Dr. Leighton Flowers was named the Director of Evangelism and Apologetics for Texas Baptists in 2018. In addition to preaching on a wide range of biblical subjects, Leighton regularly travels to churches of all sizes to conduct seminars that specialize on evangelism and apologetics. He has participated in debates with leading apologists and led training conferences for the Annual Convention, Conclave, Apologetic Conferences, and the SBC Annual Convention.

Previously, he served as the Director of Youth Evangelism for Texas Baptists for 13 years. In this position he oversaw the statewide youth leadership training camp called Super Summer and the Youth Evangelism Conferences impacting thousands of teenagers with evangelistic messages, missions mobilization and discipleship training. Leighton has also assisted in the oversight of such ministries as See You At The Pole, a worldwide prayer movement (began by his father, Chuck Flowers) which is impacting people not only in Texas but all around our world.

Leighton earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Theology from Hardin-Simmons University (1997); a Masters of Divinity with Biblical Languages from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (2000); and completed his Doctorate at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (2016).

Leighton and his wife Laura, a Licensed Therapist in Richardson, have four children (Colson, Cooper, Esther and Caden) and live in North Garland just outside of Dallas where he also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Theology for Trinity Seminary. Prior to coming on staff with Texas Baptists, Leighton served as a pastor in the local church for over 10 years. He and his family are active members of First Baptist Richardson.

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  1. I recently watched your excellent youtube video on the issue between N.T. Write and John Piper, and how Piper declares that N.T. Wright’s gospel is “confused”. Please consider research on Robert Jay Lifton’s research on “thought reform”, which includes “Milieu control”. Consider John’s reference to Diotrephes. Consider Jesus’ statement to the teachers in Matthew 15:1-9. I believe Calvinism does indeed incorporate a form of Milieu control and group-think, which does assert a degree of control over a persons perceptions.
    Please consider researching this, and I would love to see your results published.

    1. forgive me for asking but I can’t seem to find a contact link….so I’ll try asking here:

      I need help with definitions. Is there a go to source,.ir book that gives definition to all the terms associated with the debates on calvanism? (such as determinism, theodasy, etc)
      I know I can look up words, but often I find the meaning does not seem to fit the discussion, so I’m just wondering what we be a reliable source for word definitions. James (gathering41@yahoo.com) thanks

      1. Hi Jim! Only definitions derived from the Scriptures are 100% reliable. 😉 But theopedia.com and monergism.com have definitions for the subjects discussed on this site. And they would be fairly accurate. You can also search this site for any topic you are interested in seeing how Leighton and others here have discussed it.

        Feel free to ask me also… you’ll find I love to give my view on things. 😁

  2. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I was just blown away by your clarity in your teaching on soteriology. I’ve never heard it explained in the manner in wich you did. I just finished watching your debate with dr. White and (again) it blew my sox off completely. Thank you so much for the clarity and dedication to the word. WOW!!!

  3. I’m very sorry that I’m sending you a message that you probably never expected to get… I’m a first-year college student and as a part-time job I’m working for a small media production studio specializing in podcast editing. Have you ever thought about outsourcing the production of your podcast so that you could free up some of your precious time to create great content for your show instead of messing with sound editing? What our studio does is take your podcast recordings, edit out the parts that you don’t need, mix in your intro, outro, music, etc., normalize volume level and insert ID3 tags. Our rate is 8 bucks per episode and turnaround is 24 hours. And your very first episode is on us.

    Additionally, we take tremendous pride in providing unlimited revision for every episode at no charge in case you’re not completely satisfied with our work.

    Again I’m so sorry for bothering you, and I’ll take you off our contact list now so we won’t reach out to you again unless you are interested in giving our services a try.

    Hope you have a great Wednesday 🙂


  4. Hi Leighton, I this is my second attempt to send a comment, so sorry if this is sent twice. I wanted to thank you for your time and work on this subject. You have been a blessing brother. I wanted to share a thoughts to get your opinion on.

