Patterson Calls Baptists Back To Evangelism Focus

November 9, 2015

by Alex Sibley

**This article was previously posted at Baptist Press and is used by permission.

Southern Baptists will “see an upturn” in baptisms, giving, Sunday School attendance and church membership when they become more intentional about evangelism, Paige Patterson said.

Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, noted that one cannot look at the numbers and deny a general downturn within Southern Baptist life. Patterson joked that the solution to such unfortunate realities is often to form a committee to study and then report on what churches have done wrong and need to do differently. Even if these suggestions are followed, he said, there more than likely will still be a downturn in the end.

“The truth, as usual, is far more simple [than the hypothetical committee’s suggestions],” Patterson told students during a chapel service on the seminary’s campus in Fort Worth, Texas, Nov. 4. “The truth is that we’ll see an upturn when we get back into the highways and hedges and start giving the Gospel to people.”

Patterson said Southern Baptists’ focus on evangelism is the reason they have become the largest non-Catholic denomination in the United States.

“It was very simple,” he said. “Everybody understood his obligation to take the Gospel to everybody else, and a large percent of them were doing it. We shared our faith, and God blessed it.”

Patterson noted Scripture presents metaphor after metaphor, particularly in the teaching of Jesus, that focuses on evangelism. And in these metaphors, one key aspect always stands out — the intentionality of the evangelist. The parable of the sower in Matthew 13, for example, says the sower “went out to sow.” The parable of the good shepherd says the shepherd left his 99 sheep in order to search for the one who had gone astray. The metaphor of Christ’s followers being “fishers of men” calls to mind the fisherman who must get himself to the lake and cast his net into the waters.

“I’m saying this to you this morning,” Patterson said, “because so many of you have not intentionally gone into the field looking for the lost sheep; so many of you have never been out there in the boat fishing for men. … Now if the Lord Jesus defined His own mission as seeking and saving the lost, and if He turned right around and said to us, ‘As the Father has sent me, in the same way send I you,’ can there be any question in anybody’s mind that the chief reason we are left on the earth once we have been born again is to take everybody we can to heaven with us?”

Church leaders can do everything other than evangelism that they want to do, Patterson said, but none of it will avert the downturn in Southern Baptist life.

“The decline is going to go on unless we make up our minds that we will be faithful witnesses for Christ; we will accept the intentionality of getting out of bed and going out and sowing the seed; we will accept the intentionality of getting in the boat and going fishing; we will accept the intentionality of being the good shepherd, looking for the sheep that has gone astray.

“And if we do that,” Patterson said, “there’s a heavy price to be paid, but oh my goodness, what will happen will be unbelievable, because God will see and reward from heaven.”

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Les Prouty

Amen and amen! “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Southern Baptist and any other denomination need this reminder that we must be intentional in preaching Jesus with any and everyone. As Puritan Richard Sibbes said, “Preaching is the chariot that carries Christ up and down the world.”

SDG!

David Burton

Thank you Dr. Patterson and I couldn’t be more pleased that you are speaking out intentionally and Boldly. I and many many others agree.
After 25 1/2 years of serving the Florida Baptist Convention in the Evangelism division and now under new leadership my position was shockingly eliminated along with our entire team this past summer.
Another position was offered but it was nowhere near the passion, spiritual giftedness and calling to my specific evangelism ministry here in the state. On July 10 the Lord gave me a direct word through prayer to step aside and move into my own ministry DavidBurtonMinistries. Let’s push back the darkness INTENTIONALLY! Thank you again and let’s join hands, hearts and voice to declare this passion!

David R. Brumbelow

Great reminder from a seminary and president who believe in and practice evangelism and revival meetings.

We need to get back to personal soul winning, evangelistic persuasive preaching, evangelistic invitations and altar calls, revivals, gospel tracts, internet evangelism, evangelists, tears for the lost, love for the lost.

