« Home | The New IMB Policies: Can Anything Be Done Now? » | The New God Squad -- Pat Robertson and Ray Nagin » | The Church Report "Influential" List Reveals Sad S... » | IMB Controversy Heads Toward Boiling Point » | At Christmas, Remember to Tip! » | Taking Advantage of Death: Inappropriate Blogging » | Should We Pull Christians Out of Public Schools? » | More Public Schools' Craziness » | Girls Who Get It » | Parental Rights and the Public Schools » 

Saturday, February 18, 2006 

John Piper is A Hyper-Calvinist!

John Piper is a hyper-calvinist -- at least according to Dr. Emir Caner, dean of The College at Southwestern (TCS) on the campus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and former professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He made this accusation as a part of a series of posts by him and his brother, Dr. Ergun Caner, Dean of the Liberty Theological Seminary on the official blog of the Founder's Ministry, authored by Dr. Tom Ascol. His exact comments were as follows:
Also, is it true Bethlehem Baptist has revised their hymnal to fit the mold of their hyper-Calvinist pastor? I hear they now sing, "Jesus loves some of the children, some of the children in the world..."
Dr. John Piper is the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, a growing congregation located in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is most definitely not a hyper-calvinist. His church excels in missions, fully sponsoring over a hundred missionaries currently on the field. But, just in case one still thinks Dr. Caner may have a point, let me lay out the distinctions of hyper-calvinism in order to see how ridiculous this charge is.

According to Phil Johnson in his "A Primer on Hyper-Calvinism", A hypercalvinist is a person who denies at least one of the following statements:
1. That the gospel call applies to all who hear.
2. That faith is the duty of every sinner.
3. That the gospel makes any "offer" of Christ, salvation, or mercy to the non-elect (or that the offer of divine mercy is free and universal).
4. That there is such a thing as "common grace."
5. That God has any sort of love for the non-elect.

I think you will find that even a cursory study of John Piper's writings and sermons will demonstrate that this term does not in any way describe Dr. Piper. But what this does reveal is the growing dislike for Calvinism among the SBC elites and the willingness they have to discredit those with whom they disagree. This is a sad situation. We should all be praying for the future of the Southern Baptist Convention
.

I, too, thought that comment was just ignorant, both in terms of tone and content.

It's akin to, "Hey, I heard Caner is a universalist. He thinks Satan will be saved in the end." This is the far left side of the spectrum of soteriological beliefs. And it makes about as much sense to accuse Caner of this as it does for him to accuse Piper as he has.

And these are professors and leaders of Gospel institutions? This is a dark day for the SBC. Burleson's intitial distinction between cooperating and crusading conservatives is beginning to seem more and more prescient.

I had a scathing response to Caner. And then I decided, the brothers have very little class. As do most baptist bloggers, I've found, based on their comments over on Ascol's blog.

I wanted to go over there and rip them all a new one, since their "conversation" is public, and any lost guy immediately gets these things if he or she reads it: 1. Baptist professors at Southwestern and Southeastern are arrogant and overbearing, 2. Baptist bloggers are pretty classless too, and 3. there's a war going on over Calvinism and not-Calvinism, and it's long stopped being a friendly debate.

It made me want to pull a "Jesus-in-the-Temple" on them. Good thing my comment here last night didn't go through, and I'm trying to calm myself down and forget I ever read Ascol's blog.

(By the way, if I ever leave NOBTS, I've decided that SE/SW/SO are out. Golden Gate... there are lost people in SF that could use me more than a bunch of "New Jews" infighting.)

Joe--

You could do worse than NOBTS. As an alumnus, Let me plug Dr. Bob Stewart, the Greer-Heard Point-Counterpoint Forum, and Missionlab. NOBTS has some pretty cool stuff going on. It was just kicking in when I left.

If it can just get its theology department squared away (by which I mean, get it, on the whole, intellectually credible)--no offense meant to anyone there--NOBTS will be in a position to be the undisputed number two seminary. At least in my book.

