Calvinist IMB President Dodges Pastor’s Inquiry

By Kyle B. Gulledge, Associate Pastor
Southview Baptist Church, Rosharon, Tx
Editor, SBCToday

A few weeks ago, a fellow Southern Baptist, Cooperative Program supporting pastor, Mathew Vroman, contacted the International Mission Board (IMB) regarding the beliefs of the IMB President, David Platt, as it relates to limited atonement.  To say he got the run around is an understatement.  

Matthew Vroman is the pastor of Eastside Community Church in Detroit, Michigan where he has served since 2011.  Prior to coming to Michigan he and his family served as missionaries to Turkey.  Below is his account of events in trying to get information regarding David Platt’s position regarding his Calvinistic beliefs in general and specifically on Limited Atonement.

Recently, we had a guest speaker who preached on the need to share our faith.  He is nationally known and used to work with many well-known ministries.  I knew he had taken a public stance against the non-Biblical position called Calvinism. Obviously, when people stand on truth and the Gospel not everyone applauds and I understood that many churches/ pastors/ ministers had come out against him.  We discussed Southern Baptists and the changing nature of the convention. 

Then he shared something that I could not believe: “You know David Platt is a Calvinist.”  For those of you who do not know David Platt is the head of the largest mission organization in the world… The International Mission Board.  If that was true, Mr. Platt believed in limited atonement.  Limited atonement teaches that Christ only truly died for the elect and not everyone.   Although as a convention, we are composed of many different believing churches and Christians (some Calvinists and some not), it was amazing that the head of IMB, potentially, does not believe in Christ dying for everyone. 

When we were missionaries in Turkey, I went because I believed that in a nation of over 70 million people, everyone could be saved.  I see this belief as fundamental to our understanding of missions according to the Bible.  If limited atonement is true, then John 3:16 needs to be changed to read:  For God so loved only the elect, but not the entire world.  Other verses like 1 John 2:2 might need to be worded as “but also the sins of only the elect, but not the whole world.”  The obvious problem is that these verses do not say elect, but world (John 3:16) and sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). 

My concern was grounded in the dangers of brothers and sisters in position of missional leadership who hold to this weak view of the majestic sacrifice of Christ.  Thus, I decided I would call IMB and ask for myself instead of just believing this speaker.  I called and talked with someone who said they were Mr. Platt’s assistant.  I explained to him I was concerned and why.  I emphasized to him that I could not wait to hear Mr. Platt’s position on limited atonement.   He was very respectful and professional, but basically communicated to me that David Platt is committed to reaching the World for Jesus Christ. 

Then I asked him, “So you are not going to answer my question about limited atonement?”  And he wouldn’t.  After I got off the phone, I was amazed the mission organization that represents SBC churches would not communicate a stance on limited atonement, taken by the director.  I decided to call back and talk with someone else and a very nice lady with church-relations talked with me.  She agreed to get back with me, but communicated it would be a week or so.  After a week I received the same answer. 

It is amazing that the SBC communicates they are open and partnering with us, but can’t communicate with a cooperating church about the director’s stance on the Gospel.  I realize they are busy and do not have a great deal of time, but the Gospel is central to everything.  What Mr. Platt believes about limited atonement will impact how he functions in leading IMB and preaching the Gospel to the ENTIRE world.

Why would David Platt not simply come out and say what he believes?  Why does he think he has to hide his view?  Although most of us disagree with him, this is no justification for being evasive.

It is hard to believe that this the kind of response a Southern Baptist,Cooperative Program supporting pastor receives when asking about the theological/soteriological stance of an agency head.  As the following quotes compiled by SBCToday and Connect 316 (based on his writings and sermons) show, clearly, David Platt believes in Limited Atonement.

David Platt in his own words:


“From the story of Job to Paul’s description of Satan’s attack in his life in 2 Corinthians 12, we see how Satan not only acts within the sovereign permission of God but also ends up accomplishing the sovereign purpose of God.” David Platt, Radical Taking Back the American Dream (Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah Books, 2010), 173.

 Total Depravity:

“You are an enemy of God, dead in your sin, and in your present state of rebellion, you are not even able to see that you need life, much less to cause yourself to come to life. Therefore, you are radically dependent on God to do something in your life that you could never do.” David Platt, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream (Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah Books, 2010), 32.

 Sovereign Election:

“Scripture definitely talks about the fact that God loves the entire world, all people in the world. At the same time, fourth, God has a particular love for chosen people, in scripture, undeniably.” David Platt, Secret Church: The Cross of Christ – Part 4  (, 2013), 27:44 minutes.

Limited Atonement:

“I praise God that he has not left the invitation to salvation up to sinful men and women who in their rebellion would never choose him.”  David Platt, Follow Me, (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House, 2013), 49

“That’s the propitiation picture . . . God’s wrath has been satisfied. Sins have been paid for. How will they still go to hell if their sins have been paid for and God’s wrath has been turned away? . . . Christ endured the wrath of God for all sins of some men . . . Christ therefore died for the purpose of saving a certain people; the elect.” David Platt, Secret Church: The Cross of Christ – Part 4 ( By David Platt, 13:34 minutes.

“If Christ died for all and not all are saved, then His purpose was not accomplished. Are you going to say that the cross of Christ is ineffective to save? Christ therefore died for the purpose of saving a certain people; the elect.” David Platt, Secret Church: The Cross of Christ – Part 4  (, 2013), 14:19 minutes.

“Jesus died for the elect, for the church, in the sense that, his death is indeed efficient only for them. God has a particular love for a chosen people. That is what scripture teaches.”  David Platt, Secret Church: The Cross of Christ – Part 4  (, 2013), 31:16 minutes.

