Ethos Statement on Salvation & Sanctification

Republished with permission (and unedited) from Central Baptist Theological Seminary. (The document posted at Central’s website in August of 2010.)

Salvation

The faculty of Central Baptist Theological Seminary affirms that salvation is found only in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by virtue of His unique personhood, sacrificial death, and subsequent resurrection is the only one who possesses authority to save. The salvation of any soul is an assertion of Christ’s authority or lordship over sin and death. Therefore, we hold that the acceptance of Jesus as Savior implies the acceptance of His authority as Lord. No person can turn to Jesus as Savior while denying Him as Lord. The rejection of Christ as either Lord or Savior is wholly incommensurate with saving faith.

At the same time, we recognize that implicit truth is not always explicitly recognized. Sinners who turn to Christ for salvation do vary in the extent to which they overtly and explicitly recognize His lordship. Certainly no believers immediately understand all the implications of their acceptance of Christ as Savior and Lord. As believers advance in this understanding, the lordship of Christ must be increasingly worked out in their individual lives. We all believe that repentance is a necessary component of saving faith. The intellect, the will, and ordinate affections are integrally related to true repentance and saving faith. Therefore, we find intolerable those approaches to evangelism which minimize any of the three, for example: easy-believism, pragmatism, and revivalism. We also reject any understanding of repentance that makes salvation a reward for virtues that people might produce in their own character or conduct.

We affirm that salvation is the work of God wholly and completely. Humans contribute nothing to the process and can only believe as they receive the grace of God to do so. Apart from that grace, humans cannot believe because they are thoroughly sinful. People are naturally at enmity with God and resist Him at every turn. Therefore God, for reasons completely of His own determination, chooses and draws those whom He saves.

Since God commands all people everywhere to repent, we all believe that the offer of the gospel should be extended to all. Some of us believe that Christ has provided the benefits of salvation for all people, while others believe these benefits may have been secured only for those whom God intends to save. Also, some of us believe that God selected individuals for salvation without condition in eternity past, while others understand God’s choice as either corporate or conditioned on His eternal prescience. Each of these views admits a gracious working by God in those who ultimately respond to the gospel in faith. This gracious work is different in character than any work performed by God in the hearts of those who ultimately reject Christ.

We believe that regeneration establishes permanent membership in the family of God. Some of us believe that regeneration is also the work of God that makes human faith possible, while others of us (not denying that such a work must occur) affirm that regeneration is the result of saving faith. For the regenerate, ultimate denial of the faith is not possible. The regenerate, therefore, will maintain their profession of faith in Christ alone without exception and without end.

Sanctification

We all believe that new life is imparted to every believer at regeneration. Sharing in the life of Christ is intrinsic to the Christian experience. Every believer, therefore, will manifest outwardly this new life in Christ to some extent. The absence of any visible manifestation of new life indicates the absence of regeneration and, hence, the absence of saving faith.

We all affirm that God works over time to conform each believer to the image of His Son. We deny that this transformation will ever produce perfect conformity during the believer’s earthly life. We hold a variety of understandings about the immediacy of the visible manifestations of new life, the extent to which this life must be evidenced, and the degree to which lapses in visible growth might occur. We likewise hold various understandings as to whether post-conversion decisions of dedication or surrender are necessary mechanisms by which spiritual growth is initiated, advanced, or sustained.

We all affirm that believers can and do sin. Sinning believers need confession (which entails repentance), forgiveness, and a restoration of broken fellowship with God. We agree that a professing believer may be carnal, but we give different answers to the question of whether a believer can live in an extended state of carnality. We agree that God can and does discipline sinning believers up to, and sometimes including, physical death.

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James K's picture

Despite various understandings of how God's sovereignty and foreknowledge work together to bring about salvation, agreement exists over the nature of saving faith. I appreciate reading this from a truly fundamentalist perspective. Too many who think of themselves as teachers try to link the truth set forth by the Central faculty with only the most extreme forms of calvinism. The attempt is made to make it seem like this view is linked to the fringe elements of calvinism. The clear opposition to the revivalist mentality is needed as well. The simple affirmation of the truth in these times often requires a rebuttal of the error. The truth is clear, a denial of Christ as Lord is a denial of Christ as savior. There is no salvation if Christ is not Lord.

