An Open Letter to Lance Ketchum

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An Open Letter to Lance Ketchum

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Dear Brother Ketchum,

Over the past couple of months my attention has been directed to several of your writings, some of which mention me. While I do not make a practice of responding to unsolicited criticisms, two factors have influenced me to write to you. The first is the fact that we have labored together in the same corner of the Lord’s vineyard and have come to know each other well enough to speak frankly. The second is that, while I know you to be an honorable man who would never willingly misrepresent a brother, your recent writings have contained a sufficient number of misunderstandings that I have heard people question your credibility. So I am writing to you simply to set the record straight, I hope in a way that is charitable.

One of your concerns is that you believe you have been ridiculed, particularly within the Minnesota Baptist Association. You state, “I have talked to a few men in the leadership of the Minnesota Baptist Association of churches regarding these issues. My comments were received with a smirk of derision and ridicule.” Since the only board member of the Minnesota Baptist Association whom you mention by name is me, people are likely to infer that I have ridiculed you, or perhaps that I have encouraged others to ridicule your pronouncements.

Actually, I don’t recall having heard you ridiculed, either in public or private, by any board member or pastor of the Minnesota Baptist Association. Personally, I respect you too much to subject you to mockery. I have witnessed God’s grace in your life. I have watched you face severe trials with equanimity, treat opponents tactfully, and persevere both in faith and in ministry. While we disagree about some issues, I believe that you are a man of honor and a man of God. If I heard someone attack your character, I would want to be one of your defenders.

As you know, however, defending a man’s character is easier than defending his every pronouncement. For example, you recently complained that someone ridiculed your article on the Hegelian dialectic. Yet your description of Hegelian dialectic contains little that would be recognized by anyone who had perused a serious book about Hegel, let alone read Hegel himself. Consequently, I find that you have left me with no answer for those people who wish to ridicule it.

The same may be said of your remarks about John MacArthur. You state, “John MacArthur is a hyper-Calvinist, believes in Lordship salvation, Presbyterian polity, uses CCM and Christian-rock in his church ministries, and is undoubtedly a New Evangelical.” Some of your allegations are certainly true: for example, John MacArthur does believe in Lordship salvation. Some are beyond my knowledge: I really do not know whether MacArthur uses CCM or “Christian-rock” in his church ministries, though I know of many fundamentalists who do. (The only rock concert to which I’ve ever taken my wife—inadvertently—was a chapel service in one of the King-James-friendly Bible colleges). Some of your observations are simply not accurate. MacArthur’s polity is not so much Presbyterian as it is Plymouth Brethren. No historic definition of hyper-Calvinism can imaginably be applied to MacArthur. Only the most pejorative standards would classify him as a New Evangelical. When people ridicule you for making such accusations, it becomes very difficult to defend you.

As I recently glanced through your writings, I discovered that I myself had been similarly misinterpreted. For example, you stated that I have “regularly criticized people for criticizing Reform [sic] Theology, especially Reformed Soteriology. Under [Bauder’s] paradigm, anyone believing that Reformed Soteriology is unscriptural, and is [sic] willing to say that publicly, is outside of his acceptable Fundamentalism.” Well, there is a grain of truth here. I have on a couple of occasions said that we do not need to fight about Calvinism. But the fact is that I myself believe that some tenets of Reformed thought are unscriptural, and I am willing to say so publicly. For example, I do not believe in Limited Atonement as it is traditionally defined. I have actually written about some of the areas in which I differ with Reformed theology, and I see no particular problem in allowing others to express their disagreements as well. The question is not whether we may disagree, but how. The kind of disagreement that would label John MacArthur as a hyper-Calvinist is clearly not helpful. It is the kind of thing that invites ridicule. Though I disapprove of aspects of MacArthur’s soteriology, disagreement does not deliver me from the obligation to represent him fairly.

The same can be said of the following sentence:

When professed fundamentalists such as Dr. Kevin Bauder, Dr. Douglas McLachlan, Dr. Timothy Jordan, and Dr. Dave Doran begin to defend men like Al Mohler, John Piper, Ligon Duncan, John MacArthur, Phil Johnson, Mark Dever, C.J. Maheney [sic], and Rick Holland (to name a few), it becomes very apparent that there has been a considerable change in direction regarding the practice of militant separation.

You seem to think that it is unacceptable to defend men when they are falsely accused. Well, I am willing to defend these men from slanders against their character or false statements of their views, in the same way that I am willing to defend you. Nevertheless, at a great many points I have challenged their views: in some cases over miraculous gifts, in other cases over church polity, in yet others over contemporary methodologies. I have attempted to persuade them that fellowship and separation involve more than simple adherence to the gospel (some of them already understand this to varying degrees). I think that I can defend their character while disagreeing with some of their theology, just as I do with you.

If you scold a child for everything, then she will pay no attention when you scold her for the thing that matters. Something like this has happened with the incessant fundamentalist scolding of conservative evangelicals. If you want to open the way for competent fundamentalists to articulate our differences with conservative evangelicals, your best approach is to expose and reprove fundamentalist periergazomenous* whose only spiritual gift appears to be censoriousness.

“But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you…though we are speaking this way” (Heb. 6:9, NASB). You are an honorable man, and that is why I have felt comfortable offering both clarification and exhortation. I trust that you take my words in the charitable spirit in which they are intended.

With affection,

Kevin

Notes

*—see 2 Thessalonians 3:11.

Untitled
Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

Thy Name, O Christ, as incense streaming forth
      Sweetens our names before God’s Holy Face;
Luring us from the south and from the north
      Unto the sacred place.

In Thee God’s promise is Amen and Yea.
      What are Thou to us? Prize of every lot,
Shepherd and Door, our Life and Truth and Way:—
      Nay, Lord, what art Thou not?

[node:bio/kevin-t-bauder body]

Susan R's picture
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Characterizing the arguments

"Incessant scolding" pretty much nails it. In my experience, scolding involves a high degree of emotionalism and a significant amount of hyperbole (often seen in the use of terms like "always" and "never"). I believe we have devalued the work of the Holy Spirit when we employ such tactics and engage in behavior modification by coercion instead of exposition of Scripture and consistent discipleship. We have also devalued truth when we feel we must strive to keep the 'scarlet letter' of evangelicalism and hyper-Calvinism on the chests of those with whom we disagree, even when those methods and means are dishonest and unethical.

If they are so far off base, it shouldn't be difficult to provide verifiable evidence that these men, such as "Al Mohler, John Piper, Ligon Duncan, John MacArthur, Phil Johnson, Mark Dever, C.J. Mahaney, and Rick Holland" are indefensible. So bring out the evidence for folks of good conscience to examine and come to their own conclusions.

 

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Letter writing skills

You know, I don't ever recall taking a "letter-writing" class in seminary. This is/was outstanding. For the readership's sake let me add, "I'm very sure Kevin would have rather gone to the dentist than to have written this note." Those in leadership, hate this kind of public "stuff." No, we "really - really" hate this kind of thing. I promise you Kevin stays busy. I'm very sure he didn't say, "oh goody - I get to tangle with Dr. Ketchum in public! You know - we MBA types - just love public confrontation!" However, from time to time because of details outside of your control, and the real demands one has as a leader, occasionally one has to do this kind of thing.

I appreciate "big time" Kevin your willingness to do what you did here. This was not fun but for sake of fundamentalists who need to see a right response to even legitimate differences there may yet be between themselves and conservative evangelicals, your note serves as a great model. My personal counter to the charge that because certain of our Type B friends are defending the motives or our Type C friends doesn't mean they've given up militant separation. It simply means they've read the rest of the Bible that speak to the issue of how a believer relates to another believer, even though there may be differences. Susan once again hits the nail right on the head when she notes that if our Type C friends have violated the Scriptures - show us how. Frankly in my view, men like Dr. Ketchum who accuse leaders like MacArthur of being "newevangelical" actually are guilty of causing schism in the body and as such need to be confronted of their heresy. The reality is MacArthur has separated from far more disobedient brothers than most of us even know! When he separates from the main of evangelicalism (which he's done allot of) it counts!

A quick counter here to Dr. Ketchum - my brother - to accuse John MacArthur of not being militant is just weird. (I'm not publicly accusing you of being "weird" but rather your accusation as being "weird"). Lance you need fly to Phoenix and come with us one year to Shepherd's conference and actually hear Mac in person - and then you can tell us he's not militant! If you look up the definition of "militant" in the newest Webster's dictionary - they actually have a picture of John MacArthur attached to the term.

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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Kevin,   Thank you for your

Kevin,

 

Thank you for your letter, not that I have any interest in the MBA.  Nevertheless, how we approach the individuals mentioned in your letter is critical.  I have often said that these men are not a monolithic group.  They are very much individualistic with various strengths and weaknesses among them.  It is clear to me that some are overly scrutinized while those with acceptable labels are often given a pass.  I believe in labels.  They are important.  Nevertheless, labels do not trump substance.  Some with good labels and little substance are essentially ignored, while others without such labels yet with good substance are overly criticized, misrepresented, and in some cases outright slandered.

 

Fundamentalism is ripe for the harvest with the heterodoxy of King James Onlyism, Keswick Arminianism, Easy Believism, and Eccentric Externalism.  I have my own serious concerns about reductionism, lack of discernment, and naivety regarding the world among the young, restless, and reformed.  As as pastor I endeavor to maintain proper ecclesiastical fences.  On the other hand, regarding works by conservative evangelical authors, my disposition has always been to eat the fish and throw out the bones.  Some fundamentalists throw out the fish and others eat the bones.  Your letter indicated to me the biblically wise position.  Thank you again for your letter.

Pastor Mike Harding

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I wonder if those who respond

I wonder if those who respond to Kevin will be as gracious and kind to Kevin as Kevin was to Lance?

 

TylerR's picture
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Oblivious

Then there are those of us who have no idea what this whole issue is even about . . .

It was a gracious letter. I just am not "in the know" on this one 

TylerR is the Pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Divernon, Illinois. 

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This link may help

TylerR wrote:

Then there are those of us who have no idea what this whole issue is even about . . .

It was a gracious letter. I just am not "in the know" on this one 

 

http://lineuponlinedmm.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-subtlety-of-good-words-and-fair.html

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So how is this point working out?

KTB wrote:
Nevertheless, at a great many points I have challenged their views: in some cases over miraculous gifts, in other cases over church polity, in yet others over contemporary methodologies. I have attempted to persuade them that fellowship and separation involve more than simple adherence to the gospel (some of them already understand this to varying degrees).

I suspect that one of these occasions was the Lansdale conference with Dever. I admit to a great deal of curiousity about your reaction to that meeting. Do you think that the meeting had much of an effect on Dever? Did your view of him change after having been involved in the meeting? Are you more hopeful or less hopeful of men like him coming to a better understanding of separation?

More broadly than that specific meeting, I wonder if you think your interactions with conservative evangelicals in general are having a positive effect on them, drawing them to a more biblical position? Do you think that these meetings/interactions have had any negative effects on the younger fundamentalists who are watching you?

Finally, going forward, do you think such efforts to persuade are worth the time and energy, given the results so far and the possible negative influence on less committed fundamentalists who are observing you?

I ask in all sincerity, not without my biases which I am sure are either known or fairly obvious!

Maranatha! Don Johnson Jer 33.3

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Don, in line with you, I ask

Don, in line with you, I ask this in all sincerity (though with no real bias):

  1. Are you suggesting that Kevin (and others) do these things only if they work (whatever "work" means)?
  2. In your mind, is there ever reason to attempt to make a biblical case with someone when it doesn't work or doesn't appear likely to work?
  3. In your mind, is there any value in participation in a conversation, not because you might convince the other party, but because you might influence those who listen? (In other words, you concerned about young fundamentalists; what about those on the other side who hear Bauder and are challenged to consider something they have never heard; should Bauder speak in hopes of influencing them?*)
  4. How would you determine when to do these things and how would you judge success?
  5. Lastly, do you believe that Kevin should not have written this letter to Lance because it is unlikely to persuade Lance or draw him to better understanding? Or is there value in responding for the sake of those who are listening?

*Anecdote: I remember a friend who left DBTS and went to a evangelical seminary. He told me that the students there were completely unfamiliar with any concept of separation. I wonder if that might be because too many fundamentalists have not been willing, like Kevin, to enter the conversation with grace and truth, with the result that all some people here is one side.

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What do they have to do?

What does someone like Mark Dever have to do to be accepted by separatist fundamentalists?

(I understand that Dever asked this question in a public forum he had with some fundamentalists and didn't get an answer.)

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

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Larry, it is obvious Dr.

Larry, it is obvious Dr. Bauder needs to come up with some New Methods, don't you think?

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Monergism = heresy?

Calling monergists heretics doesn't help Lance's cause:

http://lineuponlinedmm.blogspot.com/2013/01/gospel-centrisms-corruption-of.html

Quote:
Calvinism’s corruption of the doctrine of election and their heresy of Irresistible Grace (Monergism) are radical departures from the teaching of the Word of God and are therefore a corruption of what defines a biblical response to the Gospel.  Yet, almost all those promoting Gospel Centrism are Calvinists.

I'm a monergist and I'm in an M.B.A. church

 

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Not interested in a debate, Larry

Larry wrote:

Don, in line with you, I ask this in all sincerity (though with no real bias): ...

You ask interesting questions, but I'd rather wait to see if Dr Bauder wishes to engage  the questions I offer here. He doesn't need to answer publicly if he chooses not to, nor does he have to answer me at all. I just wonder what he thinks on the points I raise.

Maranatha! Don Johnson Jer 33.3

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Or...

Larry wrote:

I remember a friend who left DBTS and went to a evangelical seminary. He told me that the students there were completely unfamiliar with any concept of separation. I wonder if that might be because too many fundamentalists have not been willing, like Kevin, to enter the conversation with grace and truth, with the result that all some people here is one side.

