The Rise of Soteriological Traditionalism

By: Rick Patrick , Pastor
First Baptist Church Sylacauga, AL

This article was originally posted in Theological Matters and is used by permission.

In 2012, hundreds of pastors, professors and laypersons affixed their signatures to the most attested confession of faith Southern Baptists have ever produced with the exception of The Baptist Faith and Message. Since that time, hundreds more have signed this document, which is available for signing today at the Connect 316 website.

A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvationwas written by Eric Hankins, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Oxford, Miss. This document generated significant discussion, prompting the formation of a Southern Baptist task force on soteriology, the branch of theology focusing on salvation doctrine. Today, looking back, we are better able to assess the significance of these efforts.

What are the historic roots of Soteriological Traditionalism?
First, we find theological similarities with the Anabaptists in Switzerland during the 16th century. Later, we trace our theological stream from the General Baptists in England in the 17th century to the Sandy Creek tradition in the American South during the 18th and 19th centuries. Ultimately, in the 20th century, the primary confessor of each version of The Baptist Faith and Message (E.Y. Mullins in 1925, Herschel Hobbs in 1963, and Adrian Rogers in 2000) uniformly held to the view of salvation doctrine that is described in the Traditional Statement.

Where did Soteriological Traditionalism get its name?
In 2001, Fisher Humphreys and Paul Robertson, who both served as professors at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote God So Loved the World: Traditional Baptists and Calvinism. They used the term “traditional” for the basic view of salvation doctrine held by Herschel Hobbs, Adrian Rogers and Billy Graham. Eleven years later, this very same word was included in the title of the statement.

Can we not find a better term for our position than “Traditionalism”?
First, we must rule out partial terms or combinations of views we disaffirm. Thus, we are not “Moderate Calvinists,” “Calminians” or “Semi-Arminians.” Who really wants to be half-something? Second, we resist terms that negate. Thus, labels like “Anti-Calvinist” or “Non-Arminian” are off-limits. No Dallas Cowboy fan prefers the moniker “Anti-Redskin.” Third, the term must actually distinguish. Many claim for themselves the Baptist or Biblicist or Majoritarian position. Some who object to the term “Traditionalist” believe it must refer to the earliest days of the SBC in 1845. But the term is not “Originalist.” Many churches offer a Traditional Worship Service featuring music that was popular in the mid-20th century. Theology popular in that period can also be called “Traditional.” While other options exist, such as “Savabilist,” “Extensivist,” “Decisionist,” “Conversionist” and “Volitionist,” no term has yet emerged that is as widely accepted as “Traditionalist.”

What are the doctrinal beliefs affirmed in the statement?
The statement affirms Traditionalism while disaffirming Calvinism, Arminianism, Semipelagianism and Amyraldism. To better understand these terms and your own view of salvation doctrine, consider completing this brief Soteriological Assessment.  In general, Traditionalists accept a small amount of Calvinism and a fair amount of Arminianism, while also disagreeing in important ways with both views. We also disagree with the Semipelagians and the Amyraldists. We are basically staking a position for Southern Baptist Traditionalists residing at a point that lies between the Arminianism of the Methodists and the Calvinism of the Presbyterians.

What did we learn from the reaction to the Traditional statement?
The initial reaction was unnecessarily polemical, as the signers (including many of our leading theologians and pastors) were charged variously with Semipelagian heresy or remedial reading comprehension skills. Looking back, I am amused by these charges. At the time, however, I was distraught that the Southern Baptist views I had learned, believed and preached all my life were suddenly suspect. This fact only served to establish the absolute necessity of the statement’s publication, for if one group of Southern Baptists could look at the convictions of another group and conclude they were practically heretical, we obviously had some important wrinkles to iron out.

How was this a theologically defining moment for Southern Baptists?
When the statement came out, an assumption had begun to take root that all Southern Baptists should be viewed as Calvinists to a certain degree. It was as though the course setting for our denominational ship was due Calvinist and the default Southern Baptist position was going to be theologically reformed. For many of us, our consciences would simply not allow us to be pulled in this direction any further. It was time for us to stand up and say, “We do not believe Calvinism should be seen as the optimal SBC position.”

Is the goal of Connect 316 and Traditionalism to eradicate Calvinism in the SBC?
Our aim is not to drive Calvinism from the convention, but rather to establish our own place at the denominational table. A few years ago, we counted six different Calvinist organizations influencing the SBC. We thought there should be at least one organization promoting our own theology. Why should one theological wing of our denomination sponsor all the conferences and give away all the t-shirts and invite all the speakers and publish all the books? Southern Baptists will fly much higher with two healthy wings.

How does Connect 316 endeavor to promote Traditionalism in a positive manner?
We sponsor an annual banquet at the Southern Baptist Convention. In Baltimore, we had 100 in attendance. In Columbus, we had 200. In St. Louis, we had 300. As our attendance grows, we will be better equipped to promote a more Traditionalist-friendly convention. We also sponsor a news blog, SBC Today, with more than 1,000 hits per day and readers from more than 170 countries. On social media, we have the 316 Roundtable, an open discussion forum on Facebook. Our Connect 316 website offers many helpful resources. We also assist ministries hosting regional conferences.

What is the greatest challenge in promoting Soteriological Traditionalism?
Most Southern Baptists probably identify with our understanding of salvation. They simply do not call it by the lofty term “Soteriological Traditionalism.” Believing it to be commonly held, they may see no need for the label or the movement. Frankly, they must first be apprised of the growing influence of Calvinism in order to explain how Traditionalism differs from it and why these differences matter. It is a rather complex assignment to teach people that what they have always believed is being seriously challenged today. They must first learn about the Calvinism they reject in order to fully appreciate the Traditionalism they affirm.

How can Southern Baptists get involved in this growing movement?
I often hear from young people who disaffirm Calvinism but are nevertheless assumed to wear such a label simply due to their youthfulness. They feel disconnected as their Calvinist friends attend conferences and events. They wonder where they can find a theological home offering like-minded fellowship and resources. I hear from former Calvinists who have converted to Traditionalism only to experience a loss of fellowship. Connect 316 is beginning to fill this void. You can get involved by attending our annual banquet this summer in Phoenix, by reading or writing at sbctoday.com, by checking out our website atconnect316.net, by hosting a regional conference, or by simply signing the Traditional Statement. The movement of Soteriological Traditionalism packages an old theology with a new label. Southern Baptists disenfranchised by New Calvinism will find a welcoming theological home among the like-minded Christians at Connect 316.

 

104 Comments

Donald Morgan 21-09-2016, 04:36

I applaud your efforts. Unfortunately i think the ship has sailed. It seems to me to be time to reorganize theologically and move on.

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Max 23-09-2016, 20:30

Yep. I was young and now am old. In my long journey, I’ve witnessed several attempts to beat a dead horse – he never gets up.

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Tom 24-09-2016, 04:42

Max:

I 100% agree with you. The SBC is irreversibly split. The Cals have control of almost everything and are not going to share with the Trads. Seems to me there is some sowing and reaping going on.

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Jim Poulos 24-09-2016, 08:08

Donald, Tom, & Max,

I think your conclusion about ‘control’ and the division between Cals/Trads is a choice of perspective. Many, ( yes, I believe this) who tend toward one or the other theological preference don’t drive that division to the degree you hold.

There is a learning curve in all our lives that is impossible to ignore. And theology is a part of that learning.

Peace

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Tom 24-09-2016, 09:00

Jim:

I respect your view, but I do not agree with it. I have been SB for over 40 years and have watched this once great denomination go down the tubes since around 1979. You mark my word their is a huge division in the SBC and it will reveal itself over the coming years.

Peace back to you

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Tom 21-09-2016, 06:25

Just as the FUNDAMENTALIST could not co-exist with the “liberals”. The Calvinist are not going to exist exist with the Non-Cals.

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Andy 21-09-2016, 07:43

…except that in many places, in many settings, they DO. :-)

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Tom 21-09-2016, 08:55

Andy:

They might be working together, but IMO it is not going to last.

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Andy 21-09-2016, 09:57

In that case, I suppose I should announce this Sunday that our church should split and that a large % need to leave and start their own church. In fact, since many probably fall somewhere in the middle, or aren’t sure, we’ll probably need to have 3 churches…

Got it. I’ll get right on that…

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Lydia 21-09-2016, 10:46

Andy, if the pastor is Calvinist, isn’t he teaching from that filter?

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Andy 21-09-2016, 11:09

Probably, since he is moderately calvinistic, it will affect his preaching, no question. But what’s your point?
-We need to split into 2-3 churches?

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Lydia 21-09-2016, 13:08

“Probably, since he is moderately calvinistic, it will affect his preaching, no question. But what’s your point?
-We need to split into 2-3 churches”

Andy, i have no idea what moderately calvinistic means. Is that more of a focus on a social gospel? Is that like being a little bit pregnant?:o)

The Continuum from free will to determinism mixes like oil and water. Is the pastor giving the Calvinist understanding along side the non determinist understanding when teaching or preaching?

Based on my experience in such situations, Neo Cal staffers have a very hard time working for non calvinist lead pastors and not trying to promote their Doctrine. So being the lead pastor means everything in the calvinistic authoritarian model. And some are nice guys as long as they are not question too closely.

My guess is the people in your church are not questioning things very closely as they don’t in many churches.

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Andy 22-09-2016, 07:33

Hi Lydia,

1. Moderately calvinistic means He, like MANY southern Baptists (including E.Y.Mullins of all people), sees good points and problems with both sides of the soteriological spectrum. He is glad that both have existed side-by-side in Baptist history for a long time, and knows that neither side has a perfect, problem-free answer to every question. He is probably more calvinistic than I am at this time, but really, it hardly ever comes up at all anymore.

