Hey SBC, “Calvinistic Christianity is nothing more & nothing less than biblical Christianity.”

kinnon —  June 7, 2013 — 18 Comments

The quote below, from the Founders.org website, of which Southern Baptist Pastor Tom Ascol is a primary leader. (Ascol is a committee member & recent signer of the SBC Calvinism Advisory Committee statement TRUTH, TRUST, and TESTIMONY in a TIME of TENSION),

In the first place, Calvinistic Christianity is nothing more and nothing less than biblical Christianity. It follows, then, that the future of Christianity itself is bound up in the fortunes of Calvinism. Obviously the future of Christianity itself is not in doubt, for our Lord declared that the gates of hell shall not prevail against God’s church. And yet we should be quick to acknowledge, of course, that God is not obligated to keep his church existent in America. In God’s sovereign providence, Christianity has been wiped out of other cultures over the centuries of its history. Still, we have hope for revival because our hope is in the God who revives. The same God who opened our own eyes can open the eyes of others.

In the second place, despite evangelicalism’s turmoil, there remain true Christians present in America. Wherever true Christians exist, hope for revival must also exist. For whoever believes in God’s redemption through Christ and recognizes his own utter dependence on God, whoever recognizes that salvation is of the Lord, whoever seeks to glorify God in his worship and life, that person is already implicitly a Calvinist, no matter what he calls himself. In such circumstances, to make the person an explicit Calvinist, all we are required to do (humanly speaking) is to show the believer the natural implications of these already-held fundamental principles, which underlie all true Christianity, and trust God to do his work, that is, trust God to reveal these implications to the person.

In the third place, across denomination boundaries, God has been pleased to open many formerly blinded eyes to the truth and light of the doctrines of grace. In these days, the old paths are being trodden afresh. Interest in the writings of the Puritans, the theology of Jonathan Edwards, and the preaching of Charles Spurgeon and Martyn Lloyd-Jones, has increased exponentially. Undoubtedly, access to historical and contemporary treatments of the doctrines of grace on the Internet has something to do with this. In the last ten years, at least, God has used the Internet to do more to bring exposure to historical reformed theology than anything else. It is not an exaggeration to say that for this generation, it represents what the Banner of Truth Trust was for the last – the vehicle by which mass exposure is brought to the teachings of those spiritual giants who walked before us.

Narrowing the focus to our own Southern Baptist Convention, God has used mightily the work of the Founders Movement to bring about widespread exposure to and acceptance of the doctrines of grace. [emphasis added]

Perhaps this is like throwing the cat amongst the pigeons, but SBCers who think the “Founders” are stepping back from their mission, are obviously not “true Christians” and are not “implicitly… Calvinist.”

God help us all.

UPDATE: See Chris Hubbs‘ post, Is this Calvinism’s Default Position?

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Mildly updated for clarity at 5:31 PM Friday; June 7, 2013

kinnon

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A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

18 responses to Hey SBC, “Calvinistic Christianity is nothing more & nothing less than biblical Christianity.”

  1. It’s so good to know that I’m not a true Christian. At least someone finally came out and said it.

    “For whoever believes in God’s redemption through Christ and recognizes his own utter dependence on God, whoever recognizes that salvation is of the Lord, whoever seeks to glorify God in his worship and life, that person is already implicitly a Calvinist, no matter what he calls himself.”

    Then again, maybe I believe in the fields of TULIP, I just don’t know it yet… naw. I’m totally a heretic.

    +Christ have mercy

  2. “…and trust God to do his work, that is, trust God to reveal these implications to the person.”

    So it’s really important that people begin explicitly identifying as Calvinists? So important that we can call it “the work of God?”

    There’s nothing quite like Christians worshipping other Christians, I tell ya.

  3. Or, alternatively:

    “In the first place, Calvinism is only true Christianity if you treat the Bible like a law book (as in the analogies of biblical authority that Scot McKnight uses in ‘The Blue Parakeet’).

    “In the second place, I’m going to smuggle all sorts of others in to my definition of true Calvinism, even though they don’t know it.

