Sunday, August 20, 2006

Blinded by our Sight

In the movie Jurassic Park the great hunter turned Game Warden Robert Muldoon is blinded by his sight. Muldoon finds himself totally focused on a “raptor” he has been hunting and is about to pull the “trigger,” when another raptor pokes it’s head through the bush next to him.

His focus had caused him to lose sight of his surroundings. This is an all-too often occurrence amongst the human species. I know I have done it many times myself. Perhaps one of the trustees of one of our Southern Baptist institutions has also made this error.

How would you council a fellow Christian who shared the following scenario with you:

He felt an organization that he had been a part of for years was headed in the wrong direction. A few years back the organization passed some guidelines for its employees and institutions. Your Christian friend tells you he thinks the essential parts of the guidelines are good but disagrees with what he calls non-essentials. However, he is asked to be a Trustee for one of the institutions, he agrees and signs his name affirming ALL the guidelines (essentials and non-essentials), without telling the organization of his reservations. He did this, because he felt it was what God would have him do to bring about changes. Moreover, his motives are pure.

He then tells you that the organization passed a resolution by an 85% majority. He disagrees with the resolution and speaks out publicly against it. The current and the past Presidents of the organization affirm the resolution whole-heartedly. In his disagreement he implies that all who affirm this resolution are not abiding by the Bible of the organization.



I don’t know about you, but I would council him to resign his position and seek to work the changes he desires from a different position, which does not require his signature on a document he cannot TOTALLY affirm. Furthermore, I would suggest that he is not representing the individuals who entrusted him with such a position if he speaks out publicly against a resolution they overwhelmingly passed and one, which is affirmed by the current President.

If I were the one in his position I hope I would be aware of my surroundings enough to see the integrity and authority issues which would demand my resignation.



We have such a Trustee in the SBC. We passed the BFM2000 years ago and this Trustee signed it last year. However, I did not hear of any reservations at the time of his signing. This causes no small concern with his current statement: “since (the BFM2K) is not inerrant and infallible then you can disagree with it in some areas, but still affirm it where it speaks to major, foundational issues of the faith --- which I do.”

Moreover, the SBC overwhelmingly passed a resolution which, in part, says “RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina, June 13-14, 2006, express our total opposition to the manufacturing, advertising, distributing, and consuming of alcoholic beverages; and be it further_RESOLVED, That we urge that no one be elected to serve as a trustee or member of any entity or committee of the Southern Baptist Convention that is a user of alcoholic beverages.” Dr. Frank Page, Dr. Bobby Welch and numerous other leaders of our convention have publicly agreed with the 85% majority on this issue of abstinence. And yet this Trustee in a post speaking of alcohol says “The Bible is authoritative when it speaks to Christian faith and practice. Your traditions are fine, but if you can't support them from Scripture then you better not get angry with those in your convention who don't hold to your traditions --- you taught us to believe the Bible.” I think the implication is obvious concerning our present and past Presidents as well as 85% of the messengers at this years SBC.

I applaud him for standing by his convictions, however, I am very concerned about these issues and about how broad he apparently desires to take our convention as illustrated in his critique of the resurgence. It may be, that he has been blinded by his sight.

130 comments:

Mopheos said...

Good Evening Brad,

Of course, the blindness of which you speak is surely a double-edged sword, and would undoubtedly cut a much wider swath than you might envision in this post on the breach of a mere resolution...but I raise an abstract objection, I know...heh heh.

Timotheos

sbc pastor said...

Brad,

This is an excellent and timely post. I definitely agree that a trustee with an integrity problem, such as the one referenced, is not one that can truly be trusted with the best interests of the convention at heart. Thus, the honorable thing would be for him to resign. However, an individual with an integrity problem is most likely not concerned with doing that which is honorable.

Although he has stated that he personally affirms inerrancy, he does not believe that those who serve in leadership roles within the SBC should have to affirm it. Neither does he believe that employees of the SBC should be doctrinally accountable to the convention – at least not in the way that Southern Baptists have already overwhelmingly expressed their desire (with the BF&M 2000).

Ironically, the same trustee seemingly uses the word "conservative" rather "liberally.” Thus, it is not surprising that a man such as this has accrued a rather large number of followers that are from the moderate / liberal camp. Let us pray that Southern Baptists will recognize the dangers that we currently face and that we will continue to “earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). Thanks and God bless!!!

In Christ,
JLG

Jeffro said...

Brad,

Interesting post from a man who signed the Abstract of Principles, and claims to be a 3-point Calvinist, only if he can define the three points. My brother, are you blinded by your sight?

brad reynolds said...

Timotheos,

It is an abstract objection, however, my concern wasn't a mere resolution...but

1. Signing something he doesn't agree with

2. As a Trustee of one of our institutions publicly implying our current President is adding to Scripture.

3. Broadening the SBC to include those who may not affirm innerancy.

BR

brad reynolds said...

Jeffro,
I'm as blinded as the Presidents of the institutions who affirm the Abstract can clearly be affirmed by three point Calvinist without any reservations. To say they can't...well, my friend, you are stating a host of seminary professors signed unethically. Perhaps it is not the Presidents nor the professors who are blind:)

I will state again "I whole-heartedly affirm every part of the Abstract." Surely, this is different than a Trustee who says he does not affirm some parts of the BFM2000 which he signed.

BR

Ben the Baptist Cat said...

Brad, Brad, Brad, Brad, Brad,

Finally, something worth reading. I have been assessing your titillating post for several moments now, and have but two questions. Why did you so clearly describe Wade in your post, yet not name him? Do you fear retribution from him? Everyone except for the extremely simple-minded knows of whom you speak. He like you is a wordsmith and can cut to the heart. The coming days may prove to be intellectually stimulating.

The Cat

brad reynolds said...

Ben
The reason no name has been mentioned is because it is not personal, it is a matter of principle. As you can see I simply quoted him.

PS - Your reading pleasure has never really been a priority for me, however I'm glad you enjoyed this
BR

brad reynolds said...

Ben
Concerning your second question, I have never been very good at fearing
BR

C. T. Lillies said...

Dr. Reynolds

I will state again "I whole-heartedly affirm every part of the Abstract." Surely, this is different than a Trustee who says he does not affirm some parts of the BFM2000 which he signed.

You left out the last part about defining the points yourself. A fellow could affirm nearly anything with those standards. You could be a Buddist and still hold your post at the seminary--as long as you can define the points yourself. I don't think documents mean much if you do all the defining.

And I think its a little dishonest for you personally to accuse anyone of knowingly signing something they disagree with. Even I can see that. Again I ask you, are you merely toeing the line? This "All the real Baptists stand here" rhetoric isn't going to take us, as a denomination, to a good place.

Much Grace
Josh

volfan007 said...

brad,

another excellent post with a lot of truth in it. it makes me wonder as well. although i wonder about anyone who is a five pointer and speaks in tongues and wants to allow liberals in leadership positions. that is truly a strange bird indeed. hard to tell what it is.

you are right on track, my friend. again, thanks for being a sound voice of reason for biblical truth.

volfan007

brad reynolds said...

Josh

Careful with your comments, via my rules.

However, I do not define the points of the Abstract I do choose to hold to three points of Calvinism provided they are not connected to the two I do not affirm. Please don't mischaracterize my statements, (see my post "Bloggers are they really honoring Christ"). One must understand documents to sign them, obviously a five point Calvinist may understand the Abstract differently than a three point Calvinist but that does not mean their understandings are private nor does it mean their understandings are void.

Josh, honestly I think it disingenuous for someone who doesn't know me to accuse me of something I have not done (dishonesty).

The implication of towing the line is not well recieved...such ad-hominal statements will not be allowed any more.

May sight be restored
BR

brad reynolds said...

Josh

Let me further clarify. A pre-trib and post-trib may both affirm the statement "Jesus will literally return." But their understanding of what else the statement implies may not be synonymous, although their understandings do not imply they have affirmed the statement erroneously.

Most SB affirm the statement "God is Sovreign over all things" but their understanding of what this statement further implies may be different.
BR

Anonymous said...

First time poster here.

I have been a Southern Baptist for over 23 years. I have been a member of SBC churches in Texas, Mississippi, Colorado, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. These churches ranged in membership from 80 to 3000.

Except for the pastoral staff and a handful of the members in each of these churches, none could even inform you what 10 percent of the BF&M 1963 and then later the BF&M 2000 actually say.

(The following numbers are estimates used for illustration) The SBC annual meeting averages around 11,000 members. There are about 16 million SBC members (which is a whole other discussion). Let's say that of those 16 million on the rolls; 11 million actually attend, participate in ministry and proclaiming the gospel.

