Monday, June 27, 2011

Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists: Calvinism, Revivals, Evangelism, Tracts

PHOENIX (BP)--The need for renewed evangelism, concerns about Calvinism and comments regarding North American Mission Board budget cuts were voiced during the annual evangelists-sponsored worship service prior to the SBC annual meeting.

The Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists' gathering June 12, with the theme "Ageless Urgency," featured three preachers: Eric Fuller, Harold Hunter and Brian Fossett.

"If there was ever a time that evangelism needed to be at the forefront, now is that time," COSBE president's, Braxton Hunter, told the assembly. "There is little concern for evangelism in our convention."…

Calvinism is "a big problem today in our country, and among Christians," [Eric] Fuller said.

"If you are a Calvinist in this place this morning, stop trying to convert Christians to Calvinism and begin sharing the Gospel with lost people so that the Lord can convert them to Christianity," Fuller said. "If you are a non-Calvinist this morning, stop talking about sharing the Gospel and get out there and actually do it.

Brian Fossett, a former COSBE president and member of Liberty Baptist Church in Dalton, Ga., preached from Ephesians 4:11, encouraging attendees to get back to "the three T's" of evangelism -- "tracts, training and testimonies" -- that he said would "revolutionize our churches."

Harold Hunter, president of Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary in Newburgh, Ind., and the father of Braxton Hunter, said in his message he is "burdened about the direction of our Southern Baptist Convention," noting that Southern Baptists baptized 17,416 fewer people in 2010 than in 2009, representing the lowest number of annual baptisms in 60 years.

"Evidently this new wave of trying to be relevant to the people in the bars on Friday night is not really working," Harold Hunter said. "Either what you do at your church and what this convention does is supernatural or it's superficial."…

"I hear those of Reformed theology say, 'Well, the founders of our great convention -- all of them were basically Calvinists,'" Hunter said, adding that for every Calvinistic founder of the SBC he could name three who were not.

"Let me tell you something: It was not the giants, be they Calvinists or not, who made the Southern Baptist Convention great," Hunter said. "It was the great host of people whose names are never mentioned: the evangelists, the missionaries, the small church pastors, the laymen, and the women, bless God."

Noting he wanted to "clearly preach about the ethics of those who aspire to leadership in our convention," Hunter said: "There is scarcely a week goes by that in my office I hear of some church fallen into disrepair because some man who was a Calvinist -- limited atonement -- and didn't tell the pulpit committee or the deacons until he became pastor, and then it split the church. I believe you ought to be honest. If that's what you are, then tell them that's what you are.", June 21, 2011, by Norm Miller and Art Toalston.

Read the entire Baptist Press article: COSBE Lifts Evangelism, Laments Funding Cuts

Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists (COSBE)

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, June 27, AD 2011.

Other articles of interest:
Patriotism and Christian Worship
Unlimited Atonement, Jesus Died for All
Acts 29, Alcohol, and the Southern Baptist Convention
See more under Gulf Coat Pastor Articles (Labels) in lower right margin. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

B. H. Carroll on Pastors and Alcohol

A question has recently been asked about B. H. Carroll and what he believed about drinking. B. H. Carroll (AD 1843-1914) was the famous founder and first president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas ( He has been very influential in Southern Baptist history. George W. Truett, L. R. Scarborough and many other leaders looked to Carroll with great admiration.

The brief quote below pretty well sums up Carroll‘s view on drinking.

“No man should be made the pastor of a church who drinks intoxicating liquors as a beverage.” -B. H. Carroll, Interpretation of the English Bible.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, June 21, AD 2011.

Note: Just before the quote above, Carroll said he was not going to raise the issue of “total abstinence.” Some have been confused then by his following statement. The answer is simple. While most today would use “total abstinence” to refer to not using alcohol as a beverage, Carroll was using the term to refer to no use of alcohol period, even as a medicine. Alcohol was viewed back then as an important medicine; it is not viewed that way today. For those wanting more evidence, they should also be aware that Carroll was a strong advocate for Prohibition. But he, like most abstainers today, would recognize a possible legitimate use of alcohol for medicinal reasons.

Related Articles:
Ancient Wine and the Bible - the book (includes more quotes by B. H. Carroll)
2006 SBC Resolution on Alcohol Use in America
Preserving Unfermented Wine in Bible Times
Acts 29, Alcohol, and the Southern Baptist Convention
B. H. Carroll on Hyper-Calvinism
Other related articles in Gulf Coast Pastor Articles (Labels) in lower right hand column.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Southwestern Centennial Classics; B. H. Carroll, L. R. Scarborough, T. B. Maston...

