Kent Brandenburg: "I'm not a fundamentalist"

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Didn't that Clay Nuttal guy

Didn't that Clay Nuttal guy have a similar statement with the same type of strange argumentation a while ago?

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I don't claim the term because ...

I don't claim the term because, it has become meaningless in the circles with which I associate. 

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Yeah I don't really use the

Yeah I don't really use the term unless I know I am talking to someone who has the same definition of the word as myself. Still the article has a decidedly different reason for rejecting the term.

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Dr. Clay Nuttall

Dr. Nuttall has been helping train men for the ministry for probably longer than most of the men who frequent this board.  Just because you don't agree with his view or Kent's does not make it "strange".   

Ken

 

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Mod note

Since the Filing isn't about Dr. Clay Nuttall's statement, let's not discuss it. OR ... link to it in this thread and add it to the discussion mix

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Sad Reality

Just further evidence that you can try to out-fundamentalist a fundamentalist, but it won't work.  There are always new extremes to be plumbed, new issues over which to divide, additional controversies that can be stirred.

And so they fiddle while souls burn....

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Effectively, he's separating himself...

Effectively, Kent is distinguishing himself from others who identify as Fundamentalists. That's his prerogative. I can understand that he takes exception (though I don't agree with all of his positions, or the extent to which they limit his fellowship). What seems most inconsistent to me is the vigor with which he eschews the term Fundamentalist, but from all I can see still seems to see the utility of the "Baptist" label- which, if "Fundamentalist" is variegated, those identifying as "Baptist" are infinitely more so.

Labels serve a purpose- but there is always more to something or someone than just a label.

Greg Linscott
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How Deprecating!

DL, 

Not sure how you can make such a statement.  Do you really think people who disagree with the notion of fundamentalism are to be equated as a person who has no interest in souls?  I find your comment very deprecating and self-absorbed. It is a real shame no one really truly interacts with the content on his site on a regular basis. How about interacting with his evaluation of fundamentalism. Tell us why his view is extreme, or what new issues he is dividing over. Please tell us.  Give us your profound wisdom. 

KML

  

 

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Just my two cents...

Greg,

I know you asked Kent this question on his blog, but I would like to propose my answer to you.  I do not consider myself a fundamentalist.  I don't avoid the term or label being applied to myself.  I just don't think it fits.  Do I believe in the virgin birth? Of course. Do I believe in the physical resurrection of Christ? Absolutely.  However, while I believe in the fundamentals as historically declared, I do not divide the Scriptures into essentials (fundamentals) and non-essentials.  Fundamentalism has put a limited amount of truth in a lockbox, as sacred truths which are sacrosanct, and other things are open to debate.  I just don't look that way at the Scriptures. I am not saying I fully understand everything in Scripture or that I have 100% of the right beliefs.  I just don't the fundamentals are enough. The Bible is what is enough for me.  All of its content is fundamental to my faith.  

As for the "Baptist" label and its usefulness, I would compare the use of it to the present battle over the definition of marriage.  The correct definition of a marriage is the union of a man and a woman before God.  While our culture seems intent on changing that definition, the proper definition and the only right definition is a correct understanding of what "Marriage" truly is.  It is the same with the term Baptist.  Some may call their churches Baptist, and a variety of them may be all over the place doctrinally. (as you well noted.)  However, I must call myself what I am, and continue promoting what the true definition of a Baptist is, regardless of how others misuse the word by their church doctrine and practices that may be unbiblical. (we may disagree on that)  

As for your comment on labels, I think Kent would agree as he wrote: "Labels themselves don't bother me, but we've got to be honest with them.  They have a purpose for marking someone, helping understand who someone is." 

KML

     

  

 

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KLengel,

KLengel,

First of all I retract my characterization of Nutall's position as strange. I should have said IMO or not said it at all. I was wondering: you mention the variation in the definition of the label baptist. Do you believe there are certain elements which identify a Baptist church, and without which a church can not rightly be labelled as such? In other words do you believe that there are "fundamentals" of the label "baptist"? 

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How Others Describe You

KLengel wrote:

I do not consider myself a fundamentalist.  I don't avoid the term or label being applied to myself.  I just don't think it fits.  

I understand. At the same time, as I just said to Kent, you have enough grudging affinity with those who do identify as Fundamentalists to pay attention to them, certainly more than you would self-identified Pentecostals or Greek Orthodox...

Also, as I said to Kent, the reality is that whether or not you embrace the label, someone will use it to describe you... disparagingly, perhaps, but still. We don't always have the luxury of choosing our labels. And as a general category, you fit there about as well as you're going to anywhere. Sorry. Smile

Greg Linscott
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I am a orange...

Greg,

I think people are debating from two differing perspectives. A pastor feels a need to defend the faith he is teaching to his flock who is exposed constantly in our age to various doctrines.  That often requires the need to proclaim his position in the arena of worldviews, so others know what they agree with and what they don't.   Let's use a fruit analogy.  (I know all analogies break down, but let's have some fun.)  I am an orange. Fundamentalists are tangelos.  I will support a tangelo when it looks like an orange (not often) and smells like an orange, (sometimes they do) but I don't fully want to be a tangelo, because when I taste it, it is obvious it is not an orange.  (I actually know the difference by sight, but I will move on.)  I believe it's right to be an orange.  I want to be called an orange, not a tangelo. The problem is not whether or not someone thinks I am a tangelo.  They can call me that all they want. The truth remains, I am an orange.  OK, more diet pepsi please.     :) 

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Okay...

To borrow from your illustration, "Fundamentalist" would be less similar to "orange" or "tangelo" and more like "citrus," at least in the sense its being used here.

I understand you wanting to distinguish yourself from others... we all do. Who among us wants to be grouped in with Westboro Baptist Church? Hands? At the same time, the people to your left need to have some way of quickly summarizing why you don't show up at the ministerial association meetings or support the big  summer CCM festival. "Fundamentalist" is usually as good a term as any to communicate that.

So you don't want to be grouped in to some kind of broad-based institutional constituency with organizational dues, politics and all that. Not going to argue with you on that here. But there is some sense where the term is going to be useful, and like it or not, where it is going to accurately apply to people like yourself and Kent to distinguish your from others. That's all I'm saying.

Greg Linscott
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On the distinction between Essentials and Nonessentials

Klengel said:

I do not divide the Scriptures into essentials (fundamentals) and non-essentials.  Fundamentalism has put a limited amount of truth in a lockbox, as sacred truths which are sacrosanct, and other things are open to debate.  I just don't look that way at the Scriptures. I am not saying I fully understand everything in Scripture or that I have 100% of the right beliefs.  I just don't the fundamentals are enough. The Bible is what is enough for me.  All of its content is fundamental to my faith. 

I actually disagree pretty strongly with that statement. The point of the fundamentals is that there are certain core or fundamental truths that are so central to the gospel and saving faith that to deny them is to deny Biblical Christianity. Paul says if someone preaches another gospel let them be accursed. There are other aspects of Biblical truth that are either less clear or less vital to saving faith. Kent mentioned mode of baptism in his post, so I will use it as an illustration. I feel pretty strongly about immersion, but I wouldn't say (nor do I think Paul would say) "let everyone who teaches sprinkling be accursed".

Now, if I understand Kent B. rightly he says that he separates over more than the fundamentals, which so would I. But i think it is somewhat misguided for you to say Scripture never distinguishes between essentials and non-essentials, or that we shouldn't do that. Most recognize that there are some truths that are less clear or less essential for saving faith. God in his good providence and wisdom ensured that the things necessary for saving faith and preserving the essence of Biblical Christianity are quite clear. Certainly all of the bible is vital for the faith (which is one of the fundamentals by the way), but not all of it is equally clear and not all of its truths are of equal importance (maybe equal consequence is a better way to put it).

I think Dr. Bauder has written quite articulately on this point, i just couldn't find the exact place, maybe someone else could link it.

 

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The distinction...

Ryan,

That distinction is at the heart of why Kent is rejecting the term Fundamentalist. Perhaps it's worth discussing, but this is the key issue for them (and I don't anticipate that the conversation will gain any headway on convincing them otherwise). There are also going to be disagreements on what constitutes fellowship (just talking isn't fellowship of any sort). The question I have is does this create some new category or label for them, and if so, what is that? I would still tend to describe them generally in the Fundamentalist category, just with a much more exhaustive list of what they deem to be essential.

