"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mac's "Indictment" of FBC Jax - Part 1

Mac Brunson on Sunday 9/21 "built a case" against his church (his words...as he said again he wanted to be a lawyer) gave a sermon that was chock full of legalism and negativity...it was Mac's attempt I'm sure to be a strong leader, talking directly to the people of the plight they're in. But what is so sad, is that Mac doesn't know the first thing about leadership; leadership is not tearing people down and asking why can't they do better...its casting a positive vision, a call to specific action, calling on the people to muster the strength they have to rally around a shared vision. Mac gives no vision. Instead he seems to enjoy more telling his church how far they've fallen, pointing out their faults, rather than extolling their virtues and casting a POSITIVE vision.

In Mac's indictment, he rips us because:

we used to be creative in Sunday School;

we used to be evangelistic;

we used to love our pastors and staff;

and we used to be a giving church.

It was very discouraging. Maybe our church has fallen far. If it has, he has to accept some of the blame himself as he's been at the helm for 2 1/2 years. But he doesn't accept any responsibility, in fact he uses the word "you" instead of "we" an awful lot in his lambasting of his congregation.


"FBC Jacksonville was a church that was innovative in Sunday School. 20-30 years ago you were doing stuff in Sunday School that the [SBC] Sunday School Board hadn't even thought of...you were on the cutting edge...go on and applaud yourselves 'cause I'm 'fixin to 'get ya'. I'm building a case; that's why I wanted to go to law. You used to do cutting edge things in Sunday School. You were out in front. When you mentioned FBC Jacksonville you thought the most creative, the most innovative Sunday School. But let me ask you something. We ask you to do one thing in Sunday School now and you just about have a nervous breakdown. Where's your creativity? Where's your courage? Where's the entrepreneurialship (?) in Sunday School. Where's the 'cutting edge'? [now yelling]. Where did it go. What has happend to us? Why can't we be cutting edge once again in Sunday School?"

No positive vision. No call to specific action. What the heck does "entrepreneurialship" mean in Sunday School to the average lay person? What does "cutting edge" mean? What is he asking faithful Sunday School teachers to do that they aren't doing? We have very dedicated people in Sunday School who have devoted their entire lives to teaching people the bible.

The truth is there was nothing fancy going on in our Sunday School all these years that Mac is talking about. It was just people who were taught to love the Word of God, taught to love Jesus, and taught to love the people of Jacksonville. That was it. In fact, what Mac the pseudo-historian doesn't understand, is that while other churches were falling all over themselves to be "cutting edge" (whatever that means) back in the 70's and 80's and even '90's, we were just doing the same 'ole thing: loving Jesus, loving the Bible, and loving people. And here's a "good word" for you Mac: whatever things we did in Sunday School that were "cutting edge" - it was the strong, clear, and loving leadership of our pastors and staff that led us there. If we're floundering now, perhaps its more an indication of the failure of your leadership than some moral failing of hundreds of Sunday School workers.

But this was just the first of Mac's indictments against our church. It gets worse, and I'll share the other three with you in the coming days.

Our church is in bad shape. We need a leader. We need someone to cast a positive vision for all the people, and not someone who wants to tear down as he struts around the stage.

15 comments:

gabriella422001 said...

how do you get on the sunday school roll of a church without ever having been to sunday school there. that happened to me once. cough.

RM said...

I grew up with that kind of preaching and legalism when I was a kid. I'd be out the front door as fast as I could go...

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

RM - you haven't heard the worst of Sunday's sermon as it pertains to legalism....stay tuned. This guy is on par with Joe Biden for saying stupid things...

RM said...

Did he do that stuff when he was in Dallas? I would think they would run him out of town on a rail if he had.

But then they didn't pay him as much as you guys are so maybe he thinks he needs to earn his keep.

grt42btexan said...

Rm..yes he did. When rumors began circulating that he was looking at FBCJAX, the insults only increased. He told us how rough he had it ( I am sure Moses had it far easier), how hard he worked for us ( his stubborn stupid sheep) and gullible we were to listen to rumors. In fact he personally told elderly members that he was NOT leaving the church only two weeks before the news broke. We then discovered that he knew he was leaving way before he told us. Guess the 300k land gift helped him hear the "calling".

