FBC Dallas pastor to nominate Mohler for SBC president

Read the story HERE.

Update: On the day that the above link was published to Strange BaptistFire, Associated Baptist Press published an article titled, “SBC presidency showdown brewing after Mohler announces intention.”
My observations on this article:

  1. The writer of this article way over-estimates Burleson’s influence.
  2. Co-operative program giving may, indeed, be an issue in the presidential election. But from what I’ve heard, Highview Baptist, where Mohler is not a pastor in charge of the budget, but a Sunday school teacher, gives additional money (money that is not accounted for in the 3.3%) directly to the Co-operative program, bypassing the state convention, which keeps too high a percentage in the state. Many churches choose to do this, and Mohler’s nomination may bring this issue to the forefront.
  3. Burleson criticizes Mohler for his words of caution about accepting the BF&M 2000 (a document Mohler helped to draft) as sufficient to guide all SBC agencies and institutions. Burleson caricatures Mohler as representing an oligarchy telling the common people “we know better than you.” The truth is that Mohler made an excellent case for why the BF&M 2000 is sometimes insufficient. The SBC does not need a “leader” who will blindly follow orders (or perceived orders) from a single emotionally-charged moment on the convention floor, but one who will actually lead– taking all of his convention-defined responsibilities into consideration and carefully reasoning through the implications of denominational decisions.
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38 Comments on “FBC Dallas pastor to nominate Mohler for SBC president”

  1. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    Mohler has been a supporter of cooperation, with solid conservative credentials, except….

    He was the target of angst by some in the “non-Calvinist” camp who consider him dangerous mistake. When it comes to building bridges Mohler is uniter. We will have to wait and see if those in the opposition construction camp want to build along or it they’ll go out on strike.

  2. Andrew Says:

    re: “He was the target of angst by some in the ‘non-Calvinist’ camp who consider him dangerous mistake.”

    -True. But there are also some in the “Calvinist camp” who don’t think he’s Calvinistic enough.

    re: “When it comes to building bridges Mohler is uniter.”

    -Exactly. And I think that he’s just the kind of uniter that the SBC needs- one who is not afraid of in-depth doctrinal discussion (as seen in his involvement in both the Together for the Gospel conference and the Building Bridges conference) and who will not compromise with post-modern philosophy.

  3. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    True. But there are also some in the “Calvinist camp” who don’t think he’s Calvinistic enough.

    You talking ’bout me! I think that when it comes down to it we have more than a few disparities among us.

    I have listened to and read enough of Mohler to be convinced of his Reformed theological stance. And, I appreciate it.

    This could get real messy, but I hope for the sake of us all moving ahead, and I don’t sacrifice my convictions for that purpose, that Mohler is installed. Some will take it as a blow, others a victory, still others will understand that it is exactly what makes us SBC.

    By the way. I am still not associated with an SBC church here, but hope that a Reformed Baptist movement will catch fire and produce one that I can attend with peace of mind. Till then, the PCA that I attended is remarkably sound, even where we diverge on the “issues”.

  4. fred Says:

    Andrew,

    You stated: True. But there are also some in the “Calvinist camp” who don’t think he’s Calvinistic enough.

    What do you mean by this? I am not disagreeing at all, I just don’t know what is meant by a Calvinist believing someone is not Calvinistic enough. Are they speaking hyper -Calvinism?


  5. Apologies, Fred: You’re right, that wasn’t very clear. Some would not consider him to be truly Calvinistic for what I would consider to be relatively minor theological disagreements with a Reformed Baptist perspective: For instance, he is not Sabbatarian (though he does profess a high view of “Lord’s Day observance”). Some wish that he would go beyond Southern Seminary’s Abstract of Principles and only hire 5-point Calvinists. These are examples of what I had in mind in the statement above.

  6. fred Says:

    Thanks for the clarification Andrew. I get the gist of what you are saying. These men are those that woship the Reformed idea more than the principles of being reformed. They tend to a more legalistic approach, a strict dogmatism, the letter of the theology instead of the spirit of the theology. We have those kind all over , but you know, they serve a purpose of keeping us that may be more ‘gracious’ in our views from becoming too gracious, where we actually change the meaning of being gracious into allowance. I believe that is what has happened to much of the SBC, wouldn’t you agree?

  7. Jack Winter Says:

    Wade Buleson, influential SBC Blogger, has declared that Al Mohler is the “Right Man for the Wrong Job” and will oppose his election.