On the high side, I would estimate that only 1 million even know parts of the BF&M 2000, with maybe 100,000 that actually know what the entire thing says.

But every church I attended, could tell you what the gospel was; actually proclaimed the gospel from the pulpit and in the community; and ministered to their communities.

"avoiding wordly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called knowledge"

brad reynolds said...

I am on the road to Charleston today to teach at our extension...let's keep the comments on the issues not personal attacks.

I have no desire to begin monitering comments before I allow their posting, nor to remove comments when I get back early tomorrow morning. I am confident we will honor Christ in this discussion. Have a great day and I would appreciate your prayers:)
BR

C. T. Lillies said...

Thank you sir, thats two words I had to look up today. Disingenuous and ad hominem. I always learn something here.

Wow. You are the very first person to ever accuse me of being "lacking in candor". I thought my comments were fairly straight forward and clearly stated. By no means were they meant to be a personal attack. I think it would be difficult, however, to learn anything or continue to grow in our faith at all if we classifed everything anyone says to us that we don't agree with as ad hominem. Correct me and we'll both be better off, sir, but answer the questions, as they are well intended, if you please.

Further, I don't think you can actually "know" someone online--as is evidenced by your candor remark about me. Its different from sitting down and talking with them face to face. But I don't think you need to have a personal relationship with someone in order to know that they are bending the truth, do you? One is able, in online situations, to go and look up the other's comments from the past and determine whether or not they match up or find repeated statments.

I don't actually know either you or Pastor Burleson. It appears to me from reading your collective posts, however, that no one could say that he is "lacking in candor." You, however, have in multiple blog comments stated that you are the person who defines the ideas set forth in the Abstract of Principles used at Southeastern Seminary. I disagree with that statement. I think it truly is a disingenuous statement. One that you have made repeatedly. And while you may not be actually guilty of dishonesty to anyone but yourself, you are still saying, "Hey, wouldja look at the speck in that guy's eye!"

As far as the toeing the line question goes, I am sorry if it offends you. That is my perception and I am asking you if it is a correct one. Also, a question is not an accusation. I would seriously like to know if you are trucking out more Baptistickly Correct dogma for us all to look at and agree with.

As for your second comment I do agree with most of that. I can't believe that a person's position on eschatology could be a major area of contention in the Abstract, though. Ask three Baptists about that and you'll get close to 1000 opinions quick. It seems that Baptists don't actually know what they believe at times. But that's regular old laymen like me, though. Pastors, leaders, and especially Seminary Professors are supposed to be held to a higher standard. Anyone at a Seminary with Dr. in front of their name knows what they believe and why they believe it--or should.

Josh

IN HIS NAME said...

C. T. Lillies

JOSH,
I agree with you 100%, plus I am Sad to see such Hard Hearts that don't see through the eye's of JESUS, or know about what JESUS taught (Forgiveness). They are too proud to want to sit at a table with Brothers or Sisters and be “united” in the Body of CHRIST.

A Brother in CHRIST

Mat 23:13 "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.

IN HIS NAME said...

Brad,

Would you sign and agree with the Document if ask to sign???

ARTICLE 7—THE SUFFICIENCY OF HOLY SCRIPTURE
We believe that this Holy Scripture fully contains the will of God and that all that man must believe in order to be saved is sufficiently taught therein. The whole manner of worship, which God requires of us, is written in it at length. It is therefore unlawful for any one, even for an apostle, to teach otherwise than we are now taught in Holy Scripture: yes, even if it be an angel from heaven, as the apostle Paul says. Since it is forbidden to add to or take away anything from the Word of God, it is evident that the doctrine thereof is most perfect and complete in all respects.
We may not consider any writings of men, however holy these men may have been, of equal value with the divine Scriptures; nor ought we to consider custom, or the great multitude, or antiquity, or succession of times and persons, or councils, decrees or statutes, as of equal value with the truth of God, since the truth is above all; for all men are of themselves liars, and lighter than a breath. We therefore reject with all our heart whatever does not agree with this infallible rule, as the apostles have taught us: Test the spirits to see whether they are of God.

A Brother in CHRIST

IN HIS NAME said...

SBC PASTOR(Jeremy L. Green)Waco,TX

As a Church Planter, isn't your Salary paid by CP Funds???

A Honest Question

brad reynolds said...

Josh

Although you stated I have stated the following numerous times I have NEVER said I am "the person who defines the ideas set forth in the Abstract of Principles used at Southeastern Seminary."

This is the type of misquoting which has no place in Christian blogs.

I have stated that I can only understand the Abstract according to my understanding...in other words I can't understand them as Josh understands what Boyce was saying but only as I understand what Boyce was saying. I'm not aware of anyone besides Boyce who can state inerrantly what he was stating. However, my understanding of what Boyce was saying fits into the parameters of his statements as 3 Seminary Presidents have affirmed.

My understanding of the extent of the Sovriegnty of God may not be yours but that does not mean I deny it or have a private understanding or am wrong in stating I affirm it.

There is a difference between calling someone "dishonest" (ad-hominal) and disagreeing.

I'm on a break but must return.

Hope this helps
BR

volfan007 said...

brad,

there are some people out there who would argue with you if you said that dogs have tails. in fact, i really look for someone to bring up some breed of dog that has no tail to argue with that statement.

the five pointers...for the most part....dont like you, because you make a lot of biblical sense. and, you show them the weaknesses of thier extreme theology. thus, they are looking to attack anything you say. hang in there, bro.

volfan007

Jeffro said...

Brad,

You wrote, "I have stated that I can only understand the Abstract according to my understanding...in other words I can't understand them as Josh understands what Boyce was saying but only as I understand what Boyce was saying. I'm not aware of anyone besides Boyce who can state inerrantly what he was stating."

Interesting hermeneutic. Hopefully, this doesn't apply to scripture. For this hermeneutic will drive us all to agnosticism. And will drive us to "include" those who may not believe in inerrancy.

IN HIS NAME said...

Jeffro,

Are you who I think you are. One who taughy on Sunday nights.

A Brother in Christ

Jeffro said...

In His Name,

I don't know who I am. Just kidding. I don't think I am who you think I am.

Jeff Holder
North Carolina

Cliff4JC said...

Brad,

I'm greatly concerned about Wade's recent posts on how broad he would want the SBC tent to be. As we have talked about privately; I am concerned about the continued narrowing of parameters; but I do not want to go where Wade is now advocating! I hope that he is totally misunderstanding what Frank Page is all about. I am still hopeful that Paige will bring some fresh air and build some trust between different "groups" within the SBC. I don't want to return to a convention that affirms filtering scripture through modern society instead of the other way around. Call me what you will: But we must stand on scripture.

To All: I wish we could disagree with someone; without calling into question a person's honesty and integrity. Could we question a person’s logic, reasoning & hermeneutic without questioning his character? Most of the time we quickly jump to the worst possible explanations rather than giving people the benefit of the doubt.

Brad: I'm a 5 pointer. I like you. I'm not looking to attack you. I'm not trying to blame every problem the SBC has on any one group. I am often blinded just as the hunter in the movie (I've used that analogy myself) and am thankful for others who help point it out in me.

Glad you started this blog!

BTW: I did much of my seminary work at the extension in Charlotte. God bless you traveling Profs! You should of seen the jalopy Dr. Akin used to drive back and forth to teach us systematic theology! LOL

Joy,
Cliff

sbc pastor said...

IHN,

How is your question relevant to this post? God bless!!!

In Christ,
JLG

Mopheos said...

Well now, there you go again, Volfan, villifyin' that great cloud of 5 pointers agin. In light of the fact that you are not, um, omniscient, you might show a little more restraint in your characterizations, as they cannot in any way be based upon anything more than a modicum of real or truthful (much less comprehensive) knowledge. Granted you sometimes provide great comic relief, in the main such comments just end up looking more and more ignorant - and I don't mean that as an insult to your intelligence, but as a reflection of the reality of the situation you consistently, and sweepingly, generalize.

As for the tailess dog...dadgum, check this out! schipperke (http://www.5stardog.com/dog-breeds-schipperke.asp)

Timotheos

brad reynolds said...

Jeffro

We certainly desire to arrive at authoral intent, however, we are capable of erring in understanding authoral intent...for example some Christians disagree on whether the wine in John 2 was intoxicating or not...now while some believe their understanding of the authoral intent is inerrant, it is not.

I would never state my understanding of Boyce's (authoral) intent was inerrant but three Presidents have affirmed that it is certainly valid.

johnMark said...

