Dr. Nettles on the Chiastic Structure of SBC History

Posted June 24, 2012 by Timmy Brister
Categories: Calvinism, SBC

Tags: , , , , ,

Dr. Tom Nettles was the speaker last week at the 2012 Founders Breakfast (at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the SBC). The title of his message is “The Southern Baptist Convention: Retrospect and Prospect” and I highly recommend it, especially in light of the current discussions about “traditional” theology in the SBC. The first half of Nettles’ provides numerous facts, figures, and direct references to pastors, churches, and institutions who held Reformed doctrine prior to the new traditionalists, while the second half focuses on the chiastic structure of SBC history. It is a fascinating look at the ebb and flow of theological trajectories, and the last nine minutes of the talk gives you Nettles’ direct interaction with the current attempt to marginalize Calvinists in the SBC.

To listen or download the audio, click here.
Also, be sure to check out the new book, Whomever He Wills, edited by Dr. Nettles and Matthew Barrett.

If You’re God’s Child, Part 7

Posted June 24, 2012 by Timmy Brister
Categories: If You're God's Child

Tags: , ,

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

Last year, I compiled a series of 36 blogposts based on tweets from Scotty Smith on “Signs You’re Growing in Grace.” I, and I know countless others, were greatly encouraged in the gospel by those daily tweets.  Another person who brings the gospel to bear regularly on twitter is Paul Tripp.  He has recently begun a series of tweets called “If You’re God’s Child . . . ” and I have compiled them for you as well.  Depending on how many tweets he does, I may make this into another blogpost category/series. But for now, here’s the seventh (and final) installment of “If You’re God’s Child . . .”

If you’re God’s child, you are blessed with the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit. The question is, are you listening?

If you’re God’s child, you can rest assured that God will do whatever is necessary to complete his redemptive work in you.

If you’re God’s child, it’s grace that is your hope; grace and only grace.

If you’re God’s child, you have the choice of denying your sin or running with joy to the forgiveness you’ve been given.

If you’re God’s child, you are never called to anything you aren’t graced by God to do.

If you’re God’s child, no detail of your life is outside of the care and control of your sovereign Savior.

If you’re God’s child, the fact that the end of your story has already been determined makes God’s care in the middle secure as well.

If you’re God’s child, there is no enemy you will face that hasn’t already been defeated by the cross of Jesus Christ.

If you’re God’s child, you need to know that no dark thing in you is a surprise to the One lived, died and rose to be your Savior.

If you’re God’s child, you need to know that the righteous life of Christ freed you from having to work to gain the Father’s acceptance.

Three Positive Points Regarding SBC 2012

Posted June 21, 2012 by Timmy Brister
Categories: Calvinism, SBC

Tags: , , , ,

I used to blog about the Southern Baptist Convention quite a bit. In recent years, I have tried to focus on practical issues of church life from a theologically driven focus. Nevertheless, given the significance of this past week, I’d like to jump into the SBC blog world again and attempt to contribute a few reflections and anticipations.

NEW LEADERSHIP

I am very glad that the election of Fred Luter as the first African American President of the SBC was not overshadowed by the theological controversies swirling around on the internet. The moment when we all stood in affirmation and celebration of his election was a powerful moment. I don’t know how anyone could have not been emotional gripped by providence and the present recognition of history being made. As I type this in my NOLA hotel room, my wife and I just returned from a tour of the city.  One of the significant and recurring points the guide made was the slave quarters and how they lived in this city. Learning how prominent slavery was in the history of this city (and our country) makes me all the more appreciative of God’s work of repentance in the SBC.

Along with Luter as President, I am very encouraged by the election of Nathan Lino as First VP and Dave Miller as Second VP. Over the past four years, I have been a part of a “young leaders” meeting where, in 2008, I first met Nathan. He is an experienced church planter, whose church just celebrated their 10th anniversary. Nathan has a wonderful, gracious spirit and evangelical commitment to work together with Southern Baptists who may not agree with him on various theological issues but nevertheless are unified in the gospel and the Great Commission. Nathan and I have discussed this week how we can work together to forward a new narrative of healthy, robust discussion as brothers who see differently on various issues but have a transcendent love and determination to not allow the differences keep us from linking arms and hearts for reaching the lost, whether they are across the street or across the world. Hopefully, you will hear more about that in the future.

