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Posts Tagged ‘Tom Ascol’

Why Stay in the SBC?

By Tom Ascol

“Why should we stay in the SBC?” I’ve had that question put to me from pastors, elders, deacons, and whole congregations over the last 30 years. The questioners are always serious about the gospel and biblical church order and most of them would describe themselves as reformed or “reformedish.” The questions increase on the heels of some unfortunate, public pronouncement by a respected Southern Baptist pastor or denominational servant.

“There is not a nickel’s worth of difference between liberalism, five-point Calvinism and dead orthodoxy.”

“Calvinism is worse than Islam.”

“Calvinism makes automotons of people.”

“[Calvinism] is a dagger to the heart of evangelism.”

I could go on, but you get the idea. A Southern Baptist Calvinist could get the impression that he is not welcomed in the SBC and, as another prominent SBC…

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

 

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Spirit-Filled Ministry: A Round Table Interview with Tom Nettles, Tom Ascol, and Jared Longshore

In this Round-Table Interview, Jared Longshore asks what a Spirit-filled ministry looks like. Tom Nettles considers the power that can attend the preacher in his work of proclaiming the gospel. Tom Ascol notes that precisely measuring a Spirit-filled ministry is no easy task.

To download the mp3 click here.

 

Source [Founders Ministries]

B.H. Carroll and Robust Confessionalism

February 28, 2017 Leave a comment

Tom Ascol

Should a church use a confession of faith? If so, how robust should that confession be? While few modern Baptists may be willing to identify with the Campbellite “no creed but Christ, no book but the Bible” approach to church life, considerably more seem to be skeptical of or even decidedly against the use of a robust confession of faith by local churches. Yet an extensive confession can serve a church well especially in seasons of doctrinal minimalism and confusion such as our own.

B.H. Carroll, the founder and first President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, understood this well and minced no words in his insistence on robust confessionalism. He rightly noted the inextricable connection between doctrine and devotion, faith and life. He writes,

All the modern hue and cry against dogma is really against morals. The more we reduce the number of the creed articles, the more we undermine practical religion.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Free Ebook- Traditional Theology and the SBC: An Interaction with, and Response to, the Traditionalist Statement of God’s Plan of Salvation

by Tom Ascol

Introductory Remarks

On May 30, 2012 I had a document emailed to me (from two different people) that was sent out to what looked to be a list of all the executive directors of state conventions in the Southern Baptist Convention. The title of the document is “A Statement of Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation” (TS). One of the pastors who sent it to me prevailed on me to review and respond to the document.

After reading the document carefully I quickly came to two conclusions. First, I realized that it is a serious doctrinal statement and therefore worthy of serious evaluation. I determined to give time to studying its affirmations and denials in light of the authors claims of being both biblical and representative of the “traditional” Southern Baptist view of salvation. The second conclusion I reached is that this TS, more than anything else that I have seen written on the differences that characterize many Southern Baptists on the doctrines of grace, has the potential seriously to disrupt the fragile unity that exists in the SBC. The Great Commission Resurgence (GCR) that has been led by Southern Baptist statesmen like Johnny Hunt, Danny Akin and Thom Rainer has encouraged SBC churches to unite and rally around our common commitment to make Jesus Christ known throughout the world. Though at times tentative, and not being without its dissidents and detractors, the GCR has helped foster genuine cooperation around the gospel. My fear is that the TS will be used to revive old suspicions and misrepresentations that too often have characterized past debates over the doctrines of grace.

The list of original signers included Jerry Vines, Jimmy Draper, Paige Patterson, Malcolm Yarnell, David Allen, Eric Hankins, Emir Caner, Adam Harwood and David Hankins—men highly esteemed by Southern Baptists as pastors, SBC presidents, seminary and college administrators and professors. Since its publication, the TS has, to date, garnered over six hundred signatures, including the presidents of two of the six Southern Baptist seminaries (along with several of their faculty members). Though this number represents only .0000375 percent of all Southern Baptists, it is nevertheless significant because of the prominence and influence of many of the signers.

I have no interest in participating in any unnecessary quarrels with my fellow Southern Baptists. Neither do I care about denominational politics. But I do care about truth and especially the purity of the gospel. It is out of this latter concern, and with deep respect for many of the signers of the document that I have responded. Many of the issues that they raise are of vital importance. It is time for Southern Baptists to address them plainly and thoughtfully. It is my hope that the chapters in this booklet (which originally appeared as blog posts at the Founders Blog, http://www.blog.founders.org) will help serve that purpose.

Please join me in praying that the inevitable theological conversation results from the TS will not degenerate into personal attacks or be carried out in a way that dishonors our Lord. Rather, may He grant us humility born of submission to His Word that will enable all who engage to speak the truth in love. And may He in that process be pleased to grant us genuine spiritual and theological renewal that will empower us to preach the gospel and live out of the power of its resources with such joy and zeal that we cannot help but spend and be spent to make Christ known to the nations.

Download the ebook here. (Pdf)

Thoughts on Christian Liberty

September 29, 2016 Leave a comment

by Tom Ascol

With the resurgence of reformed theology has come a rediscovery of the doctrine of Christian liberty. This doctrine is important for spiritual growth and health because, as Paul succinctly put it in Galatians 5:1, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

There are many such yokes that well-intentioned people try to place on believers—telling us what we must do and not do or how we must live if we want to be pleasing to the Lord: “Don’t groom like that.” “Dress like this.” “Don’t drink that.” “Don’t drive (or ride) that,” etc.

The same type of pressure was placed on first-century Christians. They were admonished to be circumcised, to keep certain Jewish customs and to maintain certain dietary restrictions in order to be holy. The questions raised by these pressures are what led to the Jerusalem Council of Acts 15.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

For God So Loved the World

September 19, 2016 Leave a comment

by Tom Ascol

Every Christian believes in limited atonement. That may sound ludicrous to my Arminian friends because it has long been assumed that only Calvinists hold to the dreaded “L” in TULIP. But if the death of Jesus Christ is recognized as an actual atonement (and not merely a potential one), then the question of limitation cannot be escaped, unless you believe the lie of universalism.

It is the recognition that Christ’s death actually atoned for sins that governs our interpretation of those wonderful texts that speak of the great breadth of His saving work. For example, John writes that Jesus is “the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). The choice here is not between Calvinism and Arminianism. It is between Calvinism and universalism. If “world” means “each and every person who ever lived or will live” then everyone will be saved because of the objective nature of propitiation. No sin would be left unpaid for — including the sin of unbelief.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Family Worship for Dummies

by Tom Ascol

When I was a young father I remember reading J.W. Alexander’s Thoughts on Family Worship and being convicted, excited and bewildered. What he described was both attractive and foreign to me. The idea of worshiping daily in my home with my wife and children made perfect sense and seemed to have ample biblical warrant to make me feel compelled to take up the practice. If Noah (Genesis 8:20), the Patriarchs (Genesis 12:7; 26:25; 35:1-2), Joshua (Joshua 24:15) and Cornelius (Acts 10) could lead their families in worship, surely by the help of the Holy Spirit I could, too.

My firstborn was not yet a year old when I began making my first attempts to lead my family in worship. It was disastrous. Those early efforts left my child frustrated, my wife frightened of what the next thirty years might look like, and me feeling deeply disappointed at the carnality of my family. Not only did my wife and infant child not enjoy my 40 minute expositions, 15 minute prayers, and 3 hymns, they acted like I was imposing on them by trying to lead them to worship God!

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

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