“God, in his sovereign mercy, ordained that your life and my life would be counted among the reached and, if you are a Christian, the saved. So, yes, it is a graciously particular atonement. But it’s also a globally particular atonement. Christ has not just purchased you and me; he has purchased people for God from every tribe and every language and every people and every nation. All of them.” David Platt, “Divine Sovereignty: The Fuel of Death-Defying Missions,” T4G, The Underestimated Gospel, (Nashville, TN: B & H Publishing Group, 2014), 71.

“The sovereign will of God is that people from every people group will be ransomed by Christ…That is the point of the atonement. Particular atonement drives global missions.” David Platt, “Divine Sovereignty: The Fuel of Death-Defying Missions,” T4G, The Underestimated Gospel, (Nashville, TN: B & H Publishing Group, 2014),72.

“Therefore, we can go to the hardest people group on the planet, preach the gospel, and know that at some point…somebody’s coming out. And the reason we know this is because Christ has already purchased them for God. Do you see how God’s sovereignty provides unshakable, death-defying confidence in the face of dangerous people groups?” David Platt, “Divine Sovereignty: The Fuel of Death-Defying Missions,” T4G, The Underestimated Gospel, (Nashville, TN: B & H Publishing Group, 2014), 84.

Faith is a Gift:

“It’s granted to you to believe in him, that faith is the gift. Faith is something we have by grace. It’s not God has done all these things in Christ to come to this part of the table and now we have to add faith.” David Platt, Secret Church: The Cross of Christ – Part 4 (, 2013),  16:00 minutes.

“So through the cross, God enables and empowers His people to trust in Him and this is God’s secret will, what He decrees….Not everybody trusts in Him. That’s the decreed will of God, the secret will, what He decrees.” David Platt, Secret Church: The Cross of Christ – Part 4  (, 2013), 31:48 minutes.

Irresistible Grace:

“…we humbly acknowledge the gracious efficacy of Christ’s death which secures the salvation of the elect… there is not contribution from man to make salvation possible. It is all of grace and it is all for his glory and even our ability to believe is blood bought from Christ and it is unfathomable, unexplainable, but the reality is, I have contributed nothing to my salvation; he has saved me.” David Platt, Secret Church: The Cross of Christ – Part 4  (, 2013), 32:28 minutes.

“Similarly, inviting Jesus to come into your heart is impossible when you’re dead in sin. In your death, you need someone else, completely outside of you, to call you to life and enable you to live.” David Platt, Follow Me, 34

One might ask, “why would you need an answer from the IMB regarding Platt’s stance on Limited Atonement when we have his sermons and writings to look back to?”  I would reply that is why it is all the more bizarre that he and his staff would not just come forward and answer the questions when asked.  It seems that more and more our agency heads are trying to keep us in the dark about who they are and what they believe regarding their soteriological positions.  They have our Cooperative Program money.  We should be able to get their soteriological viewpoints without getting the run around.

We, as Southern Baptists, have a right to question and hold our agency heads and employees accountable.  Our agencies and their employees have the obligation to be open and forthright with every mom and pop Southern Baptist in our convention.  Sadly, this is becoming epidemic in more and more of our agencies, not just the IMB.



Jeff 12-10-2016, 02:57


What is the purpose of this. I’m aware this site exists to eliminate Calvinism within the SBC, but this seems particularly odd. What is Platt supposed to respond to? Does the pastor who sought out the answer expect Platt to give him a sound bite to be used against him? The pastor in question already called Calvinism the ‘unbiblical view.’ Then he calls Platt’s office to create a ‘gotcha’ moment where he could defame Platt.

Let’s turn the conversation around. Suppose someone said, ‘you know Kyle Gulledge is an Arminianist?’ (I’m sure you would say Traditional Theology, but it’s all in the same camp.). ‘If that’s true, he believes in the unbiblical position that Christ failed on the cross. Let me call him and see if he rejects limited atonement.’ If You agreed to answer the question, the person asking would then spread the story that ‘Kyle believes Christ failed on the cross.’

Platt has given a pretty exhaustive view of what his soteriological positions are. It’s also true he has an incredible heart for evangelism. Believing in Limited Atonement does not mean someone doesn’t evangelize b/c (sit down for this) CALVINISTS BELIEVE IN EVANGELISM! : ).

We believe that Christ died for the elect. We do not know who the elect are and God has ordained the preaching of His Word as the means by which He will save and is saving a people for Hisself. It means we believe the work on the cross is an exhaustive work and we can go out with great confidence proclaiming the word of God b/c God will save.

Rick Patrick 12-10-2016, 07:32


Kyle’s purpose in this post seems perfectly clear to me, and it is not the purpose you suggest. This site does not exist to eliminate Calvinism in the SBC. We do, however, seek to expose its secretive advance at the national level, and to bring about a more balanced soteriology representative of the views held by the majority of Southern Baptists.

First, the issue at hand is not so much Platt’s view on the atonement as it is his evasiveness in not coming right out and admitting it publicly. This is the “Quiet” part of Reisinger’s “A Quiet Revolution” that concerns many Traditionalists, for we never voted as a convention to become more Calvinistic among our national entities than we are in our state conventions, associations and churches——yet that is exactly what has taken place. The purpose is improving transparency.

Second, you suggest Kyle is an Arminian, but I happen to know he is a signer of the Traditional Statement, and is therefore a Traditionalist. His position differs from the Arminian position both in the nature of our Depravity, since Traditionalists disaffirm inability, and in the manner in which we hold to Perseverance, since Traditionalists unwaveringly support once saved always saved.

For help in differentiating between Semipelagian, Arminian, Traditionalist, Amyraldist and Calvinist views, please consult this assessment:

I understand your point about people criticizing our theology once we own up to it. However, I disagree that the solution to such misunderstandings is to be coy and evasive about what one believes. Give a straight answer and then defend it. Let your yes be yes and your no be no.

