Setting The Record Straight On Dr. Patterson

Once again, the Houston Chronicle has endeavored to malign Dr. Patterson by their portrayal of his handling of a very public and difficult situation that happened in the 1980s regarding a young pastor named Darrell Gilyard.

Although Dr. Patterson did not ask me to post his response to the Houston Chronicle, I requested his permission to do so, which he granted. Here are two other articles regarding the character of Dr. Patterson, who I have known for almost forty years. Dr. Paige Patterson: Things You Need To Know and Dr. Patterson’s Counsel to Pray for My Enemies.

The following is Dr. Patterson’s response.

Dr. Patterson’s response to the Houston Chronicle article of August 23, 2019 re: Darrell Gilyard Continue reading →

The Undermining of Truth: The Danger of Unguarded Reliance Upon Science and Statistics

In the quest to seem with it in our present scientistic milieu, preachers and Christians often pursue fluency regarding the latest polls, statistics, and studies (punctiliar thinking) more than they seek understanding of the Scripture and linear thinking. This quest is often characterized by indiscriminate reliance upon and usage of these tools, which actually leads people further from the truth both in their thinking processes and in their conclusions. Although these tools are useful at times, they should be used judiciously and sparingly lest one unwittingly becomes a scientistic myrmidon, and by his example leads others to do likewise. Continue reading →

Did God Create Some People for Wrath? Well No! Romans 9:19–23

Romans 9:22–23 is often cited to demonstrate God’s sovereign choice in creating some people for eternal destruction so that he might demonstrate his wrath while making other people to be recipients of his eternal mercy. This understanding highlights God’s eternal, unconditional election. This way, God could put his wrath and mercy on display, which otherwise he would not be able to do. Those who hold this view do believe that God did desire sin and evil, and he created people that ultimately he damned to hell either by predeterminately creating them for such or actively or passively passing them by. Continue reading →

Did God Hardening Pharaoh Damn Him? Well No! Romans 9:17–18

As mentioned in my previous article on Jacob and Esau (Rom 9:10–13), Calvinists use Romans chapters 9­–11 as the undeniable evidence of Calvinistic soteriology, defending both unconditional election and reprobation. Regarding chapter 9, B.B. Warfield says, “It is safe to say that language cannot be chosen better adapted to teach Predestination at its height.”[1] As I demonstrated, while the passage regarding Jacob and Esau does show God’s sovereignty, it has nothing to do with salvific election and reprobation, Calvinism’s doctrine of unconditional election. The same is true with regard to Pharaoh. Continue reading →

Does God Hate Esau? Well No! Romans 9:6-16

Calvinists use Romans chapters 9–11 as the undeniable evidence of Calvinistic soteriology, defending both unconditional election and reprobation. A.W. Pink says, “Romans 9 contains the fullest setting forth of the doctrine of Repro­bation.”[1] John Piper says that Jacob and Esau “were appointed for their respected destinies before they were born.”[2] In response, to give the context of the verses, Romans chapters 9–11 are about Israel, where Jews are considered nationally, both alone (Romans 9:1–5, 10:1–3, 11:1–10) and contrasted with the Gentiles (Romans 11:11–12). Everett F. Harrison notes that “election which is treated on an individual basis in 8:28–30, 33 is now viewed from the national perspective of Israel.”[3]

Calvinists often refer to two particular events as evidence of God’s sovereign unconditional election and reprobation. These two are Jacob and Esau (Romans 9:10–13), and Pharaoh (Romans 9:17–18). They also quote Romans 9:22–23 to demonstrate unconditional election and reprobation as well. I agree that these passages illustrate God’s sovereignty over creation, a truth with which I wholeheartedly agree; however, they do not demonstrate that God unconditionally elects some to eternal bliss and others to eternal fire, reprobation, nor do they demonstrate the particular way that Calvinists define sovereignty. In this article, I look at Jacob and Esau (Rom (9:10–13). I will look at the other two passages in a following article on Pharaoh.[4] Continue reading →

My Newest Book

It may be purchased now at Amazon or Wipf and Stock Publisher. It will be available at Amazon and other internet stores in a few days.