    Burleson sites three reasons.

    1: He accuses Mohler of preaching extra-Biblical doctrines. He sites one example: “To demand that marriage means sex–but not children–is to defraud the creator of His joy and pleasure in seeing the saints raising His children.”

    2: He sees a conflict of interest where an SBC entity president is also the SBC president. As proof he sites some remark attributed to Mohler about some vote at an SBC convention.

    3: He accuses Mohler of not supporting the cooperative program. Mohler’s home church gives only 3.3% of it’s budget to the cooperative program.

    In order: (1) I have never ever heard or read anything “extra-biblical” from Dr. Mohler and I need more than one out of context quote from a sermon to believe this charge. (2) I have had enough “inside politics” with Hillary and Barak and Mitt and Mike that I’m ready to puke. Now we are to be treated to more of the same within the Convention? Me thinks Pastor Burelson is about as omniscient in such matters as the guys who predicted Hillary would be trounced in New Hampshire. (3) I checked the website of Dr Mohler’s church and he isn’t even listed on the staff page. According Burleson he is a “teaching pastor” and Sunday school teacher. How can he be held responsible for the church’s budget?

    According to press reports, Burleson played a significant role in rallying the Southern Baptist blogging community and other younger SBC supporters to elect a relatively unknown pastor over candidates backed by the denomination’s establishment leaders.

    One can’t help but wonder if Pastor Burleson now sees himself as a “king maker” who must anoint and bless any future SBC President.

    It’s a strong charge, but in light of Burleson’s unsubstantiated charges against a great man like Al Mohler, I can surmise no other reason.

  8. Barry Says:

    I’m not sure what people are basing their views of Mohler being a bridge-builder or unifyer upon.

    Going by his public comments I would say there is reason to suggest quite the opposite.

  9. Jack Winter Says:

    Hey Barry:

    Mohler’s Calvinism will be a problem for many of the brethren. Is this the area where you feel he needs to build bridges, or are you thinking of something else? Can you cite some examples of Dr, Mohler making public comments that are polarizing? (the opposite of bridge building)

  10. Barry Says:

    Jack,

    I think Mohler is well-intended, and might wind up (if elected), as being the best SBC president the conference has had.

    However, he’s also made comments which not only alienate but they are telling relative to his level of good judgement. I don’t consider it a healing approach to make the comments he has relative to other movements. I don’t think too many Americans care if gays are genetically or environmentally predisposed in their orientation but for Mohler to make the comments he did relative to altering the genes of a fetus makes him look suspect from a mental standpoint.

    Most, if not all, of those responsible for unifying people come from the mainstream–not the ends of the spectrum.

    But, time will tell.

    I think now most people don’t really care if someone leans left or right as long as they are honest and stable.

  11. Darrin Says:

    Yes, honest and stable in their impotent moderatism.

  12. Jack Winter Says:

    Yes, honest and stable in their impotent moderatism.

    There is no room for “moderatism” in zeal for winning the lost for Christ, nor in defending the fundamentals of the faith.

    On the other hand there is no merit in a strident debating spirit. One who will cross the state to debate on Calvinism, but won’t give more than lip service to true evangelism doesn’t impress me and I doubt the Lord either.

    I like fred’s description of

    men (who) are those that woship the Reformed idea more than the principles of being reformed

    IMHO a saint cannot understand the Doctrines of Grace until after he is saved. (I Cor. 2:14) You never heard an Apostle say to the lost, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, if you’re part of the elect.

    I think Dr’s Page and Mohler both have it right in preaching cooperation within the SBC over the “issue” of Calvinism, rather than hurling anathemas like medieval theologians,.

  13. fred Says:

    “all I know was that I was blind but now I see”

    “Great! That was the milk and the truth.. Now let me tell you more meaty truth, what happened and why. That is the Doctrines of Grace ” Do not be fooled or believe any less or any more than that when it comes to salvation, lest you understand too little or worship something else too much. It is in Christ alone, by grace alone through faith alone that ye are saved.”

    This is my belief and I believe Al would be a great Pres.

  14. Jack Winter Says:

    Do not be fooled or believe any less or any more than that when it comes to salvation, (Than the doctrines of Grace)

    Amen to that Fred, and a full understanding can’t help but put you on your knees more often. They are not, however, a test of fellowship. If God can use Arminians, (e.g. Wesley), in a mighty way, who are we to deny them full fellowship and love in the SBC. Some folks who are blessed to accept the Doctrines of Grace get all huffy when they are rebuked. I think the better way is to “agree to disagree”, and offer a friendly examination of each other’s proof texts, (If the other brother is willing).

