Standpoint Conference Takes a New Direction

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In 325 AD, the Council of Nicea was faced with the responsibility of determining the accuracy or inaccuracy of the Arian teachings concerning Christ. They ruled it a heresy. The arguments presented by Athanasius were primarily drawn from Scripture—as were, oddly, the mistaken arguments presented by Arius. The debate itself demonstrates something that has been shown again and again—that the very nature of theological development is that doctrines are tested in the crucible of crisis. It is not that councils or tradition decides what is true, but that crises force us to the Word, where we find clear answers to all of our questions. Out of Nicea arose a clearer understanding of what the Sonship of Christ means, and what it does not mean. And that discussion set the stage for the later clear definition of the Trinity.

Between 1910 and 1915, 64 authors wrote 94 essays defending the faith against the onslaught of Modernism. This series, The Fundamentals, was a series of articles, a series of addresses, and finally, a 12-volume book series. On your own bookshelves most of you who are serious students of the Word will find books that outline the doctrines of the Faith.

Abraham Lincoln observed, the “dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present.” The history of Theology, particularly the Modernist onslaught of the late 1800s and early 1900s was anything but quiet, but we would be foolish to think that we are in a quiet period, and that the lists of doctrines so thoroughly defined at that time to combat the forces of Theological Liberalism are well-defined enough to face all the challenges of today.

The Standpoint Conference Team has become alarmed in recent years at some of the notions that have begun to gain traction among conservative Bible students—even, sometimes, among the most conservative. Postmodernism, anti-intellectualism, multi-culturalism, and many other forces press against our doctrines and practice in new ways today, forcing us to sharpen our understanding of what the Scriptures say on certain key issues. We propose three conferences over the next few years to begin to explore some of the issues that alarm us. The first of these will be at Heather Hills Baptist Church in Indianapolis, IN from March 22-24, 2012. We admit that we are behind in finalizing our schedule and promoting our event. In order to make up for this, we are not only inviting you to attend in person, but opening the door to attending by Web Conference (including the ability to participate in discussions) at a very reasonable price.

Phil Johnson of Grace To You and Pyromaniacs fame will lead us off with an exploration of what it means to guard the boundaries of the Faith instead of merely the center—with particular attention to this year’s Elephant Room controversy. Other topics to be addressed this year include: the New Universalism (think of Love Wins by Rob Bell); The Gay Theologians; the many eschatologies out there and how we determine the limits of what is orthodox; gender in theology and practice; the nature of worship in the context of a worship service; and the drift toward a mechanical hermeneutic that ignores the fact that “God Spoke.”

The Standpoint Team encourages you to go to www.standpointconference.com and register.

[node:bio/mike-durning body]

Jim's picture
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Since 5/6/09 20:47:03
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Not clear to me ... please enumerate

Quote:
The Standpoint Conference Team has become alarmed in recent years at some of the notions that have begun to gain traction among conservative Bible students—even, sometimes, among the most conservative. Postmodernism, anti-intellectualism, multi-culturalism, and many other forces press against our doctrines and practice in new ways today, forcing us to sharpen our understanding of what the Scriptures say on certain key issues. We propose three conferences over the next few years to begin to explore some of the issues that alarm us.

Not clear to me ... please enumerate. What notions or issues alarm you.

Thanks

Mike Durning's picture
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Since 6/2/09 10:12:11
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For starters...

Jim Peet wrote:
Quote:
The Standpoint Conference Team has become alarmed in recent years at some of the notions that have begun to gain traction among conservative Bible students—even, sometimes, among the most conservative. Postmodernism, anti-intellectualism, multi-culturalism, and many other forces press against our doctrines and practice in new ways today, forcing us to sharpen our understanding of what the Scriptures say on certain key issues. We propose three conferences over the next few years to begin to explore some of the issues that alarm us.

Not clear to me ... please enumerate. What notions or issues alarm you.

Thanks

Jim,

For starters, some of the issues to be addressed in this conference. If you look at the conference site, you'll find more detailed descriptions of the sessions for this year -- each of which is designed to deal with one of these "notions". And there are more to come in the next few years.

Mike

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Since 6/2/09 04:58:18
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Quote: Phil Johnson of Grace

Quote:
Phil Johnson of Grace To You and Pyromaniacs

Wow. Johnson endorses John Piper who is one of the leading Teachers of the very thing this conference is intending to combat.

Mike Durning's picture
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Since 6/2/09 10:12:11
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Not so fast!

Alex Guggenheim wrote:
Quote:
Phil Johnson of Grace To You and Pyromaniacs

Wow. Johnson endorses John Piper who is one of the leading Teachers of the very thing this conference is intending to combat.

Alex,

I think it's important to note that the Conservative Evangelicals like Phil Johnson are not always as quick to jump on the separation band-wagon as fundies, but they do get around to it. I would hardly call Phil's current position on John Piper endorsement. He appreciates Piper's labors in the Lord, but has reservations.

http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2010/04/on-piper-warren-connection.html
http://sharpens.blogspot.com/2010/04/phil-johnson-john-piper-rick-warren...
http://apprising.org/2010/04/09/rick-warren-and-john-piper-warrengate-re...

Alex Guggenheim's picture
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Since 6/2/09 04:58:18
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Mike, The most these

Mike,

The most these represent are finger-wags at a singular association and having zero representation of any objection concerning the very reason for which your conference is being held, doctrinal departures. I have yet to see a robust treatment of Piper's errors never mind any serious acknowledgment of them, their implications and a sound rejection of them by Johnson. I find him duplicitous on the matter though I do recognize and accept he is commended on some other issues.

