More on the Joshua Convergence

The Florida Baptist Witness again shows why it is perhaps the leading state Baptist newspaper in the SBC by releasing a more indepth article on the Joshua Convergence meeting near Orlando earlier this week. The article reports on each of the addresses on the seven principles of the statement issued earlier this week. There are some very interesting quotes included, such as this one from Jeff Crook, pastor, Blacksheaer Place Baptist Church, Atlanta, Ga, who spoke on gratitude:

“To fail to express gratitude and deny these men honor is glaring arrogance and profound ignorance,” added Crook. “There’s some young preachers tonight that need to put their hand over their mouth. We need to repent of our arrogance and fleshly spirit of ingratitude. That’s what’s keeping Holy Ghost revival from coming to our convention.

Brad Reynolds was also one of the speakers. You may remember him from some of his more than 75 comments offered on this blog in previous months. In one of his most infamous comments, Reynolds, who as a professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, has signed the Abstract of Principles, asserted that he could “affirm 3 of the classic points of Calvinism provided I can define them.” He spoke on holiness and, predictably, brought up the SBC resolution on total abstinance. He went on to talk about the discussion on some blogs of this resolution after the convention meeting. According to the Witness, Reynold said this about of those bloggers:

One of them went on to say that he went to share Jesus with someone, had a meal with her and asked her for wine at the meal [and] she was so moved that a Baptist preacher would ask her for wine, that her heart just opened up to receive the gospel of Christ and she got saved.
“The very idea that the Holy Spirit of God is moved by the spirits of alcohol is contrary to God’s word and sacrilegious,” Reynolds said.

Wade has addressed this on his blog, with a link to his original post that Reynolds completely misrepresents. The irony here would be hilarious if it weren’t so tragic.

Emir Caner spoke on identity. He made some great points, such as the following:

“… We must not waver in our commitment to the true church in order to accommodate the compromising methods of the modern-day, so-called reform groups who cry for a generous orthodoxy or twenty-first century relevancy and eclipse their view for church polity and purity,” Caner said. “A Baptist church, from its inception, whether it be planted here or around the world, deserves to be defined explicitly and not to be depicted ambiguously. And if we faithfully follow scriptural methods for the church, I promise you, it will be relevant. It always has been. But if we do not do so, I’m afraid we will be up willow creek without a paddle.”

The article is worth reading. If you have the time, the video of these talks is also educational.

I have one final comment to make about this issue. I hope those who met in Florida this week and preached these messages will never forget that there is a more important JC than “Joshua Convergence!” 🙂

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
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