Greg Linscott
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I guess then my concern

I guess then my concern wouldn't be to find a new or more accurate label for them. Though you make a valid point. My concern is that by raising all truth to the same level of "fundamental-ness" they have actually devalued the fundamentals. The very genius of the fundamentalist movement at its best is the recognition that some truths are so vital, so important, so necessary that they are worth contending for and separating over. So if they don't want to apply the label to themselves then I am fine with that. I am certainly not going to fight to affix it to them and their ministries.

Certainly a Christian, and a Christian ministry such as a church should hold to more truth than five or seven fundamentals. But they cannot hold to less. And the amount of similarity and agreement of belief between two Christians or ministries will no doubt affect their fellowship. But to raise all truth to the same level actually (imo) takes the glory away from the greatest and most vital truths.

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Dr. Bauder has made this kind

Dr. Bauder has made this kind of point much more clearly than I have. In fact, he has informed my thinking on this issue a great deal:

Hyper-fundamentalism and the new evangelicalism are mirror images of each other. The old neoevangelicalism damaged the gospel, not by denying it, but by attacking its role as a demarcator between Christianity and apostasy. The hyper-fundamentalist does the same kind of damage by adding something else alongside the gospel. (from here)

Or read his chapter from the four views book put out a while ago.

 

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Ryan wrote:

Ryan wrote:

Klengel said:

I do not divide the Scriptures into essentials (fundamentals) and non-essentials.  Fundamentalism has put a limited amount of truth in a lockbox, as sacred truths which are sacrosanct, and other things are open to debate.  I just don't look that way at the Scriptures. I am not saying I fully understand everything in Scripture or that I have 100% of the right beliefs.  I just don't the fundamentals are enough. The Bible is what is enough for me.  All of its content is fundamental to my faith. 

I actually disagree pretty strongly with that statement. The point of the fundamentals is that there are certain core or fundamental truths that are so central to the gospel and saving faith that to deny them is to deny Biblical Christianity. Paul says if someone preaches another gospel let them be accursed. There are other aspects of Biblical truth that are either less clear or less vital to saving faith. Kent mentioned mode of baptism in his post, so I will use it as an illustration. I feel pretty strongly about immersion, but I wouldn't say (nor do I think Paul would say) "let everyone who teaches sprinkling be accursed".

Now, if I understand Kent B. rightly he says that he separates over more than the fundamentals, which so would I. But i think it is somewhat misguided for you to say Scripture never distinguishes between essentials and non-essentials, or that we shouldn't do that. Most recognize that there are some truths that are less clear or less essential for saving faith. God in his good providence and wisdom ensured that the things necessary for saving faith and preserving the essence of Biblical Christianity are quite clear. Certainly all of the bible is vital for the faith (which is one of the fundamentals by the way), but not all of it is equally clear and not all of its truths are of equal importance (maybe equal consequence is a better way to put it).

I think Dr. Bauder has written quite articulately on this point, i just couldn't find the exact place, maybe someone else could link it.

Ryan, you are right to disagree with Klengel's statement, because the apostle Paul disagrees with it as well. Paul said the Gospel is of "first importance" (1 Cor. 15). Some fundamentalists seem to argue that if you make an issue anything less than of utmost importance, you are making it unimportant, and that is just not the case. There are certain doctrines and teachings of Scripture, centered around the Gospel, that are of "first importance." If you make everything of first importance, then you make nothing of first importance.

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Kent agrees with "cultural fundamentalism" as a term

It dawned on me several years ago that I couldn't keep self-identifying as a fundamentalist, because I believe that more is required for unity and fellowship than the fundamentals.  Scripture doesn't support unity on just fundamentals.   If there are fundamentals, the Bible doesn't say what they are.  I often say that I figured out that I can't be a fundamentalist and obey the Bible, and obeying the Bible is more important than being a non-scriptural title or even idea.  I don't know that I ever truly was a fundamentalist.  I didn't know what one was, but when I understood it, I decided I wasn't one.

As an example, our church separates over mode of baptism.  Our church separates over ungodly worship.  Our church separates over immodest dress.  Our church separates over false doctrine and practice.  We don't immediately cut other people off.  We give people an opportunity to grow.  But we don't divide the Bible into the so-called essentials and non-essentials and separate only over the essentials, whatever size of list that is growing to or shrinking to.

I'm not sure why any of this is news, either to Kent - although it doesn't sound like it's news to him - or to the rest of us.  As soon as you started adding things to the fundamentals that merit separation (especially something like 'ungodly worship' or 'immodest dress') that aren't definable from Scripture or that are not even defined by the term's user, you step over the bounds of Fundamentalism and into something else, whatever you call it.  By stating that he will separate over 'ungodly worship' and 'immodest dress' - without defining the terms - it's hard to see how his beliefs and practices are formulated or supported by any specific appeals to Scripture.  It's simply ungodly because they deem it to be so.  This is the exact same argument we had a couple months back over the legitimacy of the term 'cultural fundamentalist', and IIRC, Kent was one of the people saying that there is no such thing and that to say such is slander.

I don't say this to impugn Kent or the others.  I would agree with him that separation is warranted over baptism and false doctrine.  It's the other stuff that he includes that is the deal breaker that I disagree with.

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

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Besides all of that

The term "fundamentalist" is worthless anyway.   To use it outside of this context, you run into mental images of suicide bombers or folks like Westboro.  To use it inside of 'our' context, you need to define it eighty different ways anyway to make sure that you are 'the real deal'.

Skip the argument over the term, and do the work Jesus assigned us.  That's the end goal anyway.

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

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For Pastors and ministry "professionals"

Outside "the ghetto" (MW meaning # 3), ask the man on the street what "fundamentalism" means. Ask 10 or 20. It will be an eye-opener. It no longer speaks to the " Fundamentalist–Modernist Controversy", nor secondary-separation. 

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No clear defintion

Historical fundamentalism was not exclusively Baptist, dispensational, or pre-millenial, yet today those have become fundamentals to a highly visible segment of "fundamentalists" who will separate over those beliefs. Most of the people I encounter aren't familiar with the term unless it is applied to Islam. They do understand and engage in conversation when I use words like Bible, God, and Jesus.

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

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Two Issues in One Article

I agree that the term, "fundamentalist", isn't very helpful these days (unless speaking amongst ourselves).  I don't really like being called one because of its associations.

But the bigger issue for Mr. Brandenburg is the issue of fellowship. The Bible values fellowship amongst God's people, and even amongst God's local churches.  From what I know of Mr. Brandenburg, he does not value fellowship.  Rather, he thrives on separation.  Thus, the real reason for his slap at "fundamentalists".

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Terms Important

Words are only helpful if we agree upon a definition.

The word "worship" has become one of those words that floats from meaning to meaning.  Even the word "church" to some means a building, to others, clergy, to many believers "them," but never "us."

Words like love, Christian, Biblical, evangelical, reformed, or fundamentalist must be defined for any discussion to be intelligent, and one must adhere to that definition.   To me, Brandenburg represents why I evaded the term "fundamentalist" for a while.  In my area, the term "fundamentalist" was held captive to KJV-only independent Baptists opposed to contemporary music and/or opposed to creativity and change of any kind in general with a revivalist decision-oriented view of preaching.

The definition of terms cannot be emphasized too much.  We cannot speak intelligently if we do not agree on definitions, at least within a particular conversation.  Brandenberg's definition of fundamentalism seems to be the original one.  He is right, that, based upon the original definition, he is not one.  Based upon the popular definition (within the evangelical world), he is a fundamentalist -- exemplifying the reason why many evade the term (including me, for a while).

Like Brandenberg, I seek to be Biblical.  Unlike Brandenberg, I recognize being Biblical is an aspiration, and it would be arrogant of me to say that I am Biblical.  I seek to be Biblical, but there is a gap between what the Bible SAYS and how I think it APPLIES.  The Bible is infallible; attempts to implement the Bible are very fallible.

 

 

 

"The Midrash Detective"

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Defining "fellowship"

Further complicating the matter, apart from how you define "Fundamentalist," is how Kent defines "fellowship" vs. many of us. For him, it's basically specific cooperative ministry endeavors, period. Sharing a cup of coffee isn't fellowship, and there aren't different levels based on levels of agreement. He can be cordial to someone and enjoy some kind of a relationship and ongoing conversation, but that isn't "fellowship" in any sense of the term as far as he is concerned. For him, "fellowship" is going to take place in a local church context (with a few other exceptions).

