Egregious Dr. David Allen And SBC Today

Dr. David Allen @ the John 3:16 Conference | SBC Today.

This is what Calvin said: “Many persons restrict the word gift to faith alone. But Paul is only repeating in other words the former sentiment. His meaning is, not that faith is the gift of God, but that salvation is given to us by God, or, that we obtain it by the gift of God.”

Here is the more full context:

8. For by grace are ye saved. This is an inference from the former statements. Having treated of election and of effectual calling, he arrives at this general conclusion, that they had obtained salvation by faith alone. First, he asserts, that the salvation of the Ephesians was entirely the work, the gracious work of God. But then they had obtained this grace by faith. On one side, we must look at God; and, on the other, at man. God declares, that he owes us nothing; so that salvation is not a reward or recompense, but unmixed grace. The next question is, in what way do men receive that salvation which is offered to them by the hand of God? The answer is, by faith; and hence he concludes that nothing connected with it is our own. If, on the part of God, it is grace alone, and if we bring nothing but faith, which strips us of all commendation, it follows that salvation does not come from us.

Ought we not then to be silent about free-will, and good intentions, and fancied preparations, and merits, and satisfactions? There is none of these which does not claim a share of praise in the salvation of men; so that the praise of grace would not, as Paul shews, remain undiminished. When, on the part of man, the act of receiving salvation is made to consist in faith alone, all other means, on which men are accustomed to rely, are discarded. Faith, then, brings a man empty to God, that he may be filled with the blessings of Christ. And so he adds, not of yourselves; that claiming nothing for themselves, they may acknowledge God alone as the author of their salvation.

9. Not of works. Instead of what he had said, that their salvation is of grace, he now affirms, that “it is the gift of God.” Instead of what he had said, Not of yourselves, he now says, “Not of works.” Hence we see, that the apostle leaves nothing to men in procuring salvation. In these three phrases, — not of yourselves,it is the gift of God,not of works, — he embraces the substance of his long argument in the Epistles to the Romans and to the Galatians, that righteousness comes to us from the mercy of God alone, — is offered to us in Christ by the gospel, — and is received by faith alone, without the merit of works.

This passage affords an easy refutation of the idle cavil by which Papists attempt to evade the argument, that we are justified without works. Paul, they tell us, is speaking about ceremonies. But the present question is not confined to one class of works. Nothing can be more clear than this. The whole righteousness of man, which consists in works, — nay, the whole man, and everything that he can call his own, is set aside. We must attend to the contrast between God and man, — between grace and works. Why should God be contrasted with man, if the controversy related to nothing more than ceremonies?

Papists themselves are compelled to own that Paul ascribes to the grace of God the whole glory of our salvation, but endeavor to do away with this admission by another contrivance. This mode of expression, they tell us, is employed, because God bestows the first grace. It is really foolish to imagine that they can succeed in this way, since Paul excludes man and his utmost ability, — not only from the commencement, but throughout, — from the whole work of obtaining salvation.

But it is still more absurd to overlook the apostle’s inference, lest any man should boast. Some room must always remain for man’s boasting, so long as, independently of grace, merits are of any avail. Paul’s doctrine is overthrown, unless the whole praise is rendered to God alone and to his mercy. And here we must advert to a very common error in the interpretation of this passage. Many persons restrict the word gift to faith alone. But Paul is only repeating in other words the former sentiment. His meaning is, not that faith is the gift of God, but that salvation is given to us by God, or, that we obtain it by the gift of God.

For we are his work. By setting aside the contrary supposition, he proves his statement, that by grace we are saved, — that we have no remaining works by which we can merit salvation; for all the good works which we possess are the fruit of regeneration. Hence it follows, that works themselves are a part of grace.

When he says, that “we are the work of God,” this does not refer to ordinary creation, by which we are made men. We are declared to be new creatures, because, not by our own power, but by the Spirit of Christ, we have been formed to righteousness. This applies to none but believers. As the descendants of Adam, they were wicked and depraved; but by the grace of Christ, they are spiritually renewed, and become new men. Everything in us, therefore, that is good, is the supernatural gift of God. The context explains his meaning.We are his work, because we have been created, — not in Adam, but in Christ Jesus, — not to every kind of life, but to

good works.

What remains now for free-will, if all the good works which proceed from us are acknowledged to have been the gifts of the Spirit of God? Let godly readers weigh carefully the apostle’s words. He does not say that we are assisted by God. He does not say that the will is prepared, and is then left to run by its own strength. He does not say that the power of choosing aright is bestowed upon us, and that we are afterwards left to make our own choice. Such is the idle talk in which those persons who do their utmost to undervalue the grace of God are accustomed to indulge. But the apostle affirms that we are God’s work, and that everything good in us is his creation; by which he means that the whole man is formed by his hand to be good. It is not the mere power of choosing aright, or some indescribable kind of preparation, or even assistance, but the right will itself, which is his workmanship; otherwise Paul’s argument would have no force. He means to prove that man does not in any way procure salvation for himself, but obtains it as a free gift from God. The proof is, that man is nothing but by divine grace. Whoever, then, makes the very smallest claim for man, apart from the grace of God, allows him, to that extent, ability to procure salvation.

Created to good works. They err widely from Paul’s intention, who torture this passage for the purpose of injuring the righteousness of faith. Ashamed to affirm in plain terms, and aware that they could gain nothing by affirming, that we are not justified by faith, they shelter themselves under this kind of subterfuge. “We are justified by faith, because faith, by which we receive the grace of God, is the commencement of righteousness; but we are made righteous by regeneration, because, being renewed by the Spirit of God, we walk in good works.” In this manner they make faith the door by which we enter into righteousness, but imagine that we obtain it by our works, or, at least, they define righteousness to be that uprightness by which a man is formed anew to a holy life. I care not how old this error may be; but they err egregiously who endeavor to support it by this passage.

We must look to Paul’s design. He intends to shew that we have brought nothing to God, by which he might be laid under obligations to us; and he shews that even the good works which we perform have come from God. Hence it follows, that we are nothing, except through the pure exercise of his kindness. Those men, on the other hand, infer that the half of our justification arises from works. But what has this to do with Paul’s intention, or with the subject which he handles? It is one thing to inquire in what righteousness consists, and another thing to follow up the doctrine, that it is not from ourselves, by this argument, that we have no right to claim good works as our own, but have been formed by the Spirit of God, through the grace of Christ, to all that is good. When Paul lays down the cause of justification, he dwells chiefly on this point, that our consciences will never enjoy peace till they rely on the propitiation for sins. Nothing of this sort is even alluded to in the present instance. His whole object is to prove, that, “by the grace of God, we are all that we are.”  (1 Corinthians 15:10)

Which God hath prepared Beware of applying this, as the Pelagians do, to the instruction of the law; as if Paul’s meaning were, that God commands what is just, and lays down a proper rule of life. Instead of this, he follows up the doctrine which he had begun to illustrate, that salvation does not proceed from ourselves. He says, that, before we were born, the good works were prepared by God; meaning, that in our own strength we are not able to lead a holy life, but only so far as we are formed and adapted by the hand of God. Now, if the grace of God came before our performances, all ground of boasting has been taken away. Let us carefully observe the word prepared. On the simple ground of the order of events, Paul rests the proof that, with respect to good works, God owes us nothing. How so? Because they were drawn out of his treasures, in which they had long before been laid up; for whom he called, them he justifies and regenerates.

