Friday, July 28, 2006

Bloggers: Are They Really Honoring Christ?

Blogging can be dangerous. It is certainly not for the weak, and some question if it is for the Godly. I think it can be used for good, yet have seen abuses by veteran bloggers. Allow me to illustrate and draw some conclusions for application.

1. Not long ago there was a post, by one of the more well-recognized bloggers among Southern Baptists, implying impropriety at a “very-high” level in the administration at SWBTS. Then, in the comment section, when asked of the validity of his statement, the Blog Administrator said “everything I write is well researched and usually verified by a minimum of 2-3 sources.” Later, when a different scenario was suggested, the Blog Administrator said the “connection I have insinuated was wrong.” However, no POST retracting the scenario has been posted (which, even if it had, would not reverse the damage). Moreover, only if one reads through the 80 plus comment section does he realize the error of the original post.

2. On two other recognized blogs, I have been accused of holding to a “private interpretation” of the Abstract of Principles (ONE of the documents professors at Southeastern have to sign) and “interpreting them as long as I get to define their meaning.” These accusations were also made by veterans of the blogging world, in spite of the fact I have never said either of them..

The latter accusation took a statement I made about Calvinism out of its context, and then amazingly replaces the statement “3 Points of Calvinism” with “Abstract of Principles.”

The former was made because I said I signed the Abstract according to my understanding (which is not private) of what it says. Further, I went to great lengths to make my position very clear (ie – I cannot sign the Abstract based on what John or Tom or Fred understands them to say, for I am not John or Tom or Fred…I am Brad). I even revealed that my understanding fits into the parameters of what Dr. Mohler and Dr. Akin believe the Abstract to be saying.

And yet, amazingly these accusations are STILL made without any retractions.

You can imagine the unchristian comments and untruths these Posts generated. The statements, comments, and accusations were false and horribly inaccurate, however, I have done things in my life much worse than I was accused of. Thus, what concerns me is not what the Blog Administrators said or implied, but that they made such errors in the first place. These intelligent men are far more experienced bloggers than most of us. I believe their motives to be pure in a pursuit of truth. I further believe they are Christian men who love our Savior.

Yet, if these men can err like this, then what hope do we have of avoiding such.

Wade Burleson posted an excellent article on his blog written by Alan Jacobs author of “The Narnian: The life and Imagination of CS Lewis.” I shall quote:

“As I think about these architectural deficiencies (of the blogosphere), and the deficiencies of my own character, I find myself meditating on a passage from a book by C. S. Lewis. In his great work of literary history, Poetry and Prose in the Sixteenth Century, Lewis devotes a passage to what he describes, with a certain savageness, as "that whole tragic farce which we call the history of the Reformation." For Lewis, the issues that divided Catholics and Protestants, that led to bloodshed all over Europe and to a seemingly permanent division of Christians from one another, "could have been fruitfully debated only between mature and saintly disputants in close privacy and at boundless leisure." Instead, thanks to the prevalence of that recent invention the printing press, and to the intolerance of many of the combatants, deep and subtle questions found their way into the popular press and were immediately transformed into caricatures and cheap slogans. After that there was no hope of peaceful reconciliation.

On a smaller scale, the same problems afflict the intellectual and moral environments of the blogs. There is no privacy: all conversations are utterly public. The arrogant, the ignorant, and the bullheaded constantly threaten to drown out the saintly, and for that matter the merely knowledgeable, or at least overwhelm them with sheer numbers. And the architecture of the blog (and its associated technologies like rss), with its constant emphasis on novelty, militates against leisurely conversations. It is no insult to the recent, but already cherished, institution of the blogosphere to say that blogs cannot do everything well. Right now, and for the foreseeable future, the blogosphere is the friend of information but the enemy of thought.”

Wow…very powerful, insightful, and convicting. Wade, thank you for the post.

I have a strong desire to address the issues before SB. But I also have an even stronger desire, to do so in a way that honors Christ. I have no desire for this blog to devolve into the kind of antagonism that is already too prevalent. A brawl draws a larger crowd than gentlemanly discussion, but I’m not interested in getting a crowd. So I have some new guidelines for our comments.

1. Any comment that attacks another person (questioning his integrity, his motives, or implying he is cognitively challenged) will be removed and the commenter will be asked to restate his comment.
2. Any anonymous comment will be removed unless the commenter gives his name.
3. Since, I too am subjective and overlook things, if a commenter thinks I have missed an unwholesome comment he shall e-mail me his concerns.

