I am currently serving on the board of trustees of Southern Seminary. I was elected to serve in 1986 by the SBC meeting in Atlanta, GA. I will have completed my ten-year tenure next year. I have been privileged to witness the beginning of the reformation at our mother seminary. God has richly blessed the board of trustees by giving us the vision to employ Al Mohler as its president. Thank you for your kind words of support in issue #21,Summer 1995. A good friend passed it on to me. Enclosed is my check for a two-year subscription.
I just wanted you and the editorial staff to know how much I appreciate the Founders Journal. I heard about it from Timothy George, and I enjoy reading every issue. By God's grace I became convinced of the truth of the doctrines of grace about three years ago.
I graduated from SBTS with an MDiv in `87. Of course, while there I got a good dose of Arminianism, esp. when I read Dr. Moody's systematic theology for my intro class. Since there were few there at the time to defend the doctrines of grace (Dr. George being a notable exception), I, like most Southern Baptists, bought into the Arminian line without much question. Still, whenever I would read the Scriptures, all that talk of grace, election, foreknowledge, predestination, and choosing really bothered me. I started re-thinking my theology, but I really didn't want to become a (gasp!) "cold-hearted Calvinist!" Who, me? Why, I believe in evangelism!
As time went on, however, God led me to a complete affirmation of the doctrines of grace. Actually, I was investigating our Baptist roots due to the SBC Controversy. Along the way, I came across Tom Nettles' book, By His Grace and For His Glory. Along with my own study of the Scriptures, this book caused a turning point in my theological thinking. Since I have affirmed and pursued the study of the doctrines of grace, with their concomitant emphasis on the sovereignty of God, I have begun to revise my entire theological perspective. I have come to understand, as J. I. Packer so clearly put it in his introduction to Owen's Death of Death, that the faith summarized in the doctrines of grace is nothing less than the gospel.
The Founders Journal is one of the few places in Southern Baptist life that I have found this theology affirmed and supported. Most Southern Baptists, whether fundamentalist, conservative, moderate, or liberal, seem to center their theology on human sovereignty, rather than the sovereignty of God. Thank you for standing firm "for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints" (Jude 3).
By His Grace,
Thanks for an outstanding article on the subject of Baptists and Baptism. Your statement, "These `drive-by-baptisms' not only cheapen the ordinance from which Baptists take their name, they also leave widespread spiritual carnage in their wake," is a shockingly true fact that our Baptist denomination needs to understand. Thanks for writing clearly and boldly on such a needed subject area. . . .
I am pastor of a small SBC church in Fayetteville, Arkansas. I am writing, first of all, to let you know how much I appreciate the ministry provided by the Founders Journal. It is a true voice of hope and encouragement to pastors like myself who are Reformed, yet ministering in churches and associations where Reformed thought is a decided minority. Keep up the good work! . . .