Kelly,

Dr. Stewart was my interim pastor at Edgewater, and he's someone I consider a mentor. Likewise, Byron Townsend is my actual mentor, and as an urban missions student, I really hope to end up working for MissionLab at some point before I leave. I love NOBTS, but if there's another hurricane that sets us back further, then I'll really have no choice but to finish school somewhere else. And if I do, I've decided that my best options are one of the NOBTS extensions... or... Golden Gate. The blessing of NOBTS has been, up to this point, a lack of spiritual condescension. I rarely find loudmouthed arrogant jerks running around the campus- not like I did during my visit at Southwestern, and not like I've seen and heard from Southern (I wouldn't go there because I'm not a Calvinist) or even Southeastern (although I love some of the folks who go to SE). It's not about them, so much, as it is about the professors. I've realized sometimes it's not that NOBTS, GG, or MW have been particularly uninvolved in the engagement of theological issues- it's that they aren't going to start a war over it all. Sometimes no publicity is a good thing. I think in this case, I prefer it.

But right now the only way I leave NOBTS (main campus) is if another hurricane hits New Orleans or I can't re-start next Fall. Then I'm off to NOBTS:Miami or GGBTS or somewhere I can't find Baptist churches on every corner.

D.R. I have got to say that you cannot say that about John Piper unless you have never really heard much of what he has had to say. There is no one who has pushed missions as much as him.

As for the Caners, what is with those guys? To call their responses childish would actually be giving them a complement.

I am with Joe here. The rhetoric on both sides has to calm down or we are headed nowhere fast.

D.R.,

Two posts in the same week. Whooohh, you better slow down. You'll either set the bar too high for yourself and work yourself to death or you'll burn out real soon. Take it easy there, big fellah. Your 'readers' may not be ready to see you jump back into the blog world with both feet. We're used to one (maybe two, if we're lucky) posts per month. Here you've come along and posted two in one week. My head's still spinning!!!!

Scott, either I misunderstood you or you misunderstood me, but I am not accusing Piper of being a hyper-calvinists by any stretch of the imagination. Hence, the sentences in my blog that say, "He is most definitely not a hyper-calvinist. His church excels in missions, fully sponsoring over a hundred missionaries currently on the field."

I agree that you can't accuse the man of that unless you read him, and if you read him, you can't accuse him of hyper-calvinism because you will know it is simply not true (especially if you meet him on top of that -- I have heard of opponents meeting Dr. Piper and walking away shaking their heads at how gracious he is). The point is that it is clear the Caner's don't know John Piper and they don't care to know him. They just want to fight.

Joe, a few things,

1. I appreciate your passion. I really do, but realize that we have all had debates and discussions that have gotten heated. You think your motives are pure and so do the Caner's and so do those at the Founder's blog. It's ok to debate, even in public. Paul did it, Peter did it, and the early Christians did it. The way you disagree is important though.
2. I honestly think that the Calvinists in this debate are taking the higher road (for the most part). If I were to come on to your site and say those things about Emergents wouldn't you defend yourself and those you agree with? I would too. That is really what seemed to happen. Had the Caner's stopped at "You have demeaned a great man and enough is enough," then I think the discussion would have been mostly over. But they took the opportunity to demean those they said were demeaning Johnny Hunt. And they made it all inclusive, not directed just to the few who made comments, but to every 5-point Calvinist. Then they started saying ridiculous things like Calvinists don't evangelize. I think you would take issue with that, wouldn't you?
3. No seminary is without their problems, even GG. No SBC seminary is really involved in this bruhaha over at the Founder's Blog. Ergun Caner is at Liberty, Emir Caner is at the College at Southwestern (not the Seminary) and it seems that Southern and Southeastern are just pawns in the debate. There is no war going on in any of them over Calvinism, despite what people think. It is really no different than NO.
5. NO has its own set of problems with relation to the faculty that I didn't realize until I got to Southern and hund out here for a while. The Southern faculty get along exceedingly well, even in the midst of several theological differences. They all respect each other and even recommend each other's classes. That is something that was unheard of at NO. The profs were rather clicky there and even had public disagreements and made private comments (to students, no less) about each other. The counseling dept. at NO doesn't like the Theology dept and vice versa. So don't fool yourself, there are some serious problems there. Still, it is a great seminary and I agree with Kelly about their status as No.2 if things could improve some.
6. I think Miami is a fine choice and I actually sent resumes to several churches down there in the South Florida area. Though if you really want to find a place with no Baptist churches look NE or NW. SF is probably a good choice as well, or even Oakland. Canada is another place that needs Baptistic ministries.
7. Finally, thanks for voicing your views and for your passion. It is inspiring and reminds me that I need to be focused on others rather than myself. You have a great heart Joe. Don't worry that getting theological minded will somehow ruin you. I think it will only make you know God deeper and love others more. In the end, it's not the theology that we believe in that defines our character, it's how we apply that theology to our lives that defines it. I think some theological positions can't stunt us, but God controls our hearts and uses us how he sees fit, regardless of what we think we know.

