Beale on Broader Evangelicalism

" ...let’s just zero in on the most significant problem with Dr. Beale’s taxonomy—that there are only two groups in our day, Fundamentalism and Broad Evangelicalism" - Doran

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G. N. Barkman's picture

Un-Biblical separation is as much a sin as failing to practice true Biblical separation.  Take a close look at Galatians chapter two.  Peter, Barnabas, and others separated from Gentile Christians, apparently because they did not restrict themselves to Kosher food.  Paul excoriated Peter for this, accusing him of serious sin.  Paul said that such un-Biblical separation undermined the Gospel of Christ.  (Think that one through very carefully.)  

Practicing one truth while ignoring another that is equally taught in Scripture, leads to misunderstanding, imbalance, and sin.

G. N. Barkman

WallyMorris's picture

The misuse of something does not negate its validity. If true, then none of us would be Christians.

Our daughter was a student at Northland from 2001 – 2005. When the school started changing some of its practices, I asked the administration some questions. One response I received was “I guess we moved too far too fast.” Too far too fast? That implies that if they had made the changes more slowly over a longer period of time, that would give people time to “get used to” the changes so they can make more changes. Small changes at first in order to make more changes later. The later changes are often ones which someone hadn't considered or thought of earlier.

When we first moved to Huntington, some churches began canceling Sunday evening services completely during the Summer, promising to begin again in the Fall. The reasoning was to provide “family time”. I told my wife to watch carefully what happens as eventually those churches and other churches will begin canceling Sunday night services completely. Sure enough, that is what happened. What started as “only for the Summer” extended to “year 'round”.

Many years ago BJU played Furman in a soccer game during the Thanksgiving season. This was the first time BJU had ever done that. At the time the BJU administration explicitly stated that this was a “one-time” event and would not lead to BJU developing an intercollegiate sports program. Well, look at what happened.

Our local “Christian” college, Huntington University, has been moving more and more toward the more liberal side of Evangelicalism for many years. Every year shows a little more change. Now students, if they are old enough, may smoke and drink alcoholic beverages and the campus has a gay/lesbian/transgender support group.

The “downgrade” Spurgeon and others encountered began with small changes and accelerated to open theological liberalism. The term “downgrade” itself implies some sort of slide “downward”.

I have never argued for opposing all change, and I have never said that the “slippery slope” concept is perfect. Do other factors exist which contributed to all of these situations? Of course. But real life, not philosophical theory, shows that a genuine danger does exist. I am not interested in philosophical discussions or hypothetical illustrations. Real life and real behavior from real people give me reason to, at least, question the wisdom of certain changes at Christian colleges. The fact that people have higher reasoning ability than dogs makes people more responsible for their behavior, not less.

The BGEA still uses cooperative evangelism. Will Franklin held an evangelistic meeting in Ft. Wayne and included any church which wanted to participate, even the liberal churches and Catholics.

The changes in BJU's dress code and other practices are symptoms of a deeper problem/change. Discussions about specific clothing styles and “secondary separation” tend to obscure important discussion and questions about the wisdom of the changes at BJU. I know missionaries who graduated from BJU not that long ago who tell me that they don't recognize the school any longer. The group which has responsibility for BJU is the Board of Trustees. In my opinion, they are the ones who have failed. Their goal seems to have been to keep the school open. They have achieved that goal, but at what eventual cost?

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

T Howard's picture

WallyMorris wrote:

The changes in BJU's dress code and other practices are symptoms of a deeper problem/change. Discussions about specific clothing styles and “secondary separation” tend to obscure important discussion and questions about the wisdom of the changes at BJU. I know missionaries who graduated from BJU not that long ago who tell me that they don't recognize the school any longer. The group which has responsibility for BJU is the Board of Trustees. In my opinion, they are the ones who have failed. Their goal seems to have been to keep the school open. They have achieved that goal, but at what eventual cost?

Wally, I'm confused again. What specifically is the "deeper problem/change" with BJU that has your Fundamentalist spidey sense tingling?

josh p's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

Josh, whenever these issues come up on SI today, there is fierce advocacy on the part of some here on their behalf.  We can debate what the effects are of these policies, for good or ill, but let's not pretend they were left behind in the 1980s.  Really, the big part of the objections come with Steve Pettit assuming the Presidency of BJU, and he took that job in 2014.

