Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Kenneth Talbot Story: Circle of Control

What follows is an objective exposé of a preacher within the U.S.A. named Kenneth Talbot. As you read this exposé, please take the time and consideration to review the accompanying documentation. The purpose of this article is solely to present a comprehensive picture of Dr. Kenneth Talbot and his influences on various "ministries". This is a very important and necessary presentation, as Talbot's influence on various well-known "ministers" and "ministries" is more profound than many people may realize. It is important to understand who Talbot is before you enroll in his seminary, his church, or validate his approaches or doctrine. The supporting documentation for this article will be throughly footnoted., so please take full advantage of these footnotes; especially if you are a Talbot supporter that desires to make claims of "slander" -- slander is lying or falsely representing -- there is no slander or false representation in this article.

Online biographical material on Kenneth Talbot is scarce however I have compiled as much information as I could find.

FULL NAME: Kenneth Gary Talbot
DATE OF BIRTH: November 2, 1954
SPOUSE: Phyllis Ellen
CHILDREN: Alyson Funkhouser
SIBLINGS: D. Randall Talbot (others?)

Documentation on Talbot's educational background starts with his own professed theological education.

B.A., Faith Baptist College;
M.Div., Th.M., Georgia Baptist Theological Seminary;
M.A., Ph.D., Th.D., Faith Baptist Theological Seminary; Ed.D.

From what can be gleaned from online documents, Talbot who maintains he is Reformed and presbyterian, received most of his theological education from Dispensational Baptist institutions. While this isn't unheard of and could be explained if perhaps Talbot underwent a denominational shift at some point, it does pose an interesting irony when taken with more information discussed later.  It is curious as to why Talbot would not have gained his education from the many Reformed and presbyterian institutions in existence.

Again, the unclear almost shady lack of details on Talbot and his beginnings extends to when and where he first began to "pastor" any church.  From what can be learned from online information, it appears that around 1983 Talbot may have been some sort of elder within a congregation of the North Georgia Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America. This group was a splinter of a larger denomination. In turn, it appears the NGP-PCA split again. Eventually, by 1991 it appears Talbot formed his own denomination called the Reformed Presbyterian Church General Assembly.  This denomination is what is often referred to as a "micro-denomination" because it appears to have split and not associated with larger denominational groups over what may be considered minuscule reasons.

As noted within the header of Pastorate, in 1991 Talbot seems to have formed his own denomination. Interestingly enough, the description of the denomination's history says:

"The historical origin of the Reformed Presbyterian Church General Assembly begins at the founding of the New Testament Church in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior." -- source

This is reminiscent of claims by some Baptists or "Church of Christ" groups that also claim a "historical origin" at the foundation of the New Testament, as if Jesus Himself founded their denomination. (see Baptist Trail of Blood)

It appears Talbot was the first "Moderator" of the denomination he created when it infamously "defrocked" R.C. Sproul jr. and other men from the denomination in 2006. (ref).  An apparent supporter of Talbot's denomination at the time had this to say about R.C. Sproul jr.:

"Cults like to preach certain phrases, such as, 'Against an elder receive not an accusation,' and 'Touch not the Lord’s anointed.' As I said earlier, cult leaders are more interested in discussing 'trust, spiritual authority, and obedience' than Scripture. In a cult, loyalty is the greatest virtue (loyalty to persons rather than Scripture)." -- source
As you will see, this charge against R.C. Sproul jr. is ironic considering the almost cultic loyalty, support and situation of Talbot and his denomination.

Many of the men surrounding Talbot are also either part of his denomination (as pastors in churches within his denomination) or have placed Talbot on the "board" of their "ministries". (ref,  -- see for example Talbot's brother Randall or Kenneth Gentry)  This almost incestuous relationship stinks of theological cronyism.

Like with his apparent self-made denomination, Talbot appears to have created his own church; "Christ Presbyterian Church". (ref) In fact, the ABOUT page for the church is simply a copy-and-paste of the history of the denomination. (ref)

Talbot is also "president" of his self-made seminary; "Whitefield Theological Seminary -- WTS" (ref). The name of the seminary is ironic since its namesake; George Whitefield was known for his ultimate compromises with the Arminian (non-Reformed) brothers; John and  Charles Wesley. Whitefield had left his British ministry to the Wesley's who revamped (destroyed) it into an Arminian ministry.  Whitefield never really challenged the Wesley brothers and even allowed them to blatantly lie about a real Reformed preacher at the time; Agustus Toplady (ref).  The seminary appears to be mainly a "distance-learning" institution with minimal facilities.

As part of the documentation on the cronyism-like influence Talbot has over other theologians/ministers; see the Alumni list of WTS (ref). Talbot has been known to give out "free tuitions" to supporters and defenders of his, so it is possible that some the alumni gained their degrees for that reason or for reasons to have their own influential names added to WTS' boasting rights.

Talbot's associations may be considered cronyism since many of his "students" are also members of his denomination, or "pastors" within his denomination.  Further, Talbot is listed as a board member on many of their "ministries".  Some examples are:

American Vision -- Gary DeMar's ministry. -- source
NiceneCouncil.com -- Jerry Johnson's ministry -- source

This cronyism makes it difficult to ever hold Talbot responsible since his students/cronies often will not even listen to or look at the documentation on Talbot. They appear to either be too invested or too beholden to Talbot to recognize that there is something amiss to a man who makes his own denomination, his own church and his own seminary.  This hearkens back to the "cultic" quote where we are told cults often use the "touch not God's anointed". What makes this even more stark is it appears Talbot has spent decades creating his own anointing and then insulating himself with cronies.

Whatever the reader concludes, one thing that should be clear from the objective documentation is that Talbot wields a large amount of influence among so-called Reformed theologians. Thus, it is important that anyone with associations with these theologians or their organizations consider the character and content of Talbot.

I leave the reader with a quote by Talbot (consider if these are the words of a humble man, or a man likely to create his own denomination, his own church, and his own seminary):
"I am good at what I do, both in preaching and in apologetics, and even better in debating." (Talbot bragging about himself)-- source

bio data:=http://fl-voters.findthedata.org/l/10681692/Kenneth-Gary-Talbot
edu data=http://whitefield.edu/downloads/Administrative%20Bulletin.pdf.old
church data:=(1)=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reformed_Presbyterian_Church_General_Assembly (2)=http://www.rpcga.us/about/ (3)=http://www.tateville.com/churches.html (4)=http://www.trinityfoundation.org/churchapproved.php

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great stuff. He's (Talbot) a great debater. I have listen to some Preterist debates, it sound more like arguments and mean name calling to all who disagree. I will still pray for him and all those who are caught-up in this distraction.