2. We have had multiple Sunday School and bible-study discussions about these issues, and at the end of the day, there were people who had different views on it, but neither side demonized the other, so we moved on.

3. I think you may need to realize that your experience, while a reality in some place with some people, is not exhaustive. In fact, it was calvinists, who, seeing abuses in the Top-down Senior-Pastor model prevalent in many non-calvinsits churches in the 70s & 80’s (the “touch not the lord’s annointed” idea)…it was they who sought to LESSEN the isolation of the senior pastor by instead having a plurality of elders with equal votes. Some of these churches had these elders ultimately responsible to the congregation, some didn’t, but the goal was to spread power, not consolidate it. Also, many calvinists are happy answer questions, and don’t even think questionig the pastor is a sin! (can you believe it!) :-)

4. Ultimately, you, and others on this site ARE CORRECT that, when a calvinist sees promoting calvinism and reformed methodology as their primary goal, it causes problems. However, When what you have is a group of Christians who disagree, and some aren’t sure of how the scritpures about God’s sovereinty and human freedom fit together, and both admit they dont’ have all the answers, then you can have a harmonious marraige, or church, even while differences exist. If we could only have unity with those we agree on everything with, we would be very alone.

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Tyler 21-09-2016, 10:07

One of my elders at my church is a Calvinist and his wife is no where near a Calvinist. They have and incredible marriage, love each other, and are actually in the process of adopting right now. It is totally possible for a non Calvinist and a Calvinist to exist and work together to spread the Gospel to the nations.

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Lydia 21-09-2016, 10:44

Tyler, my guess is that works fine in patriarchal relationships. Calvinism is inherently authoritarian anyway.

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Tyler 21-09-2016, 10:58

Yes Lydia, She must bow down to him in the mornings and wash his feet. If she doesn’t have the dinner on the table by 5:00 she is reprimanded. She also has to address him as either Sir or Mr. She obviously is not allowed to have a job and she receives spankings when she forgets to do the dishes. This is totally what happens, those dang Calvinists.

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Andy 21-09-2016, 10:59

My guess is it works when 2 people don’t demonize the other simply for disagreeing about what Romans 9 means. Just my 2 cents.

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Tyler 21-09-2016, 11:06

Andy,
So true man. They probably have one of the healthiest marriages I’ve ever seen. This issue is just not a big enough issue for them. It does make for some fun conversations sometimes. You can really tell that they love each other by just the way the look at each other, and especially the way the love Jesus.

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Andrew Barker 21-09-2016, 12:13

Tyler: This is so anecdotal I can’t believe this is being by quoted as an example ….. and of what? You do realise there are plenty of marriages where one spouse has been saved after they we’re married and these marriages may also work fine. Does this mean anything in terms of the running of a church? I think not! In marriage a couple make promises to stay together for life. There is no such obligation for the average pastor. Paul and Barnabas are the obvious example of Gospel workers who disagreed and felt unable to work together. If people in a given situation can agree to differ and still work together that’s fine but you can’t use it as a pattern for everyone to follow.

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Tyler 21-09-2016, 12:16

I agree, Andrew. But I think the reverse is true as well. If two people can’t get along we should likewise not use this a pattern for everyone to follow. In fact, that was my point in my example.

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Andrew Barker 21-09-2016, 12:51

Tyler: Then your point was badly made, if at all. Paul and Barnabas disagreed and decided to part company. Surely that is the example. If people don’t get along, they should part rather than stay in a situation where both parties are not feeling happy. :-) If parting company allows both separate parties to flourish, all the better.

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Andy 22-09-2016, 07:51

ANDREW: “If people don’t get along, they should part rather than stay in a situation where both parties are not feeling happy.”

Two things;
1. I think the point here is that in a marraige, a couple is “forced” to work out their differences rather than separate, and so, while a different situation than a church or denomination, it is an example of how disagreement on an issue with mutual acceptance of the other person is possible.

2. It seems you are assuming that “disagree” = “don’t get along”. These are two different things that do not always coincide.

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Andrew Barker 22-09-2016, 11:24

Andy: You are constantly missing the point I was making. There is no biblical correlation between church life and marriage. End of story. Any argument or conclusions based on the premise that it might be (based on marriage) become pointless. You and I guess Tyler know couples who are Calvinist/Non-Calvinist and live with it. I know couples who are Christian/Atheist and do the same ….. so what! What does that prove as far as church life goes? I would suggest absolutely nothing! It certainly says nothing about how Calvinists/Non-Calvinists relate within an organisation like the SBC.

Andy 22-09-2016, 12:17

1. I believe your point is that people in a church or denomination do not have to stay together, since they have not made marriage vows to never separate. I recognize that point.

2. I disagree that there is no correlation between the two. Not only does Eph. 5 make a correlation that is unrelated to our topic here….but the very point Tyler and I are making is that the marraiges are examples of two people who disagree on soteriology, yet have a joyful, God-honoring, unified, fruitful, relationship. So the correlation is: If it is possible with 2 married people, it is possible (though not required) with 2 friends in the same church, or perhaps even 2 churches, or groups of churches.

3. It IS different than a Christian/atheist marraige because the Cal/non-cal couple have unity about the most imporant thing to both of them: their relationship with Jesus. They agree that God exists, that Jesus has saved them on the cross, that their marriage should be one that glorifies God and points people to him…and a host of other things. They disagree on how God’s sovereignty and human freedom fit together.

4. I am curious as to what course of action you, Tom, and lydia, would advise to the situatons we are discribing?
-2 friends in the same church who disagree on this issue, but agree on most everything else?
-A church with people, not only on both sides of these issues, but everywhere in the middle?
-A nation-wide association of churches, some of which are calvinistic, some of which definitely deny calvinism, and some of which have a mix, or fall somewhere in the middle?

Is the advice in all these situations: “It can’t work, so separate now! (unless you’re married)”…”I know you’ve been close friends and ministry partners with these people for the last 20 years with no major clashes, but you need to split up…for the sake of unity.” ?

Lydia 21-09-2016, 13:20

Andrew, I know a couple who were sold out to Calvinism in ministry. After a tragic accident and losing a child, she could no longer stomach the determinist God she believed in. He makes his living in Ministry. She smiles a lot, goes along but is now agnostic.

I say this because often times we really don’t have any idea what goes on in marriages unless we are somehow privy to it. Perceptions can be deceiving.

And you are right, it’s not a model for everyone. Conformity is not unity although it is sold to people as such all the time

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Lydia 22-09-2016, 11:40

“There is no biblical correlation between church life and marriage. End of story”

Andrew, you are talking to people who have been indoctrinated with ESS and don’t even know it. They do believe there is a pecking order in the Trinity that maps to marriage. Although, they would not put it like that. It is very ingrained in Neo Cal circles.

There are a few Reformed out there finally taking SBTS and Grudem on about this. Mainly, Carl Trueman, Todd Pruitt and Aimee Byrd over at Mortification of Spin.

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Tom 22-09-2016, 15:49

It is about time that someone challenged this nonsense of ESS.

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Andy 22-09-2016, 17:23

I bet people who disagree about ESS could be in the same church and still like each other. :-)

Lydia 22-09-2016, 20:00

“I bet people who disagree about ESS could be in the same church and still like each other. :-)”

Andy, you have strange responses. I like Athiests, Mormons and such. Doesn’t mean I agree with them. It’s your Calvinist lot that seeks to do all the church discipline and ex communications.

Teaching ESS is serious business. It’s tampering with the Trinity.

Do you agree with everyone you “like”? Is that a prerequisite?

andy 23-09-2016, 07:14

Lydia,

1. This response was primarily for fun, as signified by the smiley face.

2. Non-calvinists also do church discipline.

3. ESS is a minor blip, theoretical only, unnecessarily blown up by both sides:
-The strong proponents of ESS believe it to be vital to complimentarianism, which it obviously isn’t, you can have complimentarianism without ESS, Even if a parallel were necessary, they could simply say that Jesus temporarilly submitted himself to the Father while on earth, and so women’s role is to temporarilly submit to their husbands while on earth (in heaven, no marriage anyway, right?).
-The strong opponents of ESS accuse it’s supporters of saying Jesus is not equal in essense with God, which ESS proponents specifically deny. They simply say, His role is different.
-In fact, You could agree with ESS and use it as and Egalatarian foundation for mutual submission of all people to one another in keeping with the example of Christ, just as you could reject ESS and still hold strongly to complimentarianism. ESS is not vital to either side’s view. And it is an attempt to try to explain what the Bible says about the relationship of the Father, Son, Spirit. I doubt any of us would want to claim total expertise on the trinity.

4. No I don’t agree with everyone I like. That’s the whole point I’ve been making in this entire thread. Christians who disagree on Election CAN live, work, and worship together. Tom thinks they can’t. It’s demonstrably true that they CAN. (It’s also demonstrably true that many DON’T, but it doesn’t mean they can’t.)

Lydia 21-09-2016, 13:13

It is more than that. What do they teach their kids? that God determined Grandma’s cancer? That their child may or may not be elect….they will have to wait and see? That children are born guilty and Evil? Are you forgetting that Calvinists believe babies are vipers in diapers?

There are huge differences. And one will have to defer.

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Tom 21-09-2016, 13:17

I see nothing COMP between this husband and wife. Someone is going rule and it will be the MALE.

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Andy 22-09-2016, 07:47

As a follow up to the unfounded prediction that this situation will inevitably lead to the Calvinistic Husband being an abusive authoritarian to his non-calvinist wife…what if it were reversed?

