Al Mohler and Danny Akin: How Can This Be True for the Calvinist?

Last week Dr. Al Mohler tweeted the following statement: “The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time.” quoting Carl Henry. Today, Dr, Danny Akin tweeted the same statement with the following personal comment: “This statement continually haunts me!”

I find this very confusing IF calvinism is true. If calvinism is true, then the gospel HAS to get there in time because God is the One who efficaciously causes it to be so; otherwise it is not going to matter anyway.

The real problem for me is this. These guys fully understand the implications of their theological systems. They know that it is impossible for the gospel to “not get there in time” since it is God who is the One who decides who will and will not be saved in the first place.

So why even publish such a statement? Are ethics and integrity in theology going by the wayside?

Maybe I am missing something here.

Can ANYONE help me out???

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Interested in bringing the issues facing The Southern Baptist Convention to light.
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26 Responses to Al Mohler and Danny Akin: How Can This Be True for the Calvinist?

  1. JD Hall says:

    No, I don’t think anyone can help you.

    • sbcissues says:

      Cute. Let me ask you a question… would you post such a statement? Am I missing something here? Try answering that one if you will.

    • james jordan says:

      I can. They know the gospel won’t get there is time for many, because they’ve made it their life’s work to prevent it from getting there in time by supplanting it with their false gospel.

  2. Ken says:

    Permit me to help you out, SBC Issues. Simply stated, I liken the philosophy of Calvinists within the SBC to that of the Communists – the end justifies the means. Therefore, any nefarious actions(in this instance, confusion) are justifiable as long as those actions support their goal. And make no mistake about it: the goal of the Calvinists, especially Aiken and Mohler and their supporters, is to wrestle complete control of the SBC from conservative, Bible-believing Christians regardless of the methods they need to use to do so. Unfortunately, they have the blind eyes of the entire SBC leadership at this time.

    • sbcissues says:

      Ken,

      I agree that calvinism is the issue of the hour in the SBC and obviously the SBC leadership is quiet about it. I am not sure why; I am really afraid these guys are more interested in being invited to each others conferences and seminaries to speak than they are the future of the SBC… if Mohler’s man wins the presidency of the SBC in Baltimore I believe the SBC will be forever changed and will become a reformed convention.

      • Ken says:

        Bob

        You are so right. Allow me to add another reason to yours on why I think the SBC leadership is so quiet and accommodating on this Calvinism issue. After several email exchanges with Fred Luter and Frank Page over the past year, I am convinced it is also because they are afraid that a split convention will result in problems with their (and others) insurance and retirement annuity benefits and that is more important to them than being supporters of God’s Word.

        Actually, I am probably much less confident in the continued viability of the SBC than even you. In fact, since the June, 2013 convention, I have almost totally written off the SBC. Based on what I have read on some blogs and news media, plus the alarming statistics showing drastic declines in baptisms and church attendance over the past several years among SBC churches, I have been telling my Sunday School class of senior men that I feel that perhaps America has been undergoing punishment from God for several years so what we need to do is pray unceasingly for repentance and revival in hopes that God will lift his hand of punishment and restore our nation to its former state of favor with Him. Still, I cling to a slight hope that I’m wrong.

      • sbcissues says:

        Ken,

        Thanks for the perspective. I have heard the argument with respect to the benefits etc… not sure that is as big of a reason. My point is when the entities of the convention are moving in a certain direction the convention will follow. That is exactly what was taking place prior to the conservative resurgence and that is what has taken place since.

        Mohler and company have done a masterful job of moving the convention in a reformed direction and they have been infinitely successful. Their networking efforts are paying MAJOR dividends and I am fairly confident baring a special move of God that Mohler’s designate will be elected president of the SBC and that will indeed spell trouble for the future of the SBC.

        I am confident that there will be more seminary aged messengers in Baltimore than there will be typical traditional pastor messengers. I do not believe Baltimore is an accidental choice for the convention. I believe it was a premeditated move to give Mohler and his group the location they need to pull of this monumental move to take the SBC in a reformed direction.

        I doubt there is ANYONE much more pessimistic than I am on the future of the SBC… As far as the statistics there are a number of scenarios that are affecting those numbers…some are I believe intentionally deceptive and others the result of poor reporting over the years and the result of churches bringing the numbers in line with the current stats.

        As for declining baptisms… some of it is a deliberate lack of reporting… and some of it is I believe a reflection of the spiritual condition ( or a lack thereof) of a nation of people that have decided decades ago that they do not need God. Our culture from the influence of television on families to the socialistic turn that is so prevalent in our society in general and epecially in our schools is reaping havoc on hte younger generations and this is nothing new; it has been slowly evolving over the last 50 years and now is in full swing I believe and that with the culture of entertainment we are bombarded with has led to an individualistic society that has instant gratification as a goal and can really care less about much of anything else.