“Baptist churches had altar calls, tent revivals, all-night prayer services, testimonial meetings and open-air crusades. … We were taught that real discipleship was teaching and training new converts to go reach another lost soul. … Back then if you were not a soul-winner, you were out of place. Today, if you are a soul-winner, you are out of place. Souls being saved was not only on the agenda, it was the agenda.” -Evangelist Freddie Gage

David R. Brumbelow

Scott Shaver

Paige Patterson is right about evangelism, always has been.

What Paige Patterson has always been wrong about is that divide and conquer denominational politics in league with neo-Cal mercenaries and “clearly defined positions on inerrancy” etc, would “rescue the denomination from “liberalism and the ash heap of history”.while, at the same time, giving it new evangelistic zeal and fervor.

Looks like just the opposite occurring…..20 years later.

    Randall Cofield

    Patterson got the liberalism and trash heap of history parts right, Scott. Two out of three ain’t bad.

      Scott Shaver

      Can’t leave well enough alone can you Cofield?

      I gave the man the ONLY COMPLIMENT HE DESERVES…. from my quarter anyway.

      You have Patterson to thank for the dissolution and neo-calvinistic brand of theological liberalism now creeping into Southern Baptist life. An egocentric meglomaniac of the FIRST ORDER. Deserves no better professional end than those Christians he impugned and worked to remove from their chosen professions during his disastrous “reform’.

      Tried to play nice, Randall, and give him credit for his strengths, but you want it to get personal. Works for me. The only thing Patterson got right was getting caught enrolling anti-Christian students (Muslims) at Southwestern and I hope he reads these words ….personally.

      “Two out of Three” is terrible when missing number three leads to the fragmentation and loss of the cooperation and zeal for soul-winning now being lamented by the fans and detractors of Patterson alike. Your definition of success is a strange one Randall. Infant baptisms, deterministic theology, deemphasis on altar calls/invitations, removal of Christ as the ultimate criterion of biblical interpretation, 210 million dollars of over-spending by those Patterson describes as “nobel”. Looking real “conservative” as opposed to “liberal” for sure these days. If Patterson was right about Southern Baptist “liberalism” 20 years ago, why is the denomination in worse shape by following Patterson’s lead than it was 20 years ago….theologically, financially, numerically. I don’t even have to mention the continual slide in baptisms and evangelism.

      Everything he railed against has now become his private possession….in spades.

      These new so-called “Southern Baptist Conservatives” can’t even read and understand Scripture apart from a copy of “Institutes” and the latest book from Piper.

      This, however, is not a good forum to talk about the short-comings, inconsistencies and past LIES of Page Patterson. This blog site doesn’t have enough band-width to cover all the documented sources.

        Randall Cofield

        Do you believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, Mr. Shaver? Are you a Liberal?

        And if you think I’m defending Dr. Patterson, read my post below.

          Scott Shaver

          Your questions about my “liberalism” and my convictions regarding the inspiration of scripture might be worth an answer, Randall, if I honestly believed you understood such terms apart from their uniquely “Southern Baptist” baggage, meaning and intent.

          My post to which you are responding with such questions raised the question of whether or not Patterson was indeed “right” about “liberalism and the trash heap of history” effect on the SBC.

          You seem to be the one, Randall, that wants to make it personal. Label me as you wish and I’ll probably thwart the expectation.

            Randall Cofield

            I held the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture long before I became a Southern Baptist, Mr. Shaver. Why don’t you humor me. Perhaps I’m not as ignorant as you presume. I asked the question precisely because you *seem* to defend pre-CR liberalism. Why not put away your dagger and let’s have a civil conversation?

              Scott Shaver

              The time for conversation and compliance with Calvinism is over and done with for a lot of Southern Baptists like me, Randall. Not interested in preservation of status quo, outright resistance is the soup de jour.

              Scott Shaver

              How are we going to have a “civil conversation” with Calvinist’s who are condescending by the very nature of their warped determinism?
              Don’t want, need nor have I been instructed by Word or The Spirit to come to an understanding with such views. Life is too short.

