Saturday, April 25, 2009

A. Carson on the New Birth


Brother Stephen Garrett at the BaptistGadfly continues to bless us with his unearthing of great men of the past who held the Baptist view that men are born again by the Spirit's blessing upon the Gospel in contrast to the Pedobaptist Reformed theory that "regeneration precedes faith."

Such a man was Alexander Carson (1776-1844), a Presbyterian minister who left the Pedobaptist camp and became a Baptist. Stephen Garrett has a couple of recent posts which demonstrate Carson's affirmation of the Gospel in the New Birth:

The great Baptist apologist, Dr. Alexander Carson, wrote the following words in his famous book - "Baptism in its Mode and Subjects." They show that he did not believe the "born again before faith" error.

Read the materials presented by Stephen on the BaptistGadlfy.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

"New Divinity" or "Hopkinsianism."


Stephen Garrett's research has unearthed more background on the "born again before faith" idea of some modern Calvinists. This is material we have not seen before, and I found it quite enlightening. Read the first paragraph, then go to the Baptist Gadfly for the rest of it. -- Bob L. Ross


It has been the contention of Bob Ross and myself that the idea that regeneration occurs prior to and without faith, and that conversion and regeneration are separate and distinct experiences, is not the original view of the first Calvinists and Reformers, but was a later invention by 18th and 19th century neo Calvinists. This later hybrid or novel invention is part of what historians of Calvinism properly call the "New Divinity." The following work by an able historian demonstrates that the view of the "hybrids" is a novel doctrine among Calvinists, a "New Divinity." The following citations are from "Theology in America: Christian Thought from the Age of the Puritans to the Civil War" by E. Brooks Holifield. This "New Divinity" is also sometimes called "Hopkinsianism."

Read the rest of this article at BaptistGadfly.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

What kind of "church plant"?


Brother Ian Elsasser of our other blog, the Reformed Flyswatter, has been keeping tabs on the "Founders" blogs in regard to their proposed "church plant." Ian observes:

Timmy Brister [of the "Founders Ministries" headed by Tom Ascol] has recommended two Presbyterian resources over the last two days. Yesterday he recommended a podcast interview with the pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and today he revealed that the Acts Bible Study he has been conducting with Grace Church plant core group is developed by Tim Keller and Redeemer Presbyterian Church. This is not unusual since he tends to recommend resources that are non-Baptistic (remember the recommended books [by Pedobaptists] on evangelism he gave?). It says much about his and Grace Baptist Church's (aka Founders) preferences. -- Ian Elsasser.

Bob's Comment:

For the past three years, this blog has noted that the consistent pattern of the "Flounders" is "Bapbyterian" in character, a persona imbibed from the founder of the Flounders, Ernest Reisinger. Reisinger combined his obsession with Presbyterianism with the Baptist view on baptism, and this has comprised the "Reformed" ecclesiology-soteriology of the Flounders' movement ever since.

Brister is helping to perpetuate this new-fangled Hybrid among those who are the successors of Reisinger, headed by Pastor Tom Ascol of Grace Baptist Church of Cape Coral, Florida and his associates in the Flounders' parasitical organization. The obvious kind of "church plant" which Brister and Ascol are attempting to develope is of the "Bapbyterian" hybrid variety which tends to put their version of "Calvinism" first and everything else -- including evangelism -- secondary.

Predictably, if and when this "church plant" comes to fruition, it will consequently be just another Hybrid Calvinist entity, dead at the root in regard to soul-winning and evangelism.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

6th anniversary of translating Spurgeon


The following is from Allan Roman, Spanish translator in Mexico City, via Emmett O'Donnell here in Texas, who is putting Spurgeon's sermons on the web at

April 10, 2009

Well, Brother Emmett,

Six years ago today Brother Bob Ross announced the "birth" of your site on the world wide web.

[See the rest of the post at the Reformed Flywatter.]

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Stephen Garrett on Hyperism


By Stephen Garrett

Conversion, says the "Reformed" or "Hybrid" ("Hyper") Calvinist, is the act of the regenerated sinner, but regeneration is the act of God. He thus makes both conversion and regeneration to be either an act of God or of a sinner, regenerate or unregenerate, and excludes the idea that they can be both.

The logic of these misguided Calvinists has led them to make distinctions where they ought not, and to make a thing an "either or" case when they ought not.

[For the rest of this article and other recent posts by Stephen Garrett, go to BaptistGadfly]

Hyperism & False Dichotomy
KJV-only Claims
Profiting From Bible Reading
Defining Hyper Calvinism
Farstad on NIV
Akin on the Ordo Salutis
Norris & KJV-only Claims
Spurgeon's Conversion
Effects of Hyper Calvinism
We Can Trust God

Monday, April 06, 2009

Akin to speak for Founders


The annual Southern Baptist Convention is meeting in Louisville, Kentucky this June, and the "Founders Breakfast" which "piggy-backs" the SBC has invited Dr. Danny Akin of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary to be the guest speaker.

