Mark Dever Keynote Speaker at Lansdale Conference

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Advancing the Church speakers include Dave Doran and Kevin Bauder along with Calvary faculty

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Matthew Richards's picture

Jay C. wrote:
Becky Petersen wrote:
This is EXACTLY how I felt when Pastor Sweatt's sermon at that regional FBF conference made all the blogs a while ago. People who were 1/2-1/3 his age were all over him in their blogs, people who had done waay less than he has done in the ministry, etc.

So if Sweatt was wrong (and I still think he was), he gets a pass just because he's older and in the ministry? Is that really how things are supposed to work? No wonder people aren't comfortable with SI.

Of course, it's not like I have a Master's in Pastoral Theology from BJU or any pastoral experience myself. I should just go sit down and be quiet, I suppose, so the 'big boys of Fundamentalism' can keep their pride, or until I can get permission to speak about something that won't ruffle feathers.

Is it any wonder why Fundamentalism as a movement is dying?

Sad isn't it? I talked to someone the other day who attends FBC in Hammond where Jack Schaap is pastor. We were discussing some theology and this member mentioned that since Schaap is a pastor and has read his KJV Bible cover to cover over 200 times, that he just takes Schaap's word for it when something questionable is taught. I left shaking my head and praying for this dear brother...

Matthew Richards
Fishers, Indiana

Jay's picture

Dereck, appreciate the post, but I do want to point out that I'm not trying to make this discussion about me per se. I'm just trying to illustrate the argument that is so common, namely that young Fundamentalists are either too young, brash, and ignorant to know anything and therefore should sit down, be quiet, and obey, or the men of God in Fundamentalism are seasoned, experienced, and therefore should be obeyed, feared, and reverenced like one of the angels. It's a lose-lose proposition; that's why I wanted to know if that's really what they think and want. If it is true, then the only way to 'break' the game they play is to demand that people state what they're actually saying, even if they haven't phrased it as bluntly as I do.

Becky, is there a place to understand and respect your elders? Absolutely - that's all over in Scripture. But I have yet to find a passage that teaches that once someone gets to be a ___________, then they become immune to stupidity, heresy, foolishness, or just plain old bad decision making.

I'm just trying to get people to realize that ideas like that have serious and lasting consequences. Blind obedience to the human 'Dear Leader' may work in North Korea, but it shouldn't work in the church. This should not be all that difficult or controversial.

"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

Don Johnson's picture

Jay C. wrote:
I'm just trying to illustrate the argument that is so common, namely that young Fundamentalists are either too young, brash, and ignorant to know anything and therefore should sit down, be quiet, and obey, or the men of God in Fundamentalism are seasoned, experienced, and therefore should be obeyed, feared, and reverenced like one of the angels.

Jay, may I point out that the only one arguing that people should sit down and shut up is someone who is arguing in favor of the Dever/Doran/Bauder/Jordan connection. The 'traditional' fundamentalists who are supposed to be against this haven't told anybody to be quiet. I think I know who he is referring to, but I kind of doubt that it will be effective...

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Jay's picture

I'm not really upset/concerned with Dereck. I am FAR more concerned about the attitude that drives statements similar to the ones I was referring to, and they are not a new phenomenon on this site or even when a person isn't on the site - at a conference, for example. Too often the preacher makes some kind of statement about the ignorant young ones who are leaving for greener pastures and how they ought to stay in the movement and listen to the "Men of God". Heads bob up and down dutifully as the preacher quietly oversteps his God-given boundaries (whether by accident or on purpose) from 'shepherd' to 'king'. Matthew Richard's post about Schaap illustrates what I'm saying beautifully.

Look, this isn't a new problem, and I doubt that what I'm saying will stop it. But these kinds of sayings crop up on all kinds of other threads, and they pop up again and again many times over the four/five years I've been on this site, and I feel obligated to remind people that God has given all of us the ability - no, the responsibility - to study, think, and discern in light of the Scriptures, not in light of what some dude in a pulpit (or in a book, or on a podcast, or on a website, or whatever) says.

"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

Greg Long's picture

Jay, Don wasn't referring to Dereck, but to Jeff Straub.

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Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

rogercarlson's picture

Don Johnson wrote:
Jay C. wrote:
I'm just trying to illustrate the argument that is so common, namely that young Fundamentalists are either too young, brash, and ignorant to know anything and therefore should sit down, be quiet, and obey, or the men of God in Fundamentalism are seasoned, experienced, and therefore should be obeyed, feared, and reverenced like one of the angels.

Jay, may I point out that the only one arguing that people should sit down and shut up is someone who is arguing in favor of the Dever/Doran/Bauder/Jordan connection. The 'traditional' fundamentalists who are supposed to be against this haven't told anybody to be quiet. I think I know who he is referring to, but I kind of doubt that it will be effective...

