Church Planting Thirty Years Later

In 1982 my wife and I planted our first church in Philadelphia – Faith Independent Baptist Church. The long church name seemed awkward back then but I wanted to be sure people knew up front where I stood. Fresh from eight years of ministry training at fundamentalist schools, I was a committed independent, fundamental Baptist. As extra insurance to validate my IFB credentials, I often added “militant and separatist” as well. The church’s doctrinal statement enshrined a dispensational hermeneutic essential for correct interpretation, the pre-tribulational rapture as the next event on the prophetic calendar, and the King James Version as the official translation. As a church we were known more for what we were against than for who we were.

Fast forward to 2011 where in the same city I am now working with a team of elders to plant another church in a spiritual wasteland where we parachuted in with a few families but without a significant core group. After thirty years of church planting I claim no special expertise, offer no guarantees of success, and sense an even greater dependency upon the Lord to build His church. Similar struggles, resistance to the gospel remain.

This one-year-old church is elder led, non-denominational, non-dispensational, and uses the English Standard Version. Much has changed. Most remains the same. I would venture to add that what is essential has not changed. In areas where change has occurred, thirty years of ministry, of study, of relationships, and of experiences have conspired to bring me to the place I am today. For many years IFB was all I knew or cared to know. Now I find myself rarely at home in this fragmented movement of competing networks. I find myself increasingly on the outside looking in. This is my journey, but I’m glad I was not alone.

After planting a church in Philadelphia from 1982-1987 my family and I went to France and then Romania in church planting and pastoral training ministry. Those years spent overseas provided opportunities for fellowship with believers from different horizons and spared me the need to engage in many of the needless conflicts being fought in the States. There was less need to conform to others’ expectations of what it meant to be safely within the fundamentalist orbit.

During that time overseas I pursued further studies with Reformed Theological Seminary’s extension in Budapest and in time completed a degree in theological studies. For the first time I was challenged from a different theological perspective by men with whom I had strong disagreements. Yet I was persuaded of their evangelical commitment, their love for God, and their commitment to God’s authoritative Word. I began to see that we could differ interpretatively and still enjoy fellowship in the gospel. I was moving away from former positions for which I could still argue but could no longer support biblically with integrity.

In late 1998 we returned to the States where I began a short residency in Deerfield, IL at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and where in 2004 I completed a DMin in Missiology. Once again I was struck by the combination of scholarship and godliness among the professors. There were differences in some areas but the centrality of the gospel transcended those differences.

From 1999-2008, I was missions pastor and director of church planting at a well-known suburban church. I travelled frequently and taught overseas in Russia, Ukraine, Lebanon, Peru, China, and several other countries. There were opportunities to teach in the area of missions and church planting at several schools and seminaries and invitations to preach at various conferences. My visits to China were especially revealing as we looked for house church leaders with whom we could partner for training purposes. I found myself looking for “significant compatibility” and agreement with the historic Christian faith rather than agreement with my convictions. My time in Lebanon among Arab believers caused me to look at Scripture afresh and contributed to modifications in my views on eschatology.

Some might find it surprising that personal experiences have influenced my theology to such a degree. In reality our experiences or lack of them have a great part to play in how we read Scripture. We read it with the eyes of those around us, those who trained us or those we look to for guidance. Our experiences should not determine our theology yet how we read and understand Scripture cannot be separated from our outside influences and experiences. Some may consider it a badge of honor to hold the same beliefs and convictions they held thirty years ago. While I can say that for the fundamentals of the faith, I must confess that second and third-tier commitments and interpretations are held loosely and are no longer a cause for separation or hindrance in partnership in the Lord’s work. Perhaps it’s partly due to the fact that I recognize it is His work not mine and that I labor in His vineyard not one of my creation.

On one hand, I have no argument with fellow believers who affirm their identity as independent, fundamental Baptists. I have no difficulty in seeing them as legitimate representatives of the diverse body of Christ. I have no reason to demean them or to expect them to cease being what they are. I have no desire to avoid fellowship and friendship with IFB men of integrity who are sound theologically and choose to remain within an IFB framework. On the other hand I find after all these years in ministry, with experiences and exposure to global Christianity, that IFB fails to describe how I see myself in my relation to the Lord, in relation to other believers, and in relation to the mission of the church.

The last few years have been especially decisive in the direction I have taken. When I returned from Romania in 1998 I knew that both I and the spiritual landscape that I knew had changed. Then in 2008, while temporarily living in France and helping to plant a new non-Baptist church, I wrote an opinion article on Fundamentalism. It was my way of signaling at that time that although I was on a journey out of Fundamentalism as I had known it, I wanted to remain friends with Fundamentalists. I began to write, to challenge conventions and traditions. I have not always been irenic and have not avoided controversy.

When I described myself as a “soft cessationsist,” questioned elements of dispensationalism, took issue with unbiblical separation, did not clearly espouse literal six-day, twenty-hour creation days, expressed my dismay at the paucity of resources committed to church planting, or challenged traditional thinking in the church’s engagement with culture, I found more criticism than interaction with the ideas. The criticism wasn’t about the gospel. It was mostly about culture, tradition and even personalities who thought I was out of line and should keep a lower profile.

Whether or not I should’ve written some of those articles for publication is another story although I have few regrets. I know there are some who are so much surer in many areas where I have questions. I know others who do not want to rock the boat and, to mix metaphors, prefer to fly under the radar. I suppose that would’ve been a safer route for me but that bridge has already been crossed. I must confess that I have found somewhat amusing the wide range of men who have disagreed with me, attacked me, or separated from me. There has been something for many to dislike although certainly not the same things.

I have no one to blame but myself although these experiences reinforced in my mind how important agreement is to Fundamentalists in areas where I believe we have scriptural latitude to disagree charitably. The agreement demanded by many IFB gatekeeper leaders, churches, and institutions in order to play in their yard far exceeds biblical teaching. The loyalty required by many in order to be safe requires submitting to traditional rather than biblical standards. It is not a virtue to have an inquiring mind in much of Fundamentalism. I had to decide whether I would shut up or speak out knowing that speaking out might marginalize me.

There are a few glimmers of hope as some IFB brethren have begun to break out of their isolation. I think particularly of Northland University which has invited professors from outside IFB circles and of Calvary Baptist Seminary with Mark Dever at their ATC Conference. Of course these moves have triggered substantial criticism from within IFBdom which comes as no surprise. Many IFB factions, which contribute little to theological reflection, brook nothing which deviates from their long-held conventions. I encourage those who choose to stay within the movement to continue their pursuit of God-honoring unity with those outside the IFB pale.