Being a believer is God’s creation. What we need to ask is if believing is a good work. As can be seen Calvin doesn’t make faith not a gift, he makes it part of the whole of the gift of salvation. Calvin’s view of faith is extensive and comprehensive. By Calvin’s reckoning, Allen is a Papist. What Calvin was combating was a restriction on the meaning of the gift which would isolate faith and lend to its necessarily having to be come a meritorious action to receive salvation. In other words, Calvin makes faith a necessary gift in regeneration through which all other graces are received. It is why he discussed free-will. Faith is necessary to over come it, otherwise it is a work of man and not of the grace of God. It also needs to be considered that regeneration is applied to the full process of salvation including sanctification (good works prepared beforehand that we will walk in them). Calvin used the terms interchangeably as many reformers did. That is because the entire man is regenerated in the process of salvation including the final culmination in a glorified body. So we ask, is believing part of our sanctification? Or, is believing neutral, having nothing to do with being conformed to the image of the Son? Did Christ trust the Father when he commended to him his spirit? Faith  is a word equivalent to salvation which includes belief. Calvin is faithful to the formula that faith, that is belief, flows from regeneration as can be seen, not only here, but in his discussion of faith in the Institutes:

We shall now have a full definition of faith if we say that it is a firm and sure knowledge of the divine favor toward us, founded on the truth of a free promise in Christ, and revealed to our minds, and sealed on our hearts, by the Holy Spirit… Since faith embraces Christ as he is offered by the Father, and he is offered not only for justification, for forgiveness of sins and peace, but also for sanctification, as the fountain of living waters, it is certain that no man will ever know him aright without at the same time receiving the sanctification of the Spirit; or, to express the matter more plainly, faith consists in the knowledge of Christ; Christ cannot be known without the sanctification of his Spirit: therefore faith cannot possibly be disjoined from pious affection… Not that they truly perceive the power of spiritual grace and the sure light of faith; but the Lord, the better to convict them, and leave them without excuse, instills into their minds such a sense of his goodness as can be felt without the Spirit of adoption. Should it be objected, that believers have no stronger testimony to assure them of their adoption, I answer, that though there is a great resemblance and affinity between the elect of God and those who are impressed for a time with a fading faith, yet the elect alone have that full assurance which is extolled by Paul, and by which they are enabled to cry, Abba, Father. Therefore, as God regenerates the elect only for ever by incorruptible seed, as the seed of life once sown in their hearts never perishes, so he effectually seals in them the grace of his adoption, that it may be sure and steadfast. But in this there is nothing to prevent an inferior operation of the Spirit from taking its course in the reprobate. Meanwhile, believers are taught to examine themselves carefully and humbly, lest carnal security creep in and take the place of assurance of faith. We may add, that the reprobate never have any other than a confused sense of grace, laying hold of the shadow rather than the substance, because the Spirit properly seals the forgiveness of sins in the elect only, applying it by special faith to their use. Still it is correctly said, that the reprobate believe God to be propitious to them, inasmuch as they accept the gift of reconciliation, though confusedly and without due discernment; not that they are partakers of the same faith or regeneration with the children of God; but because, under a covering of hypocrisy, they seem to have a principle of faith in common with them. Nor do I even deny that God illumines their minds to this extent, that they recognize his grace; but that conviction he distinguishes from the peculiar testimony which he gives to his elect in this respect, that the reprobate never attain to the full result or to fruition. When he shows himself propitious to them, it is not as if he had truly rescued them from death, and taken them under his protection. He only gives them a manifestation of his present mercy. In the elect alone he implants the living root of faith, so that they persevere even to the end. Thus we dispose of the objection, that if God truly displays his grace, it must endure for ever. There is nothing inconsistent in this with the fact of his enlightening some with a present sense of grace, which afterwards proves evanescent.

Calvin would view Allen’s faith as a false one, in other words, because it is not that

“the Spirit properly seals the forgiveness of sins in the elect only, applying it by special faith to their use… In the elect alone he implants the living root of faith, so that they persevere even to the end.”

It takes a proper knowledge of who Christ is to believe in him, and that, Calvin says, comes only from the sanctification of the Holy Spirit.

Calvin would consider Allen’s faith as such:

“This is invariably true, and is not inconsistent with the fact, that the large benefits which the divine liberality is constantly bestowing on the wicked are preparing them for heavier judgment. As they neither think that these proceed from the hand of the Lord, nor acknowledge them as his, or if they do so acknowledge them, never regard them as proofs of his favor, they are in no respect more instructed thereby in his mercy than brute beasts, which, according to their condition, enjoy the same liberality, and yet never look beyond it. Still it is true, that by rejecting the promises generally offered to them, they subject themselves to severer punishment. For though it is only when the promises are received in faith that their efficacy is manifested, still their reality and power are never extinguished by our infidelity or ingratitude. Therefore, when the Lord by his promises invites us not only to enjoy the fruits of his kindness, but also to meditate upon them, he at the same time declares his love. Thus we are brought back to our statement, that every promise is a manifestation of the divine favor toward us. Now, without controversy, God loves no man out of Christ. He is the beloved Son, in whom the love of the Father dwells, and from whom it afterwards extends to us. Thus Paul says “In whom he has made us accepted in the Beloved,” (Eph. 1:6). It is by his intervention, therefore, that love is diffused so as to reach us. Accordingly, in another passage, the Apostle calls Christ “our peace,” (Eph. 2:14), and also represents him as the bond by which the Father is united to us in paternal affection (Rom. 8:3). It follows, that whenever any promise is made to us, we must turn our eyes toward Christ. Hence, with good reasons Paul declares that in him all the promises of God are confirmed and completed (Rom. 15:8).”

To love Christ, is to be in him, and how can one have faith in whom he does not love? Is believing an act of love? Then believing can only be in those who are in Christ.

Calvin has previously declared that the power of faith is such because it is Christ in us who is its strength and remains the faithful one even when we waiver. In other words, Calvin has declared with Scripture that without faith it is impossible to please God and that it is we in him and he in us the hope of glory, for Christ alone is the one in whom God is well pleased. All other faith outside Christ is void of power to save because it is not united with Christ who by the power of his resurrection has made us to be blessed in the Beloved. Divine favor, that is God’s gift in Christ, is the source and the resource of faith.