                Randall Cofield

                Lol. Very well. Caterwaul on.

Randall Cofield

There is indeed an appalling dearth of Christian witness in the SBC. According to a 2012 Lifeway survey, 61 percent of professing evangelicals had not told another person about how to become a Christian in the previous six months.

But merely becoming “more intentional about evangelism” will not cure what ails the SBC.

Consider that the latter half of the 20th century saw Southern Baptist Church rolls swell to a staggering 16 million. Yet today, on any given Sunday morning, roughly 10 million of these cannot be found in any proximity of a Southern Baptist Church.

Were we more intentional about witnessing in the latter half of the 20th century? Probably. Millions prayed the “Sinner’s Prayer.” Millions more (remember “A Million More in ‘54”?) walked the isle at some point during 37 emotionally charged verses of “Just As I Am.” They made a decision, or raised a hand and signed a spiritual birth certificate. Yet most of these are MIA. They are AWOL. Ultimately, the vast majority of these are probably still lost in their sins.

Why? Because they likely heard a deficient presentation of the “Good News” without ever being told the bad news of their utterly depraved sinfulness. And they were likely promised a door-mat Savior who would punch their “Get Out of Hell Free Card” but would never require them to surrender their entire life to His Lordship. They were likely never told that professing Christ with their lips was not sufficient, that they must forsake all else and follow Him as His disciple.

Merely being “intentional about evangelism” is not the whole of the Great Commission. In fact, witnessing is the easy part. The “make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” is the hard part.

Being “intentional about evangelism” without being faithful to make, teach, and train disciples may allow us to “see an upturn in baptisms,” but it will not produce lasting fruit. Our sad recent history as a Convention is exhibit ‘A’ for this reality.

We may fish until our fingers bleed, but if we fail to make disciples of caught fish we are doing nothing but sealing up souls unto eternal damnation.

We may sow until the cows come home, but if we fail to prepare the harvest to be faithful disciples of Lord Jesus we are crossing sea and land to make them two-fold more children of hell.

God make us makers of disciples.

    Andrew Barker

    Randall Cofield: You bring up some good points, but your analysis of the situation and the conclusions you draw are also very questionable. You say: “Why? Because they likely heard a deficient presentation of the “Good News” without ever being told the bad news of their utterly depraved sinfulness. And they were likely promised a door-mat Savior who would punch their “Get Out of Hell Free Card” but would never require them to surrender their entire life to His Lordship. They were likely never told that professing Christ with their lips was not sufficient, that they must forsake all else and follow Him as His disciple.”

    In the parable of The Sower you will recall that the seed fell on different types of ground. The results were indeed very different but at no stage does the parable suggest that there was anything wrong with either the sower or the seed. Same seed, same person sowing in each case. So the picture you paint, though painfully sad and true may be simply a reflection of what the parable suggests is the way people respond to the truth of God’s word. To blame the lack of Christian perseverance on the singing of “Just As I am” or the repeating of the “Sinner’s Prayer” is nothing more than confirming your own deep seated prejudices. It says nothing about the truth of the matter.

    Not only is your description of the ‘message’ as being deficient way off line, it is somewhat disingenuous. It is extremely difficult if not impossible in a single sermon to give the ‘whole Gospel’ message. What happens in effect is that God takes his word and applies it to the hearts and minds of those listening. So your quip regarding sinners not being told that “professing Christ with their lips was not sufficient, that they must forsake all else and follow Him as His disciple” is hardly valid. That’s unless you want to argue with the Apostles who when presented with such a question said “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved”. There are numerous other scriptures which indicate that the correct word given and the right time is what is appropriate. Not ticking off an exhaustive list of points to be covered.