Further, all participants should assume those who differ with them are their brothers/sisters in Christ who have pure motives, love Jesus, and are sincerely searching for truth. Also, participants should NOT assume others are assailing them; therefore, statements like: “I hear you saying ______, is that what you are saying?” are encouraged.

Am I overlooking something? If so, help me out.

I ask your forgiveness as readers for not applying these rules sooner.

Now to a wider application. I agree with Dr. Jacobs, there is a problem. Could we be proactive with a solution? What do you think about creating some accountability on Blogs. Creating some sort of an organization of professional Christian Bloggers with standards concerning membership: distinguishing professionalism from sensationalism. Could we juror ourselves; where statements and implications (especially of organizations or individuals) in Posts must be FACTUAL? Could we design such an organization that is a witness to all and admired as an example of Christian conversation and conduct?

Such an organization would obviously require representatives from diverse perspectives.

I’m just thinking out loud. What do you think?

BR

60 comments:

posttinebraelux said...

Brad,
An organization is not a bad idea, but there has to be some form of 'enticement' to belong to the organization and some motivating factor what would encourage 'fear' of banishment. In effect, you'd have to have a 'private' blog-world. In the current environment, I don't think an organization would work because there is no 'penalty' for being banished. You still get to blog. It's a great thought, though. Possibly some group with the financial means (SBC) could set up a private blog where God honoring and edifying discussions would be held and those who persist in being mean would be banished to the public blog-world? Good idea.

Grace and peace,

PTL

BSC said...

Brad:

I think you are a dim-witted, fundamentalist, hyper-sensitive imbecile.

Does that meet the new blog rules?

Just a joke among friends...

BSC

tim rogers said...

Brother Brad,

Good words. Where would one begin if such an organization was formed?

Tim

brad reynolds said...

For those who don't know. Ben and I are friends. We are on the opposite side of the fence on many issues right now. But he is a friend and brother. So I will let his comments stand...this time.

But Ben I can't keep giving you special priveledges:)

Furthermore, "I know you are...but what am I" :)
BR

BSC said...

Brad:

Many issues? C'mon now.

I can only think of four:

1. Abstince/temperance
2. Fealty to the Red Bishop
3. Sweet Tea/Unsweet Tea
4. Pretrib/Posttrib (maybe)

Anonymous said...

GET AN ATTITUDE!

Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 4:1-11

Since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude. 1 Peter 4:1

“Having an attitude” is not often considered a positive thing. But attitude is essential and good when it's the positive force behind a winning team or it helps you overcome a series of difficulties.

To do God's will, says Peter, we must have an attitude that's the same as Jesus Christ's. We must be armed with an attitude that is ready to suffer. One of the greatest hindrances to fulfilling God's mission today is the church's wealth and ease. Like the seed in Jesus's parable that is “choked by life's . . . riches and pleasures” (Luke 8:14), an over-easy church is too soft and comfortable to fight back.

It's amazing, though, that when we learn to expect suffering, we can grow to face it and press through it, in God's strength. Just as the athlete knows that “with no pain, there's no gain,” we endure training in Christ's work so that we may “live . . . for the will of God.”

How ready are you to suffer for Christ? How much discomfort and inconvenience are you willing to endure to support his cause? How much embarrassment will you accept to take a stand for Jesus? Are you willing to sacrifice your desires in order to pursue God's agenda?

Like good soldiers, let's arm ourselves with the attitude of our Lord and Savior. Then let's follow our Captain, who suffered to win us the victory.


Prayer
Dear Jesus, you showed your power by being willing to suffer. Empower us with a grander vision than ourselves so that we may lay down our lives for you. In your name, Amen.

Today is a ministry of The Back to God Hour
http://www.BacktoGod.net/
email: btgh@crcna.org
800.879.6555;

brad reynolds said...

PTL
I agree.

Nothing will stop those who decide to leave, to continue blogging...but if a small group of us began, I would assume that, in time, readers in the SB blog world would realize "these guys are a step-above the rest of the blogs in the way they discuss issues."

I think, in time, if we monitered ourselves and exhibited professionalism well the enicement would be the reputation of being a part of such a quality organization...kind of like a "good blog-keeping seal."

