Eschatology In the SBC

My time at Southern Seminary opened my eyes to a lot of theological issues.  Eschatology is certainly one of those issues.  When I arrived, The Left Behind Series was all I knew.  I soon realized I had been trapped in a theological vacuous church.  I began to study Eschatology and I came to a very different conclusion than the one I had been raised in.

Most of the professors at Boyce College, that I am aware of, hold to a post-tribulation, Historic Premillennial view of Eschatology.  Yet, a lot of the students I spoke to were going in a different direction.  Although there were a fair share of Pre-Mills, I found more and more students leaning towards an Amillennial or Partial Preterist view of the End Times.

Am I crazy or has anyone else noticed a swing in Eschatology?  Is it a coincidence that this swing seems to go along with the new resurgence of Reformed Theology?  Amillennialism is the most historic view of Eschatology in the Reformed tradition.  Also, R.C. Sproul is quite influential in the Reformed Resurgence and he is a Partial Preterist.  Many professors at Southern Seminary are advocating the works of Graeme Goldsworthy and he is an unapologetic Amillenialist.  

One thing I want to say is that I am glad that the SBC does not make SBCer’s believe a particular view of the End Times in order to work for the denomination, as some denominations do.  Southern Baptists are free to believe any view they want.  

The main point of this post is to see if anyone else has noticed a swing in Eschatological Beliefs within the SBC?  

 

For those of you not savvy on Eschatology, Evangelical Village is doing a mini-series.

I wrote a post in support of Amillennialism today- The Coming of the Slain Lamb

In the next few days there will also be a post on Postmillennialism and Premillennialism.

Comments

  1. David R. Brumbelow says

    Matt,
    I’m sure historians could give a more detailed account. But it seems to me that Southern Baptists were predominately Amillennial, then Postmillenial, maybe Amillennial again, and now probably mostly Premillennial. Of course in the first century AD they were Premillennial :-).

    There are many variations of Premillennialism. I’m Premillennial, but there are Premillennialists I would strongly disagree with.

    I had a seminary professor that told us in class he was going to explain the Premillennial position. He then proceded to describe the most extreme Premillennialist views and presented it as though all Premillennialists believe that way. I spoke up and said I was a Premillennialist and didn’t believe much of anything he had just said. He did not appreciate my comment :-).

    I think you are right that most Reformed folks lean toward Amillennialism and that Amillennialism is making a resurgence. But then, I think Spurgeon was a Premillennialist. Of course, both Calvinists and non-Calvinists like to claim him.

    I agree that it is good that Southern Baptists are afforded a lot of latitude when it comes to the doctrine of last things.
    David R. Brumbelow

  2. says

    David,

    I had a relative that lived in Rome in the first century and he made sure that my family passed down the facts all the way through the family lines, it has lasted all the way to me… How miraculous!

    He wanted to make sure I knew that everyone in the 1st century was Amil, Calvinistic, and Baptist… (they used different language of course. Calvin wasn’t even born!)

    Okay, but seriously… I know there are MANY different types of Premillennialism. At Evangelical Village the contributor will be writing from a historic pre-mill position.

    Spurgeon might of been a Premill… No one can be perfect, not even Spurgeon! I do think it is interesting that Amillennialism is making a resurgence. I attribute it a lot to men like Graeme Goldsworthy, G.K. Beale, Dennis Johnson, etc…

  3. says

    I think there is definitely a swing going on, but I think it’s a general swing in evangelicalism (or whatever you want to call it). I had a bit of an eschatological crisis the two or three years before coming to Southern- moving from dispensational (all I knew at the time) to historic premill, then partial-pret premill, then partial-pret amill, and now I switch the labels around to say primarily amill, with partial pret leanings on specific passages.

    All that too say, this amiller came into the SBC, so maybe some of the swing involves people like me who become Southern Baptist later. One of the reasons I became SB was because my previous denomination only allows premills (of any persuasion) to be elders… and I couldn’t consciously agree due to my swing. Maybe I’ll be premill again, but I can’t base where I minister on what might happen.

    Bryans last blog post..My Philosophy of Ministry?

  4. Bill Pfister says

    If I’m not mistaken, the constitution of FBC Dallas states that you must be Pre-Trib, Pre-Mil. I wouldn’t be surprised if in the future some try and make this an issue in the SBC.

    Also, I see Post-Mil growing more than A-Mil in reformed circles, saying it is the result of the Gospel triumphing and growing.

    I believe Spurgeon was historic Pre-Mil, seeing the Rapture and the Return as one event after the Tribulation. I’m happy with that based on Matthew 24.

    Maranatha,
    Bill

    • Michael says

      Spurgeon was a premillennarian. However, he followed the historicist interpretation of Revelation (i.e. the book is basically a prophecy that outlines all of church history) which is how most of the Puritans read it. The dispensational notion of the seven year great tribulation was not an aspect of his eschatology

  5. says

    before we talk of a swing in eschatological views, i think we have to distinguish between popular views and academic views. in the academy, that is, those involved in seminary life as employees, students, former students, etc., there seems to be more divergence. yet go to a local sbc church and you’ll see that there is no swing away from “left behind” theology. so, no, i don’t think there is a swing, except for one demographic, academically-involved baptists.

    but, among the academics and pastors, i would guess the cramming of calvinism down everyone’s throats is a huge factor. it’s suddenly hip to be all things calvin and all things piper, the apologist for the reformation par excellence.

    that said, i’m fine with different eschatological views in the sbc. it should be a discussion, not a test of fellowship.

    mikes last blog post..movie reviews – wolverine & star trek

  6. says

    Mike,

    Great observation. I think you are probably right that The Left Behind Series still dominates most SBC churches. But, if a swing is strong enough in Seminaries down the road we can expect a swing in our churches.

    I think the academy swing has less to do with the Reformation and more to do with the likes of todays popular personalities- Goldsworthy, Beale, Johnson, etc… But, yes, I do think the Reformed resurgence does have an impact, just not as vital one.

    Why I think it is more so todays personalities is because it is them who Seminary profs are making students read for biblical interpretation, hermeneutics, biblical theology, etc. Most profs are still Pre-mill, it is the students who are being more influenced by the authors than the profs that are starting to swing the pendulum.

  7. says

    I have a strong inclination to hold that most SBC folks in the pews are premill-dispensational. Don’t ever question the secret rapture! :)

    Is it an unwritten qualification? We could be the the Evangelical Free churches and require premill in our statement of faith.

    We shouldn’t divide over this though.

    Mark|hereiblogs last blog post..Blog Relaunch With Thesis DIY Theme

  8. says

    Speaking of the Efree and their Premill position. At there last convention they got into it like good ole Southern Baptists! The young ones wanted it changed and the old ones found this young movement for change repulsive!

    It is certainly nice to be in a convention that leaves third tier issues as third tier issues.

