Friday, September 26, 2008

"The Gospel Coalition"?


Flounders assistant pastor Timmy Brister has indicated he will be sharing his interests with another alleged "recovery of the Gospel" Reformed group called "The Gospel Coalition." This is a new group of Reformed personalities, with both Pedobaptists and professed Baptists involved.

TGC claims to be a "recovery of the Gospel" type of effort -- as if the Gospel needs to be recovered and as if these Reformed sources are qualified to be the recoverers. Sounds like the same old song, using the term "recovery" instead of "restoration" which has been used by cults for centuries.

Since "Reformed" seems to be the predominant ideology of TGC, this means that the same old Hybrid Calvinist "gospel" of "born again before faith" probably prevails among the constitutency, especially so with the Pedobaptists.

I'm not surprised that Brister would buy into this group, but anyone who knows the Gospel will most likely simply be amused by the ideas (1) that the Gospel needs to be either "recovered" or "restored" and (2) that the Reformed camp is capable of being a "recoverer."

Most young Sunday School students who are born again know the Gospel and would perhaps realize that the eggheads among the Reformed are not going to "recover" or "restore" anything of any significance related to the Gospel.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Conferences vs Revival?


***TOM ASCOL, of the Flounders, says:

"One of the evidences of the doctrinal reformation that we are in is the proliferation of doctrinally sound conferences over the last two decades. Dozens of such conferences are held each year across the USA. Two years ago a friend counted over 50 that were scheduled within a 12 month span. While conferences are far from the the essence of reformation, they do provide something of a barometer to measure the growing interest in the doctrines of grace in our day."

I think Tom could have added that such conferences have come on the scene in relation to the demise of evangelistic revival meetings which brought so many souls to Christ during my lifetime. They seem to be a "barometer" of the lack of interest in such evangelistic meetings by those who are obsessed with "interest in the doctrines of grace in our day." I wonder, has Ascol ever had a Revival Meeting at Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida?

Conferences, seminars, fellowships, etc. have indeed been plentiful the past few years, but why so few, if any, Revival meetings where an emphasis is placed on getting the Gospel to the ears of lost sinners? -- meetings during which Christians are urged to make an extra effort to witness to the lost and get lost relatives and friends to the meetings?

I was saved in such a meeting myself, and know many others who were saved in Revival meetings. I have yet to hear of a conference or seminar where lost souls were brought to Christ.

The true FOUNDERS of Southern Baptists were marked by the practice of an evangelism which included emphasis on Revival meetings. Modern professed "Founders" are known for "conferences."

***ANOTHER KNOCK AT THE "SINNER'S PRAYER" -- The Hybrid Calvinists have favorite targets at which they shoot their fiery darts from time-to-time. One is the "Sinner's Prayer," which receives some jostling on the strange "Strange Baptist Fire" blog.

For those who have not read it, you may like to read how C. H. Spurgeon used the "Sinner's Prayer" at his church in London.

Opposition to use of the "Sinner's Prayer" is one of the characteristics of Hybrid Calvinism.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ascol an advisor to Palin?


***TOM ASCOL, head of the Flounders, seems somewhat inclined to delve into politics. On his Twitter, Tom says:

"Sarah Palin" is now following me. If she needs policy advice, I stand ready to serve. :-)

Note to Tom: I would suppose Palin is "Arminian," considering her church affiliation. Would she cotton to advice from a Hybrid Calvinist?

***MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE, the story of the Mormons' involvement in the murder of about 120 emigrants who were passing through Southern Utah in September 1857 in a wagon train headed for California, was televised on the History Channel recently .

Some believe this massacre was enacted in revenge for the killing of Mormon Apostle Parley Pratt near Harrison, Arkansas, the place which the emigrants were from. See here.

Also, Sandra Tanner, an expert on Mormon history, has a video about the massacre. See here.

***STEPHEN GARRETT has posted some quotations from some past notable Calvinists which are contrary to the Hybrid Calvinism of today's "Reformed" camp.
Check it out at BaptistGadfly

***HURRICANE IKE was so close to us in Pasadena, Texas that we have no desire to be any closer to another Hurricane.

Our property is located at 29.688N - 95.172W.