As for me, the time has come to seek to identify with men and movements which demonstrate greater generosity with dissent and challenge than I have found in my IFB experience, to identify with those interested in productive gospel-centered, church-planting partnerships, and God willing, to seek teaching opportunities to train men for next generation church planting. I have no illusions that moving on will bring greater resources or guarantee success in church planting. I’m not looking for greener grass. At this point any grass will do. I still welcome friendship and even partnership with my IFB brothers who have not drawn unreasonable lines in the sand. But I’m too old to jump through all the hoops, too ornery to kowtow and prefer relative obscurity and a few warm relationships to playing ingratiating politics and pleasing men.

Much has changed over the years but God has not. He is faithful and He remains the Lord of the harvest in these challenging and needy times, the ultimate Judge who knows the hearts, and the Accomplisher of His divine purposes. Before Him only I lift my hands, bend my knees, and bow my head.

[node:bio/steve-davis body]

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Shaynus's picture

JohnBrian wrote:
...started to read the post and my first thought was "someone has nothing better to do with their time than write Anti-SI articles."

THEN I got to the end of the article, saw who the author was, and it all made sense!

HAHA that's exactly what I did, John.

Bob T.'s picture

Susan R wrote:
I think if folks really believe that Bro. Davis needs to be 'corrected' and 'restored', there was a better way to do it. The lack of compassion and humility in church leadership of any stripe is astonishingly lacking.

Quote:
Gal 6:1-5 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden.

Funny how Scripture tells us in one verse to bear one another's burdens, and then two verses later tells us that every man has to bear his own.

Now comes the site administrator with some superior wisdom for the church leadership (Pastors) on here.

First, your scripture from Galatians would probably apply to the author of Galatians himself would it not?

Second, if you read the entire book you will find that Paul dealt with the Galatians in a direct and harsh manner. He also uses such in some other epistles. The burdens of Galatians 6 are not doctrinal error. Your use of Galatians 6:1-5 to rebuke Pastors here is entirely inappropriate. By the way, the reason there are two approaches to burdens there is that the english word is used of two different Greek words. One is a heavy load which requires more than one to carry. The other is a smaller soldiers back pack that is appropriate for one to carry himself. The subject begins with the concept of a man overtaken by sins of the flesh and needing gentleness in the approach to overcome. Doctrinal error was handled in a different manner in this epistle. In chapter 5 Paul has contrasted the works of the flesh and the fruit of the spirit. While one may characterize doctrinal error as sin, and maybe even of the flesh, it is handled in a special manner. This is not the subject of this SI thread. No one has accused Steve of sins of the flesh.

Third, the object of my replies to Steve Davis, an over age fifty, experienced Pastor, was primarily to expose the errors of his ways and the inappropriate ongoing compromises, and to warn others of what was and is occurring. There is little doubt that when one writes about the subjects Steve has, and in the manner he has, he is trying to influence others, especially those who are younger. I have seen the almost exact same thing, involving the same doctrines and views many, many, times over the last five decades.

Fourth, Your attempt to rebuke some who are Elders (Pastors) with such an off topic and inapplicable scripture to the situation here is probably indicative of one of the reasons why women are not allowed to serve as elders. Yes, I am aware that this is the internet, not church, and great latitude regarding gender roles is normally appropriate, But you are attempting to rebuke church leadership (Pastors) and you yourself have severely misjudged the situation.

Paul J. Scharf's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:
SI has posted a wide variety of views on things from day one. We had an extended back and forth with Phil Johnson (look up "Dead Right") way back in 2005. And the same week we published this perspective from Steve, we also published John Whitcomb's call to avoid the central error of neo-evangelicalism (divorcing truth and love).

Aaron,

I for one don't fault SI for running the article -- even though I have strong disagreements with it. Perhaps articles should be run in different categories -- much like a newspaper would distinguish between local news, national news, opinion/editorial, letters to the editor, etc. Steve's article could be run with a heading something like, "Another View..." Just a thought. I guess that would go the whole point of the purpose, direction and goals for the whole site, which I do not have a hand in determining. But I do say thank you for all of your efforts with it! Smile

Susan R wrote:
I think if folks really believe that Bro. Davis needs to be 'corrected' and 'restored', there was a better way to do it. The lack of compassion and humility in church leadership of any stripe is astonishingly lacking.

Hmmm... Now there is an interesting post! You have me thinking. I am wondering if this really applies when someone with advanced degrees is given the platform of writing an article in which he is trying to convince us of a theological/philosophical position. If so, what would such correction and restoration look like? What do we do if he does not accept? Who gets to form the consensus on any of these points?
(My questions are sincere, not tongue in cheek...)

Church Ministries Representative for the Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry

Steve Davis's picture

Jim Peet wrote:

Thanks

No, that's not the church I planted. That church is in South Philly and I was not aware it was still there although I heard of it years ago.

Here is the link to the one we planted. It is now called Living Hope Church. http://livinghopephilly.com/Living_Hope_Church/Home.html
The name was changed a year or so ago when the congregation sold the building purchased when I was there and bought another building in a better location in the same general part of the city - Northwest Philly.

The church has struggled like many city ministries but has been faithful and has had the same pastor for several years now, a Calvary guy with whom we have a good relationship. I've been to services there and the pastor and others on the leadership team have visited with us. We're not close enough to see each other regularly.

I'm not sure if the church stills considers itself IFB. The guys there are good guys and I think all the leadership team is connected with Calvary, students or graduates. I'm not sure how much has changed. Some changes might be Bible version, polity, eschatology ??? - premillennial not sure if pre-trib or at least as emphasis. I don't want to speak for them on that. Their music might be blended but still fairly traditional I think. Their dress may be more casual than 30 years ago. In any event what has not changed - the gospel - is far more important than what has changed

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Paul J. Scharf wrote:
Susan R wrote:
I think if folks really believe that Bro. Davis needs to be 'corrected' and 'restored', there was a better way to do it. The lack of compassion and humility in church leadership of any stripe is astonishingly lacking.

Hmmm... Now there is an interesting post! You have me thinking. I am wondering if this really applies when someone with advanced degrees is given the platform of writing an article in which he is trying to convince us of a theological/philosophical position. If so, what would such correction and restoration look like? What do we do if he does not accept? Who gets to form the consensus on any of these points?
(My questions are sincere, not tongue in cheek...)


I wonder too, Bro. Scharf. I've seen, over the years, many attempts at correction and restoration that were very much prone to one extreme or the other. There's the heretic who needs to be admonished and rejected, but then for some, it's the goodness of God that leads to repentance. If I think someone is in error and needs to be restored, how do I ascertain which approach to take, or should I go for a balance of the two? How do I, or anyone else, give evidence that we are indeed 'considering ourselves' while trying to explain why we believe someone else is in error? How, on an internet forum especially, do we display a genuine concern rather than a disdainful scolding?

