Calvinists,Calvinists,Go Away..Come Again Some Other Day!!

When was the last time that a Calvinist spoke at one of our South Carolina Baptist meetings?There is an unwritten rule that they are not welcome,but a great host of Arminian men are more than welcome to speak year after year.Is there even one employee at the Baptist Building who holds to the historic doctrines of grace that our founding Fathers in the SBC embraced passionatly?

Tom Nettles,in his booklet,”Southern Baptist Sermons on Sovereignty and Responsibility”potrays four SBC Pastors who preached the doctrines of grace.He also gives a biographical sketch of each pastor.Each of these men would be branded “Hyper Calvinist”in SBC circles today.

W.B.Johnson,Southern Baptist Denominationalist:

“No single individual had more to do with determining the nature of the Southern Baptist Convention than W.B.Johnson.”So states James M.Morton,Jr.,in an article in Baptist History and Heritage.That Johnson was the first president of the Southern Baptist Convention surprised no one who was familiar with his unparalleled qualifications.

Johnson was born in South Carolina in 1782.He pastored churches in South Carolina and Georgia,and as a protege of Richard Furman ,fulfilled his ideals as Joshua did those of Moses.

From 1817 till his death Johnson was in South Carolina  Active and formative in associational work, he was one of those men who, in 1821, worked together to draft a constitution in founding the South Carolina Baptist state convention.  In 1825 , He was elected presidet of the South Carolina Baptsit Convention ,a position he held for twenty-eight years. 

When in 1845 division in the ranks of the General Missionary Convention became inevitable, Johnson, who served as president of the convention during the years 1841-1844, became a leading figure in the new organization for Baptists in the South.  Not only was he elected president of the consultative convention which met in Augusta, May 1845, but he was elected first president of the Southern Baptist Convention, a position he held until 1851.

His sermon,Love Characteristic of the Deity,was preached before the Charleston Baptist Association in November of 1812.This Association,the First Baptist Association in the South was founded in 1751 and adopted as its confession of faith the Second London Confession of 1689.The Association had maintained the Calvinism of the confession as a statement of Christian Orthodoxy at least until the end of the nineteenth century.

The sermon constitutes an accurate and muscular exposition of the doctrine of God’s love as illuminated by the doctrines of grace.

The particularity of the atonement looms large in Johnson’s sermon.”One great object that Christ had in view,in understanding the office of Mediator,was actually to redeem and introduce to glory,all believers in his name,all who are his people.”

The benefits of the atonement ,according to Johnson,do not adhere to the passion event itself but rather to the particularity of God’s decree.God,being compassionate toward particular individuals,gave them by covenant to the Son;and,on that basis,they are cosidered in him in his propitiatory death.Thus,interest in the atonement is imparted“according to the righteous and sovereign will of God.”

No,W.B.Johnson,a native of our great state would not be invited by Marshll Fagg to speak in any of our conferences.

Calvinists,Calvinists go away.We don’t want to hear what you say. (What a shame and disgrace)

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7 Comments on “Calvinists,Calvinists,Go Away..Come Again Some Other Day!!”

  1. Greg Bailey Says:

    You know Bill, I don’t think any other issue will destroy the SBC…correction, cause it problems as this one. Why? Not because it challenges evangelism…obviously 10% of the churches having Calvinstic values doesn’t have the effect we have noticed on the Conventions numbers. However, more and more young seminarians and and other young pastors do have very strong view on God’s soverignty and want to base their methods on Biblical views of God and Ministry, not the utilitarian, atheological pablum that passes for church order these days. If the state conventions in particular do not repent of this utilitarian bent, they may find their young leaders going to independents and Acts 29 type groups and sending their cash to New Tribes and other independent missions groups. The SBCV is terrible in their Richmond office on utilitarian values. My hope for SBC churches up here is that some of the younger guys that minister in Tidewater and out West sound very Piperistic when they explain their reason for being.
    Grace alone,
    Greg

  2. pastorinthewoods Says:

    Using the words of Page Patterson who would not describe himself as a Calvinist, “Someone asked me where will you find leaders for the SBC seminaries and organizations? He replied, ” Come visit a SBC seminary”. That is where you will find the next generation of Calvinist Southern Baptist who are tired of being blamed for all of the conventions woes. They are teaching theology and they are studying in seminaries all over this country.

