Introduction

By Pastor Dustin S. Segers

It is with great honor that I have been asked to write the first entry for this new blog and provide a brief overview of what Strange BaptistFire seeks to accomplish. In doing so, let us begin with a classic statement from Chapter 3:6 of the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith:

As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so he hath, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, foreordained all the means thereunto; wherefore they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ, are effectually called unto faith in Christ, by his Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by his power through faith unto salvation; neither are any other redeemed by Christ, or effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.

At the time the original charter of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary was produced in 1858, it contained a short, yet pithy confession of faith known as The Abstract of Principles. In that confession, a similar yet simpler statement was written to codify the above truths under paragraph V,

Election is God’s eternal choice of some persons unto everlasting life — not because of foreseen merit in them, but of his mere mercy in Christ — in consequence of which choice they are called, justified and glorified.


These confessions of faith remind us of the fact that throughout Baptist history, the majority of our doctrinal forefathers believed that the Scriptures have consistently displayed the outworking of God’s eternal decree as it relates to the salvation of sinners. From the great antithesis beginning in Genesis 3:15, to the consummation of the new heavens and the new earth at the second coming of Christ (Rev. 21:1), a believer can see that without reservation, the Scriptures declare that everything is wrapped up in God’s eternal decree, and that decree includes the salvation of sinners (Isa. 46:9-10; Dan. 4:35; John 6:37-44, 65). Thus, we see that not only do the historic Baptist confessions teach God’s predeterminative, salvific plan for His elect from eternity past, but most importantly, they believed that the Scriptures teach such truths primae facie.

We at Strange BaptistFire agree with our doctrinal forbears in this regard. Let me state this clearly and without mincing words: We believe that the Scriptures unequivocally state that God has called out a people for Himself from eternity past so as to bring Himself the maximum glory through bestowing His mercy upon them through their salvation and eventual glorification (Rom. 8:29-30). We also believe that in His most wise and perfect plan He has also chosen to pass over those whom He has not chosen and leave them to their just condemnation (Rom. 9:14-24; 1 Peter 2:8), a condemnation deserved by all men, but reserved only for those who are not chosen.

Now, such truths were readily embraced by Baptists hundreds of years ago, but this is not so today. Today’s market-driven, post-modern, pragmatically-driven Baptist churches loathe the unknown God of the Bible. They desire not a God who is Sovereign in the salvation and damnation of sinners, because such a King is neither welcome in the high courts of pragmatism nor is He able to comfort the supposed “seeker-sensitive” crowd (Rom. 3:11). Such churches no longer hold forth the word of truth through strong and consistent preaching but have merely become religious Tupperware parties.

Yes, the unknown God of the Bible cramps the style of many “pastors” who would rather have all form and no Biblical substance through entertainment driven services, pop-psychology programming, inspirational talks, and the marketing of corporately-minded “church growth strategies.” In such a culture, proclaiming a message like “no one can come to Christ unless it has been granted him from the Father” is no way to get a large crowd, as Jesus so clearly demonstrated for us in John 6:65-66. However, the precious message of “repent or perish” fared so well for the early church that three thousand were baptized into Christ in a single day (Acts 2:38-41). If such a message worked fine and dandy for those in the early church, why have so many modern evangelicals, especially Baptists, been so reluctant to proclaim that message with crystal clarity?

Well, we at Strange BaptistFire believe that ultimately, such foolishness is rooted in an improper Biblical understanding of how God saves people from the wrath to come. Whether referring to the average KJV only, independent, fundamental Baptist brother, who sees holiness as being properly manifested through the instrumentality of varying degrees of legalism, or the pastor who actively “markets” the Willow-Creek “seeker” model, all such errors are the logical conclusion of an understanding of salvation that is ultimately not rooted in God, but in autonomous man. Although these two groups of Baptists are worlds apart in their standards of dress, musical preferences, style of worship, etc., they couldn’t get any closer when it comes to their understanding of how God saves people. They both truly believe that man is able, in and of himself, to reject or accept Christ with his so-called “libertarian free will”. For the typical Baptist pastor, an unknown God who elects unconditionally and damns conditionally simply doesn’t fare well against a modern church culture that believes that faithfulness to Christ is often determined by “reshaping” the gospel to flow with which ever way the cultural wind is blowing or, by discerning how ungodly Billybob’s bluegrass banjo pickin’ is. Such doctrinal “strange fire” often runs wild within the four walls of our modern Baptist churches (Lev. 10:1-2). Such “strange fire” was abhorred by our doctrinal forbears, yet it is warmly embraced by today’s brethren (I use the “term” brethren very cautiously).

