From the Department of “Let’s Just Love Jesus and Ignore Theology” Comes This…

Yes, Fred Luter, the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention, made an impassioned plea at the recent convention to quit arguing over theology and seek the lost, showing his hand and laziness.

“Because of our love for the Scripture we’ve had some differences of opinion, but the problem is that while we are arguing about these topics, lost men, women, boys, and girls are dying and going to hell every single day,” said Luter on the first night of the denomination’s 2013 annual meeting.

“While we are arguing about these topics and debating about these topics, America is going to hell every day,” he continued. “Time is running out. We do not have time for debate. We do not have time for arguing. The world needs to know that Jesus saves … for the sake of those who are lost.”

Read more here.

His comments are supposed to be the ultimate trump card in any argument. The problem is that it shows his hand. Luter doesn’t believe in God’s election, God’s sovereignty, God’s greater purpose of His glory. This shows us that Luter thinks he is the one that will be saving people. He is straight from the Charles G. Finney school of manipulation, which has done more to damage to the church than anything the government could do.

This is the same as the pastor I had a dialog who recently made the claim:

 I will readily admit, even after graduating from Dallas, that I am a theological novice in many arenas, including John Calvin and Calvinism.  I simply love Jesus, desire to be in His presence  and am trying to bring as many people as I can one step closer to Him.

There is no excuse for this kind of laziness in the pastorate. For one, the man is not being honest. He says he wants to bring them closer to Jesus, but how is he to do this if He is not willing to dive deeper in the word and grow in his Christology (a branch of theology that focuses on the person and work of Christ). What does he intend to do, give them fuzzy feelings so that they too have fuzzy feeling about Jesus? The Bible never calls us to such slop. (Calvinism is at the heart of the SBC’s arguing by the way.)

The real problem behind both pastor’s is that they fostering anti-intellectualism under the guise of loving Jesus. This really is part of Satan’s attack on the church. He doesn’t want us growing in our understanding but resting in our feelings.

The Bible stands against this false philosophy in several places. The first is found in 2 Corinthians 10:2-6 But I beg you that when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

In their noble attempts to “love Jesus” and “win the lost,” the two men are fighting Satan’s battle for him, instead of bring every thought into captivity and being willing to give an answer when ready to do so. Paul doesn’t want us to play stupid, but study in order to present ourselves approved and to be able to take on every stronghold that exalts itself against the word of God. This means we have to think and use our brains. We are never to stop studying God’s word in order to take on the spiritual battle we face. We must constantly be refining our beliefs and arguments so as to be used by God.

If you want a better exposition of this thought here, listen to Simon Brace on the following mp3. He is using 2 Corinthians 10:6ff to really drive home the point that we must be ready to argue for the faith. He shows that we are to argue, defend, embrace it, understand it and use it to advance the kingdom. There is no room for anti-intellectualism or sloppy Jesus love in the body of Christ. To make those things out as somehow noble, is truly deceptive, which comes from the great deceiver.

Plus, Wintery Knight has some on it as well.

The point is that we are never to stop diving into the word. We always need to be growing in our understanding and, as the above passage shows us, make arguments for the faith, taking every thought captive. We are to be ready to fight for what the Scriptures say and defend the faith on every front.

Both pastors above, who seem to be so noble in their sloppy doctrine, are actually doing more damage than good. Hopefully, they will repent of such laziness.

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30 thoughts on “From the Department of “Let’s Just Love Jesus and Ignore Theology” Comes This…

  1. eMatters

    Preach it! If you love God you’ll want to understand him accurately and trust his sovereignty. Share the Gospel? Of course! But don’t make it a false dichotomy of thinking vs. sharing the Gospel.

    1. Timothy Post author

      I think the way you put it, “a false dichotomy of thinking vs. sharing the Gospel” nails it. The same is true with the second pastor’s comment. It’s not a matter of “simply loving Jesus” and knowing theology. It’s a both/and, not an either/or. If you really love Jesus and love sharing the gospel, you will endeavor to grow in knowledge thereby becoming effective at both.

  2. Danny Wright

    Just yesterday in our morning family Bible lesson I talked about doctrine from 2 Timothy 4:3, under the heading of “what is love?”. It is for the loveless to dismiss doctrine, and it shouldn’t surprise us that they do it in the name of love. I mean… look around… This kind of love, for those who thirst for righteousness, is like seawater to those who thirst for water. It abounds but makes us all the more thirsty for more of what we just drank… all the while it is killing us.

    1. Timothy Post author

      Great analogy. The love of men is so important to them, they will feed them that which kills them for their approval. That is what those pastors do who don’t preach faithfully.

  3. Joseph Richardson

    So, do you really think that people who “just love Jesus” can’t be saved? Is a finely-honed, intellectual understanding of theology necessary for salvation?

    1. Timothy Post author

      Hi Joseph,
      We are not talking about anyone here. Both men that I’m referring to are pastors. That is the problem. I expect members of the congregation to resist instruction, teaching and learning. But the men who lead congregations are to study and prove themselves capable. Not give cop outs like, “just loving Jesus.”

      As for your answer, you can be saved, but do you really love Jesus if that is all you want to do is remain in ignorance? Paul exhorted believers because he did not want them to be ignorant of the rich truths of Scripture.
      Romans 11:25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

      1. Joseph Richardson

        Yes, that’s true. The anti-intellectualism you speak of is one of the main reasons I left Protestantism. But if salvation doesn’t require an intricate understanding of theology, how exactly are these pastors “fighting Satan’s battle for him” by encouraging people to “just love Jesus”? You suggest that Luter thinks “he is saving people” — but how is it that people are saved, anyway? I seem to recall something about “believing with your heart” and “confessing with your mouth”…?

      2. Timothy Post author

        No one is saved by “loving Jesus.” To “just love Jesus” is a false belief system in and of itself. It’s put forth as if we could actually love Jesus as we are supposed to on our own, and if we do, then we are saved. Nope! We are saved by faith alone in Christ alone, which requires knowledge but just the basics. This is back to the question: “how much knowledge of Christ is necessary for someone to believe and be saved?” This is where our theology kicks in: we teach the full counsel of God and trust the Spirit to do the work. For men called to the pastorat to be lazy at such, is unacceptable.

