Sunday, December 09, 2007

Tom Nettles' Influence On Seminary Students

In this article, Brother Bob Ross once again demonstrates how the true Founders of the Southern Baptist Convention are quite different than the men aligned with Tom Ascol's Founders Ministries (yes, they really believe what they are doing is a ministry).



Bob to Charles:

I noticed, Charles, that a frequent favorable references are made by Timmy Brister and some other Southern Seminary students to Pedobaptist Iain Murray's anti-invitation booklet.

The question is, Charles, why should Baptist students in a Baptist seminary be following the thinking of a "baby baptizer" who thinks that "covenant children" inherit salvation and get born again in infancy? It would be a rather natural consequence that such a pedobaptist as Murray would not have any use for an invitation inasmuch as he thinks the "elect" get "regenerated" when they are yet babies.

There is a close affinity between Murray and the Flounders, since Ernest Reisinger was an earnest disciple of Murray, and Reisinger founded the Flounders. TOM NETTLES is on the Board of Directors of the Flounders, and teaches at Southern Seminary.

Nettles has written against invitations in his book By His Grace and For His Glory, and probably has taught his students at SBTS his anti-invitation views.

So here it is, Nettles, a Flounder, like Murray and Reisinger opposes the view of one of the Founders of Southern Seminary, JOHN A. BROADUS.

Broadus wrote On the Preparation and Delivery of Sermons, and used the book as a text at the Seminary. It has also been used in other SBC seminaries and other schools over the years. Dr. Broadus, under the heading of the "Conduct of Public Worship," says:

"In many churches it is customary to follow every sermon with an 'invitation' hymn, during which any who desire to MAKE A PUBLIC PROFESSION OF FAITH or to become members of the church are INVITED to present themselves by COMING TO THE FRONT" (page 375, 1943 edition by Broadman Press).

Dr. Broadus was converted under circumstances where invitations were used (Life and Letters of John A. Broadus by A. T. Robertson, pages 33-35).

Broadus also made his first convert in connection with a public invitation.

Dr. A. T. Robertson reveals how young John won his first soul to the Lord during a public invitation following a sermon:

In a meeting a few months after John's conversion, the preacher urged all Christians at the close of the service to move about and talk to the unconverted. John looked anxiously around to see if there was anybody present he could talk to about his soul's salvation. He had never done anything of the kind before. Finally he saw a man not very bright, named Sandy. He thought he might venture to speak to him at any rate; and Sandy was converted. John soon went away to teach school. Whenever he came back Sandy would run across the street to meet him and say; "Howdy, John? thankee, John. Howdy, John? thankee, John."

Doctor Broadus often told of this first effort of his at soul-winning and would add: "And if ever I reach the heavenly home and walk the golden streets, I know the first person to meet me will be Sandy, coming and saying again: 'Howdy, John? thankee, John.'"

I doubt seriously you would ever find Tom Nettles following the example of young John Broadus and "move about and talk to the unconverted" at the close of a sermon, seeking to win a soul to the Lord during a public invitation.

It seems logical that the current crop of SBTS students who are blogging against public invitations are the disciples of Tom Nettles and not of John A. Broadus.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Is John Piper Correct On The New Birth?

In this article, Brother Bob Ross examines John Piper's views on the New Birth.



Bob to Charles:

John Piper is posting sermons on the New Birth at his website


If I am reading him correctly, Charles, his view apparently is more in line with what we have advocated, and is contrary to the post-17th century "Reformed" view of Shedd, Berkhof, Sproul, Iain Murray, James White, the Flounders, Tom Nettles, and others of this category.

I am of the opinion that Piper has conceivably been influenced in his views in consequence of studying the writings of Jonathan Edwards. Edwards did not advocate the "Reformed" view of "born again before faith," but was more agreeable with the Puritan view of men such as Stephen Charnock, Thomas Watson, and John Owen -- whose views we have cited on the Flyswatter.

I am reproducing some of Piper's remarks which recall the view advocated by Edwards, and which is consistent with what we have advocated on the Flyswatter in contrast to the "pre-faith regeneration" notion, or the "born again before faith" view, of the "Reformed" camp.

