Jerry Falwell, Jr’s Statement to Glenn Beck: Is the Gospel Secondary to Political Gain?

An IMB missionary told me something interesting on my recent trip to Taiwan. We Americans tend to be far more “patriotic” than people from other nations. Other people appreciate their nations – we love America.

There is an increasing conflict among American Christians as to how involved the church should be in political activity. Left wing churches embrace political action as a part of their pursuit of social justice.  They have abandoned the gospel for social transformation and embrace political action without shame.  But those of us who hold faithfully to scripture have to balance social action with the call of the gospel to repentance and faith. We know that ultimately it is only the gospel of Jesus Christ that changes hearts and minds. No amount of political achievement can replace the powerful transformation that occurs when someone becomes a new person in Christ.

But that still leaves us with a quandary.  How politically active should pastors, churches, and Christians be?  There are two diametrically opposed viewpoints that run to the extreme in this debate. J. Vernon McGee used to say, “We are not called to clean up the pond, just to fish from it.” Others have adopted the James Dobson mindset and have involved churches deeply in political efforts over moral issues. I have known of churches that almost completely subverted their gospel message to the advancement of the conservative political agenda, mirroring liberal churches.

We are a unique nation. Since our founding Fathers were so careful to give honor to God for the establishment of this nation, and because of the prevalent perception that America has been a “Christian Nation”, it has been easy for us to confuse the interests of America and the interests of the Kingdom of God.

David Rogers, in his powerful article at sbcIMPACT, What’s More Important: Theology or Saving America?, has confronted this tendency to confuse political activity with gospel work. I would encourage readers here to click the link and read David’s post. Agree or disagree, David states it well.   He deals with the interaction between Jerry Falwell, Jr and Glenn Beck earlier this year. Many were horrified by that. Others supported it. Read David’s take – I could not improve on it here.

I would like to focus on one statement in that article, a quote by Jerry Falwell, Jr from Glenn Beck’s program.

Before I do, I need to make a disclosure. I am a big fan of Liberty University. One of my sons has attended there and the spiritual growth in his life was worth the debt we incurred! My daughter who is a senior in high school will attend Liberty unless she brings me a note signed by God giving her permission to go elsewhere (or unless someone is so offended by this article that she is banned). I am not one of those Liberty-bashers that have come out of the woodwork in recent months.  It is a great Christian university.

I did not even object to Glenn Beck being a speaker at Liberty as some did. Liberty is a university, not a church – a place of learning, a process aided by exposure to different viewpoints. I do not think that every speaker they have there has to be an evangelical Christian.  Having Teddy Kennedy or Newt Gingrich or Glenn Beck or other prominent public figures speak is fine with me.

But Jerry Falwell, Jr made a statement to Glenn Beck that jarred me. If he had made the statement to a Presbyterian, a Methodist, or a Pentecostal, it might have some justification. But Glenn Beck is a Mormon. He does not just disagree with us on baptism or ecclesiology. His church believes another gospel – one of works, not of grace. It is a false gospel. Paul called those who proclaimed “another gospel” anathema and said some things about them (in Galatians) that would seem harsh if accurately translated and put in print.

But here is what Jerry Falwell, Jr said on Glenn Beck’s show, June 25, 2010.

“I mean, that’s what my father believed when he formed Moral Majority, was an organization of Mormons, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, people of no faith. And there are bigger issues now, we can argue about theology later after we save the country.”

I wish that were a misquote.  But there it is.  Our theological differences with these false faiths matter so little that we can simply set them aside while we “save the country.”   I am very careful about using the word heresy.  I only use it when referring to doctrines that subvert the gospel itself.  This, my friends, is heresy; gospel-denying, Cross-belittling heresy.

I do not think that Jerry Falwell, Jr is a heretic.  But the statement he made is rank heresy.  I think he was being gracious to Glenn Beck and had no intent to subvert the gospel, but that is exactly what his statement did.  We “save” America first, then worry about our theological differences with Mormons, Catholics, Jews and atheists later? What is it that separates evangelical Christians from these groups? The gospel! Salvation by grace through faith alone!  I was under the impression that salvation was found in no one else, that there was no other name under heaven by which we must be saved than the name of Jesus.  Yet, here is Jerry, Jr. telling us that we need to save America, then worry about our beliefs later.  You know what, I think his father would be as offended by that comment as I am! Jerry was willing to join with people of other faiths to face political issues, but he would have never said that our gospel differences could be laid aside while we “save” the country.  He would have never said that to someone who believes and advocates a false gospel.

What salvation do we have to offer America if we ignore the gospel?

We must remember that we are Christians before we are Americans. I am thankful to live in a nation whose laws and values have been so shaped by the Word of God throughout its history. You cannot discuss American history intelligently apart from the effect the Christian religion has had on this nation. But to say that we can save America while ignoring the truth of the Word seems to place a  higher priority on politics than the gospel.  I love America, but Paul said that we are first and foremost citizens of heaven and ambassadors of the Kingdom in this world.  To set our theological differences with other faiths aside is to compromise our faith.   The gospel must always be our priority and we can never put political cooperation above it.

America has been a great nation.  I believe we are unique in history in that we have seen ourselves as “one nation under God.”  I’m grateful for that. But to subvert gospel work to political activity as Falwell, Jr did is unthinkable. I hope he will correct the impression of that comment and apologize for what he said. If that is truly what he believes, then Liberty will not fulfill the vision his father had for it.  I think in the cold light of day, Dr. Falwell probably regrets saying something that egregiously false.  That is my hope.

Let me be clear. I am a conservative Republican and I am passionately interested in derailing the Obama agenda for America. I am no lefty trying to subvert the Religious Right. I am part of the religious right. I hate what liberalism is doing to America, both theological and politically. I will be up late on election night holding my breath that Republicans take back the House and Senate so that we can stop the damage Obama is doing to America.

But I do not think that political victory is the purpose of the church. You will not hear me say in the pulpit what I just said in the last paragraph. When I step in the pulpit, I do not serve America – I serve the Kingdom of God!

Christians need to be politically aware and active. I hope you will vote (and I’d prefer if you vote as I do). I hope godly men and women will run for office, be involved in the process (and maintain their Christian testimony in purity as they do it).

But we are the church. Our job is to proclaim the life-changing gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. We cannot subvert that purpose to the seduction of political power. The gospel is not only the power of God for the salvation of the soul, but it also transforms lives. It turns abortion supporters into opponents. It brings purity to the immoral and the perverted in a way that political pressure can never do. The gospel is superior to politics because it WORKS!  It changes lives and transforms hearts.  The power of God is revealed through the proclamation of the gospel, not through the advocacy of conservative politics.

We should never subvert our gospel purpose to political activity. For the love of God, American Christians, let’s remember who we are!

  • (After I wrote this, David Rogers added several quotes on the topic from one of his father’s sermons.  The quotes beginning with comment 69 remind me how great a man David’s father was.  Make sure to read those comments).
  • (Also, I contacted Liberty and sent them a copy of my article, asking for clarification of Dr. Falwell’s statement.  I had hoped they would respond in such a way as to let me know that Dr. Falwell did not mean what he seemed to say to Glenn Beck.  I have had no response to this point.  I will publish any response I might get as a comment.)
  • I will say one more thing.  If this discussion becomes another Liberty-bashing exercise, I will seek to shut it down.  I am focusing on one egregiously wrong statement from Dr. Falwell, but I maintain great respect for the university.  There are other places you can go if you just wish to trash Liberty.  And if anyone tries to open a “Caner” worms here, I will track you down and give your address to CB and his black-0ps brigade.  You have been warned.

Comments

  1. says

    Without a doubt, there is no way that “saving this country” is more important than the gospel. There is nothing more important than telling people that Jesus saves, that salvation is exclusively through faith in Christ and repentance from sin. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t vote in a manner consistent with what scripture teaches or that we can’t be involved in politics. What it does mean is those things take a back seat to proclaiming the truth that there is no name besides Jesus by which we can be saved.

  2. Robert says

    I would like to go on the reccord that I am 100% behind saving the country. But, not in the way the political activist want to. My goal, my mission is to see everyone come to know a saving faith in Jesus Christ.

    The Bible is pretty clear that this world is going to be pretty messed up before Christ returns. I don’t think that gives us an excuse to sit on our hands and do nothing. We should stand up for what we believe is right and seek to make this country a better place. Each of us must decide how much involvement that means for us, with God’s direction of course.

  3. volfan007 says

    Dave,

    I think you could add that “Believers,” who are more interested in saving the whales, and cleaning up the environment, and recycling could fit this, as well. They seem to think that environmental issues are just as important as the Gospel.

    BTW, I wholeheartedly disagree with Dr. Falwell’s statement. It was a bad one. Liberty is a great University, but he missed it on this statement. Overall, Liberty is a very, very good college, though.

    But, anyway, going green is also not the Gospel, and it’s not what we should be about.

    Dr. McGee’s quote is true, and he said, “God didnt tell us to clean up the fish tank, but to fish.” Classic.

    DAvid

    • David Miller says

      You and I are agreeing too much recently. I think I’ll post on baptism next or something, Vol.

  4. says

    David,

    I wrote Liberty University, Glenn Beck and the Gospel analyzing Beck’s commencement speech in light of Liberty’s own mission/vision statements concerning the gospel. In the comments you will find emails from Elmer Towns who didn’t really answer the concerns.

    I hope my post is not one that you would characterize as bashing Liberty. It falls right in line with your concerns. Beck’s speech contained a lot of theological suppositions. Fallwell, Jr. responded that it was the best commencement they’ve ever had.

    My follow-up post The Political Gospel of Glenn Beck and Liberty University? addresses the very show that you’ve mentioned here. I also address the objection that Liberty is a school not a church. If one is willing to give Liberty a pass because they are not a church, then the Moral Majority should also be given a pass for whatever stance they take to promote their agenda because they are not a church either.

    Both of these instances I’ve addressed are right in line with each other. That is, the gospel is secondary in both circumstances.

    • David Miller says

      I appreciate your articles and even though I do not completely agree with your conclusions, the articles are written in the right spirit of confrontation, not condemnation.

      For other readers – Mark’s links here are worth the click.

      However, I do not completely agree with your perspective on the church/university thing. I think that a Christian university HAS to have contrary views presented.

      Was commencement the best place for that? maybe not.

      But if memory serves, they have had all sorts of folks come and speak. I think that Teddy Kennedy was the speaker one time.

      Here’s my problem. It is not that Beck spoke that created a problem, it is that gospel truth was compromised.

      I can imagine Old Jerry introducing him and making some kind of joke about trying to correct his theology since their politics were so close, or something like that. You know – acknowledging the theological/gospel problems while still appreciating the political insight (though some would argue that).

      for me, it was Jerry, Jr’s approach that was the problem.

      • volfan007 says

        Dr. Danny Akins said that Southeastern Seminary had people from different viewpoints speak at it all the time, and it was a needed thing. He said that they had athiests, and cults, etc. come on campus to speak to learn from them, I believe he said. He said that at the SBC, when addressing the fact that he had Driscoll speak a lot at Southeastern.

        I believe I saw a certain segment of our SBC applaud his answer, but now they’re upset that Beck spoke at Liberty.

        David

        • says

          Volfan,

          Have you listened to Beck’s speech? Have you read Liberty’s own mission and vision statements as they pertain to the gospel?

          Who is “they”?

        • David Miller says

          Probably didn’t have them at commencement though. I know some people who did not object to people coming to speak at a university in general objected to someone like Beck being invited to commencement.

          My concern (contra Mark, a little I guess) is not that he spoke, but that Falwell blurred the lines of gospel fidelity to embrace him.

          • says

            Dave,

            It’s a both/and for me. In my post I note that the gospel was blurred. This was for several reasons, but the main reason is that Beck spoke and the content of his speech. So, to divorce the speaking from the gospel fidelity seems impossible in this situation.

          • David Miller says

            If he spoke at a class, or some sort of “Politics in America” forum, would you object?

  5. John Fariss says

    Before I make my comment, I will disclose that I am not a big Liberty fan (I am not against them, nor am I a “Liberty-basher,” I am just not that enthusiastic towards them). I am not quite as conservative theologically as are you, Dave. I have become more socially liberal as that is identified in my little corner of home, in Alabama–in terms of segregation/integration in both church and society, in terms of justice, and some other matters, but NOT in issues of abortion “rights” or the centrality of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am not a registered Republican, although I have voted for more Republicans than any other party. I disagree that the US was founded as a “Christian nation,” although for some, that may have been a goal (never achieved). Unlike old J. Vernon, I agree that Christians should be involved in the polical process, but that would not be a litmus test for me for a candidate. And I must agree that Dr. Falwell’s statement was, at best, a mistake. If you look back in history, you will find that many, many nations have blurred the distinction between the Kingdom of God and their country. Under the Kaiser, German soldiers’ belt buckles bore the inscription, “Mit Godd, Fur Koenig und Fatherland,” (pardon, I may have mispelled it, my German is rusty), or “With God, For King and Country.” The British Empire was Christian, though they tolerated natives of other faiths, they just “knew” they were inferior. Both North and South, during the Civil War, Americans “knew” God was on their side, and preachers and chaplains had no hesitancy to proclaim it. Augustine struggled with the distinction also. By his time, the Roman Empire was officially a “Christian nation,” and they claimed all those Old Testament verses about God protecting His country anainst pagans, such as the Goths, Visagoths, and Huns. The sacking of Rome by those barbarians was a harsh wake-up call, and impelled Augustine to write “The City of God,” in which he concluded that the Roman Empire was not and could not be the same as the Kingdom of God. And to confuse one with the other leads to statements such as Dr. Falwell’s.