Your point is well taken that Calvinists have a motivation for evangelism that includes obedience along with the inability to discern the elect from the non-elect. I believe it is a weaker motivation than that of Traditionalists, for whom persuasion in the sharing of the gospel truly impacts a contra-causal decision by the hearer that could truly go either way and has not been fixed from before the foundation of the world, but it is nevertheless a motivation.

The reason this is an issue is that most Southern Baptists believe Jesus died in order to make salvation truly AVAILABLE for ALL people on the planet and that, to borrow from the book title, “ANYONE CAN BE SAVED.” In the view of most Southern Baptists, Jesus truly substituted for the sins of all, so if a person does not come to Christ, the reason they are lost is not that God did not choose them, but that they did not choose God. God truly wants ALL men to be saved and not just the elect, but His condition for salvation is a truly free response of faith by man.

The bottom line is this: when a Southern Baptist Pastor calls a Southern Baptist entity head, he should get open and honest answers. I have tried to communicate with various entities and meet the same kind of “polite public relations run around.” I have a friend and fellow blogger who always tells me to pick up a phone or fire off an email and communicate with these leaders. He doesn’t understand. I’ve tried that, and there is simply no way to get through.

Anyway, I think that’s the point of this post——a lack of transparency and openness in dealing with people who deserve straight answers from our leaders.

Jeff 12-10-2016, 07:45


Kyle made his purpose clear. He doesn’t believe the head of the IMB should believe in Limited (or particular/definitive) Atonement. Kyle thinks it’s the unbiblical position. There is no need to call Platt’s office when Platt has written at length about it.

To infer that Calvinists have a weaker motivation for evangelism is not a good argument. You are aware a Calvinist would make the opposite argument. We would say our motivation is for God’s glory primarily, secondarily would be love for others. Both are strong motivations.

Traditionalists like to say they are not Arminianist, but they directly cite and use Arminian and Molinist apologists to defend Traditional Theology. (The fact you believe in once saved always saved, which is perseverance, makes you a one point Calvinist, so that’s a positive.)

Rick Patrick 12-10-2016, 08:13


You are mistaken, brother. Kyle is reporting on and quoting Pastor Mathew Vroman, who does not believe that Platt should believe in LA. Mathew believes it is an unbiblical position.

The need to call Platt’s office is to get a clear word from David. He should tell the world, “If you did not know it, I am a Five Point Calvinist.” The transparency issue would at least be settled.

We can agree to disagree on which of us has a greater motivation for evangelism. Under Calvinism, a disobedient witness does not change anything. God will still save the elect and condemn the reprobate. If I fail to witness, God will use someone else. Under Traditionalism, a disobedient witness results in some people going to hell who would otherwise go to heaven if I had been faithful witness. I consider that stronger motivation, but again, we can agree to disagree.

There is a distinction between Traditionalism and Arminianism, for there are some points of agreement (U-L-I) and some points of disagreement (T-P). In the same way, there is a distinction between Baptists and Methodists even as we agree on some matters and disagree on others. As you have mentioned, there is clearly a similar distinction between Calvinists and Traditionalists, for there are some points of disagreement (T-U-L-I) and one point of agreement (P). It is a rude mistake to lump us together with Arminians when we disaffirm both the title and the position.

Corey Fontan 12-10-2016, 09:30

Here’s my question, but first let me state that I am not a five point Calvinist and I wholeheartedly support David Platt as the IMB President. I don’t think there is anyone more qualified for the position. So, here’s my question. If David Platt were to come out and answer the question that has been posed in this posting in the affirmative, would there be a massive call for his resignation because he would be seen as theologically unfit for the office that he holds? Is this a witch hunt to remove someone from this position who is uniquely qualified for the position?

Rick Patrick 12-10-2016, 14:29

Personally, I believe the answers to your two questions are “no” and “no.” For one thing, many people already know Platt to be a Calvinist. While many opposed his selection as President of the IMB (and still do, for various reasons) there has been no massive call for his resignation on the basis of his theology. For that matter, Mohler is a Calvinist and the President of Southern Seminary, and we see no massive call there.

I don’t think Pastor Vroman wants to launch a witch hunt to remove all Calvinists from every office. Regardless, if one is a Calvinist, one should admit that fact, even if it does eventually result in a job loss. Telling the truth about what you believe about God is the larger issue.

Lydia 13-10-2016, 06:34

“Is this a witch hunt to remove someone from this position who is uniquely qualified for the position?”

What are his”unique” qualifications?

Les 12-10-2016, 07:49


I do see where Jeff has a point. In this very post Platt’s view of LA is quite clear and out there for all to see. What more would a phone call yield? Maybe this person didn’t have access to the internet? Now if really this is about testing to see how responsive Platt would be to an inquiry, then ok. That’s a valid query. But to “find out” his view on the atonement? No call was ever needed for that.

And, at the end of the day, if Platt or anyone else is indiscrimately preaching the gospel and leading missionaries to preach the gospel indiscriminately, then there’s really nothing to see here. We all know the history—proponents of LA have been some of the most active missionaries of all time. So a belief in LA in no way hinders evangelism. Quite the opposite.

Lydia 12-10-2016, 08:51

Jeff, In case you did not get the memo, Mohler loyalists to the Calvinization of the SBC now control most SBC entities and sbc resources. Most of the SBC clergy class from seminaries in the last 10 years are indoctrinated Neo Cals, in many cases with Grudem ST that means they hold to ESS.

You guys won. Now you whine when it is discussed in ways you don’t like? I am sure the over 50 missionaries did not really want to leave their mission posts, either. But the “popular with the Neo Cal” Platt made them an offer they could not refuse.

You guys have all the power and control the resources.. And you whine when people discuss things about your movement you don’t like. You guys try hard to turn it into sin.