Joe--

You could do a lot worse than Byron as well. Get him to take you to that one place way out that one road that serves breakfast 24/7 and usually has a long line. (Sorry I'm not more specific; my memory's shot.) Tell him it's the place that serves three-egg Reuben omelettes. Heck, you've probably been there (twice), but go again, and make Byron pay. Tell him, you just want him to be "that guy"--the guy who pays for other people's dinner.

And stick close to Dr. Stewart. He's a great thinker and a great friend. Tell him Kelly S. says, "Hi!"

Hey guys, I want to thank you all for your comments. DR, I think it's great to know where you stand on theological issues. I want to figure as much out as I can. But once I'm there, I guess I really hope I'm not running around picking fights with people who believe differently. I've mentioned this before, but I'm still working on that imaginary line- where I'm deciding what IS and IS NOT worth a fight. To me, this Calvin-notCalvin thing is, right now, not worth the fight, in my eyes. That's all I have to say about that, but it's where I am today. I've just seen it get taken too far.

As for leaving seminary- I don't plan on it. I like Miami because there aren't lots of Baptists there and I know a church planter down there I could help out some (if he remembers me). Otherwise, trust me- Canada, and the NE/NW are both on my radar just as much as SF or anywhere else. I wasn't raised in a Southern Baptist church, and often I don't fit into what a lot of them prefer. It's not a problem- it's a blessing. It gets me out of "here" and to "there."

Kelly, Byron took me there for our first meeting. I got the French Toast. For a place that's not so far away, I sure wish I knew how he got there. I'll have to ask him sometime, although I wonder if it's still around.

And you're right- I could do a lot worse than NOBTS, Byron, or Dr. Stewart. I could do a lot worse than looking up to David Platt and some of these who've gone before me. I complain about infighting, but never mistake me on this- I KNOW HOW GOOD I'VE GOT IT. Or had it. And that's why I get so passionate about the debates and arguments- I've seen how a lot of folks who come from different backgrounds can get along to do God's work, and I'm amazed by it. I've seen some real crap because of these "debates" and I've watched plenty of churches split over it. As Page Brooks said (yeah he taught me Systematic 2 this past summer in a workshop, and I know he's one of your peers) "It's not worth splitting over." I get bothered easily by these splits. It drives me nuts because it seems so utterly counterproductive. But it'll be ok.

Adam Feldman had a good post with regard to how people seem to have a different personality online- and how respect seems to be left at the door the second they get online and into blogs. All around. It's usual for people who haven't spent a lot of time online- we all have to learn people. It's hard when you get a lot of new bloggers together- sparks fly. I get that. I just wish somehow I could get people to listen to me on that... I've been online longer than half these people have had an Internet connection. Anyway, I've ranted on that. People need to be careful. So... yeah.

Y'all have a good one.

Great, now I've written a GeneBridges sized post.

Scott, one more thing, at my church small group tonight a guy told me about a church sign he ran across that said,

GET YOUR JESUS FIX IN 2006

Thought you'd like that one.

Sorry to comment here on a different subject, but I had a question about a comment you sent me at Fide-O, and I cannot find an email address for you to send you my question. Can you send me an email? I will not give it to anyone else. Thanks.

dr,

I know this is off subject but would you please consider writing some comments for us to discuss. Should Southern or Southeastern Seminary allow guest chapel speakers to speak who do not hold to their own Abstract of Principles ? My answer is completely No ! First, it makes no sense. Second, it sends a confusing message to the students. How does Mohler and Akin allow Hunt, Graham, or any other to do this. I believe they are failing to follow the purpose of the Abstract according to page 5 of the introduction of James P Boyce systematic theology. It says at the bottom of page 5 #3 " so as to guard against the rise of erroneous and injurious instruction in such a seat of sacred learning. Also, I have great concern when Dr. Akin preached a message called Loving A Theological System More Than The Savior. Dr. Akin is a very intelligent man and I admire Danny on alot of things. He helped me through alot of theological workings at one time. However, the theological system of Calvinism points to the Savior ( His person and His work). That's why it makes no sense. If one talks about the Five Points dosn't that prove He is talking about Christ and His work( Hello).
Also, Mohler and Akin must admit that the man who put the Abstract together for Boyce was basil Manly Jr and the plan of the seminary was written by John Broadus who were both guided by Boyce. All three of these men were 5 point calvinist.Please help me to understand something: What did Manly, Broadus, and Boyce mean when they said in the paragraph above the Abstracts that " Every Professor of the Instituation shall be a member of a regular Baptist Church". Since these men were five point calvinist did they maybe in their minds and hearts consider a " Regular Baptist Church" as one that held fully to the doctrines of grace and not just to the Abstracts. Let's admit it that the first several presidents were five point calvinist: W. B. Johnson( 1845-1851), R.B.C. Howell( 1851-1859), Richard Fuller( 1859-1863), and PH Mell. Can you and others comment on what is factual and what you think? Does the church where Mohler is a member embrace at least three points of the Abstract? I would be curious if the church as a whole embraces unconditional election. Also, would you agree that Mohler and Akin if they voted for Johnny to be President would not be upholding of the Abstract" Practically"? This is why I can't understand how both of them run very close with men who blasts these doctrines. Yet accept employment from the schools and a paycheck.