I may be way off in the possibility of such a thing being organized...I was just trying to come up with an idea to bring a solution to the problems Jacobs mentioned in Blogs.

Christopher Redman said...

Brad,

To offer an alternative view to your statement regarding Tom's blog post - You were in a discussion regarding the Abstracts and your belief that a 3 point Calvinist can sign the Abstract. (That is an interesting debate yet because the article on Regeneration is the definition of "effectual calling/Irresistible Grace".)

Then you said, "I hold to 3 of the classic points of Calvinism as long as I can define them." It did seem very natural to join the two together (3 points and abstracts). It is natural because of the context of the conversation and because many (most of us SBC calvinist) believe the Abstract to clearly define 4 point calvinism. Therefore, your "provided I can define them" appears to take liberty at changing their definition as provided in the Abstracts. Sort of like Dr. Caner changing clear definible terms to suit his own interest.

And, I don't mean to spread hearsay but my good friend at SBTS ran into Dr. Mohler at Steak n Shake one day and asked him about his hiring 4 point calvinists (not 3) and Dr. Mohler said, "You can be a 4 point Calvinist and affirm the Abstract". (I don't know for certain if Dr. Mohler holds to the 3 point view as you do.

CR

brad reynolds said...

Tim

I think we would need to begin with at least one representative from both sides of the issues facing SB (IMB issues, Alcohol, Calvinism, etc).

I would then think we would need to lay down some agreed upon ground rules. We could even come up with a covenant that members have to agree to.

Maybe a juried panel with both sides represented that could enforce the covenant by removal of membership.

Again, I may be in left field on this...but still thinking out loud.
BR

C. T. Lillies said...

Dr. Reynolds

This is a good idea too. Please allow me to make a few points though in good faith. My purpose here is not to be hurtful.

First: I think a general set of guidelines for Christian bloggers is in order as it seems that blogging brings out the worst in some of us. When reading comments stripped of the nuances of person to person communication it tough enough to get all that person is trying to say. A topic about which folks have passionate opinions makes it worse. In spite of this I see no reason to draw up a charter and create a club. Most of us already belong to Southern Baptist Churches. That should be sufficient.

Secondly, I'd like to add that if we are serious about promoting unity and Christ-like blogging among the brethren we should consider beginning by separating that call from otherwise heated subjects. Namely, the alcohol discussion and the personal doctrinal issues you have been questioned about. Both of which I read through before I got to the discussion about an organization. This is dangerous ground for Baptist bloggers. Especially those who bear the weight of leadership in the Convention.

Much Grace
Josh

volfan007 said...

brad,

thank God for you, bro. keep up the good work.

isnt it amazing that five pointers cant seem to see beyond the five points. they are stuck in thier system and are blinded. everything seems to revolve around calvinism to them. the way they talk, think, and write has to fit into thier neat little system. and, if you dare to not be stuck in thier system...not only do they look down on you as less christian than they are....and certainly less intellectual than they are...but, many of them will also call you lost, or a heretic, or a professor who needs to be fired. and, they really think they are right in thier arrogant pride. it's just amazing to me.

all thru church history, extremes and tangents and errors have had to be dealt with. most of them cause strife and division in the church. five pointers are no exception. how many churches do i know personally that have gone thru great strife and even division due to some five pointer sneaking in and trying to convert the congregation and ram five points down thier throats. it's sad.

well, again, God bless you, brad, for taking this on. may the Lord give you strength for the work.

volfan007

brad reynolds said...

CR
Careful about insinuations about the Caner's. Let's remember our new rules.

In the context you are speaking of, you make it clear I was not saying I could sign the Abstracts provided I could define them which is what was said!

Moreover, when I said that about Calvinism I also explained that my meaning was that I could not affirm total depravity if it was connected to irresistable grace. In Calvinism the 5 points are interrelated.

There is a difference in saying "I hold to 3 points of Calvinism provided those 3 are not related to the 2 I don't affirm" and saying "I can sign the Abstracts as long as I can define them!"

Point being HE WAS WRONG. If you think it is legitimate to do what he did then by all means. I'm not at liberty to change others words like that.

Concerning Dr. Mohler, please refer to Dr. Akin's message "When one love's a theological system more than the Savior" where he states he and Dr. Mohler had discussed this.
BR

brad reynolds said...

volfan
Thank you for your encouragement and words. I sincerely mean that, I am not encouraged much by bloggers:)

Having said that let me also encourage not to lump all Calvinists in a group...it isn't fair to them and in my opinion it fits into the ad-hominal language we want to guard against here.

