 29's success rate was 100%. No failures yet.

micahfries said...

Just to piggyback on what Ben said, I understand that at the Convergent Conference hosted by Southeastern, I understand that Driscoll mentioned that Acts 29 has only had one church that is not currently in existence, and it is only so because they merged with another local Acts 29 church.

I guess with that ridiculous failure rate it's no wonder we wouldn't want to be involved with them, right? (said with tongue planted firmly in cheek).

BrotherMichael said...

I don't know much about the Acts 29 network. I have just glanced at their website. Any idea what theological objections the convention would have? (other than the alcohol stance?)

Ivan said...

Gunny,

Where is your friend planting a church in Wisconsin? Is it SBC? I'd like to give him some encouragement. I've lived in Wisconsin since '91. I'm pastoring a little church in Poplar Grove, IL, which is just across the IL/WI border.

G. Alford said...

Hey guys… “alcohol” is simply the excuse to go to war… the real enemy they are after is “Calvinism”.

Tom said...

Ben and Micah:

Thanks for that info. I had heard that there were no failures in the Acts 29 church planting efforts. Wouldn't humility dictate that a "D" student be willing to listen to an "A" student when the subject they are both studying comes up?

GUNNY said...

Hey, Ivan, he's looking at Madison, WI.

He was essentially thinking, "What the most darkened place to plant a church?"

He also likes the academic aspects of the area with the college there.

He's planning to go SBC, but seeking assistance from Acts 29 as well.

Ideally, he's wanting to move up there summer 2008, but we'll see how things pan out.

Mike Leake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Leake said...

Let me preface by saying that I am not very knowledgable of all the inner-workings of the MBC; so I could be quite wrong in my hypothesis. Nevertheless after doing a little research I think I have figured out that this is more than just an "alcohol" issue. I think the Executive Board feels that they are doing us a favor by preserving us from the Emerging church movement.
If you know anything about Acts 29 you know that they are not affiliated with the emerging church movement (Emergent, McClaren, Tony Jones, etc.) However, the Theological Committee Review has reported that Acts29 and Emerging/Emergent are pretty much synonymous. Read section 3A of their report
It appears to me that the underlying problem is that they are lumping Acts 29 with the Emerging Church. Emerging Church we should be very concerned with as they often deny the biblical gospel...if you read the review you will see how Acts 29 is lumped in with Emergent...therefore, I think people associate the heresy of Emergent with Acts 29.
Here is the part I am unsure of...how serious did the Executive Board take the Report. But as I have studied I think it is more than "just alcohol". It's motivated out of misinformation and wrongly associating Acts29 with Emergent.
Again, everyone else probably already knows this and I am stating the obvious.

Timmy Brister said...

Gunny,

I might be mistaken, but is the brother you are referring to in Louisville, because I have a former roommate and close friend that you are describing to a "t". Just curious.

Timmy Brister said...

Mike,

I documented the events that took place initially with the MBC and A29. For the play by play review, check out this post.

GUNNY said...

Hey, Timmy, he's actually a member of our church.

He's been in the Dallas area since 2000 (he got his ThM at DTS, though Reformed and not a dispensationalist). He's not been to Madison yet, but has an Acts 29 church planter training bit in Chicago soon and they hope to swing by at that time.

Perhaps we could get our guys together and they could join forces, using their powers for good and not for evil.

;-)

Ivan said...

Gunny,

Madison...hmmm...yes, quite dark. One of the most liberal places in the USA. I work in Beloit, WI, which is roughly an hour south of Madison, near the IL/WI border. If I can be of any help to your friend, I'd be glad to assist.

May God bless his efforts for Christ's Kingdom!

irreverend fox said...

I hear them ACTS29 liberals are ordaining homosapiens and are playing that loud rock music!

micahfries said...

Gunny-

The good news is that the Madison area churches, and the Central Baptist Association as a whole, are much more welcoming than we are in the MBC. My dad is a church planter 1 hour northwest of Madison, and reformed as well, and he loves his work in WI. I'm hoping that your friend will find it just as scintillating.

Timmy Brister said...

Gunny,

That's crazy man. I need to get him in contact with your friend (if he hasn't already). He spent a summer up there a year or two ago and is about to complete his M.Div. here at SBTS.

Tom, speaking about church planting . . . :)

Tom said...