The irony to me is that after years of stealth (Quiet Revolution chp 4) pushing Neo Calvin doctrine down people’s throats as the “true gospel” they now think it is mean to question their teaching? Thin skinned little boys on stages too important to be questioned. We get it.

Pam Knight 12-10-2016, 05:11

Thanks Kyle. Our SB CHURCHES Need to know these things about the Leadership of SBC.
In Christ

William Leonhart 12-10-2016, 05:57

I find this a bizarre line of reasoning.

Premise #1: Seems no one talked directly with the IMB President.
Premise #2: We are not told precisely what was said in the phone conversations, just that the third parties were unwilling to discuss the man’s views with which they may or may not have agreed and, thus, may or may not have been willing to defend.
Conclusion: The IMB President himself is being evasive about his views on Calvinism.

The premises come nowhere near to supporting the conclusion.

To further weaken the veracity of the conclusion that he is evasive on the matter, the author of this article goes on to quote the IMB President where he has openly stated his position.This is slander. Pure and simple. Groundless, illogical slander.

Rick Patrick 12-10-2016, 07:48

The point is that Vroman could not get an audience with Platt. Platt’s workers insulated him and then never gave an accurate answer about Platt’s view of the atonement. Yes, Platt’s position is known from his writings, so the question becomes, “Why does the IMB feel like it has to *hide* Platt’s Limited Atonement views in the world of public relations when he states them in preaching and writing? We know he believes it, but he won’t just come right out and say it in response to a question. Why not? There’s a disconnect in this type of evasion.

Les 12-10-2016, 06:09

Couple of things. William is right. 1. Bizarre line of reasoning. 2. Seems his views are known. So why the call in the first place? 3. So what if he believes in LA? How does holding to LA negatively affect his missions work? Is there some proveable cause and effect in someone holding to LA and being less missional?

Rick Patrick 12-10-2016, 07:55

Granted, the “so what if he believes in LA” is an issue that could certainly be debated. For me, at least, the larger issue is the unwillingness to be open and upfront about his beliefs in personal conversation. As Vroman’s story reveals, there are some people who still do not realize that David Platt is a Five Point Calvinist. Whether or not that matters, we should be able to agree on the facts. Based on his writing and his teaching, David Platt is a Five Point Calvinist. So why would his staff not simply say to Vroman, “Yes, I can confirm that David holds to a Five Point Calvinist view of Limited Atonement, similar to the view of John Piper and Al Mohler.

If it’s true, admit it. Be transparent. No secrets. No dodging. That is the point of the story and the article.

Steven 12-10-2016, 07:34

So the reasoning in this article appears to be as follows:

Dr. Platt has preached and taught limited atonement. We are outraged by this preaching and teaching. We called to ask him if he believes what he has taught and preached, but Dr. Platt did not confirm that he believes what he has preached and taught. We are outraged by his failure to confirm that he believes what he has preached and taught. The only thing that could outrage us more was if he affirmed that he believes what he has preached and taught. We are outraged.

My response: Your outrage is duly noted.

Rick Patrick 12-10-2016, 08:00

For me, at least, I am less outraged by Platt’s view of LA than I am by his refusal to take a call from a Southern Baptist Pastor and be open and upfront about his Five Point Calvinism. If it’s what you truly believe, then tell people. Set an example for ministers in search committees. Calvinists should admit they are Calvinists and Traditionalists should admit they are Traditionalists. The confused and undecided should admit that as well. Be open and honest rather than evasive. What could be wrong with more honesty?

William Leonhart 12-10-2016, 08:04

Imagine the following conversation:

Platt: “I see that you are very qualified for the position. I just have one last question. I am a well known figure in the SBC, and I hold to a view of the atonement that is untaught in most circles within the SBC and taught against in many other circles. Are you aware of this?”

Prospective employee: “Yes. You hold to Limited Atonement.”

Platt: “Right. Now, imagine you get a phone call asking about my position on Limited Atonement. How would you respond.”

Prospective employee: “Well, I’m a Southern Baptist and would love the opportunity to work for the IMB, but I am a Traditionalist, so could not in good conscience defend your view of the atonement.”

Platt: “Okay, well I can’t hire you.”

Prospective employee: “Why not.”

Platt: “Because, if you do not defend my view of the atonement to any random person who calls in, that person may get a friend to write an article for him on SBC Today saying I’m being evasive. Sorry, and may the Lord be with you in your job search.”

Rick Patrick 12-10-2016, 08:20

I cannot speak for Vroman, but I don’t think he is asking the employee to defend Platt’s Limited Atonement. I only think he is asking the employee to confirm that this is where Platt stands on the issue.

Call up Hillary and ask if she’s pro-choice. “Yes,” is the answer. Call up Donald and ask if he wants to secure our southern border with a more restrictive immigration policy. “Yes,” is the answer. Call up Platt and ask if he’s a Calvinist. “Well, I’ll get back to you,” is the answer Vroman is receiving. That is really the only issue here——transparency.

William Thornton 12-10-2016, 08:23

Not SBCToday’s best moment, a cheap shot title. Several have pointed out that DP has had his views in writing and those for some years prior to his being hired by IMB trustees many, perhaps most, of whom are light years distant from limited atonement. The writer is familiar enough to offer multiple quotes but needs a headline…so here we are. SBCT can do better. I hope you will.

But, so what? If Calvinists or Traditionalists want to be entity trustees, elected to any SBC position, employed by any seminary or other SBC institution, appointed as NAMB or IMB personnel then they must affirm the Baptist Faith and Message Statement. No one need affirm the theological statement recently compiled by unelected, unappointed Southern Baptists and which a tiny fraction of SBCers have affirmed. It would be a simple thing for one of you to offer the TS as a replacement for the BFM and stop playing games.

Kyle B. Gulledge, Editor 12-10-2016, 08:29

Apparently, there needs to be a clarification. And please don’t expect me to reply to every comment. I’m busy as you are and can’t possibly do that. However, there seems to be one common issue. There seems to be a missing of the point of the article which is stated in the final paragraph and that is the lack of accountability by leaders and employees of our SBC entities and agencies, not that Platt is a Calvinist. His remarks concerning Limited Atonement were used to illustrate that at one time he was willing to let people know where he stands, but now that he is the head of the IMB, grassroots Southern Baptists get the run around. This problem is not just at IMB, but at other agencies as well. This one pastor’s experience just helped to shed light on the problem as a whole.
Why can’t the average Southern Baptist pastor who supports the Cooperative Program- the very lifeblood of our agencies, get the courtesy of a response? It appears that there is a growing attitude of “send us your money, but don’t ask any questions”. I’m sorry, but fielding two questions at the annual meeting does qualify as being held accountable.

William Leonhart 12-10-2016, 08:29

So, we want the IMB run like a political campaign? Because the people answering the Trump campaign phones are only those who are in agreement with him and ready at all costs to defend him. What the man believes is public knowledge. The people answering the phone for the IMB should be ready to speak for the IMB. They should not be expected to answer every question people have about the IMB President as an individual. I’m sure Paige Patterson is glad that this Calvinist would not have attempted to answer for him when I worked the switchboard at Southwestern. Besides, there simply is not enough detail offered in this article to make such a case. We aren’t even told any of the details that the pastor had with the two third parties with whom he spoke. We’re not told if Platt was traveling or visiting missionaries and would have otherwise been glad to speak with the pastor. We don’t know any of this. We are simply judging a man based on incomplete information. This is reprehensible.

William Leonhart 12-10-2016, 08:33

For the record, I’m not even a huge Platt guy. I disagree with the man on a whole host of issues myself. I just know that Christians should not treat one another like this.

Rick Patrick 12-10-2016, 08:52

All they had to do was say, “Yes, Pastor Vroman, David Platt is indeed a Five Point Calvinist. He believes in Limited Atonement. Some Southern Baptists believe like he does and some don’t, but we all want to reach the world for Christ. Thank you for calling. Have a nice day.”

But they would not even confirm the man’s theology. That just seems unnecessarily evasive and secretive to me.

William Leonhart 12-10-2016, 08:58

So, the pastor did not get a straight answer for some other person. I still don’t see how any of this indicts Platt. While I was working the switchboard at Southwestern, I would have deflected any theological questions asked of specific individuals, too. Even if I feel that I know precisely what a professor believe, it was not my place to answer for him. I don’t see what the big controversy is here, except that an article has been written claiming that a man is being evasive when he clearly was not asked directly.

Tyler 12-10-2016, 10:12

What was said in the conversation? We need specifics to make a judgment. But hey, at least our IMB President is following in the footseps of the founder of the modern day missions movement, William Cary.

Lydia 12-10-2016, 10:59

“But hey, at least our IMB President is following in the footseps of the founder of the modern day missions movement, William Cary.”

Not exactly. Did Carey try and convince his many adoring fans he “was risking his life for the Gospel” at the Dubai Marriott?

Lydia 12-10-2016, 11:05

Tyler, here ya go on Platt in a dangerous location for the Gospel. Like Carey, as you say. .

Todd lives and works in Dubai and is a Former member of a 9 Marks hotel California church there:

David R. Brumbelow 12-10-2016, 08:47

I also asked the IMB this question and never received a reply.

New Calvinist President At International Mission Board, SBC
David R. Brumbelow

Robert Vaughn 12-10-2016, 08:50

I have nothing personal against David Platt, but disagree with him on a host of issues. Not sure that it makes much difference to most people, but in the interest of accuracy — is he a strict five point Calvinist or an Amyraldist? His of the atonement being sufficient for all but efficient for only the elect sounds more like the position of Fuller and Amyraut to me. I haven’t read him at length so I may just be confused by the quote given above.

Rick Patrick 12-10-2016, 08:56

You could always just call him up and ask him. Oh, wait… :-)

Tyler 12-10-2016, 10:14

Based on the explicit things he has said in his sermons, books, and conferences, he is 100% a 5 Point Calvinist. No doubt. No need calling and asking. ;)

Robert Vaughn 12-10-2016, 22:28

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like if Platt has been explicit on the subject in sermons and books that there isn’t much dodging going on.

Michael Rodgers 12-10-2016, 08:54

Thank you Kyle and Pam. I believe Calvinism is a blight on God’s Word, Jesus Christ, and is a pride-laden stumbling block. Those who claim it as truth are deceived at best. Embracing and teaching that the infinite love of an infinite God is limited in such a way as Calvinism can only be embraced by one who embraces a finite God (do not confuse with God’s self-limiting). The argument for “Limited Atonement” cannot be rendered true without twisting or ignoring the full context of scripture. It is also error, and offensive, for one holding to Calvinism as a belief to name-call those who disagree as being an Armenian. Paraphrasing the late Dr. J.V. McGee, caution to anyone clinging to an “ism.”
The overreaching of Calvinism to claim themselves as the “elect” exceeds space to adjudicate on SBC Today, nor will it be, as the many prior postings confirm. The holy, sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ is infinite. It covers all mankind’s sin. Its limited measure is found in God’s desire for relationship with mankind. Relationship as God clearly defines requires two willing participants, not a pre-selected unknowing marionette.
For the committed Calvinist, what I have to say is like water dripping on a stone. However, know that I pray for your deliverance from the hardening of heart and blindness Calvinism promotes. Yes, Pam, SB Churches need to wake up, inquire, investigate and see what is happening with SBC resources. It has the tragic shadow of self-righteous and self-enriching elitism running the office.