  15. Darrin Says:

    “I think the better way is to “agree to disagree””

    http://tominthebox.blogspot.com/2007/12/agree-to-disagree-leads-to-unity_11.html

  16. fred Says:

    And a big amen back to you Jack. I might add that the “if the other brother is willing” may imply that if one is not willing, he may be following the traditions of men which he may not want to give up. This could be sin. I believe an examination of all the texts are necessary, not optional if we wish to be true to God and be true Bereans The text must be the guide. But in all things , we must show grace as we have also been shown grace.

  17. Barry Says:

    The “impotent moderatism” comment is wishful thinking on your part.

    If history has shown us anything it is that moderates do the unifying and those on the ends do the damage.

    If you want to win the hearts and minds of breathren today you need to do it with reason and not with a militant facade and threats.

    Trying to reel people in today while using 16th century tactics (or logic) is only going to make individuals and individual churches drop away from you.

  18. fred Says:

    When we say moderate , what do we mean? It seems the current understanding of that term implies “middle of the road” and to me, that would be indecision, unless both positions are correct in the same manner and that is illogical. Moderate in this sense would be dialectical. I would agree that we can not burn folks at the stake as they did in the 16th century, but I am not sure what is meant by 16th century logic. Maybe methods can change but logic is proper reasoning and if something was reasoned properly in the 16th century, then unless we have new information that makes it illogical, it should it should still be logical now.

    I believe the question is over Arminianism and Calvinism. They both can not be true in the same manner, though both can be true depending on what is being expressed. This is why I implied above that we must go to the texts , with honesty and integrity, not with built in presuppositions of what we want it to say and then being unwilling to truly examine both sides. To me a moderate would then be one that will look at both sides honestly, meaning looking at the whole of Scripture. It would seem that this is what we would want a President to do, unless we really hold to the traditions of men. I believe Al Mohler is more than capable of doing this.

  19. Barry Says:

    Fred, I agree.

    That would be key.

    I think it is a mistake, however, to suggest that someone who is moderate/mainstream/middle-of-the-road is someone who is indecisive.

    That isn’t to say that they can’t and don’t make errors in judgement–but they don’t allow an abnormal prejudice to blunt their ability to look at all sides of an issue or person objectively and make the best decision they can.

    It is also a mistake to intimate that those in the mainstream can’t be aggresive when they need to be–to either right a wrong or to step up to the plate when called upon.

  20. Jack Winter Says:

    one is not willing, he may be following the traditions of men which he may not want to give up.

    Maybe, or he may be good old boy who believes what he’s been taught from Baptist pulpits for 50 years and doesn’t want to talk about.

    Anyone following a non-Biblical doctrine, is by definition, following doctrines of men, (at the best). I’m not sure I want to start throwing stones in that glass house however.

    For example, I’m pleased to be a Baptist, but I’d be hard pressed to defend congregation polity from the Bible. It’s an invention of German anabaptists and English puritans, unknown in the apostolic age, or to the early Church fathers.

  21. fred Says:

    Barry stated: “I think it is a mistake, however, to suggest that someone who is moderate/mainstream/middle-of-the-road is someone who is indecisive.”

    I agree Barry, wholeheartedly, if that is the definition we all agree when saying ‘moderate’ and depending on the issue in question. Lets assume that if there were two sides as to whether Christ died on the cross or not, do we take a moderate stance and say He just appeared to die on the cross? I know that analogy is not the best one, it being right off the top of my head , but do you see the problem that being moderate could have if the issue is more than a polity matter, as Jack alluded to? I think that sometimes we can call something a matter of polity just to avoid the controversy, which again is using the dialectical process of consensus to solve everything , when in reality this process moves something in the direction intended by the antithesis of the premise. (Remember who is being nominated and what the real objection is based on by those with the objection to his nomination.)

  22. fred Says:

    I have used the term dialectical a couple of times. I was asked by someone reading this blog what I meant. Just in case someone does not understand what I am referring to by this term, it is a process of reasoning coined by the philosopher Hegel. I will explain it by way of example.

