Now, About Those Differences, Part Nine

NickOfTimeRead Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, and Part 8.

Assessing the Worldliness

How different are fundamentalists from conservative evangelicals? We have now examined two answers to that question. The first answer had to do with dispensationalism. We concluded that, although fundamentalism has a higher percentage of dispensationalists, this difference creates no greater tension between the two groups than it does within each group.

The second difference that we examined was the putative legalism of fundamentalists (according to evangelicals) and the supposed worldliness of evangelicals (according to fundamentalists). We have tried to discover what these accusations mean. Our working hypothesis includes the following factors. First, fundamentalists tend to observe certain revivalist taboos more frequently than evangelicals. Second, fundamentalists are more reluctant to adopt the accouterments of the counterculture that emerged during the 1960s. Third, fundamentalists are more likely to accept second-premise arguments when the extra-scriptural premise relies upon a judgment. Fourth, evangelicals tend to employ more recent versions of popular culture in their church life, while fundamentalists tend to hang on to older and now obsolete manifestations of popular culture.

Of course, these are generalizations to which plenty of exceptions can be found on either side. Furthermore, as generalizations, they are less likely to be typical of conservative evangelicals than of some other evangelicals. Nevertheless, these differences remain noticeable between fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals.

How much does any of this matter? Maybe there is a difference, but is the difference really sufficient to separate conservative evangelicals from fundamentalists? To answer that question, let me report three episodes.

Episode one occurs in a doctoral classroom of a major evangelical seminary. The professor has just been asked whether he is willing to restrict his liberty for the sake of those who believe that consuming alcohol is a sin. He replies, “I won’t choose to drink around people if I know that it makes them uncomfortable, but if they tell me that I can’t, I’ll drink a glass of port in front of them just to show them that I can do it. And of course, in Europe, all bets are off.”

Episode two occurs in an outdoor restaurant. Several evangelical theologians are seated at a table. They order drinks before their meal. Then they order some more. After their meal is served, they order still more drinks. They are growing raucous enough that other diners are beginning to glance over their shoulders. One of the theologians slurs out, “Say—how do we know when we’ve gone from drinking in moderation to being drunk?” Another makes reference to the teaching of an obscure catechism and explains that you aren’t drunk if you don’t vomit within twenty-four hours. The only one who doesn’t drink is chosen as the designated driver.

Episode three occurs outside a nice home. Several men are seated on the deck. Each of them is a patriarchal “pastor” of his Christian Reconstructionist house church. As the women serve, one of the men bellows, “Beer me!” The others echo the phrase, and the women dutifully produce bottles of fresh brew.

None of these episodes is fictional. They all occurred in the context of conservative evangelicalism. The professor in the first story is a major conservative evangelical spokesman. The theologians in the second story were the founders of a significant conservative evangelical alliance. The patriarchs in the third story may be people you have never heard of, but they are really out there. In plenty of places.

Now, can anyone imagine any of these scenes occurring in a group of fundamentalist leaders? No? Neither can I.

To be sure, not all conservative evangelicals drink booze. But these do. And what they do is tolerated in the name of Christian liberty—as if somehow Christians have liberty to engage in one of the most destructive practices that humans have ever invented. How much should a Christian drink? Here’s a hint: the same number of drinks that it takes to make you a better driver is exactly the number it takes to make you a better Christian, too.

Of course, I am tipping my hand here. I do not think that the so-called “revivalistic taboos” are necessarily just for revivalists—at least not all of them. Take social dancing—I have absolutely no desire to see my wife swept around the room in the arms of another man. When my daughter was in my home, I had absolutely no desire to see her bouncing and flouncing with some undisciplined adolescent whose hormones were barely under control. The waltz, the fox-trot, the tango, the samba, the rhumba, the Charleston, the jitterbug, the twist, the frog, the monkey, the funky chicken: whatever the name and whatever the style, modern social dancing is all about sex.

Nor do I think that fundamentalists were wrong to reject the symbols of a defiant counterculture. I do not think that we are wrong to raise serious objections to adopting the accouterments of anti-Christian or anti-moral social movements today. Let me put it bluntly: Christians have no business looking like Goths, Rastas, gangstas, one-percenters, or metalheads, any more than they have any business looking like transvestites or Nazis.

