Wrongly Dividing the Body of Christ?

Is there a right way to do this? Evidently Simon, over at “Thinking Deeply” (I am not making this up) believes that there is and that I and others are doing it the wrong way because that is the title of his recent rant article against several Calvinist bloggers and readers of such blogs. I don’t know Simon nor do I know what has provoked this kind of attack. My friend, Gene Bridges, alerted me to it. But having read it, I find it very sad.

For example, Simon writes,

Just like those at Monergism.com, the people at Founders Ministries display, consciously or not, their desire to be the Reformers. Their perspective is skewed in such a way, that they act as if they are living in the time of the Reformers. They react to Arminianism and Molinism today as if it were the Catholic Church of Luther’s and Calvin’s day. This spills over into their exegesis, especially of Paul’s letters – as N.T. Wright has pointed out.

I have been whipped with many a lash but never with one manufactured by NT Wright! Given his (new) perspective, I think I will just bear it gladly.

Simon goes on to express his disgust over the announced debate between the Caners, James White and me. He misrepresents how it came to be and quotes some comments left on this blog about the debate. Then he concludes with this body-of-Christ-unifying crescendo:

The Caner brothers are converts from Islam. They debate Muslims, generally. I don’t know for sure, but they seem to be on fire for God. But you know what .. none of that matters as much as this: They’re human beings created in the image of God. Furthermore, they’re brothers in an even more important family than the one they belong to by human blood. They’re brothers with us in the family that is united by Christ’s blood.

And we slay them.

And we slay all Arminians, and all people who disagree with us theologically.

We slay them with our words on the “Founders” blog. We slay them on Dr. White’s radio show. We slay them on the “Alpha & Omega” web site. We slay them on the Calvinist Gadfly web site.

And we do it all in the name of God, and for His glory.

Good job guys.

You make me sick.

Much more could be said, but I refrain. Evan May over at Triablogue has sufficiently addressed the more egregious problems with Simon’s statements by pointing out the obvious irony of his words and tone.

No one is above criticism. Certainly not me or any of those who comment on this blog. Sometimes we may need to be corrected for what we say or how we say it. The discovery of error is never a a license to quit loving. To the degree that Simon is trying to say that, I agree with him. But that message–if it is indeed what he is trying to communicate–has been lost in the histrionics. I find that sad. Very sad.

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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