What is the Greatest Threat Facing the SBC Today? Tom Ascol Answers

The following is a reprint of an article that appeared on SBC Voices written by Jared Moore on December 28, 2011

Here is the link to the original post: HERE
I have placed my comments to the article FIRST… the article in its entirety can be read at the link provided or at the end of this post.

Here are my comments with respect to
Mr. Moore’s recorded interview.

I will begin where Jared began, “I’ve known Tom for several years and have learned much from his ministry. I’ve always found him to be kind, gracious, wise, and unashamed of Christ and His Word.” I have no doubt that Dr. Ascol is all the above and more and I am confident that he is indeed “unashamed of Christ and His Word.” I have a mountain of respect for men who stand up for their convictions.

Jared goes on in a brief introduction to make the following statement,”Tom serves as the Executive Director of Founders Ministries, an organization committed to reformation and revival in local churches.” I am well aware that Dr. Ascol is unashamedly “committed to reformation and revival in local churches.” I believe he has every right to do so and I would defend his right to share his convictions.

1. What do you think is the greatest threat facing the SBC today? Why?

Ascol begins, “I’m sure some would expect me to say that the Calvinist—anti-Calvinist divide is our greatest threat, but as much as some in both of those camps would like to make it our greatest concern, I see something far more significant staring us in the face. I think the SBC is facing an identity crisis that, if not resolved with a humble, biblical understanding of and clarified commitment to the gospel and the church (and the relationship between the two), will cause it’s relevance to diminish with an increasing number of churches.”

Now, this sounds wonderful. Ascol is correct in his assertion that there is indeed an “identity crisis that, if not resolved with a humble, biblical understanding of and clarified commitment to the gospel and the church (and the relationship between the two), will cause it’s relevance to diminish with an increasing number of churches.”

I do not have any problem with WHAT he said, I do have a problem with the underlying definitions that define what he actually means when he speaks of a “clarified commitment to the gospel.” Remember, As Jared pointed out, “Tom serves as the Executive Director of Founders Ministries, an organization committed to reformation and revival in local churches.” When Ascol speaks of “the gospel” it MUST BE UNDERSTOOD that he is speaking of the gospel based on the Doctrines of Grace. It would be so easy for an average individual to read what Ascol has said and come away with a very different interpretation of what Ascol’s words really meant. Is this an unfair statement? I do not think so. Did Ascol say what he meant and mean what he said? Yes. Did he understand that his words might be taken different from the way he understood them to read? I believe he did.

It seems to me that it could be argued that he was a bit disingenuous when he began by saying, “I’m sure some would expect me to say that the Calvinist—anti-Calvinist divide is our greatest threat”. Let me say this, he never denies nor confirms the validity of that statement! He just opens with it and lets the reader draw his or her conclusions. Very astute. He goes into this opening statement “seeming to say” there are bigger issues at hand than the Calvinist debate, which most would like to see go away. However, his statement clearly states his position that the issue of Calvinism is critical and of the utmost importance in the SBC becasue that to him is the definition of what he considers to be a “clarified commitment to the gospel.” The gospel is nothing else but that which is protrayed by the Doctrines of Grace. My problem is this; if that is indeed what he means, why not say it! It does not seem right to say one thing knowing what people will read into it and meaning something else. I believe that is exactly what Dr. Ascol has done in this piece. I also believe, had he spelled out exactly what he meant, he knows people’s reactions in the SBC who read them would not be favorable. He would be misunderstood and misquoted and vilified by people unduly.

Let’s move to the second paragraph. “We can no longer assume that just because a church is Southern Baptist it therefore genuinely understands the gospel and knows how it works to save sinners. Commensurate with this is the preaching of Christ. There is a difference between preaching about Christ and preaching Christ, just as there is a difference in preaching from the Word and preaching the Word. In some respects preaching about Christ from the Word is a more serious error than preaching rank heresy in the same way that being almost right can be worse than being completely wrong. A slight miscalculation is harder to detect but can prevent a space shuttle from reaching the moon just as surely as a blatant mathematical mistake.”