Les 12-10-2016, 09:12

Michael, “name-calling?” And then you name call in your comment? Kinda funny really. Contra Lyds, we of the Reformed persuasion actually wear big boy pants and don’t whine at all and are not offended easily. Not thin skinned at all. It would be God honoring, though, to see more grace in how Reformed folks are written to and about on sites like this.

Norm Miller 12-10-2016, 22:31

Les: Still not sure why you, a baby baptizing Presby, has any interest here. There is nothing we can say — even using the Bible — to bring you back into the SBC fold. And there is no amout of citations from Platt, Dever, Mohler, The Institutes, et al, that would convince us to embrace specious Calvinism.
Ronnie Rogers, Leighton Flowers, David Allen, Doug Sayers et al have repeatedly and roundly cut the stilts from under Calvin and his devotees who would comment here; yet some of you still try to stand here. As in your case, a Presbyterian, I am baffled why you come back here and yet remain convinced of Calvin’s errors, one if which is paedobaptism. Whereas you are free to comment here, I wonder if you frequent blogs of your own ilk where your theological notions are more in tune with your peers.

Les 13-10-2016, 10:55

Norm, hope you are having a blessed morning.

Maybe my reasons are in some regard the same as Andrew? Is he Southern Baptist? Wait. Does he attend a baby baptizing church across the pond? Maybe you’ve asked him similarly why he posts here and I missed it.

Anyway, I’ll leave you in your bewilderment since I’ve explained it clearly many times for you. Can’t help you any more than that brother. Oh, and I’m part of several baby baptizing discussion groups and other Reformed groups.

William Leonhart 12-10-2016, 09:03

Seems some people have their fingers on the trigger finger here. Whatever happened to “love hopes all things, love believes all things”?

P. Adams 12-10-2016, 09:51

“After I got off the phone, I was amazed the mission organization that represents SBC churches would not communicate a stance on limited atonement, taken by the director.” – Two things on this: One, maybe the IMB employee on the telephone knew Platt didn’t have time to give explanation/debate with someone else about limited atonement. I would rather let Platt stay busy working for the Great Commission and trying to save the IMB from falling apart (a problem he inherited and I believe he is doing a great job trying to fix it) instead of wasting his time giving explanations for doctrines he holds to, when there are a plethora of resources available where he adamantly and strongly explains his beliefs. Two, maybe the IMB employee honestly didn’t know about Platt’s stance. Or, maybe she knew but didn’t know how to explain it. How many of your own secretaries at your church could explain the complex ins and outs of Calvinism on the telephone? I know mine can’t, nor should she have to. Imagine your church secretary getting a call, “Can you explain to me your pastors stance on Total Depravity? The end times? Verbal plenary inspiration?”

I’m sure there is a strong possibility this was the case with the IMB employee. The IMB is not trying to be shady and secretive. There is not underground plot to plant Calvinism in the SBC in order to destroy it. Calvinists and non-Calvinists both have been great preachers and missionaries throughout the centuries. I guarantee you there are not many men on the planet that have the evangelistic zeal of David Platt. Even if we disagree with him, we should encourage him and be thankful he is helping the IMB to stay alive.

Like it or not, agree with it or disagree, there will always be Calvinists in the SBC. We would do well as a convention to avoid polarizing situations like these that distract us from the Great Commission.

Lydia 12-10-2016, 10:08

“Seems some people have their fingers on the trigger finger here. Whatever happened to “love hopes all things, love believes all things”?”

It has been reinterpreted and redefined to mean, ‘love never questions the leaders in any way they don’t like’.

William Leonhart 12-10-2016, 13:23

I question a lot of what Platt says, actually. I simply do not accept an accusation without two or more witnesses. Let’s see if this meets that criteria.

1. One man makes a phone call (no witnesses).
2. This man, according to his own testimony, did not speak with the accused individual himself.
3. We are told no details of the phone conversations, just the conclusions of the accuser.
4. We have no indication that Platt instructed his assistants to be “evasive.”
5. This article presents no record of Platt ever himself refusing to answer questions about his view of the atonement.

I have disagreements with the man, but godly Christians who respect the Bible and fear the Lord should not entertain such slander.

Tyler 12-10-2016, 14:02

William, brother, I would really encourage you not to interact with Lydia. She knows the truth, she doesn’t want to hear it. Any time she is called out for slander she points to someone else s sin.

Also, she went from talking about an article that was about David Platt and Calvinism to elders that are pedophiles. (?). She doesn’t want a conversation bro, just let it go.

William Leonhart 12-10-2016, 14:13

Good point, Tyler.

Andrew Barker 13-10-2016, 08:00

Yeah “good point, Tyler” ….

Is this what you call “conversation”? Sounds more like junior school playground banter to me. Next you’ll be telling us you’ve got your “big boys’ pants on” . :-o

Lydia 13-10-2016, 07:20

Tyler, oh dear. A good old fashioned reformed shunning. I am heartbroken.

However, I am thankful you guys don’t have the power of the state behind you anymore! :o)

William Leonhart 13-10-2016, 07:55


Never fear. We also promise not to baptize your babies with our Calvinist beer, but we do have Calvinist insurgents in your church awaiting our orders to initiate the takeover. ;)

Lydia 13-10-2016, 09:50

William, i would not expect Baptist Calvinists to baptize babies. It is one of the great contradictions. At least the Reformers tried to throw a bone to the evil babies doctrine with it. Baptist Calvinists can only hope their evil baby was chosen before the foundation of the world. .

William Leonhart 13-10-2016, 10:17

Wait. Reformed Baptists are tempted to use the magistrates but not to baptize babies? SMH.

Regarding our little bundles of depravity, we certainly pray for them, which only makes sense because we believe God actually has the power to save those whom He wills. Of course, if God is powerless to effectually call His people to salvation, it would be pointless to pray for anyone’s salvation. “Hey God. Um. I know my pastor told me You won’t change people’s will so that they desire You, because that would make you a monster, but would You this once make an exception and save my baby, assuming she reaches the ‘age of accountability’?”