        All that spells doom for a society in general and the church and family for that matter.

        We do need revival and a supernatural move of God in our land if this is EVER going to change. That is why I believe the world needs a healthy SBC and not a reformed SBC.

    • Lydia says:

      I think you are on to it, Ken. In the end, no one knows what they REALLY believe unless they focus soley on actions. Not words.

  3. Lydia says:

    “After several email exchanges with Fred Luter and Frank Page over the past year, I am convinced it is also because they are afraid that a split convention will result in problems with their (and others) insurance and retirement annuity benefits ….”

    I think this one is bigger than most people might realize.

  4. Ken says:

    Bob:

    You present an interesting point about the breakdown of the family leading to certain doom for both society and the family. And its also interesting that you note that the downfall began 50 years or so ago. For, back in 1968, I was selected to preach the Layman’s Day sermon at the 11:00 A.M.worship service at my church. My sermon title was “God’s desires for the family” and one of the points I made in my sermon was that the greatest obstacle facing the American famliy was and will be “the mass exodus of our women from the home place to the work place.” Of course, I got a lot of static from women about that statement at the time (and I suspect I will receive some from this posting) but I am absolutely certain that my observation was prophetic. There is no doubt in my mind that the lack of mother supervision and care is the predominant factor in today’s family woes.

    I have never attended a SBC convention but since the 2014 meeting will be just about 45 minutes from my home I am considering leading a contingent of conservative Baptists from my church to the convention. Of course, since we have a Calvinist as pastor we may never get appointed messengers in order to vote. But, then, at almost 82 years of age nine months is a long time to plan ahead. So, wish me and us luck!

  5. Ken says:

    Bob:

    I wanted to advise your viewers of a very subtle misleading statement in the fall Bible Studies For Life literature distributed by Lifeway for 1st and 2nd graders that illustrates the necessity for careful screening of Lifeways literature. My wife teaches a second grade SS class, and in the literature given to the children the following statement appeared: “Jesus knew many of the verses in our Bible.” I quickly pointed out to Lifeway that although that statement is not technically incorrect it is horribly misleading because the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God; therefore we know that Jesus not only knew but still knows every jot and tittle ever written of God’s Holy Word. The editor, Jeff Land, seemed sincere in his response that such a statement was in line with what they thought the second graders could absorb but felt that “in hindsight perhaps it would have been more accurate to omit the word ‘many.'”

    Maybe I am a little paranoid but after all the Calvinist subterfuge that has permeated the Gospel Project series of literature I urge alI Bible-believing Christians to very critically scrutinize all literature distributed by Lifeway – especially everything provided to children.

  6. I’ll try this log on.

    “I believe it was a premeditated move to give Mohler and his group the location they need to pull of this monumental move to take the SBC in a reformed direction.”

    Bob, premeditated? By whom? Who is in charge of setting the future convention cities? And how is Baltimore so well suited to pull off the end game of this conspiracy?

    • sbcissues says:

      These dates are set well in advance… I am not sure who exactly selects the dates and negotiates the contracts… but to go to Baltimore in 2014, Columbus Oh in 2015 and then St Louis in 2016 is simply wrong. But that is what we have… and then Dallas in 17 and then out west 2018… Vegas or Phoenix I think. This convention will most likely be made up of more seminary students that any single group and that in and of itself is problematic but it is what it is.

  7. Bob, I think I see what you’re saying. Not in the SE where there a majority of older churches I suppose. But, I have a hard time seeing so many sem students having the $$ to make all those trips.

    • sbcissues says:

      Baltimore is in the back yards of Southern and Southeastern and also Mark Dever’s church. It will also be the least attended for the more traditional guys… being outside the south… there is no real pull for a trip to Baltimore like it would be to Nashville, Atlanta, Orlando etc. Plus… the only thing the convention really does that has ANY meaning is elect a president… and attendance is now down period… so 2500 students will in all likelihood be a majority group in Baltimore and that could spell trouble for the outcome of the convention itself.

  8. SBC attender says:

    A few things about this post and comments don’t make sense to me? I thought a couple years ago everyone was lamenting the fact that the SBC annual meeting was nothing but grey heads and “How do we get young leaders engaged?” Now its being overrun by seminarians?!? I also agree with Les, I don’t see students having the $ to fund the trip. It was also a major discussion point after the Houston convention this year that attendance was cost prohibitive. How do these two things go together? As far as Baltimore being in the backyard of Southern, it is at least a 9 hour drive-Nashville or Atlanta would be a lot closer. I think the idea that the locations are conspiratorial is comical. A committee is put together and these things voted on by the floor years in advance. That’s like saying Dallas in ’17 is Paige Patterson’s puppeteering.