Scott, I think much of what you have said is very valid in regards to Southern. However, while we can discuss this on this post, I don't think now is the time to talk about this in light of the craziness happening over at the Founder's Blog. It looks as if things are cooling down a bit and I really don't want to throw gas on the fire by making a whole post about this. But I will give you my opinion.

"Should Southern or Southeastern Seminary allow guest chapel speakers to speak who do not hold to their own Abstract of Principles?"

Yes, I think speakers should be allowed who do not hold these views. I heard Ben Witherington III speak at NOBTS chapel in 2003 and it was the best chapel of the year. So to paint a broad brush like that I think would actually undermine the learning process.

"Also, I have great concern when Dr. Akin preached a message called Loving A Theological System More Than The Savior."

I think he did this directly to seminary students and possibly college students who did indeed need to mature some in regards to their views on theology. I don't think he directed any of his ire at Faculty or anyone outside the institution.

"However, the theological system of Calvinism points to the Savior ( His person and His work). That's why it makes no sense. If one talks about the Five Points dosn't that prove He is talking about Christ and His work( Hello)."

While this may be true, you should go check out the Outside the Camp guys who think that anyone who is not a Calvinist is going to hell. They even have John Calvin in their heretic hall of fame! And unfortunately college and seminary students are prone to this type of immature behavior. Thus the need for a rebuke of this time. I have spent enough time in the dorms of seminary to know that sometimes it is about winning an argument, not glorifying God.

"Also, Mohler and Akin must admit that the man who put the Abstract together for Boyce was basil Manly Jr and the plan of the seminary was written by John Broadus who were both guided by Boyce. All three of these men were 5 point calvinist.Please help me to understand something: What did Manly, Broadus, and Boyce mean when they said in the paragraph above the Abstracts that " Every Professor of the Instituation shall be a member of a regular Baptist Church". Since these men were five point calvinist did they maybe in their minds and hearts consider a " Regular Baptist Church" as one that held fully to the doctrines of grace and not just to the Abstracts."

I think you have a point here. I don't understand how anyone could be a 3 point Calvinist, much less how Dr. Manley, et al would have written this for the PURPOSE of allowing for 3 point professors. However, what is interesting is that more 4 pointers have no problem with 5 pointers, other than the fact they think they are wrong about Limited Atonement. They don't label them hyper-Calvinism or any of that crap. But I have heard a 3 pointer trying to distance himself from the other Calvinists as if they were the plague. I don't get it. I think Dr. Akin and Dr. Mohler are incorrect on this issue, but I think that it is up to their discretion, just as long as it doesn't cause dissent among the faculty and the Abstract is being taught (the main point of these documents is not to instill conformity of belief, but rather conformity of what is taught -- if an errantist could have not gone against inerrancy back in the day, then it was likely he could have kept his job at the seminaries -- the problem was, that didn't happen).

"Let's admit it that the first several presidents were five point calvinist: W. B. Johnson( 1845-1851), R.B.C. Howell( 1851-1859), Richard Fuller( 1859-1863), and PH Mell."

No problem. The first 5 presidents were Calvinists and that does speak to the rich history of Reformed theology in the SBC and why these recent attacks on it are unfounded and unBaptistic.

"Can you and others comment on what is factual and what you think?"

I just have.

"Does the church where Mohler is a member embrace at least three points of the Abstract? I would be curious if the church as a whole embraces unconditional election."