The true fringe elements, the movement fundamentalists, will be upset at what Dr. Bauder said. This should be expected as they were upset with what Jesus and his apostles said first.

On a personal note, I appreciate the effort by Dr. Bauder to be open and engaging over what Central stands for. The chicago way has done too much damage.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

Kevin T. Bauder's picture

Bob,

At the moment we have no professor who holds particular redemption. If a man were otherwise qualified, this issue would not keep us from hiring him, however. We tend to think that the whole Calvinist controversy is rather overblown. Our ethos embraces a spectrum that would include the positions that you impute both to Calvary and to Detroit (though those schools may not be quite as monolithic as you imagine--but it's up to their presidents to speak for them!).

Having said that, you're right about Doc not being a Calvinist. The story is still told that when he visited Geneva he asked for permission to sit in Calvin's chair. When his hosts wanted to know why, he told them that he wanted to confess Calvin's sins!

As for the priority of regeneration in the Ordo Salutis--remember that the faculty you're thinking of at Detroit was assembled by Rolland McCune, who went there from Central Seminary. I don't think that he changed his views on the way from Minnesota to Michigan. What he taught there is pretty much what he taught here.

Thanks for stipulating a description of classical dispensationalism. In the "industry," that expression is usually used for Scofieldianism or other early versions of dispensational theology. As you use the term, I believe that it fairly describes all of our present faculty. We'd all say that Christ made a legitimate offer of the Kingdom to Israel. In fact, I think we'd probably all agree that the offer has never really been taken off the table, thought Israel will not receive it until the end of the Seventieth Week.

We agree that crisis experiences are sometimes necessary in the Christian life. I would say that they are required under two circumstances: first, when a believer has knowingly been resisting God's will, and second, when we make decisions that dramatically affect the course of our lives. In the first case, confrontation has a legitimate role, whether in person or from the pulpit. In the second, however, the crisis is of a different sort. Such decisions should not be made in a moment of emotional upheaval, but after seeking the prayers and counsel of God's people and meditating upon the principles of the Word of God. In any case, these are special circumstances that do not depreciate incremental (not necessarily imperceptible) growth as the normal mechanism of progressive sanctification.

Someday you and I will have to talk about nouthetic counseling. I'm not sure that you are entirely aware of the differences within the biblical counseling camp(s). Adams launched the movement, but he actually lost control of it pretty quickly. The next generation do not share some of the beliefs that you find objectionable (though I'm sure that you would still have differences). Important modifications were introduced by people like Welch and the Tripps. What we teach is actually a further modification of that.

We are willing to recognize the possibility of pathologies that affect human perception and decision. We would never discourage people from seeking medical help for those pathologies. We do insist, however, that Scripture be applied to every circumstance to which it is relevant.

The Bible does not provide the answer to every question. Here are some questions to which we cannot find answers in the Bible:

How can I guarantee that I will be wealthy in my old age?

Where should I drill for oil?

What stocks should I invest int?

How can I live a life that is free of physical pain?

How can I be sure that I will never have to endure emotional pain?

A person who looks in the Bible for answers to these questions is going to be sorely disappointed. What the Bible does tell us is how wealth ought to be used, how poverty ought to be faced, how pain ought to be addressed, and how we can respond to heartache. People who neglect these teachings are likely to face disaster in their lives.

Biblical counseling is nothing but discipleship. It is the application of theology to the difficult decisions and perplexities of life. It is a matter of discovering and disassembling the idols that we entertain in our hearts.

If you were to sit through a couple of our classes, you might find much less to object to than you think. As an alumnus, you can do that, you know!

