Tom Ascol interviews Dr. Tom Nettles on beginnings of the SBC, New Calvinism + more [VIDEO]

Founders Ministries:

In this interview, Dr. Tom Ascol asks Dr. Tom Nettles about the beginnings of the Southern Baptist Convention. Dr. Nettles, as a well-respected baptist historian, considers three things present at the founding of the Southern Baptist Convention worth recovering.

VIdeo [44 min.]:

For more, check out:

By His Grace and for His Glory:

A Historical Theological, and Practical Study of the Doctrines of Grace in Baptist Life

by Thomas J. Nettles

Gospel Heritage of Georgia Baptists

Who Were They and What Did They Believe?

by Kurt Smith and Brandon Smith with Introduction by Tom Nettles

Paul Brewster on SBC History: GA Baptist Assocation & Sandy Creek

Tom Ascol’s radio interview on “Bringing Maturity to Young, Restless & Reformed” [Iron Sharpens Iron]

From the recently posted April 19, 2016 Iron Sharpens Iron radio show:

Pastor Tom Ascol
Pastor Tom Ascol


Executive Director of Founders Ministries
to discuss

Consider the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith [J. Ryan Davidson]

1689 Leather EditionJ. Ryan Davidson:

Huddled together in 1644, representatives of 7 churches gathered to summarize their common confession, and to distinguish themselves from the Anabaptists and the Arminians. It was a time of turmoil, and the river of the Reformation had swept across the banks of London. This was one of the first of several non-Anglican groups in that century to put pen to paper and confess their faith. Two years later, the Westminster Assembly would produce its own confession (WCF), and then in 1658, the Congregationalists would follow suit (Savoy Declaration). That original group of 7 churches was the Particular Baptists. Amid persecution, and to show their solidarity and theological agreement in many ways with the Presbyterians and Congregationalists that had since written their own confessions, a larger crop of Baptists would draft the 1677 Baptist Confession with great reliance on the WCF and Savoy, however due to persecution, this document would not be published until 1689, giving it the name that it is known by today: “The 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith”. This Confession was classically theist in its view of God, covenantal in its view of Biblical Theology, “Calvinist” in its soteriology, and would show alignment with the Westminster Confession of Faith on the Ordinary Means of Grace and the Law. I grew up Baptist, became Calvinistic in my soteriology in my teen years, and have found a wonderful home in the confessional roots of Baptist theology as a pastor in my mid-thirties. To me, this Historic Confession, similar to the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Savoy Declaration, is worth considering for at least five reasons:

  1. For Baptists influenced by the ‘New Calvinism’, it is helpful to see that for Baptists, Calvinism is not “new”…

  2. It contains a wonderful vision for the Christian life…

  3. There is value in saying more sometimes…

  4. Historic Confessions ground us…

  5. Believer’s Baptism has much of its roots in a Covenant Theology…

Read the explanations of each of the five above points.

[AUDIO|VIDEO] Dialogue on the “Statement of the traditional Southern Baptist understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation.” [Tom Ascol + more] Updated w/ James White’s comments

Pastor Tom Ascol
Pastor Tom Ascol

Tom Ascol:

Last week I had the privilege of delivering the Darby/Beal Lectures at the Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary in Jacksonville, Texas…

I was asked to speak on the “Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation” that was issued three years ago by some Southern Baptists who are alarmed over the spread of the doctrines of grace throughout the SBC. I lectured on article 2 (“The Sinfulness of Man“) and article 3 (“The Atonement of Christ“). Those lectures are available here [46 min. audio/video] and here [56 min. audio/video].

darby beal lecture 2015

Traditional Statement panel discussionThe highlight of the series was a panel discussion on the whole Traditional Statement, involving Drs. Mike Smith, President of Jacksonville College, Holmes, Malcolm Yarnell, Professor of Theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and me. The dialogue was moderated by Dr. Holmes and primarily consisted of observations from Dr. Yarnell and me…

It will come as no surprise to most readers of this blog that Dr. Yarnell and I have significant disagreements over matters that the Traditional Statement addresses. These were not ignored and we pointedly expressed our disagreements. But, as all such discussions should be, the dialogue was very cordial and conducted in a fraternal spirit. By God’s grace, we both tried to be ruthlessly biblical in expressing our views and concerns.