A simple external manifestation of the word ought to be amply sufficient to produce faith, did not our blindness and perverseness prevent. But such is the proneness of our mind to vanity, that it can never adhere to the truth of God, and such its dullness, that it is always blind even in his light. Hence without the illumination of the Spirit the word has no effect; and hence also it is obvious that faith is something higher than human understanding. Nor were it sufficient for the mind to be illumined by the Spirit of God unless the heart also were strengthened and supported by his power. Here the Schoolmen go completely astray, dwelling entirely in their consideration of faith, on the bare simple assent of the understanding, and altogether overlooking confidence and security of heart. Faith is the special gift of God in both ways,—in purifying the mind so as to give it a relish for divine truth, and afterwards in establishing it therein. For the Spirit does not merely originate faith, but gradually increases it, until by its means he conducts us into the heavenly kingdom. “That good thing which was committed unto thee,” says Paul, “keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us,” (2 Tim. 1:14). In what sense Paul says (Gal. 3:2), that the Spirit is given by the hearing of faith, may be easily explained. If there were only a single gift of the Spirit, he who is the author and cause of faith could not without absurdity be said to be its effect; but after celebrating the gifts with which God adorns his church, and by successive additions of faith leads it to perfection, there is nothing strange in his ascribing to faith the very gifts which faith prepares us for receiving. It seems to some paradoxical, when it is said that none can believe Christ save those to whom it is given; but this is partly because they do not observe how recondite and sublime heavenly wisdom is, or how dull the mind of man in discerning divine mysteries, and partly because they pay no regard to that firm and stable constancy of heart which is the chief part of faith… The supplies of the Holy Spirit are therefore necessary, or rather his agency is here the only strength… The word is, in regard to those to whom it is preached, like the sun which shines upon all, but is of no use to the blind. In this matter we are all naturally blind; and hence the word cannot penetrate our mind unless the Spirit, that internal teacher, by his enlightening power make an entrance for it… Let it suffice to observe, that the spirit of faith is used by Paul as synonymous with the very faith which we receive from the Spirit, but which we have not naturally (2 Cor. 4:13). Accordingly, he prays for the Thessalonians, “that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power,” (2 Thess. 1:2). Here, by designating faith the work of God, and distinguishing it by way of epithet, appropriately calling it his good pleasure, he declares that it is not of man’s own nature; and not contented with this, he adds, that it is an illustration of divine power. In addressing the Corinthians, when he tells them that faith stands not “in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God,” (1 Cor. 2:4), he is no doubt speaking of external miracles; but as the reprobate are blinded when they behold them, he also includes that internal seal of which he elsewhere makes mention. And the better to display his liberality in this most excellent gift, God does not bestow it upon all promiscuously, but, by special privilege, imparts it to whom he will. To this effect we have already quoted passages of Scripture, as to which Augustine, their faithful expositor, exclaims (De Verbo Apost. Serm. 2) “Our Savior, to teach that faith in him is a gift, not a merit, says, ‘No man can come to me, except the Father, which has sent me, draw him,’ (John 6:44). It is strange when two persons hear, the one despises, the other ascends. Let him who despises impute it to himself; let him who ascends not arrogate it to himself” In another passage he asks, “Wherefore is it given to the one, and not to the other? I am not ashamed to say, This is one of the deep things of the cross. From some unknown depth of the judgments of God, which we cannot scrutinize, all our ability proceeds. I see that I am able; but how I am able I see not:—this far only I see, that it is of God. But why the one, and not the other? This is too great for me: it is an abyss a depth of the cross. I can cry out with wonder; not discuss and demonstrate.” The whole comes to this, that Christ, when he produces faith in us by the agency of his Spirit, at the same time ingrafts us into his body, that we may become partakers of all blessings… And what else is it than to bring the promises of Christ into doubt, when we would be deemed servants of Christ without having his Spirit, whom he declared that he would pour out on all his people? (Isa. 44:3). What! do we not insult the Holy Spirit, when we separate faith, which is his peculiar work, from himself? These being the first rudiments of religion, it is the most wretched blindness to charge Christians with arrogance, for presuming to glory in the presence of the Holy Spirit; a glorying without which Christianity itself does not exist. The example of these men illustrates the truth of our Savior’s declaration, that his Spirit “the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him, for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you,” (John 14:17).

You can see, Calvin is exhausting the meaning of faith and its source and power. Faith knows him in whom it believes. It’s power and efficacy is God himself in the one who believes, and that from God. It is secured to us by the same power which raised Christ from the dead, and is active only by that power. How futile to claim that faith can exist outside of Christ, or that it can exist in us without Christ in us the hope of glory. Faith is not impotent emotionalism like that of the pagan religions and Allen would have it. That is what Allen presents, however. He offers nothing more than the stench of death, not the life freely given so that men might believe.

Allen, along with SBCToday, for some reason wants the reader not to read Calvin for himself. For some reason he wants to pretend that no one will take notice. How such filth stands as a representative of the SBC is beyond all comprehension.

A final note. All Calvinists believe that salvation is conditioned by faith.  That A.T. Robertson pointed out that in the Greek of Ephesians 2:8-9, means nothing. There are two nuances of conditioned that should be mentioned. It can mean in the conditional sense, i.e., that one thing must precede another. It can also mean the existing state of the thing which is indicated. That is to say, light is a necessary condition to see only indicates that the light must be. Not that sight must become light. Rather, that in seeing, light must exist already. Add that to the fact that the word faith here is noun, and not a verb, there is every indication that the thing essentially (and properly all of what faith means in Scripture) and not its action, is what is being spoken of.

Add to that, is salvation ever spoken of in Scripture as existing without faith as if faith were prior and not a part of it? Even when Scripture says believe and you will be saved, the conditionality as a possibility may only indicate that the state of being is what is meant, as in John 3:16 where it is said, “all the ones believing in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The SBCToday article makes it look as if A.T. is confirming Allen. But he doesn’t. In both verses he commends that all of it is of grace. That we have faith, that is, that it is we who believe, is not excluded from the power and the one working it in us. It, as all things considered as a condition of salvation, all of grace, as A.T. said, are not from in man but from without, a gift given. Faith is the condition of salvation, not the precondition of it.

For a definition and another look, see here. Faith is on our part, there is no doubt, but that doesn’t make it any less part of the grace which God gives than any other part of the whole of our salvation. That God gives it, and operates it, does not exclude us being active in it. Nor does what the referent is, or what it refers to, have anything to do with overthrowing the Holy Spirit who works all things in all. Unless one wants to say that faith is not of the Spirit- but if not of the Spirit, then it is not Christ’s, nor does it have anything to do with him. The Spirit works all things, regeneration, conviction, sanctification, repentance, et cetera. If he doesn’t work faith in us, then it is not in us. If it is not in us it is not part of us, either, if the Holy Spirit is not working it. A.T., is not the only Greek scholar in the world.

Another attempt to rule out faith as a gift is found here. Curiously, the same two foolish conclusions are made: 1) because of the grammar construction faith is not a gift (but as we saw above, Calvin got the grammar right and still said it was a gift), 2) that nowhere else in Scripture is faith indicated as a gift. The latter has been, and will continue to shown to be one of the most foolish things ever said:

For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake (Philippians 1:29).

And Robertson’s NT Word Studies says of Philippians 1:29 “{In the behalf of Christ} (to huper cristou). Literally, “the in behalf of Christ.” But Paul divides the idea and uses the article to again both with pisteuein and with pascein. Suffering in behalf of Christ is one of God’s gifts to us.” Even as an unfriendly antagonist, A.T. could not help but come to the conclusion that faith is a gift when he says that to refers to both believe and to suffer.

Hart’s derogatory conclusion is that Ephesians 2:8 cannot be used as support for “faith as a gift theology.” But in reading his article, he demonstrates that is not true, as it is and will remain, controversial because of the construction in which faith may well be included in the grace of salvation even if one agrees that faith is not directly the gift in that verse. Isolated, it may be a gift, or it may not be, but it is not conclusive that it cannot be a gift. Here is the thing. Since Philippians says that faith is a gift, even if Ephesians doesn’t contain the construction that it is, it is proper to assign it as a gift there because it is proven elsewhere. Beside, when has it ever been the rule that a direct statement must exist to prove a doctrine. Can we say trinity… anyone?

I point out Hart for one very special purpose. Allen has been known to import whole-cloth others’ thoughts, without checking out the veracity of them. In other words, when a fool speaks foolishly, Allen has a tendency to take upon himself the mantle of a fool and repeat the fools words as truth. SBC Today lacks any compulsion to avoid the same kind foolishness. In the SBCToday articles “quotes” of Allen, Allen uses direct language from Hart.

I return to Calvin since Allen, Hart, and SBC Today have quoted him as an authority:

Here Paul clearly testifies, that faith, as well as constancy in enduring persecutions, is an unmerited gift of God. And certainly the knowledge of God is a wisdom that is too high for our attaining it by our own acuteness, and our weakness shews itself in daily instances in our own experience, when God withdraws his hand for a little while. That he may intimate the more distinctly that both are unmerited, he says expressly — for Christ’s sake, or at least that they are given to us on the ground of Christ’s grace; by which he excludes every idea of merit.

