ATLANTA, GA - The arguments have been made. The debate is finally settled. There is nothing left to discuss.
Calvinism is finished. The Doctrines of Grace have been de-bunked. Reformed theology is has once and for all time been banished to the trash bin of dead theologies.
On November 6-7, Jerry Vines ministries hosted the John 3:16 Conference. At this conference, which billed itself as "A biblical and theological assessment of and response to 5-point Calvinism," noted Southern Baptists took open shots at Calvinism.
Those in attendance were thrilled with the scholarship on display. For example, pastor Bubba Swift of Good Works Baptist Church, told TBNN, "Those speakers sure did a fine job. They just kept quotin' John 3:16 over and over again. No matter what objection was brought to them, they just kept sayin', 'Whosoever will...' It was awesome."
Pastor Wyatt Beasley said, "All I know is Jesus died for the whole world. That means everybody. When I got saved, I could just tell Jesus was cheerin' me on from heaven, just hopin' I'd give myself to Him. That's what I done."
Some of the more notable quotes to come out of the conference were the following:
"Humans are born with original sin but not original guilt."
"A move toward Calvinism is a move away from the gospel.”
"Repentance and faith precede regeneration."
"A 'hyper-Calvinist' is someone who is more Calvinistic than you are.”
"Romans 9-11 have nothing to do with eternal salvation."
The most amazing part of the conference was when one of the speakers reportedly said, "We're right. They're wrong. Who's wrong? A few guys named Augustine, Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, John Owen, John Bunyan, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, William Carey, Adoniram Judson, James Boyce, Arthur Pink, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, J. I. Packer, R. C. Sproul, John MacArthur, and especially John Piper."
It is worth noting that no one from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary was asked to speak at the conference.
Despite the fact that Dr. Vines said the gathering was not intended to be a "bashing Calvinism" conference, this is exactly what it turned out to be. While those who bothered to attend liked what was said, the broader spectrum of thought within the blog-world has been far less favorable. For some sane thought on this topic, click here and here.
When the conference concluded, there was much ovation and back-slapping. The speakers informed the press that now that Calvinism had been demolished for all time, they would aim their vast intellect at the most important issue facing Protestantism today: alcohol.