Monday, November 29, 2010

Next Time You Attend a Baptist Convention

After the convention, when you leave your motel, a lady is going to come clean your room. She works hard for little pay. She gets little appreciation and respect. She probably has a family she is struggling to support. Her work is good and honorable. She does what you very likely would be unwilling to do. She goes home worn out, yet then has to take care of her own housework and family. She has burdens you will never know.

And you have a great opportunity.

So, do this before you leave your motel room for the last time:

* Clean up after yourself. Don’t leave the room trashed. No, you don’t have to clean the room, just make it easy for her to clean.

* Leave a good Gospel tract and several dollars, a decent tip. Write on the tract or leave a note. Something like: Dear Cleaning Lady, Thank you for taking care of my room and making my stay comfortable. May God bless you. Sincerely, [sign your name and write the date].

* If you want to get fancy, go to the bank and get dollar coins, or half dollar coins. or two dollar bills to use to leave as her tip.

Those who serve in difficult manual labor jobs are often taken for granted. But you can show them appreciation and respect. You can also show them Jesus.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, November 29, AD 2010.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving - a poem by Margaret E. Sangster

For the days when nothing happens,
For the cares that leave no trace,
For the love of little children,
For each sunny dwelling-place,
For the altars of our fathers,
And the closets where we pray,
Take, O gracious God and Father,
Praises this Thanksgiving Day.

For our harvests safe ingathered,
For our golden store of wheat,
For the bowers and the vinelands,
For the flowers up-springing sweet,
For our coasts from want protected,
For each inlet, river, bay,
By the bounty full and flowing,
Take our praise this joyful day.

For the hours when Heaven is nearest
And the earth-mood does not cling,
For the very gloom oft broken
By our looking for the King,
By our thought that He is coming,
For our courage on the way,
Take, O Friend, unseen eternal,
Praises this Thanksgiving Day.
-Margaret E. Sangster

And when you offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the LORD, offer it of your own free will. -Leviticus 22:29

Happy Thanksgiving!

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, November 21, AD 2010.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

2010 Annual Meeting of the SBTC

November 14-16, 2010 I attended the Bible Conference and annual meeting of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC) in Corpus Christi, TX. Corpus Christi is a beautiful place to have a convention. The convention center, American Bank Center, is practically under the Harbor Bridge. Huge glass walls of the convention center overlook the bay. The T-Heads and sea wall provide a great place to drive or walk. Years ago my family and I caught our limits of speckled trout right on the seawall. It was a warm January and schools of speckled trout were moving back and forth along the seawall. We caught them with weighted popping corks, small treble hooks, and live shrimp.

The SBTC Bible Conference was outstanding. Officers Heath Peloquin, Nathan Lorick, and Bart Barber did an excellent job choosing the preachers and singers. Steven Smith of SWBTS, Dwight Singleton of Knoxville, TN, Russell Moore of SBTS, and Jonathan Falwell of Lynchburg, VA all did a great job preaching (I didn‘t get to hear some other speakers). Each preacher spoke to my heart.

Bart Barber led a discussion on cultural issues with Richard Land, Russell Moore, Kelly Shackleford. This meeting should have laid to rest any doubts concerning the importance of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC). Richard Land made plain the importance of cultural issues facing our nation today. He pointed out the crucial difference between Freedom to Worship and Freedom of Religion. Richard Land and Barrett Duke (also at the SBTC) are providing strong conservative leadership in the ERLC.

Byron McWilliams is pastor of the historic First Baptist Church, Odessa and is president of the SBTC. He did an able, gracious job as moderator. He preached well in the President’s Message. We heard Jeff Iorg of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Richard Land, O. S. Hawkins of Guidestone, Gordon Fort of the International Mission Board. Jimmy Pritchard of First Baptist Church, Forney preached the Convention Sermon. Frank Page and Kevin Ezell spoke. NAMB missionaries were commissioned.

