What is our future as Southern Baptists…a reflection by Tom Ascol

I did not attend the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in New Orleans a few weeks ago, but I watched much of it on live stream and have tenaciously followed the tweets and blogs. There has been an overwhelming amount of discussion on the issue of soteriology (how a sinner gets saved) and Calvinism, Arminianism, Semi-Pelagianism, and Traditional Baptistic views.

While I personally am a 5 point Calvinist, I never want our denomination to divide over this issue. I believe Calvinists and non-Calvinists and Arminians can work together for the proclamation of the gospel as long as we hold to the 5 Sola’s of Protestant Evangelicalism:

God’s Word Alone

Christ Alone

Grace Alone

Faith Alone

God’ Glory Alone.

In light of all the discussion, I recommend the following summary and reflection by Tom Ascol on his views of the future of the Southern Baptist Convention.


A Lengthy but Engaging Post from John Piper on Repentance


Letter to a Friend Concerning the So-Called “Lordship Salvation”

February 1, 1990 | by John Piper | Topic: Regeneration / New Birth



Explanatory Note: In the February, 1989 issue of The Standard, the journal for news and comment of the Baptist General Conference, I published a very affirming review of John MacArthur’s book, The Gospel According to Jesus (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1988). One respected and effective minister of our fellowship responded to me with serious concern about what I was saying. The gist of his concern is seen in a few excerpts from his letter. I am going to change a few details so as not to draw attention to any one individual, because my friend speaks for many.

He said, “Near the age of fifteen I accepted Christ as my Savior. As I look back on my life, I can see He had powerful influence during my late teen years and early twenties. In my late twenties I began to be aware of the concept of Christ as Lord. As I investigated that concept and struggled with it, I realized that for Christ to be Lord, I had to submit everything to Him. In my early thirties I did just that. The concept of ‘lordship salvation’ that you support would mean that had I died at age twenty-two, that is, before Christ was Lord, I would not have gone to Heaven.”

Dear Friend!

Thank you for taking time and interest to respond to my review of John MacArthur’s book, The Gospel According to Jesus. I have heard of your love for Christ and your faithfulness in evangelism and discipling. This is plain also from your response. And I thank God for it. I hope these things can be discussed in a way that will minimize widespread misunderstanding. If you see any misrepresentations of your thinking please let me know.

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The Father’s Bargain

I love to read the Puritans. Here is a tremendous quotation from John Flavel on the amazing transaction that took place before the foundation of the world between the Father and the Son.

Here it is:

Here you may suppose the Father to say, when driving his bargain with Christ for you:

Father. My son, here is a company of poor miserable souls, that have utterly undone themselves, and now lie open to my justice! Justice demands satisfaction for them, or will satisfy itself in the eternal ruin of them: What shall be done for these souls And thus Christ returns.

Son. O my Father, such is my love to, and pity for them, that rather than they shall perish eternally, I will be responsible for them as their Surety; bring in all thy bills, that I may see what they owe thee; Lord, bring them all in, that there may be no after-reckonings with them; at my hand shalt thou require it. I will rather choose to suffer thy wrath than they should suffer it: upon me, my Father, upon me be all their debt.

Father. But, my Son, if thou undertake for them, thou must reckon to pay the last mite, expect no abatements; if I spare them, I will not spare thee.

Son. Content, Father, let it be so; charge it all upon me, I am able to discharge it: and though it prove a kind of undoing to me, though it impoverish all my riches, empty all my treasures, (for so indeed it did, 2 Cor. 8: 9. “Though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor”) yet I am content to undertake it.

Blush, ungrateful believers, O let shame cover your faces; judge in yourselves now, has Christ deserved that you should stand with him for trifles, that you should shrink at a few petty difficulties, and complain, this is hard, and that is harsh? O if you knew the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in this his wonderful condescension for you, you could not do it.

~ John Flavel

Gospel “One Another’s”

I recently read a poignant quote from John Wesley which states, “There is nothing more unchristian than a solitary Christian.” As believers, God has created us for fellowship not only with Him through Jesus His Son, but also with each other as a church family. There should be no such thing as a “lone-ranger” Christian who lives in isolation from other believers and who believes that he or she can grow and thrive without connection to a community of faith.
In light of what Christ has done on the cross in forgiving our sins and rising again for our justification, the Bible commands us to practice the gospel “one-anothers”. What exactly are these “one anothers”? Sprinkled throughout the New Testament, we find these commands that we are to continually practice in an ongoing fashion as we relate to one another as believers.

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Welcome to Emmanuel’s Blog

Welcome to the new blog from Emmanuel Baptist Church. We are a gospel-centered Baptist church in Sterling, CO, that exists to display God’s glory, declare God’s gospel, and disciple for God’s Great Commission. We value the expository preaching of God’s Word, have contemporary worship, are elder led in our polity, have a rich history of church planting, and desire to see the gospel of Christ extend to unreached people groups.

The purpose of this blog is to encourage, edify, and challenge all of us to grow closer to Christ, to love His gospel, serve His church, and reach the world with His love and grace.