 

Hey, pal. Hope you are well. It could also be that the separatism that some fundamentalists proclaim is not nearly as clear from the Scriptures as they think.

 

Don, if Mark Dever were in your church and continued doing the same things that he is doing right now, would you practice church discipline on him? Thanks.

 

 

Andrew Henderson

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Separatist or Factionalist

Lance Ketchum in his published post by necessary implication condemns the London Baptist Confession, the Second London Baptist Confession, the Philadelphia Baptist Confession, and the New Hampshire Confession of Faith which is the most accepted confession of faith among historical, biblical, orthodox, separatist churches in North America. Our own fundamental association of Baptist churches in Michigan openly confesses the NH Confession and requires pastors to sign a statement that they and their churches are in agreement with said document.  Clearly those documents hold to election not based on man or his works but on the infinite and perfect attributes of God.  They trust that the Judge of all the earth will do right.  Secondly, those documents clearly affirm God's effective and effectual call of the repentant sinner to a whole-hearted unreserved trust in the person and work of Christ.  It appears to me that Lance Ketchum is not a true separatist, but rather a factionalist.

Pastor Mike Harding

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Thanks Mike!

Thank you for pointing out the difference between separatism and factionalism.

There is militant separation from apostasy.

There is separation from brethren, following Biblical guidelines, with the goal of gaining and/or restoring our brother.

Sadly there is also militant separation from brethren where seemingly the only goal is maintaining separation.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

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Calvinism and the Baptists

Guess some of the old-timers believed in it!

http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0385.htm

 

 

 

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Jim,What you don't

Jim,

What you don't understand is the Calvinists that the anti-calvinists like all renounced their Calvinism.  Or something.  So they're less not OK. 

see: http://bit.ly/ViZbzz

 

EDIT: well I've edited this twice to correct my minor dyslexic errors.  I hope the coin toss (irony!) came out right and it's their and not thier.  Either/Iether way, you get what I mean. 

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Don asked: More broadly than

Don asked:

More broadly than that specific meeting, I wonder if you think your interactions with conservative evangelicals in general are having a positive effect on them, drawing them to a more biblical position?

I cannot speak for Kevin, but although my interactions with conservative evangelicals are not public like Kevin's are, I must answer, "yes" to the above question.

Another good question was asked:

More broadly than that specific meeting, I wonder if you think your interactions with conservative evangelicals in general are having a positive effect on them, drawing them to a more biblical position? Do you think that these meetings/interactions have had any negative effects on the younger fundamentalists who are watching you?

I actually think Kevin's interaction is having a positive effect, not just on younger fundamentalists but also on younger conservative evangelicals.  I grew up in conservative evangelicalism and left it for fundamentalism because of the compromise I saw, but I have also seen that others who are barely even aware fundamentalism have also seen that the compromise has gone too far and some are looking for answers.  If the only view they have of fundamentalism is Jack Hyles etal, then they will not understand the true Biblical separatist position.  Bauder is giving them an opportunity to learn more about what we believe.

As ministers, our job is to disciple others- even evangelicals.  If we are so separatist that we fear even having a conversation with them (whether public like Bauder has done or privately), then we have missed a discipleship opportunity and a chance for iron to sharpen iron.

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irrelevant hypothetical

Andrew Henderson wrote:

Don, if Mark Dever were in your church and continued doing the same things that he is doing right now, would you practice church discipline on him? Thanks.

 

Nice attempt to distract from the topic at hand though...

Maranatha! Don Johnson Jer 33.3

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JD Miller wrote: I actually

JD Miller wrote:

I actually think Kevin's interaction is having a positive effect, not just on younger fundamentalists but also on younger conservative evangelicals.  I grew up in conservative evangelicalism and left it for fundamentalism because of the compromise I saw, but I have also seen that others who are barely even aware fundamentalism have also seen that the compromise has gone too far and some are looking for answers.  If the only view they have of fundamentalism is Jack Hyles etal, then they will not understand the true Biblical separatist position.  Bauder is giving them an opportunity to learn more about what we believe.

Well, I am a product of conservative evangelicalism as well. If Bauder is having such an effect, that is positive. I hope so.

And I would agree that if one's notion of fundamentalism is only a vague idea based on some acquaintance with Hyles et al, then one would be left with a pretty poor picture, not very attactive. 

JD Miller wrote:
As ministers, our job is to disciple others- even evangelicals.  If we are so separatist that we fear even having a conversation with them (whether public like Bauder has done or privately), then we have missed a discipleship opportunity and a chance for iron to sharpen iron.

It isn't the private conversations that cause concern.

Maranatha! Don Johnson Jer 33.3

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Orthopathy

Just curious if anyone else has noticed that Ketchum's holy trinity of pillars for factionalism, which he accuses Bauder of destroying, is itself Dr. Bauder's brainchild, i.e., "orthopathy." I literally lol'd when I read this:

 

Therefore, the doctrine of separation and purity in sanctification is established upon three pillars:

1. Right doctrine (orthodoxy)
2. Right practice (orthopraxy – how right doctrine fleshes itself out)
3. Right attitudes, emotions, and motivations (orthopathy)

 

And this:

 

"Biblical unity has a trinity of agreement for unity:

1. Right doctrine (orthodoxy)
2. Right practice (orthopraxy)
3. Right purpose (orthopathy)"

 

Talk about arguing on borrowed capital!!

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I thought so

Quote:

 

Nice attempt to distract from the topic at hand though...

 

Typical. 

Andrew Henderson

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It's a positive thing.

Don Johnson]</p> <p>[quote=KTB wrote:
...More broadly than that specific meeting, I wonder if you think your interactions with conservative evangelicals in general are having a positive effect on them, drawing them to a more biblical position? Do you think that these meetings/interactions have had any negative effects on the younger fundamentalists who are watching you?

I think that these guys are much more aware of their need for a more serious consideration on separation than they new evangelicals did 30 years ago. They are way more serious about it than the mainstream Evangelical is today. 

I can speak as a young fundy who is watching and I can speak for many others that I know....we're moving in a more gospel-centric direction as our framework. We've seen where Fundamentalism goes when separation becomes the most important value...even more than the gospel... It leads to the kind of lunacy that is documented every day on stufffundieslike.com 

So, whatever influence the Mark Dever types are having on what's left of sane fundamentalism, a bunch of us young fundamentalists think it's positive. Whatever little credibility we have left about separation that we can pass to them, will have some effect on the conservative evangelicals, especially when they see the continual erosion of the denominations as a result of loosing the gospel and any sense of separation from all defections from it. 

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Quote:As you know, however,

Quote:
As you know, however, defending a man’s character is easier than defending his every pronouncement. For example, you recently complained that someone ridiculed your article on the Hegelian dialectic. Yet your description of Hegelian dialectic contains little that would be recognized by anyone who had perused a serious book about Hegel, let alone read Hegel himself. Consequently, I find that you have left me with no answer for those people who wish to ridicule it.
I must disagree here. Ketchum's material does, in fact, reflect in principle many of the conclusions drawn in Hegel's Science of Logic, trans. A. V. Miller, London: Allen and Unwin, 1969.

It appears to me that the conclusions or principles of his system identified in HSL, are simply applied by Ketchum. When he refers to the synthesis of the two extremes, this is classic Hegel.

 

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Sighing and sorrow

Andrew Henderson wrote:

Quote:
Nice attempt to distract from the topic at hand though...

Typical.

Don, I have to admit that Andrew has a point, and someone else made the same point earlier (re: Dever's question about being accepted at the Lansdale conference).  Dodging his question just makes you look bad...if you can't answer the question, then why be snarky back at the questioner?  What exactly DOES a person have to do to be accepted into 'our tribe'? 

Someone else asked this - At what point are we "warned enough" that the flood of warnings can stop?  I think we all know that not everyone approves of everyone's everything or every position.  We're all old enough to have figured that out by now.  One would think that "conservative evangelicals" are part of Satan's new world order or are Antichrist's priests for all the screaming that's done about them.  I seriously think that people who spend so much time worrying about 'conservative evangelicals' or 'fundamentalists' just need to get out more and stop living in their hermetically sealed spheres.  

As for the letter that Bauder wrote - I went to church on Sunday.  We celebrated our great God's provision for the last year, re-affirmed the men that are serving as deacons and the ladies that are part of the Servant Council, discussed our plans for the new year, and are looking to re-establish our Missions committee with an eye towards bringing on a new missionary at some point.  I had a great time, and I did it without worrying who is 'of my tribe'.  I don't know about places like Greenville or Minneapolis, but frankly, I'll take any kind of orthodox brother or sister in Christ I can get out here in the state of New York.  I don't really care about labels out here because I really can't be choosy about "CE's" or "Fundys"...there aren't enough to be choosy with.  I suppose that some people have that luxury, and I find it amazing that some even want the 'privilege' of rubber stamping the right people's credentials.

-----------
"It is not because the culture is always changing...but because we are always in need of being re-oriented to the Word that stands over us...that the church can never stand still." - M. Horton

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Jay wrote:Andrew Henderson

Jay wrote:

Andrew Henderson wrote:

Quote:
Nice attempt to distract from the topic at hand though...

Typical.

Don, I have to admit that Andrew has a point, and someone else made the same point earlier (re: Dever's question about being accepted at the Lansdale conference).  Dodging his question just makes you look bad...if you can't answer the question, then why be snarky back at the questioner?  What exactly DOES a person have to do to be accepted into 'our tribe'? 

I hate to defend Don (:D), but this just doesn't seem fair to me.  Don has made it clear where he stands.  He would confront someone in his church that maintained the type of ties under discussion, and if that person failed to turn from his way, ultimately, church discipline would ensue.  Anyone who's read much from him should know that.  So the question Andy poses doesn't seem designed so much to elicit unknown information as to put Don in an uncomfortable and (here, anyway) unpopular position of saying "out loud" what most of us already know.  It seems to me to be exactly what Don describes it as-- an attempt to distract from a discussion of certain principles and the consequences of following them or not by asking a non-hypothetical brother to square off against another non-hypothetical brother in an imaginary and unlikely scenario.

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One can disagree with Bauder but ...

One can disagree with Bauder but ...

  • He's a Christian gentleman .... and I mean "gentle" in a Scriptural way
  • He is very smart AND
  • He is courageous

I appreciate the man! 

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Brotherly Love

I walked the main street of a small town (<5000) early one morning and passed four independent fundamental Baptist churches that had each separated from the others over issues that were important to them. Each had a struggling bi-vocational pastor and a congregation that was convinced that they were the only good church in town. I struck up a conversation with a gentleman I met and asked him if he attended one of those churches. "No," he said. "They can't get along with each other; how are they ever going to get along with me?"

Dr. Bauder has demonstrated grace and brotherly love to brother Ketcham and has set an example for us in how to deal with a brother with whom we disagree.

If Lance considers those he criticizes apostates, false teachers, and/or unbelievers; he should say so.

If he thinks that Dever, MacArthur, etc are Christians, then they deserve better treatment.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

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the subject at hand

Is brother Bauder's essay, along with brother Ketchum's. The subject is not what I might or might not do in a hypothetical and completely improbable situation. As such, Andrew's question is irrelevant. And while I appreciate Dave's attempt at my defense, since my practices aren't the subject, his defense is also irrelevant. But I do appreciate the attempt.

I was critical of the conference at Lansdale when it happened. The most disappointing part of it wasn't the headliners, though. However, that is now water under the bridge. I wonder is Kevin thinks the same of the conference now as he did before it happened. I also wonder about the other questions I asked earlier. It does seem to me that my questions were on the point of the debate between Kevin and Lance. I am not defending Lance or attacking Kevin. I just wonder about the things I mentioned.

Kevin can reply or not as he chooses. I'll not be drawn into side trails that have nothing to do with the subject. That's all.

Maranatha! Don Johnson Jer 33.3

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Quote:If you scold a child

Quote:
If you scold a child for everything, then she will pay no attention when you scold her for the thing that matters....If you want to open the way for competent fundamentalists to articulate differences with conservative evangelicals, your best approach is to expose and reprove fundamentalist "periegazaomenius" whose only gift appears to be censoriousness.
And so fundamentalists are to consider the ears of CE's who cannot distinguish between a sound and "hearing worthy" fundamentalist and one who is aberrant a prize to be had and with shame if not obtained? I hope not. Who are these myopic, prejudicial and stereotyping CE's who need to be so prized.

While Ketchum may "scold" (funny he gets the less honorable description along with other fundamentalists but when one fundie scolds another for being censorious it is suddenly reproving) but he certainly does not scold for "everything".

Finally, it seems scolding is fine as long as it is from one fundie to another about being censorious (where is this again on the scale of things that natter since we are talking about scolding for things that matter) but not in reproving CE's. One may not agree with the reproof but it seems a suggestion is being made to overcompensate for what must be the immature and indiscriminate mind and disposition of CE's who cannot make elementary distinctions .

I do understand the intent of this letter and find that commendable but I believe it has some good room for rebuttal. I suspect Lance Ketchum will eventually respond. But one last observation which is that while open letter deals with personal reference, some significant portions of Ketchum' s article were not addressed. Of course this may not have been the intent of this open letter but it does have its effect.

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Facebook separation

A year or so ago, I got a Facebook request out of the blue from Lance Ketchum. I did not know him or even know who he was but I accepted it. Not long afterward, he posted some statement about ultra-conservative and indefensible statement music and I responded (very politely) in the ensuing debate to point out a problem in his thinking.

Interestingly, he fired back and promptly unfriended me. That did not bother me so much because I did not know him in the first place but I did respond once more on the thread and mention how rapidly I had gone from "friend" to "unfriend." His response? He unfriended me because he was practicing Facebook separation on me.

So, you can call Lance's position a separatist or a factionalist if you want but in my mind, I have always considered him a pioneer "Facebook separatist."

