Does Calvinism Teach That We Are Forced To Become Believers

New post over at Exploring Theology.

Click here to read it.

Need Suggestions For A Good Study Of The Book Of Revelation

I am looking for suggestions for a good study of the Book of Revelation for my adult Sunday School class.   Any format (book, audio, or video) will be considered.  Please leave the name of anything you might recommend in a comment.  A brief explanation as to why you like it would also be helpful.

Thanks for your help

Is The Teaching Of Theology “Weak” In The SBC?

There seems to be a general conception that the SBC is weak on theology.  I first encountered this claim several years ago from a co-worker.  I don’t remember the context of the conversation but one comment he made has stuck with me ever since.  He was a Presbyterian and he made the comment that Baptists did not know theology.  At the time, it did not concern me because I did not think theology was an important topic.  I was very uninformed!

Recently, The White Horse Inn played some question and answers they did with some pastors at a conference.  I don’t remember the date of the show or the date of the conference where they did the interviews and I don’t know the denominational affiliation of all the pastors interviewed but I was shocked to hear some of the answers these pastors gave.  The interviewers asked the pastors if their congregation would be able to define certain theological doctrines.  Most of the pastors said some could and some could not but it seemed that many of them also noted that they don’t use the theological terms and that their congregations might not recognize the term but would know the concept.

With the last couple weeks, I had a member of my Sunday School class ask me what the point was in studying theology.  I can relate to the question because I had asked the same question myself only a couple years ago.  Her point was that by studying theology we can go to far into legalism and create divisions within the body of Christ.  After all, we have the Bible, so why spend the time on theology.  I have encountered this same thought in other people as well.

Now, to the point, Is the teaching of theology “weak” in the SBC?  In some churches the answer would be yes but in others it would be no.  There are many very good Pastors (some well known and others not well known) at SBC churches who strive to teach the truths taught in the Bible.  Some use the theological vocabulary and some don’t. Either way, sound preaching leads to sound doctrine or theology.  Sound theology is essential to someone growing in Christ.

I think that problem lies more with the individuals in the congregation than with the pastors.  The congregation has to spend time on their own exploring what is taught from he pulpit by comparing it to what the Scriptures say.  If people faithfully do this, then they can’t avoid studying theology.  If they don’t then they will never gain and understanding of what they claim to believe.  We must strive as church leaders to motivate our brothers and sisters to dig into the Word on their own.  Once they do this, we can overcome the reputation that the SBC is weak on theology.

What do you think?  Have you come across the same sentiments?

John Calvin On The Depraved Nature of All Men

For, did the Lord let every mind loose to wanton in its lusts, doubtless there is not a man who would not show that his nature is capable of all the crimes with which Paul charges it (Rom. 3 compared with Ps. 14:3, &c).  What?  Can you exempt yourself from the number of those whose feet are swift to shed blood; whose hands are foul with rapine and murder; whose throats are like open sepulchres; whose tongues are deceitful; whose lips are venomous; whose actions are useless, unjust, rotten, deadly; whose soul is without God; whose inward parts are full of wickedness; whose eyes are on the watch for deception; whose minds are prepared for insult; whose every part, in short, is framed for endless deeds of wickedness? If every soul is capable of such abominations (and the Apostle declares this boldly), it is surely easy to see what the result would be, if the Lord were to permit human passion to follow its bent.……..In the elect, God cures these diseases in the mode which will shortly be explained; in others, he only lays them under such restraint as may prevent them from breaking forth to a degree incompatible with the preservation of the established order of things……Thus God, by his providence, curbs the perverseness of nature, preventing it from breaking forth into action, yet without rendering it inwardly pure. [1]

Bad things happen in our world everyday.  Bad people exist.  With that said, we must realize that it could be worse…much worse.  It is only God that stops it from being worse.

We don’t often think of God’s grace in this way.  We usually think of it in relation to what He has done for the elect.  This aspect of God’s grace is no less important.  We need to focus on this aspect of God’s grace from time to time.

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[1]  The Institutes Of The Christian Religion by John Calvin, translated by Henry Beveridge, Book Two, Chapter 3, Section 3

Democratic Party Corruption Rears Its Ugly Head In Tennessee

Did the title catch your eye? Sadly, it is a true representation of what is happening.  Click here to read more.