Hello Brad,

I sort of understand what you are saying as to the Abstract, but collectively I can't make sense out of your position. Would you mind, instead of giving examples using other texts, just give us your exegesis of the Abstract and where you disagree with 5-pointers? I'm just curious.

Oh, and here is a way that all can begin implementing Resolution 5
http://reformatabaptista.blogspot.com/2006/08/southern-baptists-alcohol-resolution.html

=)

Have a blessed evening,
Mark

peter lumpkins said...

Dr. Reynolds,

Good to see you back. I must say, my Brother, you are the envy of the blogosphere. Most new bloggers only wish and hope for as much as one comment. You, however, may post what you wish and get 25-50 immediate hits!

Never mind 98% are adversarial in nature. Tell us: how do you do it? :D

Grace today, Peace tomorrow. With that, I am...

Peter

volfan007 said...

timotheos,

why should i be offended when someone calls me ignorant? i cant think of a single reason why? i just love it when people call me ignorant. lol. i knew one of you would find a no tailed dog.


ignorant, hillbilly,

volfan007

C. T. Lillies said...

Dr. Reynolds

Thank you for your kind replies, sir. Allow me to comment on some of them. You've made these two comments since:

"I have stated that I can only understand the Abstract according to my understanding"

and

"We certainly desire to arrive at authoral intent, however, we are capable of erring in understanding authoral intent"

Regarding the first comment, as I tried to say before like this:

"Anyone at a Seminary with Dr. in front of their name knows what they believe and why they believe it--or should."

I say again, anyone who teaches at a Seminary level as a Doctor of anything ought to be both educated and intelligent enough to know exactly what the document they are signing says and why it says it. Again, this is my perception. I might be able to hide behind the idea in your comment that, of course, no one can say what Boyce was thinking when he wrote it. I also cannot even claim a BA, let alone a Phd.

Regarding your comment:
"Although you stated I have stated the following numerous times I have NEVER said I am 'the person who defines the ideas set forth in the Abstract of Principles used at Southeastern Seminary.'"

Thats true enough. No one should be able to define what someone else has written in a way that suits them. Fortunately, if I'm not mistaken, Boyce wrote exactly what he intended in his Abstract of Systematic Theology, though its out of print. Perhaps there's one in the Library at Southeastern? That should clear things up a bit.

I am jealous, actually, of the resouces you have available to you. I've been looking for a copy of the thing for about a year now and can't find one. Though I did manage to find a copy of Dagg's Manual on Amazon, believe it or not.

Josh

brad reynolds said...

Greetings all. Thank you for the comments. I have been teaching and meetings today.

John Mark
I think rather than going through the Abstract point by point it would be better to state the following:

1. I hold to three points of what has classically been called Calvinism (TULIP).
2. I do not affirm irresistible grace or limited atonement in the Calvinist system.
3. I do not affirm the interrelatedness of the system of Calvinism in relation to the points I do affirm…ie – I do not affirm that total depravity is connected or related to irresistible grace.
4. I believe that Boyce’s desire and Manly’s writing of the Abstract allows both a 3-point and a 5-point Calvinist to affirm a plain reading of them without reservation, hesitation or secret interpretation. The current Presidents of the two institutions agree. I affirm a plain reading of the Abstract without reservation, hesitation, or private interpretation. There are NO points I do not affirm

Hope this helps.

Josh – I know what I signed and what it means– I hope the above clarifies.

Peter
You are always very kind in your comments, may the Lord continue to bless your ministries.

BR

Jim said...

Brad,

This one seems to be the most difficult for me to see:

"V. Election.
Election is God's eternal choice of some persons unto everlasting life, not because of foreseen merit in them, but of His mere mercy in Christ, in consequence of which choice they are called, justified, and glorified."

God's choice not based on forseen merit, the calling of those chosen by God, their justification, and glorification.

The calling there seems irresistible. Please don't feel I am attacking you. I'm just seeking your understanding.

I agree with you, Brad, that integrity is important. If a trustee signed a statement with which he disagreed, he should be held accountable for it.

For God's Glory

brad reynolds said...

Jim

Great question...thanks:)

The fact I can't reconcile God's election and man's free choice (ie-they are free to resist or accept) does not mean I deny either one.

I believe anyone can be saved but only the elect will be saved..

There are some who would argue that faith is not merit...while I agree I think that's beside the point, I don't see any evidence in Scripture where God's election was based on a knowledge of our faith.

I am trying to answer questions without chasing the eternally long rabbit trail of Calvinism:)

While I can't reconcile the two together in my mind I do not deny either...I arrive at Paul's awe after he had discussed the election of Israel - "Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways. For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to Him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen."

I guess Paul's Awe and wonder at Israel's election by God and their choice of rejecting God as well as their opportunity to not continue in their unbelief is a semblance of the awe and wonder I have concerning salvation (election/acceptance/rejection - etc)
BR

C. T. Lillies said...

Brad

Josh – I know what I signed and what it means– I hope the above clarifies.

I figured you did. It just seemed, in light of your previous statements, like hypocrisy to attack someone else for something you appeared to have done as well and I couldn't let that one go.

Much Grace
Josh

Cliff4JC said...

Brad said...

...."I believe anyone can be saved but only the elect will be saved..."


Stinking Calvanist! :)

Cliff4JC said...

Dr. Reynolds,

In a privious comment section I was struggling to put into words what you have eloquently called "a semblance of the awe and wonder." The "awe and wonder" you speak of is what I meant by the "mystery" of God's salvation.

Joy,
Cliff

Jim said...

Brad,

Thanks for your answers. Our God is an awesome God! His grace is matchless and it fills me with wonder and awe.

For God's Glory

Jim

tim rogers said...

Brother Brad,

What an excellent way to state what many have difficulty saying. While the system of Calvinism is so intertwined within the 5-points you have stated the very same points that causes me conflict. I began my theological education and quickly became a 5-point calvinist. After a year or so, I could not affirm all 5-points. It hinged on God's Sovereignty and man's free will.

When I get to heaven, BTW I know that I know, God's sovereignty and man's free will, will not be an issue.

Christopher Redman said...

Can someone please explain how Jesus' gospel message in John 6, especially verses 37-40, 44, 65-70 is in any way a gospel message of "man's free will".

While you are at it, please help us poor and misguided Calvinists to understand John 10:26, "But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep."

If everything hinges on man's free will, why didn't the Jews in John 10 have the chance to choose to be one of His sheep?

Come on guys. We all stand in wonder and awe. We all recognize the profound implications of God's election of "some unto everlasting life". Nevertheless, it is clearly revealed. Why not preach it faithfully?

tim rogers said...

Brother Christopher,

While I am not the blog owner, it does appear that your question does not relate to the post.

However, I will make only one statement concerning your question. No one has said salvation "hinges on man's free will". I do believe that salvation hinges on God's Grace. "For by Grace are ye saved"... Also, "We are His workmanship"... GOD'S SOVEREIGNTY. Do not forget though; "Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved". And do not forget; "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." MAN'S FREE WILL

I do believe that God draws one to him, but I also believe that somewhere there needs to be a reciprocation on behalf of human. God is not going to take us into heaven kicking and screaming.

(Please forgive the caps. I do not know how to work the HTML tags to make it bold)

Blessings,
Tim

mom2 said...

Brothers Brad & Tim, I accepted Christ almost 60 years ago and I say Amen & Amen to you. Thank God for His Amazing grace! I also doubt that we will be discussing 5 points or any number in between when we get to heaven. Our faithfulness to witness will probably be of more concern than whether we made 5 pointers out of everyone.

Christopher Redman said...

Brother Tim,

A couple of statements in reply...

1) "Whosoverwill" does not form the doctrine of free will. I believe John 3:16 and all of the invitation passages. But, what they say is "whoseover shall...not perish, shall be saved, etc." It does not say that man has the natural capacity to choose spiritual good or evil without any inclination toward one or the other. That was Adam's condition, not ours.

Whosoever will believe shall not perish. Amen! But, who will? God's elect will.

2) I reject free will as a reality for man after the fall. After the fall, man is a still a free agent but he has a fallen nature. He can do anything he wants to do except go against his own nature.

The essence of freedom is the ability to do what you want to do. I believe that every man does what he ultimately wants to do. The problem is that naturally all man wants to do is sin and rebel against God.

3) As far as God drawing men kicking and screeming into heaven, we all know that's a straw man. No reasonable Calvinist believes that. But, we will say that when God's will and man's will colide, God wins.

Phil 2:13 "It is God who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure."