      3. Joseph Richardson

        No one is saying that anyone is saved “just by loving Jesus.” Luter is not even saying that pastors shouldn’t teach theology; he is saying that it is counterproductive to argue about it while souls are going to hell. Calvinist or Arminian — or I dare say, Catholic — if we teach the truth of Jesus Christ, that He was true God and true man, that He was crucified and died for our sins that we might be forgiven by His grace, and rose again that we might have eternal life — then we should let the Holy Spirit do the saving, and trust that He will. We all believe that we are saved by faith. Is it by faith in Christ alone that we are saved, or do we also have to have faith in sola fide?

      4. brett cost

        timothy,
        our friend joseph richardson asked a question you didnt answer (not in the thread at least?):
        “Is it by faith in Christ alone that we are saved, or do we also have to have faith in sola fide?”
        would you care to address his question.

        joseph, there are several points of stumbling in your comments (your “thinking”), perhaps this is why rome is attractive to you.
        for instance:
        “The anti-intellectualism you speak of is one of the main reasons I left Protestantism.”
        the comment would seem to point to a man claiming a “greater” intellectual capacity than protestantism. if by this, you mean “contemporary evangelicalism” at large, then i would heartily agree with you. sound thinking is abused every day at many points both in and out of the Church.
        but this is simply an example of “abuse” of the intellect, not proper use…and you are probably familiar with the old adage regarding that.
        assuming you have savingly apprehended Christ, then surely Peter’s exhortation to “long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation” is eagerly pursued as well.
        surely his later warning to “be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” is taken very seriously by you.
        in short, the underlying issue is one of truth. for whatever is “true” surely constitutes sound knowledge, while any “real” knowledge must surely reflect truth.
        in this, your question (and the resulting pursuit of truth / knowledge) should not be, “is a protestant understanding of the Gospel currently displaying a massive sense of anti-intellectualism?”, but instead, “is a protestant understanding of the Gospel true?”.
        or perhaps you might ask yourself is roman catholicism an apostate religion or a true expression of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and an embodiment of His Church?

        by the way…if you wish to drink from the deepest waters of Christian thought, i would posit you will only find it in historic protestantism.
        read william whitaker “disputations on Holy Scripture” if you are eager to truly examine rome’s claims.
        read joseph hall “contemplations on the historical narratives of the old and new testament” if you want a rich, sweet and intellectually stimulating expression of Scripture exposition.
        read joseph bellamy “true religion delineated” if you want…well, if you want true religion delineated.

        i could many authors and titles…how serious are you?

        timothy and jospeh, i hope i have not offended either of you in any way. if i have please do not withhold a blessing from me by not giving me the chance to repent.

        in Christ’s service, brett

      5. Timothy Post author

        Hi Brett,
        No, there has been no offense and I’m grateful for your answer. I intended to answer Joseph, but am really busy here lately and needed to give my answer some thought, which… I haven’t done. (Sorry Joseph).

        Thanks for chiming in, I don’t mind at all.
        Blessings

      6. Joseph Richardson

        Pastor Timothy, that’s okay. I said my piece. :)

        I’d like to reply to Brett, but the thread won’t let me reply to him directly:

        the comment would seem to point to a man claiming a “greater” intellectual capacity than protestantism.

        Yes, I am referring mostly to popular evangelicalism, and I’m not making any claims about Protestantism as a whole, just to my own experience growing up. I fully respect and celebrate that there has been a lot of deep thought and intellectual rigor in different branches of the Protestant tradition.

        in this, your question (and the resulting pursuit of truth / knowledge) should not be, “is a protestant understanding of the Gospel currently displaying a massive sense of anti-intellectualism?”, but instead, “is a protestant understanding of the Gospel true?”.

        This post of Pastor Timothy’s tipped off a thought I had, which I expanded a bit more in my own blog (not sure if you followed the link or not). I don’t deny that theology is important. But I agree with Rev. Luther, that arguing over it divisively while the world is suffering and souls are being lost is not conducive to our Gospel mission. I maintain that the truth of the Gospel — the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, true God and true man, for the forgiveness of our sins, and His Resurrection that we might be reborn in Him by His grace and have eternal life — should not be subjected to a petty argument over the mechanics of justification, when all parties claim rightfully that we are saved by His grace through faith in Him. I am complaining less about anti-intellectualism here (that’s what Pastor Timothy is complaining about) than about the hubris of presuming that the grace of God is somehow limited by whether or not a Christian has an intellectual understanding of a sola fide. I have faith in Christ. Scripture says Christ will save me (John 3:16-18; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9; Eph 2:8; etc.). Whether or not I believe that salvation is “by faith alone” or otherwise does not limit Christ’s grace or His power to save.

        And to the question, “Is a protestant understanding of the Gospel true?” — Yes, I’ve been through that one. And no, I don’t believe it is.

        or perhaps you might ask yourself is Roman Catholicism an apostate religion or a true expression of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and an embodiment of His Church?

        Yes, I’ve asked that one, too. And no, it’s not an “apostate religion”; yes, it is a true expression of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by grace; and yes, it is the true embodiment of His Church, the one He founded and charged His Apostles to carry forward. And if you’d like to debate any one of those points, I would be more than glad. ;)

        by the way…if you wish to drink from the deepest waters of Christian thought, i would posit you will only find it in historic protestantism…

        Thanks for the recommendations. I do enjoy reading theology, any theology that is well thought out and intellectually deep. Because anyone who devotes their mind and their spirit to the pursuit of knowledge of Christ is bound to have some worthwhile insights, even if I don’t agree with all of them. If you have more recommendations, please bring them.

        Regarding the “deepest waters”: Have you ever read St. Thomas Aquinas?

        And no, I’m not offended. I do appreciate your charitable tone and your genuine concern. And I likewise hope and pray that this conversation might shed some light, wherever light needs to be shed, and that it might edge us closer in some way to healing our oldest Christian wounds and divisions.

