David Platt is the New IMB President

NOTE: Word is filtering out that perhaps the vote has NOT been taken yet and the announcement was accidental – perhaps materials were released prematurely. The vote may not have even been taken yet. I don’t know what is going on. Right now, things are unclear. 

NEXT NOTE: Have received word that the official announcement, previously unofficially released accidentally, is now an officially official announcement. It seems that Platt IS the IMB president. Until more tweets come!

AND: The communications staff at IMB has been rewarded for their efforts today with an all-expenses paid mission trip to Liberia, Gaza and Afghanistan. 


Just received word that David Platt has (to no one’s surprise) been elected President of the International Mission Board.

I think David Platt is wonderful, passionate and solid. I think his nomination was fraught with some peril, obviously. I’m not sure how I’d have voted if I had the chance as an IMB trusteed.

But here’s what I think at this point.

Regardless of how you feel about the issues related to David Platt – his theology, his support (or lack thereof) of denominational causes, some of his stances on issues – he is the duly elected president of the IMB.

The IMB is our missionary arm. Every Southern Baptist who loves the gospel and desires to see the Great Commission fulfilled should be praying for David Platt. It does no good to recriminate. Maybe Platt will do a great job. Maybe he will struggle. None of us knows.

But I know this – every Southern Baptist should be praying right now that David Platt will turn out to be the greatest president the IMB has ever seen. The world needs Christ and nothing matters as much as that.




  1. William Thornton says

    He has my prayers and unqualified support in his task. I look forward to seeing the Trustees make their case for his selection.

  2. says

    The installation of Platt will certainly bring focus to the IMB. My prayer is that he will be patient and feather in his leadership skills, understanding that to be successful will take working with, not pulling along the existing team. I also pray he uses many more mature men and women in the churches to help him build a solid message of synergism.

    This will certainly be a test for David at his tender age.

    I hope he does well and uses his view of theology, not as a platform, but only as a defender of the faith once for all delivered to the Saints.


    • D.L. Payton says

      Patience is the key. I pray he will not make the same mistake Ezell did at NAMB. Ezell made too many statements and decisions before he knew the lay of the land and was forced to retract to often. In those early days NAMB was a moving target, not sure what was what. Hopefully Platt will not do this.

      • Tarheel says


        I think IMB is handed to Platt in MUCH better shape than NAMB was handed to Ezell, though….ya know?

        (NAMB had just been through a somewhat revolving door of presidents and public friction between the office of the President(s) and the trustees, whereas it seems that IMB has been in more stable and “cooperative” hands – a few hiccups years ago, but they were essentially smoothed out.)

        However, that is still good advice.

  3. Dave Miller says

    Bart Barber wrote a reasoned piece yesterday at his site, Praisegod Barebones, about the nomination. Some have inquired why I did not post that here.

    We had plans to do so, under certain circumstances, which never happened.

    So, that post never got posted here. But I want readers to know that it was not some kind of rift between Bart and I or a refusal to post. We were in contact several times yesterday and debated whether to post or not.

    That’s why the post never got put up here at SBC Voices.

  4. says

    I think it is a great decision and I am thrilled. I am incredibly impressed with how he has led Brook Hills and how he has transformed their culture into a missions culture. As a Samford grad, I attended Brooks Hills when it began in the early 90s. His Secret Church ministry has very effectively and with enthusiasm communicated the challenge and danger of spreading the Gospel to hard to reach people groups to the average layman better than anything I had seen. His “Radical” books have served noticed to our complacent SBC we need to stop building fancier builders to ourselves and pour money, energy, passion into missions, His youth and passion is exactly what the IMB needs right now in my opinion.

  5. says

    So, they chose a man to lead NAMB, whose church gave $1 to Annie, and a very low percentage to the CP…..and now, we have an IMB President, whose Church gave very little to the CP and to the Lottie Moon offering…..and, THEY are the ones, who are now going to be telling us to lead our Churches to give SACRIFICIALLY????? smh

    • says

      Also, could they have picked a more polarizing figure in the tension between Calvinists and Non Calvinists? I mean, c’mon.

      I have a feeling that this is not gonna turn out good.


      • says

        And, let me add this….I do believe that Kevin Ezell and David Platt are fine men, who truly love the Lord. I’m not questioning that, at all. I just want that to be made plain and clear.


        • Greg Harvey says

          Mr. Worley:

          Thanks for your comment. Let me add to it: there probably isn’t a single one of us that has done everything we could with the resources we are given by God Almighty whether life, limb, breath, strength, or material resources. But when there is an accounting for how we have used these resources, one would hope that each of us could have our own personal and corporate faith journey reflect the same kinds of things that David Platt and Kevin Ezell have actually done.

          And one at the same time hopes that they are expanding their personal and corporate version of the purpose of a cooperating effort funded by an easy to understand and easy to give to central fund. The term “program” probably could be updated because it suggests something it really isn’t anymore. But that we cooperate together doesn’t need to be redefined…merely expanded.

          Perhaps we merely need to pray to the Lord of the Harvest that not only the harvesters would be plentiful but that the means of gathering them, preparing them, and supporting them would also be sufficient. Yes we can sin and avoid the implications of our own prayers: that we become more deeply invested. Or: we can live within our own prayers and seek to obedient to that for which we seek God to bless and empower. And might I add that we can live within our own prayers cheerfully?

    • Bart Barber says

      No, David…

      I am going to be the one telling us to lead our churches to give sacrificially. And I hope that you will join me.

      • Dave Miller says

        Bart, that is why I like you even if you commit the unpardonable sin of disagreeing with me at times.

      • says

        Shouldn’t we all be doing that? By word and example?

        Of course, I don’t get why we need to tell that at all. If our hearts are in reaching the lost, the only thing we should need from IMB President is clarity that the money is well spent, the mission force is well supported, and the Word of God is going to the nations. If that’s happening, then the IMB is where the money should be headed.

        If it’s not, then the IMB needs to correct their behavior. But we shouldn’t need IMB to tell us to give sacrificially. They should simply need to tell us why our giving should go through them–and they can do that by continuing to explain good stewardship.

        That’s my two cents worth: Almyra Baptist sends 30% through the CP because we support all the work to reach the lost that happens through it, including state, national, and international missions efforts. The identity of the IMB president isn’t going to affect our support for reaching the lost, and if he and the board itself can be trusted, then we’ll keep trusting them with the money (as we do NAMB, SBCEC, ABSC, and the like). That’s where it comes down–do we trust these to steward those resources?

        I think we should. We should give sacrificially without question: that should be our default position. The only question is where? And as Southern Baptists, the answer should be through our folks for as long as they are trustworthy.

    • Bart Barber says

      I’m not trying to call you out or anything, David. I’m just trying to make the point that the Cooperative Program is bigger than you or me or David Platt. If all of my fears prove true and David Platt weakens the CP (and maybe he won’t!), then that just makes it our job to strengthen it more than he weakens it.

    • babasteve says

      Baptist Press reports:
      In 2013, The Church at Brook Hills gave $100,000 to the Southern Baptist Executive Committee; $25,000 to the Cooperative Program; $12,500 to the Alabama Baptist Children’s Home; $15,000 to the Birmingham Baptist Association; $300,000 to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions; and $325,000 to the International Mission Board in special designated gifts, for a total of $777,500, or 8.9 percent of the church’s total giving for the year, to Southern Baptist causes. Projections for 2014 are: $175,000 to the Southern Baptist Executive Committee; $25,000 to the Cooperative Program; $15,000 to the Alabama Baptist Children’s Home; $68,000 to the Birmingham Baptist Association; $300,000 to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions; and $718,000 to the International Mission Board in special designated gifts, for a projected year-end total of $1,301,000, or 13.8 percent in total projected church giving.

  6. Stephen says

    I posted a similar comment on Bart’s post, but I don’t think there’s any doubt that Platt is the best man in the SBC to challenge every believer on their personal involvement in spreading the gospel to the nations.

    • Nate says

      Yet, the head of the IMB is not to be challenging people personally. He is to be coordinated, facilitating, and leading the charge of the churches of the SBC in spreading the gospel internationally. And he is doing this with church’s CP dollars, not individual contributions (if you get my point).

      • William Thornton says

        Let’s be accurate here: the CP funds 30% of IMB’s budget, Lottie about 50%. That doesn’t make CP an insignificant component.

      • D.L. Payton says

        I get your point and agree totally. The Pres of an entity such as the IMB is not the same in function as a pastor in leadership and challenging.

    • Dave Miller says

      That is the most notable thing about Platt – his passion for the lost to know Christ and the kingdom to advance. That is undeniable.

      • Louis Cook says

        That is what struck me in his sermons I have watched or heard. A true, heartfelt and deep desire to reach the lost with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  7. says

    Some will increase their IMB giving because of this;
    some will decrease,
    or not increase
    their IMB giving because of this.

    It will be interesting to see which side wins.

    Few will publicly come out opposing this, and reducing their giving.

    But I fear some will:

    Lose their enthusiasm for the IMB and Cooperative Program (why should we give when the president did not give?).
    Not be as excited about promoting Lottie Moon.
    Quietly reduce, or at least not raise their Cooperative Program giving.
    Perhaps make their increased mission giving to organizations like Samaritan’s Purse, CEF, ACAP, Wycliffe, Biblical Evangelist, maybe Connect316; maybe increase a pastor’s salary with money left over.
    Feel alienated by the Calvinization of the SBC.

    David R. Brumbelow

    • Jay Stewart says

      Great article! It’s also interesting to note that Dr. Patterson put a definite timeframe in the post. It’ll be interesting to see 13 months from now how Dr. Patterson feels.

  8. says

    I suppose it’s possible that someone leaked the rumor just to see folks’ reaction. Perhaps they put a little weight on bloggers’ … and their commenters’ … opinions.

    Particularly after the 2006 SBC elections.

    Hey that’d be a nice thought, wouldn’t it?

  9. says

    Also just read that overall, Brook Hills (and David Platt personally) are quite active in giving to global causes; certainly enough so that he’d seem to be qualified to lead the IMB on that score. BUT .. I have to ask why the giving was not through the CP. Isn’t that the real glue that’s held the SBC together for years? I mean … there are great retirement programs out there besides Guidestone, Insurance is available elsewhere, too, and there’s plenty of suitable, excellent Sunday School material available elsewhere than Lifeway. So … That pretty well leaves the Cooperative Program and Dave Miller as the real reasons for being in the SBC.


    • Jimmy Clark says

      I understand the CP issue and what it is and what it does, etc. BUT…is there ever a time when autonomous churches can decide as the Spirit leads that giving through other organizations would be a better stewardship of their funds, for various reasons that include but are not limited to: high overhead of denominational structures (salaries, etc)? I’m not trying to be divisive. I’m a young SBC man with a truly reformed (not JUST Calvinistic) bent that sees good in the SBC and the CP, but can’t find Scriptural support for hook/line/sinker blind support of the party line when there are other avenues that can fulfill the same ends more efficiently (in some cases, not all). Looking forward to gracious and informed responses to genuine, well intentioned questions.

      • Bart Barber says

        Jimmy, I would direct you to this post and suggest that if there are problems with the CP, the best thing to do is to fix it. By doing that, you’re multiplying your efforts, because then you’re making a whole bunch of churches more effective, and not just your own.

  10. Dave Miller says

    NOTE: It appears that someone at the IMB released the information prematurely. Tweets are saying that the vote has not been taken and Platt is not officially the IMB pres.

    Will update this as soon as I possibly can.

    • Nate says

      Max, if you go the IMB’s homepage, there is nothing about this. Not sure where Stetzer linked. Although the Lead tab is not responding

  11. says

    I initially agreed (and still do) with the concerns Bart Barber raised earlier this week. I will now pray that Platt’s passion for missions can overcome the obstacles he faces, that his leadership will bring our Convention to a new excitement and passion for Great Commission work among the peoples of the world, and that we will renew our commitment to the Cooperative Program. I call on Platt detractors to give him a chance here.

  12. Adam Blosser says

    Any truth to the rumor that Dave Miller has been tapped as the leading candidate to be named new preaching pastor at the Church at Brookhills?

  13. Dave Miller says

    Please hear me on this. I understand the angst of some over David Platt’s hiring as SBC president. But he’s there now. Pray for his success.

    And frankly, the IMB is not just about the Pres. It is about the work of nearly 5000 missionaries around the world. Let’s keep our eyes on the ball.

    • says

      someone said this;

      “That is what struck me in Platt’s sermons I have watched or heard. A true, heartfelt and deep desire to reach the lost with the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

      I think this is undeniable.


      FWIW my respect level for you was high before – but even more so now. I mean that.

  14. Bob Browning says

    Very, very exciting news!

    We definitely need to be in prayer for David and his family and also for our IMB.

    I would also ask that everyone remember to pray for The Church at Brook Hills as well during the time of transition this will bring upon them.

    -Bob Browning

  15. Bill Mac says

    I thought the concerns against selecting Platt were very reasonable. But here’s my question: Do you have concerns about something you think he’s going to do?

    Do you think he’s going to order missionaries not to use the sinner’s prayer? (he’s already clarified that comment)

    I got the impression that some people were against him for what he represents rather than for what kind of job they thought he would do. In other words, I’m not sure it is going to matter if he does a good job. To some people, the fact that he is a Calvinist will be all that they need, or want to know.