Strange BaptistFire will follow and promote the historic Baptist understanding of God’s sovereign grace in salvation and we will actively seek to quench the “strange BaptistFire” being offered up as truth in our modern Baptist churches through the means of charitable discussion/debate, and most importantly, through the study of the Holy Scriptures and church history. Strange BaptistFire will expose and refute those who contradict the historic and biblical doctrines of God’s sovereign grace, and exhort those who hold to such precious truths to hold fast to them until Christ returns. As the reader can see by the doctrinal position elucidated thus far, we are unashamedly Calvinistic in our convictions. However, we share the sentiments of Jonathan Edwards, who said in the Preface to his great book on THE FREEDOM OF THE WILL,

“I should not take it at all amiss, to be called a Calvinist, for distinction’s sake: though I utterly disclaim a dependence on Calvin, or believing the doctrines which I hold, because he believed and taught them; and cannot justly be charged with believing in every thing just as he taught.”

Again, the contributors of Strange BaptistFire believe these great historic doctrines because we believe that the Scriptures show forth the truthfulness of them. In conclusion, we might do well to remember that the goal of all doctrine and theology is that we may know our Lord and God, delight in who He is, obey Him, and praise Him for His grace and salvation He accomplished on our behalf. There is nothing more important than a person’s view of God. Is your view of God a high and biblical view or have you made God who you would like Him to be? My prayer is that God would be exalted for who He is in our discussion, debate, and study of the Holy Scriptures. He is the gracious God who has sent His beloved Son to accomplish an exacting and precise redemption for His people. Thus, it is to Him, and Him alone that we render all due honor and glory! I pray that God will not only bless the blog contributors herein, but also, I pray that you, the reader, will be given wisdom and insight as you study His precious Word.
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http://www.vor.org/truth/1689/1689bc03.html
http://www.founders.org/abstract.html

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Explore posts in the same categories: Doctrinal Issues, General, Soteriology

32 Comments on “Introduction”

  1. Evan May Says:

    Wonderful! Thanks, Dustin!

  2. tim Says:

    Amen! I am looking forward to reading posts here, even though I already have so much to catch up on. May the Lord bless your efforts.

  3. Timmah Says:

    Sweet Moses, this could be good…

  4. mikem Says:

    Praise God!

  5. Jeff Jones Says:

    I am looking forward to reading your work, brothers! God bless.

  6. Jeff Downs Says:

    Looking forward to your posts.

  7. Steve Weaver Says:

    This will be a good thing, I think.


  8. […] Strange BaptistFire is now up and running, ignited with Dustin Seger’s introductory post. Check out the about page also. Don’t forget to go ahead and subsribe to the RSS feed as well! […]

  9. Mike Ratliff Says:

    This is long overdue. I firmly beleive that the vast majority of my Baptist bretren have a very fuzzy conception of doctrine. Let’s pray that God will use this to draw them into the light and out of the clutches of deception.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  10. Michael Schueckler Says:

    The name is so appropriate. Looking forward to future posts.

  11. Castusfumus Says:

    I attended everytime the door was opened, thanks to my parents!

    However, I will forever be disappointed in the quality that I received in a standard “quarterly education.” I feel that I had my most valuable asset (time) substatially wasted in Sunday School classes.

    My conviction: If you attend the class that I have been sovereignly elected to teach, I will not and cannot waste your time!

    Preach on men you guys do us a great service!!!

  12. Hashman Says:

    Is the baptistfire.org available?
    If you could get that you might pick off a few people who are actually looking for baptistfire.com.

    Just a thought.

    The site looks great!

    God Bless.


  13. Good to see the site up and running.

    I am not sure if I have done something incorrect but what is the RSS feed for this site?


  14. I am really encouraged to see the number of people interested in this blog! I think that there will be more people desirous to speak humbly yet boldly to the destructive tactics employed on websites like BaptistFire and pulpits devoid of accountability to Scripture. This is a great post by Dustin, and I am honored to be a small part of this antidote to much of what is hurting our churches today.

  15. Nathan Says:

    Tony,

    I’m still trying to sort out the details of the RSS and stuff, but for right now this feed seems to be working properly: http://strangebaptistfire.com/feed/


  16. Its good to see an answer to the “baptist fire” keep up the good works.

  17. Hashman Says:

    it would be phenominal if you could get posted, Jame’s Whites two Dividing Line programs in which he picked apart Roger’s sermons on Predestination.

