Thursday, April 26, 2007

Why Not "Reformed"?

Brother Bob Ross posted this thought provoking essay today.


Bob to Charles:

I have noticed, Charles, on the Timmy Brister blog that he has his bloggers testifying on the question, “Why are you Reformed?”

He asks for them to "Give me your top 5 reasons or influences that have lead to you embracing Reformed theology."

Notice -- not "Why are you a Christian?" nor "Why are you a Baptist?" but "Why are you Reformed?"

I noticed that "Tom Nettles" name was one of those referred to as being an influence. I also noticed that Pastor Scott Morgan of Buford, Georgia participated in the survey, and he gave a lot of credit to being influenced by an "Old School" Baptist (Hardshell).

Timmy's question provoked in my own mind five good reasons why I am NOT Reformed.

(1) I was not "born again" in accord with "Reformed" teaching, for my new birth was (a) neither before I was born into this world (b) nor as an infant soon after my birth -- as taught by the mainline "Reformed" theologians - and I would not want anyone to think I held to that heresy.

(2) As an adult, I was not "born again before faith," as taught by the mainline "Reformed" theologians.

(3) I understand the Bible to teach that the means of the Word is used by the Holy Spirit in regeneration -- which is denied by mainline "Reformed" theologians who teach that you must first be regenerated before you have faith. (See Shedd and Berkhof, for instance).

(4) I understand that the Confessions of faith are correct on the New Birth, and the mainline "Reformed" theologians and their disciples are wrong.

(5) I believe the mainline "Reformed" camps appropriate the name of "Calvin" to their "Calvinism," when in fact they contradict John Calvin when they teach the "born again before faith" heresy.

I think those are five rather good reasons, Charles, for NOT being "Reformed."

Monday, April 23, 2007

Will Tom Nettles Leave Southern Seminary?

Tom Ascol is reporting on his blog that Tom Nettles, professor at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, will visit Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral on May 4-6 in view of a call to become the Associate Pastor.

Since Brother Nettles is a ringleader of the "born again before faith" hybrid/hyper/extreme/neo Calvinist movement, he will fit right in as Brother Ascol's associate pastor.

The surprise announcement makes me wonder: Is Dr. Nettles being "encouraged" to leave Southern Seminary? Did anyone "lean on" Dr. Mohler to get rid of Nettles?

The seminary has been under fire from many SBC leaders for its unSBC-like devotion to Reformed theology, with Nettles being the most visible and noted Southern professor.

Brother Bob Ross and I have written about Nettles and his theology. See,

Tom Nettles Is Short Of The Mark On Georgia Baptists

Tom Nettles Relies on Theologian Who Rejected Regeneration Before Faith Theology

Invitations: John Broadus vs. Tom Nettles

Dr. Tom Nettles to speak at Presbyterian church and conference


Friday, April 20, 2007

More Baloney -- This Time From Tom Ascol

Brother Bob Ross has some thoughts about Brother Tom Ascol's recent jubilation over the decline in SBC baptisms.

Tom has C. H. Spurgeon's picture on his blog. I wonder if Tom has considered what Spurgeon would think of his remarks?


Bob to Charles:

Speaking of baloney, Charles, have you seen Tom Ascol's amusing comments about the reported decline in baptisms in the latest SBC statistics?

Here are some excerpts from the "Flounders" blog:

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Maybe we are baptizing fewer false converts

The recent Baptist Press report that "baptisms are down" for the previous year in the SBC is provoking much reflection and analysis. . . . Maybe the statistics indicate that we are baptizing fewer false converts. Or to state it positively, maybe they indicate that a greater care is being exercised in who gets baptized in our churches. . . . If this kind of commitment causes our baptism statistics to decline because our theology and practice of baptism has improved, then rejoice. It will not mean that fewer people are being converted, but that fewer false converts are getting wet.

How about that for an "answer" to the "why?" there are fewer baptisms?

With Tom, it seems that "less" may mean "better." Wonder if Tom baptized "fewer false converts" last year?

I wonder how Tom would explain the "Parable of the Sower" (Mark 4) where the lesson seems to indicate that there are some "false converts" even where the pure Word of God is preached?Or, has Tom's own church been able to do it better than that particular parable indicates? Does the preaching of Tom's brand of "Reformed" Calvinism guarantee no "false converts"?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Timmy Brister's Baloney

Brother Bob Ross posted this comment today. Bob and I have written previously about Tim Brister's bizarre and unrational criticism of Southern Baptist leaders and churches. For more about this theologically troubled young man, see

Bend it Like Timmy Brister,

Timmy Brister Attends Billy Graham School Yet Attacks Billy Graham's Methods, and

Timmy Brister Attacks Altar Calls in Southern Baptist Churches

Brother Bob asks a probing question, "What is Brister learning at Southern Seminary?" What indeed?


Bob to Charles:

Tom Ascol has posted a comment by SBTS student Timmy Brister which further reveals the hypocrisy of Ascol.

We commented in a recent post about some of Brister's penchant for baloney, but why would Ascol publish it -- if he really means "It is time for this generation of believers to learn how to disagree over substantive issues without falling into the sins of slander and bearing false witness."

Timmy Brister posted on Ascol's blog, 2:15 PM, April 14, 2007:

Heresy is a real issue today, not the least of which is open theism, the rejection of a literal hell, process theology, etc. But I would dare say that equally as threatening to orthodoxy is the kind of fundamentalism Falwell touts as "a badge of honor."

Would you, Charles, have ever imagined that a "sane" student of Tom Nettles and Al Mohler would allege that 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."?