Would you predict that the calvinist wife would, by virtue of her being “an authoritarian calvinist” domineer her husband into submission?

…Or perhaps things are more complicated and nuanced than that. Perhaps, GASP, a calvinist husband might NOT be a bully?

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Tom 22-09-2016, 07:52

Your comment at least from my viewpoint is deflective of the point I was trying to make. It appears you are blind to the point I am trying to make.

I said:”I see nothing COMP between this husband and wife. Someone is going rule and it will be the MALE.” Please understand my comment addresses Cals and Non-Cals that would sign off 100% to the 2000 BF&M.

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Andy 22-09-2016, 08:58

Yes, I guess I don’t know what you mean by “COMP”

-Compatible?
-Complimentarian?
-Competetive?
-Comparable?

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Andy 22-09-2016, 07:41

1. Actually there are A LOT of non-calvinists who would agree that God determined grandma’s cancer, at the very least indirectly by, as a result of man’s sin, cursing the world in such an omniscient way that he foresaw every detail of how that curse would affect the earth, and it’s people; and could have done something slightly different if he didn’t want her to have cancer. They would separate that from God allowing free-will in salvation.

2. Many non-Calvinists Southern Baptists believe that people are born with a sinful nature, and nearly every non-calvinists parent or grandparent I know would say that even very small children are observably sinful and selfish.

3. Every couple has huge differences! Some find the out before marraige, and may decide the differences are too great to marry…others only find them out later, and have to work through them. Soteriological unity does not guarantee a peaceful marraige, nor does soteriological disagreement guarantee a dysfunctional one.

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Lydia 22-09-2016, 11:20

“Actually there are A LOT of non-calvinists who would agree that God determined grandma’s cancer, at the very least indirectly by, as a result of man’s sin, cursing the world in such an omniscient way that he foresaw every detail of how that curse would affect the earth, and it’s people; and could have done something slightly different if he didn’t want her to have cancer. They would separate that from God allowing free-will in salvation”

Yes, that is a general Protestant view. I have often thought keeping Hebrew scholarship out of the mix early on in church history was a mistake. In general. Protestants tended to take on more of the Greek Pagan thinking in general.

But now we have an even bigger problem. Based on that thinking it would be going against God’s and be wrong to seek treatment to save life. This is exactly what was taught about Labor in childbirth and suffering for women. People were burned by the Religious Protestant authorities for trying to alleviate suffering in labor. The Puritans were particularly nasty about it.

Give a nod to human responsibility at some point?

“2. Many non-Calvinists Southern Baptists believe that people are born with a sinful nature, and nearly every non-calvinists parent or grandparent I know would say that even very small children are observably sinful and selfish.”

What I view as a God given instinct for survival for new humans with no reasoning or communication skills, you and others, call selfish. And sadly, sinful. Another typical Protestant view we inherited through Auggie.

“3. Every couple has huge differences! Some find the out before marraige, and may decide the differences are too great to marry…others only find them out later, and have to work through them. Soteriological unity does not guarantee a peaceful marraige, nor does soteriological disagreement guarantee a dysfunctional one.”

Those are people’s private lives and I hope they value themselves enough to work it through but it is none of my business. I only deal with the teaching that I believe is wrong. .

We actually inherited more from people like Augustine, Luther and Calvin than what we might think.

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Andrew Barker 22-09-2016, 13:29

Andy:
1. Name one prominent non-calvinist who would sign up to all that.
2. Your point is?
3. If they find out before, they don’t become a couple do they unless it’s not important. So by default your scenario only deals with couples who don’t disagree disagreeably.

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Andy 22-09-2016, 14:09

1. I don’t know what prominent non-calvinists believe about that stuff…but I know plenty of normal everyday folks who would reject Predestination to salvation, but be totally comfortable saying God is in total control of their cancer or other difficultes.

2. The point of 1 & 2 is that all the things Lydia listed as supposed difficulties are things that the couple might actually agree very much on.

3. (a) You are proving my point, perhaps they knew beforehand and decided it wasn’t that important, ie, agreed to love and accept one another despite the difference on that issue? We don’t know do we? (b). are you saying the only couples who are naturally both docile could possibly disagree on this issue and still have a happy marriage? That two naturally strong-willed people could not learn to humbly and gently accept and embrace all the things about the other person they do agree on, and not demonize the person in the areas where they disagree? I’m not sure of you point here.

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Lydia 21-09-2016, 07:29

An article worth considering

https://thouarttheman.org/2016/09/17/4707/

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Robert Vaughn 21-09-2016, 08:20

Rick, you asked, “Can we not find a better term for our position than “Traditionalism”?” It seems not. Though I think it would be fortunate to light on some much better term, it seems that “Traditionalism” is the one that has stuck with most people. Certainly the term must be taken in its own historical context, because it doesn’t very well fit general dictionary definitions, such as “adherence to tradition as authority, especially in matters of religion” or “the upholding or maintenance of tradition, especially so as to resist change” (I guess this latter fits somewhat in the sense of resisting the change of Calvinism).

Back in June I wrote on The terms Traditionalist and Traditionalism. My conclusion was “that the use of ‘Traditional Baptist’ to refer to a soteriological position is neither innocuous, irenic nor innocent — nor is it accurate, save to those persons who only remember a half century or more of American Baptist history. It serves both pejorative and polemic purposes, even if that is not the original intent of Fisher Humphreys and Paul Robertson.” And I would add, that other people who use it do not necessarily mean it to be pejorative and polemic. I believe that Baptists who want to define their position mediating somewhere between Calvinism and Arminianism should work toward finding a better terminology upon which they can agree.

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Rick Patrick 21-09-2016, 08:50

Believe it or not, we have worked on it. We simply have not settled upon Calminian, Volitionist, Extensivist, Savabilist, Decisionist or Conversionist. They each have their own unique problems as well.

Something to consider is that the term “Calvinist” is no perfect moniker either. You can quote the positions of self-identified Calvinists all day long, only to have other self-identified Calvinists state, “That’s not what I believe at all; you simply don’t understand Calvinism.”

The ultimate example of this may be John Calvin himself. Based on the research David Allen has done on the doctrine of the atonement, there is considerable evidence that Calvin should be classified as an Amyraldist. Imagine that. The term Calvinism has so many problems with it that we might very well make the claim that John Calvin was not a Calvinist!

All terms are imperfect. I would rather be called a Traditionalist than a Moderate or Modified Anything.

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Robert Vaughn 21-09-2016, 09:32

Of the six terms you mention, most of them just don’t sound all that good (in my opinion) and aren’t that likely to catch. Extensivist, to me, seems to offer the best possibility, but it also seems like something that wouldn’t have much meaning to anyone without it being explained. What do you see as the pros and cons of this term?

I agree that Calvinist is not a perfect moniker. There is the problem you mention with Calvin’s own theology. Also, many Baptists who strongly hold all 5 points do not like being called Calvinists because they don’t like the association with Calvin and/or Reformed ecclesiology. (Obviously, others don’t mind.). But Calvinist and Calvinism (as well as Arminian and Arminianism) have a long history of usage and aren’t going anywhere. Traditionalism, Extensivism, etc., on the other hand, do not have this long history — as categories of soteriology — and might well be supplanted if some other suitable terminology could be agreed upon.

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Robert Vaughn 21-09-2016, 08:47

In the previous post I mentioned “persons who only remember a half century or more of American Baptist history.” I guess that applies to most all of us. We only know what we have experienced unless we study and learn something else. My experience was only churches that believed similar to what is now called “Traditionalism” (with the caveat that the modern traditionalism has a little different version of total depravity). When I trace my religious ancestry I find that my paternal ancestors came from a church in Georgia that was organized in 1806. It was a church of Separate Baptist lineage whose church covenant stated that they took “the old and new testament as our only rule of faith and practice believing in the sublime doctrines contained therein (viz) the fall of Adam and the imputation of his sins to his posterity, the everlasting love of God in Christ to his people before the world began, particular redemption, affectual [sic] calling, Justification by the righteousness of Christ imputed, Sanctification by the holy Spirit, and the final perseverance of the Saints in grace, as preparatory to eternal glory.” By the time some of the next generation started a church in Texas in 1873 they were “New Hampshire Confession” Baptists. By the time my Dad came along in the early 1900s he would only be taught and know a version of soteriology similar to what is now called Traditionalism. That Georgia church which was organized on strict 5-point Calvinism in 1806 is now a “Traditional” Southern Baptist Church (unless a Calvinist pastor might have changed that in the past few years). All that to say this. Traditionalism is a distinct soteriology that is not well described by terms like “moderate Calvinism” — but historically many churches got there through modifying their Calvinism.

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Robert 21-09-2016, 09:50

Rick,

Overall a very good article on the nature of SBC Traditionalism. I have a quibble however with one comment though:

“Ultimately, in the 20th century, the primary confessor of each version of The Baptist Faith and Message (E.Y. Mullins in 1925, Herschel Hobbs in 1963, and Adrian Rogers in 2000) uniformly held to the view of salvation doctrine that is described in the Traditional Statement.”

I am not convinced that Adrian Rodgers held what is described in the Traditional Statement and here is why. My views on total depravity, inability and the necessity of the preconversion work of the Holy Spirit are identical to his (and yet some have argued that I would not be considered a traditionalist). I maintain that total depravity is biblical and true (if it is defined as meaning that sin has effected every aspect of mankind including their mind, body, etc. hence the term “total”; I also deny the Augustinian doctrine of inherited guilt). At the same time I also do not believe that TD leads to inability to believe.

