Back on September 8th of this year Pastor Steve Gaines of the Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, preached a sermon titled “God’s Sovereign Plan.” You are encouraged to download the sermon and listen to it here. Given that brother Gaines’ sermon presents a very, very common view amongst Southern Baptists, and as his doctoral work was on the sermons of Herschel Hobbs, interacting with his position would be very useful to a wide variety of our listening audience. Basically, Dr. Gaines denies the particularity of the decree of God, denies the propriety of recognizing the distinction between the prescriptive will of God and the decretive will of God, functionally denies the propriety of the discussion of primary and secondary causation especially as it relates to intention, guilt, and judgment, and as a result presents what I will demonstrate is a very impersonal view of election and salvation, for he directly claims that God chose a plan, not a people, in eternity past. Sadly, we will again hear, “All means all, and that’s all all means,” believe it or not, but hopefully we can get past that sad fossil of synergistic rhetoric and stay focused upon a very popular presentation of synergism that will help us explain the full-orbed biblical truth to those who have been impacted by this kind of teaching and preaching. So tune in the Dividing Line Tuesday afternoon, 4pm EST, 2pm MST, for an edition of Radio Free Geneva!
BTW: I would love to let Pastor Gaines know I will be reviewing this sermon. However, he specifically said at the end of it not to email him or tweet about it. Seriously. So, if anyone has another means of kindly informing the brother of the review, feel free. The examination will be fair, thorough, and most importantly, biblical.