I did not have the opportunity of hearing all, but the speakers I heard were right on target. Last I heard, 803 voting messengers registered, and I’m sure a large number of visitors. It is amazing how much time, planning, effort go into a state convention.

493 salvation decisions were made during the SBTC pre-convention Crossover evangelistic emphasis. The SBTC operates on 45% of Cooperative Program gifts, and sends 55% on to the ministries of the Southern Baptist Convention. Jim Richards, SBTC Executive Director, has a huge job and is leading well.

I saw a number of old friends. A lady introduced herself to me and told how she and some of her relatives were influenced years ago by my dad’s preaching and ministry. Another lady spoke to me who had been a member of Doverside Baptist Church years ago when I was a teenager.

I attended the SWBTS Luncheon and the President’s Luncheon. Hey, a Baptist has got to eat!

To preachers and laymen - whenever you have the chance, attend the annual meeting of the SBTC. Why?

* You will be blessed and inspired. The singing and preaching will do you good. You will also get some good sermon outlines and illustrations.

* You’ll have great fellowship. Go to the luncheons. If you don’t know anyone, just sit down at a half filled table and introduce yourself. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the folks you meet.

* You will learn much more about the ministry and missions of Southern Baptists.

* You can probably get a good sermon book by O. S. Hawkins at the Guidestone Display. Criswell College gave out a number of DVDs of sermons by W. A. Criswell.

* If you want to preach and serve more, it helps to get to know as many ministers as possible. If you are looking for a ministry opportunity - preachers recommend preachers they know.

* As you fellowship, you’ll hear some great stories.

* You will find we are reaching people around the world with the Gospel.

Those are just a few thoughts. The SBTC annual meeting will be held in Irving in 2011 and San Antonio in 2012. Read more about the SBTC by subscribing to the Southern Baptist Texan (click link in right hand column under "Sites I Mainly Agree With").

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, November 18, AD 2010.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Limited or Universal Atonement by Dr. David L. Allen; part 2

Part 2 of 2

The key theological argument used to support limited atonement is the Double Payment argument, which says justice does not allow the same sin to be punished twice. This argument faces several problems:

* it is not found in Scripture
* it confuses a commercial debt and penal satisfaction for sin
* the elect are still under the wrath of God until they believe (Eph 2:3)
* it negates the principle of grace in the application of the atonement (nobody is owed the application).

Though Christ died sufficiently for the sins of all people, the promise of salvation is clearly conditional in the New Testament -- one must repent and believe in order to receive salvation. The limitation was not in the provision of Christ's death, but in the application. A man cannot be punished for rejecting what was never for him in the first place!


One argument for limited atonement goes like this: Christ died "for His sheep," for "His Church," and for "His friends." These are limited categories of people, thus, this is proof of limited atonement.

Not so fast!

Statements such as these do not prove limited atonement, because to argue such invokes the negative inference fallacy: the proof of a proposition does not disprove its converse.

One cannot infer a negative (Christ did NOT die for group A) from a bare positive statement (Christ did die for group B), any more than one can infer that Christ only died for Paul because Gal 2:20 says that Christ died for Paul.

Consequently, the fact that many verses speak of Christ dying for his "sheep," his "church," or "his friends" does not prove that he did not die for others not subsumed in these categories. There is no statement in Scripture that says Jesus died ONLY for the sins of elect. There are numerous statements that say Christ died for "all," the "world," or for "everyone," as in Hebrews 2:9.


Acts 3:26 states: "To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities." Peter is telling his unbelieving audience that God sent Jesus to bless each and every one of them and to turn every one of them from their iniquities. This is equivalent to Peter saying: Christ died for you.

How could Jesus save every one of them (which is what blessing and turning away from iniquity involves) if he did not actually die for the sins of all of them? Certainly "each one" of the Jews Peter addressed must have included some who were non-elect! The free and well-meant offer of the gospel for all people necessarily presupposes that Christ died for the sins of all people.