We should not wear the symbols of those movements for the same reason that we should not wear a fur coat in the woods during deer season. There is nothing immoral about the coat. We simply do not wish to be mistaken for something that is about to be shot.

I know, I know. Guys who wear suits can be just as worldly as guys who wear piercings. They can embezzle money, for example, or cheat on their wives. True!, but suits were not invented to advertise the defiance of property rights or marital vows.

This is not quantum mechanics. This stuff is obvious. It is so obvious that I have to wonder about somebody who can’t seem to get it. Why should a person who wants to wear the Devil’s uniforme du jour have the right to pontificate about Christian liberty? If you want to challenge me about patriotism, then take off your swastika first. If you want to lecture me about Christian liberty, then remove your piercings.

One of the first questions we need to learn to ask is, “What does that mean?” Fundamentalists do not ask this question nearly as often as they ought to, but they do ask it more than other evangelicals do—including, in many instances, conservative evangelicals. Before we adopt a trend, we need to know what it means.

Christian liberty is important. The last thing we need, however, is for Christian liberty to be defined by people who are looking for loopholes. Too often, many fundamentalists and more evangelicals are doing just that.

In sum, this is one of the differences between fundamentalists (in general) and conservative evangelicals (in general). With respect to this difference, neither fundamentalists nor evangelicals are always right. Fundamentalists, however, are right more often than other evangelicals are. And I think it matters.

A Fourfold Exercise for the Believer in His Lodging on Earth (Part 1)
Ralph Erskine (1685-1752)

The HOLY LAW: or, The Ten Commandments, Exod. xx. 3—17.

1. No God but me thou shalt adore.
2. No image frame to bow before.
3. My holy name take not in vain.
4. My sacred Sabbath don’t profane.
5. To parents render due respect.
6. All murder shun, and malice check.
7. From filth and bunnydom base abstain,
8. From theft and all unlawful gain.
9. False witness flee, and sland’ring spite.
10. Nor covet what’s thy neighbour’s right.

II. The UNHOLY HEART, the direct opposite to God’s holy and righteous Law, Rom. vii. 14. Or, The Knowledge of Sin by the Law, Rom. iii. 20.

1. My heart’s to many gods a slave.
2. Of imag’ry an hideous cave.
3. An hoard of God-dishon’ring crimes.
4. A waster base of holy times.
5. A throne of pride and self-conceit.
6. A slaughter-house of wrath and hate.
7. A cage of birds and thoughts unclean.
8. A den of thieves and frauds unseen.
9. An heap of calumnies unspent.
10. A gulph of greed and discontent.


This essay is by Dr. Kevin T. Bauder, president of Central Baptist Theological Seminary (Plymouth, MN). Not every professor, student, or alumnus of Central Seminary necessarily agrees with every opinion that it expresses.

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mounty's picture

I've been following this series of articles for some time now and have found them very helpful in determining the difference between a conservative evangelical and a fundamentalist. I've been looking forward to this concluding article for a while. While it's apparent that there are differences in deep-held beliefs, especially regarding dispensational beliefs, those differences are not always quickly discerned. As someone who isn't/wasn't a theology student in college, I'm not used to dealing with some of these weightier theological concepts in dealing with people, so I've been looking forward to this conclusion to find out how Dr. Bauder intended on wrapping up these differences into a unifying coherent whole. And I'm glad he did! It's so refreshing to know that despite the theological and weighty matters of belief, the differences can be boiled down into a simple, practical issue. Now, if I ever want to know whether I'm dealing with an evangelical or a fundamentalist, all I have to do is offer to buy him a beer. If he's evangelical, most likely he'll accept and I'll know where he stands. If he refuses, then even if he is an evangelical, he's close enough to a fundamentalist that we can fellowship, and I'll just nervously laugh and explain how I believe that all the myriad differences between evangelicalism and fundamentalism boil down to whether or not a person drinks alcohol. I'm glad it's so simple! All this time I was worried that it would involve a great deal of discussion and prayer.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Tom and have been having a little debate between us about this post since last Friday.
My contribution out of the starting gate is to encourage folks to note the structure of the piece here and where it fits in the series. Kevin's alcohol related examples are offered in answer to this question...

