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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Calvinist Gadfly Awards Johnny Hunt

The Calvinist Gadly just recently awarded Johnny Hunt as the latest recipient of the Gadfly Award (Arminian Hall of Fame). Many of you will remember the antics which took place last summer at the SBC Pastor's Conference where Hunt ranted against election which triggered a firestorm on the blogosphere. In the course of the events, Nathan White, a former member of FBC Woodstock, was targeted by many "hunt-er's" (sorry, had to do it). The Gadfly has provided Nathan's three part response which provides a much deeper analysis and explanation of the theology of Hunt. And while there is no relation to Dave Hunt that I know of, I can attest that he heartily recommends his book What Love Is This? For more information about the award, click here. Therefore, in the spirit of that award, I think it would be necessary to provide the lyrics to Arminian Grace, a hymn that expresses the heart and theology of such Arminians. Here it is: Arminian Grace (To the tune of Amazing Grace) Arminian "grace!" How strange the sound, Salvation hinged on me. I once was lost then turned around, Was blind then chose to see. What "grace" is it that calls for choice, Made from some good within? That part that wills to heed God's voice, Proved stronger than my sin. Thru many ardent gospel pleas, I sat with heart of stone. But then some hidden good in me, Propelled me toward my home. When we've been there ten thousand years, Because of what we've done, We've no less days to sing our praise, Than when we first begun. (With apologies to John Newton) HT :: Challies


Blogger DJP said...

Really good, Timmy! I put it up over at my site, and added a verse; hope you don't mind.

2/09/2006 10:22:00 AM

Blogger Nathan White said...

Believe it or not Timmy (I'm sure you will believe it), WLIT? is required reading for all interns over at FBCW. That's right. Although Johnny is a very loving man and always has a young, future pastor under his wing, WLIT? is a requirement if you desire to participate in that program and learn from the man himself. And further still, WLIT? is also on the 'recommended reading' list given out to staff members.

(This information was passed along to me by a former intern and staff member who was there a few years ago.)


2/09/2006 10:31:00 AM

Blogger Timmy said...

Nathan, I first heard of the book when my good friend Brian Robinson came to my former church, and, because he was an intern to the pastor, he was required ot read the book over the summer. My former pastor, is a Hunt-er in that he has been mentored for the past six or so years by Hunt.

So I picked up the book and read it along with him. Together we read WLIT along with Willing to Believe and Grace Unknown by Sproul. It was quite funny to read these books side by side! Yeah, WLIT only has as much credibility as is forced upon it. It cannot hold on any merit whatsoever - theologically, biblically, logically, etc. That's why so many pastors are using their influence to promote it. People think, "If so and so reads and recommends this book, then it must be good."

Unfortunately, many Christians can't see past this . . . and this goes for those on any side of the camp.

2/09/2006 11:49:00 AM

Blogger Timmy said...


By the way, I downloaded that new version of IE (7.0 Beta 2) and like it a bit. However, I am having several issues with it. Are you?

For instance, I cannot type any text into Blogger for a post (text does not show). Also the graphics and pictures are often out of place. The connection speed also seems somewhat hampered by it. Do you think these are just a few kinks that can be corrected, or can I chalk this one up to my tech-retardedness, and I am just missing something here?

2/09/2006 11:50:00 AM

Blogger Alex F said...

Go download Mozilla Firefox and forget IE

2/09/2006 03:33:00 PM

Blogger Stephen Newell said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/09/2006 03:49:00 PM

Blogger Stephen Newell said...

How long ago was this "intern and staff member" there? I only ask this because I was an intern for 2 summers (2001-2002) and we weren't handed a list of "required reading" nor were we "required" to read anything like WLIT. The only thing interns were required to go through was FAITH evangelism training. Seeing as WLIT was published in 2004, I wonder where someone who was there "a few years ago" would have this knowledge.

Take it from a commenter who actually is a former intern--Johnny Hunt didn't try to indoctrinate the interns with anti-Calvinism at best or Arminianism at worst.