Why does professed "gentleman" Tom Ascol publish such trashy tommyrot as that against a Southern Baptist pastor?

Also, Brister (without tongue in cheek) adds:

Just a quick glance from the life and battles of Paul in the early church will show that the threats against the gospel came from those within the camp as much as those without.

Here Brister is equating Jerry Falwell's theoretical difference about the extent of the atonement to some in the early church who were enemies of the gospel and the apostle Paul!

Is this what Brister is learning at Southern Seminary?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

More Hypocrisy from Tom Ascol?

I'm beginning to wonder if Brother Tom Ascol doesn't deserve a new title: The King of Hypocrisy. Seriously.

There was a time when Dr. Ascol strenuously objected to anonymous posters and bloggers. Then last year he announced,
a new blog has shown up in the blogosphere. The first several posts interact with Dr. Paige Patterson's recent article on alcoholic beverages. They are very insightful and worth reading. Check out the Concerned SBCer.
"Concerned SBCer," now offline, was for its short life an anonymous blog. Yet Tom Ascol had no problem recommending it.

In a more recent mishap, Ascol tried to take the moral high road by pointing out that Jerry Falwell shouldn't have referred to limited atonement as "heresy." Brother Tom said, "I do not regard my universal redemptionist brothers to be heretics because of their views of general atonement." He went on to say, "It is time for this generation of believers to learn how to disagree over substantive issues without falling into the sins of slander and bearing false witness."

So in 2007, we should all love each other and get along, right Tom? Fine and dandy. Except Brother Peter Lumkins went back and looked at some of your Founders Journals. Peter asked,
I nevertheless wonder how the following words penned sometime back fit into the outrage I sense here:

"When we talk about God, there are indeed some wrong answers...And where they contradict the clear teaching of Scripture on points of salvific importance, they need to be renounced in the strongest of terms--even to the point of using the dreaded "h" word. Otherwise, truth really does not matter at all." (FJ, Winter, 1997).

The question, then, is whether Dr. Falwell's statement about universal atonement qualifies for "salvific importance." It seems to me it does. What do you think?
Tom and his fellow Flounders have been trashing Southern Baptists for a long time, perhaps not using the "h" word but using language just as strong. Also, there are Reformed bloggers all over the blogosphere who do not hesitate in using the "h" word about Southern Baptists who reject the Reformed theology of Founders Ministries (yes, they really believe what they are doing is a ministry). Where is Tom's outrage over them? Has he visited their blogs and asked them to tone down their language? Why not clean up his own house before he goes after Falwell?

It seems for Tom Ascol, it's wrong to be anonymous, unless he agrees with you. It's wrong to use harsh language and the "h" word, unless his Reformed friends are using it.

Tom Ascol. Should we Color Him Hypocritical?


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Morris Chapman Warns of Church Destroying Calvinists

Morris Chapman is the president and chief executive officer of the Southern Baptist Executive Committee. He served two terms as the President of the SBC. He has been called, "Mr. Southern Baptist" and keeps his ear to the ground regarding trends and events in Baptist churches.

On the official blog of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Chapman was asked about the resurgence of Calvinism in the SBC. Among other things, he said,
One danger is that pastors are tempted to accept church pastorates in churches that are not Calvinistic, and then strive to drive them into the Calvinistic camp, thereby destroying an otherwise strong and healthy church. Another danger is that the truly warm-hearted, “evangelical” Calvinists often are misunderstood by second-generation successors, potentially resulting in a decline in evangelism and missions.

For over a year now on this blog, Brother Bob Ross and I have been warning about the differences between warm-hearted evangelical Calvinists such as Charles H. Spurgeon, and the "second-generation," hyper/hybrid/neo/extreme Calvinists such as Dr. Tom Ascol, Dr. Tom Nettles, "Dr." James White, Dr. Mark Dever, Scott Morgan, Gene M. Bridges, Timmy Brister, and the rest of the "born again before faith" crowd.

Brother Bob Ross is the leading print publisher of Spurgeon's sermons and a Spurgeon historian par excellence. He is uniquely qualified to compare a Calvinist such as Spurgeon with the modern-day hybrid variety. For a few examples, see this, and this, and this.

Southern Baptists should listen to Dr. Morris Chapman, and also listen to Brother Bob Ross.


Flounders Invite Bob Ross to National Conference

Brother Bob Ross got an invitation to the National Flounders Conference and shares his thoughts with us.



Bob to Charles:

The Founders love to have lots of "conferences," Charles, which serve very well in promoting their parachurch "ministry." I received a fancy folder in the mail recently, announcing the "National Founders Conference" in Owasso, OK, June 26-29.

The "Keynote Speaker" is an "ordained Congregationalist minister," David Wells. Having a Congregationalist to speak is almost as good as having a Presbyterian! (I suppose R. C. Sproul must have had a prior committment.

Also on the program is Florida pastor, Roy Hargrave -- one of Scott Morgan's former pastors -- who opposes public invitations.

Tom Nettles, who promotes the "Born again before faith" heresy at the Louisville seminary, is also on the program. He also opposes public invitations and plays "footsies" with the Reformed baby regenerationists and Hardshell Lasserre Bradley Jr. Founders like the prestige of having Southern Seminary professors on their conferences.

It will only cost you $60 to register, Charles, if you file by June 15. Afterwards it is $75.

No meals will be provided, so bring BYO peanut butter. I will bring the crackers.

Hope to see you there, Charles. In order to preserve your anonymity, don't forget to bring a brown bag!