Quote:
How much does any of this matter? Maybe there is a difference, but is the difference really sufficient to separate conservative evangelicals from fundamentalists? To answer that question, let me report three episodes.

The examples are intended to illustrate that the difference, with respect to "revivalist taboos," (which he has noted in the series are not the only area of difference) does matter and creates problems for fellowship.

He supplements that with another "revivalist taboo" that he believes is substantial (social dancing) and affirms that fundamentalism has also been right to reject the counter culture to the degree it has done so.

All of this is in the context of the discussion of legalism and worldliness as a point of distinction between fundies and evangelicals.

So the argument is,

  • Fundamentalists and evangelicals are different in their approach to worldliness
  • The differences have to do with the role of revivalist taboos, second premise arguments and rejection of counter culture
  • Social drinking and dancing are examples of revivalist taboos
  • Some of the differences in that area are not trivial (evidence: the "three episodes")

So the point is more clear if we read each part of the piece in the context of the overall argument.

Quote:
In sum, this is one of the differences between...
(emphasis added)

I also don't think the series is over. In part 1, Kevin referred to several areas of difference and openness to non-cessationism was in that list as well as anti-dispensationalism, and some other things.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

I understand the examples, and can think of quite a few more that are pertinent. But what they all boil down to is self-indulgence. Worldliness is all about being nice and cozy in this world and becoming indistinguishable from the native population. Godliness is about recognizing that we are strangers and pilgrims in this land, and our focus should be on what we can do to get ourselves and those around us ready for our destination in eternity. Anything that does not further that goal in some way is fluff and nonsense. Our liberty is knowing that we are miraculously cut loose from our flesh and can act unfettered by carnality- why on earth would we as Christians get out the Elmer's and try to glue this body with its selfish desires back on? I don't understand the desire to justify engaging in behaviors that are risky in some way- from having a beer or two to bungy-jumping. What exactly is the point besides cheap thrills and self-indulgence?

Want an adrenaline rush or a bit of a buzz? I highly recommend working with folks in jail and giving them your mobile phone number. Then they can call you at all hours because they are trying to overcome the desire to shoot up with heroin or beat up their girlfriend, and you get the privilege of talking them down off whatever ledge they happen to be on. When you get off the phone, your eyes will be bugging out of your head, tears will be running down your face, your heart will be racing, and the last thing on earth you will want is any substance or activity that might interfere with your ability to think clearly or get a hold of God.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Quote:
recognizing that we are strangers and pilgrims in this land, and our focus should be on what we can do to get ourselves and those around us ready for our destination in eternity.

I don't quite see it that way. Of course I accept that, in one sense, this "world" (geographical sense) is not our home, but there is another side to it. God created all this and said it was good and put us here to glorify our Creator. That "glorifying" purpose encompasses both living "with eternity in view" and also using God's good gifts here below. I believe that part of what will matter forever in the hereafter is our fulfilling of God's creation design here and now to the degree that's possible under the curse (and assuming individual vocation as well... God calls some to suffer more sacrifice in this life than others).

This might be an overlooked part of the equation when it comes to comparing evangelical attitudes/values to fundamentalist ones. At least some of the former are partly guided by this idea that God is glorified by our enjoyment of life when that enjoyment is consistent with His holiness (of course, many are not guided by any thinking on the subject at all). Many fundamentalists share that way of thinking, but on average, more of the latter take the annabaptistic attitude toward this material world: it's a necessary evil we just kind of have to get over with on the way to the promised land. I think we have to watch out for that error as well as the error of thinking "I'm going to fit in here" in a place dominated by a large majority of godless sinners.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

MShep2's picture

Great article. I especially liked his statement

Quote:
How much should a Christian drink? Here’s a hint: the same number of drinks that it takes to make you a better driver is exactly the number it takes to make you a better Christian, too.
Not exactly a biblical point but extremely practical.

One other point: What is "bunnydom"? Since the author of Bauder's quoted piece died in 1752 I really doubt if he had Hugh Hefner's debauchery in mind. Google gives me 3000-some hits but all seem to have to do with modern "bunnydom," or literal bunnies, not something from the 17th or 18th century.

MS
--------------------------------
Luke 17:10

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Aaron Blumer wrote:
Quote:
recognizing that we are strangers and pilgrims in this land, and our focus should be on what we can do to get ourselves and those around us ready for our destination in eternity.