Kevin

Joel Tetreau's picture

I just wish to add, that not only in our seminaries but in our fellowships I fear that we have made more than we should by making a certain view of election, or a certain view of dispensationalism, or just about anything with an "ism" on the end a non-negotiable for any level of koinonia. It's just wrong. I remember hearing my friends a few decades ago "roast" (and I mean the burn was on "high") a brother who was not consistently "this" or "that." My spirit would wilt and mourn. Well.....I'm sad to admit that there have been too many times when I've been guilty of the same wrong attitude. There is no Biblical warrant to cut all ties of Christian communion just because another brother or ministry doesn't practice or do ministry the same way you do, especially when we would admit to a possible interpretational variety. BTW - it is the height of immaturity (IMO) to rule that there is no legitimate view other than your own in these kinds of discussions. What demonstrates the strength of one's position is when one can articulate the other views accurately and with respect, while at the same time holding your own conviction about a debated matter. I'm happy to say that Central Seminary excels at this. Even before Kevin was leading the team, the faculty at Central was responsible here. One of my biggest disapointments in other men who believe as I do about election, a responsible baptist tradition, type b fundamentalism, team leadership and decentralized ecclesiastical decision-making has been the way we cut off the heads of men who may believe differently than we on such matters. I don't know this - but it's almost like we're saying, "well, those guys have been rude to us, we'll be rude back!" How is that sane? These matters while important should not trump God's instruction to have loyalty at the level of orthodxy and the gospel. Peace!

Straight Ahead!

jt

Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Bible Church (sevbc.org); Regional Coordinator for IBL West (iblministry.com), Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Kevin, very helpful and interesting responses here, especially in fine tuning what you are including in the term "revivalism" ... and nouthetic counseling.

A somewhat random thought on the whole business of comparing options in dispensationalism, views of sanctification, calvinism vs. other, etc...
I've been struck lately by how easy it is to compare the worst examples of one thing to the best examples of the alternative--when the best examples of each are nearly indistinguishable.

Jay's picture

Kevin T. Bauder wrote:
Mr. C.:

As a reference point, here are the third and fourth Arminian Articles (kindly excuse typos). These are the statements that define traditional Arminianism.

Article 3

That man has not saving grace of himself, nor of the energy of his free will, inasmuch as he, in the state of apostasy and sin, can of an by himself neither think, will, nor do any thing that is truly good (such as saving Faith eminently is); but that it is needful that he be born again of God in Christ, through his Holy Spirit, and renewed in understanding, inclination, or will, and all his powers, in order that he may rightly understand, think, will, and effect what is truly good, according to the Word of Christ, John 15:5, “Without me ye can do nothing.”

Article 4

That this grace of God is the beginning, continuance, and accomplishment of all good, even to this extent, that the regenerate man himself, without prevenient or assisting, awakening, following and cooperative grace, can nei­ther think, will, nor do good, nor withstand any temptations to evil; so that all good deeds or movements, that can be conceived, must be ascribed to the grace of God in Christ. But as respects the mode of the operation of this grace, it is not irresistible; inas­much as it is written con­cerning many, that they have resisted the Holy Ghost. Acts 7, and else­where in many places.

I'm not sure which books you may have read in grad school, but in these words you have Arminianism straight from the horse's mouth.


Dr. Bauder-

This is helpful. Short of reading the works of Jacob Arminius, are there any other books that would be recommended for a Arminian view from Central? I'd say that 90-95% of the books I read for Systematic (granted, I couldn't / didn't read all of the books that were recommended on the subject) leaned heavily Calvinistic...so much so that I went to the teacher to ask. He sympathized with me, and said that the Calvinists were far better at writing books than Arminians.

BTW, please call me Jay. Thanks! Smile

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Paul J. Scharf's picture

Jay C. wrote:
Short of reading the works of Jacob Arminius, are there any other books that would be recommended for a Arminian view?

Jay,
Check John Miley: http://www.amazon.com/Systematic-Theology-vols-John-Miley/dp/0943575095

Kevin T. Bauder wrote:
At this point, it needs to be said that seminaries attempt to fulfill two kinds of goals. Some seminaries wish to foster and perpetuate a doctrinal and ecclesiastical tradition. Other seminaries wish to prepare their students to think independently and to come to their own conclusions about matters of theology and conduct.