Regarding secondary separation in particular, the Graham crusades are a good example, IMO, why our first look ought not be secondary separation, but rather the kind of ministry being done.   The big failure in the Graham crusades, one that ought to let us wonder whether he led people to Christ or inoculated people against Him, is the ~98% rate at which those who reported a salvation decision did not become integrated into a Bible believing church, and that derives primarily from very weak follow-up plans on the Graham organization's part.  Allowing liberal Christians to volunteer was certainly not helpful, but it's not exactly like the evangelicals (and fundamentalists) he partnered with were showing the world how to do it, either.

I don't agree with this Bert. We don't evaluate a ministry by its effectiveness in winning the lost but by its biblical obedience. Also, it wasn't just a matter of "allowing liberal Christians to volunteer" although that was happening as well. I make no judgement on BJU on most of the issues because I don't have enough information. I do find it troubling that they would partner with SP and that people would defend it with "yeah but fundy's do this." 
 

Regarding the taboos, I agree that their is often an unhealthy focus on externals that persists to this day in parts of fundamentalism. My concern is that those that don't have that problem somehow use it as a get out of biblical requirement free card. 
 

 

T Howard's picture

josh p wrote:
I don't agree with this Bert. We don't evaluate a ministry by its effectiveness in winning the lost but by its biblical obedience. Also. It wasn't just a matter of "allowing liberal Christians to volunteer" although that was happening as well. I make no judgement on BJU on most of the issues because I don't have enough information. I do find it troubling that they would partner with SP and that people would defend it with "yeah but fundy's do this." 

So, your issue with BJU is secondary separation, correct? On the other hand, Wally's issue is about something deeper?

josh p's picture

T Howard wrote:

 

josh p wrote:

 

I find it interesting that anytime so-called "secondary separation" comes up, people start trotting out the fundy taboos of the 80s as if that somehow negates the biblical principle. A principle applied wrongly does not negate the principle. 

 

I agree in principle. However, "secondary separation" has been so misused and abused within Fundamentalism that it no longer resembles the biblical principle it seeks to uphold. Separatist Fundamentalists were using "secondary separation" to break fellowship over all kinds of perceived compromise and downgrade, real or not. And, if you didn't agree with them that there was legitimate compromise taking place, you were yourself separated from. Secondary separation became like crack cocaine. Once you had a hit, you had to keep going back for more to prove you were a bona fide Fundamentalist.

So, that is why I--today--view secondary separation very suspiciously. I would rather give the benefit of the doubt and assume positive intent before I write off a Christian brother, ministry, or church.

Nowhere? There isn't any fundamentalist ministry that does not abuse separation? I think this thread has had contributions from two seminaries that have tried to consistently apply separation and maintain unity as much as is possible. 
 

I doubt there is anyone here that would disagree that separation has been abused. I also want to give the benefit of the doubt but is that extended in the other direction? I suspect, based on his comments here and elsewhere, that Don would separate from some I would not. But I want to extend grace in both directions. I'm thankful to see believers trying to obey God even if they might take a stricter stance than me. 

josh p's picture

G. N. Barkman wrote:

Un-Biblical separation is as much a sin as failing to practice true Biblical separation.  Take a close look at Galatians chapter two.  Peter, Barnabas, and others separated from Gentile Christians, apparently because they did not restrict themselves to Kosher food.  Paul excoriated Peter for this, accusing him of serious sin.  Paul said that such un-Biblical separation undermined the Gospel of Christ.  (Think that one through very carefully.)  

Practicing one truth while ignoring another that is equally taught in Scripture, leads to misunderstanding, imbalance, and sin.

Agreed. In your view, would BJU be in sin for separating from SP?

josh p's picture

T Howard wrote:

 

josh p wrote:
I don't agree with this Bert. We don't evaluate a ministry by its effectiveness in winning the lost but by its biblical obedience. Also. It wasn't just a matter of "allowing liberal Christians to volunteer" although that was happening as well. I make no judgement on BJU on most of the issues because I don't have enough information. I do find it troubling that they would partner with SP and that people would defend it with "yeah but fundy's do this." 

