Why Southern Baptist Churches Should Call Calvinist Pastors

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Matthew1034

Puritan Board Freshman
The twentieth-century slide into liberalism rode on the back of a growing indifference to the doctrines of grace...
That was a fair article and should bring SBCers to an honest evaulation of their tolerance for lukewarm doctrinal fervor.

The article brought a bit of a paradox to my mind: My blood-washed spirit is energized from hearing the wonderful truths taught by the doctrines of grace and all its adornments, which is totally contrary to and opposite of the energy which comes from fiery, charasmatic, pentecostal preaching! The more I consider the selfless nature of grace, the more I see the evil in everything taught outside of that nature.
 

Ivan

Pastor
I'd like to hear from fellow Southern Baptist pastors here at the PB (and other credo brethren) what their lives are like as a confessional pastor within the Southern Baptist Convention. My paedo brethren, please participate too...ask questions, make statements, as you like.

It's been an interesting time of late in the SBC. We have those who are fully supportive, such as Tom Ascol and the Founders Ministries, along with other. We have the present SBC President, Johnny Hunt, who has said some outrageous things in the past about Calvinism with his bunch. And we have men like Dave Dockery, President of Union University, and Danny Akin, President of Southeasten Baptist Theological Seminary, who are open and sympathetic.

My experience has been pretty good. I am accepted in the local association and invited to be involved in its work, although I'm sure some have concerns. I'm not sure if that is good or bad. However, I think my personality is such that I don't promote debate or hostility.

What has it been like for the rest of you?
 

Ivan

Pastor
The article brought a bit of a paradox to my mind: My blood-washed spirit is energized from hearing the wonderful truths taught by the doctrines of grace and all its adornments, which is totally contrary to and opposite of the energy which comes from fiery, charasmatic, pentecostal preaching! The more I consider the selfless nature of grace, the more I see the evil in everything taught outside of that nature.
I'm a bit perplexed by this. If you are talking about preaching that promotes speaking in tongues, being slayed in the spirit, etc, etc. I understand and agree. However, if you are talking about heart-felt, Spirit-led fiery preaching, I say blaze away?

Could you be a bit more specific?
 

Matthew1034

Puritan Board Freshman
The article brought a bit of a paradox to my mind: My blood-washed spirit is energized from hearing the wonderful truths taught by the doctrines of grace and all its adornments, which is totally contrary to and opposite of the energy which comes from fiery, charasmatic, pentecostal preaching! The more I consider the selfless nature of grace, the more I see the evil in everything taught outside of that nature.
I'm a bit perplexed by this. <B>If you are talking about preaching that promotes speaking in tongues, being slayed in the spirit,</B> etc, etc. I understand and agree. However, if you are talking about heart-felt, Spirit-led fiery preaching, I say blaze away?

Could you be a bit more specific?
I am talking about unsound preaching that is fiery, charasmatic, and pentecostal; pentecostal as far as speaking in tongues and being slayed in the spirit, but more generally the fiery and charasmatic voice behind false gospel.

When the doctrines of grace are preached, when the gospel is proclaimed, when Christ is glorified as He should be, and when revelation comes as a result, it produces in me an ineffable desire for God! in fact, it energizes my spirit and literally feeds my soul - work of the Holy Spirit.

And it is this I constrast with all other preaching; fiery, charasmatic preaching produces in many a spiritual high that is substanceless, just an emotional plateau for that week which gives its hearers a false sense of security and intimacy with God. It does not have to necessarily promote speaking in tongues, being slain in the spirit, or other pentecostal hogwash, it just has to be graceless. The article is written by a Baptist to Baptists about the importance of doctrinal integrity for the benefit of the church.

And I say it is a paradox to me because the preaching does not have to be fiery or charasmatic to produce in me a greater love for Jesus; indeed, it seems silly to some to be so overwhelmed with the truth of the gospel outside of a fiery, charasmatic mold! See?

