A Recruit for the Theological Dark Web

I’m not sure Jared Longshore has it right to talk about courageous Calvinism. That sounds a little too much like the cage-phase variety. But his observations about Old Calvinism in contrast with New Calvinism suggests Longshore may want more room to dissent from the niceness that dominates the Gospel Industrial Complex:

A cowardly Calvinist is an illogical thing. I don’t say that it is a thing that does not exist. Sadly, regrettably, shockingly, it does exist. But it shouldn’t. Before we get in too deep, no offense to the courageous non-Calvinist. My point is not to say that those who disagree with God’s sovereign decrees lack courage. Not at all. My point is rather to remedy what is all too common and downright inconsistent: the Calvinistic wimp. He is an enigma.

There may be some explanation for the man. I recall sitting down some years back with a leading Calvinist in the SBC. The spot was Louisville and the ocasion was T4G. I was a student at Southern Seminary quite certain that the third great awakening had struck. As I expressed my amazement over breakfast to this gentleman, amazement that so many young men we’re full of zeal for the glory of the sovereign God, his reply was a bit of a let down. “I’m just not sure how deep this whole thing is,” came the reply.

The words from a man who was a Calvinist when it wasn’t cool. A Calvinist when it wasn’t easy. A Calvinist when you actually had to examine the arguments of the other side and come to a settled and biblical position. So, perhaps the present quivering (and there is present quivering, we’re shaking like a freshly baked flan) is a symptom of the thin theology. If so, then let us go further up and further in.

We must get down deep in our bones that this courage is needed. Courage has always been required for those who would make God’s ways known among men. But there are certain times when that courage is especially necessary. Think Latimer and Ridley.

Why is courage needed today? Because if you open God’s Word and preach it plainly you’re going to be kicking over idols in every direction. You’re going to need courage because there has been a way to massage God’s Word, appealing to the secular mind, but that way seems to be just about all the way shut. You’re going to need courage because the exaltation of man has reached such a pitch, that, if you preach the truth about man’s fallen condition, you’re going to a be an outright bigot. And the colored lights and relevant worship set isn’t going to smooth things over any longer.

Again, I’m not fan of the everything-is-an-idol approach, but Longshore’s outlook is refreshing compared to just about anything about ministry at Gospel Coalition (like this):

Ortlinghaus: I think the primary opportunity is for gospel-centered churches to show that Jesus and his followers are not “haters.” When the national media portray Bible-following Christians as hateful and bigoted, we have an opportunity and mandate to love in the same way we see Jesus loving the woman at the well in the John 4—full of grace and truth. People want to see that our love is genuine (Rom. 12:9).

Buzzard: What God is using here is robustly orthodox, warmly loving Christians who enjoy close relationships with people wrestling through issues of sexuality—boldly, kindly pointing them to the authority of Jesus and his Scriptures over a long period of time.

Don’t accentuate the positive. Be straightforward.


3 thoughts on “A Recruit for the Theological Dark Web

  1. Are the Founders the salt in the Southern Baptist Convention? Or is the Southern Baptist Convention their idol?


    Trump ended his remarks by telling attendees, “The support you’ve given me has been incredible, but I really don’t feel guilty because I have given you a lot back — just about everything I promised, and, as one of our great pastors just said, ‘Actually, you’ve given us much more, sir, than you’ve promised,’ and I think that’s true in many respects.

    Among the more notable attendees was J.D. Greear, the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention, who has vowed to distance the denomination from politics. In June, when Pence spoke at the SBC’s annual meeting, Greear tweeted that the address sent “a terribly mixed signal,” adding that “commissioned missionaries, not political platforms, are what we do.” Grear tweeted again after Monday’s dinner that while he had accepted the invitation and “witness in the public square requires some presence in it,” he remains “just as committed as ever to decoupling the church from partisan politics.”

    Matthew 5: 13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty?

    Trying to influence the Arminian Southern Baptist Convention to become “gradually more Reformed” is like trying to make America the Christian exception again. The Arminian false gospel is not salt that has now lost some of its taste.


  2. Desacralization would be better Better to stay separate from the White House than to sit with the prosperity false gospel of Kenneth Copeland or Jerry Falwell. Even if donations of up to 130, 000 dollars are being handed out.

    Dreher–“No administration in Washington, no matter how ostensibly pro-Christian, is capable of stopping cultural trends .. Believers … will have to be somewhat cut off from mainstream society for the sake of holding on to the truth”, “Nobody but the most deluded of the old-school Religious Right believes that this cultural revolution can be turned back.

    Jack Graham, the senior pastor at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, who has served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, said that Trump opened up the mic during dinner to allow evangelical leaders in the room to speak their minds. “It was very similar to a meeting that you would have at a church…. With that many preachers and Christian leaders in the room, we believe the spirit of God was very present. Scripture was shared, verses were given to the president. The truth was delivered…”

    Ralph Reed is not deluded but a fraud. Other notable evangelicals who attended the meeting include conservative radio host Eric Metaxas and former Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd



  3. Maybe courage merely means telling us first if you what you are saying is because you are a member of a Christian church or because of your loyalty ( as a leader of a mediating structure) to the American Constitutional Empire which used to be and which now needs to be preserved.

    “The vice president reached the nadir of his toady ways at the end of last year when he spent three minutes extolling Trump at a Cabinet meeting and managed to work in one note of praise every 12 seconds.” (Why Mike Pence is such a sycophant)


    “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

    Imagine a cross like the cross on which Jesus died, only so large that it has a door in it and a sign over it that Jesus died for you. Jesus died for sinners. You are a Sinner. Jesus died for all sinners. .On the other side of the door, if you want to be in the ministry, a happy surprise waits for those who watch the RC Sproul videos.

    The doctrines of election (and non-election) simply cannot be preached but you will need to know about those doctrines if you want to serve as an elder in a baby water forever church. Or if you want to take a Southern Baptist congregation back in the direction of the Founders. It’s a continuum and nobody knows it all. The truth is there somewhere in the “not yet” between being Reformed and not believing in the supernatural. Saying that everybody for whom Jesus died will be saved gets complicated. It’s a lot more simple to say that Jesus died to make everybody an offer. Like God made an offer to Adam. Even now after Christendom, almost everybody knows already that Jesus died for them..

    Luther, 22:169—-“Christ bears all the sins of the world from its beginning. This means that Christ also bears your sins, and offers you grace.”


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