2/09/2006 03:57:00 PM

Blogger Nathan White said...


Yeah, I have noticed the exact same things with IE. It's weird trying to use it to post and stuff, at one point the text I was writing just disappeared! I do however, like the layout, and the brief security overview that was given was a little compelling. But it's definitely not just you that found some bugs.


WTIS? was actually first published in 2002. The original publisher dropped the book (another whole post could discuss that) after a short run, and in 2004 it was republished under a different publisher with many of the ridiculous errors deleted or covered up.

In response to your experience, I cannot argue with what you affirm to be true in your case. Granted, we should extend charity and affirm that the book was maybe not promoted to every single person without exception. However, I would reconcile this by understanding that the book wasnt published until 2002, as you were leaving etc. Either that, or the fact that the book went out of print for quite some time and was hard to find.

Nevertheless, I personally know several former staff members and a former intern who all have passed along the same information. Whether this is still the case, or how long this has been the case, I'm not sure of. But I am sure of the fact that 2002 through late 2003, this book was promoted to interns and staff members on a very regular and 'required' basis.


2/09/2006 06:25:00 PM

Blogger Timmy said...


On my end, let me say that the interns and pastor I am referring to is my former church - Clements Baptist Church - not First Baptist Woodstock. Nathan, as he has commented, I think answers your question. I will say that Hunt has amped up his anti-Calvinism greatly since 2001, however.


Firefox here I come . . . just don't spank me for taking so long!

2/09/2006 07:48:00 PM

Blogger Nathan White said...

Timmy, if you go Firefox, make sure and check out the 'ideal browser' I linked to on my blog. The RSS reader cuts my 'blog reading' time in half!


2/09/2006 09:40:00 PM

Blogger Nathan White said...

Dude, you should have heard the sermon(s) last night at the 'real evangelism' conference at FBCW! I won't go into detail here, but let me just say that between Herb Reavis and Johnny, there was another attack on Calvinism, with us 'bloggers' being mentioned as well (thankfully, not by name).

Anyway, it's actually very upsetting to me. For it appears that these men have no desire for accountability of their words. I guess it's time to stop casting pearls...

Oh, and after last night, instead of Bailey Smith and 'REAL Evangelism' conferences, I have honorably renamed the conference (especially after dropping MacArthur) the 'Arminian Gadly SURreal Evangelism conference'. :)


2/10/2006 08:48:00 AM

Anonymous Terri said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/10/2006 11:40:00 AM

Anonymous erin said...

I agree with Terri. Amen sister!! Who has this brought glory to? Not the Lord in any way, shape form or fasion. I am very disappointed. I know the influential personalities that some of you have and it scares me to think of the kids in particular that will read this and believe it and be drawn into thinking this way. There is a youth group who will be under Pastor Johnny this week. I pray that if they do read this blog, that it won't influence the way they look and listen to Pastor Johnny this week. I must say, I am disappointed. And Timmy, you know how hard this is for me to write this. It just shocked me that this would be on here.

2/10/2006 12:34:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terrible... but somewhat true.

2/10/2006 01:32:00 PM

Blogger Nathan White said...

Terri and Erin,

I was sad to see your words, although I do understand what it may look like from the outside.

Truth be told, Johnny has taken it upon himself to go on a ‘anti calvinism’ rampage, casting out staff members for even believing it, making bizarre near-heretical statements such as ‘he has elected everyone’, picking Calvinism apart every time he knows the world is watching etc. To hear your opinion only shows how you have not researched the issues here. Johnny is the one using his pulpit and his mega-church to shout down at us. He has been doing that for the past few years. Claiming ‘ivory tower’ to us meager bloggers is a terrible misunderstanding of the true circumstances in this issue. Johnny has made it his mission to fight this battle. We can only, as any faithful believer would, examine his public sermons and critique Hunt’s words with scripture. May we fear the day we take a man’s words as truth without consulting scripture! And may we fear the day that we refuse to speak when the words are clearly in error!

