An Interesting Article

The following article written in Towers, the newspaper of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, contains a statement by Jerry Johnson, president of Criswell College, which some SBF readers may find interesting. Read the article HERE.

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12 Comments on “An Interesting Article”

  1. Sam Hughey Says:

    First, my negative view of this. I am continually amazed with how we love to give and recieve awards from man for obeying God. Second, my positive view of this. Even if (IF) Al Mohler becomes the next SBC President, I hope this doesn’t cause Calvinists to think anything is going to change. Pardon my grammar but, ‘it ain’t gonna happen’! Ok, that sounds a bit negative also but I’m positive ‘it ain’t gonna happen‘!

  2. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    I would not think that AM will ever be elected to head the SBC. The powers that be have already labeled him a deceptive danger and a mistake to have been appointed as the head of and destroyer of a solidly Arminian College. They loathe the fact that he came in and required adherence to the Abstracts as a condition of employment. AM has done a remarkable job at turning Southern around, that is feared by the mob.

    SBC president, ain’t gonna happen, unless AM continues buckle under the SBC twin mottos of “What’s Truth?” and “Unity at all costs.” Unless he toes the party line, “Can’t we all just get along?” while bearing with those who call him a heretic by extension, (ala Falwellism), he won’t get a nod, from the boys in da hood.

    I have a hard time with AM accepting this award which was given inaugrally to Helms, who is a Freemason. Mohler pledged to examine the issue of this occult intitution and the SBC’s members’ extensive membership in it. To date, nothing has come forth from Mohler. Mohler has yet to give adequate explaination of the depravity clause in the 2000. My guess is, that he will continue to interpret it to be inclusive of both condemnation as result of the imputed possession of a depraved nature (both guilt and nature), and condemnation based upon the “willful” acts of the individual. He has said that no one will go to hell because of another’s actions, which is true, but he failed to explain that the mere possession of sin is an act of the individual which condemns him. It is confusing that a person can hold to mutually exclusive truth claims, and poorly defined doctrinal statements tend to leave other persons feeling they have the right to. The only explaination for AM’s stilted view on this fundamental, is the “soften of Truth for the sake of unity” ethic that has come to characterize the “emergent” like SBC. Mohler fudges on this fundamental doctrine, and fudges on faithful examination of entanglements of Christians with nefarious groups. If he folds on these, what else?

    When AM is more forth coming and less compromising, he will be a better candidate for presidency.

    Now, this is negativity, what?

  3. Barry Says:

    I’m not sure your point is the award, which is meaningless.

    I think you guys are more agitated that the bulk of the SBC doesn’t buy into the issues (scriptural/doctrinal) that Calvinists embrace.

    This elicits a couple of questions:

    -Do you think the vast majority of SBC leaders (and/or the everyday folk) will ever buy into the doctrinal view that Calvinists have?

    -If every Christian movement believes that they have it right and the others have it wrong but are still willing to co-exist without taking a belligerent stance, with the exception of Calvinists, then where does that leave us in finding a common ground to live together?

  4. Sam Hughey Says:

    Barry,

    I’m not sure your point is the award, which is meaningless.

    It wasn’t meaningless to Mohler. Or, is it my point that is meaningless? It wasn’t meaningless to me.

    I think you guys are more agitated that the bulk of the SBC doesn’t buy into the issues (scriptural/doctrinal) that Calvinists embrace.

    Not I. The agitation I might have comes from those within the leadership of the SBC who misrepresent (we used to call them lies) what Calvinists and Calvinism teaches. Moreover, if I were to become agitated with anyone it would be with Calvinists (or anyone) who plays politics with God’s word.

    -Do you think the vast majority of SBC leaders (and/or the everyday folk) will ever buy into the doctrinal view that Calvinists have?

    No. They must first buy into the doctrinal view God has.

    -If every Christian movement believes that they have it right and the others have it wrong but are still willing to co-exist without taking a belligerent stance, with the exception of Calvinists, then where does that leave us in finding a common ground to live together?

    I suppose it leaves us still trying to find that common ground and if that common ground is Scripture, how much Scriptural truth can be compromised for the sake of ‘living together in co-existence’.

  5. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    Don’t know! How is it that what we once were ever got started? The question has not been whether we can cooperate at some level, the question has become is there room in the SBC for its founding doctrines?

    As in the past four hundred or so years, it has not been the Reformed side that has taken the belligerant stance, precisely the opposite. But, the question still remains, are we willing to put the issues on the table and fairly examine them? Everyday folk made up the vast majority at one time and they used to be quite informed as to the issues. Ask the everyday folk today and you will not get an informed answer. You will receive either propoganda or ignorance, but nearly always nothing that comes close to reality.

    I take Whitefield’s stance. We cannot just get along. But, we may be able to cooperate, if and this is a big if, both sides agree to the fair exposition of both history and doctrine.

    As things stand now, “it ain’t gonna happen.”

    I am agitated, agreed. It does not just have to do with frustration, however. This is a serious time in history, and a recalcitrance that goes far beyond the boundaries of the SBC. I think all of us get this way at times. How often have you been frustrated in witnessing? There is no difference. We are preaching the gospel, as Roy Hargrave would say. That is the issue. We bear with our brothers weakness, not using our liberty to do evil, but that in doing right, he might be built up.