At the moment of conversion, the sinners will and God's will are the same. However, the event that made this possible was God's effectual grace, or His effectual calling. (Irresistable Grace)

I am convinced that most people reject the doctrine of Irresistible Grace because of the title of the doctrine itself, not the merits of the doctrine.

Romans 8:30 "Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called and those whom He called, these He also justified and whom He justified, these He also glorified."

This is a divine order of the process of salvation for the sinner. Predestination is first. In time, God calls effectually releasing the bondage of sin and spiritually enabling the elect sinner to see the kingdom of God and repent and come to Christ in faith. Thirdly and immediately, God justifies the sinner based on faith in Christ's atoning work, and in time God glorifies them in eternal bliss.

The term "called", "calls", "Calling" is used throughout the NT and especially in Paul's writings to refer the the conversion of sinners. This is the foundation of "Irresistible Grace".

Well, Good night.

Chris

volfan007 said...

well, i knew we would get a classic, five pointer, fatalistic calvinist answer to that. and, i knew that it would be a book. but, only three points? chris, you're slipping.

tim and brad and mom2,

amen to you three. God bless you.

from lovable, huggable, kind, considerate,

volfan007

ps. God bless you too, chris.

brad reynolds said...

Christopher

You have some well thought out ideas but I have some questions concerning your assumptions, especially involving your belief of the substance of God's image in man, what the unpardonable sin is and God's integrity in giving invitations to those who can't respond, but I think it best to save them for another post since I don't want to chase "the eternally long rabbit trail of Calvinism:)"

God bless you my brother. I doubt very seriously that I will say something you have not heard and vice-versa...so until we tackle this issue it might be best, on my part at least, to leave some of your questions unanswered.
BR

Christopher Redman said...

Brad, Thanks for your comment.

Quickly, regarding the unpardonable sin. The unpardonable sin is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. What is this? It is attributing the works of God to the works of the devil which is precisely what the pharisees accused Jesus of doing.

Regarding inviting people who cannot respond, I won't write a book here either. However, I will simply say that the two parallel truths in scripture is not God is sovereing and man is free. The two parallel truths are God is sovereign and man is responsible. Man is fully responsible for rejecting Christ because it is their willful rejection. God does not coerce them to reject Christ. They reject because they want to reject. Therefore, they are responsible and their judgment is just.

Comment - 10 men stand before a judge. All 10 are guilty of murder. The judge condemns the first 9 men to execution. He turns to the 10th and says, "You will be pardoned." Is this fair?

Christopher Redman said...

Correction: in my last post, it should read that the pharisees accused Jesus of being of or from the devil.

Cliff4JC said...

Hey...our church staff has been looking at the unpardonable sin lately too. It came up in a S.S. class. I'm curious to see what you all think about it. We spent some time reading some of the "classic" views of what it is. I'm waiting with baited breath.

Mean Spirited, Unloving, Rigid, Evangelism Hating, Close Minded Extremist,

Cliff

Cliff4JC said...

Chris,

I was looking at your #3 a little closer. I think would like to say it differently than you did (no disrespect intended). I'd rather say that when God reveals the matchless wonders & riches of his grace to a sinful man; that man's desires begin to change. He begins to want God and forsake his rebelliousness. It's not a matter of God "winning" over man (though it is a true statement) so much as God; in his mercy; giving sight to the blind.

Just some thoughts...

Joy,
Cliff

Christopher Redman said...

Cliff,

The statement when man's will and God's will collide, God wins is applicable in many areas, not just salvation.

For example, Jonah's will collided with God's will. God won. Paul's will collided with God's will on the Damascus road, Paul did not continue in his way of persecuting Christians but rather became one.

I don't have any problem with your restatement. Thanks for the input.

"All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, 'What have You done?'" Dan 4:35

Jim said...

"10 men stand before a judge. All 10 are guilty of murder. The judge condemns the first 9 men to execution. He turns to the 10th and says, "You will be pardoned." Is this fair?"

Nice illustration, Chris. It reminds me of the one Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason has used:

A man is imprisoned for a crime he actually committed, yet he calls a press conference claiming to the world he's been unjustly jailed. His incarceration is not fair. Why not? "It's all the governor's fault," he says. Why is it the governor's fault? "Because the governor didn't give me a pardon. If he would give me a pardon, I'd be out on the street right now, but since he didn't give me a pardon, I'm in prison. Therefore, it's the governor's fault I'm in prison, not mine."

BTW, the answer to your question is: Only if his fine/punishment was paid by someone else.

For God's Glory,

Jim

brad reynolds said...

Christopher
As I said…we would probably not say something that we have not heard before.

However, in relation to the unpardonable sin I would be interested to know if lying is a sin that ALL men can be forgiven of (Mark 3:28)?

The inviting question was not about their rejection (I certainly agree God is just to pardon whom He will) but about God giving an invitation they can’t respond to…ie – “Come unto me…just kidding”

Further, you didn’t address God’s image in man.

It’s ok if you don’t desire to answer…I really don’t think either one of us will be convinced to change our soteriological understanding but I do admit I don’t understand it all.
BR

Christopher Redman said...

Brad,

I assume, and I am open to correction, that you are focusing on the unpardonable sin in context of general atonement vs. limited atonement.

(ie: All sins are atoned for by Christ for all persons except the sin of unbelief. Unbelief being the unpardonable sin)

If this is the case, the typical question and answer is: Why does anyone go to hell? The general atonement answer is because of unbelief. The particular atonement answer is because of their sin.

My obvious objection to the general atonement answer that people go to hell because of unbelief is: Is unbelief not a sin? What about those who have never heard the gospel and go to hell?

Am I warm or am I completely missing your idea in bringing up the unpardonable sin?


Comment: I think it is safe to say that not one of the elect have ever committed the impardonable sin.

Also, I think the primary thrust of this verse is within it's context. Jesus was speaking specifically of the unbelieving pharisees. I think it's relevence within a broad discussin of soteriology is very limited unless we are discussing the views of the atonement.

Christopher Redman said...

I just reread my previous comment and noted the spelling errors. I hope Jeremy Green doesn't show up with the official SBC dictionary.

As far as the image of God in man, I again assume that you are interested in some remnant of original righteousness within man. Again, if my assumption is wrong, please correct me.

The bottom line is, what does scripture say? Specifically, what does Jesus say about man's ability to choose or believe unto salvation?

John 6:44, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him and I will raise him up at the last day."

There is no free will here. There is no general or universal drawing of all men here unless we fall into universalism. Jesus is teaching moral inability.

All men have the natural ability to come to Christ. There is nothing naturally keeping anyone from confessing Christ. However, morally, as a result of man's fall and spiritual death, he is incapable of coming to Christ.

Does God draw all men equally? The obvious answer is no. Does God call all men equally? NO! Rom 8:30 and especially 1 Cor 1:26-28.

Christopher Redman said...

Also, Brad said, "The inviting question was not about their rejection (I certainly agree God is just to pardon whom He will) but about God giving an invitation they can’t respond to…ie – “Come unto me…just kidding"

I think the best way to address this is to simply ask the question, "Does God command man to do something he cannot do and yet still judge him for failing to do it?"

The answer is, yes He does.

The Old Covenant, the covenant of works was established in the Garden between God and man. God commanded man to do "this" and you will live. Do "that" and you will die. Man did "that" and he died spiritually.

God still holds man accountable to the covenant of works. Man's failure to keep the covenant of works is the foundation for sin and judgment.

As a result of the fall, no one can keep the covenant of works perfectly but God still holds man responsible for breaking the covenant.

Therefore, God commands man to do something he cannot do and yet judges Him for failure to do it.

The new covenant of grace did not erase the old covenant of works, it fulfilled it. Christ kept the covenant of works fully and without sin. Thus His sacrifice merited grace on behalf of his people by fulfilling God's righteous requirements on behalf of all who would believe on Him.

I think this concept is pertinent to your question about the sincerety of the invitation passages.

sbc pastor said...

Where did I put my “official SBC dictionary?” Well, I guess you’ll get off easy this time :0). It appears that you know us fundamentalists quite well – always seeking to do everything, including spelling, for the glory of God. God bless!!!

In Christ,
JLG

Jeffro said...

Brad,

It is interesting that you use the "Come unto me" verse to represent an argument for an invitation. Clearly it was. Who would and could argue with that? However, it is even more interesting that the "come unto Me" invitation is in the context of these verses.

"20 Then He began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent.
21 "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
22 "Nevertheless I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.
23 "And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day.
24 "Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you."
25 At that time Jesus said, "I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.
26 "Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.
27 "All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him." (Matthew 11:20-27)

So why is Jesus offering an invitation, if no one knows the Father but the Son, and those whom the Son chooses to reveal the Father? And, if God was as equitable as many of you non-Calvinists seem to teach, why didn't He send Sodom the miracles that He sent Chorazin? What does this context do to Jesus' invitation?