Those who are acquainted with the "born again before faith" idea -- as advocated by W. G. T. Shedd, Louis Berkhof, John Frame, and other "Reformed" theologians who teach that the alleged "covenant children" are regenerated in early infancy, or even before being physically born into the world -- will recognize the contrast between the view of Edwards and that of the "Reformed" gentlemen.

With Edwards, "a person cannot have spiritual light [i.e. new birth] without the word." Piper seems to be echoing Edwards in the following comments, taken from the three messages on his website:

Being Born Again Happens Through the Gospel

But it always happens through the word of God. Listen to 1 Peter 1:23 and 25: “Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God. . . . And this word is the good news that was preached to you.” So even though God is the one who begets his children, the seed by which he does it is the word of God, the gospel that we preach. (Excerpt from Piper's first message)

. . . .

No Life Apart from Jesus

So there is no spiritual life–no eternal life–apart from connection with Jesus and belief in Jesus. We will have lots more to say about the relationship between the new birth and faith in Jesus. But let’s put it this way for now: In the new birth, the Holy Spirit unites us to Christ in a living union. Christ is life. Christ is the vine where life flows. We are the branches (John 15:1). What happens in the new birth is the supernatural creation of new spiritual life, and it is created through union with Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit brings us into vital connection with Christ who is the way, the truth, and life. That is the objective reality of what happens in the new birth.

And from our side–the way we experience this–is that faith in Jesus is awakened in our hearts. Spiritual life and faith in Jesus come into being together. The new life makes the faith possible, and since spiritual life always awakens faith and expresses itself in faith, there is no life without faith in Jesus. Therefore, we should never separate the new birth from faith in Jesus. From God’s side, we are united to Christ in the new birth. That’s what the Holy Spirit does. From our side, we experience this union by faith in Jesus.

Never Separate the New Birth and Faith in Jesus

Listen to how John puts them together in 1 John 5:4: “Everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith.” Born of God–the key to victory. Faith–the key to victory. Because faith is the way we experience being born of God.

Or listen to how John says it in 1 John 5:11-12: “This is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” Therefore, when Jesus says, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all” (John 6:63), and when he says, “You must be born of the Spirit” in order to have life, he means: In the new birth, the Holy Spirit supernaturally gives us new spiritual life by connecting us with Jesus Christ through faith. For Jesus is life.

So never separate these two sayings of Jesus in John 3: “Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (v. 3) and “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life” (v. 36). (Excerpts from Piper's second message).

. . . . .

United with Jesus Through Faith

And then we made the connection to faith like this. John 20:31 says, “These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.” And 1 John 5:4 says, “Everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith.” Born of God–the key to victory. Faith–the key to victory. Because faith is the way we experience being born of God. So we summed the entire message last week like this: In the new birth, the Holy Spirit supernaturally gives us new spiritual life by connecting us with Jesus Christ through faith.

. . . .

Receive Him As Your Treasure

So now let’s step back and sum up these last two weeks. What happens in the new birth? In the new birth, the Holy Spirit supernaturally gives us new spiritual life by connecting us with Jesus Christ through faith. Or, to say it another way, the Spirit unites us to Christ where there is cleansing for our sins, and he replaces our hard, unresponsive heart with a soft heart that treasures Jesus above all things and is being transformed by the presence of the Spirit into the kind of heart that loves to do the will of God (Ezekiel 36:27).

Since the way you experience all of this is through faith, I invite you now, in the name of Jesus and by the power of his Spirit, to receive him as the sin-forgiving, transforming Treasure of your life. (Excerpt from Piper's third message).



Jonathan Edwards' view may be understood from reading his sermon, A Divine and Supernatural Light, etc. If you do not have a printed copy in some format, it may be consulted on the Internet at --

Edwards does not advocate "Reformed" Hybrid Calvinism which has one "born again before faith," but he teaches the creedal view that "effectual calling" is effected by the Word and Spirit inseparably, these two being essential to the producing of "light" (faith) in the faculties of the sinner.

Under his second major heading, Edwards says, "It is not intended that the natural faculties are not made use of in it. The natural faculties are the subject of this light: and they are the subject in such a manner, that they are not merely passive, but active in it; the acts and exercises of man's understanding are concerned and made use of in it. God, in letting in this light into the soul, deals with man according to his nature, or as a rational creature; and makes use of his human faculties."