    Any while we’re on the subject of being open and upfront about The Gospel, instead of complaining that people are not being told they are totally depraved why not address the problem that they are not being told upfront that unless they are ‘chosen’ they cannot respond anyway? If you’re calling for full disclosure then make it cut both ways. I would also point out that you don’t have a clue as to whether or not a person has made a decision for Christ, neither is it your job to pronounce them in or out. The Corinthian Christians to whom Paul wrote were a mixed bunch, but he never at any point questions their salvation, does he? In fact, we are expressly instructed by Jesus to leave wheat and tares growing together. It’s possible to do a great deal of damage pulling up tares, however well-intentioned. If you’re wise enough you’ll stick with 1 Cor 3:6-7. We engage in planting and watering the seed, but it’s God’s seed and he’s the one who gives growth.

    Your analysis of the plight of the Convention is rather one-sided. What you are now seeing is arguably the result of decisions made dating back to 1973 and cemented in 1993 with the presidency of Al Mohler. Yet you do not appear to be holding any of these people to account. If you don’t like what you see after a generation of neo-Calvinism ……. or to misquote Luke 23:31 If they do these things when the tree is green ……?

      Randall Cofield

      Hi Andrew,

      1 Corinthians is a snapshot of a church over a relatively short period of time. The current state of the SBC is the result of a half-century of cheap faith evangelism. I would contend this undermines your entire argument.

      Peace.

        Scott Shaver

        LOL.

        Like the “1950” protestors at the University of Missouri, I’m glad you have a “safe place” Randall where you can go to shed yourself of well-framed questions like the one just posed by Andrew. ‘I would contend this undermines your whole argument” certainly fine tunes reality does it not?

        Andrew Barker

        Randall: You may contend whatever you like, but as yet you have simply made a statement with nothing to support it. What is correct though is that the current SBC has been and is still being influenced by what one can only say is a decidedly Calvinistic/Reformed agenda. I suggest you address your comments re cheap faith evangelism to ‘the management’.

          Randall Cofield

          Mr. Shaver, I held the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture long before I became a Southern Baptist. Why don’t you humor me. Perhaps I’m not as ignorant as you presume. I asked the question precisely because you *seem* to defend pre-CR liberalism. Why not put away your dagger and let’s have a civil conversation?

          Randall Cofield

          Andrew, my contention rests squarely upon the two indisputable facts which preceded it, your hand waving dismissal notwithstanding.

          And the Calvinists are the one’s peddling cheap faith? Come, now.

            Andrew Barker

            Randall, your statement of ‘facts’ rests on your ‘statement’. Fact!

            There may indeed be “an appalling dearth of Christian witness in the SBC.” Agreed. My point was this. You seem to be quite happy to lay the blame for this at the feet of those who are not currently in control of what goes on in the SBC and whose influence has been marginalised for quite some while, like a whole generation! The lunatics have taken over the asylum and you want to blame the doctors for the ensuing mess? (It is a sad fact of blogging, that I now have to explain that I’m speaking metaphorically and I’m not calling either you, Al Mohler or any known Calvinist a lunatic, not that some of them aren’t of course ;) )

            Randall, you can only play the blame game for so long. Sooner or later those chickens will come home to roost!

              Lydia

              “Randall, you can only play the blame game for so long. Sooner or later those chickens will come home to roost!”

              Personally, I wonder about “Evangelism” as a whole in the US. It would be hard to find anyone in America who has never heard of Jesus. Churches spend lots of time and money “Evangelizing” but mainly end up sheep stealing with their better programs, cooler skinny jeans guy on stage, better buildings, cooler buildings that were once abandoned. In the 90’s, the focus was on the “unchurched”. Stop and think what that one means for a minute. The focus was on people who had grown up in church and left. By that time, many were young couples with young children. A huge marketing effort to get them in the buildings. And bring your checkbook cos we have entertaining programs for your kids. (Don’t let the Calvinistas fool you, they are also playing to the kids, too) It all comes down to bottoms in the pews. That is the only thing that keeps the machine going.