I am grateful to have had the opportunity and privilege of such an engagement. I am also thankful that BMATS has made the lectures and dialogue available online here. Though the volume of the panel discussion video is not great, you can watch it here [89 min.]. A better audio recording is available here [89 min.].

Update, April 1, 2015: James White interacts with the above dialogue:

…transitioned (about 22 minutes in) to a Radio Free Geneva! Spent a lot of time in the text of Scripture dealing with federal headship, walking through especially Romans 5:12-19, and then, having done that, we listened to the important sections of the dialogue/non-debate between Malcolm Yarnell and Tom Ascol from BMA Seminary in Jacksonville, Texas, which took place last week. Hopefully an important and useful two hours!

2 Hour Video:

2 Hour Audio:


Jeremy Walker’s “reluctant & brief” follow-up to his book “The New Calvinism Considered” in light of recent Driscoll happenings

new-calvinism-front1 Jeremy WalkerJeremy Walker:

Driscoll has been among the most vociferous and voluble of those sailing under the flag of the New Calvinism. Toward the latter half of 2014, significant concerns and charges began to accumulate around him…

What do we make of all this? There are several things of which we must take account. The New Calvinism is far bigger and often better than Mark Driscoll, although he has epitomised or been connected with some of its biggest dangers, worst excesses and greatest failings as a movement. Visitors to the website are encouraged to make donations to help ‘support the ministry’, hosting and distributing past and promised future Bible teaching and resources, with a non-profit launch assured. But Mr Driscoll, though down, was not out. In December, he launched a new website with a very familiar design (and the Mars Hill name attached), a well-laundered resumé (containing nothing of the recent and well-attested allegations), and the vast majority of his preached and written material, all under the title ‘Pastor Mark Driscoll’.

Mark Driscoll
Mark Driscoll preaching during his series on the 10 Commandments at Mars Hill

We should avoid tarring all with the same brush, even if some have been spattered with the muck. None of us — myself included — are in possession of every relevant fact. Most of us are not in possession of many relevant facts. If we are to speak to a matter, we must speak to what is clear and evident, and avoid imputing evil without definite evidence.

Another thing to avoid is the kind of vindictiveness and viciousness that gloats in the downfall of another. No Christian should gleefully revel in someone else’s disgrace, even if you think you saw it coming. There may be a righteous sense of the vindication of God’s honour, but we do better to weep over another’s sin than wallow in our own pride.

So, what principles are enforced and what lessons should be learned from this situation?

  • We should learn the value of a robust ecclesiology
  • We should learn the importance of maintaining biblical standards for pastoral ministry
  • We should learn the necessity of real friends
  • We should learn the significance of true repentance
  • We should learn the blessing of doctrinal standards
  • We should learn the ugliness of celebrification
  • We should learn the worth of hearing our critics
  • Finally, we should learn the danger of our own circumstances

Read “Revisiting the New Calvinism”.

On episode #35 of our interview podcast we discussed this book with the author:

PodcastPromo35 Jeremy Walker New Calvinism


Jim Savastio with “Johnny” at T4G

T4G 2014
T4G 2014

Pastor Jim Savastio:

In early April of this year nearly 8,000 folks crowded into the Yum Center in downtown Louisville (my home for the past 24 years) for the bi-annual Together For the Gospel (T4G) Conference… Though the conference is less than half and hour away for a variety of reasons I had never attended. A couple of things changed my mind (including the fact that I got to go for free—thank you BibleWorks!) and I attended the conference and benefited greatly.


One of the major factors in my going to the conference and evaluating my time at there came from one of my dear old mentors, John, or Johnny…


I should explain (and I know he would not mind) that Johnny is an old guy, an Old Calvinist, and loves what is called ‘high churchmanship’. Johnny is old school at its finest. You would never find Johnny in jeans. He has never listened to rap or contemporary Christian music. I met him when I was a young man, first through his writings and preaching. I have long considered him a dear friend. I asked Johnny what he thought about conferences like these and whether or not he found profit in them…


After having this interaction with my friend Johnny, I was rebuked, refreshed, challenged and warned. It’s often that way with Johnny…

Read the interaction with “Johnny” [7 min. readout]

More on the new Calvinism: Jeremy Walker & John Piper’s assessments compared


Chiming in on this current hot topic, Jeremy Walker writes:

I don’t want to steal Rick Phillips’ thunder, and I don’t believe I will be trampling over his toes. However, I should also like to pick up on John Piper’s lecture at Westminster, but from a different angle. Here are the twelve characteristics of the new Calvinism that Piper identified, as recorded by the friends at the Reformed Forum [+ see their podcast today]…


new-calvinism-front1 Jeremy Walker
Listen to our interview with Jeremy Walker on this book

I have a particular interest in this because, as some may be aware, a few months ago Evangelical Press published a short study of mine called The New Calvinism Considered: A Personal and Pastoral Assessment (Amazon & Amazon UK). In it, I set out to consider the characteristics of the new Calvinism, offer some commendations, and then identify some cautions and concerns, before offering some conclusions…


Here I try to map Piper’s assessment – “twelve features [not unique and exclusive distinctives] of the movement as I see it” which are, he said, “not dividing lines” between the old and the new Calvinism, matters of separation – over mine for the purpose of a very brief analysis. I understand that we are not always saying the same things, but it is interesting to look at the points of contact.

Read the rest [9 min. readout]


Young, restless… no longer reformed? Austin Fischer & James White on Unbelievable Radio [Audio]

New Old CalvinismUnbelievable:

Austin Fischer embraced ‘New Calvinism’ as a teenager, after being influenced by its popular proponents. But he recently abandoned it when he found he was unable to worship God as truly just, good and loving. Calvinist theologian James White (old, rested and still reformed) challenges Austin about his journey and his theology. 


james white mic

“I’m old, I’ve never been restless, and I’m still Reformed.”

– James White

Find out more:


For Austin Fischer, click here. For James White, click here.

If you enjoyed this programme then you may also enjoy listening to:

Update 1:30pm: James White: Two Sermons in Response to Austin Fischer

Interview #35 – Jeremy Walker – New Calvinism Considered: A Personal & Pastoral Assessment

PodcastPromo35 Jeremy Walker New Calvinism

On episode 35 of our podcast, we interview Pastor Jeremy Walker on his new book “The New Calvinism Considered: A Personal and Pastoral Assessment”.

We ask questions such as:

  • What is New Calvinism?
  • What’s “the cult of celebrity in the modern West” have to do with this issue?
  • What do you appreciate about this?
  • What are you concerns?
  • “All things to all men”?
  • How might you counsel a “Cage Stage Calvinist”?
  • + more…

Subscribe to the podcast in a RSS readeriTunes or by Email

Enter Book Giveaway:

new-calvinism-front1 Jeremy Walker

We are giving away 3 copies of the paperback. Enter here!

Links Mentioned:

Post-Interview Music:

Glory be to God the Father

Jeremy Walker On New Calvinism & Holiness [Book Quotes]

new-calvinism-front1 Jeremy WalkerSome quotes from the book The New Calvinism Considered: A Personal and Pastoral Assesment:

But why be afraid of the words duty and obedience and commandments? Some in this movement are so concerned to talk about grace that it is almost as if an overreaction has occurred against some of these notions of effort and obedience and duty, whichare parto fo what we do as those who enjoy the grace of God in Jesus Christ. The language of Philippians 2:12-13- ‘Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed , not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is god who works in you both to will and do for His good pleasure’- seems to be almost anathema to some, needing to be explained away or worked around.


A concern not not be legalists has driven some back toward antinomianism. I appreciate the concern, and the possibility that some are reacting to against an unnecessary and unscriptural rigidity, but one wearies of hearing, in essence, the same mantra: ‘I used to be a legalist, but I got better.’ We are, it seems, all recovering Pharisees. I rarely hear of anyone boasting that they were a recovering tax collector. On the one hand, much of this criticism defines legalism wrongly (accurately, legalism is the assumption that a man can get right and/or stay right with God by means of his own efforts), or seems to presume that the antidote to legalism is a smidgen of antinomianism, which would fall close to the category of frying pans and fires.


But the Christian is liberated in order to be holy! Principled obedience is not legalism. What is the pattern and framework of my holiness? It is god as he makes himself known in Jesus Christ, Christ being the perfect transcript of what God is like and the perfect embodiment of God’s holiness, a holiness made known in his law, a holiness to which the saints are called, in the pursuit of which they are exhorted to labour, and to the attainment of which they are assured, being predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ.