I do however believe that apart from the preconversion work of the Holy Spirit (i.e. He convicts people of their sin, reveals Jesus to them/1 Cor. 12:3, etc.) a person cannot become a believer. My position is identical to that of Adrian Rodgers whom you cite as someone who affirms the traditional statement. Rodgers affirmed TD he also affirmed the necessity of the preconversion work of the Spirit as seen in this quote:

““Spiritual blindness makes beggars of us all. … The blind need more than light in order to see. … I used to think, as a young preacher, that what you had to do to get people saved is just to tell them how to be saved. Just turn on the light. But it doesn’t matter how much light there is, or the person is blind because he cannot see it. It takes more than light, it takes sight. And a person who is blind cannot see the light, no matter how strong the light is or how pure the light is. It takes more than preaching to get people saved. That’s the reason I frequently say to you, I can preach truth, but only the Holy Spirit can impart truth. That is the reason why we must be a praying church. That’s the reason you must be a spirit filled soul winner. That is the reason that we must have the anointing, because we are dependent upon God to open blinded eyes to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It takes more than light, it takes sight. We need to understand that nobody can be argued into the kingdom of heaven. Nobody can be educated into the kingdom of heaven. I’m not against letting the light shine. You must let the light shine. You must preach. But remember, there is another dimension.” (Jesus is God’s Answer to Man’s Darkness: John 20:30)”

If you look at his comments carefully he is clearly saying that unless a person experiences the preconversion work of the Sprit they cannot be saved. He is not arguing the Calvinist doctrine of TD nor for inability. He is however arguing that the Spirit must work in the nonbeliever or they cannot believe.

Reply
Rick Patrick 21-09-2016, 16:07

Robert,

Obviously, I think we can claim Rogers as a Traditionalist, since he disaffirms U-L-I, affirms P when understood as “once saved, always saved” and affirms a Total Depravity while denying Total Inability. Traditionalists truly believe in the priority of God’s grace and the work of His Holy Spirit prior to salvation. We speak of man’s ability to *respond* to the Holy Spirit’s drawing through the gospel. We most certainly believe in the work of the Holy Spirit convicting men of sin and drawing them to the Savior.

I am told by our scholars that the Traditional Statement was written in such a way as to permit Prevenient Grace without demanding it. In other words, an Arminian who affirms Perseverance of the Saints and is willing to accept that the Holy Spirit’s drawing through the gospel is sufficient grace to work in the heart of an unbeliever could certainly sign the statement. I think you may very well be a Traditionalist.

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phillip 21-09-2016, 16:51

Brother Rick,

Let me share with you what Robert wrote to brother Leighton over at soteriology101…..

“Leighton,

You continue to push this point, arguing against inability, claiming that the gospel itself alone, *apart from the pre-conversion work of the Spirit* is all that is needed for someone to be converted to Christ. And I will continue to maintain that your position is not what Southern Baptists Traditionalists really believe. Adrian Rodgers held the Traditionalist position, and he is better representative of what Baptists have believed regarding the pre-conversion work of the Spirit than you are.”

So Robert believes it is the gospel (or the word of God) plus something else; in this case prevenient grace (the solution or remedy for TD/TI). And, yet, the book says….

1 Peter 1:23….
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.

Hebrews 4:12….
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

It is this prevenient grace (among other things) that separates and distinguishes the Traditionalist from the Arminian.

God bless you, brother.

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Rick Patrick 21-09-2016, 21:20

Well, the Traditionalist is also distinguished from the Arminian by our certain position in favor of Perseverance, rather than the Arminian position open to both possibilities.

Rogers is with us on U-L-I-P and two-thirds of T (Agreement on Depravity, Agreement on Disaffirming Inability, Possible Slight Disagreement on the nature of “the Holy Spirit’s drawing through the gospel.” (Trad Statement, Article Two)

Aside from Leighton’s comment regarding the “pre-gospel work of the Holy Spirit,” please read the Trad Statement itself, which does not take a position on prevenient grace either way, per my own reading and confirmed by Dr. Adam Harwood, who may be more familiar with the Trad Statement than anyone other than Eric Hankins.

I repeat, Adrian Rogers was absolutely with us theologically. Even if one is determined to drive a wedge between Traditionalists and Arminians by separating “prevenient grace” and “Holy Spirit drawing through the gospel” grace, and claiming that Rogers was an Arminian and not a Traditionalist, I think that is a very, very fine hair you are splitting.

Rogers is with us on AT LEAST 4.7 out of 5 points. He is closer to us than to the Arminians who disaffirm Perseverance and who consider Depravity as synonymous with Inability.

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phillip 21-09-2016, 22:16

Rick,

I appreciate the response.

Back on 6/6/12 brother Alan Harwood wrote the following….

“Roger Olson is Correct; ‘Traditional’ Southern Baptists are NOT Arminians”

In response to Olson, Harwood writes…

“First, after quoting Article 2 (‘The Sinfulness of Man’), you write, ‘A classical Arminian would never deny that Adam’s sin resulted in the incapacitation of any person’s free will.’ Precisely! We assert a biblical-theological claim which would not have been made by classical Arminians. The reason is simple. We’re not classical Arminians. We’re ‘Traditional’ Southern Baptists. Second, you explain that for us to defend against the charge of semi-Pelagianism, we must affirm the ‘cardinal biblical truth’ of ‘the necessity of the prevenience of supernatural grace.’ Our reply is simple: No, we don’t. What obligates us to borrow a view (prevenient grace) from another group (Arminians) to defend against a philosophical-theological framework which we don’t accept?”

Now how clear is that? And I agree wholeheartedly.

Also, please notice the similarity regarding what Robert writes…

“You continue to push this point, arguing against inability, claiming that the gospel itself alone, *apart from the pre-conversion work of the Spirit* is all that is needed for someone to be converted to Christ.”

…and what Calvinist John Hendryx writes…

“The hearing of the Word of God is a necessary means through which comes the faith which appropriates salvation. However, the word does not, in and of itself, produce faith. It is only when joined with the power of the Holy Spirit that the Word of God has the power to graciously open our eyes, ears and heart to the gospel.”

So the Calvinist and Arminian agree. It is the word PLUS something else. Now they might disagree with what that something else is, but, in their view, the “seed” or the word of God is powerless in and of itself. Something else is required.

I admit the distance between Traditionalism and Arminianism might be by a hair. But when magnified the distance is there nonetheless.

Again, blessings.

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Rick Patrick 22-09-2016, 06:49

Thank you for your response. I must confess that I do not really see your argument very clearly. Harwood makes perfect sense to me. I agree with Olson that there is a difference between Arminianism and Traditionalism. I think it is a slight difference in the overall soteriological picture, but it nevertheless exists.

Most of all, I maintain that (a) since the Holy Spirit is always at work convicting whenever the gospel is shared, and (b) since the gospel is the means of bringing salvation to any person, then both (a) and (b) are present at the moment of salvation, whether you are a Traditionalist or an Arminian. I do not think it is fair of Arminians to suggest that Traditionalists disaffirm the role of the Holy Spirit in conversion.

We simply disaffirm the necessity of the Holy Spirit’s role in overturning inability by means of some special “pre-gospel work” that makes a man able to respond, because we do not believe he was unable to respond to “the Holy Spirit’s drawing through the gospel” previously.

In other words, even though we disaffirm Total Inability, we still have BOTH the Holy Spirit AND the gospel at work in a person’s life just prior to and during their salvation——just like the Arminian does.

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phillip 22-09-2016, 08:28

Rick,

You said… “We simply disaffirm the necessity of the Holy Spirit’s role in overturning inability by means of some special ‘pre-gospel work’ that makes a man able to respond, because we do not believe he was unable to respond to ‘the Holy Spirit’s drawing through the gospel’ previously.”

Agreed. And since man never lost his God given ability to believe PG, the solution or remedy for TD/TI, is unnecessary.

My view is just like brother Leighton’s, brother Hadley’s, and others’, that the word of God, alone, is sufficient to enable and save the lost (John 20:31, Romans 10:17, 1 Peter 1:23, Hebrews 4:12, 2 Timothy 3:15-16, James 1:21).

The gospel of John provides many such examples. Just one below…

John 4:39-42 (NKJV)….
And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him BECAUSE OF THE WORD OF THE WOMAN who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. And many more believed BECAUSE OF HIS OWN WORD. Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”

Again, brother, I appreciate your time.

God bless.

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phillip 23-09-2016, 01:17

Rick,

One final observation before I move on. Please note what Robert wrote to you above. In almost the same breath he writes…

“At the same time I also do not believe that TD leads to INABILITY to believe. I do however believe that apart from the pre-conversion work of the Holy Spirit…..a person CANNOT become a believer.”

Cannot defined: an auxiliary verb expressing incapacity, inability, withholding permission, etc

If man never lost his ability to believe, then why is something other than the word of God (either spoken or written) necessary before a person can believe?

I think it is safe to say that Traditionalism is not synonymous with Arminianism.

Again, blessings.

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Robert 23-09-2016, 15:01

Rick,

It seems that Phillip mistakenly believes that I am asserting a contradiction (i.e. on the one hand I deny inability, on the other hand I affirm the necessity of the Holy Spirit’s preconversion work):

Phillip wrote:
[[“One final observation before I move on. Please note what Robert wrote to you above. In almost the same breath he writes…
“At the same time I also do not believe that TD leads to INABILITY to believe. I do however believe that apart from the pre-conversion work of the Holy Spirit…..a person CANNOT become a believer.”}}

Phillip then asks:

“If man never lost his ability to believe, then why is something other than the word of God (either spoken or written) necessary before a person can believe?”

First, I do not believe that man lost his ability to believe (i.e. I deny the doctrine of inability held by some). Second, I really am bothered by Phillip’s denial of, marginalizing of, and apparent rejection of THE HOLY SPIRIT’S PRECONVERSION WORK.