I don't quite see it that way. Of course I accept that, in one sense, this "world" (geographical sense) is not our home, but there is another side to it. God created all this and said it was good and put us here to glorify our Creator. That "glorifying" purpose encompasses both living "with eternity in view" and also using God's good gifts here below. I believe that part of what will matter forever in the hereafter is our fulfilling of God's creation design here and now to the degree that's possible under the curse (and assuming individual vocation as well... God calls some to suffer more sacrifice in this life than others).

This might be an overlooked part of the equation when it comes to comparing evangelical attitudes/values to fundamentalist ones. At least some of the former are partly guided by this idea that God is glorified by our enjoyment of life when that enjoyment is consistent with His holiness (of course, many are not guided by any thinking on the subject at all). Many fundamentalists share that way of thinking, but on average, more of the latter take the annabaptistic attitude toward this material world: it's a necessary evil we just kind of have to get over with on the way to the promised land. I think we have to watch out for that error as well as the error of thinking "I'm going to fit in here" in a place dominated by a large majority of godless sinners.


You are still taking about living with eternity in view. Even when we are enjoying God's creation, we are (or should be) doing so in a manner that actually does glorify God (as you say "when that enjoyment is consistent with His holiness"). IOW, we aren't glorifying God while 'enjoying His creation' of cannabis sativa. "Using God's gifts here below" has eternal consequences or rewards. I think we often try to make an artificial separation, calling some things 'secular' and other things 'sacred'. IMO, everything has implications in relation to what is sacred.

I do realize that some hear the phrase 'strangers and pilgrims' or "I'm just passin' through" and think that means we should all be living on the side of a mountain eatin' dandelion greens and goat cheese with a basset hound next to the rockin' chair, waitin' on God to fetch us on home. While I do speak hilljack fluently, I was thinking along the lines of something more commonsensical and consistent with Matt. 6:19-20 and 2 Cor. 5:10.

Charlie's picture

I really fail to see the relevance of this article to the preceding conversation. It has already been established (asserted) that the major difference between fundamentalism and evangelicalism is their embrace of popular culture, or, rather, which popular culture. Alcohol, however, is not an issue of popular culture. It was around before the invention of pop culture. It was nearly universally embraced by Christians until (ironically) about the time that pop culture arose. The use of alcohol may be a dividing line between Fundamentalism and evangelicalism, but it doesn't fit with any pattern of popular culture, or, "worldliness."

My Blog: http://dearreaderblog.com

Cor meum tibi offero Domine prompte et sincere. ~ John Calvin

Bob Hayton's picture

1) I hope there will be more parts to the series.

2) Has Bauder really addressed the "legalism" angle yet? I've read all the posts, maybe I need to go back and read the last couple, but that charge, when warranted, is quite alarming. I have found a lot of practical legalism in fundamentalism - more so than outside the movement, at least in my opinion.

3) The drinking examples (2 & 3) that he gives do seem definitely over the top. But historically Christians of all persuasions drank alcohol prior to the 1860s when Thomas Welch invented modern grape juice for the express purpose of supplanting alcoholic wine's use in communion. Just because some Christian leaders acted immaturely (and do we know enough of the context to know if this is a pattern in their lives or just a moment or two of immaturity that they have since turned from?) doesn't mean that one cannot drink moderately and with propriety. Nor does drinking moderately mean one will never restrict his liberty for the consciences of others in specific bounded circumstances.

4) There are a whole lot of Evangelicals who shun alcohol with as much vigor as the most set-apart fundamentalist. I do grant you are more likely to find an evangelical drinking than a fundamentalist (and I know of some conservative Baptists who conscientiously use alcoholic wine in communion), but then on the other hand, you are more likely to find a fundamentalist judging someone's faith for drinking or about anything else than you are an evangelical.

5) Let's remember, "the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." (Rom. 14:17)

Striving for the unity of the faith, for the glory of God ~ Eph. 4:3, 13; Rom. 15:5-7 I blog at Fundamentally Reformed. Follow me on Twitter.

Jim's picture

I'm not sure if my categorization is valid but I wonder if this would fit:

  • Not all dance is sexual in nature (response to Kevin's comment: "whatever the name and whatever the style, modern social dancing is all about sex.")
  • Some dance is artistic (ballet) or athletic (square dance)
  • S/I member Ed V is a ballroom dancing enthusiast. While I'm not that familiar with ballroom dancing, that would not fit the "all about sex")

Because I walk with crutches I would love to be able to walk (or run) without finding one foot standing on the toe of the other. So fair to say I am not into dance. But in my younger years I did enjoy square dancing.

Ed Vasicek's picture

I have enjoyed Dr. Bauder's articles, but this is his worst. It is an emotional tirade that completely ignores the Biblical practice, exemplified by Jesus, of drinking only in moderation (if one drinks). I believe the good doctor has set up some straw men and should be ashamed by using the worst possible examples of men who identify themselves as conservative evangelicals. I know many conservative evangelicals (and might be one myself), but not like this.

Detestable people come in all theologies. For example, is the behavior of Dr. Jack Hyles the model for our viewpoint as to where fundamentalism leads? What about the fundamentalists who won't touch alcohol but are harsh or abusive with their wives and children? Do you know HOW MANY fundamentalists fall into this category (I've counseled plenty of their children).

I am not a drinker (though I do not believe drinking in moderation is wrong), so I do not have an agenda. But Dr. Bauder knows better than to reason emotionally using atypical cases to make his point. It is not what you argue, but also HOW you argue that counts.

"The Midrash Detective"

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Susan R wrote:
You are still taking about living with eternity in view. Even when we are enjoying God's creation, we are (or should be) doing so in a manner that actually does glorify God (

Yes, that's true. I often hear the future set against the present, though, in ways that trickle down to an attitude of: what we do here and now just doesn't matter. But in reality, eternity makes the present matter more, not less, because everything temporal is in some way connected to the eternal. Without that eternal connection the temporal is--well, when it's over it's over.
I don't think we really disagree, I'm just reacting to some of the themes I've heard in sermon and song that have created a wrong impression about where the things of this life fit into the grand scheme of things.

Charlie wrote:
I really fail to see the relevance of this article to the preceding conversation. It has already been established (asserted) that the major difference between fundamentalism and evangelicalism is their embrace of popular culture, or, rather, which popular culture. Alcohol, however, is not an issue of popular culture..."
True, this is part of his argument on "revivalist taboos," not the counter culture.
As I pointed out in post #2 in this thread, he's illustrating why at least some of these differences in the area of revivalist taboos are non trivial.

This piece is not intended to make a case against anything
To many of the others I have to point out that if Kevin wanted to actually make a case against social drinking and social dancing, this piece would be written quite differently. Most of you know his writing well enough to know that if you think about it. But there is no attempt to make a case for those conclusions here. Rather, he is pointing out that fundamentalists think quite differently about these things and, in passing, declares several of his opinions to be obvious. Well, we all know--Kevin included--that when you declare something to be "obvious," you aren't winning anybody over. That's not the aim in this piece.
The fact that a bunch of fundamentalists are very unlikely to car pool to the site of the latest episode of Dancing with the Stars and aren't going to sit around a table at Moe's Pub and toast one another is pretty undeniable.

Ed V wrote:
But Dr. Bauder knows better than to reason emotionally using atypical cases to make his point

Yes, he does, which is why he's not doing that here. "His point" is defined in the question that precedes the "three scenarios."

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Joel Shaffer's picture

I was about to write a detailed argument to counter what Kevin had written, but Aaron you got me to look at it from a different angle. I get that he his point is defined in the question that precedes the three scenerios, that being the major differences of how evangelicals and fundamentalists view worldliness. Yet it seemed odd and out of character for him to lace his point with illustrations such as his personal soapboxes and emotional-based opinions on these cultural issues that are quite "obvious" to him.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Joel Shaffer wrote:
I was about to write a detailed argument to counter what Kevin had written, but Aaron you got me to look at it from a different angle. I get that he his point is defined in the question that precedes the three scenerios, that being the major differences of how evangelicals and fundamentalists view worldliness. Yet it seemed odd and out of character for him to lace his point with illustrations such as his personal soapboxes and emotional-based opinions on these cultural issues that are quite "obvious" to him.

Why are they "emotional based"? I mean, how have you arrived at that conclusion?

