Saturday, December 09, 2006

Tom Nettles Is Short Of The Mark On Georgia Baptists

Dr. Tom "Misinformation" Nettles is at it again, this time in a recent Georgia Index article.

Fortunately, Southern Baptists have Brother Bob Ross to correct Nettles' misinformation campaign.

Charles
--------------
NETTLES IS SHORT OF THE MARK ON GEORGIA BAPTISTS

Bob to Charles:

Speaking of "dissing" and also Al Mohler's "hiring" unqualified professors, Charles, the case of Southern Seminary's Tom Nettles's qualifications to teach continues to fester.

Obviously, Nettles is acquainted with a lot of history, but his rather crafty distortions as a means to embellish his Hybrid Calvinism continue to crop up and discredit him as an objective professor. Also, he has yet to respond to my inquiry about his inviting Hardshell Lasserre Bradley Jr. to the Seminary campus.

We also noticed in a past post how Nettles appropriated a quotation from the late Dr. F. H. Kerfoot when in fact Kerfoot did not hold to Nettles' idea of "born again before faith," but strenuously objected to that notion (See J. P. Boyce's Abstract of Systematic Theology 1899 edition, page 347.

I assume, Charles, that you have seen Nettles' article in the Georgia Christian Index at
http://www.christianindex.org/2802.article.

Nettles alleges that the Georgia Baptists in past times were "Calvinists," but he fails to demonstrate that their "Calvinism" was the "Reformed" type of Hybrid Calvinism for which Nettles is a chief palabberer at Southern Seminary. In other words, Nettles failed to show that the elect are "born again before faith," which is the doctrine for which Nettles stands.

You will remember, no doubt, with what exuberance Georgia Pastor and Founders' affiliate Scott Morgan posted an article awhile back in which he elatedly claimed that a Georgia Confession of Faith upheld his Hybrid Calvinism of "born again before faith" [October 12, 2006 9:32:42 PM].

Scott said he "even called Dr. Nettles today and told him where to find it," he was so thrilled about the Confession.

Unfortunately, the Confession was AGAINST Scott's doctrine that "regeneration precedes faith" rather than teaching it.

The Georgia Confession put "effectual calling" [which incorporates the faith which is produced by the Word and Spirit, according to chapter 10 of the 1689 London Confession] BEFORE "regeneration."

The Georgia Confession was quoted by Scott at --
http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=23354593&post
ID=116050810545911274

It reads:

6th. We believe that all those who were chosen in Christ, will be effectually called, regenerated, converted, sanctified, and supported by the spirit and power of God, so that they shall persevere in grace, and not one of them be finally lost.

In Tom Nettles' article, he did not quote this Georgia Confession. Evidently, Nettles did not see the Georgia Confession as being supportive of the "born again before faith" heresy of Hybrid Calvinism -- especially since he was aware of the Calvinist Flyswatter's refutation of Scott Morgan's misinterpretation.

Therefore, while none should deny that Georgia Baptists in past years had their share of Baptists who held the type of Creedal Calvinism expressed in the 1689 London Confession / Philadelphia Confession, neither should they think that the "Calvinism" of Tom Nettles is the Calvinism held by those Georgia Baptists. Their own Confession, quoted by Scott Morgan, reveals that they placed "effectual calling" before "regeneration."

Likewise, Dr. John L. Dagg, as quoted on the Founders' website, says that faith "precedes" in regeneration. [http://www.founders.org/library/dagg_bio.html]

DAGG: "FAITH is necessary to the Christian character; and must therefore PRECEDE REGENERATION, when this is understood in its widest sense. Even in the restricted sense, in which it denotes the beginning of the spiritual life, FAITH, in the sense in which James uses the term, may PRECEDE."

Nettles ironically includes Dr. Dagg in a short list of Calvinistic Georgia Baptists, despite the fact Dr. Dagg conflicts with Nettles' Hybrid Calvinism of "born again before faith."

Nettles apparently assumes that his readers are ignorant of Dagg's views.

23 Comments:

At Saturday, December 09, 2006 8:43:00 PM, Anonymous toyotahybrid said...