Johnny does read blogs. He read some comments I made one time and responded to them. Close staff members and family members read my blog and have responded before. He and I have also traded emails. So to say this is going on behind his back or something is not an accurate statement. He knows where I stand. He knows where we stand. He knows I believe he has distorted the true gospel. He has absolutely refused to be accountable for his words, and has refused to look at Holy Scripture to support his teachings.

This isn’t just a small issue here. This concerns the true nature of the gospel itself. I attended that church for 10 years in a blind haze. The easy believism and superficial gospel only confirmed me in my ‘redeemed but truly lost’ state. My conscience, being subject to the word of God, cannot allow me to be silent.

I pray above all else that these youth do come across these words. For I’ve been where they are right now. God-forbid that someone else is in the position I was once in.

2/10/2006 02:34:00 PM

Blogger Timmy said...

Alright. I just woke up a little while ago (I know that sounds weird), and I just got off the phone with Terri. She told me that she made some comments which were intended to be in jest and was taken the wrong way. Consequently, she has asked me to remove her comments and I will.


I have not listened to the Bailey Smith messages recently delivered and am not surprised about the attacks on Calvinism. Every Bailey Smith Conference I have been to (at least three I can remember) has been a "Let's not talk about evangelism but rant on Calvinism" conference. What else can you do when you cannot deal with Scripture? You play on peoples emotions and play on caricatures.


Not only do I hope that students (especially my former students) read this, I am heartened to know that you have been frequenting P&P. Haven't heard from anyone back in Athens quite a while here, and it's good to know that you are out there.

I am sorry that you are disappointed. However I am not sorry for holding Johnny Hunt and his Hunt-er's accountable who wish to attack other Christians and their beliefs from a firewalled pulpit and rally their base of a largely uncritical, undiscerning audience (when I say "uncritical," take it for what it is, not the "you are doing the work of the devil if you are critical"). I am deeply diasppointed by Johnny Hunt and for some time now. I believe he has wrongly used his pulpit, his influence, his denominational power, and elite status to intentionally and conspiratorially rail against Calvinism without any subtance, biblical support, and reasonableness. I also believe that he is not interested in the truth. He is interested only on getting his opinion out, irregardless of whether it is right or wrong.

I find it ironic that the very thing you are disappointed with me about is the very thing Johnny Hunt has unapologetically and unashamedly been doing now for several years. Morever, he doesn't want to called to the Scripture (as Nathan has done). What he wants you to do is close your Bible, say a hearty amen, and go on with your life. If a leader you admire won't square with Scripture and doesn't encourage you to do so as well, then something seriously is wrong here.

My encouragement to you and all other students who read this is to not say, "I am of Johnny Hunt," or "I am of Timmy Brister," or "I am of John Calvin." We are "of Christ" and should be committed to his truth. Therefore, as good Bereans, we should "search the Scriptures daily to see whether the things are so" (Acts 17:11). If the outcome of this any the delierate agenda of Johnny Hunt accomplishes this, then I think the purpose has been served - to the glory of God.

2/10/2006 04:31:00 PM

Blogger Timmy said...

Due to the sensitive nature of such a matter, I have thought of some things we could pray for.

let us pray:

for the glory of God to be seen in the face of Christ (2 Cor. 4:6)

that we would be good Bereans who diligently search the Scriptures (Acts 17:11)

that we would keep a close watch on our doctrine and our lives (1 Tim. 4:16)

for our leaders who instruct us in the counsel of God's Word (Heb 13:7)

that we would express all matters of truth in love (Eph. 4:15)

for a true reformation to take place in our churches (and denomination)

that God would work all things (even this) to the counsel of his will and praise of His glory (Eph. 1:11, 14)

that we would exhibit the chracteristics of a true servant of God (2 Tim. 2: 24-25)

and that whatever we do will be for the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31)

I understand that there are strong feelings about this from both sides (as I have mine), but let us bear in mind that what undergirds our convictions is the foundation of God's Word mediated through His Spirit. Thus, we should pray and ask the Spirit of Truth to guide us in all truth, to convict us where we are wrong, and to give us courage to humbly stand when we are right.

