Saturday, February 28, 2009

Founders' "party line"


Note: The following is another item from Ian Elsasser who is once again demonstrating from the Flounders themselves that their "purpose" has never been a fulfilling of the Great Commission in winning lost souls and establishing churches, but rather the promotion of "Reformed" theology (Hybrid Calvinism).

I came upon a Founders Journal article by Tom Ascol titled "Southern Baptists at the Crossroads: Returning to the Old Paths." This article pretty much reiterates Founder Ernest Reisinger's convictions that the SBC needs to embrace Reformed theology or the Founders' Calvinism to remedy the existent problems in the convention and its churches.

In pointing out that the problems (viz. meaningless membership and moral relativism) are "symptoms of deeper difficulties" and that the root of the problem is in the area of "sound doctrine," Ascol says that it was not just any doctrine but was Reformed or Calvinistic doctrine:

"Call it what you will -- Calvinism, reformed theology, the doctrines of grace -- these truths are nothing less than historic Southern Baptist orthodoxy. This is the theology which gave rise to the formation and early development of the great missionary and evangelistic enterprise which we know as the Southern Baptist Convention. This is what our forefathers believed to be the true teaching of Scripture. These are the doctrines on which they built their churches and which undergirded their ministries. And if these doctrines were true then, they are still true today, because the Bible has not changed, God has not changed, and truth does not change.

"If we hope to see a renewal in our churches (how we live), then we must be willing to seek a renewal in our theology (what we believe). Our doctrinal heritage can be very helpful as it challenges our thinking and points us forward into a renewed understanding of God's Holy Word."

If Ascol and Founders Ministries still believe this to be the case, then we must conclude that their purpose remains unchanged: to make churches Reformed. In the words of the Founders Ministries' Purpose statement:

"The purpose of Founders Ministries is the recovery of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in the reformation of local churches. We believe intrinsic to this recovery is the promotion of the Doctrines of Grace in their experiential application to the local church particularly in the areas of worship and witness. This is to be accomplished through a variety of means focusing on conferences and including publication, education, pastoral training and other opportunities consistent with the purpose. Each of the ministries will be developed with special attention to achieve a healthy integration of doctrine and devotion.

BOB'S NOTE: The "purpose" of the Flounders has never been evangelism and soul-winning, but the so-called "reform" of SBC churches to the Reformed theology and to some extent Reformed ecclesiology. That is why they have never engaged in efforts to convert the unsaved and establish churches with the converts. The Flounders have always been a leeching, proselyting entity.

Observations on Brister


The following is by Brother Ian Elsasser. His observation about the floundering of the Flounders (as I prefer to call "Founders Ministries") is the way many are probably viewing things.

Timmy Brister's remarks do seem to be at odds with Founders Ministries, especially when one considers his words to Bart Barber on Praise God Barebones blog.

Of note, Brister says "Calvinism is not a first-tier issue" and "definite atonement would be second (third?) tier."

This seems plainly inconsistent with emphasis of Ernest Reisinger, the one who founded and shaped the vision and purpose of Founders Ministries.

Reisinger said the Conservative Resurgence in the SBC fell short of ideal and needed to choose "the deep-rooted, God-centered theology of evangelical Calvinism," clearly entailing "the doctrines of grace," as over against "the man-centered, unstable theology of the other perspectives present in the convention."

Reisinger: "Make no mistake about it. Southern Baptists are at a crossroads. We have a choice to make. The choice is between the deep-rooted, God-centered theology of evangelical Calvinism and the man-centered, unstable theology of the other perspectives present in the convention. As for us, we adhere to the doctrines of grace because we seek nothing more than to glorify God and enjoy him forever through true doctrine and true devotion and true worship and true witness. The way we see it, to be a Calvinist is to hold to a God-magnifying faith, proclaiming that salvation is granted by grace, received by faith, grounded in Christ and reflective of the glory of God. To be a Calvinist is to be comforted by these truths, trusting that the God of the Bible, who is infinitely holy and righteous and loving, will not only save us but also keep us until the day of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Calvinism is a biblical faith which lives and breathes Scripture as God's infallible, inspired, inerrant Word, living and active, powerful, and sufficient for all of life. It is a stable faith, firmly entrenched within the historic orthodox tradition, flowing from Jesus and Paul through Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Owen, Bunyan, Edwards and Whitefield. It is a conserving faith, heartily resistant to the errors that plague other evangelical viewpoints" (Introduction to A Quiet Revolution: A Chronicle Of Beginnings Of Reformation in The Southern Baptist Convention by Ernest Reisinger & D. Matthew Allen).

How should we understand Reisinger's view? Does it portray Calvinism as a "second tier" or even "third tier" issue?

If the view of the Founders has changed from that formulated and established by Reisinger, should not Founders Ministries confirm this through the updating of their website purpose and announce that they have erred in the past by making Reformed theology and the doctrines of grace a main focus of their ministry activity toward the SBC?

But has its emphasis really changed?

Brister outlines the three main characteristics of a church he would plant ("confessionally Reformed, distinctively Baptist, and missionally driven")\ -- characteristics he voiced previously on his blog, Headed to Southeastern Seminary. Brister places "confessionally Reformed" in the first position. While it may be argued he does not run Founders Ministries, he is an associate pastor of the church where Founders Ministries Director, Tom Ascol, is pastor and which church [allegedly] is planning to plant a church.

Either come clean and admit that the original vision and purpose has not changed or admit it has changed -- and change by announcement and revision of the website and practices.


Scott Morgan . . . about-face?


Those of you who were reading the Flyswatter in 2006 will probably recall our friend in Georgia, Pastor Scott Morgan. Scott was so much of a militant "Calvinist" and so persuaded of his views that he ventured to suggest he would meet me in a public debate. I accepted the challenge, but at this point in time the debate is evidently "still pending."

I received the following email from our good friend, Ian Elsasser, who is keen in "keeping tabs" on what is going on in FloundersWorld and at other campsites of the Hybrid Calvinists. Apparently, Scott Morgan has had a change in attitude, and if so, we believe it is all for the better.

Ian writes:


Scott Morgan has made an appearance on the Founders blog and demonstrates the different spirit which we had noted about a year and a half ago:

Scott said...
Tom, I have been following the blogs of Peter Lumpkins, Founders,and BI Folks. I see alot of misunderstanding of each other and accusations toward both sides. Can we not just stop and call a large mtg somewhere and sit down as brothers face to face ???

Pastor Johnny Hunt forgave me when I went way overboard on him. We met face to face and communicate almost weekly. We have had two dinners together and the love that he has shown me has blown me away. Yes, we may disagree on some things theologically but Pastor Johnny loves Christ and has taught me more things lately about being a strong Christian and Pastor than anyone of late.

There is no reason why Dr. Patterson, Malcolm, You, Dr. Akin, and whoever can't sit down together. Shame on the one or ones who feel they can't sit down and talk and pray through these things. This includes Wade Burleson as well. I understand that Wade has tried to meet with Dr. Patterson and he was not allowed to. This is wrong !!! I'm thankful that Johnny Hunt gave me the chance to ask for his forgiveness !!!! Johnny has taught me more about being a Christian and Pastor lately than anyone. What is interesting is that we disagree on some things theologically but I love this man and brother !!! Does anyone else believe that these men need to sit down face to face and talk ???? Link

I recall that when Charles was still active here that he told Scott that he was praying for him, and perhaps Charles' prayers had some contribution to make to the Lord's goodness in giving Brother Morgan a change of mind and heart. I myself have had a few conservations with Scott by phone, and had the pleasure of meeting him personally several years ago when we were in Atlanta for the Christian Booksellers Association. He is a lover and reader of Spurgeon's sermons, and Spurgeon also may have contributed to Scott's new attitude.

