Ethos Statement on Fundamentalism & Evangelicalism

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Republished with permission (and unedited) from Central Baptist Theological Seminary. (The document posted at Central’s website within the last couple of weeks.)

Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism

To be an evangelical is to be centered upon the gospel. To be a Fundamentalist is, first, to believe that fundamental doctrines are definitive for Christian fellowship, second, to refuse Christian fellowship with all who deny fundamental doctrines (e.g., doctrines that are essential to the gospel), and third, to reject the leadership of Christians who form bonds of cooperation and fellowship with those who deny essential doctrines. We are both evangelicals and Fundamentalists according to these definitions. We all believe that, as ecclesial movements, both evangelicalism and Fundamentalism have drifted badly from their core commitments. In the case of evangelicalism, the drift began when self-identified neo-evangelicals began to extend Christian fellowship to those who clearly rejected fundamental doctrines. This extension of fellowship represented a dethroning of the gospel as the boundary of Christian fellowship. It was a grievous error, and it has led to the rapid erosion of evangelical theology within the evangelical movement. At the present moment, some versions of professing evangelicalism actually harbor denials of the gospel such as Open Theism or the New Perspective on Paul. We deny that the advocates of such positions can rightly be called evangelical.

On the other hand, we also believe that some Fundamentalists have attempted to add requirements to the canons of Christian fellowship. Sometimes these requirements have involved institutional or personal loyalties, resulting in abusive patterns of leadership. Other times they have involved organizational agendas. They have sometimes involved the elevation of relatively minor doctrines to a position of major importance. In some instances, they have involved the creation of doctrines nowhere taught in Scripture, such as the doctrine that salvation could not be secured until Jesus presented His material blood in the heavenly tabernacle. During recent years, the most notorious manifestation of this aberrant version of Fundamentalism is embodied in a movement that insists that only the King James version of the Bible (or, in some cases, its underlying Greek or Hebrew texts) ought be recognized as the perfectly preserved Word of God.

We regard both of these extremes as equally dangerous. The evangelicalism of the far Left removes the gospel as the boundary of Christian fellowship. The Fundamentalism of the far Right adds to the gospel as the boundary of Christian fellowship. Neither extreme is acceptable to us, but because we encounter the far Right more frequently, and because it claims the name of Fundamentalism, we regard it as a more immediate and insidious threat.

Another version of Fundamentalism that we repudiate is revivalistic and decisionistic. It typically rejects expository preaching in favor of manipulative exhortation. It bases spirituality upon crisis decisions rather than steady, incremental growth in grace. By design, its worship is shallow or non-existent. Its philosophy of leadership is highly authoritarian and its theology is vitriolic in its opposition to Calvinism. While this version of Fundamentalism has always been a significant aspect of the movement, we nevertheless see it as a threat to biblical Christianity.

We also reject the “new-image Fundamentalism” that absorbs the current culture, producing a worldly worship and a pragmatic ministry. These self-professed fundamentalists often follow the latest trends in ministry, disparage theological labels such as Baptist, and aggressively criticize any version of Fundamentalism not following their ministry style.

We oppose anti-separatist evangelicalism, hyper-fundamentalism, revivalism, and new-image Fundamentalism. We wish to reclaim authentic Fundamentalism, to rebuild it, and to strengthen it. For us that reclamation involves not only working against the philosophy of broad evangelicalism (which assaults us from outside), but also working against those versions of Fundamentalism that subvert the Christian faith.

On the other hand, these positions do not exhaust the evangelical options. Conservative evangelicals have reacted against the current erosion of evangelicalism by refocusing attention upon the gospel, including its importance as a boundary for Christian fellowship. These conservative evangelicals have become important spokespersons against current denials of the gospel, and they have also spoken out against trends that remove the gospel from its place of power in transforming lives (e.g., the church growth and church marketing movements).

Certain differences do still exist between historic Fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals. Fundamentalists, in contrast to Conservative evangelicals, tend to align more with dispensationalism and cessationism. Fundamentalists tend to react against contemporary popular culture, while many conservative evangelicals embrace it. Perhaps most importantly, Fundamentalists make a clean break with the leadership of anti-separatist evangelicals, while conservative evangelicals continue to accommodate (or at least refuse to challenge) their leadership.

Because of these differences, we do not believe that complete cooperation with conservative evangelicalism is desirable. Nevertheless, we find that we have much more in common with conservative evangelicals (who are slightly to our Left) than we do with hyper-Fundamentalists (who are considerably to our Right), or even with revivalistic Fundamentalists (who are often in our back yard). In conservative evangelicals we find allies who are willing to challenge not only the compromise of the gospel on the Left, but also the pragmatic approach to Christianity that typifies so many evangelicals and Fundamentalists. For this reason, we believe that careful, limited forms of fellowship are possible.

We wish to be used to restate, refine, and strengthen biblical Fundamentalism. The process of restatement includes not only defining what a thing is, but also saying what it is not. We find that we must point to many versions of professing Fundamentalism and say, “That is not biblical Christianity.” We do not believe that the process of refinement and definition can occur without such denials. The only way to strengthen Fundamentalism is to speak out against some self-identified Fundamentalists.

We also see a need to speak out against the abandonment of the gospel by the evangelical Left, the reducing of the gospel’s importance by the heirs of the New Evangelicalism, and the huckstering of the gospel by pragmatists, whether evangelicals or Fundamentalists. On the other hand, while we may express disagreement with aspects of conservative evangelicalism (just as we may express disagreement with one another), we wish to affirm and to strengthen the activity of conservative evangelicals in restoring the gospel to its rightful place.

The marks of a strong Fundamentalism will include the following:

  1. A recommitment to the primacy and proclamation of the gospel.
  2. An understanding that the fundamentals of the gospel are the boundary of Christian fellowship.
  3. A focus on the importance of preaching as biblical exposition.
  4. An emphasis upon progressive sanctification understood as incremental spiritual growth.
  5. An elevation of the importance of ordinate Christian affections, expressed partly by sober worship that is concerned with the exaltation and magnification of God.
  6. An understanding of Christian leadership primarily as teaching and serving.
  7. A commitment to teaching and transmitting the whole system of faith and practice.
  8. An exaltation of the centrality of the local congregation in God’s work.

These are features of an authentic Fundamentalism that we all feel is worth saving. These features describe the kind of Fundamentalism that we wish to build. Their absence in either Fundamentalism or other branches of evangelicalism constitutes a debasing of Christianity that we intend to oppose.

RPittman's picture
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We are all guilty . . . . . cast the first stone . . .

Quote:
Because of these differences, we do not believe that complete cooperation with conservative evangelicalism is desirable. Nevertheless, we find that we have much more in common with conservative evangelicals (who are slightly to our Left) than we do with hyper-Fundamentalists (who are considerably to our Right), or even with revivalistic Fundamentalists (who are often in our back yard). In conservative evangelicals we find allies who are willing to challenge not only the compromise of the gospel on the Left, but also the pragmatic approach to Christianity that typifies so many evangelicals and Fundamentalists. For this reason, we believe that careful, limited forms of fellowship are possible.
IMHO, this sounds a bit like an argument for partial separation (i.e. "we do not believe that complete cooperation with conservative evangelicalism is desirable") which is somewhat like being a little bit pregnant. If we make the wall of separation a semipermeable membrane, objectionable elements will undoubtedly penetrate the barrier. I don't think they can make it selectively semipermeable. Also, the apparent trend is to pull away from the stigma of hard-right Fundamentalism to the intellectually and socially acceptable friendship with scholarly and mild conservative Evangelicalism. In sum, it is a call to build a new wall to the right but open a few holds in the wall to the left.

Furthermore, it appears to me that Central is adding their own criteria to Scripture to separate from those whom they call "hper-Fundamentalists." As far as I can tell, it's the same old spiritual oneupmanship that has been used since the Corinthian church to gain status and ascendancy. It seems they do the very thing for which they criticize the hard-core in another section of the statement. If so, it is not a question of the procedure but it is rather a matter of where you draw the line. I don't like where they draw the line.

Is this the torpedo that sank the talks between Faith and Central?

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Since 6/6/09 16:02:15
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Thank you

Mr. Pittman,

Thank you for informing us of our motivations. Our faculty might not have known why they drafted and adopted this statement if you had not told us.

Why does there need to be a torpedo? Do you have any idea of the difficulties in trying to accomplish a merger between two institutions?

For the record, this statement represents in almost pristine form the understanding of Fundamentalism and evangelicalism that I was taught as a student at Faith Baptist Bible College and later at Denver Baptist Theological Seminary (which merged into Faith in 1986). George Houghton was the one who supplied his students with the category of "Fundamentalism Plus," which our Central Seminary document labels "Hyper-Fundamentalism." Faith and Denver also provided the setting in which I and others were taught that fellowship (and its correlative, separation) between believers is not all-or-nothing. We were clearly taught to consider levels of fellowship and the importance of those doctrines and practices that might hinder fellowship. David Nettleton used to model this principle by featuring speakers from outside of the Fundamental-Baptist-Dispensational orbit. We could hear an amillennialist like Peter Masters or a conservative evangelical like Lehman Strauss.

Even in the 1960s and 1970s, mainstream Fundamentalists were beginning to separate from Hyper-Fundamentalists. Perhaps the quintessential example is the rejection of Carl McIntire's leadership by the American Council of Christian churches and its fellowshipping denominations. I was able to observe this separation at close-hand when I was a student at both Faith and Denver. Mainstream Fundamentalists have been building walls on the Right for a very long time.

What is surprising is that anyone would think this statement says something new. It is a fair representation of the mainstream Fundamentalism in which I was reared.

Bob Hayton's picture
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Since 7/27/09 10:43:57
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Clarity and conviction

I commend the clarity and conviction that the statement by Central conveys. I also applaud the careful step of explaining that some evangelicals are worth cautiously cooperating with. I further applaud a clear delineation of various versions of fundamentalism that you reject.