    John

    • David Miller says

      John, I think that the “christian nation” question will be debated for a long time. I think we can all agree that whatever we were, we are not now a Christian nation and the solution for that is found in the power of the gospel.

      I do not usually say that we were a Christian nation. However, most of those who founded our nation saw themselves as answerable and accountable to the God of the Bible. So, we were at least a “Christianized” nation, or something like that.

      • John Fariss says

        The only question to this I would have is, “How many in the early leadership of this country (i.e., from the 1st Conrinental Congress onward to roughly the end of George Washington’s two terms as President) thought we were answerable to the God of the Bible verses how many thought we were answerable to the ‘god’ of deism?”

        But I digress; this is not about whether or not America is/was a Christian nation. I included that only to identify where I am coming from from, that is, my perspective.

        John

        • John Fariss says

          Oh, for me, that the Church and/or Christians in this country had an inordinate degree of influence is without question. I suppose that could be called being “Christianized,” yes.

        • SSBN says

          The deism myth is just that: a myth.

          Nearly every thought that made it into our Founding Documents first came to light through the sermon of a gospel preacher. To deny the Biblical foundations for our country is to deny the facts of history.

          It’s that simple.

          Now, how we live out those principles in our culture today is another matter that can be discussed, for sure. But, to deny that we were established as a Christian nation, is simply to deny the facts and any discussion not based on the facts is not going to be productive.

          It’s hard to deny that Jefferson believed the Bible to be the most important book in the world when he helped established the American Bible Society.

          Now, to say he was not the “best example of Christianity” is another argument.

          • Robert says

            SSBN,

            To say that quotes from Christian preachers and Biblical themes in our founding documents make our nation’s founders Christian is like saying I am standing in the garage so I must be a car. I also have trouble calling deism a myth when there is so much concrete evidence on the subject.

      • David Miller says

        I know we are diverting, but its an interesting discussion to me. I read an interesting book on the religious history of America that made some interesting observations.

        During the time of the Declaration and the Revolutionary War, deism was indeed prominent among people – especially Jefferson and others.

        But by the time the Constitution was being written, the effects of the Second Great Awakening were being felt and the group that wrote that was much more Christian and less deist.

        So, in a sense, the argument about deist/Christian is sort of a both/and thing.

        • SSBN says

          Dave, as I said above, “deism” as a foundation for our country is a “myth.” Even if “deism” were the position of one or two of the founding fathers (which it was, though not the ones most people think), the God of Deism was he God of the Bible.

          Our principles of law and the founding threads of the fabric of our nation is clearly those of the Bible. So, when all the Founding Fathers referred to “The Law of Nature and Nature’s God,” it was the Christian God and the Law of His Book they were referring to.”

          It is wrong-headed to fall into the trap of the secular progressive liberal nut cases and argue we were NOT founded as a Christian nation. If we do that: we deserve the wrath of Nature’s God — otherwise none in Founding documents as “The Creator.”

          Having said that, this does not mean that we (that is the SBC, or any other particular church) should have “power and control” over the body politic of our nation. They are, for me, two different discussions, though related.

          • David Miller says

            I’m not sure it is as cut and dried as you are making it to be. Deism abounded in those days. I think we err when we try to make Christians of men like Jefferson and Franklin. There were definitely Christians involved in the process.

            I consider this to be reasoned examination, not “falling into the trap of the secular progressive liberal nut cases.”

            Statements like that are generally not helpful to discussion.

          • SSBN says

            OK: I’ll retract the “nutcase” remark. It is out of bounds eventhough I did not have any particular persons in mind (Other than the President) when I stated it.

            But, you are wrong, the case is clearly “cut and dried.” If you take what the Founders said they believed, such as Franklin’s comment on the “excellency of the Christian religion” (Quote), you cannot come to any other conclusion and be faithful to the facts of history.

            When Franklin fought hard to establish a Chaplain for our government, he clearly was advocating for a “Christian” chaplain. These types of historical facts are unequivocal.

            Plus, why is it that less than a handful of the Founding Fathers are mentioned when someone wants to obliterate the Christian foundation of our country? There were 200 Founding Fathers. Line them up. Examine their own words; and see if the matter is “cut and dried.” I think you would be surprised.

            Again, I’ll retract the “nutcase” argument as out of bounds and apologize for getting emotional about the crumbling moral foundations of our country because of a mythical history of the nation.

          • Robert says

            SSSB,

            So Franklin commented on the “excellency of the Christian religion”

            Ghandi said, “I like your Christ….”. So does that make him a Christian?

          • David Miller says

            SSBN – are you seriously arguing that Franklin was a Christian? It amazes me how we lower the bar for the Fathers. Frankline was a profligate womanizer who may have said some nice things about Christianity but did not live a life that demonstrated Christianity in any way.

            I appreciate that there was a Christian influence on our nation, but we need to avoid historical revisionism and deal with reality.

            Some of the founding Fathers were Christians. Some were not. Some paid lip service to Christianity but lived in contradiction to its values.

          • David Miller says

            Also, you are advancing what I consider to be a false either/or position.

            Recognizing the fact that many of the Founding Fathers were deists and not Christians is not the same as rejecting all Christian heritage.

            I believe America has a strong Christian heritage. Many of our founders were Christians. Certainly, Christian principles were at the core of our nation’s formation.

            But I do not believe that creating a mythology of American sainthood is helpful.

          • SSBN says

            QUOTE Recognizing the fact that many of the Founding Fathers were deists and not Christians is not the same as rejecting all Christian heritage END QUOTE

            David, that’s exactly what I said in the previous post. Let me restate it another way: the Christian foundation of our nation is based upon the truth of the Bible, not the performance of a handful (at most) of Founding Fathers with floundering faith.

            I’m talking about the “truths” expressed by the Founding Fathers, not their personal walk. The fact that I might not be a perfect example of a Christian, does not diminish the fact that Christianity is true.

            It is totally immaterial to the matter of our nation’s heritage of whether Jefferson believed in the Trinity. Jefferson still based his understanding of the laws of governance upon the Bible.

            Robert, I never made any such statement in regard to the Christian lives of Jefferson or anybody else. I also did not say “deism” was a myth. I said, using the proposition: “Our Founding Fathers were all deists” is a myth. If you look at the complete history of the development of our nation (including the 150 years before the Founding era), it is very clear that deism was NOT the prevailing religious sentiment. I would contend, it was factor, but not a overriding factor, even in the Founding Era.

            When the Founders spoke of matters of religion or matters of “God,” they were speaking of the Christian God, not Allah or Vishnu, or any other god. This is clear cut. There can be no argument if you stick to the facts of history.

            The argument comes in how we express this Christian heritage in our current pluralistic society. I don’t think it is helpful for the future of the nation for Christians to ignore or downplay our Biblical roots because Thomas Jefferson was a poor example of Biblical Christianity.

            This seems like an obvious: “Throw the baby out with the bathwater,” point of view.

          • Bill says

            All but a few of the founding fathers were members of confessional Christian churches. There were a few prominent deists but not that many. I don’t think there is any doubt that our nation was founded, in the main, by people of strong Christian faith. I think it is also clear that Judeo-Christian principles have informed much of what the founders produced. I do not believe, however, that it was ever their intent to found a “Christian Nation.” Indeed, I believe they took clear steps to make sure that religion was protected from the state, and vice-versa. That said, I think liberal groups have carried it way too far in barring Christian activities in schools and public buildings.

            As far as “saving America” is concerned, I’m not even sure what that means, and it certainly is not a priority for Christians.

          • David Miller says

            “I don’t think there is any doubt that our nation was founded, in the main, by people of strong Christian faith. I think it is also clear that Judeo-Christian principles have informed much of what the founders produced. I do not believe, however, that it was ever their intent to found a “Christian Nation.” Indeed, I believe they took clear steps to make sure that religion was protected from the state, and vice-versa.”

            That summarizes my beliefs pretty well.

  6. says

    I do not see “political involvement” and “commitment to the gospel” as mutual exclusive terms. As a matter of fact, I believe those Christians who got politically involved in the founding of this great nation did so out of their deep commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Our freedom in this nation to proclaim the gospel and worship in a “Free Church” were both secured by Christian men who were involved in the political process. The Founding Fathers of this nations believed so strongly in the necessity of Christian involvement in the government that many of them believed that a non-Christian should not hold any office in the government at all… and that our form of government (a democracy) was wholly inadequate for the governance of any but a Christian People.

    So I would like to ask the question; “Cannot a man’s passion for the gospel lead him to be equally involved in the political process as well?”

    • David Miller says

      I have to wonder if you read my article, Greg. You expressed some of the things I said while acting as if you disagreed with me.

      I was careful to say that Christians should be involved in government.

      I did not say that the terms were mutually exclusive. I said that the problem was with subverting the gospel for political purposes.

    • says

      Ease up there Mark & David,

      You guys are a little quick on the trigger today… my comments were not directed toward anyone in particular, and were given as just general input into this discussion on the proper role of Christian involvement in Politics.

      “Is the Gospel Secondary to Political Gain?” is a part of the title of this post so I just assumed we were going to discuss matters related to the Gospel and Politics… my bad!

      • says

        No Greg, YOU ease up! And another thing…

        …I’m just kidding. ;)

        Sorry, I just thought your comment did not make sense in light of the whole post. I understand better now. Thanks.

  7. says

    Greg,

    You should check out the post and comment thread at SBC Impact if you haven’t already. There’s some interesting conversation regarding your question.

  8. John Fariss says

    I might add that the statement is very Machiavellian, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Of course, that just adds to the polarization in our country, which is exactly what makes money for the Glen Beck’s and the Rush Limbaugh’s.

    John

  9. says

    Lot of things to talk about in this thread. I was just looking at the Impact myself, hoping to engage DAvid Rogers in a conversation with his DAd’s Classmate at NOBTS, Son of classmate Robert Marsh; Son Charles Marsh and frame some of David Rogers thinking in reference to Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the magnificent lecture Marsh gave in Berlin in March of this year.
    In the meantime I have noticed at the Impact, what appears to me to be a Revision of Adrian Rogers history with the Moral Majority from a Sermon in 1999; though I give it to David, in comment 76 he has come up with a very interesting segment of that sermon that was news to me.
    I have brought it all to the attention to folks in the Baptist History and Heritage Society through a post at Baptistlife.com.
    I would like to know the fuller truth of Adrian’s history with the Moral Majority, as 99 seems to be a little late, given Adrian’s long and willing association with Ed McAteer, and the blessing Adrian gave to the 1980 Roundtable gathering.
    At this point don’t know if that will be a distraction to possible blog of David Rogers on the thought of Charles Marsh ornot.
    Nothing says these conversations have to be defined or concluded tomorrow.
    That is one lesson all of us should gain from the Shirley Sherrod Affair.

    Here is some of what DAvid Rogers has posted on his father’s 99 sermon and I quote:

    69David Rogers (author) said:
    FWIW, I was just now editing a sermon manuscript of my father (Adrian Rogers), from Feb. 14, 1999, and found this quote that seems to me to be apropos to our present discussion:

    “Now, I have to be careful, and you have to be careful, that we don’t fail to understand—we don’t fail to remember—that our mandate is the gospel. It is primarily doctrinal, primarily spiritual—not political. The mandate of this church is still the Great Commission, preaching the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And, to do anything else that runs around the gospel would be like trying to mop up a floor with water on it while the faucet is still running and the sink is still overflowing. We have to preach the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And, we have to begin with the house of God and the people of God. We’re concerned about putting prayer back in the schools. I think we need to get a little more concerned about putting prayer back in the church and back in our homes. Our mandate is the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
    .# July 20th 2010 at 1:05 pm

    • Louis says

      This is an excellent statement. I believe most Baptists or evangelicals would agree with it. The problem is in working this out. We always do not agree on how much political action is too much or at what point the Gospel has been subverted.

      • says

        I’ve said it many times, Louis – the thing that the SBC needs now more than ever is an Adrian Rogers-type statesman. One who can stand for truth but do it with a velvet hand.

        the CR would not have been the success it was if we did not have a man like Adrian Rogers to lead us.

          • says

            There are arguments and reasons as vast as the oceans why that would be a disaster for Christendom.
            That said, somebody needs to point out to me where the emoticon options are on this board so I can further emphasize my sentiment.
            Bl.com for instance has a vast array of options.

          • says

            And Brandon, I have come across a sterling link for your edification this morning, but I guess I need your permission to offer it to you.
            May I, May I?

  10. says

    And John Fariss,you in particular should listen to Marsh Lecture on DB fromBerlin soon as you can.
    It will add immensely as this conversation goes forward

    • David Miller says

      Stephen, I’m really not feeling very patient with you. You are welcome to engage the discussion here. You are not welcome to try to derail it.

      Please stick to the topic.

        • David Miller says

          I’m usually nicer than this, David, but “may the bird of paradise fly up your nose. May an elephant caress you with his toes. May your wife be plagued with runners in her hose. May the bird of paradise fly up your nose!”

          • volfan007 says

            Dave,

            lol….I dont care just as long as Fox gives us the links so we can see something totally irrelevant to the conversation.

            :)

            David

          • Louis says

            Dave: I complimented the statement of Dr. Rogers that Stephen posted. I must have not picked up on the negative aspect of his comment. It may have been in the name dropping portion.

  11. lu ba bi says

    Calvin tried to enforced biblical law in Geneva and failed miserably–and in the process, killed Servetus and many more (see: Phillip Schaff’s History.

    Where did he get the idea to change the world? From Catholicism. From the papacy’s ecclesiology-eschatology (remember this aspect was not and is not reformed yet; only soteriology was reformed by Luther and Calvin)

    Catholicism promotes the idea of ONE entity church-kingdom-world rule and domination. This idea in its essence is being carried over by the so called reformation theology (e.g., Calvinistic and Lutheran social theologies).