This passage is also at variance with the doctrine of the Schoolmen, in maintaining that gifts of grace latterly conferred are rewards of our merit, on the ground of our having made a right use of those which had been previously bestowed. I do not deny, indeed, that God rewards the right use of his gifts of grace by bestowing grace more largely upon us, provided only you do not place merit, as they do, in opposition to his unmerited liberality and the merit of Christ.

Once again Calvin makes it clear that faith in Philippians 1:29 is a gift even if it isn’t directly so in Ephesians 2:8. And so it is not as Allen and SBCToday claim. Faith is directly proclaimed to be a gift. There is of course Corinthians. But if any should complain, let it be known, I agree with Calvin in that what SBCToday and Allen have done is to become Papists and Schoolmen. They deny the active operation of God’s Holy Spirit in the ability of men to perform the duties required of them. When Calvin also condemns the semi-schoolmen along with them, he makes it clear that neither Pelagians, nor semi-Pelagians, have any interest in a salvation that is of God alone.

David Allen: Hypocrisy Or Incompetence? | SBC Today

“A Selective Review of Whomever He Wills – Part 1” | SBC Today.

Though each of the statements quoted above range in my estimation from moderately problematic to egregious, taken together they seem to indicate something of a mindset concerning how the authors of the introduction in WHW view those who disagree with them. We should all remember that in one sense a way of seeing is a way of not seeing. We all come to the table with a certain grid through which we filter and interpret things. We think that our interpretation is the correct one; otherwise we would not hold it. But when we express ourselves in language that identifies our view with Scripture and the other guy’s view with “attacking” a Scriptural doctrine or when we give the appearance that we could not possibly be mistaken in our view and thus have to lovingly help or monish the errant one to see the error of his ways, we have moved beyond the boundary of suasion and have foreclosed on the discussion at the outset. At issue is the correct interpretation of texts, yes; but it would be helpful if we did not speak or write in such a way that tends to place our counterparts in the discussion on the defensive by assuming or overtly claiming the biblical and hermeneutical high ground. This appears to me to be especially important in an introduction to any work since the introduction usually serves to set the tone for the discussion.

The hypocrite speaks. Did Allen even read Neither Calvinists nor Arminians but Baptists? His name is on it.

Here’s their assertion of their claim to the high ground:

… in light of our own priorities. First, we do not believe that Dortian Calvinism properly represents the gospel of Jesus Christ in its simplicity and profundity according to the Bible. We are uncomfortable with Dortian Calvinism because we believe its rigid structure is imposed upon Scripture and that it does not allow Scripture to form theology. As philosopher Steve Lemke queried about the Calvinist belief in irresistible grace, “Is Scripture being shaped to make it agree with one’s theological system, or is one’s theological system being shaped according to Scripture?” (127). Malcolm Yarnell was similarly concerned that an exemplary Reformed theologian’s methodological approaches to Scripture “reflect a thoroughgoing rationalism that is prior to and formative for his treatment of Scripture” (The Formation of Christian Doctrine, 50).

Second, we are not Calvinists because we do not believe certain Calvinist doctrines can be found in a gospel-ruled, canonical reading of Scripture. This is why the authors of Whosoever Will repeatedly refer to the plain sense of scriptural passages according to the grammatical and historical context. From the detailed expository approach to John 3:16 by Jerry Vines (Whosoever Will, ch. 1), to the commonsense contextual reading of Ephesians 2:1ff by Paige Patterson (ch. 2), to the canonical approach to defining biblical language utilized by both David Allen (78–83) and Steve Lemke (117–29), the authors repeatedly demonstrate a necessary return to Scripture. Scripture is sufficient for the substance and structure of our preaching, and though we seek to address those living in contemporary cultural contexts, we call our listeners to begin with hearing the Bible in its own context and end with contemporary personal submission to that Word. As a result, most of us are convinced, against Dortian Calvinism, that Scripture does not teach that man is totally unable to respond to the call of God to believe, or that grace does violence to the human will, or that Jesus Christ’s death failed to propitiate for the sins of “the whole world” (1 John 2:2).

Third, we are not Calvinists because we are genuinely concerned about the impact of Dortian Calvinism upon evangelism. As David Allen asserted, “Christians must evangelize because God wills all men to be saved and has made atonement for all men, thus removing the legal barriers that necessitate their condemnation” (97). How could God offer salvation to all people with integrity if Jesus did not die for all (2 Corinthians 5:20)? Since the Calvinist doctrine of limited or particular atonement “provides an insufficient motive for evangelism by undercutting the well-meant gospel offer” by God to all men, as well as by us to all men, Southern Baptists should reject five-point Calvinism (107). We decry the efforts of Calvinist professors of limited atonement who argue the evangelistic altar call is unbiblical or that it somehow represents an attempt by those who deliver altar calls to “manipulate the sovereignty of God” (101). We are motivated to offer the gospel to all, and to invite all to respond, even in a public fashion, because Christ died for all.

Moreover, as the evangelistic preacher Jerry Vines argued, the crisis behind our understanding of Christ’s offer of “whosoever will” comes down to the type of God we are worshipping: “It is the design of the sovereign God to make the salvation of all people possible and to secure the salvation of all who believe. What kind of God would not make salvation possible for all?” (25). We do not ask such questions in order to score rhetorical points against our Calvinist Baptist brethren, but because we believe that the God revealed in Scripture is a God who loves all men, desires their salvation, and has made salvation possible for all by Christ’s death for all.

We say such things because we perceive grace when we hear the gospel verbally and enthusiastically offered to all men freely through personal repentance toward God and faith in Christ. With the first Baptist pastor in England, we believe that Christ died for all men. This is a “comfortable doctrine,” because “every poor soul may know that there is salvation for him by Christ and that Christ hath shed His blood for him, that believing in Him he may be saved, and that God wants not the death of him, but that he should repent and live” (Thomas Helwys, A Short and Plain Proof by the Word, 1611). This is our passion: that every sinner, without qualification, may hear the gospel of Jesus Christ, believe in Him and be saved! With regard to this God, who loves all people, we can agree with Roger Olson, who claims that Arminians “are in love with God’s goodness and unwilling to sacrifice that on the altar of divine determinism.”

I repeat Allen’s statement: But when we express ourselves in language that identifies our view with Scripture and the other guy’s view with “attacking” a Scriptural doctrine or when we give the appearance that we could not possibly be mistaken in our view and thus have to lovingly help or monish the errant one to see the error of his ways, we have moved beyond the boundary of suasion and have foreclosed on the discussion at the outset.

Here is Allen in summation. He’s convinced he is right but he is also convinced that he might be wrong. On the other hand, he condemns those who say they are right and are convinced of it and so say others are wrong. Duplicitously, Allen says that one should not make statements that rule out the other’s position peremptorily, and then makes statements that peremptorily rule out the other’s position. Further, he agrees with the White Paper that his position is the Scriptural position then condemns those who would assign their position to the Scriptural meaning. Allen would say he doesn’t identify his meanings with Scripture, but just what does it mean, then, to say that one holds a Scriptural meaning?

Allen is either absolutely blind to his prejudice blinding him to his hypocrisy, or, the man is utterly incompetent. He hates the fact that Calvinists claim that Calvinism is the Gospel. But, we must ask, what does Allen think of what he believes? That it is not the Gospel? Of course not, he believes it is. Just read the White Paper. As one of its co-authors, he said that what he believes, being convinced by Scripture, that it is what Scripture teaches as touching the Gospel. To say that he doesn’t believe his non-labeled theology is the Gospel, is a lie. To condemn others for doing what he is doing is hypocrisy.