;)

 

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GregH wrote: So, you can call

GregH wrote:

So, you can call Lance's position a separatist or a factionalist if you want but in my mind, I have always considered him a pioneer "Facebook separatist."

;)

I had a FB friend do the same to me. He wrote something provocative; I responded; others engaged my response; I responded some more; he deleted all my responses but none of the others (which made the thread unintelligible) then unfriended me.  Fortunately I had saved all my comments in Word, so posted my comments on my own blog!

 

He refriended me some time later.

 

p.s. doesn't the book of Hebrews have something to say about not being able to refriend on FB after one has unfriended on FB!

CanJAmerican - my blog
CanJAmerican - my twitter
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Sad...

GregH wrote:

A year or so ago, I got a Facebook request out of the blue from Lance Ketchum. I did not know him or even know who he was but I accepted it. Not long afterward, he posted some statement about ultra-conservative and indefensible statement music and I responded (very politely) in the ensuing debate to point out a problem in his thinking.

Interestingly, he fired back and promptly unfriended me. That did not bother me so much because I did not know him in the first place but I did respond once more on the thread and mention how rapidly I had gone from "friend" to "unfriend." His response? He unfriended me because he was practicing Facebook separation on me.

So, you can call Lance's position a separatist or a factionalist if you want but in my mind, I have always considered him a pioneer "Facebook separatist."

;)

 

 

This is so sad.  I'm sorry you had to experience such silliness.  It is examples such as this that are the reason I rarely identify myself with the word "fundamentalist" anymore.  This type of "separation" trivializes a very grave issue and ultimately makes a mockery of true, Christian community.  

 

 

Mark Mincy

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Mark Mincy wrote: GregH

Mark Mincy wrote:

GregH wrote:

A year or so ago, I got a Facebook request out of the blue from Lance Ketchum. I did not know him or even know who he was but I accepted it. Not long afterward, he posted some statement about ultra-conservative and indefensible statement music and I responded (very politely) in the ensuing debate to point out a problem in his thinking.

Interestingly, he fired back and promptly unfriended me. That did not bother me so much because I did not know him in the first place but I did respond once more on the thread and mention how rapidly I had gone from "friend" to "unfriend." His response? He unfriended me because he was practicing Facebook separation on me.

So, you can call Lance's position a separatist or a factionalist if you want but in my mind, I have always considered him a pioneer "Facebook separatist."

;)

 

 

This is so sad.  I'm sorry you had to experience such silliness.  It is examples such as this that are the reason I rarely identify myself with the word "fundamentalist" anymore.  This type of "separation" trivializes a very grave issue and ultimately makes a mockery of true, Christian community.  

 

 

Thanks, but no need to be sorry. I found it a bit humorous. Smile

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Reply to Don Johnson, Part One

Don,

Your questions are fair, if perhaps only partial. Let me do my best to respond to them.

You have a series of questions about the Lansdale meeting. Let me separate them in order to provide answers.

(1) Do I think the meeting had much of an effect upon Dever? Well, I think that it certainly heightened his awareness of some issues and made him more accountable for his handling of them. You need to understand, however, that the minds of thoughtful people (and Dever is a thoughtful person) are rarely changed as the result of a single conversation, article, book, or argument. Mature thinkers always have a whole list of tensions and unanswered questions that they are trying to work through, any one of which has the potential radically to realign major segments of their understanding. The way to change minds is to sustain a conversation that will, over time, deal with objections, exceptions, qualifications, nuances, and contrary evidence. Mature people do not just abandon their position because a good argument comes along. They take the time to weigh it, dissect it, investigate its foundations, and measure its implications. Do I think that Dever and other conservative evangelicals doing these things? Absolutely.

(2) Did my view of Dever change as a result of the meeting? Well, yes. I was extremely impressed with his grasp of New Testament polity has understood historically by Baptists. One of the problems that we face in Baptist Fundamentalism is the high proportion of ministers who have been trained either in interdenominational or in imperialist institutions (or in both at the same time), and who consequently lack a real grasp of New Testament ecclesiology and church order. I grew up in a Fundamentalist environment that prized the Baptist distinctives and that emphasized some of the same things that Dever is now saying. Listening to him was, in a certain sense, like a trip down memory lane. I thought I could hear echoes of Robert T. Ketcham, Paul R. Jackson, and Joseph M. Stowell, Jr. Of course, Dever probably never read any of those men, but he and they have read the same things. And these are things that churches within Baptist Fundamentalism desperately need to remember. [The one exception is his making plural eldership virtually a New Testament requirement for every church.]

(3) How hopeful am I that Dever and other conservative evangelicals will come to a better understanding of separation? About as hopeful as I am that the FBF will. There was a day when I would have said it could never happen in either direction, but I am now watching it happen in both. On the FBF side, I am tremendously encouraged by the voices of some of the present leadership, including some of the things that John Vaughn has said privately. When I look at leaders like Mike Harding, Rick Cross, Aaron Young, Mark Minnick, Ken Endean, or Stephen Jones, I am extremely encouraged. These guys get it. While I would never suggest that they endorse my every decision, I see myself as right where they are. They and men like them represent the voice of reason within Fundamentalism today.

Having said that, I am also encouraged by some of the things that I have seen on the conservative evangelical side. When James MacDonald and Mark Driscoll took an essentially neo-evangelical position in the Great Elephant Room Fiasco, Dever did the right thing and separated. Phil Johnson, Carl Trueman, and others went ever further, spanking MacDonald and Driscoll publicly at a time when their conduct demanded it. While I am not where those men are on some issues, it is not an accident that MacDonald excoriated them as “discernmentalists.” For a while, they were looking downright Fundamentalistic. I am not prepared to embrace them at every level, but I am also not prepared to allow them to be treated like enemies of the faith.

I’ve not yet dealt with all your questions, but this is probably enough for one post. I’ll try to get to the rest before the day is out.

Please keep in mind as you read that I am giving you off-the-cuff answers here, and that I am speaking in very broad generalizations. If you press me, I’ll want to qualify them in all sorts of ways.

Kevin

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Encouraging

I find this article and comment thread both informative and encouraging.

We keep coming back to the same unanswered question, namely, "What is a Fundamentalist?"

It seems clear that Lance Ketchum excludes from his definition of Fundamentalist those who hold to historic Baptist Calvinism, as ably noted above by Mike Harding, among others.  Is Ketchum aware that Calvinist Baptists have been a large segment of historic Fundamentalism from its beginning?  Does he care?

It seems to me that until we can have a commonly accepted definition of Fundamentalism, we will continue shouting at and past each other.  Fundamentalism has a noble history that needs to be understood, appreciated, and continued.  Many present day Fundamentalists seem determined to shoot themselves in the foot.

G. N. Barkman

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Thanks, look forward to more

Hi Kevin

Thanks very much for taking the time to answer. I agree that it takes time for men to change their opinions. I am less optimistic than you appear to be regarding individuals like Dever. Part of the motivation behind my questions is that after the Lansdale conference, I thought you were saying some things that sounded like you were less optimistic coming out than  you were going in. I wondered if I was reading too much into what you were saying, and perhaps I was, given your answers here.

In any case, I look forward to the rest as you have time.

Maranatha! Don Johnson Jer 33.3

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Let's try again...

Don,

I was not trying to trap anybody. I think the first question was very relevant, but I will drop it. Perhaps this question is better - "If Mark Dever (and the only reason I mention him is because you did in your first response given) were to come to you and ask what he would need to do to be accepted as a fundamentalist, how would you respond?" You made it very clear in your initial post that men like Dever hold to an un-biblical or at least less-biblical position than you and others do. That is what I am responding to. So I am simply asking how you would respond to that question if it was posed to you?

 

 

Andrew Henderson

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Reply to Don Johnson, Part Two

Don,

Let me resume where I left.

(4) Having asked about the Lansdale meeting, you enquire more broadly whether I think my interactions with conservative evangelicals are having a positive effect upon them. Let me answer this question in three ways. First, I think that you are overrating the number and quality of my interactions with conservative evangelicals. They are busy men, and so am I. Furthermore, we are busy with different things. Unless something occurs that brings us together, we simply do not see one another or talk to each other. The truth is that I have never initiated any of those conversations (except for one or two where I was going to be offering critiques, and allowed them to see the critique and challenge it before I published it). Every formal conversation has been initiated by someone else, and, virtually without exception, has involved some explanation or defense of the Fundamentalist position. I think that most of what conservative evangelicals know about me, they get from reading what I have published. Truthfully, I have not sought out interaction with them, but I refuse to run from it either. It is an honor to have the opportunity to defend biblical Fundamentalism before those who either reject it or who do not understand it.

Second, yes, I do think that these interactions (such as they are) have a fairly positive influence—more in some cases than in others. The problem is that it’s not always clear where the influences are coming from, so I’m reluctant to claim credit for good decisions to which conservative evangelicals have come. At minimum, however, I hope to reinforce those decisions and to encourage further good ones. Just one example: years ago, Al Mohler was one of the signatories of the Manhattan Declaration, which resulted in his extending Christian recognition to Roman Catholics. Mine was only one of a host of voices that questioned the theological integrity of this decision. I highly doubt that my small contributions had much (or even anything) to do with Mohler’s change of mind about the Manhattan declaration, but he himself later acknowledged that it had "crossed the line into an unwarranted and unbiblical recognition of the Roman Catholic Church” (Spectrum, 85). Someone influenced him positively, and I’m happy to cheer the result.

[Nota Bene: there is a biblical term for this kind of change of mind. That term is metanoia, and it is ordinarily translated by the English word repentance. In other words, Al Mohler has indeed biblically repented of his signing of the Manhattan Declaration. If you should ever read someone who says that he has not, then mark that person down as either uninformed or mendacious. If mendacious, then that person is not only a liar, but also a character assassin (or, if we take Jesus’ word for it, a murderer). You should keep that assessment in mind when you read whatever else he says. Such dishonorable persons warrant biblical separation. No good-faith conversation with them is possible.]

Third, a conversation is not always for the benefit of the person with whom it is carried on. Sometimes it is carried on for the benefit of bystanders—of those who overhear it. Most of the reason that I get involved in these conversations is because they provide a platform to publicly articulate the case for biblical Fundamentalism (and, incidentally, against unbiblical versions that claim to be Fundamentalism). On my view, one of the worst things that has happened to Fundamentalism during the last half century is that we have only talked to ourselves, never allowing our ideas to be tested in the public square. That failure has left some very bad ideas unchallenged, while it has permitted the best ideas to seem weaker than they really are. I believe that this failure is one of the significant reasons that young men leave Fundamentalism for arenas in which they see their elders standing up and defending their principles against real opponents.

It’s one thing for someone to attack John MacArthur (e.g.) in the pages of a book that one has had printed by a vanity press and sells to his small circle of friends. It’s another thing to have to stand on the platform in front of MacArthur, explain your ideas, and show why they are better than his. People are most legitimately convinced when they see our ideas tested and vindicated.

By the way, I see that you’ve already replied to the first part of my answer. Let me finish answering your original questions, and then if time allows, I’ll circle back and try to engage your further observations.

Kevin

 

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GregH wrote: A year or so

GregH wrote:

A year or so ago, I got a Facebook request out of the blue from Lance Ketchum. I did not know him or even know who he was but I accepted it. Not long afterward, he posted some statement about ultra-conservative and indefensible statement music and I responded (very politely) in the ensuing debate to point out a problem in his thinking.

Interestingly, he fired back and promptly unfriended me. That did not bother me so much because I did not know him in the first place but I did respond once more on the thread and mention how rapidly I had gone from "friend" to "unfriend." His response? He unfriended me because he was practicing Facebook separation on me.

So, you can call Lance's position a separatist or a factionalist if you want but in my mind, I have always considered him a pioneer "Facebook separatist."

;)

 

 

He broke fellowship, but he didn't approach you with one or two other friends first.  There might be a market here for a Fundamentalist facebook app here.  My concern would be have I properly unfriended people to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th degree?  What if Lance was a friend of someone who was a friend of yours?  Would it have been sufficient for Lance to just unfriend you?  Man, this whole internet thing, makes for a difficult life for fundamentalists.  Maybe we should step away from this technology?

 

http://youtu.be/1SmdPC9v5gk

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Thank You Don and Kevin

I wanted to thank Don and Kevin for their conversations in this post.  I believe it is helping us all to better understand both their positions and their concerns.  I actually have the same feeling about the conversations between Bauder and Dever.  Not only are Don and Kevin sharpening each others iron in these posts, but they are sharpening the rest of us as well.  Let us remember that if we all agreed on everything here, there would be no need to even have a conversation- we could just blog and have the rest click the like button.  I must admit I have learned a lot from the comments and responses here on sharper iron.  Let me not just thank Don and Kevin but all the participants on this site.

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Bauder and Dever

I attended the ATC Conference in Lansdale in 2011 when Dever spoke.  I had been greatly influenced by Dever in many things ecclesiastical through his 9 Marks and other books, particularly in the areas of church membership, discipline, and eldership.  We had even added a lay elder at Heather Hills in the month prior to the conference due to the instruction I had received from Dever and others on training and raising up leadership within the church. Since Calvary Seminary is my alma mater, I was delighted that they were hosting Dever.  I saw it as a good broadening of fellowship for fundamentalism, something I didn't frankly anticipate would ever happen.

The other men on the platform (Jordan, Harbin, Bauder, and Doran) were extremely charitable to Dever and vice versa in their public conversations.  However, they did challenge him publicly on various topics, like "why stay in the SBC," "why not pay all elders per 1 Cor. 9," etc.  I was pleasantly surprised at the public challenge b/c for a young fundy like me, it delivered some clarity on the distinctiveness between fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism which to me had grown somewhat muddy and limited to secondary separation and the like.