For the record, I stated on this blog that I support every word written in this paragraph, 120%! I do. Now, I can say pretty much without any reservation that my application of what I consider to be a “slight miscalculation” and what Dr. Ascol might considered a “slight miscalculation” would no doubt be very opposite considerations. But nonetheless, I agree 120% with what he said.

As the article continues, I agree with the following statement, “Before anyone is accepted into the membership of our church he or she is asked to give a simple explanation of the gospel. Some of the responses that we have received through the years–even from people who have been deacons and Sunday School teachers–are frightening.” There is a responsibility that we all have to make sure that a person’s conversion experience is real and genuine to the best of our ability. To fail to do so is irresponsible and unprofessional and a disservice to the Lord and to the person looking to us for Scriptural guidance.

I will not comment on his remarks about Church membership and his remark, “A mere theoretical commitment to biblical, ecclesiological practices that Baptists have long held dear evokes disdain from a generation of Southern Baptists that are searching for authentic submission to the authority and sufficiency of Scripture.” I think the autonomy of the local church trumps a denominational position here but might add a word of caution: should the SBC move in the direction the Founders Ministry would openly like to see it move, could this change in the not so near future? One would only have to look at church planting entities associated with the FM and other reformed groups and see the confessional statement there to wonder how far those arms should reach in the SBC.

I find Ascol’s next closing quote interesting as well, “If, as John Dagg noted in the 19th century, ‘When discipline leaves a church, Christ goes with it,’ then the SBC has thousands of Christless churches in our ranks. If that is true, then no danger could possibly be greater than continuing on this deadly path.” Understand again, Ascol understands this “deadly path” to be any path outside that of the Reformed way. Is he ssaying that non-Reformed churches are Christless churches? No that is NOT what he is saying. Can these words be taken as suggestive? He has been suggestive in my opinion earlier.

Now to the next section, 2. What is the answer to this threat?

Ascol comments, “To work for a recovery of the biblical gospel and a renewed commitment to healthy church life. In other words, we need a thorough, biblical reformation in which every area of life–individual, ecclesoilogical and denominational–is evaluated in the light of an unashamed commitment to the authority of God’s Word. If that happens, repentance will inevitably result which will in itself be the harbinger of genuine revival.”

Again it is only fair that the reader understand WHAT is meant by the following words, “a thorough, biblical reformation” is one that is “in the light of an unashamed commitment to the authority of God’s Word.” The only thorough Biblical understanding of the authority of God’s Word is the one presented in the Doctrines of Grace. Remember, Ascol is unashamed of Christ and His Word and he is committed to reformation and revival in local churches, as he understands those to be.

Read the following statement: “To become ruthlessly biblical in our evaluations of who we are, what we believe and how we are living will require a humility that has not often characterized our convention of churches. It will require pastors who are willing to go against the grain when necessary in order to lead churches to do the hard work of reevaluating and re-forming their life and practice in the light of God’s Word. It will also require churches to demand that our cooperatively supported institutions and agencies adopt the same agenda even if that means doing away with certain programs and changing familiar ways of doing things. It will most certainly require Spirit-empowered prayer that is born out of a sense of how far we have drifted from biblical norms in our beliefs and practices.”

This is alarming to me. If you look at WHAT Dr. Ascol actually said, there is cause for alarm even if you do not attempt to read into these words the underlying presuppositions that I believe are clearly intended.

Ascol says, we need to “become ruthlessly biblical in our evaluations of who we are, what we believe and how we are living will require a humility that has not often characterized our convention of churches.” So, in his estimation the majority of our pastors are not doing their jobs and our churches are failing miserably. Isn’t that interesting when I maintain 85% of the people in the pew have no idea what the difference is in a tulip and a rose. The implications are clear here. The vast majority of our churches are not doing “the hard work of reevaluating and re-forming their life and practice in the light of God’s Word.” While I agree in principle that a majority of our people have the majority of their priorities in the wrong places, I am not so sure I would agree with the solutions Dr. Ascol would assert as the cure all for the problems in our churches today.

Here is the other alarming statement in Ascol’s comment: “It will also require churches to demand that our cooperatively supported institutions and agencies adopt the same agenda even if that means doing away with certain programs and changing familiar ways of doing things. It will most certainly require Spirit-empowered prayer that is born out of a sense of how far we have drifted from biblical norms in our beliefs and practices.”

Ok… why should I be alarmed with the rise in the influence of Calvinism today? There you have it, black ink on white paper. Not only are our churches misguided and on the wrong path and if not already certainly headed to being “Christless churches,” Ascol says that our denomination needs changing as well. We need to change the way we are doing things and it appears to me at least, Ascol is all but saying we need a denomination that demands churches shape up as they see the shaping that needs to be done.

Let me say right now, “No Thanks!” I do not want a denomination that is going to tell my church what we will or will not believe and I do not want this travesty to go any farther denominationally. Call me an alarmist if you want to, but I for one simply do not want what I have been served in Dr. Ascol’s vision and prescription for reformation in the SBC.

As for references to help us all out, there is certainly a nice variety or reading to suggest. It is interesting when I see new pastors suggesting good books for their members to read. I will not go any farther down that road except to say, readers beware.

With that I am sadly finished. I will close with Ascol’s concluding statement as I agree again with his words, “In other words, the antidote to what currently threatens us is biblical and spiritual, not programmatic or pragmatic. We need a genuine renewal in our faith and life.”

May God give us that renewal as He would have us have it. That is my sincerest prayer. May God bless the churches of the SBC in these very important days ahead.

Grateful to be in His Grip!

><>”

Here is the interview…

I recently interviewed Dr. Tom Ascol. I’ve known Tom for several years and have learned much from his ministry. I’ve always found him to be kind, gracious, wise, and unashamed of Christ and His Word. I appreciate his ministry and encourage you to benefit as well. I’m currently using Ascol’s Truth and Grace Memory Books in family worship to teach my children the Scriptures, hymns, and Baptist catechism provided therein. I highly recommend them.

Bio

Tom Ascol has served as Pastor of Grace Baptist Church since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. His major field of study was Baptist Theology. He has been an adjunct professor for New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in their SW Florida extension and has also taught systematic theology and pastoral theology at Reformed Theological Seminary and the Midwest Center for Theological Studies, respectively. Tom serves as the Executive Director of Founders Ministries, an organization committed to reformation and revival in local churches. He edits the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written numerous articles for journals and magazines. He is a regular contributor to TableTalk. He has also edited and contributed to several books. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries in addition to authoring the Founders Blog and writing for Examiner.com.

1. What do you think is the greatest threat facing the SBC today? Why?

I’m sure some would expect me to say that the Calvinist—anti-Calvinist divide is our greatest threat, but as much as some in both of those camps would like to make it our greatest concern, I see something far more significant staring us in the face. I think the SBC is facing an identity crisis that, if not resolved with a humble, biblical understanding of and clarified commitment to the gospel and the church (and the relationship between the two), will cause it’s relevance to diminish with an increasing number of churches.

We can no longer assume that just because a church is Southern Baptist it therefore genuinely understands the gospel and knows how it works to save sinners. Commensurate with this is the preaching of Christ. There is a difference between preaching about Christ and preaching Christ, just as there is a difference in preaching from the Word and preaching the Word. In some respects preaching about Christ from the Word is a more serious error than preaching rank heresy in the same way that being almost right can be worse than being completely wrong. A slight miscalculation is harder to detect but can prevent a space shuttle from reaching the moon just as surely as a blatant mathematical mistake.

Before anyone is accepted into the membership of our church he or she is asked to give a simple explanation of the gospel. Some of the responses that we have received through the years–even from people who have been deacons and Sunday School teachers–are frightening. This simple exercise has brought to light many cases of people who thought they were saved but who, in fact, were trusting in something other than Jesus Christ. It has also revealed that many who are trusting Christ are not very gospel literate, despite years of faithful involvement in Baptist churches. I fear that in many ways we are losing the gospel by assuming that everyone in our ranks rightly understands and appreciates it. Such an assumption is deadly.