              In fact, I have come to see the Calvinistas as thinking more conferences for their young pastors or wannabe pastors is considered evangelism. Conferences that make a ton of money for a few. I am not so sure they have room to pontificate about “evangelism”. These guys will spend their last dime to get to T4G where the organizers/speakers are making bank. Many of these guys want to be the next Piper or Mohler.

              I helped my mom in inner city work for years. There is a lot more to that than just telling the Good News. We have to be a part of the Good News as in living out the kingdom part and that takes time and energy. It is not a cool thing where one is adored on stage and every pew sitter is hanging on your every word. It is not a place where YOUR sermon is the big event of the week..

              I am of the position that in America, at least, perhaps an actual focus on living out the Kingdom as believers here and now would be much more “evangelizing” than just trying to fill up the pews so more people are listening to the cool guy on stage. But it is grimy work. One must get their hands dirty. I don’t see the perfumed princes coming out of our seminaries as being up to such a task. They demand a pastorate now without any experience. (Isn’t that why the SBC has so many Driscoll cloned churches now?) Ever notice how the overwhelming percentage of church plants are in middle and upper class areas where there are plenty of churches just not SBC Reformed ones? SGM had this one down pat. So did Driscoll. The SBC now seems to have followed their model. Disaster. But at least they got a hold of SBC assets which should keep them in business for a while. Evangelism in the SBC seems to resemble more of a Ponzi Scheme these days.

              Randall Cofield

              Andrew, my friend, the red herrings and non-sequiturs are piling up here. I’ll address a few.

              “Randall, your statement of ‘facts’ rests on your ‘statement’. Fact!”

              More hand waving, brother. 1 Corinthians is indeed a snap shot—and they did repent. And the cheap faith/cheap grace evangelism of the past half-century is well documented. Your mere dismissal changes neither of these facts.

              “You seem to be quite happy to lay the blame for this at the feet of those who are not currently in control of what goes on in the SBC and whose influence has been marginalised for quite some while, like a whole generation!”

              I named no names, Mr. Barker. I did name methodologies. Those named methodologies demonstrably characterize SBC churches at least as far back as 1950, significantly predating both Al Mohler (was not even yet born) and the Calvinistic influence (then non-existent) against which you complain.

              “The lunatics have taken over the asylum and you want to blame the doctors for the ensuing mess?”

              The “lunatics” did not artificially inflate SB church rolls to the tune of at least 10 million, my friend. That was almost exclusively the work of your supposed “not currently in control” “doctors.”

              “Randall, you can only play the blame game for so long. Sooner or later those chickens will come home to roost!”

              Andrew, my brother, the methodologies, which I “blamed,” HAVE come home to roost. Unsound evangelistic methodologies and unscriptural ecclesiology are precisely what produced the predictable downturn we are now experiencing.

              Grace to you.

                Andrew Barker

                Randall: Your introduction of ‘red herring’ and ‘non-sequitur’ is quite telling. In fact I would say your comments exemplify both of these terms remarkably well.

                The Corinthian church was a snap-shot? Oh yes? They repented! Did they? On what basis do you make this claim and just how does that affect the argument? Paul appeared to know this church well and yet at no point does he bring into question the salvation of anyone, despite their behaviour! Yet you appear quite willing to pronounce a verdict on millions of people, of whom you have no personal knowledge whatsoever, to declare that they are not saved! Is this brave on your part, or mere hubris?

                Your timings also leave a little to be desired don’t they. If the rot set in in the 50s then the ‘revolution’ which happened in the late 70s and early 90s has had plenty of time to reverse this trend has it not? Just how long is long enough? At what point does a regime become accountable for what has happened?

                Your comment regarding the non-existence of Calvinism in the SBC, is odd to say the least! “and the Calvinistic influence (then non-existent) against which you complain.” Your colleagues are forever banging on about the SBC having been Calvinistic from the start, so I don’t know where you’re getting this from. Perhaps you meant neo-calvinism? But that’s not really as new as some people claim either.