 

 

 

So, your issue with BJU is secondary separation, correct? On the other hand, Wally's issue is about something deeper?

Yes I find that concerning but my original post was that I find it interesting that individuals (on a fundamentalism forum) argue against secondary separation based on certain abuses. 
 

I'll let Wally speak for himself. 

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

josh p wrote:

Yes I find that concerning but my original post was that I find it interesting that individuals (on a fundamentalism forum) argue against secondary separation based on certain abuses. 

Primary separation is fairly easy.  Secondary is harder, and harder still to do consistently.  And, as you noted, it's been often poorly done.  As a result, it seems many just throw up their hands and declare that if it's impossible to get 100% right, and because the abuses have been so visible, it's better not to worry about it too much.

I certainly agree that it can be very hard to do well, but who ever said the Christian life was easy?

Dave Barnhart

Jeff Straub's picture

josh p wrote:

Agreed. In your view, would BJU be in sin for separating from SP?

This really shouldn't be the issue but it has now become the issue. BJU didn't need to "separate" from SP, they just needed to channel the students energies elsewhere. Why SP and why now? This isn't even an evangelism question pre se. Its a charitable works situation. Why SP and why now? Why not Catholic charities or Islamic charities? How did this further the mission of BJU? Why was this necessary?

If it raised the concerns of the constituency of BJU for whatever reason, it was unwise. Some of us have a dog in the fight. I'm a grad as are my kids. So is Don and I think some of his kids. We care about BJU and wish that others will get what we got. 

We keep going back to silly issues like dress . . . let's get over that for now. There are larger issues at stake, the slippery slope not withstanding. 

What does Harvard, Yale, Andover, Rochester, Crozer, Colgate, Princeton, Mercer, Stetson all have in common? Not only are these schools no longer orthodox, they are hardly Christian. How did this happen? The gatekeepers didn't protect the gates. The wolves came in and the sheep were ravaged. In none of these stories was it an isolated misstep that resulted in their current location. It was a series of gradual, incremental steps that drew the institutions away from founding principles. And lest some accuse me of broad brushing, no these schools are not all at the same location, some are further away from orthodoxy than others.

The only thing we learn from history is that we don't learn from history.

So very sad.

Jeff Straub

www.jeffstraub.net

G. N. Barkman's picture

No, I would not consider BJU to be sinning if they  separated from Samaritan's Purse.  I, personally, have chosen not to support Samaritan's Purse, even though a former member of our church worked as a personal assistant to Franklin Graham for several years.  There are several things about SP with which I am not enthusiastic.  However, neither will I condemn those who choose to support them.  I think this is one of those areas where brotherly love demonstrates patience and kindness.  I will say that I am impressed with Franklin Graham's strong denunciation of any number of social and religious issues.  He is clearly much stronger than his father.  He is willing to say things that are hugely unpopular at the risk of losing support.  This, I applaud, and would think that other Bible believers should do the same. 

G. N. Barkman

Jay's picture

Many years ago BJU played Furman in a soccer game during the Thanksgiving season. This was the first time BJU had ever done that. At the time the BJU administration explicitly stated that this was a “one-time” event and would not lead to BJU developing an intercollegiate sports program. Well, look at what happened.

We're talking about BJU being in a dangerous direction because they played a secular university in soccer?  Is this serious?

What does Harvard, Yale, Andover, Rochester, Crozer, Colgate, Princeton, Mercer, Stetson all have in common? Not only are these schools no longer orthodox, they are hardly Christian. How did this happen? The gatekeepers didn't protect the gates. The wolves came in and the sheep were ravaged. In none of these stories was it an isolated misstep that resulted in their current location. It was a series of gradual, incremental steps that drew the institutions away from founding principles.

So name the theological compromise that BJU is experimenting with.  Give us a reason to be concerned.  Soccer games, clothing standards, and "BJU partners with Samaritan's Purse" isn't the same as the wholesale capitulation of the schools you mentioned into German higher criticism and rank heresy.  We've heard these stories before in our classes.  I want to see actual evidence that BJU is theologically changing.  We didn't really get it for Northland (again, the fatal blows were all about music and dress standards) and I think we're repeating history here.