My esteem of Bauder and the others grew immensely at this conference, not because they had simply embraced a brother "outside the camp" but because they loved him and the gospel enough to challenge him, both privately and publicly, in a way that should set a model for all of us.

Brian McCrorie
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www.bowingdown.com

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Ditto Brian...

I echo Brian's thoughts in post #43.  I also attended the ATC conference in 2011 and came away thinking: "This is how these discussions should be!  Amicable, informed, and yet straightforward discussion on issues that we don't see eye to eye on." 

I also came away from that conference thinking that the fundamentalism that men like Dr. Bauder and Dr. Doran represent is absolutely a concept worth saving.  I thank them for their continued efforts in this area.

Mark Mincy

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dgszweda wrote:GregH

dgszweda wrote:

GregH wrote:

A year or so ago, I got a Facebook request out of the blue from Lance Ketchum. I did not know him or even know who he was but I accepted it. Not long afterward, he posted some statement about ultra-conservative and indefensible statement music and I responded (very politely) in the ensuing debate to point out a problem in his thinking.

Interestingly, he fired back and promptly unfriended me. That did not bother me so much because I did not know him in the first place but I did respond once more on the thread and mention how rapidly I had gone from "friend" to "unfriend." His response? He unfriended me because he was practicing Facebook separation on me.

So, you can call Lance's position a separatist or a factionalist if you want but in my mind, I have always considered him a pioneer "Facebook separatist."

;)

 

 

He broke fellowship, but he didn't approach you with one or two other friends first.  There might be a market here for a Fundamentalist facebook app here.  My concern would be have I properly unfriended people to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th degree?  What if Lance was a friend of someone who was a friend of yours?  Would it have been sufficient for Lance to just unfriend you?  Man, this whole internet thing, makes for a difficult life for fundamentalists.  Maybe we should step away from this technology?

 

http://youtu.be/1SmdPC9v5gk

 

On Linkedin they label connections as 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree.  You have to make certain that if you disagree with someone that is labled 2nd degree, you must cut off the 1st degree that connects you to them. I think 3rd degree is ok.

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Reply to Don Johnson, Part Three

Don,

Now, for your next question:

(5) Do I think that my interaction with conservative evangelicals has had any negative consequences for younger Fundamentalists who are watching me? This is another question that does not permit a straightforward yes or no answer. It’s like asking whether the invention of the Internet has had any negative consequences for Christians. The answer can only be, Yes, of course it has. You could list the negatives as well as I can. Yet here we are, both of us employing the Internet in our conversation with each other. Evidently, we both have concluded that the benefits of the Internet (rightly used) outweigh its liabilities (wrongly used). I frame the answer in these terms because this kind of evaluation requires at least two judgments.

The first is the simple judgment of costs versus benefits. This is actually the easier judgment. All we have to do is to decide whether we get more out of the technology than it takes away from us. This is pure accounting.

The second judgment, however, has to do with intent, use, and consequences. I am referring here to what is sometimes called the “principle of double effect.” Sometimes when we do good things, bad things also result. Examples abound. An engineer designs a highway upon which some people are killed, but the highway may (mutatis mutandis) be a good thing in itself. A hostage is killed by sniper fire that is aimed at a terrorist, but the death of the terrorist may (mutatis mutandis) have been the best thing under the circumstances. A young woman takes her own life out of despair because the object of her affections has proposed to another woman, yet his proposal may (mutatis mutandis) have been a good thing in itself.

Our most virtuous acts may sometimes produce evil effects that, while real and perhaps even foreseeable, are not the intention of the act. The engineer was not trying to cause people to crash. The sniper was not aiming for the hostage. The young man was not hoping to drive a young woman to despair. In all three cases, the unintended effects might even have been predictable—but that does not mean that the action should never have been taken. By the same token, we might be able to foresee bad uses to which depraved people will put our virtuous words and deeds, but we may be right to speak and do them anyway.

To return to your question, a certain number of young men who grew up in Fundamentalism have become enamored with conservative evangelical leaders. At one level, that is understandable, for these leaders do a great deal of good. At another level, however, it is possible for their admiration to become thoughtless in a way that ignores or downplays real and important issues. If a young man is simply looking for an excuse to abandon the Fundamentalist structures in which he was reared, then I can foresee that he will use my words and deeds as part of his excuse to do so. When he does, however, he will have to ignore the limitations and parameters upon which I insist. In other words, he will have appropriated parts of my position while inconsistently ignoring other parts.

I concede that all of this is foreseeable. It is, however, beside the point. We are obligated to give an answer, not to merely ourselves, but to every man who asks a reason concerning the hope that is within us. This principle, I think, applies to anyone who inquires concerning any aspect of the system of faith. So, to put it bluntly, I am happy to go anywhere, any time to defend biblical Christianity (including Fundamentalism) for anyone. This is no less true in the case of brothers who are very like us than it is in the case of unbelievers who hate us.

At the end of the day, for every young man who uses me as his excuse to leave Fundamentalism, ten more find encouragement to stay and to try to build a Fundamentalism worth saving. Still, the question is not what Fundamentalism as a movement gets out of it. The question is whether it is the right thing to try to do. If so, then unintended secondary effects cannot make it wrong. The fact that sinful people can twist the truth should never stop us from proclaiming it.

More needs to be said along the lines of why young men are leaving Fundamentalism. It is not because conservative evangelicals are recruiting them—they are not. It is not because people like Doran or me are encouraging them to leave—we are not. If people like Dave or me thought that some version of evangelicalism was better, we could easily go there. No, I think that young men are leaving more because of what they perceive in Fundamentalism itself, and their perceptions are only enhanced by the fulminations of the periergouzomenōn. They find it impossible to stay within what they think is Fundamentalism, and they don’t know of any alternative other than some broader version of evangelicalism. Perhaps that is a topic to which we can return when I have finished answering your questions.

I am aware that I another question or so to answer, but I probably will not be able to get to it until tomorrow. Sorry for the interruption in conversation.

Kevin

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Thanks again

Hi Kevin

Taking it slow is fine with me. Gives time to think it over and consider what you are saying. I'll hold any further questions or evaluations until you've finished.

Others are of course free to comment along the way, but I am really not trying to debate anyone, just thinking about this whole issue yet again. I agree that we need to talk more about it, and I hope this can be a profitable discussion for everyone.

In the meantime, I've spent most of the day doing chores around the house, got to use three different power tools - that makes it a good day any day of the week.

 

Maranatha! Don Johnson Jer 33.3

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Power tools

Don Johnson wrote:

In the meantime, I've spent most of the day doing chores around the house, got to use three different power tools - that makes it a good day any day of the week.

 


That, of course, is only true if the intended consequences or their use outweigh the evil, unintended consequences. In my case, that is rarely true, hence my power tools are a necessary evil, to be used only when absolutely necessary, with most of their time spent safely in the closet, and me very happy with that state!

Any day in which I have to use 3 power tools is as likely to be an unhappy day for the house as it is a good day.

Dave Barnhart

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Me, too!

Don,

Like you, I am more interested in just working through the questions than in debating. That's why I'm taking so long (and spending so many words) on them. It may very well be that the interaction will underline some inconsistency in my own thought, and I'll have to make adjustments. If so, it won't be the first time.

Now, if you'd used three power tools and a firearm, that would have been a red-letter day.

Kevin

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Mark Dever was my former

Mark Dever was my former pastor, Ken Endean my uncle, and Stephen Jones my dad's boss, so I thoroughly enjoyed the comments section here, Dr. Bauder. They all "get it" of course. They get it differently based on past experience and context, but I do think God is doing something to unite certain people around certain truths. I think a great part of that is the incredible collapse of the culture. We find out what's really important in political and social times like this. 

Dr. Bauder, can I ask what encourages you most about the conservative evangelical movement? Is there any part of it in emphasis, tone or spirit that jumps out at you as more healthy than fundamentalism in a surprising way?

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Yes they could...

If people like Dave or me thought that some version of evangelicalism was better, we could easily go there. 

...and find a much larger platform for their talents, might I add.

神是爱

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My view of t/ effects of interaction btwn "B's" and "C's"

So these are a few "random thoughts" and "observation" that come from both from my interaction with what's happening here in AZ and what I see in my regional ministry with "IBL West". Over the years of writing and interacting with this topic of the fundamentalists-conservative evangelical collaboration (The ABC thing and what Bixby calls the emergent movement) - I think around the country at least 4 things have happened especially from those who are some-what connected to what is loosely called "Young Fundamentalism"

1. First, many of us who grew up with a certain view of "no-connection" with anything outside of self-proclaimed fundamentalism have rejected that. Within the more seminary-trained, non-KJV only wing, the majority of us don't buy it. The result of that is that we are fundamental in idea but we simply do not work hard at ministering only with a certain type of ministry that calls itself by a certain "tag." I've said this before. We studied Greek, Hebrew, Theology, Church History, Exegesis and  Hermeneutics, then we applied those disciplines to questions like "is it exegetically plausible that we should have complete separation from guys like Mac - treating them as if they were guilty of Billy Graham kind of ecumenism?" or "Do the Scriptures give any evidence that certain fundamentalist sub-culture convictions on a variety of topics are consistent with the text?"

2. Second, many of us have had to think through where we stand within what I call the Type B/Type C coalition. For me and others while we have more in common with the Mac-Dever-Johnson kind of guys than we do with the Type A KJV preferred, "Greenville-music-only" kind of ministry;  many of us are still more comfortable with the philosophy and approach to ministry represented by Doran-Bauder-Jordan-Davey-Olson-Horn (yes there are minor differences between those guys but they basically take very similar stands). BTW - a major reason I still lean towards the B side of the isle is that in my opinion my dear friends in the C side are still too enamored by contemporary culture. That's a broad statement and maybe unfair - but it's my view. I would say that this area is one of the ways "we" help "them." We are slow to adapt to culture - they are too quick - in my view. (Of course I still use my Daytimer so one should take my view of this with more than a grain of salt!)

3. Third, many of us have determined to continue to have contact with a variety of "kinds" (even "camps" - a term I really don't like) of ministries - but at the end of the day I still prefer a modified version of fundamentalism that is exegetically & theologically careful, historically aware, not harsh but is open to having a certain kind of co-ministry with certain kinds of evangelicals......on certain kinds of occasions. I still say last year's heart conference with the B guys (which I'm missing right now!) had better preaching than even what I get every year at Shepherds - and what we get at Shepherds is fantastic!

4. In my view - when the "B" guys have "face to face" interaction with the "C" guys - man, our guys hold there own. They do more than that - they often carry the day. I would pay whatever and fly anywhere if we could line up the "B guys" with Mac, Dever, Mohler, RC Sproul, Piper and CJ and let them do exactly what they did in Lansdale. Having said that I appreciate what Kevin is saying about how we gain much from some of these dear cons evangelical brothers. There is no question that both sides do help each other (at least in my view).

It still remains my hope that the B and C worlds will continue to mix - I think for the strength of God's work. A fifth point here might be that the B and C worlds do mix "big time" in the trenches. That is we pastors in churches here and there all over the country - we are usually quick to meet for coffee and prayer and even an occasional joint ministry project with a dear Southern Baptist Brother, a Community Church Pastor or the Evangelical Free guy down the road that graduated from TEDS......and we still show up at the FBF or GARBC meeting with our more militant friends. I don't think this will end anytime soon. 

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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Dr. Kevin Bauder is not doing

Dr. Kevin Bauder is not doing anything new that warrants the attacks against him.  Some of these writers out there would have us believe that fundamentalists never held some levels of communication and/or fellowship with conservatives outside of their camp.  It is just not true.  So, don't be gullible and fall for these writers who try to present what Bauder is doing as some type of surprise of an apocalyptic nature.

 

Fundamentalist history and Baptist history have always included men who were Calvinistic in their theology.  But, now these writers come along and present it as some another type of apocalyptic surprise when it is not.

 

 

 

 

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For me personally, Joel hits

For me personally, Joel hits it on the head.  For many of us, the drift is not to wholesale abandon fundamentalism and to fully embrace evangelical movements.  The enamoring is out of the fact that there is another group of people who don't talk and walk exactly like us, but are serious and intentional about the gospel.  What is encouraging for many of us are the interactions.  I would personally prefer to see something that fits in the middle between these camps.  There is a lot about fundamentalism that the younger generation doesn't like.  There is a lot of old baggage.  And that taints that movement.  There are also some concerns on the evangelical side that prevents us from just wholesale embracing this movement.  I think the interaction is good and healthy for all of the reasons that Dr. Bauder points out.  And I would prefer to see more of it.  I think there is a lot that movement can teach fundamentalism and there is a lot that fundamentalism can teach evangelicals.  I think we sit on a high horse when we think that we are compromising any of the Gospel by talking to these groups.  I think we need to start thinking longer term and about value and not get so hung up in "ancient" scare tactics that continue to loom around fundamentalism.

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Movements

As far as movements and 'abandoning Fundamentalism' goes- what is a family supposed to do when all the IFB churches in their area are dysfunctional in some way, or fail to engage with the text and context in their preaching and teaching? Then when that family visits other churches as a last ditch effort to find a local congregation, they find a couple of CE and Reformed churches who take very seriously the gospel, sound doctrine, the fruits of the Spirit as a measure of holy conduct (instead of the usual- pants and movies), and govern their church Biblically? Oh but wait- they are Calvinistic. That is supposed to be the kiss of death, when local IFB preachers are under indictment for sexual crimes, their wives and children are involved in immorality, their trustees and deacons are unethical, and they send out evangelists that have serious legal/criminal issues? 

You've GOT to be kidding me. 

This isn't just an issue for the big names who go to conferences and publish books and have popular blogs. This is a problem for moms and dads and young people who want to be able to worship in a relatively healthy church that loves and abides by the Word. 

Some of us haven't moved away from Fundamentalism- Fundamentalism left us. The measuring stick should never have become about movements and labels and camps, but a fidelity to Scripture. 