                I have no quibble with you about the deficiencies of various church groups to properly foster and disciple Christians, but this is a problem world-wide and I would suggest has always been with us. To say this is as a result of “cheap faith” and “unsound evangelistic methodologies” and lol “unscriptural ecclesiology” is actually a prime example of a non-sequitur argument!

                  Randall Cofield

                  Hi Andrew,

                  “The Corinthian church was a snap-shot? Oh yes? They repented! Did they? On what basis do you make this claim and just how does that affect the argument?”

                  2 Corinthians clearly indicates a measure of repentance, a mark of genuine conversion. This affects the argument in that you offered 1 Corinthians as a supposed refutation that 10 million long-term, unrepentant, “church members” may not, in fact, be lost. Your comparison does not hold up.

                  “Yet you appear quite willing to pronounce a verdict on millions of people, of whom you have no personal knowledge whatsoever, to declare that they are not saved! Is this brave on your part, or mere hubris?”

                  Mt 12:33 Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit.
                  Joh 15:6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.

                  “Your timings also leave a little to be desired don’t they. If the rot set in in the 50s then the ‘revolution’ which happened in the late 70s and early 90s has had plenty of time to reverse this trend has it not?”

                  I am unaware of any Calvinistic “revolution” in the late 70’s. You may be conflating (intentionally?) the Conservative Resurgence and a Calvinistic resurgence. And no, an early 90’s “revolution” (and what happened in the early 90’s was hardly a “revolution”) would not “reverse” a 50 year trend in 20 years.

                  “Your comment regarding the non-existence of Calvinism in the SBC, is odd to say the least! “and the Calvinistic influence (then non-existent) against which you complain.” Your colleagues are forever banging on about the SBC having been Calvinistic from the start, so I don’t know where you’re getting this from.”

                  Again, I am unaware of any significant Calvinistic contingency in the SBC between the 1950’s and the early 1990’s. And there was certainly no significant Calvinistic leadership during this period. Heck, even now, in 2015, the esteemed Dr. Rick Patrick hotly contends the SBC is only 10% Calvinistic. Again, is this an intentional conflation on your part?

                  “I have no quibble with you about the deficiencies of various church groups to properly foster and disciple Christians,”

                  Ah! So we do agree on the primary issue I raised in my original post after all. That is genuinely refreshing.

                  “….but this is a problem world-wide and I would suggest has always been with us.”

                  So if it is indeed a problem, how do you not see the obvious backlash created when such problematic methodologies (evangelism sins discipleship) are used to add 10 million church members to SBC rolls? What we are experiencing in the SBC now is the stark reality that undiscipled church members do not make disciples, and they exit just as easily as they entered. Jesus said “My sheep know my voice… and they follow me.” If Jesus himself does not claim them, who are you to claim them for him?

                  “To say this is as a result of ‘cheap faith’ and “unsound evangelistic methodologies”…

                  Now Andrew, my brother, you just admitted the problem of failure to “properly foster and disciple Christians” (note here that you seem to know that they are Christians, while at the same time telling me I don’t know if they are Christians or not). To tell someone they can own Jesus as Savior, and then fail to teach them that He must also be Lord is cheap faith built upon cheap grace.

                  “…and lol “unscriptural ecclesiology” is actually a prime example of a non-sequitur argument!”

                  You may find ecclesiastical practice that flies in the face of clear Scripture funny…I do not. It is rather deadly.

                  Grace to you.

                    Randall Cofield

                    Should be (evangelism *sans* discipleship)…

      Lydia

      “Any while we’re on the subject of being open and upfront about The Gospel, instead of complaining that people are not being told they are totally depraved why not address the problem that they are not being told upfront that unless they are ‘chosen’ they cannot respond anyway? If you’re calling for full disclosure then make it cut both ways.”

      Those who are perpetually totally depraved don’t do open and honest upfront. They accuse others of not believing the true Good Newsl or of presenting half of their “Good News”.

      But they can’t help it.

    Lydia

    “God make us makers of disciples.”