    I came from a Pentecostal background, wound my way through an Arminian culture and ended up teaching my daughter a form of open theology because of what I was being taught in SBC Sunday School. My frustration is salted with anger at what I allowed to become blindness in me. If I then try to explain where that blindness comes from, should I stand the charge of “heresy.” I think not. Instead, let’s open the books and check the facts. Only then will be have a basis upon which to dialogue. If either oppositional postition is not willing to do that, we cannot remain walking together no matter how many smiley faces we paste on.

    The problem is this: the majority of the leadership of the SBC does not want, nor can it afford the shamefacedness that it would cost them, to examine the Truth. Until this situation changes, and AM would be a step in that direction, the decline of the SBC will continue.

  6. Scott Morgan Says:

    Sam,

    Well said ! Yes, I’m a Southern Baptist Calvinist. I will not say anymore concerning Dr. Mohler being president. I would rather see a Dr. Tom Nettles, Dr. Roy Hargrave, or Dr. Tom Ascol. These men don’t worry about politics and they run with men who practice and pastor churches like the Scriptures teach. It’s amazing at some of the Calvinistic leaders who will not speak out against someone these days. They go and preach at Calvinistic conferences but will not speak strong to SBC leaders( They say: It’s not my issue). If I’m wrong and shown that I am then I will pull these words. Notice what Phil Johnson said about Roy Hargrave ” He could be a Pyromaniac” blogger because he tells it like it is. You find out what a man really believes when he will stand up publicly to another for the truth .


  7. Barry, I don’t see trying to find “a common ground” among the leadership of the SBC, or (it pains me to say) among many of the leaders of Calvary Chapel, which is where my family attends. What I see is Dr. Falwell loathing Calvinist theology, Dr. Caner trying to get us marginalized and blaming us for empty churches, Nelson Price mischaracterizing our beliefs (see http://www.christianindex.org/2780.article for an example, but he promises “more on this subject” on his own web site), George Bryson crusading against Calvinism, etc.

    Heck, I’d be happy to hear them say “you’re a monergist, I’m a synergist, let’s get past that and work together for the Gospel.” Although we would not agree on exactly what Gospel that is, I could see such an arrangement: but sadly that’s not what I hear. Why, conversely, do you never hear George Bryson or Ergun Caner arguing against the creeping and by now systemic synergism in their respective churches?

  8. Barry Says:

    Scott, you bring up another very interesting point. Politics.

    I know that is something that hurt Falwell and those that followed him because he fell prey to the Republican party. He bought the lie that they have a corner on morality and it has been a painfull journey these past few years to find out just how corrupt the current administration has been.
    A means to an end.

    So Sam, you think that the unkind reaction between the two sub-movements (if the word be permitted) comes more from the Arminian camp?

    And, thanks.

  9. Sam Hughey Says:

    Barry,

    So Sam, you think that the unkind reaction between the two sub-movements (if the word be permitted) comes more from the Arminian camp?

    If by unkind reaction you are referring to the misrepresentations made by some who might or might not be Arminian (some don’t claim to be) and if by sub-movements you mean the false views of Calvinism and/or what Calvinists believe/teach then the answer is yes. However, I never used the word Arminian with reference to anyone who misrepresented others. I don’t want to use that broad a stroke of the brush. I would be just as much opposed to any Calvinist who does the same. The real issue is not whether one is Calvinistic, Arminian or whatever.

    The real issue is telling the truth and confessing publicly when one is wrong as a result of professing publicly what one is wrong about. I believe this is what Thomas was intimating with, the majority of the leadership of the SBC does not want, nor can it afford the shamefacedness that it would cost them, to examine the Truth.


  10. There is far too much in the thread above for me to offer adequate response. I would encourage readers, however, to familiarize themselves with what responsibilities the president of the SBC does have (particularly in regards to appointing trustees to the various SBC entities), and would also encourage readers to familiarize themselves with the situation at Southern both before and after Mohler became president. (For information on Southern Seminary before Mohler’s presidency, see documentation in Paul Pressler’s “A Hill on Which to Die” and also the article “‘Once There Was a Camelot:’ Women Doctoral Graduates of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the Fundamentalist Takeover, and Their Lives Since SBTS,” by Susan M. Shaw and Tisa Lewis.

  11. Janine Says:

    Dr Mohler would be an excellent choice for SBC President. The Seeker Sensitive movement is gutting the denomination of its doctrinal clarity. Having Dr. Mohler elected as President would certainly start the conversation up again.

  12. Barry Says:

    Gary,

    That’s what I’ve been alluding to for some time.

    One is a monergist one is a synergist, the two are not going to agree on each other’s take of scripture/doctrine so…let’s get past that to the point wherein our veins aren’t bulging and we are no longer spitting out our starbucks at the thought of one another.

    No two people hardy ever agree upon any subject. Right on the little street we’re on we have families of every Christian movement going and it is the tightest little bunch of people you’ve seen–even though we don’t buy into every facet of each other’s doctrine. I don’t even buy into all of the doctrine in my own movement.

    I think where the real pain comes into play is when a leader (who should know better) says something publicly which is opens an old wound or keeps the wound fresh. That is something we can do without.

    Any leader needs to keep in mind that the whole world is listening in now, not just the guy who’s sitting next to him at the lunch counter.


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