I trust your heart and spirit and thank God for you.
BR

brad reynolds said...

Ben

I've never accused you of "fealty to the red bishop."

And I know you're not accusing me, because that would be the second time in one day you've broached my new rules. I would ceretainly be guilty of playing favorites if I didn't address it:)

BR

brad reynolds said...

Josh

I'm not sure I understand but if you are saying heated subjects should be exempt I disagree totally. If you are saying heated subjects should be the first ones we try to keep the comments most Christlike I agree.

BR

brad reynolds said...

All

I may also need to add a rule...if you are totally off subject your comments will be removed.

I enjoyed what anonymous had to say and it blessed me but not germane to this.
BR

Anonymous said...

Brother Brad, what do you mean by stating this?

I enjoyed what anonymous had to say and it blessed me but not germane to this.

Christopher Redman said...

We seem to be developing a sort of love/hate relationship. Tom is capable of defending/explaining himself.

I understand that you did not say you would redefine the abstracts. However, my point was that the abstracts were the context of the conversation and the abstracts define the 3 points of calvinism that you hold to. So, apparently to Tom, the connection was logical.

Before you reply, I do understand you only to define the terms so as they don't relate to the two points that you don't affirm.

But, as you say, they all stand together or fall together.

CR

brad reynolds said...

Anonymous

I thought it was just a devotional. But after rereading it I understand you are applying it to the current situation and discussion.

Thank you and God bless.
BR

brad reynolds said...

CR

Excellent point on Calvinism. Which is my point, I don't think there is such a critter as a 3 point calvinists inside what classic Calvinism means since in that System they stand or fall together

And I am fine with him making what he believes a logical connection and stating "this is the connection I made"...I'm not ok with him saying a person holds to a private interpretation of Abstracts when nothing I've said is private and I don't.

What amazes me, is that no one in his following has asked him to correct the accusation...but that is for another day.
BR

C. T. Lillies said...

Dr. Reynolds

This blog comment thing is tough. All text is harsh so bear that in mind when you read this.

What I mean is that if you are going to make a call for unity adding your own opinions to the price of admission diminishes the impact. What you are talking about doing isn't unifing it is polarizing especially to those who happen to lean toward the moderationist position, or is able affirm the Abstract of Principles in its entirety as it was written, or have issues with Wade Burleson. You would be drawing only those folks who agree with you along side but rejecting those who do not.

Do you see what I mean? Hope so.

Much Grace
Josh

BSC said...

That's the problem, Brad.

You are always coming up with new rules.

Take this blog, for instance.

:)

IN HIS NAME said...

Brad,
I like you suggestion for the Blog's to EDIFY JESUS CHRIST; I didn't see that in the beginning of your Blog's or your dear friend SBC PASTOR. In reading old comments on various Blog's, I didn't see the HEART of the afore mentioned Bloggers. I see, you have the same problem, I have, it's called Dyslexia. I have to reread post to make sure I understand what I'm reading, as GOD'S WORD says to test all things. I only started Blogging to defend GOD'S WORD and the adding to or taking away from it's meaning, as best I can.

Your Brother in CHRIST
WHO IS STARTING TO SEE A CHANGE IN YOUR HEART.

Mopheos said...

Hello Brad,

I posted this under the Dr. Akin article, so I'm not certain you saw it. If you did see it and didn't want (or didn't have time) to answer, please forgive the double post:

It just occured to me that I have heard the term "biblicist" very often in conversations, but I have thought little about an actual, specific definition of the term. How would you, or how do you think Dr. Vines, define(s) a "biblicist?" Just now curious...

Grace and peace,

Timotheos

brad reynolds said...

Josh

My goal is to come up with something where we can address the issues without the ad-hominal statements and mean-spirited comments.

I'm hoping that is possible, especially if individuals from different perspectives can agree on such ground rules.

Perhaps it is impossible. However, I think I have demonstrated on this blog, that I do not remove comments because they disagree. And I give plenty of wriggle-room under the new rules as evidenced by Ben's comments.
BR

brad reynolds said...