The entire premise of those who want no labels attached to them is that their beliefs are what Scripture teaches. More than that, they believe that no other teaching should be taught for the very reason that they believe it to be destructive to the Gospel commission. In short, it is anti-Gospel to be a Calvinist. To the end, and to a man, they desire to destroy anything that contradicts them. The only alternative to such a conclusion is that Allen and his ilk are ignorant of the fact that they are wasting their time if their non-labelism is not the Gospel. If these matters are not of the utmost importance, (they think they are), if these matters are not the Gospel, but matters in dispute for which there is no doctrinal, final resolution, they are engaged in vain babble, violating the very Scripture that they claim to represent.

They do claim to represent Scripture’s Gospel, don’t they?

Or do they?

When speaking out of both sides of the mouth the obvious is not obliterated as Allen has attempted to do. Rather, it is spot-lighted. Allen paints those who disagree with him as false teachers, preaching a false Gospel, as arrogant in claiming their’s is the Gospel. Yet, he takes umbrage that others do the same. He claims that what he believes is the very teaching of Scripture as the Gospel, or he wouldn’t be in this fight. At the same time he is appalled at those who do what he does.

With people like Allen there is no real way forward. Their appeal for peace, irenicism, and unity is pretense to gain an audience. His intentional derogation of his is enemies is clear. He fools only his own.

What good is the pursuit of teaching or opposing teaching when the matters at hand cannot be proven true or false, anyway? It is a waste of time which engenders disputes and causes divisions needlessly. However, if the respective sides in the debate truly are convicted that theirs is the truth, as Allen asserts his is, they need to openly denounce the other and quit hiding behind the coy defense of feigned humility as Allen does. What Allen wants is the destruction of the Doctrines of Grace, not their acceptance as equals to his own non-labelism, no matter how much he says he is not. He wants his beliefs to dominate, no accommodate, to rule the SBC without challenge.

The other side likewise must advance their cause, not in the pursuit of unity, for that can never be where there is no doctrinal agreement, but with the affirmed conviction that error must be rooted out and truth secured for the preservation of the faith once and for all delivered to the saints.

Otherwise both sides are fools who plow and plant, wet and weed, never intending to harvest.

David Allen’s Hypocrisy: Can Anyone Explain The Baptist Theology Of The BF&M?

The Current SBC Calvinism Debate:Observations, Clarifications, and Suggestions | SBC Today.

This is from one of the most divisive men in the SBC. A man who called Calvinist’s tricksters, using sleight of hand, one who joined others who have called Calvinists heretics and demons, who in association with Allen have moved to destroy Calvinism in the SBC. Doesn’t he sound like such a nice guy? We remember, however, the lynch party where Calvinism was strung up by him and others. We remember his diatribe against Calvinism and his refusal to debate the issues openly. We remember his teaming with some of the most rabidly anti-Calvinists. While Allen is free to publish what he wants, his hypocrisy is also free game to be examined.

On the other hand, Calvinism should not be a Convention cause either. The publication of an article by a Southern Baptist professor just a few years back entitled “Why Your Next Pastor Should Be a Calvinist” is an example of one aspect of the current problem in the Convention. My friend, Dr. Danny Akin, said back in 2007: “I have Calvinist friends who say they hope and pray for the day when all of our seminaries have presidents and faculties that are five-point Calvinists” (Calvinism: a Southern Baptist Dialogue, 253). Dr. Akin rightfully eschews such a sentiment, but this validates the concern of many Southern Baptists that some Calvinists in the SBC do indeed believe we would be better off if we reverted to Calvinism unilaterally in the seminaries. If there are Calvinists who feel this way about the seminaries, perhaps many of them feel this way about SBC churches as well. Of course this is a recipe for disaster. As long as Calvinists, individually or as groups, continue to seek to make it a cause with the intention of moving the SBC towards Calvinism, then we will continue to have a problem.

Well, if Calvinism shouldn’t be a convention cause, then neither should Allen’s anti-Calvinism. But he cannot be neutral, this piece is prima fascia evidence of that fact. I doubt that Allen will silence himself as he approaches students and colleagues concerning his convictions. That is, if he has any integrity at all, even if he will not admit he is doing so, he will be trying to move everyone he speaks with on the issues to his position which is defacto a move to eliminate Calvinism from the SBC. The calling of a Gospel teacher is to speak the truth in love or be silent when what he says might destroy the faith of others. Now, he might not think that what another believes about any given doctrine is the faith of others. If he doesn’t, he has not clue as to what the faith is. Allen teaches students his doctrine, i.e., the faith once and for all delivered to the saints, in his opinion. Students by definition are learners from the master. More, they are extremely vulnerable to influences which form their faith, which they in turn will teach others. So the fact is that Allen is about the very thing that he decries, attempting to persuade and drag the SBC toward his exclusive theology.

If we are to come together in unity, we must do so as Baptists, not as Calvinists and Traditionalists. We must unite around Baptist distinctives which includes the only glue that can hold us together: a biblical Baptist theology wedded to a Great Commission resurgence of evangelism and missions.

What are Baptist distinctives? What is a biblical Baptist theology (this is a strawman). Who says they are? Allen? The prejudicialism is glaring. He says there is something known as a biblical Baptist theology. But, why can that not be Calvinistic instead of inclusivistic Allenism, why must it be Allen’s latitudinarianism, and his anti-Calvinism as an effect of it? His latitudinarianism is exclusivistic, and what Allen really desires is his vision of what a biblical Baptist theology is, or he would not be proselytizing.

We don’t have to cease to be Calvinists or Traditionalists to be Baptists.

Well, yes you do, if there is such a thing as biblical Baptist theology then it defines you. Either biblical Baptist theology contradicts Calvinism, or it doesn’t. Someone better explain the BF&M to Allen. Someone better explain the BF&M, for if it can be explained as anything Allen wants and what he doesn’t want, it means nothing. If the statements it makes are not doctrines that can be defined, and if those definitions do not define it as in one camp or the other, then is it as worthless as Allen’s claims of neutrality and as a peacemaker.

We’ve had both from day one.

Which is not true if what is meant is that the biblical Baptist theology was the consensus all along.

Let us debate the theology of Calvinism and let the chips fall where they may, but deliver us from attempting to Calvinize or de-Calvinize the SBC.

So, is he going to quit? Or, is he actually going to debate people like James White? Or, will he continue to hide behind his pseudo-intellectualism and disingenuous statements of neutrality? He is either trying to convert the SBC with his teaching and publications or he isn’t. Or, he is hiding behind the false presupposition of the authority that attaches to his titles, using them to exempt himself. Is what he teaches the truth? Or not? If it mere opinion, then Paul calls his work worthless. Which brings us to another meaningless thing he said.

Third, we need to love and respect one another even though we are not in complete agreement on every theological point.

Paul didn’t take that tact. He commanded the silence of those with diverging opinions from his. Paul call them myths, fables, old-wives tales, wranglings about word without meaning, divisive, iniquity, and destructive to the Gospel. Either it is doctrine, or it is not, to Paul. Doctrine is to be taught as the faith, everything else is not to be taught as doctrine. To put it in Allen’s term, it is either a biblical theology, or it is no theology at all.

This is the clear mandate of Scripture. We should speak the truth in love and avoid strident, emotive language.

Then why does Allen use strident, emotive language in his new rant? Again, Allen is wrong. Jesus and Paul, James, John and Peter used strident, emotive language. James is quite clear about people like Allen, who he called double-minded. Double-mindedness is the heart of the SBC, if what it cannot do is come to agreement upon what is Biblical doctrine and what is not. Allen would have it that each has a right to his opinion -a doctrine which the Scripture denies. Is Christ divided? Apparently, in Allen’s self-affirmation, he is. Paul actually says: There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:4-6 ESV) Not forgetting who this letter is written to, he leaves no doubt as to what he meant by one faith.

