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Saturday, May 20, 2006

Frank Page Presents: Trouble With The Tulip!

After a grueling 18 holes of Miniature Golf this afternoon in the miserably hot Waco heat, I decided to crack open a Diet Pepsi, read some email, and visit a few blogs. Eventually I made my way over to the SBCOutpost where I learned that Frank Page has entered the race to be the next President of the Southern Baptist Convention!

Woo Hoo. This South Georgia boy can now state that he has met a Presidential Candidate for the SBC! Ok, I take that back. Daniel Vestal ran in 1990. I met him. Let me rephrase…I am now proud to announce that this South Georgia boy has met a Fundamentalist Presidential Candidate for the SBC! Woo Hoo.

The year was 2001. Maybe 2000. At the time, I was a senior at Vidalia High School but taking college courses at rootin tootin Brewton-Parker College (a now fundy institution of higher learning). Every now and then, I attended chapel in the mornings. The chairs at the Saliba Chapel were quite comfy and served as a great place for me to rest my eyes in between classes. The Dr. Frank S. Page was speaking to a sleepy crowd that day. He began his rant about all things inerrant – I quickly woke up. Same ole Same ole...

Afterwards, I walked up front, shook the Dr.’s hand, and grabbed a copy of his recently republished book “Trouble With The Tulip: A Closer Examination of The Five Points of Calvinism.” Dr. Page had already signed the inside cover for me!!! I skimmed the book that night. Back in high school, I absolutely LOVED reading short books – especially the Dr.’s 70-page rant on the dangers of Calvinism!

Today, after reading Marty Duren’s post on SBCOutpost, I crawled up into the attic in search of Dr. Page’s scholarly work. After a 20 minute hunt, I found “Trouble With the Tulip” stuffed in a plastic container full of Bernstein Bears and Hardy Boy Books. Classics.

I re-read Dr. Page’s book. For Calvinists (ahem, 19th century Baptists) – Page is no crowd pleaser. Here’s some quotes straight from his book…

The downside of this resurgence (of Calvinism) is that many people are falling into a trap set long ago. Manmade doctrines always fail. When any person or person begins to adhere to the teachings of one person, they join the company of many others who have made this serious mistake. It is most grievous to see a large number of individuals accept without question the doctrine of John Calvin in regards to salvation. (P. 73-74)

If one does follow the logic of Calvinism, then a missionary or evangelistic spirit is unnecessary. If irresistible grace is the truth, then there is no need to share Christ with anyone, since those persons whom God has elected are irresistibly going to be drawn into His kingdom anyway. If one studies the pages of history, one will see that Calvinistic theology (Five Point) has encouraged a slackening of the aggressive evangelistic and missionary heartbeat of the church. All too often, this precious spirit of concern and urgency is replaced by a cold, logical, haughty spirit. (P. 74-75)

Herschel Hobbs said it well when he described John 3:16 “For God so loved the world (not certain ones in it), that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever (anyone, anywhere, anytime) believeth (an act of man’s free will) in Him should not perish (be lost, destroyed, or go to hell), but have everlasting life.” God’s Word is clear. Let it speak for itself. (P. 76)

I want to very clearly state that my intention in this book is not simply to disprove the philosophical system of Calvinism, though I believe that will occur. Instead of adhering to a system of logic, which many seek to do or adhering in blind devotion to the teachings of any one scholar, as some are prone to do, I propose that we look to God’s Word for His clear teaching. (P. 7)

There are many persons belonging to churches that officially believe “five point” Calvinism. Many of them express surprise when they are told what their church truly believes. I would like to challenge all who truly believe in five point Calvinism to stop being closet Calvinists! If you truly believe these doctrines, then let others know about it. They need to know what you believe. (P. 42)

Calling all Calvinists and Closet Calvinists – How bout dem Apples? Will a Frank Page Presidency be inclusive of all-you Piper Fanatics? Pretty strong language from Page.

Whaddya Think?

So you’re left with two options: Fireman Floyd or the Anti-Calvinist himself, Dr. Frank S. Page..


Blogger Kevin Stilley said...

Thanks for the quotes.

p.s. Some Berenstein Bears and Hardy Boys quotes would be nice also. ;)

5:31 PM

Anonymous Morgan Owen said...

Thanks for the quotes. I have been trying to get a copy of the book since he announced his nomination. I work with college students and the impact on the SBC world will be radical in the next 5-10 years. I guess that is what's supposed to happen as we enter the end times. People will become lovers of self--no need for evangelism, no need for missions.

Oh, please excuse the lack of updating the blog...I've been doing ministry. :)

9:59 AM

Blogger D.R. said...

Well, honestly, I think Page is more willing now to work with Calvinist than he was when he wrote that book, which doesn't present a very realistic picture of theologians that have included the likes of Charles Spurgeon, William Carey, Adoniram Judson, Luther Rice, and John Piper, all of whom were (or in the case of Piper, are) very Evangelistic.

There is some discussion on the Founder's Blog as to Page's distancing from his book because of his political desires, but it could also be from a maturing in the faith.

If anything I don't think that Page's book accurately portrays modern day Calvinists and I would think you should hesitate to present it as such.

And to Morgan, I ask that you also might want to consider the books inaccuracies, especially in light of your association of end-times prophecy with Page's perceptions of Calvinism. Most Calvinists repudiate pre-millenial dispensationalism and the resurgence of Calvinism is one reason why the Left Behind craze in the SBC has begun to die out much more quickly than expected.

1:41 AM


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