    • says

      That is what, in my opinion, sets Dr Barber far far above and apart from many others who raised issues with David Platt’s candidacy. He had issues, he expressed them, but now he is going to pray for and support the new IMB president. Dr Barber did things right! Others…not so much.

      • Dave Miller says

        That is the epitome of SBC. Voice your concerns. State your objections. Then get to work together.

  16. says

    I’m just being blunt and honest. I feel that they picked a very polarizing man to be head of the IMB. With the tensions so high between Calvinists and Non Calvinists, they could’ve found someone else, who doesn’t have the history of Platt. I feel that this could lead to some very troubling days, ahead, in the SBC.


    • says


      Stop listening to Bob. He will not be satiated until no Calvinistic Southern Baptists are involved in leading our convention. It pains me to see anyone echo his vitriol.

      • says


        I’m not echoing Bob Hadley. I’m telling you what a lot of people feel. And, I’m telling you that the appointment of Platt will only add a huge amount of gas to this fire. I think this hire was not good. It’s gonna lead to a lot of trouble.


        • Adam Blosser says

          I hope you are wrong. I actually think you are. Especially in light of things I have read from those who opposed Platt’s election.

      • D.L. Payton says

        Bob has nothing to do with this. For most SB Bob is not a player, in fact neither is Voices. It is a big convention and most folks do not know Bob or Voices. However many many SB pastors across the country and across generational lines understand the division that is taking place. Platt is a good man and he is our Pres. and I will support him. However, this WILL add to the division within the convention and Bob is not the one influencing them

        • Tarheel says


          Do you believe it HAS to lead to more division and rancor?

          It seems like you and others are saying that it is a forgone conclusion that it will “make things worse”?

          I am thinking, that it might fire up those who are already the on fire, firmly planted, loudest screaming anti Calvinists….but for the 99% rest of us….we are going about our business cooperatively evangelizing, planting churches, and making disciples of believers in our communities and world…in part through our giving to the Cooperative Program.

          • D.L. Payton says

            You raise a good point. Admittedly I am in a grouchy mood this morning, so my comments reflect that. I am just growing weary of all the rancor and positioning. I hold to my original statement that there are many men who could have done this job well without selecting one with baggage. However, Platt is our new man and he deserves my support, and me continuing to complain helps nothing. Now if I can only find my valium :-)

      • Jason Gray says


        To be fair, Brook Hills DID give to the CP. So, your statement is untrue. I think we should be better than hyperbole in our discourse on this issue. They may not give according to the arbitrary standard you might set for CP giving, but they did give to it. They also gave generously to the SBC.

        I understand that the CP is defined as giving through state conventions, but I think we are going to have to understand that in a day and age of bloated state conventions that many churches see the wastefulness of giving through the state conventions and seek to maximize their dollars by giving them straight to the EC to be distributed. You may not like that, but it is reality and the reasoning needs to be considered. I am fortunate to be a part of what I believe is the best state convention out there and led by a great Executive Director. But not every church is as fortunate as my church is. Not every state convention is working hard to streamline their approach. In an attempt to get more dollars to ministry, I believe many churches are sending less to the state. The merits of that can be debated and discussed…and it may give people pause for situations like hiring an entity head…but the heart behind such decisions, and the individual situation, needs to be considered. Just as we have constantly re-evaluated and reassessed aspects of the CP and aspects of SBC structure as we have gone on, perhaps we will be able to give a clear look to the CP and missions giving and see where and if we can improve the process to make it more appealing and more effective.

        I believe in the CP. We give to the CP. We also give far beyond that giving to other missions efforts. But understand this, if you want to CP giving increase you can’t just say to churches “give more to the CP”, and you can’t just point to the percentage your church gives…that is entirely unpersuasive. If you want CP giving, and more significantly, missions giving, to increase…then you get an IMB President who is passionate and can stoke the embers of passion in others into a raging fire of desire to see the nations reached…that will motivate people to give. Quoting stats and giving simple platitudes is insufficient for the task. Platt can and will provide that.

        • D.L. Payton says

          I am not sure that the issue is “what” is worthy and what is not or what entity gets the money. The issue is that Platt led his church to give to what he thought was best. Now he has a right to do that to be sure. However if 44.000 churches choose to follow that practice chaos will ensue. It would be hard to build national entity budgets because the giving is at the mercy of the whims of the pastor/church. In addition it should be the convention deciding how to divide the money, not a church making power plays.

          You are correct about waste. No doubt about it. However, lets tackle that issue, because that is the real issue.

    • Bart Barber says

      Knowing that was the basis of my concern, not the antidote to it.

      The man most able to kill the Cooperative Program is the president of the IMB. If he promotes direct giving to IMB causes, people will do that rather than support the CP. Because the IMB is the most popular Southern Baptist ministry, the CP can only exists alongside the IMB’s determined and dogged support of it.

      I never thought Platt was stingy. I just thought he doesn’t support the CP model.

      But if the CP fails, all the money in the world given to the IMB won’t make up for the things that will die that actually feed the IMB with money and personnel.

      • says

        At what point do we ask, why did a wise and strong thinking man like David Platt–with a heart for foreign missions, decide that the best route towards giving was not directly through the CP?

        What I gather from Platt and his goldfish is that his passion as a church is to ask what do we need to do to make the most amount of money go to lost and unreached peoples. If they decided from this that CP wasn’t the best way—shouldn’t thise cause us to ask questions about the CP?

        Maybe, Platt is the right man for the job because of this reason. He might know what we could do to cause CP money to get more missionaries on the field and push back more lostness.

        Just some thoughts.

        • says

          so, maybe we should follow his lead, and designate all of our money? maybe we know best how our money should be spent, and not trust the SBC leaders and our state leaders to use that money wisely, like Platt did? maybe we should all learn from Platt and Ezell?


        • says

          As an autonomous church you have that right.

          But maybe it isn’t about trust. Maybe it’s a matter of a different focus. And that’s what I’m asking here. I could care less about personalities or sides or arguments or any of that…I’m just asking a legit question here.

        • D.L. Payton says

          I agree that Platt is a smart man. However it makes me nervous to think we should reexamine the CP because he has done so. There are equally smart men who disagree. This type of hero worship is what has gotten us into trouble before.

          • William Thornton says

            The reexamination of the CP is about 35 years old now…it’s slow but steady. I suspect it will accelerate now for good reasons.

      • says

        I agree with that entirely. David Platt will need to see the wisdom and understand that very point. Direct giving is not the best answer IMHO, as it would eventually hurt both initiatives.

    • Max says

      Perhaps the IMB trustees viewed Platt’s appointment as a way to get the Millinneals aware of the Cooperative Program and start giving to it? The 20s-40s in church plants in my area are more inclined to fund direct mission programs, than support a distant CP effort. Platt may now become a CP ambassador they can trust to get in their pocket.

      • D.L. Payton says

        When he gives so little to the CP why would he now advocate CP giving. It seems more logical that these young pastors will follow his example and pick and choose as he did.

  17. Andy Williams says

    Here’s something that might be a good step toward good faith between SBC Leadership and the masses: David Platt could reveal his IMB Salary as soon as he knows what it is. Non-disclosed SBC Executive Salaries has been a long-standing trend, but it should end.

    • Jon says

      Anyone can come to my church during a business meeting and see my salary, even if you are not a member. We shouldn’t be hiding the salaries of the people in these positions. What is there to hide?

  18. Nate says

    Hershall York, who was on the Trustee committee that elected Platt said this, “Going through this process has been healthy for David Platt. By his own admission he now sees the beauty and the usefulness of the Cooperative Program as a missions dynamo for a large denomination and would certainly do things differently. ”

    One can only hope that Platt will publicly declare this and urge his church to now give to the CP wholeheartedly. That would be a good step forward, I think.

    • Tom Bryant says

      “Going through this process has been healthy for David Platt. By his own admission he now sees the beauty and the usefulness of the Cooperative Program as a missions dynamo for a large denomination and would certainly do things differently. ”

      So we will give him on the job training for supporting the CP, rather than calling a leader who can say “Do as I did when I was a pastor”

      I hope he can help. I will pray that he does.

  19. Jason Sampler says

    When a Molinist like Ken Keathley can celebrate David Platt’s election as President of the IMB, then maybe other anti-Calvinists can to. Of course, maybe it has something to do with the fact that Ken taught David at NOBTS and knows and trusts him to be a godly leader, that he can look past theological differences and see shared priorities. A lesson all of us would benefit from, I suspect.

  20. Rick Patrick says

    This may be a great day for the SBC. I am praying that David Platt will come around and support cooperative missions through the Cooperative Program as passionately as he supports societal missions through personal mission trips and parachurch groups. If so, then perhaps he can lead others to be passionate about cooperative missions support, and our missions lifeline will not dry up.

    On the other hand, this may be a terrible day for the SBC. I am praying that David Platt will not so endorse personal and societal missions at the expense of cooperative missions that Southern Baptists follow his lead in further abandoning the missions mutual fund we know as the Cooperative Program.

    Also praying that the next Pastor of the Church at Brook Hills leads the church to give more than $25,000 through the Cooperative Program, which is what they gave in 2013, probably representing less than one-fourth of one percent of undesignated receipts.

    • says

      Rick…I will buy you a wonderful steak dinner if Brook Hills does not exceed $25K to CP post election…. 2015 numbers. I’ll be interested to see the impact on his own congregation.

      I’d also say, that since he is a 4.659 pointer,…he should be ok on the theological front as well.

      • says


        The point is….what did HE lead his Church to do? Not what they will do, now.

        And, what’s all that 4.659 junk??? You trying to rub it in Rick’s face?


        • says

          no rubbing… only stating that David is certainly not a Calvinist purest. I agree with you that Platt is going to have to prove something beyond what his church has actually done. At a minimum there is going to be pressure for his congregation to perform, …but maybe that is a good way to learn to pay attention, since the IMB Board seems to think he (David) has something to contribute beyond just dollars.

          I disagree with you though…. it does matter what he does now, and in the future…. What was in the past will definitely stay in the past. We have not other option but to move forward.

    • Nate says


      I appreciate your balanced remark. I also pray that Platt will, as I noted from Hershall York’s comment, have learned the value of the CP and encourage the churches of the convention (including Brook Hills, esp.) to give wholeheartedly to it.

      • Rick Patrick says

        Thanks, David. We will continue the conversation with the hope that future entity leadership choices will reflect greater theological and geographical diversity than we have seen lately:

        2011 NAMB Kevin Ezell
        2012 MBTS Jason Allen
        2013 ERLC Russell Moore
        2014 IMB David Platt

          • Rick Patrick says

            I wouldn’t call it a conspiracy theory…just a pattern. It looks kinda like the lineup for a Gospel Coalition event or something.

            They are all a certain kind of Calvinistic, broadly evangelical Southern Baptist, as opposed to more Traditionalist leaning, denominational loyalist types.

            In terms of temperament, theology, background and associations, one could distinguish them, say, from other outstanding men like Mac Brunson, Herb Reavis, David Allen and Steve Gaines.

            Maybe you don’t see it. That’s fine. But to me, at least, they appear to be cut from the same Calvinistic, Gospel Coalition-y cloth.

          • Stephen says

            What is Platt’s background – Two degrees and leadership positions at New Orleans Seminary? Opening up his church’s biannual missions/doctrinal event (Secret Church) for broad SBC viewing through Lifeway (and I believe they arranged for IMB missionaries to stream it at no cost)? Opening the classrooms of his church as a seminary extension center?

        • says

          “One of these things is not like the other”

          Opps…thats Platt…Gee go figure.

          BTW, I challenge the critics of Dr Allen to actually visit MBTS and see what is going on there. I just attended the “For the Church” conference and I find it hard to believe anyone, even the most vocal critics, could deny the movement of God that is happening through MBTS. The question must be asked, do people care more about theology and quotas and ratios, or about reaching the world for Christ Jesus.

          • Rick Patrick says

            I count Amyraldists as a strain of Calvinism. Regardless, it’s the whole Gospel Coalition / YRR Movement / Ecumenical Evangelical / Moral Communitarian / Sinner’s Prayer Avoiding approach that really ties all four together.

            They are very much alike in their perspectives and associations—many of which are not shared at all by vast numbers of Southern Baptists.

          • Chris Roberts says


            So when someone points out that they don’t fit the description of the kind of person you don’t like, you expand the kind of person you don’t like so that it includes them… Nice!

          • Rick Patrick says


            I have been very consistent about the fact that my concerns have always gone beyond mere theology to include a variety of inter-related factors–leadership connections, extra-denominational loyalties, GCR, GCB, and even an overabundance of facial hair.

            I once knew a man who wrote a resolution on unity. In his honor, could you please drop the “kind of person I don’t like” charge? My concerns are not that I don’t like Al or Kevin or Jason or Russell or David. It’s that I don’t think their views and ministries fairly represent the broad variety of Southern Baptist positions on many of these issues. They are not bad, and I don’t dislike them.

            It’s like a City Council with gerrymandered districts, in which all five councilpersons live on the same street, drive the same car and think the same way. I don’t think that’s good for the city.

          • Jason Gray says

            I always shake my head when pastors/leaders are criticized by some on here for having connection outside of the SBC. Why is that a bad thing?

            Perhaps it is those who have failed to see the merits of those outside the SBC that have the hardest time seeing why the SBC isn’t what or where they think it is. I am proud to be SBC (born and bred), but we are not the end-all be-all of the Kingdom. There are others out there from whom we SHOULD learn. Constant inbreeding does not lead to good or healthy offspring, in nature or in churches.