I appreciate Dr. Bauder's approach because it serves as a good example to Joe Sixpack (of Coca-Cola, of course) and Suzy Homemaker in how to handle those tensions and struggles with Biblical interpretation and application we have to face daily, as well as how to deal with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

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SusanR

Agreed! 

TylerR is the Pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Divernon, Illinois. 

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Reply to Don Johnson, Part Four

Don,

Sorry for the delay. I want to take time to get to your last question. Do I think that the effort to converse with conservative evangelicals would be worthwhile going forward, considering the results so far and the possibility of negative influence upon younger Fundamentalists? I suppose that I’ve already answered this question implicitly, but let me deal with it explicitly.

The basic question (is interaction worthwhile) is qualified by two possible objections: the lack of visible results outside Fundamentalism and the possibility of negative effects within Fundamentalism. Let me respond first to the objections, then deal with the question.

One objection is the lack of visible results in terms of seeing conservative evangelicals move closer to Fundamentalism. The problem is that visible results are always a hazardous indicator. For one thing, all results are not visible. How do you measure the number of Christians (whether evangelical or Fundamentalist) who did not engage in further compromise because of your teaching? You would have to know in which compromises they might have engaged.

As I expressed previously, I’m not necessarily looking for John Piper or Mark Dever to throw up their hands and say, “Woe is me! I’ve been so wrong all along!” What I am looking to do is, first, to stake out an “epistemological space” within which Fundamentalism is a viable option; second, to persuade evangelicals, incrementally and by sustained interaction, that a genuine separatism (not only separatism over the gospel, but also a carefully-articulated secondary separation) is most faithful to the biblical teaching of church unity and purity; and third (and perhaps most importantly) to provide a clear rationale for younger leaders to embrace the idea of Fundamentalism instead of simply abandoning it for whatever version of evangelicalism.

The second objection is that conversation with conservative evangelicals presents a hazardous example for younger Fundamentalists. I have already conceded that certain hazards do exist and that an unintended effect of these conversations may be to provide the excuse to leave Fundamentalism. In response, these are the factors that I consider. First, those who think that they can discover such an excuse in anything I’ve said are already disposed to leave Fundamentalism—in other words, I provide only the occasion, not the cause. Second, this number is much smaller than the number of those who will find in my teaching a rationale for embracing a full-orbed Fundamentalism. Third, to the extent that they do embrace a full-orbed Fundamentalism, they may be tempted to distance themselves from Fundamentalist institutions that send out an uncertain sound—or, worse yet, that send out a clear sound that is certainly wrong.

There is a difference, however, between abandoning institutions and abandoning Fundamentalism. The institutions are suffering right now, and what they are suffering from is not merely a problem of perception and image. Some Fundamentalist institutions need to exhibit genuine repentance and to initiate genuine change. The best way to make Fundamentalism attractive is not to throw mud at conservative evangelicals, but to clean the mud off of Fundamentalists. While I am merely an external observer, it seems to me that Bob Jones University is providing a healthy pattern for how that kind of change might occur.

You want to know who is most responsible for young men leaving Fundamentalist institutions? I'll give an example. When the FBFI met in Schaumburg, we had a number of young leaders from Minnesota who attended. They went with the best of intentions, but they left completely perplexed. On the one hand, they heard some very good, doctrinal, expository preaching (Minnick and Hartog, for example). On the other hand, they heard a couple of rants and a panel discussion in which several speakers demonstrated that they had virtually no idea of what worldliness was. When one of these young pastors approached a muckety-muck FBFI official with questions about this discrepancy, he was simply told that it was none of his business.

That episode was followed by Rick Arrowood's refusal (based, I believe, on bad information and false perceptions) to allow Central Seminary space for a display at the FBFI conference. He was within his rights as a pastor to decide who could appear in his church--no problem there. But what happens to the second F in FBFI when this sort of thing occurs? That one decision probably did more to blacken the name of the FBFI than almost anything that has occurred in the past decade. Is it any surprise that I cannot persuade Minnesota pastors to take any interest in the FBFI?

That’s just one illustration. The fact is that every time some blogger hammers Doran or Jordan, every time some preacher rails against them in a sermon, or every time some fellowship passes a resolution against them, these objectors convince another contingent of young leaders that Fundamentalism isn’t worth wasting time on. I’m not talking here about those who raise reasonable questions, as yours have been to me. Every one of us should value the sharpening effect of thoughtful interlocutors. I’m talking about the (funda)Mentalist types who, like Patrick Jane, seem to possess some uncanny ability to read minds and to tell you what Olson or Davey are really thinking or trying to do. The only problem is that they almost always get it wrong.

By the way, I’m also regularly targeted by these types. Personally, I love it! They can’t hurt me (or Doran, or Jordan, etc.), but they give me loads of free publicity. They help me sell more books than my publishers do. Furthermore, because their attacks are so clearly out-of-bounds, they gain sympathy for me that I could get in no other way. At the personal level, I’m actually grateful for their opposition. I don’t ever have to dignify them with a reply, but I come out the winner. The problem is that Fundamentalism comes out the loser, because too many people assume that they represent what Fundamentalism really is. For that reason, I grieve over the damage they do.

Let me put it this way. You want to help? Then spend less time worrying about me, and more time challenging . . . no, I’m not going to give them the satisfaction. Just spend more time challenging the periergouzomenous. They know who they are, and so do you.

Do I think that continued conversation with conservative evangelicals is worth pursuing? I’ll get to that question later.

Kevin

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Dr Bauder and Dr Doran's influence on me.

          I am a regular reader of sharper iron who doesn’t log in and post, but I feel compelled to comment on this topic because I am one of the young fundamentalist that has been affected by Dr. Bauder and Dr. Dorn. I am 31 years old and the pastor of a small church (about 140-150 Sunday morning attendance), in which I also grew up, that is a member of the GARBC and has a fundamentalist background. We are located about an hour from Cedarville University and a significant portion of our church members have graduated from Cedarville, so as Cedarville has become more broadly evangelical our church was influenced in that direction. I personally have an undergraduate degree from Cedarville and a master’s degree from Liberty.  I say all that just explain how I am very much a young church leader who grew up out of a fundamentalist background and was advancing fully into conservative evangelicalism.
        

         The one thing that stopped my progress in that direction was the discovery of the ministries of men like Dr. Bauder through his articles on here and Dr. Doran through his messages on sermon audio. Listening to and reading these men was honestly the first time I saw that the choice wasn’t between going all in with the T4G crowed or going all in with the Pensacola, HAC, KJV only, easy believism, anti-Calvinistic crowed. When the choices are between those two groups it is a no-brainer to with the conservative evangelicals. When I encountered Dr. Bauder and Dr. Doran I realized that those where not that only two choices, but there was a third option, a fundamentalism worth saving. That there are fundamentalist who are sound expository preachers, who are Calvinistic, who are thoughtful about translation  issues, and though they point out disagreements they don’t treat godly men like MacArthur and even John Piper as the enemy.
 

         Five years ago when I became a senior pastor I would have identified myself as conservative evangelical and rejected the label of fundamentalist. Now I describe myself as being on the boarder of conservative evangelicalism and fundamentalism, right between John MacArthur and Mark Dever on one side and Dave Doran, Kevin Bauder and the like on the other side and my current movement is more toward fundamentalist side.

Brandon

 

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with respect to the firearms bit

I had to laugh at that one. You know, we Canadians just don't get the American fascination. That's not to say there aren't gun owners and users here, but most of us don't possess them. I think I might have shot a firearm maybe twice in my life. Can't recall any more than that.

But I digress. I will work on a reply... copied out your original article, my first set of questions and your replies. At 10 pt Arial single spaced it works out to 6.5 pages so far. But first I am preparing a Bible study on Isa 32 for tonight. Will get back to you later on all that, and it sounds like you have at least one more reply coming my way so I may wait till that arrives before starting another round (if you have time for more).

Maranatha! Don Johnson Jer 33.3

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Historic Fundamentalism

A few months ago, I attended my first annual conference of the ACCC (American Council of Christian Churches).  Registered delegates included Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Bible Churches, and I don't know what else.  I found Dispensationalism, Covenant Theology, Calvinism, Arminianism, Pre-mill, A-mill, etc., represented.  But all were united in the defense of the historic Christian faith, and all enjoyed wonderful Christian fellowship together.  Nobody denounced anyone because of the differences listed above.  There was an implicit understanding that Fundamentalism has always embraced these variations.  This is what the Fundamentalist movement was like in the early years.  What happened?

G. N. Barkman

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The ACCC and what happened

G. N. Barkman wrote:

A few months ago, I attended my first annual conference of the ACCC (American Council of Christian Churches).  Registered delegates included Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Bible Churches, and I don't know what else.  I found Dispensationalism, Covenant Theology, Calvinism, Arminianism, Pre-mill, A-mill, etc., represented.  But all were united in the defense of the historic Christian faith, and all enjoyed wonderful Christian fellowship together.  Nobody denounced anyone because of the differences listed above.  There was an implicit understanding that Fundamentalism has always embraced these variations.  This is what the Fundamentalist movement was like in the early years.  What happened?

 

About what happened:

  • Egos
  • Personalities
  • Machiavellian politics
  • Stupidity
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The ACCC

Thank you for the prompt about the ACCC. I had forgotten about them. I think you're right when you say that they are not on the radar of the younger generation.

It's a great group. The only problem I found was that their fellowship philosophy was not passed on to the local level in some of their churches. For instance, one church that hosted an ACCC meeting and has had brother Colas preach for them is very anti-calvinistic. Another church that is represented is strongly opposed to anything that is not Calvinistic while also being intolerant of fundamentalists who aren't Baptists.

"When we all get to heaven!"

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

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Reply to Don Johnson, Part Five

Don,

So, at the end of the day, do I think that the efforts to persuade conservative (and other) evangelicals should continue? My short answer is yes, I think the conversation is worthwhile—partly for the sake of those with whom the conversation is conducted, but even more for the sake of those who overhear it. I have two main reasons.

The first reason is, perhaps, obvious. Public interchanges are one of the best ways of placing one’s beliefs on display and holding them up for inspection. Being a Fundamentalist should not be a matter of mere tribalism. It should be a matter of conviction. Where convictions are in play, then reasons must be articulated, limitations must be recognized, qualifications should be offered, nuances should be explained. Christian faith and practice is an intricate thing, rather like a fine timepiece. If you want to know how the watch works, you have to know what each part does and how it connects to the other parts. If your watch is broken, you want somebody with steady hands and a delicate touch to work on it. Too often, Fundamentalist repairmen simply take a sledgehammer to the thing. What we need to do is to display our most important ideas in all their beauty and intricacy so that people can inspect them and see how they work. For that reason, the conversation should continue.

More than that, the conversation is also what highlights the differences between Fundamentalists and other evangelicals. I don’t think that anyone left the Lansdale conference without understanding why and where Doran and I differed with Mark Dever. Of course, they also understood why and where Dever disagreed with us—but they understood it because they heard him say it, not because we made some accusation. While the conversation was, I think, charitable, it was also very pointed.

People who attended my ETS session with Al Mohler now understand at least one major difference between Fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism. That difference involves a particular application of secondary separation to gospel believers who make common cause with gospel deniers. They heard my reasons for thinking that Billy Graham was an indifferentist. They heard Mohler’s reasons for thinking that he was not. That disagreement ought to be pretty plain.

The same is true of a presentation that I did at Beeson Divinity School back in—what?—2001? The good folk at Bob Jones University engineered it so that I had the opportunity to debate the merits of Fundamentalism with Richard Mouw (by no means a conservative evangelical). My presentation later became a chapter in Pilgrims on the Sawdust Trail (ed. Timothy George). The fascinating thing was that hardly any of the attendees in the very broadly evangelical audience had ever heard a cogent presentation of Fundamentalism. After my presentation I could hardly find an opportunity to sit down as I was inundated with queries who simply wanted to understand more about how Fundamentalism worked. Through the rest of the conference (Mouw and I went first), virtually every other speaker felt called upon to extemporize a response to my presentation. The difference was clear! Later on, one evangelical pastor said to me, “Please don’t stop talking to us. We desperately need to hear what you’re saying.” He has not become a Fundamentalist, but he is closer to it than he might otherwise have been. [Incidentally, one unintended consequence of this appearance was a public rebuke from Richard John Neuhaus because I had said that I did not think that Roman Catholicism is Christianity.]

At least two kinds of Fundamentalists converse with evangelicals. On the one hand are those who carry on the conversation because, at heart, they are really drawn toward the evangelical world and they would like to get closer to it. On the other hand are those who think that Fundamentalism is a great idea and who want to broadcast it to the evangelical world (which does desperately need to hear what we have to say). These two kinds of Fundamentalist may look the same to the inattentive, but they are as different as tomato juice and Tabasco. You cannot judge one by the flavor of the other.

Look, I lived fifteen years of my life in nearly constant contact with evangelical institutions. Given a choice, I’ll take Fundamentalism any day. I do not choose it because we are better or more virtuous people (we are still sinners), but because Fundamentalism as an idea is closer to biblical truth than other evangelical options. I can grant full recognition and express full appreciation for the genuine contributions of other evangelicals while insisting that Fundamentalism as a position is better and more true. I do not have to be angry with them or to try to besmirch their reputations. But I do believe that I am obligated to make the case for the truth.

What I’ve written is almost certain to provoke a whole host of other questions—probably more than I can answer in a single lifetime. Doubtless it will also provoke some disagreement. Both should be welcome among brethren who respect each other. So the ball’s in your court, and I’ll try to circle back and respond as I’m able.

Kevin

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I know this sounds

I know this sounds cyncial...but who in the world is Lance Ketchum and why does his opinion warrant so much of Dr. Bauder's explaining himself?