William Leonhart 13-10-2016, 07:58

And you know I must be serious, because angry Calvinists don’t know how to use sarcasm. We’re just angry. All. The. Time.

Andrew Barker 13-10-2016, 08:16

Well the shunning didn’t last long did it! ho hum :-)

William Leonhart 13-10-2016, 10:10

Right. Forgot to honor my explicit, overt pledge to never respond to her. My bad. :-)

Andrew Barker 13-10-2016, 08:13

Lydia: Unfortunately, they do have power though, like the ability of Platt to sack 1000 missionaries. Trouble is I’m not so sure he has the gumption to create as many replacements. All those years when his church avoided CP funding! He’s a poacher turned gamekeeper if ever I saw one!

Lydia 13-10-2016, 09:52

Andrew, But he is “radical”. He proved it at the Dubai Marriott. :o)

Andrew Barker 13-10-2016, 11:07

Lydia : Radical? A quick search will find Platt’s concept of ‘radical’ …..
“It’s easy for American Christians to forget how Jesus said his followers would actually live, what their new lifestyle would actually look like. They would, he said, leave behind security, money, convenience, even family for him. They would abandon everything for the gospel. They would take up their crosses daily…BUT WHO DO YOU KNOW WHO LIVES LIKE THAT? DO YOU?”

I think he got his wires crossed. Instead of abandoning ‘his’ family for the Gospel he gets 1000 missionaries to abandon theirs for the sake of a missionary organisation’s balance sheet. I’d call that drastic or deplorable rather than radical!

Tom 13-10-2016, 11:10

Did Platt ever say how awful it was that these 1000 missionaries were recalled?

Andrew Barker 13-10-2016, 12:40

Tom, I ‘suspect’ he doesn’t have the time to get round to things like that. Current topic included it would seem. Probably too busy being ‘radical’. :-o

Tom 13-10-2016, 15:34

Yea, why should he answer me or anyone else who for years faithfully gave to Lottie Moon to keep the missionaries on the missions field. We just do not deserve answers and he has had a year to come up with an answer. Not a betting man, but he will never give a logical answer as to what happened. We are to just move on–I am not!

Lydia 13-10-2016, 13:02

Tom, I honestly think Platt is the celebrity figurehead sent to position missions as cool for the YRR who expected never ending start up money for Driscollesque church planting authority over people jobs titles handed to them. That is not working great so lay off 1000 uncool and mostly non Cal over 50 career missionaries and replace them with shorter term YRR who can take Calvin to the nations

He is uniquely qualified because the big cheeses say so. He isn’t all that Radical leaving Brook Hills for the cushy well paid gig at the IMB. But it sold well to the adoring fans. And that is the ticket. In the Reformed world the right words are enough. No one looks at reality. Reality is what the big cheeses say it is.

My guess is Platt had no clue or he would not have been stupid enough to make the mission promises he made before the millions in deficit and quick layoffs were announced. Would he really deceive people? Wait. He did in Dubai. Hmm.

Tom 13-10-2016, 15:36

I agree, Lydia. He is a celebrity figure head who is not to be questioned.I for one feel very deceived about what the SBC has been doing over the last many years.

Tom 13-10-2016, 10:11


It has almost been a year since these 1000 missionaries were recalled and it has been almost complete crickets about this. It just blows my mind.

Rick Patrick 12-10-2016, 14:48

1. Does a question to the IMB President from a SBC Pastor make it to his desk or is it *screened* so that he never sees it?
2. If he does screen it, why does the IMB President refuse such calls or fail to return such calls from SBC Pastors?
3. If it does make it to his desk, does he decide whether to respond personally or does he delegate the response?
4. Even if he delegates the response, could he not tell someone, “Let the Pastor know that yes, I am a Five Point Calvinist who affirms Limited Atonement.”

Charges here that Gulledge, Vroman or SBC Today are engaging in slander are demonstrably false. Yes, we are raising an issue—namely, that we object to the run around treatment. We have not charged Platt with either affirming or disaffirming LA. We have stated that he has written and preached in such a way that many believe he affirms LA. We have further stated that in an effort to find out the truth about the matter—the very kind of investigation that avoids slandering someone without having the facts—a Southern Baptist Pastor was stonewalled and not given a straight answer. That much is absolutely true—plain and simple. No way around it. No. way.

If the question (a) never gets to Platt, or (b) never gets a reply from Platt, and the charge is evasiveness, then the shoe simply fits. There is no slander here, because everything Pastor Vroman said was true. Slander is not the same as facts. Facts are our friends. The facts are that a Southern Baptist Pastor did not get a straight response from the IMB President. Some of us believe he is entitled to receive such an answer.

William Leonhart 12-10-2016, 15:16

1. The answer to this question is not provided by the “facts” in the article, but assumed.
2. The answer to this question is not provided by the “facts” in the article, but assumed.
3. The answer to this question is not provided by the “facts” in the article, but assumed.
4. The answer to this question is not provided by the “facts” in the article, but assumed.

I count four strikes all together.

“We have stated that he has written and preached in such a way that many believe he affirms LA.”

No. He has written in unmistakable support of LA as demonstrated above. There is no question. Should every pastor in the SBC then call him in order to conduct a full investigation in order to determine what is undeniably true from his books, articles, and sermons? If my pastor preached a five-part series on Limited Atonement, and a member came to me the Friday after the pastor’s fifth message telling me he’d called the pastor on Tuesday and left him a voicemail asking about his view on Limited Atonement and claimed the fact he had yet to return his call was a sign he was evasive, I would reply, “No. It’s a sign you are divisive and should probably find another church.”