Read more at Reformed for His Glory [11 min. readout]

New Book: “The New Calvinism Considered: A Personal and Pastoral Assessment” by Jeremy Walker, out now

new-calvinism-front1 Jeremy Walker

[older info]

Jeremy Walker:

I am glad to announce that The New Calvinism Considered: A Personal and Pastoral Assessment has now arrived. It is available direct from the publisher, or via (paperback/Kindle) and (paperback/Kindle). It’s fairly brief, rocking up at 128 pages, giving an overall introduction, then considering the characteristics of the new Calvinism, offering some commendations, identifying some cautions and concerns, and closing with some suggested conclusions and counsels…


Description from Amazon:

Of all the various movements that have affected the evangelical Christian Church in the early years of the 21st century, the young, restless and reformed or New Calvinists are among the most significant. Jeremy Walker acknowledges the difficulties of tackling this subject, which he approaches with some caution. He writes of his desire to provide a balanced and appropriately irenic assessment as he considers the contribution of various personalities:


At the core you will hear names such as John Piper, Mark Dever, C.J. Mahaney, Al Mohler, Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler, Kevin DeYoung, Ligon Duncan, Tim Keller, Don Carson, and Wayne Grudem. On the websites and in the blogosphere names like Justin Taylor and Tim Challies are prominent. More on the fringes, and with a much more ambivalent relationship, are men like R. C. Sproul and John MacArthur on the one hand and James MacDonald and Francis Chan on the other.


Review from Sam Waldron:

The best thing about this assessment is that Jeremy has approached the matter in genuinely Christian fashion. He speaks of the difficulty of speaking accurately about such a large and diverse movement. He understands the necessity of guarding his criticisms in a way that is deeply Christian. He does not forget to commend the movement where it can and ought to be commended. Nevertheless the critique he launches loses none of its helpfulness and power for all this. He notes how difficult it is to boldly provide such criticisms in the context of the cult of celebrity and triumphalism that sometimes characterizes the New Calvinism. It is always difficult to be the little boy who tells the world that the emperor has no clothes (or has at least stripped down to his underwear), but Jeremy does so with both candor and kindness. . . .

If you are not sure what to think of the New Calvinism, you need to read this book. If you have friends struggling with it, you need to give them this book. If you are being reproached for not embracing it, use the arguments and cautions of this book to defend yourself. If you are in danger of rejecting the whole of New Calvinism root and branch, you need the care of this book to restrain you.

Upcoming Book: The New Calvinism Considered – A Personal & Pastoral Assessment by Jeremy Walker

Jeremy Walker:

God willing, this short volume will soon be forthcoming from Evangelical Press:

new-calvinism-front1 Jeremy Walker

More details to follow . . .

[source: The Wanderer]

This reminds me of our very first post:

“I was invited to address the topic at a sister church in the US, which I sought to do. Following on from that, I was asked to put that material in print, to which I replied, ‘Tricky, as it’s only a series of headers with a few notes on a sheet of paper.’ The upshot was that the original address got transcribed, and I got round – eventually – to editing it. I used the substance of that address recently for a series of adult Bible classes in the church which I serve, and it provoked a lot of profitable engagement. And, now, finally, I am posting it here in its slightly more polished, slightly less personable form.”

– Pastor Jeremy Walker

Here is the four part blog series:

  1. Caveats and characteristics
  2. Commendations
  3. Cautions and concerns
  4. Conclusions and counsels

And said teaching:

  1. The New Calvinism Considered (67 min.)
    (Transcript: View or Download PDF)

New Calvinism Considered by Jeremy Walker [Audio + PDF]

New Old Calvinism

“I was invited to address the topic at a sister church in the US, which I sought to do. Following on from that, I was asked to put that material in print, to which I replied, ‘Tricky, as it’s only a series of headers with a few notes on a sheet of paper.’ The upshot was that the original address got transcribed, and I got round – eventually – to editing it. I used the substance of that address recently for a series of adult Bible classes in the church which I serve, and it provoked a lot of profitable engagement. And, now, finally, I am posting it here in its slightly more polished, slightly less personable form.”

– Pastor Jeremy Walker

Here is the four part blog series:

  1. Caveats and characteristics
  2. Commendations
  3. Cautions and concerns
  4. Conclusions and counsels

And said teaching:

  1. The New Calvinism Considered (67 min.)
    (Transcript: View or Download PDF)