I do apologize if I'm not getting my point across clearly:think:, it is perfectly clear in my mind but is hard to articulate! But I would never consider heart-felt, Spirit-led fiery preaching evil. :)
 

Ivan

Pastor
I just needed a clarification, Matthew. You did a good job who doing that.

No the preaching does not have to be fiery to be biblical preaching. I understand what you're saying...and I certainly agree. I think the problem isn't between fiery and non-fiery preaching, but between feel good, emotional, Osteen type preaching as opposed to preaching the brings out the point of the text, expounds the truth of the Gospel, and honors God and glorifies Christ. I can say a hearty amen to that kind of preaching.

Oh, we're on the same page, Matthew.

So how it is for you in your church as a believer in the Doctrines of Grace?
 

Matthew1034

Puritan Board Freshman
So how it is for you in your church as a believer in the Doctrines of Grace?
Amen, brother Ivan. Thank you for taking interest in my thoughts! I enjoy PB for the simple fact of its members' sincere desire to honor God. :)

As for your inquiry, I ought to first state that my home church is not officially reformed or wholly-Calvinistic. I will next state that God has truly used experiences in my church to shape my understanding of the Doctrines of Grace. A year ago I thought Limited Atonement to be heresy, but now it is to me an example of the power of God and actually affects my evangelism. The same can be said of Irresistabe Grace and Perseverance.

Believing the doctrines of grace and attending a non-Calvinist church may seem conflicting, but God has used this for my good; I have been learning of Him patience and longsuffering; I have known and loved the church's people for many years, and now being enlightened [of tulip] I wish not to forsake them, but rather stay in the church and share the salty flavor, if you will. God has taught me to be patient during certain conversations when I myself want to basically argue with the person about their error and on behalf of the doctrines of grace.

And the good Lord opened the door for me to lead the youth group of the church, so there I am able to test myself in my presentation and overall understanding of the gospel of grace, in a more practical setting than alone in my studies. This is where the Founders article impacted me, reminding me that I am accountable to God for my presentation of Him, not just accountable to the church.

And, although my church is not wholly-reformed, I do not feel confined to their practices and precepts, but I know [more and more surely] that for freedom Christ has set me free. I do not feel as though it is a burden to attend a non-Calvinist church, or that I am somehow missing out on a greater church experience, but I see my planting there as a great opportunity to refine my beliefs and strengthen my trust in God. Maybe another paradox!

Ivan, from the perspective of a Pastor, what effects, if any, have you see in your congregation from the so-called slide into liberalism in the SBC?
 
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Ivan

Pastor
So how it is for you in your church as a believer in the Doctrines of Grace?
Amen, brother Ivan. Thank you for taking interest in my thoughts! I enjoy PB for the simple fact of its members' sincere desire to honor God. :)

As for your inquiry, I ought to first state that my home church is not officially reformed or wholly-Calvinistic. I will next state that God has truly used experiences in my church to shape my understanding of the Doctrines of Grace. A year ago I thought Limited Atonement to be heresy, but now it is to me an example of the power of God and actually affects my evangelism. The same can be said of Irresistabe Grace and Perseverance.

Believing the doctrines of grace and attending a non-Calvinist church may seem conflicting, but God has used this for my good; I have been learning of Him patience and longsuffering; I have known and loved the church's people for many years, and now being enlightened [of tulip] I wish not to forsake them, but rather stay in the church and share the salty flavor, if you will.

God has taught me to have patience during conversations when I myself want to basically argue with the person about their error and on behalf of the doctrines of grace.

And the good Lord opened the door for me to lead the youth group of the church, so there I am able to test myself in my presentation and overall understanding of the gospel of grace, in a more practical setting than alone in my studies.
Thank you for your wonderful post, Matthew. I think your experience is very typical of believers of the DoG in Southern Baptist churches. I have not established any kind of personal agenda as pastor of my church. I simply preach the Gospel. As different doctrines present themselves as you go through the Bible I address it. I have not had a problem with this approach, but not that I ever won't.