He keeps speaking of SOMETHING other than the word of God not being necessary for a person to become a Christian.

But I have said over and over and over, it is not a something else, it is a SOMEONE ELSE that is necessary for a person to be saved.

I have to go by what the Bible presents. And it explicitly presents some things the Holy Spirit does in people before they become believers (hence I call it the preconversion work of the Spirit). These things the Spirit does, and He is a person not a thing, so it is personal, not something else, but SOMEONE ELSE. He convicts of sin (cf. Jn. 16:8-11): if a person is not convicted of their sin by the Holy Spirit can they be saved? No. He reveals Jesus to people enabling them to declare Him Lord (cf. 1 Cor. 12:3): if a person is not enabled by the Spirit can they declare Jesus to be Lord? No. If a person is not convicted of their sin, and does not declare Jesus to be Lord, can they be saved? This is not advanced theology, this is Bible 101, that the Spirit works in nonbelievers leading them to faith in Christ.

No one is denying the power of the Word, but we cannot talk as if the Word alone WITHOUT THE WORK OF THE SPIRIT will result in a person being saved. Put another way, the Spirit works in and through the Word to lead a person to faith. Affirming the necessity of the Spirit’s work is not denying inability: it is affirming what scripture clearly reveals regarding how we are saved.

It seems to me that Traditionalists believe this, affirm this, and perhaps need to be more clear in saying they affirm this preconversion work of the Spirit.

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Robert 22-09-2016, 11:38

Rick,

I see that Phillip has posted some things. I am reluctant to interact with him here because I have a very negative history with him (i.e. over at Leighton Flowers website he has said I was a Pharisee, unsaved and hell bound). He has an intense antipathy towards Arminians trying to trying to lump them in with Calvinists, falsely calling them things such as “1 point Calvinists” etc.

I am going to interact with some of his comments here because I believe it is worthwhile to hash out the precise nature of the Traditionalist position.

I believe there is a great deal of overlap between the beliefs of SBD Traditionalists and Arminians (including such things as affirmation of universal atonement/that Jesus died for all men; denial of unconditional election/election is conditioned upon faith; denial of irresistible grace/the grace of God can be and is sometimes resisted; affirmation of libertarian free will; affirmation that faith precedes but does not cause regeneration/denial of regeneration preceding faith).

I do not believe that Arminians and Traditionalists should be enemies as they agree on so much and especially as they both reject Calvinism. I believe much of the problems stem from some misguided comments by Roger Olson regarding Traditionalists.

Philip writes:

“So Robert believes it is the gospel (or the word of God) plus something else; in this case prevenient grace (the solution or remedy for TD/TI).”

First, it is the gospel PLUS THE PRECONVERSION WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT that leads to salvation. If a person is NOT convicted by the Spirit (cf. Jn. 16: 8-11), has Jesus revealed to them by the Spirit (cf. 1 Cor. 12:3), does not experience the work of the Spirit they will not become a believer. The trinity works together in our salvation and that INCLUDES THE WORK OF THE SPIRIT. Salvation is not mechanistic but very personal with the Spirit working in a personal way to lead people to salvation through faith in Christ.

Second, prevenient grace is NOT a “solution” to total depravity as Phillip claims. First, because we never completely get away from total depravity (even as believers we still experience the effects of sin on our minds, bodies, culture). Many Arminians (and other non-Calvinists) believe this preconversion work of the Spirit **is** prevenient grace. So if asked if the work of the Spirit is necessary, the answer is Yes. The gospel does not go out without the Spirit working in and through it as you said yourself Rick:
“Most of all, I maintain that (a) since the Holy Spirit is always at work convicting whenever the gospel is shared.”

This brings out my view nicely. The Bible alone WITHOUT THE WORK OF THE SPIRIT is not going to result in a person being saved. They will be saved as the Spirit works through the Bible in their hearts and minds.

Phillip tries to characterize my position as the Bible PLUS SOMETHING ELSE (“the gospel (or the word of God) plus something else”). When a more accurate and fair representation is:
The Bible PLUS ****SOMEONE**** else (i.e. the Holy Spirit).

Another issue that I have with Phillip’s misrepresentations is that the fact is, different Arminians (and different non-Calvinists as well) have different conceptions of “prevenient grace”.

In my thinking and in the thinking of many other Arminians and non-Calvinists, we view the preconversion work of the Holy Spirit **as PG**.

If the preconversion work of the Spirit in the sinner leading them to salvation ****is**** PG: then we see how it is both necessary (a person will not be saved apart from experiencing the preconversion work of the Spirit) AND it is also resistible (people can experience this preconversion work of the Spirit and continue to resist Him, sometimes even for an entire lifetime, and so they remain unbelievers not because God did not desire for them to be saved but because they kept saying No to God and His salvation through Christ).

Phillip writes:

“It is this prevenient grace (among other things) that separates and distinguishes the Traditionalist from the Arminian.”

Not if prevenient grace = the preconversion work of the Spirit.

If this is how PG is seen, then both Traditionalists and Arminians agree about the necessity of the preconversion work of the Spirit. Because both Traditionalists and Arminians see the work of the Spirit being something that occurs as a person is led to faith in Christ. Phillip’s comments appear to minimize the work of the Spirit, neglect His work, and marginalize His work, when in fact His work in the sinner is absolutely necessary for that person to come to faith in Christ. If they do not experience the convicting work of the Spirit they cannot be saved.

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phillip 23-09-2016, 01:03

Brother Rick,

Robert writes….

“… over at Leighton Flowers website he has said I was a Pharisee, unsaved and hell bound.”

Completely untrue. I have never utter those words and Robert can’t supply them. I have always said that I consider Robert to be my brother in Christ.

Robert just lacks grace when dealing with others who disagree with him (as displayed on this very site).

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Robert 23-09-2016, 13:41

Phillip has this nasty way of posting over at Soteriology 101 (i.e. he will respond to comments that I have made by quoting Bible verses aimed at me and then ending with “let him who has ears to hear, let him hear”).

He has done this and quoted verses suggesting that I was a Pharisee, evil, a fool, etc. Here are some actual examples to document his manner of posting:

“Matthew 5:39 (NKJV)….
But I tell you not to resist an EVIL PERSON. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

“Proverbs 26:12 (NKJV)…..
Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a FOOL than for him.
Proverbs 29:11 (NKJV)…..
A FOOL vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back.
Proverbs 29:20 (NKJV)….
Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a FOOL than for him.
He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

He also suggests that I am a TROLL:

“I’ve posted this before, but it bears repeating….
TROLL: a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement.
As I have said before and will repeat here again. Robert is an opportunist. He is more than willing to argue with anyone about anything.
He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

His words to me over at Soteriology 101 have been quite vicious and nasty as when he said:

“His comments are laced with chicanery and venom. For him to troll over to this website just to express his opinions (and that is all it is) is disgraceful. Some of his comments are nothing short of arrogant and audacious. Robert sees himself as some kind of guardian angel pa-trolling the blog-spheres, but his true goal is to create discourse and division between other brothers in Christ all in the name of Arminianism.”

According to these words of Phillip my words “are laced with chicanery and venom” I post there in order “For him to troll over to this website” my views are “disgraceful”, I am “arrogant and audacious” and my goal is to cause division between Christians “all in the name of Arminianism.”

And now he has the gall to write here are SBC Today:
“Completely untrue. I have never utter those words and Robert can’t supply them. I have always said that I consider Robert to be my brother in Christ.”

I don’t know about the rest of you, but who needs a “brother in Christ” who says these hostile and hateful things about you? Phillip has an intense hatred towards me and it manifests itself whenever he posts.

In my opinion, Phillip needs to repent of his sinful and hateful comments and get back to discussing things in a reasonable and civil manner (both here and at Soteriology 101).

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phillip 24-09-2016, 11:25

And yet it is Robert who has a history of being “banned” here at SBC Today.

Quite an accomplishment for a “non-Calvinist”.

That banishment was based on the observations and sound judgement of the moderator at that time. And even recently, yet again, it is Robert who has been gently warned regarding how to interact with others.

Everyone knows the history.

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Robert 26-09-2016, 10:12

Philliip had written:

“Completely untrue. I have never utter those words and Robert can’t supply them.”

Phillip was lying in this statement as I documented some examples of his manner of posting at Soteriology 101 (I could provide more examples, but that is not necessary as I believe the examples I gave show Phillip’s statement to be false, so I did in fact “supply them” and substantiated my claim regarding his manner of posting).

Now Phillip writes:

[[“And yet it is Robert who has a history of being “banned” here at SBC Today.”
And
“Everyone knows the history”]]

Actually I am not sure that everyone knows the history, and Phillip intentionally leaves out a crucial piece of information. It is true I was temporarily suspended from posting here. I had said that rhutchin behaves as a Calvinist troll making inappropriate comments (so my issue was with rhutchin). The previous moderator did not like that I had called rhutchin a troll. I had some helpful private communications with the previous moderator and was restored. Recently, rhutchin became even more aggressive in his inappropriate commenting blatantly ignoring multiple warnings to stop calling Traditionalists Pelagians and claiming that Traditionalists espouse Pelagian theology. He was banned for this behavior and I believe we will all benefit from his exclusion here. So my being banned here was ****in connection to my interactions with rhutchin****. He is no longer posting here, and so I don’t see this an issue any longer.

Phillip likes to bring this up, but he always leaves out the context and that the suspension was related to interactions with rhutchin.

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Rick Patrick 26-09-2016, 12:05

Just a plea for Robert and Phillip…. Could you two reach out to each other through private channels, such as phone calls, emails or texting? I realize the two of you have had a bit of a disagreement. I’m just not sure we all need to read about it on comment streams devoted to other subjects.

