John Calvin: In His Own Words

July 1, 2012

By Ron F. Hale.
He has served as Pastor, Church Planter, Strategist (NAMB), Director of Missions, Associate Executive Director of Evangelism and Church Planting for a State Convention, and now in the 4th quarter of ministry as Minister of Missions.


Did John Calvin teach a double predestination, that is, an election to salvation for some and reprobation to eternal punishment for many others?  In his own words, Calvin shares the following:

“By predestination we mean the eternal decree of God by which he determined with himself whatever he wished to happen with regard to every man.  All are not created on equal terms, but some are preordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation; and, accordingly, as each has been created for one or other of these ends, we say that he has been predestined to life or death.” (John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 3:21:5)

 

John Calvin believed that in eternity God decreed a plight and path for every man. He believed that “all are not created on equal terms.” Some (the Elect) are chosen to eternal life, while the rest of humanity to eternal damnation.

Some would teach a positive-positive schema in God’s activity; meaning that God actively works to bring about regeneration and faith for the Elect and actively works sin and unbelief in the lives of the non-Elect.  The classic position would be more of a positive-negative schema of viewing the monergistic work of God’s grace for the Elect, while passing by the non-Elect leaving them to themselves and the results of their sin.

Calvin believed the destiny of each person is determined. Predestination to life (heaven) or death (hell) is the decision of God.  If double predestination is true, then the biblical phrase “whosoever will may come” may only be a sad sentiment for those created and preordained to eternal damnation.

Double Predestinarians seem to be on the rise in the Southern Baptist Convention according to blog articles that I’ve read for the last few years.  They will argue that: 1) God sovereignly elects or chooses some unto salvation; 2) God does not elect all people for salvation; 3) therefore, since God infallibly elects (to save some and pass over the rest) he has made a sovereign choice concerning every person. Some will be saved and the rest will be damned.

Calvin is very clear and concise in what he believed.  Others have made it sound even more monstrous, while others have used every skill of oratory and written composition to carefully coat this bitter pill with sugariness. Most Southern Baptists have never swallowed this sour pastille.  Just reading his words (above) leaves a bad taste in your spirit if you believe the character of God is that of love, mercy, and grace.

Jesus came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10); and for this reason, I support … Article One: The Gospel in A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation, it says:

We affirm that the Gospel is the good news that God has made a way of salvation through the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ for any person. This is in keeping with God’s desire for every person to be saved.

We deny that only a select few are capable of responding to the Gospel while the rest are predestined to an eternity in hell.

Genesis 3:15; Psalm 2:1-12; Ezekiel 18:23, 32; Luke 19.10; Luke 24:45-49; John 1:1-18, 3:16; Romans 1:1-6, 5:8; 8:34; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Galatians 4:4-7; Colossians 1:21-23; 1 Timothy 2:3-4; Hebrews 1:1-3; 4:14-16; 2 Peter 3:9

 

Many in the Reformed tradition will teach that a genuine desire for salvation in Christ is a mark of election and therefore none who truly come to Christ for salvation will be turned away.  However, could it be, they are only referring to those who have been created for that end (predestined for life)?

When Jesus died on the cross, the Father tore the veil in the temple from top to bottom (Matt. 27:51); graphically proclaiming the barrier between sinful men and God has been removed by the sinless sacrifice of the Lamb of God.  Calvin’s theology has erected another barrier, not between Jew and Gentile, but between the Elect and non-Elect.

After almost five centuries of word wrangling (prison, torture, drowning, burnings at the stake) between Calvinists, Arminians, and non-Calvinists, the barrier seems longer than the Great Wall of China and taller than the Berlin Wall. Southern Baptists should not be paralyzed by the medieval mêlée of two Presbyterians living under the long shadow of a Catholic monk named Augustine. The time has come to tear down that wall by forging a new Baptist consensus centered on Jesus Christ and the Gospel that is the power of God unto salvation!

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Joshua

Ron,

You said: “Southern Baptists should not be paralyzed by the medieval mêlée of two Presbyterians living under the long shadow of a Catholic monk named Augustine. The time has come to tear down that wall by forging a new Baptist consensus centered on Jesus Christ and the Gospel that is the power of God unto salvation!”

I thought, according to Hankins and the Preamble of the Trads Document, that this non-Augustinian position already was the consensus among the majority 16 million Southern Baptists? Now the New Traditionalists are calling for a “new consensus?” Could you explain?

    Chris Roberts

    Not to mention that it’s a rather ridiculous statement since Presbyterians didn’t exist at that time, nor did Baptists, and besides what influences us is the Bible. It is the Bible that guides my convictions and the Bible leads me to conclude that Calvin got a lot right about election – which is not to say that this post got Calvin right, as Les points out below.

      Ron Hale

      Joshua and Chris,

      As always … thanks for your encouraging words.

      I’ll be able to write a bit after church today.

      Blessings!

        Ron Hale

        Joshua and Chris,
        As you are well aware, several Calvinist groups within and without the SBC have been working pretty hard to win the hearts and minds of younger generations of Southern Baptists. For instance, Founders Ministries has been working with a purpose since 1982 to return the SBC to the doctrines of Sovereign Grace, i.e. Calvinism or Five Point Calvinism. Their work is detailed in the book: A Quiet Revolution.

        Therefore, over the last 25 years, and in the last ten years in particular, Southern Baptists are divided as to their views on soteriology (God’s Plan of Salvation) and other theological issues. That division can be seen and sensed in comments written after each article on this website since … May 30th as Dr. Eric Hankins introduced the Traditional Statement.

        Hankins captured my feelings perfectly in the very first paragraph of his paper entitled: Beyond Calvinism and Arminianism: Toward A Baptist Soteriology, he said, “After four hundred years, Calvinism and Arminianism remain at an impasse. The strengths and weaknesses of both systems are well-documented, and their proponents vociferously aver each system’s mutual exclusivity. This paper is based on the observation that these two theological programs have had sufficient time to demonstrate their superiority over the other and have failed to do so. The time has come, therefore, to look beyond them for a paradigm that gives a better account of the biblical and theological data ……” (Journal of Baptist Theology and Ministry, Spring 2011).

        I write with no aggression, but to clarify certain things that I learned after being pulled from the pagan pool at the age of 23. I will seek to be straightforward without scorn and honest without hostility. I write with no intentions of converting the Calvinists but simply to point how to those with a more “traditional” leaning the differences between the Reformed traditions and those that are freshly enamored with just the Five Points and are trying to fit it into their upbringing.

        If we can find a common consensus for Convention work … I’d like to be a part of that. Would you?

          Chris Roberts

          Ron,

          The “common consensus” proposed by the SBC Today crowd is an anti-Calvinist consensus. That is obviously not something I can work toward.

          As for anyone pushing an agenda, I have no problem with the Calvinist – or the non-Calvinist – who promotes his views in the hopes of having others agree with him. I am a Calvinist. I believe Calvinism describes what the Bible teaches. I think non-Calvinists get the Bible wrong on several significant points. I want people to have a correct understanding of the Bible. Thus, yes, I want people to be Calvinists. Now, reverse all those labels and I imagine we would be describing you: a conviction that Calvinism is incorrect and that a non-Calvinist position best describes the Bible and a desire to see people affirm and believe that position.

          The desire to convince people of a given theological view is not at all divisive. If that is all the Statement did, there would be no problem. If SBC Today were simply trying to convince people that Calvinism is wrong, I would have less of an issue with it. But much more is being done. Calvinism is being presented as an alien intrusion, an attempt from outsiders to take over and change Who We Really Are. The push back from non-Calvinists is not simply to disagree, not simply to really engage on a biblical, theological level, but to warn churches of the alien influence, to spread rumors and lies about the coming Calvinist takeover, to claim that one side represents traditional Baptists while the other side represents Presbyterians, to write churches and warn them against Calvinists, on and on the list goes. There are those for whom disagreement is not enough: only expulsion, or at least suppression, will suffice. This is not rumor, this is not hearsay, this is not slander: this is played out again and again and again.

          Joshua

          Ron,

          You said: ” I will seek to be straightforward without scorn and honest without hostility. I write with no intentions of converting the Calvinists but simply to point how to those with a more “traditional” leaning the differences between the Reformed traditions and those that are freshly enamored with just the Five Points and are trying to fit it into their upbringing.”

          Your words do not accurately represent the Calvinism in the SBC. Calvinism is not merely something new that people are freshly becoming enamored with. I read the SBC founders like Boyce, Dagg, etc. who were representing common SBC theology. This inaccurate framing of SBC Calvinists is why the “New Traditionalist” movement will fail as did the Baptist Identity movement. You fail to accurately represent your Southern Baptist brothers, instead, maligning them as intruders and foreigners that should keep to themselves. This is the very definition of divisive.

          You also said: “If we can find a common consensus for Convention work … I’d like to be a part of that. Would you?”

          This, coming from a proponent of Hankins’ Preamble, is out of the question. The “consensus” advocated by Hankins and SBC Today is not a consensus of unity that Calvinists can be a part of, but an agenda to malign and marginalize good Southern Baptists. I am shocked that you would even ask a Southern Baptist Calvinist to be a part of the Hankins and SBC Today consensus.

          I hope all Southern Baptists can discuss matters peacefully and without hostility, however, the Trads Document itself betrays such an endeavor. I am thankful many SBC leaders are refusing to join the SBC Today/Hankins/New Traditionalist movement. I hope many reasonable signatories in the coming days abandon this divisive movement.

          volfan007

          Some people really sound ANTI-Traditionalists in here….almost angry.

          David

          Joshua

          David,

          I am for all Southern Baptists to have equal respect and opportunity in the SBC regardless of their soteriological position as it fits under the BF&M 2000.

          I wish the SBC Today/Hankins movement would say the same and renounce the Preamble of the Trads Document.

          Lydia

          “I wish the SBC Today/Hankins movement would say the same and renounce the Preamble of the Trads Document.”

          Joshua, See if your leader, a paid employee of SBTS, will renounce this while we are suggesting renouncements:

          And I did not say “explain it”, I used your terminology of “renounce” it.

          Joshua

          Lydia,

          You and others have been shown numerous times that you are not allowing Mohler to speak for Mohler in your uncharitable interpretation of his words. Yet, you continue to bring up this same video, over and over again in hopes of disparaging a brother in Christ. His words need not be renounced if listened to in context.

          John

          Joshua,
          Well said. Traditionalist that are now 30 days old and under 1000 signatures strong are acting not as brothers in Christ but as rulers of the SBC. There is plenty of room in the SBC for all who support the BFM 2000 not everyone is required to support the Traditional Statement.

          (4) That the sole authority for faith and practice among Baptists is the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Confessions are only guides in interpretation, having no authority over the conscience.

          (5) That they are statements of religious convictions, drawn from the Scriptures, and are not to be used to hamper freedom of thought or investigation in other realms of life.

          Baptists cherish and defend religious liberty, and deny the right of any secular or religious authority to impose a confession of faith upon a church or body of churches. We honor the principles of soul competency and the priesthood of believers, affirming together both our liberty in Christ and our accountability to each other under the Word of God.

          President Paige Patterson appointed the committee as follows: Max Barnett (OK), Steve Gaines (AL), Susie Hawkins (TX), Rudy A. Hernandez (TX), Charles S. Kelley, Jr. (LA), Heather King (IN), Richard D. Land (TN), Fred Luter (LA), R. Albert Mohler, Jr. (KY), T. C. Pinckney (VA), Nelson Price (GA), Adrian Rogers (TN), Roger Spradlin (CA), Simon Tsoi (AZ), Jerry Vines (FL). Adrian Rogers (TN) was appointed chairman.

          hariette

          John: you wrote to Joshua:

          “Traditionalist that are now 30 days old and under 1000 signatures strong are acting not as brothers in Christ but as rulers of the SBC.

          Could you evidence those who signed the T.S. are not acting like brothers in Christ and specifically how and who are acting like “rulers” of the SBC? Thank you. selahV

          John

          selahV,
          I’ll submit Ron F. Hale and his proclamation and pronunciation of double predestination along with Hankins’ Preamble of Traditional Statement as my evidence that TS’ers are not acting as Brothers in Christ with Calvinist.

          What do you submit as your evidence showing over the last 30 days TS’ers acting as brothers in Christ with calvinist?

          Joel Hunt

          Perhaps that they have deleted comments asking them for the opportunity to balance out the traditionalist/modernist statement with those who would affirm by signature their opposition to the Traditionalist Statement?

    florin

    Question 1:

    As both sides accept the omniscience of God and therefore God knew who’d believe and who not, why did God still create those whom he knew would not believe? Is God cruel or He expects a surprise?

    Question 2:

    How does it happen that whenever on our knees to our wonderful Father, all boasting is gone and we all are thankful for the grace we received to believe?

Steve Martin

When we are saved, God gets ALL the credit.

When we are not, WE get ALL the blame.

That is the most biblical understanding and it preseves the goodness and justice of God and upholds our inabilty to save ourselves, but that we need a Savior.

    Ron Hale

    Steve,
    I like your explanation!

      Steve Martin

      Thanks, Ron.

      It is biblical. It is what I have been taught. And I believe it.
      I’m not going to attempt to resolve all the mysteries surrounding it, though.

    Lydia

    “You and others have been shown numerous times that you are not allowing Mohler to speak for Mohler in your uncharitable interpretation of his words. Yet, you continue to bring up this same video, over and over again in hopes of disparaging a brother in Christ. His words need not be renounced if listened to in context.”

    Joshua, Are you saying in that somewhere in the context of the entire video made by the GC that Mohler says about his remarks concerning New Calvnism is the only place if you want to see the nations rejoice for Christ: Just kidding. Did not mean it.

    ????

    Why is it your guys are for some reason never understood and have to be parsed and explained whether it is Calvin or Mohler? And if we take their words at face value, we are uncharitable and trying to disparage them? Both men made a living communicating with the public. I think they are quite clear.

    hariette

    Steve, that is the simple answer. I like simple. Unfortunately others like complex and must ask hundreds of questions, then answer them in thousand ways.