            Maybe it is such a short-sighted view that has caused those to hold it to no longer have the sway they once had. I know there is nostalgia in “this is the way we have always done it”, but it can be destructive in the life of ministry. It plays well to the choir of people in agreement, but it plays horribly to the audience who is looking for visionary and biblically faithful leadership, and could not care less of the extra-biblical methodology of generations past.

            I am all for people having their personal convictions with regard to theology, philosophy, and methodology. I am not really interested in convincing people to do things the way I do them in ministry. There is a broad spectrum in the SBC…and despite what some people believe, the SBC has never been monolithic and has always reflected a spectrum of belief/practice within a very clear set of boundaries. There has NEVER been one set of beliefs (other than BFM), or one philosophy, or ministry style, or approach. Never. Thus the beauty of a convention of autonomous churches.

            With all that said…can we stop acting like these leaders (or others) are outside of the boundaries of what it means to be Southern Baptist just because they don’t fit our particular preferences with regard to style or approach or philosophy? Time to take the blinders off and realize where the SBC is in 2014…a group of people with clear theological boundaries but with a variety of approaches and styles and philosophies. And that is not a bad thing.

    • D.L. Payton says

      I may be wrong but I do not think Platt will reverse himself and become a strong CP man. In his heart he is the hands on, go to the field, societal kind of man. He will encourage churches to adopt that kind of mission strategy. Hope I am wrong, time will tell.

    • Darryl Hill says

      Do we believe God is sovereign over who is in this position? If so, it is clear that David Platt is who God has, at the very least, “allowed” to take this position. Trust God and move forward. And judging from the other recent appointments in SBC life, it seems clear that this is the direction God is leading. The alternative is to accuse various boards of trustees, who claim to be seeking the face of God in these appointments, of lying about seeking God’s face and then to accuse them of actually making appointments based on some kind of coercion or sbc political wranglings of some kind, personal bias, conspiracy theories and the like. Does anyone actually believe that?

      • Rick Patrick says


        I, for one, do not believe there is a group of people meeting in a dark room somewhere plotting out a strategy. I do, however, believe we have a well organized and well connected minority leading a poorly organized and poorly connected majority toward a philosophy of ministry and a leadership vision that many of us simply reject based on our principles.

        The SBC is divided–not just in our theology, but in our ministry styles, philosophies and approaches. Those who raise concerns are not being divisive out of meanness or anger or lack of cooperation. We are not being divisive at all. We are acting out of principled objections rooted in time honored beliefs and practices we cherish.

        Strong support of the Cooperative Program is merely one example of this. The Sinner’s Prayer, state conventions, local associations and attending Baptist conferences instead of non-denominational ones are additional examples.

        By the way, we prayed for David Platt in our prayer meeting tonight–a genuine prayer for God to guide him in his new role.

        • says

          Rick, do you want uniformity in “ministry styles, philosophies and approaches?”

          Those who raise concerns are not being divisive out of meanness or anger or lack of cooperation, but out of principled objections rooted in time honored beliefs and practices we cherish.

          So you are being divisive based on principles? Interesting. You come across as if you believe Platt is actually going to harm the IMB and the spread of the gospel because he does not do certain things the way you desire. Yet, you’ve not shown why, biblically or otherwise, your concerns are so important for the IMB tasks going forward.

          • Rick Patrick says

            Hi Mark,

            No, I do not want uniformity in ministry styles among our entity leaders. That is the very opposite of what I want. It’s what I am concerned that we’re getting. Ezell, Moore, Allen, Platt. They are all very much the same–uniformity.

            I want the kind of diversity among entity leadership that leaves room for other kinds of Southern Baptists, namely those whose ministries look like mine–closer to 10% CP giving, Sinner’s Prayer nearly every Sunday, never miss a state convention, never attend a Gospel Coalition event or read a Piper book, etc. There are thousands upon thousands of such Pastors in the SBC.

            What about us?

            Finally, please do not be argumentative. I am not *being divisive.* The convention is, unmistakably, objectively, categorically, divided. It’s not divided because I say so. I say so because it is divided.

            I don’t know if Platt will harm the IMB or not. If he leads churches to bypass CP channels, radically gutting state convention support in the process, it *might* undermine the Cooperative Program, resulting in less money for missions in the long run. So no, I don’t believe he is going to harm the IMB, but I don’t really know for sure. I have heard second-hand that there are some pretty serious money issues at Brook Hills. David’s passion and radical ideals may not always square with those exercising the gift of administration on things like infrastructure that are necessary.

          • says

            Rick…Second to last paragraph. Nice job sinning…Or do you consider gossip an acceptable practice for a Christian, to say nothing of a pastor? Seriously, is that the level that you have degraded yourself to? Is what you just did an example of how you feel the majority of Southern Baptists act/believe?

          • Rick Patrick says


            It is a matter of public record (http://bit.ly/1oqFRMc) that the church in 2010 cut $500,000 in their budget to sponsor Compassion International projects in India.

            While I have heard from multiple sources (not just one) that such cuts hindered things like building maintenance, painting, upkeep, etc., I could just as easily have drawn this conclusion not on the basis of anything I heard someone say, but rather from the simple logic that the cuts, which are a matter of public record, had to take their toll in some area of church life.

            Frankly, if you define gossip as repeating something that may or may not be true, then every single Southern Baptist is guilty of this over the past few days–with the repeating of the David Platt for IMB President rumor. Are you going to charge all of us with sinning now or only me? If you charge only me, does that make you guilty of the sin of prejudice? Let’s not fight over this, okay?

          • says

            Well if everyone else is jumping off a cliff head first into shark infested waters, golly I guess that means I am not an idiot for already having done so. Yea….Right….

            Not to get too deep into situational ethics with you, but to compare your attempt to smear David Platt with the simple and honest mistake of people thinking he was already elected due to a mistake by IMB’s website staff is in no way accurate. It does not matter how many sources you have, when your motives are what are at play here. You don’t like David Platt’s election to be President of the IMB. Therefore, you now are going to spread gossip and rumors about Platt so if he fails, you can say you were right all along. It frankly does not matter if those rumors are end up being true or not given your intentions for sharing them.

            But consider this, do you think that the IMB board of trustees would elect him if they did not vet things like the budget at Brook Hills? That 500k cut was 4 years ago. Further, how is that any different than many SBC churches who build new additions or new buildings often going into debt? Further, how does that reflect the reality that MANY churches are going through with the economy and an overall reduction in offerings? The fact is you have no true knowledge of the situation. For all you know your “sources” could be disgruntled former members who are deliberately spreading lies about the church. But I suspect you don’t care. It is information you think will hurt and tarnish the image of David Platt, and therefore you will repeat it regardless of its truth.

            Yes Rick that is the very definition of the sin of gossip.

          • Mike Bergman says

            svm, come on, man, I gotta say: there’s a lot with which I disagree with Rick, but you’re making a lot of pejorative comments about the motives of the heart, which is something that the Bible speaks against in a plethora of places. Argue the points, but tone down the personal shots…

          • D.L. Payton says

            I fail to see the concept of “situational ethics” in your comment. I realize this is a side issue, but it piqued my curiosity. Could you elaborate please?

        • Tyler says

          Rick, most Calvinist are fine with the sinners prayer as long as 1.) they are repenting of sin and putting faith in Christ alone and 2.) they understand that a sinners prayer does not save them but faith alone in Christ does and 3.) that if they doubt their salivation they do not look to some prayer they did, but What Christ accomplished on the cross. I for one don’t use the sinners prayer. I think a call for men to repent and put their faith in Christ is sufficient. Just my two cents.

        • Tyler says

          Rick, most Calvinist are fine with the sinners prayer as long as 1.) they are repenting of sin and putting faith in Christ alone and 2.) they understand that a sinners prayer does not save them but faith alone in Christ does and 3.) that if they doubt their salivation they do not look to some prayer they did, but What Christ accomplished on the cross. I for one don’t use the sinners prayer. I think a call for men to repent and put their faith in Christ is sufficient. Just my two cents.

        • Tyler says

          Rick, most Calvinist are fine with the sinners prayer as long as 1.) they are repenting of sin and putting faith in Christ alone and 2.) they understand that a sinners prayer does not save them but faith alone in Christ does and 3.) that if they doubt their salivation they do not look to some prayer they did, but What Christ accomplished on the cross. I for one don’t use the sinners prayer. I think a call for men to repent and put their faith in Christ is sufficient. Just my two cents.

        • Tyler says

          Rick, most Calvinist are fine with the sinners prayer as long as 1.) they are repenting of sin and putting faith in Christ alone and 2.) they understand that a sinners prayer does not save them but faith alone in Christ does and 3.) that if they doubt their salivation they do not look to some prayer they did, but What Christ accomplished on the cross. I for one don’t use the sinners prayer. I think a call for men to repent and put their faith in Christ is sufficient. Just my two cents.

          • D.L. Payton says

            In my 50 years of ministry I have never thought or heard of any discussion of the sinners prayer other than what you have delineated until the recent controversy. I know of no one who believe or teaches one can be saved by repeating the words to a “sinners prayer”.

          • Rick Patrick says


            I’m glad to hear most Calvinists are fine with the Sinner’s Prayer. This is not at all what we were hearing a few years ago when it was being attacked not only by Paul Washer but by many others. A sincere and humble effort at correction was launched, resulting in resolutions passed at the national and state convention.

          • Tyler says

            D.L, In my lifetime I’ve probably heard thousands say that they are either saved by saving a sinners prayer, or saved by accepting Jesus into their heart. Ive heard countless people say this without even understanding the Gospel. Thats great if you never heard this, but most people I know in churches have scene or heard someone believe that they are saved, not by the blood of Christ, but by saying a prayer. In the church I’m at currently I’ve never heard the sinners prayer but have scene countless put their faith in Christ and repent of their sins. In fact they wouldn’t say they accepted Jesus, they would say in amazement how Christ accepted them. Im not slamming the sinners prayer per say. But when I ask a person why they are saved and they tell me because they accepted Jesus by say sinners prayer, then I’m probably going to share the Gospel with them.

          • D.L. Payton says


            Which are proper statements and which are wrong i.e. True or false

            1. It is proper to say, “I invited Jesus into my heart”?
            2. Is it proper to say, “I trusted Christ as my savior”?
            3. Is it proper to say, “I prayed and ask Jesus to save me”?

            We are hindered by the use of words. We use the same words and concepts but often have different meanings. The “as long ases” that you delineated have always been the qualifiers to the sinners prayer in my mind and in the guys with which i hang. I have never heard a preacher say you can be saved by repeating these words.

          • Adam Blosser says

            D.L., I too have never heard someone say, “Repeat these words and you are covered.” I have been in services where that is what was communicated by the way it was done though. I have also been in services where those wanting to be saved were led in repeating a prayer, but it was clear that the only thing that saves a person is repenting of their sin and placing their faith in Jesus.

            I have led people to Christ by having them repeat after me. I typically shy away from that now though. Instead, I have them pray in their own words, confessing their sin and asking God to save them.

            I think the point Platt was making is that we have to be careful that we do not communicate a false gospel to people. The “Pray this prayer and write the date in your Bible so you can show it to Satan when he tries to get you to doubt your salvation” methodology is, in my estimation, unhelpful at best and potentially harmful.

  21. Dean Stewart says

    Gentlemen, I am grateful for the spirit surrounding Dr. Platt being named as the president of the IMB. The general consensus from my reading is that today is a day of celebrating the gifted ability of Dr. Platt and we need to overlook any shortcomings that the Church at Brook Hills may have demonstrated in supporting the CP while he was the pastor. We further should support and champion our trustee system.

    As Summer gives way to Fall I believe we will have an opportunity to monitor comments to see if that forgiving spirit and celebration of the trustee process will continue.

  22. Darryl Hill says

    Well, I didn’t even know David Platt was up for the position until today. But I must say, I’m very pleased. If his critics don’t eat him alive, he’ll be fine. I know of very few men who are more passionate for the Gospel and the nations than David Platt. I pray that God will be with him.

  23. Ron West says

    Just heard about the election of David Platt. I do not know him personally. I have read his Radical book and found it mostly well written and challenging. I share the concerns of Bart Barber and others at his Cooperative Program support. Platt’s leadership of his church’s CP giving compares to that of many SBC presidents in the past whose churches were giving 1% to 5% when the average church was giving around 10%,

    I am not too involved in the Calvinist controversy. I hope this does not become a source of division at the IMB and between the IMB and large segments of our convention.

    My main concern is his lack of experience in cross cultural missions and the career missionary lifestyle. He will be making strategic decisions affecting the lives and ministries of our missionaries. I hope he has good advisors. Living and ministering year after year on the mission field is different than sending mission teams or money to difficult areas. I am thankful for his church’s missions efforts and hope he can inspire others to reach the unreached. Leading a mission force of 5,000 missionaries takes much more knowledge and leadership ability that he has needed in the past.

    I will pray for and support Platt. I will continue to encourage churches to give to the cooperative program and Lottie Moon. I do that not because of who the IMB president is but because of our missionaries. They deserve our support.

  24. says

    So which is it?

    Is the objection to David Platt that he’s a Calvinist? Or that he doesn’t support the CP? Or that he doesn’t support missions in the right way? Or that he is friends with people who live in Kentucky?