 

As sort of an outsider, he just seems to be a guy with a real outdated website.  

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A third kind of fundamentalist who "converses" w/ evangelicals

I've really appreciated the various responses to Don by Kevin. I would only add a little "addendum" from the shadows of the cacti.

In Kevin's 5th response to Don - he gives a hypothesis that there are two types of fundamentalists who "converse" with evangelicals:

1. Those who at heart are drawn closer to the evangelical world because they enjoy it as a whole.

2. Those who believe fundamentalism is a great idea that the evangelical world needs.

I would only add one more kind of fundamentalist who would converse with evangelicals

3. Those who find the occasional evangelical brother who believes and loves the exact same kinds of things he believes and so the occasional contact sparks a deep love/relationship or at least a real appreciation for each other.

(I can imagine that in some scenario's this kind of "conversation" or "relationship" is not sourced in a fascination with the evangelical world at large nor an attempt to convince the evangelical brother of the merits of fundamentalism [as an idea or movement]). It simply is an organic relationship energized by the Holy Spirit.

A quick thought - for whatever it's worth.

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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@WilliamD

Quote:
who in the world is Lance Ketchum and why does his opinion warrant so much of Dr. Bauder's explaining himself?

Bauder will need to speak to this himself but here's my hypothesis:

  • Lance is somebody. He was a leader in the Minnesota Baptist Association and was the state missionary / representative for a number of years
  • That being said you have a "disturbance in the force" in the MBA with his writing about Bauder and Central Seminary 
  • Additionally Lance's blog quotes have been picked up maliciously by another (with a wider influence than Lance) to attack Bauder / Central Seminary

 

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Follow-up on Lance Ketchum

Just a couple of corrections and more info:

Lance Ketchum has had a lengthy career in the ministry. He is currently pastor of Shepherd's Fold Baptist Church in Hutchinson, MN http://www.shepherdsfoldbc.org/

He was formerly state missionary for the MBA friom 2001-2007. He has been active in evangelism and writing ministries. He maintains a blog at http://www.disciplemakerministries.org/. He is also Executive Committee Chairman of Midwest Independent Baptist Pastor's Fellowship (MIBPF) (http://mibaptistpastorsfellowship.blogspot.com/). I do not claim to speak for his ministry (though I am still one of his Facebook friends! Smile ), but would encourage you to look at his own statements and evaluate them for yourselves. 

 

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Midwest Independent Baptist Pastor's Fellowship (MIBPF)

Thanks Steve, 

Lance's article critical of Bauder is reproduced there:

 

http://mibaptistpastorsfellowship.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-subtlety-of-g...

(Bauder and Central named) 

 

And the Calvinism is heresy quote is reproduced in the 1/28/13 post

Quote:
Calvinism’s corruption of the doctrine of election and their heresy of Irresistible Grace (Monergism) are radical departures from the teaching of the Word of God and are therefore a corruption of what defines a biblical response to the Gospel.  Yet, almost all those promoting Gospel Centrism are Calvinists.

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More on the MIBPF

The officers: 

http://mibaptistpastorsfellowship.blogspot.com/p/officers.html

With full biographies here:

http://lineuponlinedmm.blogspot.com/2012/07/annual-preaching-conference....

 

I wonder if MIBPF is pronounceable: MIB-Piff .... or MI-Bpiff

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I find it amazing that this

I find it amazing that this "Dr" Lance could be so far off in his description of MacArthur.  I know what some of you are thinking.  John MacArthur keeps his views a secret.  He doesn't publish any books, commentaries, or even a study Bible to know what he thinks about texts.  You can't find any of his sermons online.  Youtube has even failed to have any of his clips that would be helpful.

No doubt the description was there as red meat to a hopelessly ill-informed mass.  It is even more sad that such nonsense is then repeated over again by a more fringe, lounie, and desperate element equally devoid of understanding.

In reality, the younger generation has access to information that cannot be controlled by these "pastors" who think it their job to lord over rather than lead.  These "pastors" or rather "butchers" of the sheep are presiding over their own downfall.  Who is this "Dr" going to convince about MacArthur who has access to the internet?  Those already in line for the slaughter.

I hope this "Dr" continues his work.  Those who repeat the nonsense are helping to hasten their own loss of power, the real issue in all this.  Look at how desperate they cling to what they are losing.  I hope this "Dr" tightens his grip and produces more of this tragedy-comedy.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

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Audio from Lansdale conference?

Does anyone have audio from the Lansdale conference referenced in this thread? I'm especially interested in the 2 panels. Links to those files that I've found online (pointing to http://www.advancingthechurch.org/) seem to be out of date. 

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a few thoughts for KTB

Kevin,

As I read over your replies, it seems that my list of questions and your answers revolve really around two questions:

  1. Should fundamentalists try to engage conservative evangelicals in public fora?
  2. Should fundamentalists who engage in such meetings be concerned about the negative influence they might have on the erstwhile fundamentalism of "young fundamentalists"?

A corollary to the second question might be: "Are the actions of avowed fundamentalist leaders contributing to the loss of young men from the ranks of fundamentalism?"

To the first question, you are saying that in order to defend Biblical Christianity you will go "anywhere."

Kevin T. Bauder wrote:
So, to put it bluntly, I am happy to go anywhere, any time to defend biblical Christianity (including Fundamentalism) for anyone. (from post 46)

By anywhere, any time, would you go to the Mormon Tabernacle like Richard Mouw and Ravi Zacharias did? I realize that Mouw, especially, didn't appear to be defending Christianity, but... are you seriously saying "anywhere, anytime"?

To the second question and its corollary, you seem to be saying that the risk of negatively influencing young men is worth the potential benefit of participating in these meetings. And, you say:

Kevin T. Bauder wrote:
At the end of the day, for every young man who uses me as his excuse to leave Fundamentalism, ten more find encouragement to stay and to try to build a Fundamentalism worth saving. (post 46)

I suppose the ability to quantify the ratio of men you influence to stay as opposed to excusing leaving is really as difficult to quantify as the actual impact your meetings have on the conservative evangelicals you are interacting with. Perhaps we should mark this observation down to hyperbole?

But let's get back to the purpose of engaging in these meetings:

Kevin T. Bauder wrote:
Public interchanges are one of the best ways of placing one’s beliefs on display and holding them up for inspection.(post 63)

I can't comment on all of your interactions in various venues, but I would like to comment on the Lansdale conference. I didn't attend, but I listened to all the audio that was made available - as I recall, I listened to a lot of it on the way to a regional FBFI meeting. I agree with you that Mark Dever is a very gifted man and has made significant contributions towards a contemporary understanding of Baptist polity.

I don't recall everything that was said, so what I am offering you is two or three year old impressions. I recall your challenging Dever on the notion of elders as a requirement and also to some extent on the liberalism still existing in SBC colleges at the state level. He vigorously defended the SBC as having rooted out liberalism (or words to that effect) and being completely clear of it. In listening to it, it seemed that a challenge was made about the state level problems, but that Dever was allowed to sweep them away as irrelevant.

My recollection of that may be faulty - but I don't recall much more vigorous probing of Dever than those two areas. Given that you are unlikely to have a similar opportunity, though, I have to say that I wondered about the wisdom of spending time on the elders issue. It really is a side issue and not a core doctrine, correct? His position is fairly well known and he is unlikely to change it. Why not more probing on his ongoing connections with Mark Driscoll? At the time, Dever's involvement with Driscoll's Acts 29 network was a flourishing thing. He does seem to have backed away from it since the Elephant Room debacle, but that happened after your meeting with him.

(Actually, as I am working on this, I found transcripts of some of the sessions, helpfully published by Kevin Mungons. Readers can access them here and here. Kevin reports on the meeting here.)

Further, I wonder if these kinds of meetings are truly helpful at identifying differences sharply. The atmosphere seems much more collegial than 'sharpening' - in other words, both "sides" have an opportunity in a friendly atmosphere to let others see, "Hey, none of us are so bad after all."

That is not to say that I think we should paint Dever (for example) with a black, black brush. He is far from being a false teacher, but he has many associations that make it very difficult for fundamentalists to cooperate with him in Gospel ministry, though I think we can wish him well in his preaching of the Gospel.

I'd also like to address the influence you have on the young men before I close. In post 46, you said:

Kevin T. Bauder wrote:
If a young man is simply looking for an excuse to abandon the Fundamentalist structures in which he was reared, then I can foresee that he will use my words and deeds as part of his excuse to do so.

It is true that such is unavoidable, even if all one is doing is positively proclaiming the fundamentalist position in an environment where a conservative evangelical also has the floor and is able to articulate his positions as well. I concede that there might be some circumstances that would warrant taking the risk of moving the disgruntled to exit stage left.

But I think there is more to the problem that other fundamentalists see with respect to your words in these matters. We do need to be self-critical. It is true that a lot of foolish things have been said and done by fundamentalists in the past. Likely more of the same will come in the future. (And there are foolish evangelicals as well, but I digress...) However, it seems that even in this discussion on SI, you go beyond being merely self-critical of fundamentalism in some of your comments about other fundamentalists. I would point out that these same fundamentalists have in the past given you a platform and encouraged you to participate in their endeavors, but still, you will say things like the following:

Kevin T. Bauder wrote:
One of the problems that we face in Baptist Fundamentalism is the high proportion of ministers who have been trained either in interdenominational or in imperialist institutions (or in both at the same time), and who consequently lack a real grasp of New Testament ecclesiology and church order. (post 36)

I think we know which school you mean. Surely more charitable words could have been used in the description. How do you think the disgruntled react to "imperialist"?

Or this one:

Kevin T. Bauder wrote:
No, I think that young men are leaving more because of what they perceive in Fundamentalism itself, and their perceptions are only enhanced by the fulminations of the periergouzomenōn. (post 46)

What kind of people "fulminate"? It isn't a good sounding word.

Kevin T. Bauder wrote:
On the other hand, they heard a couple of rants and a panel discussion in which several speakers demonstrated that they had virtually no idea of what worldliness was. When one of these young pastors approached a muckety-muck FBFI official with questions about this discrepancy, he was simply told that it was none of his business. (post 57)

This would be referring to the FBFI meeting in Schaumburg, where you also spoke. Unless I mis-remember, Dr. Vaughn had at one point asked you to participate more actively in the FBFI, isn't that right? But you chose not to be involved for whatever reason, and of course, that's totally up to you. But... do you have as much interest in helping the "muckety-mucks" come to a clearer understanding of fundamentalism as you do in engaging the leaders of conservative evangelicalism on the same points? How do terms like "muckety-muck" help you influence misguided FBFI men? You are encouraged by some of the men in the FBFI whom you named, yet you are willing to refer to their cohorts in this way? Will that kind of talk further their efforts within the FBFI?

And back to the younger guys... isn't that just like red meat to them? Doesn't it lend itself to confirming their prejudices against fundamentalism in general?

Kevin T. Bauder wrote:
That episode was followed by Rick Arrowood's refusal (based, I believe, on bad information and false perceptions) to allow Central Seminary space for a display at the FBFI conference. He was within his rights as a pastor to decide who could appear in his church--no problem there. But what happens to the second F in FBFI when this sort of thing occurs? That one decision probably did more to blacken the name of the FBFI than almost anything that has occurred in the past decade. Is it any surprise that I cannot persuade Minnesota pastors to take any interest in the FBFI? (post 57)

Brother, you say here that you believe bro. Arrowood was within his rights as a local church pastor to decide who could and who could not have a display in his church. If you believe this, why are you bringing it up? If local churches have autonomy, the matter should be left there, correct? Would anyone outside of those asking for the display and those refusing have known about it if you (or others from Central Seminary) hadn't publicized it? How does the publication of this story influence the younger observers? Should we be promoting and publicizing discord when it is "within his rights" to make the decision?

Last quotation:

Kevin T. Bauder wrote:
The fact is that every time some blogger hammers Doran or Jordan, every time some preacher rails against them in a sermon, or every time some fellowship passes a resolution against them, these objectors convince another contingent of young leaders that Fundamentalism isn’t worth wasting time on. I’m not talking here about those who raise reasonable questions, as yours have been to me.

I hope that I am not hammering you this time. I have done so in the past. I hope that I have learned better how to express myself when I disagree with others. I have tried to be careful to keep pejoratives out of this discussion.

I recognize that the blogosphere is full of ranting and raving. There are rants from every side of every issue. And I can see how some young fellows can be turned off by over the top ranting. On the other hand, many will accuse a preacher of ranting when he is simply calling for loyalty to Christ and refusing to compromise with error. That is what they did to those fundamentalists who refused to cooperate with Billy Graham, as you will recall.

I know that this post is personal - but I will point out that I am only responding to what you have said. I am glad to be a part of the FBFI and happy to be known as a Baptist Fundamentalist. I wish that you would be willing to vigorously promote that cause, but I have seen things from your pen that tend to be otherwise. I wish that would change.

 

 

 

Maranatha! Don Johnson Jer 33.3

Mark Mincy's picture
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Credibility...

Don,

From my perspective as an observer of the blogosphere, there is a serious credibility issue here.  In your last post you spend a good bit of time taking Kevin to task for using words like "fulminate".  And yet, in very recent days you publicly called other believers "part of the apostasy" because a guy with Beethoven hair (or for that matter, John Wesley or George Whitefield hair - without the curls, of course ;)) sings songs about Jesus accompanied by piano, acoustic guitar, cello, and light percussion.  How does that help the overall conversation?

Mark Mincy

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. . . why are you

. . . why are you bringing [ithis inter-FBFI conflict] up? If local churches have autonomy, the matter should be left there, correct? Would anyone outside of those asking for the display and those refusing have known about it if you (or others from Central Seminary) hadn't publicized it? How does the publication of this story influence the younger observers?