Jeffro said...

Brad,

My last post should read, "and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal the Father."

And one more question. How can Jesus, be sincere in His invitation, immediately after He praises God for concealing the truth?

tim rogers said...

Brad,

If I am blinded by my own sight is that by my choice, or am I predestined to be blind?

Blessings,
Tim

PS. I am sorry Calvinist Brothers and Sisters, the door was too wide open.

brad reynolds said...

My Calvinists friends who are enjoying this rabbit. I will soon bid ado for obvious reasons I have already mentioned, but before I do I have some clarifying questions.

Christopher,
You make some good points and I appreciate your spirit. Again, I really don't think we are going anywhere but on we go.

I believe people go to hell because of their sin but do not go to heaven because of their unbelief...there is a difference.

Thus concerning the unpardonable sin: can the nonelect be forgiven of lying and if not then isn't lying an unpardonable sin for the non-elect and if so then what are we to do with Jesus' statement in Mark 3:28-29?

In other words if the elect can be and are forgiven of everything and the non-elect cannot be and are not forgiven of anything then what meaning has this passage?

Thus, my position: only the elect WILL be saved, but anyone CAN be saved. Otherwise, the passage on the unpardonable sin makes no sense. I don't understand election and choice but I am satisfied to affirm some things about God are simply above me and are supra-rational.

May I further assume that you believe God's image in man is no longer, as a result of Adam's sin?

Finally, you changed my question. The question is not does God command man to do something he can not do but does God extend an invitation to man that is not a real invitation.

Jeffro, God's invitation's are not limited to the verse Come unto me.


Thanks
BR

Christopher Redman said...

Okay guys. Thanks for the good time. I'm retiring now.

Good evening.

BTW, Brad, my text in John 6:44 is much more specific and relevent than the passage in Mark on the unpardonable sin. The obvious reference there is to the pharisees.

Regardless, we shall talk again I'm sure.

Jim said...

Tim,

I usually think your comments interesting, but your last one was unhelpful. I have noticed this kind of language used often as some sort of "degrading jest" from non-Calvinists. It seems it is usually just a way of avoiding the issue instead of intelligently discussing it (which I know you're capable of).

Brad,

An invitation is an invitation. He freely offers himself to all. I also affirm what you said, "I am satisfied to affirm some things about God are simply above me and are supra-rational." Some choose to imply self-determination from the Scripture, but God's decisive acts of choosing and saving are explicit.

Cliff4JC said...

Brad said:

"I believe people go to hell because of their sin but do not go to heaven because of their unbelief...there is a difference."

Wow...never heard that one before. You really think there's a difference?

Jim,

Tim has hosted many discussions on Calvinism on his blog. He's discussed it many times on other blogs. His tone, humor and good nature toward us 5 pointers has always been gracious. He's just kidding. Don't be so sensitive. I'm sure God has predestined an appropriate retribution for him!

Joy,
Cliff

IN HIS NAME said...

Brad,

Please interpert these Bible verses for me.

Rev 13:8 and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain.

Rev 20:15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Your Brother in Christ

tim rogers said...

Jim,

I am sorry if my comment offended you. I did not intend it to be seen as "degrading jest".

Please forgive me.

A Brother in Christ,
Tim

brad reynolds said...

To all:

I do not deny the Scriptures that you have referenced concerning God's election and Sovriegnty. I am not convinced His Omnipotence was exercised at the exclusion of His Omniscience - ie - I am not sure His Sovreignty in election was exercised in exclusion of His knowledge of those who would accept and yet I am not convinced that His Omnipotence was dependent on His Omniscience either. Thus, while I don't deny the Scriptures you have referenced...nor do I deny the text of the unpardonable sin or I Tim 2:4 or I John 2:2 or the fact that God gave invitations to all (which either implies all can respond or God is insinsere in giving an invitation which He made impossible for some to respond to).

Therefore, I arrive at the same point Paul did (Romans 11:33-36) when he was amazed at Israel's ELECTION, their REJECTION of Christ through unbelief, and their ability to no longer abide in unbelief. With out any further questions to you...I wanted to state where I stand and hopefully we can bring this to a close.
BR

Jeffro said...

Brad,

Your stance doesn't answer our questions. Nor does it really attempt to do so. It only sidesteps the issue. Maybe, one day, when you finally decide "deal" with Calvinism, as you keep promising. Maybe then, you will attempt to answer our questions.

Blessings and Grace

IN HIS NAME said...

Brad,
I asked how you would interpert these Bible verses.

This is about the beast and the Lamb's book of life.

Rev 13:8 and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain.

Rev 20:15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Your Brother in Christ

PS; When was the Lamb's Book of Life written?

brad reynolds said...

Jeffro

I did not desire to pursue this rabbit in the first place, and yet I have no problems with allowing you to continue to pursue it, however, it is interesting that since you helped start this trail, that you are critiquing my lack of pursuit when you have not answered my questions concerning unpardonable sin, universal invitations, and God's image in man.

Furthermore, I have answered your questions by stating I don't deny those Scripture verses or their clear teaching any more than I deny I John 2:2; I Timothy 2:4, the universal invitations or the unpardonable sin...so my friend feel free to chase the rabbit as long as you desire but don't critique another's lack of enthusiasm when you seem to be avoiding the trail:)

In other words it seems inconsistent if you start a trail, then don't like the direction it is going and thus insist that the one who didn't want to go down the trail in the first place must now pursue a side-trail with you because now you don't want to go down the trail you started.

BR

Jeffro said...

Brad,

If my asking you about signing the Abstracts and having your own definition of "your" three points helped to start this rabbit trail, then I am guilty. From my re-reading of this thread, it was Chris Redman who you asked about the unpardonable sin, and I believe he did a fine job in answering you. I asked you some questions based on your response to him. Questions you did not answer. You then made a statement. Not a question. A rather ambiguous statement that answered none of the questions you were asked.

My brother, it is your blog. Shoot the rabbit if you wish, and we can go back to discussing Wade.

brad reynolds said...

Jeffro,
Touché.

I think I have answered the questions the best I can…I do apologize if my lack of understanding of the supra-rational is frustrating to those who apparently understand it…but I assure you the same frustration is felt by me when the questions I ask are avoided by in large and then claimed to be answered. I think we just have different perceptions and thus will not agree here.

Thank you for your spirit in this.
BR

Jim said...

Brother Tim,

Thanks for your response. I hope I wasn't too harsh in my comment. Blog comments usually seem cold and harsh no matter the motivation behind it.

Brad,

It seems to me that the non-Calvinist has many of the same problems as far as invitations go.

God knew beforehand who would and would not be saved, yet he still created those he knew would reject him and be punished in hell. Now, is God's invitation to those individuals sincere even though he knows they will never come to him?

Peace,

Jim

brad reynolds said...

Jim

Good point, however, I think it is one thing to say God invites everyone to come knowing only some will come (sounds like a parable:) and something totally different to say God invites everyone to come but makes it impossible for some. The latter in my mind causes irrational and ethical issues - ie - It's not really an invitation since God causes some to come and makes it impossible for others to respond.
BR

Christopher Redman said...

Brad,

Are you suggesting that God "causes people to sin" seeing that He "makes it impossible for others to respond"?

God does not make it impossible for the non-elect to respond, sin does.

Genesis 2:16-17, "And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, 'Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.'"

But of course, God does blind and harden hearts so that they won't see and won't respond. But even this is a result of sin.

John 12:39-40 "Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: 'He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, lest they should see with their eyes, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.'"

I guess God's invitation really is insincere at least to those whom Isaiah spoke?!?!

So who can resist His will? But... (you know the rest).

Chris

Christopher Redman said...

Brad,

I copied and pasted our dialogue at my blog.

Blessings,
Chris

sbc pastor said...

Brad,

Sorry to change the subject back to your original post, but...

In regard to your comment:

BR: "We passed the BFM2000 years ago and this Trustee signed it last year. However, I did not hear of any reservations at the time of his signing. This causes no small concern with his current statement: 'since (the BFM2K) is not inerrant and infallible then you can disagree with it in some areas, but still affirm it where it speaks to major, foundational issues of the faith --- which I do.'"

I have asked this particular trustee on two separate occasions (both very clearly and very politely) if he had to sign the BF&M 2000 as a trustee of the IMB -- he has not responded. His silence may be very telling indeed. Sadly, it appears that he may be choosing not to answer the question because it would be painfully obvious that he has misled the IMB and the SBC. Thus, in regard to trustees – there is a major difference between being “TRUST-ed” and being “TRUST-worthy.”