    I have one question which I will ask at the end of this true story:

    I have a friend whose Calvinist pastor was teaching predestination to a group of VBS children. She said he took out a bag of different colored socks and dumped them in the middle of the floor. Then he said, “These socks are like all of you.” He said, “Pretend I am God”. He began picking up a few of the socks, all red ones. Then he held them in his hand and said, “When I was putting these socks in the bag, I decided I was only going to choose the red socks. These get to go to heaven and the rest don’t. God looks down from heaven and chooses which of you He wants to be with Him. He did that before you were ever born.”

    Is this an accurate account of how a Calvinist would explain predestination to children? If not, how would you? selahV

      Lydia

      Oh. my. word.

        hariette

        yeah… it was hard for me to wrap my mind around that but it is part of why she had difficulty in her church. She couldn’t accept it. So she left. I just want to know if that is most Calvinists agree with that kind of lesson to children. I’m a curious person.

          Les Prouty

          Hariette,

          As you described the incident, I would do no such thing and would guess that this pastor is a very rare breed. He and any others should not do such.

          I have been in a lot of VBS weeks over the last 25 years. All run by Reformed churches. Never has anything like that happened. We talk about Jesus.

      Steve Martin

      selahV,

      Some, or many Calvinists might describe predestination that way. I would not describe predestination that way, though (I’m not a Calvinist).

      I would teach children that God loves all socks of every color. He came here to this earth and then was put to death on a cross for all socks. He forgives all socks He loves and forgives each one of you little socks.

      Now, when those kids get a bit older and can handle some theology and they ask about predestination, I would tell them that the Bible (through St. Paul) speaks of predestination. That God chooses His own from the foundations of this world.

      Who is predestined and why is a mystery. But just know that the one who is going to judge you, is the One who died for you and loves you.

      In that gospel Word, faith can happen, by God’s grace.

      There’s no need to send people back into themselves and to shake the confidence of their faith, but ripping away their assurance.

Brian Murphy

Don’t we ALREADY have a consensus in the Baptist Faith and Message 2000?

    Chris Roberts

    Indeed.

    hariette

    Brian, I thought so, too. But some Baptists in our convention take the initiative to articulate the understanding of what those things in the BFM2000 mean. And because some teach reformed doctrine as their doctrine and being the correct doctrine and that some in the convention have lost the gospel and need to be reformed, then some others who do not adhere to that reformed doctrine felt they should articulate how they understand God’s plan of salvation. Enter the Trad Statement which picks the petals off the TULIP and addresses salvation as Traditional Baptists understand Scripture reveals. selahV

Les Prouty

Ron,

“…and actively works sin and unbelief in the lives of the non-Elect.”

This is a distortion of biblical predestination. Not that you are distorting, but whoever holds this is distorting.

I personally have never encountered anyone who advocates this positive-positive scheme to understand predestination. Have you encountered this very much in the SBC? How widely do you think this is held and taught?

    Ron Hale

    Les,
    My next sentence concerning the classic position (positive/negative) … should have relieved any worry as to my intentions.

    However, Luther’s statements on predestination in Bondage of the Will …may lend itself more toward a positive/positive. Even the Lutherans don’t follow Luther in this area of D.P.

      Les Prouty

      Ron,

      “My next sentence concerning the classic position (positive/negative) … should have relieved any worry as to my intentions.”

      I realize you said that, though I got the impression you were intimating that SBC Calvinists and other Calvinists commonly believed the positive/positive schema.

      Sure some believe that. Most don’t. It would be like me lumping you and many others in with the Trad supporter who recently denied imputed righteousness, and obvious heretical position.

Les Prouty

Here is Sproul on the Reformed view:

“In sharp contrast to the caricature of double predestination seen in the positive-positive schema is the classic position of Reformed theology on predestination. In this view predestination is double in that it involves both election and reprobation but is not symmetrical with respect to the mode of divine activity. A strict parallelism of operation is denied. Rather we view predestination in terms of a positive-negative relationship.
In the Reformed view God from all eternity decrees some to election and positively intervenes in their lives to work regeneration and faith by a monergistic work of grace. To the non-elect God withholds this monergistic work of grace, passing them by and leaving them to themselves. He does not monergistically work sin or unbelief in their lives.”

    Lydia

    Les, You quote Sproul a lot I have noticed. Did you follow the ground breaking lawsuit Ligoneir filed against another Christian blogger a few years back? It made the Orlando Sentinel, USA Today and even Glenn Reynolds wrote about it.

    It was sorta shocking considering his own teaching on lawsuits.

      Les Prouty

      Lydia, no I’m not familiar with it.

      1. Since you brought it up, please explain Sproul’s position on lawsuits.

      2. Please explain why that matters to this definition.

      Thanks.

        Lydia

        I have no idea what you mean, Les. You can google the Ligoneir lawsuit and read up on it. I thought it was interesting since he seems to be your go to guy for understanding theology.

        Les Prouty

        Lydia, no idea what I mean? It was two very simple requests.

        It appears it was just another attempt to cast aspersions on a Calvinist. You brought up Sproul’s position on lawsuits. So enlighten us on his position.

        Look hon, if that’s all you got…try and paint Calvinists in a bad personal and moral light…be careful. Glass houses and all. There is plenty of diet to go around. Why not just debate the theology and stop the petty and childish smearing.

          Les Prouty

          Well maybe diet too. Should have been “dirt”

          Lydia

          Les, This is what happens when we constantly go to certain men to interpret scripture for us. We should look at the man interpreting. Is the Gospel life changing or not? You have google. You can check it out. Lots there that have serious implications for integrity. I am well aware of how sinful it is in certain Christians circles to bring up negative truths.

          Lydia

          You know what else, Les. You know you like us cause you hang with us a lot. So why not ditch the magisterial Presbyterians and come on back to the SBC! You can officially hang with the SBC NC cause you are doing such a good job speaking for them as a Presbyterian. :o)

          Les Prouty

          Lydia,

          “Les, This is what happens when we constantly go to certain men to interpret scripture for us.”

          I don’t. I can do my own interpreting fairly well. Quotes by others, as so many Trads are wont to do, are useful.

          “We should look at the man interpreting. Is the Gospel life changing or not?”

          In Sproul’s case? Absolutely.

          “You have google. You can check it out. Lots there that have serious implications for integrity. I am well aware of how sinful it is in certain Christians circles to bring up negative truths.”

          I do have google. That is true.

          Les Prouty

          Lydia,

          “You know what else, Les. You know you like us cause you hang with us a lot. So why not ditch the magisterial Presbyterians and come on back to the SBC! You can officially hang with the SBC NC cause you are doing such a good job speaking for them as a Presbyterian. :o)”

          Oh yes, I like you all. As others have said, you are a fightin’ bunch.

          Ditch the Presbys? I’ve got dear friends in both places. The PCA has been good and continues to be a good place in many ways. Magisterial? You obviously don’t understand the PCA. I’ve lived in it for 20 years. You’re not close.

          “you are doing such a good job speaking for them”

          You do a lot of assuming. I’m not speaking for NC, whoever they are. I speak for the truth about the Reformed faith.

      Les Prouty

      Lydia,

      Ok, I googled about the lawsuit and found links from 2006 and a blogger Ligonier sued. Ok. Setting aside the merits of his complaint against Ligonier and theirs against him (since I don’t know all the facts), I do not think that the bible should be interpreted that all civil suits are forbidden, even Christians against Christians. See here http://thirdmill.org/answers/answer.asp/file/39788 for one explanation.

      For instance, as a pastor in the past, I have urged wives who end up in situations where they have reasonable fears of physical abuse or financial loss due to a wayward professing Christian husband, to see court injunctions for their protection. That, dear Lydia, is a lawsuit and one done for a good reason. So it is naive to make a blanket statement that Christians are always forbidden from filing a suit against another Christian.

      And, you said, “It was sorta shocking considering his own teaching on lawsuits.”

      I have been unable to find his (I assume you mean Sproul) teaching on lawsuits. Can you supply that here?

      Les

        Lydia

        Table Talk. A while back. Some bloggers were quoting it back in o6 or so. I do not think it is online. that stuff does not come free, ya know.

          Lydia

          “Ditch the Presbys? I’ve got dear friends in both places. The PCA has been good and continues to be a good place in many ways. Magisterial? You obviously don’t understand the PCA. I’ve lived in it for 20 years. You’re not close.

          “you are doing such a good job speaking for them”

          You do a lot of assuming. I’m not speaking for NC, whoever they are. I speak for the truth about the Reformed faith.

          Les, We are not Presbyterians. So when you say you come here to speak the truth about the “Reformed faith” you are speaking as a Presbyterian Calvinist. And that might be what concerns some of us as we are Baptists not Presbyterians for a reason. I think it is great you are Presbyterian and have no problem with it. I just don’t want to be one. Should I conclude the Calvinist Reformed wing of the SBC is really more Presbyterian in ecclesiology than Baptistic. Or perhaps striving to be? It is a concern for some of us who value a free church.

          You mentioned in this thread you had been doing VBS for 25 years but did not mention if it was in the Presbyterian church or not. I assume it was. Perhaps you are not really familiar with how New Calvinism is presented in the Calvinistic wing of the SBC?

          Les

          Lydia, I’ll look for the back issues. Also, do you agree with me that there may be instances where a lawsuit by a Christian vs another Christian is warranted? Such as I described? Come on. I’m desperate to agree with you on at least one thing. :)

          Les Prouty

          Lydia,

          “So when you say you come here to speak the truth about the “Reformed faith” you are speaking as a Presbyterian Calvinist. And that might be what concerns some of us as we are Baptists not Presbyterians for a reason.”

          My position is a little more complicated than that. I have been both a teaching and a ruling elder in the PCA since 1992. I can the WCF and LC and SC. But I also have a great affinity for Baptists, of course especially of the Reformed types. I don’t think even once have I attempted to persuade anyone here of a Presby ecclesiology. I could. But in fact, I don’t think the NT gives us a hard and fast structure for church government for instance. So I don’t think you and others have too much to worry about. It’s me, one little person, and hundreds of you all.

          “I think it is great you are Presbyterian and have no problem with it. I just don’t want to be one.”

          And no one wants to make you become one. Not even the so-called NC.

          Should I conclude the Calvinist Reformed wing of the SBC is really more Presbyterian in ecclesiology than Baptistic. Or perhaps striving to be? It is a concern for some of us who value a free church.”

          I don’t think you should assume that at all. I know you have concerns about elders. I think whether they are being called ruling elders (and I don’t know that they are) or leading elders (which is what I think they are usually called), the facts are this: 1) The congregation still is involved in decision making and apparently have chosen (autonomously I suppose) to vest the elders in some SB churches with enumerated and limited power (I know you don’t like that word) or authority. Can not a congregation autonomously do that in SB life? Consistent with the BF&M? I think they can.
          2) You do know, of course, that larger churches in the SB convention operate defacto like elder (and staff) led and often delegate authority to these “deacons” and staff, even while not calling them elders. I’ve been on staff of a couple of SB churches like that. And they would be considered “trad” churches.

          “You mentioned in this thread you had been doing VBS for 25 years but did not mention if it was in the Presbyterian church or not. I assume it was.” Perhaps you are not really familiar with how New Calvinism is presented in the Calvinistic wing of the SBC?”

          Both SB and PCA.

          “Perhaps you are not really familiar with how New Calvinism is presented in the Calvinistic wing of the SBC?”

          Perhaps not in all cases. I am familiar with some. And they are neither aggressive or even barely focused on teaching Calvinism.

          Les Prouty

          “I can AFFIRM the WCF and LC and SC.

          Lydia

          “My position is a little more complicated than that. I have been both a teaching and a ruling elder in the PCA since 1992.”

          “Ruling elder”. Thanks Les for making that clear as a “Reformed” view of ecclesiology.

          Les Prouty

          Lydia,

          “Ruling elder”. Thanks Les for making that clear as a “Reformed” view of ecclesiology.”

          Nice try. That’s PCA. Not all Reformed church bodies call elders Ruling Elders.

          And PCA ruling elders are probably not what you horribly imagine.

          Les Prouty

          And check out the Reformed Congregationalists.
          http://www.proginosko.com/docs/wcf_sdfo_lbcf.html

volfan007

Ron,

A very good, thought provoking post. Thanks, Brother. I agree with you that God’s desire is to save all people, and that all people really can respond to God.

It would be great if Southern Baptists could move beyond the theological philosophy of Augustine/Calvin/Arminius, and embrace what many of us believe the Bible teaches about salvation and ecclesiology. We are not Presbyterian. Maybe, one day, when some of the young people get over thier star struck, love affair with Piper and Platt and Driscoll, then we’ll see this happen.

Only Jesus! Only the Bible! Only grace!

David

    Bill Mac

    David: That’s not fair and you know it. There are people who respect Piper, Platt, and Driscoll, and many who know nothing about them, and are still Calvinists. SBC Calvinists are not presbyterians. I am a Calvinist and I have never read any John Calvin. I believe it is what the bible teaches. Disagree if you like, but please don’t lump us all together as star struck simpletons who have never read the bible or can’t think for ourselves.

      volfan007

      Bill Mac,

      I didnt say that all Calvinists are star struck. I said that some are.

      Wouldnt you agree that we have a true fad going today with the Piper, Platt, Driscoll thing?

      David

        Les Prouty

        David,

        I think there are some who are sort of star struck with the people you mention. But I don’t think it’s near a majority of Calvinists in the SBC.

        It’s kind of like many contributors on this blog who almost always appeal to Dr. Allen or Dr. Lemke and their books and writings to make their point. That fact doesn’t mean that Ron Hale or you or others are star struck over these writers. You just respect their writings. I suspect the same is true of so many who read and follow the ministries of Godly men like Piper and Platt, et al.

          Lydia

          Don’t ya’ll know how to measure Christian celebrity fandom?

          How many books sold and how many conference speaking gigs.

          Sorry, but the Reformed movement wins as of now. There are many conference gigs for the speaking circuit guys and if they being paid anywhere near what the seeker celebs used to be paid per gig, it almost equaled a year salary for the Average American in addition to their pastor/para church salary.

          It is profitable to be a Christian celebrity.

          It is a great income stream.

          Chris Roberts

          Lydia,

          I’d be curious to know how many of those men are known by you to be living it up based on their conferences and books? Any of them? Or do we like tossing out accusations as though slander were not a sin?

