Category Archives: Faith & Practice

Phillips, Craig and Dean’s statement rejecting modalism

Since news came out about Phillips, Craig and Dean signing a statement affirming the Baptist Faith and Message (I’ve written about this story here and here), I’ve seen a few posts and tweets stating they have have not anywhere rejected modalism. I now post this, the statement they signed and gave to the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, to show that posts and tweets to that effect are not accurate.  You will can read for yourself the statement below.

I certainly understand the tendency to be skeptical and the calls for discernment. I would hope anyone who knows me or has spent any time reading me or talking to me knows I take such a need in the church very seriously.  I respect anyone’s right to continue to be skeptical. I simply post this to show that there is a place and a time where they have explicitly rejected modalism (Sabellianism), and here it is…

pcdstatement
You can also download the statement in PDF format here.

Grace and peace to you.

 

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A cause for careful celebration?: On Phillips, Craig and Dean and Trinitarian Christianity

pcdLate Sunday night I posted The elephant is in OUR room: Shaking hands with Sabellius in the Southern Baptist Convention. I’d venture to say it is by far my most widely read and disseminated post in almost fifteen years of blogging, which isn’t saying much, except to say that people read it and commented on it. A couple of others sites picked it up and/or linked to it.

If you haven’t read it I encourage you to do so, but in a nutshell, the purpose of the article was to bring to attention the inclusion of CCM group Phillips, Craig and Dean (PCD) to the lineup of those speaking or performing at the Empower Conference, an evangelism conference sponsored by the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC). They would be joining prominent Southern Baptists such as SBC President Fred Luter, ERLC President Russell Moore, former SBC President Johnny Hunt, and Lifeway’s Ed Stetzer. And it would not have been newsworthy were it not well known beforehand Phillips, Craig and Dean’s links to modalism.

Modalism is an ancient heresy which distorts the orthodox (and biblical) understanding of the Godhead. Christians believe in one true God who eternally exists in three Persons — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and that they are co-equal and co-substantial, one in nature and essence. Modalism, also known as Sabellianism (Sabellius was the ancient proponent of this heresy), teaches there is one God who reveals or manifests in three distinct ways — Father, Son, and Spirit, but when He is the Father He is not the Son, and when He is the Son He is not the Spirit, and when He is the Spirit He is not the Father. Hence, God manifests Himself in different modes.

For almost 2000 years Christians have consistently taught and believed that to deny the orthodox understanding of the Trinity was to deny the orthodox understanding of God, and thus place oneself outside of the realm or orthodox Christianity and salvation itself, which is why it was alarming to me that PCD was included in that conference lineup, for up until then there had never been a public denial of modalism by the members of the group. Continue reading

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The elephant is in OUR room: Shaking hands with Sabellius in the Southern Baptist Convention

trinity[UPDATE THURS JAN 9, 2014 - 8:06PM: In light of new developments in this story, I have chosen to keep this posted but also point you to my new post -- A cause for careful celebration?: On Phillips, Craig and Dean and Trinitarian Christianity. Please read it.]

Is the doctrine of the Trinity something worth standing resolute on anymore in the Southern Baptist Convention? The question, seemingly obvious among the people who turned back the liberal tide and fought for the inerrancy of Scripture 35 years ago, must be asked in the early days of 2014 when one looks at the schedule for the 2014 Empower Conference, an evangelism conference put on by the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC).

Go ahead. Take a minute to look and then come back. Continue reading

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Dr. Michael Brown and Benny Hinn? Is this “Authentic Fire”?

Michael BrownThe pushback on John MacArthur and Grace to You has been widespread before, during, and since the Strange Fire conference a couple of months ago. Dr. Michael L. Brown has probably been the most vocal critic of MacArthur, the conference, and cessationists since then.

I will give Brown credit where credit is due. He has written a response to MacArthur’s book Strange Fire, called Authentic Fire. I have not yet had the opportunity to read it, but that’s exactly what should happen from those who think the miraculous gifts are still in operation today. That’s the kind of discussion that should be going on. And I’ll also give credit for Brown as being a top notch defender of the faith when it comes to Jesus as the Jews’ Messiah and the issue of homosexuality in the culture today.

But then there’s this…

…and you just have to ask…

Continue reading

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A hymn for the new year

I came across this hymn a couple of months ago in the chapel service of my kids’ school. It’s to the familiar tune of “Auld Lang Syne,” but with much better lyrics. I pray it edifies you as we head into 2014.

Should nothing of our efforts stand
No legacy survive
Unless the Lord does raise the house
In vain its builders strive

To you who boast tomorrow’s gain
Tell me what is your life
A mist that vanishes at dawn
All glory be to Christ!

All glory be to Christ our king!
All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign we’ll ever sing
All glory be to Christ!

His will be done
His kingdom come
On earth as is above
Who is Himself our daily bread
Praise Him the Lord of love

Let living water satisfy
The thirsty without price
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet
All glory be to Christ!

All glory be to Christ our king!
All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign we’ll ever sing
All glory be to Christ!

When on the day the great I Am
The faithful and the true
The Lamb who was for sinners slain
Is making all things new

Behold our God shall live with us
And be our steadfast light
And we shall ere His people be
All glory be to Christ!

All glory be to Christ our king!
All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign we’ll ever sing
All glory be to Christ!

Happy New Year! All glory be to Christ our king!

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