      7. brett cost

        timothy & joseph, hello again.

        since this thread is fueled by an emphasis on “intellect” and its proper uses and abuses, i must in the name of “intellectual honesty” say to joseph;
        i do not know timothy at all. my little sister forwarded timothy’s article to me via facebook.
        my investment, involvement and motivation is simply fueled by that accountability bound up in passages such as James 3:1 and 1 Timothy 4:1-5.
        that same intellectual honesty also demands that i put forth the truth that i am a “protestant” who is yet protesting.
        the reason for this are relatively few, but profound. however, if you will permit me, i would like to address the previous question i mentioned that timothy had not yet answered (for his own good reason) – and do this by way of essentially outlining (what i believe to be) an “intellectually” consistent line of reasoning / questioning.

        joseph, you asked timothy:
        “Is it by faith in Christ alone that we are saved, or do we also have to have faith in sola fide?”

        you said in your reply to me:
        “I don’t deny that theology is important. But I agree with Rev. Luther, that arguing over it divisively while the world is suffering and souls are being lost is not conducive to our Gospel mission. I maintain that the truth of the Gospel — the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, true God and true man, for the forgiveness of our sins, and His Resurrection that we might be reborn in Him by His grace and have eternal life — should not be subjected to a petty argument over the mechanics of justification, when all parties claim rightfully that we are saved by His grace through faith in Him. I am complaining less about anti-intellectualism here (that’s what Pastor Timothy is complaining about) than about the hubris of presuming that the grace of God is somehow limited by whether or not a Christian has an intellectual understanding of a sola fide.”

        and…
        And to the question, “Is a protestant understanding of the Gospel true?” — Yes, I’ve been through that one. And no, I don’t believe it is.

        now, what i would present to you in light of this is an observation and a couple questions.

        first an observation…
        it seems to me in your reply to me – ” I don’t deny that theology is important. But I agree with Rev. Luther, that arguing over it divisively while the world is suffering and souls are being lost is not conducive to our Gospel mission.”

        and you go on to emphasize the point of this divisive contention is (at least in the main) “petty” arguments “over the mechanics of justification”.

        to this thought, i must ask….is a man who is not “justified” before God saved?
        or…
        is “justification” – at this point, for the sake of argument, we will permit either a roman catholic or protestant understanding of the doctrine considered comprehensively – a necessary element of salvation.
        or…
        can a sinner be saved apart from justification?

        if your answer is “no”, i ask, is it possible then to have a view (or an intellectual understanding) of the doctrine of justification that does not justify?
        or…
        is it possible to have “petty” arguments over a doctrine central to a sinner’s right-standing before God?

        now, by that last question, i don’t meant that arguments over a right understanding of the doctrine cant plummet into a mere squabble, with each party losing all sense of common decency and order.
        but considering the doctrine in and of itself, and assuming all parties involved maintain proper decorum, is it possible in any sense to think that the finest points of theological precision regarding so lofty and profound a notion ought not be maintained at all times?

        if i’m not mistaken (and please timothy, correct me if i’m wrong), this is exactly what timothy is arguing for in principle throughout his post.
        the idea that “sound doctrine” is generally among the first items cast overboard when the crew feels that the threats of the current maelstrom encroaches the “emotional”.
        then, in the name of “love” we just do those things we think are most important and most honoring to Christ.

        but it seems that only that man who would crucify intellectual honesty can think it possible to define, know, esteem (or love), and appropriate “love” apart from theology.
        i would posit it an absolute absurdity to believe so
        i would argue that in the face of any of life’s maelstrom our theology must go down with the ship. because, my friend, at the end of the day…theology is all you have.
        the Godhead, Jesus, salvation, faith, repentance,prayer, good works, etc can only be understood theologically.
        and lest you misunderstand, i would point you back to my earlier thought…
        not the abuse of theology (and the dangers of this are manifold and ever-present), but the proper use of it.

        lastly (for this is much too easily drawn out in a single exchange)…
        i return to your earlier comment:
        “And to the question, “Is a protestant understanding of the Gospel true?” — Yes, I’ve been through that one. And no, I don’t believe it is.”

        here i appreciate your forthrightness. we are thinking along the same lines here. for as a “protesting” protestant, i think roman catholicism is an apostate religion.
        i leave you with an observation and a question…

        my observation is that “true” roman catholicism is diametricall opposed in every way to “true” protestanism.
        the council of trent, vatican 1 & 2 , and your cathechism, along with numerous historical documents (encyclicals from the pope and articles from theologians) would conclude that i cannot be saved insofar as i maintain my current views of the Gospel and Christ’s Church.
        i know there have been a number of gestures post-vatican 2 that seem to indicate otherwise (i am afterall a “separated brother).
        but i ask, has rome done anything to recant, retract and withdraw these articles of the roman catholic faith?:
        Council of Trent, Canons on Justification, Canon 9
        “If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema”
        and Canon 14….
        “If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema.”

        they have not.

        now, “true” protestantism says a “true” roman catholic cannot be saved.
        both views cannot be right. one view must undeniably be “another gospel, which is really no gospel at all”.

        if you wish to be intellectually consistent, you must embrace this.

        i cannot receive you as my brother in Christ if you deny “sola fide”. i will treat you as one created in the image of God…showing you all common decency in personal relations. bu i will also love you. i will love you enough to tell you that if you draw your last breath believing you are justified by your works – even alongside the merits of Christ and done in the power of the Holy Spirit by grace….you will perish.

        my question to you is – in the name of love and the intellectual elements that constitute it, will you warn me of the danger of my perishing soul?
        you said yourself that protestant understanding of the Gospel is not true. therefore, it is a false gospel.
        will you (in love) call me to repentance and faith your “true” understanding of the Gospel?

        i have taken too much of your time.
        i am the chief of sinners, bought with a price,
        brett

      8. Joseph Richardson

        Hi again, Brett.

        i do not know timothy at all. my little sister forwarded timothy’s article to me via facebook.