  9. says

    “but, among the academics and pastors, i would guess the cramming of calvinism down everyone’s throats is a huge factor. it’s suddenly hip to be all things calvin and all things piper, the apologist for the reformation par excellence.”

    Mike,
    I’m sorry, but I take offense at this remark. Truth is never hip or unhip. To insinuate that our seminaries are simply following trends is a strong claim to make. It is particularly strong considering we all know which specific seminary you are talking about, since I doubt there are many people at New Orleans or Southwestern “cramming” Calvinism down anyone’s throat.

    My pastor was complaining about the fact that all we seem to recommend for young people to read anymore is Calvinists and our non-Calvinist associate pastor made the remark that if you can find solid, biblical material for college students being put out by people from the Free Will camp please let him know. Instead all we seem to get is this speculative, pandering garbage akin to the Left Behind series. Maybe instead of complaining about the Calvinists, non-Calvinists could try and do some actually academic work themselves (Obviously I know this is an overgeneralization, but there is a bit of truth in there).

    Todd Buruss last blog post..Steps Away from the Dark Side- Thoughts on How to Avoid the Temptation Towards Christian Universalism

  10. says

    I would also like to add that from my time at Southern Seminary I realized most students who were Calvinists were Calvinists before they ever showed up to Southern. It is not seminary profs that are ‘converting people to Calvinism.’ It is authors and preachers such as Piper, MacArthur, Sproul, Mahaney, Goldsworthy, White, and on and on…

  11. says

    I would agree that most SBC church-goers are pre-trib/pre mil. Most of that influence has to do with their pastors and with the other resources they encounter (such as radio teachers like MacArthur and Swindoll). I think there is a growing post-trib/pre mil sentitment in some academic circles. I also have noticed less of a pre-trib/pre-mil influence in many of the more recent study Bibles. In regard to the whole Calvinism issue, I think that part of the problem in SBC life is not the debate between Calvinists and non-Calvinists, but the tone of it. We all would do well to remember that both camps typically hold a high view of Scripture and seek to honor Jesus.

  12. says

    This hits home right now as I just did a research paper on the rapture for a theology class at Liberty Seminary. I was raised dispensationalist and pre-mill but have moved away from it in recent years (even before the seminary education started). I agree with what was said about keeping third tier issues on the third tier. It is great that we can do that as SBC churches, and it would be great to see that across the board. The trouble is agreeing on what issues belong in that tier I suppose.

    Jeff Ms last blog post..You Can’t Legistlate Morality

  13. says

    I am not sure if there is really a swing taking place or that the average person in SBC churches have always assumed that the Dispensational model of eschatology was correct and they have never been exposed to the academy where D theology is a rare thing. I did an undergrad degree at Luther Rice Seminary where the the hermeneutic was based on Dispensational Pre-Mill. Everything was filter through that lens. In my personal study I knew how absurd this model was. However, it was not until I came to NOBTS that I began to realize LRS had a single hermeneutic and that profs in the academy held to other more reasonable views on eschatology.
    So is there a shift? I hope there is, especially in the church. The people in the church need to realize that the Bible contains more than just a focus on end-times. Especially when it comes to the OT. I think the OT is more concerned about the first coming of Messiah than it is about a second coming. But most churches see this different.

    Joshua Stewarts last blog post..What I learned in Baptist Heritage this semester

  14. says

    I think it’s funny how we are talking about the “average member.” I would postulate that the average member who is dispy pre-mil was also probably dispy pre-mil in 1975, whereas the majority of people born since 1975 likely don’t have an opinion and if they do it is not dispy pre-mil. Refusing to learn any more theology than you got from “The Late Great Planet Earth” shouldn’t be a point in the column for dispensationalism. In my experience, most (younger) church members gravitate towards Calvinism until you tell them it’s Calvinism. Their aversion is only to the nomenclature, not the actually doctrines.

    Todd Buruss last blog post..New Site Launch: Seven-Word Devotions

  15. says

    Barry,
    I appreciate that, thanks. I know it’s hard when generalizations start being made, I’m usually quite guilty of that (as evidenced by my “old people” comments).

    Honestly, I find not a lot of good teaching-wise when it comes to eschatology once we get past the major things that are promised (i.e. the second coming of Christ at some point, eschatological salvation, resurrection at some point, the New Jerusalem with no need for a temple). I just taught through 1 and 2 Thessalonians and more than anything it felt like Paul was telling the Thessalonians to not worry so much about the details and just rest on the fact that it’s coming. This seems like it would be good advice to most Baptist churches and congregations these days as well.

    Todd Buruss last blog post..New Site Launch: Seven-Word Devotions

  16. says

    Funny. Something in Todd’s post above made me think. Eschatology never seems to be an issue unless one goes against the common dispensational position. I say this from my experience not as being across the board.

    You can also see hints of Zionism in the support for modern day Israel. It becomes a very sensitive issue. This is where I see the danger and division in dispensational eschatology.

    Mark Lamprechts last blog post..A La Blog 5/15

  17. says

    todd burrus,

    first, the fact that i did not mention any seminary whatsoever, yet you have an idea of what seminary is cramming calvinism down throats, says quite a bit, don’t you think?

    i don’t get why you are personally offended by my comment. i didn’t say calvinism is right or wrong, or that’s either truth or error. but i stand by my observation, it is indeed hip right now (so is church planting, but i wouldn’t call it wrong) and – if not “crammed” – pushed as the only correct perspective by some. my point is that (at least in my experience) non-premills tend to be of the reformed stripe, so when calvinism is big, premill is not, which is where the academy is right now.

    anyways, don’t be so easily offended. it’s just a blog, a discussion, with opinions, some good, some bad, all relevant since all are in baptist life (or christianity, or on earth, however general we want to push this).

    the probly with blogging is we can’t meet eye to eye where you can say i offended you without ever meeting you or speaking to you and i could look you in the eye and respond, “eh?”

    mikes last blog post..what!?! jayson werth steals 4 bases, 3 in 1 inning!

  18. says

    matt s,

    those authors & preachers you mentioned are part of the academy, whether or not they teach at seminaries. they produce literature and have gross influence on baptist and evangelical life. so, as i said in the first place, the academy is not merely comprised of the seminaries and such.

    mikes last blog post..what!?! jayson werth steals 4 bases, 3 in 1 inning!

  19. says

    Hey Mike,

    If you think that Calvinism is in any way “crammed” down peoples’ throats, why do you think that is? Besides being in vogue.

    Did you ever think that it could just be push back from all the anti-Calvinism pushed in SBC papers, Convention pulpits and the like? As soon as blogging gave a voice to what was most likely the Calvinist underground there were complaints about moderating blogs, etc. I voted against the blogging resolution in GA a couple years ago.

    Funny that. The complaints about moderating blogs while the papers and pulpits went untouched.

