Saturday, November 29, 2008

Get the "L" Out Of Here

Of the five points, "L", the central column upon which the other four depend, is the most hated, the most attacked, and really where the war will be won or lost.

This has been the attack point for those of the J316C. As we approach Christmas, the who and why for what to whom, is a question we should look into when contemplating the incarnation.

Follow John's links for some insight-filled listening and reading.

Remember the Arminian/4 Pointers Motto: Just Believe. The Gospel will become real, you are the power behind it, you make it efficacious. As long as you try, you always find it was worth it. Just believe...

Then again, the demons believe.


Pastor B. said...

Welcome back!

Strong Tower said...

Thanks for stopping by.

Nice goat by the way. Think I steal it...

kelly jack said...

I read your comments over at the pyromaniac blog. Seeing that the powers that be(in the sbc) have no intention of building bridges or having any form of useful conversation,Where do you see this heading? I noticed that Pastor Tom Ascol even sounded a bit put out over on his blog.

Strong Tower said...

Hi Kelly,

It has been my contention since first being broadsided by the majoritarians, that their goal is to eliminate Calvinism from the SBC. I don't know how far spread that is among the leadership. The unfortunate thing about the pewsters is the over-all ignorance. This lends credibility to the emotionally persuasive nature of revivalist politics. Simply, the promise of sweet green grace is more appealing than having to work for a living.

That is the political reality. The spiritual reality, I believe is that in the long run the two schools of theology are at logger-heads with one another. Two competing soteriologies will not be able to stand in the same house. We have another fight on the horizon, one that is prompted by the post-modern views of reality where authority is only found in the individuals emotional attachment to the subject. That renders the bible as non-effectual for settling disputed theology. At some point, we must admit that we have played our own pomo card in saying that both mutually exclusive truth claims concerning soteriology can stand. The face-off of the two sides is inevitable. And, the best thing that can happen is what James White is persuing, open debate.

Back to the political, the powers that be, do not want the debate. They have everything to lose and nothing to gain. Theirs is now the prevailing view. To air their dirty laundry, is like nuking themselves. As many have come to recognize, once the Calvinist cat is out of the bag, he meows much more loudly, and warmly. People begin to understand the consistency of it, and its Biblical bearing. The majoritarian party has long fought to establish their place based in revivalist religion, pragmatic interpretation rather than the exegetical. It goes like this, Billy Graham evangelized millions as an untrained theologian and if only one percent become contributing members of the church there is a factor called economy of scale. A church of 500 tithing on average annual salaries of thirty-thousand, generates 1.5 million in donations beside gifts and hours of service, et cetera. There is no need to improve quality. Pragmatics says if works its good. The problem though is what product is actually being produced? This is the case in the prosperity movements. They get along on small provisions spread over multitudes of people. The majoritarians see that theatened, and the bureaucratic forests where untamed tongues becomes just part of the background noise that everyone has grown used to, and that is why they are is battle mode. The truth, be damned, it is the mothership that must be protected, crew members (laity) are expendible. Many newer pastors are seeing this and do not want to become part of the temple practices. Still, when we are speaking of millions of people, ten of thousands of Seminary students and thousand of pastors to cull the "right" ones from, the syndicated SBC, has no worries of continuance, unless...

Back to the spititual. Having said that, I think that many of the men are well-meaning. They do not understand the powers of the enemy. But, we have testimony from Scripture that he is able to blind the believer, even the Peters, and put them to work for the kingdom of darkness. The only way to discover who is and who is not doing his (Satan's) bidding is to expose the works of darkness to the light of God's word. Sure, there is the flesh of individuals, pride, ego, fear, but we should not be so naive to believe that it is all about people. There is a greater reality. We also need to take warning from the Scripture when it says that we are not ignorant (or shouldn't be) of his (the devil's) devices. The SBC is a behemoth of a work for the cause of Christ. Because of that, the vulnerability of the weak is multiplied six million fold. And we, who should know, have the responsibility, for we will give an accounting for theirs souls. We are a threat to the darkness, and this battle within, if successfully navigated to victory over the father of lies, will actually be a wonderfully healthly advance toward maturity.

Each of the men at the J316C have called Calvinism a work of the devil, and if that is the case, even being wrong, but convinced that they are right, they will fight for what they believe is right. That is as it should be. The question that JW put forth, is, will they fight fair? We will see. Allen has projected that this will be a protracted war, five to ten years. So, he's gearing up along with his cohorts to meet it with every vitriolic canon he can muster.

I believe it will eventually explode. And, I hope publically. For the world needs to see, that there is a struggle for truth. The unity thing has been a ruse. Unity requires love, love requires truth, and the truth told and defended, is that very thing which the world beholding will understand as our love for one another. If we did not love our brothers, this would not matter. I think there will be more meetings and conferences and attempts at reasoned discussion, but in the end, if the alliances continue with Caner type clones, the only resolution will be all out war. I hope that the out-spoken Calvinists have counted the cost. For if they believe that they hold truth, there is no backing out of the SBC, no matter the carnage entailed.

Gordan said...

Thomas, the thing that gets to me is that the other side gets the benefit of the doubt with regard to how to label them.

We are constantly called hyper-calvinists, while they get away with calling themselves 1-pointers, 2- or 3-pointers, or whatever. I think the Arminian Roger Olsen was spot-on when he characterized most of this sort of thing as simply bastardized semi-Pelagianism. [Okay, bastardized is my word, not Olsen's...]

