SBC Calvinism New Statement

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SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Gene Scarborough » Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:52 am

The boys are at it again----creating grounds for endless argument and speculation:

http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=37939

I think the first thing to recognize is how certain "big boys" are proposing this statement. It reaffirms how the SBC is now more hierarchical than it has ever been in the past. That is a clear destruction of Autonomy.

The second is how it begs argument and division as if it that were not already bad enough.

The third is still making me wonder why a concept so embraced by Presbyterians has anything really to do with Southern Baptists.

Jon Akin, pastor of Fairview Church in Lebanon, Tenn., wrote at BaptistTwentyOne.com that he does not consider himself part of the "New Calvinism" and that he agrees with much in the statement. But Akin said the document is fighting "straw men," such as implying that "'New Calvinists' believe that a person can be saved apart from personal repentance and faith."

"I don’t know a single Calvinist in the SBC alive who would argue that a person can be saved apart from repentance and faith," wrote Akin, who added he believes the statement is divisive.

"The SBC is big enough to include Calvinists and non-Calvinists," Akin wrote. "We agree on far more than we disagree on, so let’s unite and fight a common enemy."

Tom Elliff, president of the International Mission Board, and Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board, released a joint statement about the document. It read:

"As the heads of the two SBC mission boards (IMB and NAMB), we and all our personnel have already affirmed the BF&M 2000 as prerequisites for employment. We do understand the sentiment behind the proposed statement, but we believe the BF&M 2000 effectively conveys the doctrinal positions traditionally held by Southern Baptists. While alternate doctrinal statements may occasionally arise, it is both our role and our intention to consistently lead in a manner that reflects those doctrines approved by the convention we serve."
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Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Dave Roberts » Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:11 am

Once moderates left the SBC, they need to fight someone so they are fighting each other. This is clearly aimed at Al Mohler and SBTS.
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Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Tim Bonney » Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:56 am

Dave Roberts wrote:Once moderates left the SBC, they need to fight someone so they are fighting each other. This is clearly aimed at Al Mohler and SBTS.


I find Akin's statement confusing. Does he understand far right Calvinism including the Calvinist doctrine of "Irresistible Grace?" It doesn't look like a straw man to me to conclude that your own personal faith is irrelevant if you believe you were elected to salvation or damnation from the beginning.
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Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Tim Bonney » Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:05 am

Nay, who can doubt of it while there are Calvinists in the world, — assertors of absolute predestination? For who will dare to affirm that none of these are truly religious men? Not only many of them in the last century were burning and shining lights, but many of them are now real Christians, loving God and all mankind. And yet what are all the absurd opinions of all the Romanists in the world, compared to that one, that the God of love, the wise, just, merciful Father of the spirits of all flesh, has, from all eternity, fixed an absolute, unchangeable, irresistible, decree, that part of all mankind shall be saved, do what they will; and the rest damned, do what they can! ( John Wesley - Sermon 55)
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Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Dave Roberts » Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:10 am

Some of my ancestors were Primitive Baptists. I know where Calvinism ultimately leads, and it leads exactly to the idea that predestination is absolute so evangelism is useless. It also leads to the idea that nothing we do in response to God is salvific if we are not "elected of God." That is Synod of Dort Calvinism taken to its logical conclusion.
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Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby William Thornton » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:49 am

If you guys read my blog you would be up on all this.

Moderates predicted this a generation ago, while exiting the SBC. Of course they were right. It is an issue that has been building for some time. There are churches that have been destroyed by overly agressive Calvinists. Some DOMs see grads of two seminaries (SEBTS and Southern) as arrogant and unacceptable. Some churches are negagively designating around the two schools in the CP giving.

I don't know what can come out of a statement like this. We're not going to change the BFM.
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Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Big Daddy Weaver » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:07 pm

William Thornton wrote:If you guys read my blog you would be up on all this.

Moderates predicted this a generation ago, while exiting the SBC. Of course they were right. It is an issue that has been building for some time. There are churches that have been destroyed by overly agressive Calvinists. Some DOMs see grads of two seminaries (SEBTS and Southern) as arrogant and unacceptable. Some churches are negagively designating around the two schools in the CP giving.