    Mark Lamprechts last blog post..Divine Rape and Forced Love

  20. says

    mike,
    It is offensive because your comments imply that Calvinism is nothing more than a trend and something for the intellectuals that never really makes it down to the populace. All that does is continue to paint the negative image that Calvinists are arrogant and elitists which is, in my opinion, why so many in the pews aren’t Calvinists in the first place. It’s not because they disagree, it’s because men like Jerry Vines, Chuck Kelley, David Allen and Paige Patterson have gone around misrepresenting Calvinists as the elitist, non-evangelizing boogey-man for so many years. If this conversation is ever going to be honest we need to drop the pretense about it and really evaluate the claims.

    And to not think Southern as soon as you say something like that, especially among this audience, is silly. We all know that Chuck Kelley and Paige Patterson aren’t allowing Calvinism to be taught anywhere near their schools.

    I think it’s funny how people always want to blame blogging for conflict. By this point we all know the pitfalls of blogging. Maybe there is tension and conflict because people bring tension and conflict to the table.

    Todd Buruss last blog post..New Site Launch: Seven-Word Devotions

  21. says

    Todd,
    I am not sure that Chuck Kelly should be on your list. I don’t necessarily want to get into the debate about Calvinism, because I honestly think many of the discussion are a waste of breath. Although, I do consider myself a Calvinist. But, I have never heard or read where Kelly has called C-ist elitist or non-evangelizing. Also to state that there are no “C-ist” teaching at NOBTS is an untruth.

    Joshua Stewarts last blog post..What I learned in Baptist Heritage this semester

  22. says

    for the record, some of my best seminary friends and most evangelistic people i’ve ever known are die hard calvinists. for the record, they’ll tell you quicker than i will that lots of calvinists have fangs & claws these days. fair enough?

    i never said i’m not a calvinist, btw ;)

    this is funny to me b/c the only name i dropped on my first comment above is piper. it seems to me that if piper says this or that, discussion over. no need to hear the n.t. wright’s and other actual NT scholars. now you guys are throwing around every name in the book.

    simmer down now, simmer down . . .

    mikes last blog post..what!?! jayson werth steals 4 bases, 3 in 1 inning!

  23. says

    “my point is that (at least in my experience) non-premills tend to be of the reformed stripe”

    Mike,

    I am not sure where you get this. Mohler, York, Moore, and most other Calvinistic profs at Southern are pre-mill. I don’t think it is an issue of being Reformed, but an issue of being Baptist vs. Presby, etc.. Most Reformed Presbyterians are Amillennial, but most Reformed Batpists are Pre-mill. The swing I talk about has to do with the younger crowd within the SBC… Yes, that is the same crowd that is becoming more Calvinistic, but I don’t think Calvinism plays a major role in the Eschatology swing.

    Matt Svobodas last blog post..Friday Photo

  24. says

    After a visit to the hospital and a brush with that which is the inevitable end fo all of us unless the Lord comes first, I feel like saying that the Eschatology that is best is that which the Lord chooses. And He ain’t told us what He has chosen. Some people planned what we would be preaching as eschatology today. Personally, I do not like to have some one do my thinking for me so that they control my actions. As to Mr. Spurgeon read his Evening Devotions for Aug. 8 and Dec. 24. They shore sound like postmillenialism to me – not that millenialism of what ever variety amounts to a hill of beans with Spurgeon or any other servant of God with acuity of insight. Please don’t think I don’t believe in the bodily second coming of our Lord – I do. He has reserved the details for Himself which is fine with me. My aim and desire is a Third Great Awakening that takes the whole earth in one generation (and every last soul upon it) and even a 1001 generations. Take another look at the number of Abraham’s seed (the sand by the seashore; the stars of Heaven). The legacy of Southern Baptists is that they at least knew they didn’t know for sure and were willing to live and let live. They also left us a Gospel adequate to the task, one irresistibly winsome, healthy, wholesome, magnetic, creative, flexible, balanced, which was called calvinism or, preferably, Sovereign Grace. As the Father of all Southern Baptist Missionary effort, Luther Rice,declared in his memoirs, “Predestination is in the Bible, and you had better preach it.” Amazing! Enough said.

    Dr. James Willinghams last blog post..The Climax of the Reformation

  25. says

    Joshua,
    Just as a point of information, it was Chuck Kelley who at the infamous John 3:16 Conference said (this is a rough quote, but accurate to the essence), “We are facing a crisis in evangelism and I can’t help but believe that the presence of Calvinism in the SBC is partly to blame for that.” That’s why I included him. I know that there may be some Calvinist teachers at New Orleans, but with Kelley making comments like that and the provost Dr. Lemke continuing to parade his poorly researched arguments against Calvinism around (look it up online, those aren’t my claims) then I would have to say that Calvinism is probably not smiled upon very heavily at that school.

    Todd Buruss last blog post..God’s Embarassing Love- Reminiscing over Relient K

  26. says

    Todd,
    Touche..I avoided that conference for reasons such as that.
    However I am making the point that I have never heard him say anything like that here on campus in his many addresses and sermons. People must remember that there are profs (and students) of every stripe and fashion at most of the seminaries (esp. here at NOBTS). So let’s not be to quick to point fingers and call people ignorant (I know you didn’t use this language). Name calling like that is the reason why C-ist get the label of being arrogant jerks.
    Thanks for the input. And as far as Dr. Lemke is concerned I will be silent.

    Joshua Stewarts last blog post..What I learned in Baptist Heritage this semester

  27. says

    matt s,

    those are good examples of reformed types who are pre-mill. that said, i didn’t say that reformed types aren’t pre-mill. i said that those who aren’t pre-mill tend to be reformed, which is saying something different. and i qualified that with “at least in my experience.” like i said, definitely not saying that all reformed-types are non-premill, but rather that the non-premill types i know personally are almost all calvinism (and i should add former seminary and bible college classmates).

    like i said in my first comment near the top, i think eschatology is an in-house discussion, not a test of fellowship. i’m one of the only conservatives in my phd program right now, and i only WISH all the students trusted scripture enough to even have an eschatology discussion.

    mikes last blog post..cnn article on bart ehrman

  28. says

    Mike,

    Thanks for the clarification. I read that wrong and you’re right, it is saying two different things. I think you are right to say that most non-premills are Reformed.

    It certainly is an in-house discussion. I had a pastor talk with my about possibly moving to the Evangelical Free Church of America. To decline in the nicest way possible I told him it would be impossible because of my theological conviction of Amillennialism. He knew he couldn’t argue with theological conviction! ;)

    Matt

  29. David R. Brumbelow says

    “X. Last Things
    God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.”
    Isaiah 2:4; 11:9; Matthew 16:27; 18:8-9; 19:28; 24:27,30,36,44; 25:31-46; 26:64; Mark 8:38; 9:43-48; Luke 12:40,48; 16:19-26; 17:22-37; 21:27-28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 17:31; Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 15:24-28,35-58; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 1:5; 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 5:1ff.; 2 Thessalonians 1:7ff.; 2; 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 4:1,8; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:27-28; James 5:8; 2 Peter 3:7ff.; 1 John 2:28; 3:2; Jude 14; Revelation 1:18; 3:11; 20:1-22:13.
    -Baptist Faith & Message, 2000

    I think a great combination is someone having a Premillennial head and a Postmillennial heart.

    In my humble opinion, there are godly, scholarly people who are Amillennial; and godly, scholarly people who are Premillennial. There are godly, scholarly people who are Calvinist; godly scholarly people who are non-Calvinist.

    Who is right? The Premillennialists of course :-).
    David R. Brumbelow

  30. Sarah says

    Famous Rapture Watchers – Addendum

    by Dave MacPherson

    (The statements in my “Famous Rapture Watchers” web article appeared in my 1983 book “The Great Rapture Hoax” and quoted only past leaders. Here are the other leaders who were quoted in that original printing.)

    Oswald J. Smith: “…I am absolutely convinced that there will be no rapture before the Tribulation, but that the Church will undoubtedly be called upon to face the Antichrist…” (Tribulation or Rapture – Which?, p. 2).

    Paul B. Smith: “You are perfectly free to quote me as believing rather emphatically in the post-tribulation teaching of the Bible” (letter dated June 9, 1976).

    S. I. McMillen: “…Christians will suffer in the Great Tribulation” (Discern These Times, p. 55).

    Norman F. Douty: “…all of the evidence of history runs one way – in favor of Post-tribulationism” (Has Christ’s Return Two Stages?, p. 113).

    Leonard Ravenhill: “There is a cowardly Christianity which…still comforts its fainting heart with the hope that there will be a rapture – perhaps today – to catch us away from coming tribulation” (Sodom Had No Bible, p. 94).

    William Hendriksen: “…the one and only second coming of Christ to judgment” (Israel in Prophecy, p. 29).

    Loraine Boettner: “Hence we conclude that nowhere in Scripture does it teach a secret or pre-tribulation Rapture” (The Millennium, p. 168).

    J. Sidlow Baxter: “…believers of the last days (there is only one small part of the total Church on earth at any given moment) will be on earth during the so-called ‘Great Tribulation’ ” (Explore the Book, Vol. 6, p. 345).

    Merrill C. Tenney: “There is no convincing reason why the seer’s being ‘in the Spirit’ and being called into heaven [Revelation 4:1-2] typifies the rapture of the church…” (Interpreting Revelation, p. 141).

    James R. Graham: “…there is not a line of the N.T. that declares a pre-tribulation rapture, so its advocates are compelled to read it into certain indeterminate texts…” (Watchman, What of the Night?, p. 79).

    Ralph Earle: “The teaching of a pre-tribulation rapture seems first to have been emphasized widely about 100 years ago by John Darby of the Plymouth Brethren” (Behold, I Come, p. 74).

    Clarence B. Bass: “…I most strongly believe dispensationalism to be a departure from the historic faith…” (Backgrounds to Dispensationalism, p. 155).

    William C. Thomas: “The return of Jesus Christ, described by parousia, revelation, and epiphany, is one single, glorious, triumphant event for which we all wait with great eagerness!” (The Blessed Hope in the Thessalonian Epistles of Paul, p. 42).

    Harold J. Ockenga: “No exegetical justification exists for the arbitrary separation of the ‘coming of Christ’ and the ‘day of the Lord.’ It is one ‘day of the Lord Jesus Christ’ ” (Christian Life, February, 1955).

    Duane Edward Spencer: “Paul makes it very clear that the Church will pass through the Great Tribulation” (“Rapture-Tribulation” cassette).

    J. C. Maris: “Nowhere the Bible teaches that the Church of Jesus Christ is heading for world dominion. On the contrary – there will be no place for her, save in ‘the wilderness,’ where God will take care of her (Rev. 12:13-17)” (I.C.C.C. leaflet “The Danger of the Ecumenical Movement,” p. 2).

    F. F. Bruce: “To meet the Lord [I Thessalonians 4:17]…on the final stage of…[Christ’s] journey…to the earth…” (New Bible Commentary: Revised, p. 1159).

    G. Christian Weiss: “Some people say that this [‘gospel of the kingdom’ in Matthew 24:14] is not the gospel of grace but is a special aspect of the gospel to be preached some time in the future. But there is nothing in the context to indicate this” (“Back to the Bible” broadcast, February 9, 1976).

    Pat Brooks: “Soon we, in the Body of Christ, will be confronted by millions of people disillusioned by such false teaching [Pre-Tribism]” (Hear, O Israel, p. 186).

    Herman Hoeksema: “…the time of Antichrist, when days so terrible are still to arrive for the church…” (Behold, He Cometh!, p. 131).

    Ray Summers: “Because they [Philadelphia] have been faithful, he promises his sustaining grace in the tribulation…” (Worthy Is the Lamb, p. 123).

    George E. Ladd: “[Pretribulationism] may be guilty of the positive danger of leaving the Church unprepared for tribulation when Antichrist appears…” (The Blessed Hope, p. 164).

    Peter Beyerhaus: “The Christian Church on earth [will face] the final, almost superhuman test of being confronted with the apocalyptical temptation by Antichrist” (Christianity Today, April 13, 1973).

    Leon Morris: “The early Christians…looked for the Christ to come as Judge” (Apocalyptic, p. 84).

    Dale Moody: “There is not a passage in the New Testament to support Scofield. The call to John to ‘come up hither’ has reference to mystical ecstasy, not to a pretribulation rapture” (Spirit of the Living God, p. 203).

    John R. W. Stott: “He would not spare them from the suffering [Revelation 3:10]; but He would uphold them in it” (What Christ Thinks of the Church, p. 104).

    G. R. Beasley-Murray: “…the woman, i.e., the Church…flees for refuge into the wilderness [Revelation 12:14]…” (The New Bible Commentary, p. 1184).

    Bernard L. Ramm: “…as the Church moves to meet her Lord at the parousia world history is also moving to meet its Judge at the same parousia” (Leo Eddleman’s Last Things, p. 41).

    J. Barton Payne: “…the twentieth century has indeed witnessed a progressively rising revolt against pre-tribulationism” (The Imminent Appearing of Christ, p. 38).

    Robert H. Gundry: “Divine wrath does not blanket the entire seventieth week…but concentrates at the close” (The Church and the Tribulation, p. 63).

    C. S. Lovett: “Frankly I favor a post-trib rapture…I no longer teach Christians that they will NOT have to go through the tribulation” (PC, January, 1974).

    Walter R. Martin: “Walter Martin finally said…’Yes, I’m a post-trib’ ” (Lovett’s PC, December, 1976).

    Jay Adams: “Today’s trend is…from pre- to posttribulationism” (The Time Is at Hand, p. 2).

    Jim McKeever: “Nowhere do the Scriptures say that the Rapture will precede the Tribulation” (Christians Will Go Through the Tribulation, p. 55).