Going forward, let’s try to keep our comments on the topic of the post and just bury the hatchet regarding any earlier disputes.

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phillip 26-09-2016, 14:25

Brother Rick,

I want to apologize to you and my other brothers and sisters in Christ if I have done or said something even remotely offensive. Please understand it was never my intent.

However, Robert has a lengthy history of offending others, not only here, but other sites as well. Just here, I know he has offended repeatedly the likes of Bill Mac, Jim P., Les Pouty, Rhutchin, Randall C., and others. I personally know others, who never leave comments here, who find Robert’s behavior unacceptable.

Robert and I share so much regarding soteriology (even some Arminian beliefs), but it has never been about sharing truth, but rather the ability to act brotherly within our Christian family. Scripture shows us that God is full of grace and wrath. However, grace seems to be foreign to Robert so I have been giving Robert a taste of his own medicine in hopes it might bring him to repentance.

It hasn’t. Grace from SBCT and others has been abused. And my idea of “fighting fire with fire” has been unfruitful. It saddens me that Robert wants an apology from me, but believes an apology to those mentioned above is unnecessary. Sadly, he just doesn’t get it.

When he first came back from banishment here at SBCT, he walked on eggshells. But just a few weeks later after being reinstated he was back to his true form insulting others with… “dumb”, “dense”, “ignorant”, “stupid”, “child”, “child-ish”, “troll” and “bigot”. He, again, would “butt in” to others’ conversations with longed winded comments, which, he has been warned about previously. In short, his temporary exile taught him nothing.

All I ask is that going forward SBCT be sensitive to Robert’s (and everyone’s for that matter) tone, language, and demeanor.

Again, I apologize to you and anyone else I might have offended. I’m moving on.

Blessings to you and yours.

In Him

Robert 22-09-2016, 10:18

Rick,

“Obviously, I think we can claim Rogers as a Traditionalist, since he disaffirms U-L-I, affirms P when understood as “once saved, always saved” and affirms a Total Depravity while denying Total Inability.”

Well see that is why I said my views are identical to Adrian Rogers on those things. I also disaffirm U-L-I, I also affirm P when understood as “once saved, always saved” (I have always been a Baptist and held to eternal security that its basis is not our performance but God’s promises).

I affirm Total depravity, that sin has effected every aspect of mankind. But I do not affirm total inability.

“Traditionalists truly believe in the priority of God’s grace and the work of His Holy Spirit prior to salvation”

And I would call this preconversion work of the Spirit, what you call “the priority of God’s grace” “prevenient grace” (as it is not deserved hence grace and comes before a person is saved hence prevenient). This work of the Spirit is resistible as I have evangelized and seen many who had understanding given by the Spirit, were convicted of their sins for a time, but then chose not to submit to Jesus as Lord (they still wanted to be in control of their life).

“We speak of man’s ability to *respond* to the Holy Spirit’s drawing through the gospel. We most certainly believe in the work of the Holy Spirit convicting men of sin and drawing them to the Savior.”

An important question then arises:
would you call that convicting men of sin and drawing of them to the Savior “prevenient grace”?

“I am told by our scholars that the Traditional Statement was written in such a way as to permit Prevenient Grace without demanding it.”

Perhaps that is where I am at, I refer to the preconversion work of the Spirit as prevenient grace. It is resistable, it is grace from God but it does not change a person’s nature, does not regenerate them, does not capacitate and incapacitated will, etc.

“In other words, an Arminian who affirms Perseverance of the Saints and is willing to accept that the Holy Spirit’s drawing through the gospel is sufficient grace to work in the heart of an unbeliever could certainly sign the statement.”

Well then I would fit the category Traditionalist.

I have often been referred to as “Arminian” as I hold to some Arminian beliefs (e.g. that Jesus died for the world, that the U-L-I of TULIP are false, that people have libertarian free will). At the same time as I am Baptist I never believed a person could lose their salvation (that would mean God’s promises are false).

“I think you may very well be a Traditionalist.”

Perhaps I am, I appreciate your interacting with me on this.

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Robert Vaughn 22-09-2016, 11:34

“I have often been referred to as ‘Arminian’ as I hold to some Arminian beliefs (e.g. that Jesus died for the world, that the U-L-I of TULIP are false, that people have libertarian free will). At the same time as I am Baptist I never believed a person could lose their salvation (that would mean God’s promises are false).”

Robert, I’m curious as to who refers to you as Arminian? I realize different folks approach things differently, but within the “Traditional-type” soteriology in which I was raised we always reserved the moniker Arminian to those who held the possiblity of falling from grace. On the other hand, I have some sovereign grace friends towards and on the Primitive Baptist end of the spectrum who calls everyone Arminian that doesn’t hold the 5 points.

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Robert 22-09-2016, 11:59

Hello Robert Vaughn,

“Robert, I’m curious as to who refers to you as Arminian?”

Well depends on whom you are speaking with. Phillip will claim that I am not only Arminian but also his invented term of “1 point Calvinist.” Some view me as an Arminian because I hold to common Arminian beliefs (such as those I already alluded to, which you quoted).

But as a Baptist holding to eternal security (that the genuine believer will never be lost, can never lose their salvation because God promises He will keep believers saved) others will say “You cannot be an Arminian because you affirm eternal security.” I think much of the confusion is caused by those who mistakenly argue (or assume??) that all Arminians believe you can lose your salvation. Arminius himself said the issue had to be further researched and while it is true that many of his followers believe that salvation can be lost, not all believe that. So when someone claims “All Arminians deny eternal security” that is false.

“I realize different folks approach things differently, but within the “Traditional-type” soteriology in which I was raised we always reserved the moniker Arminian to those who held the possibility of falling from grace.”

And I believe that is a mistake because not all Arminians hold to the possibility of falling from grace.

“On the other hand, I have some sovereign grace friends towards and on the Primitive Baptist end of the spectrum who calls everyone Arminian that doesn’t hold the 5 points.”

That is also a mistake as Traditionalists don’t hold the all of the five points (they deny U-L-I, but they hold to “P” as Baptists view eternal security, and some hold to “T”, depravity but not a conception of depravity leading to inability) and they do not view themselves as Arminians.

Because of these confusions and the overlap in beliefs between Traditionalists and Arminians, I am taking the time to discuss the distinctions here and hash out the nature of Traditionalism.

From what I have read and seen I would be considered a Traditionalist (I affirm total depravity but not inability, I deny inherited guilt, I affirm eternal security as a long time Baptist), but I also would be considered an Arminian (I hold the typical Arminian beliefs such as universal atonement and libertarian free will). Personally I do not care what I am labelled, but I do not appreciate being misrepresented (e.g. Phillip has misrepresented me as a “1 point Calvinist” since I hold to total depravity, but I don’t hold the Calvinist conception of it where the nonbeliever is a zombie incapable of understanding or responding to spiritual things unless regenerated first).

In my own thinking I am Christian first, Baptist second, and then Traditionalist or Arminian depending on whom you are talking to! :-)?

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Robert Vaughn 22-09-2016, 21:06

Thanks, Robert. I think a lot of the problem we get into with religious labels is not using them for purposes of accuracy, but for advantage.

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phillip 23-09-2016, 00:17

Robert Vaughn,

Since Robert brought me into the discussion I think some clarification is needed.

It was about 4 years ago when I and others on this very blog asked Robert if he considered himself to be an Arminian. He asked me to clarify what an Arminian was, but to avoid any kind of shenanigans, I kept it simple. I asked Robert if he was a member of the Society of Evangelical Arminians. Seemed fair enough. However, at the time, Robert refused to answer, which, ironically, still answered the question and I told him so.

Now, some 3 plus years later, Robert has come out of hiding and admitted his membership to the SEA. So, it is not a label others have given him. It’s a label he has always been proud of, but, for some reason, ashamed to confess until just recently.

God bless, brother.

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Robert 23-09-2016, 14:19

Robert Vaughn,

Phillip writes:

“It was about 4 years ago when I and others on this very blog asked Robert if he considered himself to be an Arminian. He asked me to clarify what an Arminian was, but to avoid any kind of shenanigans, I kept it simple. I asked Robert if he was a member of the Society of Evangelical Arminians. Seemed fair enough. However, at the time, Robert refused to answer, which, ironically, still answered the question and I told him so.”

When a so-called “brother in Christ” calls you a Pharisee, evil, a troll, a fool, etc. etc. you don’t take too kindly to answering their requests when they want to label you and pigeonhole you. That is why when he asked if I was Arminian I asked him to clarify what he means by the label. This is a guy who wrongly labels Arminians as “1 point Calvinists”. As a Baptist who affirms once saved always saved, I am also quite aware that some mistakenly assume that if you are “Arminian” you must deny eternal security. But I don’t deny eternal security so that does not work with me.

“Now, some 3 plus years later, Robert has come out of hiding and admitted his membership to the SEA. So, it is not a label others have given him. It’s a label he has always been proud of, but, for some reason, ashamed to confess until just recently.”

I have not been in “hiding” I have nothing to hide I am very open and forthright about my beliefs. As I said to Rick Patrick my beliefs overlap a lot with Arminian beliefs and Traditionalist beliefs, so in some ways I fit both labels. But some folks such as Phillip so detest Arminians that they want to make sure that I am not a Traditionalist but supposedly an Arminian “in the closet”.

Here Robert Vaughn let’s have some fun, I will list some of my beliefs and then YOU tell me: am I an “Arminian” or a “Traditionalist” or both?