    Remember Abraham Kuyper’s application of the so called sphere sovereignty in the Netherlands? He tried to change the country and what was the outcome?

    Remember the extreme wing of calvinistic expression of the Christian Reconstruction Movement? The idea behind the Moral Majority (e.g., Francis Shaeffer, Jerry Falwell Sr., etc).

    They all want one thing: shove down the Biblical viewpoints unto the throats of unbelievers and atheists.

    Outcome? They kill abortion practiced doctors in the fashion of the Puritans’ witch-hunt era.

    Do you think because SBC is the largest non Catholic denomination, then we can and should change the world by social and political swords? What arrogance of power it shows. It is more Americanism than biblical viewpoint.

    Where is this view coming from? Pride of power and numbers and money or what? What eschatology is this? Do we have a utopian eschatology?

    Just thinking out loud.

    • David Miller says

      I actually cannot figure out your point, other than that you really hate Calvinists.

      Are you seriously saying that Calvinist reconstructionism is behind the Moral Majority? Wow – that is a stretch.

      And are you insinuated that Falwell approved of or fostered the murder of abortion doctors? Puh-leese!

      You are letting you bitterness cloud your perspective.

      • SSBN says

        QUOTE killed Servetus and many more END QUOTE

        In all fairness, did he actually kill or participate in the killing of Servetus or anyone else? Or, did he simply do nothing. Your quote seems to indicate he was running around with piles of sticks and gasoline :)

        Even though I’m not a big fan of Calvin’s practices as a Christian, we still might want to base our arguments on facts.

        • lu ba bi says

          SSBN,

          According to the historians, Calvin himself signed the letter to have Servetur burned.

          http://www.ccel.org/s/schaff/history/8_ch16.htm

          T. H. L. Parker states, “he should never have fought the battle of faith with the world’s weapons.” [T. H. L. Parker. Portrait of Calvin, (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1954),103].

          Calvin was a great reformer, but by no means he is infallible in all point of doctrine and practice.

          Only one is perfect: our Lord Jesus Christ.

          • says

            lu ba bi,

            Do you think Calvin had the power to stop the death of Servetus? Did Servetus also call for Calvin’s death?

            What do you say to those whose theology lines up with Aquinas since he sought the death penalty for heretics?

  12. says

    David Miller:

    Here in this link is One Mormon taking you on on your own terms; and you mustn’t forget that as recently as 2006 the pastor of FBC Spartanburg, SC who has since become Billy Graham’s pastor, endorsed Mitt Romney in the pivotal SC Presidential Primary

    http://www.members.shaw.ca/mschindler/C/american%20religion.htm

    The problem is not so much the mispoken statement you have focussed on; but the point John Fariss makes above, that Glenn Beck and Limbaugh are showtime and the rhetoric they use, the broad swaths are not too much different from the demagoguery the leaders of the SBC used to take over the denomination.
    I know you aren’t much for academic studies that come to conclusions different from what lets you sleep at night, but Helen Lee Turner’s studies of the Pastor’s Conferences in the heyday of the SBC Takeover make that abundantly clear; and for someone who thinks about these matters as much as you do, Inerrancy and Politics, looks like you could read her article in Southern Baptists Observed.
    Adrian Rogers were all there that day in 1980 at the Dallas Roundtable with Falwell and Criswell for the annointing of Ronald Reagan.
    Pressler and Helms and Patterson’s longstanding association with the Council for National Policy is a matter of public record.
    You can’t go back and whitewash all that now just because Jonathan Falwell got close to the Mormons. There is too much water under the dam
    That is why you need to listen to the Charles Marsh lecture closely; cause the life and witness of Dietrich Bonhoeffer is a grand witness to what can happen when the church flirts too much with the State like the SBC has the last thirty years.

    • says

      You know, Dave, it’s funny…the people that I hear belly-aching the most about the church taking correct, biblical stands on social issues (anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, etc) are liberal christians who take stands that are exactly opposite of what the Bible says.

  13. says

    Danny Akin and SSBN could learn a lot from this perspective taken from the ED.com link
    The abortion example should cause a lot of headache for Calvinists if they propose that determinism takes a woman’s choice out of the equation in rape and incest; cases even Falwell allowed for, which I gather puts him at odds with Danny Akin and his Calvinism.
    But I could be mistaken

    Here are some interesting remarks for DAvid Miller to navigate while we are waiting on DAvid Rogers to listen to the Marsh Lecture:

    When the sole survivor of a fatal auto crash remarks that it was God’s will that he survive, the implication is that the survival of the deceased was not – or that their death was God’s will. When a young girl is pregnant as a result of incestuous rape, bringing the fetus to term as part of the divine plan also entails that the intercourse itself was part of the same plan. Advocating from such access to God’s purpose and plan, in the final analysis, reveals a rather arbitrary and capricious deity.

    What people of faith want to know is that God is sovereign, in control, with a purpose and a plan. Theistic religions of many types seek generally to affirm this, and it does merit full and frank discussion.

    But as the politicization of God’s will shows, this is profoundly problematic when such religious sensibility and interpretation are brought into the larger mundane arena of our social and political circumstances. When diverse moral communities encounter or collide with each other in the public sphere, both the civic order and the religious worlds are needlessly impaled on indefensible rhetoric.

    Rather than co-opt God into our partisan politics, it would be better that we let Lincoln be our guide, as he remarked in his second inaugural address in 1865: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right … to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations” (emphasis mine).

    Douglas Sharp is dean of the Academy for the Common Good, an initiative of Protestants for the Common Good, a progressive voice that brings a biblical and theological perspective to critical public issues. Sharp is an ordained minister in the American Baptist Churches-USA.

    • David Miller says

      “But I could be mistaken”

      That is about the first thing you have said that is true in a long time.

      Your trolling is not welcome here. Either join the discussion or go elsewhere.

    • SSBN says

      QUOTE When the sole survivor of a fatal auto crash remarks that it was God’s will that he survive, the implication is that the survival of the deceased was not – or that their death was God’s will END QUOTE

      If God is sovereign, it is absolute, not necessarily absolutely comprehensible by us.

      • says

        SSBN, then in God’s Sovereignty, are you saying the state should mandate an incestuous rape resulting in preganancy; the female should have no say in the outcome; a Sovereign god is in charge, had determined this situation and all the mother is to do is to Obey and the STate should decide she carry it to term.
        That is the next example in the quotation; just wondering if I understand you correctly.

          • David Miller says

            Trying to have a logical conversation with Fox is like trying to nail jello to a tree.

          • says

            You quoted from the piece, SSBN, the piece by Doug Sharp; You expressed your conviction about a Sovereign God and an auto crash, but you did not take up the next example.
            I was just trying to gauge how far you are going with the Sovereignty of God and how it is to be expressed in the laws of a Nation.
            Or unlike Dave Miller, you are saying that some things are incomprehensible, while Miller would say that everything is comprehensible if you believe in an inerrant Bible.
            I was just trying to understand things a little better from folks like you and Miller who are Oh so eloquent.

      • David Miller says

        Its John Piper’s “best of all possible worlds” theory. God, in his sovereignty, has ordained the world that is the best possible in bringing glory to him and bringing us to spiritual growth and glory. It is not the easiest world or the happiest world, but the best world.

        • says

          So what would John Piper do with a Calvinist implementation of Scripture; how would he come down with a law that would demand an impregnated female by incestuous rape be forced to bring the pregnancy to term and she should have No Say.
          How would the Sovereignty of God theology result in civil law in Piper, Miller and SSBN’s America.

          • SSBN says

            I’ve never claimed it is “my” America. I’m sorry that truth is such a flexible idea with you, Mr. Fox. It is sad, indeed.

        • David Miller says

          You would have to ask Piper what his view is. Mine is that murder is not a godly way to correct a rape. To murder a baby because of how it was conceived is punishing the baby for the father’s sin.

          I do not completely understand why, when discussing America’s godly heritage and our need to uphold the gospel, your mind goes to incestuous rape, and frankly, I’d rather discuss something else. Not sure where your mind is, Stephen.

          But are you saying that murdering a baby in its mother’s womb is the best way to handle rape?

        • David Miller says

          The very nature of law, by the way, is forcing moral rules on people. I may feel like murdering you, but the law tells me I do not get to do as I please. I may feel like driving 100 miles per hour, but the law prevents me from doing so.

          So, the idea that no one should ever be forced by law to do what is against their will is contrary to all moral law.

        • David Miller says

          The penalties should be to the perpetrator of the rape, and that penalty should be harsh. Something like smearing honey on him and tying him to an fire ant hill or something.

          • volfan007 says

            Dave,

            Wow…viscious. I’m impressed.

            And, I agree with you….2 wrongs dont make a right. Why should we murder the innocent, little baby for what it’s low life daddy did?

            David

          • says

            Dave Miller: I’m stillnot clear about whether you are saying the SBC Should impose your moral convictions on the matter on the rest of the Country.
            If so where were you with all the mircrophones at your availability in Orlando.
            Seems to me you woulda found a way to get to one of them and say the BFM 2000 compels this convention to work for an amendment to the US Constitution the compels every victim of rape in the country to bring the pregnancy to term and the Mother has no say in the Matter.
            Why didn’t you do that if it is so clear in your mind?
            Seriously I don’t understand, what is holding you back.

          • David Miller says

            Your logic is so twisted, STephen, its hard to sort it out and respond.

            How on earth would the SBC impose anything on the country? That makes no sense.

            Everyone tries to impose their viewpoint on America. Its called voting. Liberals do it. They just don’t like it when conservatives do it.

            You think it is okay for a mother to kill a baby inside her womb. I do not. I will not vote for any candidate whose morals are so twisted that he or she believes that killing a baby in its mother’s womb is okay.

            Anyone who does not have the simple morality to realize that killing a baby in its mother’s womb is wrong is too twisted to get my vote.

            I hope that at some point, enough Americans will be convinced of the horror and moral depravity of abortion that we will elect a government that will outlaw it completely.

          • David Miller says

            Ultimately, though, the solution is to preach the gospel. People who are saved and live under the Lordship of Christ come to realize how heinous abortion is – as the Holy Spirit works in them.

            I’ve never met a Bible-believing, passionate Christian who lives under the Lordship of Jesus Christ who thinks abortion is okay.

          • says

            DAvid Miller, in all due respect I think you have something to learn here. With your stance here, the Children of Israel woulda never left Egypt, there woulda been no Exodous, and Martin Luther King Jr. woulda never challenged the status quo.
            There woulda been no Barmen Declaration.
            There is a template for you it seems to me; Doug Hudgins of the FBC Church of Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960’s. This is where it is important for DAvid Rogers to learn about Charles Marsh and engage the coming discussion when his bio of Bonhoeffer appears in a couple years.
            In the meantime, you could learn a lot by studying Marsh’s account of Doug Hudgins in his grand book God’s Long Summer.
            Your view makes it too comfortable for the likes of Ed Mcateer, or Sunday School teachers like Paul Pressler, makes it to easy for them to get mixxed up with the Texas Regulars and we all know what kind of a mess that can make.

          • David Miller says

            Stephen, you did not listen to what I said and your comment is not in any way germane to what I said. I tried to engage you since you actually made a comment that expressed your own opinion.

            However, you have gone back to logical nonsense, name-dropping and useless references.

            If you read what I said, interact with what I actually said, and write a comment that expresses your opinion about what I said, I will respond.

            I will not waste time on your fantasies or logic non-sequiturs.

          • David Miller says

            Stephen – I do not understand why you continue to obsess about incestuous rape, but stop it.

            Either discuss the topic at hand or troll on someone else’s blog.

  14. volfan007 says

    One other thing, Dave. I’m kind of agreeing with Greg, here, which is rare. But, I do see some pastors today becoming so “We shouldnt celebrate America, because we’re not of this world,” that they dont seem to appreciate what we do have here. I mean, other people, in other countries, may not be as patriotic as we are here in the USA; because their countries are not much to celebrate about. I mean, we have freedom here…freedom of worship; freedom of speech; democracy, etc. We have prosperity. We have a beautiful land. We have reason to be thankful and appreciative to God for our country. Other nations dont have what we have. And, many, many people are trying their dead level best to get in our country.

    So, I do praise God for America. I’m glad to live here. I’m thankful for our founding fathers setting it up the way they did. And, I’m very thankful for the men and women, who sacrificed and put themselves in harm’s way, even dying, for us to live in such a place.

    But, I really do agree that saving the whales, and trying to make America into a church, is not what our main focus should be, as Believers in Christ. We do belong to a higher Kingdom, and our main task is to win souls.

    David

  15. lu ba bi says

    David,

    No animosity or hatred with ANY calvinist person. It is about Calvinism eschatology and social theology. You misread me.

    I have done a lot of reading in Christian reconstructionism (e.g., Rushdoony, Gary North, Bahnsen, etc.).–trying to change the country by legislating biblical law as the law of the land by means of ‘taking over’ the government.

    It was not in a vaccum that Pat Robertson run for presidency. It was not in theological vacuum that Jerry Falwell Sr. experimenting with Moral Majority.

    Jerry was influenced by Francis Schaeffer. This is easily proven. Schaeffer was a strong VanTillian thinker. Bahnsen and these reconstructionist guys are all vantillian calvinists.

    The extreme right wingers bombed clinics, etc., NOT Falwell–these guys took the reconstructionism to its logical conclusion.

    Why do you think Calvin approved the killing of Servetus?

    No hatred here. History sir!

    • says

      Lu ba bi,

      Ideas (especially ideas in the political arena) have consequences upon the quality of all our lives as citizens of this great nation. I happen to believe that Conservative Christian Ideas have in the past improved the quality of our lives, but perhaps you are of a different opinion?