    I just emailed the pastor, featured at the top of the Baptist Fire site as “recanting calvinism” after hearing rogers sermon.

    I gave him the link to download the White disection of Roger’s exposition.
    https://aomin.org/mp3/shop.html?shop=list4 It is classic.

    Blessings!

  18. jeremyb Says:

    Thanks for taking the time to provide a place for the truth of the gospel to be held high!

  19. charles rosson Says:

    Readable, reformational, refreshing……..


  20. Hey… this is all very interesting. I just heard about this at James White’s site. He has posted an article on his blog that you might should consider posting here (it was basically a “what I would say if I posted on Strange Bapist Fire’s website” post). God bless, and I’m glad to see that someone’s is debunking a site like baptistfire! (I just saw that site and yours today for the first time.)

  21. JMattC Says:

    Looking forward to what you guys will bring to bear against baptistfire and others of their ilk.

  22. H.Spangler Says:

    It is wonderful to see this site starting up! I wish God’s blessings upon the site. May His truth shine forth.

  23. George Craggs Says:

    Thank you all for your ministry. Your StrangeBaptistfire website will be very helpful to those seeking to grow in grace and knowledge of Christ. I have seen the BaptistFire website and it is very sad to see such comments made by ‘believers’.
    Found out about your new website from reading websites of James White and Tom Ascol.

    PS. I live in Australia.

    Thank you again!

  24. sk Says:

    Tossing in the juvenile swipe at KJV readers makes you lose alot and really unnecessarily. Please, my understanding of biblical doctrine is not transcended by anyone writing at this site (I’m a five solas, doctrines of grace, Bible-believing Christian) AND I read the Traditional Text translation known at the Authorized, King James, Version (just as the Christians who drew up the two confessions you quote in your post did). It may get you points from your seminary professors, but from my point-of-view what you did is no different from what the people at Baptistfire are doing regarding Calvinism.


  25. Great idea guys! Thanks for doing this.


  26. Nathan:

    Thanks for the help. It seems that Yahoo was just slow in picking up the RSS feed as not too long after I posted I was able to pick it up.

    Again thanks for the new site. I think the response is so great becasue the stuff on the Baptist Fire site is representative of all of the preaching and teaching (if you can call it that) lately against the Doctrines of Grace.

  27. Sam Hughey Says:

    I am very glad to see this type of Blog created for the purpose of defending the Biblical doctrines of grace and responding to Calvinistic misrepresentations. The time for proving one’s ‘strong argument’ against Calvinistic Baptists is long overdue and even though I doubt any of BaptistFire’s followers will dare to attempt a Biblical, God-honoring response (or any at all) here to be challenged, it is still honoring God to proclaim His truth, rather than our own distortion of His truth.

    Something that has already been brought to our attention is sk’s comments: Tossing in the juvenile swipe at KJV readers makes you lose alot and really unnecessarily. Please, my understanding of biblical doctrine is not transcended by anyone writing at this site (I’m a five solas, doctrines of grace, Bible-believing Christian) AND I read the Traditional Text translation known at the Authorized, King James, Version (just as the Christians who drew up the two confessions you quote in your post did). It may get you points from your seminary professors, but from my point-of-view what you did is no different from what the people at Baptistfire are doing regarding Calvinism.

    From what I read sk could only be referring to; the average KJV only, independent, fundamental Baptist brother, who sees holiness as being properly manifested through the instrumentality of varying degrees of legalism, or the pastor who actively “markets” the Willow-Creek “seeker” model, all such errors are the logical conclusion of an understanding of salvation that is ultimately not rooted in God, but in autonomous man.

    sk, it is not a ‘juvinile swipe’ to address an issue with exactness. The issue addressed is the KJVonlyist view, of which I once had, and does not attack the personal character of anyone. It does, however, address the Biblical character of those who demand a strict legalism of worshipping a specific translation over all others which almost always manifests itself by the acceptance of traditional views which speak not only contrary to Scripture but often blatantly rejecting the truth God has given us in exchange for a more man-centered traditional view. It does not, on the otherhand, attack the KJV as many KJVonlyists falsely assume.

    Your statement, from my point-of-view what you did is no different from what the people at Baptistfire are doing regarding Calvinism could not be further from the truth. BaptistFire makes many false accusations, refuses to allow those accusations to be challenged by Calvinists and speaks contrary to Scripture. Where does the introduction article make a false accusation, disallow a challenge or speak contrary to Scripture?