    I have found that most calvinists are molinists. When I share their perspective on the Fall, for example, I ask “did God causally determine Adam to sin or did Adam freely choose to sin?” They usually answer (reluctantly because of the buzzword “freely choose”) that Adam freely chose to sin, because otherwise that would make God the causal factor in humanities’ sin and sin-nature. Since they prefer God not be the author of human evil (and because it is not biblical) they usually say that Adam chose to sin (some admit that this is the only example of free will in the bible). Then I ask, “how is God still sovereign over the fall then?” Because God knew Adam would freely chose to sin in the Garden. Well, this is molinism: God knows what each free creature “would” freely chose in any given circumstance. This is not calvinism, it is molinism; and it seems to be the only way to logically reconcile God’s sovereignty with man’s free will. Calvinist’s seem to be rather obsessed with open theism in their anti-arminianist (or anti-traditionalist–I know they are not the same ;)) arguments, as if open theism is the only other option outside of determinism. They simply do not know about molinism; at least most of them. If I felt that I had to choose between God’s sovereignty and man’s free will then I would definitely 100% of the time chose God’s sovereignty; I would be a calvinist–and I think this is what many Calvinist feel they need to do. But there is not either/or. It is a both/and. Molinism makes that possible: we can have both free will and God can be completely sovereign.

    Thank you for your time and hard work. Keep up the good work! I am glad I am not the only one who hears contradiction after contradiction from the Calvinist. I think you are biblical and you approach these debates very biblically and graciously.

    1. @rpowitzky I have had similar experiences in discussions about the fall of Adam leading to questions about God’s middle knowledge. Given God’s foreknowledge of the original sin that would transpire in the garden, it seems to me that a Molinistic perspective has significant explanatory power when considering why God chose to create. God could have seen that if He created Adam, there would be sin and evil, but His choice to create would indicate to us that He preferred the option of a world where people would freely sin against Him over the option of refraining from creating. This perspective would assert that God employed His middle knowledge in creation. From what I can tell, those holding to Molinism would try and assert that God elects people to salvation according to His middle knowledge. I’m not as convinced that the Molinistic perspective is as accurate in regards to election. I am wondering if you, or any scholars you know of, affirm that God employed His middle knowledge prior to creating but hold to the Traditionalist stance when it comes to soteriological matters?

  5. THANK YOU. i came from a very perverse life of drugs and homosexuality, believing God made me this way filled with shame and condemned to hell, after i was saved i read in scripture that God loves the WORLD and does not desire for me or anyone else to perish,when i found out that many i have trusted in my church believed in this doctrine i became frustrated and felt betrayed. through God’s Holy Spirit and your clear and consistent teaching i did not leave my church, God used you to help me to love them, not judge them, we are in Romans now and i am unafraid because of you, thank you for going over and over the scriptures

  6. I propose a pod cast where you limit very precisely the conversation, that is, by limiting what you say as an OSAS Arminian. Allow the Calvinist to say whatever he wants to try to turn you or defraud you, but you stand on the principle that in order to be saved (regenerated, born-again, new creation) a person must repent and believe in Christ to be converted: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted [regenerated], that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3.19). He will say you need to be irresistibly regenerated before you can repent and believe. Insist that the gospel of salvation is that Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world and if the Calvinist rejects this they are going to Hell. He has given us sufficient grace to have the free choice (prevenient grace). If they reject that Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world they reject God Almighty so that is why they refuse to repent and believe in Christ to be regenerated so they are going to Hell. If you want to be the objector and me the pin cushion I would be happy to be on your broadcast. The only thing I would add is Hitler is Calvinist because he claimed his Aryan race was irresistibly selected and the Jews were born for the gas chambers given no opportunity for salvation. What love is that? If it is evil for us to behave this way to others it is evil for this god of Calvinism.

  7. The Bible says repent and be converted so repentance and faith, and being humble, if they are the law then God is saying you can do these laws to be saved as the package and precursor of having faith, yet they are not works since faith and works are contrasted. We are saved by faith. Not all the time, but one time, is one time enough to be born-again by accepting the gospel of salvation for initial salvation. 

  8. Leighton,

    I just finished listening to your conversation with a young Calvinist. Great Job!

    I like how you relate Ephesians 2 to the Prodigal Son rather than to Lazarus. Here are a couple thoughts on Ephesians two that you probably have already seen (I haven’t yet heard your full thoughts on Ephesians 2).

    1) Paul said that when we were dead we “walked.” We all know that dead men don’t walk. This strongly argues against the idea that Paul has total inability in mind when he uses the death analogy.

    2) “By grace you have been saved, through faith.” In context the salvation referred to is assuredly being raised from the state of death to life in Christ. That happens “through faith,” just the opposite of what Calvinists teach. They say that you have to be raised to have faith. Ephesians 2 says that you have to have faith to be raised.

    Probably nothing new to you, but I saw this only after many years of reading Ephesians

    Keep up the good work!

  9. Hi Leighton,
    my name is Patrick I’m from North Carolina the reason I’m leaving the messages is on Romans 9, have you ever considered that Romans 9 is all about Matthew 3:11-12 John the Baptist says that Jesus Will baptize with the spirit and Fire in my opinion that means he loves one hates the other he loves to baptize people in the Holy Spirit but he hates to baptize them with fire .

    I have a question about baptism have you ever heard of a Doctrine where John the Baptist after baptizing Jesus water baptism ended.. just as Jesus said in Acts 1:4 for John baptized with water but I will baptize with the Holy Spirit specifying only John ..have you ever thought of the reason Paul was chosen to go to the Gentiles was because Peter made a mistake in acts 10 Peter should have never baptized the Gentiles in water because they already received the Holy Spirit .. with Galatians 2 where Paul opposes Peter.

    Thank you for taking my message you can reach me at 704-533-3345


    1. Patrick,

      This is a fascinating doctrinal conjecture that seems to rely completely on reading into the Biblical text what is never stated explicitly, and it overlooks clear Biblical teaching such as the following:

      Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit . . .

      Without question, Jesus commanded his apostles (including Peter) to baptize their disciples.

      Acts 16:15 And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.
      Acts 16:33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family.
      I Cor. 1:14-16 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.)

      Paul clearly baptized at least some of his disciples, and never opposed the baptizing of any believer.

      Further, Paul never says he opposed Peter over the issue of baptism. The issue in Galatians 2 was justification by faith vs. legalism. We do not find any mention of baptism at all in Galatians 2. Why read into the text what is not there?

      Paul clearly opposes the supposition that believers must be circumcised. But not baptized.

      I urge you not to persist in this false belief. It would be an excellent idea to completely abandon this idea, since it seems totally contradictory to clear Biblical teachings. After two warnings, reject anyone who claims to be a brother and insists on unbiblical teachings. Keep the Gospel at the center, and baptism in its proper place. Cling wholeheartedly to Christ, and love Him above all.

      Blessings in Christ,
      Derek Ashton
      (I’m a Calvinist, btw)

  10. I am an OSAS Arminian. Do you recognize Arminius as saying never once did he ever teach a person can lose salvation?

    I like lots of the arguments of Leighton Flowers but I don’t like it when he says “preserverance” a conflation of perseverance and preservation.

    Persevering to me is works yet Calvinists use this term to mean they are irresistibly made to work to remain saved. But salvation is still not by works so they don’t make sense when they say that.

    Whereas OSAS Arminians believe in preservation of the saints. In other words, I gave my life to the God who keeps like John 10.28 for I don’t have the power to keep myself saved so that would not be the god I gave my life to (e.g. Remonstrants, Wesleyan, RCC).

    So Leighton believes in perseverance partly because he comes from the calvinist background, but I reject it. That is not to say we don’t grow in the faith and run the good race, but in terms of OSAS works can never do it whether it is irresistibly imposed or not.

    Also he says he believes in partial Total depravity. That is self-refuting.

    I believe what is happening is if a person believes a Calvinists is a brother in Christ then they make these conciliatory mistakes.

    Troy Brooks

    1. Troy,

      Your comment is a misrepresentation of the beliefs held by Calvinists. Calvinists teach that the true believer must (and will) persevere in faith; and the true believer must (and will) be preserved by God’s own hand in the grace and faith that save. Check the teaching of Calvinists on this point. They certainly do not teach what you have claimed, that we must persevere in works to be saved.

      My question is, in the OSAS Arminian and “traditionalist” Baptist view, why is the decision to believe 100% our own choice and then the decision to continue believing 100% irresistible (no longer our own choice)? What happens to our supposed Libertarian Free Will after we use it to get ourselves saved? Do we suddenly lose our freedom to choose as of the moment of regeneration? It seems to me the Wesleyans are more consistent on this point by allowing both our initial decision and our ultimate perseverance to depend on our exercise if LFW. Why are we initially free to choose damnation or salvation, but not finally free to choose apostasy or perseverance?

      1. The answer is found in Ephesians 1:13 and 14. Once we believe the “word of truth ” the Gospel of our Salvation we receive the Holy Spirit and he guarantees our redemption. From then on we can not loose our faith or salvation. The word “believe” however is defined in Luke 8 by Jesus to mean a faith that is able to survive testing. Putting these two passages together means we receive the Spirit and cannot thereafter loose our salvation when we believe the word of truth in such a way that our belief survives some type of testing.

        Thank you for listening
        Galen Watje

  11. As a recovering Calvinist, I appreciate your work. There should be CA groups, Calvinist anonymous, to help people in their recovery.

  12. This evening on Youtube I did a search for ‘Chosen…’ and found Prof. Flower’s short video “What Does It Mean To Be Chosen In Him?” This is such a well done, succinct video. I attend a Presbyterian Churches in America church. At a women’s study this week I said, “I need to put God’s kingdom first, I want to wake up in the morning and say “God, make me aware and available to share the gospel with someone today.” One young woman said, something to the effect that it’s Gods work and we really don’t have to do anything. I said we are commanded to “Go!” (make disciples of all men). A couple of others chimed in…I have searched and searched for a gospel centered church. I don’t want to go to a church with a pastor wearing a t-shirt and flip flops; I don’t want the music to be cheesy choruses sung over and over again ad nauseam; I don’t want ‘lights, camera, action!; relevancy;false humility; methods; programs and more programs. THIS CHURCH WAS IT! The gospel and only the gospel. And now this. I’ve dissected ‘predestined’ and ‘chosen’. I’ve looked more clearly at context in which the words are used and I think how did I miss this? I certainly don’t think that it’s my job to save anyone–God draws them, but he uses US–his Spirit in us to do that. I think of the parable in Matthew where the King says to call everyone to the wedding. But this short video it sums it up beautifully. Once I was blind but now I see. But now what? I almost feel like giving up on church altogether.

    1. Hi Cynthia, thanks for your honesty. Not sure if you will read this, but I thought your comment was very heartfelt. It sounds like you are saying that churches are either irreverent or Calvinistic. I just want to encourage you to keep looking. There are gospel-centered churches and God has a place for you in a church family. Don’t give up. I do hear your complaint though. hang in there.

      1. Thank you, Rosser for the encouragement (your response forwarded to my email). I really need it right now; it’s both scary and depressing to feel as a Christian, I have no place to meet with other Christians; it’s like being in an episode of the twilight zone. I joined BSF just to be in fellowship while I’m seeking a new church home. Grateful for you’re taking the time to encourage me. If you think of me, I’d appreciate prayers in this regard.

  13. Hi leighton,

    Galatians 1:14-16 speaks about Paul being set apart from the womb, called and that God was pleased to reveal his Son in him.

    Is this about election to salvation or what is this about? And what does set apart mean over here? And called?

    1. Hi DD, I’m no Leighton, but looks like Paul was set apart “before” the womb, indicating God choose him beforehand to preach to the gentiles. Seems similar to God choosing the disciples and even the saints beforehand. Choosing beforehand does not preclude free will, however. Paul could have said no to God–he had free will in that sense. So Paul was not causally determined to preach to the gentiles as calvinism would suggest, but he freely chose to do so after Christ revealed himself. So election and chosen beforehand, yes, but not in the causally determined calvinistic sense; rather in the freely deciding non-calvinistic sense. My take anyway; sense no one responded 😉

      1. It is important that we understand God’s purpose for election. It was not to exclude people but to reach people with the gospel. (Matt. 28:18).

  14. Hi Leighton, really appreciate your work. It helps me a lot with all the calvinistic teachings out there, it’s refreshing to hear another kinder voice. I see goodness and grace in your ministry.

    Last weeks I struggle with a question. John 9:3 seems to speak about blindness that happened so God could be glorified. Are there other ways to read this text or…?

    1. God permit freedom and its consequences. He is glorified in the redemption of such atrocities, not in being deemed the cause of them.

      There is a video on my YouTube page which asks if God causes evil where I go over such passages which may seem to blame God for evil. Hope that helps.

  15. Dear pastor Leighton, I was wondering if you’re aware of the Lordship salvation debate, and where you stand on it? Basically Lordship salvation says that a person must meet or at least be willing to meet all of the requirements of discipleship (counting the cost, carrying one’s cross, etc.) before they can be saved.

    Also, on a related note, I’m curious as to how you define repentance. It seems the popular definition is “turning from sin.” I take issue with this because I believe sinners are slaves to sin apart from Christ, and telling a sinner they must turn from sin to be saved is like telling a sick person that they must get well before they can have medicine. I believe that this contradicts true repentance because it tells sinners that they can produce something good in themselves apart from Christ. Calvinists get around this because of their regeneration-precedes-faith doctrine.