    “In the third place, no-one knew what true Christianity was until Calvin came along.”

  4. “Oh, and although in the first place I said we have hope for revival because our hope is in the God who revives, in the second place I said that wherever true Christians exist, hope for revival must also exist. So actually, I don’t really believe in this sovereign God. Hope no-one notices.”

  5. Wowzers, just wowzers … I could not even get past the first two sentences …

    … but, good to know that so-called biblical Christianity (aka “C.A.L.V.I.N.I.S.M.”) is so … well … UNbiblical!

    Or, to characterize this conventional kill with a five-point palindrome, that’s just: SBC BS!

  6. So Bill

    The other day – I’m listening to, reading, a Calvinist trying to explain –
    Total Depravity…

    And it seems there are different types of Calvinists – Huh???

    I always get a kick out of folks following “Mere Fallible Humans”
    Especially – Dead Ones – When they can follow Jesus – He’s Alive… ;-)

    And – I always get a kick out of folks who like to use words
    “In our Christian Lexicon – but NOT found in the Bible.”

    Seems – Calvinists say they are depraved. We’re ALL depraved. ;-(

    Now, I Gotta look up “depraved” in the dictionary…
    Because “depraved” is NOT in the Bible. Oy Vey!!! ;-)

    Oh WOWowowoWow Wow ….
    Depraved = means = morally corrupt; wicked:

    So I’m now a thinken – “I’m done talking to Calvinists.” Because…

    Calvinists are Depraved, Morally Corrupt and Wicked… ;-)

    How can you trust what they say?

    Ps 138:6
    Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly:
    but the proud he knoweth afar off.

    Ps 40:4
    Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust,
    and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

  7. “In the first place, Calvinistic Christianity is nothing more and nothing less than biblical Christianity.”

    Aye, right, as they say in Scotland. Because in the zeroth place, “Calvinistic Christianity” of this kind is nothing more and nothing less than a counterfeit religion.

  8. Calvinism is nothing more nor less than Gnostic heresy. Of course, since the Catholics did canonize some books that contain Gnostic heresy (John, Romans, Galatians) to some extent ‘Biblical’ Christianity is Gnostic heresy.

  9. Brad Brisco (@bradbrisco_kc) June 7, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    “whoever recognizes that salvation is of the Lord, whoever seeks to glorify God in his worship and life, that person is already implicitly a Calvinist, no matter what he calls himself.” // HUH??? WHAT??? Crap, you mean I am a Calvinist and I didn’t even know it???

  10. To deal with this kind of SBC hubris I think I need a lot of Lutheran beer.

  11. Making a statement as bold as, ” Calvinistic Christianity is nothing more and nothing less than biblical Christianity” without doing anything to support it is probably not the sort of thing that is going to get an Arminian to change their mind. But for those who are not too specific on their theology, this is the target, and the idea is to get them to sign on as Calvinist/Reformed by more or less begging the question.

  12. Why do we assume that modernist Calvinism, which is the marriage of the Westminster Confession and Enlightenment Rationalism, is the Calvinist thought of John Calvin?

  13. It is called “Doctrine over people” — a cultish tactic — it works exactly on these:

    “But for those who are not too specific on their theology, this is the target, and the idea is to get them to sign on as Calvinist/Reformed by more or less begging the question.”

    • And now, I will show you the most excellent way of all…

      If my speech is full of love, but contains errors, I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of befriending and can heal all hurts, and have faith that can move mountains, but these are not properly informed by a reformed ecclesiology, I am nothing. If I give all my possessions to the poor and surrender myself to bloody martyrdom, but do so without a truly reformed soteriology, I gain nothing.

      Correct doctrine never fails. For the church worshipped in part and loved in part, but the partial vanishes when wholeness comes. The church used to see as though in a mirror, dimly, but now that we have the YRR interpretation of Calvin’s interpretation of scripture, we see the full glory of correct doctrine face to face.

      And now, these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is TULIP.

What do you think?