Calvinism

The posts below are about the theology of Calvinism as opposed to Arminianism and other positions.

Thumbnail image for Video: Eric Hankins Discusses Southern Baptist Doctrine and Theology

Video: Eric Hankins Discusses Southern Baptist Doctrine and Theology

Video description: “Dr. Blake Newsom, Dean of Chapel at NOBTS, sits down with Dr. Eric Hankins, Pastor of FBC Oxford, MS, to discuss the issue of doctrine and theology in Southern Baptist churches.”

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Thumbnail image for Why Calvinist Al Mohler Wrote the Preface for Paige Patterson’s Anabaptist Festschrift

Why Calvinist Al Mohler Wrote the Preface for Paige Patterson’s Anabaptist Festschrift

Sometime last year was a report that B&H Academic was going to publish a festschrift in honor of Paige Patterson. The festschrift is now available. Edited by Malcolm Yarnell, professor of systematic theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, the book is entitled, The Anabaptists and Contemporary Baptists: Restoring New Testament Christianity, Essays in Honor of Paige Patterson. Some may wonder who would endorse such a book given the eternal theological in-fighting among Southern Baptists – I know I did! Well, inside the cover you will find endorsements from Calvinist Michael Haykin to the Calvinstic Daniel Akin and Russell Moore to Mennonites John Rempel and John …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Infant Salvation in the Baptist Faith & Message

Infant Salvation in the Baptist Faith & Message

Some Southern Baptists have been disagreeing (imagine that!) over what the Bible teaches about infant salvation. Actually, some Southern Baptists don’t like what other Southern Baptists believe or might believe (imagine that!) about infant salvation. My point is not to take sides or even express a position, but to quote below exactly what the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 – the Southern Baptist confession of faith – states about infant salvation. –         – Here I blog… Mark

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Christian Kindle eBooks: Free and Under $5

Currently On Sale 99¢ Wisdom & Wonder by Abraham Kuyper Baptist Foundations edited by Mark Dever Manhood Restored by Eric Mason Nothing Is Impossible with God by Rose Marie Miller $1.99 The Conviction to Lead by Albert Mohler Rooted & Grounded by Abraham Kuyper Why Believe the Bible? by John MacArthur The Three Wise Women by Christin Ditchfield The Invention of Lefse by Larry Woiwode $2.99 Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper One Small Candle: The Pilgrims’ by Thomas Fleming Beat God to the Punch by Eric Mason The People of God by Trevor Joy Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus by Nancy Guthrie The Dating Manifesto by Lisa …keep reading »

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The Predestinating Work of God the Father by Andy Hynes

Guest blogger Andy Hynes is a PhD candidate at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. Follow him @ABHYNES on Twitter. The predestinating work of God the Father carried a variety of thoughts.  There were the old pelagians who said it was the work of man alone to call upon God for salvation. There was also the idea that God chose men to be saved based on foreseeing their decisions and rejected everyone else to damnation. However, William Perkins taught, “the cause of the execution of God’s predestination is his mercy in Christ in them which are saved, and in them which perish, the fall …keep reading »

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Different Gospel Presentations: Who Gets Saved?

The following hypothetical conversations take place when evangelist A shares Jesus with unbeliever A while evangelist B shares with unbeliever B. The reason for this exercise are the recent assertions that Calvinists and non-Calvinists are promoting different gospels. Let’s see…. A B Evangelist A (EA) and Unbeliever A (A):EA: A, I’m glad we could meet today so I can share Jesus with you and explain how to be saved – how to be right with God. A: I told you I would listen to what you have to say about Jesus so here I am! EA: First, I want you …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Interesting Tidbits on John Calvin and Preaching

Interesting Tidbits on John Calvin and Preaching

I recently live blogged the G3 Conference. One of the pastors, Dr. Steve Lawson, gave a presentation on John Calvin’s preaching and what we can learn from it. I found a few items about Calvin fascinating. First, note that Lawson scaled down his material from 30-something points (as I recall) to the following six points. Authority of Biblical Truth Priority of Sequential Exposition The Accuracy of Sound Exegesis Committed to the Energy of Lively Preaching Necessity of Gospel Defense Fervency of Evangelistic Passion I agree with Lawson when he said that no man more loved or more hated or more …keep reading »