Limited atonement truncates this good news of the gospel by sawing off the arms of the cross too close to the stake. At this strategic time of focus on a Great Commission Resurgence, should the Southern Baptist Convention move toward "five-point" Calvinism, such a move would be away from and not toward the gospel.

-Part 2 of 2, by Dr. David L. Allen, dean of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary's school of theology; Fort Worth, TX;
-from Baptist Press (BP); (originally posted at BP, 10-1-2010)

Note: David Allen is author of the New American Commentary on Hebrews published by Broadman & Holman. Get his book and Hebrews by R. L. Sumner ($19.95 postpaid, 546 pages and filled with illustrations; Biblical Evangelism, 5717 Pine Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606-8947). They make a great combination and will give you preaching material for the foreseeable future. Remember, get your sermon from one source - that’s plagiarism. Get your sermon from two sources - that’s research!

David Allen is also contributor to Whosoever Will by Allen & Lemke, B&H, an outstanding, bestselling book on Baptists and Calvinism. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, November 17, AD 2010.

Related Articles:
Limited or Universal Atonement by Dr. David L. Allen; part 1 of 2
Unlimited Atonement, Jesus Died For All
Saved By The Sinner's Prayer
The Roman Road of Salvation 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Limited or Universal Atonement by Dr. David L. Allen

Part 1 of 2
FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) - The issue of the "extent of the atonement" answers the question "For whose sins did Christ die?" There are only two options: 1) for the elect alone ("limited atonement" also called "definite atonement," or "particular redemption") or 2) for all of humanity.

Importantly, arguing for unlimited atonement and against limited atonement does not require quoting a single Arminian or non-Calvinist. It is a common misconception that all Calvinists affirm limited atonement. But even John Calvin rejected limited atonement, and Richard Baxter, John Bunyan, Jonathan Edwards and Andrew Fuller are just a few of history's well-known Calvinists who likewise rejected this position.


All of the earliest reformers, including Calvin, held to a form of universal atonement -- not universal salvation, but that Christ's shed blood paid the price for all men's sins so the possibility of atonement was unlimited. The five-point Calvinist's doctrinal position of limited atonement was not developed until the second and third generation of reformers, beginning primarily with Beza.

Controversy over introduction of this concept into Reformed beliefs grew to such an extent that ambiguous language on the subject was left in the final draft of the Canons of Dort (1618–1619) so as to allow those among the delegates who rejected limited atonement to sign the final document.

Even the Westminster Assembly (1643–1649) included delegates who rejected limited atonement, and the Puritans in the 17th and 18th centuries included distinguished leaders who preached and wrote against it. For example, John Bunyan declared: "Christ died for all.... For the offer of the gospel cannot with God's allowance, be offered any further than the death of Jesus Christ doth go; because if that be taken away, there is indeed no gospel, nor grace to be extended."


There are three key sets of texts in the New Testament that affirm unlimited atonement:

* the "all" texts,
* the "world" texts, and
* the "many" texts.

There also are three sets of texts that state Jesus died for His:

* "church"
* "sheep," and
* "friends."

How are we to reconcile the universal texts with the limited ones?

The high-Calvinist wrongly interprets the universal texts in light of the limited texts. Non-Calvinists and moderate Calvinists rightly interpret the limited texts as a subset of the universal texts.

Some Calvinists argue that biblical authors believed in limited atonement because they made statements affirming Christ died for the Church, even though biblical writers do not say that Christ died only for the Church or that He did not die for the non-elect.

There is no linguistic or exegetical or theological ground for reducing the meaning of "world" to "the elect" in such passages as John 3:16. John Owen made John 3:16 read "God so loved those he chose out of the world," which changes completely the sense of the verse and turns it into something opposite of its intended meaning. But to make the meaning of "world" here "the elect" is to make not only a linguistic mistake but also a logical mistake of category confusion.

-Part 1 of 2, by Dr. David L. Allen, dean of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary's school of theology;

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, November 9, AD 2010.

Related Articles:
Limited or Universal Atonement by Dr. David L. Allen; part 2