    I believe that people must repent (change their mind) about sin (realize that there is such a thing as sin, they they’re guilty of it, and that Jesus Christ is their only means of justification), as well as repent (change their mind) about Christ (whatever they considered Him to be before, now they believe in Him as their Lord and savior). I believe a transformed life is evidence of salvation, but not the means to it. What say you?

    Thanks for your time and thoughts.

  16. Dr. Flowers,
    I recently found your podcast and it has been very educational. I have been a Christian for over 30 years, but never remember hearing theology or doctrine in the many SBC churches I attended while growing up. The last 3 months, I have been studied apologetics, theology, and doctrine. Only after hearing your podcast and R.C. Sproul did I truly understand what Calvinist beliefs are. I’m finding that I most identify with the Traditionalist view. Have you considered making the PowerPoint presentation on “Calvinism’s Big Three” available on your site? Keep up the great work and God bless!

  17. I have been struggling to understand Calvanism and determine my personal position towards it for a long time. The oversimplification of the Calvanist stance as “Why, yes, God really does create some people just to damn them and He’s God so He has the right” was really, really causing some unpleasant thoughts about my God and faith and salvation. It creates a capriciousness that doesn’t seem to align well with the other indicators of God’s nature given in scripture. But, you can’t simply ignore the existence of the “elect” as it’s referenced repeatedly in the Bible. I’d pretty much come to my wit’s end when I stumbled across your podcasts on youtube (thanks to amyra). Your explanation and discussion of Calvanist and NonCalvanist soteriology has been a huge blessing to me. It’s the only discussion of the topic, across several books and endless videos/podcasts, that finally made sense of both sides for me. Bless you for your efforts, sir, as they have put my soul at ease about the lovingness of God and my own salvation through faith (non meritorious 🙂 of course).
    in gratitude,

  18. It was while attending Dr Swindolls church in the early 80’s that I ran into some brothers in Christ that mentioned some phases that indicated some Calvinistic thought (God chooses who he rescues from jail).

    Fast forward to just a few years ago we had a division within our church as it became more of a statement of faith to agree with all 5 points. Between Dave Hunt and your book both give me a better understanding and defense of scripture.

    Again thanks.

  19. God doesn’t need glory. He already is totally glorious as Creator and Savior of all.The reason He wants us to glorify Him is that in doing so, we are approaching, recognizing and being transformed by the truth that will heal, reform and save us. Glorifying Him is for our good – not His.

  20. I’m glad that I found Dr. Flowers on You Tube and here. I didn’t realize so many people believe as I do. I didn’t know I was a traditionalist. I just read the Bible believed it. I figured that the fact that God can’t lie (Numbers 23:19; Titus 1:2) does not diminish his sovereignty so neither does his giving man the freedom to choose.

  21. Hi Leighton.
    Greetings from across the pond, UK. Me and my wife often listen to your podcasts and utube teachings, thus coming to accept the traditionalist view. My question is that of Bible commentaries: Could you please advise us on some Bible commentaries and/or authors from the traditionalist view?

    Thanks and blessings Neil and Tilly

  22. In your video refuting calvanisim you ask a question. You ask: “How can calvinists bemoan bad people while still professing and holding to the sovereignty of God and the everyday affairs of mankind?” I think I can answer this question. If you would be up for a conversation, I would love to share my perspective on this very important question with you, and see what you think of it.

    -Stephen Bicker

  23. Dr Flowers,

    I would like to begin this letter with a tremendous “thank you.” Your vlogs have been so helpful for me and my own studies. I am a former Calvinist of 8 years and I can’t even classify myself as a Protestant anymore either. In many of your videos you refer to imputed righteousness, and I wanted to present to you an alternative view righteousness. It wasn’t long after my denouncing of Calvinism did I also denounce other Protestant-born doctrines including imputed righteousness. So, if I may, I urge you to consider the same. I have written a short discourse against imputed righteousness. Please have a look at it and feel free to poke and prod at it with any objections. Thank you for your precious time. God bless.

    “On the Chopping Block: Imputed (Transferred) Righteousness”

    What does it mean to say that God is our righteousness or that our righteousness is from God (see 2 Cor 5:21, 1 Cor 1:30, and Phil 3:9)? Some proclaim (as I once did) that the righteousness of Christ is imputed, or transferred, to us at our conversion or on Judgment Day. This may sound noble and God glorifying, but I don’t think it’s biblical and is potentially harmful. Why? It seems that some who “rest in the imputed righteousness of Christ” also lose the urgency to fully repent from all sin and keep Jesus’ commandments (see John 14:21, 15:10, and Rev 14:12). They get only so far then say to themselves, “This is as far as I will comfortably go, and Jesus’ righteousness will cover the rest.” Yet, their eye, hand, and foot remain firmly in place and have not sought to be holy as God is holy (see Mark 9:43-48 and 1 Peter 1:14-16). My question to you is “What separates us from God”? Our sin separates us from God (Isa 59:2).

    Paul speaks about righteousness that comes by faith saying that “David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:
    “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.” – Romans 4:6-8

    When our sins aren’t counted to us we are counted as righteous. This speaks of our righteousness positionally before God. That is, we have a right standing with God. We are “cleansed of all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). It’s our sin that makes us unrighteous before God. Christ came to take away the sins of the world. However, He didn’t come merely to take away the guilt of sin but also the very acts of sin that condemned us before our justification in Christ (see 1 Peter 2:24-25; 1 John 3:8-9; and then John 1:29 and interpret it with 1 John 3:3-6 in mind). Therefore, when we repent and are delivered from our sins we in turn live unto righteousness. This is what Scripture describes to be our righteous garments—to be clothed in righteousness. Jesus removed our filthy garments (sin) in order to place on us fine linen (our righteous works wrought in God). However, you will say, “but we are clothed in Christ’s righteousness!” But what does the Scriptures teach? John declares, “Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”- for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints” (Revelation 19:7-8). Thus, when we look at Zechariah 3:4-5, the “pure vestments” and the “clean turban” are not the righteousness of Christ as many would say, but it is our own works wrought in God. So you see, we don’t wear the image of Christ but we are transformed into the image of Christ. He takes our sin and grants us to be righteous as He is righteous. Do not be mistaken: we are still justified and saved by grace through faith. That hasn’t changed.

    The terms justification and righteousness are rooted in the same Greek word, dikaios. So, just as our justification comes through the forgiveness of sins so does our righteousness. Repenting from our sins (thus being forgiven of our sins) brings the righteousness of God–positionally and in all our conduct. King David was so bold to say to God, “The LORD judges the peoples; judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me” (Psalm 7:8). And John also writes, “Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as [Christ] is righteous” (1 John 3:7).

    Thus, what separates us from God is not the lack of good works done in righteousness, but our sins separate us from God. After being acquitted from the guilt of our sins, we are counted righteous (recall Romans 4:6-8). The impediment between us and God is removed (sin) by means of atonement on the cross. Once we repent and have faith in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven of all past sins and potentially all future sins if we continue to walk in righteousness through faith (see 2 Peter 1:9 and 1 John 1:7; that’s a whole other subject in itself). Then, we live on in obedience as Jesus commanded, “Go and sin no more that nothing worse may happen to you” (John 5:14). However as you might know, if we sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ. So, “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteous” (1 John 1:9).

    My last question to you is “By whose deeds will God judge everyone”? On multiple occasions, Scripture tells us that God will judge everyone by their own deeds/works. Peter confirms this and even includes an exhortation: “And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile” (1 Peter 1:17). Why “with fear”? We know that Wisdom teaches us that “By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil” (Proverbs 16:6). And again Jesus says, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).

  24. Just an FYI, today I asked Matt Slick if he still affirmed that compatibilism was hard determinism and sounded like good Calvinism, as you quote him on several of your podcasts, and he said at 57:27 of today’s radio program on Youtube “no, I wouldn’t agree that it is hard determinism. I don’t think Leighton Flowers represents our position properly in a lot of ways.” Since you were quoting him, I don’t quite know how to represent him properly. Ironically, he did a debate two weeks ago against an open theist in Denver, and his positions were so Free Will oriented I thought he had changed sides theologically. Someone in the audience read one of his positions from his website, and he disavowed it, saying he had evolved from it. I called him on the following Sunday and said his view of determinism and Calvinism was at odds with Piper and White and Calvin, and he told me I was ignorant and should study more before accusing someone like himself with a Masters degree from a Reformed University. I sort of thought I was in the Wizard of Oz, and he had just received his testimonial so he could prove he knew stuff. Great job with what you do. Keep up the good work.

  25. Thoroughly enjoy your podcasts; balanced and fair and not mean spirited but firm. If Calvanists want to use Ps.115:3 for what it ‘says’, without regards to context and scripture with scripture, guess God doesn’t do what he pleases now, since it says in 115:3 …he ‘hath done’ what he pleases(I know this isn’t true). Just a thought. Have a blessed day

  26. Leighton, I so appreciate your ministry. Thank you for what you’re doing to present truth. I’m very interested in hearing your assesment on John Piper’s “Christian Hedonism”. How is it informed by, if at all, by Calvanism? Is there a connection between the two? Maybe an idea for an upcoming Soteriology 101 podcast. Thanks again for all you do. Praying for you in Christ.

  27. Just wanted to say thanks for putting all this work in. I’ve been having a lot of conversations lately with friends and family who are believers and often they are unclear on why they believe what they believe. Even when I was a Christian, I’ve always had questions about the topics that you cover, and how the god of the bible could possibly be omnipotent, omnipresent and omni-benevolent. I admit that I am not likely to be convinced that a god exists, but I find it worthwhile to hear how people a lot smarter than me have used reason to arrive at a different answer. After listening to over a dozen episodes, I’m now hooked. At the very least, I’m glad to be getting information from outside of the “confirmation bias bubble” others have suggested that I live in. Looking forward to learning more, and again thanks.

    1. Jason, your search for truth is honorable. Rare is the person who seeks to have their paradigm challenged. Christianity is more than correct information, it is about a God who created and loves your soul and desires to be reconciled with you in a way that goes beyond intellect.

      1. “For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.” Rom. 2:13 NIV Doesn’t his statement challenge the soteriological paradigm of the way of faith you have hope in?

  28. Dr. Flowers, what is your doctorate in, from New Orleans? Is your degree a Phd? Just curious.

  29. Dr Flowers,

    I have really enjoyed your content. What is the best forum to send you questions? I see that you use Google Hangouts but is that open to anyone that wants to join and ask questions? If so, how do you announce the next hangout? Due to the fact I’m a working professional, I’m guessing you hold these meetings during the times I’m at work. So if unable to join the live meeting, can I still submit questions for you to discuss?


    1. Hey Joe, thanks for your interest. We have recently started a “Soteriology 101 Group” on Facebook, that would be the best place to discuss these things.

  30. Dr Leighton: God bless you for your ministry. Our church has gone off the deep end of calvinism, so we recently sent our tithe to your ministry. We’re struggling right now. My wife and I are consuming your videos, and recently read The Potter’s Promise. THANK YOU FOR YOUR HUMBLE WISDOM! We are watching your video critiquing Matt Chandler on Romans 8:28 ff. at about 54 minutes in, you dissect the Greek word “called”, saying it is “keklemenoi” . In our Greek Interlinear, the word is “ekalesen”. Can you please tell me what I’m missing? Different Greek texts? I know you’re busy, but a response would be greatly appreciated.

  31. Dear Sir: There are some fundamental questions which are separating the body of Christ. One of those questions is understanding the nature of sin. The very nature of sin arises as an alternative to truth. Truth is a person specifically the presence and nature of Father Son and Holy Spirit. Because truth is the person of God absolute truth is discovered in our relationship to God and His creation. This is important because In order for us to experience a relationship to God we had to be created in His image. The Father fully understood His nature as truth and the reality that the denial of His presence represents a declaration of a lie the opposite of truth. This was the knowledge He sought to protect man from. Ironically when we look at the temptation of Christ we see Satan asking Jesus to do just that. Jesus was asked to deny the word of truth by turning a stone into bread and He replied man shall not live by bread alone but by every word. Second He was ask to violate the word of truth by tempting the Father and Himself by casting Himself down from the temple. Third Satan asked Him to deny Himself as truth and to declare him to be truth by worshiping him. Had Jesus did so He would have sinned against Himself. This that which would be considered sin for Him is what He declares as sin for us. If we deny Him as truth and I’m doing so declare ourselves to be truth we have sinned against Him. Because truth is the person of God to deny is word or to violate His word would be to deny truth and to violate truth. In the O T we are told to be holy for He is holy what this means is we are being asked to abstain from that which He Himself does denial of Himself as truth. The consequence of the act of original sin was create a situation where man is caught between the reality living life between truth who is the person of God and a lie the assertion that this world represents truth. The good news is truth trumps a lie. Because sin is simply acting on a promise attached to a lie to live ones life in the absence of alie is to live ones life in the presence of truth. At that point we are justified by the person and nature of truth not by the position we have not broken a commandment because the breaking of a commandment is not the end of the story.