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On Theological Fighting: Proclaim Christ Instead of Grinding Out Your Theology

During the recent G3 Conference I live blogged there was a panel discussion Q&A. Questions were submitted months in advance of the conference. The first question was for Paul Washer. The question was on substitutionary atonement pitting limited atonement against general atonement. Washer’s answer modeled a great way to think in terms of Christian unity through all of our internal, and often public, theological battles. Brother Paul gave a wise answer. The submitted question. If substitutionary atonement is the true biblical doctrine, does it provide any room for a universal or general atonement as many Free-Will Baptists believe – that Jesus …keep reading »

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Calvinism Undermines Evangelism, Right?

If I have heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times: “A Calvinist evangelist? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Calvinism undermines evangelism.” This accusation has been repeated so many times that few make the effort to argue it. Instead, it is simply assumed. Never mind that some of the church’s greatest evangelists have been Calvinists. One need only be reminded of men such as George Whitefield, David Brainerd, or “the father of modern missions,” William Carey. “Yes,” we are told, “these men were great evangelists and Calvinists, but that is because they were inconsistent.” But is this true? The fact of …keep reading »

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Reformation Day Video: Post Tenebras Lux

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Thumbnail image for Heroes in Black and White: Precious Puritans Vs. Martin Luther King Jr.

Heroes in Black and White: Precious Puritans Vs. Martin Luther King Jr.

Christians are not immune to racial, cultural, or theological bias and blindness. Those types of bias and blindness may be more apparent in Christendom for the Puritans and Martin Luther King, Jr. – cultural and theological heroes to many Christians. Precious Dust Up The dust up over Christian rapper Propaganda’s lyrics in his song “Precious Puritans” recently brought some of these issues to the surface. Propaganda charged the Puritans, broadly defined, with certain racial moral failures charging white privilege against some pastors who quote the Puritans. Some Christians argued that Propaganda defined the Puritans too broadly and unfairly charged them. …keep reading »

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Will the Southern Baptist Convention Dissipate in the Smoke of Reformed Theology?

“Shall the Southern Baptist Convention which was born in the fires of evangelism dissipate in the smoke of Reformed Theology?” Southern Baptist Pastor Steve Brumbelow asks.1 This question was stated in an letter sent to discourage Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MBTS) trustees from approving presidential candidate Dr. Jason Allen. However, Brumbelow’s assuming question is historically inaccurate. Union University president David Dockery notes the strong presence of Calvinistic (Reformed) theology at the birth of the Southern Baptist Convention. At the founding of the Southern Baptist Convention in May 1845, it would have been difficult to find leaders who were not Calvinistic in their …keep reading »

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Dear Southern Baptists, the Calvinistic Roots of Dispensationalism

Warning shots against Calvinistic influence in Southern Baptist churches is all the rage today. While some anti-Calvinist Southern Baptists have been involved in end times conferences promoting Dispensationalism, they do not seem to fear its Calvinistic roots. To be fair, many Southern Baptists may not know the Calvinistic history of Dispensationalism. Dr. Thomas Ice of Liberty University (hardly a pro-Calvinist institution) is here to help with his article – The Calvinistic Heritage of Dispensationalism. Dr. Ice explains the systematization, history and growth of Dispensationalism. He begins: If systematic Dispensationalism is rightly understood it logically makes sense only within a theocentric …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Wisdom from Francis Schaeffer for Baptist Infighting

