Drs. Mohler and Patterson to debate Calvinism

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refbaptdude

Puritan Board Freshman
Drs. Mohler and Patterson to debate Calvinism

Recently it was announced that Drs. Al Mohler and Paige Patterson will take a session at the 2006 Pastors' Conference prior to the annual Southern Baptist Convention in Greensboro, NC to debate Calvinism


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Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Encourage our SBC brethren by posting on their blog. Let them know that you will be praying for this historic debate.
 

Devin

Puritan Board Sophomore
Wow. This is pretty big. How great it would be if God used this to magnify His truth and spread it thoroughly throughout the SBC. I'll be praying.

[Edited on 11-3-2005 by Devin]
 

Devin

Puritan Board Sophomore
Indeed. However, just "beating" someone isn't the issue. It's the hope that more and more people in the SBC will see WHY Mohler beat him.
 

heartoflesh

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Romans922
Anyone who argues with Mohler doesn't stand a chance.

I just hope he has better argument for Calvinism than his argument against Christian alcohol consumption.
 

johnrsorrell

Puritan Board Freshman
I mentioned this to a staff member at my church, SBC bty, and they said, "Patterson is a brainiac and poor Al doesn't have much of a chance."

I was like a deer caught in headlights. Speechless. :banghead:
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Originally posted by johnrsorrell
I mentioned this to a staff member at my church, SBC bty, and they said, "Patterson is a brainiac and poor Al doesn't have much of a chance."

I was like a deer caught in headlights. Speechless. :banghead:

Proper theology is in the eye of the beholder?
 

bened

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by johnrsorrell
I mentioned this to a staff member at my church, SBC bty, and they said, "Patterson is a brainiac and poor Al doesn't have much of a chance."

I was like a deer caught in headlights. Speechless. :banghead:

Sorry for the late post on this but just registered yesterday - hence, my first post.:banana:

John, I would say to your fellow staff member, if you haven't already, "not so fast, my friend." James White did a couple of DLs re: Patterson's chapel message on Calvinism last year (both of which can be downloaded for $1a piece. See "MP3 Shopping Cart" on upper right of aomin.org, then "2005-2006"; scroll down to 2/10/05, 2/15/05). These were revealing.

Listen and I think you'll agree that Brother Al will do just fine.

Not to disparage Dr. Patterson. Having grown up in Fort Worth, I heard him often on the FBC Dallas-run radio station and in person. I can attest that he's a brilliant, lucid man w/a heart for the Lord and souls. He stands with Mohler and Richard Land as one of the most able public spokesmen on the SBC scene (granted that's a relative accolade). Our convention (we're not a denomination) owes much to him for the "conservative resurgence" since '79.

That said, it's stunning to me how he and so many of our learned leaders react to reformed theology from caricatures and personal tradition rather than the Word and the historical-grammatical interpretive principles they publicly espouse. I'm thankful to Dr. White and his program as well as Tom Ascol and his blog for bringing this to light

I'm praying that the Lord will use the Mohler/Patterson discussion to begin casting down the imaginations held by so many for so long.

Please pray for Dr. Mohler. Pray also for Drs. Mark Dever and Ascol who're among those God is raising up for His glory and the SBC's good.

Oh, and btw, John, as a graduate of the reigning football and baseball national champion, University of Texas, I say to you w/right hand extended, "HOOK'EM HORNS, Brutha!":lol:



[Edited on 3-23-2006 by bened]
 

tmckinney

Puritan Board Freshman
I have never heard a formal debate on this topic before. I hope there will be lots of cross-examination and interaction between the two. May the doctrine of God's free unmerited grace shine forth like the noonday sun!
 

3John2

Puritan Board Freshman
Interesting. I read Mohlers articles on "Tabletalk" & I REALLY enjoy his articles. Anyone know where I can get others?:book2:
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Originally posted by youthevang
If anyone is interested, here is a transcript of the Mohler and Patterson discussion.

Great work!

Couple of "editorial" comments:

paparatzi - paparazzi

agonly - agony

"deft Nell" - death knell

-pax-

-JD
 

Larry Hughes

Puritan Board Sophomore
Well that was disappointing.

Double indeed. Now refresh my memory who was the calvinist again? This was less of a serious debate than it was a Woodstock or maybe stronger, a compromise. Where are the Spurgeons and Luthers of the world rather than these fuzzy lines of truth!

One thing that absolutely irritates me from the Arminian side is that inane straw man about calvinist not being "evangelical". The ONLY way you even begin to accept that stupidity is:

First: To deny the point blank fact of the christianization via the reformation of the entire continent of Europe, England and the British Aisles, then America and numerous other places. NOT to mention that the Gospel was regathered by Luther and Calvin who are 'so called' non-evangelic by such.