What is not so clear to me, is how rejecting various fundamentalist or evangelical varieties aligns with a few points made in the paper. First it is said that fellowship is around the fundamentals which relate to the gospel, and leaders who make ties with those repudiating the fundamentals are to be rejected. How do the various fundamentalist wings or even some of the evangelical wings specifically repudiate or deny the fundamentals or align with those that do? Secondly, some fundamentalists are chided for adding "requirements to the canons of Christian fellowship". I fail to see how aligning with a particular musical style as being the only acceptable one for worship is not also adding to those same requirements.

I think many of the practices of some on the far right are dangerous yes, and less than best. But many individuals are still worth maintaining a gospel fellowship or association with. I understand there are various degrees of separation and fellowship, those degrees don't seem clear in this paper where it appears they reject the far left and far right equally, and then by implication claim all this "rejecting" going on relates intimately to the gospel.

KJV Onlyists, anti-Calvinists, revivalists and the like -- they are not all of one carbon-copy, one-size-fits-all variety. I think separation should be crystal clear on first-level doctrines, and less firm and strong as you move down to second and third level issues which may impact practical cooperation, but shouldn't be as important as gospel matters.

Just my two cents. It is good to see such documents being put forth as thinking through such matters helps all involved.

Striving for the unity of the faith, for the glory of God ~ Eph. 4:3, 13; Rom. 15:5-7 I blog at Fundamentally Reformed. Follow me on Twitter.

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Since 5/6/09 20:47:03
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The mainstream Fundamentalism of my early years

Kevin T. Bauder wrote:
What is surprising is that anyone would think this statement says something new. It is a fair representation of the mainstream Fundamentalism in which I was reared.

While I was not raised in Fundamentalism [sup ]*[/sup ], the statement basically represents the fundamentalism I have always known (since 1969)

[sup ]*[/sup ] http://4bya.wordpress.com/2008/08/20/my-testimony-of-faith-in-christ/

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Focus on the questions.............

Kevin T. Bauder wrote:
Mr. Pittman,

Thank you for informing us of our motivations. Our faculty might not have known why they drafted and adopted this statement if you had not told us.

Dr. Bauder, I regret that our conversation has to begin with sarcasm. However, I must have missed something. Would you please kindly point out in my post where I questioned your motivation. You are reading something that is not there. I have made no pretense of judging you or your faculty's motivation. I suppose that I should know my own mind and intentions better than you because I wrote the post. I don't like this stratagem because it has the effect of putting me in a bad light from the start. Furthermore, I am plain-spoken and candid in my comments.
Quote:

Why does there need to be a torpedo? Do you have any idea of the difficulties in trying to accomplish a merger between two institutions?

Again, Dr. Bauder, you are imagining Indians behind every word. Torpedo carries no significance other than, I suppose, I like colorful language. Do you have some right to dictate my word choice? No, I've not presided over a merger. However, I can imagine it is complicated and difficult. Furthermore, I understand the decision of merger is probably not predicated on a single question or issue. However, many folks in Fundamentalism raised an eyebrow over the announced merger of Faith and Central. Some saw a fundamental difference in the definition of separation between the two schools. Is there a different in definition, understanding, application, or practice of separation between the two schools? This was my question. Like the crowds who yelled for Shoeless Joe Jackson during Black Sox Scandal, we ask, "Dr. Bauder, say it ain't so!" Now, you have the opportunity to clarify it.
Quote:

For the record, this statement represents in almost pristine form the understanding of Fundamentalism and evangelicalism that I was taught as a student at Faith Baptist Bible College and later at Denver Baptist Theological Seminary (which merged into Faith in 1986). George Houghton was the one who supplied his students with the category of "Fundamentalism Plus," which our Central Seminary document labels "Hyper-Fundamentalism." Faith and Denver also provided the setting in which I and others were taught that fellowship (and its correlative, separation) between believers is not all-or-nothing. We were clearly taught to consider levels of fellowship and the importance of those doctrines and practices that might hinder fellowship. David Nettleton used to model this principle by featuring speakers from outside of the Fundamental-Baptist-Dispensational orbit. We could hear an amillennialist like Peter Masters or a conservative evangelical like Lehman Strauss.

Yes, Dr. Bauder, this is a carefully crafted statement worded in neutral terms. It leaves open or at least room for the imagination on many points of debate in the separation issue. It seems that the problem in Fundamentalism today is how to maintain allegiance to separation without offending anyone.

Dr. Bauder, I do not contest anything that you stated in the aforementioned paragraph. What I do contest is your perspective. As I read your post, I sense that you believe your own particular circle of Fundamentalism was of the purest form. If I am mistaken, then correct me. On the other hand, you seem oblivious to the point that Fundamentalism is much larger and more diverse than your own circle. Fundamentalism of the past was composed of Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, etc. It was ecumenical in spirit transcending denominational doctrines and it was tied together by the cords of the Cardinal Doctrines. Today, it is numerically dominated by independent Baptists and the spirit of ecumenicism is largely diminished. Doctrinal distinctives are now significant. Those whom you criticize on the far right represent a much larger segment of Fundamentalism than your group. You're overlooking that Fundamentalism is a dynamic, changing movement. The battle is not really about the bragging rights to the past (i.e. who is part of the pure stream) but it is whither the direction for the future. From my perspective, your particular current has lost its momentum and connection with the common masses. Your struggle is for ever-decreasing piece of the pie. The only segment growing and winning new converts is the far-right that you are walling off.

Finally, I do not think that you have a clear picture of those whom you criticize. What I see painted in your statements is a stereotypical picture, a caricature of the godly folks who are not part of your cultural circle. With your professed tolerance and wideness of view toward those slightly differing views conservative Evangelicalism, I challenge you to walk with me among the people of the far-right Fundamentalism whom you criticize. With the looseness of associations and individual variances, it is easy to see the brash and extreme few as representative of the whole group. The picture is distorted. Are you willing to learn what the other Fundamentalists are like?

Quote:

Even in the 1960s and 1970s, mainstream Fundamentalists were beginning to separate from Hyper-Fundamentalists. Perhaps the quintessential example is the rejection of Carl McIntire's leadership by the American Council of Christian churches and its fellowshipping denominations. I was able to observe this separation at close-hand when I was a student at both Faith and Denver. Mainstream Fundamentalists have been building walls on the Right for a very long time.

Dr. Bauder, I disagree with your conclusion. McIntire's defeat was due to his personal leadership style and power mongering. Some of those helping in his overthrow were every bit as radical as Dr. McIntire. Aside from his personal leadership style of not sharing power, many objected to his sole focus on political action. In fact, it was in the 1960-70's that hard-core separatism developed and hardened.
Quote:

What is surprising is that anyone would think this statement says something new. It is a fair representation of the mainstream Fundamentalism in which I was reared.

Again, I not sure that I said or intimated that it contained anything new--it doesn't. You've aired these or similar views previously. I do not, however, think this statement is representative of Central's position on separation in the past. Do you think that old-time Fundamentalist Dr. R. V. Clearwaters would have agreed to this statement? Do you think George W. Dollar be agreement with this position? BTW, W. B. Riley made statements that are very close to KJVOism. Perhaps, you ought to broaden your perspective.

The bottom line that I don't buy into your position. You don't have to use sarcasm or make ad hominem insinuations to debate my points. I respectfully look forward to your response.

RPittman's picture
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Balanced view...........

Bob Hayton wrote:
I commend the clarity and conviction that the statement by Central conveys. I also applaud the careful step of explaining that some evangelicals are worth cautiously cooperating with. I further applaud a clear delineation of various versions of fundamentalism that you reject.

What is not so clear to me, is how rejecting various fundamentalist or evangelical varieties aligns with a few points made in the paper. First it is said that fellowship is around the fundamentals which relate to the gospel, and leaders who make ties with those repudiating the fundamentals are to be rejected. How do the various fundamentalist wings or even some of the evangelical wings specifically repudiate or deny the fundamentals or align with those that do? Secondly, some fundamentalists are chided for adding "requirements to the canons of Christian fellowship". I fail to see how aligning with a particular musical style as being the only acceptable one for worship is not also adding to those same requirements.

I think many of the practices of some on the far right are dangerous yes, and less than best. But many individuals are still worth maintaining a gospel fellowship or association with. I understand there are various degrees of separation and fellowship, those degrees don't seem clear in this paper where it appears they reject the far left and far right equally, and then by implication claim all this "rejecting" going on relates intimately to the gospel.

KJV Onlyists, anti-Calvinists, revivalists and the like -- they are not all of one carbon-copy, one-size-fits-all variety. I think separation should be crystal clear on first-level doctrines, and less firm and strong as you move down to second and third level issues which may impact practical cooperation, but shouldn't be as important as gospel matters.

Just my two cents. It is good to see such documents being put forth as thinking through such matters helps all involved.


Bob, I think your post was worth much more than two cents! Although we are theological diverse in many respects, I appreciate the fairness and balance that you attempt to achieve. Recognizing that one cannot stereotype people just because they are classed with a particular group is good. You have made some very good points. I would like to see them seriously addressed.

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Since 6/2/09 02:22:32
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Fundamentalism then and now.

This appears to be a fine statement by the faculty of Central Baptist Seminary. It appears to set forth the continuation of their historic position and adapts to present additional circumstances.

I graduated from Central in 1975 at age 35 (almost 36). I had already had experience in ministry and the business world. This statement reflects Fundamentalism as generally understood at that time. Dr. Clearwaters was a militant Fundamentalist as described by that term by George Dollar in his book "The History of Fundamentalism" which came out in 1973. Doc Clearwaters was very focused on the subject of separation due to being through the battles himself.

The book "Which Bible" by David Otis Fuller came out in 1970. The KJVO position was advocated by a Seventh Day Adventist from where David Otis Fuller appears to have obtained most of his arguments. The KJVO position was just becoming a little bit of an issue in the 70s. However, many Fundamentalists still avoided fellowship with those of the Hyles and Falwell style of Fundamentalism. Falwell would move away from Fundamentalism, Hyles would eventually become a KJVO advocate. Since that time the KJVO position has become a major issue among some who use the name Fundamentalist. Since the issue involves the necessity of post apostolic inspiration and / or revelation, it takes those churches and persons who are KJVO outside the realm of Christian epistemology that fits within biblical doctrine and the establishment of biblical facts as historically valid according to normal historiography. This is very serious deviation. It undermines the foundation of historic Christianity. It is probably necessary for the integrity of the Christian faith that other Fundamentalists separate from those holding the KJVO position.