      I take it from your comments that you do wish to have Conservative Christian Ideas/doctrine influence the policy/laws of this nation, so why not tell us who you think should be making our policy/laws for this nation and what should be their guide in doing so?

    • says

      Lu Ba Hi:

      You are on to something that needs to be widely explored and acknowledged here on this board.
      As you suggest there is a big difference between the conservative thinking of the likes of John Patrick Diggins on these matters and that of Francis Schaeffer.
      Charles Marsh, the Bonhoeffer historian whose father was a classmate of Adrian Roger at NOBTS, explores some of that in his book Wayward Christian Soldiers when he makes the point Francis Schaeffer would not sign the Lausanne Covenant to the disappointment of Billy Graham.
      So there is a lot to explore here, lest the SBC and the new bloggers go further into the thicket of the worrisome ideologies of the likes of World Magazine.

    • SSBN says

      QUOTE The extreme right wingers bombed clinics, etc END QUOTE

      Exagerration is not “history, Sir,” it is “histrionics.

      First of all, “extremists of all kinds are aberrations, not explanations.”

      Secondly, while tragic and deplorable, such activities as you describe were not (and are not) common place. They are also always soundly denounced by conservatives.

      • lu ba bi says

        SSBN,

        Already condemned. I always condemn persons doing violence to people and properties and the reasoning behing it–forcing their opinions and beliefs on others.

        SSBN, the utopian language about “transform the world,” “transform people,” to have “dominion” etc. can manipulate emotions to do violence.

        I worked in Asia for three decades and I have seen violence in the streets in the name of religion and the good of the people. Even in Asia they have postmillennialism from holy books.

  16. Christiane says

    ANDREW WENCL, in referring to early documented Church history, commented on David Roger’s article, with this quote from Diognetus around the year 200 A.D. :

    “5:4 But while they dwell in cities of Greeks and barbarians as the lot of each is cast, and follow the native customs in dress and food and the other arrangements of life, yet the constitution of their own citizenship, which they set forth, is marvelous, and confessedly contradicts expectation.

    5:5 They dwell in their own countries, but only as sojourners; they bear their share in all things as citizens, and they endure all hardships as strangers. Every foreign country is a fatherland to them, and every fatherland is foreign.

    – Letter to Diognetus, describing Christians circa 200 A.D.”

      • says

        Christiane,

        I do not have my volume of the early church fathers in front of me right now, but I believe it was in this same letter that we find this comment as well:

        “they love all men, and are persecuted by all men…”

        • Christiane says

          I’ll see if I can find that for you, Greg.

          Your quote sure sounds like it would fit in that letter, considering the times in which the letter was written.

          • Christiane says

            Hi GREG, I did find this for you:

            It shows up in the fifth chapter of the Epistle (letter) of Mathetes to Diognetus. The chapter is entitled: The Manners of the Christians

            http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0101.htm

            “They dwell in their own countries, but simply as sojourners. As citizens, they share in all things with others, and yet endure all things as if foreigners. Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and every land of their birth as a land of strangers. They marry, as do all [others]; they beget children; but they do not destroy their offspring. They have a common table, but not a common bed. They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh. 2 Corinthians 10:3 They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven. Philippians 3:20 They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives. They love all men, and are persecuted by all. They are unknown and condemned; they are put to death, and restored to life. 2 Corinthians 6:9 They are poor, yet make many rich; 2 Corinthians 6:10 they are in lack of all things, and yet abound in all; they are dishonoured, and yet in their very dishonour are glorified. They are evil spoken of, and yet are justified; they are reviled, and bless; 2 Corinthians 4:12 they are insulted, and repay the insult with honour; they do good, yet are punished as evil-doers. When punished, they rejoice as if quickened into life; they are assailed by the Jews as foreigners, and are persecuted by the Greeks; yet those who hate them are unable to assign any reason for their hatred. “

            In this letter we find the source of their strength: their deep humility before the LORD CHRIST, a signature hallmark behavior of all Christian people:

            They would have understood this litany for deliverance of the fear of persecution:
            “From the desire of being approved………….Deliver me Jesus
            From the fear of being humiliated………Deliver me Jesus
            From the fear of being despised…………Deliver me Jesus
            From the fear of suffering rebukes…………..Deliver me Jesus
            From the fear of being calumniated………..Deliver me Jesus
            From the fear of being misunderstood………..Deliver me Jesus
            From the fear of being ridiculed…………..Deliver me Jesus
            From the fear of being wronged…………Deliver me Jesus
            From the fear of being suspected………..Deliver me Jesus”

    • says

      Got to give it to Wencl; great reference well placed and timely; meshes well, Christiane, with some of your earlier thoughts on Hebrews 11:13, and the phrase strangers and Pilgrims on the Earth.
      I do hope with your interest in No Country for Old Men you will get hold of a DVD of The White Ribbon and hope we can find a place to discuss it.

  17. says

    While Southern Baptists fight each other and the woes of the economy, Glen Beck ( I think Doctor now because of Liberty Baptist) will stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28th as a Mormon and a patriot will be paying a lot of notables to speak and j be noticed. He will make gobs of money for himself, speakers and attendees and gain friends for Mormonism and political clout all of which the SBC could use. Norman Vincent Peale in his evening TV program captured America and Martin Luther King did it and Billy Graham did and does do it. The offspring of past greats don’t have what their fathers had. We need to honestly look and spend some money that gets immediate returns not only in profit but in friends that will translate into Christian conversions and growth in our churchs. I guess I’m as guilty as anyone here by thinking I can communicate thru this blog a message the multitudes are waiting to hear. But you can just bet your life I’ve got other “irons in the fire”. Right is Might. I’m embarrassed the SBC is in the shape it is in. I’m afraid canceling health care for retirees at South Western is just a start. Liberty is contributing a four year scholarship to Becks on-line auction. He’ll make money on it. Does SBC have any part at all in this? Or want one?

    • SSBN says

      jack, thanks for your hearfelt expression of some dangerous trends in the SBC (and Christianity in general) in our nation. I feel your passion for missions and compassion for the SBC.

      For what it’s worth: I’d like to see us focus a little more on being effective and a little less on being right (using a false dichotomy for emphasis).

      The Devil must be laughing all the way to the bank to have Beck (who I agree with at many points politically) being a front runner in this debate. You can bet that the Devil care very little about America and a whole lot about the mileage he is going to get with Beck as a front-runner in this present environment.

  18. says

    Left Field, reporting for duty:

    We’re talking two different things. Saving America, a political thing, and of spreading the gospel, a Spiritual thing. We can no more save America (the nation) with the gospel than we can save the Body of Christ with laws.

    When we are talking about preserving and prospering the USA, we must acknowledge that all we do, we must do as good citizens (ordered by Scripture) and as who we are … believers. But to look to the gospel to “preserve” or “save” the USA just isn’t in the cards.

    Frankly, the gospel far transcends any nation, by an inestimable amount. Which is one reason why I am not in favor of American flags in church sanctuaries. We’re believers, worshipers, and fellow workers there, to be separated by nothing and joined by only the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. I mean, when I’m worshiping with my nephew John, in the AoG church he attends, that’s the only common bond I have with the folks there.

    • David Miller says

      Gotta disagree, Bob, at least to some extent.

      At least three times in American history a massive gospel revival has, in fact, turned the course of American history. First Great Awakening. Second Great Awakening. Prayer Revival.

      The gospel transforms hearts and lives. It transforms politics.

      I do not say that we should make “saving America” as the focus of our gospel efforts.

    • David Miller says

      Gotta disagree, Bob, at least to some extent.

      At least three times in American history a massive gospel revival has, in fact, turned the course of American history. First Great Awakening. Second Great Awakening. Prayer Revival.

      The gospel transforms hearts and lives. It transforms politics.

      I do not say that we should make “saving America” as the focus of our gospel efforts.

    • says

      Bob,

      I think I understand what you are getting at. My take is a bit different.

      I don’t think the aim of the gospel is to save America or any Nation. However, the gospel may save America in some sense by saving more of its citizens. To do this the gospel must be at the forefront and not sitting idly by in compromise.

      I also agree that the gospel transcends any nation. If we were to lay fertile ground for the gospel it would seem that laws that repress biblical principles would be the way to go about it. For example, “good” “moral” people may not feel the need for the gospel since their lives are already “right”.

  19. says

    Finally I understand and AGREE with someone. Amen. I don’t use my last name because I don’t want to have my thoughts influence my son who is an employed SBC pastor who has put his foot down on racism and bigotry not without cost. He is well able to fight his own battles. But so others know , help is out here, prayers are answered and there are more good people than bad that just need some encouragement. If that comes out at Beck’s gathering then lets get it on. But SBC needs to humble itself and get involved even though it doesn’t have a leadership position.

    • Christiane says

      “I don’t use my last name because I don’t want to have my thoughts influence my son who is an employed SBC pastor who has put his foot down on racism and bigotry not without cost.”

      That is sad.

      From what I understand, many who have tried to right wrongs have done it ‘not without cost’. They are heroes of the Church, you know.

  20. lu ba bi says

    Greg Alford,

    Israel had Moses, Judges, Prophets and the TORAH and failed miserably. They HAD Theocracy and failed. They tried monarchy with kings and prophets and still failed.

    Catholics has their form of church-kingdom theocracy type.

    Calvinists have a similar form of ecclesiology-eschatology KINGDOM NOW theology. That is why Calvin tried theocracy in Geneva. The same impulse gave birth to reconstructionism.

    But baptists are different from the reformation tradition.

    Baptists are still looking for identity. Baptist theologian, Carl Henry has written several books pertaining to this struggle: Evangelicals in Search of Identity (Waco: Word, 1976), etc.

    We should invite an essay from A. Mohler and go from there. Maybe.

    • says

      lu ba bi,

      For the life of me, I don’t understand where you are coming from, or what you are trying to say. Are you trying to say that Jews should stay out of politics? Or that Catholics, Calvinist, and Baptist should stay out of politics? Or that Jewish/Christian influence should be kept out of politics?

      ??? Confused and scratching my head ???

      • lu ba bi says

        Greg,

        From the OT and NT do we see any denomination or group of people succesfully made a country a Christian country with Christian government? No.

        Of course all people have been in politics since Genesis.

        What I am for is: one’s ecclesiology & eschatology determines his social-political viewpoint. Catholicism has social theology. Baptists do not have one yet.

        Think about Sodom and Gomorah.

        When Abraham bargained with God not to destroy those city states they were ‘haggling’ about 50 righteous people among tens of thousands of people. Less than 5% maybe less than 2% of the population who were righteous, and the cities be spared.

        Not enough righteous ones and the cities destroyed.

        I believe it is still the same policy of grace: the pivot of mature believers is big enough and the country will be blessed. The pivot decreasing and politics does not help.

        If today we put Hukcabee as president and all the cabinet posts filled by Baptist pastors, we will still NOT able to transform America.

        I believe the numbers of the righteous ones–super mature believers will spare a country from divine judgment.

  21. lu ba bi says

    Stephen Fox,

    I am a premillennialist in futurology. There is a literal kingdom coming. Victorious and totally transformative.

    Calvinists DON’T have THAT kind of earthly kingdom. They and the catholics have kingdom now–now IS the catholics’ and calvinists’ millennium.

    That is why they are trying to transform the world now. There is no future millennium coming.

    All I am saying is this: one’s ecclesiology and eschatology determine his social and political theology.

    • David Miller says

      I am a Calvinist and a premillennialist. Most of the Calvinists I know today are historic pre-mil (post-trib).

      • David Miller says

        I’m actually pre-trib, though. Ultimately, I think your view of Calvinists and Calvinism is skewed.

  22. lu ba bi says

    Dave Miller

    You are not a total package calvinistic–only selective calvinist then.

    Calvinistic ecclesiology sees the church & Israel as ONE ENTITY started either in Adam and/or Abraham. Mostly this one people started from Abraham.

    The consequence is: NO future plan for Israel (e.g., Augustinian eschatology).

    Dave, you know why Martin Luther so anti Semitic? Because of his view of the church.

    OT saints and Jews today get saved and incorporated into ONE BODY started in Genesis.

    This is the continuum of their kingdom now theology. Now is the calvinism’s millenium.

  23. volfan007 says

    Mark and others,

    Akin and Southeastern had Driscoll come and speak at chapels and conferences if I’m not mistaken. He wasnt just speaking in a class about modern day, extreme, on the fringe, church growth. He was speaking in positions that would give credence, or approval, in the eyes of the students. IMHO.

    And, Akin did make the remark at the SBC about seminary being a place where people of sorts of beliefs and athieism should be able to come to speak and share in the confines of learning.

    And, many in the Acts 29 crowd applauded…many in the emerging crowd applauded. But, when Liberty had Beck speak at it’s commencement….uh oh, Buddy; this was just horrible, terrible, disgraceful, etc, etc, etc, etc.

    For the record, I would not have invited Beck to speak. I would not have Driscoll to speak in chapel, nor in conferences. But, hey, let’s at least be fair about this. I am. I’m saying right here and now, before you all, that Liberty should not have had Beck, and the statement that Dave quotes was not good.

    But, is Liberty a good school. Most definitely.

    Fair and Balanced,

    David

  24. says

    Lu ba bi,

    You do know that what you describing as “Calvinist ecclesiology” and “eschatology” is generally post-millennialism and only a small segment of Calvinists are post-millennial today?

    If Dave is not a “total package Calvinist” as you describe, then neither is most of the PCA and almost all Reformed Baptists I know. Maybe you should consider that what you believe to be “total package Calvinism” is only your view and that of a small population of all Calvinists. Of course, if you acknowledged that you would have to give up your overgeneralizations and general distain for Calvinism.