Don,
I have been told this offline several times. There is a stream in our movement that does not authority questioned. I always thought it was the Hyles wing, but I have learned in the last several years that we have it in our backyard as well. We need to respect those who are older than us. We must respect their service, wisdom, and insight. But they also must learn to take loving confrontation as well. Many season fundamentalists do, some don't. I think that is all Jay was trying to point out.

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church

Dereck's picture

Thank you Greg for the link to the well written defense of my point. I went to college with Ryan and clearly he is a lot smarter than me-it always good to have a smart person agree with something you say. BTW, Shaynus, just to clarify-I was not elevating Peter over Christ in my comment. My point was a person may not have a seminary degree and/or be the pastor/leader of a widely recognized "big time" ministry-but this should not preclude them from adding to a Spiritual discussion.

It has been rightly pointed out that in times past, it took money or knowing the right people to get such a platform. Thanks to the internet, that platform is now available to an ever increasing amount of people. However, I would guess that the only thing that has changed is the amount, not the percentage of useful thought. Back in the day, less people had the platform, but you still should not have gulped it all in without discretion. The same is true today, but instead of the standard 16oz drink you have the Super Duper 72oz Big Gulp at your disposal. How much you take and what flavor you choose is up to you.

The other difference is back then so many had so much to offer but never got the chance because they did not have the platform. Now, they have that opportunity. Maybe the good things many of us see happening for the cause of Christ would not have happened had God not allowed technology to advance as it has. In His Sovereignty, we are alive at the right time to accomplish the task set before us with the tools that are in our bag. Those tools include the internet which makes it more possible than ever before to "go into all the world and preach the Gospel." Let me carefully say that it appears more prideful than humble when a person disregards the input of another-regardless of the merit of the input-simply because they do not have proper credential or pedigree. I pray I never fall into that category. Hebrews 10:24 sure does not give that qualification.

BTW-I do not have a seminary degree, but pray that God would allow me someday to study in such an environment.

Jay (for the record, Jay is another guy I went to college with and is clearly smarter than me) Thank you for your well thought out posts I read on here from time to time. It is sweet joy to know that many of the people I met during my time at Northland are pursuing God and Gospel ministry even to this day. Let me add I never thought you were trying to make the conversation about you. Sorry if i implied that. I agree with your sentiment outlined in your response my post. I think, as Greg Long pointed out, that you were referring to something Jeff Straub said. See above for my explanation on that.

Dereck Muth
John 3:30

Jay's picture

Quote:
I have been told this offline several times. There is a stream in our movement that does not authority questioned. I always thought it was the Hyles wing, but I have learned in the last several years that we have it in our backyard as well. We need to respect those who are older than us. We must respect their service, wisdom, and insight. But they also must learn to take loving confrontation as well. Many season fundamentalists do, some don't. I think that is all Jay was trying to point out.

Yup, that's it.

"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

Don Johnson's picture

Don't let your reaction to other situations distract you from the issues in this thread. NO ONE in this thread has told young fundamentalists to sit down and shut up. SOME ONE in this thread has told "a pastor of a pretty small church" and "a ministry drop-out" to do the same.

I think we know exactly who is being referred to in both these remarks. In my opinion, it is petty, condescending and typical. Consider the source.

Really, we shouldn't be discussing this point - it really has nothing to do with whether this move is right or wrong. Or in between.

I think it is quite interesting that Dave has posted three blogs in defense of his decision. As far as I know, no major figures have criticized him so far. Why does he feel the need for the apologetic?

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Don Johnson's picture

Dave Doran wrote me privately and gave permission to post his note to me and my response here:

Dave Doran wrote:
Don,

Since I don't have access to post at SI I thought I'd answer your question there. My reasons for explaning my decision are pretty simple: (1) some have suggested that I am trying turn away from separatist principles; (2) some are interpreting this event almost as if separatism can be left behind (mainly out of reaction to the folks represented by the first reason; and (3) part of my responsibility involves men training for ministry (and those who have previously done so) and I think this serves as good opportunity to let them see my thinking on this issue.

Now, a question for you. I wish I had the exact quotes, and I'll track them down if you want, but I've seen you affirm both that (1) this is not a matter of separation, but non-cooperation, and (2) someone is right or wrong about this matter (and you think it is wrong). I am not sure I understand how those two fit together without the conclusion you believe that matters which do not call for biblically mandated separation still are wrong biblically. I don't understand how you draw that conclusion. Can you show me how you are getting from A to B in this (or point me to something you've written that lays it out). Thanks.

DMD

My reply to Dave:

Dave Doran wrote:
David M. Doran wrote:
> > Since I don't have access to post at SI I thought I'd answer your question there.

Thank you for taking the time to write. I appreciate it.