This statement by the Central faculty appears to hold to the traditional historic Fundamentalist position but allow for the necessity of not including those of the KJVO position within that Fundamentalist fellowship. This position would not be liked by KJVO advocates. However, many of them have their own principles of separation that makes them separate from all non KJVO churches and pastors.

We should thank the faculty of Central Baptist Seminary for this Ethos statement and for their Ethos statement regarding salvation and sanctification. They appear very well thought out.

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Since 10/29/09 09:30:12
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Conservative Evangelicals?

"Because of these differences, we do not believe that complete cooperation with conservative evangelicalism is desirable. Nevertheless, we find that we have much more in common with conservative evangelicals (who are slightly to our Left) than we do with hyper-Fundamentalists (who are considerably to our Right), or even with revivalistic Fundamentalists (who are often in our back yard). In conservative evangelicals we find allies who are willing to challenge not only the compromise of the gospel on the Left, but also the pragmatic approach to Christianity that typifies so many evangelicals and Fundamentalists. For this reason, we believe that careful, limited forms of fellowship are possible."

I have a proposition which may nor may not be true. It is that fundamentalists who engage in "careful, limited forms of fellowship" with conservative evangelicals either A) will likely become conservative evangelicals themselves down the line or B) are already conservative evangelicals whether they acknowledge it and apply the terminology to themselves or not. (I could go on to state that a lot of "conservative evangelicals" are actually "moderate evangelicals" that are skirting the boundaries of what can honestly be called Biblical Christianity ... you catch my drift.) So, what can fundamentalists - or more accurately the cause of Christ - gain from this "careful, limited form of fellowship"?

If the conservative evangelical will fellowship with a fundamentalist on Monday, an open theism/theistic evolutionist on Tuesday, and a Roman Catholic on Wednesday (why not go ahead and be consistent and add Jews, Mormons, Hindus, Jehovah's Witnesses, shintos, Buddhists, Muslims, atheists and Scientologists to the dance card also?) then this "careful, limited fellowship" will serve different purposes for the fundamentalist than it will for the conservative evangelical, who will consider himself very mature for possessing the theological openness to be all things to all people so that he might save some. So why bother? What do conservative evangelicals have that fundamentalists need? (I said "need", not "want.")

This is not to say that conservative evangelicals are not Christians, and I understand the problems with refusing to fellowship with other born-again believers. However, the evangelical insistence of "extending Christian fellowship to those who clearly reject fundamental doctrines" is a real spiritual problem. That conservative evangelicals are now setting boundaries is insufficient, likely the result of crossing thresholds that the conservative evangelicals set themselves for their own arbitrary reasons, not Biblical truth, such as deciding that theistic evolution is OK but gay marriage isn't because of being more comfortable with the former than the latter. It makes the conservative evangelical the arbiter of "acceptable" and "unacceptable", and allows him to act as the final authority instead of the Bible. How is that different from "some Fundamentalists have attempted to add requirements to the canons of Christian fellowship.?"

Demanding that a Christian heed what the Bible says about not being yoked with unbelievers as a precondition of fellowship isn't too much to ask. Evangelicals have decided that it is, and fundamentalists should not assimilate their position. That is my proposal, anyway.

Solo Christo, Soli Deo Gloria, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Sola Scriptura
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More splintering? or maybe a stronger future?

Roland, you seemed to have trouble understanding why Kevin reacted as he did. Perhaps this would help....

RPittman wrote:
it's the same old spiritual oneupmanship

RPittman wrote:
Is this the torpedo that sank the talks between Faith and Central?

No imagining of anything behind bushes involved.

My only concern w/the statement is that if there is going to be a separation from problem ministries/leaders on the right now in addition to separation from problem ministries/leaders on the left, are we just looking at more splintering? But ultimately people have to stand where they believe it's right to stand as best they can discern that, regardless of how few join them there. (But it may well be that enough fundamentalists are looking at things this way now that this particular stance won't be so lonely after all.)

Kevin says there's nothing new here, and I don't doubt it represents a long standing way of thinking, but I don't recall seeing fundamentalist institutions put these kinds of distancing-from-the-far-right statements in writing before as expressions of official direction. So it looks to me like a new level of frankness about these things at the very least.

Edit: it may be that the "separation from the right" I referred to has really already pretty much happened.

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Since 6/6/09 16:02:15
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I don't think I have misunderstood...

Mr. Pittman,

I, too, am sorry that the conversation went awry (and with the very first post!), but here is what you said:

“As far as I can tell, it's the same old spiritual oneupmanship that has been used since the Corinthian church to gain status and ascendancy.”

Let me repeat the purpose clause in your sentence: “to gain status and ascendancy.” Mr. Pittman, this is a very clear judgment about the intentions and motivations of my colleagues on the faculty at Central Baptist Seminary. It is more than a judgment: it is an accusation in a very public forum. Furthermore, it is false. The men whom you have smeared are about a million miles away from the kind of self-aggrandizement that you impute to them.

As for the putative difference between Faith and Central, I thought that I had answered that matter. Let me put it more clearly. Naturally, I can speak only for Central Seminary and not for Faith Baptist Bible College. If someone at Faith thinks that I have stated things wrongly, then they are free to correct me.

I know of no difference between Central Baptist Theological Seminary and Faith Baptist Bible College over the issue of separation. We are guided by the same principles and we apply them in much the same way. If we diverge at all in application (which I doubt), the difference is no greater than whatever diversity already exists within each of our faculties. It is indeed minuscule, and probably is nonexistent.

The professors from Faith teach regularly at Central and vice versa. The administration at Faith previews and critiques my “Nick of Time” essays, just as our own Central Seminary faculty and staff members do. Some of us at Central Seminary received our education from Faith and Denver, and most of the professors in the seminary at Faith received training from Central. The two seminaries are already cooperating in multiple ways, and we shall continue to do so in the future.

These congruities and others are precisely what led us to believe that a merger might be desirable. These common denominators remain undiminished by the decision that a merger was not in the best interests of both institutions. Far from it—the respect and esteem between our two schools has actually increased. There is absolutely no spirit of recrimination, competition, or (as you put it) one-upmanship. There is not a faculty member or administrator at Faith Baptist Seminary with whom our faculty would not be proud to work.

I personally would be happy to work for Dr. James Maxwell or Dr. John Hartog III. I would be happy to have either of them work for me. I owe my fundamentalists convictions and my interest in historical theology to George Houghton. I owe my interest in systematic theology and my overall theological framework to his brother, Myron. I count Paul Hartog as the brightest rising scholar in Fundamentalism today, and I consider Doug Brown to offer a rare combination of scholarly acumen, humility, and compassion. Ernie Schmidt, John Hartog II, and Alan Cole are all alumni of Central Seminary (so are Doug Brown and John Hartog III), and Tim Little is actually a student at Central Seminary while he teaches at Faith.

A rift between Central Seminary and Faith Baptist Bible College exists only in the minds of gossip-mongers and prevaricators (and, Mr. Pittman, I am NOT including you here). Such individuals are the pus, phlegm, and bile in the body of Fundamentalism. May God stop their mouths, along with unfounded speculations and unsupported assertions that they proliferate.

Between Faith Baptists Bible College and Central Seminary exists only mutual blessing and a firm commitment to strengthening one another. We heartily support and recommend each other’s doctrine, faculty, position, and academic standards. Whoever says that the two institutions are moving in different directions is simply displaying ignorance. No one has heard such things from the administration at Faith. No one will hear any such things from me.

Kevin T. Bauder

P.S. Regarding my “narrow” experience of Fundamentalism—

You are joking, right?

P.P.S. Regarding McIntire, thanks for making my point.

P.P.P.S. Regarding Clearwaters and Dollar. Central today stands very much where Clearwaters stood (perhaps a bit more separatistic), though not so much where Dollar did. When he was at Central, Dollar was denouncing Faith as “moderate” rather than a “militant”. For his part, Clearwaters was willing to lecture at Faith. The break between Clearwaters and Dollar came when Dollar claimed that he had fought New Evangelicalism at Dallas and at Bob Jones, and now he was fighting it at Central Seminary. Doc did not let that pass. Oh, and Clearwaters was crystal clear in his opposition to the King James Only philosophy.

P.P.P.P.S. For your information, Fundamentalism still comprises Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, etc. That is an aspect of Fundamentalism that I applaud. In fact, I have worked as hard as anyone to integrate non-Baptists into mainstream Fundamentalist organizations. You might be interested to listen to my commencement address at Geneva Reformed Seminary from a few years back.

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Quote: Another version of

Quote:
Another version of Fundamentalism that we repudiate is revivalistic and decisionistic. It typically rejects expository preaching in favor of manipulative exhortation. It bases spirituality upon crisis decisions rather than steady, incremental growth in grace. By design, its worship is shallow or non-existent. Its philosophy of leadership is highly authoritarian and its theology is vitriolic in its opposition to Calvinism. While this version of Fundamentalism has always been a significant aspect of the movement, we nevertheless see it as a threat to biblical Christianity.

Does this statement put these seminaries at odds with most fundamental Christian camps in the Country?

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Since 6/6/09 16:02:15
526 posts
Are we discussing the same document?

Mr. Hayton,

Thank you for your praise, faint as it was.

After reading your post, I am not sure that you are attempting to interact with our statement so much as to use it as an occasion for scoring points that are of interest t you. For example, if you can cite any section of the posted statement that suggests making music a test of Fundamentalism, then I have a thousand dollars that I’ll put in the mail to you tomorrow.

I don’t see how you can question the fact that some evangelicals have made common cause with gospel-deniers, recognizing them as Christians and even pointing to them as Christian leaders. Pick up George Marsden’s “Reforming Fundamentalism,” and look in the index under Graham, Billy. Then read the signatures on Evangelicals and Catholics Together. Then consult the signatories for the Manhattan Declaration. Do you really want to debate any of this?

