Thursday, May 15, 2008

Arm-chair evangelism specialists


Timmy Brister, the alleged "face of Calvinism," and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary graduate who is joining Tom Ascol's church staff in Cape Coral, Florida, is now puffing books on evangelism by Pedobaptist scholars, J. I. Packer and R. B. Kuiper.

When will Brister, Tom Ascol, the Flounders, and others realize that you don't learn evangelism from Pedobaptists whose "evangelism" is baptizing babies?

Both of these men -- Packer and Kuiper (deceased) -- are well-known Pedobaptist Reformed intellectuals, and if either one of them ever made any significant evangelistic contributions, it has escaped my notice. Their writings, which are plentiful, usually are of the theoretical variety, dealing with theological issues, and major on the advocacy of Reformed theology according to the Hybrid Calvinist version.

When they write about "evangelism," their material constitutes a theoretical apologetic for Reformed theology as it relates to their concept of evangelism. Their primary burden is to
authenticate/vindicate Reformed theology, more than anything else.

The same is true of Flounders' Founder, Ernest Reisinger's Today's Evangelism, Walt Chantry's Today's Gospel, Iain Murray's Revival and Revivalism and The Old Evangelicalism, and similar writings by those who adhere to Hybrid Calvinism ("born again before faith"). Their primary purpose is to embellish Pedo Reformed theology over against evangelism which is usually labeled "Arminianism," etc.

The Reformed Pedo writers who advocate Hybrid Calvinism have never been marked by practical engagement in evangelism. They are what I prefer to regard as "Arm-chair specialists." Sorta like "think-tank political specialists" who don't actually engage in politics. They deal more with "theories" or the "theoretical" than anything else. The Pedos' primary "evangelism" is the baptism of infants who are presumed to be "covenant children."

If you will take note of the greatest of the Pedobaptist Reformed Hybrid theologians, to my knowledge none of them was ever involved in practical evangelism. The Hodges, Warfield, Alexander, and the Princeton scholars did not gain a reputation for evangelism. They are known more for their theoretical writings and/or classroom lectures. That was also the case with Shedd, Dabney, Machen, Boettner, John Murray, Van Til, Berkhof, etc. To my knowledge, the Hybrid Reformed Calvinism never produced an evangelist or an evangelistic endeavor of any note.

While their writings have value in certain categories, they are practically useless in the category of evangelism, and in many cases detrimental to evangelism. For instance, while some of their theological critiques of Charles G. Finney are of significance, yet their anti-Finneyism has spawned an extreme, fanatical and perverted treatment of Finney in this generation.

These Pedo Hybrid Calvinist Reformed writers are not going to contribute any significant inspiration or guidance to Baptists in the category of evangelism. Their writings are of value on some of the great theological themes of the Bible, but to a Baptist they are practially useless as to the commission, the church, the ordinances, and evangelism.

On evangelism, your best bet is C. H. Spurgeon's book, The Soul Winner. Spurgeon was a soul winner and an evangelist, even as a pastor. He was not an "arm-chair specialist" on this. He was a practicing, down-to-earth, highways-and-hedges type of Gospel preacher. He even preached in the open air and in secular auditoriums, and he has material in his Lectures to My Students on open-air preaching.

Spurgeon had several evangelistic organizations in his church with scores of workers who went all over the city of London and in many areas of England, spreading the Gospel, distributing literature, preaching in the open air, in halls, and in chapels, and bringing men to Christ. Many churches were established as a result of these evangelistic efforts. Spurgeon knew something about soul-winning and evangelism by his own practical experience, not merely in theory.

Spurgeon's one book is better than all the combined books by the "arm-chair" Pedobaptist Hybrid Calvinists promoted by Timmy Brister, the Flounders, and the Banner of Truth.



At Thursday, May 15, 2008 5:19:00 PM, Blogger Charles said...

Timmy Brister reviewing books on evangelism???

Oh, my, I just fell off my chair! ROFL!

That would be like me reviewing books on brain surgery, or "Dr." James White reviewing books on the Eternal Sonship of Christ!


At Thursday, May 15, 2008 8:13:00 PM, Blogger Bob L. Ross said...


Charles said...

Timmy Brister reviewing books on evangelism???

Oh, my, I just fell off my chair! ROFL!

Not only has Timmy been puffing Pedo writers on "evangelism" (as if "baby regenerationists" can teach evangelism to Baptists!), he also said awhile back he was teaching on evangelism at the church he attended while in Seminary in Kentucky.

Can you imagine what he will be teaching at Tom's church in Florida on this, using Pedobaptists as the standard? Could there be another "North Pompano" experience in the making?


The church is (1) already soaked in Hybrid Calvinist "born again before faith" theology, plus--

(2) it already has presbyterian type Elders, plus--

(3) it has Pedobaptist speakers at conferences, plus--

(4) it promotes the Pedobaptist-dominated DVD which was sent to SBC pastors in Florida, and now--

(5) Timmy will no doubt teach the Pedobaptists' concepts of evangelism.

It makes one wonder how long the church will be satisfied in using the word "Baptist" on its face, or will it have a "face-lifting"?

At Thursday, May 15, 2008 10:09:00 PM, Blogger Bob L. Ross said...


Bob to Charles:

I noticed Rick Warren's report on evangelism at Saddleback church on Tom Ascol's blog.

Maybe Rick would be a better consultant on evangelism than the Pedobaptists recommended by Timmy Brister.

Rick seems to be a great admirer of Spurgeon, too.

At Friday, May 16, 2008 6:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charles and Bob:

Now that Rick Warren has affirmed he is a Calvinist and endorses integrity in membership on the Founder's blog and wonder if those Calvinists who have denigrated his ministry and Saddleback will now embrace him and hold him forth as a Calvinist who is active in evangelism?

