Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Other Resurgence - FJ 71

The theme of the latest Founders Journal (71) is "the other resurgence." It contains articles by Tom Nettles and Christian George, representing the "old guard" of the reformation efforts within the SBC and the rising generation who is similarly committed to those efforts.

Dr. Nettles needs no introduction to most of the readers of this blog. His teaching and writing ministries have been blessed of God to call many back to our biblical and historical roots as Southern Baptists. His book, By His Grace and For His Glory (recently revised, updated and republished by Founders Press) has never even been seriously engaged, much less refuted by those who lament the resurgence of the doctrines of grace among Baptists over the last 25 years. It is a classic work. Tom's article in this issue of the Founders Journal is entitled, "Why Your Next Pastor Should Be a Calvinist." I highly recommend it.

Christian George is the son of Dr. Timothy George, Dean of Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama. Christian is also an author (his latest book is Sex, Sushi and Salvation) and is about to being working on a PhD at St. Andrews. His article is entitled, "Younger Evangelicals and a Restlessness for Revival." It reveals the heartbeat of the twentysomethings that are hungry for authentic Christianity.

My editorial in this issue of the FJ looks at the "Calvinistic Resurgence" in light of the "Conservative Resurgence" and makes two points. First, the latter did not occur without significant controversy, which makes the makes the castigations against the doctrines of grace and those who believe them as being "controversial" lose their force (especially when they come from the very controversialists who led the charge in the 1st CR). Second, despite all of the good that was done in the 1st CR, by and large, the Southern Baptist Convention is in need of dramatic renewal in our day. Arguably, our churches are worse off today than they were in 1979.

We place every issue of the Founders Journal online about 6 months after they are published in print. This long-standing policy inevitably decreases the number or print subscribers that we have, but it furthers the goal of Founders Ministries, which is to work for the recovery of the Gospel and the reformation of local churches everywhere.

If you are not a subscriber to the journal, this would be a great time to become one. You may sign up by going here.


stephen nobles said...

Dr. Ascol, in what ways do you think our churches are worse off now than in 1979? I agree with you, but I was hoping to read your ideas and your persepctive. Thanks so much for any feedback!

Tom said...


I will resist the urge to say, "Read my article." ;-)

I am thinking primarily of the currently accepted measurable evidence that reflects about a 30-40% participation rate for our members. In other words, our most significant "growth" has been in members we can no longer find. There are other ways, but this one issue is demonstrably obvious.

GUNNY said...

I have the nasty habit of letting my subscription lapse.

But you folks have always been good about allowing me to buy back issues as well.

This issue looks like a keeper.

Terry Buster said...

Tom, I am never tempted to wait six months for the issue to go online. I want to read the current issue. Thanks for the wonderful work you do. Having read the FJ 71 as soon as it came I can heartily proclaim that this one is a keeper.

PastorBrian said...

Dr. Ascol,
I am in the beginning stages of a church plant. It is becoming clearer to me that the twenty-somethings are interested in quality biblical preaching and singing songs that reflect accurate doctrine. It also seems the simpler things are the better. I believe this resurgence is also in the area of shaking off the dirt of trivial busy work in the church. It is very refreshing to see this trend.
God Bless

Tom said...


We are going to have to start charging you double if you let your subscription lapse again!


Thanks, brother!!


That is what I have observed as well. It is wonderfully refreshing.


John said...

May the reform continue! Though we have some good Biblical teaching and some fairly sound doctrine in my church, the actual services remain unreformed.

That is, the preaching seems to take second place to the music, and the music is sometimes less than reverent. May God continue to reform and revive.

Keep up the good work.

Doug said...

I echo Pastor Brian. I am doing a SBC church plant in Blacksburg, Virginia - the home of Virginia Tech. Our focus is on expository preaching, a rediscovery of the hymns along with choruses, and alot of Scripture readings and prayers. I have utilized no video, no lights, no sound system, no drama. I push for commitment and accountability. The students who attend call our church "refreshing." Who'da thunk it? I have been experiencing what you describe. There is a definite push-back among Christ-minded students against the entertainment culture present in many of the churches they have previously been to and a longing for the simple truth to be simply proclaimed. Praise God.

pregador27 said...

Hey I found another organization with membership issues. The mormons have me on their rolls despite the fact that I disjoined back in 1987 after realizing that Christ was nowhere in the place. As I recall, I wrote a letter requesting out in the early 1990's. But I am still a mormon according to the local ward. Bah. I wonder how many mormons are unable to be found by the LDS assemblies.