    Disciples strive to reflect Jesus Christ back out into the world. You dont have the power to “make” others into that. That is an inside out metanoia that comes from the aid of the Holy Spirit.It results more into modeling his love and justice– which is harder to do than make a living teaching determinism and beating people up with it trying to convince them of your own power

    I thought you guys were not man centered.

      Randall Cofield

      Mt. 28:19 Go therefore and………………make disciples……………..of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
      20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

        Lydia

        Randall, ok…..so Jesus was suggesting forms of force ala Calvin. Perhaps indoctrination, signing a covenant to follow you, etc. Problem is that only garners followers of you and Calvin. Not Christ. The problem is we disagree on what Jesus commands of us and what the “Good News” is about. Since those you will “make” a disciple out of were already chosen, no need to model Christ. I get it.

          Randall Cofield

          Lydia, it is tempting to address that red herring-laced outburst with several passages of Scripture which address paranoia, anxiety, anger and bitterness…but I digress. I do hope you one day find a measure of peace.

            Lydia

            Randall, LOL! Very pastoral.

            Is that a reverse Dale Carnegie insult sandwich? I would have been very disappointed if you had left out bitter. That one is traditional. But you forgot the most important one: Emotional.That always works as the best marginalizer of women. “Outburst” comes close but does not have the same impact as “emotional”. I trust you won’t forget next time. (wink)

              Randall Cofield

              Well, Lydia, you gotta admit that yours was a pretty convoluted response to my posting of a pretty significant passage of Scripture you seemed to have forgotten….

              And “marginalizer of women”…? You’ve obviously not met my wife and daughters.

              PS: The unbecoming cloak of victim-hood should be put in mothballs. (winkbackatcha)

    Scott Shaver

    Amazing!
    The power of the Holy Spirit is not what leads to saving faith….it’s all about serving up the correct,”non-deficient presentation of the gospel.”
    The woeful inadequacy of the 2000BFM on display courtesy “Mr” Cofield.

Jim P

Jesus’ own words about evangelism goes to the heart of how the world will be evangelized.

Shortly before His crucifixion, dying for His nation, He describes how the world will be attracted to consider the truth of who He is, John 13:35 “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.”
It is at this point the contrast with the shallowness of world and the contrast with what God offers in His son is made.
If that is missing, the church will only offer the shallowness of the world. The only difference is in name only.

Scott Shaver

“Patterson Calls Baptists Back to Evangelism Focus”

After spending the better part of 20 years ripping the heart of evangelistic zeal right out of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Keep knockin on the devil’s door and sooner or later he’s gonna answer.

David R. Brumbelow

Kind of sad that a positive word cannot be said about Dr. Patterson, without someone having to spew venom against him.
David R. Brumbelow

    Scott Shaver

    David.

    Nobody…..I MEAN NOBODY perfected the art of spewing venom and lies against other Christians (inside and outside the SBC) better than Paige Patterson …. for over 20 years.

    Mohler is the only one running him a close second.

    When Patterson runs out of enemies (justified or not) he turns on his own….this time his fellow denominational employees (still in their fifties) over at the IMB.

    Like some American politicians, he gets a pass? I don’t think so. Why don’t you offer a few kind words for the hundreds if not thousands he defamed and misrepresented while he now waxes so eloquent on our need for evangelism?

    Just sayin.

linda

I’m one of the missing millions. There was nothing wrong with the presentation of the gospel I heard. I was truly saved, still saved, still serving Jesus. What I am not is Southern Baptist. I walked away from the last SBC church I was part of when it went full on 5 point, covenant membership, bapto-catholic. Now I am in a modified Arminian church that is evangelicalistic.

Where many other former SBC’s are.

linda

And apparently I can’t spell evangelistic worth a hoot :)

Andrew Barker

Randall, your selective use of statistics is quite apparent. “Heck, even now, in 2015, the esteemed Dr. Rick Patrick hotly contends the SBC is only 10% Calvinistic.” If you really esteem Dr. Patrick’s views, then I think you should do him the courtesy of using his stats correctly. The majority of SBC members are indeed non-Calvinistic in their theology. However, the percentage of those who hold the purse strings and who are in positions of influence within the SBC? That’s a different matter. But I’ll leave Dr. Patrick to argue his own point if he wishes to.