    We must, as children of God, think Biblically, not traditionally. Even among our disagreements we must honor God with truth and edifying words even if at times those words seem a bit harsh, just as our Lord spoke harshly (but truthfully) with some who opposed Him.

    Sam Hughey
    The first to plead his case seems right until another comes and examines him. Proverbs 18:17

  28. Pat McGee Says:

    Thank you for this site. I live in an area where there are no Founders or Reformed Baptist Churches. This is a breath of fresh air. I wil read this regularly. God bless you richly.

  29. J.D. Says:

    Thank you Pastor Dustin for that breath of fresh air. After getting “beat up” over at Baptist Board, it’s good to be among the like-minded.

    However, I would like to advance a note of caution. Some of us, albeit ever so few, that hold to 5 points also hold to KJVO to some degree or other. Please don’t lump us in the Ruckman or other wing-nuts. I am unreservedly supporting this blog and pray that it will be used by God for his purposes.

    J.D.

  30. rj_tim Says:

    Hi! I’m from the Philippines and I just want everyone to know that it is encouraging to see websites like this which involve men of God who “properly handle the Word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). I pray that the Lord will continually bless your ministry of proclaiming His unchanging and uncompromising truth in this changing and compromising world.

    In Christ Jesus the Truth,
    RJ

  31. Gene Says:

    J.D. ,

    Thank you for your comments. Let me say that the KJVO churches in our area of the country are the ones about whom Pastor Dustin was speaking. I know, because I know the churches.

    We fully recognize the distinctions among KJV using folks here as posted by Dr. Bob. They can be found here:

    http://www.baptistboard.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/4/2672.html

    That said, I am sad to say that “Sk” sent a comment that attacked James White and those using MV’s and the “tainted” Alexandrian manuscripts, etc. It strikes me that SK’s post fits the description that Pastor Dustin described.
    My pastor can speak for himself. I know him well enough to know what he would likely say: “Brother, that’s not welcome here.”

    The last comment sent makes me suspect that this dear brother or sister could well be a particular person who’s blog used such colorful metaphors last year that a professor from SEBTS saw it and told me in email he couldn’t believe such a blasphemous blog would call itself Christian. I hope not.

    For the record, this submission violated:

    We will not make it our business to attack your character. We ask you accord us the same courtesy.

    If you post, you are asked not to harrass, spam, troll, etc. You are invited to respond in a constructive, well thought out manner.

    Expletives, abbreviated or not, will not be tolerated. Ad hominem invective, as a substitute for reasoned argument, is unacceptable. The meta is not a place to turn into your parallel universe where you get to say whatever you wish without impugnity.

    Do not argue by assertion, argue by demonstration.

    and especially this one: Strange Baptistfire is not a host-site where you can come to revisit an old grudge match between you and a second-party, or between a second-party and a third-party, who is not the topic of the post in question. If you have a personal beef with somebody, contact him directly. Don’t go using Strange Baptistfire as a platform to take potshots from behind the bushes of a second-party blog.

    Sk, this is your first warning. I believe you have received an email; however given the fact that your email address seems to be fake, it is doubtful you received it. I strongly suspect you are the one who has had a number of aliases on the Reformed blogs in recent history. I believe you were once known as “c.t.,” and have had run-ins with Centuri0n, Steve Hays, and the Pedantic Protestant among others. Regardless of whether or not you are one and the same, you are welcome to post here as long as you obey the rules.

    Comments here are moderated. We do not refrain from posting unfavorable comments. We do refrain from posting comments that violate the Rules of Engagement. If you cannot abide by them, you will be banned.

  32. Hashman Says:

    Hey Guys,

    Just thought I’d update you. I’m corresponding with Brandon Cox, who was reference at the top of the Baptist Fire webpage as being “the pastor who listened to Rogers sermon and recanted Calvinism”. We are having a good conversation. He is not one of the Baptist Fire Folks.

    He is going to listen to White’s disection of Roger’s sermons against calvinism and get back with me.

    I asked him if he was contacted by Baptist Fire before putting the link up there and I also asked him if their reference to it was misleading.

    I hope to hear back from him tonight.

    If at all posible, try to upload the messages by White on Rogers. I read his blog this week and it seemed as though he were hinting that he would give them to you to post. But he wasn’t asked.

    God Bless!


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