    Arthur Katz: “I think it fair to tell you that I do not subscribe to the happy and convenient theology which says that God’s people are going to be raptured and lifted up when a time of tribulation and trial comes” (Reality, p. 8).

    Billy Graham: “Perhaps the Holy Spirit is getting His Church ready for a trial and tribulation such as the world has never known” (Sam Shoemaker’s Under New Management, p. 72).

    W. J. Grier: “The Scofield Bible makes a rather desperate effort…it tries to get in the ‘rapture’ of the saints before the appearing of Antichrist” (The Momentous Event, p. 58).

    Pat Robertson: “Jesus Christ is going to come back to earth again to deliver Israel and at the same time to rapture His Church; it’s going to be one moment, but it’s going to be a glorious time” (“700 Club” telecast, May 14, 1975).

    Ben Kinchlow: “Any wrath [during the Tribulation] that comes upon us – any difficulty – will not be induced by God, but it’ll be like the people are saying, ‘The cause of our problems are those Christians in our midst; we need to get rid of them’ ” (“700 Club” telecast, August 28, 1979).

    Daniel P. Fuller: “It is thus concluded that Dispensationalism fails to pass the test of an adequate system of Biblical Interpretation” (The Hermeneutics of Dispensationalism, p. 369).

    Corrie ten Boom: “The Bible prophesies that the time will come when we cannot buy or sell, unless we bear the sign of the Antichrist…” (Tramp for the Lord, p. 187).

    [Saw above quotes on the web. Same writer wrote an even more explosive piece titled “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty” which is in a colorful, photographic version on the “Powered by Christ Ministries” site. Shocks enough to go around! – – – Sarah]

  31. says

    I don’t know about a swing among the convention, but I have changed my view in eschatology. I cut my teeth on The Late Great Planet Earth… and since then have found so many inconsistencies I abandoned it. I attribute a great deal of my change to reading D.M.L. Jones book, “The Church and Last Things.”

    In the 80s and 90s the question churches asked prospective preachers was, “What is your view of inspiration?” Presently the question is, “What is your view of Calvinism?” My guess is that the next question that churches will ask prospective pastors is… “What is your view of the End Times?” And that is sad…

    Is the conventional wisdom changing regarding eschatology? I think so… and that is a good thing. For too long a view has been held that is not supported by either church tradition much less Scripture.

  32. says

    Paul said it so well, Acts 14:22, “we must through much (or many) tribulation(s) enter into the kingdom of God.” And yet in the past several days, I heard a pastor on tv assuring his people that they would be raptured out. I understand the Chinese believers had the same assurance just before the Communist take over in 1948, and many, so I have heard either had a loss of faith or a hard time in adjusting to their new and terrible status. Spiritual tribulations, especially, are the lot of Christians everywhere and in all ages. My researches in church history were quite convincing on this issue. Soon, and very soon, we will becoming to the climax of the great struggle with evil. It is interesting to note that the bad is removed from among the good in the parable of the net. Could this be a rapture of evil in reverse? Or could the various alternative scenarios be designed with another purpose in mind. And what about the verses that prophecy Gospel Success? After all, an earth filled with His knowledge and glory (Jn17:3 & Gals.6:14) (Isa.11:9 & Hab.2:14) suggests at the very least a Gospel victory of resounding success beyond all comprehension. Personally, I prefer a more post-mil view, but whom am I to argue with God.

    Dr. James Willinghams last blog post..The Climax of the Reformation

  33. says

    I just heard through the grape vine that another conference by those who did the John 3:16 conference is in the works. Guess what it is on?
    Premillennialism.
    However, I also heard that there will be speakers on both Historic and Dispensational views of Premillennialism.
    Fun stuff, right?
    Personally I think this may be a waste of time and money. What do you guys think?

    Joshua Stewarts last blog post..What is one of the greatest downfall of ministers?

  34. says

    As to Eschatology, I generally lean toward post-millenialism without much of a program except that of a Third Great Awakening that takes the whole earth and every soul on it in one generation and for a 1000 more generations in order to get a literal fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham (you know, numerous as sand by the seashore and as the stars of Heaven – quite a number). I entered the ministry under two protoges of R.G. Lee, gung ho pre-trib, pre-mils. I have 100s of books in eschatology. My ordaining pastor just shook his head, when he heard about my change. My son is a post-trib, pre-mil. He does his own thinking, Thank you. And he likes to rub it in that his GPA at SEBTS was way higher than mine. I laugh and say that ‘s no skin off of my nose. His success is just a good reflection of my bald pate. Seriously, the old Southern Baptists on the millenium was to allow every one to thank for himself. Still the best way to go as long as all agree that Jesus will come back one of these days, bodily, etc., just like he promised. Other than that the sky is the limit. What we really need to worry about is His spiritual comings in Great Awakenings. Some times I feel like another awakening is near, but I might be overly optimistic. Except I have to say now when the hope of it seems the darkest, that the future is just as bright as the promises of God (so Judson re: his mission in Burma at one of the darkest moments). Yes, just as bright as Isa.11:9; Hab.2:14, and a host of others recorded by J. Edwards in his Humble Attempt.

    Dr. James Willinghams last blog post..The Climax of the Reformation

  35. says

    @Sarah,

    That is a strangely eclectic collection of quotations, I have to say. I might not have thought it possible for such a doctrinally diverse list of people as that to have agreed on any one thing.

    Barry Wallaces last blog post..Are you open minded?

  36. says

    Why be hateful about the subject? It is required of Southern Baptists that they act like ladies and gentlemen at all times. The Bible says, I Cors.13:5, Love does not behave itself unseemly. In other words, love is courtesy. Let the other fellow use the harsh words. The soul of diplomacy lies at the heart of the Christian faith. After all, we are not called ambassados for Christ for nothing. Let us not try to bowl the other person over or roll over him or her like a juggernaut. We are suppose to win the person with the truth of persuasion based only on the facts. Can it be that our faith is weak when we act like Genghis Khans (sp?). Is it really Christian to act like an M-1Abrams tank? Come on folks, let us exercise civility toward all oppenents.

    Dr. James Willinghams last blog post..The Climax of the Reformation

  37. Shelly says

    I recently was confronted by a stunning article on the “Powered by Christ Ministries” site entitled “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty” which can absolutely floor a reader. I don’t believe anyone can read it without having something akin to a theological heart attack! Check it out.
    Shelly

  38. David R. Brumbelow says

    Good grief, can’t we disagree on eschatology without getting so mean about it? I’m an optimistic premillennialist and believe that can easily be biblically supported. But I have no problem recognizing that good godly scholarly people may disagree with my views. I just pray for their enlightenment :-). The Baptist Faith & Message 2000 statement on “Last Things” (listed above) leaves it open enough for you to fit into it whether you are pre, post, or a.