Read the rest of this post »

A Word to My Reformed Brothers in the SBC

Posted June 15, 2012 by Timmy Brister
Categories: Calvinism, SBC

Tags: , , , ,

When the current controversy erupted over Calvinism in the SBC erupted a couple weeks ago, I debated whether or not to enter the fray. Things have changed quite considerably since the hay day of 2005-2008 when Calvinism seemed to be the death-defying whipping boy of folks with more fight in their hands than love in their hearts. But alas, perhaps the change was merely an intermission thanks largely in part to the Great Commission Resurgence (GCR) which, for a time, seemed to unite Southern Baptists on the front lines of the Great Commission.

But the SBC, since the affirmation of the GCR, have gone back to the barricks and once again are turning against one another as if the willingness to fight is a temptation of which one too many are unwilling to walk away. Needless to say, I have my thoughts on the “traditionalist” March to New Orleans, and undoubtedly sparks are going to fly about Calvinism and whether or not the Baptist Faith and Message is a sufficient confessional guide to afford meaningful and substantive cooperation for Southern Baptists. Several of my friends have taken up this discussion on the Internet, including Tom Ascol (whose series I high recommend) and Nathan Finn (whose aspirations I wholeheartedly embrace). I don’t think I have much to contribute other than what they (and others) have been able to say in ways far more reasonable and eloquent.

BUT, if I have one contribution to make to the discussion leading up to next week’s Annual Meeting of the SBC in New Orleans, it would not be critiquing a very poorly written traditionalist document, nor would it be explaining the postmodern power play of subject-defining labels like “New Calvinism” and “traditionalist”, nor would it be showing how the “majoritarian” party has failed to influence the direction of the SBC since 2006 (2006-07 Joshua Convergence; 2008-09 Baptist Identity Movement; 2010-2011 Anti-GCR Movement; 2012 Traditionalist Movement). Rather, I’d like to issue a statement to my fellow Reformed brothers in the SBC. With all that is going on next week, there’s some fundamental things that I’m preaching to myself and think it helpful to share with my Reformed brethren.  To put some order to my thoughts, here are five “Do’s” and “Don’ts” as it related to next week’s Annual Meeting.

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Is There Anything Really More Important?

Posted June 7, 2012 by Timmy Brister
Categories: Gospel

Tags: , ,

Just saying . . .

HT: MD

Not by my experience, nor by my resolutions, but by the grace of Jesus

Posted June 4, 2012 by Timmy Brister
Categories: Prayer, Puritan Persuasion

Tags: , ,

I have been especially helped this Monday morning with this prayer and petition. I encourage you to consider it and meditate on it. May our strength not be in our experiences or our resolve, but in the grace of Jesus.

Grant that I may never trust my heart,
depend upon any past experiences,
magnify any present resolutions,
but be strong in the grace of Jesus:
that I may know how to obtain relief
from a guilty conscience
without feeling reconciled to my imperfections.

Sustain me under my trials
and improve them to me;
give me grace to rest in thee,
and assure me of deliverance.

May I always combine thy majesty
with thy mercy,
and connect thy goodness
with thy greatness.
Then shall my heart always rejoice
in praises to thee.

– Taken from “Self-Noughting” in The Valley of Vision

If You’re God’s Child, Part 6

Posted June 3, 2012 by Timmy Brister
Categories: If You're God's Child

Tags: , ,

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Last year, I compiled a series of 36 blogposts based on tweets from Scotty Smith on “Signs You’re Growing in Grace.” I, and I know countless others, were greatly encouraged in the gospel by those daily tweets.  Another person who brings the gospel to bear regularly on twitter is Paul Tripp.  He has recently begun a series of tweets called “If You’re God’s Child . . . ” and I have compiled them for you as well.  Depending on how many tweets he does, I may make this into another blogpost category/series. But for now, here’s the sixth installment of “If You’re God’s Child . . .”

If you’re God’s child, you are blessed with the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit. The question is, are you listening?

If you’re God’s child, you can rest assured that God will do whatever is necessary to complete his redemptive work in you.

If you’re God’s child, it’s grace that is your hope; grace and only grace.

If you’re God’s child, you have the choice of denying your sin or running with joy to the forgiveness you’ve been given.

If you’re God’s child, you are never called to anything you aren’t graced by God to do.

If you’re God’s child, no detail of your life is outside of the care and control of your sovereign Savior.

If you’re God’s child, the fact that the end of your story has already been determined makes God’s care in the middle secure as well.

If you’re God’s child, there is no enemy you will face that hasn’t already been defeated by the cross of Jesus Christ.

If you’re God’s child, you need to know that no dark thing in you is a surprise to the One lived, died and rose to be your Savior.

If you’re God’s child, you need to know that the righteous life of Christ freed you from having to work to gain the Father’s acceptance.


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