"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

WallyMorris's picture

T. Howard: One Example - A BIG change at BJU is the acceptance of Redaction Criticism as a proper tool for exegesis and interpretation. That is a theological problem. Yes, Stiekes gives the expected statements about limits using RC and his adherence to Biblical inerrancy. Nevertheless, his use of RC is a BIG change. Even many conservative Evangelicals would not agree with Stiekes.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

AndyE's picture

WallyMorris wrote:

T. Howard: One Example - A BIG change at BJU is the acceptance of Redaction Criticism as a proper tool for exegesis and interpretation. That is a theological problem. Yes, Stiekes gives the expected statements about limits using RC and his adherence to Biblical inerrancy. Nevertheless, his use of RC is a BIG change. Even many conservative Evangelicals would not agree with Stiekes.

I sort of hate to keep pushing back on this, because I largely agree with you on this thread.  However, maybe you could explain what it is exactly about the Redaction Criticism that Stiekes promotes that you find objectionable. Other than terminology, I'm struggling to see what he is doing that even conservative evangelicals would disagree with.

In general, I don't really have any theological concerns with what is going on at BJU, unless you count the doctrine of separation.  The issues I've been concerned about are those regarding practice.  That's been the rub between new evangelicalism and fundamentalism all along.  The divide wasn't so much over doctrine, it was over how you respond to promoters of false doctrine, and in some cases gospel-denying practice (like what Paul rebuked Peter over).

WallyMorris's picture

Bert: The BGEA's problem was not weak follow-up. I have done a fair amount of primary research on the BGEA crusades. If you look at the planning involved for the crusades, they had extensive logistics worked out for follow-up. The problem was not weak follow-up. The problem was who they allowed to do the follow-up: liberal churches and Roman Catholics. The BGEA is still doing that today. They have not changed.

One of the problems with some posting here is that you want to see major theological compromise before you see a problem. That isn't how theological compromise works. It starts small, then grows. By the time people see the problem, the church or school is too far into theological drift to save it.

Jay: You are not seeing the bigger issue. Of course the problem is not one single soccer game which BJU had with Furman. The problem is 1. That game WAS a change. 2. The BJU administration explicitly stated that it would not lead to other changes, yet that is exactly what happened. 3. Once the taste for intercollegiate sports began, people wanted more. 4. BJU saw intercollegiate sports as one way to increase a declining enrollment and help produce unity on campus (Strange, I thought Christ was what brought unity to a Christian school). 5. BJU began a major fundraising campaign to finance intercollegiate sports, yet the school was also laying off staff & faculty. All of this leaves a sour taste as we saw this unfold. People may honestly debate the place of intercollegiate sports at Christian colleges. That's fine. But the BJU-Furman game began a sequence of events which illustrates how one seemingly small action can lead to other actions later. Additionally, when it was clear that BJU was going to develop an intercollegiate sports program, I asked a BJU Board member about it, and he said he knew nothing about it. Makes me wonder what really happened.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

WallyMorris's picture

Andy: One of several resources which are helpful is The Jesus Crisis, by Robert Thomas and David Farnell. They have done extensive work in this area. As an example of change at BJU, the last class I took for my M.Div. at BJU was Synoptic Gospels, taught by Mark Minnick, the first time they offered the class. Dr. Minnick made the dangers of RC very clear. If you do a basic Internet search for "conservative criticism of redaction criticism", you will find many articles by Evangelicals who oppose its use. For BJU to allow a Seminary professor to advocate RC is a HUGE theological change and is a symptom of something deeper happening at BJU.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

AndyE's picture

WallyMorris wrote:

Andy: One of several resources which are helpful is The Jesus Crisis, by Robert Thomas and David Farnell. They have done extensive work in this area. As an example of change at BJU, the last class I took for my M.Div. at BJU was Synoptic Gospels, taught by Mark Minnick, the first time they offered the class. Dr. Minnick made the dangers of RC very clear.