    As your your points in the above comment, it is true that Covenant theology views true OT believers and NT saints as one body under the plan of God with one way of salvation – faith. However, that does not mean that all Calvinists believe this (some are dispensational) and it also does not mean that all Covenant folks believe that there is NO plan for Israel. They simply don’t believe in the dispensational plan for Israel as set forth in the popular theology of the last 50 years or so.

    So your characterizations of all Calvinists are quite overgeneralized. You should recognize that.

  25. Christiane says

    What is Liberty University’s ranking among American colleges and universities on the ‘tier’ system, and what does that ranking indicate, does anyone know ?

    • volfan007 says

      Christiane,

      What does this matter? Especially in the conversation that we’re having? Why would you bring something like this up?

      BTW, I dont know where it’s ranked. Who cares? What makes it good is not where it gets ranked by some worldly grading system. It’s a good school, because it’s doctrinally sound.

      David

      • says

        Christiane: I think Volfan is telling you that you are a woman and your concerns don’t have as much value on this board as his does.
        I wonder what Volfan’s wife and his sisters or the women in his church think on these matters.
        Kevin Roose has written a good book on Liberty. He came there from Brown and came to have a good deal of affection for many of the students.

        • volfan007 says

          Fox,

          You are a liar, and an ignorant liar at that. I’m not telling Christiane that at all. Fox, the point is that we’re talking about Liberty having Beck to speak, and Dr. Falwell’s statement. So, what does Liberty’s ranking in some worldly grading system have to do with this? Again, I have no idea what it is. It may be great for all I know.

          Also, Fox, the women in my life are doing just fine. My wife and I have been married for 27 wonderful years. We’re best friends. My daughter is getting married this Saturday to a very fine, young man. And, I’d say that most of the women in my church want to know the Bible and believe it, so they’d agree with me. There may be a few, who dont like what the bible teaches on this matter. But, overall, the ladies at my church believe it.

          David

          • says

            Your wife and daughter I’m sure are two of the luckiest women in the World.
            God Bless you and Hope everything goes fine Saturday and may the couple have a Beautiful Life together As I’m sure they will with Such a Dad as a Perfect Example of the Way it’s done.

          • SSBN says

            Sad, and sorry Mr. Fox.

            For a few days I had entertained the possibility of being “blog friends.” I certainly tried to reach across the aisle.

            But, your hear is dark. I feel dirty nearly everytime I read something you write. I don’t question people’s relationship with the Lord as a general rule, but I do believe that “from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”

            If your posts are representative of your life, I am truly sad for you. If they are not, I am truly sad for you. You are either lost and need salvation, or saved and in need of repentance.

        • John Fariss says

          Wrong, Stephen. He’s telling her that since she is a Catholic woman she has no voice in this fray.

          John

          • volfan007 says

            John,

            You are wrong as well. Are you ignorant? Can you read?
            Or, are you just trying to be divisive and cause strife?

            David

          • David Miller says

            Lets play nice guys (and girls)! We had a pretty good discussion going here folks.

      • Christiane says

        David, I’m asking because I have a friend whose son goes there.
        He wants to be a medical doctor someday, and I know that his place of prep (undergraduate) WILL influence his acceptance at med. schools.

        I don’t know the answers to the questions I asked.
        Are you that offended because I asked? If so, why?

        • volfan007 says

          Christiane,

          I’m offended because I know what you think of Bible believing, conservative Christianity, and what you think about Dr. Ergun Caner, who obviously teaches at Liberty. Thus, it just makes me wonder if you had alterior motives for asking.

          David

          • volfan007 says

            Fox,

            I’m gonna suggest that you quit bringing my wife and daughter into this conversation before you say something that you will regret. You can call me whatever you want, but dont call my wife and daughter anything, or say anything about them, that’s derogatory in any way. I will not take it in a good way.

            I know where Alabama is.

            David

          • Christiane says

            And what do I think, David?

            C.B. has made many, many comments on ‘what I think’ that are not my thoughts. And now you, too?

            It might surprise you how I see people who are evangelical Christians who accept the Holy Scriptures.
            I don’t think the label ‘conservative’ has meaning for me, unless it corresponds to the term ‘orthodox’ in my own faith.
            If it does, then I can understand its meaning.

            Honestly, though, for some people who are ‘conservative Christians’ by their own report, I assume it simply means that they are Republicans and hold to some of the orthodox beliefs of mainstream Christianity, though not all.

            Sorry, David.
            I can’t be put into the box you want to fit me in. Not today.

        • David Miller says

          Liberty is not ranked highly in US News ranking system (Tier 4) but a large part of that ranking is its reputation among other college presidents. Obviously, in the liberal, atheist world of college education, Liberty is going to viewed with horror.

          But, one big problem with so-called Christian schools is that they have sought the approval of the atheistic education world, and have therefore compromised biblical values.

          No distinctively Christian school will hold respect in the eyes of the education establishment. Look at Baylor – they have almost completely compromised their Christian stands, and yet they are still held in disrepute by Berkeley.

          • says

            Volfan; you brought your wife and daughter into the conversation.
            I was just saying how lucky they are to have a wonderful Husband and Dad like you; that’s all.
            I feel so delighted to have a Christian brother like you nearby who knows the way to Alabama.
            Gives me comfort to know how God’s inerrant Word works in the life of one of his Finest believers.

          • Christiane says

            I wonder what the evaluation criteria are EXACTLY.
            There must be some standard criteria used for ranking measurements.

            Ummm . . . also, ranking may be different for the different majors taught . I guess it depends on whose ‘ranking’ the schools, and what measurement devices they are using.

            I’m going to pursue this, and try to find out on my own.
            So, if run into any info pertinent, I will share it. But with references, of course.

          • David Miller says

            Peer assessment: a survey of the institution’s reputation among presidents, provosts, and deans of admission of other institutions(25%)
            Retention: six-year graduation rate and first-year student retention rate(20%)
            Student selectivity: standardized test scores of admitted students, proportion of admitted students in upper percentiles of their high-school class, and proportion of applicants accepted(15%)
            Faculty resources: average class size, faculty salary, faculty degree level, student-faculty ratio, and proportion of full-time faculty(20%)
            Financial resources: per-student spending(10%)
            Graduation rate performance: difference between expected and actual graduation rate(5%)
            Alumni giving rate(5%)

          • Christiane says

            ‘No distinctively Christian school will hold respect in the eyes of the education establishment.”

            I profoundly disagree with your opinion here.

          • says

            I profoundly disagree with your opinion here.

            Oh really? Please, enlighten us. Name one school that holds to faith in Jesus Christ and repentance from sin as the exclusive means of salvation.

            Any school that doesn’t hold to that is not a distinctively Christian school. For that matter, anyone who doesn’t hold to that isn’t a Christian.

          • David Miller says

            Christiane, you really believe that a school that holds to conservative Christian beliefs like creation, inerrancy, the exclusivity of the gospel, the sinfulness of homosexuality, etc, is going to get a fair shake from the academic community.

            Baylor is hardly a fundamentalist school and they were blackballed by the Pac 12 because of their religious background. A theologically liberal Christian school was excluded and you think that a distinctively Christian school like Liberty is going to get a fair shake?

          • says

            Only in the sectarian world of Southern Baptist fundamentalism does Baylor get dubbed “theologically liberal”

            Interesting then that the President of your prized University (where Volfan’s daughter attends or attended) was seriously considered (and interviewed) for the position now held by Ken Starr.

            Robert Sloan and David Garland as “theological liberals.” So absurd it’s funny. You guys are operating from completely different vocabularies, where you have redefined terms and parameters to suit your narrow, fundamentalist vision of what it means to be a Christian and what it means to be a Christian university.

          • David Miller says

            When I said liberal, I meant it from an SBC perspective. Within the SBC world (this is SBC Voices, after all) Baylor classifies as a liberal school. For goodness sakes, they fired a guy for teaching intelligent design.

            Is it your purpose coming over here to continue your attack and demean style?

          • says

            Who did they fire for teaching Intelligent Design, Dave?

            William Dembski was not fired for teaching intelligent design. My gosh, he was hired by Robert Sloan, to start what he described as an intelligent design think tank but was eventually removed as the center’s director for insubordination. He stayed at Baylor for several more years (5?) and then chose to leave.

            Quit playing the victim, Dave. You’re not Mr. Innocent.

            I’ll try again, if Baylor is a “theologically liberal” school that has completely compromised itself doctrinally, according to you, why then would the President of your most academically respectable SBC-affiliated University allow himself to be seriously considered for the Baylor position?

            I suspect the answer is quite simple – because Baylor isn’t what you describe it – a point that even some respectable SBCers will acknowledge.

          • David Miller says

            BDW, Dembski was fired from his position for teaching intelligent design – and was given a demotion to associate professor. I get Christianity.

            I do not consider myself a victim, but I do have a memory and I remember that cordial debate is not your stock-in-trade.

          • says

            BDW,

            You are simply wrong on this one… Dembski is no longer at SBTS because he is not a young earth creationist, but rather espouses ID and something other than YEC.

            You can think whatever you want, but one of the Associate Deans at SBTS told me that is exactly why Dembski is no longer at SBTS. He said, “not that SBTS opposes what the ID movement is trying to do, but Mohler simply wanted someone who was a Young Earth Creationist.”

            This from an associate Dean of SBTS that is very close to Mohler. I will take his word over yours.

          • says

            Despite what you say, Dembski wasn’t fired for teaching intelligent design. He hired because of his research in the field of Intelligent Design by Baylor’s President. The guy just didn’t play well with others. Wikipedia has a pretty fair run-down of the events while Dembski was at Baylor. Consult other sources if you must but let’s not pretend that Expelled or Dembski’s own blog represents truth with a capital T.

            I’m a political liberal who likes Michael Moore’s movies. But I also recognize that they are full of spin and bias and not the least bit objective. It’s humorous how after Expelled, Dembski has begun to be portrayed as some sort of victim. Even defenders of Intelligent Design have spoken out against Dembski due to his antagonistic behavior.

            And, you’re not the most warm and fuzzy fella around town…

          • says

            Matt,

            My exchange here with Mr. Miller is about Dembski’s tenure at Baylor. He was at Baylor before his brief stint at SBTS.

            I thought it was quite odd that Mohler would hire Dembski in light of the fact that Dembski is certainly no YEC.

          • says

            BDW,

            Oh, come on, you dont mean that. I am VERY warm and fuzzy.

            Well, you are definitely right that Dembski doesnt play well with others. It appears that Mohler might have quickly regretted his decision because my source made it seem that Mohler certainly wasnt happy with Debmski. Yes, the same source that told me that according to MOHLER, he is no longer at SBTS because of ID. Mohler decided he wanted a YEC.

          • David Miller says

            My only information comes from articles about the situation. But think about it, BDW. In the SBC world, Dembski gets in trouble for not holding to the biblical account of Creation. At Baylor, he gets in trouble for advocating that there was an intelligence behind the world – for not accepting evolution in its entirety.

            My point to Christiane was that a school like Baylor (which is WAY more liberal than Liberty) got dissed pretty badly. How is a school like Liberty going to receive any respect from the secularist educational establishment?

            If you can leave behind your disdain for those of us who hold conservative beliefs for a second, wouldn’t you agree with that statement in some respect at least?

          • says

            What’s the secular establishment? The PAC10/BIG12 thing was about Berkeley. Have you ever been to Berkeley? It’s an, um, rather unique place. Baylor might not get academic love from snooty Californians in the Bay Area. But Baylor gets lots of academic love from major institutions in the South and especially in Texas.

            Schools like Iowa St, Kansas, Nebraska, Arizona, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arizona St., Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech don’t look down on us. They can’t. Our academic reputation is better, we’re ranked higher.

            Liberty isn’t going to get high marks because it’s just not a good school. There are quite a few fine, Christian colleges and universities out there. I think Union University is pretty decent. Now, if all you need is a degree, Liberty and their online education programs might be an excellent fit. But even Union and Liberty are worlds apart in terms of academic reputation.

            Baylor professors believe that God created the world. That’s not in question. Whether ID should be taught in the science classroom is an entirely different question. In fact, I would suspect there are a handful of Baylor non-science courses that discuss ID. In my religion and education course a couple of years ago, we examined ID, theistic evolution and creationism. Again, not everyone accepts evolution in its entirety. Most probably never discuss evolution. But a couple of professors last year penned articles in the Austin Statesman arguing that the weaknesses of evolution should be taught in the public school science curriculum. Baylor is a huge place; there is no one view.

            Also, if I recall correctly, Dembski was recently defended by Patterson and other SWBTS professors against a stinging critique of his latest book issued by SBTS profs. So, clearly there is some diversity even within the SBC on what qualifies as a “biblical account of Creation.”

            Your assumption that I hold disdain for conservatives is really funny. I’ve got quite a few conservative friends – including conservative Southern Baptist friends (at least a couple names that everyone here would know).

          • David Miller says

            I have a serious question for you. You identified yourself as a liberal. How do you justify abortion on a biblical/moral basis?

          • says

            BDW,

            Do you really think it’s only SBC fundies who think Baylor is liberal? I know super liberals are appalled at Baylor’s handling of creationism. I know liberals at Baylor who think Baylor is liberal.

            Too far in to see the truth, bro?

          • says

            I believe in a consistent ethic of life and support policies that reflect that ethic. I don’t justify abortion….

            I know I won’t convince Brandon and Dave here about Baylor. I would, however, like a response to my now twice-asked question. I’ll repeat. If Baylor is “theologically liberal” and has “compromised” on core Christian beliefs, why then would a prominent and respected SBC Voice – the President of a major SBC-related University – allow himself to be seriously considered for the position that Ken Starr now holds?