It seemed to me, in reading the article, that Bro. Davis has been very open about how his experiences shaped his thought processes and influenced his path. I very much appreciate him for that. My husband and I have been through similar experiences and yet come to very different conclusions than Bro. Davis. We've become even more 'conservative', if you will, and draw lines deeper than ever because we've see more long term dangers in compromise, and unhealthy consequences of cooperation with certain belief systems/groups. But I completely agree with Bro. Davis that many of the lines that are drawn in IFBism are far from having solid Scriptural ground and more rooted in tradition than in sound doctrine.

Bob T.'s picture

Aaron, SI is a privately held internet site. You are under no obligation to any group and those of us who choose to post here do so as guests.

It is not inappropriate for SI to give Steve Davis a place to publish his articles since they are about Fundamentalism and his journey by doctrine and world view away from Fundamentalism's widely held views. An internet site such as SI certainly may publish articles of both criticism and praise.

However, I do find it disconcerting to have a those recognized as volunteer staff of SI ( moderator and administrator) make fun of or criticize those who have disagreed with Steve Davis and his articles. On this thread both Jim Peet and Susan R. have chosen to do so, as well as you. These remarks were about the posters not the subject.

I also find it odd that you feel a need to defend the SI site against outside criticism from what may be termed the village idiots of Fundamentalism. What they say may at times be right as even a broken clock is right two times a day. But no one should bother with the clock at all unless it is fixed.

However, it is my impression that SI does have its prejudices and will deflect just criticism without giving it proper consideration. I will be 72 in 10 days. I, like many other older Christians and Pastors get frustrated with the level ground of the internet. The novices express dogmatic opinions and rebuke seasoned church leaders. The little educated wax eloquent with the PHDs. The village idiots get to stand in the public square and yell until someone listens. But with all the drawbacks, the internet, and sites like SI, have contributed to the fast dissemination of information and the challenge of interaction with ideas. Many of the senior age group, and church leaders, consider the internet like casting Pearls before swine. However, I have found it a valued additional venue for information and spiritual challenge.

IMHO SI appears to give more space to dissenting voices than affirming voices on the subject of Fundamentalism. However, that is just my impression. A statistical analysis may prove me wrong.

There are many of the "Evangelical Wimpus" species hiding in the skin of the Fundamentalist species. They are without a strong enough backbone to support a skeletal structure of doctrinal dogmatism. They often find certain doctrines or criticisms offensive. On the internet they find it easier to speak of being offended by a post rather than speaking to the subject. They often speak of "tone" rather substance. I consider these the pesky Gnats of the internet. Little to say but just happen to be offended by what you say. In my generation if you offended someone you asked if they should have been offended and perhaps it indicated what you said hit home and was right.

Aaron, SI is not perfect, but so what. It's OK for human behavior this side of heaven.

Thank you for your efforts on SI

Steve Davis's picture

Bob T. wrote:
Susan R wrote:
I think if folks really believe that Bro. Davis needs to be 'corrected' and 'restored', there was a better way to do it. The lack of compassion and humility in church leadership of any stripe is astonishingly lacking.
Funny how Scripture tells us in one verse to bear one another's burdens, and then two verses later tells us that every man has to bear his own.

Now comes the site administrator with some superior wisdom for the church leadership (Pastors) on here.

First, your scripture from Galatians would probably apply to the author of Galatians himself would it not?

Second, if you read the entire book you will find that Paul dealt with the Galatians in a direct and harsh manner. He also uses such in some other epistles. The burdens of Galatians 6 are not doctrinal error..... This is not the subject of this SI thread. No one has accused Steve of sins of the flesh.

Third, the object of my replies to Steve Davis, an over age fifty, experienced Pastor, was primarily to expose the errors of his ways and the inappropriate ongoing compromises, and to warn others of what was and is occurring. There is little doubt that when one writes about the subjects Steve has, and in the manner he has, he is trying to influence others, especially those who are younger. I have seen the almost exact same thing, involving the same doctrines and views many, many, times over the last five decades.

Fourth, Your attempt to rebuke some who are Elders (Pastors) with such an off topic and inapplicable scripture to the situation here is probably indicative of one of the reasons why women are not allowed to serve as elders. Yes, I am aware that this is the internet, not church, and great latitude regarding gender roles is normally appropriate, But you are attempting to rebuke church leadership (Pastors) and you yourself have severely misjudged the situation.

Well Bob I must say that sometimes you leave me speechless and I wonder if I should reply. I have a few spare minutes while sitting here in prison and decided to perhaps against my better judgment.

I do thank you that there is no accusation of sins of the flesh (although there are plenty of struggles with the flesh). I'm not sure what you mean by the "errors of [my ] ways and the inappropriate ongoing compromises." I may truly be in error on some things I've written because I haven't gotten it right yet as others seem to. But compromises?

So I am not hard-line on a particular creation interpretation but open to correction (Dr. McCabe and I have had some friendly correspondence in the past and I respect his scholarship), question dispensationalism without an agenda of anti-dispensationalism, am softer on cessationism yet continuationists would not claim me, and reject extreme and unbiblical separatism (as I see it). If those are errors and/or compromises then I am guilty.

I do want to influence people in a positive way, young or old. When things like this are laid out others can judge for themselves. This isn't a popularity contest. But I want others to see that they can enjoy larger God-honoring, gospel-centered fellowship through our union with Christ, our submission to the authority of Scripture and the love of the truth, our commitment to evangelism and discipleship, and that we need not be trapped in the scandal of divisive Christianity when it is not about the truth, when we can disagree with a brother, strongly at times, and continue to speak the truth in love, and where we don't need to agree on these and other issues in order to together serve our God and Savior. Disagree but don't divide unless the Scripture compels it.

I do think your attitude toward Susan is at least ungentlemanly and worse with your "Now comes the site administrator with some superior wisdom for the church leadership (Pastors) on here" and "probably indicative of one of the reasons why women are not allowed to serve as elders." You owe her an apology.

That’s all for now. Back to jail.

Jim's picture

Bob T. wrote:
However, I do find it disconcerting to have a those recognized as volunteer staff of SI ( moderator and administrator) make fun of or criticize those who have disagreed with Steve Davis and his articles. On this thread both Jim Peet and Susan R. have chosen to do so, as well as you. These remarks were about the posters not the subject.

I wasn't making fun of you! I do think you are grumpy and needlessly combative. I think you were wrong to label Steve a neo-evangelical!

He's not a fundamentalist by his own admission. Not every non-fundamentalist is a neo*.

As for me:

  • I am a cessationist
  • I am a young earth creationist
  • I believe in congregational government
  • I believe and practice Biblical separation
  • I've given up on the label fundamentist. I'm sick of "labels" and being labeled. (Holding my breath for your response ... "Peet's a neo*(something) or pseudo*"
James Bliss's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:

James: there's really nothing insulting about that. It's just more direct. Steve has been pretty clear about what he thinks lacks value in much of "IFB." It's OK on both sides.

Hello Aaron,

I understand that individuals may have contentious discussions at times (and have seen them on SI regularly). That is not what I have an issue with. It is the little insults (needling) which have been mixed in at times which I have an issue with. Rational individuals can easily have discussions in which they do not agree on a point. They can each present their positions and where they feel the other person's position is incorrect. But, when they are starting to toss in an occasional personal attack (bring into question intelligence, thought, care, concern, etc. of another person in the discussion) whether directly or through insinuation then the discussion has gone from discussing a point to uncaring personal attacks (politicians are notorious for this approach). For me, the determining factor would be whether I would talk to my children about their words and tactics in a conversation should they do the same thing. In this conversation I would have definitely talked to my children about their discussion style as being immature and one involving personal attack rather than discussing the points at hand.

I could go through the various postings but would rather avoid blatantly pointing out specific quotes for fear that someone might feel I was picking on them individually when that is not what I desire. I have no problem with discussions, even contentious discussions. I do have problems when individuals stoop to the childish discussion style of personal attack which I would not accept from my children since it is inappropriate and insulting. Also, retaliation/rebuttal in like manner is not appropriate either (the 'two wrongs...' concept).

Have a nice day all...

Jim's picture

Who wrote:

Quote:
Fourth, Your attempt to rebuke some who are Elders (Pastors) with such an off topic and inapplicable scripture to the situation here is probably indicative of one of the reasons why women are not allowed to serve as elders. Yes, I am aware that this is the internet, not church, and great latitude regarding gender roles is normally appropriate, But you are attempting to rebuke church leadership (Pastors) and you yourself have severely misjudged the situation.

OK where we can agree:

  • ... women are not allowed to serve as elders. Response: YUP ... no disagreement with this phrase
  • ... this is the internet, not church. Response: YUP

Where we don't agree: "you are attempting to rebuke church leadership ". Was she?

On this point: "you yourself have severely misjudged the situation". Response: OK ... debate the issues don't raise the gender issue!

On behalf of the moderation / admin team: We regard Susan as a peer.

Bob T.'s picture

Quote:
Jim Peet wrote:
Bob T. wrote:
However, I do find it disconcerting to have a those recognized as volunteer staff of SI ( moderator and administrator) make fun of or criticize those who have disagreed with Steve Davis and his articles. On this thread both Jim Peet and Susan R. have chosen to do so, as well as you. These remarks were about the posters not the subject.

Quote:
I wasn't making fun of you! I do think you are grumpy and needlessly combative. I think you were wrong to label Steve a neo-evangelical!

He's not a fundamentalist by his own admission. Not every non-fundamentalist is a neo*.

As for me:

  • I am a cessationist
  • I am a young earth creationist
  • I believe in congregational government
  • I believe and practice Biblical separation
  • I've given up on the label fundamentist. I'm sick of "labels" and being labeled. (Holding my breath for your response ... "Peet's a neo*(something) or pseudo*"
  • Now perhaps this is where one of SIs problem is.

    You are right not every non fundamentalist is not a Neo Evangelical. However, Steve Davis has clearly articulated where he has changed and what he now believes. Or where he is not sure what he beleives, such as creation. This is not conservative evangelicalism. MacArthur rebukes non 6 day creationists in much, much, more harsh terms than I ever have. I have a couple friends who are still behind the curve and Gap Theorists. What Steve has articulated is classic Fuller Seminary. If you or others cannot recognize that then perhaps that is why many who post on SI treat those who post affimativlely for Fundamentalism are attacked by SI(as you have just done).

    Don P's picture

    Does anyone see any value yet in the article?

    Steve is arguing for unity on the basis of a more accurate understanding of historic fundamentalism.

    Debate this:

    Conservative evangelicals are the true legacy of historic fundamentalists.

    [See my previous post above, #54. ]

    Bob T.'s picture

    Jim Peet wrote:
    Who wrote:

    Quote:
    Quote:
    Fourth, Your attempt to rebuke some who are Elders (Pastors) with such an off topic and inapplicable scripture to the situation here is probably indicative of one of the reasons why women are not allowed to serve as elders. Yes, I am aware that this is the internet, not church, and great latitude regarding gender roles is normally appropriate, But you are attempting to rebuke church leadership (Pastors) and you yourself have severely misjudged the situation.

    OK where we can agree:

    • ... women are not allowed to serve as elders. Response: YUP ... no disagreement with this phrase
    • ... this is the internet, not church. Response: YUP

    Where we don't agree: "you are attempting to rebuke church leadership ". Was she?

    On this point: "you yourself have severely misjudged the situation". Response: OK ... debate the issues don't raise the gender issue!

    On behalf of the moderation / admin team: We regard Susan as a peer.

    Susan stated: "The lack of compassion and humility in church leadership of any stripe is astonishingly lacking."

    This is clearly an attempt to rebuke those who posted in disagreement with Steve Davis and who were church leaders (Pastors).

    Also, it is the hight of hypocrisy for you to state: "On this point: "you yourself have severely misjudged the situation". Response: OK ... debate the issues don't raise the gender issue!

    Susan posted against posters and not to the issue. Both she and you posted on this thread against the posters and ignoring the issues raised on the thread. You attempted to diminish my post by the use of comic imagery. Susan attempted to diminish effect of the posts disagreeing with Steve Davis by raising a false issue of compassion and rebuking church leaders for their lack thereof. Now you indicate that I did not speak to the issues by mentioning the gender issue? Susan raised the gender issue when she made such a remark!

    Now you come attempting to defend a fellow "peer" and in so doing again raise the issue by not speaking to the subject. Well, the SI "peers have set a great example of not speaking to the subject. Susan raised the gender issue by her off the wall remark. Your sole initial remark was a cartoon. Frankly, I find both your posts and Susan posts on this thread lacking of true compassion and a lack of appreciation the serious nature of the subject. Steve Davis has been given a forum to post several articles asserting and arguing for his newly found doctrinal enlightenment, and alleged scholarly doubts, after an alleged broader exposure at other schools. The articles were all written to influence and persuade. They were dangerous to sound doctrine and to young Christians or those of unsettled convictions. Doubts about literal creation and advocating present day dreams and visions have no place in sound churches and are wholly not according scripture. If one wants such enlightenment they can find it today at Fuller Seminary, the flag ship of New Evangelical academics and ministry preparation. You will also find the consequences of such a doctrinal journey there. They include Neo Orthodoxy, doubts and assertions against the inerrancy of scripture, the right of women to be Elders, and the validity of the Evangelical homosexual lifestyle.

    True men of compassion will seek to warn and rescue. This is not just a game of ideas. It involves people, movements, and the battle for the Bible. It has been going on for decades. To Steve, he may see himself as this nice sincere guy who is more open and seeking truth and true loving fellowship. The reality is that doctrines and ideas are not separate parts of a puzzle that stand alone they are constantly being put together to form a larger mosaic with larger consequences. Doubt literal creation today and tomorrow your friends with the guy who doubts the parting of the red Sea or the other miracles not understood. Yes, it is a slippery slope. That is undeniable. We have a whole lot of history as prima facie evidence.

    Since SI did not have the common sense to see steve to the door after his series of articles on doctrine. Someone at least needed to get him out the door and not let it hit him. After all, standing in the door and saying I'm leaving and repeatedly telling us all the bad that are making him leave may make him feel better but does no one else any good.
    I view those who are willing to expose and warn as also those men of integrity who show true compassion.

    Steve Davis's picture

    Bob T. wrote:
    Doubts about literal creation and advocating present day dreams and visions have no place in sound churches and are wholly not according scripture. If one wants such enlightenment they can find it today at Fuller Seminary, the flag ship of New Evangelical academics and ministry preparation. You will also find the consequences of such a doctrinal journey there. They include Neo Orthodoxy, doubts and assertions against the inerrancy of scripture, the right of women to be Elders, and the validity of the Evangelical homosexual lifestyle.

    Doubt literal creation today and tomorrow your friends with the guy who doubts the parting of the red Sea or the other miracles not understood. Yes, it is a slippery slope. That is undeniable. We have a whole lot of history as prima facie evidence.

    Bob. You continue to misrepresent me. I have never doubted literal creation. My point is that there are other valid interpretations that are faithful to Scripture that do not involve accepting YEC. If you disagree with that, fine. I But you take youe misrepresentation of my postion and then make all kinds of imaginary links.

    Steve

    JG's picture

    Don P wrote:
    Debate this:
    Conservative evangelicals are the true legacy of historic fundamentalists.

    It's been hashed over and over again.

    It ignores the separatist views of the old fundies. They were manifestly separatists, seeking to separate by purging their denominations until that failed, then seeking to separate by withdrawing. Riley came out eventually, too.

    It ignores the history of the last 60 years. "Fundamentalist" is not a Biblical term. Conservative evangelicals withdrew from fundamentalism and said they were different from it. You can't just shrug and say, "They didn't know what they were talking about."

    It ignores the practice of conservative evangelicals over the years. John Mac and Chuck Swindoll were preaching at Biola at the same time Biola was refusing to do anything about liberal or neo-orthodox teachers (or whatever they were)in their Bible department, and increasing their ties to Fuller, and wildly endorsing their sociology professor who admitted he gave abortion counselling and took girls to get abortions. Most popular professor on campus, and always pushed forward as a speaker, etc. I was there. One of my professors had the integrity to resign -- he was asked a question in class, he stopped, and said, "I find I cannot answer that question without violating the school's doctrinal statement," and walked out of class. The students had known for years, and been complaining, but the school would do nothing. We heard Johnny Mac in chapel and quite the opposite in class, too often.

    It ignores the denials of conservative evangelicals that they are fundamentalists.

    I do see a difference between conservative evangelicals and neo-evangelicals. They've staked out a middle ground between the neos and the fundies. That's fine. That's where they are, and that's where they believe they should be. I wouldn't want them to do anything they don't believe is of the Lord. That goes for Steve, too.

    But you have to rather ignore a lot of things to call them fundamentalists. Believers, committed Christians, good Bible teachers, brothers in Christ, sure, and praise the Lord. But there are differences, and separation is Biblical. Not everyone practices it Biblical, but EVERYTHING gets practiced unbiblically by a lot of people.

    From your prior post:

    Quote:
    Personally, I am grieved when brothers and sisters in Christ separate from me and reject my presence because I don't agree with them on every issue even though I hold to the fundamentals of the faith.

    If anyone separates because you don't agree with them on every issue, they are divisive, and you should separate from them. The Scriptures say so.

    But no one on this thread has advocated that kind of separation, so you have engaged in exactly the thing to which you objected:

    Quote:
    That we miss opportunities for growth and service when we demonize those we disagree with.

    You demonized the separatist position by saying A) that it is frivolous and Cool that it is demonizing. As far as I know, every person on this thread who disagrees with Steve has called him a brother. So who is demonizing? Perhaps the person who throws out that term.

    My last word on this thread: if what Steve is describing is fundamentalism, then the term has no value. There is no distinction between fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism. Few fundamentalists and fewer conservative evangelicals believe that. Most people on both sides of this divide (and there is a divide) see value in defining the terms differently.

    If you ask knowledgeable fundies what really distinguishes them from conservative evangelicals, they will say, "Separation is the main thing." If you ask knowledgeable conservative evangelicals what distinguishes them, they will say, "Separation is the main thing." Both may trot out some cultural stuff, but mostly, it's separation.

    If you want to build some idealistic "what fundamentalism was 100 years ago" theory, and say that cons. evang. are closer to it, I would say no one cares. The word has moved on from that. As a result, the cons. evang. don't want it and the fundies do. The only ones who want to blur the line are those moving from the fundie side across the line, and don't want to admit that they've moved, at least in principle. So they'll say that they are still in keeping with what fundamentalism always was, in principle. But they have moved, in practice at least. They are now right where the conservative evangelicals have always been. They can't really take their old label with them, because their new friends don't want it and their old friends don't want to relinquish it. By trying to do so, everyone feels like the "movers", by redefining words, are causing confusion about what our positions are. Nobody likes that.

    You can't wash away 60 years of history as if it didn't happen.

    Jim's picture

    Who said:

    Quote:
    the SI "peers have set a great example of not speaking to the subject

    I can only speak for myself not the others on the Mod/Admin team

    I have chosen to not post on every topic / thread. I have found it wearying. I doubt I can demonstrate this but I would suppose in 5 years or so on S/I, I have expressed myself on topics such as 6 day creationism, cessationism, etc. My doctrinal statement addresses these points (link below my signature)

    About:

    Quote:
    Since SI did not have the common sense to see steve to the door after his series of articles on doctrine

    Where is Steve in violation of the S/I doctrinal statement? Please show me and we will "see him to the door"

    Jim's picture

    Another question for Steve (if you aren't sick of this thread already!):

    You said:

    Quote:
    Here is the link to the one we planted. It is now called Living Hope Church. http://livinghopephilly.com/Living_Hope_Church/Home.html
    The name was changed a year or so ago when the congregation sold the building purchased when I was there and bought another building in a better location in the same general part of the city - Northwest Philly.

    OK ... you've changed over 30 years
    I would guess that Living Hope has changed over 30 years as well (besides the name). I visited the church website and

    • The have a plurality of elders
    • Looks like they have a good doctrinal statement
    • They even use a guitar in worship

    So I would surmise that they have changed (for the better in my view) in 30 years

    Now the question: How is your new church plant different (if at all) than the church you planted is today!?

    Paul J. Scharf's picture

    I am kind of losing track of what the point of the discussion here is supposed to be. However, to cut back to the heart of the matter, I would ask this of Steve:

    What sector of fundamentalism are you criticizing? Those who are cessationists (to tug on one strand of your writing) and only allow cessationists to teach? Or those who claim to be concerned about cessationism, but really care more about dress and hair length?

    Those are two entirely different branches of fundamentalism. Which one are you criticizing? It is not fair to do a bait and switch -- mixing the two together to make a point.

    For instance, I am not in any way shape, form or fashion a "hyper-fundamentalist," and probably would fellowship with a circle nearly as wide as you do. Yet I take great issue with some of the theological premises you list in this piece. Does this make me some kind of an ideological gatekeeper who goes beyond what is written in Scripture?

    Since the value of this piece has also become a major question in this thread, I think it is impossible to evaluate that without knowing more about why Steve wrote it (when he has already done so before) and why SI ran it (when they have already done so before). The article is actually quite vague in a number of ways. Perhaps the result it that lots of people here are talking past each other.

    Hence, I made my comment above that this piece lacks the ability to sharpen iron. It is lacking in any real Biblical insight.

    Church Ministries Representative for the Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry

    Steve Davis's picture

    Jim Peet wrote:
    Another question for Steve (if you aren't sick of this thread already!):

    You said:

    Quote:
    Here is the link to the one we planted. It is now called Living Hope Church. http://livinghopephilly.com/Living_Hope_Church/Home.html
    The name was changed a year or so ago when the congregation sold the building purchased when I was there and bought another building in a better location in the same general part of the city - Northwest Philly.

    OK ... you've changed over 30 years
    I would guess that Living Hope has changed over 30 years as well (besides the name). I visited the church website and

    • The have a plurality of elders
    • Looks like they have a good doctrinal statement
    • They even use a guitar in worship

    So I would surmise that they have changed (for the better in my view) in 30 years

    Now the question: How is your new church plant different (if at all) than the church you planted is today!?

    I would say that the new church plant is not significantly different than Living Hope. Of course what is not significant to me might be to others. We both hold to the fundamentals of the faith and separate from unbelief. Some of the differences might reflect the backgrounds of the leadership and our context which might be more diverse ethnically, economically, educationally in our part of the city. Our worship might be organized differently as we follow a pattern of Praise, Confession, Thanksgiving, Proclamation, Word, Response, and Lord's Supper weekly and recite the Apostles' Creed.

    Among the leadership we probably have more diversity on eschatology from amil to historic premil. Our music is probably a bit more contemporary - guitars and a drum (djembe) with a couple tambourines among the audience, and maybe more clappers and hand raisers. I don't recall what Bible version they use but don't think it's the KJV. I’m not sure how about their polity. We do not have congregational government but congregational affirmation of the decisions of the elders. There's nothing that would prevent, from our perspective, full fellowship and partnership in gospel endeavors. We are both committed to the saving gospel of Jesus Christ and are looking for laborers to enter the urban harvest.

    Steve Davis's picture

    Paul J. Scharf wrote:
    I am kind of losing track of what the point of the discussion here is supposed to be. However, to cut back to the heart of the matter, I would ask this of Steve:

    What sector of fundamentalism are you criticizing? Those who are cessationists (to tug on one strand of your writing) and only allow cessationists to teach? Or those who claim to be concerned about cessationism, but really care more about dress and hair length?

    Those are two entirely different branches of fundamentalism. Which one are you criticizing? It is not fair to do a bait and switch -- mixing the two together to make a point.

    I've lost track myself Paul. Fundamentalism is so fractured with hypers, KJV Only, school circles, etc. that I haven't felt part of a movement for years.

    Here's how I closed an article I wrote on Fundamentalism in 2008 where I still spoke of Fundamentalism in movement language. "I have—or hope to have—fundamentalist friends who, while not sharing all of my concerns and criticisms, share a bond in Christ that is stronger than our differences. But I will not allow a movement to define me and to choose my battles. The Word stands above every movement and every culture in every time and in all places. To that sacred and timeless Word and to its Author we must yield and give our allegiance."

    I'm not sure there's any real movement and certainly no center. I don't want my identity to be with an indefinable movement. I want to identify with men and churches, whatever they call themselves or are called by others, who share the same commitment to Scripture, to the fundamentals of the faith, and to God’s mission of making Christ known. I do not want to separate and/or associate based on a name or a movement. The term itself has become practically irrelevant. And many of those who still claim the term have little to do with historic fundamentalism. I don't want to be known as a fundamentailst within a splintered movement but as a Christian with a message and a mission who contends for the faith once delivered unto the saints.

    L Strickler's picture

    So glad SI administrators consider Susan a peer. I have noticed that most of her posts demonstrate her ability to discuss issues with clarity, concision, integrity, humor, and doctrinal soundness. Maybe she is an heiress of Priscilla who helped Paul and taught Apollos.

    L Strickler

    Aaron Blumer's picture

    EditorAdmin

    I kind of opened a door to alot of tangential topics with my previous post. Hesitate to open it wider, but having opened it a little there are some things that don't seem prudent to ignore.

    To Bob T...
    1. I'm hesitant to offer any criticism of guys several decades my senior. But I also believe in the golden rule. So here's how the logic works out for me:

    • When I'm 72, I hope to still be growing
    • Having my thinking and communication challenged for soundness of argument, good manners, etc., helps me grow now... and is likely to help me grow then.
    • Ergo, when I'm 72, I hope I'll be exposed to those kinds of challenges (It will have to come from younger folks at least some of the time. Law of averages: when I'm 72, most people will be younger than me--though the trend is for the size of that majority to shrink)

    2. Much of what you perceive as novices rebuking you (or other leaders) is not rebuke at all. You have misread more than a few comments that way.

    3. The leveling affect of the Internet. There are trade offs to the stituation. The downside is that cocky kids can step into a conversation and tell their seniors "You're being ridiculous." The upside is that sometimes they're right. The other upside is that the older guys then get an opportunity to respond to the young ones in a winsome way and challenge their thinking in turn. I'm 45 now so just barely old enough to experience this. But so far, I enjoy it. It helps me. I hope it helps the younger people, too. I hope people are still challenging me when I'm 72 or 92.

    Now to sort of contribute something more on topic
    : one thing I appreciate about Steve and his post is that his mind is in motion. Granted, many of us see some/most of his motion as being in a bad direction. Motion/change that should not have occurred. But who can deny that where there is no movement/change there is no growth?
    If you read carefully, you might even see a few hints that Steve is not as idealistic about "non IFB" as he used to be.
    Another decade, and he might be getting more conservative again. Wink

    Fundamentalism needs a warm and winsome apologetic, not a "How dare you differ?!" and "Don't let the door hit you on your way out" apologetic (the latter is not an apologetic at all... and we wonder why the quantity of fundamentalists is shrinking).