Such evangelicals do not deny the gospel. What they do, however, is to demean the gospel by demoting it from its proper place as the boundary of Christian fellowship. According to 2 John, they gain a share in the harm that apostates do. While they are not denying the gospel, they are damaging it.

The same is true of hyper-fundamentalists on the Right. They add other things to the gospel as the boundary of Christian fellowship, which does equal and opposite damage. We do not have liberty to treat just any doctrine or practice as fundamental. To elevate non-fundamentals to the level of essentials is to incorporate them into the gospel itself. This is much the same error that of the social gospel crowd commits--and you KNOW how we feel about that!

On my view, hyper-fundamentalists and neo-evangelicals (or whatever we’d call them now) need to be treated in pretty much the same way. We recognize them as brethren, but we limit our involvement with them very sharply. We certainly do not recognize them as insightful Christian leaders.

In both cases—whether the hyper-fundamentalist Right or the neo-evangelical Left—the gospel is still the issue. The problem lies in the role that the gospel is expected to perform. Anyone who dethrones the gospel from its position as the borderline of Christian fellowship, whether by addition or deletion, has done damage to it.

More than that, the conduct of individuals on both extremes has brought disrepute upon the gospel. Both seeker evangelicalism and revivalist Fundamentalism engage in manipulative techniques that disgrace (in the proper, literal sense of the term) the gospel. Abusive and manipulative leadership reflects a lack of commitment to the sufficiency and transforming power of the gospel. These are trends that must be rejected, if not for the being of the church, then at least for its wellbeing.

Kevin T. Bauder

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There is ONE...

Pastor Joe,

It certainly creates no tension with Camp Clearwaters!

Kevin

Joel Tetreau's picture
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Since 5/6/09 22:30:53
652 posts
For the record - I'm thrilled!

Kevin,

Outstanding! Thanks for your work. More thoughts later.

Straight Ahead!

jt

Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Baptist Church (sevbc.org); Regional Coordinator for IBL West (iblministry.com), Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

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Since 6/6/09 16:02:15
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Theoloy by blunt instrument

Mr. King,

I have a proposition which may or may not be true. It is that Fundamentalists who will not engage in “careful, limited forms of fellowship” with conservative evangelicals (A) will likely become Islamic terrorists themselves down the line, or (B) are already Islamic terrorists whether they acknowledge it and apply the terminology to themselves.

Makes a nice syllogism, doesn’t it? Of course, somebody who has an ounce of sense might point out that it is a complete non sequitur, but why get hung up on details?

Do you personally know of conservative evangelicals who are knowingly extending Christian recognition to open theists, Roman Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Hindus, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc?

No?

I didn’t think so.

Neither do I.

I do know of evangelicals who do some of these things, but not of conservative evangelicals. The conservative evangelicals I know have fought hard against Open Theism, evangelical feminism, and the New Perspective on Paul. They have cleaned apostates out of seminaries and mission agencies. They have been mocked and abused because of their stand for the truth. They have even had their lives threatened.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but you appear to think that an evangelical is an evangelical is an evangelical. But you can’t do theology with a blunt instrument like that. The only thing that blunt instruments are good for is causing mayhem.

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Since 6/6/09 16:02:15
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Oh, oh...

Joel,

Now I'm worried!

Straight ahead,

Kevin

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Since 6/26/09 08:06:46
92 posts
Too much denominationalism for me.

Why are fundamentalists so obsessed with the denominational mindset? Why can't we have independent churches instead of wasting so much effort trying to figure out who is on our team?

Greg Linscott's picture
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Since 5/22/09 14:27:02
2325 posts
Umm...

Laboring in Minnesota and interacting with the Central men, I can assure you that they are not obsessed with any kind of "denominational mindset." And I think it is also a mistake to say that they are trying to figure out "who is one their team." What I see them doing with this (and the other) ethos statement(s) is clarifying their own position and identity- so people know what "their team" stands for. We all know that there are Christian people and institutions who don't agree with everything said here. What Central has done here is distinguish themselves as an institution. You may not agree with them, and therefore, you are not compelled to support them. I don't understand, however, why you feel the need to respond as dismissively as you do. If you so value independence, why not allow them the ability to function independently and articulate their identity and guiding principles so that independent churches can be aware of where they stand?

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

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Since 6/16/09 22:06:11
94 posts
Denominationalism Is Different

AndrewSuttles wrote:
Why are fundamentalists so obsessed with the denominational mindset? Why can't we have independent churches instead of wasting so much effort trying to figure out who is on our team?

The reference to denominationalism seems to be introducing a different idea. From the beginning, fundamentalism was not a matter of the denomination to which one was linked. I recognize that some who view themselves as fundamentalists have become excessively focused on denomination, but the implication that this is true of fundamentalists generally lacks foundation.

Moreover, having independent churches does not itself avoid either issue. First, some churches that call themselves "independent" nonetheless have quite a denominational mindset. Second, avoiding the pitfall of whether one is of Peter, Paul, or Apollos (as Paul puts it in I Cor 1 and 3) does not eliminate all "team" issues. At minimum, we always have to recognize the team boundary imposed by the gospel (e.g., Gal 1:8-9; 2 John 10).

Things That Matter

As the quantity of communication increases, so does its quality decline; and the most important sign of this is that it is no longer acceptable to say so.--RScruton

RPittman's picture
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Since 9/15/09 09:48:47
1170 posts
Not joking.....................

Dr. Bauder wrote:
P.S. Regarding my “narrow” experience of Fundamentalism—

You are joking, right?


No, Dr. Bauder, I'm not jesting. Your ignorance of a huge segment of Fundamentalism, specifically IFB in the South, is astounding. From your posts, I conclude that you believe your brand of Fundamentalism is normative. I beg to differ. Of course, you can write off these Southern IFB's as not real Fundamentalists or not part of the mainstream. Well, that's precisely what I called "spiritual oneupmanship" without retraction. Dr. Bauder, you cannot write your own definition of Fundamentalism drawing the parameters favorable to your own arguments and views. In other words, you can't patent or copyright the term to establish and justify your own position. As I understand your boundaries, you have left large groups including Pensacola Christian College, Ambassador Baptist College, West Coast Baptist College, the Sword of the Lord , Crown College, Hyles-Anderson College, Heartland Baptist College, Tabernacle Baptist Seminary, et. al. plus a host of associated ministries outside your circle of historic Fundamentalism. These groups represent the majority of people called Fundamentalists today. Furthermore, I can personally attest, as well as anyone who is knowledgeable of the situation, that your statement does not represent the view of separation at BJU during the 1960-70's. My understanding of mainstream is that it represents the majority of the group. If so, the currently expressed view of Central does not represent the mainstream of Fundamentalism in the 1960-70's if it was not the view of the aforementioned circles and it definitely was not. I don't even believe this was the view of Central, your own seminary, in the past. Knowing the position and emphasis of George W. Dollar, I find it difficult to believe that he would acquiesce to this position when he was at Central. Furthermore, there is reason to believe that he and Dr. Clearwaters were in essential agreement on separation. Therefore, I reject your argument that your position in the Central statement is the normative, historic position on separation of mainstream Fundamentalism. I don't even think it is representative of the position held by Dr. Clearwaters and others at Central in the past. For lack of knowledge, I cannot speak regarding Faith and others in your particular circle. I concede that you are better informed there. In sum, I would say that your position may represent a side current but you cannot claim it as the mainstream of Fundamentalism. Therefore, I called it a "narrow" view. I stand by my assertion.

Greg Linscott's picture
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Since 5/22/09 14:27:02
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Kevin may elaborate...

...but RPittman should know that Kevin was at one point in his life a member of the church formerly pastored by Jack Hyles in Garland, TX.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Bob Hayton's picture
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Since 7/27/09 10:43:57
652 posts
Dr. Bauder, Thanks for your

Dr. Bauder,

Thanks for your interaction here. It truly is helpful.

You said, "For example, if you can cite any section of the posted statement that suggests making music a test of Fundamentalism, then I have a thousand dollars that I’ll put in the mail to you tomorrow." Rest assured I'm not looking to cash in on anything Smile I did see the following quotes which got me thinking that way, however.

Quote:

We also reject the “new-image Fundamentalism” that absorbs the current culture, producing a worldly worship and a pragmatic ministry. These self-professed fundamentalists often follow the latest trends in ministry, disparage theological labels such as Baptist, and aggressively criticize any version of Fundamentalism not following their ministry style.

Quote:

The marks of a strong Fundamentalism will include the following:

5. An elevation of the importance of ordinate Christian affections, expressed partly by sober worship that is concerned with the exaltation and magnification of God.

I am happy if by this you aren't "making music a test of Fundamentalism". Happy to hear it. For my part, I help out our church's worship "band" where we very much do not want to be offering "worldly worship" and inordinate affections. We do however utilize contemporary music styles as we sing songs that exalt and magnify Jesus Christ.

Furthermore, I do applaud your rejection of aberrant fundamentalism. Everything you object to (although I wonder a bit about Straub's description of the "new-image camp") I do too. I just wonder if a clear rejection opens you up to the charge that you are elevating certain Calvinistic tendencies and viewpoints to a level equal with the gospel.

I guess, as I stumble along here, I'm trying to harmonize the list of marks of fundamentalism with the statement that you believe separation should be from those who reject doctrines essential to the gospel or with those who associate with doctrines essential to the gospel.

Truth be told, I walked away from fundamentalism altogether once (at least that is how I viewed it). But interaction with Sharper Iron and with some of your writings has taught me much about a fundamentalism I never really knew. I agree separation over the gospel and the big doctrines are important in fact that is the basic separation doctrine I see in Scripture. To be fair, I'm struggling finding how I can still view the hyper-fundamentalism of my past (which doesn't explicitly deny such doctrines or hob-nob with those who do) with as much disdain as I once did. I see good people there and so I'm working through these things even now.

I do agree some evangelicals have given party to fundamental-doctrine-deniers. But the conservative evangelical crowd hasn't exactly done that. I'm a former member of John Piper's church (for 4 1/2 years), and have been helping a church plant in St. Paul pastored by a fellow who used to be on staff at MacArthur's church. So I want to let everyone know that in case it makes a difference. That's my perspective. Our little church isn't approving of those denying fundamental doctrines, by any stretch.