In the democratic State Senate primary election for the 22nd district the party establishment has overturned the results.  Incumbent State Senator Rosalind Kurita defeated challenger Tim Barnes by a mere 19 votes.  The results were certified by the Election Commission.  That should have been the end of the story.

The Tennessee Democratic Party had other ideas.  It invalidated the election and overturned the will of the people.  It then appointed Barnes to be the nominee to run in the general election.  Now, you might ask what happened that would cause such an action and that would be a valid question.  The Tennessee Democratic Party said that Republicans voted in the Democratic primary for Kurita so they could not allow her to win.

You must understand that in Tennessee we have open primaries which means that you can vote in either primary you wish.  But this is not the real reason why the Democratic Party overturned the will of the people.  The real reason is that the Democratic party was punishing Kurita because she chose to vote for a Republican for Lieutenant Governor.  She was the only democrat to do so and as a result the republican won.  He defeated the incumbent Lieutenant Governor who had held the position for approximately 30 years

This is how the democratic party operates in Tennessee.  Does it operate in a similar manner where you are?

Jeff Noblit: Causes for Rejoicing Concerning the Rise of Calvinism

Jeff Noblit of Anchored In Truth has been releasing a series via his podcast with the above title.  It is a very good series and I would recommend that you take the time to listen to it.  You can find it here.

I have been very excited about the rise of Calvinism in the SBC.  I think it is a very good thing that we get back to theology.  Whether you agree with Calvinism or not, the cause for Christ is advanced when we return to the study of theology.  What do you think?

Tom Ascol Says “SBC Churches Are Not Christian Enough”

Wow.  Here is the full quote:

The great problem with many churches in the Southern Baptist Convention is not that they are not Calvinistic enough, but that it is not Christian enough.

He makes this quote in an article entitled “The Other Resurgence” in the current issue of the Founders Journal.  You can read the article here.  In the article, Ascol compares the Conservative Resurgence of the 70’s to the Calvinist Resurgence occurring now within the SBC.  It is a good article and worth your time to read it.

What do you think?  Do you agree with Ascol’s assessment?  Why or Why not?

Why Your Next Pastor Should Be A Calvinist…..

The twentieth-century slide into liberalism rode on the back of a growing indifference to the doctrines of grace, because the doctrines of grace are tied vitally to more biblical doctrines than just perseverance of the saints. The recovery of a fully salubrious evangelical preaching ministry depends largely on the degree to which the doctrines of grace are recovered and become the consciously propagated foundation of all gospel truth.

If a church, therefore, gets a Calvinist preacher, she will get a good thing. Several issues will be settled forever and the church will not have to wonder about the soundness of her preacher on these items of biblical truth and their soul-nurturing power. Calvinists have stood for more than just their distinguishing doctrines, but have held steadfastly to other doctrines that are essential for the health of Baptist churches in our day. Let’s look at a few of these.

This quote comes from an article written by Tom Nettles which was published in the current issue of The Founders Journal.  Click here to read the article.  The Founders Journal is a publication of Founders Ministries.

Nettles gives several reasons in his articles as to why your next Pastor should be a calvinist.  They are:

  • A Calvinist firmly believes in the divine inspiration of Scriptures.
  • A Calvinist firmly believes the biblical doctrine of the Trinity.
  • A Calvinist firmly believes the doctrine of substitutionary atonement.
  • A Calvinist firmly believes in religious liberty.
  • A Calvinist firmly believes in missions and evangelism.
  • A Calvinist firmly believes in Christ-centered preaching.
  • A Calvinist firmly believes in holiness of life.
  • A Calvinist firmly believes in regenerate church membership.

It seems that Nettles is basing his arguments on theology and worldview.  Read the article and tell me what you think.

Biden Says: Hillary a Better Pick Than Me

The wheels may be about to come off the Obama campaign.

Click here to read the article.  Let me know what you think.

Chuck Baldwin’s Thoughts On Palin Joining McCain

This is copied completely intact from an email I received from the Baldwin campaign.

This column is archived at: http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/c2008/cbarchive_20080903.html

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Can Two Walk Together Without Agreement?
By Chuck Baldwin
September 3, 2008

John McCain’s selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential running mate was exactly what he needed to do to make himself competitive against Barack Obama in the November elections. (For the record, I predicted three weeks ago that Palin would be his choice.) As a result (and right on cue), conservatives throughout the country–especially Christian conservatives–are now fully supporting McCain’s candidacy for President. Even James “I-will-never-vote-for-John-McCain” Dobson has endorsed McCain.