Timotheus,
Time more than anything. But allow me to address your comments by stating I have problems with grouping a wide range of individuals under the topic of Calvinism or Arminian. I am neither, as I understand them. In fact "I believe" my grasp of soteriology has more to do with the NT than the institutes or any other document. Thus, when someone says election I don't think of what Calvin says but what the NT says. I'm sure many Calvinists would say they also think of NT rather than Calvin...thus, my problem with grouping.

johnMark said...

Dr. Reynolds,

Your comment on not being a Calvinist nor Arminian sparked this question.

How do you see monergism vs. synergism fitting into one's theological (more specifically soteriological?) understanding?

Thanks,
Mark

brad reynolds said...

Johnmark

I don't intend to chase the rabbit currently but one's position on synergism/monergism will determine their presuppositions on the rest of Scripture dealing with soteriology.
The rest we'll save for another day
BR

Mopheos said...

Brad,

Gotchya. Perhaps another time and thread.

Thanks,

Timotheos

andrew said...

Dr. Reynolds,

I have read many articles on your blog, and many on the "Calvinist" blog. However, we seem to be reading totally different blogs. I haven't seen anyone attack you or say anything bad about you, or anyone else in a "mean spirited" way. People have questioned your signing of the Abstracts, and how you justified signing it, but rightly so. Can you not handle a little criticism? Can you show us some "mean spirited" comments people have written?

--Andrew

brad reynolds said...

Andrew
Here are a couple of things spoken in the comments about me. But I understand if you don't think they are mean-spirited. The readers can decide.

“I believe everything - provided I get to define what I mean by the words BELIEVE and EVERYTHING.__I love all women of all ages - but I must be allowed to define what I mean by LOVE.__I will sign anything required to get a good salary (with perks) and_maintain my arrogant attitude.__Do you begin to get the drift of all this stupidity?”

“Yes, this is a DOCTRINAL and MORAL issue and those involved in this present discussion are fully aware of this fact.__But PRIDE (arrogance) and PAYCHECKS are powerful even in the lives of seminary presidents and professors - and others.”

Second, I haven't justified signing them. I have sent all my comments to some colleugues and they agree I have been gracious and clear.

Now, my friend, I have allowed your comment to stand but the false implications of not handling criticism and justifying my signing the statement are the types of statements that will not be allowed to be made of others in the future here.


Hope this helps
BR

Cliff4JC said...

Dr. B,

You know that I love as you my friend and brother right? Ok...so here goes.

I love the spirit of your post...but the problem is the subjectivity of it. I agree with Andrew Ward here; I really haven't seen where Tom has been mean and unChristlike to you. I have seen where your ex-roommate has been to him; I bring that up often but you never seem to want to address that. Then in a comment today you call into question fans of Tom not calling him to account for his "sins" (my word) but you have never indicated that you have confronted said roomate. Furthermore; how and the world can you justify leaving Vols comment up? Yes, you cautioned him for his thinking; then THANKED him for his encouragement. Those types of unfounded charactarizations that have little evidence (unless anicdotal counts)are what "calvanists" like me are so sick of hearing! It's downright insulting and I see it as Un-Christlike; In your mind though; it's not...so it would pass the new rules.

Ok, call into memory all of our previous conversations. You know I don't get to worked up and I'm pretty level headed. But I have to honest; Vol angers me. He doesn't you. Tom angers you; he doesn't me. There in lies the problem. Subjectivity. Maybe I just need to be less sensitive about things.

Ok, I'll admit, i'm a blog junky...I'm at Ocean Isle beach preparing for my brother's wedding tommorro and I could be out in the sun. Instead; I'm in here typing away! In the insterest of proving I'm on vacation...I will NOT proof read this comment and will leave all errors there as I typed them! Now you all know what a non scholarly mind I have!

brad reynolds said...

Cliff
Tom doesn’t anger me at all. In fact, I have been praying for his family and his wife. His statement, that I hold to a private interpretation of the Abstracts and that I interpret them as I want are outright untrue. Which prompted the comments he allowed on his blog, which imply I would be dishonest for money and a position. That is the type of blogging that gives Christians a bad name.

I have not read my roommates comments from Feb/Mar so I can’t speak to them. His comments on private e-mails I’ve already addressed.

If I said Tom holds to a private interpretation to a document he signed, interprets it as he wants, and implied that his interpretation is contrary to the document, (When he had made clear he does not hold to a private interpretation and even explained his statements which make clear he affirms the document based on what leading scholars believe it to say), then I would consider that 1) unethical, since he didn’t say it and 2)mean…but that’s me.