BTW, I have recently posted on Baptists, the BF&M, and accountability. It is an article written by James Smith, the editor of the Florida Baptist Witness, entitled, “Baptist Confessional Accountability.” I believe that it will help to clear up much misunderstanding brought about previously by moderates and liberals and now by one of the signers of the Memphis Declaration. God bless!!!

In Christ,
JLG

volfan007 said...

as we think on those great doctrines of predestination and free will, etc. we must consider two passages of scripture.

one, when Jesus said that He could do no great works in nazareth due to thier unbelief. not that He would not have done it, but due to thier unbelief.

the second is where Jesus said that He would have gathered them under His wings......as He wept over Jerusalem...but THEY WOULD NOT ...not that He would not....they would not.


volfan007

Christopher Redman said...

Volfan,

We've had this discussion before. Please do not ignore the context of the passage you cite and the reality that Jesus was rebuking the Pharisees (O' Jerusalem the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her) and condemning their refusal to allow the common people to come to Jesus as their Messiah. (How I longed to gather YOUR CHILDREN under my wings as a hen gathers her chicks but YOU (Jerusalem/Pharisees) WERE NOT WILLING!

Note: John 9:22 "His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue."

Also, John 12:42 "Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue."


Still awaiting a thoughtful response to Isaiah's prophecy fulfilled in John 12:39-40. (In fact God does, as a result of sin, blind eyes and harden hearts less they see and believe and turn so that "I should heal them.")

brad reynolds said...

JLG

Excellent comment and thanks for returning us to the post.

Trustees ARE required to sign the BFM 2000 during their first initatory session with their respective institution.

His non-admittance of his signing, to you, certainly causes concerns...it also begs numerous questions that I hope many SB who may have innocently been blinded themselves will now begin to ask.
BR

brad reynolds said...

Christopher

Short answer - No one I know of is denying God's Sovreignty rather we are saying don't forget man's freedom in God's Sovreignty.

I shall assume that God's Word does not contradict itself in narrative and prophetic teachings and therefore shall assume that God's hardening of Pharoah's heart is similar to the prophetic teaching in the Isaiah passage. Interestingly, Pharaoh ALSO hardened his heart - thus God's Sovreignty contains man's freedom:)
BR

Christopher Redman said...

"Your Christian friend tells you he thinks the essential parts of the guidelines are good but disagrees with what he calls non-essentials. However, he is asked to be a Trustee for one of the institutions, he agrees and signs his name affirming ALL the guidelines (essentials and non-essentials), without telling the organization of his reservations. He did this, because he felt it was what God would have him do to bring about changes."

I'm just a simpleton here and admittedly don't share at least some of the theological positions of Wade but exactly what points of the BFM2K has he stated that he doesn't agree to?

You are not trying to speculate that the BFM2K addresses the alcohol resolution are you?

C. T. Lillies said...

Short answer - No one I know of is denying God's Sovreignty rather we are saying don't forget man's freedom in God's Sovreignty.

This was a toughie for me too. But no man is free without Christ. All are in bondage to sin. How then can man be truly free to do anything if his sin nature is in control? It controls the man and all he does. We don't think we are denying God's Sovreignty but when we teach and believe that we have the freedom to choose we do. The one who chooses is the one who is truly free and Sovereign. If two entities are Sovereign, one of them isn't what he says he is. Woe to us if that person is Christ.

Much Grace
Josh

Christopher Redman said...

Responsibility!!! God's sovereignty includes man's responsibility!

Free will died in the garden.

"Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin." John 8

mom2 said...

1 Corinthians 1:11-13

I have been searching my Bible for the book of Calvin. You know what, I did not find it.

IN HIS NAME said...

SBC PASTOR,

Where have all the Christians gone. You gotta have Heart.

A Christian is one Who follows Jesus Christ and displays His Love, not Hate.

I don't think Jesus was on a Witch-hunt, do you?

sbc pastor said...

BR,

In regard to your comment:

"Trustees ARE required to sign the BFM 2000 during their first initatory session with their respective institution."

I am glad to hear you verify that fact. Certainly, that is the way that it should be. Southern Baptists have always believed in, and practiced, accountability - please note my most recent post.

In regard to your comment:

"His non-admittance of his signing, to you, certainly causes concerns...it also begs numerous questions that I hope many SB who may have innocently been blinded themselves will now begin to ask."

I agree. As Southern Baptists, we should be deeply concerned that one of our trustees signed/affirmed the BF&M 2000 and now is criticizing it. That definitely appears to be a breach of trust and a cause for removal.

God bless!!!

In Christ,
JLG

brad reynolds said...

Christopher
I'm not sure which areas he disagrees with...he doesn't really state...he just says "since (the BFM2K) is not inerrant and infallible then you can disagree with it in some areas, but still affirm it where it speaks to major, foundational issues of the faith --- which I do.”

JLG's article is good concerning Baptist and creeds.
BR

brad reynolds said...

Josh
I think it takes a bigger God to be in control when man has freedom to choose than a God who is in control when no one has freedom to choose...one is supra-rational the other is not:)

I simply choose to believe He is above my understanding -

Don't think we are getting anywhere though...perhaps we may want to get back to the subject of the post
BR

Christopher Redman said...

I don't think that I would state that the BFM2K is infallible and innerent.

Would you?

sbc pastor said...

Wade Burleson recently responded to a question of mine in regard to his signing of the BF&M 2000:

JLG: "Wade, I was recently told that trustees are required to sign/affirm the BF&M 2000. However, I am curious as to whether or not that is true. Since you are a trustee of the IMB, could you please tell me whether or not you had to affirm/sign the BF&M 2000? Thanks for your help and God bless!!! In Christ, JLG"

WB: "SBC Pastor, Trustees must sign the BFM 2000, which I did, with a couple of written caveats.

First, I explained that I thought it was a mistake to make the women in ministry prohibition an "essential" of the faith. Though I am sympathetic with the prohibition, and would not be in a church with a woman who is the Senior Pastor, I do not believe it is not an essential of the faith, and to put it in a Baptist Confession was unwise.

Second, to take out the "priesthood of the believer" (as stated in the 1963 BFM), an essential doctrine of Baptists for 400 years, and substitute it with "the priesthood of believers" (read "majority rules" as stated in the 2000 BFM), was also unwise.

Third, I quoted Isaac Backus, the great Baptist thinker on religious liberty who had an interesting quote about signing creeds. I said it was unconscionable that were were having people sign a confession as if it were a creed (by the way, those employed by the SBC at Seminaries, Institutions, and Agencies are required to sign Abstracts, Contracts, and other particular documents that are different from general confession; I see nothing wrong with that practice)."

It appears that Wade is unaware of the meaning of the word "creed." The real meaning of the word is that of "a confession of faith" or a “statement of belief.” However, moderates and liberals have used the word to insinuate that our confession of faith, the BF&M 2000, has more authority than the Bible. Ironically, moderates and liberals do not even believe in an inerrant Bible :0). Furthermore, Baptists have always believed in, and practiced, doctrinal accountability -- as is evidenced in the article I recently posted: "Baptist Confessional Accountability." I encourage everyone to read it. God bless!!!

In Christ,
JLG

brad reynolds said...

Christopher

I don't think the BFM2K is any more inerrant or infallible than the Abstract. The issue is not their infallibility but rather signing something you don't agree with...If I could not agree with the BFM2K or the Abstract I would not have signed them...it seems most ironic to me that you are apparently defending Wade's signing of something he doesn't fully adhere to (BFM) and yet I never heard you defend me for signing something I do fully adhere to (Abstract)...very ironic my brother - which gets to the point of this post
BR

CB Scott said...

Brad of the Iron Fist,

I walk very close to your position in this post. I do caution you, though, to look around in your own jungle for there may be some of the same bred there.

cb

sbc pastor said...

CR,

I too must concur that your defense of Burleson’s signing a document that he does not agree with appears to be rather ironic, not to mention inconsistent, indeed. However, I guess that your comment does provide an excellent example of the legitimacy of Brad’s post. God bless!!!

In Christ,
JLG

Jim said...

Friends,

I think, perhaps, the best thing to do with Brad's post on being blinded is to apply it to ourselves. Rather than pointing to others who are blind, we should become more aware of our blindness and biases.

One area in which I am often blinded is in regard to unbelievers in some ugly sin. Sometimes I am blinded and repulsed by the sin so much that I cannot show them the love of Jesus. May God forgive me and give me grace. I know if it weren't for his grace I would be lost.