    Ron Bean's picture

    When I was in my teens, I asked my fundamentalist leaders "Why?" and was dismissed as a rebel who questioned established authority.
    When I was in my forties, I asked my fundamentalist leaders "Why?" and was branded a near neo-evangelical.
    Now I'm in my sixties and I'm asking myself "Why?"

    I'm much like Jim Peet:

    Quote:
    I am a cessationist
    I am a young earth creationist
    I believe in congregational government (with elders)
    I believe and practice Biblical separation
    I've given up on the label fundamentalist. I'm sick of "labels" and being labeled.

    Like the people in "The Village", I have heard of the dangers of those outside our city limits (those of whom we do not speak) and I've discovered that they are not evil. Different? Yes. But not dangerous. I believe in separation from false doctrine and from those who hold to it. I even believe in separation from those who fellowship with those who hold to false doctrine. What I've come to realize is that different kinds of music, different styles of dress, and other kinds of church church polity, different Bible versions, alternative views of eschatology and Calvinism are not false doctrine.

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

    Shaynus's picture

    Aaron Blumer wrote:
    I kind of opened a door to alot of tangential topics with my previous post. Hesitate to open it wider, but having opened it a little there are some things that don't seem prudent to ignore.

    To Bob T...
    1. I'm hesitant to offer any criticism of guys several decades my senior. But I also believe in the golden rule. So here's how the logic works out for me:

    • When I'm 72, I hope to still be growing
    • Having my thinking and communication challenged for soundness of argument, good manners, etc., helps me grow now... and is likely to help me grow then.
    • Ergo, when I'm 72, I hope I'll be exposed to those kinds of challenges (It will have to come from younger folks at least some of the time. Law of averages: when I'm 72, most people will be younger than me--though the trend is for the size of that majority to shrink)

    2. Much of what you perceive as novices rebuking you (or other leaders) is not rebuke at all. You have misread more than a few comments that way.

    3. The leveling affect of the Internet. There are trade offs to the stituation. The downside is that cocky kids can step into a conversation and tell their seniors "You're being ridiculous." The upside is that sometimes they're right. The other upside is that the older guys then get an opportunity to respond to the young ones in a winsome way and challenge their thinking in turn. I'm 45 now so just barely old enough to experience this. But so far, I enjoy it. It helps me. I hope it helps the younger people, too. I hope people are still challenging me when I'm 72 or 92.

    Now to sort of contribute something more on topic
    : one thing I appreciate about Steve and his post is that his mind is in motion. Granted, many of us see some/most of his motion as being in a bad direction. Motion/change that should not have occurred. But who can deny that where there is no movement/change there is no growth?
    If you read carefully, you might even see a few hints that Steve is not as idealistic about "non IFB" as he used to be.
    Another decade, and he might be getting more conservative again. Wink

    Fundamentalism needs a warm and winsome apologetic, not a "How dare you differ?!" and "Don't let the door hit you on your way out" apologetic (the latter is not an apologetic at all... and we wonder why the quantity of fundamentalists is shrinking).

    I may be one of those young bucks that's a little harsh with Bob T sometimes. It goes both ways like Aaron says. When Bob T (or anyone else) is unduly harsh on these forums, he should be ready for a little harshness in return. Christ was very harsh to non-believing pharisees. He reserved care and compassion for his flock. Save the harshness for things we need to be harsh about.

    Jay's picture

    Shaynus wrote:
    I may be one of those young bucks that's a little harsh with Bob T sometimes. It goes both ways like Aaron says. When Bob T (or anyone else) is unduly harsh on these forums, he should be ready for a little harshness in return. Christ was very harsh to non-believing pharisees. He reserved care and compassion for his flock. Save the harshness for things we need to be harsh about.

    Not quite...let me weigh in for a minute here as an admin/mod team member. This post is not intended as a correction, just as an pointer or update.

    First off, everyone also needs to keep in mind that this is a site for adults. If you can't take heat because someone disagrees with you, then maybe they ought not be here or learn to toughen your skin. This is a written forum, so it's very, very easy to read something and take it the wrong way.

    That being said, the right response to harsh behavior by any member is not to escalate the situation by replying in kind - it's to tell the mods or admins about someone's harshness. We have a http://sharperiron.org/sharperiron-forum-comment-policy ]comment policy and a http://sharperiron.org/doctrinal-statement ]doctrinal statement , and if someone believes that a member is out of line, especially if it's egregious, they should contact one of us or use the 'flag' button that's appended to each post by the Forum software.

    Some have asked, well, who watches the watchmen - by which they mean, what if the moderator is the problem? Then they should appeal directly to Jim or Aaron.

    Romans 13 does apply here...the mods and admins are the 'authorities appointed by God' for this particular website, and that's a responsibility that we all take very seriously. Retaliatory tit-for-tat is against CP and, more importantly, contrary to God's Law (Matthew 5:38-48, Romans 12:14-21).

    Frankly - and other people have said it elsewhere - moderating can be a thankless and dicey task, and there are a ton of internal discussions about people and posts on a daily basis that 99% of non-staff will never see. Please don't make it harder for the rest of us by retaliating and sinning against God and others.

    "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

    Shaynus's picture

    "Are you kidding me?" "You must be joking!" "Don't let the door hit you on the way out." All of these phrases can be a little harsh. Obviously the moderators know about some of these phrases and allow it. So really to tell moderators of said mildly harsh language is not the only option open to commenters.

    ChrisS's picture

    My teenage son has been reading and following this thread...it took a good discussion of this sort to get him to take note of this site. He has enjoyed seeing how mature men and ladies discuss and define Fundamentalism today, as we at home regularly discuss the trends, the people involved, and how it all fits with real life in service to God. I have also reminded him, as Jay C. noted, this is a written forum, there are people on here who have probably known each other for years, and may know exactly HOW someone is saying something that we are quick to misread, as we only get a glimpse of the context, body language, tone of voice, etc.

    We hope and pray that people posting here also take time to have actual, personal conversations behind the scenes. All too often today, I tend to see a generation happy to discuss the weightiest of matters in electronic print alone, in an e-mail or text, leaving a huge aspect of relational conversation out of the picture. I've done that, too, it can be easy to rely too much upon.

    So in short, we are thankful to all of you faithful servants who have answered God's call in your ministries. So often I wanted to jump into the conversation and pick out one piece of this or that, and I decided to simply follow along, apart from an early comment on Creation, and take in the big picture, realizing how much I have to learn. Believe me, though, much was indeed learned in "listening", and my son has a few more role models of the spiritual kind as a result.

    Bob T.'s picture

    Aaron, lets keep our attention focused. My response to Susan on this thread was to her obvious rebuke to church leaders. On this thread she was the first one to post against another poster or posters regarding conduct and not about the thread subject. I posted regarding her rebuke because she is an SI administrator and moderator. I raised the gender issue because it was and is appropriate because she was attempting to rebuke church leaders and was doing so because she wrongly perceived this as a situation one where appropriate compassion was not in view.

