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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, May 25, 2006

Mark Dever Confirms Veep Nomination

Yesterday the Associated Baptist Press reported that Mark Dever, "a neo-Calvinist" (what is that?) may face Keith Fordham in the race for 1st VP of the SBC. According to the ABP reporter, Dever will allow himself to be nominated. He turned down the opportunity to be nominated for president for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the time commitment. It's no secret that Dever is a key leader in the SBC and larger evangelical world. Having him in a leadership role in the SBC would be a healthy change, especially since he is not in the inner circle. One particular note of interest is the strikingly different views of evangelism and conversion these two men hold. To read about Fordham's view, go here, and for Dever's view of extending invitations, consider the following quotations in his book The Deliberate Church. This excerpt is from the chapter "Doing Responsible Evangelism."

When we invite them [people to believe], we need to make sure that they cannot confuse any other response with the only saving response. The stakes are high here, because if we allow ambiguity on this point, then we're actually helping deceive people about their own spiritual state by encouraging them to be assured of their salvation when they may not have genuinely repented or believed at all. The two responses that seem to be most commonly confused with genuine repentance and belief today are praying a prayer with someone and coming forward at a church service. (52) We are wiser to discontinue ambiguous evangelistic practices rather than allow them to continue confusing people as to what constitutes a saving response to the Gospel. Granted, allowing ambiguity may increase the numbers on our membership rolls. But it deceives unsaved people into thinking they are saved--the cruel hoax of all. It also wreaks havoc on the purity of our churches and their corporate testimonies, allowing into our membership many professing Christians who are later discovered not to be Christians at all because they eventually revert to lifestyles that simply cannot characterize a true Christian convert. (53-54)
Evan May, a fellow contributor to SBF, has written an article on the interview with Fordham which I highly recommend. Our local churches in the SBC are in true need of reform, and the potential of having Dever in the leadership of the SBC could be a real opportunity to face the threats to the gospel of Jesus Christ and the healthiness and purity of the churches in our denomination.

7 Comments:

Blogger D.R. said...

I don't get why ABP labeled Dever a "neo-Calvinist," but I did find some symbolance of a definition on Wikipedia, though the links might be more beneficial. Still, why not just call Dever a Calvinist? Why the emphasis on "neo"? Of course I am always suspect of ABP because of their agenda, so maybe I am reading into this too much. Maybe I should just email the writer and ask.

5/25/2006 10:59:00 PM

 
Blogger Timmy said...

Daniel,

I still don't get the "neo-Calvinist" deal. If Dever is anything, he is a classical Calvinist. Knowing Dever in the most superficial sense reveals that he is not "neo" in any sense of the word. It may just be that the reporter neither knows Dever nor the definition of a neo-Calvinist (and if one uses such a term, don't you think it necessary to qualify it?).

SBC Slang:
Neo-Calvinist
Hyper-Calvinist
Extreme Calvinist

What's next?
Super Duper Calvinist?

5/26/2006 04:18:00 AM

 
Blogger Alex F said...

In the article on the other guy there are several gems. Let's just take one example:

The evangelist is the harvester. Faithful pastors can preach the Word of God for months and Sunday School teachers expound the Word week after week with little visible results, but evangelists can often come in and draw the net and people respond."

Who needs expository preaching and discipleship? Just bring in this guy! OK I can't resist another:

"Evangelists typically send revival preparation manuals that are tested and proven. Thorough preparation will result in more conversions, greater attendance, more stirring in the church, more praying and witnessing. Furthermore, by using a harvest evangelist you can almost be assured that someone will be saved."

Yikes! So basically its Charles Finney vs. Dever, eh?

5/26/2006 11:23:00 AM

 
Blogger Timmy said...

The SBC Shakedown . . .

In the blue corner:

Charles Finney
Keith Fordham

In the red corner:

Charles Spurgeon
Mark Dever

5/26/2006 02:46:00 PM

 
Blogger D.R. said...

Sounds more like a Steel-Caged, No Holds Barred, Loser Leave Home Grudge Match. My money's on Spurgeon-Dever. I don't know about Fordham, but I think Finney was kind of weeney, more like a Jimmy Hart than a Bill "Superstar" Dundee.

5/27/2006 02:59:00 AM

 
Blogger Timmy said...

I don't think this is a "match made in heaven" to use Ascol's terms, although it would be a good promotional for Ted Dibiase's Power Wrestling Alliance. So who is the Vince McMahan of the SBC?

Could this be the SBC becoming "all things to all SBCers?"

5/27/2006 08:54:00 AM

 
Blogger Alex F said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5/27/2006 07:35:00 PM

 

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