    If they have a Premillennial Bible conference, great. They used to be popular back in the 1950s and 60s. If they want to have an Amillennial Bible Conference, go for it. You will not hear any complaints out of me. Why condemn someone for having a conference about what they believe? If you disagree, fine; but be civil about it.

    Thanks for your last comment, Dr. Willingham.
    David R. Brumbelow

  39. says

    Man, my little joke rubbed some people the wrong way. My apologies. I expected people to take that differently. Although, for me it is a ‘yawn’ I can see how arminian premills might enjoy the conference.

  40. says

    I am a happy camper, Just happy to be alive and preach again. Next Sun, d.v., I will preach the 10th anniversary for our son’s service as pastor of the church which called him a month before he graduated from SEBTS. Eschatology is interesting, but the field is so vast, so incredibly complex, I doubt if any one has the definitive answer. As to Sovereign Grace, the real calvinism of the Sandy Creek Assn. was the view that Basil Manley, Sr., held and which his son, Jr., held, and his preacher boy, J.P. Boyce, held. Luther Rice who chaired the committee which drew up the 1816 Sandy Creek Confession of Faith (on which committee Basil, Sr., served as the clerk of the Assn. along with Elder Hezekiah Harmon who founded the Gum Springs Baptist Church which I served from 1972-1983) stated in his Memoirs, “Predestination is in the Bible and you had better preach it.”
    Every one of the doctrines of grace is a Divine mystery. Sovereign Grace survived out in the Southern Baptist rank-and-file. My pastor, Rev. George Washington Grey preached it to me when I was a little boy (only I did not know it until I was grown) My ordaining pastor, Rev. Dr. Ernest R. Campbell, associate pastor to Dr. R.G. Lee, was a supra-lapsarian, a hyper-calvinist. Dr. Lee put it in his will that Ernest Campbell was to preach his funeral. So the only legal preacher at that funeral which included 5 preachers was Dr. Campbell. Dr. Lee also believed all 5 points of the tulip outline. Some yrs. ago, I spoke with the son of Rev. R. or L (?) Townley Davis who showed me the tulip outline which his father had written in his Bible as a guide for him in his minstry. I say that each point of the tulip outline is an invitation to receive the Lord as He truly is, to be saved on His terms. These doctrines along with Predestination and Reprobation are the most intensely evangelistic and inviting and missionary doctrines of the biblical faith. They are the theological equivalents of paradoxical interventions in the field of counseling. They are also the theological truths that lie at the heart of the First and Second Great Awakenings and the launching of the Great Century of Missions. These doctrines are the formulations which transform society, civilizing half-savage people and bringing peace to many a vile hut called a home. I can certainly testify to having seen such things occur across a half century of Christian Profession and attempts to serve. One does not know when one’s time will be (ordinarily), but, if my experience of two weeks ago is any indication then the time is drawing nigh for that transition. Having been an atheist in my youth (for the simple reason that I had no sense of the reality of God until I saw Jesus knocking at my heart’s door), I wish to give testimony to the grace of God as truly, utterly amazing, dumbfounding in the display of Divine Love. As far as I am concerned, the Lord Jesus Christ did it all. I did the sinning, and He did the saving. I commend Him to every heart, whether it feels its need or not. I know I am an unprofitable servant. I don’t even think I have done half of my duty…if that much. But the joy of His acceptance persuades me thqt he gets all of the redit and I am glad that He does…which is the real story of sovereign grace.

    Dr. James Willinghams last blog post..The Climax of the Reformation

  41. Will says

    I grew up in a Southern Baptist church (I am still very proudly Southern Baptist) that was strictly disp premill; however, after learning how John Darby started the whole thing in the 1800s I couldn’t believe in it any more. I became amill then partial preterist and now I’m very comfortable and set on total and complete preterism. I think the one thing that was the biggest factor to my conversion is that I believe the bible is inerrant. So by logical conclusion if the apostles believed and wrote and taught that Christ was coming back in the life time of the first generation the either he did or the bible is not inerrant. And, if the bible is not inerrant the Christianity itself begins to crack. All of it’s suppositions are up for graps. If you can’t believe the apostles when they taught that Christ comes back in their generation how can you believe them when they say Christ is the Son of God or rose from the dead. They either know what they are talking about or they don’t. The bible is either inerrant or it is not.

    • Matt2239 says

      “John Darby invented it.” What a weak argument. This has been rebutted so many times that John Darby doesn’t even believe he existed.

  42. says

    The Bible is inerrant, but our understanding of it is not. It is easy to make the mistake of thinking that our interpretations are exactly what the Lord means to say and is saying. But as the saying goes, “That just ain’t so.” We can and do make mistakes – even big ones. Still the Lord is bigger in grace and mercy. The bible says where sin abounded, Grace superabounds. My pastor who licensed me and baptized me and my pastor who ordained me were gung-ho pre-trib, pre-mils, as was Dr. Lee who was especially noted among Southern Baptists for his Premillenialism. I heard him him preach his famous sermon on the Millenium in 1963. Then came back home to hear a FBC pastor, a grad of SWBTS get up and preach an A-mil sermon against what Dr. Lee had said. Most of the preachers in the assn. were in agreement wih Dr. Lee as I was at the time, and we all just smiled and let it lie. That pastor was an American Indian. Later, I came to the Post-mil view, compliments of Jonah and an old Baptist Layman in Ky who asked me a question: Have you every thought about the fact that at any one time every last soul on the face of the earth could be the elect of God? My answer was no, of course, and that was due to my eschatology. The King’s question in Jonah 3, “Who can tell?” and Jonah’s unconditional prophecy of doom in 40 days which was not fulfilled blew my eschatology to pieces as I sat in the office of Gum Springs Church in the Sandy Creek Assn. some years later. Jonah peached only a message of gloom and doom. He did not as some preachers say, TELL THEM TO TURN OR BURN.” His message was burn, baby, burn, and he sat down to watch his prophecy fulfilled even though he did not expect it to be fulfilled (see chapter four) and he even said so. The statement of the prophecy is literally, 40 days and that’s all she wrote (as the saying goes), but it was not the whole story. Hey! Folks, note the purpose of the prophecy; the aim of such a message was to turn the people so that God would spare the city of Nineveh, but Jonah did not tell them that and he wanted God to destroy them wicked people (maybe they had killed some of his relatives). And yet he expected God to spare them and he said so. There is more to understanding the written word of God than the mere literal nature of the statement, namely, what is the purpose of the statement. I went on from there to consider some of the doom prophecies of the NT as possibly having a like purpose, namely, to bring people to their senses and to repentance so God would not send the judgments. Also there is the problem of evil being removed from among the good. Could these be alternative scenarios that God gave for a purpose other than what is seemingly obvious due to our very narrow reading of the texts. Remember, Jesus said, Be ye wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. LISTEN! THE BIBLE WAS INSPIRED BY AN OMNISCIENT GO, AND IT REFLECTS AN INTELLIGENCE COMMENSURATE WITH THAT FACT, A SUBTLETY SO GREAT AND A SYMPATHY SO COMPASSIONATE THAT IT WILL IN THE END WIN ALL OF THE SOULS ON THE EARTH AT ONE TIME (PERHAPS) BY THE SIMPLE MEANS OF TRUE, GENTLE, TENDER PERSUASION, LOVING PERSUASION. AND GOD WILL FORGIVE US ALL FOR OUR INCREDIBLE MISUNDERSTANDINGS OF HIS PRECIOUS WORD (WHAT MORE CAN ONE EXPECT OF A BUNCH OF CHILDREN READING A BOOK THAT IS OVER THEIR HEADS AN REQUIRES WHAT NONE OF US ORDINARILY HAVE IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND IT, MEANING, HUMILITY). I LOVED DR. CRISWELL AND HIS PREACHING, TOO, BUT HE WAS WRONG TO GET PRE-TRIB, PRE-MIL WRITTEN INTO THE CONSTITUTION OF FBC DALLAS, WHEN DR. TRUETT HAS SERVED THERE SO FAITHFULLY FOR SO MANY YEARS AND WHO HAD BEEN INSPIRED BY DR. B.H. CARROLL. BOTH OF THE LAST TWO MEN WERE NOTED FOR AN A-MIL OR POST-MIL VIEW. This idea of batting one another over the head with eschatological billy clubs is silly. God grant us the grace to love one another, be faithful witnesses of our blessed Lord and Savior and seeking to win the whole world for Him and to Him. If He wants to come and take us out, man, I am ready to go right now, even day before yesterday or when ever. If He wants to continue the Gospel until whenever, then do it, Lord. If He wants to take the whole earth for one generations and then for a 1000 more, lead me to it. Gloria in Excelsus Deo!
    .-= Dr. James Willingham´s last blog ..The Climax of the Reformation =-.