May God Bless Scott's ministry in his area!




Friday, February 27, 2009

Brister contra Reisinger


Tom Ascol's "right-hand man," Timmy Brister seems to have abandoned original Floundersism in his latest remarks today about a "conscensus of Calvinism in the SBC" involving the Flounders-type "Calvinists" and the non-Calvinists (or non-Flounders-types). In his blog, the verbose Brister says:

Coming to a consensus on Calvinism is something the SBC desperately needs in order to thrive in the 21st century, and by that, I do not mean the SBC needs to become “five-point” Calvinists.

This hardly squares with the propaganda spread by the Flounders since their origin in 1982.

From the beginning, it was not so. Ernest Reisinger, Founder of the Flounders, is quoted on the Flounders' website where he expatiates about the inaugurating plans for the "Founders Conference" in 1982:

The group [of charter-member Flounders] decided that the purpose of the Founders Conference would be to promote instruction in both doctrine and devotion, as expressed in the doctrines of grace, and the experiential application of those doctrines to the local church, particularly in the areas of worship and witness. This was to be accomplished through the putting on of conferences where a variety of speakers would be engaged to present formal papers, sermons, expositions, and devotions, and at which literature consistent with the nature of the conference would be recommended and sold.

The motive was to provide encouragement to Southern Baptists through historical, biblical, theological, practical, and ecumenical studies that would glorify God, honor his gospel, and strengthen his churches. To this end, the group agreed that the theological foundation of the conferences would be the doctrines of grace, those doctrines known as the five points of Calvinism (e.g., total depravity, election, atonement, effectual calling, and perseverance) and related truths. These subjects would all be presented doctrinally, expositionally, homiletically, and historically. Each conference would concentrate on the experiential and pastoral application of the respective doctrines.

Other explanatory statements include the following:

Calvinism is the certainty of success in the work of evangelism. It is the foundation and hope of missionary endeavor, Reisinger proclaimed.

He also affirmed:

The doctrinal foundation of biblical evangelism is as important to the work of evangelism as the back bone is to the human body. Doctrine gives unity and stability.

And --

It is the doctrinal foundation that produces the spiritual strength that enables evangelism to endure the storms of opposition, hardship and persecution which so often accompany it. Therefore, the church that neglects the true doctrinal foundation of biblical evangelism will soon weaken its efforts.

The lack of a doctrinal foundation will work against unity and will invite error and instability in all evangelistic efforts. It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of a sound biblical foundation for true God-centered evangelism.

Doctrine shapes our destiny, and we are presently reaping the fruits of unbiblical evangelism.

So insisted Flounders' Founder Ernest Reisinger in regard to the importance of majoring on the Flounders' version of five-point Calvinism as a "doctrinal foundation."

Yet it now appears that, contrary to Reisinger's strong insistence on the "doctrinal foundation" of five-point Calvinism, Brister is seemingly saying that the "old paths" of featuring the five points of the Flounders' version of "Calvinism" front-and-center should condescend to a broader basis for the "consensus." The only real anathema specified by Brister seems to be outright "Pelagianism." He says,

I’ve got only one problem with this. The discussion from the beginning has been slanted against Calvinists by means of terminology. Calvinism is a historical term with numerous references in Southern Baptist life; non-Calvinism, on the other hand, is a nondescript term. What is a non-Calvinist? Does it say anything positive about what that person believes? A non-Calvinist could be a four-point Calvinist and a Pelagian in the SBC. Surely Nathan and Alvin don’t mean to include Pelagians in the SBC, but that is precisely the problem.

Is this perhaps a different and broader strategy on the part of the Flounders to try to weasel their proselytization scheme into the good graces of Southern Baptists who are less-than Flounders-type "Calvinists"?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Founders & proselytization


Ernest Reisinger, who founded the Flounders (aka "Founders Ministries") showed up at my book store in August 1987, accompanied by a couple of other preachers. I have a photo on my office wall of the four of us, standing in front of the entrance to the store.

Ernest -- whom I first met at the first Grace Conference in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in the mid 1960s -- was on a mission. He had come to this area to help in the "reforming" of a nearby Southern Baptist Church. The Pastor, who was with Ernest on this visit to my store, was meeting with more resistance from church members than he could handle, so he had called in Ernest for his expertise in "reforming" a church.

I later learned that the Pastor lost his pastorate. The church was divided over Ernest's species of "Calvinism" which we refer to as "Hybrid Calvinism" since it is not original creedal Calvinism; rather, it is a development that came about among the Pedobaptists (baby baptizers) who adopted the view that "regeneration precedes faith," contrary to the view of Calvin and the Puritans.

I have been an observer of Ernest and his Flounders' movement since it first started, and in due time it demonstrated that this was nothing more than a trouble-making, divisive, proselytizing movement. I noticed that they were not and are not engaged in evangelism and soul-winning, and they even raise objections against those who are engaged in evangelism and soul-winning. I noticed that they equate their species of "Calvinism" as being the "Gospel." I noticed that they had the attitude of a sect -- "we are right, and everyone else is wrong."

I also noticed that they have devices and shibboleths which they utilize in seeking to proselyte those who believe in the Sovereignty of God but are not in the Flounders' camp. I noticed that they misrepresent and misuse notable Baptists of the past as if the Flounders are to be regarded as the theological successors of those Baptists.

After the Flyswatter got onto the Flounders' case as to their lack of evangelism, they must have felt some degree of "conviction," so they at least started talking about "church planting." They had not planted a church since their origin in the early 1980s, other than from "splits" and those who left "Arminianism."

For the past couple of years or so, they have been talking a lot more about "church planting," but if they are actually engaged in any type of evangelism and soul-winning to make converts and facilitate starting a church, we have not seen any evidence of it. They still manifest all the appearances of nothing but a proselytizing sect, seeking to convince other Christians of Hybrid Calvinism.

Until proven otherwise, we will maintain the view that the Flounders are no more than a proselytizing parasitical sect, soaked in Hybrid Calvinism.

Brister: yet another conference!


Dear Bob:

First, Happy Birthday! May the Lord give you many more productive years in his service. Have appreciated your friendship over the last few years, especially of late, and look forward to more to come.

Secondly, a couple of weeks ago we took note of the number of conferences which the new stock of Reformed and Calvinistic groups hold since they are always holding or attending them. Now today I see that Brother Brister is peddling another Conference which includes the same bodies that are common to the other conferences.

If The Preacher were alive in our day and observing these Reformed groups, Ecclesiastes 12.12 could perhaps have read, "But beyond this, my son, be warned: the attending of many conferences is endless, and excessive devotion to conferences is wearying to the body."

"Many" and "wearying" indeed.

With regards,

BOB'S NOTE: We appreciate Brother Ian's frequent observations on this blog, and he helps "keep tabs" on the Reformed. Since our brother Charles is still in absentsia, Ian has been especially helpful in calling certain matters of significance to my attention.

If attending Conferences and doing research could have helped the Flounders, such as Timmy Brister, accomplish something besides blog & twitter, they would probably have planted one or more churches by now in the Cape Coral, Florida vicinity. As things stand, they are apparently simply spinning their wheels in their Hybrid Calvinism rut.


Since posting your email, Ian, I have read Brister's commercial for this conference, and he says participants are John Piper, Mark Driscoll, Ed Stetzer, Matt Chandler, Danny Akin, Bryan Chapell, J.D. Greear, Eric Mason, and Tyler Jones (five Southern Baptists and four non-Southern Baptists). The subtext to the conference is “the power of God’s gift to His people–the church!”

The price for registration begins at $127.