Second: Presume that ALL, ALL of those Christ covering and Christ denying, will worshipping alter calls and similar mouse trap appeals to the will of man are actually GIVING Christ in the first place which they DO NOT. Rather such deny Him by their very appeal of the will of man, the very thing needing to be slain by the cross of Christ.

Third: In EVERY armininian church I was in prior to the present the person doing the least "evangelism" was the arminian pastor and the people doing the most was us (and most of us were at least "rising" and up and coming Reformed.

Fourth: Assume that the "picture" of an evangelist is Billy Graham. Thought experiment: Think of an evangelist. Got him in your mind. Who is it...99% will think of Billy Graham or some other of the modern erra evangelist. Now, who did Luther and Calvin and Beza think of as there model of an evangelist? That's right, the Apostles. Notice our inherent historical preconception and bias.

Ldh
 

bened

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by jdlongmire
must have been a short talk...not very "meaty" - particularly for a pastor's conference - but Al may have been feeling poorly.
-JD

Uh, you could say that. Mohler had emergency eye surgery the day or night before, something to do with his retina and some kind of an astigmatism that threatened to blind him - permanently. He entered the room with shades on. (I just got on here at my hotel and scanned the blog, so please forgive me if I missed his reporting this). He was wiping his eye throughout the presentation.

The blogger left out Mohler's opening sentence once he approached to speak. Something like: "I come to you like the apostle Paul, in much fear and trembling."

I may be off on the apostle Paul part but I remember vividly the "fear and trembling" statement. (And, btw, my comments are from my remembrances of the first session. They were to have this same discussion repeated for the session two crowd).

Mohler possesses a unique mix of anointing, giftedness, and humility. In his weakness, God was made strong. The intangibles of anointing and presence that can only be felt "live" were there, In my humble opinion.

Mohler removed the shades once he began. His left eye was shut or barely open the whole time. He was definitely hurting, especially for the first half of his presentation. I think the adrenaline/endorphins kicked in later and he appeared somewhat more comfortable. Nonetheless, he was reading his notes out of one eye and who knows how well he could see out of that. Prolly had'em memorized or petty close.

It was bright lights, huge ballroom. Many were left standing in the back and along the sides. Crowd size and room size semmed very comparable to Together For The Gospel.

Mohler didn't seem out of it at all just severely pained. Nonetheless, he was cogent and well spoken. Too irenic perhaps for many on this board, and justifiably so in some cases, but my sense was this won't be the last time Mohler deals with this in a public format. Hence, he was laying a foundation. Mohler was speaking to a group of well-intentioned sbc'ers most of whom think reformed theology is a monster, a cancer, the fatalistic kiss of death for biblical Christianity.

Mohler was classy and a Christian gentlemen-his heart for God and his passion for the truth was enhanced in his affliction. He gave Paige his props and rightfully so. Love him or loathe him, if not for Paige Patterson, and a few others who stood in the gap over 25 years ago, this would've indeed been a discussion of homosexual issues rather than election.

Nonetheless, I think Paige's presentation was about his best shot. And, though gracious, it was classic straw-man, proof-text-out-of-context argumentation. I do wish Mohler would've replied to Page's scriptural argumentation directly w/ scripture. (I'm sure that will occur at a future time).

However, if the non-reformed in the crowd walk away w/a clue re: what hyper-calvinism really is, that they must deal w/Rom 8-10 (especially Rom. 9), and that reformed baptists aren't "wine and cheese theologians" but love God and lost people as much as they do then the "discussion" will have been worth it.

Low expectation? Perhaps. But that's the state of things in main stream sbc life right now. Reformation will be a slow process. And as, Dr. Ascol said this morning, "reformation, revival is always messy." Mohler, Ascol, and Dever (who barely lost the 1st VP election) especially realize that reform won't happen in the sbc with hammer and tong but through gentleness and reverence (not to mention much prayer and fasting).

I would beseech thee therefore, brethren, to lift our convention in prayer and cut Dr. Mohler some slack.

[Edited on 6-14-2006 by bened]
 

Larry Hughes

Puritan Board Sophomore
You are correct on Dr. Mohler. It is too easy to loose sight of the massive pressure of speaking in an antagonistic crowd such as Dr. Mohler was faced with and under such physical pain.

Dr. Mohler's understandable and trying illness aside.

I think Luther's doctrine on sins of doctrine Vs. sins of life is most helpful in such situations.