The problem is not (generally) that the other side's soteriology is Arminian, or Amyraldian. Rather, it's mostly untethered to any historical form of theology. For each individual revivalist, it's a re-invention of the wheel that fits most nearly on the axles of Pelagius's cart. It's borderline heretical, if not more so.

Strong Tower said...

"untethered to any historical form of theology"

Actually, I think you are right in saying this. They don't want labels and by that think they get away with what ever position the proffer. Perhaps then the best way to deal with it is without the labels. I don't know. But, that does beg the question, that if these men are teachers, pulpiteers and professors, are they then offering a non-system of beliefs? Doesn't that say then that there is not reality, if indeed, they take the pomo tact, that its just one man's opinion? Where do we go from there if error is not error and truth is jello?

Gordan said...

I don't know if it's proper postmodernism, as much as it is an insistence on thinking that I'm the first Christian to come along who may have gotten it right.

Strong Tower said...

Right. If you listened to Allen or Yarnell, there is certainly that edge.

Gordan said...

I think the one thing that is crystal clear from J316C is that there are a lot of SBC leaders who have simply never been challenged to defend what they believe.

Case in point, the two names you just mentioned.

What I have seen from Dr. Allen's presentation makes it plain that he is embarrassingly out of his element when it comes to arguing theology.

I say, "arguing theology" instead of "making a Biblical argument" because he completely abdicated his responsibility to even attempt the latter.

And Dr. Yarnell's "performance" in the comment meta at the Founders blog leaves me on the verge of "horrified" at what passes for scholarly leadership in the convention.

I honestly believe this is the fruit of a quasi-denomination that has thought it somehow pious to never question the "man of God" in any meaningful way. These are men who are aliens to legitimate challenges to their Magisterial declarations. (I don't use that "M" word unadvisadly either; they make the same arguments that the Romanists did against the Reformers, and even now are much closer to the Pope's theology than they apparently care to investigate.)

Strong Tower said...

It is curious, too, that they cannot see it. Ynottony repeatedly asks Phil J., "do you see it?" When the reality is that he cannot see what he is or is doing. The same thing is apparent with Y and A, the exaltation of the BFM to an implicit faith statement is exactly the thing that they argue against.

As TA said, of course we would like to see everyone converted to the DoG in truth, as we have come to love them, on the other hand, we recognize the real meaning of soul competency and liberty of conscience. No one is forced to believe, which of course they think is what our doctrine holds. God forbid that one would not love God out of a sincere conscience in full knowledge. Yet, that is exactly what they are advocating, a blind trust in their understanding.

It goes to that issue, as you note, they cannot truly defend it, and they are out of their element. There is no doubt that God has gifted men diversely. The ethic in the SBC, though, has been that since we are a priesthood of believers, there is no diversity, everyone is equal. Unwittingly we have bitten the egalitarian apple. It is not that we lord it over, or that others can lord it over us. It is that God has assigned to each a peculiar and particular place with the giftings and callings to match. When we neglect particularity, be it in election, or election to office or service we fall into the morass of ignorance, unable to discern the right hand from the left. The strange effect of egalitarianism is that it produces dictators.

Oh, by the way, Happy Thanksgiving.

We had a good message to today on thanksgiving no matter what, and one thing that we need to keep in mind is that God cares for the souls of these men as much as he cares for ours. We pray for them, as we should, for men in authority, that we might live in peace and that the Gospel would be preached with power, recognizing that whether he grants that we have peace or not, he is faithful and will not forget his promise. The rise and fall of the SBC is secondary to the work of the kingdom. Our first love must be to exalt Christ in all things, lay our cards on the table and expect God to do great things.

Love in Christ,


Samuel, did not think is wrong to "touch God's anointed". It wasn't David's place to do it, so he didn't. But David did execute one who falsely claimed to have done so. The fact remains, no one on earth is above reproach and every one ought to have their Nathan who points the finger and says, 'You are the man.'

Gordan said...

Thanks for the plank-in-eye reminders there. They are needful, as I confess this is really getting old for me and my patience runs thin.

I guess you've seen that ynottony has more at stake in this thing than originally made public, right? Had a lot to do, personally, with Dr. Allen's presentation, and was (maybe) the good doctor's main source of info. Kind of explains why he has taken it upon himself in the blog world to defend Dr. Allen even to extremes. (Or so I gleened from reading Timmy Brister's stuff.)

Happy Thanksgiving to you as well. Our church's sermon on the topic came from Christ's words to Simon the Pharisee, that "he who is forgiven much loves much" [in gratitude.]

kelly jack said...

Thank you for the comments, very good insight from both of you.

Redbeard said...


It does my conscience good to see your posts on this subject. As a Young Reformed Baptist that attended the J316 Conference, I am disheartened by the actions of our New President. However, I do like that the arguments made were all faulty and without scholarship, as they have all been picked apart on blogs.

The conference was a Snake Oil Salesmen convention and nothing more. I have a sneaking suspicion that it was an attempt to earn capital for the new Vines Lines Sunday School Curriculum to be bankrolled. Is that a Harsh indictment? Yes. Is it accurate? I regretfully think so.

The Christmas Calvinists may agree with Allen, History however does not.