Timmy:

Yeah, speaking of church planting...that is on the agenda for the 2008 Founders Conference and Founders intends to become more directly engaged in church planting efforts. Of course, first we need to figure out who all of the highly successful theologically orthodox church planting networks are so that we can axe them from any fellowship or cooperation. ;-)

GUNNY said...

Timmy,

We didn't have to have our boys hook up!

That's awesome news, Tom, well, the first part at least.

;-)

Any thoughts as to what sort of doctrinal standard you might use for compatibility?

Timmy Brister said...

Tom,

I would offer the Apostle Paul as a good example of "highly successful theologically orthodox church planting" but I forget that he counseling fellow church planters to drink a little wine for upset stomachs. Oh well . . .

FWIW, I think it is worth mentioning that there will be three Southern Baptists speaking at the upcoming A29 Bootcamp in Chicago (Darrin Patrick, Ed Stetzer, and Mark Dever).

Jeffro said...

Hey Guys,

I was at the A29 boot camp in Raleigh, and I'm pretty sure that I heard Mark Driscoll or Scott Thomas (President of A29) say that the church that didn't make it actually made it, but decided to join with another church in the same city. I think it was in Orlando. But even if it flopped completely, A29 has less than a 1% failure rate. Maybe MBC is scared A29 will mess up their ACP's...

Tom said...

Gunny:

Founders has operated on the basis of the Abstract of Principles and that will be the confessional basis of our church planting efforts, as well.

Timmy:

Three SBCers at the A29 boot camp? That is great! I might also mention that Stetzer is scheduled to be a keynote speaker at the 2008 Founders Conference.

GUNNY said...

T.O. would say, "I love me some me," but I love me some Abstract of Principles. It's hard to beat it for economy of language and density of thought.

Darby Livingston said...

I'm really looking forward to next year's Founders Conference.

Marc Backes said...

Tom et all,

I would agree with most that this is about more than alcohol. But I don't suspect, that disagreement with reformed perspectives are playing a large part in this decision.

I think this decision is driven mostly by differences over methodologies and pride.

I've shared some thoughts on the situation.

One thing is for sure, there are interesting days ahead.

Ekklesia said...

This Baptist Press article from March 20th seems like it has the answer to what is going on.

Ekklesia said...

Oops I forgot to put the link:

http://www.bpnews.net/BPFirstPerson.asp?ID=25221

Joel Rainey said...

All are correct who are citing A29s success rate, and many of these churches are in urban settings . . .not exactly the place where Southern Baptists can be considered a church planting authority.

I think it is truly sad, tragic even, that a church planter now has to choose between being SBC and A29. In our association, church planters don't have to make that choice!

irreverend fox said...

they would if your association believed every word of the Bible!

by the way most of the ACTS29 liberals wear their hair I'm sure most of them are on dope!

TS Martin said...

It's difficult to get my mind around this, but I think the issue is probably alcohol more than soteriology.

My experience is that most SBC pastors/ denominational leaders still know too little about reformed soteriology to get that upset about it. But they surely know what they think is a Biblical position on alcohol.

But we shouldn't be too discouraged by this and if we are, there is always wine to gladden the heart (Psalm 104:15)

GUNNY said...

ts,

That wouldn't surprise me.

I've often been troubled by my SBC brethren who have 93 times more ire over hearing of a person being a drinker than if the person was an open theist or a Pelagian, etc.

Not to turn to the topic to American politics, but how many would be more opposed to Mitt Romney if they heard he was a drinker than over his being a member of a Christ-dishonoring cult?

scott said...

Please see my reply to all of this mess on the Acts 29 website: www.acts29network.org

Steve said...

My name is Steve Tanner Dirctor of Missions for Grand Crossings Baptist Association. Karis Community Church, a new church plant in Columbia Missouri is a member of GCBA as is the sponsoring Church. We have thoroughly examined Karis using as a guide the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, our values and statement of belief and have found Karis to be solid doctrinaly. They are affiliated with Acts 29. I have examined the teaching, practices, and doctrinal statements of Acts 29 and have found then to be biblical and have found nothing with which I disagree to the point of not fellowshipping with and using as a resource. Their success rate at planting biblically sound churches is phenominal.

Grand Crossings Baptist Association is committed to the success of Karis and will do whatever we can to ensure they have needed support.

The issue is alcohol, the motivation is control.

GUNNY said...

That's just depressing.

Tom said...