  3. Greg Bailey Says:

    Amen.
    Dwight (and any other reader):
    I have said since I caught the disease…loving God’s soveriegnty…and watched it happen to others, that some of the SBC Conservative fathers (PP is one of mine also) may not have forseen what unleashing the Bible on folks again might do. The resurgence in Bible as a serious and supernatural record of God’s working in our world and His work to magnify His glory would out of necessity bring about a resurgence in Soveriegn Grace teaching. I take it you were at SEBTS around the same time I was during the late 90’s. I graduated in the spring of 00. When were you there and who left a mark on you?
    Greg

  4. pastorinthewoods Says:

    Greg,

    I graduated in 97. I appreciate Paige Patterson for his leadership at Southeastern. There are many young professors there now that will be teaching sound theology for a long time. Dr. Hammett was one of my favorite theology teachers. He is a little under the radar but his perspective on theology comes from his years as a missionary. Dr. McDill was very influential in my preaching methodolgy. He was not well liked by those who felt they already had it figured out but I still use much of his sermon preparation and delivery methods. Danny Akin left a short time after I arrived but his published notes on Systematic theology have been very influential in my life and found there way into my DMIN project research. Dr. Hottub was my pastor and I am so thankful that he was. I had never had an experienced pastor take so much time and be so open with me. I learned so much from his preaching and also from the opportunities to just sit and talk with him about different things.

    I am going to graduate from New Orleans this December. I was interested in seeing the difference in Southeastern and New Orleans when I began the program. I have grown to love the staff at New Orleans. The students and the staff at New Orleans have the perspective that they are on the front line. There efforts to grow their extension centers are efforts to prepare those who are already serving in the ministry field. When I was at Southeastern I felt many of the students were hiding from the world by being in the classroom and maybe we were. It was good to have those years to do nothing but concentrate on learning.

  5. Greg Bailey Says:

    John Hammett will never know (even though I have told him and email him every so often) the effect he has had on me. His stammering really had a personal effect on me…and my weaknesses. His opening statement in ST was foundational…”I only have one year to help you formulate the foundation of your life in ministry.” I fear not many other guys actually got that. If you haven’t you should listen to his chapel lecture on the “Lost Baptist Mark of the Church.” in the SEBTS chapel for Spring 07.
    Dr. McDill did teach me how to preach. I brought a little of my pastor in Greenville, SC in (a touch of redemptive historical), but I still pull out 12 steps worksheets. My most recent pastor here taught himself to preach using the 12 steps and it works. He also asked us a powerful question during sermon prep. “How many of you out there are theologians?” Only 2 or 3 of us raised our hand. “If you aren’t theologians, what are you going to preach to your people? Become theologians!”
    Dr. Catanzaro (came in 98 to help transition to more Biblical Counseling model) though not the greatest lecturer, was foundational to me. The Bible is not only inerrant, but it is sufficient!
    The church education department was instrumental in a negative way. I knew after 4 or 5 classes that program based church was not Biblical or even really effective.
    If I had to read PDC one more time I would have jumped from the chapel steeple.
    Dr. Harper in Church History. Conquered my first seminary challenge to faith.
    Dr. Lanier in NT and Greek. Just a very neat and Godly man. Broad knowledge of humantities and philosophy.
    Grace To You
    Greg

  6. pastorinthewoods Says:

    I forgot to mention Dr. Lanier. He has a powerful testimony and a sincere love for teh Bible. His NT class was my first calss during my first semester. I had Dr. Puckett for Church History, I believe he was a true blue Calvinist although he never made a point of telling anyone.

    Good to hear from you. I do not remember if we ever met. Keep Preaching

    Dwight

  7. luther m walters Says:

    freedom of the believer. i am not 100% calvinist or 100% arminian. i believe in free will.


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