Wisdom from Francis Schaeffer for Baptist Infighting

Some Southern Baptists are heavy weight champs at theological infighting. Maybe it’s time for Baptists to step outside the ring and consider another way to disagree. A quote from Francis Schaeffer below offers wisdom on how Baptists might better engage each other. In 1845, at the founding of the Southern Baptist Convention, most leaders were Calvinistic while the laity were less so.1 Today, most Southern Baptists are not Calvinists though there is a rise in Calvinistic theology in leadership and laity. Southern Baptists have worked together with Calvinist leaders and with non-Calvinist leaders. If Calvinistic Baptists were instrumental in forming …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Letter to the editor of ‘The Christian Index’ by Marty King

Letter to the editor of ‘The Christian Index’ by Marty King

Editorial not worthy of editor or Index Dear Gerald, As a former Georgia Baptist, I appreciate you and your service as Index editor. But, your Feb. 10 editorial was not your best. The level of research, organization, and writing are simply not up to what Georgia Baptists have come to expect. Let me share with you three concerns. 1. The editorial seems intent on fear-mongering, and is poorly sourced and organized. Although you admit in the article that “many great preachers and theologians have embraced Calvinism through the years,” you imply readers should be afraid of Calvinists, as evidenced by …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for The Calvinists: a Reply to Gerald Harris Part II

The Calvinists: a Reply to Gerald Harris Part II

The following is part II of a reply to Gerald Harris recently published the article “The Calvinists are here.” The article was published in The Christian Index, the Georgia Southern Baptist newspaper, of which Harris is the editor. If you have not read part I, follow this link to do so: The Calvinists: a Reply to Gerald Harris Part I. Part II begins below by interacting with Harris’ article where part I ended. The average Baptist who sits in a Sunday School class or a small Bible study group has depended on LifeWay to provide Bible study materials that are …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for The Calvinists: a Reply to Gerald Harris Part I

The Calvinists: a Reply to Gerald Harris Part I

Gerald Harris, editor of the The Christian Index, the Georgia Southern Baptist newspaper, recently published the article “The Calvinists are here.”1 There have been two immediate responses to Harris’ piece including one by former Calvinist William Birch2 and an article in the Baptist Press in which some of the people mentioned by Harris answered his concerns.3 Harris’ article seems to be pieced together without a thesis. The article seems strung together by insinuations built upon a connect-the-dots type of guilt by association. In short, there is a lot to untangle in Harris’ article. In the following response, which has been …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Calvinistic Methodist Influence on Early American Baptists

Calvinistic Methodist Influence on Early American Baptists

I recently shared an excerpt on Southern Baptist doctrinal conditions from a book by Victor Irvine Masters, D.D. (1867-1954).1 Masters was a past Superintendent of Publicity of the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. In the last sentence of the section on doctrinal conditions Masters states, “The Baptists of 1815 in the South, barring certain minor sects, were everywhere Regular Baptists.” He then directs the reader “See Appendix A.” What follows is Appendix A where Masters points out some of the theological differences among early American Baptists including praise for two Calvinistic Methodists. One of those Methodists is …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for A 1915 Perspective on Southern Baptist Doctrinal Conditions

A 1915 Perspective on Southern Baptist Doctrinal Conditions

Victor Irvine Masters, D.D.  (1867-1954) was the Superintendent of Publicity of the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. In 1914 at the Southern Baptist Convention, Masters was asked by the Corresponding Secretaries of the State Boards to write a mission study book.1 He offered an interesting observation about Southern Baptists and their history in the foreword of his study book. It is often asserted that Southern Baptists will not read their own history, that they have been too busy making history to read it. It would be truer to say that they have been most influentially busy making …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Calvin the Evangelist

Calvin the Evangelist

Reprinted by permission of Reformed Theological Seminary. This article was first published in the Reformed Quarterly Magazine Fall 2001. There are many popular misconceptions about John Calvin. Who is the true Calvin behind the image? Will Durant, the famous author of the eleven-volume series on the History of Western Civilization, said of Calvin: “We shall always find it hard to love the man, John Calvin, who darkened the human soul with the most absurd and blasphemous conception of God in all the long and honored history of nonsense.” Even the defrocked TV evangelist, Jimmy Swaggart, has something to say about …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Quote on Southern Baptist Cooperation