Statements like the following are not only narcissistic and self-exculpatory
but self-refuting:

A third kind of division is when people in one theological camp think, speak, and act in ways that promote their theological convictions. They sponsor conferences. They join together to produce books. This naturally divides them from those who hold differing theological convictions. This kind of division is likewise to be expected and is not in and of itself necessarily unhealthy.

This mentality of “not… necessarily unhealthy,” leads inevitably to

…unhealthy divisions as well. When people think, speak, and act in ways that seek to promote their theological convictions with an agenda, stated or unstated, to marginalize those who differ with them theologically, this kind of division is unhealthy. When people fail to be courteous and respectful in their discussions with those who disagree with their theology; when they engage in emotive language, straw-man arguments, and misrepresentation; this kind of division is unhealthy. It is divisive when people insist that their view is the only correct possible reading of Scripture or even to insist that those who disagree with them are heretical. When leaders unfairly favor one group over another in hiring practices, service opportunities, committee representation, book and literature production, etc., this creates unhealthy division. This is especially egregious if the favored group is in the statistical minority in the organization.

I am glad he said stated or unstated. I am glad he indicts himself. For insisting what his stated position is he makes his standard the only standard that is permissible. Disagreement with Allen is not permitted, he states unequivocably. This second phase of divisive partisanism is precisely what Allen is engaged in, yet he cannot see it. He would not be engaged in groupism, publishing and teaching if he didn’t believe what he was promoting should be accepted by others. He wouldn’t have written on what is unhealthy if he didn’t believe it was and that it is the only acceptable position. He knows full well that it marginalizes even though he marginalizes, and even though he says that what he does is unhealthy, for him it is healthy. There are plenty of people on both sides of the divisiveness in the SBC that take Allen’s tact, thinking that there can be peace where two do not agree. And, they are blind to fact that their setting themselves apart by its very nature breeds contempt and division into either majority or minority parties which stoke the fuel of the SBC Wars. Allen has been guilty of all the negatives he mentions, and yet, he has not so far repented of it. It is incredible that he does not see himself, but sin makes it understandable. Does Allen insist that his is a biblical Baptist theology, a certain Baptist distinctive? Yes, will he allow that there are others who do not agree? No, by his very disagreement with them. If he were to allow disagreement he would be in disagreement with himself. He has stated so in this very article. He is hell-bent on seeing to it that he is left free to marginalize others by his opinions under the protective canopy of something that doesn’t exist – defined biblical Baptist theology and distinctives supposedly found in the BF&M. Those distinctives are a matter of Allen’s deranged imagination. Is Allen seriously suggesting that all that he has taught, all that he has written, the hours spent, the groups joined, were a waste? Or, was he working toward the goal of convincing others that his interpretation of Scripture is the correct one? Allen has painted himself into a corner and continues to blame the paint and the brushes rather than himself.

What will be his excuse when he stands accountable for defining himself as a shepherd and keeper of the truth of Scripture? Maybe, “The bible that you gave me was too hard to understand. But, look, I tried to keep the unity of the Spirit in love, and being so magnanimous, I allowed others to be as wrong as I was.” The danger of Allenism is that it is close to saying that the Spirit doesn’t guide in to truth. Instead, it makes Him double-minded and unstable in all his ways.

Peter Lumpkins And Tony Byrne: Getting Drunk On Deception And The SBC Great Smokescreen Emergents

Smoke em if you got em.

Peter Lumpkins: A Case Study.

Thoughts of Francis Turretin.

Hi, My Name’s Ergun Caner, And I Am More Idiotic Than Any Idiotoholic…

Errorgun Caner displays why he sides with the phony as a three-dollar bill, prevaracting, get fat off of lazy pew sitters, authors of this book:

Not one of the authors has answered to the challenge of James White to debate. Though they feloniously called him names, they have as yet to come out from behind their bully pulpits to stand to account. Perhaps not one of them is actually capable of engaging in an academic debate. And so far they have proven themselves bereft of the honestly it takes. And now, they author a book? How sweet, the memoirs of self-approving lovers hiding between the covers.

As James White points out, the anti-Calvinist Errorgun Caner will not debate, either. The fear of exposure, perhaps? Yes, because as James White says, he is a liar. I mean, his predecessor got fat off of phony Christianity. So have the men who are authoring the “scholarly” Whosoever Will. Errorgun has not changed Southern Fried Jerry’s tune one note and his rotund profile is more and more reminding one of the opening scene of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Maybe someday the people of the SBC will wake up and realize that they have be duped by some very fluffy, but not so smart, way over compensated, showmen and hucksters.

“Any doctrine that diminishes the omnibenevolence of God, the fact that He loves the Muslim, and died for the Muslim to be saved, and has a desire for…any doctrine that diminishes that is not from God, it’s from the devil.”

So I would suppose that Errorgun would say that this man was from the Devil?

Morris Chapman’s Whitewashed Sepulchre Still Stinks

Morris Chapman has taken it upon himself to set the error of Calvinism straight. Hear what he says:

Man’s system will be inferior to God’s system now and forever.

Bravo! As has been often noted, the Arminian position of Morris Chapman is a rationalistic system concocted by men to explain what they either cannot understand in Scripture or wish not to believe. As Paul makes so clear, this is because:

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Chapman’s flesh is his problem, not the teaching of Scripture. This one passage credits the Spirit as being the agent which has set man free through the finished work of Christ applied as determined by the Father. A glorious trinitarian work. Unless a person has the Spirit, Paul says, he cannot confess Jesus as Lord. One cannot be saved except he does that. And John says he is not Christ’s without the Spirit. But that is the point. Man is not involved first. The believer is the work of God, or as John says at the end of Chapter 3:

But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been worked by God.

Regeneration is the Spirit’s first work:

Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—

these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths (the Gospel, my emphasis) to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

Note: A person must be a spiritual person before he can understand the things of God. If he is not he will not accept them. And God does not make all men spiritual or they would understand, this passage says.

What do these passages have in common? It is the fact that without the regenerative work of the Spirit of God man is incapable of either understanding or responding to the Gospel as John 3 clearly tells us:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot comprehend the kingdom of God.”

We have to ask Chapman if he believes faith is a gift at all because he resorts to tired arguments out of Ephesians where clearly salvation, beginning to end, is the work of God, regardless of how one assigns antecedents. As Hebrews tells us, it is Christ’s work, archegos and teleiotes.

Chapman says:

The word “antinomy” refers to an apparent contradiction between two equally valid or reasonable principles.

But didn’t he read his own words? It is an apparent contradiction between equally valid and reasonable principles, not an actual one. And not between two equally seated and mutually exclusive truths. Chapman’s appeal is to so called antimony because he is incapable of explaining how God sovereignly creating faith and man’s responsibility is not a contradiction at all but the complementary actions God works in a NEW CREATION:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Notice how this verse is nearly a quote of John 3:21. It is not a possibility, but an inevitability that man responds according to how he has been made. I suppose Chapman thinks that God has created man anew so that he is capable of doing both good and evil? That is the image of Christ?

And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

There doesn’t see to be much predestinating to unglory in those God predestines to glory, now does there? But some how, Chapman believes that predestination is just the means void of their intended end. In other words, that the kind of tree doesn’t determine the kind of fruit. In Jesus’ words, Chapman plays the part of Jesus’ accusers. Either the tree is good or it is evil. Not both as Chapman’s school of rationalistic thought would have it.

Is it Scripture that Chapman hates; is it the truth? It would seem so. Or, is it just that he is incompetent. For so much is available which contradicts him that it is nearly inconceivable that he could say what he does if he were not. Chapman, though, is a typical Southern Baptist who claims that Calvinism is a reactionary response to shallow moderates in the SBC. But the fact is, it is a reaction to the shallowness of Chapman’s perspective that has been the norm in the SBC for over a century. Like Fundamentalists are wont to do, the majoritarians have suppressed the truth in the SBC concerning its roots in Calvinism for the fear of it and in doing so have abused millions by exalting ignorance over knowledge and by denying them the access to their own heritage.