Greg Linscott
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It took longer than I would

It took longer than I would have expected, but someone above did finally (indirectly) attach the glaringly obvious label that applies to Brandenburg (and apparently KLengel):  hyper-fundamentalist.  (There are other labels that come readily to mind, but I suppose it wouldn't necessarily be constructive to go there.)  If there is a more accurate label that does not include the term "fundamentalist" at all, that would benefit those who do accept the fundamentalist label more even more than it would gratify Brandenburg et al.

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Really, more inneudo? Who's the hyper-fundamentalist now?

dmyers,

First of all, you don't know me.  Second, I don't believe I nor Kent are hyper-fundamentalists.  I have read Dr. Bauder's characterization of hyper-fundamentalists, and I can tell you that I am not.  Third, I think labelling people in general is not a very Christ-like thing, especially when using perjorative labels for others.  Fourth, many on this board constantly challenge those who are more conservative than themselves in this fashion, regardless of the intellectual and thoughtful scholarship of those men.  I would suggest that some on this forum show a lack of appreciation for scholarship and use innuendo many times in response to others.  Those are clear signs of hyper-fundamentalists. Perhaps you should look in the mirror in your glass house.

KML 

 

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Agreed and more [puxoxfordistism]

KLengel wrote:
I think labelling people in general is not a very Christ-like thing

Agreed. Let a person own their own labels.

More: Puxoxfordistism​. I'm a Puxoxfordistialist. What's a Puxoxfordistialist? I just made up the word. It has no meaning. 

But puxoxfordistism is a better word that fundamentalism because, while it is void of meaning, at least it has not been reinvented, revisionalized for the umpteenth time. At least puxoxfordistism does not have the negative connotation of fundamentalism: One could envision Schaap, Westboro, or 9/11

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Double-standard?

Why are people so quick to malign Brandenburg? He's not a raving maniac, you know! I haven't seen any videos of him burning NIV's or pushing for the theory that Codex Sinaiticus was a Jesuit conspiracy. Nobody has to agree with everything the guy says (I certainly don't!), but at least try to interact thoughtfully with the thoughtful folks you disagree with!

TylerR is the Pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Divernon, Il. He blogs here

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Once upon a time...

TylerR wrote:

Why are people so quick to malign Brandenburg? He's not a raving maniac, you know! I haven't seen any videos of him burning NIV's or pushing for the theory that Codex Sinaiticus was a Jesuit conspiracy. Nobody has to agree with everything the guy says (I certainly don't!), but at least try to interact thoughtfully with the thoughtful folks you disagree with!

Tyler, I agree that people shouldn't be so quick to malign or jump to innuendo or ad hominem when dealing with a brother like Kent.  However, you should understand that for long-timers here, there is a bit of history there, even though that doesn't completely excuse it.  Kent himself is somewhat, shall we say, pugilistic at times in his tone and argumentation.  Maybe more than just at times, at least back then.  In fact, the original owner of SI disabled his posting privileges back a number of years ago with the main stated reason being "tone," though there may have been more behind it.  I didn't agree with that decision, though I wasn't on the admin team at that time, because I thought SI would be more likely to fulfill its mission if fundamentalists across the spectrum (or those similar in doctrine to fundamentalists, as Kent doesn't claim that label any longer -- he may not have even at the time -- I don't remember any more) took part in the discussions.  Even though I disagreed with him on some issues, I was sorry to see him go, because in my view, if we chased away all those with strongly differing views, there is less of interest to discuss, and the value of the discussion goes down.  Nothing brings a discussion to silence any quicker that trying to discuss an issue on which all participants agree!

I also have a somewhat different perspective of him than many here, because I used to attend a church that is now in fellowship with his.  At the time I started there, that church wasn't KJVO, LCO, closed-communion, or any number of other things which have since changed there.  I heard Kent speak for the first time at a week of meetings at that church and got my first taste of his perspective.  Over the time I was there, that church changed in a number of doctrines, and I eventually had to leave because the disagreements were too many, and I had no wish to cause any division there.  That was in early 2003.  In 2005, SI started, and I joined it about a month after that.  Though there are many different blogs and sources of information on the internet, it seemed like at the time SI was the only place where fundamentalists with different backgrounds, beliefs, etc. could get together and have discussions, since they would never be in the same churches together.  I had never had to leave a church for doctrinal reasons before, and it was a welcome outlet for me to be able to discuss those differences and similar issues.

SI today is not exactly the same type of place it was at that time.  Sadly, at least to me, many of the participants on both edges of the spectrum have since moved on, and many of the more ultra-conservative branches of fundamentalism have never wanted anything to do with SI.  SI works pretty hard, especially under the current owner, to stay close to what is often thought of as main-stream fundamentalism.  That's one of the reasons I've been willing to participate as a moderator -- I want to do my part to keep it going and keep the conversations on track.  However, from what I can see reading all over the fundamentalist and conservative evangelical blog space, SI has the perception of being somewhat leftward-leaning for a fundamental site, probably because of the lack of participation of many of those who would be considered to be in Joel T.'s A or A+ camps.  However, there has also been no shortage of people in those camps disparaging SI as being "Sharper Spatula" or "Duller Iron," or other similar slurs.  I think some here have gotten quite tired of those characterizations and either respond in kind or start similar attacks of their own.  I think it's just human nature, but I'm glad to see someone occasionally questioning that, as I see no reason to not try to always take the high road.

Edit: Kent reminded me that he wasn't banned, just had his SI posting privileges removed, so I've corrected that above.  It's been a while so I didn't remember all the exact details.

Dave Barnhart

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Iron Sharpens Iron

dcbii:

I appreciate your comments. I've only been hanging around here for about 19 months, and I am sure there is a lot of history I don't know about!

I believe some folks honestly deserve to be written off, and even deserve to be mocked and laughed at. Other folks should be read and interacted with seriously, even if we don't agree with them. To my way of thinking, Bro. Brandenburg is in the latter category. Other folks, who burn NIV's and put in on YouTube, or who write hysterical anti-Calvinist screeds, just don't deserve to be taken seriously. They don't have either (1) the mental capacity or (2) the willingness and honesty to really look at the issue they disagree with.

I'm all for making fun of people when they deserve to be made fun of!

-----------------

On the label "fundamentalist;" I believe some things are really non-negotiable. Others have wiggle-room. Some things in Scripture are explicit and implicit teachings. Others are less clear. Lines in the sand are drawn by everyone. We can't draw lines in the sand around everything; nobody will ever agree. We have to draw a circle and take a stand somewhere.

I think the "fundamentals" are the things to stand on, and I do think they are fundamental. More fundamental, at least, than the mode of Baptism or one's view on the millennium. This last remark about "mode of baptism" not being a fundamental of the faith will rile some, including perhaps Bro. Brandeburg. That is fine; I've drawn my own line in the sand that demarks what theological orthodoxy and genuine Christianity is. The fundamentals are the bare minimum; actual fellowship is another matter. But that's a topic for another time. 

That idea of subjectivism was Mohler's chief criticism of Bauder's position in the "four views" book:

Kevin provides a rubric for analyzing when a difference must produce separation. He calls it a “matrix” that includes the level of fellowship proposed, an honest assessment , an attitudinal analysis, and a proper “weighing” of these matters. He concludes by stating, “Ultimately Christians must make their own judgments for each unique case . Naturally, all Christians will not make the same judgment.” Really? The fundamentalist position leaves us with that much possible variance? (Kindle Locations 760-764). 

It was very ironic that Mohler, after offering this critique, went on to offer his own "theological triage" that was just as individually subjective as Bauder's lines of fellowship:

In this light, the goal of applying a discipline like theological triage would be to avoid doctrinal collapse in terms of first-order doctrines , on the one hand, and doctrinal preoccupation and schism over third-order doctrines, on the other. In this model, we expect debates over the second-order issues to be the most difficult in terms of definition and identity. (Kindle Locations 1289-1291). 

Either the line gets drawn somewhere, or we simple tenaciously defend everything  and allow little room for disagreement. Is everything critical, or are some things of first importance? I'm willing to say there are fundamentals of the faith, and they are of first importance. So, I'll take the label. 

TylerR is the Pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Divernon, Il. He blogs here

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Jim wrote:

Jim wrote:

Agreed. Let a person own their own labels.

More: Puxoxfordistism​. I'm a Puxoxfordistialist. What's a Puxoxfordistialist? I just made up the word. It has no meaning. 