    Here’s what I see. A pastor who loves Jesus, missions, and teaching people scripture who has BROAD appeal across the Evangelical spectrum (including the SBC) because of all three of those things.

    He has buzz, brains, and bonafides. All in all, a huge coup for the IMB and a huge boon for international missions and missionaries.

    I can’t think of a another guy (outside of Matt Chandler) who could get even me excited about the SBC and the IMB. I’m very hopeful that this represents a truly new day in IMB missions, building on the foundation of the past, leaving behind the foolish controversies of the recent future, and taking the Gospel to the far reaches of the broken world in new and innovative fashion, as well as in tried and true methodology.

    • says

      I agree with your points completely Ryan. Recruiting David Platt is a big coup and I am thrilled about the future of IMB with him as president.

  25. George H says

    Interesting that those of us overseas with the IMB are waking up this morning with not a single email from our leadership about David Platt’s election as our President but, rather, with a multitude of blog posts about it. We continue to be disappointed in communication from Richmond. Please pray for us as we transition yet again.–George

    • Jason Sampler says

      Thanks for your commitment to Jesus and to sharing his Gospel. I’m sorry that you’re disappointed to hear this way. I suspect I would be too. I don’t know if you know much about David, but I have known him personally for 14 years. You’ll never meet a person his age with more genuineness or character, or one know knows Scripture both in his head and his heart as well as David. I pray the IMB thrives under his leadership, and that missionaries such as yourself feel appreciated, heard, and respected. Hope you have a great day, wherever you are.

    • Stephen says

      It’s pretty disappointing that the IMB leadership did not communicate internally with you. Perhaps they did not quite expect the outpouring of social media when the news broke.

  26. Sarah says

    AND: The communications staff at IMB has been rewarded for their efforts today with an all-expenses paid mission trip to Liberia, Gaza and Afghanistan.

    I like a good joke and a little sarcasm as much as the next person, but when I read this, I got a little nauseous. Maybe it is bc I am in the process of moving to one of those countries. Maybe it is because I have a deep love for those people. Maybe it is because I think people do need to go on mission trips to those places instead of making jokes about it. Not the point of your article I know, but maybe something to think about.

  27. says


    Thanks for answering. First, maybe you mis-worded your previous comment,
    but the section I quoted about being divisive is you admitting to being divisive.

    Next, you explain that you don’t want uniformity, but your complaints imply
    that you do not like certain men in leadership positions because their ways
    do not line-up with your ways. You also claim that said men are examples of
    uniformity further implying that you desire uniformity. The problem is you have not shown, only asserted, that these men display uniformity, but only show where your issue lies.

    Why do you want people whose ministries look more like yours? Is your ministry hindered in some way? Is the ministry of the SBC hindered in some way? What happened to free church principles in Baptist life?

    I suppose you do not believe that the trustess who put certain SBC leaders in place are not leaders themselves? Why don’t you start writing against the trustees who make such decisions? These leaders are not appointing themselves, but they must have done something to garner support. Platt had so much support that his name was trending in twitter yesterday!

    That said, I’m not sure we are as divided as you think or maybe as you want us to be. You seem to push for more division than cooperation from what I read on the blogs. We will certainly be an unhealthy convention if more and more people follow your lead. I pray they don’t.

    • Rick Patrick says


      I have edited the statement you mentioned for the sake of clarity. Thanks for catching it, brother.

      You interpret my statements as *implying* (you used the word twice) that I desire uniformity, even though I have denied that categorically. So you really are not engaging with my actual words, but what you are trying to make me say. You say that I dislike these men (not true) because they are not like me (true, they are not, but not the issue).

      My concern is that they do not represent well the concerns, beliefs and ministry styles of millions of more Traditional leaning Southern Baptists. Yes, I happen to be one of them, but the issue is that our overall SBC leadership is not looking all that much like our membership.

      You then ask six rather accusatory questions. I just don’t have the time for that, but you are not giving me any benefit of the doubt in anything I say. You are trying to paint me as divisive, but I am truly not, brother. I am concerned that we are only representing one small segment of Southern Baptists with our leadership selections and we can do a better job of representing the big picture of Southern Baptists if we branch out.

      Finally, you say I seem to push for division, but the truth is that I want cooperation more than anything. I just want that cooperation to be the kind that does not exclude or marginalize Traditionalists in the SBC. If people follow my lead, they will increase their Cooperative Program giving by 1% each year at the church where they serve. They will be fair and inclusive of *all* Southern Baptists, rather than only including one specific type. I believe this will lead to more cooperation, not less.

      How about viewing me a little more charitably? I may have concerns with the GCR, GCB, Acts 29, and the growing YRR, but I am not the enemy. I am among the loyal opposition in our convention, a wing of Traditionalists who love the SBC but find it harder and harder to recognize the place with each passing day.

      Like the minority party in Congress, we may disagree about legislation, but we both fire up the grill on July 4th. If given the opportunity, I would lead us to more open involvement by Traditionalists in SBC life, giving us a place at the very table where we used to be quite welcome. If people were to *follow my lead* (as you say) we would be healthier and more cooperative and more stable, for the marginalizing of great numbers of Southern Baptists would cease.

      • says


        Don’t you understand that if you disagree with the a lot of Calvinists, and don’t go along with everything that they like, that you’re being mean and divisive? C’mon, Man…get with the progtram. Otherwise, you’ll be marginalized as being an SBC meany, who is a conspiracy nut, and who has no place in the SBC.

        Conform, Rick. Conform.


  28. Bill Mac says

    I agree what the CP is a great mechanism, but I can understand why churches, especially big churches, bypass it. It’s a black box. What’s it used for? Well, that’s a bit vague. Administrative salaries? I’ll bet folks aren’t keen on that. Subsidizing seminarians? Not everyone is keen on that either. Look, people are mission minded. That’s a good thing. They want to know the money they give is going to missions, not just a small percentage. Yes, I know it’s not a fair reading of the CP but I’ll bet that’s how people view it.

    • says

      I believe that you are tragically wrong about CP giving. When my Church gives 20% to the CP, then we’re helping the State Convention to reach our future leaders in this country thru the BSU/BCM. Would you want to cut our giving to that like NAMB did?
      Also, when my Church gives 20% to our State Convention, then we support an outreach ministry that’s fulfilling the Great Commission and also obeying the verse in the book of James, which tells us to take care of the orphans and widows, which is true religion. That ministry is called the TN Baptist Children’s Homes. They take in children and youth, who come out of terrible home lives, and they win these kids to Jesus, and disciple them. And, due to our state convention trying to get to a 50/50 split…I am sure that the Children’s Homes will be cut down, and they’re already hurting financially due to less being given to the CP by some Churches…and, due to the economy turning so bad. Do you want us to cut off such a worthy ministry as this, in order to get more money to “missions?”
      Are these the State Convention missions/ministries that you would like to cut, so that we can get more money to Church planting and “missions?” Are these not Great Commission ministries? Are they not winning people to Christ? And, how are they supposed to do this, if their funding is cut so low that they have to lay off people, and have to turn kids away?


      • Bill Mac says

        David: I’m not wanting to cut anything. I’m just telling you I understand why some people do. Our church gives to the CP, but also a local bible camp and Samaritan’s Purse (OCC).

        • says

          I just hear all of these people saying that we’ve got to get more money to the mission field…well, amen! Let’s do it. But, they run down the State Conventions and talk about bloated bureaucracies…and, they want to throw out the baby with the bath water. And, I agree that many State Conventions probably have too many staff, and things that could probably be cut….but, there’s also a lot of great ministries and outreaches going on in State Convention work, as well. And, cutting CP giving, and going around the CP, will absolutely hurt these outreach ministries….and, they already are.


          • Bill Mac says

            The CP suffers from poor PR. The problem is, it would probably take CP funds to mount a PR campaign to improve the image of the CP.

          • D.L. Payton says

            You are correct in your evaluation. the problem is that we are not looking rationally and logically at the issues surrounding the CP. Our statements and actions are filled with emotion, politics, and even self serving thinking. For example it is easy for me to say support the CP because I have received my salary from there for the past 20 years.
            If we can rid ourselves of emotion, extreme examples, and mutual backscratching we could fix the CP. In todays climate it will be difficult. However, i feel it is worth the effort to try. If we can be honest and objective we can rid ourselves of the bath water and save the baby.

          • D.L. Payton says

            Bill Mac
            that is true to an extent. However i remained convinced that waste and inefficiency is what hurt the CP.

  29. Reagan says

    “But I know this – every Southern Baptist should be praying right now that David Platt will turn out to be the greatest president the IMB has ever seen. The world needs Christ and nothing matters as much as that.”

    This statement bothers me! As I do believe that we should pray for our leaders, I do not think that a prayer for David Platt to be the greatest president ever is what we need. The focus of our prayers should not be to rally around a man so that the IMB will be great. I think rather our prayers and our focus should be upon the Great Commission, and how we are partnering with Jesus in fulfilling His command. Over IMB’s history, she has had many presidents, but the focus has been on our calling and commission, not personalities! I would hope that we would remember that we were bought at a price, and that the command of Christ is greater than our opinions of who should lead or how we should do it. My prayer is that the Holy Spirit would dominate David and all Southern Baptists, and bring us into unified submission to reach all peoples with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  30. says

    Here’s the bottom line for me:

    David Platt’s ‘weakness’ is the IMB’s strength in that the CP has many in our convention who support and treasure and enthusiastically advocate for its continuance. Platt’s weakness currently would only leave CP at a maintenance level. If he makes the transformation to advocacy as has the other guy (Ezell) who was supposed to be the death knell of the CP, then we have an added plus.

    David Platt’s undeniable strengths will shore up the IMB/CP’s weaknesses, namely that this form of giving has fostered a “missions” mindset in too many of our churches such that the extent of their involvement in missions and evangelism is merely how much should we give for ‘them’ to go do the work in the fields. I believe that Dr. Platt will help continue and further develop the Engaging Church focus already begun with the IMB and hopefully open more ways for our churches to actively connect to missional ministry from our Jerusalems to the end of the earth.

    For these primary reasons, others reasons of which are far, far more secondary at best (namely his soteriological theological persuasion, etc), I am highly encouraged about the future of the IMB.


  31. D.L. Payton says

    Like you, I have been following the discussion on various sites re. the issues surrounding Platt’s election. I have just about come to the conclusion that it does not matter who our leaders are. With the mean spirits and mean comments i have seen displayed by folks on all sides of the issue I just don’t see how God can bless us. The worse part of all of this is that I have been involved in some mean spirited stuff.

    I trust it is not too ate to come together for the glory of God and reach the world for Christ. God is not limited to SB on reaching the nations. He has other sheep. It is time to move ahead in the power of God.

  32. Tarheel says

    “I trust it is not too late to come together for the glory of God and reach the world for Christ. God is not limited to SB on reaching the nations. He has other sheep. It is time to move ahead in the power of God.”

    Amen, DL.

    FWIW, I think anyone would have a hard time saying that any of your comments on this forum have come across in any way mean spirited. Of Course only God and you know your heart – but your words have not reflected a mean spirit at all.

  33. says

    Just trying to make sure it gets around to all the appropriate threads.

    Can I enter some context here?

    Let’s see what Dr. Platt ACTUALLY said, meant, and thinks about the sinners prayer.


    “There is nothing wrong with the sinners prayer in and of itself, I’m cautioning against abuse.”

    He also voted FOR the SBC resolution on NOLA Relating to the issue.

    • says


      Wonder what my friend Vol and others who have claimed Dr. Platt as divisive and extreme on this matter of the sinners prayer will do in response to this video…& the news regarding his vote on that resolution.

      How on earth does anyone claim he is some form of divisive Calvinist crusader who is bent on taking over the convention for the Reformed movement?


      • Volfan007 says

        This is not what he said at first….this was said after the fire fell on him because of what he said.

        • says

          So now you’re accusing him of a lack of integrity and a centrally lying?

          Again, I ask you have you ever missed spoken or overstated something or said something in a way that you wish you had not and had to go back and clarify it as long as you been preaching I have to think that you have…. I certainly hope you were extended more grace than your extending Dr. Platt. And I hope that the next time it happens to you that you are extended more grace than you are Dr. Platt.

          • Volfan007 says

            He must have changed his mind…..and I am glad that he did. Now, if only extreme Calvinists would show the same grace towards Ergun Caner.

          • Jack says

            Vol. changing ones approach is not necessarily changing ones mind. I don’t think ones basic theology changes from the beginning of one sermon to the end

            Now. An apology is different. We all deserve forgiveness for misspeaking if we apologize.

            As I have said the sinners prayer thing is more of an irritation for me than a concern.

          • Tarheel says

            LOL…I knew that was coming.

            I am not an extreme Calvinist, at least I do not think, I really have no idea what you mean by that, but anyway….

            Deflection is beneath you, sir.

          • Tarheel says

            Dr. Platt did NOT change his mind….he said in the very sermon y’all keep referencing exactly what he said in that interview….and you would know that if you watched/listened to the entire sermon rather than the selected soundbite YouTube video that circulated.

            Just sayin’

            I accept your retraction of the accusations you made against Dr. Platt’s character though. 😉

        • says

          *A essentially lying – not centrally.

          VOL, there’s no way around it you are simply implying, scratch that, you are saying that he lacks integrity and is lying because he actually believe something that something different than what he said he meant. That’s pretty harsh I got to say.