At 9 AM on Saturday, September 13, Ike was at 29.7 - 95W, just barely east of us.

If Ike had not made a slight turn, he would have hit us "head-on." An elderly lady from the LaPorte area, who was in the Pilgrim Book Store yesterday, lived in the path of Ike, and she said she lost her home due to wind and water damage. Our store and home were not damaged, but our home is still without power.

I had to discard any consideration of attending my Jackson High School, Jackson, Tennessee, 1953 Class Reunion due to the visit of Hurricane Ike. I phoned in my regrets and hoped they would have a joyous get-together. It was the first Reunion I have missed.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Flounders' evangelism


Since the time Southern Baptist Theological Seminary grad Timmy Brister moved to Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida, pastored by Flounders' leader Tom Ascol, I have been amused by taking note of the methodology demonstrated in regard to proposed "church planting."

Brister has written on "evangelism" and "church planting" as if he knows how to get the job done; but so far, he has seemingly been otherwise engaged in a variety of activities other than evangelism. For example, see here.

It seems that the Brister approach to evangelism depends upon a lot of "research" and "survey" work about the residents who live in the locale where the Flounders want to "plant" a church. For example, Brister says on his blog:

What I did was gather the total attendance of all Southern Baptist churches according to the 2007 Annual Church Profile, and the number came to just under 1,800 people. Then, having gathered information from other denominations, I came up with a close proximate number of 2,900 people in a population of over 67,000 residents. Granted, there are residents who may attend church outside the city (as some of our members do), but I can safely say that 60,000+ residents are unchurched–9 out of 10. And this in the Bible belt of the South. There are other charts and graphs, but I will spare you all the details.

This is but a small sample of what Brister apparently has been doing in lieu of old fashioned "highways and hedges" evangelism.

Ernest Reisinger, founder of the Flounders, alleged that the Book of Acts is the "sacred manual of evangelism" (Today's Evangelism, page 73), but if so, Brister -- and I assume Ascol -- seems to prefer another method to what Reisinger recommended.

If Brister is right about the stats, he could use the book of Acts method and reach at least "9 out of 10" of the "unchurched" in that area with the Gospel message. He refers to having "other charts and graphs," but what has been done by way of "highways and hedges" evangelism?

You don't find the "elect" by charts and graphs, but by spreading the Gospel net. They must hear the Gospel to be called (2 Thessalonians 2:14). Their names don't show up "highlighted" on charts and graphs, for whatever the charts and graphs are worth.

Way back in the 1950s, when I was about Brister's age, I preached a revival meeting in a small church in a small West Virginia town of a few hundred people. During the day, I walked up and down the streets, witnessing to anyone I met who would listen, passing out tracts, and inviting people to the services. I did not need any graphs and charts to preach the Gospel to every creature. They were all over the town, up and down the streets, in the houses, in the businesses, etc. By the time I left town, many of the people had seen my face and heard my voice. One person in that meeting, who was a youth at the time, is pastoring a Baptist church today.

Those who spend their time on making "charts and graphs" would better spend their time and effort, in my opinion, doing what Jesus said -- "Go." The only thing you need is a map -- if even that -- perhaps to assist you in remembering what streets you have covered.

At any rate, we'll have to wait and see how successful Brister's "charts and graphs" evangelism proves to be. Will it replace Reisinger's "sacred manual of evangelism" in our day and age?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hurricane report


"Strong wind fulfilling His Word" -- Psalm 148:8.

Hurricane Ike will be long remembered by those who heard his whistling voice and felt his threatening breath. He will take his place in Hurricane history alongside the likes of Carla (1961), Camille (1969) , Alicia (1983), Katrina (2005), Rita (2005), and other strong winds which have visited the Gulf Coast.

To all of you who thought of us and offered your prayers for our safely these past few days, we express our very deep appreciation. We are happy and grateful to report that we are alive and well and that there is no damage to our property at our home and Pilgrim Book Store store in Pasadena, Texas.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hurricane interruption


I am temporarily suspending my participation on the Flyswatter at this time due to Hurricane Ike. It may put me off line for awhile due to expected power failure in our Houston area.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remember 9/11/2001

REMEMBER 9/11/2001

As a token of honor and respect for the victims of the massacre at the World Trade Center Towers on September 11, 2001, no other post will be made by me today.