I'll quit now as I'm not sure I'm making that much sense. I appreciate the clarity with which you typically write Dr. Bauder. And I see this statement as clear too, but I'm just struggling fitting the first part about the gospel in with everything else.

In Christ,

Bob Hayton

Striving for the unity of the faith, for the glory of God ~ Eph. 4:3, 13; Rom. 15:5-7 I blog at Fundamentally Reformed. Follow me on Twitter.

Bob Hayton's picture
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Roland, I don't know why you

Roland,

I don't know why you are so insistent here. I think this kind of approach is over the top and not called for.

Dr. Bauder in what I've read of his work, is very aware of other spheres and sectors of fundamentalism. I don't think he's necessarily claiming that his views are dominant and the mainstream, but they have been represented in fundamentalism all along. The other crowd appears larger from my vantage point too, and they speak more loudly, but that doesn't mean they can define what fundamentalism really is. There have always been J. Frank Norris types even as there have been J. Greshem Machen types.

You should also be a bit more humble in addressing an elder statesman. That would be respectful and fitting in a forum like this.

Not really sure why I'm addressing this. I just wanted to let you know you can express your disagreement without being so abrasive.

In Christ,

Bob Hayton

Striving for the unity of the faith, for the glory of God ~ Eph. 4:3, 13; Rom. 15:5-7 I blog at Fundamentally Reformed. Follow me on Twitter.

RPittman's picture
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Since 9/15/09 09:48:47
1170 posts
In defense of Bob............

Dr. Bauder wrote:
Mr. Hayton,

Thank you for your praise, faint as it was.

After reading your post, I am not sure that you are attempting to interact with our statement so much as to use it as an occasion for scoring points that are of interest t you.

Bob Hayton and I clash in ideas more often than we agree. However, I don't recall our clashing in a personal sort of way over one another's motives or supposed intentions. We have fought hard and tough with no pulled punches but we managed to fight fairly if my memory serves well. For this reason, I feel obligated to come to his defense. In an earlier post, I was rebuked for supposedly judging motivation, which I honestly and sincerely did not do. I should know my own mind. Thus, the above quote is a subtle questioning of motive by the one who rebuked me for supposedly doing the same. Read and judge for yourself.

RPittman's picture
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Don't need the help.................

Aaron Blumer wrote:
Roland, you seemed to have trouble understanding why Kevin reacted as he did. Perhaps this would help....
RPittman wrote:
it's the same old spiritual oneupmanship

RPittman wrote:
Is this the torpedo that sank the talks between Faith and Central?

No imagining of anything behind bushes involved.

Aaron, your reasoning is specious. If I was wrong (which I am stating purely in a hypothetical sense), it doe not justify or excuse Bauder's reaction. See Romans 12:17. He accused me of judging motivation. I did not. I boldly challenged his position but I attached no stigma to his or Central's motivation. Let me define "spiritual oneupmanship." This is when one group defines the issues, history, or positions of a larger movement so that this one group is the quintessential (Dr. B's term but I like it) body of the larger. IMHO, this is precisely what Dr. Bauder and Central were doing by his definition of historic, mainstream Fundamentalism to lie within their sphere meanwhile excluding a larger and different representation of the so-called far right wing. They marginalized the larger portion of Fundamentalism to make their own position mainstream. This is not judging motives but it is a critique of their statement.

Now, Aaron, are you so naive as not to recognize my style of writing? Having read enough of my stuff on SI, you, as an intelligent man, should know that I am plain-spoken, irreverent of personnages, and love word pictures. Why should anyone be upset by colorful word choice? If anyone ought to be offended, I am the one. What Dr. Bauder said matches a mild ad hominem argument. Well, it really wasn't an argument, so shall we call it an ad hominem insinuation?

Now, Aaron, why did you fly to the good Doctor's defense? Why didn't you defend me when Dr. Bauder direct sarcasm toward me?

Chip Van Emmerik's picture
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Since 6/4/09 13:10:12
1726 posts
Thank you Dr. B

Knowing how busy you are and how ridiculous forum conversations can get when everyone has an equally weighted say, I just wanted to say I appreciate your interaction here. Please keep writing and shining the truth in the darkness.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

RPittman's picture
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Bob Hayton wrote: Roland, I

Bob Hayton wrote:
Roland,

I don't know why you are so insistent here. I think this kind of approach is over the top and not called for.

Dr. Bauder in what I've read of his work, is very aware of other spheres and sectors of fundamentalism. I don't think he's necessarily claiming that his views are dominant and the mainstream, but they have been represented in fundamentalism all along. The other crowd appears larger from my vantage point too, and they speak more loudly, but that doesn't mean they can define what fundamentalism really is. There have always been J. Frank Norris types even as there have been J. Greshem Machen types.

You should also be a bit more humble in addressing an elder statesman. That would be respectful and fitting in a forum like this.

Not really sure why I'm addressing this. I just wanted to let you know you can express your disagreement without being so abrasive.

In Christ,

Bob Hayton


Bob, I think you're trying to be helpful but you and Aaron both are biased. I doubt if anything I can ever say in criticism of Dr. Bauder will fly with you and Aaron. If you were objective, you would see that Dr. Bauder is just as abrasive toward me. Why don't you defend me as a brother in Christ? He gets his little jabs. But, he has feet of clay just like us. Dr. Bauder cannot pontificate from his elder statesman status. My confrontation is probably offensive to you and others because I'm demanding equal status. I offer no deference unless you can offer a persausive reason. I realize that I am challenging an icon on his turf. This bodes ill for me but what do I care when my whole purpose is to establish an alternate viewpoint. Whereas Dr. Bauder has wrongfully accused me of smearing him or his faculty (this is untrue), I am sick and tired of seeing other segments of Fundamentalism misrepresented and smeared because they have some differing viewpoints and cultural differences. These are my people among whom I live and work. You may think me arrogant or stubborn but I am a lover and defender of the common people. These folks love God and serve Him to the best of their ability, knowledge and understanding. My heart breaks for them when I heard them stereotyped and castigated by those who live an academic, culturally different envirnoment. My problem is that I live and move in both worlds. Bob, you don't share my pain.

RPittman's picture
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An elgalitarian view.........

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
Knowing how busy you are and how ridiculous forum conversations can get when everyone has an equally weighted say, I just wanted to say I appreciate your interaction here. Please keep writing and shining the truth in the darkness.

It's great, isn't it? Even an icon can be questioned by a peon. In Christ, there are no doctors and commoners.

RPittman's picture
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Thank you, Dr. Bauder.................

Dr. Bauder wrote:
As for the putative difference between Faith and Central, I thought that I had answered that matter. Let me put it more clearly. Naturally, I can speak only for Central Seminary and not for Faith Baptist Bible College. If someone at Faith thinks that I have stated things wrongly, then they are free to correct me.

I know of no difference between Central Baptist Theological Seminary and Faith Baptist Bible College over the issue of separation. We are guided by the same principles and we apply them in much the same way. If we diverge at all in application (which I doubt), the difference is no greater than whatever diversity already exists within each of our faculties. It is indeed minuscule, and probably is nonexistent.

The professors from Faith teach regularly at Central and vice versa. The administration at Faith previews and critiques my “Nick of Time” essays, just as our own Central Seminary faculty and staff members do. Some of us at Central Seminary received our education from Faith and Denver, and most of the professors in the seminary at Faith received training from Central. The two seminaries are already cooperating in multiple ways, and we shall continue to do so in the future.

These congruities and others are precisely what led us to believe that a merger might be desirable. These common denominators remain undiminished by the decision that a merger was not in the best interests of both institutions. Far from it—the respect and esteem between our two schools has actually increased. There is absolutely no spirit of recrimination, competition, or (as you put it) one-upmanship. There is not a faculty member or administrator at Faith Baptist Seminary with whom our faculty would not be proud to work.

I personally would be happy to work for Dr. James Maxwell or Dr. John Hartog III. I would be happy to have either of them work for me. I owe my fundamentalists convictions and my interest in historical theology to George Houghton. I owe my interest in systematic theology and my overall theological framework to his brother, Myron. I count Paul Hartog as the brightest rising scholar in Fundamentalism today, and I consider Doug Brown to offer a rare combination of scholarly acumen, humility, and compassion. Ernie Schmidt, John Hartog II, and Alan Cole are all alumni of Central Seminary (so are Doug Brown and John Hartog III), and Tim Little is actually a student at Central Seminary while he teaches at Faith.

A rift between Central Seminary and Faith Baptist Bible College exists only in the minds of gossip-mongers and prevaricators (and, Mr. Pittman, I am NOT including you here). Such individuals are the pus, phlegm, and bile in the body of Fundamentalism. May God stop their mouths, along with unfounded speculations and unsupported assertions that they proliferate.

Between Faith Baptists Bible College and Central Seminary exists only mutual blessing and a firm commitment to strengthening one another. We heartily support and recommend each other’s doctrine, faculty, position, and academic standards. Whoever says that the two institutions are moving in different directions is simply displaying ignorance. No one has heard such things from the administration at Faith. No one will hear any such things from me.

Dr. Bauder, thank you for this clarifying explanation regarding Faith and Central. I accept it as complete veracity. This is the kind of interchange that I desire between us. You are probably right that some will still imagine sinister doings behind the scenes. I do not and I will defend you when others offer surmisings or make insinuations. I am humbled by your generous act of explaining what you perhaps have already addressed. Although we still disagree in many areas, you have personally achieved my respect today.

Can we address the questions of the brethren whom you see on the right fringe? Can we keep our personalities apart and achieve this same calm deliberation? I've already expressed some of my opinions in other posts. I wait for your response. Again, thank you.

Rob Fall's picture
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Since 6/2/09 22:22:22
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Just an Opinion

I think Dr. Bauder represents (at least in part) the positions held by those Fundamental Baptists who came out of the Northern Baptist Movement\Convention. For what it's worth, many of us do not trace any of our spiritual DNA to or through the SBC. I would think it better to compare J. Frank Norris to W.B. Riley, Richard Clearwaters, Arno Q. Wenigar, Sr., G. Archer Wenigar, or B. Myron Cedarholm. Remember, we Northern Baptists have had any organizational ties to the Southern Baptists since the demise of the Triennial Convention.

Dr. Machen was a Proto-Fundamentalist Presbyterian. He was uncomfortable with the Fundamentalists of the 30s.

Bob Hayton wrote:
Roland,

I don't know why you are so insistent here. I think this kind of approach is over the top and not called for.

Dr. Bauder in what I've read of his work, is very aware of other spheres and sectors of fundamentalism. I don't think he's necessarily claiming that his views are dominant and the mainstream, but they have been represented in fundamentalism all along. The other crowd appears larger from my vantage point too, and they speak more loudly, but that doesn't mean they can define what fundamentalism really is. There have always been J. Frank Norris types even as there have been J. Greshem Machen types.

You should also be a bit more humble in addressing an elder statesman. That would be respectful and fitting in a forum like this.

Not really sure why I'm addressing this. I just wanted to let you know you can express your disagreement without being so abrasive.

In Christ,

Bob Hayton

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Bob Hayton's picture
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Since 7/27/09 10:43:57
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Roland, I appreciate the

Roland,

I appreciate the kind things you've said about me and all. I still don't advocate a "no-holds-barred" approach to interacting with my seniors. It is a sticky issue with blogging and forums and all. But 1 Tim. 5:1 comes to mind, as do several passages in Proverbs about interacting with people. I think we have to take extra care in online venues as the demeanor and manner behind our typing is completely invisible, often.

Striving for the unity of the faith, for the glory of God ~ Eph. 4:3, 13; Rom. 15:5-7 I blog at Fundamentally Reformed. Follow me on Twitter.

Bob Hayton's picture
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Rob Fall wrote: I think Dr.

Rob Fall wrote:
I think Dr. Bauder represents (at least in part) the positions held by those Fundamental Baptists who came out of the Northern Baptist Movement\Convention. For what it's worth, many of us do not trace any of our spiritual DNA to or through the SBC. I would think it better to compare J. Frank Norris to W.B. Riley, Richard Clearwaters, Arno Q. Wenigar, Sr., G. Archer Wenigar, or B. Myron Cedarholm. Remember, we Northern Baptists have had any organizational ties to the Southern Baptists since the demise of the Triennial Convention.

Dr. Machen was a Proto-Fundamentalist Presbyterian. He was uncomfortable with the Fundamentalists of the 30s.


Thanks, I knew there were other names in the opposite version of Fundamentalism besides Machen. He was all that came to mind at the time though.

Striving for the unity of the faith, for the glory of God ~ Eph. 4:3, 13; Rom. 15:5-7 I blog at Fundamentally Reformed. Follow me on Twitter.

Alex Guggenheim's picture
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Since 6/2/09 04:58:18
1585 posts
Enjoyable exchange

I must say, if one is squeamish maybe the exchange between R. Pittman and Dr. Kevin Bauder wasn't for them but as for me, Roland and Kevin requited themselves very well and much to the benefit of the readers. And I believe that, in interacting here, Kevin Bauder is quite aware that the context is much more pedestrian and the usual formalities of elevated contexts are not as demanded, hence he is appreciated for accepting Roland's directness and countering without posturing (I say this not because Dr. Bauder would do this but it is often the modus operandi of many here and in theological circles to feign pretentious aghast that someone would approach with such bluntness while, in truth, never actually delivering the kind of blows they are accused of delivering) . Neither strayed from any point and both making the force of their arguments compacted instead of needlessly extended and I appreciate Mr. Pittman sticking to his views (not that I agree or disagree with them, that isn't the point) and insisting on taking them to their ends while Dr. Bauder's returns which were perspicacious to say the least.

But this is the least of what I wanted to say. Mainly that it was good to read, as Aaron and Bob T. pointed out (and any others who I may have missed) that there is a clearly articulated rejection of those on the fringe whose exotic (and at times simply condemnable) extremes place them outside the circle of approval and in fact Central willingly used the word "dangerous" to describe them. There is a certain elevated level of responsibility that Central and Dr. Bauder are taking that other institutions would not come close to even admitting in private, that is to be applauded zealously.

A significant amount of time and energy has been invested and this effort, whether one agrees in whole or in part, should give a sense of indebtedness to its readers. It is clear that a protracted process has gone in in the mind of Dr. Bauder, but likely far from only his but with his peers as well it seems, and as a result a very detailed survey and and assessment of Christianity on the right and in the middle and where fundamentalism lies along with its cousin (CE), has resulted. As well and most pertinent, where is fundamentalism headed?

This is critical. While it might be true that fundamentalism is a dynamic to which no one can claim proprietary rights, it appears that many happily will eschew this label (therefore it means something to many) or some will hijack this tag and bring to it types and kinds that render great damage to a legitimate and worthwhile theological identification. So why then cannot it be resuscitated and brought back to a position of strength through the process of reclamation involving the shedding of extremes and re-articulation? And who is to say that it may not be? So while Christian fundamentalism may be a dynamic, it need not be a dynamic left without leadership and expression.

As a former Calvinist and now a non-Calvinist (as distinguished from an Arminian) I personally have no issue with the Calvinistic leanings that one can find at Central and its periphery. They are not excessive or sycophantic. They appear to be Christian first with commitment to grammatico-historical exegesis which allows for recognition of theological schools and arguments, without condescension, from more than one quarter while reasonably defending their own convictions.

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Historic and representative of a majority.

RPittman wrote:

Quote:
As I understand your boundaries, you have left large groups including Pensacola Christian College, Ambassador Baptist College, West Coast Baptist College, the Sword of the Lord , Crown College, Hyles-Anderson College, Heartland Baptist College, Tabernacle Baptist Seminary,

These institutions appear to represent the KJVO position. They were founded in the 1970s. They are historically disconnected from the Fundamentalists of the 1920s, 30s, and 40s by their doctrine of scripture. Further, by their doctrine of scripture they hold to a view of preservation that advocates a kind of continuation of apostolic authority to translators and textual critics. Such continued divine inspiration denies the traditional doctrines of scripture. This denial moves them away from Fundamentalism by basic doctrine. Further, some Fundamentalists believe this doctrine is a dangerous deviation of foundational truth that brings disrepute upon the intellectual integrity of Christianity. While the KJVOers believe and preach the true gospel, they undermine the true basis for discovering and knowing that gospel.

Those advocating the non Fundamental KJVO doctrine appear to come far short of representing the majority who call themselves Fundamentalists. Such groups as the FBFI, GARBC, and other institutions and groups, appear to represent a majority. However, numbers are not relevant to whether the KJVO churches and persons fall within the historic Fundamentalist definition. As one who was a student at Central when the founder, Doc Clearwaters, was still at the helm, let me assure you that this Ethos statement is representative of the Fundamentalism advocated then by Doc and the school. It is representative of the Minnesota Baptist Association. The school was then representative of Fundamentalism of the type that fought the battles in the old Northern Baptist convention. This was a major part of historic Fundamentalism. They would later clearly denounce the new emerging doctrine of the scriptures being promoted by KJVO advocates.

There are some Hyper Fundamentalist bloggers chomping at the bit to attack the Central Ethos statement, and the fact that Central and Faith are not formally merging at this time, into some sort of sign of compromise or disagreement that it does not appear to be. Actually, the statement indicates clearly that Central remains a strong historical Fundamentalist school. It represents what the Founder represented. We should certainly take as true Kevin Bauder's statement regarding the unity of position and fellowship of Faith and Central.

I state the above but probably have a much more cautious view of the CEs than some Fundamentalists at Central. I am very familiar with the MacArthurism LS gospel and Masters College and Seminary. There are many more problems involved here than many are willing to recognize. There are a multitude of doctrinal deviations, exaggerations, misrepresentation of opponents positions, and harsh militant attitudes, that need to be addressed. There is often an imperious elitism that does harm within and to churches.

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Since 6/2/09 13:04:13
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Quote: He accused me of

Quote:
He accused me of judging motivation. I did not. I boldly challenged his position but I attached no stigma to his or Central's motivation. Let me define "spiritual oneupmanship." This is when one group defines the issues, history, or positions of a larger movement so that this one group is the quintessential (Dr. B's term but I like it) body of the larger. IMHO, this is precisely what Dr. Bauder and Central were doing by his definition of historic, mainstream Fundamentalism to lie within their sphere meanwhile excluding a larger and different representation of the so-called far right wing. They marginalized the larger portion of Fundamentalism to make their own position mainstream. This is not judging motives but it is a critique of their statement.
Roland, You defined "spiritual oneupmanship," but you didn't define "to gain status and ascendancy." Generally, the word "to" as used in that sentence is understood as "in order to," meaning purpose or intended result, which sounds a lot like motivation: They did this because they were motivated to do that. The implication seems to be that they did this "in order to gain status and ascendancy." You can probably see how easily that could be confused with attributing a motivation to them.

Therefore, I wonder if "to" might have been the word you should have defined to show how it was not a statement about motivations.

I also think it would be incumbent on you to show how gaining status and ascendancy is somehow wrong. You liken it to the Corinthian church, but why not liken it to Paul in the Corinthian church, where Paul asserts his status and ascendancy over the false apostles? If someone is right, their view should gain status and ascendancy (such as Paul over the false apostles). Consider yourself: You think you are right and so you spend time here (and probably other places) trying to gain "status and ascendancy" for your view. And you object strongly when someone disagrees with it, which you did here and that is certainly fine; I don't think that's wrong. If it stems from pride, of course it's wrong. If it stems from a desire to love and honor the truth, it is not wrong. If CBTS' statement seems to be a desire to love and honor the truth, and if it in fact does so, then it is hard to argue that gaining status and ascendancy for it is wrong.

