To Dr. Tom Ascol:
...There's an issue I'd like to address to you. In studying many of the Dutch theologians, I was constantly bombarded with two things: deep and meticulous thought (good), but also bitter and vitriolic criticisms of one another (bad). I want to commend you and those of the Founders ministry for your deep and meticulous thought, and at the same time the "class" and civility you show to your critics.
I was proud to read the responses to Dr. Estep in the summer issue of the journal [#29]. I found myself with my mouth wide open as I read through his article from the Baptist Standard. I still find myself amazed at the fact that this misinformed attack came from a professor of church history. Nevertheless, the response to him was as Albert Mohler said--"a respectful and thoughtful" response and as you hoped such discussion would be--"conducted on a high level."
There are many young men in ministry who want to be pleasing to their King, and we look to fellow pastors to help us learn to carry the doctrines of grace and Reformed thinking into our every day ministries. I am pleased that you give us an example in believing that the truth has its own inherent power to transform and reform our thinking (and as a consequence, our lives) without needing to misrepresent or belittle our critics, or engage in inflammatory and personal attacks. Thank you.
C. N., Sarasota, FL
Dear Dr. Ascol,
Greetings in the name of our sovereign Lord.
Someone sent me a back issue of the Founders Journal, which thrilled my soul with articles of sound teaching. I have been devoted to the Doctrines of Grace for many years, and have sought to expound them in my ministry.
I am writing to enquire if the magazine is still available, and how can I go about becoming a subscriber? If you are not the right person to answer my query, would you be so kind as to pass this letter to the one responsible?
I have been a Baptist minister for 38 years, 32 of which have been spent in Australia. Unfortunately, we are seeing the denomination swerve away from the principles and practices of biblical theology to a popular entertaining gospel, which deceives rather than saves the soul.
May the Lord bless your magazine to the glory of our great God.
Through grace alone,
B. S., Australia
Let me thank you for my subscription to the Founders Journal. This is a journal of real "substance", well worth the subscription price. And we are so glad to commend your serious--and fruitful--efforts to bring at least a good number of Southern Baptist pastors back to their Calvinist roots. May God bless your every effort.
I am mentoring a young SB pastor who is "typical" of so many others in his mixed theology. I would like him to examine the Founders Journal. Will you send him a sample copy? I'm enclosing a little help for the postage. Thank you.
In Christ Jesus,
I want to thank you so much for the Founders Journal and the encouragement it has been to me.
I was able to attend the Founders Conference this past summer for the first time. It was fantastic! The fellowship and the speakers were great…
Again, thank you for a great journal. For those of us at Southwestern Seminary who hold to the doctrines of grace it is a wonderful encouragement and resource. Keep up the good work!
W.D., Arlington, TX
...I am a Cumberland Presbyterian pastor of 13 years experience who read about the Founders growth in Christianity Today, explored your website, and am much intrigued.
I am a former Southern Baptist, with degrees from East Texas Baptist College and Southwestern Seminary, who wishes the Reformed option had been open to me during my seminary days. In fact, since Cumberland Presbyterians are more Arminian than Calvinist (we reject unconditional election, limited atonement, and irresistible grace, so we're "TP" rather than TULIP--a distinction that didn't bother me in the mid 80s but really concerns me now), I really wish I could be part of a group that had no problem with TULIP, even if I have to immerse folks.:-)
I read the online article on Church Growth [issue #30] and concur wholeheartedly. I tried the movement's theology and methodology in a new church development I pastored in the early 90s and found it wanting for much the same reasons.
I do have some questions. Are there really a number of SBC congregations following good Reformed theology, a la Spurgeon, et al? Is their number growing? How does one plug into them? How do they fight against the rampant Arminianism that seems such a part of SBC, Cumberland Presbyterian, and American evangelical life? Are they marginalized in SBC life because of their Reformed emphasis? I noticed one of your conferences was held in Lubbock--is Lubbock a hotbed for this movement? Are there SBC churches in Lubbock who are Reformed, not Arminian?
I am moving to the place where I must soon move to a denomination and/or church more in line with my new understanding of Reformed theology. Please pray for me that God will open doors.
Thank you for your time. Please write back with any comments or questions you may have.
Grace and peace,
C. B., via e-mail
Your new Online CD is great! Please send me another one so I can send it to a missionary-friend in Slovakia.
J. O., Amarillo, TX
Who are you? This is excellent material: A call of the Baptist to return to the original teachings of scripture as testified in Baptist history. This is like a call of repentance to the Baptist denominations who have strayed like lost sheep from true scriptural teachings--especially in regard to the nature of God and the true gospel, as opposed to the modern day pulpits who merely say that we just need to "believe in Jesus"--meaning a kind of belief that is apart from the sovereign grace of God in granting real faith that leads to repentance and the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit that converts a man or woman!…
Are you familiar with the Founders on-line? This is also excellent with a similar message. You should be at the forefront of their website to join in the effort. Please see their Abstract of Principles if you have not already. The Southern Baptists were originally Reformed too? What has happened? What apostasy has taken place! Their ministry is to "rebuild the walls" as Nehemiah did. Let's go to work!
Sincerely your brother in the tradition of Baptists,
B. S., via e-mail
. . . I praise God there are "reformation" Baptists in the SBC. I thought my Calvinistic beliefs would find no place among my lifelong denomination. I'm glad others are, like me, discovering (re-discovering) the great doctrines of the reformation we have so long ignored.
Looking forward to my first edition!
C. L., Layton, UT
I am a 69 year old woman; have been a Christian since age 14; have taught Sunday School and home Bible studies for many years. I love God's Word with all my heart.
I am just now learning (at this late date) things which have become very dear to me--things like the doctrine of election--things which should have been presented to me week by week by my pastor and through our Southern Baptist literature.
I love your little magazine, the Founders Journal, and read it from cover to cover, sometimes over and over again. I thank God for a man at the SBC convention meeting in Atlanta a few years ago who stood at the base of an esculator distributing them. I took one and have been enlightened and overjoyed with the truth in it.
…It is my prayer that our sovereign God will continue to bless your efforts. I thank you sincerely for your consideration of this request.
J. D., via email