Edwards continues under this same heading:


2. It is not intended that outward means have no concern in this affair. As I have observed already, it is not in this affair, as it is in inspiration, where new truths are suggested: for here is by this light only given a due apprehension of the same truths that are revealed in the word of God; and therefore 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. "Now we see through a glass." . . . Indeed a person cannot have spiritual light without the word.


If we are understanding Piper correctly, we wish him Godspeed in helping to turn many Hybrid Calvinists from the "Reformed" darkness to the Edwardian "Light" on the matter of the New Birth.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Timmy Brister Bristling From "Finneyitis"

Timmy Brister is a student at Southern Seminary who never seems to cease attacking the SBC and its churches, pastors, and evangelists while at the same time these same churches, pastors, and evangelists pay much of his tutition through the Cooperative Program. Does the word, "ungrateful," come to mind?

In this article, Brother Bob Ross finds Timmy whining about Charles Finney. Having previously attacked Billy Graham, Timmy especially seems to enjoy attacking evangelists.

For more on the ungrateful and theologically confused Mr. Brister, see

Timmy Brister's Bristlings,

More Blundering From Brister,

Timmy Brister's Baloney,

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.


Bob to Charles:

"I am intrigued and alarmed by the fact that Finney's legacy has been so enduring," complains Timmy Brister, the blogging poster-boy of the Southern Seminary student bloggers. [Dec. 3, 2007,]

Timmy seems to have a bad case of "Finneyitis," and from time-to-time it breaks out, causing the compunction to drag the carcase of Charles G. Finney into the public square, tie it to a stake, give it a fresh 40 lashes save one, and then torch it for all the world to see what one deserves who does not lockstep to Presbyterian Hybrid Calvinism.

Timmy is so alarmed that he once again reflects upon the leadership of Dr. R. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Seminary. When Hybrid Calvinists want to emphasize that they are "not opposed" to evangelism, some -- including Mohler -- often are wont to point to the "Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth" at SBTS for which Mohler claims credit: [

Not so Timmy. On the contrary, Timmy is apparently "alarmed" that Mohler and SBTS continue to help perpetuate Finney's legacy thru Billy Graham. He opines --

"Among the 20th century evangelistic practices, I would argue that no other individual had more influence upon Southern Baptists than Charles Finney, especially after they had been popularized under the ministries of Billy Sunday and Billy Graham."

Since so many Hybrid Calvinists say they were in some manner influenced to come to Christ thru such "evangelistic practices" which they now repudiate, I wonder if Timmy might also be of that number? Did he at one time "walk the aisle" to profess faith in Christ -- or was he one of the more fortunate of the "elect" who was "born again" in infancy as the Presbyterians teach?

If the Presbyterians and the Presbyterian sympathizers such as Timmy Brister have a "bone to pick" with Finney, let them remember that Finney was a creation of sorts of the Presbyterians themselves, much like Alexander Campbell and Joe Smith. The unscriptural Hybrid Calvinism of "born again before faith" repelled Finney, and he went forth preaching among the Presbyterian churches which were filled with "regenerated" infants, and a great number of these "elect covenant children" made professions of faith in Christ.

Had it not been for the heresy of the Presbyterians, we might never have heard of Charles G. Finney, and would have been spared the bristling of "Finneyitis" by Brister.


Monday, December 03, 2007

Tom Ascol's Judgmentalism Still Intact?

The below is from Brother Bob Ross.



Bob to Charles:

In his most recent comments about the "Bridges" conference, Tom Ascol of the Flounders says:

Another recurring theme is the need to admit and deal with the sad state of many--probably the majority--of our churches. Most Southern Baptist churches are dominated by members who show no signs of spiritual life.

The question is, Charles, how much does a man know about "most Southern Baptist churches" when he does not even know that one is not "born again before faith in Christ"?

Does Ascol has some type of omniscience by which he knows about "most Southern Baptist churches" and their "spirituality"?

This attitude by Ascol demonstrates that, in his case at least, the Pharisaical spirit of judgementalism which characterizes so many in the Flounders movement was not impaired by the recent "Bridges" conference.