  34. volfan007 says

    You know, we hear so much talk about getting more money to the mission field….that we need to stop giving to the CP, and give it straight to the IMB and to the NAMB, etc. Here’s a thought….if the GCR crowd wants to get more money to the mission field, then why don’t we do away with the ERLC? What does it do to fulfill the Great Commission? Nothing. And, how much CP dollars goes to this entity to pay some big salaries? Maybe we should examine the need for the ERLC? After all, we need to get as much money as we possibly can to the mission field?

    • volfan007 says

      Does the ERLC start any Churches? No. Does it send out missionaries to the foreign field? No. So, why have the ERLC?

      We’re asking the State Conventions to cut back, and cut down, and get to at least a 50/50 split, so that more money can get to the mission field. Let’s take a look at everything….let’s see if there’s more that we could cut back on. I’d say to look at the ERLC…..anyone?


      • volfan007 says

        Also, why not just combine the IMB and the NAMB? Why do we have 2 different HQ’s? with 2 big, expensive buildings? Could not the IMB do all the mission work that’s needed? Just think of all the repetition in work that could be cut out….the same janitors cleaning, instead of having janitors for both buildings…..the same guy shredding all the papers, instead of having 2 guys, who shred the papers, etc, etc, etc.

        Let’s get more money to the mission field. Cut the wasteful spending.


        • Tarheel says

          Have you ever been to the IMB building in Richmond? It is a large building…but I would hardly call it over the top…

          • Volfan007 says

            It is still a large building and we have 2 buildings with NAMB in Atlanta. Two electric bills, two maintenances and up keeps, two water bills, two sets of janitors, etc.

      • Bart Barber says


        Conservative state conventions tend to reduce their take of the Cooperative Program automatically. Once the liberals are out, the costs go down. Defund everything that doesn’t adopt the BF&M 2000 and require all of its employees to subscribe to it and to do their work in compliance with it. Boom! You’re at 50/50. At least, that would be true for a lot of states.

        • William Thornton says

          I take your example of SBCT which, starting from scratch gives an “unprecedented” (in their own true Texan words) 55% to SBC causes. In contrast the very conservative state convention of my own, Georgia, still KEEPS 60% of every CP dollar.

          The liberals are out here in GA. BOOM! We’re at 60/40 not 50/50.

          I’m not sure how broadly one can apply your assertion that “Conservative state conventions tend to reduce their take of the Cooperative Program automatically” unless it is applied only to those states that have dual, competing convention structures.

          Since SBCT has a more favorable split, I’d be interested to know what percentage of total undesignated receipts the average SBCT church gives to the CP and if this figure is rising, falling, or flat. If there are those that believe churches and pastors will look more favorably on CP giving if less is kept in-state then SBCT should be a good test of that.

          • says

            the SBCV (Virginia) sends. +50% to the SBC – and our contributions are rising.

            In fact this is, one of many, the reasons that the SBC V is growing and the BG AV is shrinking both numerically and financially.

            I find when I’m talking to people that it is very desirable among churches of thinking of coming to the SBCV that we as a state convention don’t keep more than we sent to the SBC..

          • says

            I think, from memory, we are around 51/49 We have been raising SBC contribution .25% every year. I think the eventual goal is 55/45.

          • William Thornton says

            Dave, I looked for the SBCV split. It wasn’t readily available on their site.

            Let’s presume 50/50. Is this appropriate? Should IMB get 25% of every SBCV CP dollar, or more, or less?

            That is the question churches and members should be asked.

          • says

            Id like to see more given to IMB, but the reality is that there is only 100% of funds that can be spent…..and the system we have now IMB gets way more of a cut of those real dollars than any other entity.

            We, as the SBCV give our 50+% to the SBC and they distribute it as the messengers approve.

            If all other states would do as well, they’d be a lot more actual dollars to distribute.

          • says

            I’d like to see a promotion that shows the number of missionaries and church planters could be added by NAMB and IMB if all states went to 50/50. This way it’s not an abstract argument but there’s real numbers to look at.

            I’d like to see the way we fund seminaries reevaluated…so that more money could go to IMB and NAMB.

            The largest allocation by far of SBC CP is to IMB and NAMB. That’s the way it should be.

            The second is seminaries (around 23%) like I said I think this should be reevaluated.

            Next is EC expenses and operating costs (around 3%) – this is amazing. I know of no other denomination or charity who has a operating budget that small of a percentage.

            The smallest by far (around 2%) are the other entities (ERLC,GS) and the archives. Again, if we as southern baptists value these entities and the archives – it seems we’re getting really good bang for buck.

          • Bart Barber says

            Let’s make sure that we understand this: Reducing CP funding to seminaries does not magically make seminaries able to pull a rabbit out of a hat and find free money somewhere. Whenever you say, “We should give less CP to the seminaries,” what you are saying is, “Southern Baptist seminary students should pay higher tuition.” Period.

            And if that’s what you believe, then one of three things must also be your belief, if you have considered things carefully and have access to the facts:

            1. You believe that Southern Baptist seminary students have a lot more disposable income to spend on tuition. OR …

            2. You believe that the IMB and NAMB should change their applicant requirements and start accepting candidates who are carrying massive burdens of debt (presently you can’t be appointed if you have debt). OR …

            3. You believe that IMB and NAMB would be much better equipped to reach the world if they had a boatload more money but a radically smaller workforce of missionaries.

          • Bart Barber says

            Hi, William,

            Our state convention is named the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC).

            I indicated that my prediction would be true for a lot of states. Georgia is a long way from Texas, and I confess that I don’t know as much as I should about the state convention there. I rejoice to learn that all of the state convention’s universities and related ministries have adopted the BF&M 2000 and require all of their professors/employees to conduct their ministries in agreement with the BF&M 2000. I remembered a courageous stand that the GBC took with Shorter University recently, and I was thankful that the GBC had the courage to end its relationship with Mercer. I had thought that the kerfuffle at Shorter was only over something that fell short of the BF&M 2000 and was only over a fairly mild, pretty moderate statement, but I am happy to learn that the BF&M 200 has been adopted throughout the GBC. Would that every state convention would do so!

          • William Thornton says

            SBCT…SBTC…tough for me not to unconsciously type SBC…

            There’s a lot more about all the spending and percentages…deserves it’s own topic.

          • Jack says

            How about reducing the number of seminaries to one. Sell all the seminary property, build one streamlined technogically well designed and put the excess money in an interest bearing account earmarked for unreached people groups.

            Seminary training could be online with short one week intensives.

            Seminary could be church based instead of institutional. The amount of savings would be incredible and the money from selling the property would be in the billions I am guessing.

            This is not going to happen however regardless of how much sense it may make. Seminaries are little kingdoms. Kings don’t step down easily.

            Just a thought about how to get an enormous amount of money for missions

          • Tarheel says

            I wouldn’t even entertain going to just one…but reducing to to 5 or 4…maybe – but you’re right – it’ll never happen.

          • D.L. Payton says

            We are making an assumption that more money is the key to reaching the nations. I believe it was Dr. Roy Fish who said “no longer does the church have to say ‘silver and gold have we none’, but no longer does the church have the power to say ‘in the name of jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk'”.

            Paul tells us that the gospel is the power of God into salvation. The early church spread the gospel world wide with little to no money.

            I am not opposed to raising more missions dollars, but that is not the answer. Several times in the history of the SBC we have had more money that missionaries to use it.

          • Tarheel says

            Yea, I hear ya – DL.

            But I think the SBC is about to get blown away by the unreached and still unengaged people groups. Platt is “radical” about this message and I expect he’ll be relentless about getting out that message! Lighting the darkness of gospel-less people and regions requires church planting, evangelism and discipleship. In order to do that – we need more sent missionaries and in order to do that – we need more money for that purpose given to our mission boards.

          • Bart Barber says


            The seminaries that we have all started—every one of them—as places of poverty and suffering for all of those who worked and studied there. Nobody did that because they were seeking a kingdom. They did it because the system you are advocating delivers a poor-quality education, and they saw the need for something better, even if it required a lot of sacrifice to make that happen.

            You take the guy who studied a little Hebrew in one window of his computer while Call of Duty was running in the other one. I’ll take the guy who was out sharing the gospel with Dr. Matt Queen at SWBTS. We’ll see which one makes the best pastor or missionary.

          • Pastor Jack says

            Bart, I am not sure I follow your logic. Are you saying that one seminary is incapable of providing quality education? If that is the case, then wouldn’t 50 seminaries (one for every state) be much better?

            Also, are you saying that an online degree is inferior to a brick and mortar school? There are numerous emerging models that will likely prove that false in very quick order.

            Also, are you saying the only real way to learn about sharing your faith is sitting under a seminary professor? If that is true, then we have no reason to complain that the people in the pew do not share their faith regularly. Also, I’m assuming you have taken courses from the Seminary Extension and can attest to their worthlessness.

            I think you make the assumption that the real center of SB education is the seminary, not the church. I think that has created the kind of “professionalism” that men like John Piper have spoken against.

            I see this same kind of elitism in public education. Most people–including most Christians–believe that a state certified teacher is the key to a “real” education. As the administrator of a “non-state certified” school I can tell you that is most certainly NOT the case.

            In regard to “kingdoms.” Perhaps you are correct in regard to the origin of our seminaries. I think you are incorrect in regard to how the matter stands, today. If Southern Baptists were to vote to close one of our four seminaries east of the Mississippi, I think the “kingdom” issue would become clear.

            Just recently, one of our seminaries endowed themselves to the tune of over $50 million dollars. Each dollar of endowment removes the seminary one step further away from Southern Baptist life and closer to a fiefdom.

            Perhaps the worst thing a church can do is send young men away to be “trained in an ivory tower” for marketplace ministry. I think Southern Baptists have a “hidden jewel” in the Seminary Extension program but it will never come to light because of the enormous amount of money and emotion invested in brick and mortar.

            I don’t follow your reasoning for the reasons above, though I do understand the tremendous attachments we Southern Baptists have to our brick and mortar–at all levels.

          • Pastor Jack says

            Bart, I am not sure I follow your logic. Are you saying that one seminary is incapable of providing quality education? If that is the case, then wouldn’t 50 seminaries (one for every state) be much better?

            Also, are you saying that an online degree is inferior to a brick and mortar school? There are numerous emerging models that will likely prove that false in very quick order.

            Also, are you saying the only real way to learn about sharing your faith is sitting under a seminary professor? If that is true, then we have no reason to complain that the people in the pew do not share their faith regularly. Also, I’m assuming you have taken courses from the Seminary Extension and can attest to their worthlessness.

            I think you make the assumption that the real center of SB education is the seminary, not the church. I think that has created the kind of “professionalism” that men like John Piper have spoken against.

            I see this same kind of elitism in public education. Most people–including most Christians–believe that a state certified teacher is the key to a “real” education. As the administrator of a “non-state certified” school I can tell you that is most certainly NOT the case.

            In regard to “kingdoms.” Perhaps you are correct in regard to the origin of our seminaries. I think you are incorrect in regard to how the matter stands, today. If Southern Baptists were to vote to close one of our four seminaries east of the Mississippi, I think the “kingdom” issue would become clear.

            Just recently, one of our seminaries endowed themselves to the tune of over $50 million dollars. Each dollar of endowment removes the seminary one step further away from Southern Baptist life and closer to a fiefdom.

            Perhaps the worst thing a church can do is send young men away to be “trained in an ivory tower” for marketplace ministry. I think Southern Baptists have a “hidden jewel” in the Seminary Extension program but it will never come to light because of the enormous amount of money and emotion invested in brick and mortar.

            I don’t follow your reasoning for the reasons above, though I do understand the tremendous attachments we Southern Baptists have to our brick and mortar–at all levels.

      • Tarheel says

        94.92% of all CP monies are split between IMB, NAMB, and the 6 seminaries. 73% of which went to the Mission boards.

        • William Thornton says

          Let’s be clear that you are giving figures for CP after the states take their 60+% cut, which is why we often see the stats given that way. It is a more desirable way to promote the CP in some quarters.

          • Tarheel says

            Right…that is my intent…because the SBC can and should only spend what they actually get. I could not care less, for this discussion what the states do with their part that they keep….I am only concerned, in this discussion, with the small percentage and amount (when looked at comparatively) that the SBC spends on – the ERLC…which is seeming to cause VolFan to experience such consternation. 😉

            The figures I am giving are accurate as to what the EC allocates to the entities….with the direct designations being added to the figures.

  35. Tarheel says

    Oopps….hat is just the allocation budget….

    When you look at all receipts (including designations) the mission boards get 86.4% of the money collected and disbursed by the Exec. Committee.

    …and the ERLC is spending a whopping .82% (less than 1%) of all Executive committee disbursements.

    • Volfan007 says

      How much is that in actual dollars? And, if we are serious about the GCR and getting more money to the mission field, then let’s cut out things that are not doing missions on foreign fields. The ERLC does not do anything to send missionaries to us reached people groups. So, why do seem to be defending the ERLC?

      • Tarheel says

        I’m saying that for the little bit we spend on it…it is a worthy investment.

        Hey, you wanna get rid of Guidestone too? Heck, lets take all the retirement funds of pastors and send it to the mission field! (we will start with yours. 😉 )

        Vol, this is bordering on ridiculous at this point.

        • Volfan007 says

          Guidestone is our money invested for our retirement.

          Why is the ERLC worth it? Do we really need a lobbyist in DC? Do we really need someone to tell us when Christians are being persecuted? Or, that abortion is wrong? Do we need to be spending big dollars for this?