    Now please focus and understand this. I have not, to my remembrance complained of being mistreated on SI by any unless it was in response to a poster having gone off topic and first posted against me in a personal attack. I am not offended by personal attack except that it is off subject and usually by someone who has little else to say to the issues so attacks a poster.

    My posts on this thread regarding SI, the internet, etc., were because you opened the door for general remarks and opinion. I do not view my post on that as overly negative but also a thanks and recognizing SI for the good but that it also has flaws.

    In my opinion there is a definite bias on SI and some who have left off posting on SI had some valid observations. Why are you now addressing me? I have called no names such as Jim Peet did me? I have not rebuked anyone on here but only called Susan's attention to the errors of her judgment regarding the situation here. My telling Steve Davis to not let the door hit him in the back was harsh but not overly or unduly harsh when compared to some of his responses on this thread and others with nasty remarks made to others (not me).

    Steve has been standing in the door way leading from Fundamentalism and/or IFB for some time and calling our attention to look at him and his leaving and continually complaining about the attitudes of those he is leaving while giving classic New Evangelical reasons, and some double speak. Example of Steve doublespeak is trying to repeatedly convince me and others that he has not rejected literal 6 day creation but that he sees it as valid but also sees another theory (Revelatory day) theory as also valid. Oh, OK. So when Robert Schuller states that he believes in literal salvation thru Christ as valid but also believes that salvation may be possible thru other faiths, it is also valid. He has not really rejected Christ, but just believes he is not the only way. Thats OK if God will accept that. Of course he will not as that attitude lacks the sole reliance of real faith. Now, Steve's view of the creation account is a lesser issue but with the same approach. If the Genesis literal day creation is valid, but also other views are also valid, then thats also OK if God will accept that. The problem is he won't. He doesn't intend to teach both. He wrote a clear account as part of a historical statement and expects us to accept it. Or was God having fun and being unclear and expecting us to have fun guessing as to what He really meant. Most all Fundamentalists and Conservative Evangelicals dogmatically believe there are no valid reasons for doubt of the normal meaning. The issue is not salvation but is an issue of how we approach scripture and truth. A former professor at Biola University wrote a book titled; "God did it but how?" His conclusion was we just don't know. His reasons were that we need to fit the Genesis account to the time line of uniformitarian Geology and the "overwhelming evidence of Evolution." This of course is a classic principle of New Evangelicalism popularized in the fifties by Bernard Ramm. We must accommodate scripture to science. Steve Davis has done this but IMHO is behind the curve. Uniformitarianism has been shattered by solid science and evolution has fallen apart as its foundations have been doubted by even evolutionary science itself. New alternate theories are now set forth. Creation science is advocated by scientists with highly regarded credentials. On this one issue alone Steve advocates theory, approach and doubt, that is an unacceptable compromise of scripture. Then there is his advocacy of present visions and dreams which he calls soft but which has the same foundation as the signs and wonder evangelism espoused at Fuller and the Charismatic movement. These issues are now decades old but here on SI they have been presented as a new enlightenment indicative of a more accepting, spiritual, and loving Christianity. They are in fact as dangerous as when first advocated by the likes of Bernard Ramm, Russell Mixture, Daniel Fuller, Sanford La Sor, Oral Roberts, C. Peter Wagner, John Wimber, and Benny Hinn, among many.

    There probably should be no objection to SI publishing these papers of Steve Davis. It was interesting information and worthy of debate. But I think there should great and serious objection to the accusations that those posting against Steve were overly harsh. There should be great question regarding the posting by some SI moderators.

    I also did not now or at any time complain that I was offended by younger posters. I have not felt mistreated by them. The reality is that I am a lawyer still involved in constant debate and contest. I am also involved in ministry. SI is an occasional bump in the road. My approach is that people should stop try ing to correct or call attention to ones wording unless it is very extreme or is name calling. I would also recommend a reassessment of not only the words of Christ but of the Apostles in Acts and epistles before calling something too harsh.

    That fact that this SI thread has degenerated from the serious issues to discuss posters is somewhat pathetic. The leadership of the moderators into opinions of how the debate was worded, or perceived attitudes of posters, is a perfect example of fireman discussing how a caller of 911 spoke or sounded when they called to report a fire instead of recognizing that the fire is the issue and it needs to be seen, assessed, and handled.

    Now I have probably posted enough. I need to go have my care taker get me dressed.

    Bob T.'s picture

    Aaron, I just reread your post and noticed the ending.

    Quote:
    Aaron said: Fundamentalism needs a warm and winsome apologetic, not a "How dare you differ?!" and "Don't let the door hit you on your way out" apologetic (the latter is not an apologetic at all... and we wonder why the quantity of fundamentalists is shrinking).

    With this statement you have given evidence that you yourself and SI may fit the discription of being PSUEDO FUNDAMENTALIST as some former posters have labelled the site.

    WHY?

    Because you have failed to properly recognize the errors, misjudgments, and harmful attitude and dangers of Steve Davis and his opinions, as expressed on published articles at SI. As I said before, I have no objection to the publication of these articles. However, your attitude and the attitude of the moderators appears to be that those who sought to challange, expose, and rebuke, the opinions were overly harsh and lacking the apologetic of Christian love. In so doing you have gone against every Admonition and warning of scripture regarding confronting dangerous error.

    Steve himself has repeatedly demeaned the fundamentalist and IBF movements as a whole. He has shown disdain for those who have and do hold to a different doctrinal viewpoint on doctrinal issues he has raised. In typical NEW EVANGELICAL fashion and method he has alluded to the lack of love and proper ecumenical spirit of others he is leaving while he himself demeaned them in an unloving manner. He often met posters who who disagreed with him with demeaning remarks and sharp words. All this has been accepted by you without admonishment or appropriate response.

    Now you come and seek to admonish those who differed with Steve. NO ONE said or gave an attitude of "How dare you differ?" It was rather how could you differ? We argued against his reasons and rightly labelled his transition and change of doctrinal positions and view as the same as that expressed in history as New Evangelical and therefore labelled steve with the same label they did give themselves. I expressed righteouds indignation at Steve's continued effort to make his leaving the general Fundamentalist and IFB movement an issue of the conduct and narrow doctrinal of others. He did so

    Also, I received an Email yesterday from a longtime SI poster stating that he has posted his last post on SI with his last post on the Steve Davis thread.

    Keep up the good work and you and the moderators will be able to post one another without any other posters interfering. Then you can admonish one another for your wording and get them all just the way you want.

    This is said in Christian love. Love for Christ and his word and concern and distress for those who will not adequetly protect his flock and discern the truth.

    An apologetic of love includes 1Cor. 13:6.

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