Since Nelson Price's article wasn't quite so nuanced with its labels, I don't think we can expect nettle's to spend much time differentiating between 'hybrid' and garden variety calvinism.

Price didn't attack 'hybrid' he went after calvinism in general

 
At Saturday, December 09, 2006 9:21:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

KETOCTON ASSOCIATION ON
"MEANS" IN REGENERATION


Bob to Charles:

In regard to our Baptist forefathers and their views, Charles, the following is a statement I have had occasion to use over the years in refuting "Hardshell" distortions, and it would apply equally to the modern-day "Hybrid Calvinists" who teach "born again before faith."

The material below is from a Circular Letter sent forth by the Ketocton Association, the first Baptist association formed in Virginia, and it is copied from William Fristoe's (1742-1828) history:

"Now, lastly, the cause or means that effect this divine change. God is the only efficient cause -- His love the moving cause -- His Spirit and His Word the ministering cause. Thus we are said to be BEGOTTEN BY THE WORD of His truth through the Gospel, BORN AGAIN to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation" (A Concise History of the Ketockton Baptist Association 1766-1808 by William Fristoe, pages 108, 109).

In Fristoe's "Summary of the leading Principles holden by this Association," he says, "By the instrumentality of this sacred Word, stubborn and obstinate sinners are brought into the obedience of faith," etc.

So these Baptists did not hold to the "direct operation" theory which has sinners "born again before faith" apart from the instrumentality of the Word or Gospel blessed by the Holy Spirit.

 
At Sunday, December 10, 2006 10:03:00 AM, Blogger volfan007 said...

charles and bob,

i had dr. nettles in seminary. he is definitely what dr. daniel akin termed an extreme calvinist. he is obsessed with the five points of calvinism, and he is more interested in converting christians to calvinism than he is in anything else in his life....unless he has changed since the mid 80's. and, it doesnt sound like he has.

also, he was asked to resign at mid america baptist seminary due to his regeneration before faith doctrine.

but, i do believe that dr. nettles knows the Lord and loves the Lord. he is just wrong about this doctrine and off the deep end on the tulip theory.

volfan007

 
At Sunday, December 10, 2006 6:52:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

NETTLES' LACK OF
DIFFERENTIATION

toyotahybrid said...


Since Nelson Price's article wasn't quite so nuanced with its labels, I don't think we can expect nettle's to spend much time differentiating between 'hybrid' and garden variety calvinism.

I have found that Nettles usually "differentiates" when it is deemed to be an advantage, and even then he does not always legitimately differentiate.

For example, in his palabber in opposition to "invitations" and "altar calls" (By His Grace and For His Glory, page 420), Nettles alleges that Spurgeon's "conscience was stirred" against "physical response" by sinners in regard to invitations, enquiry rooms, etc. My respect for Nettles as a "historian" plunged considerably upon my reading of his perversion of Spurgeon.

He utilizes a quotation from Spurgeon which amounted to nothing but emphasis upon the careful use of such things, not the rejection of them. Nettles borrowed this distortion from pedobaptist Iain Murray, the modern "father" of anti-invitationalism and much of the Hybrid Calvinism represented by Nettles and the Founders.

Spurgeon was one of the greatest advocates of immediate and "public response" to the Gospel message. He urged "decision" and warned against procrastination. See my articles at the following links about Spurgeon's emphasis on "public response" in evangelism --

SPURGEON & INVITATIONS #1
http://www.pilgrimpublications.com/
invite1.htm

SPURGEON & INVITATIONS #2
http://www.pilgrimpublications.com/
invite2.htm

EVANGELISM AT SPURGEON'S TABERNACLE
http://writingsofbobross.
tripod.com/0028.htm

SPURGEON PRESSED FOR DECISION
http://writingsofbobross.
tripod.com/0078.htm


Spurgeon was a great friend and promoter of D. L. MOODY. Here is what Spurgeon said about Moody's method as to "public response" --

"I believe that it is a great help in bringing people to DECISION when Mr. Moody asks those to STAND UP who wish to be prayed for.   Anything that tends to separate you from the ungodly around you, is good for you. Now, if you have given yourselves to Christ, tell it out; for, after that, you cannot go back to the world, you will feel that the vows of the Lord are upon you. When Caesar landed on a certain shore, he burned his boats behind him, so that his men might know that they must conquer or perish. I advise you to do likewise; burn your boats by a clear and explicit declaration." (MTP, 1897, page 516).

 
At Sunday, December 10, 2006 7:33:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

REFERENCE?
volfan007 said...


also, he was asked to resign at mid america baptist seminary due to his regeneration before faith doctrine.

Do you, brother, have an authoritative source for this piece of information?

Not that I doubt your word -- but when "pressed," I never like to simply say, "I was told." This would fall into the "hearsay" category if I could only quote a "former student."

 
At Monday, December 11, 2006 10:42:00 AM, Blogger volfan007 said...

bob,

i was a student at mid america baptist seminary when this happened. in fact, he was told to declare his belief about regeneration and faith in a chapel service. he preached regeneration before salvation. he was asked to resign.

i guess if you want further proof, then you will have to call mid america seminary, or else dr. nettles.

volfan007

 
At Monday, December 11, 2006 8:03:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

ON NETTLES

volfan007 said...

bob,

i was a student at mid america baptist seminary when this happened. in fact, he was told to declare his belief about regeneration and faith in a chapel service. he preached regeneration before salvation. he was asked to resign.

Thanks for your comment. Do you know the particular person(s) who asked Nettles to resign? What date -- or year -- did this take place? Where did he go after leaving Mid-America?

I have heard this before, but you are the closest thing to an authentic "witness" on it.

BTW, I was invited to present a program on Spurgeon at Mid-America in the early 80s when Nettles was then on the faculty. I wonder if he was teaching Hybrid Calvinism back then, too.

Nettles has stopped communicating with me ever since I asked him why he invited America's #1 Hardshell Baptist, Lasserre Bradley Jr., to the Seminary. Before that, I often received some emails from him about various issues.

 
At Wednesday, December 13, 2006 10:27:00 AM, Blogger volfan007 said...

bob,

i went to mid america in the mid 80's. in fact, the asking dr. nettles to resign thing probably happened in 1987, or 1988. i cant be definite. that was a while back. but, it was dr. gray allison, who was then pres. of mid america, who asked dr. nettles to leave.

after dr. nettles left mid america, i believe that he went to trinity evangelical seminary in illinois. i am almost certain about that.

i can tell you that dr. nettles was an extreme calvinist. everything he talked about in class revolved around the five points. he is a very intelligent fella, and i believe that he really loves the Lord. but, he is just gone to seed on extreme calvinism.

i hope this info helps you.

volfan007

 
At Wednesday, December 13, 2006 1:45:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

WHAT PRESIDENT?
Bob to Charles . . .


You remember, Charles, a few weeks ago that Scott Morgan claimed he had conversed with a "former SBC president" who believed "born again before faith"?

I wonder -- did he ever reveal who that mysterious person is?

I don't recall any SBC president who believed that, unless he has apostatized since holding office, do you?

 
At Wednesday, December 13, 2006 3:15:00 PM, Blogger volfan007 said...

here's a quote worth reading from charles spurgeon:

"i have heard of ministers who can preach a sermon without mentioning the name of Jesus from beginning to end. if you ever hear a sermon of that kind, mind that you never hear another one from that man. if a baker once made a loaf of bread without any flour in it, i would take good care that he should never do so again; and i say the same of a man who can preach a christless gospel. let those go and hear him who do not value thier souls; but dear friends, your soul and mine are too precious to be placed at the mercy of such a preacher."

let's preach Jesus, my friends.

volfan007

 
At Wednesday, December 13, 2006 4:36:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

CARROLL vs NETTLES
volfan007 said...


i can tell you that dr. nettles was an extreme calvinist. everything he talked about in class revolved around the five points.

Another instance of Nettles' craftiness in promoting his brand of "Calvinism," is in how he handled B. H. Carroll in his book, By His Grace and For His Glory, pages 223-231.

