Wednesday, June 6, 2007


Dr. Greg Welty is attempting a yeoman's task over at Wade Burleson's place (see here and here). Dr. Welty, we appreciate the clock-cleaning that you are delivering. It is work that needs to be done. But, of course, such discussions don't work in contexts where people aren't sure what the meaning of the word is is. You'd have better luck injecting yourself into this conversation: :-)


Paul said...

That's funny! You're almost getting as good at that YouTube thing as Ben.

Grosey's Messages said...

Bart, you and Greg Welty have clearly cleaned Wade's clock on Wade's blog.
It is apparent that if Wade does not understand that the BFM2000 and the Abstracts are harmonious documents, it reflects his unwillingness to understand. Even Wade's lack of formal theological education (Bachelor of Business Studies? maybe he should have got a basic Bachelor of theology!)is no excuse, as Greg has clearly demonstrated Wade's naive assertions.
Pity the folks who follow him.
Its a shame that you couldn't have included the piece where the Cheshire cat says "Words mean what I want them to mean" (the post modern assertion) regardless of how words have a commonly accepted meaning. Wade's Way is no Way and without "The Way"

Greg Welty said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
R. L. Vaughn said...

I think Greg's strongest point, which should be asked until answered, is that the foundation of Wade's position "excludes the propriety of there being *any* written theological standard for service" when in reality he seems to object to the BFM 2000 being that standard. If that is the objection, I understand you folks in the SBC have a methodology whereby it can be changed -- strengthened or watered-down -- if that is the consensus of the messengers.

Bart Barber said...


Ben is giving me lessons on the weekends.

Bart Barber said...


Certainly, the conversation did not always succeed at making communication.

Bart Barber said...

R. L.,

My point exactly.

Debbie said...

Steve: Intellectual snobbery? A man does not have to have a high degree to be a man of God, in fact God works best in those who do not try and do it themselves or rely on their degree. Charles Spurgeon was just such a man and penned the phrase Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom.

Bart: I don't think Wade's clock was the one being cleaned. Especially with answers from Dr. Welty such as this.

"So sure, I entirely agree with you: according to the BFM, we do not become transgressors until we are capable of moral action. (And that's what the Abstract says as well.) As you put it, it is "not until then" that we become transgressors. But that's entirely compatible with the Abstract saying we are *condemned* before then. For the "condemnation" the *Abstract* is talking about is distinct from the "condemnation" the *BFM* is talking about. What the Abstract is talking about is *not* a condemnation on the basis of our actual transgressions in this life. Rather, it is a condemnation on the basis of Adam's sin, an event which occurred long before we were even born, and thus long before we ever *could* be transgressors."

If one reads the Abstract and the BFM 2000 not many if any would see this. This seems more like a smokescreen explanation than the interpreting what actually has been written. It seems you and Dr. Welty no how to get around the issue without actually confronting it with a reasonable explanation. It seemed you were saying that you and Dr. Welty interpret it this way or the SBC leaders interpret it this way and even though reading it produces a different interpretation than you give, we are all wrong. That's not cleaning someone's clock, that's just changing the meaning in my opinion. Don't pat yourselves on the back quite yet.

Bart Barber said...


Your seeing it differently from me....
Your seeing it exactly the same way as Wade...

Doesn't exactly rate as the top news items of the day, does it?

Bart Barber said...

As for me, I am more than willing to leave it in the hands of each reader.

Greg Welty said...


I think I can put the main point pretty simply, and show how it naturally follows from the text of the two documents.

Go to Abstract VI and read the relevant sentence.

Question: what kind of "condemnation" is the Abstract talking about?

Answer: condemnation in virtue of Adam's sin.

Now go to BFM III and read the relevant sentence.

Question: what kind of "condemnation" is the BFM talking about?

Answer: condemnation in virtue of our becoming transgressors, after we are capable of moral action.

Clearly, then, the first answer is compatible with the second answer, because we're talking about two different condemnations. And it's the *text itself* which leads us to make this distinction.

Please, just go through this simple exercise. If you didn't come up with my answers, based on the actual text of the documents, could you please explain why? I'm genuinely interested.

Winning Truth w/Tim Guthrie said...

Dr. Welty,
You have been doing a wonderful job and I for 1 say THANK YOU!

It can be amazing when one does not read the party line but rather reads the actual words written. Try the exercise, you will be enlightened!

Grosey's Messages said...

WOW Debbie, but I wouldn't dare to go so far as you have, as to call Wade a fool! For Matthew 5:22 says But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brotherwill be subject to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Fool!’will be subject to the • Sanhedrin. But whoever says, ‘You moron!’ will be subject to • hellfire.

I would just say that sometimes he doesn't do the hard work that others have done (particularly CH Spurgeon). I guess I would say lazy.. but I guess you are right, it has made him appear foolish.


Debbie said...

Bart: I must admit that did make me laugh. Wade and I do agree, this isn't news. I'm surprised Steve doesn't agree as well.

Tim: Read my explanation to Dr. Welty and that should be of comfort to you that I did read both quite well. :)

Dr. Welty:

I see both as two different points of view. I believe Wade has already given you the Abstract version vs. the BFM version. The Abstract clearly points to the doctrine of Original Sin whereas the BFM clearly has an age of accountability. That also would tie in with some advocating waiting to baptize children until a certain age. These are two different doctrines.

Steve: I wasn't talking about Wade, but then I think you know that.:)

I'm actually surprised at your reaction Steve being Calvinist and non-SBC. Of anyone you should see the difference in the two.