For God's Glory,

Jim

Christopher Redman said...

ALL,

I have no desire to commend or defend Wade Burelson. Your assumption that I have defended him is mistaken.

I simply asked about the BFM2K being infallible or inerrent.

As for the other statements provided by Wade as to his reservations, that is his business.

Therefore, your ironic indeed assumptions are misguided in this particular situation.

CR

Christopher Redman said...

Oh, and is there something wrong with stating that the BFM2K is not innerent or infallible?

I've never heard of anyone claiming any confession or creed to be on the same level of inspiration as holy scripture!

brad reynolds said...

Christopher,
If I offended you I apologize...I purposely used "apparently" in order to not be offensive.

What was ironic to me was that I did not hear you say you would not state the Abstract was infallible and inerrent when others wrongly attacked me when I do BELIEVE them and sign them. It seemed ironic but maybe its me.
BR

brad reynolds said...

Jim
Wise words.

CB
There may be and I will look for consistency in those in my jungle.
I knew, and when asked where I thought you stood on Wade's latest comments I shared, "he's certainly not happy with them." My brother I know you're an old warrior who still has much life left and would hate to see our SBC openned to those who don't affirm inerrancy.
BR

Christopher Redman said...

I think that I am done with this post now. Let me say that I appreciate the theological dialogue very much. I grow through the experience of learning from others and articulating my faith and convictions. Thank you.

As far as Wade's questioning the BFM2K - I disagree with women having authority in the church, pastor or otherwise. I don't have a problem with the BFM2K addressing it because it has become an area of concern in recent Christian history.

Secondly, his conviction on the priesthood of the believer being changed from the previous wording. I don't really know what it hurts one way or the other. That's just me. I'm a simpleton here on this subject.

As far as Wade's promoting a larger tent allowing for charismatics, etc within the convention. I feel that he is advocating a much larger tent than I am comfortable with. I like being a conservative, historical, even calvinistic, southern baptist.

I don't want women preachers, pentecostals, or others leading or ministering within our convention.

I find Wade's blog written with grace and well articulated. Some things appear helpful and some things seem to step over my imaginary line or comfort level.

If you want to dialogue on Calvinism some more, I'm ready.

Blessings,
CR

IN HIS NAME said...

Brad,

I'm a Christian, who happens to be a member of the Baptist Church because of it's Biblical Stand on the Bible(God's Word). In reading God's Word I don't see anything against what is on the Founder's Blog. I ask this question how do you think your name's got into the Lamb's Book of Life if you were not one of the Elect of God the Father's, God the Son's, God the Holy Spirit's predestination of you before the foundation of the world.

Love
Your Brother in Christ

posttinebraelux said...

Jim,
It's very refreshing to see humility and honest self-evaluation on a blog; most of the time we see too much pride and finger-pointing. I, too, find myself constantly having to 'reign in' my judgemental attitudes toward the lost - whom we're not even to be judging at all. Even more distressing, however, is my critical attitude toward other Christians' behaviours. I often find myself 'jumping on' other Christians for their lack of charity, humility, and grace. I have found, though, that medicine goes down much easier with a teasponfull of suger than with a hammer. :) My prayer is that we all learn to be charitable toward each other and that we 'remove the log from our own eye before helping our neighbor with the speck in their eye.' May I be an example of Christ's love to someone today - and God forgive me for any hurt I cause with my pen or my mouth.

Grace and peace to all,

PTL

Jim Champion said...

I have been avidly reading many of the blogs - most of the Baptist Blogs seem to be a response to Wade Burleson's, either pro or con. I have found it very interesting that Wade, who up and until he began blogging was considered a conservative's conservative. He took on the CBF in Oklahoma, is an avowed innerantist and was found acceptable enough to be appointed to the IMB trustees.

It seems that his problem - at least to those who are Paige's boys is that he has the nerve to question the powers that be. And even has the nerve to question some of the nonessentials that were placed into the current version of the BFM. I think we all know that Wade has served on his last SBC committee, but that is not enough, we have to start slinging as much mud at Wade as we can to see what if anything will stick - we have a pastor and PhD student in Waco questioning Wade's inegrity, and a gentleman in TN stating in Blogs that Wade himself has a private prayer language. Wade has always maintained that he does not, at any time speak in tounges.

I would ask that we cease and desist the character assination.

For the record, I am also an innerantist, but one who also struggles with the women in ministry issue. I for one cannot ignore the passages that deal with Phoebe - a deacon, Priscilla who instructed Apppolos, and Paul telling women that WHEN they prophesy (preach) to keep thier heads covered. Paul even praised Junia's work as a fellow laborer for the gospel. How is it that references to these ladies is any less innerant and inspired than our favorite verses that we use to keep the women down?

Jim

to-obey-is-better said...

Brad, it would be a good idea if you had all your facts straight before you make accusations!

Does Wade have to answer every question that comes his way? Silence is now evidence of guilt?

Yes, Wade signed the BFM2000 just like all of us on the field. (He's said this in a post weeks ago.)

We were told that signing the BFM2000 meant that we agreed to operate under those guidelines EVEN IF WE DIDN'T AGREE with all of them. If we had concerns, then we could write about these under our signature. Again, signing meant that you agreed to work under these guidelines.

Isn't this also what Wade did?

Are you now going to come after all of us (of whom there are many) that signed agreement to abide by the BFM2000 in spite of our concerns?

IMB M (security 3 country)

CB Scott said...

Jim,

Not everyone that brings a question to Wade is in any way a member of the "Paige's Boy club".

Wade, just like Paige, is wrong about some things. For Wade to have said that there were maybe about 5 liberals teaching in SBC seminaries in the "war days" is just not correct.

For Paige to try to control trustee boards is also wrong.

For you to say that most Baptist blogs are responses to Wade's blog is either a bad joke or very poor observation on your part.

cb

volfan007 said...

this feller in tn thought that wade said that he spoke in a private prayer language. if he didnt, then i apologize. i thought he did say that. i do know that he defends the right of someone to speak in a private prayer language...tongues, and they should be allowed in leadership positions. i know he's said that.

also, wade is losing credibility fast. he doesnt seem to understand just how bad things were in the sbc back before the conservative resurgence took place and was able to change things. also, he wants to include...in leadership positions...men who defended the liberals right to teach in our sbc seminaries. they stood with the moderates and liberals back during the resurgence. he is also saying that men who are a part of the cbf should be considered in leadership positions once again.

i feel that any man who was a part of the cbf...unless they repent....should not be in leadership positions. any man who defended the liberals right to spread his false teachings should not be considered for leadership...unless they repent of thier wrong actions. we dont need people like that leading anything in the sbc.

i know that some will call me a meany. others may want to call me the devil. but, the sbc is too precious to let it go down the liberal drain like we were about to do in the 70's and 80's...before the conservatives could really take over.

from sweet, lovable, huggable,

volfan007

mom2 said...

volfan007, I don't think you are a meany. I too feel that we have to have some things that are worth fighting for or we could become like the Episcopalian Church (I believe that is the one) that started ordaining homosexuals. I know that Baptists are not the only people still defending purity in the faith, but I want us to be in that group and I pray that we will keep defending righteousness.
Too often it seems tolerance leads to excusing and after excusing comes apathy and indifference. We are living in dangerous, but exciting times. May God help us to be one in Him.

tim rogers said...

Brother CB,

Amen!

Blessings,
Tim

volfan007 said...

cb,

i too say amen, bro.


volfan007

IN HIS NAME said...

My prayer is for all of God's childern to have eye's to see and ear's to hear what God's Word say's. Because there are many false teachers today. Dr Charles Stanley preached on this on Sunday.

Rom 9:10 And not only so, but also when Rebecca had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac,
Rom 9:11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad--in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call--
Rom 9:12 she was told, "The older will serve the younger."
Rom 9:13 As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
Rom 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means!
Rom 9:15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."
Rom 9:16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.

A Brother in Christ

volfan007 said...

in his name,

you posted this same thing on peter lumpkin's blog. and, i will tell you the same thing. all of us non-five pointers believe these verses too. we just dont put the same fatalistic spin on them that five pointers do. but, we do believe them.

volfan007

IN HIS NAME said...

volfan007

I didn't know God had a point system as he looks at the Heart. It is very obvious that you (volfan007) whoever you are do have a point system based on all of your comments on Blog's that seek to Honor God's Word.

A Brother for Truth of God's Word

brad reynolds said...

Gentlemen
Pardon my absence - I teach all day and Mondays and Tuesdays.