I don't know if this is a step forward for the Flounders, or a step backwards for Dr. Akin. The Flounders are committed to a different theology on regeneration than Dr. Akin has published in his book, A Theology for the Church. Also, Dr. Akin endorses the use of "public invitations" whereas Tom Ascol and his Flounders' associates follow the lead of Flounders' founder Ernest Reisinger and Flounders' godfather Iain Murray in repudiating the use of public invitations.

It is understandable that the Flounders eagerly welcome an enhancing association with Dr. Akin inasmuch as the Flounders are apparently struggling to maintain their pretentious identity as being the self-proclaimed representative of the founders of Southern Baptists. Their promotion of Pedobaptist (baby baptizer) Hybrid Calvinist theology on the New Birth and Reformed ecclesiology have not enhanced the Flounders' image with Baptists.

The Flounders have become better known as promoters of the Pedobaptist elements rather than for engaging in the Great Commission which Dr. Akin has been emphasizing of late. The Flounders have always been a non-evangelistic, non-church establishing, proselytizing entity, devoted rather to their version of "reform" and the advocacy of the "doctrines of grace" (Hybrid Calvinist Reformed version).

It is rather paradoxical that Dr. Akin is associating with the Flounders inasmuch as Dr. Akin is seeking to promote a Great Commission Resurgence whereas the Flounders have always been devoted to the peculiar mission of "reforming" churches toward a Reformed theological emphasis which has proven itself to be non-Great Commission in its "ministry" since its beginning in 1982.

Perhaps Dr. Akin presumes that he may be able to help resurrect the Flounders from their relatively dead state as to evangelism and arouse them to the purpose of the church as found in our Lord's Commission. If this is the case, then we can only wish him "Good Luck."

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Friday, April 03, 2009

No "Founders" national conference for '09

No National Founders Conference in 2009

That is the headline on Flounder-in-Chief Tom Ascol's blog for today. Tom gives some "reasons," none of which we would have suspected to be the basic reason.

When the "Founders" was hatched by Ernest Reisinger and a few of his associates in 1982, the primary feature was a "national" conference designed to popularize the "doctrines of grace" per the modern "Reformed" version. This emphasis has been so prevalent across time that it has "worn thin" as an attraction to people other than those who have recently become infatuated with the Flounders' theology.

Also, the Flounders have 28 other regional meetings and fraternals, and these meetings would most likely tend to detract some of the lustre off the national conference. The 2008 national conference was reportedly rather sparsely attended, which one attendant estimated as less than a hundred registrants.

At any rate, this could be a step "forward" for the Flounders, for the less emphasis on "conferences" the more that time and money can be devoted to the true mission of the church -- the winning of the lost and the establishment of churches. Ascol has been talking about "church planting" for a couple of years or so; perhaps it has dawned upon him that "conferences" do not win souls and establish churches.

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Works of Stephen Garrett


I just can't say enough in commendation of the tremendous and valuable research work done by the former "Hardshell" minister, Stephen Garrett at the BaptistGadfly.

I measure my words when I say that no writer with whom I am acquainted has done more to plough-up the "Hardshell" heresies and erroneous scriptural interpretations.

This is especially true in regard to the fallacy of "regeneration precedes faith," or "born again before, without, and apart from faith," a favorite hobby-horse of the modern Pedobaptist Reformed camp, the falsely so-called monergists, and other Hybrid Calvinists. This includes the likes of R. C. Sproul, Iain Murray, Ernest Reisinger, James White, some teachers at Southern Seminary (Louisville), Tom and Bill Ascol, Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, and many of the Internet websites which are devoted to a hybrid form of "Calvinism" in contrast to the creeds and confessions of faith.

Surely, Stephen has come to the kingdom "for such a time as this" when Hybrid, Hyper, Ultra, and Pseudo "Calvinism" is rampant on blogs and websites.

Not only so, but Stephen is also an expert on "Campbellism," and has conducted quite a number of Public Debates with some of the representatives of this "twin" of Hardshellism, both born from the same "womb" of Pedobaptist Hyper Calvinism. Though diverse, these two 19th century (1830's) movements represent two aberrant extremes in departing from the creedal view of the Gospel in relation to the New Birth -- the Hardshells teaching the "Spirit Alone" heresy and the Campbellites teaching the "Word Alone" heresy.

A few years ago, it was my privilege to appear with Stephen and Larry Wessels on Larry's "Christian Answers of Austin, Texas" to do a series of TV programs on "Hardshellism." I never fail to learn from Stephen, especially in view of his many years of affiliation with the "Primitive Baptist Church" (Hardshells).

If you are interested in either or both of these, you will find no better source for evaluating and refuting them than from the writings which Stephen Garrett has erected on the BaptistGadfly.

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