This is flip flopped mostly in today´s non-controversial American style of "œdebate"., is this: But Luther´s distinction was this: Sins of life are those things to which men are by their desires drawn to, prone to, struggle with, battle with and often repeat. To these we are to always extend the gentle hand, help, quick to forgiveness and so forth. But, Luther says, concerning sins of doctrine (and he had the purity of the Gospel in mind here) we never for one second give in. Faith always draws the sword on this issue of Gospel and never relinquishes in the least to any man.

Thus, Dr. Patterson is a different issue. Dr. Patterson´s entire debate consisted of 1. Strawmen, and the ever disarming guilt trip and compromising 2. Can´t we just get along. I´m reminded of something Dr. Piper once said; that we are raising up theological cowards. And this is because anytime a debate, in modern America (and modern America is the historical exception to the rule on compromising so easily "“ that´s why Luther, Calvin and Spurgeon sound harsh to our over sensitive ears), might begin to rise to the level of "œspirited" (let alone fiery) BAM you get a PC bullet in the back. We can debate, but heaven forbid it rise to the level of the assertion of absolute truth or questioning the other guy because he´s so swell. Thus, we have to keep things fuzzy or "œthat´s not an essential doctrine". This is not a historical way of debate but very much modern and intrinsic to our modern times. True, some things do not rise to the level of essential and we have latitude for difference, but that genre is an ever expanding genre in today´s modern church life. This is why lay people remain confused on so many things in the church today, are tired and afraid to even ask the questions, and are afraid to engage and doubt even their own salvation.

Dr. Patterson falls back on strawmen emotional buttons like "œwe all need to take the Gospel"¦". Who disagrees with that! No one disagrees with that in and of itself. That´s just an emotional distraction from the real issue. BUT what IS the Gospel IS the issue and his disarming emotional "œwe all need to take the Gospel" disarms and distracts from that. In other words don´t question "œmy gospel". He throws up straw like, "œI believe that salvation is by grace alone". Great! Trent says the same thing and then in Cannons later anathemas the very Gospel. You can´t examine a man´s doctrine on the standard catch phrases of today. Many protestants throw up "œjustification by faith alone" but are functioning Roman Catholics. In fact when I went on mission trips to the Mormons, they say the same thing, saved by grace alone. I´m not saying one need be a "œCalvinist", not at all. But what IS the Gospel is the real issue! It´s notable that when Paul warns the church of the greatest danger of deception he says beware of following another gospel, another spirit and another Christ. He calls them "œanother" gospel, spirit and Christ to show that they will not come in an explicit and obvious named deception but under these very names in implicit and insinuated approaches.

The Devil doesn´t come into the church fore-warningly and say, "œHello congregation, I´m the Prince of Darkness and I´ve come to deceive you. Now here is my deceptive doctrine follow me. I´ll obscure Christ still using His name and the words "œgrace", "œGospel" and "œBible only", then clandestinely call you to works in alter calls, rededications, praying the prayer a million times, emotions, necessity of "œconversion experiences", rebaptisms and a plethora of other indiscrete informally unwritten traditions. These false means of grace will be just like Roman indulgences and works though much greater in number and similar to the 900+ laws of the Pharisees in actuality and practice. However, I won´t formalize them in a creed so that you may examine them too much. I´ll leave them kind of aloof, like a slippery eel, so that no man may lay hold of them to long to examine them and battle against them. Yes, I´ll leave them implicit so they can´t be nailed down. I´ll leave you protestants with your grace alone in name but I´ll over throw it shrewdly via sanctification"¦etc"¦"

Pure analysis of the SBC today, this is not EVERY SB but the bulk of the general witness. I understand and know solid SB pastors and believers who love and proclaim the Gospel with great vigor and truth, but they are the minority report by far and large. This speaks to the bulk of the SB witness not "œpockets of solid truth within":

The hinge problem if they are honestly willing to face it in the SB community (and I´m very very familiar with it having been in that former community myself, family members who are pastors within it now, and among it on the ground here in C. KY with close friends) is that they equate "œconservativism" with or a way toward "œsound doctrine". Christ´s church is NOT founded on "œconservatism". Which is Patterson´s whole argument. That confuses and obscures the real issue completely of Christ NOT being preached in their churches, that is to say they are loosing the very Gospel they claim to love and be "œtaking" to the world. And THIS is a plague in SB churches at least in KY. Because "œconservative" is not always sound doctrine nor does it always protect it. I´m a conservative, always have been, but that´s not my doctrine. Sometimes, in fact, conservatism denies and wars against sound doctrine. Stark examples would be the conservative Pharisees and Scribes or even the conservative Roman Catholic church during the Reformers time, or even the very conservative Mason´s (which I use to be) running at least half of the show in the SBC.