I wonder if these preachers who discuss "the power of God" will take some time to try to make use of that power of God which is unto salvation (Romans 1:16) by fanning out into the city and spreading the Gospel to lost souls? -- or, will they just confine themselves, as usual, to pulpiteering, "preaching to choir," jawing at the dining table, and promoting the sale of their products such as books, CDs, DVDs, and whatever?

[TO SUBMIT COMMENTS: Send to and say, "For posting on the Calvinist Flyswatter.]

Of "divides" and "wedges"


There are a couple of very interesting items on a couple of blogs posted today:

An Imaginery Divide by Wes Kenney

Words Creating Wedges by Peter Lumpkins

These items discuss the current comedic production of the "Tom & Tim Show from Floundersworld USA."

The most comedic of comedy is the type that is "taken seriously" by their creators, and this is the "normal" essence of the "Tom & Tim Show" which features Tom Ascol and Timmy Brister.

Tom is the successor of the late Ernest Reisinger who founded the "Founders Ministries," otherwise referred to on the Flyswatter blog as the Flounders.

Ernest Reisinger created the ecclesiastical DNA of the Flounders in the early 1980s when he launched this parasitical Hybrid Calvinist movement as a "reform" endeavor to make Reformed Hybrid Calvinists, or Bapbyterians, out of as many Southern Baptists as he could. Reisinger saw two elements in the SBC -- (1) his own movement and (2) the "other perspectives" -- a scenario which he describes as follows:

"Southern Baptists are at a crossroads. We have a choice to make. The choice is between the deep-rooted, God-centered theology of evangelical Calvinism and the man-centered, unstable theology of the other perspectives present in the convention" (A Quiet Revolution, page 13).

Ever since the founding of the Flounders, it has been a proselytizing movement, seeking to make Reformed Hybrid Calvinist Bapbyterians of Southern Baptist pastors, members, and churches. To my knowledge, the Flounders have never planted a new church except those started by proselytes who came from the "other perspective" sources. Their "purpose" has never been to evangelize, win lost souls, and baptize new converts, according to the commission of the Lord in Matthew 28:19, 20.

Their "purpose" was (and is) stated on their website as being "reformation" and this "reformation" focuses upon the Flounders' version of the "Doctrines of Grace" -- which being interpreted is non-creedal Reformed Hybrid Calvinism of the Pedobaptist Presbyterian variety.

This hybrid species was developed and perpetrated by post-17th century theologians who, incidentally, believed that their babies were "regenerated" in infancy and that adults get "born before faith," often described as "regeneration precedes faith" and the "ordo salutis." From the outset, the Flounders have promoted this Hybrid Calvinism primarily by means of literature, especially that which is produced by the staunch Pedobaptist Iain Murray and the Banner of Truth Trust of Great Britain.

The Flounders' "reformation" movement bears a remarkable resemblance to at least the early Campbellite "reformation" led by Scottish Presbyterians Thomas and Alexander Campbell in the 1800s. The Campbells came to America and were from a Presbyterian background, as was Ernest Reisinger who was Presbyterian before he became a Baptist. Both movements began as parasitical in nature, seeking followers who were associated with "other perspectives." Both claimed to be seeking the "recovery" of the Gospel and the "reformation" of the church, and both were adherents of the "regulative principle" of Presbyterianism, or the "command, example, inference" hermeneutical approach.

When the Campbellites were finally disfellowshipped by the Baptists in the 1800s and thereafter did not have much fertile ecclesiastical ground in which to sow discord and proselytize followers from Baptist churches, they eventually formed their own sect distinct from the Baptists. The Flounders, as a probability, will eventually do the same thing once Southern Baptists in general have become wise to the Flounders' designs.

Read the articles in the links given above, and you will have another example of how the Flounders seek to "divide and proselytize."

[COMMENTS: Send your comments to:]

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Brister blisters Southern


"There are things that Baptists can learn and benefit from Presbyterians or other non-Southern Baptists. . . . I personally recently spent a week at a church planting conference led by Presbyterians, and I received better teaching and training in that one week than my entire experience in seminary in the Billy Graham school at SBTS."

So says Timmy Brister, Assistant Pastor to Flounders leader Tom Ascol at Grace Baptist Church, Cape Coral, Florida, a 2008 graduate of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary।

Brister's testimony seems to confirm what we have observed about Brister from time-to-time -- he evidently was not very well grounded by his teachers in Baptist faith and practice at Southern Seminary. In a post as recent as November 19, 2008, we said:

"Southern Seminary graduate Timmy Brister, now working with Flounder Tom Ascol as assistant pastor at the church in Florida, seems to have missed instruction about what Baptists -- even those in Sunday School -- know and believe as to Baptist doctrine."

Also, see "Evangelism According to Timmy Brister" for more evidence of Brister's lack of solid teaching in sound Baptist doctrine at Southern Seminary. Brister was apparently taught at SBTS in such a manner as to leave him vulnerable to Pedobaptist Presbyterian theology and ecclesiology. We know he holds the Pedobaptist "born again before faith" heresy, and now on his website he has been actively propagandizing for affiliating with Pedobaptists (baby baptizers) in "church planting."

Brister's infatuation with the Pedobaptists is perhaps an obvious consequence of Dr. Al Mohler's and Dr. Tom Nettles' infatuation and affiliation with, and approval, of baby-baptizing ministers. When Seminary leaders set the example by "playing footsies" with Pedobaptists, it tends to rub off on young minds such as Brister. When the Seminary embellishes Pedobaptist ministers who teach "born again before faith," such as John Frame, R. C. Sproul, and others as guest speakers, uses Pedobaptist textbooks which emphasize Pedobaptist theology, it is probable that Baptist convictions will be regarded by students as of less significance. It is therefore no marvel that we often hear reports of students leaving Southern Baptists for the Pedobaptists.

[TO SUBMIT COMMENTS: Send to and say, "For posting on the Calvinist Flyswatter.]

Flyswatter's 3rd anniversary


Those of you who are new to the Flyswatter can click on the above title for the history of the blog, written by "Charles" himself.

Charles' first post was "Introducing the Calvinist Flyswatter" in which he simply said:

The Calvinist Flyswatter is now online! The Flyswatter will swat the theological errors of all those pesky Calvinist flies that are swarming the blogosphere. [March 3, 2006].

At that time, I had never heard of either Charles or The Calvinist Flyswatter, and had never even considered participating in blogging in any way. I was satisfied with sending my writings directly to my sizeable email list. But in what I believe was a providential coincidence, about the time Charles started his blog, I was notified by one of the readers on my regular email list that Tom Ascol of the "Founders Ministries" blog had posted a comment by a fellow who referred to Bob Ross as a "goofball."

That might have been the worst thing ever identified with Ascol other than his being struck by lightning several months ago. That comment, in effect, was the catalyst for my becoming a critic of the Flounders (aka "Founders Ministries"), exposing their "Bapbyterianism" and fallacious claims about Baptists of the past.

As a result of tracking down that disparaging comment on the Flounders' blog, I stumbled upon reference to a blog called "The Calvinist Flyswatter" -- and the rest is history. I posted my first ever comment on a blog on the Flyswatter here.

During the course of his administration of the Flyswatter, Charles somehow managed to retain his anonymity. Even I never learned who he was (or is). The only thing he ever confided to me was an email address by which I could at least correspond with him. That email address is now defunct, and Charles' last participation on the Flyswatter was in late October 2008. Whether he is living or gone to be with the Lord, I do not know. If anyone ever knew who "Charles" was (or is), that person has not revealed it. All I know is, Charles is surely missed.

I am deeply grateful to Charles for his starting the blog and for his willingness to post my comments. A few months ago, Charles promoted me on the blog to the status of "Contributor," which facilitated my being able to post both articles and comments without any "moderation" by the Administrator. If he had not done that, I would not now be able to continue the blog, and to plead --

Charles, if you are still in the land of the living, please come back!

