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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.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Together for the Truth: Responding to Two Brothers Foaming Out of the Mouth

What occured last week on Founders' Blog was IMO a monumental moment. When the Caner brothers (Ergun and Emir) sought to attack (not address) those who in the Reformed blogosphere, they began first and foremost by foaming out of the mouth with flagrant and flippant comments which demand a response. I do not think we should prop their rhetoric up by stooping down to their shenanigans, but I do think we should present the truth - and do so together. Therefore, I am going to use this post to be another compilation of sorts which will be continually updated as blogposts come in. I encourage everyone who posts do so with clarity and charity towards our brethren who attack us. While we treasure the truth, let us also present it with humility and meekness. Below are the beginnings of what I hope to be robust and residual responses to the Caner brothers: Tom Ascol: Danny Akin on Southern Baptists and Calvinism Gene M Bridges: The Sound of One Hand Clapping, a Clanging Cymbal Joe Thorn: Akin on Calvinism Gene M Bridges: Response to Elmer Towns Pt. 1 Gene M Bridges: To Debate or Not to Debate, That Is the Question Travis Hilton: Wonder-Twin Powers . . . Daniel Randle: Calvinism Debate Imminent Steve Camp: Arminian Idle . . . a Four Point Sandy Theology of Faith Steve Camp: The Contagious Infectious Doctrines of Grace Nathan Casebolt: Combating the Calvinist Virus Steve Hays: Ahistorical Theology Alan Kurschner: Dave Hunt Denies Original Sin Gene M Bridges: Southern Baptists and Baptistry-Addendum Jeremy Weaver: The Guiding Principle Behind Calvinism Jeremy Weaver: Was Calvin a Calvinist? Fred Butler: There's a Storm Brewing Tony Byrne: White Debating Caner? Paul W. Martin: James White Email Exchange with Falwell's Ergun Caner James White: If You Dare Speak Up . . . Steve Camp: The Contagious Infection of the Doctrines of Grace Alan Kurschner: Ergun Caner - Full of Hot Air and "Whitephobia" Daniel J. Phillips: My Admiration for James White Rises: for Ergun Caner? No So Much Steve Camp: James White and Ergun Caner Square Off James White: Correspondence Between James White and Ergun Caner James White: The Intellectual Pit Bull of the Evangelical Church? James White: Headed Home Gene M Bridges: P.H. Mell and John L. Dagg vs Ergun Caner - Paige Patterson-HyperCalvinistic Baptizer - The Rise of Romanism in the SBC? Gene M Bridges: Comments, Comments, Comments Gene M Bridges: Founders Ministry Has Been Caned! News at 11! Nathan White: "We Are Training Debaters Who Can Have 'A Salt' Ministry" - Jerry Falwell Evan May: Jeff Wright Fails at His Moral Equivalence of "the Debate" Joe Thorn: The Real Problem Scott Hill: Surviving Friendly Caner Fire Scott Hill: You Have Got to Be Kidding Jason Robertson: Bridges vs. the Caner Brothers Jason Robertson: Duck! Tad Thompson: SBC Leader Dr. Ergun Caner Shows True Colors Daniel Randle: John Piper Is a Hyper-Calvinist! Alex Forrest: Brouhaha on the Founders Blog


Blogger T said...

Dear Timmy,

It is quite sad to see you have joined in the ruthless attacks against your brothers. I am deeply saddened, my friend. However, at the same time I understand you are a new student at SBTS, and most new students (including myself) go through this time of immaturity, divisiveness, and obnoxiousness. I only hope you quickly move out of it.

I like you Timmy. You're a great guy with a big heart for the Lord. But please don't be so narrow minded that you accuse people (like the Caners) of doing what your cohort is doing daily; namely, spewing hatred and ungodly venom. Your posts on Johnny have even more troubled me. I'm not of the persuasion that leaders/pastors are beyond accountability, but you have exalted yourself, along with the others, to speak in a manner as if Johnny Hunt is your schoolboy. You have made the suggestion that Johnny is possibly intentionally teaching error, and that my friend, is pathetic.

This is one thing that you boys in the Founders group have yet to understand. You seem to care nothing for the unity of the body, the very thing Christ called us to. You speak of theology as if you have no possibility of error among yourselves, and then say the 'politically correct' things like you are seeking to be biblical in confrontation. Yes, you too are political even though you disparage others about the same thing. Brother, think about it. Perhaps the reason your families 'suffer' so much for your beliefs is because you are heaping it upon them by your attitude. If this is the case, and I believe it quite possible by the numbers of men who have destroyed churches for the sake of the 'doctrines of grace', you then are accountable for the emotional trauma of your own family.

Be wise, my friend. Know that when you are young and at the front end of your education, you are more prone to make unbalanced assertions about the nature of God and His Word. Be wise. And above all, be humble.

2/19/2006 11:17:00 AM

Blogger Timmy said...

Dear Mikey,

First let me say that it is great to hear from you! Since you left across the ocean, I have oft wondered how things have been and have remembered you in my prayers.

I. As far as the Founder's blog goes, I have not joined in "ruthless attacks" as you mentioned. I have commented once on that post, and this is what I said:

"I can't help but wonder what Mr. Caner is asking for when he pulls a stunt like he did in his last comment. Personally, I think if we address his inflammatory comments we will be giving him more credibility than he deserves. He did this with the IMB issue, and now he has done it again. Let us not get distracted and get tangential. Mr. Caner is not the issue . . . nor is Mr. Hunt. The future of the SBC is what this is post is about - a future much bigger than the both of them.

While anyone has the right to voice their opinions, as Tom has said, his comments were not constructive in any regards, either to this post, the denomination, or the future of the SBC. Rhetorical flourishes only stand when reality undergirds it, and when the emotions die, so will Mr. Caner's comments."

I have chosen not to buy into the softball pitch of the Caner brothers, believing that it was a set-up to begin with.

II. My response is not about divisiveness, but rather communicating the truth (and what I believe). If you are so adament about not attacking a brother or fostering divisiveness, I suppose we should be with those who have made a frontal (an unabashful) attack on those in the Reformed tradition. In my opinion, none of this would have been necessary had it not been for the deliberate and persistent agenda of Johnny Hunt and other SBC leaders to use their pulpits and denomination influence to rail against the doctrines of grace.

III. Johnny Hunt is not my schoolboy and neither are the Caners. I have (as I have stated repeatedly) great respect for the men, their ministry, and their lives. However, this does not preclude the fact that I believe they are incorrect in their statements, and moreso in their presentation. The idea that because one does not agree with a leader/pastor in the fundamentalist SBC mentality immediately dubbs one as insubordinate, divisive, and rebellious. Monolithic thought and autocratic rule is the presumed way of unity. I do not agree with this method, nor is it supported in Scripture.

IV. I understand that you have a very close relationship with Johnny Hunt, and it is a very admirable thing to have the opportunity you have had to be mentored and trained under his stead. Maybe someone closer to him can share the thoughts other of us "Founder boys" are attempting to get across. This is not theological "one-upmanship." This is about truth, integrity, and accountability, all of which I believe Hunt esteems as well as I.

V. I readily admit the my fallibility as well as my depravity. I do believe that I have it all together theologically, but at what point do you take a stand for the truth? When you have a PhD? At what point do you address being wrongly and falsely attacked? When you a pastor of a megachurch or denominational elite? Where I have mentioned Johnny Hunt, I have mentioned our own Baptist Faith & Message and the confessions of our faith, all of which, according to his teaching, he disagrees with (not to mention the Bible). I have not attacked him, his character, his pastoral ministry, etc. All I have stated is where I believe he has made statements against what Baptists believe.

VI. I have heard the stories of men who have been forced to leave their churches because they believe in the doctrines of grace. They are heartbroken. Their removal was not from thier attitude but ignorance (of the church leaders). When Johnny Hunt removed a staff member from his church because he found out he was Reformed, guess what, the next week I was threatened to be fired. Did I do anything? Say anything? No. It was because of *who I was*. Nothing more. Nothing less. People like those of BaptistFire and leaders like Hunt and Graham are not doing anything to build the Church when they make their charges. The church is the pillar and buttress of truth, and the pulpit is not the place to constuct caricatures and straw men to justify one's hobby horse (and that goes both ways).

VII. Finally, I truly appreciate your admonishment. Where I am wrong, I pray for forgiveness and mercy. At the close of this post, you will see that I wrote

"I encourage everyone who posts do so with clarity and charity towards our brethren who attack us. While we treasure the truth, let us also present it with humility and meekness."

That is what I hope to do. I admit, I will fail at times and learn from my mistakes. But I would rather fall and get up and better a better man because of it than to never have walked. I care very deeply about the unity of the body of Christ, and it grieves me to know that what Johnny Hunt does from the pulpit, many other pastors in the SBC will do without reservation. Let this be clear: this was not rooted in Founders. This was rooted long before by denominational leaders who want to rid the SBC of any stream of Calvinists. It wasn't until blogs and "young, immature, and obnoxious" SBCers had the courage enough to address the issues (again, not the individuals).

Mikey, I because of your friendship with me, I value your words very deeply. I pray you will consider mine. Please do not turn a blind eye to those with whom you love. While I expect you to defend Johnny Hunt and the Caner brothers, I sincerely hope that you do not overlook their complicity and culpability as well. This is not about pointing fingers or the "blame game." Let's work for a better standard. All I want is for Johnny Hunt and all the other Arminian denominational elites to stop mistreating their brothers in the SBC who believe differently. It seems they won't stop, but I pray they will. Calvininsts have not and are not on the offensive. We only want to be treated fairly. Is that too much to ask?

Thanks again, and for caring enough to share your heart!

P.S. I do not have any cohorts or cliques. I speak for myself. While I may agree with others on various issues, I may equally disagree with them others.

2/19/2006 02:07:00 PM

Blogger D.R. said...