        Well, then let me say welcome! I’ve been commenting on Pastor Timothy’s blog for a while now (like that annoying fly you can never quite swat away) — but no, Pastor Timothy has been most gracious and charitable, even though we disagree, and I hope I can consider him my friend. I would also like to invite you to my blog, where you are more than welcome to come and voice your disagreements. I enjoy lively discussion and debate, and it gets a little boring with nobody except faithful Catholics commenting. ;)

        i am a “protestant” who is yet protesting

        That much is clear.

        “is a man who is not “justified” before God saved?
        or…
        is “justification” … a necessary element of salvation.
        or…
        can a sinner be saved apart from justification?

        No, a man not justified cannot be saved; yes, it is a necessary element of salvation; no, a sinner cannot be saved apart from justification. My point is only this: God justifies us by faith in Christ, as Scripture makes abundantly clear again and again (John 3:16-18; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9; Eph 2:8; etc.). Our arguing over whether that justification is “by faith alone” or otherwise does not limit or adulterate God’s grace to save, or negate the undeniable truth that we are justified by faith in Christ. Do you intend to place limitations on His grace, or add further requirements to the Gospel? Is that not in itself a contradiction of sola fide and sola gratia?

        if your answer is “no”, i ask, is it possible then to have a view (or an intellectual understanding) of the doctrine of justification that does not justify?

        I don’t understand that sentence. “A doctrine of justification that does not justify” is a contradiction.

        is it possible to have “petty” arguments over a doctrine central to a sinner’s right-standing before God?

        Yes.

        I believe we all agree (I could be wrong) on the essential truth that we are justified by grace alone through faith in Christ. Beyond that agreement, there can be only petty arguments, when held against the overwhelming love and mercy and grace of our God. But apparently you and many other Calvinists take this petty argument so gravely as to somehow exclude not only all Christians of all the ages past of the historical Christian Church from salvation, but also the the billion Catholics and millions of Orthodox alive today. That is quite a hefty charge to make over such a petty argument.

        is it possible in any sense to think that the finest points of theological precision regarding so lofty and profound a notion ought not be maintained at all times?

        If, by the finest points of theological precision, you intend to adulterate the mercy and grace of God, I would say you are a little too caught up in your own theology.

        in the name of “love” we just do those things we think are most important and most honoring to Christ. but it seems that only that man who would crucify intellectual honesty can think it possible to define, know, esteem (or love), and appropriate “love” apart from theology.

        Is there anything more important and more honoring to Christ than loving Him and loving our neighbor? Is that not the greatest commandment? Should we not even more love our Christian brothers and sisters (John 13:35, 1 John 4:7)? If, somehow, your theology stands in the way of your loving Christ and loving others — if you place “theological honesty” over Christian charity — I would suggest that your theological compass is broken and your priorities are gravely out of order.

        i would posit it an absolute absurdity to believe so

        Yes, I would too.

        i would argue that in the face of any of life’s maelstrom our theology must go down with the ship. because, my friend, at the end of the day…theology is all you have.

        “Theology is all your have.” Can you hear yourself? What happened to the Gospel of grace, to the love of God?

        the Godhead, Jesus, salvation, faith, repentance,prayer, good works, etc can only be understood theologically.

        That is true — but none of these understandings — not one — should be valued over our love for God and for our neighbor, for our Christian brothers and sisters. “If I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2)

        and lest you misunderstand, i would point you back to my earlier thought…
        not the abuse of theology (and the dangers of this are manifold and ever-present), but the proper use of it.

        And you consider this a “proper use”?

        here i appreciate your forthrightness. we are thinking along the same lines here. for as a “protesting” protestant, i think roman catholicism is an apostate religion.

        The charge of “apostasy” — that the Catholic Church has willfully and publicly renounced Jesus Christ and abandoned His Gospel — is a grave one. I would presume that you agree with Rev. Sproul in asserting that “sola fide is the Gospel.” In order to substantiate the charge that the Catholic Church is “apostate,” you must first demonstrate that the Christian Church ever held sola fide in the first place; and there is no evidence at all that it did. All evidence presents that the Protestant understanding of justification, “by faith alone,” and by the imputation of an alien righteousness, was a theological novelty.

        my observation is that “true” roman catholicism is diametricall opposed in every way to “true” protestanism.

        In that you would be mistaken.

        the council of trent, vatican 1 & 2 , and your cathechism, along with numerous historical documents (encyclicals from the pope and articles from theologians) would conclude that i cannot be saved insofar as i maintain my current views of the Gospel and Christ’s Church.

        The Catholic Church has never had the hubris to presume to judge that any person “cannot be saved.” Only God is the judge of souls, and He is a merciful and loving God. You are misunderstanding and misrepresenting these documents if this is what you take from them.

        i know there have been a number of gestures post-vatican 2 that seem to indicate otherwise (i am afterall a “separated brother”).

        There is no “post–Vatican II” about it. Unitatis Redintegratio, the Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Ecumenism, itself teaches — and I quote it at length and in full, for it teaches truth with love:

        Even in the beginnings of this one and only Church of God there arose certain rifts (cf. 1 Cor. 11:18–19; Gal. 1:6–9; 1 Jn. 2:18–19), which the Apostle strongly condemned (cf. 1 Cor. 1:11 sqq; 11:22). But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions made their appearance and quite large communities came to be separated from full communion with the Catholic Church — for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame. The children who are born into these Communities and who grow up believing in Christ cannot be accused of the sin involved in the separation, and the Catholic Church embraces upon them as brothers, with respect and affection. For men who believe in Christ and have been truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect. The differences that exist in varying degrees between them and the Catholic Church — whether in doctrine and sometimes in discipline, or concerning the structure of the Church — do indeed create many obstacles, sometimes serious ones, to full ecclesiastical communion. The ecumenical movement is striving to overcome these obstacles. But even in spite of them it remains true that all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ’s body, and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.

        Moreover, some and even very many of the significant elements and endowments which together go to build up and give life to the Church itself, can exist outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church: the written word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, and visible elements too. All of these, which come from Christ and lead back to Christ, belong by right to the one Church of Christ. . . .