Sure, i get that, but what about what Stiekes is doing.  For example, here, with the text of Luke.  Or any other place if you know of a better example.  

WallyMorris's picture

Andy: The problem is that he is using Redaction Criticism to get his results. Other methods exist for getting the same results. His observations on particular gospel texts are not that hard to figure out. You don't need RC to do that. His use of RC is a big change at BJU. People wanted an example of change. Well, that's an example of change. Stewart Custer, when Chairman of the Bible Department, would never have allowed that. But BJU allows it. That's a big change.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

AndyE's picture

WallyMorris wrote:

Andy: The problem is that he is using Redaction Criticism to get his results. Other methods exist for getting the same results. His observations on particular gospel texts are not that hard to figure out. You don't need RC to do that. His use of RC is a big change at BJU. People wanted an example of change. Well, that's an example of change. Stewart Custer, when Chairman of the Bible Department, would never have allowed that. Bow BJU allows it. That's a big change.

To say that BJU is using Redaction Criticism, unqualified, is to accuse them of liberal unbelief in undermining the integrity and inspiration of the Scriptures.  It's a very serious charge.  If you are going to charge the school with Redaction Criticism, you ought to be able to explain exactly what they are doing that justifies such an allegation.  So, when I asked what Stiekes is doing wrong, you say Redaction Criticism, but I want an example of what he is doing that Dr. Custer would not allow. Right now you are just name calling.  I want more than a name, I want to know where his theological methodology is wrong.  You say other methods exist for getting the same results.  What are those methods and how are they different from Redaction Criticism?

JohnS's picture

Another false dichotomy: " 4. . . . (Strange, I thought Christ was what brought unity to a Christian school)."

Can't we agree that the same group of people can unite around more than one dimension and that some of those dimensions have a higher priority than others?  Praise God, my nuclear family is united in redemption in Christ.  We are also united in the human family that we share.  We are also united in the fact that we call the same dwelling home.  We are also united in the fact that we all speak the same language.  We are also united in our strong preference for Chick-fil-A.  

Has something like "I believe that being a Bruin is what makes us one" been added to the BJU creed?  (No, it has not.) 

The parenthetical comment in #4 is unfair in my humble estimation.

 

josh p's picture

G. N. Barkman wrote:

No, I would not consider BJU to be sinning if they  separated from Samaritan's Purse.  I, personally, have chosen not to support Samaritan's Purse, even though a former member of our church worked as a personal assistant to Franklin Graham for several years.  There are several things about SP with which I am not enthusiastic.  However, neither will I condemn those who choose to support them.  I think this is one of those areas where brotherly love demonstrates patience and kindness.  I will say that I am impressed with Franklin Graham's strong denunciation of any number of social and religious issues.  He is clearly much stronger than his father.  He is willing to say things that are hugely unpopular at the risk of losing support.  This, I applaud, and would think that other Bible believers should do the same. 

I can appreciate what you are saying and the importance of extending kindness and patience when considering these things. I do however believe some ministries are off enough that no one should partner with them. BGEA is one of those. But, if history tells us anything, people draw that line differently and many don't draw it at all. 

Don Johnson's picture

JohnS wrote:

Has something like "I believe that being a Bruin is what makes us one" been added to the BJU creed?  (No, it has not.) 

Well, they did replace the lamp with the dancing bear in the University Crest, so there is that.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

JohnS's picture

Don Johnson wrote:

 

JohnS wrote:

 

Has something like "I believe that being a Bruin is what makes us one" been added to the BJU creed?  (No, it has not.) 

 

 

Well, they did replace the lamp with the dancing bear in the University Crest, so there is that.

 

Actually, no they did not.  The crest has a cross (can we be charitable and assumes it represents the Cross of Jesus Christ?), an open book (can we be charitable and assume it represents the Bible?), a lamp, and a bear that looks awfully aggressive to be "dancing".  