I loved Mac when he first came to our church. Supported him when he let go the widow on the staff. But in the end he was just a man in mid life crisis that wanted significance. He is repeating the same pattern with your church. I am sure a six figure position in the SBC is not far away.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Texan: I used to think that Mac would leave soon too...but I don't think he will go anywhere anytime soon. He's got his million dollar home in a gated, private golf club community, he has changed the bylaws to give him power over the trustees and has taken away the ability of the congregation to call for a special business meeting unless it is approved by the trustees (so no vote could ever be held about his pastorship)...and he has our lay leaders allowing him to put family members on staff...and he has been allowed to take 1/2 million from the church offerings to start a school that he can take credit for, and he has a place where he will be able to bring his other two children to and give them jobs. So trust me...Mac will not be leaving anytime soon, unless he ticks off enough of the heavy hitters in our church who get together and realize they made a mistake. And so long as the money keeps coming, that will never, ever happen. So Mac's here until he retires, unless the people stop giving. And so far, no signs that this will happen...so Mac is here to stay for the long run.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Readers - you might get a chuckle out of Jim Smyrl's latest blog entry at the "Jim Smyrl Blog for the Highly Intelligent" which is hyperlinked on the front page of my blog in the upper right hand corner. Its entitled "Birth, Breast and Beast"

If you ever wonder why our church seems to have a lack of clear leadership and direction, just read this blog entry. Its Jim's attempt to explain the importance of "Theology Driven Ministry", and its quite confusing. Jim speaks much better than he writes, but at least when you read his words you don't get the preachy, whispery "uh" at the end of every sentence.

I'm not the smartest guy in the world, but when I read sentences like:

The beast sings songs that contain more first person personal pronouns than the Humanist Manifesto. The beast plans ministry with the value of aesthetics and poetics priced so high that an economy of performance buys out a glimpse of God’s glory in the assembly.

and

However, the nursing of evil produces traditionalist church members that reflect on the character of previous ministers and prior-to-present ministry plans. Such a reflection is redacted into a modern polemic for that which was, at one time, most pleasing.

I just scratch my head and wonder...what he H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEY STICK is this guy trying to say?

Hal Brunson said...

My last name is Brunson, I have a son named Trey, my roots are in South Carolina, and I have been a pastor in the DFW Metroplex.

I have stumbled (Providentially) twice now upon your blog; I bit my tongue the first time, but this time not. May I make a few observations? I'll try to be candid without cruel honesty:

1. Except for Joel Gregory, who compromised his integrity and lost the pastorate of FBC Dallas, that church has failed miserably and repeatedly to find a rightful heir to George W. Truett and W. A. Criswell; Mac Brunson was the last, and worst, of failed successors;

2. The FBC of Jacksonville is probably typical of most Southern Baptist churches, doctrinally uninformed and generally ignorant of the theological roots and history of Baptists generally and Southern Baptists specifically; obvious evidence of this derives from your church's lack of discernment in choosing their current pastor, which proves that your church cannot recognize the difference between passionate opinion-slinging and depthful exegesis of scripture (I doubt they've ever heard the latter); that's you church's fault, not Mac Brunson's;

3. I am appalled by your own situation. To be so exercised over Mac Brunson more than suggests your own lack of theological discernment, as well as your misguided passions toward such a meaningless topic; you need to get a life. If you knew Truth, you wouldn't give Mac Brunson another undeserved second of your emotional and mental energy; and you would probably leave your church as well. I recommend that you pick up an anthology of sermons by Charles Spurgeon or Jonathan Edwards, Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progess," A. W. Pink's "The Sovereignty of God," or John Owen's "The Death of Death in the Death of Christ." If you're looking for spiritual fulfillment in a contemporary mega-church, at that a Southern Baptist church under the pastoral influence of such a hot and hollow preacher, your frustration will be never ending. Once you taste meat, you'll have no problem weaning yourself from milk, sour milk at that, and spitting out what is so tasteless to you now. If fact, if you'll send us your address, we'll be happy to send you a platter full.