Steve:

May your tribe increase! If your mentality spreads (and I believe that it is) then leaders who make the kind of decisions that the MBC Exec Board made will soon look behind them and discover that legions of those who they thought they were leading are on a completely different path.

Thanks, and may God richly bless GCBA and Karis as you partner to advance the Gospel in MO.

ta

G. Alford said...

Alcohol may be the spark that started this firestorm in MO… but it is no more the main issue than “Inerrancy” was the real issue behind the Conservative Resurgence… and for the record I supported the Conservative Resurgence.

The SBC is just now beginning to reap the fruit of preaching “Inerrancy” to an entire generation; and Many in the “Old Guard” are slowly waking up to the fact that these young reformed pastors (which are the product of Inerrancy) are passionate about the Sovereignty of God, absolutely committed to the Sufficiency of the Scriptures, and Unafraid of the Consequences…

And if these young reformed Pastors are convinced that the Holy Scriptures do not condemn the moderate consumption of alcohol as a sin; then they are not going to be “Cowed” by the SBC Denominational Leadership into supporting a blanket anti-alcohol policy…

That my Friends is the main issue…

Grace Always

Mike Leake said...

It is always nice to have a face to put on a decision like this. One of my friends is deeply effected by this Executive Board Decision...you can read his story here.

B Nettles said...

It sounds to me like the MBC Executive Board is trying to precipitate a split, or at least a re-routing of dollars around themselves. If you live by the economic ax, you can die by it, too.

Marc Backes said...

Tom,

Please see continued posting on the subject here.

Thanks for bringing attention to this issue.

Jim Shaver said...

A mechanism has been set up by which we can help the affected Missouri Acts 29 Church Plants that have been defunded.

You can send Checks made out to:

St. Louis Metro Baptist Association

write on memo line on check - "Show Me Church Planting"

address:

St. Louis Metro Bapt. Assoc.
attn. Darren Casper
3859 Fee Fee Road
Bridgeton, Mo. 63044

Contact info is listed below if you have any questions.

ST. LOUIS METRO STAFF
314-571-7579

Darren Casper ext 103
dcasper@stlbaptist.org
Associate Executive Director - Missions Partnerships / Church Planting

jason pettus said...

Does anyone know the names of the churches and pastors that have been cut. I want and encourage others to send them financial support and tell them that we want them to be SBC churches. We need them as much as they need us.


Jason Pettus
www.livinghopewired.com

Jim Shaver said...

Jason,

At the present time 2 churches are affected that I'm aware of.

Karis Community Church -Columbia, MO
www.karischurch.org

Believer's Church- Hannibal, MO
www.bchannibal.com

Mike Leake said...

As I have reflected upon this situation I remembered a letter that I read a couple days ago by John Newton. It is "On Controversy" and is very fitting for our present time. It would be wise to heed the words of this dear saint of 225 years ago. You can find the letter here.

SEALCON said...

Pastor Tom
I am relatively new to your site and the blogosphere in general. What I have read here I have enjoyed very much as well as a few other reformed blogs as well.

I am a retired school teacher and research has been a pet peeve with me over the years in my own education and personal Bible study. Therefore, I was curious when you you said, "He [Mr. Akin] acknowledged that Mark Driscoll has some things to teach us. God have mercy on us if we are not willing to learn!"

While I respect your kind words and support of Pastor Driscoll, may I suggest that we should rather say, "God have mercy on us if we are not willing to be discerning of him?" That would allow for some careful scrutiny to come to this controversial brother rather than a sentiment of complete support. I would think that Mark should be learning from you instead - you are a more seasoned pastor.

Thank you for listening to my comment. There are many wiser folks here posting than I. I hope this was OK to bring up here.

With mercy in the Lord,
Connie

K. Michael Crowder said...

Dr. Ascol,
I am a relative nobody in this fight. But I am a tad confused. After reading Scott's blog post on the matter, I found it interesting that he brought into the discussion the Founders and 9 Marks crowd. While I deeply respect my brothers/professors/pastors who make up the Founders Midwest Committee, and while I believe Dr. Dever to be a brilliant ecclesiologist, and while I have nothing but respect for both you and Dr. Nettles, your opinions, while worthy of much note, do not, nor should be brought to sway mine, nor any other Missouri Baptist on this matter. (Yes I shall ask you to clarify why the MBC cannot plant and fund their own churches.) I would also love to hear from you or someone what Acts29 defines as a “successful” , or “passing grade” church plant. If the MBC gets a “D,” then they passed. I do not believe plants should fail. If God ordains a plant, it should be exactly the size he desires. If that is 30 members or 300 members or 3000. Growing churches are not always the healthiest of churches.
A significant amount of the 2000+ MBC church’s still hold to a church covenanting which contains the following lines:
"We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances;
To walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment;
To avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger;
To abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage, and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Saviour.
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love;
To remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech;
To be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay."