  43. Will says

    I agree completely that the bible is inerrant. There can be misunderstandings about how to interpret parts of it. Christians often view Ester as history whereas Jews often view it as religious fiction. I’m open to either possibility.

    Jonah presents similar puzzles. It is in the history section although many very learned scholars view it as better placed in the poetry section. If it is history it seems obvious that some poetic license is on display when Jonah makes only one call to repentance and everyone obeys him (and this from a strange prophet and God they don’t worship)–the Jews on the other hand when hearing from their own God and prophets ignore them for years. Ignoring calls for repentance for years is real life–everyone changing their ways at once is poetic license. Then there is the part about even the animals wearing sackcloth. Even if the story is based in truth there is some poetic license and hyperbole going on here.

    Not only does the apostles telling us that Christ came back in the lives of the first generation need to be true to honor the inerrancy of the bible, but preterism is the only theory of eschatology that resolves all the logic puzzles of the bible like Christ telling John that he would live to see his second coming. Further, if you read the history of the Roman’s putting down the Jewish rebellion 67 – 70 AD then all the bowls, scrolls, plagues etc of Revelation are fulfilled in the events of putting down the Rebellion.

    While I disagree it is history and believe Revelation was prophecy when it was written some scholars think all Revelation is–is a retelling of the Romans putting down the rebellion written in apocalyptic format which was popular at the time. That is how closely the events described in Revelation mirror actual history of the suppression of the Jewish rebellion.

    To this Southern Baptist Revelation and bible prophecy never made so much perfect and logical sense as viewing it from the Preterist perspective.

  44. Michael says

    I haven’t seen a swing take place for the average church member. Most of them are pretri-premill by default who are completely unaware of any other view (with a possible exception of posttrib and perhaps midtrib variations of premill).

    As for seminarians, some of those who are reformed (which is a growing minority, but still a minority) are going more toward amill or historic premill.

    It will probably be a while before we see a significant swing toward an exegetical eschatology.
    I don’t expect a shift over all to happen soon.

  45. says

    In Sunday School this morning our pastor covered Daniel and his prophecies. He presented the usually pre-trib, pre-mil dispensational view, and he did it very well (I have heard the best or read them – my library on the subject runs 300-500 volumes on the subject). He was a true Southern Baptist in his approach, stating that Southern Baptists allow for differences on the subject and admitted that none of us know enough to be too dogmatic about the issues. The interesting thing is that some have made piles of money from this subject – even millions???? My desire is Lord, you can end it any way you want, and I will say amen. It is His business. However, until He ends it, my business is to advance His cause by wnning souls to Christ. And it is my presentation of Him to people that is the means of winning them. God give us all the grace to be faithful in presenting Him as He truly is. Next Sunday, God willing, I will supply for my son and preach on the subject, Awakening Awe, texts Ps.118:24 & Zeph.2:11 (KJV & NKJV). What wll awaken souls? An awesome God who displays Himself in such a fashion as to awaken that awe which is a mixture of humility, remorse and repentance and faith and desire to have Him at any price. As the Lady said (with a change of only the pronoun (it) and the verb (was)): “Oh, (He) is so wonderful that I could not resist Him.” God bless and help us all.
    .-= Dr. James Willingham´s last blog ..The Climax of the Reformation =-.

    • GL says

      I have to laugh a little at your statement. Actually your statement is dogmatic in its position which is no position. If one takes a position on a given subject, in this case eschatology, then they are outside truth because truth cannot be knows as it seems you have posited. If a person holds firmly to any eschatological position, or doctrine of salvation, or creation account, or this or that then they are, should we say wrong because truth cannot be known definitively? We just believe all of them (all positions on any given doctrine) and it will “PAN OUT” in the end. Interesting!

      The truth of the matter is this: Whatever position anyone takes it is their dogma. It is their doctrine and that is dogma. It is a position.

      GL

  46. Molly says

    John MacArthur & Pretrib Rapture

    Who knows, maybe John (Reformedispy) MacArthur is right and the greatest Greek scholars (Google “Famous Rapture Watchers”), who uniformly said that Rev. 3:10 means PRESERVATION THROUGH, were wrong. But John has a conflict. On the one hand, since he knows that all Christian theology and organized churches before 1830 believed the church would be on earth during the tribulation, he would like to be seen as one who stands with the great Reformers. On the other hand, if John has a warehouse of unsold pretrib rapture material, and if he wants to have “security” for his retirement years and hopes that the big California quake won’t louse up his plans, he has a decided conflict of interest. Maybe the Lord will have to help strip off the layers of his seared conscience which have grown for years in order to please his parents and his supporters – who knows? One thing is for sure: pretrib is truly a house of cards and is so fragile that if a person removes just one card from the TOP of the pile, the whole thing can collapse. Which is why pretrib teachers don’t dare to even suggest they could be wrong on even one little subpoint! Don’t you feel sorry for the straitjacket they are in? While you’re mulling all this over, Google “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty” for a rare behind-the-scenes look at the same 180-year-old fantasy.