http://spurgeonscigar.blogspot.com/

http://firstbaptistparker.org

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Actually we have had "depthful exegesis of scripture"...that's why its so darn frustrating to have to listen to Mac's style of negative, demeaning, self-absorbed preaching. We were told when he came that he was a preacher who preached the word verse by verse, but he has proven to be a "hunt and peck" kind of preacher to twist scripture to make the points he wants to make and to put a yoke of legalism on his people, and at times to attack those he wishes to attack with scripture. Either Mac changed from Dallas to here, or our pastor search committee didn't do their due diligence in checking Mac out and they instead listened to Paige Patterson's and Jerry Vines' recommendation of Mac Brunson. All water under the bridge now, we're stuck with Mac - in the permissive will of God we are stuck with Mac Brunson - until the cloud moves again.

Hal Brunson said...

There is no such thing as "the permissive will of God."

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hey Hal, you don't know who you're dealing with. Our church's ministry model is the famous "Theology Driven Ministry" developed by none other than the famous theologian James "the Pearl" Smyrl and Donald "Mac Daddy" Brunson. And they both say that bad things happen to us in God's "permissive will". If Jim and Mac say its so, it must be so.

Hal Brunson said...

Perhaps the most misunderstood and misrepresented notion of God’s will is popularly referred to as God’s permissive will. We use the phrase "God’s permissive will" when we encounter or experience evil. By "evil" we mean evil of two kinds–circumstantial evil or ethical evil. "Circumstantial evil" refers to any amoral adversity, such as sickness, death, natural disaster, or any other event in life we normally classify as "bad" but not "immoral." Deadly or life-mangling "accidents," cancer, heart attacks, Lou Gherig’s disease, birth deformities, plagues, car wrecks, tornadoes, floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, and death we consider to be "circumstantially evil" but not "ethically evil." "Ethical evil," on the other hand, refers to immorality, such as murder, theft, adultery, fornication, lying, covetousness, blasphemy, envy, jealousy, greed, and unjustified anger. In either case–circumstantial evil or ethical evil–we apply the phrase "God’s permissive will" for two reasons: emotional discomfort with evil and intellectual bewilderment at evil.

Emotionally, evil discomforts us when we witness human suffering caused by circumstantial or ethical evil; we react sympathetically to those who suffer because of sin or adversity, and we think sentimentally about God in the context of suffering. Our emotional response to evil causes us to romanticize that a loving God could never plan and would never purpose that anything bad would happen to anyone, much less "predestinate" someone to do something immoral or adverse. Intellectually, the idea that God would plan and purpose evil of any sort puzzles and repulses us. So when circumstantial or ethical evil occurs, we say, "God permitted evil but He did not plan evil," or "God allowed evil but He did not purpose evil." Such softened language not only relaxes the emotional and intellectual tension we experience in the face of evil, it also assuages our consciences to think that by saying, "God permitted evil," we somehow protect God from the charge that He purposes, plans, and providentially controls circumstantial or ethical evil.

We must consider nothing, not even circumstantial or ethical evil, to be outside the scope of divine predestination and providence. Stated positively in Paul’s language, God "works all things after the counsel of His own will"; and "of Him, through Him, and to Him, are all things." Since Paul does not qualify his phrase "all things" to exclude circumstantial or ethical evil, then we must search elsewhere in Paul’s writing to find even a hint of evidence that "all things" means everything except circumstantial and ethical evil; otherwise, we must leave Paul’s words alone and "permit" them to say what they clearly imply–"all things" means "all things" including evil. Search as we may, no such restricted definition of "all things" occurs anywhere in Paul’s letters. In fact, with regard to his most famous statement about "all things," Romans 8:28, we most often apply Paul’s language during troublesome and trying times of circumstantial or ethical evil. If maladies or "accidents" strike our children, if our spouses betray us, if our loved ones die, if we suffer financial setback, if a volcanoe erupts killing thousands, if our doctor gives us a bad diagnosis, or if anything "bad" happens, we immediately resort to Paul’s comforting declaration, "And we know that all things work together for good." When we quote Paul’s famous words, we certainly have no intention of excluding circumstantial or ethical evil from "all things"; in fact the opposite is true–we cite Romans 8:28 to include evil so that we might console and encourage ourselves in evil circumstances. Not only do we acknowledge evil in the phrase "all things," we also tacitly affirm Paul’s idea that, whatever evil besets us, God sovereignly orchestrates such evil for our benefit and betterment–"all things work together for good to them who are called according to His purpose." Moreover, if we rightly consider (and honestly admit) the context in which Paul wrote these memorable words, we immediately recognize that Paul not only implied but also explicitly intended "all things" to include both circumstantial and ethical evil, proven by his panoramic catalogue of evil:

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, "For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Indeed, "all things" means "all things" in Paul’s theology, inlcuding both circumstantial and ethical evil. According to Paul, God is the original source of all things–"of Him . . . are all things"; God is the executive medium through which all things come into being and exist–"through Him . . . are all things"; and God’s glory is the ultimate end and purpose of all things–"to Him are all things . . . to whom be glory forever."

The Bible consistently affirms the idea that God sovereignly ordains and providentially controls "all things" including evil. For instance, every event in Job’s life, both good and evil, occurs in precise accordance with God’s plans and purposes. In terms of "good," although Job is an industrious man, it is God’s hand not Job’s, God’s plans and purposes not Job’s, that cause him to be "blessed" so that "his substance increased in the land." In terms of evil, before Job’s suffering begins, Satan, the very personification of evil, cannot touch much less attack Job because God "made" a "hedge" around Job to protect him from evil. Not only does Job peacefully prosper within that protective "hedge," but also everything most precious to Job, including his beloved family and every material possession, safely and securely exists within that divinely constructed "hedge." Gradually, however, God constricts the circumference of His "hedge" around Job. First, God reduces the "hedge" so that Satan might attack Job’s family and possessions, but the "hedge" yet remains around Job’s physical body: "And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand." As a result, Satan wreaks havoc upon Job’s family and possessions. The Sabeans steal Job’s oxen and donkeys, and kill his herdsmen; a lightning bolt sparks a fire that kills Job’s sheep and servants; the Chaldeans capture Job’s camels and kill his camel drivers; and while Job’s sons and daughters feast in their eldest brother’s home, a tornado rips through the house, at one fatal stroke killing every one of Job’s precious children. Nonetheless, in precise accordance with the boundary of God’s hedge–"upon himself put not forth thine hand"–Satan cannot touch Job’s body. Eventually, however, God further tightens His hedge around Job so that Satan might attack Job’s body but not kill him:

"And Satan answered the LORD, and said, 'Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.' And the LORD said unto Satan, 'Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.'"

Subsequently, yet short of Job’s death, Satan smites Job’s body "with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown." What sudden and tortuous agony Job experiences in the context of these various events of circumstantial and ethical evil, so that he "arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground." So awful is Job’s plight that his discouraged wife makes the cruel and foolish suggestion that perhaps Job should just "curse God and die." Adversity so horribly impacts Job’s life that now the very mention of his name epitomizes human suffering caused by circumstantial and ethical evil!

But let us ask ourselves, "Why did God gradually constrict the hedge around Job?" Did Job commit some sin that moved God to chasten him by tearing down the protective hedge? No, Job was "a perfect and upright man." Did Satan’s power somehow break through or break down God’s "hedge" that he might attack Job? No, God restrained Satan’s activity to the precise border of His protective hedge. Did Satan persuade God to test Job, and thus God "allowed" Satan to penetrate the hedge around Job’s life? No, in fact, as the narrative makes clear, it is God, not Satan, who originates the dicussion about Job’s suffering–"Has thou considered my servant Job?" Moreover, God delegates to Satan the power to attack Job–"Behold, all that he hath is in thy power"! God’s sovereign control over Satan is so radically absolute that God tells Satan the exact point to which he can torment Job, allowing the devil to attack Job’s family and possessions but forbidding Satan to touch Job’s body, then allowing Satan to attack Job’s body but not take his life. But what is Job’s response to his wife’s suggestion that he "curse God and die," and how does Job interpret his unspeakable misery, pain, and sorrow? "You talk like a foolish woman," he says to his wife; "What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?" Note Job’s usage of the term "evil," as well as his attribution of "evil" to "the hand of God." Job’s understanding of "evil" necesarily includes the circumstantial evil he and his family encountered–lightning strike, tornado, sickness, unexpected death–as well as the ethical evil Job experienced–the wicked thievery and and murderous brutality of the Chaldeans and Sabeans. Moreover, Job attributes all these events to "the hand of God." Perhaps we might skeptically and critically say that Job wrongly interprets suffering, that he errs when he concludes that the circumstantial and ethical evil that befall him come directly from "the hand of God." However, an honest reading of the Job narrative will not allow us to charge Job with error in his conclusion that "the hand of God" ordains and controls these evils. Moreover, if we chide Job for his belief and affirmation of God’s absolute and all encompassing Providence, we merely echo his unwise and ill-advised friends, who errantly explain Job’s adversities in terms of God’s "permissive will" or divine chastisement. Truthfully, the central theme of Job, and the lessson God wants to teach Job, is that God reigns absolutely sovereign in "all things," not merely in an abstract theolgical sense, but also in the particular and concrete details of Job’s life including every event of circumstantial and ethical evil. As Job declares, "But He is of one mind, and who can turn Him? And what His soul desireth, even that He doeth; for He performeth the thing that is appointed for me."