It’s ok though. No biggie here. I just don’t want my blog to be like that!

I am allowing many comments today, because this post was intended to prompt how we can do things better. I have warned those who are crossing the line, even when they are complimentary of me, which is more than other blogs are doing. Comments that cross the line won’t be allowed in the future.

You see even in my subjectivity I caught that comment, but some are so blinded by their subjectivity they don’t catch the errors of those with whom they agree. And no, I am not speaking of you my friend…I think you see through much of that.

For the record I have run my comments and the whole incident of Tom’s Blog by a colleague more Calvinistic then I (and I’m 3 point). He said I had done a good job. He also cautioned me about the wisdom of continuing on that Blog.

I do hope you have a great time at the Beach and I hope this relieves your concern. Lay the computer down and get in the waves with your daughters:)
BR

volfan007 said...

i too have read the posts on the founders blog. to say that brad reynolds was not attacked is ludicrous. there was many an insinuation to the negative and some outright accusations and threats. take off the rose colored glasses and see the truth.


volfan007

andrew said...

Dr. Reynolds,

Here is what you call "encouraging":

"Isnt it amazing that five pointers cant seem to see beyond the five points. they are stuck in thier system and are blinded. everything seems to revolve around calvinism to them. the way they talk, think, and write has to fit into thier neat little system. and, if you dare to not be stuck in thier system...not only do they look down on you as less christian than they are....and certainly less intellectual than they are...but, many of them will also call you lost, or a heretic, or a professor who needs to be fired. and, they really think they are right in thier arrogant pride. it's just amazing to me.

all thru church history, extremes and tangents and errors have had to be dealt with. most of them cause strife and division in the church. five pointers are no exception. how many churches do i know personally that have gone thru great strife and even division due to some five pointer sneaking in and trying to convert the congregation and ram five points down thier throats. it's sad.

well, again, God bless you, brad, for taking this on. may the Lord give you strength for the work."

First, most of what he says is false. Calvinism is not an extreme, seeing as its points have been held, well, lets just say, throught Church History, even though not organized as "calvinism." Also, he stereotypes all Calvinists in his first rant (although, you do midly rebuke him for it).

What is encouraging about his comment? Please answer.

Gummby said...

I like your idea, but I don't think it will work, because there are too many variables. Your best best is to outline a clear set of rules (like you've done) and enforce them.

I think volfan's comments would clearly violate the rules you outlined, except that he applies it to a group of people (Calvinists) instead of a single individual (say, Tom Ascol, or me). Whether you choose to allow it is your business. That is, after all, the benefit to having your own blog.

Finally, for what it's worth, after reading the comments, I think you and TA are at times getting tripped up in semantics; there may be real issues there, but it seems to be continually hidden by what's being said.

I understand both sides, and can't suggest a solution at this point. I like Tom Ascol, and I must say that I've been very encouraged by our discussions, though given what I've seen you and I would diverge on several issues of theology. Perhaps Tom is so used to dealing with Post-moderns that everyone who says "I'm agreeing to what I understand" sounds Pomo.

Anyway, to sum up (and get back to topic), have rules and enforce them. If you're looking for a model, Pyromaniacs (and Phil's individual blog, which was the precursor) have survived for over a year with their rules, and there have been heated discussions aplenty.

Matt

brad reynolds said...

Andrew,
His words
"thank God for you, bro. keep up the good work."
were encouraging to me.

I am sorry you can't see that, but that is ok my brother
BR

brad reynolds said...

Matt

Your words are exceeded by your wisdom. Thank you.

I think you are right concerning Tom and I speaking past each other. It was the implications I did not like. But I will state again: I think his motives were pure.

I also think you are right concerning how difficult an organization would be...perhaps I will just officially post my new rules soon and abide by them.

Your spirit is a true example...thank you very much. And thank you for the objectivity you strive for.

May the Lord bless you
BR

volfan007 said...

some people dont like to hear the truth clearly spelled out, and thus they attack the messenger.

brad,

again, thank God for you and those like you who will keep our sbc from going back into the dark ages of the era when william carey was blasted for wanting to go to india to win souls there.

volfan007

sbc pastor said...

Vol fan,

Is "007" some kind of reference to James Bond? If not, please enlighten me. BTW, although I agree with some of what you have to say, I am praying that God will deliver you from your love of the Tennessee Volunteers :0)

God bless!!!