        It follows that the separated Churches and Communities as such, though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church.

        Nevertheless, our separated brethren, whether considered as individuals or as Communities and Churches, are not blessed with that unity which Jesus Christ wished to bestow on all those who through Him were born again into one body, and with Him quickened to newness of life – that unity which the Holy Scriptures and the ancient Tradition of the Church proclaim. For it is only through Christ’s Catholic Church, which is “the all-embracing means of salvation,” that they can benefit fully from the means of salvation. We believe that Our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, in order to establish the one Body of Christ on earth to which all should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the people of God. This people of God, though still in its members liable to sin, is ever growing in Christ during its pilgrimage on earth, and is guided by God’s gentle wisdom, according to His hidden designs, until it shall happily arrive at the fullness of eternal glory in the heavenly Jerusalem. (Unitatis Redintegratio 3)

        but i ask, has rome done anything to recant, retract and withdraw these articles of the roman catholic faith?: … they have not.

        No, she has not. And there is no need: these canons condemn errors that, even after 500 years, are still errors.

        Council of Trent, Canons on Justification, Canon 9
        “If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema”
        and Canon 14….
        “If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema.”

        But you should understand what it is these canons are actually saying. “Anathema” does not mean what many Protestants think it means and what you apparently think it means. Declaring something or someone “anathema” marks a formal excommunication from the Church — nothing more and nothing less. It is not a pronouncement of automatic, irrevocable “eternal damnation” or any other such. Excommunication, a biblical doctrine (1 Corinthians 5), is a disciplinary, not a punitive measure, a placing outside the communion of a heretic or unrepentant sinner in the hopes of motivating him to repentance, and to protect the rest of the Body from his error and influence. The desired outcome of excommunication is repentance and salvation, not damnation. And these canons, these excommunications, applied only to members of the Catholic Church — not to those already formally outside the Church at the time of Trent (one cannot “excommunicate” someone who has already excommunicated (gone out of the communion) themselves — and not to Protestants today, or any born since Trent, who have never formally been members of the Catholic Church. (I have responded to these misconceptions at greater length in my blog.)

        In short, these canons do proclaim that these doctrines are in error — not just Protestant ones, but some Pelagian errors and other misunderstandings of justification. But they are not pronouncements of condemnation on Protestant believers, or declarations that they “cannot be saved.” “Outside the Church there is no salvation,” it is true, and historically, excommunication did mean likely condemnation, if the sinner refused to repent. But even in ages past, the Church did not declare that anyone “could not be saved.” Then as now, the prayers of the Church went out to the sinner, in the hopes that in God’s mercy he could be saved.

        now, “true” protestantism says a “true” roman catholic cannot be saved.

        Catholics, again, do not say, and have never said, that a Protestant “cannot be saved.” I suppose, per your definition, that the many dear Protestants who do embrace Catholics as brothers and sisters in Christ are not “true Protestants.”

        both views cannot be right. one view must undeniably be “another gospel, which is really no gospel at all”.

        Only in the stark, all-or-nothing, black-and-white mindset of Calvinism can such a conclusion be true. First, your supposition that “Catholics believe Protestants cannot be saved” is on its face untrue, therefore your syllogism here falls apart.

        if you wish to be intellectually consistent, you must embrace this.

        I have no intellectual necessity of accepting bad logic or faulty theology.

        i cannot receive you as my brother in Christ if you deny “sola fide”.

        I think, my brother, you should re-examine what you think the Gospel of Christ is. The word “love” appears roughly 300 times in the New Testament (depending on your English translation), compared to about 40 times the words “justify” or “justification” appear. Some of the few times Jesus Christ utters the words, embarrassingly, he says that “wisdom is justified by her deeds” (Matthew 11:19, Luke 7:35) and that “by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:37). Paul discusses justification at any length in only two letters, Romans and Galatians — in a negative context in both, arguing against the heresy of the Judaizers, who taught that Christians are not justified by faith at all, but by works of Torah. He never once says, or even implies that we are justified “by faith alone”; St. James, in fact, plainly tells us otherwise (James 2:24). Jesus, on the other hand, tells us that “to love the Lord Our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves” (Matthew 22:37-38, Mark 12:30-31, Luke 10:27-28) is the “greatest commandment”; that our faith is able to save us (Luke 5:50); that “whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16) and “he who believes in Him is not condemned” (v. 18); and that “the work of God [is] that you believe in him whom he has sent” (John 6:29). If there ever were any qualification at all on these promises, it is only that we follow Him (Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, etc.) and keep His commandments (Matthew 19:17, John 14:15, etc.), above all that we love one another (John 13:34). If this is not the Gospel you are teaching, then I would submit that your theological priorities on a legalistic justification are grossly out of proportion.

        you are justified by your works – even alongside the merits of Christ and done in the power of the Holy Spirit by grace….you will perish.

        You must be very sure of yourself, to cast yourself as my eternal judge. What precept or qualification upon God’s grace, other than what Scripture teaches, am I violating so gravely in order to earn such certain damnation?

        my question to you is – in the name of love and the intellectual elements that constitute it, will you warn me of the danger of my perishing soul?
        you said yourself that protestant understanding of the Gospel is not true. therefore, it is a false gospel.

        That is your characterization, not mine. I think your theology is gravely flawed. I think, unless you manage to find some of the love of Christ in your gospel, you are indeed teaching a false one and your soul is in danger. It is not, however, my place to judge you. I do not believe that Protestantism is per se a “false gospel” or contrary to the truth of Christ. I affirm with my Church that “all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ’s body, and have a right to be called Christian,” that many Protestant communities have “even very many of the significant elements and endowments which together go to build up and give life to the Church itself,” and that “they have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation.”

        will you (in love) call me to repentance and faith your “true” understanding of the Gospel?