Even more blatant is the crisis we face in the SBC over the nature and work of a local church. While it is encouraging that regenerate church membership has been reaffirmed in recent years through the passing of a resolution and that there is renewed discussion of this historic Baptist principle, in reality the majority of our churches do not practice it. Quite simply, we have far too many “theoretical Baptists” who nod in agreement at the historic Baptist understanding of a church while sitting in churches whose membership roles are highly inflated and whose loose methods of receiving members perpetuate the problem. When denominational servants who belong to such churches issue dire warnings that Southern Baptists are in danger of losing our Baptist identity due to theological renewal and fellowship beyond denominational boundaries, it rings superficial. A mere theoretical commitment to biblical, ecclesiological practices that Baptists have long held dear evokes disdain from a generation of Southern Baptists that are searching for authentic submission to the authority and sufficiency of Scripture.

It is doubtful that even a small percentage of our churches actually practice corrective, biblical church discipline or actively seek to maintain a regenerate membership. To do so is costly and requires courageous leadership. It is easy to talk about and even affirm such markers of Baptist identity. It is much harder to recover and maintain them. If, as John Dagg noted in the 19th century, “When discipline leaves a church, Christ goes with it,” then the SBC has thousands of Christless churches in our ranks. If that is true, then no danger could possibly be greater than continuing on this deadly path.

2. What is the answer to this threat?

To work for a recovery of the biblical gospel and a renewed commitment to healthy church life. In other words, we need a thorough, biblical reformation in which every area of life–individual, ecclesoilogical and denominational–is evaluated in the light of an unashamed commitment to the authority of God’s Word. If that happens, repentance will inevitably result which will in itself be the harbinger of genuine revival.

This kind of recovery and renewal will not happen without a cost. To become ruthlessly biblical in our evaluations of who we are, what we believe and how we are living will require a humility that has not often characterized our convention of churches. It will require pastors who are willing to go against the grain when necessary in order to lead churches to do the hard work of reevaluating and re-forming their life and practice in the light of God’s Word. It will also require churches to demand that our cooperatively supported institutions and agencies adopt the same agenda even if that means doing away with certain programs and changing familiar ways of doing things. It will most certainly require Spirit-empowered prayer that is born out of a sense of how far we have drifted from biblical norms in our beliefs and practices.

In other words, the antidote to what currently threatens us is biblical and spiritual, not programmatic or pragmatic. We need a genuine renewal in our faith and life.

3. What are some resources you would recommend to help equip Christians and local churches to answer this threat?

The revival writings of Jonathan Edwards, especially A Treatise on Religious Affection, The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God and Thoughts on the Revival of Religion in New England in 1740. These works, from the greatest theologian of revival in history, not only show us what is possible in post-Pentecost times but they also help provide practical standards by which to evaluate practical church life today.

When God Comes to Church: A Biblical Model for Revival Today by Ray Ortlund, Jr. With the same biblical understanding of revival as Edwards, Ortlund shows how Scripture holds the hope of revival before us and calls us to seek and long for it.

Ready for Reformation by Tom Nettles. This small book demonstrates that while the recovery of inerrancy is essential to vital, biblical Christianity, it is not enough. We must also recover justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone and learn to live on that glorious revelation.

What is the Gospel by Greg Gilbert. This is another small book that simply sets forth the biblical definition of the gospel.

Nine Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever. This book, which Crossway is developing into a small group Bible study curriculum, describes characteristics that are essential for a church as well as some that are extremely beneficial.

The Church and the Surprising Offense of God’s Love: Reintroducing the Doctrines of Church Membership and Discipline by Jonathan Leeman. Leeman explains the Bible’s teachings about the nature of the church and what constitutes being included in a church (membership) as well as the expectations and requirements that the Lord of the church has placed on every local body that bears His Name.