If our churches do not maintain a strong stance against alcohol, our youth will continue down a slippery slope that will lead them right out of the church. Many of our CP dollars in Missouri come from 1600 tiny churches which do not want to associate with those who associate with those who drink alcohol or who think it is "ok." (Kind of like dancing with the Prince of Wales). 
Sir, I go to school at Missouri Baptist University where “The Journey” holds a Sunday jam session and Bible "talk." and calls it church--for the dorm students and other "members" in West St Louis County. The Journey's lack of definitive stance against alcohol has led to a complete breakdown of thought on the subject. We have religion majors who see no issue with drinking at bars on the weekends. We have the weak minded drinking margaritas at Applebee’s at supposed "Christian" functions.
I see the effects of The Journey. It is Seeker-Sensitive wrapped in a new blanket. I have been taught to vilify the seeker-sensitive movement by your Founder’s brethren.
I am confused Dr. Ascol. Is it ok, in your opinion, for MBC funded churches to not take a strong stance against alcohol on our Baptist University Campuses? It is ok for my fellow class mates to drink margaritas to unwind? Our Founder’s churches do not promote this. Why should the MBC support anything less?
Mixed signals do not help our youth and children. Mark Driscoll appears to be a great guy, but to tell us how heretical the views of Brian McLaren are, and in the same breath tell us that he has had him over for dinner, is to me, a mixed signal. So is the current alcohol debate in Missouri. I would simply like to know if you are on the side of Acts29 (the side of having no side), or in line with the representatives of 2000+ Southern Baptist Churches in Missouri.
I am a Southern Baptist. I want to plant Southern Baptist Churches. But I would like to start by fixing the ones we have. I never hear anything about church revitalization. Some of our small churches really want to grow. We should help them.. Some do not. I believe in disassociating with those churches that are spiritually dead. I believe in disassociating with those churches that spew false doctrine. They are free to do so, just not in our company. (Maybe I would have been a better Presbyterian in this matter.)
I am taking a church planting class this spring. Maybe I will be a tad less confused afterwards. (I'll be reading Stetzer and Dever).
I think it was you who said we invite folks to church because we do not know how to invite them to Christ. This has stuck in my head and the fact that we are to start church with Christians, not seekers. With Christians, not those who like to sing to CCM. With Christians, not those who want a hot meal. With Christians, not your average family of 4.
I might be wrong, but did not Titus make churches out of converts instead of converts from congregations?
I am not sure we are called to specifically plant churches. It is just sort of a byproduct of gathering the lost sheep.
I am looking forward to the Founders Midwest Conference on the Atonement in February including Scott Lamb's message on a missionary to St. Louis.
Thank you for your ministry. I am a fan.
Pray I did not offend,
Kevin Crowder

PS: I see another problem related to our larger churches. The empire building has made us blind to the reality that God gives us growth to multiply, not dominionize. We create gigantic churches with multiple services and multiple locations with multiple pastors and multiple degrees. “Controlled Split???” Anyone ever heard of that? Is not that the definition of “Go?” We have some churches in St. Louis that could be split into 3 or 4 smaller churches that could more effectively reach the community.
Ok, Maybe 2 or 3…once you weed out the tares…

Tom said...

Connie:

Thanks for participating in the discussion. Your views are always welcome and your comment is very appropriate to this string. I agree completely with your comment that we must be discerning when learning from Mark Driscoll. That is also true for any other minister. The spirit of the Bereans ought to be ours (Acts 17:11).

Thanks again.
-tom

Pastor D. said...