1.Jesus died for the whole world and God desires the salvation of everyone. 2. I deny unconditional election, God did not decide beforehand who would be saved and who would be lost (though as he has foreknowledge He does know who will end up in each group). 3. I believe in free will as ordinarily understood (technically called libertarian free will). 4. I believe in total depravity if it means that sin has effected every aspect of mankind. 5. I deny inherited guilt, we do not receive the guilt of Adam’s sin. 6. I deny inability (the nonbeliever does not need to be regenerated first to understand spiritual things, does not need to have his incapacitated will restored to understand spiritual things, and does not need his nature to be changed first before he/she can believe). 7. I deny irresistible grace (the grace of God can be and sometimes is resisted). 8. I believe in the necessity of the preconversion work of the Spirit because the Bible tells us explicitly there are the things the Spirit does and if they do not occur the person will not be saved (i.e. the Holy Spirit leads people to faith in Christ by revealing Christ to them, 1 Cor. 12:3; by convicting them of their sin and leading them to repentance, Jn. 16:8-11; by revealing Jesus as the only way of salvation, Acts 4:12, etc. etc.). Without experiencing this work of the Spirit a person will not repent of their sin, declare Jesus to be Lord and be saved. 9. I believe that a genuinely saved person can never be lost, never lose their salvation (the Baptist view on perseverance). 10. I hold Baptist beliefs on baptism, church government, separation of church and state, etc.

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Robert 23-09-2016, 13:54

Robert Vaughn,

“I think a lot of the problem we get into with religious labels is not using them for purposes of accuracy, but for advantage.”

I agree with you completely on this claim.

There is a helpful use to labels when we are discussing different views. Nothing wrong with that, no evil intent about it, if used merely to differentiate differing views.

However, as you say, they can also be used in a hostile or pejorative way. Accusing someone of holding some view that others in the group do not like, can be like a sword to cut down the other person. This use of labeling is not a good thing at all.

One guy (Phillip) wants to pigeonhole me as a “closet Arminian” as if I am hiding my theological orientation! ?

Phillip apparently despises Arminians so he invents labels such as “one point Calvinist” (for a person who denies the other four points of TULILP, but holds to total depravity/”T”). But by parity of reasoning a Traditionalist who denies four points of TULIP but holds to once saved always saved could be labelled wrongly as a “one point Calvinist” (they hold “P” in common with Calvinists). The reality is there is no such thing as a “1 point Calvinist” or “2 point Calvinist”.

The only context where speaking of points of TULIP is valid is in distinguishing between “five point Calvinists” (who affirm all five points including limited atonement/”L”) and “four point Calvinists” (those who affirm the points except for limited atonement, they deny limited atonement and affirm unlimited atonement, so they deny “L”). but this is a differentiation among Calvinists.

To try to label a non-Calvinist as a Calvinist is wrong and leads to unnecessary confusion. Calvinists are Calvinists and non-Calvinists (whether they are Traditionalists or Arminians) are non-Calvinists, not “1 point Calvinists”.

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phillip 24-09-2016, 12:36

Robert Vaughn,

The point is this.

Why didn’t Robert 4 years ago, before all this even got started, when I and others (and there were others) were asking him if he considered himself to be an Arminian simply say….

“Yes. I consider myself to be an Arminian. In fact, I have been a long standing member of the Society for Evangelical Arminians.”

Robert claims to be a “straight shooter”. So why not be open about his affiliation with the SEA some 4 years ago? Why all the cloak and dagger?

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Andrew Barker 24-09-2016, 13:00

Phillip: I would hazard a guess that if you continue on your present course, you will experience some ‘straight shooting’ …. from one quarter or another. Your obsession with Arminians appears to be rivaled only by JD Hall! :-o

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phillip 24-09-2016, 13:57

Andrew,

I appreciate your concern.

However, no “obsession” with Arminians.

Don’t believe the hype.

Blessings, brother.

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Andrew Barker 24-09-2016, 14:08

No concern on my part, just a general observation. And you do appear to have a thing about it :-)

Robert Vaughn 22-09-2016, 11:38

Rick Patrick:

I thought I’d raise this question again, in case it got lost in the shuffle. Presently I prefer Extensivist/Extensivism as offering the best possibility of terminology for this soteriology — but maybe just because I think it sounds better than the others. What do you see as the pros and cons of this term?

Thanks.

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Rick Patrick 22-09-2016, 20:38

The pro’s of the term extensivism, which I believe was coined by Ronnie Rogers, include the following: (a) it is not a term of negation, with an anti or a non prefix, (b) it does not absorb partial terms we disaffirm, such as moderate or modified this or semi-that, (c) it actually describes the position, insofar as we believe God loves EVERYONE, Jesus died for EVERYONE and ANYONE can be saved, and (d) it does not have some of the baggage that comes with some of our other terms.

The only real con is that I don’t know anyone who really uses this term except for Ronnie and I have no idea whether or not it will “catch on.” People seem to relate to the Southern Baptist “traditional” plan of salvation and intrinsically understand it as being the view taught by Herschel Hobbs and preached by Billy Graham. The “Traditional Statement” now has 1,090 signers. The book by Humphreys and Robertson referred to Calvinists and “Traditional” Baptists.

I may be partial to “Traditionalism” but I like Extensivism better than many of the other names we have been called. I like it better than Savabilism which sounds a bit awkward. I could live with Volitionism, since it emphasizes the will. I am less fond of Decisionism, since that term leads to other connotations. At least we are attempting to get away from the Calvinist-Arminian scale which more or less boxes us into positions that do not adequately distinguish all of the views. I think our newer labels are much more precise and that is a good thing.

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Robert Vaughn 22-09-2016, 21:11

Thanks, Rick. I agree that the only real negative of the term Extensivism is that it hasn’t caught on and no one is using it. That could be remedied if people would start using it! I believe it is better than “Traditionalism” in that it doesn’t have the negative implication that Traditionalism can have — kind of, we are the real Baptist tradition and you aren’t.

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Tom 22-09-2016, 17:42

Andy: You said:”I bet people who disagree about ESS could be in the same church and still like each other. :-)”

I bet many FUNDAMENTALISTS and liberals like each other. Your point is?

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Andrew Barker 23-09-2016, 05:14

Andy: Your comments do not bear close scrutiny …. “I disagree that there is no correlation between the two. Not only does Eph. 5 make a correlation that is unrelated to our topic here….but the very point Tyler and I are making is that the marraiges are examples of two people who disagree on soteriology, yet have a joyful, God-honoring, unified, fruitful, relationship.”

It is true the Eph 5 uses the picture of marriage but it does so in relation to Christ and the Church and also in a very defined way. It tells us that husbands should love their wives “as Christ loves the Church”. It says nothing about the way individual church members should relate to each other. This is part of the problem with those who perpetuate ESS. They have taken a Biblical picture and tried to apply it where no such application has been demonstrated within scripture. Not even all aspects of marriage apply to the relationship between Christ and the Church. For a start, marriage is a partnership of equals who agree to be bound by a common resolve. Are you suggesting that the Church is an equal partner with Christ!! Scripture not only gives us pictures to help us understand truths, but it defines how these pictures should be used. If you wish to discuss relationships within the church, then there are plenty of analogies, pictures, call it what you like, from which you may choose. Buildings or the body are the obvious illustrations. But marriage does not appear in this list does it? You are not at liberty to use marriage in this way just because it fits your particular line of thought.

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Andy 23-09-2016, 11:07

1. My mistake mentioning Eph. 5 as I see it was a distraction. It was only to show that your statement of “no correlation” between church & marraige was an over-statement. As i said when I mentioned it, it IS correlation, but not one related to our discussion here.

2. All of your pictures of the church are, of course, exactly right, and the principles in those pictures of preferring others above ourselves, of seeking unity even when there are some areas of disagreement, of bearing with one another, etc…only serve to emphasize my point, that differing views on certain matters can exist in the same church, without causing huge divisions and church splits.

3. You have said the comparison to a marraige is invalid, but are you using the example of Paul and Barnabus splitting ways to argue that any 2 Christians who disagree MUST split ways?

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Andrew Barker 24-09-2016, 08:37

Andy: So Eph 5 is now a distraction? From what I see, you want to dip in and out of Eph 5 when it suits your argument.

You first stated ….. “I disagree that there is no correlation between the two. Not only does Eph. 5 make a correlation that is unrelated to our topic here “….
but then you further qualify this and it becomes ….. “So the correlation is: If it is possible with 2 married people, it is possible (though not required) with 2 friends in the same church, or perhaps even 2 churches, or groups of churches.”

I have pointed out to you that the illustration in Eph 5 is between Christ and the Church. There is no ‘correlation’ at all in this passage which can be used in regard to the relationship of church members to each. At least, nothing pertaining to marriage and certainly nothing from Eph 5. So if you wish to continue saying there is correlation then you’ll have to give chapter and verse, because you haven’t done so at present.

At risk of repeating myself, the example of Paul and Barnabas is exactly that, an example. It gives no guidance as to what cause or whenever Christians who disagree should part company, but it certainly serves to illustrate that there is no prima facie reason for Christians who disagree on an issue to stay locked in an ‘sterile marriage’. I’m sure some people see Paul as acting harshly, since his refusal to work with Barnabas was over John Mark who Paul thought was unreliable. Again history shows us that the old man changed his mind later on in life when he found John Mark ‘useful’. So splitting up is not the end of the world either and can be good for both parties if they then proceed to flourish separately.

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Tom 24-09-2016, 09:54

Andrew: It is amazing how people use the Bible to support their systems. They have to figure out what to leave in and what to leave out.

