FBFI Annual '09: Some Final Reflections
Attending the FBFI fellowship reminded me of many relationships I have been blessed with over the last several years of ministry (and things I have learned from the people I have known). I was able to connect with people from my college experience at Faith like Dave Witcher, who had a display for Baptist Church Planters. I saw Brad and Sarah Calhoun, who served as missionaries in Quebec with Baptist Mid-Missions. Brad now pastors in North Carolina, but provided a memorable service opportunity for a group from the church I served with in Iowa back in 2002. I was able to renew acquaintances with several familiar faces from the years I was in New England, including pastors Ken Endean (from Scarborough, ME) and Chuck Phelps and missionaries Jack and Jennifer Mitchell of Grace Dental Mission. Fleshing out some of the online relationships is always a delight, too. I was reminded as I saw some of these familiar faces this week how God has used people in my life whose conclusions on issues might not always mirror my own.
And Hartog. Does he write? Is there much access online to his teaching, Greg? I hear that he specializes in the writings of the early disciples and patristic fathers. Or is that a brother? I wonder if Hartog has been out West?
And I still like fellowshiping with FBF brothers out here in the West. There are some really fine men out here who love God and His Gospel.
Paul Hartog (the brother of which you speak) is the patristics specialist.
And Chris Leavell says that sometime it would be good to have Paul Hartog come to the intermountain heartland to speak. I need some specialists.
Note to readers in general: if you’re interested in “Liveblogging” other conferences, PM me or send me an email. In particular, the MACP in Detroit is coming up, GARBC next week and ACCC in the fall. We’d love to have a presence and some reporting at each of these.
And if you agree to do it, I can promise you double what I get paid…. nah, triple. :D
Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.
If a person believes that their view is unwelcome, they are likely to be unhappy, and leave. If they feel that their view, while not held by all, is allowed to be expressed even from the national platform, then they are left with a confidence that the difference is not a hindrance to membership, and to fellowship built around the places where there are not differences.
Unity is not necessarily unanimity. To acknowledge that, yes, we don’t all agree on this point, but still, here we are fellowshipping together, is often to take a very big step towards unity of spirit. After recent events, to just ignore the differences would give the impression of sweeping things under the rug.
Perhaps Phelps and Minnick did what was necessary to affirm that both views are welcome in the FBFI.
Perhaps Phelps and Minnick did what was necessary to affirm that both views are welcome in the FBFI.If that was the intent, then it could have been handled much better. As it stands, someone who shared the values of one or the other could be left sensing that they had a place with the one delivering the message, but it was unclear that the one who had the opposing view thought there were grounds for unity with them. I mean, if a foundational principle of your understanding of Scripture is described as a “pothole” to be avoided, or if someone spends 82 minutes demonstrating that the Scriptural conclusion contradicts the one you hold to, you might feel that there is a place for you in the FBFI- but it may not be as clear to you how the other guy is supposed to fit in. In other words, there was nothing said by the ones affirming their own positions to affirm the unity they shared with those who concluded differently.
[Greg Linscott]So what did Pastor Minnick say in his sermon? Is it referenced or blogged about somewhere? I’m sorry for asking but I’ve been somewhat unclear where things are since the redoing of SI. It seems like the FBF conference was “blogged about” as it was going on, but I’m unsure where. I saw the article about Phelps” message, but that is it. (oh and the controversy about one of the side sessions…) but not the main sermons and just “twitters” of the panel discussion.Perhaps Phelps and Minnick did what was necessary to affirm that both views are welcome in the FBFI.If that was the intent, then it could have been handled much better. As it stands, someone who shared the values of one or the other could be left sensing that they had a place with the one delivering the message, but it was unclear that the one who had the opposing view thought there were grounds for unity with them. I mean, if a foundational principle of your understanding of Scripture is described as a “pothole” to be avoided, or if someone spends 82 minutes demonstrating that the Scriptural conclusion contradicts the one you hold to, you might feel that there is a place for you in the FBFI- but it may not be as clear to you how the other guy is supposed to fit in. In other words, there was nothing said by the ones affirming their own positions to affirm the unity they shared with those who concluded differently.
Maybe it is just me, but I fail to see the helpfulness of “twittering”—it feels like overhearing parts and bits of conversations, which could easily leave a person MORE confused than if they never heard any of it. Maybe it’s my age…at 47, I’m just too old to “get the appeal” of such snippets of conversation. I was more intrigued by reading the twitters than actually informed. I’d rather read a whole review or listen to it in order to get the entire picture. Is Twitter (I’m asking in general) appealing to the idea that “everyone else lives a more exciting life than I do”?