In general, I have found this thread to be most enlightening. I appreciate Dr. Bauder's teaching, and this has given me much more of a "flavoring" of what Central is all about at this time and has assuaged some of my concerns about Central. As a Faith sem grad, however, it has also reinforced my thought that it would have been very difficult to bring about a complete merger of the two schools without one sacrificing its identity. Maybe in a perfect world we need both to complement each other.

To SI staff: This whole round of discussion has given lots of publicity to Central and its "ethos." Any chance that other seminaries will be given the opportunity to share the spotlight? How about Faith, especially, since they were the other partner in the situation that gave rise to the present discussion?? They seem to be forgotten here, but also have their own set of http://www.faith.edu/generalinfo/positionalstatements/definitiondirectio... ]position statements in case anyone is interested.

Church Ministries Representative for the Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

There's always Charles Finney, too.

Jay's picture

Paul, I just put this in the Sept. Mod Forum; I'm sure someone (Aaron?) will post soon. I don't think it will be a problem as long as they let us publish it - sometimes that's a sticky widget because they prefer to keep their articles for their own publicity / events.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Quote:
To SI staff: This whole round of discussion has given lots of publicity to Central and its "ethos." Any chance that other seminaries will be given the opportunity to share the spotlight? How about Faith, especially, since they were the other partner in the situation that gave rise to the present discussion?? They seem to be forgotten here, but also have their own set of position statements in case anyone is interested.

We have published a number of articles in the past from Faith Pulpit, and Paraklesis and a couple as well from DBTS' faculty, Shepherd's Seminary faculty and Calvary Seminary faculty. They were different kinds of content from these ethos statements, though, yes.

As for the Faith position statements, now that you mention it, I think I recall seeing a reference to them in an email. It sort of blew by at the time. Anyway, I'll plan to take a look at them.

Bob T.'s picture

Another reply to Dr. Kevin Bauder,

With regard to Calvinism. We drove here to Pismo Beach Sunday afternoon and here we sit in our Motorhome at the Pismo Coast RV resort next to the beach. My perception is that there are no Calvinist issues here in Pismo. Only good clam chowder. Actually the largest churches are a Calvary Chapel and a Community church that is really a Nazarene church. However, Calvinism and the LS gospel are fairly large issues on the West coast outside of Pismo Beach. It is an issue with most all graduates of Masters Seminary. They have been turning out about 100 graduates a year. An exceedingly popular book by a young but very popular Masters graduate is "Crazy Love" by Eric Chan (I think his first name is Eric). This book sets forth a terrible view of Christian salvation, sanctification, and commitment. It has been used by some churches for all church studies. A church of 1700 in Lancaster, CA. did so. This kind of theology is a kind of Puritan Calvinism that is espoused by what I call Militant 5 point Calvinism. Also go to the web site of Eternity Bible College and read their doctrinal statement on salvation. Calvinism may not be an issue among the Frozen Chosen in Articsota and not here at Pismo Beach, but it is in some areas. It is not a healthy Calvinism. I do not think that Central can ignore what is going on. Calvinism is an issue. An unhealthy Militant Calvinism is confusing people in churches and causing problems in some churches. There also is a guy in Minneapolis you may have heard of. His name is John Piper. His view of final Justification where God examines our works to see evidence of our Justification for final disposition is very problematic. First case I have heard of where the Judge first issues the verdict and then years later decides to see if the verdict issued was correct by now examining evidence that was not the issue in the first verdict. I do not think we should launch a wholesale assault on historic Calvinism. But it is difficult to ignore militant assaults by extremist. There are consequences on real Christian living.This ain't your father's Calvinism (unless he was a Puritan).