  32. I intensely dislike auto correct. In my post near the end it was ment to say if we deny Him as truth in doing so we are declaring ourselves to be truth. The auto correct put and I ‘ m doing so. The reality is we are far too often declaring ourselves to be truth and because we are unaware of what we are truly declaring we find ourselves losing the battle. This is about to change and what we understand is about to change as well. For those that it is impossible to understand God as truth what they are declaring is God has left us in bondage which He has not. If there is a single aspect of His nature that cannot be understood then something from the world must backfill it. An awakening has begun and all the mystery is about to be removed for the last time.

  33. I can’t tell you how much I have learned from your podcasts. Fantastic and very much appreciated.
    Have you heard of Robert Theime? His book “The Integrity of God” is superb. Please advise.
    Thank you, Leighton

    1. Donald, thanks for the kind words. I help out Dr. Flowers with this ministry. I have experience with R.B. Thieme and I would not recommend his books.

      1. Thank you Mr Kemp for your quick response. I’m curious as to why you would not recommend RB Theime’s books. It would enlighten me grateful to know your reason. Again, thank you.

      2. Don, it is hard to know where to begin to answer that question. R.B. Thieme became a cult-like leader in the wider Berachah church, both in Houston and in the audio teaching ministry he established here in Southern California and other parts of the country. His theology was mostly orthodox but he had a view of ecclesiology that made him, and those he trained, to be the only right way to do church. There was immense social pressure to attend the 2-3 hour long Bible studies that were held several times a week. There is only one “right pastor” and right way to teach the Scriptures. My parents are still stuck in this mindset. They still only listen to him and have recently returned to a tiny congregation that teaches Thieme’s way. “Judgmental” does not quite do it justice. “Tribal” is closer.

        Thieme developed a very…anachronistic…theology. I’m a seminary student who has been exposed to many different views of theology, spirituality, ecclesiology etc. and I have not run into anything quite like it. While I left my parents church as a teenager (as teenagers are want to do) it took going to seminary to cause me to see that I was raised in a quasi-cult. I’m not saying everything he teaches is wrong. I don’t know everything he teaches, I haven’t read the book you referenced for example. However, I can give one of many examples I have.

        Thieme has a booklet on the Prodigal Son. In the booklet, he claims that when the son asks for his inheritance that it was normal for Jewish fathers to send off their sons to make their way in the world. Not only is this false, but it reveals a staggering ignorance of Ancient Near East collectivist culture. Any seminary student learns differently in their first week of an OT or NT survey class. Jewish families lived, worked, raised families, and died on the same plot of land their fathers died on. It was highly dishonorable for a son to ask for his inheritance, it was tantamount to saying “I wish you were dead”.

        TL;DR. Thiemes self-taught “right church” perspective on large swaths of Christian theology and spirituality led not only to many demonstrably false theologies but also a cult-like church where his followers were encouraged, both by this teaching and social pressure, to shun the majority of Christendom.

      3. Thank you so very much for not only taking your time to respond but you outlined so well your view about RB Theime. I truly appreciate you doing this for me. Also, I have learned so much about Calvinism . Leighton Flowers is my go to when I am talking to Calvinists I know.
        Thank you , Erick

  34. I love you, Dr. Flowers, but I’m going to have a conniption fit if you don’t begin pronouncing the word “meritorious” as it should be – 5 syllables, my friend.

    And yes, I know you are aware and are VERY humble about pronunciations not being your forte…that’s a great example for us all, truly.

    But still…get it right or one of us will have to die. (I’m kidding). 😂

  35. Dr. Flowers you are a blessing to me! I can really put it all into words. Glory to our Father! I’ve struggled w/ Romans 9 ie. Presentation for almost 30 yrs. Thru your ministry the Lord is breathing new life into me! I couldn’t read or think about the false view of that brand of Christianity without obsessing that I had/would commit the unpardonable sin. Now I’d say Romans 9-11 are my three favorite chapters in all of Scripture!
    God Bless You, Brother in Christ!
    John Maynard

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