I don't know what can come out of a statement like this. We're not going to change the BFM.


I think the Akins and Southern Seminary folks are out-of-touch when it comes to Calvinism. Over the last few years, there seems to have been calm waters among the leaders on this subject. We saw a cordial discussion over Calvinism between Patterson and Mohler not long ago.

But, out there where the average SBCer resides, there is a strong dislike and distrust of Calvinism and Calvinists. I think Calvinism sells well in the seminary classroom but doesn't play well in the real world.

I'm not sure how this war can be avoided. And these aren't small theological issues either. Additionally, with the more hierarchical nature of the SBC (lots of Calvinist influence there) and growing influence and popularity of SBTS and SEBTS, there are reasons for these anti-Calvinist "traditionalists" to be concerned.

All that said, you've got a spectacularly crazy 2012 going on.

Richard Land didn't get brought down but Richard Land Live! did. Reprimanded, twice too.

There's a proposal to change the SBC's name, adding a "tag line" (weird, IMO)

You're set to elect the first black SBC President (w/ Richard Land's Trayvon Martin drama as a backdrop)

And now, a battle is brewing over Calvinism.

It's too much for any religion reporter to really cover. I also want to add, and see if William agrees, that Tom Ascol has been "mainstreamed" over the last few years. In the past, he was a rabble-rouser pushing an agenda, doing battle with the anti-Calvinists in a very public way. Now, he's behind-the-scenes. He doesn't make much noise. And my hunch is that's because he's "connected" now more than ever and has become an insider to a particular SBC party.

With that said, Ascol nor Founders has responded to the fact that the anti-gay "kill the gays" Kansas pastor is affiliated with and listed on the Founders website (the church is no longer affiliated with SBC/Kansas-Nebraska Convention).
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Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Gene Scarborough » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:29 pm

Mean and crazy has to find an outlet somewhere!!!

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Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Dave Roberts » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:42 pm

Big Daddy Weaver wrote:
William Thornton wrote:If you guys read my blog you would be up on all this.

Moderates predicted this a generation ago, while exiting the SBC. Of course they were right. It is an issue that has been building for some time. There are churches that have been destroyed by overly agressive Calvinists. Some DOMs see grads of two seminaries (SEBTS and Southern) as arrogant and unacceptable. Some churches are negagively designating around the two schools in the CP giving.

I don't know what can come out of a statement like this. We're not going to change the BFM.


I think the Akins and Southern Seminary folks are out-of-touch when it comes to Calvinism. Over the last few years, there seems to have been calm waters among the leaders on this subject. We saw a cordial discussion over Calvinism between Patterson and Mohler not long ago.

But, out there where the average SBCer resides, there is a strong dislike and distrust of Calvinism and Calvinists. I think Calvinism sells well in the seminary classroom but doesn't play well in the real world.

I'm not sure how this war can be avoided. And these aren't small theological issues either. Additionally, with the more hierarchical nature of the SBC (lots of Calvinist influence there) and growing influence and popularity of SBTS and SEBTS, there are reasons for these anti-Calvinist "traditionalists" to be concerned.

All that said, you've got a spectacularly crazy 2012 going on.

Richard Land didn't get brought down but Richard Land Live! did. Reprimanded, twice too.

There's a proposal to change the SBC's name, adding a "tag line" (weird, IMO)

You're set to elect the first black SBC President (w/ Richard Land's Trayvon Martin drama as a backdrop)

And now, a battle is brewing over Calvinism.

It's too much for any religion reporter to really cover. I also want to add, and see if William agrees, that Tom Ascol has been "mainstreamed" over the last few years. In the past, he was a rabble-rouser pushing an agenda, doing battle with the anti-Calvinists in a very public way. Now, he's behind-the-scenes. He doesn't make much noise. And my hunch is that's because he's "connected" now more than ever and has become an insider to a particular SBC party.

With that said, Ascol nor Founders has responded to the fact that the anti-gay "kill the gays" Kansas pastor is affiliated with and listed on the Founders website (the church is no longer affiliated with SBC/Kansas-Nebraska Convention).


