Dr. Tom Ascol-John 3:16 Conference…Take 2

from Founders Ministries Blog

Diane Lytle alerted me in a comment that Dr. Steve Lemke has explained the purpose of the announced John 3:16 conference coming up this fall in Woodstock, Georgia. Dr. Lemke writes,

“This conference is intended as a majoritarian Southern Baptist response to the “Building Bridges” and “Together for the Gospel” conferences. The announcement of this conference has already provoked considerable buzz and speculation in the blogosphere.”

As I wrote in response to Diane, Dr. Lemke’s “majoritarian Southern Baptist” descriptor is at best ill-stated and at worst a joke perpetuated and believed only by those who refuse to deal with the implications of the fact that the majority of Southern Baptist can’t be found! If Dr. Lemke’s description turns out to be accurate, then about 60-70% of those who sign up for the conference will not even show up!

When will people who know better begin to speak honestly about “the majority of Southern Baptist?” The majority of Southern Baptists don’t care enough even to attend worship services in the church to which they belong.

I appreciate Dr. Lemke’s candor in letting us know that the conference was provoked by concern over the Building Bridges and T4G conferences (although the latter is not in any way promoted as a “Southern Baptist” event.) Based on his words, obviously the planners of the Woodstock conference believe that they will speak for the “majority” of Southern Baptists. It will be very interesting to hear what their understanding of the “majoritarian” mentality is, although it does not take much imagination to speculate on this.

Nevertheless, my hope remains that, regardless of the rationale behind it, the conference will be marked by a Christ-honoring spirit and thoughtful, helpful presentations.

Read Dr. Ascol’s first article on the John 3:16 conference…

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One thought on “Dr. Tom Ascol-John 3:16 Conference…Take 2

  1. Brian

    The discussion about this conference is troubling to me. I find it hard to understand why it is not OK for the “other side” to express their theological viewpoints and concerns. I read all the comments about the John 3:16 conference in the previous post on this blog and the tone of many of the comments seemed unloving and I thought some were downright offensive.

    Has it come to the point that just because we don’t see eye to eye on calvinism that makes people good guys and bad guys? This is crazy. Are people honestly offended by the ministries of people like Jerry Vines and Paige Patterson? There is no doubt that these guys love the Lord. Is it only OK for calvinist to have conferences on theology? Why is it assumed that any conference that is not pro-calvinist will be full of straw men and bad exegesis?
    Here’s a novel idea for those of us who are in the pulpit each week…how about we preach election when the Bible presents it, and preach human responsiblity when the Bible presents it and just let the Bible speak for itself.

    Wow…I imagine the moderates in the convention are sitting back laughing at the conservatives who have run out of people to fight with and have started to pick fights with each other over theological matters that should not devide us. Theological discussion is a wonderful thing, but this theological “bickerring” needs to stop. Maybe some of us need to come down out of our theological ivory towers and return to the real world.

    I am a pastor of an average size SBC church. Guess what…my people don’t care about calvinism, they don’t care about arminianism…they care about Jesus and they care about what the Bible says. I have preached election to my people and they say “amen.” And I have also preached human responsibility to my people and again they say “amen.” They only want to know what the Bible says. I have been listed with the “Founders Friends” since 2003 but I am removing myself today. And yes, I believe in the soverienty of God in salvation, but this whole “us against the world” mentality is tiresome and seems to be breeding an unloving spirit.


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