[Comments: Do not post in the combox. Mail comments to be posted to]

Monday, February 23, 2009

Baptist to the core!


Years ago I heard a Baptist preacher say that someone asked him the question, "What would you be if you weren't a Baptist?"

He simply replied, "I'd be ashamed."

The Flyswatter is Baptist to the core, Baptist to the bone marrow. If we weren't Baptist, we'd be ashamed.

One of the characteristics of Baptists is that we don't believe we are the "one and onlys" who are saved or going to Heaven. We are often accused of that idea, but the truth is, we believe that every person who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour is a child of God and is one of that great multitude which no man can number which loudly proclaims, "Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb" (Revelation 7:9).

If you don't believe that, you should be ashamed. Perhaps more than anything else, the term "Baptist" specifies one who believes that salvation is by grace through faith "from start to finish." We are not ashamed of that belief.

Those today who are dropping the term "Baptist" from their church's identity are in effect making other Baptists wonder, "What do they believe? Do they believe in salvation by grace through faith, or do they teach some other way of salvation?"

Also, the term "Baptist" should leave no doubt in people's minds about Baptism. One who is true to Baptist teaching has no quarter for infant baptism and any so-called "mode" of baptism other than immersion. A Baptist does not condition salvation upon immersion, but he is not going to consider one baptized who was merely sprinkled or had water poured on his head.

Some of the problems which have developed among Baptists were due to some brethren's "playing footsies" with the Pedobaptists (baby baptizers). That's where the Southern Baptist seminaries got the "Modernism" and "Neo-orthodoxy" that plagued those institutions in the latter half of the 1900s. That's where the Baptists in the Flounders movement got the "born again before faith" heterodoxy. That is how a number of errors found lodging with some Baptists -- via the Pedobaptists.

The Baptist preacher was right-on -- "If I weren't a Baptist, I'd be ashamed."

[Comments: Do not post in the combox. Mail comments to be posted to]

SBC "resurgences"


Nathan Finn of Southeastern Baptist Seminary writes today about the Conservative Resurgence of the latter 1900s in the Southern Baptist Convention and the recent proposal by Danny Akin and friends designated as the "Great Commission Resurgence."

We know somewhat about the effects of the CR, which are manifested primarily in the area of changes in leadership positions in the SBC's institutions and agencies. As for the CR's practical effect within the Southern Baptist churches themselves (members, and pastors) with which I am acquainted, the churches seem to be about the same as they were.

The fact is, for the most part, Southern Baptist churches and most of the pastors I've known have never been very far from what I would regard as "conservatism," and I've been an observer of them since the early 1950s. But the SBC's colleges, universities, seminaries, and some other agencies are another story; in the 1950s and 1960s they were dominated by "other than" types, especially the "neo-orthodoxists" in the seminaries.

One noticeable characteristic about the Conservative Resurgence is that it was NOT led by "Calvinists" and was not motivated by an effort to "reform" the SBC along the lines of Reformed "Calvinism." No doubt, there were some such "Calvinists" who were involved in the CR, but if Paul Pressler, William Powell, Paige Patterson, Adrian Rogers and other recognizable leading names of the pre-1980 years were infatuated with "Reformed" Five-Point Calvinism of the Flounders' variety, they kept such feelings "under lock and key."

In fact, according to the Founder of the Flounders, Ernest Reisinger, the Conservative Resurgence consisted of "a spicy blend of pragmatists, pietists, dispensationalists, Finneyite revivalists, charismatics, Arminians, Calvinists, and countless variants and combinations of each of these categories" (A Quiet Revolution, page 7).

And the fact is, Reisinger was so dissatisfied with that "spicy blend" that brought on the Conservative Resurgence, he set out to try to "reform" the SBC's conservative resurgers and founded the "Founders Ministries" to take the lead in the "reformation." He said:

"Make no mistake about it. Southern Baptists are at a crossroads. We have a choice to make. The choice is between the deep-rooted, God-centered theology of evangelical Calvinism and the man-centered, unstable theology of the other perspectives present in the convention" (A Quiet Revolution, page 13).

Evidently, some of the advocates of the Reisinger-Reformed version of "God-centered theology of evangelical Calvinism" have begun to realize that "reform" of this kind is not the answer. Proselyting to Reformed "Calvinism" is not going to produce evangelism, make new converts, and establish churches -- if we may judge from the track record of current advocates of Reformed theology. That type of Reformed "Calvinism" is primarily sustained in this age by infant baptism with some assistance from proselytization from the "Arminian" camp.

Consequently, some of the "Reformed" Baptists are now "lining up" to sign-on to Danny Akin's "Great Commission Resurgence," even before there has been any evidence of such a "surging" other than written materials and conference speeches. Even Tom Ascol of the Flounders has aligned himself with the GCR.

Nathan Finn says, "While the CR has bequeathed to us a healthy foundation from which to pursue a GCR, it must be more than our launching pad. Biblical theology must permeate everything we do, lest we see a gradual return to the pragmatism of the older consensus. To say it a different way, our theological renewal must lead to methodological renewal as our churches strive to be biblical, covenantal, and missional communities that are shaped by the gospel and spread that good news to all people. As a Convention of churches, our thinking rightly about God needs to issue forth in a living rightly before God. And living rightly before God will mean embracing His missional priorities as they are articulated in Christ’s Great Commission to his people." [Boldface provided by Bob].

Those words I have put in boldface probably indicate that the "spicy blend" which characterized the CR will have to be improved upon with the "Biblical theology . . . theological renewal . . . [and] methodological renewal" as affirmed by the promoters of the GCR who know how to steer us into "thinking rightly about God." And if we think rightly in the interpretation of the writings of the promoters of the GCR to this point in time, that would apparently mean a theology and methodology which are in accord with "Reformed" ideology.

If Tom Ascol and his brother, Bill Ascol, have become "cheerleaders" for Akin's new GCR project, it must be the case that the GCR is probably headed down the path of Pedobaptist Reformed Hybrid Calvinism which has forever been classified as the "Doctrines of Grace" by the Ascols' Flounders movement.

[Comments: Do not post in the combox. Mail comments to be posted to]

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Ascol's alienation?


Tom Ascol of the Flounders is now evidently attempting to ingratiate himself and the Flounders with the Southeastern Baptist Seminary, led by Dr. Danny Akin. Ascol has recently "pitched his tent" in the Seminary's "Great Commission Resurgence" camp, and has even come to the defense of the appearance of controversial Mark Driscoll at the Seminary's recent conference.

How long it will take Danny Akin to recognize that Ascol and the Flounders are not a "prize catch" remains to be seen. But if "history repeats itself," somehow Ascol will probably manage to "fall from grace" in due time.

Although Ascol is a graduate of Southwestern, he is not exactly in "good graces" with that school -- to put it mildly. He is at odds with Dr. Paige Patterson and other Faculty members.

Ascol attempted to lure Dr. Tom Nettles away from Southern, and also hired SBTS graduate Timmy Brister as his associate pastor -- despite the fact Brister has been an outspoken critic of President Al Mohler of SBTS. I doubt if those things embellished Ascol's image with Dr. Mohler.

New Orleans Seminary, where Dr. Steve Lemke is Provost, certainly has no quarter for Ascol and the Flounders.

So Ascol's "last stand" with the major SBC seminaries seems to be his effort to gain prestige from associating with Southeastern Seminary.

I would be surprised if Danny Akin permits Ascol to pull this off for long.