I appreciate the careful analysis here that is reflective of someone who is in touch with the scope of what is happening. Theoretical Calvinism does play well in a seminary classroom where you can assume all present there are among the elect. When a young Calvinist pastor goes out to a church and has a conflict with a deacon who has been there for 50 years or more and announces that he is certain that deacon and all others who oppose him are not among the elect, the pastor will soon be "uncalled." Yet, I am hearing of events like that with those who are so enamored of Calvinist theology. The issues have begun to filter down to the churches where hurts will arise fast.
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Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Tom Butler » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:42 pm

Gene Scarborough wrote:The boys are at it again----creating grounds for endless argument and speculation:

http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=37939

I think the first thing to recognize is how certain "big boys" are proposing this statement. It reaffirms how the SBC is now more hierarchical than it has ever been in the past. That is a clear destruction of Autonomy.

The second is how it begs argument and division as if it that were not already bad enough.

The third is still making me wonder why a concept so embraced by Presbyterians has anything really to do with Southern Baptists.


I don't see how the statement reaffirms anything more than this is their opinion. How does it show that the SBC is more hierarchical? How does it destroy autonomy? No view is being imposed on any congregation by this statement.

Keep in mind that this statement is not an SBC policy or even a proposed policy. These men do not speak for the SBC as a convention. They speak only for themselves, just as you and I are speaking only for ourselves.

I do agree with you that it's stirring up division. Frankly, the document is riddled with straw men and misrepresentations of what Calvinists actually believe.
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Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Tom Butler » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:54 pm

Gene Scarborough wrote:The third is still making me wonder why a concept so embraced by Presbyterians has anything really to do with Southern Baptists.


Gene, I neglected to speak to this in my previous post.

The Southern Baptist Convention was formed in 1845. Until the first quarter of the 20th century, Calvinism represented the consensus view of Southern Baptists. Here's a quote from Tom Ascol of Founders Ministries:
The convention's first official confession of faith, which was written to provide doctrinal boundaries for our first seminary, reflects this consensus. So if we are going to take the complete history of the SBC into consideration, rather than an abridged version, this document would more accurately be called "A Statement of Modern Southern Baptist Understanding of God's Plan of Salvation." The understanding of salvation that was prevalent throughout the convention at its inception and for many decades afterward was nothing less than historic, evangelical Calvinism.


That first confession of faith is what we call the Abstract of Principles, which is the doctrinal statement of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. It is clearly Calvinist in its soteriology.

Those who wonder about the connection between the SBC and Calvinism have only to read some history.
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Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Sandy » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:56 pm

Gene Scarborough wrote:I think the first thing to recognize is how certain "big boys" are proposing this statement. It reaffirms how the SBC is now more hierarchical than it has ever been in the past. That is a clear destruction of Autonomy.


How is that? The convention has always set doctrinal parameters for its agencies and institutions, and there have always been self appointed "big boys" who have attempted to use their connections and influence to push the convention in the way they wanted it to go. All proposals still have to go through the convention to become official policy, and even if that happens, they are only binding on convention owned institutions, and not the churches or state conventions. No autonomy has even been threatened, much less destroyed.

This would have to be incorporated into the BFM in order for it to become policy at the seminaries, Lifeway and the mission boards. Doing that would not violate any autonomy, since they are owned by the convention. But I seriously doubt that this statement would make it through the convention.

As far as I know from my Baptist history, and I had Dr. McBeth at Southwestern, a good percentage of Baptists in America have always been influenced by, and held to, a measure of Calvinism from the earliest days, including many churches which eventually found their way into the SBC.
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Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Dave Roberts » Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:53 pm

Sandy wrote:As far as I know from my Baptist history, and I had Dr. McBeth at Southwestern, a good percentage of Baptists in America have always been influenced by, and held to, a measure of Calvinism from the earliest days, including many churches which eventually found their way into the SBC.


Sandy, you have spoken correctly. Calvinism has always influenced Baptists. It is quite another reality to be a doctrinal 5-point Calvinist as in the Confession of Dort. Aschol, Mohler, Akin, and their kin appear to be 5-point Calvinists which is a different stream altogether.
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Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Bruce Gourley » Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:53 pm

Tom Butler wrote:
Gene Scarborough wrote:The third is still making me wonder why a concept so embraced by Presbyterians has anything really to do with Southern Baptists.


