Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Statistics: Spurgeon vs. The Founders

Brother Bob Ross has hit another one out of the ball park.

Over and over again on this blog, and on his email list, Brother Bob has demonstrated substantial theological differences between the famed English "prince of preachers," Charles Spurgeon, and The Founders, a small band of Southern Baptist preachers who believe it's their duty to spread hybrid/hyper/neo/extreme Calvinism throughout the Southern Baptist Convention.

The Founders misrepresentation continues. They have the gall to place a picture of Charles Spurgeon on their blog and then, as Brother Bob reveals in this article, to oppose the very practices that Spurgeon promoted.

Their latest tirade is an attack on reporting baptisms via the Annual Church Profile, a reporting tool used throughout the Southern Baptist Convention. Spurgeon had no objection to reporting his baptisms, saying, "It has been noticed that those who object to the process are often brethren whose unsatisfactory reports should somewhat humiliate them." The brethren in Spurgeon's day could attempt to avoid humiliation, but Google's 21st century satellite view prevents Founders-friendly preachers from using the same tactics.

Don't be fooled by the floundering of The Founders. Read Brother Bob's article.


Bob to Charles:

I noticed on the Founders' blog, Charles, that Tom Ascol is decrying once again the Annual Church Profile (ACP) of the convention with which his church affiliates. This is not the first time Tom has remonstrated against making a report of baptisms, etc.

This, again, demonstrates the difference between Ascol's practice and Spurgeon's.

Spurgeon consistently made a monthly report of baptisms at the end of his Editorial "Notes" column in his magazine, The Sword and the Trowel..

Here is what Spurgeon had to say about statistics in his book on "The Soul Winner," pages 13, 14:

I am not among those who decry statistics, nor do I consider that they are productive of all manner of evil; for they do much good if they are accurate, and if men use them lawfully.

It is a good thing for people to see the nakedness of the land through statistics of decrease, that they may be driven on their knees before the Lord to seek prosperity; and, on the other hand, it is by no means an evil thing for workers to be encouraged by having some account of results set before them. I should be very sorry if the practice of adding up, and deducting, and giving in the net result were to be abandoned, for it must be right to know our numerical condition.

It has been noticed that those who object to the process are often brethren whose unsatisfactory reports should somewhat humiliate them: this is not always so, but it is suspiciously frequent.

I heard of the report of a church, the other day, in which the minister, who was well known to have reduced his congregation to nothing, somewhat cleverly wrote, "Our church is looking up." When he was questioned with regard to this statement, he replied, "Everybody knows that the church is on its back, and it cannot do anything else but look up."

When churches are looking up in that way, their pastors generally say that statistics are very delusive things, and that you cannot tabulate the work of the Spirit, and calculate the prosperity of a church by figures.

The fact is, you can reckon very correctly if the figures are honest, and if all circumstances are taken into consideration if there is no increase, you may calculate with considerable accuracy that there is not much being done; and if there is a clear decrease among a growing population, you may reckon that the prayers of the people and the preaching of the minister are not of the most powerful kind.

What is somewhat amusing about the Founders' blog is that, paradoxically, they were recently making a lot of grist out of a poll or survey of merely 413 Southern Baptist preachers on "Calvinism," as if it is of great significance.


At Friday, September 29, 2006 12:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Founders are a bunch of whiners who are unable to start and build growning churches and therefore harp and pick at the rest of us.

Most of us at the IMB consider them a cancer. The internet allows this cancer to spread. Bob and Charles, you guys are giving out the "cure" to this cancer. Keep up the good work!

John the missionary

At Friday, November 24, 2006 7:58:00 PM, Blogger William the Conqueror said...

As I understand it White and the Reformed Baptists believe that: 1. Only elect infants who die in infancy or stillborn, will go to Heaven ( Westminster Confession) 2. Regeneration precedes faith. 3. I Timothy 2:2-4 is referring to all elect people of all nations at all times and not all of humanity 4. God hates the reprobate, that is the nonelect although the Gospel should be preached to them as the scripture commands. For one we don't know who the elect are among the unsaved. 5. Christ's Atonement was specifically for the elect and the elect only as to salvation and that Atonement secured their salvation.

Now as I see it and I could be wrong, Spurgeon only subscribed to point 5 but not the other 4.

I know John Piper subscribes to point 5 and apparently point 2 from comments I've seen on this blog. However he does not subscribe to point 3. I don't know his beliefs on 1 and 4.

So I suppose some would define White as a Hyper Calvinist although White would probably say a Hyper Calvinist is one who does not believe in Missionaries.

Any thoughts?



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