Taking a more irenic approach is the way to go for me. It's my personality. I have been able, through the leadership of the Holy Spirit, to guide people to embrace the DoG more and more. I pray always that it is done for the Glory of God.
 

Matthew1034

Puritan Board Freshman
I have not established any kind of personal agenda as pastor of my church. I simply preach the Gospel. As different doctrines present themselves as you go through the Bible I address it. I have not had a problem with this approach, but not that I ever won't.

Taking a more irenic approach is the way to go for me. It's my personality. I have been able, through the leadership of the Holy Spirit, to guide people to embrace the DoG more and more. I pray always that it is done for the Glory of God.
Thank you for sharing your insight; facing each doctrine as it comes rather than trying to cover it all at once. That will be helpful to me. :)

Joshua said:
I'm going to begin work soon on what will be my doctoral thesis:

Why Southern Baptist Churches Should Become Reformed Presbyterians

Only joshing ... maybe
:worms::eek: ................. :lol:
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
I'm going to begin work soon on what will be my doctoral thesis:

Why Southern Baptist Churches Should Become Reformed Presbyterians

:D Only joshing ... maybe :banana:
Very funny, Joshua. Just remember that when the Presbyterians were running off after Unitarianism, the Baptists were holding fast to the Doctrines of Grace. Be grateful for the witness of the Founders Movement and Tom Ascol.

This week's WHI had an interview with RC. When Mike Horton made a comment about American evangelicalism, RC demurred, saying that America has not been evangelical (except for a lose sense) for a very long time. The heart of popular Arminianism is semi-Pelagian at best. The SBC has fallen so far from their forebearers and the Doctrines of Grace that they had seen too far gone. But, the conservative resurgence showed a desire to return to the Word of God and the growing numbers of Calvinists within the SBC is greatly encouraging. May the Lord give Al Mohler MANY MANY more years to leave his stamp upon the denomination. Nearly a third of recent SBC seminary grads are 5 pt Calvinists!

But, Josh, all of those books on infant baptism I've been reading have a certain logic to them that is VERY difficult to resist. I keep hearing a voice beckoning "come into the light . . . come into the light." Then, Ivan kicks me in my butt and the dream dissipates. :lol:
 

JohnGill

Puritan Board Senior
I'm going to begin work soon on what will be my doctoral thesis:

Why Southern Baptist Churches Should Become Reformed Presbyterians

:D Only joshing ... maybe :banana:
I have no problem with that. Just as long as Presbyterians become credo-baptists. ;)

My pastor claims to be a Calvinist. I pray he begins to be so.
 

Ivan

Pastor
The SBC has fallen so far from their forebearers and the Doctrines of Grace that they had seen too far gone. But, the conservative resurgence showed a desire to return to the Word of God and the growing numbers of Calvinists within the SBC is greatly encouraging. May the Lord give Al Mohler MANY MANY more years to leave his stamp upon the denomination. Nearly a third of recent SBC seminary grads are 5 pt Calvinists!
Dennis,

It is the feeling of those SBC pastors who are believers in the DoG aren't going to take over the Convention any time soon. It's a gigantic mountain to climb. However, we ain't gonna away!

I also pray that Dr. Mohler will have many more years at Southern. He has done a remarkable thing there. Not only saving the seminary from liberalism, which was rank at one time, but has built one of the best seminaries in America that has many Calvinists on the faculty. An amazing achievement. Frankly, I'd like to know how Dr. Mohler came to the Doctrines of Grace. He grew up in Florida.

Dennis, your stat of one third of SBC graduates are Calvinist is interesting, but I wonder if you meant one third from Southern Seminary is Calvinist? If one third from all our seminaries are Calvinist I'm going to have party!

But, Josh, all of those books on infant baptism I've been reading have a certain logic to them that is VERY difficult to resist. I keep hearing a voice beckoning "come into the light . . . come into the light." Then, Ivan kicks me in my butt and the dream dissipates. :lol:
The argument on both sides can be compelling. Too bad it can't be a both/and rather than an either/or. I pray both groups will make multitudes into the kingdom of God.

