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The Attack of the Arminian Baptists and Other Interesting Stuff from Around the Web

Just in case you needed a reminder that the Synod of Dort is still relevant, check out this recent attack upon Calvinism by the Arminian wing of the SBC.  It would be nice if these guys would exegete the relevant biblical passages, and engage the actual Reformed doctrines.  You'd think they'd tire of knocking down the same straw men over and over.  I guess not.  Click here: Baptist Press - John 3:16 Conference examines Calvinism - News with a Christian Perspective

Even had to deal with the latest "Obama as Antichrist" rumor.  Yes, the winning Illinois lottery number the day after Obama's election included 6-6-6.  What that has to do with Obama supposedly being the Antichrist is beyond me.  Click here: 2008 Presidential Election Lottery Coincidence

You know a minister's behavior is especially egregious when the Church of England actually de-frocks them.  (Well, it is also possible that the person was disciplined for holding to orthodox views of Christ's person and work, but that is not the case here).  How about drunkenness, weird sexual trysts, and then bragging about it to other ministers???  Click here: Church of England bans swinging, drinking vicar from practising -Times Online

If you want to know all about QIRC (the quest for illegitimate religious certainty), you'll need to read Scott Clark's new book, Recovering the Reformed Confession (Click here: Westminster Bookstore - Reformed Books - Low Prices - Flat Fee UPS Shipping - Recovering the Reformed Confession: Click here: Recovering the Reformed Confession: Our Theology, Piety, and Practice :: Calvinism/Reformed Theology :: Monergism).  But here is a great example of what he's talking about. Click here: Was world created 6,011 years ago – last Monday?

Reader Comments (16)

There are Arminian Baptists. Calvinist Baptists. Dispensational Baptists. Reformed Baptists???? Amillennial Baptists. Who knows what else?

Maybe I don't know too much about 'em, but shouldn't they develop some kind confessions to rally around so they can unify around some kind of belief system.
November 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd
The Southern Baptist Convention is full of the non-sense reported in the article. Bad arguments, bad exegesis, and a dishonest representation of Calvinistic doctrines is what I have come to expect from the SBC. Not everyone is like this, but it sure seems like the Calvinistic Baptist are being pushed out. James White's book, The Potter's Freedom, is a good remedy to the bad and false teaching of these leaders.

I have been searching for a good Calvinistic and credo-baptist (not to mention non-dispensational) church for a while. It's hard! I may have to join a Presbyterian or Reformed church. How well would that go? Does anyone know any good churches in the Los Angeles area? How about any with Spanish ministries to help guide many of my Spanish speaking friends out of Pentecostal churches?
November 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAlberto
My mother, who passed away at age 93 this past August, was fond of using the expression "gemixte pickles" to describe the kind confusion that takes place in contemporary American churches nowadays. I always wondered what she meant by that - it sounds a bit like Yiddish. So I did a bit of a Web search and discovered that an author named Kurt M. Stein published a book entitled Gemixte Pickles in 1927. So I sent for it via ILL through the local library. It turned out to be a book of poems that were all written in "Germerican," a kind of bastard English that was common among the German immigrants in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Clearly he was poking fun at their mixed-up language and the book is a very humorous read, if you understand enough German to recognize the lampooning.

Well, I think she had the right sort of cliche' after all, when describing modern churches. Of course, she was a life-long Lutheran so she usually applied it to the mixed-up sort of worship services that are not uncommon in many of their churches these days, especially the ELCA and quite a few LCMS congregations. But when I observe the goings-on in Baptist denominations (as an outsider), especially the SBC, I have to say gemixte pickles, as well. The following is a good synopsis of this kind of thing by Dr. Richard Muller from his Calvin Theological Journal, vol. 28, snipped from Pastor Kim's own blog site:

"... I once met a minister who introduced himself to me as a "five-point Calvinist." I later learned that, in addition to being a self-confessed five-point Calvinist, he was also an anti-paedobaptist who assumed that the church was a voluntary association of adult believers, that the sacraments were not means of grace but were merely "ordinances" of the church, that there was more than one covenant offering salvation in the time between the Fall and the eschaton, and that the church could expect a thousand-year reign on earth after Christ's Second Coming but before the ultimate end of the world. He recognized no creeds or confessions of the church as binding in any way. I also found out that he regularly preached the "five points" in such a way as to indicate the difficulty of finding assurance of salvation: He often taught his congregation that they had to examine their repentance continually in order to determine whether they had exerted themselves enough in renouncing the world and in "accepting" Christ. This view of Christian life was totally in accord with his conception of the church as a visible, voluntary association of "born again" adults who had "a personal relationship with Jesus."

In retrospect, I recognize that I should not have been terribly surprised at the doctrinal context or at the practical application of the famous five points by this minister — although at the time I was astonished. After all, here was a person, proud to be a five-point Calvinist, whose doctrines would have been repudiated by Calvin. In fact, his doctrines would have gotten him tossed out of Geneva had he arrived there with his brand of "Calvinism" at any time during the late sixteenth or the seventeenth century. Perhaps more to the point, his beliefs stood outside of the theological limits presented by the great confessions of the Reformed churches—whether the Second Helvetic Confession of the Swiss Reformed church or the Belgic Confession and Heidelberg Catechism of the Dutch Reformed churches or the Westminster standards of the Presbyterian churches. He was, in short, an American evangelical ..."

