Archive for the ‘Andrew’ category

“Calvinism” in “Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1859-2009)”- excerpts from the book by Dr. Gregory A. Wills, compilation

August 12, 2009

Part 1: “Calvinism” at SBTS and in the SBC at the founding of Southern Seminary

Part 2: “Calvinism” in both Landmark and non-Landmark churches during the early days of the SBC

Part 3: The “Calvinism” of the SBTS founders

a. The “Calvinism” of James P. Boyce

b. The “Calvinism” of John A. Broadus

c. The “Calvinism” of William Williams and Basil Manly Jr.

Part 4: “Calvinism and Denominational Doubt”


“Calvinism” in “Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1859-2009)”- excerpts from the book by Dr. Gregory A. Wills, Part 4

August 11, 2009

Part 4: “Calvinism and Denominational Doubt”

[The entire post below is a quote from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1859-2009), pages 542-543, with links added.]

Moderates were astonished to discover that Mohler advocated Calvinism and attacked him for it. Most conservatives in the Southern Baptist Convention rejected the doctrine of predestination but were little troubled by Mohler’s views. Since the 1940s, Calvinism had grown in popularity in evangelicalism generally. London preacher Martin Lloyd-Jones influenced many evangelicals in the United Kingdom to embrace Calvinism through his preaching and his promotion of interest in the Puritans. A number of publishers reprinted Puritan writings to meet the growing demand. The writings of John Stott and James I. Packer popularized these emphases in Great Britain and in the United States. In the United States, such preachers and authors as R.C. Sproul, John Piper, and John MacArthur taught an explicitly Calvinistic understanding of the Bible. Francis Schaeffer and Carl Henry, whose writings spurred an intellectual renaissance within American fundamentalism and evangelicalism, also contributed greatly to the spread of Calvinism’s popularity. Mohler had studied appreciatively the writings of many of these.

In the Southern Baptist Convention, Calvinism’s popularity was spreading at the same time, drawing in part on the same influences. But many Southern Baptists were looking to their own past and discovered there a rich stream of Calvinist evangelicalism. They reprinted and read the theological works of nineteenth-century Baptists, especially of such men as James P. Boyce. Some formed the Founders Ministries, an organization that produced a quarterly journal and hosted an annual conference dedicated explicitly to the promotion of “the doctrines of grace,” as Calvinism was also known. Tom Nettles, professor at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, published in 1986 an extensively documented history of Calvinism among Baptists, which served as an influential introduction to Calvinism for many Southern Baptists. Nettles joined Southern Seminary’s faculty in 1997. (more…)

Book Sale on Founders Press Titles Related to Southern Seminary

August 10, 2009

The following sale announcement is relevant to the recent series of posts I’ve been doing from Dr. Wills’ history of Southern Seminary.

From Founders Ministries Blog [with links added]:

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and Founders Press is putting several books related to the seminary on sale until September 4, 2009.

Included are books by Tom Nettles, Michael Haykin and James P. Boyce along with a DVD and CD of the Baptist Catechism by Jim Orrick.

The list of books on sale are found HERE.

“Calvinism” in “Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1859-2009)”- excerpts from the book by Dr. Gregory A. Wills, Part 3c.

August 8, 2009

3: The “Calvinism” of the SBTS founders

[After the following heading, the remainder of this post is a quote from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1859-2009).]

c. The “Calvinism” of William Williams and Basil Manly Jr. (96)

Williams also argued the Calvinist distinctives in traditional fashion. He taught that God’s decrees determined “whatever takes place” and included “all things.” He taught that God imputed Adam’s guilt to his posterity, resulting in “universal total depravity,” in which all persons lacked the “moral ability to do what is spiritually good” and were “totally destitute of any love of God or any inclination to do his will or engage in his service.” He explained that scriptural election was “God’s eternal and unchangeable choice of certain persons to salvation of his sovereign will.” He taught that Christ’s death was a “limited atonement,” because a “true substitution and satisfaction” necessarily involved specific “persons whose place is taken and not an indescriminate mass,” and because the Bible taught that the atonement actually purchased and procured faith, repentance, and salvation. He held that the Holy Spirit’s work of “imparting spiritual life and renewing the will” was “irresistible grace” and was granted to “the elect only.” He taught also that the “perseverance” of the saints was a “necessary inference from the doctrine of election” and from the nature of the union between the Christian and Christ.” (more…)

“Calvinism” in “Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1859-2009)”- excerpts from the book by Dr. Gregory A. Wills, Part 3b.