    Suppose something is said to be black in color. Someone comes along and says it is really white in color. After some discussion everyone that is involved with the discussion, says “let’s find middle ground and call it gray.” That seems reasonable. It is accepted. But then someone else comes along and says it is white again. Again a compromise (consensus)is reached to find middle {moderate} ground. Now the middle is between white and gray. Which original color is actually starting to win out here as this process is repeated? We can all see that it is moving back to black.

    This is why on some issues being moderate is just another word for consensus making which is dialectic instead of didactic and this can not be when it comes to truth. Truth must be didactic or it is relative. In matters of simple man -made polity , that is fine for that is subjective. But in matters of truth this is not acceptable, no matter how kind it seems. Hath God really said?

  23. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    IMHO a saint cannot understand the Doctrines of Grace until after he is saved. (I Cor. 2:14) You never heard an Apostle say to the lost, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, if you’re part of the elect.

    I think Dr’s Page and Mohler both have it right in preaching cooperation within the SBC over the “issue” of Calvinism, rather than hurling anathemas like medieval theologians,.

    You never heard Jesus claim that he was God, either, but it is everywhere in his preaching of the Gospel. It is truth that no one understands the Gospel until after they are saved. John 3 makes that clear, but neiter Jesus nor Paul excluded the DoG in the preaching of the Gospel. Paul is abundantly clear as to how he was saved. He enunciated his election time and time again as he preached his Gospel and in step with his Lord, who to Nicodemus was clear in stating that it is the Spirit that does the work, and Jesus himself said it is those who are believing who have eternal life. Beyond that Christ said: ” You have not chosen me… Unless we take the evangel and truncate it, snippets here, quotes out of context there, then the evangel is all of Scripture, for it is they who speak of Him. Quite to the contrary then, the true Gospel is as Spurgeon said, preached in the DoG, and is not without it.

    Page did not initially seek cooperation. In fact he boldy and without shame placed his diatribe against the DoG at the SBC convention. When and if Page openly repents and recants the caricatures and falsifications of history and doctrine, when he denounces his own hateful heart and book, and perhaps as a token of truth gives back his profits, then he may be called a uniter. But, his track record is anything but.

    If God can use Arminians, (e.g. Wesley), in a mighty way, who are we to deny them full fellowship and love in the SBC. Some folks who are blessed to accept the Doctrines of Grace get all huffy when they are rebuked. I think the better way is to “agree to disagree”, and offer a friendly examination of each other’s proof texts, (If the other brother is willing).

    If history has shown us anything it is that moderates do the unifying and those on the ends do the damage.

    Bold statement, but if it can be shown that it was Wesley and not in spite of Wesley, the assertion can stand. Nevertheless, Whitefield was clear, Wesley’s theology was not Christian. That did not mean that Whitefield did not accept Wesley as a brother, but never accepted him in fellowship once the rift was caused by Wesley. And, it is to be remembered that it was the preaching of the DoG that was the central division of the two in this first great awakening. They most surely believed that election or the attack thereof was basic to the preaching of the Gospel.

    This pattern is the pattern of the SBC, for the rift was the product of radicals known as Arminian and the Reformed Founders have been struggling for existence in the SBC ever since there was an agreement “to agree to disagree.” This is not a new pattern, for if it is traced it back, it was the moderate Erasmus, who wanted the radical Luther to tone it down. It was not Calvin, and not the orthodox that were the bane of the Reformation, but moderates, and radicals. It was the Remonstrants, and not the defenders of the DoG, who were the radicals rising from within and invading the mainstream. Is the other brother willing to accept both history and fair examination of it and of doctrine in the controversy? The resistance has not come from the mediating voices of the Reformed. The attacks and vitriol, the resistance and non-compliance with truth spoken in love, has come from the Arminian sect almost exclusively.

    If history has shown us anything it is that lukewarmness is distasteful to everyone. It was Jesus who showed the way (Matthew 10:34). Lukewarmness and moderation led to the holocaust. It was radicals that draughted their strength from the wishy washy middle. The Reformed resistance, found its backbone late, true, but it was the weakness of the middle that coopted it for the radical opposition.

    Acquiescence for peace is capitulation and it was acquiescence out of necessity that formed the alliance within the SBC that now is coming to fruition. The enemy of my enemy is my friend was the ethic that silenced the moderating voices of liberalism. The problem with the ethic, is that when the giant was dispatched, Saul sought to kill David. The truth was the same with David and the Philistines. The assault upon Calvinism was launched by the theatened extremists within the moderate middle. Not by zealots from without, or some polity within. These attackers of the whole are zealots and the championed vangaurd of the muddy middle polity, the complacent and self-satisfied, status quo.

    However, he’s also made comments which not only alienate but they are telling relative to his level of good judgement. I don’t consider it a healing approach to make the comments he has relative to other movements. I don’t think too many Americans care if gays are genetically or environmentally predisposed in their orientation but for Mohler to make the comments he did relative to altering the genes of a fetus makes him look suspect from a mental standpoint…That isn’t to say that they can’t and don’t make errors in judgement–but they don’t allow an abnormal prejudice to blunt their ability to look at all sides of an issue or person objectively and make the best decision they can.

    And this is what I mean. Where has Mohler made predjudicial statements that call into question his mental acuity. Kisses are only slight of hand which call to question the intent of an assassin. Mohler is not a representative of the American people, and his opinions stand to examination by the Word of God and not the prejudices of liberals. How crude an attack. How unabashedly, shameless. What the world thinks is not his business. His business is to inform, upon the judgement of the Word, the world. Criticize his assessment with assessment, and not vitriol from displeasure with his position. State your case, and let it be examined, but to say that Mohler is mentally imbalanced without evidence is out of the bounds of speaking the truth in love. If this attitude is the mainstream, the middle, of the SBC, holding to qualities relfective of the world, then our greatest problem is not the Cal/Arm divide, but the liberal/conservative divide, thought long dead.

  24. Darrin Says:

    When I originally brought up the term “moderatism”, I was alluding to this excerpt from Spurgeon:

    ‘We have to deal with a spirit, I know not how to denominate it, unless I call it a spirit of moderatism in the pulpits of protestant churches. Men have begun to rub off the rough edges of truth, to give up the doctrines of Luther and Zwingli, and Calvin, and to endeavor to accommodate them to polished tastes. You might go into a Roman Catholic chapel now-a-days, and hear as good a sermon from a Popish priest as you hear in many cases from a Protestant minister, because he does not touch disputed points, or bring out the angular parts of our Protestant religion …
    There is creeping into the pulpits of Baptists and every other denomination, a lethargy and coldness, and with that a sort of nullification of all truth. While they for the most part preach but little notable error, yet the truth itself is uttered in so minute a form that no one detects it, and in so ambiguous a style, that no one is struck with it …
    But I think that the worst battlement the churches have now, is an earthwork of great and extreme caution. It is held to be improper that certain “obnoxious” truths in the Bible should be preached; sundry reasons are given why they should be withheld. One is, because it tends to discourage men from coming to Christ. Another is, because certain persons will be offended on account of these rough edges of the gospel. Some would say, “O keep them back! You need not preach such and such a doctrine. Why preach distinguishing grace? Why divine sovereignty? Why election? Why perseverance? Why effectual calling? These are calculated to offend the people; they cannot endure such truths.”’

    Note that my comment was not intended as any sort of oppostion to Al Mohler’s nomination. In fact they were in response to negative comments about him and about people from the “mainstream” vs. “the ends of the spectrum”. I also think it as appropriate to address these doctrinal issues when considering an SBC president as with those who occupy pulpits.

  25. fred Says:

    Thanks Darrin for the clarification. That is why I brought up that we need to determine what we mean when we say moderation or moderate. This term is used so broadly today as we see in politics, where being a moderate somehow means one is open -minded as opposed to dogmatic.

    I agree with you (and Spurgeon) completely in what you have written. Thanks again.

  26. Darrin Says:

    Thomas – good stuff. I’m guessing that sometimes we have to look back in the list for the latest posts, as they were perhaps awaiting moderation due to links? So I hope everyone sees yours.
    Fred – thanks for your thoughtful inputs and positive attitude.

  27. Jack Winter Says:

    Thomas said:

    You never heard Jesus claim that he was God, either, but it is everywhere in his preaching of the Gospel.

    My point referred to the presentation of the Gospel to the lost, and I stand by it.

    Whitefield did … accept Wesley as a brother, but never accepted him in fellowship once the rift was caused by Wesley.

    My point, which you failed to address, is that GOD accepted Wesley as a servant and used him greatly, the flaws in his theology notwithstanding.

    Beyond that, brother, I cry Uncle, and bow before your superior knowledge of SBC politics and current affairs. Thanks for straightening me out. -jw

  28. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    Jack-

    You know when you were a kid clinging to the edge of the pool, well that is me when it comes to SBC politics, I see the big guys taking to the highdive, and oo and awe at the wake they make. That is about as deep as I get.

    I think Wesley did incurrable damage to Christianity and his haunt still dogs us. That is not to say that God has not used him, mightily. I think of BG, and cannot slight the man for the shear numbers of people he spoke to. Today we are, (we, that means me) are still singing the Wesley’s hymns, many to great appreciation for the Reformed message in them. There is no doubt that Wesley was one of the leaders of the first Great Awakening, which goes to show as you said, somehow God does make good what we cannot.

    Anyway, you remind me, that there is hope. For, you with gracious reply, egaged. That is the Spirit that we need. The more open with freedom we are the more likely we are to reach the other side of the bridge together.

  29. Barry Says:

    “Lukewarmness and moderation led to the holocaust”?

    “Wishy washy middle”?

    Oh, I think I get it. Even though some leaders, or individuals, do bad things and may get away with it for a period of time (days, weeks, months, years) eventually the brave ones step forward and recognize the bad and try to stop it.

    But there are some who continue to stay with the bad leader (kind of not wanting to recognize the bad that he and his regime have done-perhaps thinking that even though even though he’s done wrong there are others that might do worse and therefore kind of stay in their wishy washy denial and are willing to continue on with their bad leader).

    Ya, your right: those wishy washy people aren’t doing us any good.

  30. Jack Winter Says:

    I’m not feeling the love, here Barry

  31. Barry Says:

    The point I was trying to make, Jack, is that those of us who think we are not nebulous, wishy-washy, lukewarm, namby-pamby, weak, vacillating or any other adjective one might like to conjure up relative to a person that is perceived to be mainstream or moderate we find out that, once we take a good look in the mirror, we have the same exact weakness relative to a different subject (person, place, thing, subject or administrator).

    We could ask ourselves: If we are ready to throw stones at moderates for not stepping forth in a strong manner for a topic we feel important then are we not equally deserving of having stones thrown at us when we ignor an obvious injustice in another area?

  32. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    Those who finally woke up to the radicals call- that is during the developing thirties and early forties, the Reformed leaders were not at first a consolidated voice. The German Confessional Church organized as a response to the NAZI German Church. They are where we get our modern term Confessional as is applied to churches. It was a shame. Yes, those who should have known better sat by and watched. Some were voicing concern, but it was not until all became obvious that some were awakened. When they awoke, they stood as the wishy washy German populace became the stones thrown by the NAZI, killing as many Christians as Jews. History knows no other holocaust like it. All because people in the mainstream were the power behind Hitler. It was not the more radical Nazi- at least not at first- as Hitler distanced himself from the more radical sects, positioning himself as a Christian and social reformer, applealing to the masses, to amass and consolidate power. His was a pro-homosexual and pro-promiscuity regime until he sprung the trap. Radicals on the otherside voiced concerns, but it was not until some of those in the middle began to break with the status quo that things changed. It was then, they were persecuted. It is always the mushy middle that gives power to the extremes, for good, or for ill, all to further their own complacent self satisfaction. Whoever delivers their need, is their ally.

    My point in bringing it up, is that only evil can come from compromise. Regression to the mean, means death. It does not advance the Truth. Arrows law goes something like this: Compromise resolves nothing, but only effects the establishment of a new postition which is neither of the first two and weaker than both. For the Gospel this is to deny itself. Once Truth is established, it must be maintained. The point is, we must establish truth, what ever it may be. To proclaim “can’t we all just get along”, or to put it in pop vernacular, “can’t we just agree to disagree”, denies the Scripture’s call to prove what is the perfect will of God.

    IMHO

  33. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    Is Mohler making a stonger puplic and pulpit stand? I think this has been his standard all along. And note, this is not an SBC internal issue but one which has its reach not just without but within. This is the boldness that we really need in a post-evangelical world.

  34. Barry Says:

    “Mushy middle”?

    “Regression to the mean, means death”?

    It doesn’t matter how many times some few people want to stress that it is the middle who is creating the evil it is a losing argument.

    Sure the WWII holocaust happened. Bad things happen every day and eventually they are recognized as being bad and stopped.

    Oh, and by the way, it’s the middle class you hate so much Thomas that stops it.

    You may want us to think you’re not part of the mush-middle yourself but I think if you took a good look in the mirror you’d find you have the same attributes you can’t stand in others.

  35. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    Of course I do look in the mirror and abhor what I see. Because I see me, with my tendency to want to be left to my own devices, which is evil, and that is precisely why I can judge with the same measure that I expect to be judged by. As Jesus said, judge rightly, John 7:24. Moral equivocation calls for us not to judge. We excuse ourselves and others by our and their faults, but the default measure is the faultless Christ, and to that measure we must all bow or find ourselves condemned. It is not enough to say eveyone does it, we are all wrong, therefore who can judge. For Christ has already judged, and we are all guilty. But, it is not our guilt that is the measure of a man, but the Son of Man before whom we must bow.

    I do not hate the middle class. It is the middleclass that to the extremists of the left (like Marxists), is always the barrier that they must remove to get to the ruling class and they attempt to do it by bringing everyone down to their level, but this is not a discussion of economics, or political ideology, though the means are similar. It is a discussion of Truth, religious ideology, and more precisely, Evangelical theology, and specifically, what kind of strong, extreme leadership is best for unifying the whole. And further, that it is not a necessary truth, that an extremist is harmful to healthy unity. Scripture says this: Matthew 9:36; Mark 6:34. And notice, he was not content to leave them in the middle but began teaching them. Now, do you suppose that he compromised his message, or did he call them out of the middle, out of the world? There are many voices in the world but not all of them are of God, there are many voices in the SBC, but not all of them are otherseeking. Was Jesus an extremist when he said: Matthew 10:34-35; Mark 9:40?

    It is not the middle that creates the evil, they are just sheep. But, it was the crowd that listened to and parroted this: John 19:12-16. Now, who do you think they were, the committed to Truth, or the mushy middle? And, who did the authorities listen to? The pleas of the crowd were the egging ons of the radical priests of the extreme opposition. Want to see an example of this phenomenon? Watch the ravings of the seasonal fanatic when the home team wins a championship. The committed fanatic, supports the team always, but the seasonal fanatic goes with the crowd. If it was a loosing team, the seasonal fanatic would just as quickly turn against it. What we want to do is to convert as many seasonal fans to committed fans. The fact is we all start as the “nebulous” middle. Mainstream as a discriptor, may or may not define the committed. Mainstream depends of majority, not position. It just so happens, that the middle is more or less the constant when controversy is divisional. We have had in the past in the SBC a liberal majority. We have also had a Fundamentalist, controlling faction, neither of which represented orthodoxy. We have had for sometime, the old conservative guard from that “fundie” leaning camp that has fostered to great extent the anti-intellectualism that results in a vacuuous, “Biblicism.” Doctrinal weakness now best describes the SBC. Mohler represents a shift to the historic SBC, and challenges the status quo, which is now, but has not always been, the moderate middle.

    Jesus said: Luke 23:34. And the apostle confirms: 1 Corinthians 2:8. We must take sides or find ourselves without excuse: Joshua 24:15; Matthew 12:36-37. And it will not be enough to have been a good guy: Matthew 7:22-27.

  36. Barry Says:

    I’m liking you more all the time Thomas.


  37. Thomas said:

    “Doctrinal weakness now best describes the SBC. Mohler represents a shift to the historic SBC, and challenges the status quo, which is now, but has not always been, the moderate middle.”

    -Just wanted to draw additional attention to the above statement because I think it’s a good conclusion for this thread. I’m closing comments on this post now (though I’ve appreciated the discussion here) in order to allow reflection on other posts to develop.


  38. […] This past Thursday, Dr. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, devoted an edition of his daily radio program to examining the teaching of Joel Osteen. [You can listen to the program HERE.] This is noteworthy in terms of Strange BaptistFire because the show brought together themes from two fairly recent posts: Merry Who-mas? which examined Joel Osteens affirmative answer to the question, “Is a Mormon a true Christian?” and FBC Dallas pastor to nominate Mohler for SBC president. In the first of these posts, one commenter asserted, “As it touches on Osteen, the SBC should likewise make clear and unequivocable statements that his teachings are false, if not down right heretical.” In the radio program linked above Dr. Mohler makes such statements, quoting Osteen and playing audio files from Osteen to prove the point. This is an example of the clear, reasoned, prophetic voice the SBC needs in leadership to help equip congregations to respond to our confused, postmodern culture. […]


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