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Andrew Barker 24-09-2016, 10:53

Tom: Agreed. I can’t see that attraction in it myself. :-) Too much like hard work! :-o

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Jim Poulos 24-09-2016, 13:00

Sorry Tom, but my opinion you are over-simplifying how ‘to handle the Word Accurately.’

Albert Einstein once said, “Keep things as simple as possible but no simpler.”

When something is ‘oversimplified’ the nature of that thing is lost.

Paul’s admonition to Timothy was to work hard to ‘rightly divide the Word of Truth.’ 2 Tim. 2:15

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Tom 24-09-2016, 16:13

Jim:

Thanks once again for your opinion.

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Jim Poulos 24-09-2016, 16:29

Yes Tom, as your comments are your opinion.

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Tom 24-09-2016, 16:49

Jim:

Precisely my point. I have watched for years know as the FUNDAMENTALIST have attempted to force their opinions into the Holy Scriptures as to what they say the verses say and what has it reaped?

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Lydia 24-09-2016, 11:07

Andrew,

Eph 4-5 is read in American big Eva circles ignoring historical context, Eph 5:21, literary genre (chiasm) and common sense. It is read as law., not love. It is taking a metaphor way too far and mapping it as roles in law for all time. Where Paul is encouraging them to be “filled with the Holy Spirit” , is instead interpreted as an application for narrow roles. Women can only respect. Men can only love. (Ignoring the historical context of arranged marriage most often much younger woman to much older man for the purpose of breeding) And worse, husbands are often mapped as the ‘Christ” in the metaphor and are taught they are responsible for the wife’s sanctification. So wives have a mediator between them and their real Savior.

Often the bigger message of love is lost with personal agendas and the application of law instead of love. The focus on having authority over others in the body is a big problem for the religious leaders today, too. Especially in the Neo Cal Industrial Complex.

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Tom 24-09-2016, 19:37

‘So wives have a mediator between them and their real Savior.” Which is not Biblical at all.

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Dennis Lee Dabney 26-09-2016, 07:59

Adam was responsible for his wife and should have went before the Lord God on her behalf after she took of the forbidden. However he decided to go along just to get along.

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Jim Poulos 26-09-2016, 08:14

Dennis,

For discussion sake, ok? Consider 1 Timothy 2:14 about your conclusion. It is a perspective not consider enough on what was going on with Adam and Eve and the serpent.

Jim

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Dennis Lee Dabney 26-09-2016, 08:41

Jim,

The unfortunate events of Genesis 3 did nothing to alter God’s created order in the garden of Eden.

Adam was responsible for the one fashioned from his rib, the one he “called” woman and later named Eve the mother of all living.

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Dennis Lee Dabney 26-09-2016, 09:13

By the way Adam was not created in the garden of Eden. He received the Word of God, work and his wife in garden of Eden.

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Jim Poulos 26-09-2016, 09:24

Dennis,

Be careful. You’re going to get some women hitting you over the head with a frying pan.

Dennis Lee Dabney 26-09-2016, 09:58

Peace to you Brother!

Dennis Lee Dabney 26-09-2016, 09:36

Lol,

Just so it’s not the one I open the car doors for among other doors on the regular.

I will try to remember to duck.

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Jim Poulos 26-09-2016, 09:42

Whatever Dennis, Don’t lose your sense of humor.

Peace

Lydia 23-09-2016, 08:57

-“The strong opponents of ESS accuse it’s supporters of saying Jesus is not equal in essense with God, which ESS proponents specifically deny. They simply say, His role is different.”

Seriously Andy? Jesus has a “role” to play? Was the Incarnation a “role”? What about before? Eternity Past and even future. A “role”?

That word is so inappropriate for relationships not only within the Trinity but amongst humans who are not acting. but it is so ingrained. It is positively Orwellian. What “role’ dies an invalid play? The “role” of invalid? It is such an absurd reduction of our creators intention.

They can deny all they want but we have a whole generation out of Seminary who simply cannot understand Jesus Christ as the FULL representation of Yahweh. It comes through loud and clear with their insistence on a narcissistic Sovereign God who demands to be glorified while damning some to eternal torment and calling it Grace.. They honestly do not know better. It is what the gurus told them is truth and they believe it.

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Tom 23-09-2016, 10:56

Lydia:

These young seminarians are not allowed to think or question what they are taught. I would call what they get an indoctrination.

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Andy 23-09-2016, 11:15

You are blowing one word out of proportion. The staunches opponents of ESS would still say the Father, Son, Spirit have different roles. The Father sent the son, the father created the earth through the son, the Son said he would send the H.S. There is nothing demeaning about the word “role.”

One of the Father’s “Roles” was to send the son. Have I demeaned the Father by saying that? Of course not. The Son’s role was to die on the cross. It was a “role” Jesus had that the Father did not have. Nothing I have said contradicts that Jesus was the full representation of Yahweh.

ESS may have problems, but the fact that they use the word “role” isn’t one of them. What they say about those roles may be problematic, but the word itself isnt.

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Tom 23-09-2016, 11:56

These different roles of God-Jesus-Holy Spirit are used to say that women have different roles as codified by the 2000 BF&M CREED. The word role matters.

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Lydia 23-09-2016, 14:17

Tom, whatever do they do with Isaiah 9?

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tom 23-09-2016, 17:24

Lydia:

I would guess they would say Jesus was playing the role of being born. They do not like the 4 Gospels do they?

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Lydia 23-09-2016, 14:14

Andy, words mean things. And used wrongly communicate lies. The etymology if words is worth considering. The word for actor comes from the Greek, hypocrites. You will find it in Matthew 23 where Jesus is declaring t he Pharisees are basically actors playing a role.

But then, I can remember when the word Grace meant grace.

Jesus made a sacrifice of Himself for us. He even refers to Himself when He spoke of raising the Temple. He was not playing the narrow role of a lesser god.

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Lydia 23-09-2016, 08:59

And what is the ‘role'” of the Holy Spirit? To play the blowing wind?

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Robert 27-09-2016, 10:23

Phillip’s supposed “apology” is a disguised attack.

If he had only written:

[[“I want to apologize to you and my other brothers and sisters in Christ if I have done or said something even remotely offensive. Please understand it was never my intent.”
And
“All I ask is that going forward SBCT be sensitive to Robert’s (and everyone’s for that matter) tone, language, and demeanor.
Again, I apologize to you and anyone else I might have offended. I’m moving on.
Blessings to you and yours.”]]

I would have thought, “Great he is truly apologetic and we can move forward in a positive way”.

Unfortunately, sandwiched between this supposed apology was yet another very intentional attack against me. I don’t treat an apology as sincere when it contains this kind of attack.

Phillip wrote:

“However, Robert has a lengthy history of offending others, not only here, but other sites as well. Just here, I know he has offended repeatedly the likes of Bill Mac, Jim P., Les Pouty, Rhutchin, Randall C., and others. I personally know others, who never leave comments here, who find Robert’s behavior unacceptable.”

He cannot speak for others as he attempts to do here. And why is he trying to create a list of offended persons? In order to attack.

“Robert and I share so much regarding soteriology (even some Arminian beliefs), but it has never been about sharing truth, but rather the ability to act brotherly within our Christian family. Scripture shows us that God is full of grace and wrath. However, grace seems to be foreign to Robert so I have been giving Robert a taste of his own medicine in hopes it might bring him to repentance.”

I get along very well with most of the folks posting here. And why this absence of grace comment? In order to attack.

Phillip says “I have been giving Robert a taste of his own medicine in hopes it might bring him to repentance”.

Engaging in personal attacks of others is not what leads to repentance.

“It hasn’t. Grace from SBCT and others has been abused. And my idea of “fighting fire with fire” has been unfruitful. It saddens me that Robert wants an apology from me, but believes an apology to those mentioned above is unnecessary. Sadly, he just doesn’t get it.”

Again he makes reference to “my idea of ‘fighting fire with fire”. And I will point out that I have not retaliated in kind towards Phillip though he has said I was a Pharisee, evil, a fool, etc. etc.

“Fighting fire with fire” is not the Christian way and yet he tells us that is his approach.

He then says it “saddens me that Robert wants an apology from me” which again shows this apology is insincere. If he had merely apologized, that would have been great, and we could just move on. But he is not apologizing to me, so I will remain on guard regarding his comments.

“When he first came back from banishment here at SBCT, he walked on eggshells. But just a few weeks later after being reinstated he was back to his true form insulting others with… “dumb”, “dense”, “ignorant”, “stupid”, “child”, “child-ish”, “troll” and “bigot”. He, again, would “butt in” to others’ conversations with longed winded comments, which, he has been warned about previously. In short, his temporary exile taught him nothing.”

These are extremely misleading words because Phillip produces his laundry list of my supposed insults of others. I made a comment about rhutchin’s post saying it was dumb (that is true, but the rest of the list is something Phillip has compiled over YEARS of time posting at SBC Today and Soteriology 101 and produced this list to make it seem as if I am doing this all the time, which is not true at all). He says “his temporary exile taught him nothing”. Actually what I am learning is that Phillip is sitting like a hawk looking for, waiting for, me to make any comment that can possibly be construed as inappropriate so that HE can then pounce on it and again reproduce his laundry list.

I suggest this lying in wait, relishing the opportunity to attack: is not the best Christian conduct on his part. And I know others have already seen through his underlying hostility (e.g. Andrew Barker on two different threads now has noted that Phillip has hostility against Arminians and called him on it).

I believe that I have been posting in a civil and acceptable manner and I will seek to continue to do so despite Phillip’s lying in wait and continued attacks.

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Rick Patrick 28-09-2016, 14:35

I would be happy for any further conversation between the two of you to be shared privately. Please take it out back or just pray for each other. Let’s not do this here. Thanks.

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