            The answer to that question probably demonstrates that in the wider world of American Christianity, particularly among evangelicals and conservative Catholics, Baylor doesn’t wear some liberal badge. Liberal groups like Soulforce certainly don’t view Baylor as a bastion of liberalism as they make a stop in Waco each Fall.

            I’m pretty sure you don’t know actual liberals who think Baylor is liberals. I would think I have more liberal friends than you and I don’t know any honest liberal who holds such a view. Baylor has no gay student groups. It is closed off to open gays and lesbians be they students, faculty or staff. The school has a rather clear stance on homosexuality and the Baylor population is reminded of that stance every year prior to Soulforce’s arrival. A few years ago, the President reprimanded the student newspaper editorial board for supporting gay marriage. What liberal would dub as liberal a school that requires gays and lesbians to stay in the closet?

          • says

            BDW,

            So, you’re “pretty sure” I’m lying about having liberal friends at Baylor who call Baylor liberal just because your liberal friends don’t think it is? Kinda whack logic, man.

            I will say this, liberal vs. conservative is somewhat due to a sliding scale. It totally depends on the person in many cases as to what is liberal and what isn’t. To me, you seem pretty liberal and by your own admission you are liberal. But at Baylor you’re probably more moderate than many there, at least that I’ve met. So maybe our scales are on different tipping points.

          • David Miller says

            I do not know who you are talking about – Baylor is pretty insignificant as a news item here in Iowa. But if a conservative considered the presidency, I would guess that it might be to try to steer the ship away from the shoals.

          • David Miller says

            Brandon – you are right that “liberal” and “conservative” are point-of-view terms, like left or right. North is north regardless of my personal point-of-view, but left and right depend on where I stand.

            In the larger academic world, Baylor may be conservative or moderate. In the SBC world, it is liberal.

          • says

            I’m not saying you’re lying. I’m saying that any person who thinks Baylor is liberal is likely not really a liberal. A liberal school doesn’t hire Ken Starr. The Board of Regents at Baylor is rather conservative, both theologically and politically.

          • David Miller says

            Are you asserting a standard definition of liberal exists? Do you disagree with my statement above that liberal and conservative are point-of-view terms.

          • cb scott says

            Baylor is a good education. Samford is also a good education. There “are” liberals teaching at Baylor. There are liberal graduates from Baylor. There “are” some “half-liberals” teaching at Samford. There are some “half-liberal” graduates from Samford and at least one pure liberal. Samford has a far better theology school than Baylor.
            (We do not allow “full liberals in the SABANATION. Texas is full of them. Anybody remember Ann Richards?)

            But neither has a good football team. So, if a guy wants to get a good education, Baylor or Samford are fine. If a guy wants a good theological education, Sanford is head and shoulders above Baylor. But if a guy wants to play football, it is the SEC hands down. Now, if a guy would like to play a little football and actually go to a school that does require books, then forget the SEC (except for Vandy). Baylor or Samford will do. Because most guys who read books and play football can’t make it in the SEC so Baylor or Samford may be the the only choice for a “player-reader” type guy of Baptist origins. (The SEC is full of “non-reader-player” type guys of Baptist origins, except for Tebow who is now a Bronco.)

            Then again, if you just want to get into a game of football on a club basis now and then while you study to feed pigs for a living, as I said in another comment, Iowa is the place for you.

            I trust I have settled this argument for all you fellows.

          • says

            I’m the son of an historian and now an historian myself. In the context of history, words do have meaning. In the context of the history of American Christianity, we can (and do) define terms such as conservative and liberal.

            The “He’s a liberal in a SBC context” is never helpful. The “anyone to the left of me is a liberal” bit is not useful either. When used in that manner those words – like fundamentalist and liberal – become pejoratives.

            Liberalism and fundamentalism shouldn’t be used to describe some narrow context (WB is a liberal in the SBC) because Southern Baptists are not (or at least should not be) isolated from the larger Christian community.

            Just wanted to let you know, CB, that I’m gonna root a little for the Broncos in the future. With Tony D. as a mentor, I had hoped for the redemption of my favorite former Dirty Bird, Mike Vick. Too bad you’re not a Dawg fan. We got a Southern Baptist as a coach – a fine disciplinarian!

          • cb scott says

            “Are you asserting a standard definition of liberal exists? Do you disagree with my statement above that liberal and conservative are point-of-view terms.”

            Huggy Bear Dave,

            Let me also give you guidance as to the Gold Standard for defining and recognizing liberals.

            The Gold Standard for the defining and recognition of liberals was theologically and scientifically developed in Houston, Texas in 1979 by a highly educated, extremely dedicated, well-bred, conservative Southern Baptist theology research scientists known as Conservative “Resurgers”

            Due to the highly technical data that was compiled, it became necessary to give the average layman an easy way recognize a liberal without having to wade through all the data. One of the CRers who had sacrificially given much of his life to the research came up with a way that the average layman could be made aware of a liberal when he came into contact with one.

            All the CRers agreed and the way was revealed to the public. A liberal is easily recognizable because they all act and smell like SKUNKS.

            Thus the Gold Standard for the defining and recognition of liberals was established. It works very well.

          • says

            Now we’re gettin somewhere with this definition of Liberal talk. I’m just hopin my post here shows up in Proper Sequence after CB Scott’s shot at the definition, wrongheaded even if he is a fan of the Great Ron Rash.
            I just read something about Kyle Parker stayin at Clempsom that ought to give SAbanation chills even though they play Auburn; both of em do as a matter of fact this year.

            Fight the Good Fight, Big Diddy. Call in the Big dawg for this teachable moment. Who knows if Jesus will give us another opportunity like this to have someone from Truett Div School with the full weight of its namesake to share the Gospel with the Fundamentalist heathen.
            Send a tWeet, Twitter whatever the the whatever you have to do to get your DAd, and Barry Hankins and Carey Newman in on this one.
            We got their attention; now let’s deliver some Souls to More Light of the Kingdom
            Amen and Amen.

          • says

            Stephen, in order for you to share the gospel, you’d have to know it. Since you don’t believe salvation is exclusively found in repentance from sin and faith in Jesus Christ and that there is no other way for someone to be saved, you couldn’t possibly share the gospel.

          • cb scott says

            Steve,

            Big Daddy is not a liberal. He states, and I think correctly, that he is a moderate. But he does admire some real liberals.

            You on the other hand, as I stated in another comment thread, are an Old Line Alabama Baptist and Democrat who is still vexed because conservative Southern Baptists and Southern Republicans came in and took your state away from you.

            I don’t know if you are actually a Hinson-Leonard-Dunnized, Foy Valentine type liberal or if you are just so mad you hang out with them to make a statement.

          • says

            Dave,

            Liberalism was a movement which emerged in the late 19th century. Fundamentalism, another movement, was a response to liberalism. Both movements were defined by certain characteristics/distinctives. Of course these movements were not monolithic; there is always diversity in history.

            Individuals and groups today are the heirs of these movements and have carried on these beliefs/distinctives. So, yes, we can define liberalism by reviewing history. We can define fundamentalism by looking to history. There are, of course, other categories between those two polar extremes. But, yes we can give terms meaning as those terms have taken on specific meanings throughout history.

          • cb scott says

            Big Daddy,

            At what time in the history of the SBC and its entities did liberalism begin to weave its way into the “warp and woof” of the fabric of the “denomination” in such a visible way?

          • says

            CB: I think you are mistaken but BigDiddyD can speak for himself.
            Best I understand Aaron, like me, he thinks Inerrancy as it has been used as a tool in the CR and BFM 2000 is a Ruse, to co-opt a great word from WA Criswell.
            Aaron like my Dad and Robert Marsh is a Russell Dilday Conservative.
            in 89 or so the former Birch Society Member Albert Lee Smith asked Reinhold Niebuhr’s great nephew my acquaintance Gus Niebuhr in effect to stop calling leaders of the CR fundamentalists.
            Gus replied it was not a pejorative, but CR leaders should own what they are and by any sensible defintion of the Word Fundamentalists are what yall are.
            As a friend of John Killian, CB; I think words have meaning and when it comes to Pressler andAlbert Lee SMith, the Texas regulars and the Council for National Policy; Until I am convinced differently I think I will stay with the Niebuhrs; and MarkNoll and Clark Pinnock.

          • says

            May come back to this later; but Bdidd’s Baylor has a stellar publication current in Christian Reflection; this issue devoted to Monasticism Old and New
            The Samson article on the Finkenwalde tradition of Bonhoeffer is sublime.
            I have excerpted in DAvid Rogers thread at SBC Impact.

    • says

      Christiane,

      Your premed friend automatically puts himself/herself at a significant disadvantage by attending Liberty.

      It’s a Tier 4 school that, according to U.S. News & World Report, accepted over 96% of all applicants back in 2008. I’m sure that Liberty is a great fit for many people. We’re all different.

      If you, however, desire to attend a respected graduate program (JD, MD, Phd, etc.), a degree from Liberty certainly doesn’t help. I’m not saying that someone from Liberty can’t get into a top med school, etc. But I seriously doubt you’ll find many Liberty grads at places like Duke ….

      • says

        And there’s no denying that rankings matter and reputation matters when we’re talking about getting admitted to a top-rated institution.

        Getting into a good school and doing well in school is certainly no prereq to finding success, however that is measured, in the ministry.

        • cb scott says

          Big Daddy is absolutely right here. Why is it that Christian fathers spend so much money sending their sons and daughters to schools like Baylor Duke, UNC, Vandy, West Point, Princeton, etc, etc. if their educational desires are not specifically ministry oriented? Do you guys know what a Duke law degree is worth in the work place?

          Of course, if your son is a football player with high school ranking, the only way to go is the SEC. If his desire is to play some “club football” and then feed pigs for a living, Iowa is a fine academy. But if you have a kid who wants to get into the NFL and the NCAA as a football coach and get paid more than anyone else, send him to Kent State.

          • says

            DMiller: Here is a post with out a link. Shirley Sherrod would be proud of me, I have to believe.
            Here is the problem, a matter of truth and integrity that has become the glaring cancer that has overtaken the nature of discourse at this site the last several days where the lowest common denominator of frequent responders here have been allowed to set the terms
            Drew Smith of the Wilderness Preacher blog–hint, google it up as my hands are now tied with links; in the Robert Tenery tradition of truth, only the masters can now link==has this up this morning at ethics daily and I quote:

            This fear-mongering rhetoric defines the world in black-and-white terms, seeing only good or evil and leading those who utilize such rhetoric to more easily define who and what are our enemies.

            No links but quite likely the closest thing to the Truth you will read on this site July 22, 2010, Unless Shirley Sherrod is given space for a guest blog.

          • says

            I’m sorry you didn’t see the lightness in it, or it didn’t spark any memories for you.
            I liked what one commenter said about having guilt the first time she saw 60 minutes on a Sunday evening.
            I remember having similar reactions on viewing 60 Minutes in the late 70’s; and having suspicions about Aunt Katharine, a good woman who was a big fan of the show; suspicions about her Pilgrimage.

          • David Miller says

            I think you misunderstood me, Steve. I actually LIKED that link. It had “a little value.”

      • Christiane says

        My friend is a devout Christian woman. She is committed to providing her sons with a Christian education. For her, on a teacher’s salary, even with loans, it has been somewhat difficult to help her sons with their tuition and fees.

        The son in question WAS raised in the ‘young earth’ tradition of viewing Genesis. I once was able to help him a little bit whenn he was in high school, by referring him to the writings of Gerald Schroeder, who looks at both the young earth and ‘old’ earth creation traditions and attempts to find some common ground.

        I suppose the science dep’t. at Liberty teaches what all Universities teach, but perhaps with discussions about the different faith traditions.

        The whole ‘concept’ of what a ‘university’ is depends on its academic honesty and ethics. This would be especially true for a Christian university.

        Pepperdine University in CA (Malibu) has a high tier placement, I noticed, and I do believe that it is an evangelical school, as we had Lake Association members who had graduated from Pepperdine and had spoken about carrying Bibles over to give away in Russia.

        So, maybe it’s a question of how much ‘diversity’ is present, and how much tolerance exists for examination of all major academic and philosophical points of view openly;
        as well as RESPECT shown for those who are in the minority in their beliefs?

        But then, there is some evidence of Liberty’s position:
        the invitation of Glen Beck to speak, which certainly at least gives proof of some religious tolerance. (?)

      • SSBN says

        QUOTE But I seriously doubt you’ll find many Liberty grads at places like Duke END QUOTE

        So what? I seriously doubt that it matters for most Dr.’s whether they went to Duke or an Ivy League School. It may matter for a very, very small percentage of practioners, but not for the vast majority.

        Same with law schools. I have both top lawyers and top doctors in the United States as members of my church. They did not all graduate from Top Tier schools.

        My counsel to young adults is: seek to go to a school that honors God and God will honor your commitment. I’d rather have a degree blessed by God, than blessed by Top Regents.

        That’s my opinion.

        • Christiane says

          Hi SSBN,

          I do understand some of this thinking. People of faith do want their children to be educated in that faith tradition, of course.
          But, in preparing for a medical profession, certain schools do offer more advantages: especially if they are part of a ‘consortium’ of schools that ‘share’ courses among them so that a student at one university can take a course at a member university and have credit applied to his/her degree.
          And then, the proximity of a medical center helps, also, for practicum work and observation.
          It DOES matter about the quality of a school and it IS a parent’s responsibility to educate children to the best of their abilities, which are God-given. Most parents try. Mine did.