I believe Highview's pastor, Kevin Ezell, is indeed a 4 point Calvinist, though he could be a 3 pointer. But I am almost certain that he does hold to the Abstract. As for the whole church, I am doubtful since the church is huge and there is no overarching doctrinal statement all members must agree to.


"Also, would you agree that Mohler and Akin if they voted for Johnny to be President would not be upholding of the Abstract" Practically"?"

No, I wouldn't agree to this because to me the Abstract is not a document that was meant to do anything more than acheive uniformity in relation to teaching at the two seminaries. It was not meant to divide the SBC or even to induce conformity in belief among the convention. It was meant to bring doctrinal integrity to the Seminaries. We should expect those outside the seminary family to hold to those views and thus we certainly shouldn't expect to only associate with those who do either. We need leadership that conforms with the agreed upon doctrines laid out in the BF&M 2000, which Johnny Hunt could sign, thus making him eligable theologically to be voted for by any person (though that does not excuse his divisiveness in regards to theology, which to me and I would hope to those men you spoke of earlier disqualified for the Presidency unless he did indeed repent and apologize for those statements).

"This is why I can't understand how both of them run very close with men who blasts these doctrines. Yet accept employment from the schools and a paycheck."

This bothers many people that Akin and Mohler and others have been silent on the issue of Calvinism blasting. They are both quick to speak when Calvinists blast others in the SBC, but no so quick when it is the other way around. Maybe it is because indeed they are employees of the denomination, which is now run by non-Reformers. While I think this is unfortunate that this type of politicing goes on, there will come a day when the tide is turned and we must remember not to allow our own agendas to get in the way of the real work. We must remember that we hated politics and the use of it to discredit men and suffocate real dialogue and meaningful understanding of each other.

Scott, I realize you are irritated and so am I at the double-standard in the SBC, the politicing, and the Calvinism bashing (and reciprocation), that is occuring, but we must not stoke the flames of controversy, especially when we can see the new day dawning (which I definitely do). There will come a day when the younger leaders of today will be the old cronies of tomorrow. What will be our attitude, our actions, and our methods then?

Thanks for choosing my blog to discuss these things.

dr,

First, thank you for your time in answering my lengthy questions. I also appreciate your honesty ! I do want to talk further and maybe at a later time on why I believe the Abstract of Principles hold Southern and Southeastern to bring in only men to speak at chapel that embrace the Abstract. I agree that seminary is a learning environment and the professors should teach on truth and expose errors and qoute them correctly. Also, I believe strongly that if Mohler or Akin vote for Johnny it would tell me that maybe they are not as committed to it as I thought. You are correct that the Abstract was for the seminary however if you believe it why would you not follow it through in your voting of a man who openly opposes some major doctrines in it. I asked you the question and you answered it so, I'm not complaining because I asked for your view . Thanks! I really enoyed reading your responses and your thoughts behind your answers. I would be honored to continue talking with you as time permits. Thanks!

Scott--

Another perspective (conforming largely to DR's). I matriculated at NOBTS. Our profs don't sign the Abstract, but they do sign the BF&M2000. And this relates to a special event, rather than normal chapel speakers, so it may not be that apropos. But NOBTS has for the past two years hosted speakers for an annual conference called the Greer-Heard Point-Counterpoint Forum. Under its aegis, I have heard Dominic Crossan and NT Wright debate the resurrection. I have heard Demski and Michael Ruse debate Evolution and intelligent Design. Lots of ancillary speakers were involved as well. Some of them have been strident atheists, evolutionists, and liberal Christians who wouldn’t have been able, in good conscience, to sign any theological document of any stripe.

And I’m profoundly grateful that we, as NOBTS students and alumni, had the opportunity to hear them speak. Theological education should be, at the very least, about not just solid biblical, theological instruction, but also worldview exposure and analysis.

Given Mohler’s penchant for worldview critique and clear thinking, I suspect that, at some level, this might (to a much lesser and much more subtle degree) be involved in SBTS’s choice in speakers. Or, at least, that’s what I prefer to believe, rather than that speakers are brought in secondary to SBC intramural political concerns.

But I don’t believe (and don’t mean to imply that you believe) that exposure to outside perspectives and views that don’t conform to, say, the Abstract, or, in the special case at the NOBTS events I’ve mentioned, even to Christian principles, however broadly construed, leads anyone down the path of liberalism or theological flippancy. I have always welcomed the opportunity to hear from opposing viewpoints. And how much better to do so within the protective confines of the seminary setting.