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Joel Shaffer's picture

I am sure he has better thought out reasons to oppose dancing, but to illustrate his opposition to social dancing by describing a scenario of "When my daughter was in my home, I had absolutely no desire to see her bouncing and flouncing with some undisciplined adolescent whose hormones were barely under control" to further illustrate how all modern social dancing it is all about sex is very subjective and based on his strong emotions that he has against dancing. Of course every father doesn't want his daughter (s) "flouncing" with some hormone crazed boy! But that also means everywhere. I saw some of my acquaintances and even some of my friends as teenagers growing up in our fundy baptist church do immoral stuff sitting in a pew or riding the church bus.

The issue is more about living by the Spirit and its fruit being self-control. Those of my friends that fell into sexual immorality had none (self-control) and found creative places to divulge into sin.

Of course, there are definitely social dances that I've seen which are sexual and no Christian should take part in, but to list just about every dance imaginable under the same umbrella and use the illustrations of his family to make his point seems to play to the emotions. Maybe I'm not understanding what is going on here, Correct me if I am still not getting it.........

Jim's picture

I would love to hear from a Christian (perhaps a missionary) in Europe.

I surmise there are few "fundamentalists" in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, etc. (Possibly the American fusion of the Temperance Movement with Fundamentalism has something to do with that - but I digress).

I know of a missionary to Holland who absolutely beat his head against the wall trying to persuade Dutch Christians to abstain from alcohol. He found only about 20 that agreed with him and that was his church. He now is ministering in the states.

Jim's picture

I notice (and this is not a criticism at all .... just an observation) that Chris Andersons' church plant has a new church covenant

Here: http://mytwocents.wordpress.com/2010/07/26/tcbcs-new-membership-covenant/

Nary a mention of alcohol (could be in the doctrinal statement)

I've noticed that several of the newer fundamental church plants in the Twin Cities likewise omit the tradition pledge to abstain from alcohol as a beverage.

Is it possible that, as the saying goes, "that's not a cross I am willing to die on"?

Steve Davis's picture

Jim Peet wrote:
I would love to hear from a Christian (perhaps a missionary) in Europe.

I surmise there are few "fundamentalists" in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, etc. (Possibly the American fusion of the Temperance Movement with Fundamentalism has something to do with that - but I digress).

I know of a missionary to Holland who absolutely beat his head against the wall trying to persuade Dutch Christians to abstain from alcohol. He found only about 20 that agreed with him and that was his church. He now is ministering in the states.

We were missionaries for 12 years in Europe, both in Western and Eastern Europe. In France it is an issue mostly brought in by outsiders. Most French Christians that I've known either drink in moderation or allow for drinking in moderation even if they personally abstain. I have rarely been in a French home where wine was not served or offered with meals. Some choose not to drink at all but not as a biblical conviction. More recently between 2006-2008 my wife and I spent 6 months a year in France. We worked with an independent Baptist church in Paris planted by an American missionary. The church had 4 deacons. We were invited to all their homes at one time or another. To the man the deacons drink wine with meals. I’m sure there are exceptions but generally French Christians, in my experience, do not have the same views on drinking as their American brothers and sisters.

Jim's picture

Ever heard of the famous illustration: Beer Street and Gin Lane?

Here it is

[IMG ]http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb226/jrpeet/SharperIron/Beer-street-... ]

Mentioned in the oft misunderstood book "The Search for God and Guinness" (I say "oft misunderstood" because some see it as a "pro-beer" book)

Challies reviewed the book here: http://www.challies.com/book-reviews/the-search-for-god-and-guinness

I read the book two weeks ago when Kathee and I took 3 day weekend to get away. I found it fascinating because there are three branches of the Guinness family: the brewing family, the banking family, and the missionary - evangelism branch.

I highlight the illustration (Google it for a larger image) because Guiness's brew was considered a healthy alternative to gin.

More on the illustration here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer_Street_and_Gin_Lane

Quote:
Beer Street and Gin Lane are two prints issued in 1751 by English artist William Hogarth in support of what would become the Gin Act. Designed to be viewed alongside each other, they depict the evils of the consumption of gin as a contrast to the merits of drinking beer.

...

