Saturday, November 19, 2005
Adrian Rogers, Paige Patterson and the upcoming Calvinism debate
I wanted to make just a few comments on 2 items that I read about this week. First, on November 15th Dr. Adrian Rogers went home to be with the Lord. Dr. Rogers was greatly used of God during his ministry. He was a gifted orator and a leader in the SBC, even elected president of the SBC on 3 different occasions. I recall meeting him at a couple of pastor's conferences when I was young in the faith and was in awe of this man. He had a gentle, yet somehow firm personality. I grew to disagree with the particulars of his preaching against the doctrines of grace over the past years, but always had respect for a man that labored hard over the inerrancy issue so many years ago. He is to be commended and remembered for how God used him in ministry. I will miss hearing his deep velvety voice, that many referred to when they called him "the prince of preachers". Today, we enjoy the some of thefruits of his and others labors in the SBC. I for one grew up in a SBC church with a father who is an SBC pastor and am truly thankful that my father stood shoulder to shoulder with men like Dr. Rogers. Truly, we should thank God for using men like Adrian Rogers to bring the SBC back out of the pit of liberalism. My sympathy is with the family in their loss and we look forward to being with Adrian around the throne when we will all be in the complete unity of the faith before our gracious God.
Second, I have heard the news concerning the supposed "debate"/ formal discussion/ speaking engagement/ etc. etc. between Drs. Mohler and Patterson. I welcome this. I also think it is great that it will be out in front of an audience. This is wonderful news. I know both men are gentlemen and that both seem to have the highest integrity, so it should be very cordial and should be very straight forward. I don't expect their minds to be changed, though I pray that Dr. Patterson would see the error in his doctrine. However, I hope it will be an example of how brothers in Christ should dialogue with one another in love and confront one another with the Scriptures, spurring one another on to the truth.
I can say that I have run across many men of God who have been an encouragement to men throughout the blogosphere. Even now there are issues that we disagree on, but they love me anyway and I love them and we continue to dialogue trusting that the same sovereign God that saved us and caused us to have some understanding of His electing grace towards us will also teach us in these other areas where we disagree. Our sanctification is at different levels. We were all saved at different times and out of different circumstances and from different backgrounds with different levels of biblical knowledge. Can we really expect every Christian to be completely on the same page? I don't think so. However, I do expect that every Christian should be moving in the same general direction: holiness and sound doctrine. Can I get an amen?!!