Gene, I neglected to speak to this in my previous post.

The Southern Baptist Convention was formed in 1845. Until the first quarter of the 20th century, Calvinism represented the consensus view of Southern Baptists. Here's a quote from Tom Ascol of Founders Ministries:
The convention's first official confession of faith, which was written to provide doctrinal boundaries for our first seminary, reflects this consensus. So if we are going to take the complete history of the SBC into consideration, rather than an abridged version, this document would more accurately be called "A Statement of Modern Southern Baptist Understanding of God's Plan of Salvation." The understanding of salvation that was prevalent throughout the convention at its inception and for many decades afterward was nothing less than historic, evangelical Calvinism.


That first confession of faith is what we call the Abstract of Principles, which is the doctrinal statement of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. It is clearly Calvinist in its soteriology.

Those who wonder about the connection between the SBC and Calvinism have only to read some history.


Tom: Calvinism was the most common theological view among early Baptists of the South, but not the consensus view. Read John Leland, a southern Baptist in the late 18th century and widely recognized as the leading Baptist evangelist of the late 18th and early 19th centuries (and, in modern times, considered by some as the Billy Graham of his day).

As to Southern Seminary, it was founded by Old School Presbyterian-trained theologians.
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Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Gene Scarborough » Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:20 am

There has been some objection to my contention that Autonomy has been abridged in recent years. I stand by this and it is proven in the fact that, in NC, that Article of the old Constitution and By-laws has disappeared as a primary foundational statement. If you are a Philadelphia Lawyer reading the new Articles of Incorporation, you find it buried in a minute corner only the serious will detect. The actions of this particular state convention clearly violate autonomy as churches are kicked out which minister to gays and have female pastors. The strong influence of SEBTS is clearly evident.

The Southern Baptist leaders of the past adopted the BF&M to try and placate the ultra-conservative folks, it was only a few years until BF&M 2000 was formally adopted and is now a litmus test equal to a Creed for missionaries and employees. One of the strong points of my SBC was that we did not believe in Creeds!

Where things were presented to the Convention for formal adoption in the past, they passed over many committees to the point of formal adoption. Even then, contentious things were often modified by majority vote in the final phase----NO LONGER!

Starting pre-1979 there were meetings by a few mega church pastors in airports which came out with things declaring: "Southern Baptists believe . . . ." No one did any formal survey. No one stood up and said, "Nobody speaks for any individual church or member!" Quietly we adopted things which began to reign over formerly Autonomous churches and individuals.

To put is simply: We majored on Missions and minored on Theology. That was my personal experience from joining my Southern Baptist church in the 50's to seeing it change in 1979.

A group of diverse churches cooperated together, despite differences, to give to missions. With the advent of mega churches and mega egos of their controlling pastors, we have launched into an entirely new mind set. That bunch of CR leaders are now in trouble with Richard Land pontificating, and younger leaders wanting to break in. It's their turn to squirm. I think they deserve it and they are certainly losing numbers and baptisms year by year.

A clear case can be made for the Calvinistic beginnings at Southern Seminary. What allowed the SBC to grow with speed and move out of the South was the willingness not to be so narrow as it has become of late. Even more, was the spirit of Autonomy which allowed for cooperation within that diversity. Young ministers full of naive certainty and a Calvinist Manefesto are getting in trouble around Wake Forest, NC. Many churches took these men as student pastors not realizing things had changed. Most went to their new church with a model new Constitution and By-laws in hand which would make the pastor the church ruler with power to control all things in that church.

I have talked with people from many small churches as I did tree work for them. They learned a bitter lesson full of church turmoil and will no longer invite a SEBTS student as their pastor. This is not my invention. It is a simple description from living only 45 minutes from Wake Forest and working for people all around the area as things changed.

It appears to me that this new Calvinist push is just another expression of the control motivated by aggression which was used in spreading the Gospel in the past---rather than destroying one another.
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Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Sandy » Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:19 pm

Gene Scarborough wrote:There has been some objection to my contention that Autonomy has been abridged in recent years.


Granted, there have been some changes in the SBC, however, it is still a convention made up of independent, autonomous churches. Churches and church leaders have always been influenced by trends within the convention and strong personalities, and in the conducting of its business on the convention level, it has always had a small, inner circle of leaders who have called the shots, whether in a more genteel style with a velvet gloved fist, as in the pre-1979 years, or with a more open punch, as has occurred since the Conservative Resurgence. I have only encountered a few individuals who still have the blinders on with regard to the SBC prior to 1979, and they are largely individuals who had some connection to the pre-1979 leadership, or who pitched their tent in that camp. The SBC, the state conventions, associations and individual churches have overwhelmingly accepted not only the resurgence leadership, but the BFM 2000. They put their finger on the pulse of the convention, correctly sensed that the pre-1979 leadership was moving it in a direction that the vast majority of Southern Baptists did not want to go, and successfully made a change through the convention's processes.

The SBC is not going to split over Calvinism. It may have some long and loud arguments and discussions over it, but it will not divide.

Gene Scarborough wrote:What allowed the SBC to grow with speed and move out of the South was the willingness not to be so narrow as it has become of late. Even more, was the spirit of Autonomy which allowed for cooperation within that diversity.


The numerical growth of the SBC, as well as the ratio of Baptisms to total members, was already slowing down well before the Conservative Resurgence came along. Theological diversity of the kind that was being introduced into the convention prior to 1979 was poison. Diversity is one thing, but when it leads to the replacement of Biblical authority with human reasoning and intellect, it leads churches into spiritual apostasy, and that's where the SBC was headed prior to 1979. Southern Baptist churches and state conventions outside of Dixieland are growing, adding new churches, and are quite diverse when it comes to their cultural impact. Just from observation, I would guess that more than half of the SBC churches in Western PA are reaching ethnic populations in inner-city areas where other churches have long since given up and closed their doors. Outside of this area, I've seen vibrant, booming SBC work going on in the Chicago area, especially in the city, where the African American churches are booming, and a wide variety of ethnic congregations are baptizing hundreds and looking for space to expand.

Gene Scarborough wrote:I have talked with people from many small churches as I did tree work for them. They learned a bitter lesson full of church turmoil and will no longer invite a SEBTS student as their pastor. This is not my invention. It is a simple description from living only 45 minutes from Wake Forest and working for people all around the area as things changed.


And yet, it seems, beyond your anecdotal evidence, according to the SBC annual for 2010, SEBTS has the best placement record of any of the six seminaries. It also seems that there are plenty of conservative congregations affiliated with the BSCNC who are willing to continue hiring student pastors from there. Southeastern's student body continues to grow, including the Bachelor's level programs, and that wouldn't be happening if the ministerial opportunities weren't available to students.
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Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Dave Roberts » Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:10 pm

One of the things that fascinates me is that the CR was sold as the cure to declining evangelism with the assurance that the new majority knew how to save souls while moderates did not. What happened to those assurances in the face of declining evangelism????
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Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:25 pm

Dave Roberts wrote:One of the things that fascinates me is that the CR was sold as the cure to declining evangelism with the assurance that the new majority knew how to save souls while moderates did not. What happened to those assurances in the face of declining evangelism????


If far right Calvinism because the theological norm then evangelism is dead. You can dance on the head of a pin all you want about eternal election still requiring the preaching of the gospel but if you really believe that who is in and who is out has already been decided it takes the steam out of everything. Irresistable grace requires irresistable reprobation as well. The Bible just doesn't support it.
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Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Sandy » Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:34 pm

Dave Roberts wrote:One of the things that fascinates me is that the CR was sold as the cure to declining evangelism with the assurance that the new majority knew how to save souls while moderates did not. What happened to those assurances in the face of declining evangelism????


During the 60's and 70's, when the baptism numbers got up above 400,000, the vast majority of them, upwards of 85% according to BSSB reports from those years, were children under 12 from families already reached by the church. That has dropped in recent years, because families no longer have as many children, and the churches have more older people and fewer families with children. The number of adult baptisms has actually increased.

