2005 Alpha & Omega National Conference ‘The Authority of Scripture’ VIDEO now online. Feat. James White, James Renihan, Tom Ascol, Steve Camp, Robert Martin + Debate

Alpha & Omega Ministries has been working on getting many of their past resources up online. Their most recent upload are the videos from “The Authority of Scripture” Conference, their national conference, from 2005 which took place in Seattle, WA. [more].


James Renihan | The Authority Of Scripture | 47:41

James White | The Davinci Code Controversy | 52:08

James White | The Inspiration, Canonization, and Transmission of Scripture | 1:12:35

Tom Ascol | The Sufficency of Scripture | 55:06

Steve Camp, James Renihan, James White, & Robert Martin | Roundtable Discussion & Audience Q&A | 1:12:25

James Renihan | The Application Of Scripture | 41:50

Debate: Is the Bible True? (James White vs John Dominic Crossan) | 3:21:32

James White debates John Dominic Crossan (co-founder of The Jesus Seminar), on the vital subject of how we are to understand and believe the bible. This very amiable debate took place at the conclusion of the 2005 Conference. Dr. Crossan has been seen on many a secular television special regarding Jesus, the most memorable being the Peter Jennings special on ABC. The world considers Dr. Crossan and The Jesus Seminar to be cutting-edge scholarship. This was a battle of presuppositions. One’s presuppositions determine how the Biblical text is to be interpreted and handled. Is the Bible’s account of the life of Jesus historical and accurate? Is God presently active in the world? Has the Gospel message changed? Does it need to be changed for today? Did the Incarnation, Crucifixion, and Resurrection of Jesus happen, or are they just parables to present a Jesus as a figure to emulate? These questions and many others are answered during a lengthy cross examination period. (3 hrs, 21 min)

Reflections on the 2014 Southern Baptist Convention [Tom Ascol]

Tom Ascol
Tom Ascol

For the first time Founders Ministries was allowed to have a booth in the Exhibit Hall. We exercised this option instead of hosting a breakfast as we have done for the last many years. In addition to meeting many new friends and renewing fellowship with old ones, we were able to give away nearly 2000 copies of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist Convention (which is available at a discounted price in our Founders Bookstore) to those who came by the booth. The give-away provided for many opportunities for extended conversations with brothers and sisters of various doctrinal convictions…


The Southern Baptist Convention is an easy target for anyone with a knack for finding fault with religious institutions in this fallen world. We are certainly not without our blemishes and faults. But I am convinced that, despite the many areas that could be cited as in need of spiritual upgrade, we are moving in the right direction and are poised to become even more spiritually healthy in the years to come.

Read [4 min. readout]

“A Faithful Pastor” Church Leader’s Conf. feat. Tom Ascol [8-part Audio]



Audio from the Apr. 29-May 1, 2014 “A Faithful Pastor” Church Leader’s Conference in Singapore:
Conference Audio
Session 1 – The Pastor’s Inner Life – His Reformational Mentality

Session 2 – The Pastor’s Inner Life – His Devotion

Session 3 – The Pastor’s Inner Life – His Emotions

Session 4 – The Pastor’s Inner Life – His Mindset

Session 5 – Christ Is Our Message

Session 6 – Christ Shapes Our Ministry

Session 7 – Christ Shapes Our Ministry

Session 8 – The Pastor As Defender Of  The Faith

Oct. 27-31, 2014 “Creeds & Confessions” feat. Haykin, Nettles, Denault, Ascol, Gonzales in Las Vegas, NV. [RBS]

HT501 Creeds and Confessions Banner-3

Creeds and Confessions RBS

Reformed Baptist Seminary Dean Bob Gonzales:

Reformed Baptist Seminary is offering a three-credit course on symbolics entitled “Creeds & Confessions.”


Michael Haykin (PhD) and Tom Nettles (PhD) will lecture on the history of creeds and confessions with a special focus on the origins, composition, and legacy of the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689.


Bob Gonzales (PhD) will address the biblical basis for creeds and provide an exposition of the Confession’s doctrine of Scripture.


Pascal Denault (ThM) will lecture on the covenant theology of the Confession.


Finally, Tom Ascol (PhD) will expound the Confession’s chapters on the gospel and on the church as well as discuss some pastoral issues related to the use of confessions and catechisms in the church’s life and ministry.


First Baptist Church of the Lakes of Las Vegas, Nevada, will host the module on the week of October 27 thru 31, 2014…

More details

Oct. 16-18, 2014 National Southern Baptist Founders Conference at Charleston, SC. feat. Ascol, Nettles, Malone + more

2014 National Southern Baptist Founders Conf

Confessional Power and Gospel Advance:
The 2nd London Confession at Home and Abroad

From today’s newsletter:

Registration is now open for the 2014 National Southern Baptist Founders Conference. It has been several years since we had a national conference and we are looking forward to a time of rich preaching and renewed fellowship.