        Ryan Abernathy

        No less than the “Traditionalists” who are star struck with Rogers, Patterson, and Vines…now add to that list Whitt and Hankins.

        In every movement there are those who are well spoken and well written who will be quoted by those who agree with them. That does not mean that the group who is quoting them is “star struck” only that they are less eloquent than those they quote.

          volfan007

          Okay then…we can all agree…that some of the YRR are star struck, and they are pulling some of thier friends into this framework. Yes. That’s what I said.

          I didnt even mention the Traditionalists. But, okay. I admit that I am a huge fan of Adrian Rogers, Jerry Vines, and others. I gladly admit it. And, I really do admire Eric Hankins, Emir Caner, Dr. Lemke, and Dr. Allen. Oooookaaaay….

          David

          Les Prouty

          Ok then. All even on the star struck, “huge fan” thing.

          Lydia

          “I’d be curious to know how many of those men are known by you to be living it up based on their conferences and books? Any of them? Or do we like tossing out accusations as though slander were not a sin?”

          Chris, Why so upset? It is well known and understood in Christian marketing circles that conferences can be very good money. And you can promote each others books there, too. I assume the people who go understand this and have no problem with it.

          As to “living it up” I guess that depends on what you mean. Many Christian celebrities are in the top 10% of income earners. A quick glance at Charity Navigators as the government requires open reporting for that legal structure and you can see for yourself officer pay for para church orgs.

          For churches it can be a big secret unless they have congregational polity and the peasants can know.

          Going back to the original point, Piper and the Reformed guys have the conference deal down pat. BTW: You should see the “gate” for one night of Beth Moore. It is astounding. She might just beat the men!

        Alan Davis

        I would agree with you David about the “star” mentality on BOTH sides. ALL these men put their pants on just like you and I do. God is NOT a respecter of any person, David Platt nor David Allen. So we really need to quit referring constantly to them and others and refer to scripture much more for it is the true test, not someones “star” status. Agreed.

        Alan Davis

    Chris Roberts

    David,

    You do realize that in the time of the Reformers, there were as yet no Presbyterians? No one was Presbyterian then because there was no such thing. And you realize that neither Piper nor Platt nor Driscoll are Presbyterian? So it would seem that Presbyterians aren’t influencing us so much after all.

    Though as it happens I do have a deep appreciation for the teachings of Presbyterian R. C. Sproul, among others, but such people should not frighten Baptists, nor should we pridefully reject all people of other denominations, but we should learn to take the good while rejecting the bad. Where Sproul and others agree with Scripture, we should learn from them. Where they get it wrong, we should ignore them. I’d say the same about Baptist teachers and preachers.

      volfan007

      We all know that Presbyterians didnt exist back then. BUT, are you denying that the Presbyterian denomination came out of the Augustine/Calvin/Arminian teaching? I really dont see how anyone could say that the Presbyterians didnt come out of this theological/philosophical framework.

      Also, I never said anything about rejecting all that comes from other denominations. I have appreciated the ministries of men like Dr. J. Vernon McGee, Dr. Harry Ironside, Dr. John McArthur, and many others for years and years. But, I really do see a Presbyterian turn in many of the Young and Restless Calvinists of today….with Calvinistic theology, Elder Ruled Churches, etc.

      I do not believe that a majority of SB’s want to become Reformed.

      David

        Chris Roberts

        Of course I don’t deny that Presbyterians came out of that framework, but that doesn’t mean the men were Presbyterians. After all, Baptists also came out of that framework.

        “I do not believe that a majority of SB’s want to become Reformed.”

        Then let me be the first to offer relief to your fears: no one has to become Reformed, no church has to be Reformed, the denomination is not being pushed in a Reformed direction. Be reassured that Calvinists have over and over again been clear that the denomination needs to have arms open to those who are Calvinist and those who are not, and churches continue to retain full autonomy on the issue. The only people trying to change any of this are the anti-Calvinist folks of SBC Today.

          volfan007

          So, you offer the Resolution on Unity, and yet, you continue to call us “Anti Calvinists?” Seriously?

          What if I called you “Anti Traditionalists,” and said that you’re whole view of unity was unity, as long as others didnt disagree with a Calvinistic theology? Would you be happy about that characterization?

          David

          volfan007

          Chris,

          Do you really think that really promotes unity?

          David

          Chris Roberts

          David,

          I don’t think commenting on reality is the opposite of unity. SBC Today continually fires volleys against Calvinism and promotes the idea that to be a Calvinist is not to be a Baptist.

          JCJ

          Baptists did NOT come out of the Reformation!
          The Doctrines of Sovereign Grace are NOT the same as the Doctrines of Grace, but akin.
          Know your History before blogging.
          We as Baptists are not Protestant.

          hariette

          Les…
          another “anti-calvinist” sighting.

          The only people trying to change any of this are the anti-Calvinist folks of SBC Today.

          See? this is what I am talking about. so I suppose Chris could be categorized as an “anti-Trad”, wouldn’t you?

        Chappy

        “I do not believe that a majority of SB’s want to become Reformed”

        The above statement is true. It is also true that a majority of Southern Baptists don’t want to come to church and a majority of Southern Baptists don’t know what reformed is. So should we really trust the majority on this one? No.

Carl Peterson

“John Calvin believed that in eternity God decreed a plight and path for every man. He believed that “all are not created on equal terms.” Some (the Elect) are chosen to eternal life, while the rest of humanity to eternal damnation.”

It is true that all are not created on equal terms. Some are rich and have loving parents. Others are poor with no parents. Some live in a nation where they hear the truth. Others live in a muslim country and never hear the gospel. I could go on but I think it is easy to see that not all are created on equal terms. I think the Calvinist and non-Calvinist christian must agree on that.

“Calvin believed the destiny of each person is determined. Predestination to life (heaven) or death (hell) is the decision of God. If double predestination is true, then the biblical phrase “whosoever will may come” may only be a sad sentiment for those created and preordained to eternal damnation.”

It is sad statement for anyone who does not choose to put their faith in Christ. Please also remember that those preordained are choosing by their own will to not have faith and thus go to hell.

“Double Predestinarians seem to be on the rise in the Southern Baptist Convention according to blog articles that I’ve read for the last few years. They will argue that: 1) God sovereignly elects or chooses some unto salvation; 2) God does not elect all people for salvation; 3) therefore, since God infallibly elects (to save some and pass over the rest) he has made a sovereign choice concerning every person. Some will be saved and the rest will be damned.

Calvin is very clear and concise in what he believed. Others have made it sound even more monstrous, while others have used every skill of oratory and written composition to carefully coat this bitter pill with sugariness. Most Southern Baptists have never swallowed this sour pastille. Just reading his words (above) leaves a bad taste in your spirit if you believe the character of God is that of love, mercy, and grace.”

But doesn’t a tradionalist position in the end state the same? If it is a given that God creates some in places where no one will argue for Christianity and they will never hear the gospel then does not God make certain choices for individuals? I do not believe the non-elect cannot choose faith. They just will not. I guess what I saying here is that the Traditionalist view is not as far away from the Calvinist view as some might like to think and argue.

“Southern Baptists should not be paralyzed by the medieval mêlée of two Presbyterians living under the long shadow of a Catholic monk named Augustine. ”

These types of phrases demonstrate a view of history and tradition that I find troubling. It seems to denote that newer is better. Also that Baptists are not tied to earlier christians. It has a very modern ring to it.

    volfan007

    Carl,

    While we can learn from Christians of the past, that doesnt mean that we have to remain in the same errors and shortcomings, which they were invovled in. When you look at all the Reformers were coming out of, and what the condition of Europe was at that time, then we see that they had a lot on their plate. And, they were wrong about a lot of things….infant baptism; Church and State; punishing people for believing differently, even in non essential doctrines…using the govt. to punish them; Zwingli used prostitutes, and when the Church leaders confronted him about it, his response was that he was not seducing virgins, or married women, so what was the problem? and, the Church leaders just kind of said, “Ok;” Luther’s view about the Lord’s Supper; and the list just goes on and on and on. So, while we can learn from them, we shouldnt bow our heads and hearts to what they taught and believed, just because they lived a long time ago.

    David

      Carl Peterson

      David,

      Sure. i agree that we learn from history. We do just believe it because it was historical. However, I think the quote ““Southern Baptists should not be paralyzed by the medieval mêlée of two Presbyterians living under the long shadow of a Catholic monk named Augustine. ” is saying much, much more than that. It is distancing Baptists from other parts of church history and protestant tradition. Baptists unfortunately have a long history of this. i remember profs. holding up their Bible and saying “this is my only creed.” Of course that statement makes no sense but they did it.

      t.r.

      While we are pointing out errors of the Reformers, should we not also point out errors in our own SBC denomination? After all Jesus Christ Himself is not holy enough to be a Southern Baptist pastor or missionary because of his willingness to drink wine. The Apostle Paul is not holy enough to be a Southern Baptist pastor or missionary because of his willingnes to speak in tongues. And now Calvinists are being put pushed aside because of their willingness to give God every spec of the credit for their salvation, including the credit for their faith and repentance.

        Lydia

        T.r.,

        We have taken care of that. We now have Acts 29/Driscoll for the wine part and C.J. Mahaney/SGM is moving to Louisville to ‘plant a church near the seminary so your charismatic worries are over. All are reformed too.

Rick Patrick

Ron,

What an insightful post! It is a brilliant strategy to allow John Calvin’s own words to reveal, with great clarity, the differences in our two soteriological views, so Southern Baptists may clearly understand what is at stake doctrinally, and choose a viewpoint according to the dictates of their conscience and the direction of God’s Holy Spirit.

Frankly, a very typical response, when challenging a Calvinist position, is for some Calvinist to say or write, “You have unfairly characterized Calvinism. You just don’t understand it.” I’m waiting for the first person to make the preposterous claim that John Calvin did not understand Calvinism.

Ron, please keep writing articles such as this one, quoting directly from Calvin himself. They may still disagree with you, but they can no longer claim that you have unfairly represented their view.

Simply outstanding!

    Ron Hale

    Rick,

    Thanks for the good word and it was a joy meeting you in NOLA.

    I am planning to write a series entitled … John Calvin: In His Own Words

    My next post will be Calvin’s thoughts on the Reprobate. It’s a sad subject. As I was researching, in the back of my mind, were the lyrics of the old Beatles song …”All the lonely people, where do they all come from.” Yet, out of my gloom, I was reminded of the gospel. My heart filled with joy, the joy of Jesus!

    Rick, aren’t we blessed to have been called to preach this glorious gospel?

      Chris Roberts

      “Yet, out of my gloom, I was reminded of the gospel.”

      Forgive me if I’m reading too much into this, but you seem to be contrasting Calvinism with the gospel – do you think Calvinists believe and uphold the gospel?

        Ron Hale

        Chris,
        Yes, you do have a tendency to read too much into things.

Les Prouty

Ron,

Rick said, “Ron, please keep writing articles such as this one.”

Here’s an idea for you all here and at Voices…the two top and best blogs discussing SBC issues: Why don’t you all run a series of articles showing where the more Reformed minded folks and the not Reformed folks actually agree? And/or, publish articles where you are seeking a consensus understanding on theology and practice.

It would seem to me that such a series of posts might, just might, serve to unify. Continuing to point out differences may actually serve to further divide. And, this second “Calvin” post in a row (and more to come as one of them is part 1 of a series) makes it appear that this site is an anti-Calvinism site. Just some thoughts.

Dale Pugh

A denial of double predestination seems completely illogical to me. Les quotes Sproul in a comment above–“In the Reformed view God from all eternity decrees some to election and positively intervenes in their lives to work regeneration and faith by a monergistic work of grace. To the non-elect God withholds this monergistic work of grace, passing them by and leaving them to themselves. He does not monergistically work sin or unbelief in their lives.”
Such a view, then, denies the logical conclusion that to “not choose” some is, in fact, a choice! If God is going to elect those who are regenerate and then simply “pass by” those who are reprobate, He is making the choice to “pass them by.” Thus, He is choosing to not choose. It remains a choice on His part.
In addition, single predestination is a flat denial of Calvin’s own position as is pointed out in Ron’s post. Like Rick, I await the response of those who would be honest enough to state that Calvin was wrong about his own Calvinism.

    Matt

    Dale,

    Calvin, Sproul, and myself are all in agreement. We affirm double predestination in the possitive-nagative sense. This is very different from the possitive-possitive teaching known as equal ultimacy affirmed by hyper-calvinists. God chooses some from a mass of humanity who all, by nature, reject God. Yes God also chooses to pass over others allowing them to continue in thier sinful desires, and this means that God makes a choice concerning all people. The difference between these two completely different views is that under equal ultimacy God would have caused a person to sin and reject Him when they would not have done this without God actively working evil in thier hearts; while under the doctrine of double predestination people reject God, not because He turned thier hearts away from Him, but because they wanted to reject God of thier own volition.

    I think there is no real difference between the beliefs of those who claim single and double predestination. Some people just call it single in an attempt to avoid being accused of equal ultimacy by many non-calvinists who often confuse and equate double predestination with equal ultimacy. I can’t speak for everyone, there are often exceptions concerning things like this, but I don’t see a real delima or anyone claiming that Calvin got his Calvinism wrong.

    God bless

John

Well lets look back at the word predestined. Both Luke and Paul used it, are we now accusing them of double predestination?

Acts 4:28
to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.
Romans 8:29
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
Romans 8:30
And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Ephesians 1:5
he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
Ephesians 1:11
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

Sad to see the direction this conversation of Traditionalist has gone. We must now question scripture itself if we are going to follow Traditionalist down this rabbit hole.

Sola Scriptura – Scripture Alone
Solus Christus – Christ Alone
Sola Gratia – Grace Alone
Sola Fide – Faith Alone
Soli Deo Gloria – The Glory of God Alone

    volfan007

    John,

    I believe all the “sola’s” that you mentioned, and I believe that all the people, who have signed the Traditionalist Statement would agree.

    We also believe in predestinition….just not like you and Calvin.

    David

      John

      David,
      I get my predestination from the Bible not Calvin, and certainly not Traditionalist defining Calvin. If we want to discuss predestination then lets discuss the bible and Gods words and meaning not mans definition of mans words.