Brother Tom,
How clear it is that we are in the "last days" when Brother turns against Btother-even against the Bride of Christ and thinks that he does God's service. Please pray for our fellowship here in the little tourist town of Eagle Nest NM where the Baptist Convention of New Mexico has served us with a summons demanding surrender of church properties to which they have no legal ownership. The convention has totally refused the Biblical procedure of Matthew 18 and the Pauline prohibition of 1 Cor. 6:1-6. Isaiah so apply describes this mondern day Unbiblicism in 66:1-6.
Pastor David Denning

Timmy Brister said...

Jason,

I know this is a bit late, but I thought I'd post it here anyway.

Here are the nine Acts 29/MBC churches and their pastors, from the Acts 29 website.

Believer’s Church
#1 YMCA Drive
Hannibal, MO 63401
573.221.8889
Pastor: Sam Byers

Genesis Church
4525 Highway 109
Eureka, MO 63025
635.549.3179
Pastor: Mike Hubbard

Karis Community Church
23 S. 8th St.
Columbia, MO 65201
573.823.4130
Pastor: Kevin Larson

LifePoint Church
PO Box 1728
Ozark, MO 65721
417.581.6572
Pastor: Lane Harrison

Matthias’ Lot
1511 Waverly St
Saint Charles, MO 63302
636.233.2577
Pastor: Marc Sikma

Mystery Church
P.O. Box 322
Webb City, MO 64870
417.483.4686
Pastor: Steev Inge

Refuge Church
1900 Randolph
Saint Charles, MO 63302
636-352-2233
Pastor: Trey Herweck

Summit Community Church
1145 Tom Ginnever
O’fallon, MO 63366
636.978.4545
Pastor: John Ryan

The Journey St. Louis
7701 Maryland Ave.
Saint Louis, MO 63105
314-863-8448
Pastor: Darrin Patrick

cyd said...

Connie, Thank you for your encouragement towards discernment here, and Tom, thank you for remaining teachable and for your ever gracious responses. I fully agree that we all need to adopt the spirit of the Bereans when evaluating any minister or ministry.

It is in that spirit that I would like to share some thoughts that are heavy on my heart. At that same Convergence conference hosted at SE seminary, Danny Akin affirmed support and spoke positively of Peter Kreeft and his writings. This is perplexing to me, considering Kreeft defected to Roman Catholicism several years ago, and also penned the heretical book called 'The Ecumenical Jihad.' (Mark Driscoll affirmed Kreeft as well at that same conference). Here is my question for you Pastor: based upon this information, would you still say that Danny Akin's acknowledgement that Mark Driscoll has some things to teach us should be taken seriously? And, would you also still say, "God have mercy on us if we are not willing to learn"?

As a Reformed Christian woman, I have never seen a pastor who is known more for needless controversy and for being divisive over non-biblical issues rather than for preaching the truth as pastor Driscoll is. I would think this would prompt anyone to look at the Acts29 network with eyes wide open rather than eyes wide shut.

Thank you for allowing me to speak openly to you in this matter.

1 Thess.5:21
Cindy

Tom said...

Cyd:

Thanks for your comment. I would be glad to answer your questions but I don't think I have enough information to give them the kind of careful response I am sure you would like to have. You wrote, "Danny Akin affirmed support and spoke positively of Peter Kreeft and his writings. This is perplexing to me, considering Kreeft defected to Roman Catholicism several years ago, and also penned the heretical book called 'The Ecumenical Jihad.'"

One could easily infer that you are claiming that Dr. Akin affirmed Kreeft's Roman Catholicism. But that would be impossible for me to believe, knowing what I know about Dr. Akin. I would have to "hear it with my own two ears" or read a transcript with my own two eyes to be convinced otherwise. That is not at all intended to be disrespectful of you but rather, I trust, the exercise of proper discretion and love.

What exactly did Dr. Akin say? I simply have no first-hand knowledge of any comments he has made about Peter Kreeft. I can imagine him agreeing with some things that Kreeft has written yet doing so without at all affirming his Romanist convictions. That would be no reason for me to discount his recommendations any more than I would the Apostle Paul's for quoting and affirming a pagan writer to make a point (Titus 1:12-13).

No doubt Mark Driscoll has been controversial. Some of his antics have been over the top. I don't know him personally. He seems to me to be an easy target and since he has been so roundly criticized in so many different forums, I have seen no reason to pile on.

I have been impressed with his humility in publicly repenting. I am encouraged with his clear proclamation of the Gospel. I am also challenged by his evangelistic passion and usefulness. Even if Dr. Akin had not made the statement, I would still think that we have things to learn from him. That is not a blanket endorsement, but a recognition that, with all of his frailties, he has something to say that we need to hear.