[Comments: Do not post in the combox. Mail comments to be posted to]

"Finnical" faith


[Comments: Do not post in the combox. Mail comments to be posted to]

Brother Ian Elsasser has astutely remarked about Professor Nathan Finn's recent post on the Between the Times blog at Southeastern Baptist Seminary:

Nathan Finn in a follow up article to Alvin Reid's 'exhortation to Calvinists' has issued his 'exhortation to non-Calvinists' which, it seems to me, carries some caricatures unbefitting a scholar and Professor at a Seminary.

For example, in his second point Finn says:

Second, be sure to never give the impression that the decision to become a Christian is a mere decision. Sometimes I hear non-Calvinists imply that “all you have to do” if you want to be a Christian is believe in Christ. This makes it sound like faith is a simple free will decision that can be made apart from the gracious work of the Holy Spirit.

Professor Finn makes it sound like that non-Calvinists teach that faith is a simple free will decision that can be made apart from the gracious work of the Holy Spirit.

First, all one need do is believe, which is the call of the gospel. If one believes the good news, will that one not be saved? Or is there more that the person should do to meet the standards of the modern brand of Calvinism now at play?

Secondly, who is the "non-Calvinist" who thinks that the Spirit is not involved in the work of salvation, including believing? I would like Dr. Finn to point this out from non-Calvinist Theologies and writings and to point out which Baptist preachers and church members believe it. Does the unbeliever himself need to know that his decision is aided by the Spirit's work for it to be valid? Or, does is it not simply the sinner's part to believe the gospel?

At least if one is to critique a position, should it not be accurate?



"Christ puts the crown of salvation upon the head of faith" (C. H. Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 57, page 572).

It seems that the hardest thing in the world to accept is that salvation is simply by faith.

Men -- even some Baptist theologians -- evidently want to add something to faith and thereby make salvation to depend upon some type of work.

It is even difficult, it appears, for some "sovereign grace" Seminary professors such as Nathan Finn and pastors such as Tom Ascol of the Flounders to accept that salvation is by simple faith and simply by faith. Their "doctrines of grace" model does not appear to have room for simple faith.

The thing which Hybrid Calvinists obviously miss about faith is that perhaps the most unique attribute of faith is its utter simplicity.

Jesus illustrated the simplicity of faith by referring to children's faith (Luke 18:17). They do not need to know the "5 points of Calvinism," or "Reformed" theology, or somebody's notion about "Lordship Salvation," or the Hybrid Calvinist "ordo salutis," or even "monergism." Jesus even said that if a person but had faith as a grain of mustard seed, he could move a mountain (Matthew 17:20).

C. H. Spurgeon remarked that "not a grain of faith exists in all the world except that which He has Himself created" (MTP, Vol. 33, page 279).

Spurgeon emphasized salvation by "Simple Faith."

He said, "O simple faith, thou hast the key to the kingdom! Come, and welcome into my heart" (Vol. 38, MTP, page 201).

Spurgeon preached a sermon on John 1:12, 13, and he opened it by saying, "Everything here is simple; everything is sublime. Here is that simple gospel by which the most ignorant may be saved" (Vol. 38, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, The Simplicity and Sublimity of Salvation, page 265).

Spurgeon preached that faith is so simple that "children of three and four years of age have doubtless been capable of it; and there have been many persons, but very little removed from absolute idiocy, who have been able to believe; a doctrine which needs to be reasoned out may require a high degree of mental development, but the simple act of trusting requires nothing of the kind" (Vol. 12, MTP, page 19).

This is probably one reason why Spurgeon had many converts -- he preached the simple Gospel. The reason Spurgeon believed it was so simple is because he believed that the Word of God is creative and powerful, because the Holy Spirit accompanies the Word, and that is what it takes to meet the resistance of human nature, and make it easy to believe.

"This is a very simple matter," he said, "One grain of faith is worth more than a diamond the size of the world . . . Salvation is a very simple business. God help us to look at it simply, and practically, and to receive Christ, and believe on his name! . . . I go over and over and over with this, and never get one jot further, because I find that this medicine cures all soul sicknesses, while human quackery cures none. Christ alone is the one remedy for sin-sick souls." (Vol. 38, MTP, page 268, 269, 272).

There was a woman who attended Spurgeon's preaching, but she had a problem believing and being saved. So she asked Spurgeon to pray for her, that she would be saved. But Spurgeon refused to do so. He said --

"No, I will not pray for you . . . I set before you Christ crucified, and I beg you to believe in him. If you will not believe in him, you will be lost; and I shall not pray God to make any different way of salvation for you. You deserve to be lost if you will not believe in Christ."

The result was, the woman saw he light and exclaimed, "Oh, I see now! I do look to Christ, and trust him" (Vol. 38, MTP, page 388).

Spurgeon had thousands of children come to simple faith under his ministry, as well as adults. In his sermon, Faith and Its Attendant Privileges, Spurgeon emphasized the simplicity of faith :

Faith is the simplest thing conceivable! When we hear people sing, “Only believe and you shall be saved,” they sing the Truth of God, for we have the Divine assurance that “whoever believes on Him is not condemned.” The Gospel message is, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.”

The act of faith is the simplest in the world. It may be performed by a little child. It has often been performed by persons so short-witted that they have been almost incapable of any other intellectual act. And yet faith is as sublime as it is simple, as potent as it is plain! It is the connecting link between impotence and Omnipotence, between necessity and all-sufficiency. He that by faith lays hold on God has accomplished the simplest and yet the grandest act of the mind.

Faith is apparently so small a matter that many [such as Dr. Finn?] who hear the Gospel can hardly believe it possible that we can really mean to teach that it brings salvation to the soul. They have even misunderstood us and imagined that we have meant to say that if persons believed they were saved, they were saved. If that were the doctrine of Justification by Faith, it would be the most wicked of delusions. It is not so! Faith in Jesus as our Savior is a very different thing from persuading ourselves to believe that we are saved when we are not! We believe that men are saved by faith, alone—but not by a faith which is alone. They are saved by faith without works, but not by a faith which is without works. The faith which saves is the most operative principle known to the human mind, for he that believes in Jesus for salvation, being saved, and knowing that he is saved, loves Him that saved him—and that love is the key of the whole matter! (MTP, Vol. 21, pages 25, 26)

I read the item by Nathan Finn, and Professor Finn's comments about faith strike me that he is actually downgrading the very element which produces the good works which please God. Of course, we realize that this was not his intention, but he demonstrates the type of thinking which detracts from the simple Gospel message of salvation by faith.

"The act of faith is a very simple thing, but it is the most God-glorifying act that a man can perform. . . . Christ puts the crown of salvation upon the head of faith" (C. H. Spurgeon, MTP, Volume 57, page 572).


Spurgeon versus Hyperism.

Friday, February 20, 2009

New Ascol "Piggy-Back"?


If you will read Tom Ascol's latest blog, you may understand why I ask the above question. Among other comments, Ascol says, "As a reformed, Southern Baptist pastor, my feet are firmly planted in the GCR camp. "

I don't know how President Danny Akin and his associates at Southeastern Baptist Seminary will react to this, but it made me think -- "With friends like Ascol and his assistant Timmy Brister, and the other Flounders' baggage which Ascol drags along, who needs enemies?"

Akin and friends at SEBTS have been writing about something they have dubbed, the "Great Commission Resurgence," which to my knowledge is, at this time, more of an Internet commodity than anything else. Ostensibly, the GCR hopes for a "resurgence" of interest in fulfilling the Great Commission.

Ascol's Flounders organization has always been committed in its stated "purpose" to "reforming" Baptist churches and re-shaping them into something on the order of Reformed Presbyterianism, sans the baptism of babies. I have not seen where Ascol has repudiated that as the "purpose" of the existence of what they call "Founders Ministries."