      These conversations are moving further and further away from Glorifying God.

      “I believe all the “sola’s” that you mentioned, and I believe that all the people, who have signed the Traditionalist Statement would agree.”

      So you do believe in the Five Pillars of the Reformation? I thought you posted above:
      “I do not believe that a majority of SB’s want to become Reformed.”
      Interesting. You’ll need to work that out yourself today. I am going to spend most my day worshiping God not fighting man over man’s definition of God’s Glory.

        volfan007

        John,

        We dont want the SBC to become Reformed. The “sola’s” do not make a person become Reformed. Reformed have a Calvinistic bent to their beliefs, and to their ecclesiology.

        David

          JCJ

          Volfan, we were Reformed before anyone coined the word. Know your History.

          Cb scott

          Vol,

          Not only do you need to know your history.

          You need to know your Country Music, because just as these guys were Reformed before the word was coined, George Jones was “Country before it was cool.”

          Lydia

          “Volfan, we were Reformed before anyone coined the word. Know your History”

          JCJ, Your cryptic words interest me. To be “Reformed” means a group was “Reforming” something i.e. Luther and “reforming the Catholic church”.

          If “we” as in Baptists were “reformed” before the term was coined for the REAL Reformation then what exactly were we “Reforming”?

          Verduin speaks to something similar to this thinking in his book about a sort of historical remnant that left or were never a part of the “institutions” of historical Christianity. But he did not call them reformed.

          Care to elaborate? I would love to hear your take.

        John

        Lydia,
        You can Google “Reformed”and you can learn what JCJ is taking about.

          Lydia

          Nevermind. I should have read the whole thread before commenting. I get it now.

          JCJ

          John,
          Thank you. Lydia obviously is one of these folks that repeats and believes whatever Pastor Dude has to say without checking it out for herself. Seems to be the issue with a lot of people that do not understand the Doctrines of Sovereign Grace that come from the Trail of Blood or the Doctrines of Grace from the Reformation. “I was Reformed but Reformed Theology was cool”!

rhutchin

The underlying presumtion for Calvin’s theology is that God is both omniscient and omnipotent. God infallibly knows the future. God has power to change the future. Thus, God is sovereign and knowing the future, decides whether natural events are to play out unhindered by Him or to intervene to change the natural order and bring about a different outcome. Before God created the world, He knew each person and whether they were elect or reprobate and the fate of each person was certain and fixed. The reprobate are alowed to follow their natural desires without interferenfe from God. God interfers in the lives of the elect to bring them to salvation.

The denial above is correct because the truth is that none, not even a select few, are capable of responding to the gospel. However, the intent of the denial is to deny God’s omniscience and thereby God’s sovereignty. God has determined who will be saved and actively intervenes in the lives of those people to bring them to salvation. God has determined who is reprobate and allows leaves them to pursue their natural desires without interference form Him.

    volfan007

    No one is denying God’s omniscience. No one is denying that God knows the future. No one is denying that God is sovereign. No one is denying that God is actively pursuing people, in order for people to be saved. We all believe this.

    David

      rhutchin

      Then, what is the purpose of the above Denial (assuming that you agree with that denial). Certainly, God knows, from before the creation of the world, the identities of the elect and the reprobate and that only the elect will be saved while the rest (the reprobate) are predestined to an eternity in hell. That is the effect of omniscience. So why does the denial say otherwise?

        volfan007

        rhutchin,

        There’s a huge difference in omniscience and in planning beforehand that something be the way it is.

        David

          Matt

          volfan007,

          You say, “There’s a huge difference in omniscience and in planning beforehand that something be the way it is.”

          No. I must disagree; when speaking of an omnicient omnipotent Creator, there is no difference at all. I would like to put the following proposition out there for anyone who disagrees:

          All results of any action of an omnicient omnipotent Being are intended by that Being.

          To lead into this using an illustration, if I know that throwing a brick at a window will result in the window breaking and then, knowing this, throw a brick at the window; I have intended to break the window. Now remove me from the equation and add an omnicient omnipotent Being in my place. There is now no possibility that the knowledge of the result of throwing the brick could be wrong. There is also no possibility that the power required to throw the brick in a way that will effectuate the known result will fall short. Now consider this omnicient omnipotent Being as He creates the universe. He has perfect knowledge of every person who will ever exist as a result of His creative action. He knows when and how He will intervene in His creation in time. He also knows all the results of His actions perfectly, including who ultimately will and will not be saved. Knowing all of this perfectly and having all power required to bring it all about as He knows it, He then creates. This necessarily means that He intended some individuals to be saved and others to not be saved; if He did not intend it to be so, it would not be so.

          You may also apply this same reasoning to the atonement of Christ. If God meant the atonement to save everyone, then everyone would be saved. We see plainly that all are not saved, so it is logically necessary that God did not intend Christ’s atonement to save everyone.

          What ever the abundant protests to this reasoning may be, I would simply ask that two questions be asked regarding your (that’s anyone out there’s) version of how things happened:

          1. Did God know the ultimate results of His actions?

          2. Was God mistaken about these results or did He fall short of the power to bring about what He knew?

          If the answer to #1 is yes and the answer to #2 is no, then it is absolutly necessary that God intended certin individuals for salvation and never intended others to be saved.

          I’m tired of all the ad homenim attacks. Here is the issue. I would love to hear any responses that give a straight answer to these two questions. I would especially love to hear from Lydia on this one, as I have yet to read a post from her that actually addressed the issue.

          volfan007, sorry this started out as a response to your statement, and then evolved into a open comment to everyone.

          God bless

          volfan007

          Matt,

          1. Yes, of course, God knows everything that will happen in the future. He is God.

          2. What?

          Again, just because God knows how people will respond to His plans and purposes, and just because God is not bound by time like you and me, and can see everything as if its already happened….still does not mean that man does not have free will. It does not diminish the sovereignty of God, at all. It does not take away from the power of God, at all.

          David

          Matt

          David,

          In question #1, I didn’t ask if God simply knows the future. I asked, “Did God know the ultimate results of His actions?” There is no future to know except the one that God created. The specific actions in question in this discussion are creation, which resulted in the existence of specific individuals some of whom are saved and some of whom are not; and Christ atonement, which resulted in saving specific individuals and not saving others.

          I assume you must agree that the answer to question #1 is yes. If it is true that God knew these results of His actions, then question #2 is, “Was God mistaken about these results or did He fall short of the power to bring about what He knew?” You didn’t answer this question, but I must also assume that you would not claim that God made a mistake or did not have enough power to create or achieve what He wanted to through His actions.

          These answers are meant to go along with the proposition that I had previously stated and explained: All results of any action of an omnicient omnipotent Being are intended by that Being. So, once again, if the answer to #1 is yes and the answer to #2 is no then it is absolutly necessary that God intended certin individuals for salvation and never intended others to be saved.

          God bless

Stephen Garrett

Dear Dr. Hale:

If God foreknew that Judas would never be saved, and created him anyway, can we not say that God created Judas knowing that it would mean his eternal damnation?

Blessings,

Stephen

    Joshua T.

    This is sovereignty through knowledge and not through power. While you are not technically incorrect it isn’t the same philosophically with respect to libertarian free-will.

    That’s predestination according to the will (Molinism fits this well) as oppose to predestination of the will (Calvinism).

    – Joshua

      rhutchin

      There is no real differewnce between Molinism and Calvinism (they are mutually exclusive sustems). Molinism deals with God’s deliberations about whom to save before He creates the world. Once God makes a decision and creates a world , then that world is a Calvinist world in which all things are known by God with certainty.

        Joshua T

        rhutchin,

        I don’t think anyone philosophically minded can equate a world created through Middle Knowledge (which doesn’t impose upon the person’s free will within the world) with the decreed world of Calvinism.

        I recognize the desire of Open Theist (which I am not accusing you of being) to try to equate the two as the same but I also recognize that Calvinist try to equate Molinism with Open Theism. These two accusations cannot be compatible.

        The philosophical definitions of Libertarian Free-Will by Alvin Plantinga (traditionally “reformed”), William Lane Craig, Kenneth Keathley (a Southern Baptist) Thomas Flint (a Catholic) and Molina himself (also a Catholic) would disagree with your attempt to lump them into the salvific-freedom deprived world of Calvinist.

        However I am surprised by this statement: “Once God makes a decision and creates a world , then that world is a Calvinist world in which all things are known by God with certainty” … Are you claiming that Baptist don’t believe in a world where God knows everything with certainty? Surely not. The difference is what determines the certainty. And within Molinism (as oppose to Calvinism) the certainty of every possible world is determined by the free-will of the individuals with the possible world. Please do not confuse the two concepts.

        – Joshua

          Matt

          Joshua,

          Actually molinism fails at what it attempts to do, which is to preserve the libertarian will of man. God determines both the nature and nurture of every person; yet, in molinism, the will of the person is supposed to determine the will of God.

          every person is born with specific physical and mental charicteristic resulting in specific physical and mental abilities. The person does not choose these characteristics or abilities, they are endowed to the person by God.

          Every person is born into a unique situation. People are born at different times to different parents who live in different countries and practice different religions. They go to different schools, and through the course of thier lives they encouter different people and experience different things in different ways. People do not choose who thier parents are or the environment into which they are born and raised. God makes these decisions also.

          All of these things contribute to who a person is and how they will respond to decisions. The will cannot direct itself toward one thing or another without a cause. This would be an uncaused effect. Some people prefer to attribute a persons disposition to nature (how we are born), some people prefer to attribute it to nuture (external stimuli), and others like to attribute it to a mixture of the two. All of these possible contributing and deciding factors are traced back to God and are beyond the control of the person thierself. Even the person’s previous decisions in life are determined by thier nature and nurture up to that point.

          There can be nothing found in any person that is not the result of God’s choice. People cannot choose how they are born, or what external stimuli they encounter. All things about a person from both inside and out are necessarilly determined by God. There are no other options for where determining factors for making decisions can come from. They either come from something within us inherently or something within us that we aquired from experience. All of this is determined by God.

          So, in molinism, God’s middle knowledge would only be knowledge of how a person who God decided to create with certain physical and mental attributes would react if placed in a certain environment where they had certain experiences. Since all possible factrors, contributing to how that persons will responds to any given decision, are determined by God; God’s act of creation in Molinism can be no less than His sovreign decretive act of creation in Calvinism.

          Calvinist affirm the Biblical teaching that, since the fall, man is rebellious toward God by nature, and will not choose to follow Him. This is simply pointing to a persons nature, as mentioned above, as sufficient for determining a person’s response to the gospel. This shows that all of our decisions, including our decision to follow God or not, are ultimately determined by God in Molinism as much as Calvinism; and freedom of will can logicaly be no more free than the compatiblism described in calvinism.

          God bless

          Joshua T

          Matt,

          Thank you for your reply.

          However, it is unfair to say Molinism fails at its purpose when ultimately you deny the purpose. Your argument against free-will is philosophically unsound (would not stand up against a Plantinga or Craig) and can arguably be seen as a perversion in Calvinism.

          As a Calvinist (yes, I’m a full 5-Pointer), I recognize that the determinism modern Calvinist are pushing should really be called “Owenism” or “Piperism”. The determinism you describe is not needed for Calvinism nor does it stand in the way of Molinism as a viable alternative.

          – Joshua

          Matt

          Joshua,

          Molina’s invention of middle knowledge was intended to preserve the free will of men against the teachings of the reformers. He claimed that God created the way He did based on His knowledge of the future will of autonomous agents. He grossly failed at this because God cannot create someone and place them in any part of His created universe without having already decided all possible determining factors that would shape thier dispositions or desires and direct thier wills.

          I don’t know if I communicated everything that I intended to in my post, but I don’t want to run all the way through all of it again without knowing specifically what you disagree with.

          You say, “Your argument against free-will is philosophically unsound (would not stand up against a Plantinga or Craig)” I would love to discuss this with them, but since I cannot, I hope that maybe you will be kind enough to point out exactly where my argument is philosophically unsound and explain where my mistake is.

          You also say that what I believe may be seen as a perversion of Calvinism. How so? God created Adam good, but mutably good based on Adam’s limited knowledge, and placed him in the garden, where God knew Adam would be deceived by the serpent and Eve. Adam’s sin is attributed to nurture, or external stimuli, since he had no enmity against God in his nature. Since the fall, all of mankind’s sins, including the rejection of God, is attributed to sinfull natures. This is the doctrine of total depravity in it’s purest form. What specifically that I have written might be seen as a perversion of Calvinism? I admit that people may seen a lot of things that aren’t there, but I’m talking about any legitimate concerns.

          You say that modern Calvinism promotes a determinism that may be called “Owenism” or “Piperism”. I will admit that I have only read one book by Piper and it has not really influenced my thought. I have read much more by Owen though, and much of my thought on this subject is influenced by his “Freedom of the Will”. What part of what I have written would go against what John Owen believed?

          You conclude by saying, “The determinism you describe is not needed for Calvinism nor does it stand in the way of Molinism as a viable alternative.” Actually, what I have described is a logical necessity if we have an omnicient omnipotent God. What I have said goes along perfectly with Calvinism, and sheds light on the compatiblistic freedom affirmed in Calvinism. It also rules out Molinism as viable in any sense. The invention of middle knowledge followed to it’s logical conclusion, can explain nothing more, in regard to free will, than the compatiblism of calvinism.

          God bless

          Matt

          Joshua,

          I just checked to see if there were any new posts on here and saw a huge mistake in something I wrote. For some reason, when I saw “Owenism” I thought of Edwards instead of Owen. I was referring to Edward’s bood “Freedom of the Will” not a book by Owen. I have read John Owen’s “The Death of Death in the Death of Christ” also though, and from what I have read I see no conflict between his beliefs and what I have written.

          Just wanted to correct myself. God bless you.

        Braxton

        Sorry, you may just be oversimplifying molinism with your understanding of it packed in, but if this statement represents your genuine understanding of it then you misunderstand the system. Can you please explain in greater detail what you understand the Molinist position to be?

earl simmons

Holy Cow!!! All of you sound like a bunch of babbling fools. This topic has been written about by greater thinkers than we all are and no consensus has ever been reached. We all believe the Bible to be divinely inspired, but how many think John Calvin was divinely inspired? In the words of recent times “get a life”. Just how many of you have had a bunch of children not knowing if you have birthed a few destined for Hell. If you are Calvinist that is your gamble. Have you ever heard a pastor preach that some of you are going to Hell but continue to attend and for sure tithe? That is what I thought.

    rhutchin

    Now, can you tell us why no concensus has been reached (or even can be reached)?