        I am doubtful that this discussion alone will bring you to realize your error. But I do urge you to reexamine, with an open heart, the teachings of the Catholic Church, especially her historicity and the historical foundations of her theology, and even more especially examine the basis on which you believe the Church is “apostate.” Again, in order to be “apostate,” she must have willfully denied some truth that she at one time held. Even more deeply than my call for you to embrace the truth of Christ’s Christ Church, my prayer is that you can look past your historical prejudices and theological preconceptions and see, in love, that I am indeed your true brother in Christ. Jesus said that we would know His true followers by their love: I ask you to honestly think of the many blessed saints of the Catholic Church — St. Francis, St. Augustine, St. Ignatius, St. Gregory, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Thérèse — and judge that their love for Christ and for their neighbor is somehow wanting.

      9. Joseph Richardson

        Hi Brett, I have replied to your post, but it’s now in the moderation queue (on account of too many links). Pastor Timothy, when you approve the post, would you mind going in and correcting my boneheaded typo in the last paragraph? I meant to say, “embrace the truth of Christ’s Church.” Thanks.

      10. brett cost

        timothy and joseph,
        i may need to apologize for sticking my nose where i should not have.
        if so, please accept my apology.

        the reason i say this is because, although joseph’s roman catholic tendencies were easily recognized at the outset, i thought i perceived one who was more unsure of the matters at hand. in this, i was wrong. if you (jospeh) were of a more earnestly inquisitive nature, i would be more than happy to spend myself being spent for your sake.
        but as it is, i have learned to recognize those cases wherein if someone is to come to a saving knowledge of Christ, it probably wont be through me.
        this is not an easy pill for a lover of men’s souls to swallow, but honest humility demands it.

        joseph, you are clearly committed to your church and its teachings. for this i do not fault you. nevertheless, there is no possibility of reconciliation between our respective convictions.
        one of us must perish unless we repent of perverting the Gospel of Jesus Christ – i am ready to appear before Him who will demand an account of me, saying, i believe this to be you.
        if i were to continue i could only evangelize you and warn you (as prior) that should you draw your last breath embracing your damnable heresy, you will perish.
        my doing so, is loving.

        timothy, i will not risk any further “darkening” of your blog with such outlandish, unyielding dogma.
        the Gospel is not in my mind a wax nose that permits contradictory convictions regarding central tenets such as Christ’s deity, repentance, faith, justification, etc. – allowing any and all views regarding these matters to be swallowed up in some post-modern notion of “love”.

        i have no desire to risk my comments having an ill affect on your person or labors here, timothy.

        i will leave my cell:
        314 221 3128 (my preferred form of communication when face to face is not possible)
        and my email:
        chiefofsinners@ymail.com

        if either of you would like to “press” me on anything i have said here, i will pray for grace to receive it.

        as one who is doubly-owned of God and eager to exalt Christ in all my endeavors, i remain…
        the chief of sinners

      11. Joseph Richardson

        Wait, wait, wait, sir! This was just getting good! I asked you some specific questions. You shouldn’t run away just because they are hard!

        Scripture plainly teaches that we are justified by grace through faith. Is not the idea of adding another requirement on top of that, something else we must do in order to receive God’s grace, itself a contradiction of sola fide and sola gratia?
        I there anything more important and more honoring to Christ than loving Him and loving our neighbor?
        In what definition of “love” to you find the standing to judge me to eternal damnation? Where in the Gospel of grace did you find such authority?
        What precept or qualification upon God’s grace, other than what Scripture teaches, am I violating so gravely in order to earn such certain damnation?

        the reason i say this is because, although joseph’s roman catholic tendencies were easily recognized at the outset, i thought i perceived one who was more unsure of the matters at hand. in this, i was wrong. if you (jospeh) were of a more earnestly inquisitive nature, i would be more than happy to spend myself being spent for your sake.

        I have a blog devoted to Catholic apologetics, and am aggressive enough to befriend Protestant pastors and go around commenting on their posts. You ought to have been under no such illusion. I do have an earnestly inquisitive nature: I am very curious, and was quite excited, to finally have the chance to get inside the Calvinist mind, to try to understand just what makes you so absolutely certain so as to consign another believer in Christ to hell. My whole life growing up as a Protestant, such certainty eluded me — because of the question of authority. I never found any point of authority within Protestantism that was secure enough on which to base anything more than a leaning in one theological direction or another. I never found the certainty to judge one opinion or interpretation “right” or “another” wrong — let alone to judge one believer was “saved” and another “damned.” Please stay and discuss this with me.

        but as it is, i have learned to recognize those cases wherein if someone is to come to a saving knowledge of Christ, it probably wont be through me.
        this is not an easy pill for a lover of men’s souls to swallow, but honest humility demands it.

        I am asking you questions, sir, and you are withdrawing. That’s not humility, but something else entirely.

        joseph, you are clearly committed to your church and its teachings. for this i do not fault you. nevertheless, there is no possibility of reconciliation between our respective convictions.

        Perhaps; perhaps not. Nonetheless I do think there are things we can learn from each other, to come to better understand each other’s positions. Please don’t walk away.

        one of us must perish unless we repent of perverting the Gospel of Jesus Christ – i am ready to appear before Him who will demand an account of me, saying, i believe this to be you.

        Again, I think you are seeing this rather too starkly.

        if i were to continue i could only evangelize you and warn you (as prior) that should you draw your last breath embracing your damnable heresy, you will perish.

        No, I think there are other things you could provide me also, such as the reasons for your certainty, and what it is about my position that you consider so “damnable.” Please don’t walk away.

        my doing so, is loving.

        I do appreciate that conviction, at least. The Tridentine Fathers likewise believed their acts of excommunication against the errors of Protestants were acts of love.

        timothy, i will not risk any further “darkening” of your blog with such outlandish, unyielding dogma.

        If you wish, brother, you are welcome to come and “darken” my blog now or anytime. I will even set up a post just for you.

        the Gospel is not in my mind a wax nose that permits contradictory convictions regarding central tenets such as Christ’s deity, repentance, faith, justification, etc. – allowing any and all views regarding these matters to be swallowed up in some post-modern notion of “love”.