While the SBC's leadership has raised concerns regarding the baptism numbers, and is planning to put some things in place to help increase the numbers. I'm not convinced that denominational initiatives are the solution to problems that have their roots in a thousand different issues embedded within local autonomous churches. There are segments within the SBC where the baptism numbers are growing. Most state conventions outside of the deep South are seeing increases in membership, attendance and baptisms. Among Hispanics and African Americans, evangelism is thriving, and in some areas that the convention used to call "pioneer" areas, the churches are growing and developing, and baptizing new members, at exponential growth rates. I think the problem has to do with the fact that so many of the churches in the South are now largely congregations of senior adults, and that starting new churches is lagging behind the rest of the country. Up here in Pennsylvania, churches with 50 or 60 people in attendance on Sunday morning are sponsoring multiple chapels and missions. Churches in the South don't seem to be as generous with their resources.
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Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Sandy » Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:38 pm

Tim Bonney wrote:
Dave Roberts wrote:One of the things that fascinates me is that the CR was sold as the cure to declining evangelism with the assurance that the new majority knew how to save souls while moderates did not. What happened to those assurances in the face of declining evangelism????


If far right Calvinism because the theological norm then evangelism is dead. You can dance on the head of a pin all you want about eternal election still requiring the preaching of the gospel but if you really believe that who is in and who is out has already been decided it takes the steam out of everything. Irresistable grace requires irresistable reprobation as well. The Bible just doesn't support it.


Which is exactly why Calvinism will never become the theological norm in the SBC. There aren't that many "far right" Calvinists, and most of those who are Calvinist aren't at the far right spectrum of it.
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Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Gene Scarborough » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:42 am

Sandy---

You are avoiding some serious realities about SBC growth. I was a child in the 50's when the SBC made it's great leap in numbers. It was real---and it certainly did not involve just children joining.

I distinctly remember "A Million More in 54 / Flying High in '55 / . . ." I grew up in Atlanta where my father was Assistant DOM of the Atlanta Baptist Association. Atlanta was growing and so were Baptist churches. Old downtown churches like Atlanta First, Decatur First, Second Ponce de Leon made conscious efforts to start mission churches in the growing suburbs.

Wieuca Road is a prime example. Dr. Roy McClain wrote a letter to encourage his members living in the Wieuca area to help form a new church. Atlanta First and the Atlanta Baptist Association cooperated to purchase a parcel of land and many members of Atlanta First formed the hub of a new church which called it's pastor and grew more than rapidly with new families moving into the area and joining that outstanding church. Second Ponce de Leon had members in the same area who were blessed and encouraged to join. Any number of other new mission churches formed in those years and they, in turn, grew to the point of starting new mission churches as well.

This was the secret of great growth in the 50-60's = COOPERATION and encouragement for new independent churches!

Things changed with Charles Stanley becoming pastor of Atlanta First. He was intent on building back Atlanta First to mega status. Immediately, their budget changed from 50% to missions to a pitance. They went from a "Top 10 CP" giving church to "no mention." The money sent for missions, first, purchased a bus fleet to replicate Jerry Falwell's Thomas Road approach to church building. Massive money was spent to purchase prime time on WTBS, then a new UHF station in Atlanta. Stanley put his service on when no other stations were giving prime time away as they used to. Atlanta First became a media mogul of churches in that growing city. They bought more land ajacent to the church and more than doubled their Education Building capacity. It was all about having the biggest church in town---no matter how many children were picked up in front of other existing churches all over the suburbs. That was the genesis of "child baptism growth!"

Where McClain had been active in denominational work in the SBC and Atlanta Baptist Association, Stanley would never attend the weekly Pastor's Conference unless he was on the program. They could care less now about Associational events nor growth. They certainly had nothing any longer to do with the MIssion Center ministering in the poverty part of Atlanta. The money went almost exclusively to their own church growth---and they were becoming noted in Dallas as Criswell did the same / Orlando where it was the same / Nashville and other places where big cities were growing in the South. The mega church concept was supplanting the Mission Church Planting movement!