Register Now and take advantage of our early registration discount [$90 through July 1st].

We will meet October 16-18, 2014 at the historic First Baptist Church of Charleston, SC.

The 2nd London Confession of Faith was published in 1689. This year marks the 325th anniversary of that historic event. This important confession, which has been called the most influential among Baptists in the South in Colonial America, has helped shape Baptist identity here and abroad. This conference will celebrate this anniversary while focusing on the importance of confessional Christianity for the advance of the gospel around the world.

Speakers will include: Tom Nettles, Phil Newton, Fred Malone, Tom Ascol, Andy Davis, Steve Lawson and Aaron Menikoff.

Check out the conference page.

Apr. 29-May 1, 2014 “A Faithful Pastor” Church Leader’s Conference in Singapore feat. Tom Ascol

Pastors, preachers, seminarians as well as elders and deacons will benefit from considering this theme. It could also be helpful for anyone who wants to understand the challenges that pastors face in pastoral ministry.



A Faithful Pastor, his mentality and self identity


Shalom Church (Reformed Baptist)
8 New Industrial Road #03-01
Singapore 536200


BEFORE 15 MAR 2014:  S$80
AFTER 15 MAR 2014:  S$100

Registration Closing Date : 21 Apr 2014

Register here.


For more details and contact information:

Download (PDF, Unknown)

Post-conference Event:

Shalom School of Theology (Special Lectures)

Date:    3rd May 2014 (Sat)
Time:    2-5pm
Venue:    Shalom Premises
Topic:    Why Baptist? (aka Baptist Identity)
Speaker:    Dr. Tom Ascol

All are welcome !

(Note: These special lectures will be the only SSoT class for 2014. God willing, normal classes will resume in 2015.)


Reflections on the Calvinism Debate in the SBC [Tom Ascol]

sbc calvinismTom Ascol:

SBC Calvinism Advisory Committee Panel Discussion [Video]
It has been nearly a year since the release of SBC Calvinism Advisory Committee’s report. Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee president, Frank Page, appointed that committee, despite the fear and consternation of some, in hopes that such a document could be produced and might prove useful to SBC pastors and churches. It seems that the Lord has used Dr. Page’s leadership to do accomplish both of these goals. I have expressed my thoughts on the report elsewhere, but I don’t think I have written (or at least written much) about nature of the ongoing debate within the convention since the report was published last year.

I have been asked quite a bit about it by people both within and outside of the SBC. I also field such questions from believers far removed from the USA…

Read the rest [7 min. readout]

More on this…

Law & Gospel Roundup [Ascol, Hicks, Reisinger, Samson + more]

Pilgrim gets rid of his burden
Christian gets rid of his burden

Tom Hicks:

I submit that we need a clear understanding of the law/gospel contrast, if we want to be healthy in our preaching, churches, families, and individual sanctification. The law/gospel distinction is often misunderstood or overlooked, but it is thoroughly biblical and vital. Consider three different places in Scripture that teach the law/gospel contrast:

Galatians 4:22-26 says, “For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.”

These verses contrast the two covenants of law and gospel, which are typologically revealed in Hagar and Sarah. The law covenant is a covenant of slavery to guilt and condemnation. The gospel covenant is a covenant of freedom to life and justification.

Hebrews 12:18-24 says, “For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”

These verses contrast two mountains: Mount Sinai and Mount Zion. The mountains are types of the law and the gospel. Sinai and Zion were both mountains of the Mosaic covenant. Sinai represents the law that condemns. Zion represents the gospel in the temple, the priesthood, and the sacrifices.

Read more  | Audio [8 min]

law gospel founders journal cover

For more on this check out The Founders Journal, Issue 28 – Spring 1997


A Neglected Topic for Needy Times [10 min. readout] by Tom Ascol

Law and Gospel [21 min. readout] by Ernest Reisinger

A Much-Needed Tool for Evangelism [26 min. readout] by William Hatfield

The Law and Gospel on The Dividing Line [guest John Samson]:



10 Commandments (Modern American Christian Version) [Tom Ascol]


Tom Ascol
Tom Ascol

Tom Ascol:

One of my longstanding concerns about American Christianity is that it tends to be more American than Christian. While it is easy for Christians to stand around and lament our decaying culture in the West I fear that in doing so, too often we secretly take comfort in the fact that and even thank the Lord that “we are not like them.”


Such focus on immorality around us tends to blind us to the lawlessness within us. And, it seems to me, evangelical Christians in America are becoming increasingly lawless. This has nothing to do with legalism but everything to do with Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:23, “And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me you workers of lawlessness.”


