President of the SBC preaches on Calvinism
Dr. Paige Patterson, President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC and also President of the Southern Baptist Convention, spoke on the subject of election in a chapel service at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary on September 10. With Romans 8:29-30 as his text, Dr. Patterson sought to dispel the notion that Southern Baptist conservatives will split over the doctrine of election.
According to a Baptist Press report, Dr. Patterson stated that "any approach to soteriology which omits the Bible doctrine of election is incomplete, inadequate and misleading." Further, he said, "Oftentimes to hear evangelists preach and to hear some of our own Southern Baptist preachers preach, you would think that the doctrine of election never appeared on the pages of sacred writ at all, and to fail to take it into thorough consideration is incomplete, inadequate and misleading."
Dr. Patterson also noted that any treatment of the doctrine of election must take into account the entire biblical witness without "facile handling" of certain texts. He illustrated this by pointing to "a popular handling of the doctrine of election by the uninformed" who dismiss references in Scripture to "the elect" by explaining away election as a sinner breaking a tie vote between God and the devil. "Have you ever heard an absurd explanation like that?" he asked. "All you can say is it is not made by someone who takes the Scripture seriously."
Similarly, Dr. Patterson warned Calvinists not to attempt exegetical gymnastics with the "whosoever will" passages so as to make them say "whosoever, of the elect." Calling for humility and a "white-hot passion" for evangelism, Dr. Patterson went on to say that any construal of the election which makes one more an evangelist of a doctrinal system "than an evangelist of Jesus and his atonement is seriously at odds with the Scripture." (This report is taken from the BP article by Russ Moore)
Founders Youth Conference Changes Venue
The Southern Baptist Founders YOUTH Conference is moving out of Florida after 12 years. The 1999 conference is scheduled for June 21-25 on the campus of Toccoa Falls Bible College in Toccoa Falls, Georgia, located one hour northeast of Atlanta. The theme for the conference is "The Providence of God." Cost is $200 per person if registration is received by April 30. Late registration costs $225. A $75 deposit is required and should be sent in as soon as possible since space is limited. For more information contact Conference Coordinator, Bill Ascol, at (318) 798-7088; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Southwest Regional Founders Conference
The Southern Baptist Founders Conference Southwest met September 22-24 for the first time at Heritage Baptist church, Mansfield, Texas. Mansfield is in the south-central area of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. For several years First Baptist Church of Roosevelt, Lubbock, Texas, under the very able leadership of Pastor Rusty Canoy, hosted the conference.
The theme this year was "Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God." The meetings were blessed with some of the best preaching which the organizers have ever heard at any conference. Our speakers were Dr. Don Whitney, of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Dr. Walter Johnson, of North Greenville Baptist College, Evangelist R. F. Gates, Dr. Sam Tullock, and Planning Committee members and Pastors Tom Chantry, Dr. Fred Malone, and Bob Selph. Heritage Baptist Church is thankful to have been asked to host the conference. It was a privilege to be of service to the LORD's people in this way, and it was a very unifying experience for our congregation. It is a great blessing to join with the Founders Ministry in the work of the Kingdom of Christ. Several pastors, seminary students, and lay people from the DFW area, who had not previously attended, came and enjoyed the conference. All reports from those who attended have been very encouraging, so much so that we look forward to hosting the conference next year. The plans are to hold it Thursday, September 30 through Saturday, October 2, 1999. The theme will be, "Our Triune LORD." A seminary student luncheon is planned after the last session on Saturday afternoon. Contact Pastor Larry E. Vincent Heritage Baptist Church, 817-551-6337, email@example.com
Founders Press Announces New Book
Pentecost -- Today? by Iain Murray is scheduled for release by the end of the year by Founders Press. This book, which is a joint venture with Banner of Truth, is built on the lectures which Mr. Murray gave at the 1997 Founders Conference. The important topic of revival is analyzed from biblical, theological and historical perspectives in light of modern claims which are being made, especially in North America. It is 240 pages, hard back, and will retail for $19.99. Copies may be ordered from Founders Press at the introductory discounted price of $15.00 (plus 10% shipping and handling).