Jim
There is NO EVIDENCE that women were pastors in the NT...did they minister - Yes. Were they pastors - NO. In fact, Paul would no have them teach a man in the local church.

by the way - no character assassination here...just the facts.

IMB M
First let me say thank you for your service...and I sincerely mean that...missionaries are my heroes. However, having said that I must state the issue is one of Convention Fidelity. If I could not affirm all of the BFM2K and the Abstract I would not sign them. We had that problem in the seminaries years ago when professors signed the Abstract while crossing their fingers - the result - a loss of theology.

The moment you open the door for anyone to sign the BFM2K without adhering to all of it you have opened the door for liberalism.

I have no problem with praying for and encouraging missionaries who have problems with the BFM2K. I have a major problem with paying them with CP funds! My opinion - If you can't sign the BFM2K and affirm its entirety, you don't need to be signing the back of the paychecks from the CP.

However, I have a question for you said "We were told that signing the BFM2000 meant that we agreed to operate under those guidelines EVEN IF WE DIDN'T AGREE with all of them." My question: who said that to you was it your RL or did it come from higher up? I think SB who pay the bills deserve to know who has spoken for the convention.

BR

Jim Champion said...

So what about Paul's instruction to women to keep thier heads covered WHEN they pray or prophesy? Are Pauls instructions any less innerrant here? Or just like wine of their day was their prophesy diluted. While I prefer a male pastor myself, many take things a step further and dont allow women ministers at all in the church (except for to women or children) Wont allow women to teach when the Bible is clear that Priscilla taught Appolos. Karen Bullock was fired at SWBTS for being a woman teaching church history and Dr. Bullock is as conservative as they come!

volfan007 said...

in his name,


a wise, old prof. from seminary, dr. reginald barnard, once said, calvinism and arminianism are young men's religions. i agree with him.

i am not the one who is trying to get God and the bible to fit into my nice little five point box. i am not sold out to a system. i try to let God be who He is, and i try to just take the bible as it is.


God bless you,

volfan007

tim rogers said...

Blog Brad, Blog

IN HIS NAME said...

volfan007,

I did't know you went to seminary?

May I ask which one?

What degree did you receive?

A Brother for Truth

to-obey-is-better said...

You have missed the point.

Those who signed the BFM2K, did so agreeing the work under it...within it...not contrary to it.

So regardless of what I, or others personally believe or have a problem with or have written a caveat to....those who are on the field are operating within the BFM2K's guidelines. To not do so, would quickly lead to being dismissed, as we have a high accountablity level.

So, it really doesn't matter who said this...if you signed...you are abiding....



imb m

volfan007 said...

i graduated from mid america baptist seminary in memphis, tn. i received a masters of divinity degree.

volfan007

brad reynolds said...

Jim

Just a couple of corrections and clarifications to your assertions and to answer your question.

Did women prophesy – Yes
Is prophesy simply speaking forth God’s Word - Yes
Was this an exception to the rule – Yes
Is discipling a new convert different from expounding God’s Word to men in a local church setting - Yes
Did Paul permit women to teach men in the local church – No
Were there women pastors in the NT church – No, at least none we no of Biblically or historically!

This coupled with the qualifications of I Timothy speaks volumes.

Concerning Karen Bullock. I have a friend who was a Trustee at the time.
1) She was not fired. She was a presidential appointee who was not given tenure…thus her contract was not renewed.
2) She made antagonistic comments in her class concerning the conservative resurgence.
3) When given an opportunity to speak in chapel she accepted and then spoke and exegeted Romans 16 and Phoebe as a deaconess and thus defended women’s role in ministry…while supposedly bound by the BFM2K

Hope this helps clear things up
BR

Jim Champion said...

Brad

A couple clarifications (I actually have the advantage of having Dr. Bullock as a personal friend)

1. She was not a presidential appointment - she was an elected member of the faculty. When an elected member of the faculty is not offered tenure, their contract is not renewed, they are not invited back to teach and are fired or terminated - you chose the term.

2. Dr Bullock did not address the conservative resurgence in class - she taught history. She knew to deviate from teaching history would put her career at SWBTS in jepoardy. She loves SWBTS and would never do or say anything against the institution. Notice her silence since her termination (it was not the big payoff)

3. Where in the BFM2000 does it address women deacons - it does not. The BFM addresses women pastors and is pointedly silent on women deacons. Dr bullock signed and taught according to the BFM2000, her personal inegrity would allow her to do nothing less.

the reason she was told that she was not offered tenure is that she is a woman, and Dr. P will not have a woman teaching in the school of theology - the rest is a smoke screen.

Dr Bullock was a very very popular professor at SWBTS, and a very hard worker - there was a reson after all that she was appointed as one of the assistant deans and served in that capacity for at least two years. SWBTS' loss is Dallas Baptist University's gain - Dr Bullock has started and teaches in DBUs PhD in Leadership

I imagine that we will have to agree to disagree on on women bringing forth the word as an exception to the rule. Of course the other side of the argument is that the liberty in Christ given women for the first time caused so much commotion in the church that Pauls command for women to keep silent was strictly to bring order into the service.

Personally I think the BFM2000 should not have addressed women at all, but of course I was not chosen to be on the committee - ah well!

brad reynolds said...

Jim
Not being invited back to teach and being fired are two different things in my book and I believe in the IRS book also.

Either the data given to the trustees was wrong or you are wrong...she apparently made some comments that could be construed as antagonistic toward the resurgence in class.

Finally, to accept a chapel speaking opportunity and then to expound Scripture to men and speak of women deacons, knowing full well the repercussions that might have with some of the Trustees was almost an invitation to a confrontation.

In the end, I do not doubt her godliness, her love for the Lord or her motives...but we will disagree on the issue of women teaching men - I think Paul did also.

PS - As I recall Dr. P was not president when she was not offered tenure.
BR

brad reynolds said...

IMB M
Again…thank you for your work and I have prayed for you today, although I’m not sure where you are ministering (which is probably good for your security).

However, we shall disagree.

I think it does matter what those who sign the BFM2K believe. How would you feel if a professor at Southern Seminary said: “I signed the Abstract and agreed to operate under its guidelines and to work under it and not contrary to it but I don’t agree with it.” In other words let’s say a professor does not believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ but signs the Abstract and affirms he will teach the resurrection of Christ, are you comfortable paying him with CP funds? I am not. The issue is what one believes, because inevitably one’s beliefs affect one’s practice.

And so, if one cannot affirm in belief the BFM2K then I do not agree with their being paid by the CP…thus it does matter who told the missionaries this…I am very curious as to who is speaking on behalf of the convention without our knowledge.
BR

C. T. Lillies said...

And so, if one cannot affirm in belief the BFM2K then I do not agree with their being paid by the CP

Oh, I don't know Brad. I've heard there's more than a few folks working in the Southern Baptist Convention who have defined things for themselves and signed documents as a formality prerequisite to their service.

Personally I'd be way more comfortable with someone's service if they made their objections known before hand and then signed. But thats just me.

Josh

brad reynolds said...

Josh

You perfectly exhibit much of the problems amongst many of the SB bloggers - HEARSAY, with no evidence.

You said "I have heard" and yet provided no evidence. If any employee or Trustee of the SBC signs the BFM2K without fully affirming it then they should step down.

If your comment was some sort of back-hand towards me...let me just say - repetition does not equal validation. Just because one repeats false accusations does not in any way validate them, rather it exhibits one's stubburness in remaining ignorant of the facts.

So we shall certainly disagree here.
BR

C. T. Lillies said...

I didn't even mention your name Brad--because its not personal. Surely that took the sting out of it.

As I read your hearsay comment I was thinking that I could write exactly the same thing to you. If you did have documentation or anything other than hearsay you would already be presenting IT at the IMB trustee's meeting rather than postulating and making not-so obscure references to others. Why take up the torch against Pastor Burleson?

Am I the only one who can see the irony here?

Josh

brad reynolds said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
brad reynolds said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
brad reynolds said...

Josh

I have documented Wade's words - thus documentation, not hearsay:)

Perhaps the irony here is the irony of one who erroneously thinks he sees irony:)

BR

C. T. Lillies said...

Ah. Perhaps Brother Wade isn't the one who needs a vision check then.

Honestly I think its important for all of us who are Christians to examine ourselves pretty regularly to make sure our eyes are clear of logs, to make sure we are "in the Way." Don't you agree?

May the Lord bless you richly as you continue to serve Him...

Josh

brad reynolds said...

Josh

I definitely agree.

Thank you for your kind benediction and if you would remember me in prayer when you get a chance - my wife and I are expecting our first child soon:)
BR