Increasingly, it seems to me, we are becoming a society (both inside and outside the church) where people pretty much do whatever seems right in their own eyes. So in the spirit of truth in advertizing, I offer the following Modern American Christian Version [MACV] of the Ten Commandments.


The Ten Commandments (MACV)

  1. You shall not have too many other gods besides Me.

  2. You shall not make for yourself too many images or dreams that you serve or to which you bow down.

  3. You shall not take the Name of the Lord your God in vain too often or in ways that are too obvious.

  4. Remember the Sabbath morning to keep it holy or if not, at least catch livestream or a podcast of a sermon. The rest of the Day you shall do whatever you want.
  5. Tolerate your father and your mother. Try not to embarrass them too much so that they will tolerate you.
  6. You shall not literally murder. Slander is ok, though.

  7. You shall not commit adultery unless you are  in love or at least really like your partner.

  8. You shall not steal too much; unless you steal from those who deserve to have their stuff stolen.

  9. You shall not bear false witness in ways that are obvious. Unless you are a blogger.

  10. You shall not covet, whatever that means.

Tom Ascol Answers Questions about the Southern Baptist Convention [SBC]

Tom Ascol
Tom Ascol

Tom Ascol:

On a fairly regular basis Southern Baptist friends and acquaintances will ask me about relationships and cooperative efforts within the convention…


In this post I address three of the most recent questions I’ve received on this subject. My comments are offered not as some definitive assessment but as food for thought. I often say that if I were to take a snapshot of the SBC today I could find many reasons be discouraged as that image would reveal many faults and blemishes. But if I make that snapshot one frame of a video spanning the last 35 years, I cannot help but be tremendously encouraged. There is a renewal that is taking place within many of our churches as the Word of God is restored to its pride of place in congregational life. My responses below are an attempt to speak in terms of the video, not the snapshot.


1) Are we as a church supporting false teaching when we allow our funds to be used to support those who hold to theological views that differ from ours?


2) With all the animosity against Calvinists by some within the SBC, what hope can we have of seeing the convention move in a more biblical direction?


3) Are there compelling reasons to remain within the SBC?  If so, in your opinion, what are they?  What motivates you to remain within the SBC?

Read his answers to these three questions [8 min. readout]

Here are some links where he has mentioned some of these issues in the past:

God’s Word for the New Year [Ascol] “An inerrant Bible that remains unread & unheeded is no better than one that is filled with errors…” + More [Kennicott]

0318_biblepadTom Ascol:

An inerrant Bible that remains unread & unheeded is no better than one that is filled with errors. In other words, what difference does it make if we have an inerrant, infallible Bible if we are unwilling to give ourselves to its study and cultivate a submissive obedience to it’s precepts and doctrines? I fear that the blessing of having God’s Word so readily accessible to us brings with it the great danger of taking it for granted. In fact, it seems that in much of the English speaking world, as the Bible has become more available it has also become increasingly neglected.


My fear is that we too often assume that we value the Bible primarily because we can consult it in a variety of ways with the click of a touch pad, launching of an app or by pulling a copy off of a shelf. But if our esteem for Scripture is measured by how much time and energy we invest in learning it, thinking about it, memorizing it and implementing its teachings in our lives then I wonder what the evidence would reveal about our true estimation of its worth.


As a new year dawns thoughts inevitably turn toward developing new patterns for our lives. If you have never read the Bible or have grow accustomed to neglecting it day in and day out, then the most important and eternally beneficial resolution that you could make in the new year it to commit to spending time regularly reading and learning it.


Here are 3 encouragements to help you read God’s Word in 2014.


1. Justin Taylor has provided a wonderful compilation of Bible reading plans and aids for reading the Bible in completion in 2014.

Read the rest [4 min. readout]

Nick Kennicott:

Is it 2014 already? That didn’t take long! As you look ahead with anticipation, I hope you’re setting some reading goals to enrich your Christian life through the Scriptures and other Christian books. Tony Reinke very accurately explains, “Reading is a difficult pleasure because it requires discipline, diligence, and focus. But like in any pleasure, it is a pleasure that can be done for God’s glory.”  As someone who loves to read, I can admit that it’s not always easy, particularly in our day with so many other distractions clamoring for our attention. However, it’s essential to Christian growth and a discipline every one of us should seek to cultivate and grow in through the years. Don’t have time?

We didn’t make the list but some of our friends did… [250 Top Blogs]


The list provided below was compiled by examining Church Relevance’s Top 200 Ministry Blogs list (they examined over 1,000 blogs), various high-ranked Christian blogs listed on Technorati, and blogs listed on various Christian blogrolls across blogdom. I examined over 450 Christian Blogs. Here is my list of the top 250 Christian blogs:



A Letter from Kabwata (#250)

Timmy Brister (#161)

Voices of Founders.org (#87)

Alpha & Omega Ministries (#41)

The Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies

 (notable mention)

Santa Claus, the Gospel & the Church + The “right way to fire your pastor” [Tom Ascol]

“Because you have been attending the wrong church.”
“Because you have been attending the wrong church.”