The Centennial Classics are a set of books reprinted in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas (SWBTS; All of these books were written by presidents and professors of SWBTS.

The Southwestern Library of Centennial Classics are:

Inspiration of the Bible by B.H. Carroll
With Christ after the Lost by L.R. Scarborough
Recruits for World Conquests by L.R. Scarborough
Lee Rutland Scarborough : a life of service by H.E. Dana
The Blossoming Desert : a Concise History of Texas Baptists by Robert Baker
The Bible and Race by T.B. Maston
Jesus the Teacher by J.M. Price
The Work of the Holy Spirit by W.T. Conner
A Manual of Church History (2 Volumes) by A.H. Newman

B. H. Carroll's book was influential in the SBC Conservative Resurgence.  Scarborough's book, With Christ After the Lost, was for many years an evangelism textbook, and influenced many Baptists for evangelism. 

Purchase them for yourself and your church library. They also make a great gift for your pastor or for a young preacher. Give him the entire set, or just give him one book a year for Christmas; there, you have your gifts taken care of for the next decade :-).

Original cost was $100. Now they can be purchased for $60 plus $6.50 postage.

This entire set of Centennial Classics can be ordered from SWBTS, P. O. Box 22500, Fort Worth, Texas 76122.

For more information call 817/923-1921, extension 4848.

That’s ten hardcover books for just $6 each. I have the set of books and highly recommend them.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, June 20, AD 2011.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Acts 29, Alcohol, and the Southern Baptist Convention

Acts 29 keeps coming up in discussions of the SBC, alcohol, and Calvinism. As a general rule, it seems that those who favor social drinking and ending Southern Baptist’s long standing opposition to beverage alcohol are those who are connected with Calvinism, the Acts 29 organization, or both.

Let me also add that many Calvinists believe the Bible teaches abstinence from alcohol. I assume there are also those in Acts 29 who believe the same. I pray many more will come to this conviction. (For example, Charles H. Spurgeon was a Calvinist who was very opposed to alcohol. See Gulf Coast Pastor article on Charles H. Spurgeon on Alcohol).

In case you missed it, four years ago Baptist Press had a fascinating article about this issue. A controversy developed among Missouri Baptists over The Journey Church that was apparently promoting beverage alcohol consumption and had a part of the church meeting at a brewery.

Many a church has started in a bar, but with the alcohol bar closed during the service. This brewery, however, was serving beer to participants during the Bible Study. The Journey was a part of the SBC, Acts 29, and Missouri Baptists. A few quotes from the BP article are in bold print below.

"Last December, The Journey’s website included an invitation to 'grab a brew, share your view' when attending the Theology at the Bottleworks meeting. A picture of people raising glasses of beer in an apparent toast appeared adjacent to an essay by [Pastor Darrin] Patrick on the church’s website. Patrick attributed the content to a secular website design company hired by the church. He told Baptist Press he had the alcohol-related verbiage and picture removed as soon as they came to his attention because 'it does not reflect the values of our church.'

Still, the church’s unconventional means of reaching the lost might be shaping its internal culture as much as the church is shaping others. The bio of The Journey’s mission pastor, Jonathan MacIntosh, mentions that he enjoys drinks with his wife 'at the almost secret bar beneath Brennan's in the Central West End.'

Patrick, who is vice president of Acts 29, an association of emergent churches, conceded that as a group, Acts 29 holds a 'much more liberal view' of alcohol use than The Journey.

Some website material seems to support his conclusion.

The pastor of an Acts 29 church in San Diego (non-SBC), for example, claims on the Internet: 'Beer is one of our core values. We enjoy it and like to drink it.' Although the statement appears meant for humor, it seems to show a casualness of attitude about alcohol consumption.

Another Acts 29 church (also non-SBC) -- the Seattle-area Damascus Road Church -- sponsors a men’s poker night for which gamblers are encouraged to bring beer. The website also states: 'There is just something about having food on your plate and a drink in your hand that makes fellowship that much easier. Whether the food is healthy or fattening, or the drink is coffee or beer, we desire to follow Christ's example.'