But puxoxfordistism is a better word that fundamentalism because, while it is void of meaning, at least it has not been reinvented, revisionalized for the umpteenth time. At least puxoxfordistism does not have the negative connotation of fundamentalism: One could envision Schaap, Westboro, or 9/11

Admit it, Jim. You're really a hyper-puxoxfordistialist. Smile

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Categories

TylerR wrote:

I believe some folks honestly deserve to be written off, and even deserve to be mocked and laughed at. Other folks should be read and interacted with seriously, even if we don't agree with them. To my way of thinking, Bro. Brandenburg is in the latter category. Other folks, who burn NIV's and put in on YouTube, or who write hysterical anti-Calvinist screeds, just don't deserve to be taken seriously. They don't have either (1) the mental capacity or (2) the willingness and honesty to really look at the issue they disagree with.

Tyler, there's no doubt that this is part of it.  SI was, when it was started, intended to be for self-identified fundamentalists in doctrine (even if they did not use the term), with a doctrinal statement that was very similar to that of the ACCC.  That was the limiting factor, so that there could be profitable interaction and discussion.  Certainly, there have been those that use that label that have come espousing things that were really outside those bounds, and those, we don't really need to interact with, as you said, and some were banned very quickly.

Obviously, while I consider Kent to be in your latter category, there are certainly also some here which put him more in the former and don't believe he is worthy of interaction, though I'm fairly certain a large number of those who really opposed him strongly are no longer here either.  I think there will continue to be disagreement as to how to categorize him, especially since he states he is no fundamentalist, so I don't see that going away any time soon.  A number of us will continue to read him at his blog and interact there, and some will take potshots.  That seems to be par for the course on both sides, as plenty of SI mockers have participated at his sites.  We can't get rid of all of it without shutting down the free interaction so much that discussion here really would no longer be of value.

Dave Barnhart

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I laughed hard recently when

I laughed hard recently when reading this thread of a debate between Kent and the Remonstrans dude even though it is hard to pick who to cheer for. http://remonstrans.net/index.php/2012/09/21/it_s_like_having_two_headach...

Seriously funny. Love how Kent defends his music qualifications by saying he had his children take music lessons. That in a nutshell is my problem with Kent. He does not even know what he does not know.

 

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Not quite

GregH wrote:
Seriously funny. Love how Kent defends his music qualifications by saying he had his children take music lessons. That in a nutshell is my problem with Kent. He does not even know what he does not know.

Actually, GregH, you ought to re-read what he wrote.  There's a lot more there than just giving his kids music lessons:​

I have four children, all of which have played or play in orchestras. I've been on the board of directors for two [orchestras -Jay] for several years, was honored a couple of years ago by the California Association of Symphony Orchestras. This last summer two of my daughters played in the golden hall in Vienna and the Dvorak hall in Prague. My son played principle trombone in nation's second oldest youth orchestra, won the concerto competition, played in the California all-state band, and is now a firstie at the United States Military Academy. Most of our church young people play in orchestra. Yesterday, I talked for an hour and a half with our conductor, David Ramadanoff. My wife and I have used 25% of our budget on piano and violin lessons for our children with excellent teachers.

I left fundamentalism over 15 years ago. For over a decade, with no help from you or fundamentalism, our church has sung every service from either or both the Trinity hymnal and a Scottish versification of the Hebrew psalms. A few of the men you mentioned are dead, and I have nothing to do with any of them, but you go right ahead if you think it helps your fantasy. For 25 years I have preached and taught exposition from the Hebrew and Greek text of the Bible in its context, now toward the end of my last book, Luke. Our church is unaffiliated. Every position we take is both scriptural and historical.

If he's been on the board of two separate orchestras and was honored by the CASO, I think he probably knows a fair bit about music.  I'm pretty sure that the half hour conversation with his conductor wasn't about the difference between 3/4 and 6/8 time.

I would - and have - disagreed strongly with Kent many times (re-read the old KJV translation forums sometime) and in more than a few ways, but the one thing I can't question is either Kent's intelligence or integrity.  He is a very sharp person, and I was challenged by what he has said.  To write him off as someone who knows nothing or who defends his qualifications 'because his children took music lessons' is rude condescending.

And speaking of headaches - now I remember why I don't read dissidens or remonstrans any more.  Oy.

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

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Sorry but talking with a

Sorry but talking with a music conductor for an hour and a half does not make someone a music expert. Neither does being on the board of a few local orchestras (you may know this but the typical small orchestra would likely would take about anyone with a pulse to be on their board). You may not know the music culture very well Jay but I know what all his "qualifications" add up to. They do not qualify him as a music expert. They qualify him as the parent of music students. But that is not the problem. People are allowed to not be music experts. The problem is that he takes his "non-expert" music status and browbeats people like MacArthur over their music. That is what is rude and condescending.

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Drive-by Shootings

Irrelevant attacks on Brandeburg, without interacting with the actual article, remind me a little of this. Much sound and fury, achieving nothing . . .

TylerR is the Pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Divernon, Il. He blogs here

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KLengel wrote:

KLengel wrote:

dmyers,

First of all, you don't know me.  Second, I don't believe I nor Kent are hyper-fundamentalists.  I have read Dr. Bauder's characterization of hyper-fundamentalists, and I can tell you that I am not.  Third, I think labelling people in general is not a very Christ-like thing, especially when using perjorative labels for others.  Fourth, many on this board constantly challenge those who are more conservative than themselves in this fashion, regardless of the intellectual and thoughtful scholarship of those men.  I would suggest that some on this forum show a lack of appreciation for scholarship and use innuendo many times in response to others.  Those are clear signs of hyper-fundamentalists. Perhaps you should look in the mirror in your glass house.

KML 

 

No, not more innuendo; in fact, no innuendo at all.  I don't think innuendo means what you think it means.  You're right that I don't know you, but I do know what you wrote, and I was responding to that.  Are you saying that what you wrote doesn't mean what it says because of who you are?  I don't get it.

I understand that you don't accept the label hyper-fundamentalist, or even fundamentalist.  However, that doesn't mean the label is unfair, inaccurate, or pejorative, unless you think it's pejorative for someone to disagree with you, which I certainly do.

Brandenburg as "more conservative" than me?  Yes, I suppose so, though I worry that that label is bad for conservatives.  Brandenburg exhibiting "intellectual and thoughtful scholarship"?  Can't agree at all with that.  You're forgetting that I read what he wrote.  Again, no innuendo, just straight up disagreement and "lack of appreciation" for illogic and unscriptural extremism.

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TylerR wrote:

TylerR wrote:

I believe some folks honestly deserve to be written off, and even deserve to be mocked and laughed at. Other folks should be read and interacted with seriously, even if we don't agree with them. To my way of thinking, Bro. Brandenburg is in the latter category. Other folks, who burn NIV's and put in on YouTube, or who write hysterical anti-Calvinist screeds, just don't deserve to be taken seriously. They don't have either (1) the mental capacity or (2) the willingness and honesty to really look at the issue they disagree with.

But the cited post by Brandenburg does contain a hysterical (i.e., incoherent) anti-Calvinist screed.  He says:

Here's a tough one now for fundamentalists, which shows why it is hard to be a fundamentalist. Fundamentalists separated from the Southern Baptist Convention.   Calvinism is growing in fundamentalism.  Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is Calvinist.  The Convention still harbors a false gospel among many.  However, it seems that fundamentalists can now fellowship with Southern Baptists and Calvinism is the glue.  Calvinist fundamentalists will fellowship, again, it seems, with Southern Baptist Calvinists.  Those same Calvinists have a much bigger problem with the King James Version than they do Southern Baptist Calvinists.  Go figure.  Perhaps, go try to figure, because you won't understand the doctrine of it.

Maybe I can't say that Calvinist fundamentalists hate the revivalist fundamentalists.  Maybe hate is too strong a word.  But that's what it seems like.  The Calvinist fundamentalists seem to like the Southern Baptist Calvinists more than the fundamentalist revivalists.  I'm laughing.

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Amazing

dmyers, 

And I thought hyper-fundamentalists were the uneducated ones...

(There are other labels that come readily to mind, but I suppose it wouldn't necessarily be constructive to go there.)

Who died, and allowed you to determine what label fits what I believe.  It is inaccurate.  Most who use it, do so for perjorative reasons, and you use it because you can't argue someone's position, only call them names.  Wow, alot of academic scholarship there!  

Prove his positions are wrong, don't just blather on about how he is bad for conservative thinking.

KML 

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dmyers

You wrote:

But the cited post by Brandenburg does contain a hysterical (i.e., incoherent) anti-Calvinist screed.  

The difference is that Brandenburg can explain why he isn't a Calvinist, and why he disagrees with that soteriology! 

TylerR is the Pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Divernon, Il. He blogs here

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KLengel wrote:

KLengel wrote:

dmyers, 

And I thought hyper-fundamentalists were the uneducated ones...

(There are other labels that come readily to mind, but I suppose it wouldn't necessarily be constructive to go there.)

Who died, and allowed you to determine what label fits what I believe.  It is inaccurate.  Most who use it, do so for perjorative reasons, and you use it because you can't argue someone's position, only call them names.  Wow, alot of academic scholarship there!  

Prove his positions are wrong, don't just blather on about how he is bad for conservative thinking.

KML 

I don't remember saying anything about anyone else's education.  And I don't think mine is one you want to try to disparage.  

To answer your over-sensitive question:  obviously I'm not "determin[ing] what label fits what [you] believe" in any ultimate sense.    I'm not God, or even the Pope, so I don't decree anything.  My statement that you and Brandenburg are accurately described as hyper-fundamentalists is, it should go without saying, my opinion.  I imagine it's one that would be shared by quite a number of SI participants.  You disagree.  Fine.  I'm not offended.  The only name-calling here has come from you.  I think it's probably best that we not continue this discussion any further because it's too personal for you.

For future reference, if you want to claim the educational and scholarly high ground in a discussion, it's pejorative, not "perjorative."

 

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KLengel, I may have missed it

KLengel, I may have missed it as I was reading through the posts, but I was curious as to how you would define Baptist as you use it to describe yourself and how that would differ from others who call themselves Baptists.  (If you are not a Baptist, please forgive me for assuming you were, I just wanted a bit of clarification as I contemplated your positions).   Thank you. 

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TylerR wrote:

TylerR wrote:

You wrote:

But the cited post by Brandenburg does contain a hysterical (i.e., incoherent) anti-Calvinist screed.  

The difference is that Brandenburg can explain why he isn't a Calvinist, and why he disagrees with that soteriology! 

I assume that almost everyone who engages in an anti-Calvinist screed can explain why they aren't a Calvinist.  That doesn't determine whether their screed is hysterical -- that is determined by their tone, their coherence, and their accuracy in describing Calvinism (perhaps among other things).  Using those criteria, I'd describe the two Brandenburg paragraphs I quoted as hysterical.  (And they appear in the midst of an essay that overall is hysterical, which I gather is a characteristic of Brandenburg's essays.)

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I asked KLengel the same

I asked KLengel the same basic question several days ago and he has yet to answer. I kind of gave up since Greg L. Asked Mr. Brandenburg the same basic question on his blog and I was able to read that response. 

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Well...

KLengel objects to the apparently disparaging term "hyper-fundamentalist." I can see that. At the same time, my friend, do you understand in any sense any kind of potential charitable reason  that someone might choose to use that for someone like yourself or Kent? Fundamentalists, to be quick and dirty, unite and separate over issues related first to the principles deemed to be fundamental to the Gospel, and yet have more specific principles that distinguish closer levels of fellowship (church associations, church fellowship, church leadership...). Again, to be quick and dirty, you and Kent separate and unite with a much more exhaustive list, and there is no recognition of any levels- it's basically all-or-nothing. That seems to be the same generally separatist mindset present, only your list is "over and above" the gospel list- a classic employ of the "hyper-" prefix. You have already insisted you are not Fundamentalist. At the same time, "Biblical Baptist" doesn't really cut it (how many Baptists would say, "yeah, you're right, we're not as Biblical as you"?). If you're going to insist you're not like "us" (and that is something we should all be able to agree on in this case), then until some better term catches on, you'll be lumped in with Fundies by some, and will be referred to as "hyper-" by others- all in an effort by people to distinguish themselves from you, which is something you yourselves want to do, for that matter. But is there a better solution? I'd love to hear it.

 

---------

To the rest- the bottom line is they don't want to be Fundamentalists, and as someone who is still very comfortable identifying as one in most settings, I am okay with that- because I don't draw all the same conclusions, and I am admittedly very interested in having limited fellowship (talking and active partnerships) with those whom I have some doctrinal and practical incongruity with. I don't think we should seek to offend these men intentionally, and if they reject the "hyper-" term, we should ask if there is some way we could better refer to them (sometimes people have used the term "Big 'B' Baptist"- that's probably not precise enough, either...). But at this point, I don't know how much more benefit there will be to attempting to persuade them of the validity of a position they want no part of, and to have a relationship with people like us that they clearly want to separate themselves from in tangible ways.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

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clarification

dmyers,

My education remark was referring to a characteristic attributed to hyper-fundamentalists that they are uneducated.  Obviously, your education only allows you to argue against typos, yet cannot even recognize your own use of innuendos.  Over-sensitive?  Not likely. I just call them like I see them. And for the record, I have not done any name calling so you need to read thru what I wrote again. Perhaps a second look will make you recognize your mistake.

KML

 

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Ken,

Ken,

It's obvious your dander is up. That's fine, we have all been there many times. I don't think anyone truly minds your passionate disagreement over this topic. If I may be so bold as to speak on behalf of others, I think the thing that is most troublesome is when someone wades into a conversation with passionate disagreement but refuses to answer questions that are posed. Then it ceases to be a conversation and ends up just being a diatribe. No one listens when the conversation is one -sided. JD just posed the most recent question that has so far gone unanswered. I will repost it here in honest hopes that you desire to sharpen and be sharpened through conversation rather than simply wanting to dull everything around you by beating on it.

JD MIller wrote: KLengel, I may have missed it as I was reading through the posts, but I was curious as to how you would define Baptist as you use it to describe yourself and how that would differ from others who call themselves Baptists.  (If you are not a Baptist, please forgive me for assuming you were, I just wanted a bit of clarification as I contemplated your positions).   Thank you. 

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

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Chip, come on now...

Chip,

I did not refuse to answer anyone's questions.  I saw late last evening that I did not respond back to JD yet, (I originally missed his question about being a baptist) but I had other things to take care of late last evening, that took greater precedent.

Ken  

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What does this have to do with the conversation?

JD, 

My apologies for not seeing this post the first time. I did see it late last evening before Chip reminded me as well.  

So what does being a Baptist have anything to do with being a fundamentalist?  I simply do not believe the Bible describes certain doctrines to be essential and others to be non-essential. I also believe from history and from reading The Fundamentals, that this was not the founding reasons for fundamentalism either.  I would like to hear from someone on what Scripture discusses essentials? or for that matter, what Scripture defines as non-essentials?  If we want to talk about why I am not a fundamentalist, let's discuss the real crux of the issue.  Where does the Scripture define what is essential? And essential to what? and the same for non-essentials.  I think this description of essentials vs. non-essentials is a recent development and I would like to see some proof from Scripture that it is so.  I am willing to learn, but I want to discuss the passages that support such a view.  Again, sorry for taking so long to respond.

KML

 

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"True Fundamentalism" verses NOT

My observation about the "True Fundamentalist":

  • The entire label is unanchored - it is elastic and floats with time and individual
  • From the perspective of the "True Fundamentalist", he's in the center (image below)
  • Everyone whom he deems to be a fundamentalist to his right is "Hyper"
  • Everyone whom he deems to be a fundamentalist to his left is [pick a label] "no-so"

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KLengel wrote:

KLengel wrote:

JD, 

My apologies for not seeing this post the first time. I did see it late last evening before Chip reminded me as well.  

So what does being a Baptist have anything to do with being a fundamentalist?

The way I saw the question was as a comparison between labels. You do not claim the label "fundamentalist," but you do claim the label "Baptist," even though both labels can have varying meanings based on who uses them. Back on Wednesday, you even said "However, I must call myself what I am, and continue promoting what the true definition of a Baptist is, regardless of how others misuse the word by their church doctrine and practices that may be unbiblical. (we may disagree on that)"  Because you said that, you are simply being asked to clarify what you are promoting as "the true definition of a Baptist." I'm kind of curious as well.