In regard to Nouthetic counseling. I have read the books and heard the voices of the second generation. I am sorry to say that many do not even seem aware of what present day Psychiatry and Psychology is all about. I cannot over emphasize what is wholesale ignorance of the mental health field. Most of their criticism continues to be forty years behind the reality. A prime example are the statements they make about referring to a medical doctor. What kind of Medical doctor? An Orthopedist? That statement is useless. The referral of one who may need a medical doctor and displaying brain disease symptoms must be made to a Psychiatrist. A name they still resist
The Psychiatrist now works on the medical model. I have read and heard online statements by professors from Westminster, Masters College, and others that indicated no understanding at all of Brain disease or present medical treatment. Nothing but doubts and criticism of the secular medical approach. The Book "Biblical Counseling," edited by John MacArthur has a long discourse in the back question and answer section which states that the concept of Mental illness (Brain Disease) is a myth. This was used there at Central as a text to be purchased for a counseling class. Actually the entire book has many misconceptions. The chapter by Doug bookman simply ignores reality and does not make sense. When Nouthetic Counseling is ready to learn what real Psychiatric treatment is, and is willing to say without reservation, that they recognize the reality and extent of Mental Illness (Brain Disease) and that such must be treated by a medical specialist called a Psychiatrist, and that they are thankful to God for his guidance in providence that has brought about the many anti Psychotic prescription medicines, and that most mental illness must be treated by medicine, then I will have some respect for them. Until then I consider the Nouthetic Counselor like the untrained medical quack seeking to deal with something they know nothing about. Nor are they willing to find out. Their presuppositions are nothing but bad biblical interpretation leading to prejudice and denial of reality. Since the onset of Schizophrenia at age 18 in our youngest son, I have been driven to understand how such can be physiological and not spiritual. My prior reading and agreement with the anti Psychology and Nouthetic group were obstacles to fair evaluation. My profound ignorance and misconceptions made me feel ashamed. Our subsequent involvement in the mental health system, NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), and research, has mede this a journey from middle ages darkness to enlightenment by legitimate science and experience. Unfortunately the more Fundamental a church is the more unable and useless they are in providing counsel and help. The two dangers to the mentally ill are the Charismatic who is ready to treat them as Demon possessed and the trained Nouthetic counselor who is ready to doubt, too readily seek to treat the spiritual, and then question the use of medicines. They simply want to talk when they should shut up and then talk about that which is not relevant.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Bob, you're entitled to your opinion on the subject and have expressed it here many times. Let's not turn this in another thread debating 'nouthetic' counseling in extremely broad terms. In the past we've posted lots of examples of nouthetic folks who are up to date and well aware of the related fields, including one who is herself a psychiatrist.
I don't doubt that there are plenty of weaknesses in various representatives of the biblical counseling movement. There are even bigger and more numerous problems evident in alternative approaches. But we're not going to accomplish anything talking in these generalities. Wiser to take these books and practitioners one at a time and evaluate them according to Scripture for what they can offer and where they are in error.

Eternity Bible College statement of faith on Salvation...

EBC wrote:

Salvation
We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by faith alone
in the Lord Jesus Christ, Whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our
sins (Ephesians 2:8-10, 1:7; John 1:12; I Peter 1:18-19).
We believe that before the foundation of the world God freely and graciously chose
those individuals whom He would save. He did this based upon His own sovereign choice and
not based upon any foresight or anticipation of an individual’s decision. The grace of God
encompasses the gift of salvation and the means of receiving the gift. All and only those whom
the Father draws will come in faith, and all and only those who come in faith will be received
by the Father (Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:4, 11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:1-2; John 6:37,
40, 44; Acts 13:48).

We believe that God’s sovereign choice does not contradict or negate man’s
responsibility for his actions in any way. Man is completely responsible for his decisions and
should be honestly called upon to repent and trust Christ as Savior and Lord (John 3:18-19, 36,
5:40; Acts 2:38-39; 2 Corinthians 5:20; Psalm 62:12; Romans 2:5-6; Revelation 20:13).
We believe that justification is an act of God whereby He forensically declares righteous those
who have faith in Christ alone. This righteousness is completely independent of any virtue,
merit, or good work of man, but is based upon faith alone. Justification involves both an
imputation of the believer’s sin to Christ and the imputation of God’s righteousness to the
believer. In this way Paul can say that God is both “just and the justifier of the one who has faith
in Jesus” (Romans 3:20; 4:6; 8:33, 10:9-10; Acts 2:38; Colossians 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Corinthians
1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 3:26).


So what exactly would you say is wrong with this, Bob?

