Reformed Theology vs. the Reformed Attitude

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by mandym, Jul 16, 2011.

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  1. mandym

    mandym
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    I read with interest an online interview that Danny Fast did with Rob Schlapfer from The Discerning Reader and Christian Counterculture. I say I read it with interest because Rob has been a pretty staunch defender of Calvinism/Reformed Theology and now it appears he is abandoning Calvinism. Here are a few salient comments from the e-mail exchange between Danny and Rob:

    3. (Question from Danny) In a letter published with your permission to Michael Spencer you said "We are abandoning Calvinism" and "The 16th century is over. We're not wasting any more time with such a dead issue." I think many of us, probably more who are Calvinists, and who enjoy the work of DiscerningReader and ChristianCounterCulture would like you to expand on this

    (Rob's Answer) We need to focus on the world that is actually confronting us today. The students we deal with have needs that are real and cannot be helped by talking about abstract theological issues that were fought over centuries ago. One can talk about the reality of God's sovereignty (and all the related themes) without talking about Calvinism.

    Calvinism is a great study for historical theology. But it is not the gospel — in ANY way. For awhile I thought we could deal with it along the periphery, all the while moving people on to being followers of Jesus and lovers of His Word — not being "Reformed." But most Calvinists can't do that. They have to identify with their cause. So we are leaving it well behind. Our cause is Christ and his kingdom. Not Reformed Theology.

    (Question from Danny) 7. Final question. In Michael's letter you said "Besides, "Reformed" people are an embarrassment to the name of Christ." Can you expand on this as many may have taken it as an insult.

    (Rob's Answer) I think I have written about this many times over the years. Reformed people have a reputation within the Christian community — and outside, even — that is easy to survey:


    judgmental
    self-righteous
    arrogant

    Why do you think Lance Quinn added all those appendices to the new edition of P&Rs "The 5 Points of Calvinism"? About a "kinder gentler Calvinism"? He wrote to tell me: it was because Calvinists tend to be nasty, mean-spirited people. One always has to qualify the 5 Points with some appeal . . .

    The main reason we have discontinued the vast majority of Reformed books is becasue the people who buy them are disproportionately mean, nasty, hateful, judgmental and EMBARRASSING to the faith. We have had ENOUGH dealing with them. I am actually a very laid-back, easy-going guy. People who know me would tell you that. But this work has taken my blood pressure off the charts.


    People who are offended by this ought to do some serious pondering here. Because it is just an empirical fact.

    http://jollyblogger.typepad.com/jollyblogger/2004/10/reformed_theolo.html
     
  2. Tom Butler

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    I'm a little confused. You appear to have lifted part of a blog and made it your own.

    It was written by a pastor named Bruce, who calls himself the JollyBlogger. After he relates the conversation, he goes on to say that he is Reformed.

    mandym, are you Bruce? If you are, fine, but you need to make that clearer. If not, please cite Bruce's blog as your source. Otherwise, it's plagiarism.

    I realize you provided a link, but those who don't click it are going to think those are your words.
     
  3. Tom Butler

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    I must lead a sheltered life. I know a bunch of Calvinists and not a single one of them is arrogant, judgmental or self-righteous. They are some of the humblest, Christ-honoring people I've ever known. I guess they're out there, just never ran across them.

    Now, I will say this. When people discover and embrace the Doctrines of Grace, they think it's the greatest thing since pockets on a shirt. And they want to tell everybody they know about it. This may be off-putting to some folks, especially non-Cals



    I remember my own situation as a newly-minted DoG. My Non-Cal pastor rolled his eyes when he saw me coming.

    As one preacher said about another who was a free worshiper and quite vocal: If anybody makes heaven, he will--if he doesn't overshoot it. That was my problem. In my zeal to tell everybody about my discovery, I may have overshot it.

    Frankly, I can't imagine why any Calvinist would be arrogant-or want to be.
     
  4. mandym

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    I am confused as to the confusion. The link is the sited source and that is common practice on this boar.
     
    #4 mandym, Jul 16, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2011
  5. Iconoclast

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    This was also in the blog:
    there can and does seem to be a stage cage reaction many times,when someone finds out how much truth has been hidden from them. The eat it up really fast ,and sometimes the wisdom how to present these truths does not catch up to the head knowledge. it is a growth in grace that is needed.

    the same can be said of ex-roman catholics, who almost get violently mad against all things catholic when Jesus sets them free.

    sometimes calvinists who first come to truth, get attacked from all sides instead of encouraged by other brethren. They react and defend them selves,rather than stick with the claims of truth.

    Hey Mandy....I also found this in the article....
    you probably did not post this part because you were afraid to run out of space!

    This is a good reminder to all;
    This is a fair article as we all need to be reminded of this danger.
     
  6. HankD

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    Here is another danger with labels and names.

    Reformed theology is not necessarily "calvinism" being as the label implies as coming out of the Reformation which is distinct (but not separate) from calvinism.

    I don't accept the "reformed" label either as the Reformation IMO was a failure.

    The mainline churches of the Reformation to this very day retain many of the graveclothes of the Church of Rome: Pado-baptism (a disguise for baptismal regeneration), transubstantiation (disguised as consubstantiation), sacramentalism, a socerdotal/ministerial priesthood, etc, etc.