We want nothing to detract from your meditative thoughts and prayerful remembrance for the families of the victims of the most atrocious act in our nation's history.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Miracle of Providence

for September 10

When a man, in order to fulfill a promise, has to disarrange all his affairs, and, so to speak, to stop all his machinery, it proves that he is but a man, and that his wisdom and power are limited; but he is God indeed who, without reversing the engine of Providence, or removing a single cog from the wheel of events, fulfills the desires of His people as they come up before Him.

The Lord is so omnipotent that He can work miracles without miracles, and change our state without changing His laws.

[From the original Spurgeon Birthday Book published by Passmore & Alabaster, London.]

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

We can't dictate Providence

for September 9

The petty sovereign of an insignificant tribe of aborigines every morning stalks out of his hovel, bids the sun good morrow, and points out to him with his finger the path he is to take for this day.

Is this arrogance more contemptible than ours when we would dictate to God the course of His Providence, and question the wisdom of His dealings with us?

[From the original Spurgeon Birthday Book published by Passmore & Alabaster, London.]

NOTE: I had an email from Charles today, so I assume he is back and will be posting comments in the usual manner.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Conversation in the hereafter

for September 8

As soldiers show their scars, and talk of battles, when they come at last to spend their old age in peace, so shall we in the dear land to which we are hastening speak of the faithfulness of God which brought us through all our conflicts.

Therefore, as the contests of earth prepare food for Heavenly conversation, we would not wish to be without them. We cannot wish to hear it said of the white-robed host, "These are they which came out of great tribulation," and then to feel that we did not share with them.

[From the original Spurgeon Birthday Book published by Passmore & Alabaster, London.]

NOTE: Temporarily, in Charles' absence, comments for posting may be directed to Bob's email:

Sunday, September 07, 2008

True joy

for September 7

The wine pressed from the grapes of Sodom may sparkle and foam, but the dregs thereof are death; only that which comes from the clusters of the true vine may be safely received as the wine of the King, which makes glad the heart of God and man.

When Christ gives joy it is joy indeed; when the truth makes us glad it is true gladness. Holy joy is the joy of Heaven, and that, be ye sure, is the very cream of joy.

[From the original Spurgeon Birthday Book published by Passmore & Alabaster, London.]

NOTE: Temporarily, in Charles' absence, comments for posting may be directed to Bob's email:

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Over 2900 CHS sermons on the web


When we first started reprinting C. H. Spurgeon's 63-volume sermon set, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, in book form in 1969, we had no idea whatsoever that there would be an "Internet" born in the future on which these sermons would eventually be made available around the world. We would have, in 1969, probably laughed off such an idea as being "wishful thinking" at best. What a great surprise was in store!

After the development of the Internet, the Lord, in His own "myterious ways" of Providence, raised up and laid it on the heart of a Brother Emmett O'Donnell to devote himself to putting the sermons on a website.

This is a completely volunteer (unpaid) effort by Brother Emmett who is physically handicapped and somewhat immobile, but he is utilizing his head and hands to do a great work. His website receives thousands of hits each month, and his reward is the joy of knowing so many thousands are accessing Spurgeon's sermons.

I don't know anyone who is doing a greater service utilizing the Internet than Brother Emmett.

Emmett has just sent me an email reporting that he has just finished Volume 51, Year 1905 of the MTP, and it is available on his website along with all previous volumes.

If you are interested in Spurgeon, go to the following link and see for yourself the more than 2,900 free Spurgeon sermons literally at your fingertips, thanks to the Lord's using Brother Emmett O'Donnell:

The refining process

for September 6

We are not far from being purged from our dross when we are perfectly willing to undergo any refining process which Divine wisdom may appoint us.

Self and sin have a great affinity, and till our selfishness is taken away our sin will not leave us; but when we can truly pray, "Not as I will, but as Thou wilt," then have we lost much of our alloy, and are ready to receive the image of the great King.