The patriarch Joseph’s life also witnesses to God’s sovereign control over "all things." Consider the circumstantial and ethical evil that Joseph experiences–his brothers conspire against him, stage his death, and sell him into Egyptian slavery; Potiphar’s wife entraps Joseph and then falsely accuses him of rape; and Potiphar wrongfully imprisones Joseph. Yet despite all these wicked injustices and sinful contrivances in Joseph’s life, God sovereignly orchestrates every event of circumstantial and ethical evil to raise Joseph to Pharaoh’s right hand that he might be the savior of his family and many others. As Joseph declares, "ye thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive." Indeed, like Job before him, Joseph’s life proves Paul’s theology that "all things," including circustantial and ethical evil, "work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."

Much more than Job’s and Joseph’s lives, the life of Jesus Christ, the very Son of God, corroborates Paul’s declaration that "all things work together for good to them that love God." Solomon declares that "the king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; as the rivers of water, he turneth it whithersoever He will." Consider the kings whose evil hearts God turned to His righteous purposes. Eight hundred years after Micah prohesies that Messiah will be born in Bethlehem, Caesar’s taxation decree brings Mary and Joseph to the City of David. Seven Hundred years before Jesus’ birth, Hosea prophesies that God will "call my son out of Egypt," fulfilled by Herod’s bloodthirsty design to kill every child under two years of age, thus causing Mary and Joseph to flee for a brief time to Egypt "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, ‘Out of Egypt have I called my son.’" God ordains every detail of Pontius Pilate’s actions against Jesus, including Pilate’s fateful decisions to scourge Jesus, crown Him with thorns, and robe Him in purple mockery, as well as his boastful declaration, "knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee"–to which Jesus replied, "Thou couldst have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from heaven." Judas’ betrayal, the thirty pieces of silver, the soldier’s gambling for the purple robe, the nails in His hand, the stripes upon His back, the spear in His side–more than three hundred prophecies testify to God’s sovereign control of "all things" in the life of Jesus Christ, including every royal "decree," and every evil thing that happens to Him.

Now consider the absurdity of "permissive will" as it might relate to prophecies regarding Jesus Christ, as well as the deistic idea that God foreordains what He foresees. If we accept such notions, then God permits the Incarnation because He foresees it; permits Caesar’s taxation decree, and Joseph’s and Mary’s subsequent trip to Bethlehem, because He foresees His Son will be born there; permits Herod’s murderous decree because He foresees Jesus and His parents will flee to Egypt but eventually return to Galilee; permits Judas’ betrayal because He foresees it; permits Pilate’s whip, the soldiers’ nails, and blood-stained spear because He foresees them; and permits the crucifixion and resurrection because He foresees that Jesus Christ will die and rise again. As previously noted, an acceptance of the paltry ideas of "permissive will" and "foreordination based upon foresight" relegates the Divine will to a merely reactive and contingent role in human affairs. Such an idea emasculates omnipotence, enslaves God’s will to man’s, and dethrones the Almighty. But the opposite is true, most especially as it regards the most significant events in history, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As Peter declares,

"Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it."