Great response in the midst of critique of your character and your words.

Mr. Law, I think you misjudged not only Tim, but many on the Founder's site. I do not care to go into detail, but I think your first comment over there was enough to be evidence. You said basically that there were almost 200 negative, scathing comments about Johnny Hunt and in close you said the entire post was about tearing down Hunt. Of the approximately 76 comments made previous to Ergun Caner's inbreaking (which came directly after my comment), only 21 of those said anything negative about Hunt. And of those only 4 came after Dr. Ascol asked that everyone pipe down about him. And even of those 21 there were very few that did much more than say, "he is against Reformed theology" which he readily admits to being.

Furthermore, it is true that Hunt spoke against Calvinism in at least one sermon this past year. It is true that he thinks Calvinism is a problem in the SBC, and it is true that his sermon has caused some division. Hence, the concern. There is nothing scathing or vitrolic about stating those facts and nothing wrong with defending Reformed theology from false accusations (such as Calvinists don't evangelize). This thread only got nasty after the Caner's arrived and stoked the fire. It had all but died out before that. Thus to insinuate that "nearly 200 comments" were made which were "slandering and seeking to bring reproach upon a brother in Christ" is incorrect, as well as saying, "This entire blog has been about the 'tragedy' and 'sadness' of Johnny Hunt's theology." It is just not true.

I appreciate your willingness to defend a brother in Christ when you think he has been maligned, however, I think you have skipped over the fact that the Caners went well beyond rebuking those on the thread for what they said in regard to Hunt to the point where they made false accusations about Calvinists (they don't evangelize, Calvinsts never grew a church, and you haven't answered any of our questions), all of which were successfully proven to be false, yet without acknowledgement from the Caners, nor any apology for going too far.

And so to group Tim with the few who made desparaging remarks about Hunt is silly and reflects a lack of discernment on your part. Go back and re-read all the posts. You will see that in reality the focus of the conversation was on valid alternate choices, the need to either not put forth a candidate or to do so, and the problems with those in leadership nominating and supporting a candidate prior to the actual convention meeting. Overall, Hunt's name was only mentioned (whether negatively, positively, or neutrally -- as in my post) in about 35 posts prior to the Caner's arrival and after that in only about 25 (most of which came from the Caner's themselves). So just re-examine the evidence and consider whether or not your statements on here and on the Founder's thread really reflect reality. Thanks for listening and I pray that God will use you continually in your ministries abroad.

2/19/2006 08:41:00 PM

Blogger D.R. said...

BTW, Tim, thanks for pimping my blog once again.

2/19/2006 08:42:00 PM

Blogger Timmy said...


That's quite the research you did on that blogpost! Thanks for taking the time to put the facts out there. Unfortunately, we find ourselves often at the end of exagerrations and mis-statements as much as Bush is in the New York Times. Unsubstantiated, inflammatory remarks which accuse someone of vitriolic and venomous statements *demand* validation. Thank you for providing such.

There are many who are reading Founders and us as well. They need to know the truth. I love Mikey as a brother and truly respect how he feels (Mikey if you are out there!). I have many friends who are Arminians (I was once the biggest Arminian of all) and are in no regards whatsoever of the mold that attacks and derides their Calvinist brother. While we disagree, we show love towards one another. I only wish that same love and respect can be carried throughout our denomination.

2/20/2006 11:58:00 AM

Anonymous Dan Canales said...

Cute jab you made at the NYT Timmy, real cute... ;) and you say we are "vitriolic."

2/20/2006 12:49:00 PM

Blogger Timmy said...

Ah, I knew it would take an insertion of Bush and the NYT to get Mr. Canales to comment on P&P! I have always liked it when you used the word "cute."

2/20/2006 04:23:00 PM

Blogger J. Gray said...


Come on.

Is it divisive to say that Johnny Hunt is anti-reformed?

Do you have any problems with the way that Johnny Hunt is divisive? Or does that not count because he is your former pastor?

I have nothing bad to say about Hunt. I would prefer him not be the SBC President simply because of 2 reasons: #1 - he is anti-reformed (I could care less that he is NOT reformed, but his misunderstanding and mischaracterization of many brothers is hurtful, and his speech is very divisive on this issue...and needlessly so); #2 - this is another example of the "good ol boy club" getting their guy in there without actual input from the actual people of the convention, it's a fraud election.

Surely you understand that, right Mikey?

No hate on Hunt...just my reasons for desiring another man rising up to have a real election.

- JG

BTW, good to see you are alive, Mike!

2/21/2006 10:37:00 AM

Blogger D.R. said...

Tim, Nathan did change the name of his post. It is a "salt ministry" now, not "assault" ministry. Newsweek got it wrong and thus corrected it, but apparently there are still some sources out there that have not.

2/22/2006 12:28:00 AM

Blogger Timmy said...

Thanks Daniel. Correction made. Wish other things were as easy to correct as that (especially my own faults).

2/22/2006 06:02:00 AM


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