          • Nick Horton says

            The ERLC is worth it because our freedom of religion is not guaranteed. Our ability to accomplish our mission with the latitude we presently enjoy is not set in stone. A lobby to represent our interests in the country we all live in order to act as a base from which to send missionaries is important.

            If anything the last few years have shown us this. If all the ERLC accomplishes is a minor slow down of this onslaught which enables us to continue to operate at our present freedom, yea and amen. They do more, but this is enough to fund it with so little money.

          • William Thornton says

            True, Nick; however, the previous ERLC thrust was culture war stuff, not religious liberty. Moore has signaled a change in this regard, quite needed in my view.

            With several millions, the ERLC is not underfunded. If anything we haven’t been getting our money’s worth.

          • Tarheel says

            “Cuts have to be made….to get money to the mission field.”

            This post is meant in a comedic way….but at the same time – I wonder how Vol would argue if such suggestions were made?

            You’re right – since, as we’ve discussed in other threads, SWBTS enrollment is on a consistent down slide – let’s close it. Shut ‘er down! Shutter the campus! Sell it! Take all the money spent, all the monetary and investment assets they have, the property they own and immediately liquidate it!

            All for Missions! Right? You gonna lead that charge?

            Maybe Georgia should do the same with Truett McConnell and Brewton Parker and redirect any state convention expenditures wasted thereupon to the IMB….. Missions! Come on, Vol – as Georgia to do that!


          • volfan007 says

            Schools are training Pastors and Missionaries. They are needed. Why is the ERLC needed? I already know that abortion is wrong. I already know that Christians are being persecuted in foreign lands. I already try to help keep America free….freedom of religion. So, why do we need to spend $3.1 million on the ERLC?


          • William Thornton says

            Here in GA were trying to salvage one moribund state college, support one that is a good alternative, and pay to convert a third to our way of conservative thinking. We do that by giving $1m to the first two and $2m to the third. We have these legacy institutions and were going to keep them whether or not we need all three or not.

            “Are they worth it?” is a question we are not allowed to ask about legacy institutions, whatever level of SBC life one inspects; churches, however, ask themselves where their own mission dollars should be spent. The answer is less for CP and the panoply of interests funded thereby. Nothing is more clear in SBC life.

        • D.L. Payton says

          I would volunteer mine but my kids have already beat you to my retirement funds :-)

      • Tarheel says

        ERLC = (1.65% of CP allocation + about 9300 in designations)

        totaling about 3.1 million, which is a lot of money granted – but that is juxtaposed with;

        $381,107,561.52 total spent (allocation + designations) on all entities.

        ($329,237,255.48 spent by the two mission boards) like I said 86.4% of the total exec committee disbursements.

        Look, only about 5% of monies disbursed by the EC goes to ERLC, Guidestone, Archives, and EC operating expenses) I consider that very, very good stewarding of the monies.

        Is there some waste….very likely…but if I saw your church budget (or you saw mine) I am sure we each could find “waste” in those documents as well. 😉

        • D.L. Payton says

          The last i knew only 12% of the IMB budget goes for administration. This is extremely low when compared with other such entities. In addition we need to remind ourselves that 100% of the Hunger Offerings buys groceries. Administrative cost is taking out of the regular administrative budget. No one else does this well. Some groups have a 26% admin cost.

          While I strongly add my voice to wasteful spending it seems to me that IMB is not involved in this. Most of what i see is a the state level, i.e. excessive staff, wasteful travel, useless meetings that are designed to keep one in a job hence a wasteful salary. I will admit that i speak of the few states of which i have any knowledge. I do not know what is happening in the majority of states, only what i am told.

      • Tarheel says

        If what I posted is deceptive…then Frank Page has produced deceptive documents at the SBC and perhaps should be fired…I copied those numbers from page 31 of the book of reports;

        “2012-2013 Disbursements. Executive Committee of the SBC.”

        • William Thornton says

          ..but if you were explaining the CP to one of your church members it would be deceptive NOT to include your state’s majority cut.

          • Tarheel says

            These are just disbursements from the EC I am talking about.

            That is just the “national” convention, correct?

          • Volfan007 says

            Over $3 million dollars!! Wow. Just think of all the missionaries that would support?

            Also, if we are asking the states to cut back in order to get to the 50/50 split….to cut outreach ministries….ministries that are actually reaching children and college kids…to cut them so we can get more to the mission field, then the SBC should Aldo take a hard look!

          • Tarheel says

            Can you say that only 5% of the CP money your state of Tennessee keeps is spent on “non direct missions” like the National?

          • volfan007 says


            I’m talking about the SBC, not the TBC….although, the TBC is making all kinds of cut backs, in order to get to the 50/50 split. I mean, the TBC is doing some major things, and hurting many outreach ministries that are actually reaching out to children, who are coming out of terrible, abusive homes, etc. So, the TBC is doing a lot….just to try to get to the 50/50 split.

            The SBC should do likewise.


  36. William Thornton says

    I’d be interested to hear Dave, David, or anyone else’s preference for (a) CP revitalization, (b) CP promotion, and (c) CP allocation formulas including preferences for the state/EC split.

    • Louis says


      I think that the SBC has done this. With the allowance of GRC giving, each church can make choices about how it wants to give. Actually, the choice already existed. It’s just more official now.

      I would not be in favor of spending more promotional money and emphasis because I do not believe that is why churches give they way they do.

      I believe that the states should try to show the churches why the state organizations are necessary and useful.

    • William Thornton says

      The ERLC has the weakest claim on CP dollars of all SBC allocations, in my view. I don’t see much to show for our millions there, though it like Russell Moore.

    • says

      Volfan, you are correct. There seemed to be more talk against the ERLC before Moore became her president.

      I am not making judgment one way or another, but I wonder what has changed that we do not hear as much opposition since Moore took over.

      • volfan007 says


        I suspect it’s because Moore is a 4 pt. Calvinist, who came out of Southern under Mohler. That’s the difference for a lot of people.


        • Andy says

          PARTIALLY FACETIOUS ANSWER: So you are saying that because the majority of SBC is Calvinistic, that they were criticizing Land because he was not a calvinist, but are not quite since a calvinist has taken over? :-)

          REAL ANSWER: Seriously, I think you are jumping to the wrong conclusion on this one. I have a colleague who will debate against calvinism strongly, but who also thinks the ELRC is in much better hands under Moore.

          Even disregarding controversial statements made by Land, to many people he seemed (whether fairly or not) too much like a politician. It seems that Moore recognizes that he is not a politian, and also recognizes that we as Christians are going to be an increasing minority that has to live among our fellow americans while seeking to remain distinct from them.

        • volfan007 says


          We were talking about why some people were talking so much against the ERLC when Land was there, and why they went silent after Moore took over. We weren’t talking about a majority of the SBC. We were talking about why some were so vocal against it, and have now changed their mind.


          • Tarheel says


            There were lots, and lots, and lots of reasons why I did not care for Richard land as a director of the ERLC … Nine of which had anything to do with soteriology!

            Is everything about that to you, seriously?

          • Tarheel says

            Apparently so. Because the only real reasons you’ve given for being NOW against the ERLC is that it’s run by a “Calvinist “. Same with your opposition for Dr. Platt.

            It seems sir, you might be a little obsessed.

          • volfan007 says

            I just find it a little too coincidental that Calvinists don’t like the ERLC under Land, and poof…all of a sudden it’s great under Moore. Coincidences like that do make me think.


          • Tarheel says

            I also like the EC better (much better) under Page (don’t think he’s a cal :-) ) than I did Chapman. I’m also happy with Guidestone and I don’t think Hawkins is a Cal.

            I wonder if the director of the Archives believes about election so I will know whether or not to like his archiving.


          • Tarheel says

            Then there’s the issue of the recording secretary and parliamentarian …. I need to know what they believe regarding election so I can determine whether or not they are good at their jobs. 😉

          • Andy says


            I’m simply saying in my circles…It was not just calvinists…It was non-calvinists too who believe the ELRC under Moore is better than under Land.

          • volfan007 says

            Andy and Tar,

            I will say this, as well….it seemed to be an age thing, too. Younger people didn’t like Land or Chapman…..they like Moore and Page. So, they had the younger crowd hating on them, and they had the Calvinist crowd hating on them.


          • Tarheel says

            Well I’m sure freight page appreciate the compliment and the connection you contend with the younger people …. But he’s it exactly a spring chicken.

          • Tarheel says

            I have got to quit using my phone…. And certainly the speaking option…. I don’t think Siri understands TarHeel accents!

    • Tarheel says

      David, I’ve never defended the ERLC…. I’ve only shared how few (less than. 2%) CP dollars are budgeted for it and when you talk about actual money spent by the EC it’s less than 1% of money spent.

      I even said “if it’s something that SBC values, and thinks we are getting bang then we’re getting good bang for buck.”

      Honestly, I’ll tell you how I feel about whether or not we have an ERLC …. I don’t care one way or the other.

      • Louis says

        If we did not have an ERLC, we would end up inventing one.

        The ERLC and its predecessors were formed to address alcohol abstinance and the prohibition issue. That is still a huge deal in a lot of SBC churches. Just check out all of the comments when that is the topic.

        The truth is that there are topics about which the churches need to be educated in the moral and ethical realm. And there are times when the churches want to express themselves. The trick is when and how.

        Interestingly, the biggest debacle in this area that I have seen in recent years is was a state debacle.

        The state convention offices spent lots of time and energy opposing a lottery in our state that passed overwhelmingly by the vote of the people. The energies and resources of the state convention were misspent.

        But even now there are issues that the SBC may wish to address, say the Christians who are being slaughtered in Iraq by ISIS. That is a worthy issue. And a statement by the ERLC on behalf of 40,000 SBC churches is better than a statement by the First Baptist Church of Opp, Alabama!

  37. Louis says

    I am thrilled with the selection of David Platt at President of the IMB.

    The trustees obviously put some qualities at a premium – passion for missions, ability to communicate that passion, and the ability to communicate to a younger generation and to even those who are outside of, loosely affiliated with, or even new to the SBC.

    Qualities that were less important to the trustees appear to be age, executive experience, business acumen, sophistication, fidelity to denominational methodology in the accomplishment of missions and giving to missions, and experience on the mission field.

    Every candidate would have strengths and weaknesses in each of these categories.

    I am happy with the Trustee’s selection.

    As much of Christianity in the U.S. continues to move toward a post denominational emphasis, it is exciting to see the SBC be bold enough to select someone who has the ability to communicate a vision for the IMB.

    There are potential problems whenever a new executive is selected for a post like this. Jimmy Draper did not have the background to lead the Sunday School board. But because he was not a product of denominational executive leadership, he was able to lead the Sunday School Board to change its name, to expand store operations, and to make LifeWay more accessible to Christians across this country.

    Al Mohler was very young with no executive leadership. But I cannot think of anyone who could have taken on an entrenched faculty the way that he did. He was smart enough to dialogue with them. He was tough enough not to back down when threatened. In terms of enrollment, energy, prominence in the SBC, Southern is in great shape.

    I am prayerful that this selection will be a great thing for the IMB and the SBC.

  38. Louis says

    I do not believe that Platt is going to become a stump speaker for the CP.

    Desipte York’s statement about how Platt sees the value in the CP, I believe that Platt will be a spokesman for missions in general, and SBC missions in particular. He has the ability, to the extent a human can, to stir the next generation toward missions.

    If Platt spends his time trying to sell the CP to Southern Baptists, that would be a waste of his time and energy. As this post alone demonstrates, people (even in the SBC) feel differently about the CP.

    However, there is unity about missions.

    So Platt would do well to talk about missions wherever he goes, not denominational levers and unispiring talk.

    CP giving, GCR giving, direct giving, are all methods and details. Platt can celebrate it all, and that is what he should do.

    If the states want to promote their operations, they need to do that in their own states. It is not the President of the IMB’s job to try and get people in Florida to give more money to the State Convention of Florida.

    If Platt came to our church and spent time talking about how we should give more to the State convention, he would miss an opportunity. He would be wasting his time, and possibly hurting the opportunity to spur people to give more to missions.

    Our church was founded in 1992. From that time we have had a specific, directed plan about our giving.

    We give most money to the EC in Nashville directly. We give some money to the State. We give some money to the Association. We give some money directly to the IMB and the NAMB. And we give some to non-Southern Baptist causes.

    A speech, or a series of speeches, by Baptist executives is not going to change our giving patterns.

    Giving in each church usually has specific history that is unique to that church. And each church may have emphases that affect their giving.

  39. Louis says

    The Calvinism thing is a non-starter for most people.

    It is a supreme irony that the SBC’s international missions agency, and the man whom most agree expresses a sincere passion for missions is supposedly a Calvinist.

    I am not even sure he is a Calvinist.

    But it may not matter. The people who are so exercised about Calvinism are usually very quick to assign that status to people no matter whether it fits.

    Platt is not going to the IMB because he is, or is not, a Calvinist. Platt is going because of a demonstrated passion for missions.

    Many, not all, of the people who are concerned about Calvinism truly believe that Reformed theology is an important part of what got Platt this job, and that others were excluded because they are not Calvinists. They have the same view of Ezell, Aiken, Rainer, Moore etc. and their jobs. (Again, regardless of whether the men are actually Calvinists).

    I often ask people who are engaged in this debate why these men, and men like Mohler, Dever and others, have been so successful in obtaining a following and have had so much influence on the younger generation. Pondering that question, rather than the tenets of Calvinism, would yield more insight about influence and jobs.

