Timmy Brister has gathered together all of the live-blogs from the conference that I am aware of into one post along with his comments on the conference. Be sure to read the live-blog posts linked to Timmy’s post. I would suggest listening to the audio but unfortunately you’ll have to drop $50 for the CD’s and $69 for the DVD’s. Why not MP3’s for free or at least offered at a lesser rate than the CD’s? There is one **bonus** as stated on the site. Depending on which format you buy a bonus CD or DVD of the Q & A session will be offered free of charge (sarcastic tone).
I have posted a portion of his post below but be sure to check out the whole thing.
10 Observations from a Distance
1. The speakers apparently have real theological differences among each other. One might expect this when having a conference when you are united around what you are against rather than what you are for.
2. While most of the seminaries were represented as vendors, Southern Seminary was not.
3. Earlier in May, I had requested for Founders Ministries to be a vendor. The request was rejected without justification.
4. The purpose of this conference was intended to be a “majoritarian response to the ‘Building Bridges’ and ‘Together for the Gospel’ conferences” (according to Lemke).
5. If there ever was a place and time that Southern Baptists would have discovered a counter-resurgence of non-Calvinists among younger Southern Baptists, this conference would have been it. However, live-blogging revealed that it was more comparable to the SBC Annual Meeting than Together for the Gospel. In other words, Vines and Co. are without generational succession.
6. Conference audio is $50 and video is $60 $69. These incredibly steep prices for resources will discourage many from purchasing them. This philosophy of marketing is quite contrary to the free resources provided at Reformed conferences.
7. The closed door approach to the conference was also quite interesting. In the day of live-blogging, live-streaming, immediate file-sharing (whether audio or PDF), this conference did not seem to adopt the whosoever will spirit of John 3:16.
8. I am encouraged by the approach and disposition of now president Johnny Hunt regarding his Calvinist brethren. However, he will have a lot on his hands when his fellow non-Calvinists are lobbing grenades and fostering a fight rather than seeking gospel consensus (after all, Calvinism is a move away from the gospel [Allen] and contrary to the Great Commission [Lemke]).
9. Commentary from non-Southern Baptists, such as Justin Taylor, James Grant, Michael Spencer, and dozens of others commenting on the blogs, reveal that the John 3:16 conference is a disappointing if not embarrassing attempt to debunk the doctrines of grace and one-up the Building Bridges Conference.
10. One has to wonder when Southern Seminary and the astute scholarship represented among the faculty will finally chime in. Schreiner, Ware, Mohler, Nettles, and others are being thrown under the bus with no response from Lexington Road. The absence of SBTS from Baptist life and issues is curious to say the least.
The fundamentalists who run the Southern Baptist Convention are after the Calvinists again. Obviously despairing that the “Building Bridges Conference” didn’t give the right preachers the opportunity to call Calvinists the right names, and faced with nagging possibility that out and out lies don’t go over as well when the guys you’re lying about are present in large numbers, the fundamentalists had a “John 3:16″ Conference at SBC President Johnny Hunt’s church. Speakers preached about the five points of Calvinism and straightened everyone out.
No recordings are posted, but Calvinistic live-bloggers were present (See their posts at Challies.com). My favorite part is the Caner Contention; the continual denial that Southern Baptists have any theological heritage at all except what the Bible says. We aren’t Arminians or Calvinists or anything else, they say. We’re just plain ‘ol Bible believing Baptists. Biblicists.
Bring up those crickets, Van Til. Thank you.
That’s a lie from anyone who says it. Not ignorance. Lying. They all know better.
I’m not a Calvinist, and some Calvinists ought to be put far, far away from the rest of us. But in general, the Calvinists in the SBC are more Gospel-centered and missionary than the rest of the convention. (Guess what seminary has sent the most IMB missionary candidates to the field the last decade? Yep, Southern. Where, of course, they can’t believe in missions. (jn)
The John 3:16 crowd is a sloppy bunch when it comes to scholarship, as Justin Taylor deftly and embarassingly demonstrates on his blog. Just about their every sentence at this kind of meeting makes an informed student of theology pause and wince. But they have Jerry Vines on their side, hawking his products and telling you what the greek really means.
Really, this is silly. Just silly. Calvinists in the SBC are doing far more good than harm, and the truth is that the fundamentalists need someone to blame for the fact that Jerry Falwell-style Evangelicalism is falling apart. One live-blogger said that 90% of the audience was middle-aged and over. That’s your problem old white guys: younger SBCers aren’t even listening to you anymore. You are talking to yourselves. Read Acts 29