It seems to me that all Ascol is endeavoring to do is get the Flounders a new "piggy-back" ride on a more significant constituency than Ascol has been able to otherwise garner or generate. The reported less-than-a-hundred registered attendants at the Flounders 2008 National Conference did not indicate that very many are infatuated with the "reformation" being promoted by the Flounders. Also, the "Bridge to Nowhere" Conference promoted by the Flounders apparently did not succeed in accomplishing what Ascol hopefully envisioned. It appears that Ascol & Co. are starving for some attention.

So now, Ascol is courting the group at SEBTS which is engaged in writing about a "Great Commission Resurgence." If the GCR program has anything more to show than writing and "conference" messages, I have not detected that the "resurgence" has yet materialized in notable evangelistic efforts, converts, and baptisms.

While Ascol has evidently selected the "Baptist Identity" people as his new "whipping boy" and "scapegoat" for all things contrary to the interests of what Ascol calls "Christ-followers," we can't disregard the fact that the Flounders were launched by Ernest Reisinger who once wrote to Pedobaptist Iain Murray, saying, "We all seem to lean to the Presbyterian idea of elders and deacons . . . We are a congregation of Baptists that is almost Presbyterian" (Ernest Reisinger, A Biography, pages 104, 105).

It is perfectly understandable why Ascol & Co. are inclined toward elements of Presbyterianism, since this is a part of the Flounders' "tradition" [ecclesiastical DNA?] which was instilled in the movement by its Flounder, Ernest Reisinger. "Fruit doesn't fall far from the tree."

As we have often stated, the Flounders are a parasitical movement. They don't win souls, but "suck-in" their "Founders Friendlies" from other sources, primarily people who were saved under "Arminian" ministries and have become infatuated with Pedobaptist Reformed Hybrid Calvinism.

Evidently, Ascol sees in the GCR a new association from which the Flounders may "suck-in" some followers in the development of this sect saturated by Reformed Hybrid Calvinism.

Posts for the Flyswatter


In the absence of Charles, the sole administrator of the Calvinist Flyswatter blog, the only way I can post your comments is to receive them via email at --

When you send a comment by email, be sure you say -- "For posting on the Calvinist Flyswatter."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ascol on "harmony"


Tom Ascol, head of the Flounders (aka Founders Ministries) has been running an item for a few days on his blog, expressing himself about the evident "trial balloon" which was airborne a few weeks ago by Pastor Wade Burleson and has since popped.

Among other things, Ascol writes in a way that impresses me as being a rather "pious" mode in regard to the so-called "bridge-building" thing which was featured at a conference at Southeastern Baptist Seminary awhile back.

For example, Ascol says: >>We do not have to agree on every jot and tittle to live together harmoniously in the SBC family, but we do have to remember that loyalty to Christ trumps loyalty to any "cause" or party.<<

If that is really the state-of-mind with Ascol, then why doesn't Tom and his Flounders' cohorts simply shut down and call-off their zealous long-standing campaign which is bent on "reforming" Baptist churches with which the Flounders "do not agree on every jot and tittle" relating to the "doctrines of grace" (as defined by the Flounders)?

And why doesn't Ascol change his focus to getting the Gospel out to people in his own vineyard, rather than compassing Dan-to-Beersheba to promote the "reform" ideology of the Flounders? For the past few years, Ascol has written some items ostensibly about doing "church planting," but so far we have seen nothing of significance happening in this regard. Thousands of dollars have been plundered by Ascol and the Flounders to promote the Pedobaptist Reformed Hybrid version of "Calvinism" by means of DVDs and conferences, but we are not aware of much being spent in efforts to plant churches.

If there is any integrity to Ascol's pious remarks in his recent blog, then why doesn't he focus upon the work of evangelism and church planting in contrast to the announced "purpose" of the Flounders to propagandize and "reform" existing churches which are not of the same "faith and order" as the Flounders on Reformed theology?

Ascol seems to imply that the reader is to understand that the enemy of the desired "harmony" between the "Calvinists" and non-Calvinists in the SBC, for the most part, must be attributed to "some (namely, a coalition of the old guard Fundamentalists and avant-garde self-styled defenders of Baptist Identity) who do not want to see such a Gospel consensus unite Baptists who might not see everything eye-to-eye on the doctrines of grace."

Now that Ascol has identified the "enemy," it would perhaps be appropriate for Ascol to demonstrate his own dedication to harmony by calling off his "dogs" (such as Timmy Brister) who are forever barking at those who differ with them on the "jots and tittles" of Pedobaptist Reformed Hybrid Calvinism.

COMMENTS: All comments must be sent to

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Update on Garrett


You will probably learn more about Hardshellism and Hyper Calvinism from BaptistGadfly than any other source on the Internet. Here are Stephen Garrett's most recent posts:

Dr. Grudem's Errors #2
Dr. Grudem's Errors
"Reformed Baptists"
Mercer & The Hardshells

Dr. Watson on the Dry Bones
Peck Circular
Sociology Background
Hardshell Conspiracy?
Sproul's Errors
Graves vs. Hardshells?
Future Postings
Demarist on Faith & Regeneration

NOTE: All comments for posting on the Calvinist Flyswatter must be sent to

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Weaned from "conferences"


Recently, Brother Ian Elsasser, stated in a comment --

"These gentlemen are really into conferences. How many more before the year concludes?"

I have just this morning been reading of a "Conference" at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary where a reported 1,400 attendees were spiritually entertained by Mark Driscoll, C. J. Mahaney, Bill Brown, and Daniel Akin. It was evidently focused on confronting modern "culture" with the Gospel.

The thought occurred to me, "What if all these 1,400 attendees met early in the morning, had a short time of prayer, then spread out all over the area and actually confronted people with the Gospel? Wouldn't that be better than simply listening to a number of lectures on certain subjects?"

I was "weaned" from "conferences" many years ago. I can't even remember the last one I attended, it has been so long. Nowadays, I would not walk across the street to attend a "conference," much less pay a fee to attend one. The only thing I can think of that I ever learned at "conferences" was that there is very little to learn at "conferences" other than their relative uselessness. They generally simply furnish a scenario for sitting, eating, gabbing, and in most cases buying materials.

I have never heard of a "conference" where those in attendance just got together briefly for prayer, then fanned out to spread the Gospel in a community. I know that such effort has been done to some degree at the large national Baptist conventions, but not by all the messengers in attendance. This effort by some at the conventions was the best thing about the conventions, in my opinion.

I no longer attend "conferences," and have turned down invitations to speak at them. I just think they are generally a waste of time and money. Today, we have "conference speakers" who apparently "make a good living" going from place-to-place for "conferences." They seem to be somewhat "professionals" as "conference speakers," and their names keep turning up on programs promoted by flyers, advertisements, internet sources, etc.

I would like to see someone stage a "conference" where the only purpose was to have several hundred or thousand Christians make a special evangelistic effort in a community, and report back the results at the end of the day. The conference could perhaps conclude like the Northfield conferences sponsored by D. L. Moody years ago, with a baptismal service for those who had made professions of faith.

That would be a conference worth attending.

COMMENTS: Do not submit comments in the combox. Send all comments to be posted on this blog to:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Further word on comments


Until and unless "Charles" returns to this blog as its Administrator, any comments must be sent to:

I am only a "Contributor" to the blog, and only have access to (1) post articles, and (2) post my own comments. I do not have any access to moderate and post comments which are submitted at the blog's combox.

However, I can post your comments in a "round-about" way. Here is how:

If you want to comment and want them posted, send the comments to my email address and I can post them. That is the only way your comments can be posted since Charles, who has sole control of the combox, is not active on the blog at this time.