The reason Southern Baptists are no longer growing is a Mega Church leadership and concept taking over from a Mission Church Planting locally concept. Now the new churches in growing areas are all Satellite Churches under the umbrella of a Mega Church funding it. The gifts and numbers are counted as part of the Mega. It makes those egotitistical pastors look "mighty and growing." Every leader of the SBC now was a former Mega Church Pastor who gets his "undisclosed salary and benefits" from a Denomination run with iron fist by the Mega Church Pastors getting the Presidency or Agency CEO position!

Here endeth the lesson :)
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Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Tim Bonney » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:02 am

Sandy wrote:
Tim Bonney wrote:
Which is exactly why Calvinism will never become the theological norm in the SBC. There aren't that many "far right" Calvinists, and most of those who are Calvinist aren't at the far right spectrum of it.


Sandy you know the current SBC landscape better than I do. But given what William shares here and in his blog about increasing trouble with some hard headed Calvinists and the leadership in two of the six SBC seminaries, I'm not sure how you come to that conclusion. If Arminian or Modified Calvinist congregations in the SBC were growing by leaps and bounds so that Calvinist leaning leadership would be overwealmed by a new influx of more historic SBC views I might agree with you. But I wonder. A denomination doesn't have to grow for a small group to eventually takeover and remake it.

If several SBC seminaries put out strong Calvinist graduates who over time have an influence in local churches then over time I'd think that the SBC over all would start to lean more and more Calvinists. This would be an unfortunate development.

One of the churches I pastored in Indiana, First Baptist Church of Petersburg, was part of the Union Baptist Association which was formed in the 1800s when Primitive Baptists took over their previous associaition. At one time the Primitive Baptist movement was very strong in Indiana. Now they they are nearly dead for the obvious reason that they are hyper-Calvinists who don't believe in evangelism, outreach, Sunday School or anything other than a Sunday worship service led by an untrained pastor.

I would think that the SBC should take a lesson from the failure of the Primitive Baptist movement and see it as a warning for any deomination that teaches something contrary to the clear teaching of scripture in the words of Jesus Himself found in the John 3:16 and many other places in Holy Scripture.

You'd think some of these folks think that John Calvin was a Baptist the way they follow his soteriological views. Yet they don't follow his views on the sacraments or church eclessiology. It is odd how people pick and choose from his writings.
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First UMC of Indianola, Iowa - http://indfumc.org
My Blog - http://timbonney.com
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Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Gene Scarborough » Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:47 am

Lesson in life, Tim = God doesn't bless a mess!
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Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby William Thornton » Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:04 pm

BDW, I'm guessing that Ascol doesn't feel the need to be agressive because of the success of the New Calvinists in the SBC; hence, he lies low.

Timothy, you offer the familiar old saw about Calvinists and the death of evangelism but the only data in the SBC I am aware of (a LifeWay Research study) showed the opposite. I'll go with the data, not the old saw.

Gene, I would be interested in hearing about any first hand conversation you have with SBC church folks about SEBTS grads. You can email me. I hear some say this kind of stuff but recent SEBTS grads don't tell me the place is a New Calvinist hotbed churning out foaming-at-the-mouth disciples of Johannes Calvin.
My stray thoughts on SBC stuff may be found at my blog, SBC Plodder
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Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Ed Pettibone » Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:23 pm

William Thornton wrote:BDW, I'm guessing that Ascol doesn't feel the need to be agressive because of the success of the New Calvinists in the SBC; hence, he lies low.

Timothy, you offer the familiar old saw about Calvinists and the death of evangelism but the only data in the SBC I am aware of (a LifeWay Research study) showed the opposite. I'll go with the data, not the old saw.

Gene, I would be interested in hearing about any first hand conversation you have with SBC church folks about SEBTS grads. You can email me. I hear some say this kind of stuff but recent SEBTS grads don't tell me the place is a New Calvinist hotbed churning out foaming-at-the-mouth disciples of Johannes Calvin.


Ed: William do you have a link to the LifeWay Research Data that you refer to in your reply to Tim ?

And you may be interested in knowing a Reformed Church we found on a self guided tour on a trip to Geneva in 1998 Had a plaque on an outside wall near the entrance commemorating a visit by Jean Calvin. Since he was born in France, I am persuaded the his name was in fact Jean, rather than Johannes which is typically of German origin .
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