I would challenge you to make a strong theological case against this practice at Southern, rather than merely a technical one. I, for one, am willing to be persuaded. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this when you pull them together.

But I would also challenge you to make a distinction in your thinking between including, on the one hand, and condoning on the other. I think it is possible and even beneficial for SBTS (or SEBTS) to pursue the former—even when the latter is not an option.

Anyway, just some thoughts.

cks,

Thanks for your comments. I do believe that the seminary should have it's professors teach different views to help educate the ministerial students of the errors that are out in the world and even gotten into our churches. I guess I look at the chapel time different than I do the" Classroom time". As a pastor I would not have someone in my pulpit that did not line up with our church confession which happens to be the 1689 Baptist Confession. Would I have let's say Dr.James White debate a mormon for a Saturday conference( Yes). Maybe I'm not comparing apples to apples. Also, I'm not stating that Mohler or Akin should be hateful to men who are not Calvinist. I hope that through the teaching of God's word that they would develop a true biblical view of salvation.Would I have Jack graham or Johnny Hunt speak in chapel( No)! Would I invite them to debate a professor during classroom time or a seminar(Yes). Thanks for your input and advice! If you think I'm not making sense with my view then feel free to share your thoughts.

If you think I'm not making sense with my view then feel free to share your thoughts.

Well, I certainly didn't mean to imply this. I hope you didn't take me to mean that you need to figure out what you mean. I don't think that. I assume that you know pretty clearly what it is that you're hoping to get across.

If anything, I was just hoping to inspire you to make a logical (sorry, I'm trained in logic) and biblical (I dig the Bible!) argument for your position.

I get what your conclusion is pointing at. I would just want to see it spelled out in a way that I, as an outsider, can follow, step by step.

I'm not stating that Mohler or Akin should be hateful to men who are not Calvinist.

Yeah, I didn't get this at all from what you posted. I don't suspect it of you it in the least.

I guess I look at the chapel time different than I do the "Classroom time," As a pastor I would not have someone in my pulpit that did not line up with our church confession which happens to be the 1689 Baptist Confession.

I can respect this position, to a degree. However, at least at NOBTS, it was always very clear that chapel time was not, strictly speaking, church time. Ergo, we never participated in the Lord's Supper or the ordinance of baptism during chapel services. It was clearly understood that, to be technical, chapel was something of a parachurch event. It was not a local church. Therefore, speakers were not subject to the same requirements that, say, speakers at your church or my church would be subject to by the pastor, deacons, elders, or what have you.

The OK for speakers was given at a broader, convention-minded level--not the level of an autonomous local church. I think this is probably a wise decision. And I think it probably transcends NOBTS. This, I would guess (and correct me if I'm wrong), that this policy pretty much holds in all the SBC-funded seminaries. So, I don't think it's necessarily fair to compare chapel services at an SBC seminary to the local church setting. I think that is probably "apples to oranges." But, again, I see the point you're wanting to make. I think.

In Christ,
CKS

cks,

Thanks for your responses. I wanted to get others opinion on the issues I raised. That's why I love our church where I pastor(plurality of Elders). If I'm wrong on something then I want someone to show me so I can glorify God! You are exactly right that a chapel service is not a church. Good point !

Scott, one other point about chapel. At NOBTS it was helpful to have speakers that the profs did not agree with, whether that be in doctrine or in method. Often times, especially in either Systematic class or in preaching classes, the prof would break down their sermons and discuss problems the preachers and speakers had. It helped us to be aware of what proper method looked like, as well as how not to engage in improper methods.

Additionally, while this might sound very bad (which I agree it is), there are a number of churches that pay for faculty chairs, expecting to have their pastors asked to speak in chapel (this goes the same way with pastors who are alumni and give money to the individual seminary). And let's not forget that the Seminary presidents don't get to pick the trustees, all of whom have their own opinions of who the speakers should be. So in the end, Mohler and Akin have less control over the chapel speakers than might seem obvious.

there are a number of churches that pay for faculty chairs, expecting to have their pastors asked to speak in chapel (this goes the same way with pastors who are alumni and give money to the individual seminary).

DR, do you remember the pastor who told us in chapel the actual direction to the heavenlies? It was "North," if I remember right. And he got this from an OT text.

Ah, chapel time: it could be glorious or tedious. You never knew until you showed up.

OK. Everyone and his dog has a new template.

I like it.