    Cb scott

    “Holy Cow”?? Did he say, “Holy Cow”??

    Well, that’s it guys. Batman’s sidekick, Robin, is here to bring some “Rock-Kum-Pow” into this thread. Watch out you Jokers, Riddlers, and Catwomen.

    It is “Curtains” for you evil doers! Tune in to at this same Bat-Time on this same Bat-Station to see these bad Baptists get theirs!

Bill

I confess… I have not read the whole thread of comments. But I have a question concerning this issue of whosoever will and freedom and predestination.

The way I see it, both sides have a tension. Either God knows who will accept him and creates anyway those who won’t (in effect, predestining them to hell) OR could chooses who will be saved (predetermining others by default to hell). Either way, God creates people knowing that they will not receive eternal life. Does God’s knowing take away their freedom or their responsibility?

The only way to avoid this conundrum is to advocate open-theist. Anyone advocating that?

    Bill

    Okay… so I scroll up a little and see a similar comment with a response that may also apply to my query.

    But it still does not satisfy me. There is a distinction made between “sovereignty through knowledge” and sovereignty “through power.” One (I am guessing through knowledge) would qualify as “predestination according to the will” while the other, “predestination of the will” is classified as “through power”.

    Assuming I have understood that right (a big assumption). I would argue that Calvinism as I understand it does not qualify as “predestination OF the will” but “THROUGH the will.” Men are sinners based on their choice. In Adam, we all sin; enslaved to sin, we then freely sin. Not only that we enjoy it and refuse to give it up, resenting any thought of judgement, any impugning of our freedom. So, by a choice of our will, we are sinners and God gives us over to those desires… we are destined for wrath because of our choice. The fact that we do not seek God and cannot come to God because of our enslavement to sin and the blinding of the enemy is not God’s fault, but a condition we chose and spend our lost lives affirming.

    Those who are called the “elect,” by a decree and action of God’s grace are regenerated in heart and, by his Spirit, are able to respond (and indeed will respond) by an act of their free will. This may be “predestination by power” but the previous (the lost) is still “predestination by knowledge.”

      Joshua T

      Bill,

      I am responding to both of your comments at the same time :-)

      You ask great questions. As a Calvinist who is deeply attracted to Molinism who is married to a wife who is Arminian with a deep interest in the slippery slope into Open Theism I can\’t help but think more people should be asking the type of questions you are asking.

      Your first assumption concerning my post is correct. I would not disagree with your altering \”of the will\” to \”through the will\”. I think it is a fine alteration and retains a more accurate description of general Calvinistic thought.

      What I was describing as \”predestination by knowledge\” has been applied by some Calvinists to defend a unique perspective on double predestination but that is not how I was using it. I was referring to the Molinistic application that God with an infinite knowledge of Counter-Factuals (essentially all possible permutations of human actions) can choose the best possible world. Thereby He is still sovereign in His choice but does not implicitly deny the free-will of the individuals in the world created.

      I\’m not sure this fully addresses your issue because there are many who still argue that God\’s \”knowing\” removes free-will (my unsaved co-worker for example). But it hopefully shows that there is an options that retains God\’s choice and thus God\’s sovereignty while acknowledging responsibility. The applications to this with respect to the share of the gospel are fascinating as well and quickly show Molinism to be far distanced from Calvinism in the \”can\’t share the gospel\” accusation.

      – Joshua

      Mike Davis

      You are correct that the very same logical extension used to try to tie those who believe in individual election to the doctrine of double-predestination can be used to tie anyone who accepts God’s omniscience to double-predestination. As in the cognitive dissonance the Traditionalists engage in to hold to libertarian free will and post-salvation compatibilism simultaneously, in this case Traditionalists employ a rationale to accuse Calvinists of a certain belief and this rationale makes them vulnerable to the same charge by similar logic. God knew when He created Adam that Adam would sin and God foreknew who would and who would not be saved throughout all of human history. He knew when He created the angel Gabriel that the angel Gabriel would not sin. He could have created Adam a little more like Gabriel but chose not to. Using Traditionalist logic, double-predestination occurs at the time of the decision to create Adam in the exact way Adam was created. No doubt they will protest that it isn’t the same but it is. In fact, this is one point made by those who promote Open Theism (which is a false doctrine that Calvinists and Traditionalists both reject) on this and other issues.

Greg Tomlin

This is why the world laughs at you guys and the SBC … you sit and debate how many angels can dance on the head of pin. Quit worrying about what the other guy believes and preach the gospel as you know it. It is a gospel of grace … grace sinners do not deserve but that God grants in Christ. Just shut up (about this) and preach. No one on the outside of the SBC cares. Few people inside the SBC understand what you’re talking about. Why not focus on creating healthy, evangelistic churches and doing missions.

    volfan007

    Greg,

    A question…can you really have a healthy Church without good, sound doctrine?

    Secondly, this forum is a bunch of Pastors…and few others…discussing matters of theology and SBC life. If you’ll look at the list of the Pastors, who’ve signed the statement, you’ll see that a lot of those men have won a lot of people to Jesus….have been used of God to grow big Churches…have been used by God to start Churches; do mission work; faithfully serve in small towns, and in country Churches; and have done many, many other things for the glory of God. So, you coming in here with your sanctimonious diatribe is not well received, Brother.

    David

      Joshua T

      Amen,

      I think we can all thank Athansius (to name just one) for arguing for theology. Our discussion is nowhere near that important but I’m glad some pastors have been able to use this to sharpen each other in Christian fellowship.

      – Joshua

      Greg Tomlin

      What is sound doctrine to you is not to others, and vice versa. You’re all not going to agree, so why not just admit it and focus on the flock over which God has given you charge?

      I will say it again: you are wasting your time.

      It may be a forum where pastors debate things, but the Ph.D. hanging on my wall means I’m no dumby when it comes to theological matters (material I’ve been teaching for more than a decade). What I know, for a fact, is that the world doesn’t care about your debate. I worked in SBC denominational life for two decades.

      It was when I began working outside the SBC that I became fully aware of the reputation the denomination has … a bunch of George Pattons who need a fight to be happy. Always ready for a war, and where they can’t find one, the group that wants another group out will start it.

      So, don’t talk to be about being sanctimonious. You strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.

        volfan007

        I do not have this debate outside of these circles. I’m not out here, going around talking about Calvinism and Arminianism, etc. C’mon, Greg, surely you dont think we all go around talking about this theological discussion in our churches, and out going door to door in our communities…do you?

        Just about the only time I talk about these matters is when I’m in here, or talking to other Pastors when we’re hanging out.

        David

          Greg Tomlin

          Take the focus off of what you do in your churches long enough to realize that you are being watched by the world. And the world sees your division. There are some things worth arguing about in front of everyone. There are others that aren’t. This is one of those things. That was my point.

    earl simmons

    Amen!!!

    Mike Davis

    It’s a blog, after all. If you don’t like the topics debated here, why not find another that interests you, whether it’s about sports, politics, whatever.

    Tom Parker

    Greg:

    Baptist do love to fight among themselves and this is another good example. I wonder how many months it will take before this one blows over. But as has been pointed out this website is getting lots of hits–is that what this is all about?

Debbie Kaufman

<a=href="http://www.the-highway.com/calvin%27s_calvinism_index.html"The Predestination of God And The Secret Providence of God by John Calvin

Mike Davis

CALVINISTS: I don’t believe in double-predestination.
TRADITIONALISTS: Yes, you do.
CALVINISTS: No really, I don’t.
TRADITIONALISTS: You do. Calvin wrote something five centuries ago that may imply double-predestination.
CALVINISTS: Well, I don’t agree with every single thing Calvin did or said, I compare it all to what Scripture teaches. So if Calvin meant double-predestination, I disagree with him on that point.
TRADITIONALISTS: No, you can’t disagree with him. You have to defend it all. And Servetus. What about that? We’re going to write a statement that rejects double-predestination in the Preamble and in three of the ten Articles. Because you are trying to take over the Convention and turn everyone into double-predestinationists. Like Calvin.
CALVINISTS: About that Statement you wrote. The one you just now wrote, not something a guy you don’t know wrote five centuries ago. This TS has a few problematic statements. For example, Article Two says, “We deny that Adam’s sin resulted in the incapacitation of any person’s free will…” That view comes awfully close to a semi-Pelag–
TRADITIONALISTS: –How dare you use That Word Which Must Not Be Used!!!!! Of course we don’t believe that doctrine.
CALVINISTS: How would I know?
TRADITIONALISTS: You have to let us explain ourselves.
CALVINISTS: Can I get the same consideration when it comes to Calvin?
TRADITIONALISTS: No.

    John

    Mike,
    Good summary of what I have witnessed.
    Sola Gratia – Grace Alone

    JCJ

    You’re so right!

    Darryl Hill

    Yes, that pretty much sums it all up. Half of the too many posts I’ve written here have been pointing out straw men and the other half have been attempting get a “traditionalist” to interact with actual Scripture. All attempts have met with monumental failure.

    And here we are again. “Calvin believed in double predestination, that God works reprobation in the nonelect even as He works sanctification in His sheep.” I say- I don’t think you can make that accusation against Calvin based on that 1 quote. But even if he did believe it, I don’t. “But you must to call yourself a Calvinist.” I say- I didn’t label myself a Calvinist, YOU did. I call myself a Christian. Yes I agree with many of his conclusions about salvation but that doesn’t mean I agree with and personally endorse every action or statement he made.

    This has become an exercise in futility. So we’re going to see article after article here attacking straw men accusations of Calvinists, with no formal rebuttal except for our comments. So let’s let it become a pep rally here instead. That’s my thought. Here you go “traditionalists” now you bash straw men unopposed.

Debbie Kaufman

http://www.the-highway.com/calvin%27s_calvinism_index.html

The Predestination of God and The Secret Providence of God by John Calvin.

    Ron Hale

    Debbie,

    Why do you always connect links on my articles? Did you read my simple little article? I don’t think you have to worry any.

    Blessings!

Lydia

Ron, Excellent post. And it cannot be emphasized enough that this is a medieval religion systemized by those in love with the idea of church/state and tyranny. Us SBC Trads are just simple peasants who believe in a free church and casseroles.

But remember, we need for the New Calvinists to explain to us not what Calvin actually wrote but what it really means. (wink)

.

    Alan Davis

    Can someone give a description of a “new calvinists” to me? And for someone to be a Calvinist, new or old…must they buy into everything that Calvin wrote? And also does it ever occur to the “new traditionalists” that there are even other schools of thought on soteroligy in the sbc other than theirs and strict Calvinism? And while I’m asking how does 900 signers in a denomination of 16 million denote in anyway the majority view? Seems rather audacious of a statement to proclaim what 900 have signed in a denomination of 16 million that it is the majority view. Even if you only took the 44,000 churches and only the pastors and one staff member on average that would be 88,000. That means the traditionalist statement has been signed by about 1% of the pastors and staff…but many of the signers aren’t pastors and staff so we couldn’t even say that. I am not trying to cause trouble but just stating a fact. If one is to claim to represent the majority, then one should actually have PROOF of that claim.

      Mike Davis

      I have wondered the same thing. It seems some of the Traditionalist pastors of large churches should have been able to bring 900 signatures just from their own church alone.

        Alan Davis

        Mike if you do the math the “new traditionalists” have an average of about 100 per week of new signers to the “traditionalist statement”. If they could continue on with that trend of 100 per week for say….100 years they would have 520,000 signatures. I only point all this out because the “new Traditionalists” make the claim over and over that their soteroligy represents the majority of Southern Baptists. Hardly seems to be so at all, in fact it would seem after doing a little math and only having 900 signers by now that it would be somewhat of an untruth to say so at this time. I mean when does fact actually trump rhetoric with us.

Debbie Kaufman

Ron: Why do you not have links in your articles? I just like reading things in their proper context. I like doing it with Spurgeon too.

Debbie Kaufman

Lydia: I am not for church/state either obviously although it would be hard to tell as some are also wanting to fight culture which is the same as Calvin’s thought of church and state. I do believe Calvin has it right in a lot of doctrine. But as far as his stance, where is it any different than the cultural wars, moral majority and other ities that Christians have done? And what of this statement on this blog in which we must be quiet on what we believe or believe as you do in order to have a place at the table Lydia? Don’t lecture on Calvin’s mistakes, when those on this blog have done the same thing just no deaths, at least not physical ones just spiritual ones.

Debbie Kaufman

If I may be permitted one more link to put things in my perspective from scripture at least.

http://timmybrister.com/2012/07/the-one-point-of-calvinistic-soteriology/

Lydia

You know, life is strange. Here we have a lot of people defending Calvin and his system of religion saying his sins are no big deal since we are all sinners, too. (I hear this all the time in the Reformed wing as if imprisoning, torturing and drowning believers is your run of the mill “fighting the flesh daily” sin….oh well)

Anyway, If Calvin lived today, we would be reading about those persecuted in Geneva on Persecution.com or VOM and trying to get people out of there. Heck, we would be smuggling atheists, Catholics AND Ana Baptists out! Calvin and his gang would be considered tin pot dictators and we would not even bother with anything he wrote about theology because he would have no credibilty. He would seem like a sort of Anglo Saxon Kim Il Jong to us.

    Chris Roberts

    Lydia,

    May God bless you and give you wisdom, peace, and a kind and charitable heart.

      Lydia

      Chris, I feel the same way about those who think so highly of someone like Calvin. It just boggles my mind how so much is ignored about him.

    earl simmons

    I’m afraid you could be right, but remember Mozart was as nasty as they come. His music is not bad. The Calvinist TONE does not fit Jesus and what he said. It is a man interpreting scripture who may not have had The Holy Spirit assisting him.

    JCJ

    Lydia,

    Open mouth, insert foot.

      Lydia

      “Open mouth, insert foot”

      Only in Calvinworld. :o)

Wes

There seriously aren’t other things going on in the SBC? If I were to come to this blog (“SBC Today”) I would think that the ONLY issue Southern Baptists discuss is Calvinism. Waiting for other articles on other topics….