While Nettles alleges that Carroll believed -- among other things -- "effectual calling" -- which indeed Carroll did -- but did Nettles inform the reader exactly what Carroll believed as constituting "effectual calling"?

For instance, did Nettles inform the reader that Carroll did not hold the Reformed "born again before" idea which Nettles believes? Did he inform the reader that Carroll believed that "effectual calling" meant that the new birth was NOT effected until a person believed in Christ?

Certainly not. Nettles wanted to paint Carroll as a "Calvinist" but he did not bother to mention the fact that Carroll did not hold to the Hybrid Calvinism of Nettles on the new birth.

The fact is, on page 287 of Volume 10, Part I on The Gospels, An Interpretation of the English Bible, Carroll offers the following "syllogism" which teaches that one is not born again before faith in Christ:

>>
(1) Every one born of God has the right to be called a child of God.

(2) But no one has the right until he believes in Jesus.

(3) Therefore the new birth is not completed without faith."

>>

In addition to the foregoing from Carroll's larger expository work, there is a separate book of his Sermons which contains an entire message on Regeneration (Sermons, chapter 12).

In this sermon, Carroll has a diagram on page 177 which demonstrates that conviction, repentance, and faith equal the New Birth.

He uses a diagram to illustrate that REGENERATION or the New Birth incorporates Conversion, Repentance, and Faith}

What Carroll demonstrates in the diagram is the Spirit's unseen inner work in using the Word is to bring about conviction, repentance, and faith EQUALS the New Birth.

He calls conviction, repentance, and faith the "constituent elements of regeneration."

Among his comments are these:

>>
I would prefer to write the word "regeneration" above a horizontal line with "conviction," "repentance," "faith" directly underneath, so that three names under the line are exactly equal in length to the one above the line.
>>

>>
Conviction, repentance and faith are the CONSTITUENT ELEMENTS OF REGENERATION.
>>

Nettles, on the other hand, believes that one is regenerated (born again) BEFORE repentance and faith -- in other words, "pre-faith regeneration."

Nettles failed to "differentiate" the fact that Carroll's view on effectual calling was in direct conflict with Nettles' view. According to Nettles, Carroll would be pegged as a "synergist," and not a "Calvinist" according to the "Calvinism" of Tom Nettles.

Nettles simply typifies how the Flounders often misappropriate names and selected materials for their own crafty purposes in promoting their version of "Calvinism."

 
At Wednesday, December 13, 2006 6:51:00 PM, Anonymous toyotahybrid said...

My point was simply that price was not being precise in his critism but went after calvinism generally. Which called for a general response which many non-hybrid calvinists could amen, even if not on the same page as nettle's on everything.

I don't think a person has to agree with Nettle's to acknowledge that he makes some good general points.

BTW, did you read Akin's letter published recently. While I don't agree completely with him theologically, I find that he always strives to be ethical in representing.

Akin on Theological Responsibility

I'm curious about your thoughts bob

 
At Thursday, December 14, 2006 7:54:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

DANNY AKIN?
toyotahybrid said...


BTW, did you read Akin's letter published recently. . . .

I'm curious about your thoughts bob


I think Brother Danny could have more appropriately served the cause of the Gospel and Systematic Theology if he had condemned the Hybrid Calvinism on the New Birth promoted by the Flounders, Southern Seminary, and other advocates of "born again before faith."

A few extravagant remarks by non-Calvinists who would not be mistaken as being systematic theologians are relatively harmless in comparison to the Hybrid Calvinism heresy being promoted by the Hybrids in the SBC.

 
At Friday, December 15, 2006 3:16:00 PM, Anonymous toyotahybrid said...

pretty much what I expected you to say.

Bob said,
"A few extravagant remarks by non-Calvinists who would not be mistaken as being systematic theologians are relatively harmless

A couple statements addressed in Akin's article come from Johny Hunt's Pulpit and by the right hand man of Jerry Falwell, not exactly insignificant blogging folks.

They arnt' harmless either. I've not run into many non-calvinists who can carry on a conversation that goes beyond straw-men. Why is that? Because many of the giants in our denomination are feeding it to them.

Those kinds of statement are standard fare in prominent pulpits across america these day. They are also passing for serious thought.

Some of the guys who are dedicating much effort against calvinism are considered the final authority by some in our denomination.

AGAIN, what is being attacked in prominent pulpits is NOT hybrid it is garden variety tulips. I hardly every hear the distinctions you make, by these folks. They HATE it all, hybrid or not.

 
At Saturday, December 16, 2006 2:39:00 PM, Anonymous PTW said...

Bob,
Can the effectual call be resisted?

PTW

 
At Sunday, December 17, 2006 4:51:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

"GARDEN VARIETY"?
toyotahybrid said...


AGAIN, what is being attacked in prominent pulpits is NOT hybrid it is garden variety tulips. I hardly every hear the distinctions you make, by these folks. They HATE it all, hybrid or not.

The fact is, however, wherever there has been an alleged "attack," the Hybrid Calvinists had been firing ill-devised attacks beforehand. Anything Hybrids don't accept is branded as "Arminian," "Pelagian," or "synergist," and a "graden variety" of evils imputed to it.

For example, notice how they like to "pile on" against the use of "public invitations" by alleging all manner of distortions -- despite the fact they themselves, in most cases, made their initial profession of faith in connection with an invitation.

I think you could very well spend your energies correcting your own Hybrid brethren first, then you can devote some effort to others whom you choose.

 
At Sunday, December 17, 2006 5:27:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

EFFECTUAL CALL?
PTW said...


Can the effectual call be resisted?

In the theological theoretical systems, there is general agreement that the only "call" that is "effectual" is the call which has resulted in faith in Christ.

So the only persons to whom you can actually apply the term "effectual call" are those persons who are believers.

We do not know who is "effectually called" until they manifest faith.
Until then, all who hear the "general call" of the Gospel are apparently resisting, aren't they?

I think it was Melancthon who was owed a debt, and when the debtor asked him if it was predestinated that they debt be repaid, Melancthon said, "Put the money into my hand, and I will tell you."

Likwise, it seems that what we really know about "calling" depends on what comes to pass -- and that is, believers are those "effectually called."

 
At Tuesday, December 19, 2006 10:52:00 AM, Blogger Scott said...

Mr. Ross,

Greetings in the name of our Lord . After researching the Ga Baptist Association article I believe you are greatly missing the point. You hold to from what I can tell that a man is born again when he believes ? I believe the scripture teaches a man believes because he has been regenerated/bornagain first( Regeneration precedes Conversion). The article shows that these early Ga Baptist seperated Regeneration from Conversion( Meaning that Conversion can't happen unless Regeneration precedes) and this is what the Ga Confession shows. How can you argue that? Where Regeneration is Conversion happens immediately. I agree with you on the instrumentality of the Word and that the Word and Spirit work together( They must) in making the dead man alive so he then can believe savingly.With all due respect you have missed Mr. Nettles and Morgan's point. It's shows Regeneration preceding Conversion. Whether you have Effectual Calling or Regeneration first it still shows that Regeneration precedes Conversion according to the Ga Baptist beliefs.

 
At Tuesday, December 19, 2006 10:51:00 PM, Blogger Scott said...

Mr. Ross,

I do love you brother but as I said in my last post I have reviewed the Ga Baptist beliefs several times. They show that Regeneration precedes Conversion. It really is that simple. So, at least Mr. Morgan will be patient for you to see this. Have a great Christmas and have a great 2007 !

 
At Tuesday, December 19, 2006 11:09:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

GEORGIA BAPTISTS
Scott said...


After researching the Ga Baptist Association article I believe you are greatly missing the point.

I read your comment, but saw no quotations from the Georgia Baptist Confession which places "regeneration" or the "new birth" prior to faith.

Since the Spirit's use of the Word is what produces faith, and faith is how one is united to Christ our Life, this is what constitutes the New Birth or Regeneration.

I think you have been giving too much attention to what your Georgia Hardshell friends have been saying to you.