Colin said...


I am certainly sympathetic to the many, many pastors unable to attain a formal education for whatever reason. Then there are those, such as Wade, who chose not to attend. Good and godly men can preach by the power of the Holy Spirit without a "formal" theological education. In many cases, we stand on the shoulders of giants, like Spurgeon and others (Gill?).

However, the difference is that Spurgeon and others like him valued theological education because they understood the value of properly communicating with theological peers. Part of discipline is accepting correction and rebuke from men who are also led by the Holy Spirit in their studies. The exchange of ideas without relegating to name calling (that is, the actual exchange, including defining and defending your own position in your own words) is a valuable dicsiplined attained from a formal theological education. When one refuses to engage in such communication, the value of that formal education becomes very apparent to their peers.

All Dr. Welty and others have asked is for a cogent, logical defense of a publicly stated position, and careful consideration of their own. Though Nettles may be appealed to, I seriously doubt he would have treated Welty's objections by questioning his reading comprehension and tagging him as a fundamentalist.

I'm just saying.

Grosey's Messages said...

Debbie, I have always thought what has been expressed by Dr. Welty and Bart. I was weaned at my new birth on CH Spurgeon.
They are not saying anything contradictory to a clear reading of both confessions. In fact, theya re just saying what Spurgeon said in his caechism so many years ago:
17. Q. Wherein consists the sinfulness of that state whereunto man fell?
A. The sinfulness of that state whereunto man fell, consists in the guilt of Adam’s first sin, (Romans 5:19) the want of original
righteousness, (Romans 3:10) and the corruption of his whole
nature, which is commonly called original sin, (Ephesians 2:1;
Psalm 51:5) together with all actual transgressions which proceed
from it. (Matthew 15:19)

Please don't forget this was theology taught to 12 year olds by CHS.

In fact, for Wade to not have conceded that there are several grounds of condemnation is just plain ignorant of the scriptures and ignorant of puritan beliefs.


Debbie said...

ColinAnd mentors such as Paul Burleson, George Ellis for example among other great men too numerous to mention . I have nothing against against a theological degree, it's when it's used in the way Steve Grosse likes to use it that I get a bad taste in my mouth. A degree should never stand in the way of the Bible and the Holy Spirit's teaching which each and every one of us possess. I dare say although I am not as knowledgeable as many here and that would include present company and Wade, I have studied theology and read the great writers both past and present for so many years I feel as if I have had as wonderful an education as some who have a degree, and in a few years even more as I continue to read scripture, the great theologians of old and now plus great mentors I have by the grace of God. But the greatest of these teachers is the Holy Spirit.

Debbie said...

Steve: I know you are going to hate to hear this but I devour as much Spurgeon as I do Edwards and Gill. I would disagree that he is saying the same thing as Bart or Dr. Welty, although that is neither here nor there as we are talking about the abstract and the BFM. But what does scripture say? Romans 5 answers that one for me.

Bart: Being one of the readers that you are leaving it in the hands of that was my interpretation when reading both.

Grosey's Messages said...

Sadly Debbie the story of this debate remoinds me of the story of the Bedouin and the bowl of dates. A Bedouin wakes in teh middle of the night and gets the munchies. He knows he has a bowl of dates tehre somewhere. He lights a lamp and finds a date, and bites into it. And he discovers a worm! He spits out the piece and throws it outside. He takes another date from the bowl and disovers another worm. And Another one. And another one! He begins to think to himself
"I’ll be through this entire bowl of dates without satisfying my hunger". So what does he do? He blows out the lamp and feasts in ignorance.
Debbie, Ggreg Welty and Bart and Colin and how many others have laboured to encourage others not to be lazy, but to do the hard work in their study of theology, because God is glorified in it.
But some stubbornly cherish their ignorance above understanding carefully the Word of God.
My references to hard work are the issue, and usually, yes, they are evident in the degrees someone attains. But they are also evident in the conclusions people reach.

I admire Greg and Bart for the overwhelmng patience they have exhibited in making things that are obvious to many even more obvious.

Grosey's Messages said...

Debbie do you mean Romans 5:12?
12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Which ground of condemnation are you indicating.. that which came through Adam ( "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin;" )or that which came because "and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:" ?

Debbie said...

Steve: I certainly do not wish to carry the debate over here, but when one brags about cleaning a clock, let's be sure it was cleaned. I don't think Bart and Dr. Welty are the only ones who have exhibited patience here. So did the ones who took issue with them. In looking at the wording side by side I cannot agree that any clock was cleaned. I have given my honest assessment of both documents as have others. Should it not then be written where there would be no doubt as to proper interpreation. Steve, you are familiar with the doctrine of original sin so you of all people should understand the questions raised between the two documents.

Debbie said...

Steve: The former.

Grosey's Messages said...

yes Debbie but can't you see both the doctrine of original sin and the doctrine of penalty for sins in Romans 5:12?

Debbie said...

Yes Steve I do, I just don't see both in the BFM. It does appear to have an age of accountability doctrine in it which I cannot find in scripture and would wash away any reference to Original sin making it null and void. That is the biggest obstacle I encounter when reading the BFM.

I am willing to look at it taking Dr. Welty's points and others. If this however has to be explained and not seen through a simple reading, I do not see how that is not a problem. There are also the other points that both Wade and Sam brought up that I hadn't noticed but do notice now that were not addressed.

Dr. Welty, thank you for addressing me, I will honestly look at the BFM in the light of what you have said. I am one who does not take these points lightly.