By all appearances, Governor Palin is a true conservative. She is pro-life. She is pro-Second Amendment. Alaska is one of only two states (Vermont is the other) that recognize the right of their citizens to carry handguns without a Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) permit. She was rightly critical of the invasion of Iraq, once calling it a “war for oil.” Speaking of oil, she believes we should drill for oil in Alaska and throughout the U.S., and is critical of the federal government for allowing America to become dependent upon foreign oil for our energy needs. She even heaped praises upon the Republican that Republicans love to hate: Ron Paul. Beyond that, Lynette Clark, the chairman of the Alaskan Independence Party (the party under which yours truly is on the Presidential ballot this year) reports that Sarah Palin was a member of the party back in the early 90s. This is very encouraging in that the AIP is a patriotic, states’ rights party that holds strong sentiments opposing the New World Order propensities of the two major parties. In essence, Sarah Palin is everything that John McCain isn’t. Which leads to the question that was asked long ago by the Hebrew prophet: “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”

When the no-compromise constitutionalist, Ron Paul, was asked by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer if he would consider being John McCain’s running mate, he said no. His reason for that was that should McCain do something fundamentally counter to his constitutional convictions–such as bombing Iran without a Declaration of War (or other possible unconstitutional actions that Paul knows McCain is predisposed to)–he would have to resign. Knowing this, he (Paul) could not in good conscience accept a McCain invitation to join his ticket (not that McCain would ever ask him to be his running mate; Ron was not even invited to participate in the Republican convention, for Pete’s sake).

Herein lies the problem for Sarah Palin. How can a principled conservative support the policies and actions of an unprincipled globalist such as John McCain? As Vice President, Palin will be required to promote and defend McCain’s big-government, liberal, and globalist plans. For example, what will she do when John McCain proposes amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, which he is certain to do? What will she do when McCain proposes to close gun shows, or at least the private sale of firearms at gun shows? What will she do when he proposes to increase federal spending for abortion providers (which he has done numerous times as senator)? What will she do when he promotes federal spending for embryonic stem cell research? What will she do when John McCain proliferates Bush’s police state machinations by expanding the Patriot Act and similar legislation? What will Palin do when McCain decides to nuke Iran (and who knows what else), not only without a Declaration of War by Congress, but also without provocation or justification? What will she do as John McCain expands the Security and Prosperity Partnership with Canada and Mexico? What will she do as McCain opens the door of the NAFTA superhighway and the North American Union? What will she do as John McCain allows the United Nations to dictate and manipulate America’s foreign policy? Again, can two walk together except they be agreed?

Let’s face it: John McCain is using Sarah Palin as inducement to trick conservatives into accepting his liberal, big-government, globalist candidacy. And, sadly, it is working.

As I have said before, today’s national Christian leaders are among the most gullible people on the planet. They are so desperate to be invited to sit at the king’s table that they will compromise practically any principle. But accepting John McCain was a not only a bitter pill, it was a BIG pill, one they could not get down without a major dose of syrup. And that is exactly what Governor Palin brings to the table: sweet syrup to help conservatives swallow John McCain.

Unfortunately, the things that make Palin so attractive (her conservative principles) are the things that she will be forced to surrender in order to be John McCain’s running mate. The best thing that can happen to Sarah Palin is for John McCain to lose the November election. This would allow her to go into the 2012 elections as perhaps the Republican Presidential frontrunner. If McCain wins in November, and Palin is forced to serve at the pleasure of this globalist insider for four years, she will be forever ruined as a genuine constitutional conservative. Remember, “No man can serve two masters.” One cannot be faithful to the Constitution and a constitutional apostate such as John McCain at the same time. That is an absolute impossibility.

What our conservative friends need to wake up to is the depth of duplicity and wickedness that permeates Washington politics (in both major parties) today. There is nothing that these globalist insiders at the Council on Foreign Relations (of which John McCain is a longtime member) will not do to fulfill their power-mad plans. There is nothing too evil, too sinister, or too iniquitous, including using, abusing, chewing up and then spitting out good people such as Sarah Palin. Even more unfortunate and sad is the fact that the James Dobsons of this world are too blind to see it.

*Disclaimer: I am currently a candidate for President of the United States on the Constitution Party ticket. My official campaign web site is located at:
http://www.baldwin08.com/

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