By the way, I wear a size 10.
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
Dennis, your stat of one third of SBC graduates are Calvinist is interesting, but I wonder if you meant one third from Southern Seminary is Calvinist? If one third from all our seminaries are Calvinist I'm going to have party!

Findings from research conducted by the North American Mission Board – 2007NAMB New Millennium Ministers Study –

All 1998-2004 Masters level seminary graduates from Golden Gate, New Orleans, Midwestern, Southeastern, Southwestern and the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary were invited to complete the survey late 2006. A limited subset of Southern graduates was available for the study.

The total number of survey respondents was 2149, of those 2134 were usable.

By seminary: Golden Gate (N=270), New Orleans (N=287), Midwestern (N=148), Southeastern (N=403), Southwestern (N=978), Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary (N=11), Southern Seminary (N=52).

1,234 respondents serving as pastors or staff members at a Southern Baptist church. Within this group, 527 serve as senior or solo pastor of congregation.

Ivan, the statistic is for ALL seminary graduates between 1998 and 2004 (that were surveyed anyhow). 29% of that group claimed to be 5pt Calvinists. Also note, Southern was UNDERsampled in this survey.
 

Ivan

Pastor
The total number of survey respondents was 2149, of those 2134 were usable.

By seminary: Golden Gate (N=270), New Orleans (N=287), Midwestern (N=148), Southeastern (N=403), Southwestern (N=978), Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary (N=11), Southern Seminary (N=52).

1,234 respondents serving as pastors or staff members at a Southern Baptist church. Within this group, 527 serve as senior or solo pastor of congregation.

Ivan, the statistic is for ALL seminary graduates between 1998 and 2004 (that were surveyed anyhow). 29% of that group claimed to be 5pt Calvinists. Also note, Southern was UNDERsampled in this survey.
The undersampling of Southern is the first thing I noted. That being the case, I'd say the percentage of 33% is low. The second thing I noticed is that Southwestern has the highest number of participants. I would have never dreamed that the final number could be one third with so many SWBTS participants.

One thing I do know that is going on in the SBC...the old guard is having great difficulty controling the young bucks that are coming up. Perhaps there is more going on than I thought. Perhaps the DoG are gaining a greater foothold than I thought. And all I can say to that is:

PRAISE THE LORD!!!

Thank you for such an encouraging post!
 

ManleyBeasley

Puritan Board Junior
Dennis, your stat of one third of SBC graduates are Calvinist is interesting, but I wonder if you meant one third from Southern Seminary is Calvinist? If one third from all our seminaries are Calvinist I'm going to have party!

Findings from research conducted by the North American Mission Board – 2007NAMB New Millennium Ministers Study –

All 1998-2004 Masters level seminary graduates from Golden Gate, New Orleans, Midwestern, Southeastern, Southwestern and the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary were invited to complete the survey late 2006. A limited subset of Southern graduates was available for the study.

The total number of survey respondents was 2149, of those 2134 were usable.

By seminary: Golden Gate (N=270), New Orleans (N=287), Midwestern (N=148), Southeastern (N=403), Southwestern (N=978), Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary (N=11), Southern Seminary (N=52).

1,234 respondents serving as pastors or staff members at a Southern Baptist church. Within this group, 527 serve as senior or solo pastor of congregation.

Ivan, the statistic is for ALL seminary graduates between 1998 and 2004 (that were surveyed anyhow). 29% of that group claimed to be 5pt Calvinists. Also note, Southern was UNDERsampled in this survey.
I have a friend that went to Southern and he said that all the students there were Calvinist. I'm sure thats not comepletely true but that does say something. SBTS is now the largest seminary in the USA.
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
I have a friend that went to Southern and he said that all the students there were Calvinist. I'm sure thats not comepletely true but that does say something. SBTS is now the largest seminary in the USA.
I'm told that Fuller now boasts more than 4,300 students. Here is what one report from a couple of years ago said.

