Southern Baptist Building Bridges Pic of the Week

I just want to give a quick update since I am back home and about to go to church. I will hopefully have a larger post sharing some thoughts on the conference. I talked to Ed Stetzer just before I left and he said he had all ready posted this pic, but that’s okay. He also asked why I didn’t blog the event. I had some computer and space issues.

So on the back of a pick-up truck of one of the attendees who is from Texas was the picture below.


I was actually driving behind this truck for several miles on the way home. I wonder what other folks driving thought about it? As much as I appreciate this brother’s firm stance on this doctrine I can’t help but wonder if this is really a bridge building activity.

Update: There was also a bumper sticker on this truck that said. “VEGETARIAN: an old Indian word for poor hunter”

More to come…


Let's connect!

in Culture,Humor,Southern Baptist,theology

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Quinn Hooks November 28, 2007 at 7:00 pm

Looks like to me he is burning bridges!

2 genembridges November 28, 2007 at 11:05 pm

Woooooowwww! Words fail me.

You have to admire him for speaking plainly though. Considering that he’s in TX, where John Hagee has completely lost his mind recently and nearly completed his conversion to Judaism (I’m waxing hyperbolic of course), maybe this is just a reaction.

On the other hand, the TX Baptists are are cantankerous lot. They always have been, you know. So there’s some “consider the source” in my feelings about this.

3 johnMark November 28, 2007 at 11:06 pm


Speaking of TX baptists, Malcom Yarnell spoke of them mainly to put them in a non-Calvinist light.


4 Les Puryear November 29, 2007 at 12:28 am


I enjoyed meeting you. I wish we could have had more time to talk. Maybe at another conference, eh?


5 johnMark November 29, 2007 at 12:56 am


It was a pleasure meeting you and I hope we can have more time at another time.


6 genembridges November 29, 2007 at 3:35 am

Yes, well there are a number of problems with Dr. Yarnell’s work that I can see:

1. He criticizes Muller’s “The Unaccomodated Calvin” but, of course, Muller is trying purposefully to contradict a particular view of Calvin’s theology that has been put forth for over a century. So, of course he is concerned about discussing Calvin’s theology accurately. Maybe the problem Dr. Yarnell has with it is the simple fact that he does not like what Muller says. Muller often contradicts Dr. Yarnell’s assertions about what Calvin believed. This is because Dr. Yarnell advocates one of the contrary positions to Dr. Muller.

2. He criticizes Calvinists for discussing the order of divine decrees, but this has an exegetical foundation. Covenant theology has a long history, dating to Iranaeus. The equation of circumcision and baptism is hardly a “rationalist” argument. He’s putting forth, I might add, historical arguments that have been refuted by Dr. Muller and a number of others. One sees a consistent theme here.

3. To say these “lack a sufficient biblical basis” is to beg the question. Note too that LFW is a patently rationalist argument that Dr. Yarnell seems to assume, without benefit of argument himself. Covenant Theology is hardly the heart of Calvinism. Calvinism does not select for a particular view of baptism. Calvinism does not select for a particular order of decrees. Sure, any of these can BECOME a rationalistic principle, but if he feels that way, he needs to make the argument. He falls strangely silent when we point out that LFW is the epitome of such a principle. So, Dr. Yarnell is engaing in special pleading.

4. Yes, Dr. Muller does say that the term “Christocentric” is problematic in Calvinism, because Dr. Muller rejects that notion on the principle that it leads to “rationalistic principles” that become central planks for a theological system. This seems hopelessly schizophrenic for Dr. Yarnell. On the one hand he dislikes “rationalistic” argumentation, yet he castigates Dr. Muller for rejecting a particular rationalistic principle/characterization. By the way, Dr. Muller published an article on Beza’s theology refuting the charge that it is “rationalistic” and he also is part of a group that rejects the notion that William Perkins’ theology was not “Christocentric.”

5. Does “Quest For Joy Not Discuss the Person of Jesus Christ?”

a. I can’t help but notice that Dr. Yarnell is relying on someone other than himself for his analysis.

b. He does not explain this criticism. I see a number of references to Christ. One wonders if his real problem is that Dr. Piper does not say, “Christ died for you.” Rather, he articulates particular redemption. If so, it seems he is basing a criticism on what the older theologians would call “the form of words” alone.

6. He does not challenge our narcissistic culture? I guess he has problems with the Westminster Catechism: What is the chief end of man? Answer: To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. I guess they were narcissistic in the 17th century too…

7. No, he does not mention baptism. Dr. Piper is not concerned with promoting Bethlehem Baptist Church. He is not concerned with providing a tract for Baptists alone. By the way, the Great Commission tells us to baptize, not to be baptized. That’s an inference, and this tells me something; while chastising Calvinists for allegedly using rationalistic ideas, Dr. Yarnell does the same thing with Baptist principles. He’s mirror-reading.

As to “Don’t Waste Your Life,” no he does not command a person to repent, but it seems that Dr. Yarnell is confusing the forms of words with concepts. I’ll leave it to the reader to discern whether or not the concept is present and clear.

8. He confounds words and concepts when discussing the distinction we make between the general call and the effectual call. One could apply the same argument with respect to the Trinity when saying “Folk theologians cannot find it in the Bible.” Of course they can’t, the Bible doesn’t say “effectual call” just like it never uses the words “Trinity” or spells out the Nicene Creed, gives us the exact list of canonical books, etc.

9. If Dr. Yarnell really wanted to jettison “speculative doctrines” he would repudiate Dr. Keathley’s Molinism and any discussions of LFW and many other things.

10. Who really makes Calvin his doctrine? This is a perpetual straw man that Dr. Yarnell consistently uses in his work. It’s frankly tiresome. And, for the record, I was taught Systematic Theology using the work of Thomas Oden, so, speaking personally, it is hardly to be said that I can’t articulate the opposiing position and have never had to do so. I’ve done the same with Process theology, Feminist Theology, and Neo-Orthodoxy in my day.

11. He actually mentions Jack Graham in the same sentence saying “it indicaes that TX Baptists maintain an appreciative place for Baptist Calvinism, for it is a wide and tolerant Baptist fellowship.” This is unintentionally humorous, and I can only bet that it resulted in some snickers among members of the audience.

a. The SBTC is hardly noted for being “wide and tolerant.”

b. Either Dr. Graham’s views have changed, or Dr. Yarnell’s is unaware of Dr. Graham’s reprehensible rant from the pulpit of his church within the past 2 years.

7 Carl Holland December 2, 2010 at 10:15 pm

This person obviously has some sort of grievance with someone over the issue, and I’m sure there is likely a pride issue at the root of it. It seems he (assuming “he”) holds the position that he is right and everyone else is wrong on the issue and he is airing it out in the wrong way. We get too wrapped around the axle with all the ism’s and ology’s within our faith sometimes. When non-believers see stuff like this it turns them away even harder because the way they see it, if we can’t agree among ourselves, then how can we say any of us are right at all about faith, salvation, Jesus, or even the very existence of God? Seems there’s a whole lotta grace missing here.


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