On the simplest level, Hogarth portrays the inhabitants of Beer Street as happy and healthy, nourished by the native English ale, and those who live in Gin Lane as destroyed by their addiction to the foreign spirit of gin; but, as with so many of Hogarth's works, closer inspection uncovers other targets of his satire, and reveals that the poverty of Gin Lane and the prosperity of Beer Street are more intimately connected than they at first appear. Gin Lane shows shocking scenes of infanticide, starvation, madness, decay and suicide, while Beer Street depicts industry, health, bonhomie and thriving commerce, but there are contrasts and subtle details that allude to the prosperity of Beer Street as the cause of the misery found in Gin Lane.

Comment: I know this post is off topic .... but it highlights a divergent view of beer. And the senior Guiness was a devote Christian who genuinely cared for his God, for his country, and for his employees.

* Note .... I am not "pro-drink" ... but I am for a broader understanding of the issues at hand

JGHenderson's picture

While I find Dr. Bauder's remarks always provocative, I'm wondering if he is addressing the only differences between evangelicals and fundamentalists as certain taboos. Becoming a Fundamentalist by conviction, not being "born into it", I've believed the biggest difference between the two groups relates to Biblical Separation. Fundamentalists
try to warn people about people who lead others astray, spiritually. Evangelicals seem not to warn. Joe Henderson

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Quote:
teenagers growing up in our fundy baptist church do immoral stuff sitting in a pew or riding the church bus.
The issue is more about living by the Spirit and its fruit being self-control. Those of my friends that fell into sexual immorality had none (self-control) and found creative places to divulge into sin.

The fact that people do immoral things when not dancing is no kind of argument in its favor. It's kind of like reasoning that since people get run over by more trucks than trains it's perfectly sensible to sleep on the railroad tracks.

I found it hard to achieve any critical distance with this particular post of Kevin's because what he has described as obvious here is also obvious to me. It's always hard to find the patience to make a reasoned argument for what you think is obvious.
One reason is that to the degree something really is obvious, reasoned arguments are irrelevant. People don't reject the obvious for rational reasons. So reasons seem to be irrelevant where the obvious is involved. (For example, there's no point in lecturing your neighbor on six reasons why he is, in fact, not Elvis. If he's convinced he's Elvis, "reason's got nothin' to do with it!") But if you're going to be persuasive, you have to sort of try to imagine that people denying what you see as obvious are still rational and give them a reasoned case anyway.

But we all believe some things that we would not bother to make a case for. There's only so many hours in the day.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Ed Vasicek's picture

Aaron said:

Quote:
But we all believe some things that we would not bother to make a case for. There's only so many hours in the day.

Even THAT has its limits. What about Joshua's long day? And some think that the days " being shortened" and "a third of the sun and stars not giving their light" refers to 16 hour days during the latter part of the Tribulation. Maybe we should move to "death and taxes." No, because the rapture generation.... maybe it's just taxes! Smile

"The Midrash Detective"

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Actually by "only so many hours in the day," I meant to imply that "nobody has time to make a case for everything they believe is obvious," but there is kind of an interesting double meaning there, now that you mention it.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

David S.'s picture

[quote=Ed Vasicek ] I have enjoyed Dr. Bauder's articles, but this is his worst. It is an emotional tirade that completely ignores the Biblical practice, exemplified by Jesus, of drinking only in moderation (if one drinks). I believe the good doctor has set up some straw men and should be ashamed by using the worst possible examples of men who identify themselves as conservative evangelicals.

I am not sure it is fair to say that these men are the "worst possible examples" particularly when the first one seems to be a very popular, brilliant, and well spoken gospel defender among conservative evangelicals. Furthermore, I am not sure how someone can say that Kevin is using "an emotional tirade." That accusation completely ignores his previous installment on second premise arguments. Could it be that behind the highly provocative statement about drinking and driving that there is a second premise? Maybe such a provocative statement is needed to alert a buzzed conservative evangelical:)