    • Matt2239 says

      You can google any perspective you want and line up people who will say “amen” to your point of view. Truth is not established by voting or googling. Setting up a straw man and blowing him over may only serve to identify who is the wolf. Using words like “all Christian theology before 1830″ makes the giant assumption that somewhere “all” historical events, attitudes and persuasions are represented. To over generalize to make a point makes one’s argument pointless in my humble opinion.

  47. says

    The card was removed long ago as far as I am concerned, but whether bro MacA is so bad as was implied that would be hard to say unless someone has access to his heart and thoughts. We all have egg on our faces from our interpretations of God’s writings and dealings with us. Behold, Peter, “Let us build three tabernacles, one for Moses, one for Elijah, and one for You—!!!!” A little love would go a long way in this mess. Our Lord said to His disciples, “I have yet many things to say unto, but you are not able to bear them now.” Such being the case, let us be charitable to one another. I am sure R.G. Lee and Ernest R. Campbell meant well and were sincere – even if sincerely wrong as I was these many years ago. By the way I took a look at God speaking with Abraham about his descendants being like the “DUST OF THE EARTH”. Think of that. Surely, it must mean times of great blessedness in visitations. And there are statements where our Lord says I am coming to you right now, and His coming in this instance is spiritual. Many don’t think or make much of spiritual comings, but I can remember once about a 30 minute visitation, the greatest ever in my life up to that point. for about 1/2 hr., while I prepared to attend class at the seminary. Jesus was there in our seminary apt., invisibly present. I cried tears of joy just like the night I was converted. Four weeks are so later I would receive the most unusual invitation to be pastor of one of the churches in the Sandy Creek Assn, where I would serve for 11 years. I would speak to my mother that night of the call, and the next morning my brother-in-law would call to tell me she was dead along with three others members in my family. During that week of that awful tragedy, there was someone standing at my shoulder so real, so present, I would turn to look. There are spiritual comings of our Lord to us every day, every step of the way, and there are extra special comings as in the Great Awaknings like when Whitefield pointed at a free black man who had come to disturb the service (and Whitefiel dd not know this) and quoted his text, “Israel, prepare to meet thy God,” and the fellow actually flew backwards, collapsed, fainting, and Whitefield appointed Elder Oliver Hart, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Charleston to attend the man who was led to Christ when he recovered (see the book by Dr. Thomas Kidd, The Great Awakening, published by Yale Univ. Press, which I reviewed in the Baptist Banner of Va. a few years ago). Some will remember what happened to the guards, when they came to arrest Jesus, and He said, “I am.” They flew backwards. Spiritual visitations in times of awakenings involve unusual events and happenings, and those visits of our Lord transform society and souls with abandon. My prayers for such a visitation are surely going to come to fruition, sooner or later. God speed the day.

  48. says

    I am also very thankful southern baptists give you that freedom…. I happen to go a little further in believing a pre tribulation eschatology.

  49. GL says

    Five point Calvinist are not wimps in presenting their view and as in the manner of the present mindset of this generation it is done in a harsh and mean spirited way. Compare the mean spirit of this generations push to cram Calvinism down the proverbial throats of everyone around them to the attitude of pre millennial dispensationalist who tend to be less Calvinistic (4 point to one point to Arminian) and do not exhibit the same carnal approach to their position. I consider myself a one pointer in a general sense, once saved always saved, and the Calvinist will categorize me as Arminian. The proponents of dispensational pre millennialism as I have experienced it was and has never been mean spirited as the now generation of reform minded believers. There is nothing wrong with believing what you believe and making it known. If you are afraid of your view then that seems to contradict conviction and normalcy for a given position. There are seasoned Calvinist and OSAS Arminians who are mature and kind and accepting but disagree in love but are not like the present carnal approach of do or die Calvinist. The passion is in Calvinism not Christ, that is sad and there is a big difference. This is a blanket statement and as always there are exceptions. As such, all who are operating in the flesh in presenting their view will not admit to it, in fact they are blind to it. Another aspect of the now Calvinist is deceit in taking a church and not revealing what they are and who they are. If one’s belief is worth having it is worth telling, but playing hide and seek is disingenuous and wrong. This is true for all in their own theology. Such a blunt approach no doubt could result in a theological mudslinging contest, but hopefully that won’t happen. Is it really possible for such strongly held beliefs, in today’s world, to not find them in conflict by their disciples, in this generation?

    • says

      Calvinists arent necessarily playing “hide and seek” as you accuse them of(with over-generalization of course).

      Most churches barely ask any theological questions(a majority of churches dont as any) so when theology isnt discussed at all why would the pastor-to-be say, “Oh yeah, Im a calvinist.” When most people hear the word “calvinist” they have about 100 wrong thoughts run through their mind.

      Or maybe when I interview for a position I should just say:

      “Hi, my name is Matt Svoboda, I am a Calvinistic, Evangelical, Missional, Continuationist, Amillennial, Baptist, complementarian, I dont believe tongues is a ‘private prayer language,’ I believe Scripture is inerrant, inspired, infallible, sufficient, and authoritative,…..etc”

      I could just go on and on and on about every detail of what I believe. Fact is the arminian/calvinism issue is a third tier issue. Therefore, it is unreasonable to expect every calvinist OR arminian to come out and say where they stand. Why not do that with every issue? Complementarianism is just as divisive…

      Dont hold a double standard. When a church never asks or says where they stand- why do you expect Calvinist to have full disclosure, but not arminians…

      Those dang arminians are so deceitful!!!

  50. says

    Wimps or not, it behooves every one to remember that every last one of us shall give an account to God for how we have conducted ourselves in this discussion. We must be faithful to Him and to what He has enabled us to believe. We do not believe anything that is true without His help. We also must face the fact that He has not moved us any farther, if that far, than Paul’s “we know in part.” We might confront another participant, but if it is not done in the spirit of love we are in serious trouble. Some Calvinists are, indeed, mean and hateful, but I know Arminians who are hateful, too. The same can be said of Conservatives and Moderates. Muc of the meanness has to do with the pathologies inherent in our fallen nature, in the madness within. God grant us a third great awakening.

  51. GL says

    It is WRONG for any ministerial candidate to not reveal what they believe to church that is looking for a pastor. It is deception (a secret lie) it is sin. If they accept you after you have revealed what you believe then all is well. If our seminaries and colleges are not instructing all students to be open on their convictions when applying for a position then they are not worth the money spent on them to train for ministry. There is no compromise in this area. It is deceit and deceit is a sin.
    God blesses honesty and yes even if that person is a Calvinist or Arminian or Amillennial or Pre-Millennial. Yes, we are all going to be held accountable for what we think, say and hide.

    GL

    • says

      GL,

      Its not hiding. When churches ask 0 theological questions(which is most) it is not deceitful to not tell them where you stand on every issue. Your logic is flawed, badly.

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