You do like it? I think I do, but you never know until it grows on you for a bit. The pic was hard to get to work right. But that pic is only going to be up for a couple of weeks and then I am going to take a new one when I am home in Memphis.

D.R.,

Let me comment on the new layout of your blog. Two things come to mind. First, i'm all for changing formats (cf. my blog). It's a bit too grey, though. it really caught me off guard. i suspect with time i can get used to it, i think.

Second, you need to take down that new picture immediately. You are doing yourself a tremedous disservice. When people see you standing next to Brandi, it only excentuates your ugliness. If you are by yourself, there is no one to compare you to; hence, you come off as not looking so bad :)

Jason,

Hmmm . . . you really think I wouldn't look so ugly if I was alone on my pic? Well, it didn't seem to work for you, but I will think about it. Thanks for the advice.

I do like the new template. I'm especially grateful you didn't come ask me for one. (Just kidding.) And I like the gray and orange. It's got... style. As for the profile picture- well, it's almost enough to make me Calvinist. Nuff said.

Off-topic post:

DR, the font color your template uses for inset quotations (that bluish-purplish color) is impossible for dichromates (such as myself) to read when set against your background color. There aren't many of us in the world, but just thought I'd give you the heads up.

Kelly,
Actually, the default font color for quotes is white, as in this post. However, in the former template, it was gray. So I changed the font colors of the quoted sections in some posts to make them more viewable. Hence, the new problem with this template. I saw that yesterday, but didn't have the time to get it worked out -- I spent too much time getting the pic to load correctly (which never really did). Still, thanks for the heads up about folks like you.

DR wrote "thanks for the heads up about folks like you" in reference to a comment made by cks. By 'folks like you', does DR mean non-fancy pants wearing, grammar and syntax nazis? Does he mean bad music and no tonal ability (i.e., Bob Dylan) fans? Is DR really concerned about people who read works by Derrida, Foucoult, and Mark C. Taylor and who 'love Mormons'? Is this the kind of folks DR is thankful to get a heads up?

Just wondering

Your friend,
Alt+0233

Does he mean bad music and no tonal ability (i.e., Bob Dylan) fans? Is DR really concerned about people who read works by Derrida, Foucoult, and Mark C. Taylor and who 'love Mormons'? Is this the kind of folks DR is thankful to get a heads up?

In your sentence, "no tonal ability" is clearly functioning adjectivally and so should be rewritten with hyphens (i.e., "no-tonal-ability"), although I still question your awkward phrasing.

And, just as clearly, your last sentence should read, "Is this the kind of folks about whom DR is thankful to get a heads up?" or something similarly structured.

And I still blame the folks at Microsoft for the alt-code debacle--though I'm not sure how to tie them in. There's a three-digit alternative alt-code, so to speak, for the acutely-accented "e." I think its ALT+130. Wonder if that one works?

é

And in proper English grammar, it is incorrect to begin sentences with a conjunction, although it is commonplace.

Luckily for me I'm not playing your silly games. Woooooooooooooooooo!

And yes, it works.

D.R.
this website looks great! I'm trying to convince steve that ours looks dull, and i am inspired by what you got goin' on here. And it looks like this has inspired you to be a little more active too, which is nice to see. hope we don't see another slump like the last one.

Kev, yeah there are some good new designs out there if you are willing to spend some time. It took me about 3 straight hours to get it right. The picture was the biggest problem, but there are some others that I have yet to fix. I wish I could get one that looks this good with sidebars on both sides.

As for y'alls website -- yeah I would agree, it needs some color. As much time as your brother puts into it he could curtail that some to make it more asthetically appealing. If y'all are willing to put some cash into the investment, then you can contact Tim Challies who will set you up with a site and design it for you for a fraction of what you would pay elsewhere. Well, let me know about those pizza and WE HOLLA

Warning...Off-topic Post

DR, are you still looking for a ministry position with college students? Walnut Street Baptist in Jonesboro, AR, might be looking for a full-time associate pastor/college minister. Their associate minister and part-time college minister are both leaving and they might be looking for a two-for-one. Kelly and I are members of the church and really enjoy it. Shoot me an email and I can give you a bit more info: jgoza "at" wbcoll "dot" edu.

D.R. when are we going to see a blog called "Don't Waste Your Life on Caner" - while it would be thorougly tasteless and uncharitable, this non-SBCer is disgusted with the way he (Caner)dismissed J.White simply b/c he's not one of the SBC-boys.
Like you, I truly enjoyed Caner's visit to SBTS, it's a shame he has become so vitriolic in his defense of a doctrine that (in my humble estimation) is deeply flawed but still tolerable in the local church.

ps - Kevin, if you read this, my congrats!