The evidence is there. The pastor has his answer. When I find out leaders within the SBC are not Calvinists, what is the point in calling to ask them myself when I could simply read their work? I’m a pastor. If a pastor cannot do research, what is he doing teaching the Bible? No. This is a hit job.

“We called Al Mohler to find out if he is a seminary president. We know he’s a seminary president, but the fact that he did not return our call means he’s got bad character and should not be trusted.” What? Okay..

Lydia 12-10-2016, 19:21

When you call the SBC employee, Al, (I am sure he will take your call wink wink) ask him why ESS was a mainstream doctrine at SBTS.

Andrew Barker 13-10-2016, 07:00

Lydia: You mention “was a mainstream doctrine at SBTS”. Have they ditched ESS or are they having to revise it somewhat?

Lydia 13-10-2016, 07:15

Andrew, Good question! They want to shut up the Reformed guys who are finally taking this on. Mohler says he is not ESS but that it is acceptable doctrine. What can he say since he has been pushing Grudem, Ware and Burk for years? He was hoping we did not notice? Or, Mohler really isn’t as theoligically brilliant as everyone thought?

Now they are trying desperately to contain it to academia by trotting out the “be gentleman” card. Which is rich considering they partnered with Driscoll and Mahaney and we got to see the results of their movement in what they produced from the Seminary.

They want the Reformed Todd Pruitt and Carl Trueman to shut up about ESS. Evidently they went after Pruitt behind the scenes.

Now, when the non Reformed went after ESS, they were swatted away like flies. So it is interesting their response to Pruitt and Trueman.

Trueman is no innocent. He was part of the panel of men Mohler and Dever recruited to declare Mahaney fit for ministry. He should have done his homework first.

Lydia 13-10-2016, 09:54

Andrew, my response is in customs.

tom 13-10-2016, 10:14


The old you are divisive charge.

William Leonhart 13-10-2016, 10:24


The old genetic fallacy.

Tom 13-10-2016, 10:25

i have not one clue what you just posted.

William Leonhart 13-10-2016, 10:27

I know.

Tom 13-10-2016, 10:33

Lol! You are funny.

Les 12-10-2016, 15:46

But Rick, does the title not suggest if not clearly state that Platt himself, the IMB president, dodged the question? Isn’t it a fact that neither the pastor, Kyle, nor you knows that to be so? Seems to me that though it may not technically be slander, it is certainly accusing Platt himself of something that none of you knows to be true. Right? It just does not comport with loving one’s neighbor, or brother, as one loves himself. Doesn’t seem to fit with Colossians 3:12-15.

Rick Patrick 12-10-2016, 16:08

Not any more so than you saying all of that about me and Kyle and Mathew. It is not loving to accuse us of slander, Brother.

Now, I suppose it depends on the meaning of “dodge.” If one does not consider it “dodging” when a person calls one’s office and has TWO different conversations with TWO different employees, and yet never receives a clear and straightforward answer, then I suppose we have been too harsh in using the word “dodge.”

I still don’t believe that would equal “not loving one’s neighbor.” On the main issue, however, I think that is the very definition of “dodge.” That is calling a spade a spade. DP may or may not be a Five Pointer, but he did “dodge” the question, using any reasonable definition of the term.

Les 12-10-2016, 16:12

Rick, not saying YOU are silly. But that line of argument is really silly and game playing with words. I suspect that were this said of you in a title you would not see it that same way. And I suspect, though you can correct me, that you would not give half a second of credence to the argument you just made if one of your children was making it.

Les 12-10-2016, 16:13

And, Rick I didn’t accuse you of slander brother.

Lydia 12-10-2016, 13:42

William, there were plenty of witnesses in Dubai. Speaks to character.

And BTW, the 3 witnesses rule you trot out is perfect for child molesting elders since it is done in secret. So are you SURE about your interpretation and application?

Lydia 12-10-2016, 13:45

William, slander is “spoken”. Libel is written.

Anyway, in the way you have wrongly used it means you slandered the author, too! Works both ways.

Rick Patrick 12-10-2016, 17:22

To both William and Les,
I think our conversation is becoming circular. If indeed Platt affirms Limited Atonement, which I believe to be the case, then I am baffled that he would not simply instruct his staff to admit this fact to any inquiring Pastors. I frankly wish he would take as many calls from Southern Baptist Pastors as he possibly could. The responses received from Pastor Vroman seem more than a bit evasive to me.

On the matter of Platt’s embrace of Limited Atonement, or “Definite Atonement,” consider the following video as proof:

At 3:00 he calls it “definite atonement.” At 13:34 he says Christ died for all sins of some men. At 14:19 he says Christ died for “certain people.” At 31:16 he says Christ died for “the elect.”

These quotes are listed in the Original Post. I think they definitively make the case for Platt’s Calvinism. The only thing we do not understand is why he, and some other Calvinists from time to time, seem so reticent to come right out when asked about the matter and say they are Calvinists. I would welcome such clarity and forthrightness as an example for all of the Calvinists in the SBC.

Tom 12-10-2016, 20:31

It saddens me greatly that the Calvinists, such as Platt, are leading the SBC, because they most certainly believe Christ only died for the Elect.

Christian 13-10-2016, 08:24

Do you really not understand why Platt will not respond to such a question? I’m sorry but don’t expect an answer. I am sure he has been made aware of this post. Don’t you know he is one of the elite. Your asking a question about his beliefs shows you are just a troublemaker. He is so much above all of you who would dare question him. Aren’t you aware we are supposed to keep our mouths shut so the SBC can have unity? There is no transparency left in the SBC. When departing missionaries are under a gag order regarding the benefit package they received, an alarm should ring out to every SBC member. The “elite” officers don’t trust your judgment and they don’t want you questioning theirs. These are leaders who believe in total control, of your money and you also. They answer to nobody. Are you getting the picture yet? My prediction is it is only going to get worse in the SBC.


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