        Now, brother, this is not what I said. I have stressed again and again the importance of theology and intellectual understanding. Just as you asked, I clearly and unambiguously labeled your position an error, and contradictory to mine (it does, in fact, appear to be contradictory to itself). There is no “swallowing up” here. All I have is that I, being a sinner myself, cannot damn you. If you are indeed the “chief of sinners,” I think perhaps you should rethink your tack, and consider whether you have any standing to cast stones at me. Do you honestly believe “love” is “post-modern”? Is the love of God somehow stale and expired and no longer useful? I fear you are the “post-modern” one if you believe so, not I.

        i have no desire to risk my comments having an ill affect on your person or labors here, timothy.

        Then please, brother, come to my blog.

        I will you show you, hopefully as fodder for further discussion, a few more of my cards. It is quite simple, really. We both believe that we are justified by faith in Christ, in His Resurrection and in His grace — do we not? Scripture consistently teaches this again and again and again, in the teachings of Christ Himself and of nearly every author of the New Testament (Matthew 9:22; Mark 5:34; Luke 7:50, 8:48, 17:19, 18:42; Acts 16:31; Romans 3:26-30, 5:1; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8-10; Hebrews 11:7; James 2:8-26, 5:15; 1 Peter 1:9; 1 John 5:4; etc.). You believe, so you claim, that we are justified “by faith alone.” The Catholic Church actually agrees with that, with a qualification: that it is only in our initial justification, our initial reception of grace, when we are still dead in our sins and unable to grasp God’s grace on our own, that the Holy Spirit acts to regenerate us by our faith alone (“When the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by His grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life,” Titus 3:4–7). I believe, so you word it, that we are also “justified by works.” That is not how I would characterize the Catholic position, but okay. Despite your wording, you seem to understand the Catholic position better than most: we believe that our works are done only “in the power of the Holy Spirit by grace,” such that they are not really our works at all, but God’s (“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them,” Ephesians 2:10), and such that all grace, our every justification and sanctification, even our every good deed, finds its source in the “merits of Christ” and in His Cross (“he entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption,” Hebrews 9:12).

        Now, suppose you are right, and we are justified “by faith alone.” You have faith, and are justified by that faith. I have faith, too — am I not also justified by that faith? Will not “every one who has faith justified”? (Romans 10:4) How is your faith, by which you are saved, different than mine, by which I am damned? We both “confess with [our] lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in [our hearts] that God raised him from the dead” (Romans 10:9) — will we not both be saved? What is it about my faith that warrants damnation? Where in Scripture do you find the condition that “if you believe that anything else at all is an aid in your sanctification, you will be damned”? Is not such a condition contrary to the idea of “faith alone”? If I believe that I am also “justified by my works,” done through God’s working in me (Philippians 2:12–13), and if I am wrong — then what? At worst, from my perspective — then I am wrong. So what? The works that I’ve done in love (my “faith working in love,” Galatians 5:6), which I believed were the path to my sanctification, could not have hurt me; in fact, by doing good works, I seem to have been, as best as I was able, keeping His commandments (Matthew 19:17; John 14:15; Romans 13:9-10; 1 John 2:1-6; 2 John 6; Revelation 14:12, etc.) and following the precepts of the Gospel (Matthew 5:16, 25:35-40; Romans 13:10; Ephesians 2:10; James 2:8-26, 3:13; 2 Peter 1:5; etc.). At the very worst, my works cannot even be said to have done nothing — they have, no matter what I intended them to do, despite my misunderstanding, nonetheless helped to sanctify me, by my resolution to follow Christ and live His Gospel. Am I going to be damned despite my faith, because I did good works? That seems to be just as contradictory to the plain teachings of Scripture (Matthew 10:42, 16:27-28, chapter 25; Mark 9:41; Luke 6:35; Romans 2:7; 1 Corinthians 3:14; 2 Corinthians 5:10; James 2:18-26; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 John 3:11-17, etc.) as the Judaizers’ heresy that we are “not saved by faith, but by the works of Torah” (Galatians 2:16).

        If, on the other hand, suppose I am right, and good works done in love are necessary for salvation, following our initial justification by faith, and in concert with that saving faith (cf. Galatians 5:6, James 2:18-26, and all the rest I cited above). Having that saving faith, and striving, through His grace, to be sanctified and “to be holy as He is holy” (1 Peter 1:16) — but ever falling upon His mercy and grace for the many times that I fall (Matthew 6:7-15; Mark 11:25; 1 John 1:8-10, 2:1-6) — I have a living hope in Him for my salvation (1 Peter 1:3, 1 John 3:3, etc.), and I pray, when I stand before the throne of God, that I will not be found wanting (Daniel 5:27). Now, most Protestants, in my experience and in my understanding, believe, according to their reading of St. James (James 2:18-26), that good works, if not necessary for salvation, are the necessary fruit of salvation — that is, you cannot be “saved” and fail to produce good fruit; such is God’s grace working in the believer. If you are “saved,” then, then you will do good works in love; if you appear to be “saved,” and yet fail to do good works, you were never really “saved” to begin with. Am I understanding you? Please correct me if I’m wrong. In any case, I hope and pray that you do have true, saving faith in Christ, brother, and I hope that you do produce good works, as the fruit of that faith. If, again, my view is correct, I believe with a firm heart and likewise living hope that you, having been justified by your faith and regenerated by baptism (I hope and pray), and having likewise striven through God’s grace to follow Christ’s commandments and live the precepts of the Gospel, will be judged worthy by our loving and merciful Lord and God. It matters not a whit that you believe that you are “justified by faith alone,” so long as you take that faith and work with it in love (Galatians 5:6), and continue to follow Him and His commandments.

        I do hope and pray and plead, brother, that will you come back and respond to this. I do dearly hope to hear your answer and better understand your position. May the peace of Christ be with you always.