In Christ and bleeding UK blue,
JLG

sbc pastor said...

Brad,

Please forgive me for posting a comment off topic. I will try to refrain from doing so in the future. Thanks and God bless!!!

In Christ,
JLG

Cliff4JC said...

LOL...vol fan...back in the dark ages...William Cary WAS a calvanist! He also like the Gators.

Vol, my "mo" has always been to try and make friends with people that don't agree with me so that I can understand them better and vice versa. It has been a trait that serves me well and made me so good friends (Hi Brad!). When I return to Southern Illinios from my vacation; lets talk sometime. I'll call you. I'd like to share my heart for reaching India with the Gospel and explain to you a little about what it means to be a calvanist these days. I promise not to try and convert you! I only want to dispell some misconceptions you have and help you see we have more in common than we do against each other. cliff@metrofbc.com

I look forward to talking to you.

Joy,
Cliff

You know that William Carey didn't really have to go to India because if God wanted to reach those heathens, he didn't need his help!

brad reynolds said...

I know we are allowing off topic comments on this topic. So....

"Hook 'em Horns"

BR

BSC said...

Sic 'em, bears.

*followed by throngs of laughter*

IN HIS NAME said...

Brad and ALL,
I write this in LOVE for all of My Brothers and Sisters in the SBC.

What is the purpose of having a Blog just to stir up issues within the SBC and not except comments to address the issues?

A Brother in CHRIST

brad reynolds said...

In His Name
I am addressing issues in the SBC.

Some see it as stirring things up...others see it as voicing another perspective on things that have been stirred up.

I welcome comments...but I think it can be done in an affable way.
BR

IN HIS NAME said...

Brad,
I pray you will read the Post's and Comment's with the HEART OF JESUS and to GLORIFY GOD. If you will revisit some old Blogs, you will see the little army of Disciples of the imbedded leadership coming out stir thing up. TRUTH speaks for ITSELF.

volfan007 said...

sbc pastor,

yes, 007 refers to james bond....i am an agent of the tn vols...lol...
i am a huge tn vols fan. i bleed orange.

kentucky blue....oh no!

cliff,

i know what william carey was. my comment was that we be spared the fatalistic, five point theology that held back mission work and soul winning back in his day. also, i know what it means to be a five pointer...believe me i know. i had dr. nettles in seminary. i had three of his disciples try to convert me to five pointism while i was there. i honestly studied it....read books by the leading five pointers....and sincerely was willing to embrace the five points if that pleased the Lord. i even went to the founders meeting one year. believe me when i say that i know what yall believe. thank God He kept me from this extreme. as i studied His Word and prayed over what i read and heard from the five pointers the Lord led me to rise above the five points and understand His word in a better way. to not be stuck in a system. to not try to put God in a little five sided box.

well, i believe in predestination...and i beleive that man honestly has to make choices....and i see no contradiction in the two. God is big enough to allow man to make choices and respond or reject His offer of salvation....and yet, He still controls history. i know that you will not understand this, and i really dont want to get into another long debate with someone over five pointerism.....i reject it...after honestly considering it.



volfan007

ps. go big orange

IN HIS NAME said...

volfan007,
I am a CHRISTIAN who happens to be a member of the SBC and a Baptist Church. I also believe that GOD is in Total Control of HIS Creation. The HOLY SPIRIT reveals GOD'S WORD to us. GOD is So So So full of GRACE and HOLYNESS we sinners can't come near HIM. GOD in HIS WORD (The Bible) tell us that Those HE ELECTS (Chooses) and HE Predestined ALL to their rightful PLACE. Some are in the BOOK of LIFE, some are NOT. I PRAY that ALL of HIS, will Hear the Word Preached, Taught, and Shared by GOD'S MISSIONARIES, THOSE HE CALL'S not OUR (Board of Trusties).
I Call the hearing of the WORD, the WAKE UP CALL when GOD turns on the HIS LIGHT by filling HIS CALLED CHILDREN with the HOLY SPIRIT.

Would you put a LABEL on ME

A Brother in CHRIST

sbc pastor said...

I'm planting a conservative Southern Baptist church in Waco (an anomaly here!) and I like the Bears for several reasons... 1) they make great rugs, and 2) someone has to finish last in the Big 12. God bless!!!