You might be helped if you read Jonathan Edwards on "A Divine and Supernatural Light" at http://www.ccel.org/e/edwards/
light/supernatural_light.html


Under his second major heading (II) Edwards shows that the Spirit uses the Word as the means to shine the light into the soul: "it is not given without the word. The gospel is made use of in this affair: this light is the 'light of the glorious gospel of Christ', 2 Cor. 4:4. The gospel is as a glass by which this light is conveyed to us, 1 Cor. 13:12."

According to your view, you have a sinner "regenerated" before receiving the light of the Word, and that imaginary "regeneration" leaves him in darkness.

 
At Wednesday, December 20, 2006 10:29:00 AM, Blogger volfan007 said...

so, let me get this strait....you get saved so that you can get saved? is that what you regeneration before conversion people are saying. a person gets saved, then he can get saved?

bob and charles,

can yall explain that to me. i'm just a dumb, ole hillbilly, and i cant understand that kind of talk.

thanks,

volfan007

 
At Wednesday, December 20, 2006 1:18:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

SAVED TO GET SAVED?
volfan007 said...


so, let me get this strait....you get saved so that you can get saved? is that what you regeneration before conversion people are saying. a person gets saved, then he can get saved?

bob and charles,

can yall explain that to me.


Yes, that sorta sums up the Hardshell and "Reformed" Hybrid doctrine -- one gets "born again" in order to afterwards get "saved."

The "Reformed" say their babies are "regenerated" (born again) early in infancy, and they get their lives "saved" later on.

Hardshells refer to "regeneration" as "eternal salvation," and what comes afterwards is "time salvation" of one's life.

The modern Hybrids such as James White and those in the Flounders have just closed the "gap" to less of a "space" between "regeneration" and "salvation." But they still have one being "born again before faith."

The Confessional view is that faith is the result of the Spirit's using the Word -- "faith comes by hearing" -- and that faith is what unites to Christ our Life. Thus one is born again, or "regenerated" at the point of Spirit/Word-created faith, and not before.

Until the Spirit has produced faith, there is no new birth.

As Dr. B. H. CARROLL, Founder of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, said:

"The new birth is not completed without faith."

[page 287 of Volume 10, Part I on The Gospels, An Interpretation of the English Bible]

This is why Dr. JOHN L. DAGG taught that "faith precedes" -- one must have faith in Christ given or produced by the Spirit/Word for there to accomplish the new birth. -- Manual of Theology, page 279.[http://www.founders.org/
library/dagg_bio.html]

 
At Wednesday, December 20, 2006 5:12:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...

CONVERSION
Scott said...


I have reviewed the Ga Baptist beliefs several times. They show that Regeneration precedes Conversion.

"Conversion" is usually simply described as simply "man's side" of the SAME work described as "regeneration" which is "God's side." Like two sides of a coin. Neither comes "first" -- they occur at the same time.

Scripture refers to "repent and be converted." simply meaning that in the act of repenting there is conversion -- not that one repents, then afterwards is converted.

B. H. CARROLL uses a diagram to illustrate the simultaneousness and concurrency of regeneration and conversion -- with "conviction, repentance, and faith" being the "constituent elements of" and "equal to" regeneration -- all being at the same time. (Interpretation of the English Bible, Vol. 10, page 287).

As for the Georgia Confession, the fact is they put "EFFECTUAL CALLING" first in their "order."

They taught "Effectual Calling" as it is presented in the 1689 Confession, and that Confession says Effectual Calling includes "enlightening their minds SPIRITUALLY and SAVINGLY to understand the things of God" (chapter 10).

According to your "order," however, like the Hardshells and "Reformed" baby regenerationists, you have one "regenerated" but he is yet UNCONVERTED (no repentance and faith). He is "regenerated," but he is not a believer in Christ. He is "regenerated," but has no love for Christ. You have an oxymoron.

Johnathan Edwards shows that when the "Divine Light" is "imparted to the soul by the Spirit of God," He uses the Word, and this Word conveys "to the mind the subject matter of this SAVING INSTRUCTION. . . Indeed a person can't have spiritual light without the word."

Edwards equates this as being "a saving close with Christ."

 

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