Rob Fall's picture

How many here have read Francis Wayland's Principles and Practices of Baptist Churches?

Written in the late 1850s (the book is a compilation of a series of his magazine articles), Dr. Wayland deliniates the difference between the John Gill and Andrew Fuller threads of Calvinism. For the last two hundred years, most American and British Baptists have (knowingly or unknowingly) followed in the footsteps of Andrew Fuller.

If I am correctly reading the above comments, then we are experiencing a resurgence of Gillism.

On Amazon at:
http://www.amazon.com/Notes-Principles-Practices-Baptist-Churches/dp/114...

On Goggle Books at:
http://books.google.com/books?id=KI-JFHfQ1HwC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Not...

Or contact me for a .rtf of the Google document.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Bob T.'s picture

Aaron, IMO just the opposite was shown on the prior discussions on Nouthetic Counseling. The Psychiatrist was listed by a group in Biblical counseling in San Diego as a counselor but in fact has a private practice and is friendly to Biblical counseling but stated clearly her differences with Nouthetic presuppositions. But you are right this is not a thread about Nouthetic Counseling. So why not just state that and not offer your opinions of conclusions of prior threads on the matter?

The problem with the Eternity doctrinal statement is that it is specific about unconditional election. Most all schools express election in less certain terms if it is expressly stated at all. They leave no room for differing views .

Interestingly, Francis Chan, school founder and Masters graduate has expressed doubts about his own salvation based on his own perception and doubts about his own complete commitment.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Quote:
They leave no room for differing views .

Why should they do that? It's their view.
I guess I'm in favor of schools and other institutions taking their stand where they believe they should and openly communicating that. But unconditional election has been around at least as long as Augustine, so we should be past shock and outrage about it, even if we disagree with it.

Bob T.'s picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:
Quote:
They leave no room for differing views .

Why should they do that? It's their view.
I guess I'm in favor of schools and other institutions taking their stand where they believe they should and openly communicating that. But unconditional election has been around at least as long as Augustine, so we should be past shock and outrage about it, even if we disagree with it.

You are right. They are expressing their view dogmatically and have no place for those who differ. This is one of the characteristics of Militant Calvinism. They also have the natural consequence of regeneration before faith and the performance basis for assurance which is sowing doubts about salvation except for the few willing to consider themselves as fully committed to the demands of the Lord Jesus Christ.

You mention Augustine. Is that the Augustine who was wrong about Justification, baptism, regeneration, the church, and the kingdom of God?

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Bob,

How is that different from the militant anti-Calvinistic schools like Ambassador that requires their students to sign affirmations denouncing the Doctrines of Grace before they are permitted to attend. With all of this noise over Central's ethos statements, I assume you fully reject a school like DBTS that narrows the field even farther for their scope of training.

(Note: I have other fish to fry with Ambassador, but their anti-Calvinism is one of the issues they pose.)

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Don Johnson's picture

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
How is that different from the militant anti-Calvinistic schools like Ambassador that requires their students to sign affirmations denouncing the Doctrines of Grace before they are permitted to attend.

Chip, is this in some secondary document that Ambassador applicants must sign, other than their application form? Their application form has this requirement:

Quote:
THE FOLLOWING AGREEMENT MUST BE SIGNED
I am in agreement with the doctrinal statement of Ambassador Baptist College and agree to abide by all rules of conduct as established by the College.

And their doctrinal statement has this reference to Calvinism (and Arminianism):

Quote:
that the extremes of Calvinism and Arminianism are both unbiblical.

Is there something more than that, or is that what you are referring to? If that is all there is, I wouldn't find that requirement all that unusual or "militant anti-Calvinist". I do realize that Ron Comfort has made some pretty pointed remarks about Calvinism, but as far as I can tell from their website, their requirements for entrance are not exactly as you described. Maybe there is something else, perhaps you have other documentation?

Personally, I wouldn't recommend a student to go to Ambassador over their versions issues, but I am just wondering where you see this requirement to sign a form denouncing the "Doctrines of Grace"?