“Does God Love All or Some?” includes thirty-four chapters that address Calvinist arguments such as libertarian freedom undermines God’s sovereignty, rejecting Calvinism requires a weak view of depravity, what about those who never hear the gospel? I show how we know God’s salvific love is Extensive, extends to every person, rather than limited to Calvinism’s exclusive group, the unconditionally elected. I establish how we know God gives every person an opportunity to be saved, and how human acts like prayer really can affect a person’s salvation, something which true Calvinism precludes.

I demonstrate true Calvinism is internally and biblically inconsistent by exploring such things as how the good faith offer is a really a bad deception, God is inescapably the ultimate cause of all sin, Calvinism’s commitment to compatible moral freedom means every prayer, act, or proclamation that even hints at being able to change outcomes or involve a choice between accessible options contradicts true Calvinism, faith does not precede regeneration in Scripture and the analogy of human death cannot be used to demonstrate it does, reprobation is not necessary to demonstrate God’s holiness, God does not have two wills, and the doctrines of grace do seriously affect evangelism.

Endorsements

“From the pen of a seasoned pastor and thoughtful former Calvinist—this book peels back the layers of obfuscation that often encrust the hard re­alities of what is entailed in Calvinistic theology. This is probably the most penetrating summary critique of the biblical, theological, logical, and prac­tical incongruences inherent in Calvinistic theology I have read. Rogers goes beyond the surface level of criticism to the deeper layers of contradic­tions, exposing the soft underbelly of much of Reformed theology. Irenic, respectful, yet thoroughly probing, this is a must read for all who want to understand the issues more deeply.”

David L. Allen
Dean, School of Preaching, Distinguished Professor of Preaching
Director of the Southwestern Center for Expository Preaching and George W. Truett Chair of Ministry, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Does God Love All or Some?” should be required reading for all students preparing for ministry. Ronnie Rogers covers an array of topics that, unfor­tunately, are all-too-often neglected in theological education and personal conversations. From persuasively correcting the mythical narrative that one must be either an Arminian or a Calvinist to tackling the illogical fallacy of compatibilism, the author, with wit and balance, shares his personal theo­logical journey and works through the maze of biblical complexities. I wish such a volume was available when I attended seminary years ago.”

Emir Caner
President, Truett McConnell University, Professor of History and Christian Studies

“I highly recommend this latest work by Ronnie Rogers to you….His treatment of the extensive nature of the atonement also deserves attention because he has written it as a person formerly ensconced in the doctrines of grace. His familiarity with the issues relevant to those who really are trying to work their way through Scripture, theology, and ministry is apparent in individual chapters dealing with so many of the nu­ances involved in addressing the question.

Barry Creamer
President, Criswell College, Professor of Humanities

From the Foreword

Rogers’ work reflects careful thought, precise language, and a gentle tone. He appeals to those who affirm Calvinistic theology to consider whether their presuppositions and definitions provide clarity to their reading of Scripture or reinforce their theological framework into which they place and through which they interpret Scripture. From this position of theological inquiry, Rogers deftly probes key issues such as the nature of God, providence, the human condition, compatibilism, God’s desire for lost humanity, the order of salvation, grace, the gospel, and the dilemmas faced by Calvinists and Extensivists. Readers who desire to examine the distinctions between Christianity with Calvinism and Christianity without Calvinism will find this book to be a storehouse of perceptive theological inquiry and faithful exegetical analysis.

Adam Harwood, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Theology, McFarland Chair of Theology, Director of the Baptist Center for Theology & Ministry, Editor of the Journal for Baptist Theology & Ministry
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

Faith Precedes Regeneration and Revelation Precedes Faith

Salvation begins with God revealing himself to man. Man cannot find God unless he reveals himself to man. God’s love for his creation is why there is a way for people to be saved from their just desert (John 3:16). Christ came into the world to save mankind, which means he had to pay for man’s sins (John 1:29). He also had to initiate the salvation opportunity on a personal level since man on his own will never pursue God (Rom 3:11). He did this by enlightening every person (John 1:9–13) and by drawing and calling individuals to salvation (John 6:44; 12:32) so that a person can by grace, trust in the person and work of Christ, which is the will and work of God (John 6:29).

It is after God reveals himself and enables mankind to believe that he gives man the command and opportunity to believe, which man does not have to do (Matt 11:20–24). If man does respond in faith to the revelation of God, God will respond by creating a new person (2 Cor 5:17). The work of regeneration is totally a work of God, as was the first creation. The order of salvation is revelation, faith, and regeneration. Continue reading →