The largest U.S. seminary, California-based Fuller Theological Seminary, reported a head count of 4,128 students for two years in a row

The second-largest U.S. seminary was Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, with 3,005 students.

The third- and fourth-place schools are also Southern Baptist seminaries--in New Orleans (2,813) and Louisville, Kentucky (2,258).

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts (2,011), is the fifth-largest.

Dallas Theological Seminary edged past Asbury Theological Seminary for the sixth spot in 2004, registering 1,847 for 2004 compared to 1,724 at the seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky.
I'd be happy if Mohler's place was larger than Mouw's. :think:
 

govols

Puritan Board Junior
It's been an interesting time of late in the SBC. We have those who are fully supportive, such as Tom Ascol and the Founders Ministries, along with other. We have the present SBC President, Johnny Hunt, who has said some outrageous things in the past about Calvinism with his bunch. And we have men like Dave Dockery, President of Union University, and Danny Akin, President of Southeasten Baptist Theological Seminary, who are open and sympathetic.
Johnny doesn't really come out against Calvinism anymore but he does have others come to pulpit and say those things.

A few years back was John MacArthur's last appearance at the Real Evangelism Conf at FBCW (Johnny's). I say last b/c JMac came to the pulpit when it was his turn and said, "I believe Jesus was a Calvinist and before you remove from here, let me explain ..." Of course, my family and a few from my church wanted to stand up and applaud.
 

Ivan

Pastor
I'm told that Fuller now boasts more than 4,300 students. Here is what one report from a couple of years ago said.

The largest U.S. seminary, California-based Fuller Theological Seminary, reported a head count of 4,128 students for two years in a row

The second-largest U.S. seminary was Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, with 3,005 students.

The third- and fourth-place schools are also Southern Baptist seminaries--in New Orleans (2,813) and Louisville, Kentucky (2,258).

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts (2,011), is the fifth-largest.

Dallas Theological Seminary edged past Asbury Theological Seminary for the sixth spot in 2004, registering 1,847 for 2004 compared to 1,724 at the seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky.
I'd be happy if Mohler's place was larger than Mouw's. :think:
Enrollment figures are often incorrect. I've seen from 3,000 to 4,000 students for Southern. It depends on how they are counted. Regardless, even if half of the students at Southern are 5-pointers and 25% are at SWBTS, that will have a great effect on the churches in our Convention. If in a few years we send out roughly 2000 Calvinistic pastors that will make a change, a big one. And the old guard doesn't like it.

I hoped that Dr. Mohler had become SBC president this last June. His health prohibited that. However, I'm thinking that the time was not right. If a few years, when there are more Calvinistic pastors, Dr. Mohler will not only become president, but will have more clout as president. It will be interesting to see what happens.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Again, Presbyterians have always been credobaptists.
:offtopic:

But you sincerely know that your church membership doesn't require a credo confession. And that is the crux. So you are not truly credo in the sense that it is defined in the argument between paedo and credo baptists. You will accept a confession of faith for entrance into a congregation but it isn't necessary for younger children who are considered to be in a Covenant Relationship because of posterity. We Credo Baptist don't see posterity as a means to entrance into the New Covenant but a New Creation and a confession that indicates it.

(Rom 10:8) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

(Rom 10:9) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

(Rom 10:10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

We are not made children of Christ and Abraham {therefore members of the Covenant of Grace} by posterity but by our faith which God has given to us.

The difference is who is a Covenant Child of God. Spiritual or Carnal? You say both while we say the true Covenant Children are born of Christ and are spiritually born anew.

Now back on topic......
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Huh? The only point that I'm making, Randy, is that Presbyterians do believe in believer's baptism, which is what the word credobaptism means. So I'm not sure where the above came from. BTW, my church does indeed require a credo confession. So would a Presbyterian church that's baptizing an adult.
You are blurring the lines in your reasoning though Josh. When it is debated Credo vs. Paedo, the distinctions ring with two different noises so to speak.
 
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