    True many have the label "reformed" and don't hold these errors of Rome but redefine out the romish error. e.g. Bible Presbyterian churches view paedo-baptism as a Christian parental "covenant promise" with confirmation of the batizee to follow in later years.

    That is not to say I can't/wont visit a reformed church and even have a time of fellowship. A Baptist local church which calls itself "reformed" is probably ok.

    I accept the label "baptist" because of the baptist distinctives which represent the true infrastructure of the autonomous local church.

    However it is also inadequate seeing the "Heinz 57 variety" (actually many more) syndrome of baptistic bodies and I often must correct wrong assumptions concerning what my personal detailed view of "Baptist" entails and use the "distinctives" to clarify my position.

    HankD
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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    True that Baptists did not come from the first wave Reformation (think Luther, Zwingli, Knox, Calvin or even Henry VIII).

    There is no record of an English Baptist church (defining Baptist as such a group similar to my church today in polity and confession) until 1610 - nearly a century LATER.

    We are "second wave" Reformed - bascially NOT leaving the Romish whore, but leaving Rome's stepchildren.

    But "reformed" in doctrine nonetheless. So that is a legit term to use. Describes English Baptists that are "particular" or "calvinistic" in the doctrines of grace. Like mine.
     
  8. Earth Wind and Fire

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  9. glfredrick

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    I think that there is a nuanced issue at hand in regard to the old-line terms like Calvinism and Arminianism. They no longer fully fit the picture of a BIBLICAL church that sees God as ultimately sovereign in more than just soteriology.

    I disavow the term "Calvinism" though by most definitions I are one. Why? Simply, theology has pressed forward in the past 500 years and we can now set aside pejoratives and major on biblical theology instead of re-hashing old and worn ideas including the following (non-inclusive) list:

    Unity over division.
    God's sovereignty to man's will, even if that will is perfectly bent toward God.
    Spiritual gifts over ceasationism, but also acknowledge that some gifts are misunderstood and that the use in some cases is anti-biblical in nature.
    A confessional congregation that yet retains the priesthood of all believers.
    Community to individuality.
    The gospel as the means to life instead of the route to death.
    A plurality of leaders in the local church.
    The work of an apostle in the true biblical sense, i.e., one who is a messenger to God's people, yet un-called, in order that they might hear the gospel and become a NT church.
    Prayer (with the sharing of the gospel) as the primary evangelistic tool that leads to salvation, and the primary weapon of spiritual warfare.

    All of the above and more could be seen in traditional Calvinism, but not in a biblical sense, in that the congregations that best practiced Calvinism also tended to leave off some of the very biblical doctrines and practices listed above. I do not see many of the practices above in Arminian, Semi-Pelagian, Pelagian, or no-name theology churches.
     
  10. Tom Butler

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    Maybe I just looked at it wrong. I'm wondering, did anybody else think mandym was the author of the post, and realized it was a quote only after clicking the link. And would you have known mandym was not the author had you not clicked the link?

    I'm just wondering if I'm the only one who drew that conclusion.
     
  11. glfredrick

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    I thought so as well, but realized after reading a bit that was not the case.
     
  12. preacher4truth

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    I gathered the same conclusion. I also gathered the OP is a little inflammatory and quite judgmental and condeming in approach toward the Calvinist/DoG brehthren, and feel that is its main objective, and is unnecessary.

    - Peace
     
  13. mandym

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    The op was written by someone who is reformed and the conversation is between reformed folks.
     
  14. mandym

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    Every article I post on this board is done this way. In fact it is common practice for a great many people on this board. I wonder why this particular article is being characterized this way?
     
  15. glfredrick

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    It is quite easy to insert an article in quotes, then cite a link. Let me or anyone else that understands the process to help if you need the help.
     
  16. mandym

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    Again, I have posted article after article as has a great many others. Yet this one is pulled out of the bunch.
     
  17. preacher4truth

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    Part of it is the way you come across with it in what portions you've posted, which I for one find unnecessary and instigative, the other part is it looks as if it's an attempt to come across as from you. Just because you think these things are true or correct doesn't mean it's OK. I believe it is unnecessary and misrepresents the good Christian calvinist/DoG brethren on the BB and elsewhere.

    Furthermore, the many brothers and sisters who post on here make it very apparent when quoting others.
     
  18. mandym

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    http://www.baptistboard.com/showpost.php?p=1705265&postcount=1

    http://www.baptistboard.com/showpost.php?p=1704265&postcount=1

    http://www.baptistboard.com/showpost.php?p=1706127&postcount=1

    http://www.baptistboard.com/showpost.php?p=1705360&postcount=1

    But the fact is I posted a very apparent link. That discredits any idea I tried to claim it as my own.
     
  19. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Are you possibly writing a book yourself my Brother in Christ. You appear to have a good outline as well as substance.

    Best of luck if you are:love2:
     
  20. Skandelon

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    It appears to me that you guys are making a mountain out of mole hill to avoid discussing the content presented. I think its clear that mandym wasn't intending to mislead, and now you all know it was a quoted OP, so move on.

    I also think its interesting that some of you are offended by what two reformed believers see as a problem within your ranks, especially since some of what they are recognizing is a text book example of what we too often experience here.
     
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