 

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Context

Ken:

When I say, "I'm a fundamentalist," I am using it in the original sense of the word and what it meant in the fundamentalist-modernist controversy. That is, there are certain basic fundamental doctrines that define theological orthodoxy - lines which cannot be moved. These are the bare minimum, the bare essentials that define the Christian faith. Therefore, when I say, "I'm a fundamentalist," I am speaking in terms of orthodoxy vs. theological liberalism. I don't mean in terms of fundamentalists vs. evangelicals. I mean in terms of orthodoxy vs. heresy. 

I'm not sure if I'm in the minority in this perspective or not. It's just what I mean when I claim the label "fundamentalist." I am saying:

  1. There are certain non-negotiable lines in the sand which define and characterize the Christian faith (e.g. inerrancy of Scripture, virgin birth of Christ, penal substitutionary atonement, bodily resurrection of Christ, authenticity of Biblical miracles). 
  2. These lines must be defended against theological liberalism - and we ought to be militant about it

To re-state, fundamentalism is not about:

  1. Being Baptist
  2. Being dispensational
  3. Being a pre-millennialist
  4. The KJV Bible
  5. Neo-evangelicals
  6. John MacArthur
  7. Anything else

It is merely a particular philosophy of ministry, not a denomination or a sect. It crosses denominational lines and unites around the idea that orthodoxy can be defined, that the rule of faith does indeed exist, and that these fundamentals must be defended. The rise of so-called "gay Christianity" is an appropriate example of a threat that needs a defense, because to advocate for this position fundamentally impugns the work of Christ. 

That is why I say I am a fundamentalist. 

TylerR is the Pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Divernon, Il. He blogs here

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I take it that for KLengel

I take it that for KLengel and Brandenburg, there is no such thing as "mere Christianity"?

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Maybe another thread

Kevin,

The topic of this thread is fundamentalism and I would be glad to discuss Baptist Distinctives and Baptist History in another thread.  

Thanks,

Ken 

 

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KLengel wrote:

KLengel wrote:

Kevin,

The topic of this thread is fundamentalism and I would be glad to discuss Baptist Distinctives and Baptist History in another thread.  

Thanks,

Ken 

 

Actually, the topic is NOT being a fundamentalist. So the issue of what labels a person actually IS willing to use DOES come into play in this thread. Especially since you were the one who said you would promote being a true Baptist rather than being a fundamentalist. Seems to me to be right in line with the topic of what labels a person is willing to use for themselves.

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This would be an appropriate

This would be an appropriate thread The Logic of Brapsis

KLengel wrote:

Kevin,

The topic of this thread is fundamentalism and I would be glad to discuss Baptist Distinctives and Baptist History in another thread.  

Thanks,

Ken 

 

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

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Contrasting term "Fundamentalism" w "Baptist"
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Forget Baptists

Let's talk fundamentalism. Am I in the minority when I describe fundamentalism that way I did, above

TylerR is the Pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Divernon, Il. He blogs here

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Nope

Nope

TylerR wrote:

Let's talk fundamentalism. Am I in the minority when I describe fundamentalism that way I did, above

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Rob Fall's picture
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Please see, Hamilton Square

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

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me too!

TylerR wrote:

Ken:

When I say, "I'm a fundamentalist," I am using it in the original sense of the word and what it meant in the fundamentalist-modernist controversy. That is, there are certain basic fundamental doctrines that define theological orthodoxy - lines which cannot be moved. These are the bare minimum, the bare essentials that define the Christian faith. Therefore, when I say, "I'm a fundamentalist," I am speaking in terms of orthodoxy vs. theological liberalism. I don't mean in terms of fundamentalists vs. evangelicals. I mean in terms of orthodoxy vs. heresy. 

I'm not sure if I'm in the minority in this perspective or not. It's just what I mean when I claim the label "fundamentalist." I am saying:

  1. There are certain non-negotiable lines in the sand which define and characterize the Christian faith (e.g. inerrancy of Scripture, virgin birth of Christ, penal substitutionary atonement, bodily resurrection of Christ, authenticity of Biblical miracles). 
  2. These lines must be defended against theological liberalism - and we ought to be militant about it

To re-state, fundamentalism is not about:

  1. Being Baptist
  2. Being dispensational
  3. Being a pre-millennialist
  4. The KJV Bible
  5. Neo-evangelicals
  6. John MacArthur
  7. Anything else

It is merely a particular philosophy of ministry, not a denomination or a sect. It crosses denominational lines and unites around the idea that orthodoxy can be defined, that the rule of faith does indeed exist, and that these fundamentals must be defended. The rise of so-called "gay Christianity" is an appropriate example of a threat that needs a defense, because to advocate for this position fundamentally impugns the work of Christ. 

That is why I say I am a fundamentalist. 

That is the type of fundamentalist I am as well.

CanJAmerican - my blog
CanJAmerican - my twitter
whitejumaycan - my youtube

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Jim wrote:

Jim wrote:

Contrasting term "Fundamentalism" w "Baptist"

Fundamentalism does not have a doctrinal creed or statement of faith. The term is elastic and has morphed over time.

"Baptist": Something to which I subscribe. Has:

The Baptist Confession of Faith (1689) (link is external)
New Hampshire Confession of Faith (link is external)
Et Cetera 

These (obviously) predate the Fundamentalist movement

Jim, the reason I wanted a clear definition of Baptist from KLengel, is because years ago I had a connection to one of the churches that Kent Brandenburg fellowships with and their definition of Baptist did not seem to fit your outline above.  I just wanted some clarification on where KLengel was coming from when he used the term "Baptist".  BTW, their view on the difference between "true" Baptists and other Baptists caused me to distance myself from them quite quickly.

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Non Essentials

KLengel,

The Bible teaches essentials and non=essentials.  For example, Romans 14:2 tells us that a Christian with properly informed faith may eat all things.  There are no dietary restrictions for the Christian.  The passage goes on to say that some with weaker faith restrict their diet.  In terms of Biblical truth, they are wrong.  In terms of importance, the matter is non-essential.  In fact, Romans 14 teaches that for Christians to make an essential out of a non-essential is itself wrong.  Contrast this with the way Paul treats the false teaching of Judaizers in Galatians chapter one.  The Gospel is essential.  To get that wrong is fatal error.  To separate over diet is sin.  To fail to separate over the Gospel is sin.

There are clearly essentials and non-essentials of the Christian faith.

Sincerely,

Greg Barkman

G. N. Barkman

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Data sets / subsets

TylerR, 

I think the problem is that Fundamentalism - as you defined it - is what this site is about.  I'm your kind of fundamentalist.  The thing that I've noticed over time is that there seems to be a subset of people for whom Fundamentalism can only be legitimately held by those who are "Baptist Fundamentalists".  So their concept of fundamentalism isn't defined by the actual book set or underlying ideas - it's emerged from Baptistic thought as a response to the various different theological threats.  That's why I think you see a lot of Baptist fundamentalists defining the term narrowly or adding things to the idea that most Fundamentalists wouldn't think of (or intentionally add) because they're approaching it differently from the rest.  

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

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Bauder

This idea that the "fundamentals" are the boundary lines between orthodoxy and heresy, that they function as the rule of faith, could be taken to mean that all fundamentalists care about are . . .  the fundamentals. Not at all. The fundamentals merely define the "box" inside of which Christians of all theological stripes swim. 

This was one of Bauder's points in the "four views" book:

Up to this point , the discussion has focused on minimal Christian fellowship. Minimal unity and fellowship among Christians is defined by the gospel itself. Where the gospel is held in common, unity exists and fellowship should be recognized. Where the gospel is denied (either directly or by denial of some fundamental doctrine), unity does not exist and fellowship should not be extended.

The Christian faith, however, is not simply about the gospel. The gospel functions as the boundary of Christianity, but within that boundary is an entire system of faith and practice. Where the gospel is essential to the being of Christianity , other aspects of the system are necessary for its well-being. Once minimal unity is realized (i.e., once the gospel is held in common), other levels of fellowship also become possible. Within the boundary of the gospel , fellowship and unity may be greater or less. To understand why this must be so, we need only remember that unity is a function of what unites, and fellowship is something that is held in common. At minimum, Christians must be united by the gospel. At maximum, they may be united by the entire system of faith and practice, the whole counsel of God (Kindle Locations 434-443). 