What's wrong with Hyper-calvinism?

Anon,

Well, I will leave that to Phil Johnson. See his article on Hyper-Calvinism:

http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/articles/hypercal.htm

Somehow I suspect you are simply being sarcastic though and already know the answer - unless of course you attend Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas. Then I will be worried.

I am personally astounded at how little people seem to understand what Calvinism is. It is simply a theology that follows the true Gospel by a proper understanding of God's sovereignty and the total depravity of man along with the other attributes of God. Without that you can't understand Calvinism. If you can, then the 5 points must go together. All 5 points are intrinsically tied to this concept and why you can't remove one without changing all the others to some form of Arminianism. Arminianism and Calvinism are diametrically opposed in all areas for all time and can't be merged without getting Arminiansim. What was listed as hyper Calvinism is actually 5 Point Calvinism. We preach to Gospel to everyone simply because we don't know who the elect are and because God has called us to out of obedience, not because our preaching is going to cause someone to choose Jesus. God chooses, not man or man is then sovereign over God with regards to salvation. If that is so, God ceases to be God and man becomes god. Since the Bible clearly shows us in numerous areas that God does not love all people, there can't be a universal atonement, only a limited one. If there was a universal atonement then God would cease to be sovereign because it can only happen that way if man chooses and not God--God ceases to be God again. God can't will that man or anything can have some of His sovereignty or He ceases to be God because He is no longer sovereign. Read A.W. Pink's Atrributes of God and it will help you see.

If God could save all but doesn't, then God doesn't love all. If Piper believes God doesn't love all, then Piper is a hyper-calvinist.

Anonymous,

Your logic is flawed on many levels. Let's take your statements and show how you've errored. You said:

If God could save all but doesn't, then God doesn't love all. If Piper believes God doesn't love all, then Piper is a hyper-calvinist.

First, you claim that if God could save all, but doesn't, then God doesn't love all.

That's problematic Biblically. First, the Bible clearly teaches that God can do whatever He wants (Psalm 115:3 - "Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases"). He is the only truly free being in the universe.

Secondly, Romans 9 teaches that God has plans for those whom He doesn't choose to save:

For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, [2] but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then He has mercy on whomever He wills, and He hardens whomever He wills.

19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who can resist His will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show His wrath and to make known His power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory...


So to say that 1) God can't do whatever He wishes and 2) God can't love unless He saves, is both false.

Another problem with your logic is that you don't account for differing types of love or for the Bible's claim that God hates individuals. God has a special love for His people. He also extends common grace to all. These are not the same.

In Romans 9 God is said to hate Esau and love Jacob. Even if you take the route that hate means "love less" (which it doesn't), you still have a problem explaining in what way God loves some more than others.

And of course, there is the whole "though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls" in v.11 and "it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy" in v.16.

Furthermore, if your rationale were to be correct, then it naturally leads to the idea that there is no such thing as a regular Calvinist, since all Calvinists believe God can do what He desires and that He does not love all equally nor save all, though He could if He so desired.

This would put into Hyper-Calvinism men such as Charles Spurgeon (a huge critic of Hyper-Calvinism), W.A. Criswell, James P. Boyce, Andrew Fuller (who led a revial out of Hyper-Calvinism), and a host of other Baptists. Also included would be the Reformers like Calvin, Luther, Owen, Knox, and many others there as well.

Certainly the entire category of Hyper-Calvinism is useless without the ability to distinguish it from historic (or Biblical) Calvinism. Thus, your logic again breaks down here.

Now that's really just a short critique of your position, I could go on and on and many have. Here is an article I suggest you read from D.A. Carson on the love of God and the atonement:

http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/carsonatonement.html

I hope you will see your errors and realize that it is not Piper who is a Hyper-calvinist, but you who are a non-Biblicist. But thanks for commenting. Hope you will return with your real identity soon.

Post a Comment

Links to this post

Create a Link

About me

Paul was not interested merely in the ethical principles of religion or of ethics. On the contrary, he was interested in the redeeming work of Christ and its effect upon us. His primary interest was in Christian doctrine, and Christian doctrine not merely in its presuppositions but at its centre. -- J. Greshem Machen.

Powered by Blogger
and Blogger Templates