Chapman would have us believe that man’s responsibility resides on the same plane as God’s sovereignty rather than being the creative work of God. Man’s responsibility is created, inferior and under subjugation to God’s sovereign will. Responsibility is not beside God an equal, self-existing being, is it? Chapman’s philosophy, however, makes man’s actions equal to the work of God. He also would have us believe that responsibility is not of nature but is rather ad hoc, not coming into existence except at the moment of decision, not preconditioned by God’s knowledge of events, and without any connection to the nature of man.

Instead of the complementary view that God has created all things for himself so that they will without doubt bring him glory, that he has done so according to the nature into which they were created as he has superintended,and that he has created people who he calls by name and not by mistake, who know him because they are from above and not from below, Chapman would have us believe that God has done no such thing but rather leaves the outcomes of history the chance of the chaos field, denying the prophetic view demonstrated in Scripture.

Or, perhaps Chapman is expressing that God has created creation equal or even more powerful than himself, capable of contradicting his own will. That God has created creation an antimonious autonomaton incapable of being controlled. But the God of Scripture is not schizophrenic such that there is another beside him who does what it wants. He does not create a god equal to himself. He does not create a god able to determine the future, one who is more infallible than himself, whose choices are sure when God’s cannot be. God through Isaiah tells us that is not the god he is. And Scripture declares that he cannot deny himself and does not lie. Either all those God draws to himself will come because of something God has worked in them, or we have Christ lying about his Father and the Father as undependable as the Son. And the many writers of the Scripture unfaithful witnesses and only Chapman true.

Fallen man acting as a free creature sees his actions as independent. We might say rebellious. He is, however, a created thing, and not free to be anything he so desires as he imagines. Our highest example is Christ. As the true man, he does only what the Father wills. Man is created by God for a certain purpose, to be a certain person and to do certain, things. And by certain what I mean is what Scripture says about the purposes of God in creation. They do not fail. The NEW CREATION is the crowning glory that demonstrates that God’s purposes which he purposes in the first place will be accomplished. As the order of salvation tells us, those he has always known will be called and the will all be glorified.

Except that, as Paul did in Corinthians,  where we have it explained to us that God has acted first and therefore we act, or as David said in Psalm 139, we do not comprehend from a human perspective God’s grace. The grace of God is always what God does providentially, never what man does. God’s grace is all of God and so is salvation and anything which issues out of man which does not have its genesis in God is the denial of the doctrine of providence, that is, grace. It is rebellion which says, “I have done it.” And therefore it is moot whether the graces spoken of in Ephesians is assigned a particular antecedent, for all is the gift of God.

Chapman ends up denying that. He must sequester out of the passage some portion of the grace of salvation and offer it on the altar of man’s free-will. He denies that the grace of God will without fail accomplish what God intends. For grace to him requires the sacrifice of man to be fulfilled. So we must ask Chapman again, “Is faith a gift from God?” And, “Is that faith efficacious for salvation, or not?”

Is the grace of God which providentially oversees his creation the very thing Satan denied by exalting his autonomy and wanting responsibility to mean he controls things? Is it not true that Satan wanted a different outcome than God did, and his lust for free choice is the essence of what sin is?

Jesus’ statement to Nicodemus gives us our standard. The word in John 3:3 for born is gennao. It means conceived, generated, created, by God. The thing conceived is said to be new again (anothen), or more specifically “from above.” The term anothen means renewed, or to begin again. It is conception and is by the Spirit eternal. Or, for any other purpose it is from above, a cryptic description of heaven, see John 17. In the case of John 3 we have the direct testimony of Jesus that it is a work of God the Spirit, which must precede the understanding if man is to enter the kingdom of God.

Chapman’s braggadocio includes his claim that he is a Southern Baptist, a credo-baptist. And the one thing that credos believe is that one must first express faith in Christ before they are baptized. But, to express faith one must understand what it is that he believes. And to do that, Scripture testifies that a person must first be born again, regenerated, by the Spirit, something Chapman does not believe.

What we have in Scripture concerning the process of conversion is not antimony, but complimentary action in which God has provided all the means through his creative power by which a man will be infallibly saved. The first act manward by God, Jesus testifies, is that he by the Spirit regenerates the man, anothen gennao, then the man understands, then the man is convicted, then the man repents and trusts and is converted. In such manner he is saved.

So let Chapman put up his phony blathering and his quoting of Spurgeon without explaining all Spurgeon said (David Allen and others have made this same template error). Even though Spurgeon understood it as mystery, he clearly believed and taught God’s monergistic work in man before man could be convicted, repent and place his faith in Christ.

Chapman’s position is semi-Pelagian. I don’t know but I suspect that he holds to the idea that Christ’s atonement purchased a new chance for man by his free-will to choose Christ in contradiction of Christ’s saying that no ones chooses him. I would imagine that Chapman makes faith mean the mere ability to either believe or not believe (it would seem a necessary component in his view of responsible libertarian free-will). I imagine he believes along with other Hobbsian Southern Baptists that God has granted just enough free-will faith that by some assistive grace (Arminius’ non-biblical concept) a man can by his own choice save or damn himself, denying the doctrine of original sin and undermining any sense of perseverance in salvation eternally and even the claim that salvation is all of grace.

That Chapman wants to claim his way of salvation as non-meritorious is a contradiction. If man’s salvation is dependent in any way upon the efforts of man, then his salvation is self-earned upon that point and man has something of which to boast. That man does what God creates him to do, on the other hand, earns nothing. But Chapman’s beliefs will have none of the fact that God’s predestination predetermines the actions of man such that as with Pharoah God raises men up for a specific purpose:

“Rise up early in the morning and present yourself before Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. For this time I will send all my plagues on you yourself, and on your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is none like me in all the earth. For by now I could have put out my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.

Or, as God told Jeremiah:

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.

It is due to God’s foreordination of the events in the lives of men that man cannot take credit. That is why man may only boast in Christ’s works, for he is the author and the perfecter of our salvation.

Chapman has issued the battle cry and raised the banner of war against Calvinism, against the Reformation, against the Protestation, and against the truth of Scripture. But he has also established his link to Pelagius, to Arminius, and to Rome.

Chapman said:

The background of my comments comes from a lifetime of ministry among Southern Baptists. Most Southern Baptists with whom I have had contact have embraced the following model of salvation – God initiates conversion through the convincing/convicting power of the Holy Spirit. Through this conviction of sin, the human heart responds in repentance and faith. A lost individual becomes a child of God by faith and is adopted into God’s family as a redeemed saint.

The reality is that Calvinism does not reject this process. Calvinism acknowledges God’s initial work in conversion, it acknowledges the conviction of sin, it acknowledges the need for repentance. But it also acknowledges the need for a new heart from which to do anything. It is how the process of salvation is accomplished- where that new heart comes from, and when, which Chapman doesn’t seem to have a clue about. He apparently denies the need for a new heart which must precede the rest, one which can hear and understand and be convicted and repent, or as Ezekiel tells us:

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. And I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. And I will summon the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you. I will make the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field abundant, that you may never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations. Then you will remember your evil ways, and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominations. It is not for your sake that I will act, declares the Lord God; let that be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel.

The sequence in this famous “born-again” passage is unmistakable: purification and cleansing by renewal then the cognition of statutes and the caused obedience through which one is delivered into that which proceeds from the renewed man by the power of the Spirit. All of this is done by God with man complementing God’s works by actions predetermined by God.