Once we define, from Scripture, who is inside the box and who is not, then we can start having discussion about believer's baptism, pre-millennialism, soteriology, etc. I made the comment on Bro. Brandenburg's site that "fundamentalism" doesn't sum up my entire theological system, not should it. It merely characterizes my philosophy to ministry with regards to orthodoxy. The faith can be defined. It does have boundaries. These boundaries must be defended against. We ought to be militant about defending it against liberalism and those who seek to re-define the faith into a man-centered pretzel. In addition to being a fundamentalist, I'm also a Baptist. I'm also Calvinistic. I'm also a dispensationalist. I also disagree with particular redemption. And on it goes. But those are things to hash out inside the tent. They don't define who gets into the tent. 

TylerR is the Pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Divernon, Il. He blogs here

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Side note

TylerR wrote:

I'm also Calvinistic. ------ I also disagree with particular redemption.

Hmmm?

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

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Chip

See this thread for some of my remarks on that! That's why I said I didn't say "I'm a Calvinist." I don't think a lot of Calvinists would consider me a "real" Calvinist. Maybe they're right. Anyway - back to the topic!

TylerR is the Pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Divernon, Il. He blogs here

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Romans 14 is not a catch all for essential vs non-essential

Greg,

Your analysis of Romans 14 as a delimiter for essential vs non-essential is lacking. I am very familiar with this passage as it has been the discussion of my church and my family for the past 8 months.  It mentions nothing about essential or non-essential.  It is a stretch to devise that significance from your meaning.  Where does Paul state that the view of the strong or weak was wrong or right, or essential or non-essential? Not in this passage I am afraid.

Thanks,

Ken    

 

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Essential and non-essential

Ken,

Are you saying that because Paul doesn't use the words "essential" and "non-essential" that the passage "mentions nothing" about that topic?

You ask, "Where does Paul state that the view of the strong or weak was wrong or right?"  Answer:  By stating the restricted diet position as that of a weak brother identifies that position as wrong.  We know from other Scripture that this position is, in fact, Biblically incorrect.  (cf. I Timothy 4:3,4)  But even though the belief in a restricted diet is doctrinally incorrect, it is not essential.  Paul teaches that such Christians, wrong though they may be, are to be received into the fellowship of the church, and are not to be judged by Christians of strong faith whose doctrinal understanding regarding diets is the Biblically correct position.  Clearly some doctrines are non-essential.  Dietary restrictions are non-essential to being a genuine Christian.  Dietary restrictions are non-essential to enjoy full and unhindered Christian fellowship within the church.  Observance of days is another example of a non-essential doctrine in Romans 14:5,6.

In short, Paul teaches that the restricted diet view is wrong but non-essential, which is the basis for his teaching about Christian liberty in this chapter.  In matters non-essential, there is liberty.

Sincerely,

Greg

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KLengel, are these essentials?

Are these essential doctrines?

Baptism by immersion

Pre-Tribulationalism

​Pre-Millenialism

Dispensationalsm?

​Multiple Elders

Style of music

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

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Essential to what?

Greg,

No, I am not saying that because it doesn't use the words essential or non-essential, that it is not talking about them.  I am simply stating that the original author's meaning has nothing to do with essential or non-essential and to draw that application or significance is a stretch.

The quote by Meldenius is so overused.

KML

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Hi Ron

Ron,

Essential to what is my question? To be a fundamentalist today? Obviously not. Let me turn it around and ask you and others to answer these question instead.

Can more than one belief truly being right? Can Orthodoxy be represented by more than one right answer?  Is Orthodoxy determined by the Scriptures or by tradition, church history, or experience? Is Orthodoxy what is right in the eyes of the beholder?  If Jesus Christ is the Truth (and I declare that He is) conflicting beliefs cannot both be true.  In our postmodern skeptical age, I believe bible-believers everywhere, who have felt the pain of ridicule in the areas of social justice, scholarship, loss from the culture and worship wars, have decided to accept uncertainty instead of finding truth.  I have heard it many times before the reasons why. Men are fallible.  OK, if we are so fallible, how do we know we got the gospel right? Because we have a group of fallible men to say so? So a group of fallible minds is better than one fallible mind? Because history has long held to these certain truths? Not hardly.  How do we know if we are right on the essentials vs. non-essentials if such a thing existed?  These are just the tip of the iceberg, but I will bow out now and listen for the wisdom of the answers to these questions.  It's my birthday, and I know that is true.  

KML     

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Original Author's Meaning

Ken,

What is Paul's original meaning?   If it is not to instruct members of the church at Rome to receive into their unhindered fellowship Christians who are doctrinally wrong about diets, what is it?  Isn't Paul teaching that the Biblical position regarding diets (I Timothy 4:3,4) is a non-essential for salvation and church fellowship?

Warm regards,

Greg

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KLengel wrote:

KLengel wrote:

Ron,

Essential to what is my question? To be a fundamentalist today? Obviously not. Let me turn it around and ask you and others to answer these question instead.

Can more than one belief truly being right? Can Orthodoxy be represented by more than one right answer?  Is Orthodoxy determined by the Scriptures or by tradition, church history, or experience? Is Orthodoxy what is right in the eyes of the beholder?  If Jesus Christ is the Truth (and I declare that He is) conflicting beliefs cannot both be true.  In our postmodern skeptical age, I believe bible-believers everywhere, who have felt the pain of ridicule in the areas of social justice, scholarship, loss from the culture and worship wars, have decided to accept uncertainty instead of finding truth.  I have heard it many times before the reasons why. Men are fallible.  OK, if we are so fallible, how do we know we got the gospel right? Because we have a group of fallible men to say so? So a group of fallible minds is better than one fallible mind? Because history has long held to these certain truths? Not hardly.  How do we know if we are right on the essentials vs. non-essentials if such a thing existed?  These are just the tip of the iceberg, but I will bow out now and listen for the wisdom of the answers to these questions.  It's my birthday, and I know that is true.  

KML     

Ken,

What most believers have accepted is the doctrine of perspicuity.

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

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Ken, I already gave one very

Ken, I already gave one very specific and clear example of Scripture telling us what is "essential"--1 Cor. 15--in my post above.

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I don't think so...

Greg,

I don't think that verse applies either. In fact, translations that refer to it as "first importance" in verse 3 are either dynamic equivalence or just a poor translation. (ESV) The greek word for "first" there is clearly one referring to sequence not one of principal or rank.  First of all, as found in the KJV is the most appropriate and it is found in most translations that way before 1952. (although NKJV gets it right as well as KJV) 

Thanks,

Ken

 

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I guess I wasn't clear

KLengel,

I guess I wasn't clear. 

Are these essential doctrines to you personally. 

Baptism by immersion

Pre-Tribulationalism

​Pre-Millenialism

Dispensationalsm?

​Multiple Elders

Style of music

 

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

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What's that again?

Ken,

Sorry, but I don't have a clue as to how your answer addresses the questions I raised.  Since I use the NKJV as my primary source, it must not be because we are depending upon competing  interpretations based upon differing translations.

I still have no idea what you think this passage means, only that it doesn't apply to the question of essentials.  But what the passage actually says, and why it doesn't apply to the topic of essential and non-essential doctrines, you have yet to address. I am left with the uncomfortable suspicion that you are dismissing a portion of Scripture that contradicts your present understanding because you are unwilling to consider Biblical evidence to the contrary.

I hope I am mistaken, and  am happy to be corrected when you explain your interpretation of the relevant verses in Romans 14 so as to answer the questions I posed.

Sincerely,

Greg

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G.N.

G.N.,

My apologies, I should have designated which Greg I was responding to. Smile I would like to see proof that it is talking about essentials vs. non-essentials from that passage? Where is your proof?  Why make such loose accusations when you yourself have not provided any proof of your interpretation. I could state the same about yours, but I have not.  This is very common on this board.  Saying that it is a non-essential is not proof. 

KML 

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Not Proof?

Ken,

I  have offered "proof" by briefly explaining several of the relevant verses and showing how they apply to the question of non-essentials.  As far as I can tell, you have merely stated that this isn't what the passage means.  OK, then what does it mean?

Sincerely,

Greg Barkman

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Greg,

Greg,

This is the last time I am going to say this, but the passage talks nothing over whether or not diets is an essential or non-essential doctrine.

I am done with this line of discussion.