  40. Louis says

    David Volfan:

    The ERLC and Moore are NOT lobbyists.

    They are not allowed to be legally or in practice.

    In fact, the ERLC was involved in a hearing in DC over the tax exempt status of property that it owns there.

    The panel and/or courts charged with deciding such questions have specifically found that the ERLC and its leadership are NOT lobbyists. Therefore, the ERLC property remains tax exempt.

    I know that you did not intend a legal point in your comment, but it is important for us all to speak accurately of ERLC and its leadership when we are speaking to one another and others.

  41. Ron West says

    It is always good to discuss issues with you because you make a rational argument for your positions and do not get emotional or attack the integrity of those you disagree with. I would like to respond to some of the comments by you and others on the ERLC.

    I thought the presentation by the ERLC was the best of all the entities at this year’s SBC. Russell Moore gave a very articulate and knowledgeable presentation on issues of importance. I agree with Louis that we need a ERLC to represent us when it is done correctly. The ERLC was formed as a combination of the former Christian Life Commission and the Public Affairs Committee which was part of the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs. While the CLC worked on moral and ethical issues such as alcohol and gambling, the BJCPA worked in the area of Religious Liberty. Unfortunately, Mark Lamprecht is correct when he says there was talk against the ERLC before Moore. That was because Richard Land served more as a representative of Paul Pressler’s Committee on National Policy, the Sun Myung Moon and Coors Beer financed PAC, than he did the SBC.

    Louis, I recall once before you were critical of your state’s working to oppose a state lottery. At this year’s SBC meeting we passed a resolution opposing government sponsored gambling. I think any time and effort spent on this is worthwhile. You called that opposition a fiasco in TN. I don’t know about Tennessee but in Arkansas the lottery has been a colossal fiasco. Less than 25% of the money raised by the lottery actually goes to fund scholarships which was the purpose of the lottery. They rest goes into the gambling bureaucracy. There could be no more inefficient way to fund scholarships. It has been shown that the major buyers of lottery tickets are those who can least afford to buy them. We who do not buy tickets are still forced to pay for meals for children, jail expense and others costs as a result of the lottery. I hope we continue to speak out long and hard against state sponsored lotteries everywhere we can.
    Louis, you said, “But even now there are issues that the SBC may wish to address, say the Christians who are being slaughtered in Iraq by ISIS. That is a worthy issue. And a statement by the ERLC on behalf of 40,000 SBC churches is better than a statement by the First Baptist Church of Opp, Alabama!” You are correct. We would have an even more effect voice if we were working with the Baptist World Allliance to speak against this slaughter.

    You told Volfan that the ERLC is not a lobbying organization. You are a lawyer and know the legal definition of lobbying. For most of us the definition of lobby is the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government. I think the ERLC does this. I would have to let Volfan use that term if he wishes since he is not using it is a court of law.

    • says

      Richard Land on Alcohol:

      “Southern Baptists meeting in session have called their brothers and sisters to live ‘an exemplary Christian lifestyle of abstinence from beverage alcohol and all other harmful drugs’ (1984); to recognize alcohol as ‘America’s number one drug problem’ (1982); to ‘reaffirm our historic position as opposing alcohol as a beverage’ (1978); to view ‘personal abstinence’ as the ‘Christian way’ (1957); to express their ‘unceasing opposition to the manufacture, sale and use of alcoholic beverages’ (1955); to realize alcohol is a ‘habit-forming and destructive poison’ (1940) and the ‘chief source of vice, crime, poverty and degradation’ (1936); and to ‘reassert our truceless and uncompromising hostility to the manufacture, sale, importation and transportation of alcoholic beverages’ (1896).”
      -Dr. Richard Land and Barrett Duke, On Alcohol Use, ERLC; 2006.

      Ron West, this quote by Land seems to contradict your statement, “That was because Richard Land served more as a representative of Paul Pressler’s Committee on National Policy, the Sun Myung Moon and Coors Beer financed PAC, than he did the SBC.”
      At least it doesn’t sound like Land was influenced by Coors Beer.
      Paul Pressler wasn’t either.

      David R. Brumbelow

    • Louis says


      Thanks for the compliment. I try to be rational, but it doesn’t mean I am right.

      I agree with you about the presentation at this year’s convention by the ERLC. It was awesome.

      Land had the unenviable position of being the first director of the combined efforts of the CLC and the Baptist Joint Committee. He followed Larry Baker at the CLC, who was installed with razor thin margin by the Board with the knowledge that as soon as the next round of appointees came on board, he would not have been approved. And Land inherited the religious liberty assignment from the BJC, which was taken away from James Dunn. Dunn’s approach to First Amendment issues was the “wall of strict separation” approach vs. an “accommodation” approach favored by Land. They agree on much more than they disagree on, but this disagreement is significant. Some in the SBC liked Dunn, so Land had to live with that fallout.

      As I sit here, I cannot think of an official position the ERLC took over the years that really was inconsistent with what I perceive to be the feelings of most Southern Baptists. So it is hard for me to criticize Land for the official direction of the ERLC. Land got in trouble for “off the cuff” type of statements about things.

      I don’t know about Coors Beer and Reverend Moon and all that. From what I remember about Land, he was very vocal about being abstinent and I believe he is sound doctrinally, which would definitely put him at odds with Moon’s teachings and Coors.

      I have no idea how Arkansas’ lottery works.

      In Tennessee, the lottery provides the “Hope” scholarship, which finances education. I am smart enough to know that economically is a mixed bag. Did the gift of $4,000 annually just make college more affordable, or did it cause inflation in the cost of high ed? I suspect the latter.

      But despite my feelings about the economics, speaking as one Baptist, trying to stamp out lotteries is not a big priority for me. That may animate a lot of people. It does not move me particularly, nor does it move most of the younger people whom I know in the church.

      It seems to me that the effort to stop lotteries is a relic of Christian activism from 100 years ago.

      I feel the same about efforts to prohibit the sale of alcohol at our local sports arena that some Baptists got all worked up about.

      The state convention in our state has a history of this kind of thing.

      The convention had no problem with the religion departments at Belmont College or Carson Newman. Would not lift a finger to address any problems. (Note: the state recently gave Belmont College away. The state convention was entitled to about $50,000,000 in contributions according to an agreement that the state and Belmont signed when Belmont was formed. The state agreed to take $3,000,000 over time (I believe that is the figure), which was less than Belmont’s original offer.)

      But if the county built a new sports arena, the state convention was all lathered up about trying to keep beer from being sold there.

      Or if the people of this state want to have a lottery, here comes the state trying to shut that down.

      I certainly respect the right of any Baptists or groups of Baptists to organize to keep people from drinking beer or playing a lottery.

      But I know many more Baptists that do not care to spend much energy on those things. I am one of them. And I really don’t want to fund that kind of stuff. I, and my church, only have so many dollars. So we try to maximize what we believe in and want to pursue.

      As for what to call the ERLC, I believe that we should call it what Southern Baptists have agreed to call it. To do otherwise is not consistent and creates confusion about what the SBC is trying to do through the ERLC. The ERLC is not referred to as a lobbying organization by Baptists as we have expressed ourselves, and people at the ERLC do not refer to themselves as lobbyists or the ERLC as a lobbying organization. I believe that the old CLC and BJC also did not use these terms.

      And it just so happens that the law does not recognize the ERLC as a lobbying organization.

      Given all of that, I too, will refrain from calling them a lobbying organization.

  42. Ron West says

    Louis, you are correct when you list the qualities the trustees put at a premium when selecting Platt. You were also correct when you listed the qualities the trustees thought were less important. Personally I would have like to see fidelity to denominational methodology and experience on the field given more weight. The good qualities Platt has can overcome these deficiencies if he is willing to learn and listens to those with more experience. I hope he can communicate to the younger generation. What he communicate is the question. I hope he does not devalue the importance of career missionaries.

    You say Platt will not be a stump speaker for the cooperative program. That is probably true. During the first part of my career as a missionary we were told to ask people to give to Lottie Moon but to also ask them to give to the cooperative program. Our leaders understood that we all need each other. Both were considered important to our missions cause. That changed under Rankin and Elliff. Missionaries now are told they can ask churches to give directly to the IMB with their name on the offering and they can ask for support for specific projects they are using. That was never true before. The IMB is already primarily catering to the super churches and overlooking the medium and small churches that have formed the basis of our support. I fear we are moving back to the societal approach to all that we do. It failed us before and will fail us again.

    My home church is about 1/20 the size of Platt’s but we gave about twice as much to the cooperative program through our state convention as his did. You say that he also gave directly to the IMB and that is true. His church and yours are benefiting from the money my church gives through the state convention possibly without doing your share. Disregarding what stays in the state we are giving to support the seminaries, the NAMB, the ERLC and other entities that make up what we call the SBC. We need the seminaries to train our missionaries. We need the NAMB in the same way we need the IMB. When we pick and choose what we support something will suffer.

    Let’s look at why state conventions are important. I realize they are all different but I will speak of my state convention in Arkansas. If we eliminate or defund the state conventions, that eliminates state missions, disaster relief, orphanages, Baptist colleges, camp grounds and many other worthy causes I could mention. Many big churches may think these are unimportant but most churches depend on the state to provide these ministry opportunities. Our state camp at Siloam Springs was important in my call to missions and that of many others. The year I was appointed by the FMB, more missionaries were appointed from my Baptist College, Ouachita, than any other college, Baptist or non-Baptist. That was not an accident. There is much more done to support missions than just though the IMB or the SBC Executive Committee. If Platt doesn’t recognize this and we encourage churches to only support the IMB we could become just like TEAM, OMF, OMS and other non-denominational missionary sending organizations. Missionaries will be raising their own support and we will lose our common theological basis.

    You church and Platt’s are free to give as you wish. We have always given churches the freedom to do that. I am thankful that most churches see the value of the cooperative program and all levels of Southern Baptist life.

    • William Thornton says

      I’d like to see state conventions raise their funding by telling their churches what they do and how this is important to members and churches in their state. Generally, this approach is overshadowed by appeals built on overseas missions for the very good reason that churches are more inclined to give to such than to state camps and state staff and programs, etc.

      The list of state convention ministries you give bears further scrutiny: there are no “orphanages” any longer, in my state the modern equivalent, children’s homes, receives no CP money because they successfully raise their own funding; conference centers are fast losing relevance and popularity and here are old, rundown, and mostly non-competitive with private venues, the CP props up facilities that should be disposed; some colleges are very weak and ineffectual.

      Churches like Platt’s make opportunity cost decisions about their mission dollars and find direct giving to be preferable to CP giving. These decisions should be scrutinized by CP supporters to analyze why this is rather than to reflexively criticize them.

      We agree on the not insignificant reality that almost every SBC church makes CP contributions, though much less in percentage that previously. State conventions are the only SBC related entities which are completely dependent on them and they suffer from a sense of mission vagueness that NAMB, IMB, and the seminaries do not. It is not surprising at all that many churches now choose to give around their state convention structures. IMB recognized this several years ago when they provided channels for direct giving.

      • Tarheel says


        We love our state convention. They’re conservative, they focus on and help us in our endeavors of statewide church planting as well as a well oiled machine that is disaster relief and Baptist Buildes. They’re now starting to focus more on church revitalization – therefore we have no issue whatsoever sending our CP monies through them. It’s accounrable money very well spent. It’s completely possible to know the names and jobs of the staff and there’s not large swaths of overlap. They understand and consistently communicate that the convention exists because/for the churches not that the churches exist because of/for them. No fledging colleges turning liberal to dissuade us, no money gulping camp facilities or all but obsolete retreat centers to maintain, etc…

        I realize it’s not so in other (most?) state conventions….not having the confidence we enjoy is why dinosaur conventions are often bypassed and it’s no surprise.

        This is why I don’t tend to fault SBC churches/pastors in other state conventions who bypass state conventions .

        I agree with those who decry our leaders not giving to the CP (either through thier SC or through the EC). I’d like to see them be examples in that regard….if they give directly to one or both of the boards or specific mission endeavors of either over and above that – fine. But they should be examples in CP.

    • Louis says


      Thanks for these comments, too.

      I agree completely with you about career missionaries and the importance of small and medium size churches. The SBC often worships at the feet of “big” and it is not healthy and is often an indication of idolatry.

      I hope that you did not misunderstand. Our church gives most of the money to the Executive Committee for distribution through the Cooperative Program Allocation Budget. We actually end up giving more to the IMB, NAMB, the seminaries etc. than we would be if we were giving through the state.

      Our only disagreement here that I can see is the value of the state conventions. I am pleased that you and your church find value in that, and I would encourage your continued participation in the state convention.

    • Tarheel says

      I don’t know. I’ve never heard him say he was and Calvinists don’t wear a Scarlett C on their foreheads.

        • Andy says

          A few quotes from Platt that make it difficult to nail down:

          “We share the gospel, we call them to repent, believe, call out to God for salvation, and we let the Spirit of God create that work in that person,”

          “How and when does the new birth happen, and who does what in it? Conversion, justification, regeneration—what’s the order here? Does God do all the work? Does man do anything? Is belief itself a free act of man or is faith a free gift from God?
          And we all, in this room, based on Scripture, have differing answers to such questions. But we differ with humility, don’t we? Who among us has a market on the mind of God? Who among the finite, flawed men in this room is able to fully comprehend the infinite, flawless majesty of God in man’s salvation?”