He does not just speak about evangelism but is a practitioner and has laboured to have his church as an evangelizing church. He does not just speak about membership issues, but has done something to solve the issue.

I have read his book, The Purpose Driven Church, and appreciate much of what he has said and applaud him for putting feet to his convictions. Yet many criticize his book and church.

May God bless him for reaching men and women for Christ.


At Saturday, May 17, 2008 12:16:00 PM, Blogger Charles said...

Brother Bob, Hello!

In the past, Warren has been routinely trashed on the Flounders blog.

Assuming the post is legit and not an impostor, I wonder how the Flounder friends will think of him now?

I noticed that, as of yet, Tom Ascol has not responded to him. Very telling. Tom usually responds to any "big name" poster in almost real time.


At Saturday, May 17, 2008 4:27:00 PM, Blogger Bob L. Ross said...


Timmy Brister, of the Tom and Timmy Tandem has accepted that the "Rick Warren" post is legit, so that might leave some room for doubt. Remember, he is same Timmy who said Jerry Falwell's views are "equally as threatening to orthodoxy" as the views of those who hold "open theism, the rejection of a literal hell, process theology, etc."

It seems that Timmy is highly pleased with RW's endorsement of TA's resolution. Since Rick says he is a "Kuyper Calvinist," that might also please Timmy, since that is about the same as endorsing Hybrid Calvinism. If Rick really believes Kuyper's "born again before faith" teaching, then it may be that the Hybrid's finally have one who is aggressive in evangelistic effort. He conceivably could help the Flounders get into evangelism, and I suggest they have him as a speaker.

Tom's church could even do a study course on Rick's "Purpose Driven Church" book. That would be far superior to the Pedobaptists (Packer, Kuiper) on evangelism promoted by Timmy Brister.

At Saturday, May 17, 2008 5:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob and Charles:

Steve Camp has now weighed in, dismissing Warren by accusing him of acting out only of politics and criticizing the manner in which Warren has sought to face certain social issues in the world.

Whatever one may say about Rick Warren, he is serious about evangelism and church membership, practicing these in his life, instructing his church to engage in these sincerely, and doing what he can to help other pastors and churches become more effective for the kingdom of God.

Would that more Calvinists were like Rick Warren, spending themselves to win women and men to Christ.


At Saturday, May 17, 2008 6:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve Camp also believes Tom Ascol should remove Rick Warren's name from the endorsement of Ascol's resolution:

"I agree with Scott here. Tom should remove his name from the endorsement of this resolution. If it’s left on, it will seriously weaken the credibility of the resolution."

Camp says Warren is not credible on regeneration church membership for two reasons: (1) "Have you ever heard Warren preach the biblical gospel before and not a watered-down version of the gospel?" and (2) "Warren continues to foster unbiblical, unequally-yoked partnerships with nonbelievers in social/political causes such as ONE, Aids, Global Warming, etc."

I where Tom Ascol falls in the issue of Rick Warren and regenerate church membership.


At Saturday, May 17, 2008 7:59:00 PM, Blogger Bob L. Ross said...


Bob to Charles:

Frankly, Charles, I really find it difficult to believe Rick Warren would post on the Flounders' blog.

Why so? I just can't see him aligning himself with a losing cause.

At Saturday, May 17, 2008 8:51:00 PM, Blogger Bob L. Ross said...


I have been informed that the following comment by "ide" should be corrected:

I where Tom Ascol falls in the issue of Rick Warren and regenerate church membership.


Saturday, May 17, 2008 6:26:00 PM

It should read:

I wonder where Tom Ascol falls in the issue of Rick Warren and regenerate church membership.


Note to Charles: If you can correct the original, have at it.

At Monday, May 19, 2008 9:14:00 AM, Blogger Rev. said...

J. I. Packer is not deceased (as is Kuiper). In fact, just last month he left the Anglican Church of Canada because of that group's position on homosexuality.

At Wednesday, May 21, 2008 9:25:00 PM, Blogger ide said...


Tom Ascol has written a new article on the Founder’s blog about resolution on integrity in church membership (”Resolved: Southern Baptist need to get serious about ecclesiology”) in which, it seems, a resolution must include the word “repentance” for it to be acceptable to him (since Dr. Yarnell’s motion is a call to change practices as as Dr. Welty has pointed out.

Steve Camp continues to call for Tom Ascol to remove Rick Warren from the endorsement, a sentiment first declared on the Founder’s blog and reiterated on Timmy Brister’s blog a couple hours later. The funny thing is that Rick Warren has written in his book, The Purpose Driven Church, that everyone attending Saddleback receives a card and is asked to fill it out during the service and return it which allows those wishing to believe on Christ to be visited by a church leader and wayward members to be visited or removed from the membership roles if the absence is beyond a certain time period. It seems to me Camp should approve this “integrity in church membership.”


At Thursday, May 22, 2008 12:00:00 PM, Blogger Bob L. Ross said...


ide said...

Tom Ascol has written a new article on the Founder’s blog about resolution on integrity in church membership (”Resolved: Southern Baptist need to get serious about ecclesiology”) . . .

What is so contradictory in Ascol's "ecclesiology" is that he is one of the greatest Baptist promoters of Pedoism in the State of Florida, and Pedoism is committed to actually filling the churches with the "unregenerate" by the Pedo system of baptizing infants and adding them to the church roll.

Ascol is like those in Scripture who strained the gnat and swallowed the camel!

At least those absent or non-attending
"unregenerate" people on Baptist church rolls are not actively involved in "running" the churches; on the other hand, the Pedo churches are actually controlled by those who allegedly were
"regenerated" and baptized in infancy.


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