On Earth as it Is in Heaven: Reclaiming Regenerate Church Membership by Wyman Richardson. This book shows how the Bible teaches that local churches are to be comprised exclusively of those who demonstrate the marks of spiritual birth. It includes helpful insights and examples from our Baptist heritage.

John Hammett’s Biblical Foundations for Baptist Churches: A Contemporary Ecclesiology is a helpful introduction to Baptist church practice and polity.

God is the Gospel by John Piper. The goal of the gospel is to get us to God. Before and beyond everything else that the gospel provides for us is that it brings God to us and us to God. The good news is not simply forgiveness or new life or heaven, but God Himself being reconciled to us in Christ.

Him We Proclaim: Preaching Christ from All the Scriptures by Dennis Johnson. The point of the whole Bible is Christ. Therefore, to rightly preach any part of the Bible is to preach Christ. Failure to preach Christ from any passage of Scripture is failure to be faithful to the text. Johnson shows how this works.

4. Tell us about Founders Ministries.

Founders is a ministry that began 30 years ago with a desire to encourage the recovery of the gospel and the reformation of local churches. It was formed in the early years of the conservative resurgence by men who were very committed to recovery of inerrancy within the SBC. Those who have given leadership to the ministry recognized quite early in that battle that though inerrancy is essential to healthy Christianity, by itself it is insufficient to provide the kind of biblical reformation and revival that we desperately need. Founders began as an annual leadership conference that was called, “The Southern Baptist Conference on the Faith of the Founders” before being mercifully shortened to the “Founders Conference.” After other initiatives were added to our efforts we became known as “Founders Ministries.”

We take our name from the fact that the early leaders of the SBC understood the Bible to teach the same doctrines of grace in salvation that we affirm and were committed to the kind of healthy church life to which we aspire. Over the years we have helped reprint many of the most formative of the founders’ writings and have tried to call attention to the theological consensus that existed in the early decades of the convention–not because we are interested in winning historical arguments, but for the simple reason that if what our forefathers believed about God’s grace and the nature and purpose of the church was true in their day, it is still true today because truth does not change.

Over the years Founders has become involved in hosting conferences, producing a quarterly theological journal (the Founders Journal), publishing books (through Founders Press), providing online theological training (via the Founders Study Center), encouraging fellowship among pastors (through Founders Fraternals), and, most recently, through encouraging church planting in our newly launched church planting network called PLNTD. All of these ministries are accessible from our website (www.founders.org), which also contains a wealth of information including books, articles, blog posts, a ministers’ search section and weekly study notes for the adult Sunday School curricula that is produced by LifeWay.

5. Tell us about current and future resources provided by Founders Ministries.

We are working to provide resources for church planting through PLNTD with a view to encouraging churches, pastors and church planters of various degrees of experience. We are also continuing to add to the courses we offer through our Study Center, building on those that we have already developed that are taught by Tom Nettles, Mark Dever, J.I.Packer, Timothy George, Roger Nicole, A. N. Martin, Don Whitney and others. We are reprinting Curtis Vaughan’s Study Guides on various New Testament books in our Founders Study Guide series and have most recently published a festschrift in honor of Tom Nettles: Ministry By His Grace and for His Glory, edited by Nathan Finn and me. One of the most popular sets we have ever produced is our Truth and Grace Memory Books (1, 2, and 3), which incorporate age-appropriate catechisms with Scripture memory and the memorization of hymns for use in children’s classes and homes. We are currently working on a book that will respond to some of the recent attacks against Calvinism within the SBC and hope to have it off the press in the Spring of 2012.

Free Resources from Tom Ascol:

1. 65 links to articles and mp3′s at Monergism.com.