          “I believe without hesitation or equivocation that God loves all people in the world (John 3:16) and he desires all people’s salvation (2 Peter 3:9). As followers of Jesus saved by his matchless grace (Ephesians 2:1-10), we are compelled to go with urgency to all people to tell them compassionately of God’s love for them (2 Corinthians 4:5) and to call them clearly to repent and believe in Christ (Matthew 4:17; Acts 2:38).”

          “Any cautions I have expressed with a “sinner’s prayer” have absolutely nothing directly to do with the doctrine of election, and I definitively don’t believe that certain people “actually have no chance for life in Christ.”

          SO….the last one especially might lead one to believe he has some sort of a “hybrid” view (like the one’s Dave Miller Blogged about recently). Whether such a hybrid must always be called a Calvinist is probably another debate.

          • says

            Andy, regarding the quote you give by David Platt,

            “Any cautions I have expressed with a ‘sinner’s prayer’ have absolutely nothing directly to do with the doctrine of election, and I definitively don’t believe that certain people ‘actually have no chance for life in Christ.’”

            While I’ve heard 5-point Calvinists say they don’t believe anyone has no chance for life in Christ – I can’t see how someone can believe that, if they also believe Jesus did not die for all humanity.
            Because if Jesus did not die for you, you have absolutely no chance for life in Christ.

            So, anyway, I’d like to know if David Platt believes Jesus died for all humanity, or just for the elect.

            That seems a pretty simple question to answer,
            and I hope it’s not answered simply with a,
            “I struggle with Limited Atonement.”
            David R. Brumbelow

          • says

            David, I agree with you… he should make that a bit more clear, or leave it as a mystery.

            One theologian put it this way as well…

            “Therefore it becomes evident that it is not the Calvinist who limits the atonement. It is the Arminian, because he denies that the atoning death of Christ accomplishes what we most desperately need — namely, salvation from the condition of deadness and hardness and blindness under the wrath of God. The Arminian limits the nature and value and effectiveness of the atonement so that he can say that it was accomplished even for those who die in unbelief and are condemned. In order to say that Christ died for all men in the same way, the Arminian must limit the atonement to a powerless opportunity for men to save themselves from their terrible plight of depravity.”

          • andy says

            Chris, I have never heard him argue or even speak of limited atonement…the last quote leads me to believe he would not be a 5pointer…or at very least he accepts some mystery about it, as referred to in his earlier quote about salvation…

          • says

            yes… I have not as well. It will be interesting to me to see how he handles the continually questions around this subject. Evidently he has a huge bullseye on his back…. and, I’m not absolutely sure why.

        • says

          ABP said of David Platt:
          “He has been active in Together for the Gospel, a biennial preaching conference for followers of the so-called ‘New Calvinism’ — popularized by leaders including John Piper of Desiring God Ministries and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler — that emphasizes God’s sovereignty in deciding who is saved.”

          I think Christianity Today has referred to Platt as a “Reformed Baptist.”

          Thanks for the replies.
          I’d just like to know if David Platt is a 5-point Calvinist or not.
          I’d like to know his view of Limited Atonement.
          Perhaps BP will bring this out.
          David R. Brumbelow

          • Tarheel says

            Well, he’s not a universalist so he certainly believes in limited atonement. Anyone who is not a Universalist believes in some form of limited atonement. Unless one believes that everyone goes to heaven then one must limit the atonement in some way.

          • says

            Thanks for muddying the waters.
            You obviously know what I mean concerning Limited Atonement.
            Did Jesus die for all humanity, or just for the elect?

            Concerning universalism, Scripture says God, “is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.” -1 Timothy 4:10
            Jesus died for all, but only those who repent and believe will be saved.

            David R. Brumbelow

          • says

            Does it really matter? This is such a tired argument. If he is 1 million point calvinist would that prevent him from having a passion for missions. I think history has shown time and time again that full calvinists believe in missions and have been on the front lines of missions before the “traditionalists” where even a thing.
            I have personally known and seen more calvinists who have been passionate about evangelism and involved in missions then I have known of arminians. This anti-calvinist movement in the SBC is just ridiculous.

          • D.L. Payton says

            I agree, it is time to put this argument to bed. I do want to respond to your phrase “before traditionalism was even a thing”. What you are calling traditionalism is hardly a new thing. It is as old as theology. Thus I say, it is also time to put aside meaningless and confusing labels.

            I want to say again, there is not such thing as a three or four or whatever point Calvinist. There are people who agree with three or four or whatever theological points of the TULIP acrostic. That is not a three point Calvinist, that is one who agrees with three points of what Calvin taught. I believe n saying “the Bible says”. That does not make me a one point Billy Grahamist.

            We must lose the labels and say what we mean.

          • Tarheel says

            I am confident that I have a different understanding of that verse than you…Mr. Brumbelow.

            I did not muddy the waters…you spoke of even of the idea of Platt believing in limiting the atonement as if it were a “bad thing” something that “Baptists just don’t do” …I simply pointed out that we all limit the atonement, the bible limits the atonement to the purposes of God for it – the discussions come in as to how each of us think it all works out.

            That is, unless one ascribes to universalism. I assert that few, if any posters here are heretics, so…can we get passed the boxing people in?

            Smarter and more learned men than any of us debated these issues long before us, and if the world continues people will still be doing so after us.

        • says

          Vol, He may be leaning toward Augustinism. I’m not sure that he would identify with everything those writers had to say about Calvin.

          There are definitely three strains of theological camps/systems at work with respect to the mover in Salvation’s choice…

          1. The Pelagius / Arminius leaning toward man….
          2. The Augustine / Calvin leaning toward God….
          3. The Molinist – The inventive peacekeepers or warmongers, dependent on which of the other two camps are engaged in the argument….

          Lately,…it seems like much of the SBC likes to stay in the third camp….thus the reason for so much excitement.

        • Louis says


          You do know that Calvinists will not let you be in their club if you are a “4 pointer.”

          So, who gets to declare if someone is a “Calvinist?”

          The Calvinists?

          The non-Calvinists?

          The individual?

          This is a serious question.

    • Louis says


      Thank you for asking that question.

      Sometimes we disagree on an issue here or there, but I really appreciate your straight forward and intelligent way of communication.

  43. says

    Here is a little writing from Charles Spurgeon that I read today on another blog that seem appropriate here:
    “I remember when I came first to London preaching to eighty or ninety in a large chapel, but my little congregation thought well of me, and induced others to come and fill the place. I always impute my early success to my warm-hearted people, for they were so earnest and enthusiastic in their loving appreciation of “the young man from the country,” that they were never tired of sounding his praises.

    If you, any of you, are mourning over empty pews in your places of worship, I would urge you to praise up your minister. Talk of the spiritual benefit which you derive from his sermons, and thus
    you will induce the people to come and listen to him, and at the same time you will do him good, for the full house will warm him up and make him a better preacher, and you yourself will enjoy him the more because you have thought and spoken kindly of him.

    I have already said, those who are doing no good are the very ones who are creating mischief. Have you ever observed that exceedingly acute critics are usually wise enough to write no works of their own? Judges of other men’s works find the occupation of the judgment-seat so great a tax upon their energies that they attempt nothing on their own account.”

  44. says

    I am simply asking if David Platt is a 5-point Calvinist.
    And does he believe in Limited Atonement?

    My intention is not to argue the issue, but just to know one way or another.
    I do not understand why many (not all) Calvinists are deceptive or try to hide what they really believe.
    If anyone asked me if I believe in Limited Atonement, I would be happy to answer in a clear, unambiguous way.
    David R. Brumbelow

    • Louis says

      David Brumbelow:

      I have never met a preacher who held a high view of scripture that truly tried to hide their beliefs. The ones I know are quite vocal and usually do not shy away from a discussion.

      I will venture a guess as to why their is a perception about this as it may relate to people who would be dubbed Calvinists.

      Not everyone who asks has your level of desiring to understand and share. Some see “Calvinism” as a great danger to evangelism and the SBC. But many who see this danger do not have your theological sophistication and understanding. So when this question is posed, the person who is being asked “Are you a Calvinist?” is interested in actually communicating with the questioner and those who are listening to the answer. Often times, the questioner is simply wanting a quick response to adopt the label, and this can create confusion.

      Our own state Baptist paper, for example, once ran a series of stories on Calvinism. It was really embarrassing. The stories were uninformed and very unimpressive.

      Against that backdrop, no one would want to answer that he/she is a Calvinist.

      I believe that in some instances, a person’s carefulness in answering questions is a desire to be heard and understood in a non-prejudicial way. This may appear to be deception when it is not.

      Again, I have no first hand experience with this. But I know enough about this debate to see that some who are opposed to Calvinism want to quickly set the table about what Calvinists believe and how awful it is, and then pop the question – “Are you a Calvinist?” One can see how unproductive that is.

      Not saying that you are doing this, but I sense this phenomenon when I listen to various debates about this topic.

    • says

      You write a good defense.
      And I am aware there are significant differences in different Calvinists.
      Paige Patterson has said he is a 5-point Calvinist – if you let him define the 5 points.
      I would hasten to add, though, Patterson is very transparent and specific about his beliefs concerning Calvinism.

      But I would still argue it is unfair for a preacher to conceal or obscure his doctrinal beliefs.
      I agree that sometimes we can pay dearly, even unfairly, for those beliefs.
      Frankly some lose because they are Calvinists, and some gain because they are Calvinists. And that would be true of non-Calvinists. Sometimes these views are not seen as relevant to the job, sometimes they are.
      Sometimes it is seen as suspect when all on the job are lining up in the same camp.

      But, as examples, Al Mohler, Russell Moore, Paige Patterson, Frank Page, and other SBC leaders have been very open about their beliefs concerning Limited Atonement and the 5-points of the TULIP.

      I have seen, however, many (not all) Calvinists who will argue circles while never being specific and plain about what they believe about some points of Calvinism.
      It seems they are trying to confuse and create a smokescreen.
      I, and you, well remember SBC Moderates and Liberals doing that 30 years ago.

      Like it or not (general statement, not directed at you), Calvinism is a prevalent, growing issue in the SBC and I continue to believe it is legitimate to ask specific questions along these lines.
      Regarding the old saying, sometimes we do need to acknowledge the elephant in the room.
      David R. Brumbelow

  45. Tarheel says

    Well, since he is unlikely to answer here…and none of us likely know him (I know I don’t) well enough to answer in his stead…perhaps you might direct your query to Dr. Platt himself….

    He may be a little busy moving for a while…but soon you can reach his office at the IMB headquarters in Richmond. I am sure if he is not able to take your call at that moment his assistant might be able to help y’all connect.

    • says

      I have asked directly at the IMB and am awaiting a reply.

      But I thought someone here might already know the answer.
      Or I thought I may have missed it in a Baptist Press article, a Baptist state paper article, etc.

      I do believe my questions are legitimate.
      David R. Brumbelow

      • Tarheel says

        Whether they are legitimate or not is not for me to say…. But I will say that you’re asking the wrong people.

        Only Dr. Platt should be able to define his belief system no one else should be defining it for him.

        Keep trying to call him at the IMB eventually he’ll be in the office sometime when you call, I’m sure, or at least be able to receive your message and respond to it as time permits.

  46. Tarheel says

    We do know that his beliefs align within the Baptist Faith and message 2000 and he’s affirmed it….else he would’ve been deemed unqualified by our bylaws.

  47. William Thornton says

    The guy is white hot for sharing the Gospel in places where it is seldom if ever heard. I’m not sure if there is a church that gives more percentage wise that ends up at the IMB. Maybe so, I’d like to know. Maybe David Worley’s church.

    If a 5 pointer, I’ll take a multitude more like him. If a sub-5 pointer, I’ll take a multitude more like him.

      • William Thornton says

        The figure I was curious about is how much, what percentage of your budget, actually supports IMB. A 20% CP would mean about 8%. Add Lottie to that to get the percentage. Platt’s church gets to about 12%.

  48. Sean says

    I was at T4G 2012 when David Platt preached this message. As one who is a 5 point Calvinist, my take on this message is that he does believe in limited atonement, but I can’t answer for him.


    Timmy Brister also believes so based upon hear he tweeted back then

    “@timmybrister: Platt’s message last night was the best argument I’ve ever heard to why Calvinism fuels missions & world evangelization. #T4G12”

  49. D.L. Payton says

    Much of the verbalized support of Platt centers around his passion for the nations. That of course is good. The question thus becomes how does this translate into being a good leader for IMB?

    Much of the controversy around his election centers on the Calvinism issue. The question thus becomes how does this translate into being a good/bad leader for IMB?

    Does any one have any idea regarding his administrative skills. Does anyone have any idea regarding his leadership skills? It is one thing to administer a church. It is another to administer a multi million dollar organization. It is one thing to lead laymen. It is another to lead fellow colleagues.

    I would like to hear more discussion on these more important issues.

      • Tarheel says

        That article offers perspective and answers right from Dr. platt and the presidential search team. I think most legit questions were asked and answered.

        A lot of the concern I expressed was over the cooperative program giving of the church at Brookhills… Dr. Platt though, explained that when he first came to Brookhills the church was “disengaged” from the Southern Baptist convention and was even what he identified as anti- establishment and he’s been bringing them along… They had a let’s go it alone approach upon his arrival… He’s been working to change that mentality. …. That sure explains things and satisfies my concerns.