The alcohol issue goes straight to the top at Acts 29, whose president, Mark Driscoll -- who is pastor of the Seattle-area Mars Hill Church -- wrote in his book, 'Radical Reformission,' that abstinence from alcohol is a sin. In a chapter titled 'The Sin of Light Beer,' Driscoll explains that he came to this conclusion while preparing a sermon on the Lord’s miracle at Cana where Jesus turned water into wine. *

According to information published on the church’s website, Mars Hill sponsored a New Year’s Eve party that included a champagne bar. Mars Hill’s website also advertises 'beer-brewing lessons ... whenever a large group of (Mars Hill) men get together.'

Driscoll is controversial also for once having the reputation of the 'cussing pastor.' However, as he recounted on his blog, he finally listened to a friend who helped him realize he was becoming known for 'good theology, a bad temper, and a foul mouth,' and he repented, starting with a public apology."

Read the entire Baptist Press article at the following link:

Alcohol, Acts 29 and the SBC

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, June 7, AD 2011.

Related Articles:
2006 SBC Resolution on Alcohol Use in America
Dr. Robert Wring on Baptists and Elder Rule
Books on Calvinism, Predestination
Ancient Wine and the Bible - the Book; Update

The Problem With Drunk Preachers
See Gulf Coast Pastor Articles (Labels) in lower right hand margin, on such topics as Alcohol; Alcohol Today; etc.

* For a clear answer on Jesus turning water to wine see the book, Alcohol Today by Peter Lumpkins, Hannibal Books.  Available at your local bookstore or
Also see Ancient Wine and the Bible by David R. Brumbelow. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Missionary Kids - Free Tuition at Criswell College

Criswell College was founded by W. A. Criswell and First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas. Dr. Paige Patterson, now at SWBTS, was president at Criswell. For several years now Jerry A. Johnson has done a great job as president. Criswell College was crucial on the conservative side in the SBC Conservative Resurgence. It is one of the few colleges that publicly takes a stand in favor of the inerrancy of the Bible.

Criswell College has announced full-tuition scholarships for the kids of Southern Baptist missionaries serving with the International Mission Board. See the details below.

Criswell College announces full-tuition scholarships for children of IMB missionaries

Check out Criswell College, Dallas, Texas at

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, June 2, AD 2011.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sources of Gospel Tracts; Tract Racks

Tracts (or pamphlets, brief, printed Christian fliers or messages), have been used for many years to point people to Jesus Christ. They are an important means of presenting the Gospel. This post tells you a few places to purchase tracts and tract racks.

Sources of Tracts

American Tract Society
P. O. Box 462008
Garland, Texas 75046-2008
ATS has excellent tracts including salvation, patriotic, sports, Spanish, etc.

North American Mission Board (NAMB)
4200 North Point Parkway
Alpharetta, Georgia 30022-4176
770/410-6000; 800/634-2462

LifeWay (do a search for “tracts,” or “Choice Creation”) 
Also check at LifeWay Stores. 

State Baptist Conventions
Southern Baptists of Texas Convention

Southern Baptist Convention

Check also with your local Baptist Association 

Tract League
2627 Elmridge Drive
Grand Rapids, MI 49534-1329

Good News Tracts

Individual Tracts and Pamphlets
Church Covenant

Church Covenant Hymnal Insert

Baptist Faith & Message 2000

Welcome to God’s Family (for new believers)

NAMB has a good tract (Hope in Crises) used by Disaster Relief. I could not find it, however, on their website; give them a call.

Other Possibilities
Write your own tracts and get them published. Check them for grammar and spelling. Always include a full address so they can contact you or order more.

A church can print a small half page flyer telling the Christmas Story or Easter Story and distribute them during those holidays. Include your church's full name and address. 

Tract Rack
Years ago our church ordered a tract rack from ATS. It can be hung from a wall or set on a table. It has 20 pockets for tracts. We've used this type tract rack in collegiate ministry as well.

Tract wall hangers usually have one or two pockets and can easily be placed on a wall.

Use tracts to advertise your church. Get a rubber stamp or mailing labels. Place the name and full address of your church on the back of each tract.

Hope these sources are helpful. Purchase some tracts yourself, or check with your church about purchasing them and having a tract ministry. Share the Good News with a world in need of hope.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, June 1, AD 2011.

See related articles under Gulf Coast Pastor Articles (Labels) in lower right hand margin.
L. R. Scarborough on Tracts
Church Buildings - Dos and Don'ts #1
2006 SBC Resolution on Alcohol Use in America
The Roman Road of Salvation
Church Buildings - Dos and Don'ts #1
Church Covenant