2. Founders Ministries Blog. Founders Ministry

Books from Tom Ascol:

1. Ministry by His Grace and For His Glory: Essays in Honor of Thomas J. Nettles Edited by Tom Acsol and Nathan Finn

2. At the Pure Fountain of Thy Word: Andrew Fuller as an Apologist (Studies in Baptist History and Thought) by Michael A. G. Haykin and Tom Ascol

3. Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry Edited by Tom Ascol

4. Reclaiming the Gospel and Reforming Churches Edited by Tom Ascol

5. Truth and Grace Memory Books (1-3) by Tom Ascol

Dr. Ascol, thank you for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by mary on December 30, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    Bob, maybe I’ve just read Ascolese too much but I think his words are pretty clear that he believes the DOG equals the Gospel therefore his belief that the biggest threat to the SBC is the fact that it’s not completely Calvinist yet. I’ve copied these statements from above the second quote appears first in the interview.

    “We take our name from the fact that the early leaders of the SBC understood the Bible to teach the same doctrines of grace in salvation……… if what our forefathers believed about God’s grace and the nature and purpose of the church was true in their day, it is still true today because truth does not change.

    “We can no longer assume that just because a church is Southern Baptist it therefore genuinely understands the gospel and knows how it works to save sinners.”

    It’s nice to see some Calvinists now admitting that Ascol and others behaved badly – some time in the past – but have now changed their ways and want to get along with nonCalvinists who are not just 4 point Calvinists. Could someone show me where Ascol and others repented of their bad behavior? Could someone show me where they’ve changed their rhetoric? or is that just a Calvinist stuck with the evidence that the very purpose of the Founder’s Ministry is to “reform” the SBC – thus “taking it over” for Calvinists.

    If Ascol really doesn’t mean what his words seem to be saying – maybe he has problems articulating his meaning clearly – he or perhaps Timmy Brister could come forward and correct the mistakes. But I notice Brister is not answering direct questions. If it’s really, let’s all just get along time then why not answer direct questions?

    Reply

    • Mary,

      You are echoing what I am saying. I have seen it suggested that these guys have changed their ways in an effort to “get along with” those who do not hold the DOG in the same light that they do. I actually agree with that statement just not in the same manner as it is suggested. What I believe they have done is, they have changed some of their ways to appear more cooperative so that they will be able to continue to increase the reach of their influence. This is my primary objection. No one is addressing that; I am criticized for a NUMBER of things that could be argued as irrelevant to my major objection but NOTHING has been said relative to that.

      Ascol, as quoted in this article, CLEARLY states that “It will also require churches to demand that our cooperatively supported institutions and agencies adopt the same agenda even if that means doing away with certain programs and changing familiar ways of doing things. It will most certainly require Spirit-empowered prayer that is born out of a sense of how far we have drifted from biblical norms in our beliefs and practices.”

      Here Ascol is credited as saying, the SBC needs changing as the FM defines change. How else can this statement be read? In response to my post, Jared Moore had this to say, “Bob, I think you should ashamed for what you posted. Once again, you act as if you know what Ascol really meant. For real, I’d be happy to interview you about what Ascol really meant, since you obviously know him and Founders Ministries better than they know themselves. Your conclusions are ridiculous.”

      Let me say for the record, I do not know Tom Ascol and I do not care what the FM has to say about what should or should not be the direction of the SBC. I do not purport to “know them better than they know themselves”; I kept my comments relative to statements made in the post as it was presented.

      Thank you for your comment and for taking the time to be a little more specific than Mr. Moore was.

      Grateful to be in His Grip!

      ><>”

      Reply

  2. Posted by mary on December 31, 2011 at 9:14 am

    “What I believe they have done is, they have changed some of their ways to appear more cooperative so that they will be able to continue to increase the reach of their influence. This is my primary objection.”