But I will argue my own point. You say:….. ”2 Corinthians clearly indicates a measure of repentance, a mark of genuine conversion. This affects the argument in that you offered 1 Corinthians as a supposed refutation that 10 million long-term, unrepentant, “church members” may not, in fact, be lost. Your comparison does not hold up.”
I said nothing of the sort. My point was that Paul knew his audience well and yet he did not presume to question the sincerity of their conversion despite their behaviour. You on the other hand, do not know 10 million souls at all, and yet you seem to feel in a position to comment on their eternal security with ‘almost’ total assurance!

You also say: “note here that you seem to know that they are Christians, while at the same time telling me I don’t know if they are Christians or not”. Not so my friend. I am making no judgement as to whether people are truly saved or not. I believe the Bible is clear that “whoever calls on the name of the Lord, will be saved” but it is not my place to say whether or not they are/were sincere in their commitment. This constant pronouncement on who is and who isn’t ‘saved’ is very much the preserve of the Reformed/Calvinist faction. Quite frankly, they’re welcome to it.

Discipleship is not an easy message to get across to people. I suspect this is because it requires being taught by example and not by words. I don’t think it is the preserve of any particular theology, is it?!

“You may find ecclesiastical practice that flies in the face of clear Scripture funny” Again you get me wrong. That’s nothing to laugh at. But your tacit assumption that Calvinist/Reformed ecclesiastical practice is in line with scripture, well, yes that did bring a smile to my face! Sorry!

    Randall Cofield

    Andrew,

    “The majority of SBC members are indeed non-Calvinistic…etc”

    Precisely. And have been for quite some time. Yet in your rather incredible accusation, they are the “victims” of the terrible Calvinists and bear no responsibility for the current decline. (BTW: How is your denomination doing in the decline department….? Right. Are the Conservatives and Calvinists to blame there also….? I didn’t think so.)

    “My point was that Paul knew his audience well and yet he did not presume to question the sincerity of their conversion…” etc.

    Paul confronted them with their sin and they repented—relatively quickly. Millions of SB’s sin weekly by forsaking the assembling of themselves together (among many other less mentionable forms of disobedience), and have been doing so for decades with no sign of repentance. Jesus said his sheep hear his voice and follow him. You are comparing apples and oranges, and are being selective with Scripture. I seriously doubt that you are unaware that Jesus, James, John, Peter, and Paul, and Jude all pointed to a lack of fruit over time as being evidence of lostness. I’m certainly thankful that faithful believers who disciple me choose to obey Scripture and call me to repentance when necessary instead of clothing themselves in the faux-righteousness of the “who am I to judge?” mantra.

    “…it is not my place to say whether or not they are/were sincere in their commitment…” etc.

    Nor is it mine. The inerrant, infallible Word of God, however, does possess the authority to do so…and it does so. Interestingly, you chose to ignore the three prime scriptural examples in my last post.

    “Discipleship is not an easy message to get across to people. I suspect this is because it requires being taught by example and not by words.”

    Smh. Taught “by example and *not by words*”? Brother, Lord Jesus, the Chief Disciplemaker, used more than a few “words” in making disciples. How do you propose we “teach them all things (Christ) has commanded (us)” without using words of instruction? Can you imagine trying to raise children “by example” without the use of instructive words? This is more of the nonsensical pseudo-Christianity that has produced the current malaise.

    “…your tacit assumption that Calvinist/Reformed ecclesiastical practice is in line with scripture…”

    And your erroneous and more-than-tacit assumption that I named Calvinistic/Reformed ecclesiology may belie your own prejudice.

    I will let this post stand as my final response to you on this issue. Thanks for the exchange.

    Grace to you.

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