Quote on Southern Baptist Cooperation

Matt over at SBCVoices wrote an interesting post called Arminio and Calvinito: Best Friends? In light of the recent Great Commission Resurgence, he lays out where some unnecessary Southern Baptist infighting takes place. Of course, the ultimate solution is the gospel. I was reminded of a quote that grabbed my attention from a book I recently read. Baptists have certainly held differing views on the nature of salvation, with some holding more of a conviction that God is sovereign in salvation while others gave greater emphasis to man’s role in the process. But when they have been at their best,

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Thumbnail image for Michael Horton Interviews Robert Schuller

Michael Horton Interviews Robert Schuller

A Conversation with Dr. Robert Schuller* The following are highlights from a two hour discussion between Dr. Robert Schuller and Dr. Michael Horton on the White Horse Inn radio broadcast, Nov. 1992. Michael Horton: Would you be willing to address your congregation as a group as sinners? Robert Schuller: No I don’t think I need to do that. First of all, my congregation is a very mixed audience. MH: But our Lord’s audiences were mixed with disciples and unbelievers both. RS: Oh yes, but I’ll tell you, the audience is quite different that I talk to than what the Lord …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Advance09 Day One

Advance09 Day One

I’m having a great time at the Advance09 Conference.  A great time of learning and conviction.  I’m rooming with a brother named Kris from NC who also put some notes up. I’m going to give you today’s line-up and some highlights from my notes.  You can go over to DesiringGod.org and download The First Three Advance09 Messages. The Line-Up Mark Driscoll – What is the Church? Tyler Jones – Decline and Resurge Bryan Chapell – Communicating the Gospel Through Preaching Matt Chandler – Preaching the Gospel to the De-Churched Q&A Panel

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A Song For A Calvinist Wife

Michael Dewalt posted a performance of the song I Think My Wife’s A Calvinist by its author Brandon Milan.  Too funny! I’ve transcribed the lyrics below and here is an mp3 download of the song.  I’m going to play it for my wife without telling her about the song. I can’t buy my wife roses She doesn’t care a thing for them Instead she likes Tulips Cause they’re approved by John Calvin She doesn’t read that Beth Moore book I bought her She’d rather read St. Augustine If she wasn’t a Baptist preacher’s daughter I think she’d be Presbyterian I …keep reading »

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My Awesome Wife At Christmas

My awesome wife got me Richard Muller’s Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics for Christmas!  Now, my wife isn’t awesome because she got me these volumes.  It’s because she is awesome in more ways than I can count that she got them for me!  What a great gift. For those not familiar with this set here’s the description from Monergism Books which still has them for the great price of only $79. Description: Contending that the theology of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries is often misrepresented in church histories and scholarly treatments, Richard Muller has undertaken this exhaustive study of specific doctrines to …keep reading »

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Christless Christianity Q and A With Michael Horton

On October 31 Michael Horton appeared live on washingtonpost.com’s Viewpoint.  Horton was answering questions about his new book Christless Christianity that was released on November 1.  The book has been doing well selling over 7,000 copies and the live chat at Viewpoint was the best so far.  This is great news!  It would be nice if a book like this would have some impact in the same way Warren’s Purpose Driven Life.  For some reason though, I just don’t think I will be driving by various churches with Christless Christianty Study displayed on their signs. If you’re unsure about getting …keep reading »

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A Seminary Student’s Thoughts on the John 3:16 Conference-Update

Update: Todd Burus shares a great letter written prior to the conference. Read it: Calvinism in the SBC- An Open Letter to Johnny Hunt and Jerry Vines One of the people I was at the John 3:16 Conference with is a seminary student working towards an M.Div.  He attends an SBC seminary and was asked to give his thoughts on the conference for one of his classes.  He’s allowed me to post his brief thoughts below. Note: Thanks to Peter for influencing me to make this clarification.  The paragraphs below are a brief overview of my friend’s initial thoughts that …keep reading »

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John 3:16 Conference 60 minute Q&A