Peter’s declaration neither denies men’s wicked devices against the Son of God nor absolves them from accountability for their actions; he affirms that by "wicked hands" cruel sinners "killed the Prince of Life." Nonetheless, while Peter acknowledges the immediate and temporal moral responsibility of sinners for their actions, he attributes eternal and ultimate causality of the crucifixion to God’s "determinate counsel and foreknowledge." We remind our reader that "foreknowledge" and "foresight" are not synonymous. Peter’s term for foreknowledge, prognosei, certainly includes the idea of God’s prior knowledge of events, but more than this, the term inherently refers to "God’s omnipotent wisdom and intention"(BDAG) and His "prearrangement"(Thayer) of the crucifixion. Fortifying this definition of prognosei as "omnipotent intention" and "prearrangement" is Peter’s reference to God’s "determinate counsel." Peter’s word for "counsel," boule, designates "purpose"(Thayer),"intention" (BDAG), and, most graphically, the "deliberate motive" of the "divine will" (Thayer). If Peter uses prognosei as mere foresight, his prior phrase "determinate counsel" is rendered contradictory and therefore meaningless; but the opposite is true: Peter’s usage of "determinate counsel" clarifies and magnifies the meaning of prognosei as "omnipotent intention" and "prearrangement." "It was not possible," Peter says, that the "pains of death" could hold Jesus Christ, not because God foresees and therefore permits the grave and death to release Jesus from their cruel grip, but because "the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God" had planned and purposed otherwise.

May our reader take comfort, not in the sentimental and errant concept of "God’s permissive will," but in the biblical truth that "all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." When we experience or encounter circumstantial or ethical evil in our lives, we can rest securely in this truth–"But he is of one mind, and who can turn Him; and whatsoever His sould desireth, even that He doeth; for He performed the thing that is appointed for me."

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hal - we're not into that deep Bible stuff...we like history, and long explanations about Greek Gods, and stories about Jewish bankers and Canadian car mechanics.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Reformed Baptist, earning my MDiv at Reformed Theological Seminary. I say that to give context- what I'm about to say is not the irritation of an Arminian Baptist who dislikes Hal Brunson's theological commitments.

That qualifier out of the way...

Hal, you are a poor communicator. You come into this blog and download an excessively lengthy comment, and you think it important, maybe necessary, to instruct the readers on your take on the "permissive will of God." An intelligent person and/or a gifted communicator would note that this is a popular level blog about FBC Jax and its pastor, not a blog for treatises on theology. While theology is necessarily engaged in while discussing FBC Jax, presumably you "get" the difference between this popular level blog and the instruction on God's will that you typed out.

So why did you do it? Naturally, I can't have knowledge of your motivations. I'll take a guess-- you were once not Reformed and at some point you became Reformed, and now you derive joy and satisfaction from arguing about Reformed theology with Arminians. If your treatise here is any indication, you are proud of your mind and your theology and enjoy displaying your intellectual prowess to others.

I wonder if you realize that your pride in your intellectual gifts makes your susceptible to making an idol of your intellectual ability. You probably do. You probably confess your pride from time to time. You probably have heard others suggest, directly or indirectly, that you seem prideful.

I bet you don't do much about it besides the occasional confession of your sin of pride to the Lord.

And so the fruit of your ministry will be what think you want: people will think-- KNOW-- that Hal Brunson is really smart and is theologically correct.

But the fruit of your ministry won't be what your correct theology should lead you to: that always and and everywhere Jesus be exalted above you, that people know that you're broken by your wickedness before the holiness of God, that you imbibe like a man dying of thirst the grace of Christ, that you know that you're dearly loved in spite of your wickedness.

That you have people refer to you as "Dr." on your church website, that you print your "PhD" after your name on your books is further evidence. You remind me of Adam using fig leaves to cover his nakedness. Is your need for people to think you're smart ever sated?

A Reformed Baptist brother in Christ

Anonymous said...

Did you know that FBC New Campus meets right behind a brand new SBC church in the Nocatee Area. Why does FBC feel the need to start a church right behind another church like itself? Some one whould look into this.