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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.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A Little Light for Your Day

Of the many things that crossed my mind regarding what I wanted to write today, I could not help but feel spiritually depressed after (1) listening to Jerry Vines (mis)represent Reformed theology at the same time (2) reading Ergun Caner's spin on the debate. So I was led away to a happy place - a place where I was exactly one week ago as I write this post. This sunrise was taken on the shores of Lake Superior about 50 yards from where I camped out the night before near Split Rock Lighthouse. It was a magnificent morning, and I thought I'd share a little glimpse of it with you in case you needed a little light for your day. As you can count on my not being the funny guy in the blogosphere (I leave that to Marc!), at least I can put another picture up to give you that needed warm fuzzy. Listen, I would give you a Hummer H3 if I could, but . . . Anyway, on another note, Tom Ascol and James White are putting the truth out there for everyone to see. I am also encouraged to read of more students and alumni of Liberty University speaking out on this matter. If I get a chance, I will try to put together a compilation post including everything Tom and James have written (I have catalogued them already in a folder). In the meantime, let us not forget to revel in God's grace. May the daily grind never eclipse the beauties of our great God and King as we long to feel the weight of glory with each passing moment . . .

7 Comments:

Blogger Drew said...

Just wanted to let you know: I am a former Liberty student, now a student at Southeastern Seminary. I've been speaking out about this issue since the summer, trying to make everyone aware of how intellectually dishonest Dr. Caner has been. Hyper-calvinism is a historic theological position that almost nobody holds to (at least in the SBC). Ugh! It makes me angry.

10/10/2006 08:03:00 AM

 
Blogger Timmy said...

Drew,

You are correct about hypercalvinism. The pomo folks remind us that language is power play, and when you are more interested in power than in truth, you will use language to accomplish your goal - a goal which tramples over the truth to get the goal of controlling the argument by baseless rhetoric, caricatures, etc.

I have long realized that many anti-Reformed folks in the SBC are not interested in the truth. They want to maintain status-quo and hold their ground. The only way they can do this is to suppress the truth with such language games and power plays. But this can only last for so long. Ironically, as the Caners are so quick to confess, truth is immortal, and we will find that out in the end.

Consider some wise words from Wade Burleson on Founders blog:

Gentlemen,

I believe the issue at hand involves a lack of integrity, but that is not the source of the problem.

There is in the human heart a natural predispostion for control. Every person desires to be the master of his own destiny, the god of his own little world, the final authority in matters of life and relationships.

And it is very difficult to give this up. Like Abraham, we cry "O that Ishmael may live before thee!"

In an institutional environment control is maintained by the establishment of arbitrary rules that protect the status quo. The rulemakers wish to exclude any threat to either their control or perceived authority. To successfully reveal faulty rationale, logic, or in a Christian forum -- Biblical understanding -- of those in authority is the ultimate threat to one's power.

10/10/2006 10:39:00 AM

 
Blogger ThunderScot1505 said...

I appreciate your posts on the Caner debacle. I'm perhaps a little unusual as a former SBTS student now at Liberty. I'm a student at the law school now. I cherish my time at SBTS. I grew and learned a lot there.

I'm one of the Calvinists at LU, and thankfully one of a strong contingent at the law school, which includes not only students but faculty.

This mess, I confess, makes me second-guess my decision to come here (did you like the rhyme?). However, it is not the healthy who need the physician. I am not the physician here, obviously, but I hope to bear witness of Him in a hostile environment.

I am convinced that the real mission field is the contemporary church. Caner's spectacle and the support he has in it confirms this.

Pray for us, that our answers be on point, gracious, and full of truth and empty of falsehood, slander and sentiments unbecoming.

Christ is King,
M.A.B.

10/10/2006 09:58:00 PM

 
Blogger Forest A said...

Timmy,

Good posts. This is my first time on your blog.

I also am a Liberty alumni and now a current student at SBTS.

I was present at Liberty when Ergun first came and I was enrolled in the first theology class he taught on Liberty campus. Sadly, it was only days into the class on a new campus for him that he was attacking Calvinism with more audacity than he is today. It was only weeks later that he was at the throat of Founders ministries, namely Tom Nettles. Needless to say I had more than a few encounters with Dr. Caner.

I am a convicted, Bible-believing Calvinist and hold to those views of Founders Ministries and have done so for many years.

Dr. Caner and I had exchanges in person and via e-mail. One e-mial was so audacious that I felt it necessary to forward to Tom Ascol. Dr. Ascol, in turn, forwarded the e-mial to Dr. Nettles, and Dr. Nettles as well as Dr. Ascol rebutted every allogation Dr. Caner made against baptists and calvinism as well as Founders ministries. When I brought this before Dr. Caner he refused to acknowledge it and considered our conversation over. The big guns got on him, so he shut down.... sound familiar?

I say all this to stress that this debate has not just now begun and it will not be over any time soon. We must keep our eyes fixed on the cross of Christ, strive for the edification of the church, the evangelization of the lost, and always be ready to give an account for the the hope that is in us. The Doctrines of Grace is the Gospel spelled out in the clearest and most beautiful sense. Or, as Spurgeon put it, the Doctines of Grace is the "Gospel defined".

Stand strong brothers, and Timmy, maybe we should hang out sometime.

God Bless,

- Forest

10/10/2006 11:50:00 PM

 
Blogger J. Gray said...

How could someone be at the throat of Tom Nettles???

Dr. Nettles could be the most humble and gracious man I have ever met.

On top of that, he is the greatest living Baptist historian, IMO.

Forest, let me ask you a question...if Caner wasn't a former Muslim, would he be the President of the seminary? Seems to me that if he was a white guy from the south with the same credentials, he'd be struggling to find work like most PhDs (but with a PhD from am iffy school).

10/11/2006 08:52:00 AM

 
Blogger Timmy said...

Thunderscot,

It's great to hear from folks like you and how you guys are handling this. I have been most encouraged by the level-headedness and sincerity of the students as they handle the situation up close and personal.

I happen to have several friends who graduated from LU who are now here at SBTS. I have been informed from many folks on the environment and hostility that you speak of. I wonder if the outcome of this from LU side results in many pastors and churches no longer feeling comfortable sending their students and children off to a place where their leadership acts like this.

I will be praying for you guys. I don't expect this to die out anytime soon, so endurance, patience, a loving spirit, and a gentle word will be necessary always but especially now.

Please keep in touch and let me know how things are going. Thanks for checking in.

tnb

10/11/2006 01:35:00 PM

 
Blogger Timmy said...

Forest,

We do need to hang out sometime. I am always up for some good fellowship. :)

I do not find it surprising that the Caners deride Dr. Nettles the way they do. Nettles is a fist-rate scholar of church history and baptist history in particular, and the work he is doing in researching, archiving, and writing about our historic baptist faith is unsettling for those who would want to not act as historians but revisionists. Nettles needs no defense. His body of work and personal integrity speaks for itself, but I have no problem chiming in to add a little footnote.

You are right that this has been ongoing before the debate/debauckle and will continue to in the future. There are many SBC elites who, in the Anti-Reformed camp, are undoubtedly saying, "Attaboy, go get 'em!" They will continue to be the mouthpiece of those in the SBC who are against reform in the local church, recovery of the gospel, and the sovereignty of God in salvation. But eventually, truth will win out. In the meantime, we must be gracious and loving to those with whom we disagree. The words of Paul ring true about the Lord's bondservant when he said the following:

And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

2 Tim. 2:24-26

10/11/2006 01:43:00 PM

 

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