Debbie Kaufman

Lydia: I think you would be wrong. This is a very different day and age. As I said until you quit persecuting Calvinists I really see no difference in what he did and what is attempting to being done here.

    Lydia

    Telling negative truths about Calvin is persecuting Calvinists today? Are you equating negative truths about Calvin with imprisonmeng, torture and drowing people? You receive the same kind of persecution from me when I mention facts of history that are inconvenient or embarassing?

    Seriously? A-mazing.

    I think I have just about heard it all now. Thanks, Debbie.

      JCJ

      Lydia,

      You really need to read The Trail of Blood.
      And a shot of humility wouldn’t hurt either.

        Lydia

        Read it. I am not convinced we are descendents of the Donatists. (rolling eyes)

        And I am not a Landmarker. I am a casserole Baptist. :o)

    Cb scott

    OK Debbie,

    It is to the Rack with you!

    Lydia,

    I have come to an epiphany today in reading this post and comment thread. John Calvin said, “All are not created on equal terms….”

    Samuel Colt must have read the Institutes, because it was “Samuel Colt who made all men equal.”

    That is strange when you come to think of it. After all, Samuel Colt was an Episcopalian. I didn’t think they ever did anything except drink whiskey. :)

      Lydia

      “Samuel Colt must have read the Institutes, because it was “Samuel Colt who made all men equal.””

      Now is that “men” as in human? Because when guns were invented it really helped wo”men” become more equal if you get my drift. (wink)

      Do you remember my pink pistol?

Darryl Hill

It has become clear to me that nobody here is interested in what Calvinists truly believe nor do they seem truly interested in cooperation unless I submit to some kind of traditional Baptist litmus test and denounce my so called “non traditional” views. I say so called because we ALL know what the original tradition of Baptists was.

This has reached a critical mass for me. My beliefs have continually Belem mischaracterized and demonized. My new approach is to leave this discussion and stop trying. I’m sure they can misrepresent me better without my being here to attempt to set it straight. I suggest others Calvinists do the same. Nothing fruitful or helpful has resulted from this.

    Debbie Kaufman

    Lydia: Ha ha, who did Calvin drown, imprison? He didn’t have the power you give him, you have been told this but you just keep going.

    I’m not so convinced that if it were legal or the norm to drown or imprison that the “Traditionalists” and I use that term loosely would use these methods. It’s just 2012 and it’s more civilized to take the route this blog and the Traditionalists statement has taken. You continue to divide. We wish to unite, to work with you. Calvinism has not been the predominant view for a long time. We are fine with that. You are not. We were fine, you guys began this battle, a battle I will no longer participate in. I hope other Calvinists do not engage any further either.

      Lydia

      Debbie, I cannot read history for you. As I have read a ton of it. If you do not want to know about Calvin’s power and position in Geneva then ignore my comments and don’;t read a ton of history about that era. And stay away from the archival info that came out after WW2..

      Please. Thanks.

        Debbie Kaufman

        I taught you well Lydia.

          Lydia

          I admit I don’t get that one, Debbie. But I am not smart enough to get a lot of your comments.

      JCJ

      Debbie,

      I take your challenge.

JCJ

All the while, we as Landmarks in the SBC are sitting back, and having a good laugh. Who are we laughing about? Those who claim to be Baptist and don’t believe like a true Traditional Baptist. If you wish to call yourself a Traditional Baptist, you must believe in The Trail of Blood. If you do, then you’ll know that Baptists have been practicing the Doctrines of Sovereign Grace since the first century. The Doctrines of Grace came as a result of the influence our Baptist forefathers had on men like John Calvin. Do we affirm the Five Solas? Certainly! Why? To support the Protestants in their fight against the Church at Rome. Do we as Landmarks affirm TULIP? Yes! However, our definitions are not in line with John Calvin and are more closely related to what is considered Modern Calvinism. So, if you wish to be a Traditional Southern/Great Commission Baptist, know your history, and know that we are very Calvinistic in our practices and beliefs.

    Lydia

    “All the while, we as Landmarks in the SBC are sitting back, and having a good laugh”

    All 10 of you? :o)

      JCJ

      Lydia,

      All 10 million.

        Cb scott

        JCJ,

        You are joking right? Do you really believe there are 10 million people in the SBC who adhere to a Landmarkist ecclesiology?

          JCJ

          No, I don’t, but I there that there are more than 10.

      JCJ

      Lydia,

      You obviously just wish to argue. I have read several things you have posted, and all you wish to do is argue without any Biblical or Historical proof. You’re way out of line and obviously do not know any Baptist Heritage. And, it is also obvious that you are not committed to a harmonious Southern Baptist Convention.

      I apologize for admonishing you, but it needed to be done. This is not the place to start arguments and ridicule those that know what they believe and why and can prove it from Scripture. We are to encourage each other, not ridicule each other.

Bill Mac

Moses: Murderer
Jacob: Liar, thief
David: Murderer, adulterer
Solomon: Womanizer, apostate
Peter: Bigot, liar

Get the point? Calvin is obviously not in their class, but simply pointing out Calvin’s sins as a refutation of Calvinism is pointless and silly. Calvin was a tyrant and possibly a murderer. Luther was anti-semitic. The early baptists were slave owners.

If we can’t learn from sinners, then let’s throw away our bibles and retire to our caves.

So what if Calvin believed in double predestination? Lots of Calvinists don’t. In our secret “takeover the SBC” meetings, we allow quite a diversity of beliefs.

    Lydia

    “If we can’t learn from sinners, then let’s throw away our bibles and retire to our caves.”

    I think the whole point is we are not learning from some of them but idolizing them. We love it that Luther said “sin boldly”. Actually it is astonishing how few know about Calvin’s iron hand and total control over the minutia of daily life in Geneva. Even the wealthy Perrin’s fought his iron hand and lost.

    If I take your list we can put the Old Covenant in one category and discuss each one the consequences. We can take Peter in the New Covenant and talk about his lying before Pentecost occured, his contrition before the risen Savior
    and then his bigotry which we would never know about except Paul confronted him publicly and then wrote about it for us to read for 2000 years.

    Where is Calvin’s repentance? Is there any evidence of his repenting of trying so hard to make Geneva into a theocracy and how many people were hurt in the process? Where was the life changing Gospel for Calvin? We do know it was alive at the time for some of the radical reformers. So it cannot be a “man of his time” reason.

    I always get a bit nervous when we trot heinous crimes or sins of Bible characters to rationalize sin as if we do not have the Holy Spirit, are not new creatures in Christ. I find the false dichotomy of sinless perfection/total depravity nothing but a rationalization.

    The real problem is we don’t really learn from your list. We use them as examples of how we can sin and be saved or “used of God” like they were. I have mentioned this before but a friend of mine is a judge and he asked me about the “Christians” who pack the court for zoning hearings on porn shops but then pack the court to give character witness for a “Christian” pedophile and beg the judge to go easy if convicted. He does not get it. Neither do I.

    Could there be such a thing as a Born Again person who is also a practicing
    pedophile? Ax Murderer? If there are we should be afraid of Christians.

    abclay

    Diversity? Really?

    They threw me out of the meeting last Thursday for wanting to bring nachos without jalapenos on them. I told them that it didn’t really matter since we didn’t care much for the law anyways….

    I’m thinking of starting my own secret “take over the SBC” Calvinist sect within the larger movement if I can get sanctioned by the boss in KY. Just sent my papers in yesterday.

    If you like nachos without Jalapenos, send me a message and I will send you a secret decoder ring for getting the meeting dates/times from your Old Fashioned Oats box.

volfan007

Stating what we believe, and what we BELIEVE that MOST Southern Baptists believe, and encouraging people to see the truth of the Bible, as we view it, is not being mean to Calvinists. It’s not being divisive against Calvinists. We have been simply stating what we believe and why we believe it. Some Calvinists have come in here and debated it. We have answered them.

How is this being mean and nasty and divisive? In fact, some of the Calvinsits coming in here have been rude and disrespectful and calling names and making accusations. Other Calvinists have been respectful in their disagreements. They havent made accusations and called us names. I appreciate thier attitude, and have enjoyed discussing things with them.

I have always found it humorous that some of the people, who’ve spoken the strongest and maybe even the most harsh, are some of the same ones, who then cry “foul” whenever someone points out the fallacies of Calvin, or with the Calvinist theory.

David

    Alan Davis

    David,

    I would like to point out that the statements made that the traditionalist statement is the view of most/majority of Southern baptist is really not a truthful claim. Since there are only 900 signers and there are 16 million Southern baptists i believe that the ‘traditionalists” maybe shouldn’t use that claim since there is no proof of this claim.

    However numbers do not make one right be they large or small. The traditionalists still have every right to set forth what they believe without being the majority view, but the claim that the traditionalist view as set forth by Eric Hankins document is the view of the majority of Southern Baptist is highly questionable at best since there are only 900 signers. it seems the statement is gaining about 100 signers per week that would equate to having a majority of Southern baptist in about 1200 years at that rate.

    Many times this is asserted by bloggers and article writers to set up the statement as having more validity because it is the majority view. however that is at this time a false claim. It may be , and it may not be. The 900 signers have defiantly not proven that statement.

    Alan Davis

      volfan007

      Alan,

      We are stating that we BELIEVE that this statement reflects what most SB’s believe today, and have believed for many years. We are not expecting everyone, who believes this statement, to sign it. But, the ones, who have signed it, is quite an impressive list of people; wouldnt you say?

      Besides, I know some people, who have said they agree with it, who have not signed it, for one reason, or another. Some people just do not sign such things. Some people dont like thier names out there for everyone to see. Some people have other reasons. Although, they essentially agree with it.

      David

Joel Hunt

“Most Southern Baptists have never swallowed this sour pastille.”

The irony is that, while most Southern Baptists who dislike Calvinism think (mistakenly) that Calvinists revel in the knowledge that God has predestined some to eternal destruction, the truth is that Calvinists find their true delight in knowing that God has chosen to save some from eternal damnation despite their wicked state.

If the idea is that Calvinists have no love for the lost because there will indeed BE some lost, then this is to be wrong. Calvinists love God because they see His willingness to save those who do not deserve it, and thus have the true desire to see all men come to that saving grace.

t.r.

It is becoming quite clear that to be a “traditionalist” now means to divide the church. I am sure many of the non-Calvinist signers must be ashamed now to have ever signed their names to such a divisive group.

    volfan007

    tr,

    I dont know of any, who are ashamed to have signed the Traditional Statement. Can you name the people, who are ashamed for signing it? Can you name the ones, who have even regretted signing it?

    David

Scott

I think that we are beginning to figure out who it is that is obsessed with Calvinism.

Ken Silva

Southern Baptists like Rick Warren and Beth Moore teach the Roman Catholic Church is part of the Body of Christ and fools like Ed Young, Jr. are advancing WF heretics.

Meanwhile, seemingly oblivious to those actual problems, many in the SBC are chasing Calvinist boogiemen…

Ron Hale

Dear Readers/Commenters …

Can we get back on the subject: Double Predestination?

Thank you.

Today I was reminded by Jon Akin’s article (B21) in response to the Traditional Statement, on May 31, Jon said:

“The statement consistently responds to double predestination, therefore implying that this is the standard position of “New Calvinists,” when in reality it is a minority position, almost certainly an extreme minority. The statement only argues against double predestination and never really addresses what the biblical word “predestination” actually means in the text. The authors make it sound like the “New Calvinism” is fighting for double predestination, and that is simply not accurate.”

Thank you Jon! While I have seen a rise in some SBC Bloggers approving of this doctrine in the last few years, I’m glad to read where a younger Southern Baptist believes DP is minority position among us, bordering to the extreme.

However it is very evident that some “New Calvinists” have been fighting “for” double predestination on this post.

Please remember … even among Calvinists there has been a long debate on this subject. As Bill Mac mentioned, not all Calvinists believe in DP.

Therefore … an open and honest discussion can happen.

    Darryl Hill

    Yes Ron there are Calvinist who believe in double predestination. They’re called hypercalvinists. Nobody is staying topic because this is yet another ridiculous straw man. Here’s a question: how many “Calvinists” are going to start believing in reprobation because you say they must?

    Oh wait- I was supposed to say “wow! Great article! After all surely Calvin understood Calvin!” (Shakes head)

      Ron Hale

      Darryl,
      You didn’t read my article did you?

      You said: “Here’s a question: how many “Calvinists” are going to start believing in reprobation because you say they must?”

      How did you get that my friend?

        Darryl Hill

        Ron, reprobation is the implication of the term “double predestination.” Scripture teaches that God has elected some for salvation- that is He gives them mercy and grace. The rest He gives justice. This is His right. No person receives injustice because all have fallen short of the glory of God. And since man is fallen, dealing with the consequences of Adam’s, he needs no help with destroying himself. Man rejects what can be known of God and God simply gives him over to a reprobate mind (Romans 1). There is no need for reprobation. God does not work for their destruction actively according to Scripture. But hey, I suppose I better reread and change my mind if you say so.

Randall Cofield

To Ron Hale and all Traditionalists

I have posed this question on several of these threads, and to date no one has offered an answer:

What do you propose be done with the Calvinists who are part of the SBC?

    Ron Hale

    Randall,
    Since I have Calvinist friends in the SBC, I shall continue my friendships and working and worshipping with them. The aggressive “New Calvinists” with an agenda of reforming the SBC … church by church, I will continue writing and educating the Traditionals as to their basic teachings, history, and plans. Simple enough?

      Debbie Kaufman

      No Ron, it’s not simple enough. It’s enough period.

      Randall Cofield

      Brother,

      Thank you for your response.

      Do you have any concern that the current mêlée that has resulted from the publication of the T.S. may be counter-productive?

      Further, are you concerned that your “writing and educating the Traditionals as to their basic teachings, history, and plans” may have a deleterious consequences for your Calvinist friends?

      Grace and Peace

      John

      Ron Hale,
      Sorry you are against aggressive “New Calvinist” assisting God in spreading the word and growing Gods members one by one. Many of the churches that aggressive New Calvinist are involved in are newly planted church that did not exist. Maybe the Traditionalist should give this a try rather than sowing darnel. The history so far of Traditionalist is very sad over their history of 30 days. I pray that you do Gods work soon and plant new Traditional churches rather than spending the time pulling up good wheat.