[From the original Spurgeon Birthday Book published by Passmore & Alabaster, London.]

NOTE: Temporarily, in Charles' absence, comments for posting may be directed to Bob's email:

Friday, September 05, 2008

Loss of conscience

for September 5

A little tampering with conscience is dangerous; it is like the dropping of a stitch, which may unravel all the work. We used to say in our childhood:--

"He who steals a single pin
Will live to steal a bigger thing."

The rhyme was bad, but the doctrine was true. If we violate conscience, even upon the smallest matter, we may come at last to have no conscience at all.

[From the original Spurgeon Birthday Book published by Passmore & Alabaster, London.]

NOTE: Temporarily, in Charles' absence, comments for posting may be directed to Bob's email:

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The fire of adversity

for September 4

Many passages of Scripture will never be made clear by the commentator; they must be expounded by experience.

Many a text is written with secret ink, which must be held to the fire of adversity to make it readable. You see stars when looking up from the bottom of a well, though none may then be visible above ground, and in the deeps of trouble you will discern many a starry truth which would not else have been visible to you.

[From the original Spurgeon Birthday Book published by Passmore & Alabaster, London.]

NOTE: Temporarily, in Charles' absence, comments for posting may be directed to Bob's email:

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

His eye is on the sparrow

for September 3

A swallow having built its nest upon the tent of Charles V, the emperor generously commanded that the tent should not be taken down when the camp removed, but should remain until the young birds were ready to fly.

Was there such gentleness in the heart of a soldier towards a poor bird which was not of his making, and shall the Lord deal hardly with His creatures when in a child-like manner they put their trust in Him!

[From the original Spurgeon Birthday Book published by Passmore & Alabaster, London.]

NOTE: Temporarily, in Charles' absence, comments for posting may be directed to Bob's email:

Nigerian money


Here's how I have been replying lately:

Dear Friend:

Thank you for the information.

Our armed Money Collection Truck will be in your area in a few days for the pickup.

If you need to contact our legal representative, they are "Dewey, Cheatum & Howe," c/o,_Cheatem_&_Howe

Please contact DC&H for any further necessary documents.


I. M. Knodumbuny

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Scott Morgan's "Apology"


We have said nothing about it on this blog, but I received the following email in regard to the "Apology" written by Scott Morgan and published on the Flounders' blog, entitled, "Open Letter of Apology to Dr. Johnny Hunt from Pastor Scott Morgan."

A reader wrote to me as follows:

I hope this is a sign that Scott is reassessing the strident and skewed Calvinism that is afoot in his circles, seeing that one may be Calvinistic yet work agreeably with those who are not. I hope, too, that he has thought further about the type of Calvinism with which he has aligned himself and had made adjustments from a biblical standpoint. It will do him and his congregation well and will make them more effective in reaching unbelievers for Christ.

With regards,

While Scott Morgan has done the right thing, it seems to me that the Flounders are co-responsible for Scott's comments and for similar comments by others who have been influenced by the blog itself, and should do some apologizing of their own.

Meditate on the Lord

for September 2

Meditation is the tree of life in the midst of the garden of piety, and very refreshing is its fruit to the soul.

As it is good towards man, so is it fair toward God. As the fat of the sacrifice was the Lord's portion, so are our best thoughts due to the Most High, and are most acceptable to Him. We ought, therefore, to be much occupied with meditation, and the Lord Himself should be our main subject.

"My meditation of Him shall be sweet."

[From the original Spurgeon Birthday Book published by Passmore & Alabaster, London.]

NOTE: Temporarily, in Charles' absence, comments for posting may be directed to Bob's email:

Monday, September 01, 2008

Activity -- essential to purity

for September 1

Look at a pool of water when it stands still -- it is mantled over with weed, stagnant and defiled!

Give it vent, and let it run down yonder brook among the stones; leaping in little cascades on its way down to the river. It is alive now, and see how pure it grows, refining as it flows, because of its motion and life.

So it must let be with us; holy activity and progress are essential to purity.

[From the original Spurgeon Birthday Book published by Passmore & Alabaster, London.]