John 3:16 Conference live blogging links in order Welcome Part 1 Part 2 (T) Part 3 (U) Part 4 (L) Part 5 (I) Part 6 (P) Part 7 And the downloadable handout from Dr. Allen with updated cleaner charts thanks to Tony Byrne. UPDATE: James White and Phil Johnson have answered David Allen concerning the charge that James White is a hyper-Calvinist according to Phil Johnson’s definition. —————————————————————————- Paige Patterson had to leave early so Malcom Yarnell is sitting in for him on the panel. The format is one question for TULIP from a Calvinist and a non-Calvinist. 1. Total …keep reading »

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John 3:16 Conference Charles Stanley – John 3:16 to the World

Dr. Stanley starts telling that he grew up in a pentecostal holiness church.  He wasn’t raised with the belief that we can have assurance of salvation.  He then came to understand in the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ. Stanley doesn’t like this new move of talking about raising up “leaders” and such.  Instead we need to grow godly men.  He tells the story of his salvation and that he just loved Jesus.  He didn’t have a theological description.  He asks, how can you be saved and be lost?  Referencing those who don’t believe in eternal security. The world is looking for …keep reading »

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John 3:16 Conference Ken Keathley – Perseverance of the Saints

Quote from I.H Marshall – 2 Tim. 1:12 – Two components – One is presently saved – you can know that you are saved – One who in a state of grace will remain in the state of grace –>This is the perseverance What is the basis for assurance? Asahel Nettleton says “I think it possible I may get to heaven.” – Quotes D.A. Carson WTJ. 54. 21. – “Arminianism and Calvinism meet in strange and sad ways.” Three views on knowing if we are genuinely saved? Roman Catholic: Assurance is not possible; Canon 15 at the Council of Trent; …keep reading »

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John 3:16 Conference Steve Lemke – Irresistible Grace

Desires to go forward in unity. Those these discussions are appropriate. References Dordt and it being a response to the Remonstrance. Reads some long quotes of God’s grace that man has not saving grace within himself, etc. that we can’t do anything that is good. All good deeds must be ascribed to the grace of God in Christ.  Then, tells everyone that this was the Remonstrance and what the Calvinists were reacting against. We should not confuse hyper-Calvinists and Calvinists just as we should not call Arminians pelagian.  We should all do better with these labels. SBCer’s are not Pelagians …keep reading »

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John 3:16 Conference David Allen – Limited Atonement

Dr. Allen starts with John 3:16.  He plans on quoting only Calvinsts to prove his case against limited atonement.  Calvinists are going to be “shocked.” What two things to these men have in common – Calvin, Bunyan, Bullinger, Watts, Brainerd, Hodge, Edwards, Shedd, Barnes, Strong, etc. etc.? (I couldn’t get them all)  Dr. Allen wants to be firm but fair.  Answering the questions of must a Calvinist hold to the L, did they all hold to it and does Scripture teach it. He mentions Tony Byrne at theologicalmeditations.com  who is a four-point Calvinist.  Dr. Allen gave a six page hand-out.  …keep reading »

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John 3:16 Conference Richard Land-Unconditional Election

Dr. Vines starts the morning explaining that disagreeing is not a bad thing. He has many Calvinist friends with whom he disagrees. He claims man can still make a choice and that though depraved not so much to as to say our capacity to chose is ruined. He does not mention God’s grace and how He acts in our “choice” in salvation.  (He mentions that Ergun Caner might be here.) Dr. Land Congruent Election: Understanding Salvation from An Eternal Now Perspective We believe in an infallible word of God that does not contradict itself. We must seek knowledge and insight …keep reading »

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John 3:16 Conference Paige Patterson-Total Depravity

The most hated doctrine in the world today is the exclusivity of Christ.  The second is total depravity. He says thank God that our Calvinistic brethren for preaching the word of God. We have so much total depravity in our churches today because the word of God is neglected in preaching today. Dr. Patterson starts with reading Romans 1 through 3:26.  He says you won’t hear this preached in this post-modern world. What does depravity mean? There is not a single human being on the face of the earth that is right with God.  None, not one regardless of religion …keep reading »

