Aug 6, 2010

Plans & Agenda

I have been very busy in my ministerial duties the past couple months and I have a "full plate" of things yet to do. I am in the last two weeks of my 16 week seminary/bible school class on "The Gospel in the Stars." This has been a bible class that has required much of my time. We have had two classes each week for two hours each class. I am also now involved in a short four week class on Sunday mornings for all those who teach or preach, or want to do so, in the church, on "homiletics." I also had a recent class where I taught on the subject of "interpretation." I talked about interpreting the bible, the events of history, and the events of our personal lives.

I should be done with these classes in the next 2-3 weeks and will have some free time to work on other things. I need to prepare my materials for my upcoming four night debate, with Campbellite Bruce Reeves, of Conway, Arkansas, on the question of whether election to salvation is conditional or unconditional. This will occur here in Monroe the first part of November.

I hope I will have time to continue editing my writings on the Hardshells and then go on to adding chapters and hopefully completing the massive work one day!

I have my favorite blogs and web pages that I visit, some not as much as I would like, however, due to constraints of time and other priorities.

One such web page I recently visited, one authored by a Southern Baptist pastor who opposes, in some respects, the presence of Calvinism in the Southern Baptist Convention of churches, and which also has Dr. Malcom Yarnell, a SBC seminary professor, as a sometimes commenter, and a supported of the blog and pastor, asserted that the bible does not teach "original sin" as historically believed by Calvinists. It was argued that the bible teaches only that men inherit Adam's fallen nature, and suffer evil consequences for it, but do not inherit or receive the "guilt." It was argued that men are born "innocent." It was argued that they therefore needed no regeneration or salvation from sin and guilt. It was also argued that this is what is taught in the latest, twentieth century, revisions of the Baptist Faith and Message, and supported their assertions, and that it represented historic and traditional Baptist teaching. I began to engage the author, pastor Peter Lumpkins, and Dr. Yarnell, and others, about these things. The subject also involved a discussion of what the bible says about the state of those who die in "infancy." You can read the article by Peter and the comments in the comment section, here

I told them that their view was almost completely the same as the Campbellites, and they even admitted it! I was really surprised to see Southern Baptists leaving this landmark of Southern Baptist faith. Certainly the founders of the SBC did not believe as Lumpkins and Yarnell. Peter attempted to prove this by citing John Smyth, a General Baptist. But, the pedigree of Southern Baptists is not of the General, but of the Particular Baptists, of those who embraced the London and Philadelphia confessions of faith. These confessions of faith, however, do not support the assertions of Lumpkins and Yarnell. I did of course offer to formally debate this topic, which I have formally done in years past with the Campbellites.

There was also a small discussion about the so called age of accountability. It was argued to me that the bible taught that men sin, but, if they do not know it is sin, then they are not guilty!

Interestingly, I asked these brethren how their views are in harmony with their view that Christ made an atonement for the sins of all men. If Christ died for all men, or the whole human race, without exception, then he must have died for those who die in infancy. Ergo, those dieing in infancy are judged as being guilty sinners, or else we affirm that Christ died for others who were not guilty sinners.

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