Tom Ascol:

It happened again last week. On Thanksgiving morning I received an email from a friend of a friend. The first line read, “It appears I am being forced out of my pastorate.” The story that unfolded in the rest of that email and upon further inquiry is filled with themes that are tragically too common…

Read the rest [7 min. reaout]

In this article he mentions the “right way to fire your pastor” [23 min. partial readout], which begins:

“Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear. I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality” (1 Timothy 5:19-21, NKJV).

Several years ago I preached a message with the same title as this article to the church I serve in Cape Coral. When I mentioned my intentions to a pastor friend, he said, “Tom, haven’t you heard that you never put a loaded gun into the hand of your enemy?” My response then remains my conviction now. First, I do not consider the church I serve to be my enemy. Far from it. Though some individuals from time-to-time have positioned themselves as my enemies, the church as a whole has been and remains the body of Christ and therefore a wonderful means of grace in my life. When a pastor starts viewing the church as his enemy it is a sure sign that he has outlived his usefulness to that congregation.


Secondly, in the sense in which my friend meant it, church members already have a gun. As one who is charged with the responsibility to lead and nurture the flock of God, I want to do everything I can to make sure that it is loaded with the proper ammunition and fired in a right direction.


Even the pastor who rejects any form of congregational government must face the fact that the members have a huge say in his tenure. Regardless of formal suffrage policies, all church members vote in two ways: with their feet and their pocketbooks. Many ministers who have never been officially dismissed have nevertheless been forced out of office by the withdrawal of support by the members.


The pastor-church relationship is a sensitive and vitally important issue. The proper dissolution of that relationship in difficult circumstances needs to be carefully considered in the light of biblical teachings…

Tom Ascol on Piper’s new poem “The Calvinist” Read by Anyabwile + more

Thought this was relevant given today’s podcast. Tom Ascol:

This poem by John Piper has been put into a video to make it more memorable. It is moving in it’s depictions of a mind and heart gripped by grace. Some may be offended or put off by the title. I suppose that can’t be helped, but John Piper gets it. And those who love the gospel as understood and expressed in the historic, biblical categories that have been nicknamed, “Calvinism,” will also get it…

Read the poemWatch the video:

[Free E-book Friday] John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, and Doxology (Contributors include Thabiti Anyabwile & Tom Ascol)

From Ligonier Ministries:

During the month of October, Reformation Trust is giving away the eBook edition of John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, and Doxology. In this book Burk Parsons, editor of Tabletalk magazine and co-pastor at Saint Andrew’s Chapel, has brought together an impressive group of pastors and scholars to reconsider Calvin’s life and legacy. Contributors include Jay Adams, Eric Alexander Thabiti Anyabwile, Joel Beeke, Jerry Bridges, Sinclair Ferguson, Robert Godfrey, D. G.Hart, Michael Horton, Phillip R. Johnson, Steven Lawson, John MacArthur, Keith Mathison, Richard Phillips, Harry Reeder, Philip Graham Ryken, Derek Thomas, Thomas Ascol, and others.


In twenty succinct chapters, these men examine Calvin the man; his work (as a Reformer, a churchman, a preacher, a counselor, and a writer); and his teachings (on subjects as diverse as the Holy Spirit and prayer). What emerges is a multifaceted portrait of a man whose contributions to Christian thought and Christian living were significant indeed, a man whose life, work, and teachings are worthy to be remembered and studied even in the twenty-first century.


1. The Humility of Calvin’s Calvinism   Burk Parsons

2. Who was John Calvin?   Derek W. H. Thomas

3. Calvin’s Heart for God   Sinclair B. Ferguson

4. The Reformer of Faith and Life   D. G. Hart

5. The Churchman of the Reformation   Harry L. Reeder

6. The Preacher of God’s Word   Steven J. Lawson

7. The Counselor to the Afflicted   W. Robert Godfrey

8. The Writer for the People of God   Phillip R. Johnson

9. The Supremacy of Jesus Christ   Eric J. Alexander

10. The Transforming Work of the Spirit   Thabiti Anyabwile

11. Man’s Radical Corruption   John MacArthur

12. Election and Reprobation   Richard D. Phillips

13. Redemption Defined   Thomas K. Ascol

14. Transforming Grace   Keith A. Mathison

15. A Certain Inheritance   Jay E. Adams

16. The Believer’s Union with Christ   Philip Graham Ryken

17. The Principal Article of Salvation   Michael Horton

18. The True Christian Life   Jerry Bridges

19. The Communion of Men with God   Joel R. Beeke

All download options: