Dr. Patterson shared with the messengers in June that on rare occasions, he has made exceptions for a few non-Christian students as president of Criswell College, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and at his current institution. He estimated having done so four or five times in his nearly 40 years of academic administration. His hope with each exception was a desire to see these individuals understand the good news of Jesus Christ.
Keach was elegantly dressed in his ministerial coat and white bands and probably using one of his father’s sermons he began his discourse, but about half way through he suddenly stopped short being seized with the enormity of his hypocrisy and sin. The people assumed he had been seized with a sudden illness. When they gathered around him and asked the cause of his fear, he burst into tears, confessed his fraud and threw himself upon the mercy of God and pleaded for the pardon of all his sins.
I do not possess a Ph.D. from a prestigious institution. I do not rub elbows with “the gifted teachers” of Lawson’s Reformed “parade.” Jesus warned us against arguing over who is the greatest (Mark 9:33-37). I, however, have reached my conclusions from the Word of God. I do not believe myself to be “wrong” simply because I do not like the smell of tulips.
In Calvinism, Regeneration comes before faith, whereas in Arminianism regeneration comes after faith. In other words, the “timing” of what Scripture describes as the “new birth” is decisive in the debate between Calvinism and Arminianism. In Calvinism, God gives His elect a new birth. This is the result of their effectual calling (sometimes called “irresistible grace”). They cannot and will not resist it, because they see with new eyes. Their new birth creates in them a desire to repent of their sins and place their faith in Jesus Christ.
Since the Calvinist’s analogy can only demonstrate God is the sole creator of life, about which we all agree, and it neither demonstrates nor even suggests that faith results from spiritual birth, I for one believe we should put it to rest. To allow the perpetuation of such a disparate example is to grant Calvinism an undeserved proof every time since it is an undeniable foregone conclusion that faith did not precede the first birth since it did not exist even as a hypothetical possibility.
It would be a cold day in hades before this Tennessee pastor turned my sermon notes and communications over to any government official. I believe thousands of other pastors from Tennessee and the forty-nine other states will join with you in fighting this disgraceful intrusion into your religious liberties and First Amendment rights. Our prayers are already with you!