Category Archives: Pelagianism

The Southern Baptist Convention and Salvation

Mike Corley and Pastor Scott Reiber comment on the document A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation, as well as other issues that may have influenced this stand by some leaders in the denomination, which some voices, even within the SBC itself, are calling Semi-Pelagian.

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Warren calls for radical yes…but to what?

I’m always amazed whenever there is a story concerning Rick Warren where he shares “his wisdom” in areas of theology. In a article titled Rick Warren Urges Pastors to Say Radical ‘Yes’ to God, he makes his usual misleading, foggy and sometimes, outright erroneous statements such as:

Pastor Rick Warren kicked off the 2011 Radicalis Conference on Tuesday by asking church leaders, pastors, and pastors’ wives to start representing Jesus by saying “yes” to God in every aspect of their lives first – before asking others to do the same.

On the surface, most of us would say amen to this statement, but then Warren says,

“There are two reasons that nonbelievers don’t know Jesus Christ. One is, they’ve never met a Christian. The other is, they have,”

I would put this comment in the Pelagian/Finney category of false teaching. According to Warren, coming to faith in Christ is all based on whether the person makes it happen or some external earthly source influences them to ‘accept Jesus’.

Then the story quotes Warren’s wife Kay:

To elaborate on this idea, Kay Warren, the wife of Rick Warren, was invited to speak about the lavish love of God and how it moves individuals into radical action.

“I don’t know about you, but I rarely do anything out of fear, guilt, duty or obligation,” she stated. “I may do it, but I don’t like it.”

She explained how unbelievers sense fear, guilt, and a sense of duty from those who try to evangelize them, immediately feeling the need to say “no” to them because they do not want to adopt that type of religion.

Again, in the Warren (Pelagian) view, it’s not about the choice of the sovereign Lord to grant grace to the lost, but it’s about whether they feel something, especially from another person. Then more from Rick Warren:

“The problem when people come to Christ is that they don’t see any difference in their lives. We’ve got the same stress, the same debt, the same problems as everybody else does and we react the same way,” said Warren.

He concluded by saying, “We decided we want to be distinctly different. We want to be radical. We want to go back to the roots.”

I would agree that believers need to return to their roots. However their roots are not based on being purpose-driven, but being Gospel-driven; by denying ourselves, taking up our crosses and following Him (Luke 9:23). I prefer how John MacArthur put it in another recent piece;

The truth is, to be a Christian is to be a slave of Christ….

Instead of teaching the New Testament gospel-where sinners are called to submit to Christ, the contemporary message is exactly the opposite:Jesus is here to fulfill all your wishes…

Not only is He a kind and gracious Lord, but He is also the God of the universe. His character is perfect; His love is infinite; His power, matchless; His wisdom, unsearchable; and His goodness, beyond compare.”

MacArthur reminded believers that they were delivered from “the vilest, most dreadful master imaginable” – sin.

“Slavery to Christ not only means freedom from sin, guilt, and condemnation. It also means freedomto obey, to please God, and to live the way our Creator intended us to live – in intimate fellowship with Him.”

And it doesn’t end there. Once liberated from sin, Christians are “ushered into the wonder and privilege of full citizenship in the kingdom of His beloved Son.”

“[W]e are citizens of heaven, both by emancipation and by birth, and all by grace,

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Relating the Reformed faith to the world

Sharing the Reformed faith with others.

Mike and Scott Reiber continue their discussion on how those who affirm the Reformed faith relate to those who do not. Can one not affirm the Doctrines of Grace and be a Christian? How can one of the Reform faith dialogue with non-reformed Christians, and do so with conviction and compassion?

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Charles Finney, Cooperation, and the GCR

from Timmy

Questions regarding the extent of the atonement, predestination, and the like I agree are tertiary, but there are some doctrines intricately related to the gospel that, should they be given up, would alter the gospel altogether.  Primary doctrines that address the questions of  “What is the gospel?” and “How does one become a Christian?” are essential and fundamental, “particulars” where disagreement we should all be able to recognize as unfortunately jeopardizing cooperation.

For instance, if Charles Finney were alive today and working as an itinerant revivalist in the Southern Baptist world, I (and I would imagine most Calvinists) could not cooperate with him.  His understanding of the gospel, conversion, work of the Holy Spirit in salvation, and the nature and state of man would all be particulars that are not secondary or tertiary but primary.  You might respond, “Well, of course.  Finney was semi-Pelagian.  That would be an extreme example.”  Okay. Now let me put it into contemporary vernacular because I believe that spirit and methodology (that flowed from his theology) is alive and prevalent today.  If the response to the gospel message is to “ask Jesus into your heart” or “pray this prayer after me” or “walk down this aisle” rather than repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus, then that is a primary difference in how one becomes a Christian.  If the gospel is truncated, watered down, or altered so as to not offend, then we have a real problem.

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Sovereignty and Free Will

It is our selfish, sinful nature that leads us to demand that “we” control the shots. ‘I pulled myself up by my own bootstraps’ is the philosophy of the world. However, for the Christian, the Word of God tells that He is sovereign, in total, absolute control of all things. yet, many in the church seek to deny this basic foundational truth. On this program, Mike shares audio clips from R.C. Sproul and from Eric Holmberg’s DVD presentation Amazing Grace, The History and Theology of Calvinism, in affirming that the Lord God is sovereign!

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The Wild and Wacky World of Church

On this broadcast, Mike shares the shocking, the unbelievable, the sad, the humorous stories, events and practices of the contemporary church in America. Wild and Wacky include: a Nebraska state senator who is suing God, an inflatable church in Italy, more heretical statements buy Todd Bentley, and insight and perspective from The White Horse Inn.


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