Sorry -- I have no explanation as to why Charles -- whose real name and identity are unknown to me -- is no longer active. More than anyone else, I would like to know "why?" this is the case. -- Bob L. Ross

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Significant observations via Email


[NOTE: At the Reformed Flyswatter, see

Mr. Timmy Brister [of the Flounders, aka Founders Ministries] has announced he is attending yet another conference and is piggy-backing a "Band of Blogger" Conference to the Gospel Coalition National Conference in Chicago. Not only do I think more importance is being put on blogs than should, but this trip to Chicago is about the second or third time he has travelled to a conference since taking up his service at Grace Baptist Church about 6 or 7 months ago. These gentlemen are really into conferences. How many more before the year concludes?

This is an article by Paul Burleson, a long-time SBC Pastor and Wade Burleson's father, in which he affirms he is a 5-point Calvinist and sets forth his view that he would not tell an unbeliever directly that "Christ died for you" but takes the common modern Calvinist approach that "Christ died for sinners and if you are a sinner...."


Not surprisingly, here is another blog repudiating telling an individual unbeliever that Christ died for him or her.


The other day you posted an article concerning a Baptist and modern Calvinist, Kevin Crowder, opting to attend Covenant Theological Seminary rather than a Baptist Seminary. Like a few others on Wade Burleson's blog, he has today staunchly repudiated telling an individual sinner that Christ died for him or her (see below). The grounds given by him and Paul Burleson for refusing to say such is that nowhere in Scripture do we see this said to anyone other than those who are already Christians. Why would we expect differently when the New Testament writings are addressed to Churches and those who are believers and not to unbelievers! How do we know what they would write to address an unbeliever? I think the preferred terminology of these modern Calvinists in addressing unbelievers -- to tell unbelievers that Christ died for unbelievers but refusing to say that Christ died for them -- is hairsplitting and arguing from silence. Such "refined" thinking is often foisted on Calvinistic Pastors so that they do not know how to address unbelievers lest they chose the wrong wording and therefore betray so-called Calvinistic theology. It is very unfortunate.

Kevin M. Crowder said... An open letter to Dr. David Allen, Dean, School of Theology, SWBTS.

BOB'S COMMENTS: The "bottom line," Ian, is that these Hybrid Calvinists have a theory of the Atonement which evidently restricts them from telling an individual sinner, or even a professing Christian, that "Christ died for you," for they literally do not "know" who is really "elect" nor who is really an authentic believer. This probably accounts for why there is so little noticeable effort on their part to evangelize the lost.

C. H. Spurgeon had a different take on the Atonement and addressing sinners, and this no doubt contributed to his success in leading souls to the Lord.

See, then, the love of God in putting it in so plainly—so easy a way. Oh, you broken, crushed and despairing sinner, you cannot work, but can you not believe that which is true? You cannot sigh, you cannot cry. You cannot melt your stony heart, but can you not believe that Jesus died for you and that He can change that heart of yours and make you a new creature? If you can believe this, then trust in Jesus to do so and you are saved, for he that believes in Him is justified! “He that believes in Him has everlasting life.” He is a saved man! His sins are forgiven! Let him go his way in peace and sin no more!>> -- Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 31, Year 1885, pages 391, 392.

Also, in CHRIST’S ONE SACRIFICE FOR SIN, No. 2283, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 38, pages 559, 560, 562:

It is the Son of God who has undertaken this more than Herculean labor! He appeared, Sinner, to save YOU! God appeared to put away sin! Lost One, to find you, the great Shepherd has appeared! Your case is not hopeless, for He has appeared! Had anybody other than God undertaken the task of putting away sin, it could never have been accomplished! But it can be accomplished, now, for HE who appeared is One with whom nothing is impossible! Listen to that and be comforted. Christ appeared “to put away sin.”

What can that mean? It means, first, that Christ has put away sin as to its exclusion of men from God. Man, by his sin, had made this world so obnoxious to Jehovah that God could not deal with its inhabitants apart from Christ’s Sacrifice. He is infinitely merciful, but He is also infinitely just—and the world had become so putrid a thing that He declared that He regretted that He had made man upon the earth. Now this whole world of ours would have gone down into eternal ruin had not Christ come.

John the Baptist cried, “Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world,” the whole bulk of it! It was then and there removed at one stroke, so that God could deal with man, could send an embassage of peace to this poor guilty world, and could come upon Gospel terms of Free Grace and pardon to deal with a guilty race. That was done. You may all thank God for that! . . . Christ’s death was UNIVERSAL in the removal of the hindrance to God’s dealing on terms of mercy with the world, yet He laid down His life for His sheep.

No one, to my knowledge -- but the Universalist who holds to the actual universal salvation of every man that ever lived or shall live -- believes that Christ's death in its application is not "limited" to believers. Arminians, Calvinists, and all the "tweeners" believe in such a limitation. It is rather senseless to argue this point simply for the sake of a theoretical system of theology, for all agree that believers are the only ones who shall finally be saved.

Obviously, there is a distinction between (1) the "limitation" of the ultimate benefits of the atonement to believers, and (2) the unlimited preaching of the Gospel to "every creature" (Mark 16:16).

Spurgeon did his part to preach the Gospel to "every creature," and could say "Jesus died for you" to every creature, evidently on the grounds of what he believed to be the "universal" aspect of the death of Christ.

At any rate, regardless of any particular theological theory about the death of Christ, the Commission says the Gospel is to be preached to EVERY creature, and to Spurgeon that meant INDIVIDUALS EVERYWHERE:

Oh, we cannot discharge the work for which God has put us here until we have looked into these alleys, these lanes, these courts, these dark places, and have tried our best to take Jesus Christ’s Gospel to every dweller in it! I know you have your Sunday schools and I am thankful you are doing your work there, but do not confine your aspirations to that class. I know I have with this congregation work enough. Still I am not bound to limit myself to any parish or to any locality, but if I can, I must, as much as lies in me go in all directions and in all manner of places to make known the Gospel to every creature! Have you been the means of the conversion of fifty? That is not “every creature,” press on! Were there a 100 added to this Church the other day? That is not “every creature”! There are millions yet to whom Christ is not known! Preach the Gospel everywhere, then.

The majesty of this command overwhelms me! Such a commission was never given before or since. O Church of God! Your Lord has given you a work almost as immense as the creation of a world! No! It is a greater work than that! It is to re-create a world! What can you do in this? You can do nothing effectively, unless the Holy Spirit shall bless what you attempt to do. But that He will do, and if you gird up your loins and your heart is warm in this endeavor, you shall yet be able to preach Jesus Christ to every creature under Heaven! I must not enlarge, for time flies too quickly. It will suffice if I have put the thought into your hearts, that to the servant girl and the duchess, the chimney-sweep and the peer, the man in the poor house or in the palace, we must account ourselves debtors for Christ’s sake to present the Gospel to them according to our ability, never limiting the sphere of our enterprise where an opportunity can be found to carry the Gospel to every creature! . . . It shall be sufficient answer to many of you to say that the reason for preaching the Gospel to every creature is that God has said it.
Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 15, Year 1869, pages 630, 631.

It appears that Spurgeon held that the Commission to preach the Gospel to "every creature" is grounds for the theoretical possibility that "every creature" could be saved. In Spurgeon's sermons, time and time again he declared that there is nothing to hinder the salvation of any man but unbelief, and that "damnation is all of man."

Furthermore, I have never found Spurgeon to pronounce any man "elect" or "regenerated" until that man was a believer in Christ. Therefore, he preached to every creature as if that person was a candidate for salvation.

COMMENTS: Address your comments to:

Friday, February 06, 2009

Hybrid Calvinist delusions


It seems to be a "law" that one delusion fosters successive delusions. In the Hybrid Calvinist world of phantasmagoria, this "law" has been noticeably operable.

Beginning with the delusion that "regeneration precedes faith" as a starting point, other delusions have followed.