In Christ,
JLG

C. T. Lillies said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
C. T. Lillies said...

Jeremy, Vol, all

Lets try this again.

Yeah but they (the Bears) made a run at looking like they knew what they were doing the last couple of years. They actually won some games last season.

Dr. Reynolds discussing issues is a great idea but things seem to be a bit one sided. Please don't get to the point where you are nuking comments just because they don't agree with your POV. We don't want to seem like we just want to have our ears tickled.

Much Grace
Josh

Oh, and
Go Pokes!

brad reynolds said...

Josh

I think my rules speak for themselves...but if you ever think I am being unfair just e-mail me.

For that matter you can e-mail for any reason:)

Be blessed my brother
BR

volfan007 said...

in His name,

i agree with everything you said. everything.

but, i would add to that that God has given man the ability and the responsibility to choose.

how the different doctrines fit together. i dont know. you dont either. only God knows.

i can beleive equally in the sovereignty of God and the choice of man...that all men can really be saved.

some things look like oxymorons in the bible....they appear to contradict even...but they are both still true.

i hope i used all those big words right. those are big words for us volfans.

volfan007

C. T. Lillies said...

Vol

Hot water heater is an oxymoron.

Military intelligence is a contradiction in terms.

A sovreign is the "supreme ruler" according to my dictionary. If there are two Sovreign's then one of them isn't what he thinks he is.

Dr. Reynolds

Count on it brother. My email is in my profile, btw. I've learned a lot from all this.


Josh

volfan007 said...

ct lillies,

excuse me....but i am a humble, country boy... a hillbilly...so, forgive my ignorance.

the point i am trying to make is that sometimes we cant figure out exactly how things fit together in the bible, and that's ok. i know some of you think that you have everything figured out, but you dont. you cant put God inside a five point box. He is much bigger than that.

i see no contradiction between the sovereignty of God and man being able to respond to God. man can make choices...and, he can resist God's grace. yet, God is still sovereign. sorry that you cant see that.

well, as i said, i'm just a hillbilly from tn, so i just beleive the bible,

volfan007

C. T. Lillies said...

Vol

I seriously doubt your neighbors are any closer than mine. Kindly, sir, don't employ the ignorant hillbilly defense as I have read several of your replies and I don't think if fits. Thats a sort of compliment believe it or not.

Anyway...

Much Grace
Josh

volfan007 said...

well, thank ye, c.t. that was nice of ye. all of us appalachian-americans(that's a pc word for hillbilly) dont take a likin' to big, fancy words. we're just simple folks who like plain, simple talk. that's why we un's like john the apostle so much. he writes simple...and so does james.

well, the grease is ready for the catfish and hush puppies. granny is fixin' the rest of the fixin's. and granpappy is firing up the still...oops. dont wanna get off on that discussion again. so, i'll just see you fellers later.

volfan007

Cliff4JC said...

Vol fan,

I'm back from vaction...you still reading this thread? Wow...i extend you a hand of friendship and you make assumptions about what I believe and reject it based on those assumptions.

Carey was a Calvinist, so am I. Those fanatics that stood against him in his day where not even Christian in my view. Their ideas are resoundly rejected by most of the leading 5 pointerists today. Why then do you lump us all in that heiretical camp?

BTW; I don't have God in box; and I'm offended that you keep saying I do. Think through what your saying...I could say the same about you...or anyone else that believes in an orthodox systematic theology.

Joy,
Cliff

volfan007 said...

c.t.,

i will leave the boxes to all of you that think that you have God completely figured out... i.e. have God in your little, five sided box. i am sorry if this offends you for me to say it, but it's the truth. just like it would be true for me to say that about the arminians as well.

you know, i think it would be good at this point to let you know that i am very calvinistic in my theology...but, i am not a five point calvinist...and, i reject it as an extreme theology...just as i reject arminianism and the charismatic extreme and all other extreme tangents of theology. i let the bible be my guide in faith and practice.

in so doing, there are many things that dont seem to match up....i.e. the sovereignty of God and the free will of man....predestination and man's choice...election and whosoever will. i dont understand how they come together....and neither does calvin, nor sproul, nor nettle, nor arminius.

i beleive a lot like dr. criswell on this matter. you can read what he said on this issue and pretty much have what i believe on this issue.

well, i'm fixin' to move along now. c.t., God bless you, bro. there aint no hate in my heart. no anger either.

glad it's sunday,

volfan007