August 6, 2009

3: The “Calvinism” of the SBTS founders

[After the following heading, the remainder of this post is a quote from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1859-2009).]

b. The “Calvinism” of John A. Broadus (94-96)

Broadus undertook a study of Calvinism in 1857. He wrote Charles Hodge in an effort to acquire an edition of Calvin’s works. He asked his uncle Andrew Broaddus, a veteran Baptist preacher, “how far Calvinism should be carried.” His uncle affirmed both that God was completely sovereign and that humans were fully accountable to repent and believe in Christ, but their perfect compatibility was beyond human understanding: “I can not fathom the mystery connected with God’s sovereignty and man’s accountability.” Broadus concluded that the Calvinist approach was scriptural. (more…)

When God draws us with His grace, does He take away our power to resist that grace?

July 29, 2009

This past July 10th, many Protestants- especially those involved in theological education- recognized the 500th birthday of John Calvin by reflecting on the contributions his writings have made to Christian thought. On The Albert Mohler [Radio] Program guest host Dr. Russell D. Moore, Dean of the School of Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary led a discussion about the doctrines most often associated with Calvin in popular thinking: namely, election and predestination. Dr. Moore’s guests on the July 10th program were Dr. Mark Dever, President of 9Marks ministries Dr. Matt Pinson, President of Free Will Baptist Bible College. Dr. Moore observed that in the past couple of years discussions of “Calvinism” in Baptist circles have, to a large degree, been more amicable and less vitriolic than in times past, and he wished to model an irenic discussion of “Calvinism” by having these guests: one (Dever) a Calvinist and one (Pinson) an Arminian.

I would like to draw readers’ attention to one question from Dr. Russell D. Moore (“RDM” below) and (especially) to the answer given by Dr. Matt Pinson (MP below). In examining Dr. Pinson’s answer to Dr. Moore, it is not my intention to disrupt the irenic spirit established by Dr. Moore, but I do think that it is instructive for us who hold to a “Calvinistic” position to be able to interact with words from an actual Arminian.

RDM: “When you think about that question, ‘What makes you to differ, as a Christian, from a lost man?’  How would you answer that?”

MP: “I would follow Arminius, who was very much like Calvin in his exaltation of the sovereign grace of God, and that God must draw us with His grace because we are totally depraved; we’re completely unable to will ourselves into His favor, and our heart is desparately wicked. I think the difference is that, like Arminius, I would see that grace as being resistible. I think ‘prevenient grace,’ as it’s often called by Calvinists and Arminians, is the real big difference between how we would  see Calvinism and Arminianism. I would say that God comes to people with His grace, and yet He treats them as persons- who have an intellect, will, and emotions- and He’s dealing with them in relationship; and so, as Arminius says, He uses ‘suasion.’ He doesn’t operate on them in a cause and effect way, but in an influence and response way. So He gives them the freedom, by His grace, to resist and even to reject that grace. So you can’t do anything- you know, Arminius was fond of quoting Augustine, ‘Without Me ye can do nothing,’ and he says- let me quote here- says, ‘Christ does not say, Without Me ye can do but little, neither does He say, Without Me ye cannot do any arduous thing, nor, Without Me ye can do it with difficulty, but He says, Without Me ye can do nothing. Nor does He say, Without Me ye cannot complete any thing, but, Without Me ye can do nothing.’ So- you know- we would say, ‘Without the grace of God in Christ and the drawing power of the Holy Spirit, we can do no spiritual good- not the least spiritual good.’ But that doesn’t mean that when He draws us with His grace, that He takes away our power to resist that grace.”

[The entire radio program can be heard HERE.] (more…)

“Calvinism” in “Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1859-2009)”- excerpts from the book by Dr. Gregory A. Wills, Part 3a.