Ken

 

 

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KLengel wrote:

KLengel wrote:

Greg,

I don't think that verse applies either. In fact, translations that refer to it as "first importance" in verse 3 are either dynamic equivalence or just a poor translation. (ESV) The greek word for "first" there is clearly one referring to sequence not one of principal or rank.  First of all, as found in the KJV is the most appropriate and it is found in most translations that way before 1952. (although NKJV gets it right as well as KJV) 

Thanks,

Ken

 

Ken, the word translated "first of all" in the KJV is protos, which can mean either first in place ("the front"; Heb. 9:2, 6, 8), first in time (as in a runner coming in first in a race; Mk. 12:20; 1 Tim. 2:13, many others), or first in rank or importance (preeminent; Mk. 10:31). The question is, which sense does it carry in 1 Cor. 15:3? Well, these meanings are not mutually exclusive. It may very well mean that it was the first thing Paul preached to them, but that does not exclude the sense that it is of utmost importance as well. Here are some commentators:

Adam Clarke, Clarke's Commentary:

As the chief things, or matters of the greatest importance; fundamental truths.

Albert Barnes, Barnes' Notes:

"First of all." Among the first doctrines which I preached. As the leading and primary doctrines of Christianity.

David K. Lowery, The Bible Knowledge Commentary:

These verses, the heart of the gospel, were an early Christian confession which Paul described as of first importance.

Warren Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary:

First of all means "of first importance." The Gospel is the most important message that the church ever proclaims.

John Calvin, Calvin's Commentaries:

He now confirms what he had previously stated, by explaining that the resurrection had been preached by him, and that too as a fundamental doctrine of the gospel. First of all, says he, as it is wont to be with a foundation in the erecting of a house.

Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown:

First of all - literally, 'among the foremost points' (Heb 6:2). The atonement is, in Paul's view, of primary importance.

Matthew Henry:

Observe what this gospel is, on which the apostle lays such stress. It was that doctrine which he had received, and delivered to them,
en protois —among the first, the principal. It was a doctrine of the first rank, a most necessary truth, That Christ died for our sins, and was buried, and rose again: or, in other words, that he was delivered for our offences and rose again for our justification (Rom 4:25), that he was offered in sacrifice for our sins, and rose again, to show that he had procured forgiveness for them, and was accepted of God in this offering. Note, Christ's death and resurrection are the very sum and substance of evangelical truth. Hence we derive our spiritual life now, and here we must found our hopes of everlasting life hereafter.

UBS NT Handbook Series:

Of first importance is literally "in (the) first (plural)," an expression used only here in the New Testament. The phrase can mean "first in time" or "first in importance." It seems likely that Paul intended both meanings here: "first and foremost" (REB); "of first importance" is another possibility.

R. C. H. Lenski:

The phrase en protois is practically an adverb, "firstly," "in the first place," since it was most important in all his preaching. (p. 630)

Gordon D. Fee, NICNT:

What is less certain is the meaning of the prepositional phrase translated "as of first importance." As the marginal reading indicates, this could also mean priority in time. Although a case can be made for the latter (he would be stressing that this is what he preached and they belieed from the very beginning of their coming to Christ), both the form and language suggest that the former is Paul's concern. Among all the things he proclaimed and taught while he was with them, these are the matters of "first importance." (p. 722)

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Sorry, Ken

Ken,

Sorry to be argumentative, but essential or non-essential doctrine is precisely what Romans 14 is about.  Paul cites several examples of beliefs about which Christians disagree, and instructs believers not to separate over these issues.  In other words, he categorizes certain doctrines as non-essential either to salvation or to Christian fellowship.  This is the way the chapter has been widely understood, and as far as I can tell, the only way it has been understood by Bible expositors.  That's why I asked you to explain your understanding.  If you to not accept the standard interpretation, please be willing to state your interpretations, how it differs from the standard interpretation, and why.

You said that my simple assertion that Romans 14 is about non-essential doctrine does not prove this to be the case.  I responded by a brief exegesis of the relevant texts and how they apply to the issue of non-essentials.  You continued by saying I had failed to prove my assertion, but you offered no explanation of the text, and why it do not apply to the issue of non-essentials. I made my case, and I have waited for you to interact with the relevant Scripture to demonstrate why you believe my interpretation is incorrect.  I'm still waiting.

To rephrase your own words, saying that Romans 14 is not about non-essentials doesn't make it so.  To rephrase again from an old Wendy's commercial, "Where's the beef?"

Sincerely,

Greg Barkman

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Wow, all those commentaries...

Greg Long, 

Well, the one thing missing from those commentaries is the context.  Paul is obviously giving a series of events in verses 3-8.  

The series of things looks like this: 

  • First of all, all that I received 
  • Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures
  • buried and rose again according to the scriptures
  • he was seen of Cephas
  • then of the twelve
  • after that, seen of the five hundred at once
  • after that, then seen of James
  • then of all the apostles
  • and last of all, he was seen of me

Regardless of commentaries, Paul places NO emphasis on importance. He clearly uses this series to say, here is what I preached to you.  If you believed this, "how say some among you that there is no resurrection from the dead."  (v.12)  I am not saying it is not important, quite the contrary. It is. But to make it a proof text for essentials vs non-essentials cannot be proven by the text itself which outranks any commentator's views.  Paul clearly uses it in context to demonstrate the sequence of events of the information he has delivered unto them, as the backdrop to the question why do they question the resurrection from the dead.  So where does first mean importance or essential?  I know, the commentaries.  What would be do without them. Commentaries can clearly present agendas and opinions.  The biblical text does not.  

KML 

 

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No worries,

G.N.,

I do not take it as argumentative, so no worries. We just disagree. He does not talk about separation. He talks about strong despising weak and weak judging strong. Separation does not enter the picture.  He does not categorize certain doctrines as non essential or essential.  Commentators supporting your view is not the point. The text does not reference these beliefs of the weak or strong as essential or not.  I will tell you this. I will write something up on Romans 14, and then we can discuss it. But for now, I don't have the time to keep asking you to prove why, and I appreciate your desire to know what I think.  However, I need some time to think about how to prove something that does not exist that it doesn't exist. 

Thanks,

Ken

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KLengel wrote:

KLengel wrote:

Greg Long, 

Well, the one thing missing from those commentaries is the context.  Paul is obviously giving a series of events in verses 3-8.  

The series of things looks like this: 

  • First of all, all that I received 
  • Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures
  • buried and rose again according to the scriptures
  • he was seen of Cephas
  • then of the twelve
  • after that, seen of the five hundred at once
  • after that, then seen of James
  • then of all the apostles
  • and last of all, he was seen of me

Regardless of commentaries, Paul places NO emphasis on importance. He clearly uses this series to say, here is what I preached to you.  If you believed this, "how say some among you that there is no resurrection from the dead."  (v.12)  I am not saying it is not important, quite the contrary. It is. But to make it a proof text for essentials vs non-essentials cannot be proven by the text itself which outranks any commentator's views.  Paul clearly uses it in context to demonstrate the sequence of events of the information he has delivered unto them, as the backdrop to the question why do they question the resurrection from the dead.  So where does first mean importance or essential?  I know, the commentaries.  What would be do without them. Commentaries can clearly present agendas and opinions.  The biblical text does not.  

KML 

 

Ken, I addressed the word in the biblical text. The word is protos. I gave its possible meanings. All the commentators I listed--and I agree with them--believe that from the context the word means primarily "of first importance." I guess you're asking me to believe you simply because you, Ken, say it is so, and I hope you'll understand if I lean towards the vast majority of Bible scholars and teachers on this one.

Let me make sure I understand you--you're saying that there is no evidence in all of Paul's writings (leaving aside the rest of the Scriptures) that he prioritized or emphasized certain doctrines as more important than others?

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Paul does not talk about separation?

Ken,

But he does.  Paul doesn't use the word "separation," but that's what he's talking about.  The Roman believers were NOT to separate from their weaker brothers over the issue of diet.  On the contrary, they were to receive them into full, respectful, and unhindered fellowship in the local church at Rome.

The best way to address what you think is not in the passage (non-essentials), is to exegete the passage according to your understanding so that we can see why you do not believe it means what everyone I have ever studied on this text believes it means.

Sincerely,

Greg Barkman

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Possible meanings

Greg Long,

I know which word it is.  The word protos can be used as first in place, we agree. In this passage, it is first in place to present a succession of things, and that is what Paul had done providing a succession of events on what he preached and why he did so. Nothing to do with "first importance." That is simply a misunderstanding of the word and the context IMO.

Thanks,

Ken 

 

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OK, I understand your view on

OK, I understand your view on 1 Cor. 15. Would you care to answer my other question?

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