Please feel free to speak openly here anytime on any subject.

Blessings,
tom

GUNNY said...

Thanks for the list, Timmy.

I'm originally from the St. Louis area and pass through Eureka on my way to STL. I always stop and eat at their White Castle (the closest one to Dallas).

I will particularly be praying for Genesis Church as I assume they appreciate the greatness of Jesus and White Castle as well.

I appreciate K. Michael Crowder sharing his thoughts, and I had a long response drawn up, but I decided to forgo it as I was worried about appearing unkind.

However, I will heartily recommend the thoughts of a good brother on the subject.

The Only Biblical Position
-The Rev. Dr. James W. Galyon

It is a well written, objective piece from a friend who has seen some things in the SBC and is wise beyond his years and education.

cyd said...

Tom,

Here is the direct quote from the conversation at the conference:

MODERATOR:
"Does anyone here on the panel have any particular of books that you would recommend for college or younger to begin learning very particularly about doctrine:

DR. AKIN:
You can challenge young people to read Francis Schaffer, and C.S. Lewis, and Peter Kreeft. Peter Kreeft’s works are phenomenal and he does it in a dialogical kind of way following Socratic method. We had him here last year at our 20/20 conference and he was so well received. You can start there…

MODERATOR:
You just mentioned Peter Kreeft. Isn’t he Roman Catholic?

DR. AKIN:
Yes he is a Roman Catholic. He was an evangelical that uh converted in the wrong direction in my judgment; but a wonderful, in my judgment, brother in Christ and a great, great thinker and Christian philosopher that I have read with great, great benefit."

Hope this helps clarify my concerns a bit more.

Thanks again,

Cindy

johnMark said...

Cindy,

I tried downloading those sessions to listen, but can't get it.

I believe this is the correct place, right?

I would be interested in hear this answer.

Thanks,
Mark

Tom said...

Cindy:

Thanks for the quotes. I would not recommend Kreeft without qualification and he would not show up on my short list of recommended theological reading for young people.

I gave my thoughts on Driscoll in my previous comment. I think we have some things to learn from him. I don't think we should take his teachings hook, line and sinker.

Blessings,
tom

cyd said...

Tom,
Thank you.

Mark,
I heard this on an MP3 that a friend of mine downloaded from this conference shortly after it took place. Hopefully you can still locate a copy somewhere online.

Lance said...

I thought you guys might want to know that we at Shapevine (www.shapevine.com) will be doing a live interview with Darrin Patrick tomorrow (Dec 18) at 2:30pm CST.

Tom said...

Lance:

Thanks for letting us know.

ta

SJ Camp said...

Tom
These articles were helpful on several levels--thank you for sounding the alarm here and shedding some needed light and wisdom on this unfortunate situation. “For such a time as this” your leadership is treasured, necessary, and appreciated. The interview with Kevin Larson was especially helpful. My prayers are with each of these faithful brothers in the Lord.

I wanted to follow up on the last few comments on this particular thread about Dr. Akin's remarks at the recent SEBTS Convergent Conf. I also have the MP3s of that conference and Cindy's remarks were spot on. Those are/were his words; and though you can’t hear it, his tone was nothing short of elation for Kreeft. He casually dismissed his conversion to Romanism, but it was not a significant prohibiter in ministry; though Romanism is a false church, preaching a false gospel, led by a false pastor, occupying a false seat of authority. Dr. Akin was just not referring to Kreeft or quoting him as we might do sometimes with secular authors in a message; but this was a full on endorsement of him and his writings.

This has significant weight when considering Kreeft's book, "The Ecumenical Jihad." Have you had a chance to read it yet? Very disturbing! It is a damning manifesto on Kreeft's claim to orthodoxy, his understanding of the gospel, and the nature and work of the Lord Jesus Christ in salvation, the role of Mary, the authority of Scripture, etc. One very bazaar example in that book is where he claims to have had an OBE (out of body experience) were he saw Mohammed, Confucius, Buddha and Moses are all having a “conversation of faith” in heaven.

Kreeft also asserts that Mary is the key spiritual leader that will ultimately save the day. He affirms that Muslims, Atheists, Orthodox Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. are all in heaven - not because they have repented of their sins and trusted their salvation by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, but because they all can have a human goodness, a pantheistic general appreciation of God, and the recognition of human dignity.