Joel Tetreau's picture

Dr. Bauder's experience is much broader than mine. I can only comment on what I've personally experienced. My limited experience is that most conservative evangelicals that I've spent time with (Type C's) actually hold the same approach to wine that most moderate Fundamentalists do (What I call Type B's like me). Probably the only difference between a conservative evangelical and a more miltant fundamentalist (Type A) in this realm (the realm of "drink"), is that the C guys will not look at a believer drinking in moderation as somehow "tainted with worldliness" like a Type A guy would. Having said that I think that Kevin has helped us in the sense of how the fundamenalist and the evangelical thinks his way through cultural issues. Evangelicals by and large do see themselves as cultural "insiders." Fundamentalists by and large see themselves as cultural "outsiders." Kevin's work has been helpful (of course!). Even if you don't agree with Kevin's examples...you have to laugh with the illustration of the reconstruction guys telling the women to "beer them." That was funny....I mean that's sad.....but that was also kind of funny. I know we shouldn't admit to this....but I laughed on that one! My thought was, "oh yes....that's were 3 point complementarianism will get you. Wow! No wonder you want keep them from voting....they can just keep the attention on keeping their men .... happy.

Straight Ahead!

jt

Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Bible Church (sevbc.org); Regional Coordinator for IBL West (iblministry.com), Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

Dan Miller's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:
Why are they "emotional based"? I mean, how have you arrived at that conclusion?
All I can say is that they seem emotional. All of the "Episodes" are straw-men. They are all objectionable, but none of them are cases in which moderate alcohol consumption is considered alone.

And then there's this comment:
"We should not wear the symbols of those movements for the same reason that we should not wear a fur coat in the woods during deer season."
I guess so we don't get shot? Actually, with the George Patton - Type As around perhaps there's some truth in this one.

AndrewSuttles's picture

The article says nothing, does not advance the argument, and again, uses no scripture. The basis of the argument is 3 second hand gossips - makes me wonder whether Bauder had a point to make, or wrapped an article around these second hand stories.

Anyone who has spent anytime around Evangelicals knows that the VAST majority do not drink - most especially the Southern Baptists.

Quote:
None of these episodes is fictional. They all occurred in the context of conservative evangelicalism. ...Now, can anyone imagine any of these scenes occurring in a group of fundamentalist leaders? No? Neither can I.

Perhaps I could write an article for an evangelical blog about several Fundamentalist churches I know where there have been sex scandals and then remark that I can't imagine that happening in my circle. I could use a second hand example that was passed to me of a church in MI where every member of the church staff and the school principle 'fell into sin' over a very short period of time. What would that implication prove?

Quote:
How much should a Christian drink? Here’s a hint: the same number of drinks that it takes to make you a better driver is exactly the number it takes to make you a better Christian, too.

That sounds like good grade A1 fundamentalist preaching - its cute, but its not really an argument is it? Perhaps we might expect some attempt at Biblical exegesis from a man who is a Seminary president. No wonder Fundamentalist preaching is so anemic of Biblical truth! Should we apply this same standard to college football or fried chicken? An army of fundamentalist preachers shout, 'good heavens, no!'

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

AndrewSuttles wrote:

That sounds like good grade A1 fundamentalist preaching - its cute, but its not really an argument is it? Perhaps we might expect some attempt at Biblical exegesis from a man who is a Seminary president. No wonder Fundamentalist preaching is so anemic of Biblical truth! Should we apply this same standard to college football or fried chicken? An army of fundamentalist preachers shout, 'good heavens, no!'

If there were multiple Scriptural warnings concerning college football and fried chicken, then yes- we could apply the same standard. Gluttony could be brought to bear here, but gluttony doesn't forbid a certain food, just unrestrained indulgence. But the fact still remains that an occasional extra piece of friend chicken does not impair your judgment, while an occasional beer or glass of wine does. There is something inherently problematic with alcohol consumption that any number of claims of moderation do not address. It may not make alcohol consumption a 'sin', but it does make it a matter of wisdom. And foolishness is sin.

Was going to make a crack about college football there, but I'll leave that alone... for now. Biggrin

I think what is being slighted here is the principle that is being addressed- if we are going to get hung up on the examples, we are just going to go around the mulberry bush about alcohol consumption and miss the larger point.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

I second Susan's warning not to miss the point, part of which addresses Andrew's post. Andrew, certainly there are sex scandals in Fundmanetal churches. However, they are sadly found in broader evangelical circles as well. However, the annecdotes from broader evangelicalsim that KB used are not widely found in Fundamental circles. There is a reason for this. This is, I believe, the direction Bauder was pointing. Don't miss the forest for the trees.

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

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