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John 3:16 Conference Jerry Vines-John 3:16

Dr. Vines, as far as I can tell, is preaching the same message on John 3:16 that he preached at SBTS chapel earlier this year.  You can listen here: “The Inexhaustible Love of God” (John 3:16).  Since you can go and listen I may not say too much on this.  We’ll see.  From what I remember there is nothing contrary to what a Calvinist would believe in Dr. Vines sermon. God’s love is global.  If you’ve not heard this sermon Vines goes through the greek and some historical understandings of love, world, God, etc. He does mention that some hyper-Calvinists …keep reading »

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John 3:16 Conference Welcome Message by Johnny Hunt

As I blog through the John 3:16 Conference I will try to follow the schedule. Jerry Vines introduces the conference and Johnny Hunt.  He says this conference is designed to be a biblical and theological response to five point Calvinism. Johnny Hunt gets a show of hands and about 90% of the attendance are pastors and the rest lay people.  He starts with reading Psalm 119:33-40.  He emphasizes the “teach me” and “make me” in the verses.  We come to hear and obey the word of God.  Not intellectually, but to learn and apply it.  God grants the content and …keep reading »

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John 3:16 Conference Questions

As many of you know (or maybe not) I will be attending the John 3:16 Conference this week.  The very last item on the schedule is a 60 minute Q&A. So… I’d love to hear from blogdom out there as to what questions you’d like answered.  Maybe, just maybe I could get to ask or submit some of them for you.  I don’t know the set-up for everything yet so we’ll see. I may also get the chance to live blog the conference. Hopefully, this conference will build rather than tear down. Mark p.s. I recently reviewed a sermon from …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Become A Better Calvinist

Become A Better Calvinist

Joel Osteen has decided to help Calvinists, especially, the ones who miss the big picture. —————————————————— Question: For Calvinists, what is your advice for how they can slow things down and find peaceful moments and smile? Answer: What Calvinists need to realize is that their predestination is the key. See, what Victoria and I have realized is that when you pronounce the word “predestination” your mouth starts to naturally form a smile. They just need to learn to hold that smile throughout the whole word, claim it and take the smile with them where ever they go. It’s that easy!  …keep reading »

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Southern Baptists Building Bridges: Reflections

The Building Bridges Conference was a great experience. By now most people probably know that the audio is online at Lifeway.com and presentations are available at Ed Stetzer’s blog. I would have gotten to this sooner, but I could not get my friends router to connect with my wireless card. I decided not to try to live blog once I found out the audio would be available online. I am thankful for this since I could not do justice to the actual presentations. Not to mention the limited space that I needed to keep my laptop plugged in. I know …keep reading »

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Calvinists are Evangelical

Below is a response I sent to The Christian Index in reply to a reader’s recent submission entitled Evangelical Calvinism is an oxymoron. Let’s see if it gets published. Calvinists are Evangelical I can’t believe some who professes to be Protestant know all that the original Protestants professed. If Southern Baptists wish to continue to call themselves Protestant and embrace the five solas shouldn’t they embrace infant baptism? No, and this is not a good position from which to argue. Much the same approach was used in a previous letter from Nelson Price arguing that Calvinists don’t know all John …keep reading »

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Prevenient Grace is Irresistible

I may be about a week late to the game, but Pastor Gary L. W. Johnson over at the Teampyro blog finishes his three part post entitled Arminianism: Semi-Pelagianism? I am not here to argue that Arminianism equals semi-pelagianism either directly or practically. I think Greg Welty argued well and reasonably that it doesn’t. I am here to argue, in the spirit of the Arminian/non-Calvinist objection that irresistable grace isn’t a biblical concept, that they too believe in a irresistable grace. That is, prevenient grace is irresistable. Let’s start by looking at article 4 of the Remonstrance and there understanding …keep reading »

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