          • SSBN says

            Nothing you said is anything more than a gratuitous assertion. I have a cousin that is a very good doctor and never did any of the things you said.

            I would just add: you are absolutely wrong in everything you said in your last post. Nothing you said bears any semblance to what I’ve seen in the real world.

            Also, no where in the Scriptures are parents to sacrifice their children’s hearts so they can get a good education and secure a good job. That too is absolutely incorrect.

  26. lu ba bi says

    David Miller,

    What beliefs you hold that made you think you are a calvinist?

    Because you are a calvinist, then you know your history. Calvin and his predecessor, Luther did not reformed the whole range of catholic doctrines.

    They succesfully reformed soteriology (doctrine of salvation), but they did not touch much on other doctrines such as eschatology. They just did not have time.

    Do you know where did they get their doctrine of baptism, sacraments, eschatology, etc.? From romanism.

    You probably know that even Calvin himself acknowledged that he ‘swallowed’ Autustine’s doctrine of predestination. This one is a common knowledge.

    Do you know early Calvin sided with Luther against romanism to affirm JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH ALONE? = sharply differentiating justification from sanctification. Hence, sanctification is experiential and justification is legal and positional. In Luther’s terms: alien righteousness.

    But under pressures from catholics, Calvin reverted back to romanism continuum of justification–sanctification.

    This is the precursor of the Westminster reformed calvinistic view of the continuum of justification-salvation view. Or in our layman terms: have roots have fruits, no fruits = no roots. Have faith will work. No work = no faith. No work = no salvation.

    You remember Francis Beckwith, the former president of ETS who reverted back to catholic church? He is now teach at Baylor dpt. of religion and philos.

    He moved back to catholic church after his finding that reformed and catholic views of justification-sanctification are the same in essence.

    Your definition of calvinism must be made clean. A simple declaration that “I am a calvinist” does not say much.

    • Christiane says

      “He moved back to catholic church after his finding that reformed and catholic views of justification-sanctification are the same in essence.”

      Could you please expand on this, if you have time.

    • David Miller says

      The idea that reformed and catholic views of justification are the same in essence defies imagination. Sola fide was the essence of the Reformation that recovered a biblical view of salvation.

      • lu ba bi says

        Dave Miller,

        If you dig deeper beyond the slogans you will notice what I said.

        Catholic’s Council of Trent sees justification as partially God’s grace and the rest completed by man’s good work.

        In essense it is not different from Arminianism that says “If you dont live a holy life until the end, your salvation will be revoked.”

        Westminster calvinism is not essentially different. “If you don’t have sanctification, then you were not saved in the first place.

        Let me illustrate this from John Piper’s sermons–Piper sees performance as INTEGRAL to salvation; that good work is ONE OF THE CONDITIONS of salvation:

        “Paul foresees the possibility that some professing believers – in the judgment of charity he calls them brothers, may go to hell… Your works confirm that you are saved.”[Piper, “We Will All Stand Before the Judgment of God (Rom 14:10-13)]”; October 30, 2005.

        “Getting to heaven in the New Testament involves the use of means… Your perseverance in faith is a means of attaining heaven; it is necessary… Mutual exhortation is a means by which we…help each other persevere to heaven. It is not automatic…”[Piper, “Do Not Destroy the Work of God (Rom 14:14-23)]”; Nov 6, 2005.

        “…These are just some of the conditions that the New Testament says we must meet in order to be saved in the fullest and final sense. We must believe in Jesus and receive him and turn from our sin and obey him and humble ourselves like little children and love him more than we love our family, our possessions, or our life. This is what it means to be converted to Christ. This alone is the way of life everlasting.”[Piper, “Do Not Destroy the Work of God (Rom 14:14-23)]”; Nov 6, 2005.
        “Present justification is based on the substitutionary work of Christ alone, enjoyed in union with him through faith alone. Piper in “The Justification Debate: A Primer” (CT, July 23, 2009; see http://www. christianitytoday. com/ct/2009/ june/29.34.html).
        Future justification is the open confirmation and declaration that in Christ Jesus we are perfectly blameless before God. This final judgment accords with our works. That is, the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives will be brought forward as the evidence and confirmation of true faith and union with Christ. Without that validating transformation, there will be no future salvation” (italics added). How it can be true that “through faith alone…we have eternal life with God in the new heavens and the new earth,” but at the same time also be true that at the “final judgment,” without the “validating transformation” of our good works, “there will be no future salvation”? Which is it – “through faith alone,” or only with the “validating transformation” of “our works”?

        In response to a question about our imperfectness in this life, Piper responded: “I know people, and I would say this about myself, for whom the greatest threat to my perseverance and my ultimate salvation is the slowness of my sanctification. It’s not theoretical questions like ‘Did He rise from the dead?’ or the problem of evil. I’ve got answers. But why I sin against my wife the same at age 62 that I did at age 42 causes me sometimes to doubt my salvation or the power of the Holy Spirit… This question is not theoretical.” John Piper, “Why God is Not a Megalomaniac . . . ” Evangelical Theological Society 2009. Recording # EV08487 (www.actsconferenceproducts.com).

    • says

      Lu Ba Hi:

      I need your help with Calvinism and Incestuous Rape. I’mnot getting much of an answer from our two experts on this board, David Miller and SSBN.
      Look at what Doug Sharp said and let me know if I am missing something.
      Miller seems to think I am.
      Wondering what you think.

  27. lu ba bi says

    DR Randle,

    You said “You do know that what you describing as “Calvinist ecclesiology” and “eschatology” is generally post-millennialism and only a small segment of Calvinists are post-millennial today?”

    I meant to say most calvinists are amillenialists in the Augustinian form of eschatology. That is calvinists in general are amill–not all.

    You see Mr. Randle, in Augustinian amill. kingdom now ecclesiology, soteriology has swallowed eschatology. It is a good summary not generalism. Of course I know guys like John MacArthur who believes in the future millenialism.

    These are exceptions or rather abberations–middle of the road calvinists.

    • David Miller says

      Honestly, lu ba bi, I think you think you know a lot more about Calvinism than you actually do. You have found one form of Calvinism that you extrapolate to be representative of all Calvinists. Calvinists are not nearly as monolithic as you present them.

      There are amil, premil (mostly post-trib) and even dispensational calvinists.

      I think your antipathy for Calvinism has colored your judgment.

  28. says

    Just checking in here to say I finally made it over. Wow, this comment thread is all over the place!

    And, FYI, Stephen Fox, I listened to Marsh’s talk a week or two ago, a little while after you first e-mailed me the link. I found it mildly interesting. But, to be honest, i didn’t come away with any revolutionary new insights. Not that he is below me or anything like that. Far from it. He is evidently very intelligent and well-read. Just not exactly the particular content matter that most interests me. I will admit that some of the stuff you link to is worth looking at, from time to time, though.

  29. says

    Davd Rogers:

    Just a quick word to express appreciation for you listening to the Berlin lecture.
    I think there will be a serious and substantive conversation over the next couple years as Marsh’s bio of DB is published and all the implications of the various interpretations of his life of DB is explored as distinct from the reception of the Metaxas bio.
    I hope that as that conversation develops and emerges you will be a part of it.
    Thanks

    Stephen Fox

  30. lu ba bi says

    David Miller,

    Can you give a short outline of some essential doctrines of calvinism? TULIP for example?

    What kind of ecclesiology and eschatology taught in calvinistic seminaries? What soteriology taught in these schools?

    How about the Institutes? Can we use Calvin’s Institutes as the basic summary?

  31. lu ba bi says

    Calvinistic Baptist friends,

    You are not pure calvinists or not fully calvinists.

    I would say that scholars such as Charles Hodge, Lorraine Boetner, John Murray, etc.–those who taught in calvinistic seminaries and whose books published by P&R are more calvinistic–More calvinistic than for example Dany Akin whose books published by Holman.

    Let me give one quotation from the more calvinistic guys re. that illustrates how ecclesiology has swallowed eschatology:

    Boettner, a prominent modern Postmillennialist, follows theologian, Charles Hodge in teaching that the Church is Israel. To arrive at that conclusion, Boettner engages heavily in the use of the allegorical interpretation:

    “When God says, ‘They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain,” let not the reader absurdly imagine that He had in mind only that insignificant elevation called Zion, in the southeast corner of the city of Jerusalem. “God’s holy mountain,” which at that time was the site of the temple and the center of the true religion, is the familiar and endeared name for the Church or Kingdom in the present Messianic age.

    When we are told that God will “create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy” (Is. 65:18), Jerusalem, the center of the theocracy and symbol of Old Testament Israel, is used to represent the New Testament Church. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews spiritualizes these passages and shows that their true fulfillment is found in the Christian Church . , . Paul, too, spiritualizes the term Jerusalem when he says that, “The Jerusalem that is above is free, which is our mother” (Gal. 4:26).”

    Now that is an example of a true calvinist’s hermeneutic.

    As for calvinistic Baptist friends they hold to calvinism merely because it is fashionable–ecclectic kind, but not full fledged calvinism. Ex. John Piper only calvinistic in his soteriology.

    • says

      Lu bi,

      You wrote,

      “As for calvinistic Baptist friends they hold to calvinism merely because it is fashionable–ecclectic kind, but not full fledged calvinism. Ex. John Piper only calvinistic in his soteriology.”

      This is absolutely wrong and false. No Reformed Baptist (or Calvinistic Baptist for that matter) holds to Calvinism because it is fashionable. I have had friends fired from their positions in SBC churches and many others denied positions in other SBC churches due to their Reformed views. These guys aren’t holding to this theology because it is fashionable, but because their study of the Word of God led them to it. This is but one more example of your false overgeneralizations.

      As for Piper’s Calvinism, it extends far beyond soteriology. He just doesn’t fit neatly into what you think Calvinism is, which we’ve already established is a small group of almost extinct reformed theologians.

  32. volfan007 says

    Fox,

    You are the one, who brought my wife and daughter into it in comment #97. You are the one, who brought them up. Not me.

    I suggest you drop this line of conversation. I wont be talking to about it, anymore.

    David

    • SSBN says

      Wise choice, David. Such a line of discussion is like swimming in a cesspool.

      I’ve learned quickly which persons to avoid having any discussion with. I want to learn and grow in my Christian understanding. Iron sharpens iron, but acid only causes rust.

  33. says

    Lu ba bi,

    When I say this please understand that I mean no offense whatsoever!

    Who are you? And what are you?

    You come on this blog professing to be the end all resource for all things Calvinistic and yet we don’t even know your name, much less your credentials. For all we know you could be some liberal professor of religion in a secular university somewhere? So you will have to excuse your Calvinistic Baptist friends here if we don’t just take your word for it.

    Your comments so far are kind of like reading a reference work with no footnotes to the original source documents. Until you identify yourself you can type and post till your little fingers are blistered, but I seriously doubt you are going to convince anyone here to actually change their position on anything.

    Grace Always,

    • lu ba bi says

      Greg Alford,

      I am a non calvinist Baptist.

      Almost ten years in First Baptist Dallas when WACriswell was nearing the end of his tenure and then Joel came in and left. I was there.

      Credentials I don’t have. Teaching or professor of religion or liberal? No.

      My family name is Lu and Indian background name of actually Babu.

      I love the Bible numero uno. Theology number two. But mainly the Bible.

      Greg, I honestly believe calvinism has great influence but also damaging influence.

      I attack no one. Just want to discuss Bible and theology.

      If you think your arguments are superior than mine, it is OK. I will try my best to understand. But don’t put down anyone who is of a different theological persuasion. Even a liberal.

      I am a Baptist trying to reform what I believe every single day.

      My greatest theological enemy is PARROTING. I try my best not to parrot.

      This is the weakness of calvinists as I see it. It is just me.

      • says

        Lu,

        Thanks for sharing a little of your background… it really does help someone to understand your perspective on things.

        I do not disagree with all of what you are saying… I just think we Christians dare not altogether abandon the public square or we will surely lose many of our freedoms that we now enjoy, and I for one think that will be a bad thing for our children and grandchildren.

        Grace Always,

  34. says

    lu,

    I suggest you review Romans 14:4, and try to explain how that meshes with “As for calvinistic Baptist friends they hold to calvinism merely because it is fashionable–ecclectic kind, but not full fledged calvinism. Ex. John Piper only calvinistic in his soteriology.”

    Good luck.

    :)

    • lu ba bi says

      Bob,

      I read the Scripture you cited. Thank the Lord for every Scripture. I honor all of it and by God’s help trying to keep them.

      This one is about judging a weak brother; and I don’t see a direct application to my discussion regarding calvinism.

      You misundestood my using John Piper’s sermons as illustration of his calvinism. It is objective criticism of his teaching and not maligning the person.

      Remember Bob, it is about calvinism that I refer to calvinism. So it is nothing personal.

  35. says

    Dave:

    “First Great Awakening. Second Great Awakening. Prayer Revival.”

    And where’s the USA now? What effect on the country (not individual people)?

    Either God’s not very effective, long-term, or the country wasn’t what those events were about.

    • SSBN says

      To deny the influence the Great Awakening had on the United States — corporately as well as individually — is to deny the facts of history.

      Sure, the effects were not eternal because people don’t live forever and each new generation needs a new awakening. That doesn’t discount the former effects of the Great Awakenings.

      What we do not know — and cannot know — is where would our nation be (or would it be) if these great movements of God’s Spirit had not happened?

      I shudder to think of such a thing.

        • says

          I think it’s similar to the revival under Jonah. A real revival took place, where people actually repented and got right with God. Unfortunately, righteousness is not contagious. So the generation following them (or soon enough there after, as I don’t know the history well) went right back to their pagan ways and suffered God’s just wrath. I think Scripture gives a hint of this when it speaks of another Pharaoh arising that knew not Joseph, as a much earlier historical example. On the one hand, it looks like little to nothing was accomplished, but in God’s economy, He worked sovereignly and brought glory to Himself alone.