This is a really fascinating point of intersection between the local bodies (which are de facto affiliated with FBFI by virtue of one or more of their leadership being members) and the FBFI itself.  The local body did not take the action.  The leadership did.  The leadership was perhaps under no real obligation to get advice or consent from the congregation because most (perhaps hardly any) of that body are not members of the FBFI, although the fellowship was taking place at the body's facility.  And, obviously, local shepherds must make decisions (even unilateral ones sometimes) to keep dangerous persons from influencing their flock and this pastor made what he felt was such a call.  But on the flip side, that local pastor, by virtue of his membership in the FBFI is in direct affiliation with said dangerous person.  What is the local body (or members of other FBFI affiliated local bodies who happen to hear about such goings on) to make of that?  

 

I am glad to be a part of the FBFI and happy to be known as a Baptist Fundamentalist. I wish that you would be willing to vigorously promote that cause . . .

For those not convinced that fundamentalism itself "is the presentation, in Word and deed, of the life changing grace of God in the Lord Jesus Christ. Period, end of story," (as I once read in a conversation in which both you and I participated) the importance being placed here on a lesser cause as essential to the Great Cause may seem odd. 

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hogwash!

This comment by Don is revealing to me: 

He is far from being a false teacher, but he has many associations that make it very difficult for fundamentalists to cooperate with him in Gospel ministry, though I think we can wish him well in his preaching of the Gospel.

I'm sure Mark Dever would appreciate knowing that he is far from being a false teacher.

The rest of your quote, in my opinion, strikes at the heart of problem with modern, "cultural" fundamentalism.  It is a misuse and misunderstanding of biblical separation.  Many fundamentalists, again in my opinion, separate over every distinction without qualification.  Must we "separate" over modes of baptism?  Really?  Eschatological differences?  Continuationism?  Styles of Music and Dress?  Translations Used?

And by separation, I don't mean that there aren't levels of fellowship that might be more awkward than others.  But could I have C.J. Mahaney preach in my church and still be a fundamentalist?  Even though we have a disagreement over the sign gifts?  Can't I give instruction to a brother like that to not preach on that subject and still have fellowship and still learn from him and still encourage my people to read his books on Humility and the Cross and Worldliness?  Can't I invite a faithful PCA brother to teach on prayer to my congregation without being labeled a "compromiser" or worse? Even though we have significant disagreement on infant baptism and covenant theology?

I totally "get" that there is more than simply the basic gospel message that affects our fellowship with others.  But why can't we affirm something like Mohler's "Theological Triage" and not have to "separate" over every little thing?  Or is it the case that to all fundamentalists, all areas of difference in subjects like the timing of the return of Christ and modes of baptism and spiritual gifts must rise to the level of essential doctrine?  Isn't there room for charitable disagreement in some of these areas, especially when all concerned are committed to the faithful exposition of scripture?  Aren't there more important things to separate over and false teachers to call out and name, than some of these conservative evangelical brothers?  By the way, these brothers, from my experience, exercise church discipline and biblical separation just as regularly as we do, if not more so.

I don't know this to be absolutely true in all cases, but it seems to me that most of the "resolutions" passed by fundamentalist associations have their bullseyes right on faithful men like we're discussing.  When is the last time that the FBFI or other association passed a resolution against Joel Osteen or the Health and Wealth Gospel promoters or the "I Went to Heaven and Came Back" proponents or the Muslim or Catholic faiths or the New Atheists or the like?  We're shooting at our own family, in my opinion, rather than those who are REALLY attacking the faith.  I like what happened at Lansdale.  I hope it happens more often, all over fundamentalism.  We don't need to fortify trenches against these guys.  They are our brothers.

Okay, my rant's over.

Brian McCrorie
Indianapolis, IN
www.bowingdown.com

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Drawing lines

Why am I getting a 'if you are not a Fundamentalist Baptist by our definition, you are not serving the Lord in deed and truth' vibe?

I seriously do not see the problem with acknowledging that others, who view some matters of faith and practice differently, DO love the Lord and are serving Him to the best of their ability and in good conscience?

If they are doing something different that one believes is heresy or borders on heresy, (for instance, I think Driscoll left Earth a loooong time ago) then let's verify that they are, indeed, engaged in such practices or false doctrine, and examine such under the light of Scripture, and take steps of correction and restoration. 

The problem that comes up again and again (from my 40 years of immersion in a couple of camps in IFBism) is the name-calling and tossing around of accusations, as if the pulpit somehow releases those who stand behind it from being accountable for bearing false witness, railing, gossip, and extortion. Or "calling for loyalty to Christ and refusing to compromise with error" with Scriptural support and in a spirit of meekness. As James K and Mark Mincy point out, this damages credibility. 

There also seems to be a '2 strikes and you're out' policy, based on Titus 3:10. Somehow I don't think that verse means what people want to think it means...

Of course, in IFBism, the laity are not allowed to question the credibility of their 'leaders'. It's all 'sit down and shut up and do what you're told'. And saints preserve us if you are a woman and you ask even a simple question. Outright hysteria ensues, usually involving words like 'heifer' and questions like "Don't you have some dishes to do?" 

All these calls to accountability, and the bottom line is, no one exercises accountability, they just talk about it. A lot. It's the Clintonization of Christianity. 

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Rant on!

Brian McCrorie wrote:

...

The rest of [Don Johnson's] quote, in my opinion, strikes at the heart of problem with modern, "cultural" fundamentalism.  It is a misuse and misunderstanding of biblical separation.  Many fundamentalists, again in my opinion, separate over every distinction without qualification.  Must we "separate" over modes of baptism?  Really?  Eschatological differences?  Continuationism?  Styles of Music and Dress?  Translations Used?

And by separation, I don't mean that there aren't levels of fellowship that might be more awkward than others.  But could I have C.J. Mahaney preach in my church and still be a fundamentalist?  Even though we have a disagreement over the sign gifts?  Can't I give instruction to a brother like that to not preach on that subject and still have fellowship and still learn from him and still encourage my people to read his books on Humility and the Cross and Worldliness?  Can't I invite a faithful PCA brother to teach on prayer to my congregation without being labeled a "compromiser" or worse? Even though we have significant disagreement on infant baptism and covenant theology?

.... I like what happened at Lansdale.  I hope it happens more often, all over fundamentalism.  We don't need to fortify trenches against these guys.  They are our brothers.

Okay, my rant's over.

Brian:

Thanks for your rant and for injecting sanity into the conversation (aliong with others I hasten to add). In answer to your questions about separation the answer has been "yes" in Fundamentalism as long as I've been around. These are not issues I would separate over and for that reason, among others, I would not consider myself or be considered a fundamentalist. In answer to your question about fellowship answer has been "no." I would gladly have Dever, Jordan, Mohler, Doran, Piper, Bauder, Carson, Olson, etc. in our church (none have been here and are not scheduled Smile ) because I don't care if they are called conservative evangelical or fundamentalist.  Those categories are part of the problem and there is an artificiality and flexibility about them to be bent however one wants to define them, especially those claiming the high ground for limited or distorted perspective on fundamentalism. I would ask if these men are faithful men of God approved by Him and given to the church as gifts holding to sound doctrine in what has constituted biblical Christianity throughout the ages. Of course I know there are those who are as sure of the details of the future, what Bible God blesses, and what music honors God as they are about everything related to the fundamentals of the faith and the gospel and are ready to separate over their correctness. Fine. Let them claim whatever mantle they want.

However I do think many of the critics of the oft-cited  quadrumvirate (Bauder, Doran, Jordan, Olson) are partly right in their assessment although mostly wrong in their stance, attitude, and obsession with correcting others. I agree with the direction of the aforementioned men. But apart from early, historic, interdenominational fundamentalism, their direction is a departure from what the present generation has known (at least back to the 40 years I've been around fundamentalism). That's a good thing but it is not fundamentalism as most have known it. I think they are walking a tightrope. I personally don't think there is a fundamentalism worth saving. It had its day. What has value is the defense of the faith, the pursuit of both biblical unity and biblical separation, the urgency to preach Christ crucified, and the minding of one's business in certain matters in being less concerned about how and with whom someone in another vineyard labors. He has his master and his day of reckoning. Much human judgment parading as wisdom reminds the world that many Christians are needlessly divisive and focused on issues that have little value in the grand scheme of God's plan of redemption. And I must add that at times in my ministry I've been as guilty as anyone. I'm still in repentance and recovery. 

Steve Davis 

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From my own corner of the peanut gallery....

I've been sitting here with a bowl of popcorn watching this thread and truly enjoying and appreciating Dr. Bauder's responses and wishing only that Joel Tetreau would fire up a bonfire and bring over some marshmallows.  I truly hadn't intended to jump in the fray (for a change.) 

 

But as one of those who is likely viewed by many "Fundamentalists" as a new-evangelical and is viewed by ALL of my evangelical friends as "fundamentalist" and who in honesty is probably most comfortable sitting on the immediate left of Joel Tetreau when he is using his "A", "B" and "C" categories,  (And whom, I would note is --at least at the moment -- Facebook friends with Lance.)  I would say that -- and I realize that this is purely anecdotal -- it is men like Kevin Bauder who have kept me as closely aligned to fundamentalism as I currently am.  Conversely, it is EXACTLY, those who (and I shall name no names here) vocally and continually raise their "purity" and "separation" and other controlling issues to try to keep the independent thinkers on the plantation replete with their innuendo, threats, gracelessness and no small amount of peer and institutional intimidation that have been no small part of my motivation to want to distance myself with at least the reputation of fundamentalism, if not the core doctrines.  In the circles in which I have been called to minister over the last 30 years, a failure to engage and interact and debate and challenge and argue with and listen to those who were not of my particular stripe would have largely ended my credibility with and consequentially my ministry to them.

 

Thank you, Kevin, for interacting with a wide array of learners, scholars and skeptics.  You have kept many of us engaged positionally with fundamentalism when dispositionally, we were heading for the exits.

Dan Burrell Cornelius, NC Visit my Blog "Whirled Views" @ www.danburrell.com

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A resolution here at SI

Amen to what has been said by Dan, Susan, Brian, Steve and others of you.

Maybe we should pass our own resolution here at SI - encouraging fundamentalist to leave associations bent on passing resolutions against dear brothers who are committed to the gospel and who are militant, even though they may not be as "isolated" as some of our own Baptist fellowships tend to be.

I'll be happy to write said resolution.

Of course it will do nothing but tick off the Type A's but it would be good for those guys to taste a little of their own medicine! (Actually this would probably be a waist of time)

Hey, I keep asking this question - why not do a poll here at SI on this? We could put up like 3 or 4 views of "what is the right relationship between careful fundamentalism and militant evangelicalism." You could have Don write up his view, then come up with two or three other approaches. I think it would be telling. I'm thinking you could at least come up with 3 views (and I know there are more than these).

Type A+ (these evangelicals probably aren't even saved because they didn't come to faith with the KJV - the only time we are with them is to witness to them)

Type A (these evangelicals are disobedient because they are not us - therefore we should not be with them - the only time we are with them is when we are scolding them - or scolding fundamentalists who are with them - which means those fundamentalists probably aren't even fundamentalists - they are newevangelicals!)

Type B/C (conservative evangelicals who are militant are essentially "us" - even though they might be in a group we are not in - when we are together we enjoy sweet fellowship)

A few thoughts - from the chilly shadows of winter cacti

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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Funny thing, it us, to watch

Funny thing, it us, to watch many lament and chastise IFB's guilty of lambasting, ignoring, patronizing or questioning the intent of the sheep who have asked questions while piling on the Don Johnson's who might now submit inquiries to these other preferred representatives (Kevin Bauder aside who in the least has been diplomatic and more so addressed in detail without a club toward Don Johnson).

I do think, again, KB is wrong about his Hegel reference with respect to Lance Ketchum's use, at least in part and that is important in principle.

I believe there is respect to be given to Dr. Bauder's investment here and his intent to better influence. I believe some of his near theological kin, however, would be warmed to read as colorful "and robust expression which he has given to past fundie icons for flaws in their disposition (bellicose) be given toward those on the CE or NE end whose theological flaws may indeed be equally if not more detrimental than these fundie ghosts of the past. I have in mind John Piper who was strongly issued a clear rebuked by the late John Robbins for his greatly marred theology contained in his novel flagship work "Christian Hedonism" or the very strange rush by Mohler and now Olson to embrace CJ Mahaney and the charismatic sect he built and whose theological background and theological temperament and expression (up until recently where he has been rendered essentially silent by master tutors) reads like the bio of a typically untrained and unqualified though eager charismatic philosopher-king and whose tenure of "apostolic" reign has left an indisputable trail of wrecked lives. Such would probably give confidence to a set of ears nearer to him who are possibly struggling to grant him a hearing seeing such things are not as directly approached as other matters.

But no doubt you, Kevin. Bauder, are very busy and my thoughts are intended as rhetorical and another side to consider regarding ears and gaining a hearing. You can only address so many things with the responsibilities and demands before you, thus it would be unfair to suggest negligence, in fact arrogant. But if time and concern ever permits I believe a worthy group would be interested.

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Alex - I've read through your

Alex - I've read through your post (#80) several times and I believe I speak for most of us here: hunh?  Too many wayward punctuation and quotation marks, and too many qualifiers and weaslers for most of what you said to register any meaning for me. I don't mean any disrespect. It sounds like you are trying to say something interesting, it just isn't coming through.

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HURRAY!

JVDM wrote:

Alex - I've read through your post (#80) several times and I believe I speak for most of us here: hunh?  Too many wayward punctuation and quotation marks, and too many qualifiers and weaslers for most of what you said to register any meaning for me. I don't mean any disrespect. It sounds like you are trying to say something interesting, it just isn't coming through.

So glad it wasn't just me! 

Alex- could you reiterate please? 'Cause you lost me at the second line. I don't want to respond to something you didn't actually say.