      I look forward to your next post maybe you may help us understand what you have against the bible using the word predestination in:
      Acts 4:28
      to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.
      Romans 8:29
      For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
      Romans 8:30
      And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
      Ephesians 1:5
      he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
      Ephesians 1:11
      In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

        Ron Hale

        Predestination and election are good Bible words. As you are aware … different people have different definitions of the words and how they are applied.

        Blessings!

          Debbie Kaufman

          But isn’t the question what do the writers of these passages mean? Isn’t that the approach that should be taken? Predestination and election cannot go further than the words themselves mean. Every word in scripture is for a divine purpose, they aren’t just words used haphazardly as we do here. These were divinely inspired words. How did the first century Christians define the words predestination and election? What other passages lend in the translation of the words?

          All scripture must flow together. Scripture does not contradict, if it does, it’s the interpretation that is wrong and must be reevaluated. Correct?

        Don Johnson

        John,

        Maybe, you could help us out by tellig us what you think they mean. I would be most interested in your thoughts.
        Since you feel they somehow support Calvinism, please by all means show us why.

        CW Griffith

        The answer seems pretty simple to me. God predestined the method by which He would save sinful man. Namely that He predestined that Christ would be the sacrificial Lamb. God did not pre-determine who would be saved, He pre-determined the way in which He would save.

Debbie Kaufman

Ron: You have an uncanny way of taking any comment and switching it to say whatever you want it to say. I would reread Bill Mac’s comment again. If I believe in Double Predestination, so what? You don’t. So what? I want the Gospel given to the world, so do you. I flipping shouldn’t have to answer to you for what I believe what I believe on Calvinism. Just accept that I believe differently than you. Quit this battle of the beliefs and simply choose to cooperate together. I am not leaving the SBC, don’t make it a fight to stay. Good grief!

When one is out in the world, as for example I am. I work with people who are not Christians, I work with Muslims, who are now in the work force, male and female. I work with Jehovah Witnesses, I work with people who are Mormons. I love them as people, as friends, as co-workers. It makes a difference when an actual face and name is put on the lost. You want them to know Christ. You want to see them in heaven. You want them to have the Gospel. Too many times in this discussion we forget the lost are real breathing, living people. They have families. It causes one to remember that in the scheme of it all, theology doesn’t mean a thing. Christ is the only thing that matters and that is who we as Christians have in common. It is Christ that is the focus. Not theology. I don’t care about this discussion. I don’t care that you don’t like Calvinism to have the influence it has. I don’t care if Calvinism doesn’t ever have influence. I do care that people know about Christ. I do care that we read the Bible and are actual people of the Bible and not by what we think it says. But what it actually says. Let’s talk about that. That is important. I’m not interested in anything else. It’s a waste of time.

    Darryl Hill

    But Debbie are you not aware that Calvinists sit in their churches and wait for God to save whom He will? If you believe ANYTHING John Calvin wrote or said you must hate evangelism because you must believe that your effort to love people pray for people, and share the gospel are futile! I demand that you must believe these things because I met this guy once who said he was a Calvinist who believed this and you must believe it too.

    /sarcasm

    Actually, I thank God for your passion and your desire to love people and share the gospel with them. Keep it up. God ordains both the means and the ends. :-)

    Ron Hale

    Debbie,

    Bill Mac said at 9:03 ….”So what if Calvin believed in double predestination? Lots of Calvinists dont.”

    Please tell me that you are aware that this subject has been debated among Calvinists/Reformed theologians and pastors for centuries?

      Les Prouty

      Ron, yes it has been debated for a long time. But as long as someone like Debbie or anyone else who may believe in DP, as I do too, and we are not hypers and we believe in missions and evangelism, what difference does it make? Can you partner with a DP?

        Ron Hale

        Les,

        Yes, I can partner with a lot of people that I disagree with. Believe it or not … I don’t always agree with my wife, but we have been partnering together for over 38 years.

        You and I have been blogging on different sides for some time now. Have I been scornful toward you or have I treated you with respect? I hope the answer is one of respect (maybe a little nippy … a few times).

        I can partner with people that don’t mind me being honest with my views and allowing me to be honest with their views. However, you know the scoop, that rarely happens on theological threads — mostly insults and jumping to conclusions.

        I’m calling it a night, blessings!

      Les Prouty

      Ron, it goes without one has to define DP, such as Sproul as an example.

      Debbie Kaufman

      Yes they have Ron. I however can’t. I am embarrassed by my behavior here. I shouldn’t get involved in these things. Nothing good comes from it.

Randall Cofield

Ron, (and all Traditionalists on this thread)

You said: “Many in the Reformed tradition will teach that a genuine desire for salvation in Christ is a mark of election and therefore none who truly come to Christ for salvation will be turned away. However, could it be, they are only referring to those who have been created for that end (predestined for life)?” (emphasis added)

Brothers and sisters, if we are to be “people of the Book,” we must engage this subject by dealing with The Book.

My answer to the above italicized question would be “yes.” I answer in the affirmative on the ground of the following passages:

Ps. 110:3 Your people will offer themselves freely
on the day of your power,

And:

Ro 11:3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” 4 But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.

And:

Ac 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

And:

Eph 1:5 he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,

And:

1 ¶ Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

And:

1Pe 2:9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

And:

Mr 13:20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.

And:

Joh 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

And:

Mark 4:11 And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables,
12 so that
“they may indeed see but not perceive,
and may indeed hear but not understand,
lest they should turn and be forgiven.”

A Preemptive Postulate: These passages are the revealed Word of God. Therefore, they have real meaning, and that real meaning can be ascertained. To respond that we simply have “different interpretations” of these passages is a non sequitur.

If they, both individually and a a whole, do not mean that God has chosen and predestined some for life we must have adequate explanation of their meaning that does not do violence to either their immediate or canonical contexts.

Shall we be people of “drive-by-theology” and single-paragraph zingers, or shall we be “people of the Book”?

Soli Deo Gloria

    Darryl Hill

    Irony of ironies… every time I have quoted a text and asked for an explanation in the last month, I either get no response, a philosophical explanation, or get quoted another text that “appears” to counteract the one I quoted. I have yet to see exegesis of the text. I guess that’s all I need to know. This is why I’m on the verge of giving up here.

      Debbie Kaufman

      I feel your pain Darryl. :)

      Randall Cofield

      Darryl,

      Keep challenging them with the text, brother.

      He. 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two–edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

      This is the only weapon we have against error. But is an all-sufficient weapon!

      Soli Deo Gloria!!!

        Randall Cofield

        Darryl and Debbie,

        The Sword of the Word is mightier than the pen of the semi-Pelagians and Arminians.

        You may quote me on that…. :-)

        Soli Deo Gloria

          Darryl Hill

          Yes Bro. Randall, you are right of course. I’m just frustrated with it all. What I would love to see is unity and a continued cooperation, but these incessant, baseless, straw man attacks get old. The new one posted today is no better. So, are we now to believe that ALL are not included in the call of the Gospel? Here, let me help them burn that straw man up- it won’t last long!

          Thanks for the encouragement Randall and Debbie.

      Don Johnson

      Darryl,

      I’ve yet to see you give any exegesis of your listed verses.

      Maybe, you could lead by example.

        Darryl Hill

        Don, you must have missed it then, because I have given exegesis on several posts. I spent one entire thread explaining exegesis of Romans 8:29 and following and how that it is the basis for eternal security. The first time I made the post and the point, there were no responses. The second time, I got an angry rant that never addressed the verses but started a side discussion over my opinion of why Baptists, while beginning with solid, reformed views of soteriology gradually left all the doctrines of grace but perseverance. But no “traditionalist” ever addressed the text. The guy who commented wasn’t really even a traditionalist but was there to defend some of his pals that he had heard were being abused by the mean “Calvinists.” A traditionalist STILL hasn’t addressed Scripture with me- in nearly a month of posting.

        They often respond like you just did- shifting the burden of proof or changing the subject or attacking John Calvin or attacking a straw man argument or using ad hominems. That’s pretty much what it’s been here and it appears it won’t change.

        Case in point: your response to the mounds of Scripture posted above is to point out that the writer didn’t offer enough exegesis. But nobody here has actually responded to the verses quoted. This has been the norm.

    Don Johnson

    Randall,

    It would have been nice if you would give some exegesis of the verses you listed. Why is Calvinists always list verses but never seem to tell us what they mean in their context? Calvinists always form their doctrine from a part of the verse, and never seem to consider why it’s there.

Jeremy Crowder

Unlike all the other supporters of the Traditional statement I don’t have a problem stating that the Arminian system to me is more Biblical than the 5 points of Calvinism. That being said I think the Traditional Statement is more accurate to how SBC people feel and where the SBC is at plus it has “Once Saved Always Saved” an area that is crucial to many. John Calvin believed many things that nearly all Baptists have avoided with the possible exception of Primitive Baptists. It’s no accident many Calvinists in SBC life like David Platt etc. have made statements against things like the sinners prayer. It’s no accident some SBC Church planters want a Church with an Elder system. Certain views on salvation end up taking people places with all kinds of choices. I’m not anti-calvinist though I have been called that I simply believe that respecting calvinism means you give up many great aspects of the SBC that me and many others grew up with and find valuable. It is hard to engage calvinists in the simple facts they want to turn things back around. All we non-calvinists want to know is if we are going to have to continue to be treated like second class Christians the way the Jews treated the samaritians. Are we going to have to continue hearing “Easy Believism” and “Semi-P” or whatever else is cooked up to call us dumb? Why can’t we have our Altar Calls, sinners prayer, Dispensational pre-trib, and a whole list of things respected? I respect that people have different views and don’t want to practice these secondary issues. However the scorn we feel in these areas is real to us on the receiving line. I think John Calvin would look at much of the SBC in horror and his writings is why many calvinists also seem to look at the SBC in horror. I look at many leading Reformed Baptist writings and I see lots of criticism of how things are done in a majority of SBC Churches yet when we push back we are the divisive ones.

Randall Cofield

Dr. Hale

I queried:

What do you propose be done with the Calvinists who are part of the SBC?

To which you responded:

Since I have Calvinist friends in the SBC, I shall continue my friendships and working and worshipping with them. The aggressive “New Calvinists” with an agenda of reforming the SBC … church by church, I will continue writing and educating the Traditionals as to their basic teachings, history, and plans. Simple enough?

I am genuinely concerned about several things in connection with your response:

As the agenda of reforming the Church of Jesus Christ to greater conformity to the Word of God is the “agenda” of all Calvinists (not just the “New Calvinists), do you wish to see this “agenda” rejected by Southern Baptists?

Secondly, do you have any concern that the current mêlée that has resulted from the publication of the T.S. may be counter-productive?

And finally, are you concerned that your writing and educating the Traditionals as to their basic teachings, history, and plans may have deleterious consequences for your Calvinist friends?

Grace and Peace, brother.

    Ron Hale

    Randall,
    I am very much aware that the rally cry for many in reformed camps is: Always Reforming!

    I am fine with that.

    Now, are you fine if my rally cry is: Always Informing about the Reforming?

      Randall Cofield

      Ron,

      Yes sir, I’m good with that, assuming your informing remains informed about the reforming of the reformers…. :-)

      I’m reasonably comfortable that we can hold our ground. If I weren’t I’d return to your camp, from whence I came.

      My primary concern right now is that much of the “informing” that is taking place through the T.S. and these threads is terribly uninformed. I believe very little of what is being attributed to me here, and I’m not alone in this…your Calvinist friends are my fellow sojourners…..

      This is causing unnecessary division, and the longer it continues the more collateral damage we are going to see.

      Grace and Peace, brother

Alan Davis

I would like to point out that the statements made that the traditionalist statement is the view of most/majority of Southern baptist is really not a truthful claim. Since there are only 900 signers and there are 16 million Southern baptists i believe that the ‘traditionalists” maybe shouldn’t use that claim since there is no proof of this claim.

However numbers do not make one right be they large or small. The traditionalists still have every right to set forth what they believe without being the majority view, but the claim that the traditionalist view as set forth by Eric Hankins document is the view of the majority of Southern Baptist is highly questionable at best since there are only 900 signers. it seems the statement is gaining about 100 signers per week that would equate to having a majority of Southern baptist in about 1200 years at that rate.

Many times this is asserted by bloggers and article writers to set up the statement as having more validity because it is the majority view. however that is at this time a false claim. It may be , and it may not be. The 900 signers have defiantly not proven that statement.

Alan Davis

Lydia

Debbie, I ran across this in my archives and I know your pastor is friends with Jon Zens so I thought I would share it with you. Embedded in this blog post is a talk Jon Zens gave about the Ana Baptists to a group. Bless his heart, he even gets choked up when he speeaks of Felix Manz’ wife. I know Jon is Reformed so I thought you might relate to it better than to me! :o)

http://jamaljivanjee.com/2011/06/whos-trying-to-kill-you-history-of-the-anabaptists-why-it-matters-to-you-important-msg-from-jon-zens/

    Randall Cofield

    Good morning, Lydia,

    A little unfinished business here….. :-)

    If we exalt our wills above that of God, have we not ascended above the heavens and reversed the direction of the strings?

    Soli Deo Gloria

    Debbie Kaufman

    Lydia: Thank you for the link. I am aware of much Anabaptist history. I went to a Mennonite private Christian school for 4 years. I was required to take Church history all those 4 years. Guess what the main subject was? Yep. I also married a Mennonite and attended a Mennonite church for 3 years. If you have ever belonged to a Mennonite church or married into a Mennonite family, history is very important. There are huge books with church history and family history. I was brought up Independant Fundamentalist and self proclaimed Anabaptists for most of my life until my 30’s. I am also listening to the talk by Jon Zens. I hope you listened to. It is very fascinating. I have a love for Anabaptist history. Zwingli went with the state instead of with Christ. Calvin did this too many times, although he did not physically kill anyone, he was for it in many cases. I see this in the SBC and with the Traditionalists as well.