This has to be disturbing for any genuine believer in the Lord Jesus Christ to hear. 



Here are a few quotes from “The Ecumenical Jihad”:

1. "Nothing in the Jewish Scriptures contradicts Christianity, but some things in the Qur'an do. Yet even here, an 'ecumenical jihad' is possible and is called for, for the simple and strong reason that Muslims and Christians preach and practice the same First Commandment; Islam, total surrender submission of the human will to the divine will. We fight side by side not only because we face a common enemy but above all because we serve and worship the same divine Commander. (30)

2. We fight side by side not only because we face a common enemy but above all because we serve and worship the same divine Commander. Many Christians, both Protestant and Catholic, do not believe what the Church says about Islam (for example, in Vatican II and in the new Catechism): that Allah is not another God, that we worship the same God...” (Ibid.)


3. "Finally, even atheists and agnostics, if they are of good will and intellectual honesty and still believe in objective truth and objective morality, are on our side in the war against the powers of darkness. Perhaps they can be called 'anonymous Christians.'" (31)

4. "Consecrate your life to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She is the one who will win this war. She is the one (as the Bible says) who triumphs over Satan." (169)

5. The Ecumenical Jihad says Buddhists, Confucians, Protestants, Catholics and Muslims will all be in heaven. "Perhaps in heaven the most ardent worshipers of Christ will be pious Muslims,"

6. In his book he gave the Koran divine status as the Word of God. And he says, "Allah is just another name for Jehovah."

The troubling thing is, when a fine, godly man like Dr. Akin within the SBC Reformed community affirms the teachings of Kreeft with such glowing praise, even to the point of recommending his works as foundational doctrine sufficient for the minds of college students and younger then I would think a call to discernment is in order. Especially when he gives a similar recommendation to Mark Driscoll and the Acts 29 Network. I would also think this would be just as much of a concern for the Acts 29 affiliate churches.

BTW, our mutual friend, John MacArthur has a YouTube video where he mentions Kreeft and the problems of his theology at about 1:10 into it. Here is the link.

Alliances in ministry are more critical than ever when considering the above and the current state of evangelicalism. I certainly haven't arrived in my sanctification, alliances, and theology - you know how ordinary and sinful I can be. We need each others prayers more today than ever. So my prayers are with you daily as you biblically look long and hard at statements by Dr. Akin and his endorsement of men like Kreeft and Driscoll.

I leave you with a quote from a magazine interview where Mac said the following in relation to the emerging movement, but also I believe, in part about Driscoll as well. I share his convictions:

"Worldly preachers seem to go out of their way to put their carnal expertise on display--even in their sermons. In the name of connecting with "the culture" they want their people to know they have seen all the latest programs on MTV; familiarized themselves with all the key themes of "South Park"; learned the lyrics to countless tracks of gangster rap and heavy metal music; and watched who-knows-how-many R-rated movies. They seem to know every fad top to bottom, back to front, and inside out. They've adopted both the style and the language of the world--including lavish use of language that used to be deemed inappropriate in polite society, much less in the pulpit. They want to fit right in with the world, and they seem to be making themselves quite comfortable there."

May God rise up men of God through the local church to serve Him in any culture with the unvarnished truth of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. And regardless of what groups like Acts 29 or the MBC do, we know one thing is for certain: the promises to His church are always yes and amen. Chiefly, He will build His church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.

Let other organizations crumble and fall, but the church of our Lord Jesus Christ will live on.

I appreciate you greatly brother.
Yours for the Master's use,
Steve
2 Cor. 4:5-7

www.AChristianManifesto.com said...

Steve,
Regarding Kreeft... Wheaton '96.

SJ Camp said...

Yes, I was there too. MacArthur was brilliant! I almost included that in my post here.

Thank you for your remembrance of it. How I appreciate John greatly these days.

Steve.
2 Cor. 4:5-7

Tom said...

Steve:

Greetings, Campi! Thanks for your comments. I read EJ when it first came out and, while I appreciate some of Kreeft's concerns, could not share the excitement about it that some evangelicals had. The quotes you give are reason enough!

You have long noted the dangers of various attempts at co-belligerance. Too often, what gets lost is the Gospel itself.

You are correct that we must be very careful to exercise discernment both in reading and listening to recommendations.

Thanks, brother!

ta

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