I appreciate Benny Hinn's labors in the Lord when he speaks the gospel and people get saved but that does not justify Hinn's error. I appreciate everyone and anyone's labors in the Lord but it does not give me license to ignore or refuse to address their errors, particularly if they are influential.

So when the noting of concerning teachers is expressed, don't expect Piper's errors and their dangers to be acknowledged or his name to be listed. But maybe you do not agree and in that case, it matters not. And as you know, just a bit of research reveals why many conservative and notable Protestants/Evangelicals find Piper to be quite injurious. When you state:

Quote:
The Standpoint Conference Team has become alarmed in recent years at some of the notions that have begun to gain traction among conservative Bible students—even, sometimes, among the most conservative.

Whether you know it or not many who agree with this statement have John Piper at the top of the list of those who are delivering these "notions".

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Since 12/13/10 22:14:21
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Center and boundaries

Am curious what specifically is denoted by "center" and "boundaries" of the faith?

SamH

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Since 4/25/11 19:31:17
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Alex Guggenheim

Alex Guggenheim wrote:

Whether you know it or not many who agree with this statement have John Piper at the top of the list of those who are delivering these "notions".

Huh? I don't agree with 100% of Piper's teachings (calvinism, eschatology, Continuationism, etc), but when you look at most of the topics proposed (universalism, homosexual theologians, gender rolls, postmodernism, anti-intellectualism), you have to admit that he is one of the foremost proponents of the conservative position. You could take case against his eschatology if you are a dispensationalist, or an amill, but that's about it when it comes to the topics listed.

I personally believe that John Piper has had one of the most positive impacts of anyone in the church for the past 50 years.

Jim's picture
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Since 5/6/09 20:47:03
6858 posts
Suggestion about Piper and this thread

Since Piper is not on the platform at this upcoming conference and since there are multiple other threads that are Piper-centric, I suggest we drop the Piper discussion on this thread.

Consider this a moderator comment.

Thanks

Mike Durning's picture
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Since 6/2/09 10:12:11
618 posts
Center vs. boundaries

SamH wrote:
Am curious what specifically is denoted by "center" and "boundaries" of the faith?

Sam,

Phil and I talked briefly about this when he gave me his session's title. I believe what he is shooting for is this: It is not sufficient to defend the Faith by defending "the center", meaning, the gospel alone. The Faith must also be guarded at the boundaries -- meaning the entire structure of orthodoxy. The recent Elephant Room controversy demonstrates this rather well.

In any case, tune in on that session, if you can. I'm sure Phil will express it far more eloquently than I just did.

Mike

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Since 5/6/09 20:45:47
3666 posts
There was...

I came across an article that Phil wrote on that very subject this week - if I can find it, I'll provide the link. In the meantime, I did find http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2011/02/more-on-intolerance-of-overtoleranc... this post and I think it's touching on what Phil wants to say:

Quote:
As we enter the second decade of the twenty-first century, American evangelicalism is clearly confused, fragmented, and frighteningly vulnerable to false teaching. Evangelicals are too worldly-minded and untaught to be able to recognize all the deadly errors that have made themselves at home within the movement. Evangelical leaders are far too tentative and timid in denouncing those errors—up to and including the damnable ones. Rank-and-file evangelicals won't stand for it if their leaders do point out false doctrines, especially when the error is being peddled by a slick celebrity.

These problems are serious. What we commonly refer to as "the evangelical movement" is actually no movement at all anymore. It has morphed and melted down into a variegated, muddled, incoherent swamp—without any meaningful boundaries. And we are sending to the world a message that is as garbled and bewildering as this ersatz movement.

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

Alex Guggenheim's picture
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Since 6/2/09 04:58:18
1585 posts
Mike, Please accept my

Mike,

Please accept my apology. After auditing my post I believe my approach in expressing my concern here was not of any real value to the thread or the larger objective and should have been saved for a more appropriate time.

The conference itself is a greatly needed one and I am confident that it will be more than one where "edges are touched". We do live in a day and age of dancing around everything and those attending I am sure will be refreshed.

Alex

Mike Durning's picture
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Since 6/2/09 10:12:11
618 posts
apology

Alex Guggenheim wrote:
Mike,

Please accept my apology. After auditing my post I believe my approach in expressing my concern here was not of any real value to the thread or the larger objective and should have been saved for a more appropriate time.

The conference itself is a greatly needed one and I am confident that it will be more than one where "edges are touched". We do live in a day and age of dancing around everything and those attending I am sure will be refreshed.

Alex

Alex,
Apology accepted. I agree it did not contribute to the thread, but you did raise valid points. I will try to pick Phil's brain on them in an informal setting.
Mike

Mike Durning's picture
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Since 6/2/09 10:12:11
618 posts
Thanks, but...

I would just like to thank so many people for the outpouring of interest in the conference. I have had many phone calls and emails from around the country, talking about how excited people are, especially about the on-line conferencing option.

Now, if some of you who raved about it would actually sign up....

No criticism intended. Just getting concerned.

Jim's picture
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Since 5/6/09 20:47:03
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Late registrations at the Council of Nicaea

The Council of Nicaea was plagued with late registrations.

So don't be discouraged.

The brochure cover for http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea ]that conference:

Mike Durning's picture
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Since 6/2/09 10:12:11
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Jim Peet wrote: The Council

Jim Peet wrote:
The Council of Nicaea was plagued with late registrations.

So don't be discouraged.

The brochure cover for conference:

Jim, I'm thankful for the perspective. I can't even imagine the mailing costs on a mosaic tile brochure!

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