So to center on conservatism, even on an issue like homosexuality (what about birth control which most of the church historically considered a sin equal to this or worse than this, where´s the glorious conservatism on that?), is to center wrongly. To center on conservatism is to have nothing less in common witness with a Mormon church.

Now the trick here is getting SB policy to admit this for most would certainly argue that "œwe center on the Gospel alone". Baloney, their pulpits messages prove this false, just empty words of assertion. The assertion that "œwe are only all about the Gospel and the Great Commission" while their pulpits forsake proclaiming Christ crucified in their weekly message is nothing but an empty and dry wind blowing. But that word, Gospel, as a SB brother/deacon and friend of mine once said, "œHas become just a catch phrase word tossed out there with little real meaning behind it once examined and is used to fend off opposition." It´s kind of like going to ANY protestant church and they would ALL say, "œWe believe only in the Bible", but the phrase doesn´t dictate the reality. Or as Jesus said, "œYou search the Scriptures and think that by them you have life, but it is these that continually bear witness of ME."

Thus, the denomination always goes back on their former "œconservative successes" decades ago in the past as protecting the Gospel, like the whole homosexual thing. In fact ask someone outside of the SBC what the SB are about and you will almost never hear the reply, "œthe Gospel", that alone ought to shock someone claiming to be about the Gospel. Rather, you will hear the reply, "œthey are conservative"¦". Conservative or liberal in today´s climate is neither here nor there. Which shows what MESSAGE they are actually "œgetting out there". People are not laughing at them, like Ludwig Fuerbacker because they exude and proclaim "œgrace alone".

The problem is continual centering of the SB denominational hub or heart in reality in on "œconservatism" and not justification by faith alone (or however you want to state that tenant) which is the standing and falling of ANY Christian church/denomination. Surely SB affirm this in words but in action, preaching and teaching by far and large it is denied.

So when we shake hands on our conservative battle against past liberal intrusion that´s good and fine, that was the battle years ago, not today. That´s firing into the bushes where the enemy has long departed, you might hit an unfortunate stray rabbit but you are not fighting the fight on the real battle field. As Luther said if you battle on an issue that is otherwise correct but NOT the battle of today concerning the Gospel, that is the equivalent of not battling at all in the present for the faith. In the past it was indeed liberal intrusion but not today. One must ask where and how is the Gospel being denied TODAY, sometimes the battle is against the conservative, sometimes the liberal. Thus terms are fluctuating and relative terms anyway (e.g. political conservative in the US was political liberal in the USSR and vice versa). But people get stuck on a term and not the ideal behind the term. Thus, Rome could say with us today "œwe are saved by grace alone", BUT what do you really mean is the question.

To this Dr. Mohler was the victor because he does get behind the words and phrases to the ideals, Dr. Patterson is lost on the surface.

Ldh
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Originally posted by bened
Originally posted by jdlongmire
must have been a short talk...not very "meaty" - particularly for a pastor's conference - but Al may have been feeling poorly.
-JD

Uh, you could say that. Mohler had emergency eye surgery the day or night before, something to do with his retina and some kind of an astigmatism that threatened to blind him - permanently. He entered the room with shades on. (I just got on here at my hotel and scanned the blog, so please forgive me if I missed his reporting this). He was wiping his eye throughout the presentation.


I would beseech thee therefore, brethren, to lift our convention in prayer and cut Dr. Mohler some slack.

[Edited on 6-14-2006 by bened]

No disrespect to Dr. Mohler intended, I assure you!

Just commenting on the content and making an observation - I LOVE irenic! :D

-pax-

-JD
 

bened

Puritan Board Freshman
I LOVE irenic! :D
-JD

Got it past spell check so thought I'd throw it in.

And, btw, no offense taken, re: Mohler.

I do understand the frustration of many re: content.

But another time, another place perhaps for him to be more aggressive; nonetheless, even after further reflection, his approach was best.

All day yesterday and somewhat today, potshots and snide refs to "the calvinists" were made that were totally out of line and had nothing to do with the context of their message (thanks, executive committee chief, Morris Chapman).

Tom Ascol's integrity in church membership motion was shot down. He handled it all very well. I haven't read founders blog tonight but I'm sure he'll speak about it. He gave an excellent recap re: Mohler/Patterson discussion, btw.

For those of you who haven't been to his blog - you should really make the trip to founders.org. It's worth your while.

Even if he is an Aggie.;)

[Edited on 6-15-2006 by bened]
 
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