So how did this kind of thing come about? I assume that the Puritans and their early ministers were confessional Reformed. The influence of the Anabaptist and Dutch Armenian, synergistic way of thinking came later, after the Revolutionary War. Where and when did these two very divergent theological systems merge into the amalgam that we now have, the kind over which the SBC itself is undergoing an internal struggle? The confessional denominations - Reformed, Presbyterians, and Lutherans - may have problems over issues like worship styles, but at least they remain true to their catechisms. How you can come up with a mixed up blend soteriological systems like Muller very accurately describes is beyond me. Gemixte pickles, indeed!
November 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge
Attempts to disprove Calvinism based on the "whosoever" of John 3:16 really do get old. No one, Calvinists included, is arguing that the verse means anything other than that anyone who believes will be saved. The question is WHY do those who believe do so?

The Arminian must say it is something within the person that makes the difference in order for his theology to remain consistent. The Calvinist would say, however, that it is God alone who makes the difference.

Somehow you never see those kinds of things addressed at conferences like this.
November 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLarry
Arminianism is a heresy. Anyone who believes they did something to get themselves saved and have to keep up those good works to make it is deludid. God shares His glory with no one, and like R.C. said when asked about arminians: 'If they are saved...........its just barely'!!
November 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterplw
We (Baptists) do have a confession, the 1689 London Baptist Confession, modeled on the Westminster Confession of Faith... but like all denominations, liberalism and legalistic-fundamentalism crept in and opposed the truth of God. Folks in the SBC should take note and prepare their flight.
November 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterM Burke
Wow. If the SBC is having these problems imagine the fate of those (few) of us in the ABC/USA who hold to the Doctrines of Grace. I'm not sure the Calvinism / Arminianism category even registers in the thought of many of our clergy.
November 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPB
I want to re-assure those out there that some SBC are still holding the line. I live in Oklahoma and this was the subject of our state Convention. The Arbuckle Association wanted a vote to denounce Calvinism as unbiblical Baptist polity. It was put down in the Ressolutions committee. They cited Baptist Polity and historty as reasons not to vote on the ressolution. This ressolution called explicitly n ot debate Cavilnism but a streight up or down vote on the subject.
November 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRon Suarez
Regarding the SBC portion of the post:

I guess this says it all (quote from link):

"In Scripture God commands men to believe," Vines said, asserting that God would not command people to do what they cannot do.

Where have we heard that before?!?
November 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGreg
Greg - Ah, that would be a "who said that" for KR - Immanuel Kant, wasn't it?
November 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPB
The article states " Any teaching that God doesn't love everyone, contrary to Scripture and should be rejected, he stated.."

What part of, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." don't they understand?
November 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChris Sherman
PB and Greg (not meaning a sandwich)--

That's Pelagius you hear, echoing many centuries later.

All the heresy and heterodoxy we see was invented (and dealt with) long ago. We just don't know our own history well enough to recognize it (I include myself in that assessment).
November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCraigP
Sad stuff, indeed. Especially being a member of an SBC church. Luckily my pastor is a Calvinist, and teaches as so. But in a book I have called, 'Calvinism: A Southern Baptist Dialogue', it shows that only 10% of SBC pastors would call themselves calvinists. Yet I think it was 46% that believe all the doctrines of it. Something about that word cavinism really gets SBC members/pastors nerves all in a mess.
November 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan
Calvinists, Hyper-Calvinists, Calvinist/Baptist, Arminian Lutherans for Christ, Non-Arminian Lutherans (not for Christ), Gay Episcopalians for Jesus...where does it end?

I thank God that I am an ELCA Lutheran and that is it. No goofy theologies, no Leftist Bishops that wouldn't know God's Law if it hit them in the face, no Lesbian couples pastoring a church (while joined at the lips), no gospel...just a nice little list of feel good projects for you to get involved with.

You guys can get stuck in all those doctrinal distinctions...we've got 'mush'!
December 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Martin
SBC is totally messed up. I think any Arminians in SBC should leave SBC and form their own denomination, one that doesn't hold on to eternal security as a theological distinctive. And perhaps the 4-point Calvinists and other Calminians should leave SBC and form their own Calminian denomination as well. Leave the SBC to the supralapsarians and the infralapsarians.
December 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoy
Why does Calvinism = Reformed, was not other views part of
the reformed period?

Plus, I know this is an emotional argument and just my opinion
but - Calvinists come off as the biggest bunch of knobs - fighting
over this stuff like it is a football game.

I came to Christ with no knowledge of the calvinism vs arminianism war,
I had NO stock in either view, I just read what each side has to say,
and I have to admit Calvinism made sense for me for a few days until
I read more of the bible and less of Piper or Sproul.....

See ya
Rick - a no point calvinist
March 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRichard Sciarappa

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