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Fulminate

Don - fulminate seems to be the right word for what these people are doing. And the fact that you make an issue out of this proves one of Dr. Bauder's points. 

 

Dr. Bauder said, "Let me put it this way. You want to help? Then spend less time worrying about me, and more time challenging . . . no, I’m not going to give them the satisfaction. Just spend more time challenging the periergouzomenous."

 

And so you turn around and worry about his use of the word fulminations?

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JVDM wrote: Alex - I've read

JVDM wrote:

Alex - I've read through your post (#80) several times and I believe I speak for most of us here: hunh?  Too many wayward punctuation and quotation marks, and too many qualifiers and weaslers for most of what you said to register any meaning for me. I don't mean any disrespect. It sounds like you are trying to say something interesting, it just isn't coming through.


A number of choices.

1. You could read with greater charity forgiving my "weaslers" and seek to discover through such shortcomings what I did say.

2. You could allow yourself to be informed that my more direct approach is often unbearable for some who are easily offended by such and register complaints with mods, thus bothering them and my aim is to avoid that.

3. I sought to emulate the tact of Kevin Bauder and though it was executed poorly in your mind but being the better man you realize this and make effort to seek clarity where you are unsure.

4. The parts you understood you could decide to respond to with questions or comments.

This is just to name a handful. In the meantime among your registered complaint of my form if you are able to develop any questions regarding further clarity I will certainly be happy to answer your specific questions. I sympathize with you in the mean time.

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Circling the wagons

Alright, my most urgent (if not important) tasks for the day are complete, and I have a bit of time that I can devote to circling back and trying to respond to some of the questions and observations that have been raised. More people than Don have interacted, and they deserve some reply. So I’m going back to the top of the list. Don, I’ll get to your observations eventually (I hope).

So here we go….

Joel, you’ve jumped in several times with characteristic enthusiasm and charisma. I wonder, though, whether we’re as close in position as you seem to think. When it comes to principles, I’m really not very different from Don. In fact, I think that in certain ways, I probably belong with your Formosan Fundamentalists (you know, the ones from Taipei?). I’m just trying to be an honest one.

Alex, about the only thing I can suggest is that you read Hegel and his responsible interpreters. I’ll grant that Hegel does use a three-part formulation (consisting, not of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis, but of abstract, negative, and concrete), but that is where his similarity to Dr. Ketchum ends. As it was later articulated (beginning with Chalybäus) the so-called Hegelian dialectic deals with stages of development, not procedures in dialogue. In Hegel, the three-part movement arises out of a contradiction that is implicit in things themselves, and it cannot be arbitrarily applied to any given thesis. Perhaps the best-known instantiation of Hegelian dialectic is Marx’s historical materialism. I just don’t know what else to say, except to encourage you and others to read the literature.

Alex (again), I presume that you recognize the tu quoque fallacy when you see it. It is, among other things, a common resort of bullies when they are challenged. They think that if it's wrong for them to use force (to bully people), then it's wrong to use force to stop them. Well, for the record I don’t think it’s wrong to stand up to bullies. C. S. Lewis wrote somewhere about people who scratch like cats, but bleed at a touch. It seems to me that some Fundamentalist champions fit that description with astonishing exactness. They call out their opponents in the most brutal terms, leveling accusations filled with gratuitous insults, half-truths and innuendos, but when anybody mentions that they are bullies (or uses other equally accurate descriptions), they immediately begin to squeal out protests about name-calling. It’s kind of like the wife-beater who charges the arresting officer with police brutality. Don’t expect this argument to get much sympathy from me. Or from anyone else who has watched the periergouzamenous.

G. N. Barkman, you raise a legitimate point. The term Fundamentalist has become a tribal marker for many who claim it. If we want to use it more correctly, we should be asking what ideas it originally described, and how those ideas were worked out to meet the changing situations of the next eighty years. I think that there are good reasons for which conservative evangelicals should not be called Fundamentalists. I think there are even better reasons for which places like Pensacola or Hyles-Anderson should not be. That is why the expression Hyper-fundamentalist is necessary, not as a term of opprobrium, but as an accurate descriptor of what certain ideas represent. By the way, Dr. Ketchum sometimes makes references to Hypo-fundamentalism. I actually agree with him that such a thing exists and that it represents a danger, though I do not always agree with him about who the Hypo-fundamentalists are (he thinks I am one—I respectfully disagree).

Shaynus, I was evidently reared at a different time and a different place in Fundamentalism than you were. I grew up in the more conservative and separatistic wing of the Regular Baptist movement. The principles that I articulate these days are really the very same ones that I learned there. I’m not inventing anything new. And the things that I value in conservative evangelicals, I saw at work among Fundamentslists during my youth. Church health, New Testament polity, and Baptist associationalism? I think I’ve already mentioned names like Ketcham and Jackson. Defense of the faith? I still remember Manfred Kober debating the liberal Louis Valbracht on (I believe) KRNT television. Balanced separatism? David Nettleton exemplified it, and his pamphlet on “A Limited Message or a Limited Fellowship” is still worth reading. Nettleton was a strongly committed Fundamentalist, Baptist, Calvinist(ic) Dispensationalist who could nevertheless have people like Lehman Strauss, Robert Lightner, and Peter Masters on his platform. The older Regular Baptist leaders put more thought and less politics into what they were doing than some other Fundamentalists did. But to give you a straightforward answer, I particularly appreciate the ability of conservative evangelicals to listen courteously and carefully to their opponents (including me) and to understand before they reply. Me? I’m still trying to learn that skill. I don’t always succeed.

Dgszweda, I think that genuine Fundamentalism probably is in the middle between the camps you’re thinking of, if you’re thinking in terms of what I call Hyper-fundamentalism on the Right. Frankly, however, I would hate to see the idea of Fundamentalism modified to allow for several things that many conservative evangelicals seem to be open to. I’ve tried to convince myself that the SBC isn’t that bad, but I don’t see where their problems are any less significant than those of mainstream Fundamentalism—and in many instances their problems are worse. What is more, I am convinced that a fellowship needs a doctrinal test for participation, and the Southern Baptist conservatives refuse even to attempt to implement such a test. As much as I admire Grudem and Piper in some ways (and I genuinely do) any continuation of prophecy or of miraculous gifts is, in my judgment, a very serious error. While I’m willing to converse with them about ideas, there is little public ministry in which we could engage together. Furthermore (and this will be what makes me less palatable to many younger Fundamentalists), I think that all modes of communication are extremely important. Clothing and manners matter, particularly in worship. I believe that the music you present to God is just as important as believing in the virgin birth of Christ. Consequently, I am not at all in favor of an “emerging middle.” I don’t intend to emerge with it.

(Having said that, I do not think that music is a matter that decides whether you’re a Fundamentalist. I’m not sure that Fundamentalism has ever had a unified or consistent view on music. So, if you have the wrong music, you might be a good Fundamentalist but still a bad Christian. I don’t see a contradiction here. Christianity is, after all, more than Fundamentalism.)

Susan R, sometimes we are forced to make bad choices. There are two ways of looking at it. When we choose the lesser of two evils, we choose less evil. But when we choose the lesser of two evils, we still choose evil. If my choice was between a Hyles church and a non-separatist evangelical church, my solution would be to plant a church. In fact, that’s exactly what my solution was. But I recognize that not everyone is in a position to make that choice. All I can say is that I’d rather see a family member under Dever’s ministry than under Jack Schaap’s, even before Schaap was arrested for his crimes.

BrandonLee, it sounds like you’re going to be facing some choices with your Alma Mater. I can only encourage you to base those choices upon principle. You’ll get plenty of pressure to base them upon party loyalties. Keep asking why you do what you do. That’s what drives me back to both Fundamentalism and conservatism.

G. N. Barkman (again), yes, the ACCC is one of the historic, Fundamentalist organizations. They paid a high price during the 1970s and 1980s for resisting the Hyper-fundamentalism of Carl McIntire and others. They’ve never really recovered. My only (mild) critique would be that I think they’re still trying to make some accommodation to the KJVO crowd. But in general, it is a fine organization with which I am unashamed to identify. I particularly respect the work of Ralph Colas, who has sacrificed significantly for the wellbeing of the ACCC. This organization has always been a good illustration of separation at some levels combined with fellowship at others.

Steve Davis, with friends like you . . . JUST JOKING! I appreciate the fact that as your position has changed, you have not severed your relationship with some of your old friends. One of these days we’re going to have to talk about our differences. When you say that my “direction is a departure from what the present generation has known (at least back to the 40 years I've been around fundamentalism),” I believe you mean it. But I also believe this says something about the rather narrow slice of Fundamentalism in which you spent forty years. As I have insisted elsewhere, I don’t think I’m saying anything now that I wasn’t taught in my separatist, Fundamentalist college and seminary. In fact, I was (and still am) on the far Right of the branch of Fundamentalism in which I was reared. I’ve subsequently spent significant time (years each) in close contact with at least three other versions of Fundamentalism. None of them is correct to think of itself as the center of the Fundamentalist universe, let alone as the whole universe. But even in your version of Fundamentalism there had to be people whose ideals you could admire. I’ll refrain from surnames (this is just between us), but to suggest one: Ralph?

Alex (yet again), have I addressed your concerns? Based on your post no. 80, I sense that you feel some frustration at the time it has taken me to reply. But I’m confused enough by the solecisms that I’m not quite sure. If I’ve neglected to address some important question, please let me know.

Everyone, I apologize for this long post. If I’d broken it up, however, we’d already be past the 100 post limit, and I still would not have responded to Don. Oh, Don—you have my personal invitation to come spend a day with me at the range. Nothing promotes theological discourse like arming the participants. By the time you leave, you’ll be shooting like a buckaroo, and loving it. I can't wait to put a .45 in your hand.

Kevin

 

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Okay, thanks for clarifying.

Okay, thanks for clarifying, Alex.

Jim's picture
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My questions for Dr Bauder

My questions for Dr Bauder

Preface: You are often taken to task by critics that your position is different than your predecessor at Central - Ernest Pickering (as exemplified in BIBLICAL SEPARATION: THE STRUGGLE FOR A PURE CHURCH)

Questions:

  • Is Pickering's book still used as a textbook at Central?
  • How closely / divergent is your position on separation to Pickering's?
  • Leap: If Pickering were alive how would he evaluate your position?

Thanks 

 

 

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Solecism

"Solecism." That's going in the tool box. I still don't know what to do with periergouzomenōn. Google doesn't know either.

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Kevin - Outstanding!

So Kevin - two points:

1) Really you are so unique you warrant your own personal classification. You really don't fit clearly into one category in my taxonomy which is both fun and highly irritating all at the same time! Smile (Bauder = Type Z fundamentalism!)

2) I've kind of feared you're very close to the"Type A" in the "Tetreau scale" (not that that matters at all to dear folk "out there"). I had you pegged in as an A- until Lansdale.  That whole episode brought you into the "Aug-ust" gathering of Type B! (or B+ at least in my mind). But alas - if you must stay with the A guys, I'm happy for the influence you will continue to leverage......espcially with guys like Don. It's good - but do you really want to hand over a weapon to someone from Canada? I mean would he even know how to use it?  (Just kidding Don - I'm sure you could handle a weapon!)

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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Pickering?

Jim,

Pickering's book on biblical separation is probably the single best volume that addresses the topic today. Of course we use it at Central Seminary. You can't find anything better. I've given away copies to people who wanted to understand how separation works.

I knew of Pickering for many years in the Regular Baptist movement. I can still remember when he was called "firing Ernie" for turning over a faculty at what is now Clarks Summit (I can't recall whether it was in Johnson City at the time). I first began to interact with him during the mid-1980s, when he was chair of the GARBC Council of 18. This was after the publication of his book and I actually thought that his separatism was rather less strict than mine. This occasionally placed us in conflict, especially when he was president at Northwest Seminary. I seem to recall that he was the one who moved Emanuel in Toledo toward the NIV, though I may be mistaken. Kevin Mungons could confirm or deny. At any rate, I get a chuckle every time I see Pickering being appropriated by some KJVO type.

Pickering was a member of the faculty during the "golden years" of Central Seminary, about 1960 to around 1967. At that time, the faculty included not only Pickering, but Warren Van Hetloo, Robert Delnay, Robert Myrant, and M. James Hollowood. Those were great years for the seminary: these professors were second to none. I believe that Fred Moritz came through the seminary during that period.

There's a great story from those years. Pickering had given an exam and the entire class had bombed it. He was offended, and he read the riot act to the students. One of them had been a professional baseball player. In the middle of the verbal spanking, that particular student raised his hand and said, "Dr. Pickering, I may not know much about theology, but I know baseball. In baseball, when the team loses, they don't fire the players."

I do have a couple of quibbles with Pickering's book--but I emphasize that they are only quibbles. First, I think that he labors too hard to find historical precedent for separatism, and ends upon including certain groups that we would actually want to separate from. Second, by emphasizing the "purity" argument as strongly as he does (grounding separation in the holiness of God), he leaves the separatist without a mechanism for those instances when Scripture explicitly disavows separation (e.g., 1 Cor. 5:10). It is not the case that believers are always and everywhere to separate from all sinful things and all sinful people. But why not? I don't believe that Pickering's argument provides the answer to this question.

To be clear, I think that the appeal to purity or holiness is appropriate, but it first has to be established on some other base. What I've tried to do differently from Pickering is to articulate that base.

As I say, however, this is a quibble. In practice, I was sometimes uncomfortable with the breadth of Pickering's associations at some levels.  But that, too, is rather a quibble. The difference between us is negligible.

How would he respond to my views? We never discussed it. Nevertheless, he kept people on his faculties and boards who were considerably less separatistic than me. That in itself seems to provide an answer.

Kevin

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Kevin,   My personal thanks

Kevin,

 

My personal thanks to you for taking a substantial amount of time to help men navigate the theological waters.

Pastor Mike Harding

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