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

MShep2's picture

Quote:
that the extremes of Calvinism and Arminianism are both unbiblical
While I know that these words are not found in the Bible, I don't know if they are helping anything by banning them without definition. It would be interesting to gauge the views of the faculty (and Ron Comfort) on the Arminian-Calvinism scale. I would guess that they would have some 4 pointers and/or almost-Arminians but who call themselves "biblicists." I much prefer Central's more complete and nuanced statement.

MS
--------------------------------
Luke 17:10

CAWatson's picture

Jay C. wrote:

This is helpful. Short of reading the works of Jacob Arminius, are there any other books that would be recommended for a Arminian view from Central? I'd say that 90-95% of the books I read for Systematic (granted, I couldn't / didn't read all of the books that were recommended on the subject) leaned heavily Calvinistic...so much so that I went to the teacher to ask. He sympathized with me, and said that the Calvinists were far better at writing books than Arminians.

BTW, please call me Jay. Thanks! Smile

Jay,

Pinnock's book on "The Grace of God and the Will of Man" (Zondervan, 1989) has several fair articles by responsible scholars.

Also, Roger Olson's book "Arminian Theology" is probably a respectable read (he is an extremely honest scholar - even though I disagree with most of what he claims - I haven't read this book by him).

Don Johnson's picture

MShep2 wrote:
Quote:
that the extremes of Calvinism and Arminianism are both unbiblical
I much prefer Central's more complete and nuanced statement.

This quote is from a doctrinal statement, not an ethos paper. In any case, my point isn't to compare statements but ask Chip if there is some other document where Ambassador applicants are required to affirm as he claims.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Sorry about the delay. I was looking for the document you requested. Unfortunately I cannot find it now. I think it would be best to modify my statement. At one point in the summer of 1997 Ambassador reached the point where it required all its students to denounce major tenants of Calvinism in order to return to school. Here is a link to Comfort referencing the document in a sermon.

http://www.ambassadors.edu/resources/Fruits_of_Calvinism.pdf

You will find the reference on page 8, paragraph 2. Perhaps the document is no longer required now that the Calvinistic influences referenced in the sermon have been cleaned out of the college.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Don Johnson's picture

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
Sorry about the delay. I was looking for the document you requested. Unfortunately I cannot find it now. I think it would be best to modify my statement. At one point in the summer of 1997 Ambassador reached the point where it required all its students to denounce major tenants of Calvinism in order to return to school. Here is a link to Comfort referencing the document in a sermon.

http://www.ambassadors.edu/resources/Fruits_of_Calvinism.pdf

You will find the reference on page 8, paragraph 2. Perhaps the document is no longer required now that the Calvinistic influences referenced in the sermon have been cleaned out of the college.

Hi Chip, Thanks for the reply. I appreciate your search. I just wanted to be sure about the statement, because your comment prompted me to go searching myself and I couldn't find anything exactly like what you described.

I would have to say that the situation Comfort describes has more to do with a specific situation rather than militant anti-Calvinism. I don't think it quite parallels what Bob was referring to above, but maybe others would differ.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Don,

I'm not sure how much more militantly anti-Calvinistic someone can be without packing heat :bigsmile:

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Don Johnson's picture

Well, I know that Comfort is quite outspoken, so I would accept the designation for him, but the situation he described in the sermon you reference had more to do with a rebel clique within the institution. I think that mitigates the situation.

Of course, I am not a Calvinist, so I probably look at this more mildly than a Calvinist would.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

juitdeflesch's picture

... the militant anti-Calvinistic schools like Ambassador that requires their students to sign affirmations denouncing the Doctrines of Grace before they are permitted to attend.

Actually FYI, Ambassador doesn't require students to sign the doctrinal statement (its not like its a "special paper") until they are a returning student (sophmores, juniors, and seniors).

John Uit de Flesch

Don Johnson's picture

If you will note my post above (#47) the following quote comes from the currently available application form at the ABC site:

Quote:
THE FOLLOWING AGREEMENT MUST BE SIGNED
I am in agreement with the doctrinal statement of Ambassador Baptist College and agree to abide by all rules of conduct as established by the College.

Not that this matters... we are now in thread drift!

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

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