      12. brett cost

        jospeh,
        my number is included in my last reply. please feel free to call.
        i do not type (properly speaking) – time is precious and too much of it is required for me to type these things out.
        we’ve both been here before (you may enjoy it, i do not particularly), and we know that invariably becomes a game of verbal badminton.
        ideally i would prefer to take you out for dinner, a cup of coffee and talk for 2 hours – but the same 2 hours typing out my latest “volley” is tiring.
        so if you’re ever in st. louis, please look me up.

        i am a homeward bound sojourner,
        brett

  4. SLIMJIM

    I hope the Lord will guide those who have this kind of anti-intellectualism theology (paradoxical) read this and re-consider their stance

  5. Pingback: From the Department of “Let’s Just Love Jesus and Ignore Theology” Comes This…

  6. Daniel Bodnar

    I’m sorry, perhaps I really do not understand, but I simply do not agree with the way you are dismissing this pastor’s commission by calling it “anti-intellectualism”.

    I’ve been on both ends. I am fiercely passionate about theology, but I also have been extremely frustrated with brothers and sisters who were so concerned about critiquing one’s theology that they served to discourage and hinder that younger brother’s zeal, instead of encouraging and supporting them.

    I attend a massive, Calvinist mega-church where I have the joy and blessing of hearing the Gospel and sound Theology preached every week. The flip side of that coin though, due to our broken, fallen nature, is that far too often it is inadvertently used to condemn someone’s wrong theology, instead of encouraging simple obedience.

    I believe strongly in using the intelligence to understand theology as best as humanly possible – and doing so fuels my passions for Christ, but there is a point where the enemy can use our love of knowledge to dissuade us from being obedient to all of Christ’s commands (including taking the Gospel to those who have no access and making disciples – who make disciples – of all nations).

    I think what Luter is trying to say is that we ALL have wrong theology (because none of us have actually seen God), so we should be studying theology so that we’re better equipped to go BE the church for those that have no access TO the church. At the end of the day, if your theology does not serve to render greater obedience to what Christ commanded (including making disciples OF ALL NATIONS), then what good is it?

    Let’s take the Gospel to those that have no access to it, laying aside everything that gets in the way of that – including nit-picking theology, if that hinders the Gospel going forth in any way.

    1. Timothy Post author

      Hi Daniel,

      I understand your concern. I’m not saying that taking the gospel to the nations should be discarded at the expense of theological debate. I don’t believe it is an either/or situation, but a both/and. What discourages me about men like him is that he is using his call for the purpose of guilt and laying aside the necessary need for debate and growth in our understanding of God. Personally, I think he lacks in his understanding of God’s sovereignty. I also believe Luter is using it because the debate has outpaced his own understanding so he is trying to minimize the necessity of it.

      My main thrust of anti-intellectualism was against the second pastor, who in his sermon that I confronted him about, ripped Calvinist twice for their understanding of the LORD’s day, but yet didn’t bother to read Calvin’s Institutes in order to understand Calvin’s point of view. The man just blew me off with the “I just really want to love” Jesus argument. Which shows that he doesn’t love Christ and is lazy. Luter bothers me because he is using guilt and presenting his case as an either/or, instead of a both/and. The second pastor bothers me because he is lazy, leading a church of 500 and preaches on a 4th grade level. Not because his congregation is on that level, but because he is lazy and doesn’t want to work at his calling. Yes, the man has also graduated from DTS just as I have. His attitude shows he needs to be selling cars and not preaching.

      But then, if the man preached faithfully, then I’m not sure he would have 500 people listening to him in this day in age. I know that is not always the case, but it seems to be more often than not.

      Blessings

      1. Daniel Bodnar

        I completely agree with everything you wrote in this response and simply didn’t know enough about the conference or the entirety of their message to fully understand your post. Perhaps it would have helped if I had not stumbled upon this particular entry by following a link shared on someone’s facebook wall ;)

        Thanks for the response!

      2. Timothy Post author

        Yes, this post was never really complete. I was hesitant to post it because I needed to flesh it out some more. But I just don’t have the time right now. In the middle of a move, so I take a break, write, and try to post. I’m surprised that this post got so many hits, especially given it’s not my best work. But alas, God uses what He wants. :)

      3. Daniel Bodnar

        Especially that last comment: “But then, if the man preached faithfully, then I’m not sure he would have 500 people listening to him in this day in age.” ;)

  7. rhparker1

    Many in the Independent Fundamental Baptists (IFB) are just as guilty (if not more so) of this anti-intellectualism. I used to attend an IFB church. Despite attending there, as a result of my own personal studies, I became convinced of the truths of the doctrines of grace. At this IFB church, Sunday after Sunday, the pastor did preach from the bible but danced all around various passages. One had no idea what part of the Bible the pastor would preach from next. I often wondered if he would ever preach on Romans 9. I really doubted it. One particular Sunday the sermon was on Peter’s Great Confession in Matthew 16. I could not wait until the speaker got to verse 17 where Jesus says to Peter, “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” This verse was special to me because this was exactly what happened to me! That is, God revealed Christ to me; He opened my eyes. To me, verse 17 is the climax of this passage. I nearly became ill when the speaker did not only gloss over verse 17 but actually skipped over it! That was the last straw. I decided to find a church that preached through the Bible expositorily and believed in the truths of the doctrines of grace. I now attend a Reformed Baptist church. One of the pastors at my former church questioned my leaving and I informed him that I still love everybody at the church but I disagreed with them over some issues of theology dealing with the sovereignty of God. He then asked if it has something to do with Calvinism. I answered yes. He then told me that he does not know much about that and would have to study it in order to be able to talk to me about it. I WAS SHOCKED! I thought, “Are you a shepherd of the flock and you know nothing about an issue that has caused church splits in area churches?!”

    1. Timothy Post author

      Hi Robert,
      Yes, that is how I feel a lot of times… Thanks for sharing with us. It the same for many who come the the saving knowledge of Christ.

    1. Timothy Post author

      Hi Vickey,
      I think that Luter is railing against Mohler and those who brought the paper. I feel like he doesn’t want the debate at all, so this is the reason he uses evangelism as a bludgeon to silence those who are willing to debate it.

      Yes, I’m truly grateful for me like Mohler and other Reformed Baptists. We need more of them in our pulpits across the nation.

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