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  10. rhutchin says:

    Dr. Mohler is president of a seminary who seeks to encourage and energize young men entering the pastorate. His tweet seeks to do this. The Calvinist message is that God is in control and God is using believers to accomplish His purposes. Thus, God sends pastors (and all believers) out to a dying world to bring people to salvation “just in time” through the preaching of the gospel. The point of Mohler’s message to his seminary students is that they should be relentless in preaching the gospel with the certain knowledge that they are God’s agents and that God is sending them out to save people “just in time.”

    • sbcissues says:

      I agree with your comment 100%; the problem is that this is not at all consistent with the tenets of calvinism which is my point. If God effectually calls individuals to new life then it is impossible for the gospel to “to not get there in time.” And for the record, the preaching of the gospel cannot be the means God uses to bring new life to dead hearts, deaf ears and blinded eyes IF He has to give new life to them so that they can BEGIN to respond to the gospel. This is my MAJOR problem with consistent calvinism; it is too inconsistent in its application.

      • rhutchin says:

        If the unsaved are dead in sin and are as described in Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 1:23 (seeing the gospel as foolishness) and 2 Corinthians 4 (blinded by Satan and headed for destruction), then they cannot respond positively to the gospel on their own. Something has to change in them. Calvinists say that God must change the person such that the person is then able to respond to the preaching of the gospel – and that God does this with respect to the elect. That is one way God can bring about the salvation of the elect.

        An alternative is for God to enpower the preaching of the gospel to be the means to both change the person and then draw the elect to salvation. Regardless which system one holds to, the unsaved must be changed (regenerated) before he can believe. Under any system of depravity, the unsaved do not have the ability to believe the gospel so regeneration is required in some sense for any person to believe. As I understand it, only the Pelagians say that the unsaved are so depraved as to be unable to respond to the gospel through simple common sense counter to what Romans and Corinthians say.

      • sbcissues says:

        rhutchin,

        Here is the deal. Men are depraved. They need to be saved. My problem is with total depravity and inability which are philosophical conclusions calvinism posits to build its theology. While you say man CANNOT respond positively to God’s initiative in salvation, I say God is sovereign enough to speak to His created beings if that is what He says He will do and obviously the Scriptures and the command to share the gospel is evidence enough for me that this is the case.

        I would be more inclined to accept the second of the scenarios you presented. However that still poses a serious problem with the inability position and that is until God effectually calls the unregenerate the dead hearted, deaf eared, blinded eyed individual cannot respond to those things. Also… those would have to be progressive which effectual call cannot be. If you are going to stick with the total depravity/inability position you cannot vary from it with some proposal of progressive revelation or regeneration. Not even close to being logical.

        Thanks for the dialogue.

      • sbcissues says:

        And just for kicks… the 3 references you listed for being dead in one’s sin and not being able to respond positively on their own are not very convincing. Romans 1:1?

      • rhutchin says:

        Regarding “…the 3 references…are not very convincing.” That’s fine.

        The point here is to define the concept of “Total Depravity.” Total Depravity can be defined to mean that:

        1. The unsaved hear the gospel preached and and respond to the gospel by calling it foolishness (1 Corinthians 1).
        2. The unsaved are blinded by Satan so that the gospel is hidden from them when they hear it preached. (2 Corinthians 4).
        3. Of the unsaved it is said, “when they knew God, they glorified him not as God.” (Romans 1)
        4. …etc based on other verses speaking to the issue.

        These verses are the start to defining what is meant by “Total Depravity.” You don’t find it convincing – presumably because you don’t think this means that the unsaved is unable to respond to the gospel by believing – but you don’t seem to object to these verses being used to define what “Total Depravity” means.

        You also say, “I say God is sovereign enough to speak to His created beings if that is what He says He will do…” which suggests that you understand Total Depravity to be “inability” requiring God “to speak to His created beings” if they are to be able to believe – the unsaved cannot believe unless, and until, God speaks to them (Saul/Paul would be an example).

  11. sbcissues says:

    rhutchin,

    My point with respect to the Scriptural references you listed is this: people make bold statements and then tag some Scripture references that do not support the conclusions they made. I do understand that man is deceitfully wicked in his sin. Anyone who would disagree with that is not worth discussing these issues. However, to go to the extreme and suggest depravity/inability is not Scripturally warranted in my view. That is my point.

    I do not believe the Bible teaches that God has to “save someone” so that they can THEN repent and exercise believing faith to be “born again.”

    If I did not believe that God had to “speak to His created beings” for them to be saved then I would in effect be saying that I believe man has the ability to earn a right standing before God on his own apart from the work of God’s grace for one to be saved. I do not believe that. Salvation is all of God from start to finish; He has made provision for salvation in Christ Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross; He has set the provisions for an individual’s forgiveness which involves revelation, reconciliation, which are God’s sole initiative and it also requires man’s repentance (response) to His revelation and reconciliation… which brings redemption and regeneration which are followed by reconstruction (sanctification) and then resurrection (glorification)

    How is that for 7 Points?

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