At the risk of appearing to defend Dr. Bauder (which some have strangely and incorrectly attributed to me), I think Dr. Bauder's grasp on fundamentalism is broad enough to include the groups you mention, and that is precisely why he wants to "restate, refine, and strengthen biblical Fundamentalism." He believes, and many would say with good reason, that certain forms are fundamentalism are deficient and should be repudiated, or at least refined and strengthened. His whole argument (here with the CBTS faculty and elsewhere with his own comments) seems to stem from his knowledge of broader fundamentalism and his concern with it. If everyone he knew about or had experience with agreed with him (i.e., his "narrow slice"), there would be no need for him to argue for a different type of fundamentalism worth saving. The only reason he says fundamentalism needs saving is because he is aware of the things you mention, and considers them to be a fundamentalism not worth saving. Complain about his point if you will, or disagree with it; but realize that his comments are made because he knows them, not because he doesn't.

Rob Fall's picture
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Since 6/2/09 22:22:22
899 posts
I would add most of the

I would add most of the schools which Brother Pittman cites come out of the former\ex SBC side of the family.

Clarification: My statement above should read, "we Northern Baptists have not had any organizational ties to the Southern Baptists since the demise of the Triennial Convention."

Bob T. wrote:
RPittman wrote:
Quote:
As I understand your boundaries, you have left large groups including Pensacola Christian College, Ambassador Baptist College, West Coast Baptist College, the Sword of the Lord , Crown College, Hyles-Anderson College, Heartland Baptist College, Tabernacle Baptist Seminary,

These institutions appear to represent the KJVO position. They were founded in the 1970s. They are historically disconnected from the Fundamentalists of the 1920s, 30s, and 40s by their doctrine of scripture. Further, by their doctrine of scripture they hold to a view of preservation that advocates a kind of continuation of apostolic authority to translators and textual critics. Such continued divine inspiration denies the traditional doctrines of scripture. This denial moves them away from Fundamentalism by basic doctrine. Further, some Fundamentalists believe this doctrine is a dangerous deviation of foundational truth that brings disrepute upon the intellectual integrity of Christianity. While the KJVOers believe and preach the true gospel, they undermine the true basis for discovering and knowing that gospel.

Those advocating the non Fundamental KJVO doctrine appear to come far short of representing the majority who call themselves Fundamentalists. Such groups as the FBFI, GARBC, and other institutions and groups, appear to represent a majority. However, numbers are not relevant to whether the KJVO churches and persons fall within the historic Fundamentalist definition. As one who was a student at Central when the founder, Doc Clearwaters, was still at the helm, let me assure you that this Ethos statement is representative of the Fundamentalism advocated then by Doc and the school. It is representative of the Minnesota Baptist Association. The school was then representative of Fundamentalism of the type that fought the battles in the old Northern Baptist convention. This was a major part of historic Fundamentalism. They would later clearly denounce the new emerging doctrine of the scriptures being promoted by KJVO advocates.

There are some Hyper Fundamentalist bloggers chomping at the bit to attack the Central Ethos statement, and the fact that Central and Faith are not formally merging at this time, into some sort of sign of compromise or disagreement that it does not appear to be. Actually, the statement indicates clearly that Central remains a strong historical Fundamentalist school. It represents what the Founder represented. We should certainly take as true Kevin Bauder's statement regarding the unity of position and fellowship of Faith and Central.

I state the above but probably have a much more cautious view of the CEs than some Fundamentalists at Central. I am very familiar with the MacArthurism LS gospel and Masters College and Seminary. There are many more problems involved here than many are willing to recognize. There are a multitude of doctrinal deviations, exaggerations, misrepresentation of opponents positions, and harsh militant attitudes, that need to be addressed. There is often an imperious elitism that does harm within and to churches.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

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Since 5/6/09 20:45:47
3666 posts
My .02 cents

I think, based on what I'm reading of Bauder, that he's articulating a design for what real Fundamentalism should look like, not trying to paint a portrait of what it currently is. If you look at some of his other writings - the lecture to the AACS jumps to mind - that's a little more obvious.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

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Since 6/6/09 16:02:15
526 posts
Drop me an email

Mr. Hayton,

Drop me an email and let's grab a Coke some time (or coffee if you prefer--I can't stand the stuff). These are questions well worth discussing.

I do personally think that music is a very important issue, and I am willing to argue for its importance elsewhere.

Having said that, I recognize that it is not the issue that distinguishes Fundamentalists from other evangelicals. Our faculty and students represent a whole spectrum of views on this subject. It's one of those things that we can talk about seriously without having to get upset or break fellowship.

That's really the core of our ethos. We are a fellowship of learning, in which professors and students challenge one another to think. Our classrooms are not full of profs imparting unchangeable wisdom and students carefully copying it into their notebooks (though we are not ashamed of holding to unchangeable truths). Rather, our modus operandi is constant conversation, both in the classroom and out of it.

We expect our students to question us. We expect them to argue with us. We expect them to push us to the limits of our understanding. How else will they ever know where those limits are?

We do not expect them simply to parrot what we believe. We want them to own their beliefs, and that means thinking through the problems for themselves. Our profs are more like coaches than like oracles (though we do proclaim the oracles of God). Our goal is not to give our students all the answers, but to give them a box full of tools that they can use to get answers for themselves.

It's all a long way from stuffy, egg-headed, ivory-tower intellectualism. Most of all, its about ministry. While some seminaries try to train their students in techniques, we prefer to teach them to think, all the while seeking to shape their affections.

It bothers me when people who don't know us put us into an IFB stereotype. It also bothers me when people think that we are just about bright minds. We are also about skillful hands--but more than that, we are about devout hearts. We believe that it is sinful to set these things in opposition to each other.

Now I'M the one who is using our exchange as an excuse to talk about what is important to me. Sorry to derail the conversation! But do send me that email. I'm good for lunch.

Kevin

RPittman's picture
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1170 posts
Astute observation..............

Jay C. wrote:
I think, based on what I'm reading of Bauder, that he's articulating a design for what real Fundamentalism should look like, not trying to paint a portrait of what it currently is. If you look at some of his other writings - the lecture to the AACS jumps to mind - that's a little more obvious.
Jay, I am almost in agreement with you. I would shade your statement slightly by asserting that it represents what he wants it to look like or where he is trying to nudge it toward. And there is nothing wrong with this. The flip side is that there are others, such as myself, who envision a different design and we are trying to nudge Fundamentalism in that direction.

Of course, Jay, I would challenge you on your use of "real Fundamentalism." It seems that everyone is claiming that his side is the "real Fundamentalism" and this is what I call "spiritual oneupmanship." It's like the folks who always call their personal opinions the "Biblical view." Somehow, they think it elevates their opinions beyond critique and questioning.

RPittman's picture
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1170 posts
Rob Fall wrote: I would add

Rob Fall wrote:
I would add most of the schools which Brother Pittman cites come out of the former\ex SBC side of the family.

Clarification: My statement above should read, "we Northern Baptists have not had any organizational ties to the Southern Baptists since the demise of the Triennial Convention."

Rob, you are right. Thank you for making this point. And I think it is important and germane point in order to understand my position. My argument has run that Fundamentalism is much larger and more diverse than the Faith-Central sphere of influence. I have respect for these guys but don't lop off the other arm. From this perspective, it appears that our northern brethren find more in common with the conservative Evangelicals than other self-identified Fundamentalists. My challenge is to learn more about us from the inside before condemning us to purgatory.

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Since 7/27/09 10:43:57
652 posts
Thanks, Dr. Bauder

Thanks, Dr. Bauder. I'll be sending that email soon.

It's refreshing to hear that perspective on seminary education. I would have loved such an environment, but often took flak for being the one to ask questions in the IFB Bible College and Seminary where I went to school....

Striving for the unity of the faith, for the glory of God ~ Eph. 4:3, 13; Rom. 15:5-7 I blog at Fundamentally Reformed. Follow me on Twitter.

Rob Fall's picture
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899 posts
I'm not lopping anything off.

I'm not lopping anything off. Nor am I condemning any one to purgatory. Add to the Faith-Central sphere MBBC, Northland, Calvary Baptist Seminary (Lansdale) and International Baptist College. It's a large enough grouping for Dr. Bauder to enunciate positions peculiar to it. IOW, what he writes may only be applicable to that sphere. I tend to think of the whole matter in astronomical terms. In the Christian universe, there are various sectors and sub-sectors. The Fundamental Baptist sub-sector has many further historical and cultural natural divisions.
As for learning from the inside, I think many here are more than familiar with men in your position. I would remind you Jack Hyles spoke for many year at MBBC's Fall Soul Winning and Missionary Conference. I would posit it's my southern brethren reared on the Sword of the Lord who need to understand the historical differences. I leave here so I don't go into personalities. One factor contributing to the lack of understanding is we northerners didn't/don't have a non-associational publication like the SoL. So, many perceive(d) the SoL as speaking for Fundamental Baptists as a whole. When, in fact it didn't/doesn't..
As for "our northern brethren find more in common with the conservative Evangelicals," it's probably due to the fact that many of them came through the CBA.

RPittman wrote:
Rob Fall wrote:
I would add most of the schools which Brother Pittman cites come out of the former\ex SBC side of the family.

Clarification: My statement above should read, "we Northern Baptists have not had any organizational ties to the Southern Baptists since the demise of the Triennial Convention."

Rob, you are right. Thank you for making this point. And I think it is important and germane point in order to understand my position. My argument has run that Fundamentalism is much larger and more diverse than the Faith-Central sphere of influence. I have respect for these guys but don't lop off the other arm. From this perspective, it appears that our northern brethren find more in common with the conservative Evangelicals than other self-identified Fundamentalists. My challenge is to learn more about us from the inside before condemning us to purgatory.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

RPittman's picture
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1170 posts
Slight correction............