    Zens says Constantineianism destroys. If you recall Constantine when in power had “Christianity” as a state religion. In other words all the people had to embrace Christianity or be killed. The same with some of the reformers in the 1500’s. It was wrong. But where is it any different than you, Peter, those who call themselves Traditionalists have been over the last 50 years? I see no difference except that we aren’t being killed physically. No, we are being maligned slandered, lied about, and told that the Calvinists are coming, they are gaining influence in the SBC, they are officers, they have positions. We can’t have two different views on secondary issues. Most Calvinists do not want a takeover, they want unity, so where is this blog or “Traditionalists” or as Emir calls them Anabaptists(which I disagree, the Anabaptists in the past were nothing like Emir Caner or the “Traditionalists” are doing.

    It does not take away from the Reformed Baptist beliefs. I see them in scripture and cannot believe anything else. I just don’t see the Traditionalist view or the non-Calvinist view although I do see New Covenant teachings. But in areas of TULIP I see the scriptures in perfect sync with this teaching.

    Zen also said what I said that to those who were for state churches at that time, it made perfect sense although it makes no sense to us now. I respect the Anabaptists of the past. Not so much for the present who label themselves “Anabaptist.” Please listen to Jon Zens, it is really interesting and I learned a lot so thanks again for the link. Really.

    As you can see on this thread, there is a constant battle, a stretch for doctrinal purity, which we are human, there is no doctrinal purity that isn\’t tainted with sin or wrong doctrine and yes that would include Reformed. Yet those who call themselves Anabaptists are warriors in a setting that requires no warring inside the body of Christ. Yet there we were six years ago and here we are again today. As I said, I hope to stay out of it. I will not battle. It turns ugly, heated, and calling of names. I feel filthy afterwards.

      Debbie Kaufman

      Anabaptists were not fighting people. They were peace loving people. If you have ever been around Mennonites you get a glimpse of true Anabaptists. I wouldn’t call the Traditionalists Anabaptists. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

Lydia

“If we exalt our wills above that of God, have we not ascended above the heavens and reversed the direction of the strings?”

Hi Randall,

It is going to stay unfinished, I am afraid . When you quote passage about Lucifer exhalting his will above God’s in response to me in a discussion about us doing “God’s will”, it would be best for me not to engage you. I did respond that I believe God’s will for us in the New Covenant is to obey the commands of Jesus Christ which are simple but not easy to do.

    Randall Cofield

    Lydia,

    That was a rather knotty question, wasn’t it? …. :-)

    Soli Deo Gloria

      Lydia

      “That was a rather knotty question, wasn’t it? …. :-)”

      Not at all. You are simply assuming that those who do not subscribe to your doctrine are exhalting their will above God’s. Your assumption is wrong which makes the question more like: When you beat your dog doesn’t that make you a dog beater?

      I simply reject your proposed premise because the question is framed with the Determinst God Augustinian/Calvin overlay.

        Randall Cofield

        Lydia,

        And your caricature of Calvinism’s view of God as being a puppet master is framed with a Humanist libertarian free will Pelagian/Arminian overlay. See how that can work both ways?

        This kind of silliness amounts to nothing more than petulant name calling in an effort to avoid answering serious questions.

        You (and the T.S., et al) seem to be subscribing that libertarian free will as the sovereign, determining will in our salvation.

        I contend that God’s will is the Sovereign, determining will in our salvation.

        You contend my view makes us puppets and God the string-master.

        Hence, my question is legitimate:

        If we exalt our wills above that of God, have we not ascended above the heavens and reversed the direction of the strings?

        And, BTW, I posted the “Lucifer” passage before you set out upon the tangential “discussion” of doing God’s will. :-)

        Sole Deo Gloria

        P.S. I think God’s Sovereign will is wonderfully, amazingly determinate in my salvation. What thinkest thou?

volfan007

We are stating that we BELIEVE that this statement reflects what most SB’s believe today, and have believed for many years. We are fully convinced that most SB’s today would agree with the TS. We are not expecting everyone, who believes this statement, to sign it. But, the ones, who have signed it, is quite an impressive list of people; wouldnt you say?

Besides, I know some people, who have said they agree with it, who have not signed it, for one reason, or another. Some people just do not sign such things. Some people dont like thier names out there for everyone to see. Some people have other reasons. Although, they essentially agree with it.

David

    Darryl Hill

    The fear of man is a snare.

    A man is a man my friend, no matter how many degrees he may possess. This is not supposed to be a “who’s who in evangelicalism today” list. Education does not guard against error and neither do positions of authority. All of us fail. A wise man once said, “There are no great men of God, just weak, pathetic, pitiful men of a great, mighty, and holy God.”

    By the way, I do have due respect for all those men and women who signed the statement, even as I have due respect for you David. Honestly, I have JUST as much respect for you as I do for them- and just as little- if you get my meaning.

    volfan007

    And, let me just add….there are many people, who havent signed it, because they never go to blogs….never. They dont even know that the TS exists. BUT, they would agree with it, as well.

    David

      volfan007

      some of you keep asking the reasons why only 800 and something have signed…I give you the reasons, and now the complaint seems to be about throwing out the accolades of the men, who signed. lol.

      Darryl, I see that you originally came from Rives, TN. I’m live in the NW TN area, as well, and I used to Pastor the First Baptist Church in Obion. What church did you belong to in Rives?

      David

        Darryl Hill

        Hey David, I had friends who grew up in Obion with whom I went to high school. I first attended Pleasant Hill Baptist Church #2 just to the west of Rives- on the west side of Hwy45W. My family ended up moving to Calvary Baptist Church in Union City when I was around 8 or 9 years old. I was saved there at age 12. I was called into ministry while attending a summer camp with our youth group when I was 17.

          volfan007

          Jimmy Brown was probably your Pastor while at Pleasant Hill-Rives, and Mel Poe was probably your Pastor at Calvary-UC; correct?

          I know both of these men well…..both are great men, who love the Lord.

          David

          Darryl Hill

          I just missed them both David, sad to say. Bro. Jimmy Brown came a few years after we left. I would consider him a friend, though. My pastor at Pleasant Hill (in the late 70s) was a man named Jim Pierce, who is now deceased. And Bro. Mel came to Calvary after I left for college in 1990. My pastors at Calvary were James Kinsey (vast majority of the time, who is now at Sunswept Baptist in UC) and then Danny O’Guinn (I don’t know where Bro. Danny is now). Bro Mel and I are friends and I have great respect for him. We’ve had some theological discussions and agree mostly but disagree about how theology applies to pastoring. He has more wisdom than me though, I’m sure.

          I think I’ve come to some possible conclusions about this whole ordeal which could be helpful to resolve some of the problems we have. It won’t resolve our disagreements on theology but it might help us understand one another better. I have no interest in fighting with my Baptist brothers and certainly have no interest in dividing the SBC. See my comment in today’s thread for that (the 1b thread), and I apologize for its length ahead of time.

          volfan007

          Yep, I know James Kinsey, too. I was the Pastor of First Obion in the middle and late 1990’s.

          David

        Alan Davis

        David,

        I am not sure why my post on the signers was posted more than once. I didn’t do that. Just wanted you to know that.

Tim Rogers

Brother Cofield,

I will respond to your list of scriptures. It is simple. You have pulled them out of context and ascribed scripture references that call for national punishment of Israel and assigned it as a personal reprobation of the individual.

Thus, before you begin saying that you cannot be engaged in the scripture, you need to begin placing it in context instead of reading back into the Scripture using John Calvin as your filter.

Cb scott

Randall Cofield,

What happened there was not, by proper definition, a drive-by. A drive-by is a haphazard effort by novices which endanger the innocent. Tim did not commit such an act.

He tracked you, studied you, gained target acquisition, and shot you. And you are not innocent. Frankly, that of which he has charged you with, you have been guilty since this began.

    Randall Cofield

    CB,

    Simply crying “out of context” and “John Calvin filter” no more qualifies as a “kill-shot” than me saying “out of context” and “Pelagian/Arminian filter.”

    Of course, neither you nor Tim seem to deal with the text very often, so the temptation to engage in drive-by-apologetics seldom presents itself.

    Soli Deo Gloria

Debbie Kaufman

CB: You say this, yet read those passages. I can’t see anything else in those passages but what they say word for word. Randy has given some excellent verses and I wonder how one can get any other meaning without doing an injustice to the passages as the writers wrote them.

    Cb scott

    Debbie,

    All “verses” are “excellent verses.”

    Before, you take up the sword here, read again what Tim stated. He is right. It will be very hard for you to make a case against what he has pointed out as to Randall Cofield’s common practice has been in his use of the Scripture in these threads.

    As you well know, Debbie, context trumps presupposition every time.

      Debbie Kaufman

      yes it does CB, but I believe the context is clear and I do agree with Randy on his interpretation. As I said, I cannot read those passages in context with the entire book, the entire chapter and not get that interpretation.

      If you or Tim have a different interpretation of those passages I think it would be good if you would offer that interpretation.

        Randall Cofield

        Hi Debbie,

        “If you or Tim have a different interpretation of those passages I think it would be good if you would offer that interpretation.”

        Indeed. A fundamental problem that plagues this entire forum. “Drive-by” tactics seem to be the order of the day.

        Soli Deo Gloria

t.r.

Has anyone considered that to deny the meaning of predestination, is in effect to deny Jesus’ promise: “I will build My church” (Matt. 16:18)? Your doctrine does not have Christ building His church, but people, building the church themselves by their own freewill, faith choices.

Karen in OK

All my life I have been a member of “traditionalist” SBC churches. I do not consider myself a Calvinist although I have been greatly affected by books such as “Knowing God” by J.I. Packer.
However, I don’t quite understand why traditionalists are so deeply against predestination or double predestination. Because that is where “traditionalist” thought gets to, ultimately, anyway. I have always been taught that people go to Hell who don’t consciously accept Christ. (Yes, I believe it, too.) But included in that teaching has been the very clear implication that their presence in Hell is MY fault, not theirs. That if I had not been so lazy, they would have heard the Gospel and repented. Yet God in His omniscience knew I would be lazy and had no other plan for their hearing the Gospel. It seems to me that is the same result as predestination.

t.r.

Author of the “traditional statement”, Eric Hankins, denies even the need for prevenient grace, making him the new Pelagius:

“Nothing in Scripture indicates that humans have been rendered “totally depraved” through Adam’s sin. Genesis 3 gives an extensive account of the consequences of Adam’s sin, but nowhere is there the idea that Adam or his progeny lost the ability to respond to God in faith, a condition which then required some sort of restoration by regeneration or prevenient grace.”
-Eric Hankins in part 4 of his series “Beyond Calvinism and Arminianism” found here on the SBCToday archives in April.

Ron Hale

t.r.,
Hiding behind the secrecy of “t.r..” … you have the courage to use the intimidation of name-calling and charges of heresy. Your clandestinity is obvious. While you have the courage in the cover of darkness to ratchet up the discourse by aiming at one person, you don’t have the boldness to take off your mask — “total inability” remains the subject in both conversations.

Blessings!

    t.r.

    What I am reading is that Eric Hankins says that grace is not necessary for people to come to Christ. Are you really defending that position? It is heresy to deny that grace is necessary. And that is what his statement said. Instead of worrying about me, it should really concern you that the author of your document would clarify whether or not he believe a work of grace is necessary. It’s a big deal.

    PS: I enjoy how you end ever post with “Blessings!” Paul also spoke about our great spiritual blessings in Ephesians 1 being our predestination to salvation. Thanks for reminding me of the blessings we have in Christ.

      Ron Hale

      t.r.,
      Sorry … but you seem smart enough to know that it not proper to put words in the mouths of others. Let’s allow readers to be the judge of the words and beliefs of Dr. Hankins.

      Blessings!

        t.r.

        fair enough.

        Blessings

James

Ron,

As a Southern Baptist, someone who has been reared in the faith as an “Arminian” but has been forced to consider some Scriptural difficulties of that position and then forced again to consider Scriptural difficulties of the “Calvinist” bloc, I read your article.
It is true that those were Calvin’s words – but he did not stop there. Read on down the page and he writes, “This God has testified, not only in the case of single individuals; he has also given a specimen of it in the whole posterity of Abraham, to make it plain that the future condition of each nation lives entirely at his disposal: ‘When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For the Lord’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance,’ (Deut. 32:8,9). The separation is before the eyes of all; in the person of Abraham, as in a withered stock, one people is specially chosen, while the others are rejected; but the cause does not appear, except that Moses, to deprive posterity of any handle for glorying, tells them that their superiority was owing entirely to the free love of God.”
As someone who has been a practicing Arminian my entire life, my questions are these:
1) How other than predestination and unconditional election vis a vis the Reformed understanding, can one undertake to explain passages like the above referenced, or John 6, or Romans 8 & 9, or the rest of Paul’s epistles entirely, for that matter?
2) Why is it we get upset with the idea that God chooses whom He will after the cross, but we never give a second thought to the fact that He chose (as documented in Scripture), Jacob and not Esau, Isaac and not Ishmael, Moses and not Pharaoh, David and not Saul (or Goliath, for that matter) and on and on? Why aren’t we groused that He chose Israel and not the Philistines?
3)Do we believe that God chooses our time of birth, knows us in our entirety before that, in fact carefully assembles us in the womb? Do we believe that God has appointed us a time to die? If so, do we believe God did the former while knowing whether we would submit to Him before the latter appointment?
4) How does any Arminian explain passages like 1 Peter 1:2? This clearly isn’t simply some misinterpretation of Paul’s writings. Peter believes in election and foreknowledge, too.
Reading these threads as someone reared in one camp but clearly unconvinced of either side at this point, I will point this out – those arguing the Reformed view here appear to be utilizing Scripture and logic almost entirely. Those arguing the “Traditionalist” POV seem to engage in a lot of ad hominem while tossing in a Scripture here or there. If you really want to convince the unconvinced, get your argument on a Scriptural basis and then proceed with logic. It might help me settle some of my own inner debate.

Thank you all and God be with us all!

James

Now for some tough questions for the Reformed:

1)In practice, how do you comfort those at the funeral of a child? Not knowing the election status of the deceased, what do you say and do?
2)How do you deal with Scriptures such as John 1:9? 2 Corinthians 5:14-21?
2 Peter 3:9?

Again, thanks to all of you.

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