Friday, April 03, 2009

No "Founders" national conference for '09

No National Founders Conference in 2009

That is the headline on Flounder-in-Chief Tom Ascol's blog for today. Tom gives some "reasons," none of which we would have suspected to be the basic reason.

When the "Founders" was hatched by Ernest Reisinger and a few of his associates in 1982, the primary feature was a "national" conference designed to popularize the "doctrines of grace" per the modern "Reformed" version. This emphasis has been so prevalent across time that it has "worn thin" as an attraction to people other than those who have recently become infatuated with the Flounders' theology.

Also, the Flounders have 28 other regional meetings and fraternals, and these meetings would most likely tend to detract some of the lustre off the national conference. The 2008 national conference was reportedly rather sparsely attended, which one attendant estimated as less than a hundred registrants.

At any rate, this could be a step "forward" for the Flounders, for the less emphasis on "conferences" the more that time and money can be devoted to the true mission of the church -- the winning of the lost and the establishment of churches. Ascol has been talking about "church planting" for a couple of years or so; perhaps it has dawned upon him that "conferences" do not win souls and establish churches.

COMMENTS: Do not post in the combox. Send your comments for posting on the Flyswatter to


At Saturday, April 04, 2009 11:07:00 AM, Blogger Bob L. Ross said...

Observations on the Founders and Timmy Brister's recent palabber.

I received the following from Brother Ian Elsasser via email, and I think he has very well sized-up both the Flounders and Ascol's assistant and Blogger-in-Chief, Timmy Brister:

I read your Calvinist Flyswatter comment and went over to read Ascol's article. I notice he admits the prime directive of the national conference was "the doctrines of grace" and admits that there are a large number of other conferences doing the same thing. This is a sad situation, if you ask me.

I still understand his comment that Founders primarily is about "reforming churches" to mean propounding and promoting "doctrines of grace" within churches. His comment that he wishes to focus on church planting and organizing a network must be read in light of Timmy Brister's recent remark that he wants to network church planters who are "confessionally Reformed" along with the other two marks -- hence, promoting [Reformed] "doctrines of grace" churches. The plan has not changed.

As for his [Brister's] article of today, Brister prides himself in studying "culture" and being an "exegete of the culture" (yet another phrase that is coming into prominence along with some of the other "buzz" words he bandies about). Now it is "triperspectivalism" that he is employing in his dialogues.

Buzz words or big words do not an effective minister make, though I'm sure it plays well in the academe and scholarly realms but not much in the ministries of men and women of our churches.

It is lamentable that in his defiant stand over against non-Christian culture he had adopted the non-Christian cultures' understanding of "heart" as emotion rather than the biblical notion of that which directs out lives. When Jeremiah declares that the heart is more deceitful than all else and desperately sick, it was not of emotions he was speaking. Nor was he speaking of the cleansing of emotions when he called upon God's people to wash their hearts from all wickedness (Jer 4.14). Was Jeremiah in error of espousing a conversion that was emotional only ("only in the heart" as spoken by Brister) or a cleansing of the entire way of life (thinking, doing, deciding, desiring, etc)? Surely the latter.

What I find striking is that the biblical understanding of "the heart" is one of the basic things that are taught in Seminary, as professors and preachers inform the students not to think of it as restricted to emotions. Brister must have missed those classes and chapels.


Bob's Note: Yes . . . Brister must have missed several classes, otherwise the Seminary is in worse shape for professors than we had realized.


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