  36. volfan007 says

    Dave, when you said, “Ultimately, though, the solution is to preach the gospel. People who are saved and live under the Lordship of Christ come to realize how heinous abortion is – as the Holy Spirit works in them. I’ve never met a Bible-believing, passionate Christian who lives under the Lordship of Jesus Christ who thinks abortion is okay;” you said it, Brother. Hallelujah, and pass the bisquits!

    Amen..amen…amen…and amen again.

    David

  37. volfan007 says

    No links????!!!!! Oh, Dave, please no…please let him give us links. We live for the links.

    David :)

  38. says

    I’d be extremely interested to know Falwell’s rationale on this. Sometimes I wonder if he cares more about his political/popularity profile than his job at a minister of the Gospel.

  39. says

    Oh, this is a board that from here on out will only allow confirmations of the status quo.
    No links cause it may upset the R and D wing of the Newly Revised Onward and Upward SBC.
    Come on DAve Miller, you can do better than that.
    Cripple dissent; Dave Miller and Breitbart and Glenn Beck; what’s the difference???

    • says

      Stephen, if you want to discuss, discuss. You have my email if you want to rant about my personal failings. But I’m just sick of you filling the discussion with name-dropping and links to junk. I have lost patience with you and your blog trolling.

      Please either enter the discussion or leave the board.

    • says

      Fox,

      No one has a problem with the links except that it’s your only contribution to discussion. Little personal opinions or constructive discussion, just discourses in how much smarter you think you are than everyone because of your name-dropping that usually doesn’t actually pertain to the post you’re commenting on.

      I believe there is a smart guy in there with legitimate thoughts and opinions that could help our thought processes, I just don’t think any of us have met him.

      • volfan007 says

        Brandon said, “I believe there is a smart guy in there with legitimate thoughts and opinions that could help our thought processes, I just don’t think any of us have met him.”

        I think Brandon has a lot of faith.

        David

  40. says

    Brandon and DMiller:

    This is a waste of both our times. Any fair reading of the tea leaves here at SBC voices will show it is the continual senseless goading of Joe Blackmon that pushes folks to wits end; and human as you are, you blame the people whose convictions on matters of inerrancy and the SBC Takeover.
    Christiane, Lydia and many others have found value in my links; and most 90% of the time they are remedial sources for matters here that were pretty well thought out 15 years ago; or help cut through the ignorance of the mob that exists not only here, but many other blog sites.
    My repeated references to Aaron Weaver (Bid Daddy Weave); his Father, Doug Weaver’s history of 2nd Ponce de Leon where Robert Marsh was Russell Dilday’s successor; many times that link and reference alone cuts through lot of the poor history and bad memory of folks here and elsewhere.
    And where ethicsdaily.com adds refinement to lot of the banter you are groping for here; would seem to me my resource links would be applauded instead of shamed.
    Then again a free and exhaustive search for The Truth of these matters may not be what you are about, here.
    Hoping you will do something on Richard Land’s appearance before MaxineWaters House panel on Immigration reform soon

    God Bless and Have a Nice Day

    NO Links; aren’t you happy?

      • volfan007 says

        Fox,

        Your links and rants have proven nothing…absolutely nothing. The only thing that we’ve seen here are the biases and feelings of the liberal/moderate crowd that once ruled the SBC with an iron fist.

        Thank God they rule no more. Hallelujah! Glory to God! Praise the Lord!

        David

        • says

          Actually, they do prove something. They prove that the poor wittle moderates and wibberals still have their wittle fee-wings hurt from being thumped out of leadership postiions within the SBC.

          The only problem with the CR–it obviously didn’t go far enough. Steven proves that.

  41. says

    Steve’s name dropping ways have finally caught up with him. As to Calvinism, it is like anything else, subject to ups and downs. Like Alice. When she was good, she was very good. When she was bad, she was horrid. Cavinism is no more tied to John Calvin than Augustinianism is to Augustine. That is because we are talking about biblical teachings which both men tried with some degrees of success and failure to present to the world. The calvinism of Switzerland, the Netherlands, Scotland, England, and America had its committed followers who were to provide for the burst of freedom and the modern world like no other theology in the world. Actually, the teaching is that of Sovereign Grace, and the nature of the individual doctrines such as predestination, Total depravity/inability, reprobation, unonditional election/ particular redemption, irresistible grace, and perseverance/preservation of the saints are paradoxical interventions designed to empower man as he embraces what seems so antithetical to him. These truths were the secret of the First and Second Great Awakenings and of the launching of the Great Century of Missions. As to social and political responsibility along with evangelism/missions commitment, it is not an either/or proposition, but a both/and. Jesus did not flap His lips for nothing, when He spoke of giving a cup of cold water. This Bible believing Christians have understood until the beginning of the Social Gospel which being aligned with the so-called Higher Critical Approach (really the Enlightenment approach of the old skpetical philosophes like Voltaire who were responding to the inimical threats of Roman Catholicism) caused doing good to be aligned with unbelief. Forgotten were things like Abolition of slavery, religious liberty, etc. Satan moved against Bible believing churches, stealing their thunder for doing good and appropriating it to his own little minions who cast a pall of doubt over everything biblical. I remember once having a case of welfare client with a terrible misshapern face, a young girl. At that time welfare only provided for public transportation. Being a member of a sovereign grace baptist church at that time, I went out to the church and told the pastor about the situation and how traveling on public transportation would be traumatic for that teenager. He said that sounds like missions to me, pulled out a drawer, and handed me enough money for a Social Worker to take the client to a hospital clinic (a considerable distance of perhaps 150 miles or more) in a private vehicle. Jerry, Jr., might well have misstated his case and given too much encouragement to the Mormons, but he had a valid pupose in seeking to preserve the USA. Once you kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, there will be no more golden eggs. We do have to work with those with whom we disagree on many things in order to achieve a common goal. Change and adjustments are only done with difficulty. Behold the flap over the Sherrod case. Seizing upon some narrow points and taking them out of context caused a serious disruption in the life of a fine Christian lady who cetainly magnifies all that my doctoral dissertation at Columbia University would have sought to establish about how God had raised up some magnificent Christian believers among African Americans. And, while they have seriously flawed people among their ranks (and who does not), that stream of tremendous faith still continues among them to this day as Mrs. Sherrod with the Full and firm support of the White Farmer and His wife amply proves. But let us remember that while Bible believing Chistians can have those among them that leave much to be desired and the best of saints have their short comings, it is the Bible believing brethren who provide the Gospel message and primarily the examples of demonstration that make the difference that Mr. Fox and his ilk seem bent on ignoring. But we expect better things of that dear brother. After all, his grandfather was a Bible believing Baptist, and who else of his family were great Bible believing servants of God? A soft answer turns away wrath, brethren, and we have the incentive of our Lord’s death on the cross as a reason for gentleness and courtesy. Why should any of us throw our weight around, when the Lord can handle such difficulties?

    • Christiane says

      “I remember once having a case of welfare client with a terrible misshapern face, a young girl. At that time welfare only provided for public transportation. Being a member of a sovereign grace baptist church at that time, I went out to the church and told the pastor about the situation and how traveling on public transportation would be traumatic for that teenager. He said that sounds like missions to me, pulled out a drawer, and handed me enough money for a Social Worker to take the client to a hospital clinic (a considerable distance of perhaps 150 miles or more) in a private vehicle.”

      As a Catholic, I see more of the ‘Good News’ in this portion of your comment, than in all the other comments on this topic. Something of the ‘compassionate Christ’ is seen again in our world, when people can witness Him, in the care given to a deformed young woman. His loving-kindness overflows in the hearts of those who know Him, and such believers cannot walk past suffering without stopping to help in the ways possible.

      Talk about a ‘Christian witness’. Wow. Thank you for sharing that witness with us, Dr. Willingham. You understand a lot, I think, about His Presence in our world.

  42. SSBN says

    Big Daddy #146: I’ll attempt an answer since I have am following a pastor who graduated from Baylor and have friends who were like family that attended Baylor since its shift.

    I don’t think Baylor is liberal . . . yet. It is on its way to be sure. It certainly is not “conservative.” It certainly is not a “bastion” of SBC life. Ken Starr is certainly not who most people consider a “conservative evangelical” when they first hear his name, and certainly not a Southern Baptist with ties to the majority of our Convention.

    Why would someone who is supposedly “Baptist” want to be considered as a President for the Seminary? Maybe he felt he could steer this once great Baptist school back toward its roots. Maybe he just wanted the prestige. Maybe we don’t know. But, what does that prove?

    Baylor is following the way of many of our other once missionary minded schools such as Harvard and Princeton. The first step is aways to break ties with the faith group that established it. That happened years ago.

    Is Baylor a first rate University? I think, yes. Is it somewhere that will fan up a young heart to love and devotion to God and trust in His Inerrant Word? Probably not.

  43. bapticus hereticus says

    David: … I hate what liberalism is doing to America, both theological and politically. I will be up late on election night holding my breath that Republicans take back the House and Senate so that we can stop the damage Obama is doing to America….

    bapticus hereticus: And others of your political and theological orientation are working for the eradication of all forms of liberalism, as well, which, if coupled with liberals wishing the same for your perspective, leaves us with pressing, complex issues and fewer adults to deliberate responsible alternatives. To the liberals and the conservatives that wish to remove the other from fora where civil discourse is practiced and policy is fashioned, please grow up and realize the world is not an extension of yourself, and because of such, policy will always be messy, incomplete, and in process. Yes, our rationality is bounded, but that does not preclude us from making responsible decisions; but said decisions are contingent upon the consideration of the other in a manner that does not diminish his or her being. If we insist on the latter, we must also accept that potentially significant and rich information needed for responsible decision-making will be attenuated. Better to understand now rather than latter that the future of this country is not as a Christian nation, an Islamic nation, a Jewish nation, etc.; the future of this country, if the future is to manifest vitality and sustainability, is pluralism in its social, political, and theological forms. When such was and is understood, embraced, and practiced, this country was and is at its best.

  44. says

    July 19, 1990 a day that will live in Baptist Infamy said RG Puckett of the Biblical Recorder who wrote about it annually till the day he retired.
    There is a great story up today about that segment of Baptist history during the reign of Adrian Rogers, Pressler and company.
    I think a strong case could be made that folks like Glenn Beck would not have the hold on Baptist folks they have today, and this discussion would have never arisen, if Baptist folks in the pew had ever understood all the implications of what happenned on that day.
    But as Volfan said in another place, he joined Bellevue when Adrian Rogers was a young man and the rest is history.
    With Brandon’s permission would love to post the link. If the truth matters maybe someone else will do the honors while I am waiting for permission to post the link on this most provocative piece of Baptist History.
    I was there that day in 1990, saw it with my own eyes.

    • says

      That is the kind of bitterness and focus on the past that I see so much of amongst the moderate crowd.

      Move one. Southern Baptists decided they wanted to be a conservative denomination. We did not want to walk the path of liberalism that so many denominations have waltzed down.

      The Convention made the decision. As you say, it was 20-30 years ago. Couldn’t you guys move on?

      • says

        Amen, Dave… They need to either move on or go to a convention that lines up with their beliefs. After 20-30 years of whining you would think they would come up with something new.

      • David Miller says

        I don’t mean to minimize the pain some of these men felt. But they worked for a convention that decided to move in a direction different than the one they were leading out in.

        It would be like Bush appointees moaning for 30 years about being replaced by Obama appointees after the election.

        Baptist Press was unswervingly opposed to the CR. All their news and opinions were against the conservatives. It was slanted coverage. When the conservatives won, those reporters who had spent the last decade slamming the conservatives lost their jobs.

        Big surprise.

        That’s just the way it is.

        • John Fariss says

          For sake of argument, let’s say I accept your assessment of BP pre-CR. Do you think BP now is any different from this “slanted coverage,” just slanted in a different direction? Are there journalists who believe it presents news–facts that is–rather than the spin dictated by the current leaders of the SBC?

          John

        • says

          What do you think Richard Jackson would say about what you just said; Was Richard Jackson a tool of those who opposed the CR; or did Jackson, a strong conservative see something unethical about the crusade of Pressler and Patterson; about which Mark Noll and Clark Pinnock at Ridgecrest 87 said was not about inerrancy at all.

      • says

        And what about the conservatives who misrepresent the theology of other conservatives? Why can’t they move on too?

          • says

            Are Joe Blackmon and Volfan the same person; do they live near each other and or do both of them have a History at Bellevue.
            I’m a little confused and have been wondering for some time if it is posssilbe for someone to be forthcoming with a declarative sentence resembling the Truth; I would appreciate it.

          • says

            Dave, no I was not talking about you specifically. I’m saying that some people make category errors in claiming who can and who can’t be a Baptist. Like the statement, “I’m not a Calvinist, I’m a Baptist.”

          • says

            We are not the same person, although we have had lunch together. We live in the same state about 4 hours apart.

            The truth is that, despite moderate and liberal protestations to the contrary, that salvation is solely found in repentance from sin and faith in Jesus Christ. All Christians recognize that. And yes, in case my veiled swipe is missed, anyone who doesn’t believe that and won’t agree that it’s true isn’t a Christian.

  45. says

    Thanks for clearing that up. As it turns out then, glad you saw some value in it.
    Not my intent to poke you in the eye; let me try my luck with this with a pledge it is the last one for this day; though I do have three more in the Hopper I am dying to share; one on the Social Costs of Christianity.
    But this one is more appropriate for this discussion and begs further discussion:

    A stout piece of Baptist History:

    http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/5354/53/

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