WallyMorris's picture

John: My parenthetical comment is entirely fair because defenders of BJU's involvement in intercollegiate sports have told me that unity is one of the reasons for beginning that type of sports at BJU, and a member of the administration told me that many alumni have expressed the concern that sports seem to be more important than Christ, and that impression is coming from somewhere. Can a school have sports and also emphasize Christ? Of course. But in daily reality among students, what are they really unified by and excited by? The BJU Bookstore is full of Bruins material. Difficult to find a piece of clothing without the Bruins mascot. That is the concern.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

WallyMorris's picture

Andy: Perhaps you should read my posts more carefully. I have previously stated that Stiekes uses RC with limits and still holds to Biblical inerrancy. I have never accused of theological liberalism or that Stiekes uses RC "unqualified". I am not "charging the school" with RC; You are reading that into my statements. I am saying that the BJU Seminary now allows one of its professors to promote RC. People asked for an example of change. That is an example of change. As far as methodology, all you need to do is study the text and make comparisons between the gospels. Not hard to do, and you don't need the philosophy of RC to do that. I was a deacon at Dr. Custer's church and he was chairman of my ordination committee. He would not allow RC in any form. What Stiekes is doing wrong is using RC in any way. Don't need it. Unnecessary. Stiekes' conclusions in his posts are just as easily available from basic study. Not hard to do. You don't need a "methodology"; Just compare the texts and study. It really is that simple. If you have not already, take the time to do some research on RC and examine carefully, for example, The Jesus Crisis. What Stiekes is doing is unwise, and those allowing him to do it are unwise. Sometimes Biblical scholars like to appear "scholarly" to others, quoting German words in their writings and "breaking new ground" within their particular theological group. Whether that is Stiekes' motivation, I do not know and will not form an opinion.

Christians' use of RC is somewhat similar to the approach some have toward CCM: If we "clean it up a little bit" and remove its objectionable components, then we can use it.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

Don Johnson's picture

JohnS wrote:

 

Don Johnson wrote:

 

 

JohnS wrote:

 

Has something like "I believe that being a Bruin is what makes us one" been added to the BJU creed?  (No, it has not.) 

 

 

Well, they did replace the lamp with the dancing bear in the University Crest, so there is that.

 

 

 

Actually, no they did not.  The crest has a cross (can we be charitable and assumes it represents the Cross of Jesus Christ?), an open book (can we be charitable and assume it represents the Bible?), a lamp, and a bear that looks awfully aggressive to be "dancing".  

Well whatever. The dancing bear replaced something. I forget what it was.

You can call it aggressive if you want, I identify it as dancing.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Joeb's picture

Wally they may have got nervous coming out of their funny papers experience before everything hit the fan at the other schools.  Now you look at it and really other then admitting what they did and repenting which no one else came close they probably didn't need to do anything else except maybe gear the dress code toward dressing professionally and school pride vs the other.   I think they pulled the trigger on this other stuff fearing they'd loose students.  Almost like Saul doing the sacrifices because he was not patient and trusting of the Lord and Samuel showing up.  Seems to me that maybe the case.

Once all this other stuff broke about Masters Moody Gordon Wheaton's President Cedarville and Liberty that made them in my mind the only true honest herald  for Christ standing.

Now the sports stuff equals money for them Wally.  Big alumni donors love the sports. So there is a reason for building up the sports program.  It's like the IRS hiring new employees.  Every dollar you spend on a new IRS Employee brings in $10 more dollars into the door.  It only takes one good Soccer Player who later becomes a rich CEO of a company to get that one huge donation Wally.  To a certain extent it's business to attract top students and athletes.  
 

That huge 100s of millions of dollars Donation Gordon got from an Alimni was roped in by the President that got  Gordon in the funny papers.  Once the donation was secured he resigned.  My loaded brother in law was a big donor to Gordon Conwell Seminary.  He sponsored full tuition and living expenses for any student who committed to doing an urban ministry.  At the time he was an Elder of that real historic Evangelical Church I think was called Park St.  My brother-in-law said most of these big donors are dudes in their 60s and they want everything your talking about returned like the old dress code etc.  So Wally you may get your wish if a rich BJU Grad wants to give BJU 300 to 400 Million.  I'll bet everything your talking about would come flying back real quick. Money talks is the bottom line. 
 

Hey Bert your loaded can you spare a 100 Mil in a donation to BJU so Wally can get what he wants at BJU back.   

AndyE's picture

WallyMorris wrote:
Andy: Perhaps you should read my posts more carefully. I have previously stated that Stiekes uses RC with limits and still holds to Biblical inerrancy. I have never accused of theological liberalism or that Stiekes uses RC "unqualified". I am not "charging the school" with RC; You are reading that into my statements. I am saying that the BJU Seminary now allows one of its professors to promote RC.

Yes, you have at times qualified your accusation, but your very first post on the subject did not, nor did your post to Bert on Monday. If people read those, they could get the wrong idea, and so that is why I have been pushing back. BTW, your last two sentences quoted above appear contradictory to me.  I don't know how to resolve those two statements.

Quote:
As far as methodology, all you need to do is study the text and make comparisons between the gospels. Not hard to do, and you don't need the philosophy of RC to do that… Stiekes' conclusions in his posts are just as easily available from basic study. Not hard to do. You don't need a "methodology"; Just compare the texts and study. It really is that simple.  

Exactly right and exactly what Stiekes is doing.  He is not starting from the unbelieving presuppositional philosophy of liberal RC. He is starting from a position of verbal plenary inerrant inspiration, and he is studying the text to identify the unique theological message that each gospel writer brings to the forefront. It is important good work and nothing different from what Dr. Custer did in the Apr 1994 issue of Biblical Viewpoint when he identified things that were unique to Luke (“Luke alone records many of the most important doctrinal instructions concerning salvation.” p 59; “King. Luke uses this title in two parallel passages where Mark does not have it.” p 56; to quote just two examples).

When I asked for a specific methodological example of what Stiekes is doing wrong, all you can come up with is, “What Stiekes is doing wrong is using RC in any way.”  All Stiekes is doing is the same sort of thing Custer did.  God gave us four gospels, not one.  Too often when these Biblical books are taught, they get flattened into a single harmony of the gospels. But God inspired four views of the life and work of Christ, with four unique perspectives, with different theological goals.  It’s important to discover and show that. I'm glad and encouraged by what Stiekes is doing!

The “sin” of Stiekes, if there is one, is that he is saying that when believers do that, i.e., look for the theological motivation behind the authors choices in what they present and say, they are doing Redaction Criticism but starting from a presupposition of a high view of scripture.  Should he have said that, maybe not. He got push back form Layton Talbert about using this terminology. It has opened the door to this very criticism that we are discussing, but it is not really a change at all, or something to accuse BJU about.

T Howard's picture

So, to recap, BJU is on the Stone Mountain slippery slope to compromise and downgrade because of the following:

  • BJU has partnered with Samaritan's Purse in an effort to feed children, rescue children in crisis, and care for orphans. Instead of partnering with an evangelical Christian organization, BJU should have partnered with a similar separatist Fundamentalist charity (which doesn't exist) or a non-religious charity. But then, maybe not, because after all that just promotes the social gospel. Plus, helping needy children has deleterious economic impacts. On second thought, it's probably best that BJU not encourage its students to visit orphans and widows in their distress in order to keep itself unstained by the world ... and by the world, we mean "the inclusive, Broad Evangelicalism."
  • BJU started intercollegiate sports, which supplanted the university's unity and excitement in Christ with unity and excitement in sports. Not to mention, school leadership introduced intercollegiate sports surreptitiously, which fits the pattern of an administration bent on malevolent change.
  • BJU has a Bible professor who promotes redaction criticism. We don't know how, why, and to what extent he actually references redaction criticism, but that doesn't matter. We are convinced he is promoting it. Just like with CCM, a little leaven leavens the whole lump. Next stop for BJU: inviting Bart Ehrman to become a visiting professor.
  • BJU replaced something on their university crest with an odd looking, semi-aggressive dancing bear. Not only that, but this same dancing bear is also all over the merch in the campus bookstore. We're not sure what this forebodes, but anything associated with dancing can't be good.

Have I captured everything?

Now, Brothers, I've written some of this in jest. But, I'm honestly struggling with what the real, substantive issue is with BJU. I'm a PCC grad, so maybe I just don't get it.

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