But we might take a clue as to why it is the case that Chapman is the way he is as he admits that his convictions come not from Scripture but from the authority of his associates.

And we must question his use here: 

the human heart responds in repentance and faith.

Absolutely not, according to Scripture. As I have demonstrated above, it is not the human heart which is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked so that no one can understand it which repents and clings to Christ. It is the spiritual heart, as Paul said.

So much for man’s systems, eh?

David Allen Defends His Accusations Against James White

Now the only thing that remains is for Allen to prove White is a hyper-Calvinist. And if he doesn’t… will there be a forthcoming apology or repentance on the part of the anti-Calvinists like Allen? Will there? Will it be admitted that it is Allen who has attacked, and wrongly, White and the foundations of the SBC.

For Allen to sequester White as just a Baptist is ludicrous. From my understanding White is a former SBC’er and the church where he is an elder is more historic SBC than Allen’s alien majortitarian version. Allen himself does not represent “orthodox” historic Southern Baptistism, let alone historic protestantism. And for him to team up with Caner, the pseudo Southern Baptist, one only for political cause… posh! Burn the blankets before the plague takes everyone!

I am confident that White will respond again, (Phil should again, also) and I hope Allen and his “researcher” have their fire insurance paid up (half way, @34 min., into this program on the DL will give you a taste of White Fire).
Why Allen continues to neglect context, Scripturally and historically, is beyond conscience. The SBC needs honesty, something obviously lacking among the majoritarians.

If it is unhealthy for Southern Baptists to team up with hyper-Calvinists, and who would disagree, not even White would, is Allen ready to admit that there is also no place in the SBC for Molinist heretics like Yarnell and Keathley, those who would introduce more Roman Catholic doctrine into the SBC beyond the obvious Hobbsian semi-Pelagianism? (See also Pelagius Island and other posts on semi-Pelaginism, here) Seems to me that before Allen throws stones by making ill-informed and poorly researched for him assertions, he needs to clean his own glass house.

And drop the term non-Calvinist. Arminianism is by nature opposed to Calvinsim. Call it what it is, anti-Calvinism. As J316C demonstrated, the orgiastic angst against Calvinism as embedded in the Arminian dregs, find full expression in those who are drunk on them.

To use the same bravado, we Allen critics stand by White, and we see no evidence that Allen has proved his case.

Allen quoted Phil Johnson’s primer on Hyper-Calvinism:

1.    Denies that the gospel call applies to all who hear, OR
2.    Denies that faith is the duty of every sinner, OR
3.    Denies that the gospel makes any ‘offer’ of Christ, salvation, or mercy to the non-elect (or denies that the offer of divine mercy is free and universal), OR
4.    Denies that there is such a thing as “common grace,” OR
5.   Denies that God has any sort of love for the non-elect.
[www.spurgeon.org]

Now notice the subtle shift in terminology, exactly what White in his phone-in conversation was trying to clarify:

I would encourage the reader to take a look at this Primer for himself. The Primer clearly leaves the reader with the impression, if not out and out states, that a denial of God’s universal saving will is a component of hyper-Calvinism.

Phil says: “Denies that the gospel call applies to all who hear”

Allen says: “a denial of God’s universal saving will

One wonders why Allen is compelled to insert will when it is not present in Phil’s list. What is meant by Gospel call, all who hear, applies? What is meant by offer? In what way is it offered? As potentiality, or as reality? Has God provided a hypothetical salvation or an actual one? What is meant by will? Is there one will that intends the salvation of everyman, and another that intends the salvation of just some? Allen avoided the discussion of the decrees of God in his presentations and now wants to insert his preconceived notions. A misstep, a miscue? Or, a calculated misdirection. For White does necessarily involve the decrees and now we get Allen trying to accuse by what was not made clear in Allen’s presentation. Might we all agree, then, that Allen views God as schizophenic by what he has not said? Is universal desire different than universal saving will? Is the salvific intent the same for both elect and non? Is there even a salvific intent to save the non-elect (a contradiction in God)? Is the free offer particularly intended, or is it indifference and an open offer?

James White’s phone conversation took place in the context of the previous callers, and primarily a debate with Steve Gregg, which, Tony Byrne failed to include, or even mention; a slight of hand move that has come to be known as a ynottony. Allen follow’s the same deceptive pattern. White had just finished his debate series with Steve Gregg and is following up with a DL program on the subject. What White is attempting is to clarify is the language that is used. For many, like Allen, are inaccurate in using terms, not making a differentiation according to context. As I demonstrated, White does not disagree with others within the 5-Point camp, as he has been accused of doing:

In this article White says:

Christ gave Himself in behalf of His Church, His Body, and that for the purpose of cleansing her and making her holy. If this was His intention for the Church, why would He give Himself for those who are not of the Church? Would He not wish to make these “others” holy as well? Yet, if Christ died for all men, there are many, many who will remain impure for all eternity. Was Christ’s death insufficient to cleanse them? Certainly not. Did He have a different goal in mind in dying for them? [I am not here denying that the death of Christ had effects for all men, indeed, for all of creation. I believe that His death is indeed part of the "summing up of all things" in Christ. But, we are speaking here solely with the salvific effect of the substitutionary atonement of Christ. One might say that Christ's death has an effect upon those for whom it was not intended as an atoning sacrifice.] No, His sacrificial death in behalf of His Church results in her purification, and this is what He intended for all for whom He died.

This accords with Piper, perfectly, but White avoids the “two-wills” language because he is defending the intent of the atonement and not its expression in evangelistic terms. The latter, both the Arminian and the Calvinist agree with, the former is where the debate is, which Allen had avoided except in his allegations of hyper-Calvinism. As White makes clear and I have verified, he has addressed this issue many times and harmonizes with the majority of Calvinist history, doctrinally.

David Allen needs to actually listen to the call, and the debates and actually read the books that he boasts of having. I don’t think that Allen is really capable of debating White, however. Annd even though I have said that probably the best debate would be with Tony Byrne (a.k.a.) ynottony, also known as the Byrner, and referred to in Scripture as Dichostasia, since Dr. Allen has chosen to further his attack of White on his own two feet without the crutch of TB, condemning White as one of those “other Baptists” as if no other tradition can inform the elite of the SBC, then perhaps, Allen is not like one of the typical blowhards of the SBC inner sanctum, as White has previously said, who will not debate. Now, with a looming sin of false witness to go along with the misrepresentations of historical writtings, the history of the SBC, et cetera, hanging like a dense cloud around Allen, Tony Byrne, Seth McBee, et al, and seeing that Allen has lied, again:

White denies the well-meant or “sincere” nature of God’s offer of the gospel to all men “in general”.

it is most likely not if, but when a debate will occur, and if not, then a paper rebuttal. White indicated in his woodshed treatment of Seth, that there might be such a written response. Would either suffice? Knowing these types of politicians, probably not.

To repeat one more time, note how Allen defines the terms through the presuppostion of his romanish semi-Pelaianism. What he cannot allow for, for it would defeat his whole agenda, is that others do not share his limited vocabulary. Compare the terms and ask: Are both parties asking the same questions? If they are not using the same terms with like definitions, then no. He has challenged both Johnson and White to defend themselves. Well, does that mean Allen is willing to debate, or is the idiot wind of the SBC just a whiny breeze waffing through a cracked window?

Update: White begins response to David Allen’s false accusations.
Update: Tom Ascol who was also pitted against James White responds (Yarnell visits).
Update: White has responded to Allen on his DL program.
Update: Phil Johnson Responds to Allen
Update: White issues another statement
Update: White Begins DVD Review Of J316C
Update: Dr. Clark give some insight to the controversy.