July 25, 2009

3: The “Calvinism” of the SBTS founders

[The teaching of the doctrines of grace- commonly called "Calvinism"- was not an incidental matter to the founders of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. One motivating factor for why the chief seminary founder, James P. Boyce, worked so hard and sacrificed so much to establish the seminary is that he was concerned Arminianism might spread throughout the Southern Baptist Convention. In the following excerpts from Dr. Gregory A. Wills' new book Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1859-2009), Dr. Wills gives evidence demonstrating the "Calvinism" of the four founders of SBTS- James P. Boyce, John A. Broadus, William Williams, and Basil Manly Jr. After the following heading, the remainder of this post is a quote from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1859-2009).]

a. The “Calvinism” of James P. Boyce (93-94): (more…)

“Calvinism” in “Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1859-2009)”- excerpts from the book by Dr. Gregory A. Wills, Part 2

July 23, 2009

Part 2: “Calvinism” in both Landmark and non-Landmark churches during the early days of the SBC

[In the following excerpt from Dr. Gregory A. Wills' new book Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1859-2009), historical information is given that demonstrates a broad acceptance of "Calvinism" within both Landmark and non-Landmark churches of Southern Baptist Convention previous to 1900.

In Baptist circles, the terms "Landmark Baptists" or "Landmarkers" refer to those who hold to a specific view of Baptist history: namely, that there has been an unbroken line of Baptist churches from the apostles to the present. This view usually has implications for how  Baptists are to relate to other churches or if other groups can even properly be referred to as "churches."

Baptists who reject the Landmark view of Baptist history would agree that the church during the apostolic era was baptistic in nature- in other words, all Baptists are convinced that we get our ideas about baptism and church government, etc., from the apostles- but consider the idea of an unbroken line of Baptist churches to be historically dubious as well as biblically unnecessary.

That both Landmark and non-Landmark Baptists at the beginning of the SBC held to a "Calvinistic" understanding of God's work in salvation is interesting for Southern Baptists today because many in the SBC who hold to a Landmark-influenced view of Baptist history- such as the leadership of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary- also reject "Calvinism" and would charge non-Landmark "Calvinists" with over-emphasizing the historical-theological connection between Baptists and the Puritans.

The remainder of this post is a quote from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1859-2009), pages 91-92.]: (more…)

Timmy Brister on “Morris Chapman, Calvinism, and Saving Faith”

July 22, 2009

On his blog, “Provocations and Pantings,” former SBF blogger Timmy Brister has recently published a 3-part series of posts responding to statements that Morris Chapman, president and CEO of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, made concerning Calvinism and saving faith at this year’s Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting. (Timmy also responds to some issues in regards to Chapman’s attempts to clarify his statements since the Convention.)

Below is a compilation and brief explanation of Timmy’s posts:

Part 1: Timmy addresses some issues of hypocrisy in Chapman’s statements and the caricature Chapman makes of “Calvinism.”

Part 2: Chapman’s specific charges against “Calvinism” in the SBC are closely examined and critiqued.

Part 3: Chapman’s use of the concept of “antinomy” and a quote that he gave by Spurgeon are critiqued, and then Timmy examines a series of quotes from Baptists, historical and contemporary, regarding saving faith.

Anyone interested in the current debate in the Southern Baptist Convention concerning the doctrines of grace- commonly called “Calvinism”- would benefit from reading Timmy Brister’s posts, linked above.

“Calvinism” in “Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1859-2009)”- excerpts from the book by Dr. Gregory A. Wills, Part 1

July 21, 2009

[It is my intention to write a series of posts giving a few selected passages from Dr. Gregory A. Wills' new book  Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1859-2009). These passages, from pages 90-97 and 542-543, are focused on "Calvinism" at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) and within the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) as a whole.]

Part 1: “Calvinism” at SBTS and in the SBC at the founding of Southern Seminary (from pages 90-91).

The theology that [SBTS founder James P.] Boyce relied upon was Calvinism. It was the doctrine of the seminary’s Abstract of Principles and the prevailing theology of Baptists in the nineteenth-century South. A significant number rejected the doctrine of “limited atonement”,” and the rest did not make belief in it a condition of fellowship. But the churches and associations generally refused fellowship with pastors or churches that rejected other aspects of Calvinism.


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