The latest delusion among the Hybrid Calvinists is that of Pastor Wade Burleson of Enid, Oklahoma -- as we have noted in a previous post -- claiming that God "controls" what he writes.

The Flounders (aka Founders Ministries) started years ago with Ernest Reisinger who was obsessed with the delusion of forming an alleged "ministry" committed to "reforming" Southern Baptist churches, making them "Reformed" churches after the order of Pedobaptist Presybyterians, sans infant baptism.

The Flounders have more recently come up with the delusion that they are going to "plant churches," but so far they have only succeeded in planting blogs and twitters.

Awhile back, they had the delusion of "Building Bridges," but it seems that did not amount to anything more than a "bridge to nowhere."

Chasing these delusions boils down to one simple primary result -- the Hybrid Calvinists are not engaged in evangelistic, soul-winning efforts.

Is Burleson "inspired"?


On his blog, Pastor Wade Burleson is now saying, "Therefore, nobody controls my pen but God."
[Fri Feb 06, 11:46:00 AM 2009]

So now, are we supposed to believe that what Burleson writes is at least something on the level of Joe Smith's writings -- controlled or even originating with God Himself?

Oftentimes, it is obvious that the ultimate "defense mechanism" used by certain persons is to attribute their actions to "God," and Burleson's claim makes me wonder if Burleson has reached that point in his claim about his writings.

If indeed God is in "control" of what Burleson writes, are we to consider his writings as somewhat "inspired"?
If one dares to question the accuracy of Burleson's writings, is that one really questioning God Himself?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Burleson helps Pedos?


A young man who is described as a "close follower" of Pastor Wade Burleson's blog for quite awhile has gleefully announced he is heading to a Pedobaptist seminary for ministerial training. Kevin Crowder says the following on Burleson's blog:

Covenant [Seminary], while a strong and conservative PCA [Presbyterian] entity, has approximately 30-40% (don't quote me exactly) of her students from the SBC/Baptist background. I am excited to begin my M.Div. at Covenant.

This is a Reformed Hybrid Calvinist seminary which holds to the "covenant children" heresy, which means that children born to believing parents get "regenerated" in infancy, or even before they are born.
They boast that a large percentage of their students are from the Baptists.

This is where the type of Hybrid Calvinism advocated by Wade Burleson and the Flounders (aka Founders Ministries) often leads -- to the Pedobaptist camp where their "evangelism" is primarily the baptism of babies on the presumption that they are "born again" before, at, or soon after baptism.

We have contended on this blog that if it were not for infant baptism, the Pedobaptist churches would probably soon cease their existence. It is not much of a recommendation for Wade Burleson that one of his longtime "disciples" is going off to the Pedobaptists for studies.

Burleson, a Hybrid?


In Pastor Wade Burleson's ongoing efforts to reproach Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and President Paige Patterson in the eyes of "Calvinists," he has now focused upon one of the primary elements of Pedobaptist Reformed Hybrid Calvinism.

On his Thursday, February 5, 2009 blog, Wade says:

[Quote:] A Calvinist will not tell just "anybody" that "Christ died for your sins." He will, however, look anybody in the eye and say, "Christ died for sinners. Do you know yourself to be a sinner and in need of a Savior? If so, Christ died for you." Again, a five point Calvinist will never look just "anybody" in the eye and say "Christ died for you." . . . . He will not say "Christ died for you" because he doesn't know if Christ did or not. [End of quote]

This is the very same predicament that Hybrid Calvinist Tom Ascol of the Flounders [aka Founders Ministries] demonstrated about a year ago. See this link:


Wade Burleson evidently has, in essence, the same type of gospel that Tom Ascol has -- neither one can preach the Gospel to "every creature." They only have a "generic" message.

Wade can't tell "every creature" or "anybody" in the State of Oklahoma that "Christ died for you," for Wade does not REALLY KNOW if the person qualifies.

Furthermore, since Wade does not even know FOR SURE that any member in his own church is REALLY SAVED, he can't even tell a member of his own church that "Christ died for you."

The fact is, Wade cannot tell anyone in the whole world that Christ died for you!

Yet Christ commissioned His disciples to preach the Gospel to "every creature." Evidently, Wade Burleson cannot preach the Gospel to any creature, for he "does not know" for sure that Christ died for that individual person!

It's a sad day in the Southern Baptist Convention when there are pastors such as Wade Burleson who want to tell Baptists how the Convention and its Seminaries ought to be run, yet these same pastors can't preach the Gospel to "every creature" because they don't know for sure for whom Christ died!

Both Burleson and Ascol seem to be infected with "preparationism." They have turned "limited atonement" into a limited gospel. They dare not preach it to every man, but only to those who are somehow qualified to have it preached to them -- yet, they do not know who the qualified persons are, so how can they preach it to any one in particular?

C. H. Spurgeon versus Burleson and Ascol:

Here's a quote from Spurgeon's sermon, "Immeasurable Love," which clearly shows that Spurgeon had no problem with urging "a" sinner to believe "Jesus died for you." Spurgeon:

See, then, the love of God in putting it in so plainly—so easy a way. Oh, you broken, crushed and despairing sinner, you cannot work, but can you not believe that which is true? You cannot sigh, you can not cry. You cannot melt your stony heart, but can you not believe that Jesus died for you and that He can change that heart of yours and make you a new creature? If you can believe this, then trust in Jesus to do so and you are saved, for he that believes in Him is justified! “He that believes in Him has everlasting life.” He is a saved man! His sins are forgiven! Let him go his way in peace and sin no more! -- Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 31, Year 1885, pages 391, 392

C. H. Spurgeon:

Jesus Christ said, “Go you into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believes and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believes not shall be damned.”

If we had to look for some price in the hands of the creature, or some fitness in the mind of the creature, or some excellence in the life of the creature, we could not preach mercy to every creature—we should have to preach it to prepared creatures—and then that preparation would be the money and the price.

I am sorry that some of my Brothers entertain the idea that the Gospel is to be preached only to certain characters. They dare not preach the Gospel to everybody—they try to preach it only to the elect. Surely, if the Lord meant them to make the selection He would have set a mark upon His chosen. As I do not know the elect and have no command to confine my preaching to them, but am bid to preach the Gospel to every creature, I am thankful that the Gospel is put in such a way—that no creature can be too poor, too wicked, or too vile to receive it—for it is “without money and without price.” That is going to the very bottom!
Surely, that takes in the most degraded, debased and despised of our race—whoever they may be!

If before I preach the Gospel I have to look for a measure of fitness in a man, then I cannot preach the Gospel to any but those whom I believe to have the fitness. But if the Gospel is to be preached freely, with no conditions or demands for preparations or prerequisites—if this is the Gospel, that “whoever believes in Jesus is not condemned”—then may I go to the most degraded Bushmen, or savage Ashantees, or untameable Modocs and tell them the Good News! We may speak of mercy to harlots and thieves—and we may carry the gladsome message into the Guilt Garden and Hangman’s Alley! We may penetrate the jungles of crime and cry with the same entreaty from Heaven—“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him turn unto the Lord, for He will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”

The fact that the mercy of God is “without money and without price” enables us, by His Grace, to preach it to every man, woman and child of woman born! -- Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 20, Year 1874, Sermon #1161, pages 140, 141.

This is such an Atonement made by Christ upon the Cross that it presents a warrant for every sinner born of woman to come to God and say, “Lord, forgive me, for Christ has died.” When we preach the Gospel it is in no stinted terms, looking about and thinking that perhaps there might be half a dozen in the building to whom the Gospel might honestly be spoken. But looking every man and woman in the face, we preach reconciliation by Jesus Christ to them and point them to the atoning blood. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him might not perish but have everlasting life.” -- Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 19, Year 1873, Sermon #1124, pages 427, 428.

COMMENTS: Send all comments to