2/10/2006 07:34:00 PM

Blogger Nathan White said...

Amen Timmy, without love we are absolutely nothing.

To the casual reader it may seem as though I something personal against Johnny Hunt. That is not the case. Let it be known that I consider him to be a very loving man who truly has a heart for people. I cannot begin to express the kindness and compassion he has shown to me and my family.

But when it comes to doctrine, I find that we have little in common. And unfortunately, doctrine is the foundation which upon everything in this life is built. Critiquing Johnny isn't my 'hobby horse' -as some have slanderously said of me. Rather, I am outspoken -here and in the community in which I live- because I have been there. I have seen things that ought not to be. It is vastly important to me because of just that -I only wish someone would have woken me up from my slumber long before they did.

The only thing left to do now is pray. Please join me in praying for this man and his congregation.


2/10/2006 08:51:00 PM

Blogger Andy said...

Man, Timmy...

You won't hear me bashing Calvinist/Reformed Soteriologists/etc. nor will you hear me proclaiming that the doctrine that I lean towards is a perfect doctrine.

And why should I? There is simply no glory to God when one goes and mocks another brother/sister in Christ's beliefs.

We could proof-text all day on this. Pointing out Rom. 14:1, Eph. 4:29, Jam. 4:1, etc. but I'm more than sure you already know those verses quite well.

Was Hunt wrong for mocking reformed theology and those who subscribe to it? I believe so.

However, I'm afraid that you are in the same boat as Hunt with that poor attempt at humor called "Arminan Grace."

2/16/2006 11:30:00 AM

Blogger Outoftheshaker! said...

I will agree with Andy. With the way you are conducting your writings brings no Glory to God.
I will not talk agianst my brothers in Christ. Because you let a lost person read what all of you have been writing what is he to believe?

2/22/2006 07:30:00 PM

Blogger Timmy said...

Michael and Andy,

Did you read my post? What did I say? I reported that he was given the Calvinist Gadfly award. Period.

I do not see where you can argue that I am "bashing" or mocking Johnny Hunt here. I have been vocal about what Hunt has been doing from his pulpit (and others), and it is fair to call his followers "Hunt-ers" as his influence has direct bearing on what many of pastors who idolize him do.

As I have mentioned elsewhere, Arminian Grace is a hymn consistent with Arminian teaching. It is moxy only in that it is a reformulation of "Amazing Grace" (a hymn which corresponds to Calvinist theology).

Concerning unbelievers, they have and continue to be welcome @ P&P. They need to know that Christians really do read their Bible and don't just shout "Amen!" when a man behind a microphone gets excited. It is my hope that they see the glory of God in the face of Christ and flee to Him. Unfortunately, there are not as many truth-filled sermons about the glory of Christ as hobby horse opinions that seek to scare people away from the truth.

By the way, why is it that a meager, no-name blogger gets unsubtantially criticized when public, unapologetic, and unashamed leaders spew out divisive, inflammatory, and untruthful statements each Sunday without accountability? There seems to be a double standard here.

I am more than willing to own up to my own writings - where I have erred and where I have not. I guess when you get to a certain place of noteriety, infallibility sets in and we uncritically canonize their words as truth.

2/22/2006 08:44:00 PM

Blogger Timmy said...

Oh, and let me encourage you to join me in praying for this situation. My prayer items are mentioned in the above comment. Thanks.

2/22/2006 08:47:00 PM

Blogger mchilders said...

Timmy, come on man you look like a sharpe individual that has alot to offer but the Gadfly Award come on...the word says they will know you are one of mine by the way you love and care for one another. remember the slogan wwjd...you think Jesus would have called attention to himself by going here. I like Hunt believe that all have a chance to be saved not a few. Stop looking like the other side with your comments and start encouraging.
mark Childers NC

6/11/2008 09:36:00 AM

Blogger Timmy Brister said...


This blogpost was written almost 2 1/2 years ago. You can find current commentary and blogging at timmybrister.com.

6/11/2008 09:58:00 AM


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