    Bingo! I think part of the problem is that you have these young guys who’ve just shown up on the scene and can’t wrap their mind around the “purpose” of the Founders and so they choose to ignore what Founder’s clearly states. Early the emphasis was on taking over local churches and installing Calvinists at the institutional level. So now we have Mohler openly discriminating against SBC nonCalvinist in his hiring at Southern, openly teaching that only the DOG is the Gospel and Danny Akin, who is a 4 pointer – not a Vines/Rogers style nonCalvinist – doing the same thing. Notice a lot of the names used as those nonCalvinists that Mohler et al cooperate with are really 4 pointers. If Paige Patterson decided only Vines/Rogers style nonCalvinists would be allowed on staff at Southwestern the blogosphere would erupt with wailing and gnashing of teeth, but Al Mohler and Danny Akin are allowed to put on staff only 4 and 5 pointers and you hear crickets. If the Calvinists really want to get along let’s address the very really probelm that two of our SBC seminaries are not serving the needs of the SBC by churning out a majorithy of Calvinists.

    As far as Tom Ascol – he seems like a very decent man and has a beautiful family. That speaks well of him. Ascol and others not only have the right but I believe are commanded to do that which they feel God is leading them to do. What they don’t have the right to do is the manipulation and the double speak to intentionally deceive people. And they have done that for years. On the one hand the Founders is very clear in their purpose to take the SBC back to the “Founders” on the other they deny deny deny all over the place. Just look at the classification of Danny Akin as a “nonCalvinist” as one simple example of this doublespeak. If the Calvinists really want to just get along, please point to the evidence that Ascol and others have changed their agenda – nothing has ever been posted publically that they regret their earlier agression and attacks against nonCalvinists and show us that they don’t want to just take over the SBC for Calvin by getting all the seminaries on course to serve the entire SBC not just the Calvinists. Major changes need to be made at Southern and Southeastern if there really isn’t a plot to take over. I’m not holding my breath.

    Reply

    • Mary,

      Again, your comment is RIGHT ON; “Ascol and others not only have the right but I believe are commanded to do that which they feel God is leading them to do. What they don’t have the right to do is the manipulation and the double speak to intentionally deceive people.”

      I maintain it would be unchristian of me to fail to do the same.

      Let me also add a comment to Ascol’s suggestion that we “require churches to demand that our cooperatively supported institutions and agencies adopt the same agenda even if that means doing away with certain programs and changing familiar ways of doing things. It will most certainly require Spirit-empowered prayer that is born out of a sense of how far we have drifted from biblical norms in our beliefs and practices.”

      If indeed the churches were to speak as Ascol has suggested (and I for one would love for this to happen), I believe the result would be a much different outcome today than he would like for it to be.

      ><>”

      Reply

  3. Posted by mary on December 31, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    I think another problem with these conversations is this idea that we are thought to believe that every church in the SBC should look exactly like the ones we are led to serve in. That’s not what I think at all. This isn’t about what an individual church’s doctirne is or even what an individual’s doctrine is. We are commanded to be Bereans and test the spirits for oursevles.

    The problem is that we have people like Ascol and Founders who believe they have a right to impose their beliefs on the entire SBC through the take over of institutions. Thus you have Mohler and now Akin hiring only Calvinists and churning out only Calvinists. You have Ezell at the NAMB who has seemed to indicate that he will be cooperating with Acts 29 to plant churches. I’ll say it again that if Paige Patterson were doing what Al Mohler and Akin are doing there would be a major melt down in the Calvinists blogosphere. Yet they hypocrtically claim they want to get along with everyone while not speaking out against that which they would be screaming against if a nonCalvinist did it.

    Ascol pitched a major hissy fit a few years back now when someone in Florida alledgedly sent out a Jerry Vines “anticalvinist” video claiming that the anticalvinists had no right to use CP funds to send out something that was “antiCalvinist” CP funds are being used at our seminaries to teach against the majority view of the SBC yet – crickets. When a Calvinist does something its biblical, but if a nonCalvinist does the exact same thing it’s divisive and hateful and so on. Calvinists don’t want to just get along and have a seat at the table – they want the whole table.

    So the Calvinists blogs will continue to churn out the “let’s all get along for the sake of the gospel which is only found in DOG” while ignoring why we can’t get along is they ignore the very reasons why we have the division in the first place. They don’t want to talk about what these men have very clearly stated and more importantly their very clear actions. So they name call.

    Happy New Year to you and yours, Bob.

    Reply

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