(I have to admit.—.I’ve signed up for a Twitter account, but haven’t twittered yet, as I fail to see why anyone would be interested in what I’m doing at the moment. Laundry, making strawberry jam, fixing dinner, weeding the garden and cleaning the house are really not worthy of writing about—better yet, not worth wasting someone else’s time in reading them—esp. minute by minute as if they are important that you know about it.)
Becky, if you go back in the Twitter feed, I did try to cover all the messages I attended that way (except Phelps, where I didn’t have an outlet and my battery ran out on my laptop). Subsequent conversations did not leave adequate time to reflect and write down, and to be honest, I didn’t want to distract or disrupt the flow of the evnt while it was taking place, because it was already evident that some were rattled by what had preceded the meeting over the internet. FWIW, my intent with these specific instances of “Tweeting” (which, by the way, is the first time I’ve done it) was to try to capture notable snippets over the course of the message. My hopes were this might prompt some to listen to the entire message, as I don’t think you can do justice to a message with “Tweets,” any more than you can reading notes someone else has intermittently jotted down while listening to a sermon you never listened to yourself. I tried to be as objective as I could be in my reporting, especially while there, though I do think that it is difficult for someone’s biases never to show through. I wanted to try to get as complete a picture as I could before indulging in any kind of “editorializing.”
With that being said, there were things I overlooked for SI purposes that I could have addressed- the mens’ luncheon on Wednesday, for example. I imagine that my assessment would have been at best distracting to the overall big picture of the week, as previous conversations involving revivalist music techniques (and flamboyant displays that go beyond enthusiastic and into acrobatic) take on a life of their own.
[Greg Linscott] Minnick’s sermon can be listened to here- http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=618091445477 That should give you full context. Essentially, Minnick lays out an argument that definitely concludes on a Calvinistic perspective. I would even go so far as to say that it offers a conclusion that would lead one to look favorably at a “Lordship” position.Thank you, Greg, for both the link and the explanation about twitter. My question about Twitter was more general than just this conference. I just remember feeling frustrated. I guess the next thing they need is live feed, huh? I really liked BJU’s graduation ceremony live. It was great to see my niece graduate from thousands of miles away.
Becky, if you go back in the Twitter feed, I did try to cover all the messages I attended that way (except Phelps, where I didn’t have an outlet and my battery ran out on my laptop). .
If your purpose of the tweeting was to get us to want to hear more, then you succeeded at least with me. I am curious about it, but to be honest, I wanted to hear it before I read any twittering. ;) My question about Twitter, is far more general than this conference. I’ve read of people Twittering about what they eat for breakfast, etc. But my question about be, who wants to read it?
Maybe it is just that I’ve not mastered this new layout for SI. I’ve not seen other articles by you about the sessions at FBF and I’ve tried to keep an eye out for the headlines of new threads. Where are they? (I read your link about twittering the panel discussion and probably one other one, one about Phelps’s sermon and the controversial one about dispensationalism.) If the other sessions were covered, where are they? Do they each have their own thread? I’ve really felt lost with this new SI—seems like I don’t know where anything is supposed to be. No doubt it is my fault. With time, I’ll absorb it all….
You are right, and A. W. Tozer concurs with you…
“The Lord will not save those whom He cannot command. He will not divide His offices. You cannot believe on a half-Christ. We take Him for what He is—the anointed Saviour and Lord who is King of kings and Lord of all lords! He would not be Who He is if He saved us and called us and chose us without the understanding that He can also guide and control our lives” [A. W. Tozer, I Call It Heresy! (Harrisburg, Pa.: Christian Publica¬tions, 1974), 18-19].
He said on p. 19 again ever in an even clearer statment: “The Scriptures do not teach that the Person of Jesus Christ nor any of the important offices which God has given Him can be divided or ignored according to the whims of men. Therefore, I must be frank in my feeling that a notable heresy has come into being throughout our evangelical Christian circles—the widely accepted concept that we humans can choose to accept Christ only because we need Him as Savior and we have the right to postpone our obedience to Him as Lord as long as we want to!”
"Taste and See that the Lord is Good!" Ps. 34:8
Matthew S. Black, Pastor, Living Hope Bible Church of Roselle, Illinois