Rob Fall wrote:
I'm not lopping anything off. Nor am I condemning any one to purgatory. Add to the Faith-Central sphere MBBC, Northland, Calvary Baptist Seminary (Lansdale) and International Baptist College. It's a large enough grouping for Dr. Bauder to enunciate positions peculiar to it. IOW, what he writes may only be applicable to that sphere. I tend to think of the whole matter in astronomical terms. In the Christian universe, there are various sectors and sub-sectors. The Fundamental Baptist sub-sector has many further historical and cultural natural divisions.
As for learning from the inside, I think many here are more than familiar with men in your position. I would remind you Jack Hyles spoke for many year at MBBC's Fall Soul Winning and Missionary Conference. I would posit it's my southern brethren reared on the Sword of the Lord who need to understand the historical differences. I leave here so I don't go into personalities. One factor contributing to the lack of understanding is we northerners didn't/don't have a non-associational publication like the SoL. So, many perceive(d) the SoL as speaking for Fundamental Baptists as a whole. When, in fact it didn't/doesn't..
As for "our northern brethren find more in common with the conservative Evangelicals," it's probably due to the fact that many of them came through the CBA.
RPittman wrote:
Rob Fall wrote:
I would add most of the schools which Brother Pittman cites come out of the former\ex SBC side of the family.

Clarification: My statement above should read, "we Northern Baptists have not had any organizational ties to the Southern Baptists since the demise of the Triennial Convention."

Rob, you are right. Thank you for making this point. And I think it is important and germane point in order to understand my position. My argument has run that Fundamentalism is much larger and more diverse than the Faith-Central sphere of influence. I have respect for these guys but don't lop off the other arm. From this perspective, it appears that our northern brethren find more in common with the conservative Evangelicals than other self-identified Fundamentalists. My challenge is to learn more about us from the inside before condemning us to purgatory.
Rob, I wasn't accusing you of lopping or condemning. I perceived your comments as more tolerant and understanding than many of the others. BTW, the Hyles-Anderson people are not representative of the folks that I was speaking about. Although I did use their name to lend weight to my argument for the number of people excluded from Fundamentalism proper, I do not identify with or necessarily agree with them. Furthermore, I do understand the historical differences but I don't always agree with the interpretation given among the northern brethren. IMHO, they fail to understand Fundamentalism as a dynamic, evolving movement with respect to time. Snapshots at various points are different pictures with different leaders and different emphases. Early on, the Northern Baptists were the early participants in the fight. On the other hand, Fundamentalism came rather late to the South. The SBC remained a bulwark against liberalism long after other major denominations had succumbed; their drift came a quarter of a century later.

I have the story from a descendant of Basil Manly, Jr. that Basil received a letter from Dr. W. B. Riley inviting him and the SBC to join the Fundamentalist ranks against Modernism. Manly wrote back, "Bro. Riley, we cannot join your Fundamentalist movement because we are Baptists. We are not ecumenicists." The letter is supposedly still extant in some of the family's papers. If so, it represents an uniquely Southern perspective of Fundamentalism.

Rob, I don't object to Dr. Bauder articulating a position for Central or his own personal stance. I may differ and argue with him but he has the right to express his views regardless of what I say. On the other hand, I do object to making the Faith-Central orbit with it attendant groups the quintessential group of Fundamentalism. But, we seemed to have moved away from that idea now, so there's no friction there as far as I'm concerned.

RPittman's picture
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Since 9/15/09 09:48:47
1170 posts
Well............I don't know......................

Bob Hayton wrote:
Roland,

I appreciate the kind things you've said about me and all. I still don't advocate a "no-holds-barred" approach to interacting with my seniors. It is a sticky issue with blogging and forums and all. But 1 Tim. 5:1 comes to mind, as do several passages in Proverbs about interacting with people. I think we have to take extra care in online venues as the demeanor and manner behind our typing is completely invisible, often.

Dare you tell this to Dr. Bauder? It was like two dirt track racers "bump 'n run" all down the line. I would hardly call it a "no-holds-barred" interchange though. Some of us did not consider it over the top although it was "rough ' n tumble." And I'm not sure that he's my senior. What do you say?

RPittman's picture
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More pablum..............

Bob T. wrote:
RPittman wrote:
Quote:
As I understand your boundaries, you have left large groups including Pensacola Christian College, Ambassador Baptist College, West Coast Baptist College, the Sword of the Lord , Crown College, Hyles-Anderson College, Heartland Baptist College, Tabernacle Baptist Seminary,

These institutions appear to represent the KJVO position. They were founded in the 1970s. They are historically disconnected from the Fundamentalists of the 1920s, 30s, and 40s by their doctrine of scripture. Further, by their doctrine of scripture they hold to a view of preservation that advocates a kind of continuation of apostolic authority to translators and textual critics. Such continued divine inspiration denies the traditional doctrines of scripture. This denial moves them away from Fundamentalism by basic doctrine. Further, some Fundamentalists believe this doctrine is a dangerous deviation of foundational truth that brings disrepute upon the intellectual integrity of Christianity. While the KJVOers believe and preach the true gospel, they undermine the true basis for discovering and knowing that gospel.

Those advocating the non Fundamental KJVO doctrine appear to come far short of representing the majority who call themselves Fundamentalists. Such groups as the FBFI, GARBC, and other institutions and groups, appear to represent a majority. However, numbers are not relevant to whether the KJVO churches and persons fall within the historic Fundamentalist definition. As one who was a student at Central when the founder, Doc Clearwaters, was still at the helm, let me assure you that this Ethos statement is representative of the Fundamentalism advocated then by Doc and the school. It is representative of the Minnesota Baptist Association. The school was then representative of Fundamentalism of the type that fought the battles in the old Northern Baptist convention. This was a major part of historic Fundamentalism. They would later clearly denounce the new emerging doctrine of the scriptures being promoted by KJVO advocates.

There are some Hyper Fundamentalist bloggers chomping at the bit to attack the Central Ethos statement, and the fact that Central and Faith are not formally merging at this time, into some sort of sign of compromise or disagreement that it does not appear to be. Actually, the statement indicates clearly that Central remains a strong historical Fundamentalist school. It represents what the Founder represented. We should certainly take as true Kevin Bauder's statement regarding the unity of position and fellowship of Faith and Central.

I state the above but probably have a much more cautious view of the CEs than some Fundamentalists at Central. I am very familiar with the MacArthurism LS gospel and Masters College and Seminary. There are many more problems involved here than many are willing to recognize. There are a multitude of doctrinal deviations, exaggerations, misrepresentation of opponents positions, and harsh militant attitudes, that need to be addressed. There is often an imperious elitism that does harm within and to churches.

Bob, this is more of the well-chewed cud. Your argument goes nowhere because we are in contention of the most basic terms. For example, what is the "historic Fundamentalism?" A dozen different views lay claim on this fine sounding term but no one is able to establish proof. More wrangling! What is normative Fundamentalism? Even so, what have we gained if we should be able to establish our heir's claim to pristine Fundamentalism? Is Fundamentalism the CHURCH? When the point of conflict is who is the rightful heir of "historic Fundamentalism" rather than what is truth, then we have engaged in the game of "spiritual oneupmanship." Bob, I think your understanding and interpretation are colored by your views on the KJVO issue.

rogercarlson's picture
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Since 6/2/09 16:07:12
499 posts
Rowland, Bob and I do not

Rowland,
Bob and I do not always agree, but I think on this he is right. My heritage is more southern fundamentalism, eventhough I am a Northerner. My uncle left Michigan to go to Bob Jones and spent his entire ministry in the South. Our family was greatly influenced by Southern fundamentalism. I often felt growing up that I was settling for being in a church in the North because they weren't as good.

But the KJVO position that Bob is speaking of his diametically opposed to our movement. John R. Rice was not KJVO. I have a relative that also remembers hearing Dr. Sightler preach from the old ASV! Later, the SOL and Tabernacle people became more KJVO, but only after swallowing the Fuller, Riplinger pills. I have no problem fellowshiping with someone who only uses the KJV. Many in my church only use it. But the quasi-Ruckman people are just a dangerous as the Ruckamites, maybe even worse. Or to put it this way, an institution that says, "if you change your KJVO position, you will turn in your degree" is not really part of the latter Fundamentalist movement that John R Rice was apart of.

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church

Joseph Leavell's picture
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Since 6/2/09 18:30:47
43 posts
Labels

RPittman,

In this developing discussion, I can see this developing into a game show where the announcer says, "Welcome to Who Gets to Wear the Label?" (notice my tongue in cheek)

If all this is boils down to a battle of labels...as far as I'm concerned, you can have it.

Appreciated the article Dr. Bauder!

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Since 7/21/09 22:44:31
675 posts
Quite the discussion

I spend a day away from my computer, and the discussions on Central blows through the roof!
I pray that this discourse will have the net result of bringing well-deserved attention and interest (especially from prospective students) to both Central and Faith, who will each continue on separately but cooperatively.
I am sure that there are people involved in this discussion who probably have not thought about Faith -- particularly its seminary -- for a long time. May God use it in His way to attract students who He would lead to both schools.

The views I express are purely my own. However, I am happy to promote the great ministries with which I work: I minister for www.SermonAudio.com/Whitcomb. I do freelance writing for www.RegularBaptistPress.org. I speak through www.IMISOS.org.

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Since 3/1/10 17:41:04
801 posts
New Image Fundamentalism

First just a thought. Quoting previous comments is usually most helpful when you don't quote the other guy's entire post, but rather a small portion. Also, sarcasm is fair game. Jesus did it. Paul did it, and Bauder does it pretty well. It drives a point home well, and usually the only people who are offended at it are either those in the wrong, or those who don't get the joke.

End lecture.

Question to Dr. Bauder. Can you give me an example of "New Image Fundamentalism?" In which kind of circles would this occur? I think a lot of people, including you, would want a new image for fundamentalism. For example, I told a Buddhist client of mine today that I was a fundamentalist Christian, and here eyes popped out of her head. I'm in an area where suits, organ music, and other stylistic expressions just aren't helpful to our membership, where a guitar and Starbucks coffee might be. I love other fundamentalists, and Baptists, and I don't think I'm all that pragmatic. Am I still a New Image Fundamentalist? Is it a matter of attitude on all counts as you described them, or is it a more stylistic thing. I know you're generalizing in the statement, but could you be more specific?

Thanks.

Shayne McAllister

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Since 5/6/09 22:36:48
782 posts
When a godly fundamentalist

When a godly fundamentalist like Dr. Bauder is willing to make the observation that some conservative evangelicals are more tolerable than some fundamentalists, it stings. Unfortunately, Dr. Bauder is not the only godly man making such an observation.

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