Dave Doran wrote:
> > Now, a question for you. I wish I had the exact quotes, and I'll track them down if you want, but I've seen you affirm both that (1) this is not a matter of separation, but non-cooperation, and (2) someone is right or wrong about this matter (and you think it is wrong). I am not sure I understand how those two fit together without the conclusion you believe that matters which do not call for biblically mandated separation still are wrong biblically. I don't understand how you draw that conclusion. Can you show me how you are getting from A to B in this (or point me to something you've written that lays it out).

With respect to part one of your question, as I think about this subject (all the time, it seems), I think we have hurt ourselves by using the word separation as the over-arching word for what the fundamentalist philosophy demands. Separation is in fact an all or nothing word. I am totally separate from the apostate (at least I hope so, don't know of any entanglements ecclesiastically with such). But when it comes to other Christians, I am not in full fellowship with every other Christian who crosses my path. I am taking koinonia to mean more than mere 'friendly get-togethers' as the English word fellowship means. To me, koinonia involves active ecclesiastical involvement, connection, support, partnership, etc. When a brother is entangled in error ('compromised' to resurrect a term), I should limit or restrict my fellowship with him. In fact, I may legitimately refuse to enter into any active ministry cooperation because of his errors and in marking him, I legitimately call for other brothers to do the same.

Thus, when it comes to answering point 2, whether a brother is right or wrong in his ministry partnerships, I think I can legitimately have a Biblically mandated opinion of the matter. The Bible gives me more options than absolute separation. (I think adding 'absolute' as a modifier of 'separation' is really redundant - separation is absolute, or else it isn't separation.) I suppose one could talk about 'partial separation', but I think it is better to use terms such as non-cooperation or non-partnership to clearly distinguish it from separation.

In this case, I wouldn't call for separation from Dever, he is a brother after all. But that doesn't mean I would enter into a ministry partnership with him either. (Not that I have been asked!) And I think that we have biblical grounds for doing so because of his entanglements with Acts 29 and the SBC, for two examples.

~~~

Just thought SI readers might be interested in the exchange.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

tlange's picture

All this wasted energy debating on the merits of whether or not someone should speak at a particular venue or conference...

If some of you attempted to reach people with the gospel as much as you spend time on here attacking Dever, Bauder, Doran and others.... What would our world look like?

Those of you who don't like Dever or him speaking at CBTS - Get over it and go on! You won't change anything... you just think you will by pontificating in a forum like this...

Instead of griping, why not rejoice in the fact that Mark Dever is even willing to come over and speak at a Fundamentalist conference...

Remember Dever, MacArthur, Mohler , etc. are not our enemies.... last time I checked, these men believed and preached the same Gospel! Why shoot at those who are on your side... I guess some will not be happy until they get everyone to agree to their positions, jot and tittle. In that case, you are no better than the other wing of Fundamentalism (Schaap, Hyles, etc)

And you wonder why people leave fundamentalism??? I don't

Don Johnson's picture

tlange wrote:
I guess some will not be happy until they get everyone to agree to their positions, jot and tittle. In that case, you are no better than the other wing of Fundamentalism (Schaap, Hyles, etc

So why are you insisting that everyone agree with your position, jot and tittle?

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Bob T.'s picture

The problem is what the speaker brings to the pulpit. He is a Reformed Baptist who endorses the London Confession of 1689. His church has the New Hampshire confession but that was in place when he came. He has stated it is adequate but he prefers the London Confession. This is typical of Reformed Baptist churches.

As a five point Calvinist, Reformed in theology, he has stated that only 5 point Calvinists may appear in the pulpit of Capitol Baptist. This is a militant Calvinist exclusionary attitude. It was a public statement. As an amillennialist, he has called a church to be in sin if it has a millennial position in the statement of faith. Pretty well does away with dispensationalism in churches.

His view of the church is deficient and wrong. This is seen in his book 9 marks of the church.

Dever's first mark is expository preaching and he states it is the most important. He then gives a deficient and wrong definition of expository preaching. He states: "Rather, expositional preaching is that which takes for the point of a sermon the point of a particular passage of scripture." He maintains this basic definition throughout. However, that is "textual preaching" not expositional preaching. Many Reformed preachers have made and practiced this same error. They preach textually but not expositionally. The expository sermon is that which emphasizes the main intent of an extended passage of scripture while getting its main points and sub points from that passage. This gives exposure to purpose, context, and exegesis so as to first teach and then apply the passage in a manner that teaches and preaches.

In the chapter titled Gospel he sets forth the Lordship Gospel of present Reformed theology which has repentance as a turning from sin, as well as faith, as a requirement for conversion. He is to be commended for defining faith as the reformers did which was that which involved Knowledge, assent, and personal trust. In this he avoids the serious errors of John MacArthur. However, he adds Repentance as a requirement for salvation. Calvin saw repentance and regeneration as following faith and part of conversion. Todays Reformed gospel has added repentance from sin as a requirement as they see regeneration as logically preceding faith so therefore the elect are given faith and repentance and turn from sin to be Justified. This is English Puritanism and part of Reformed soteriology but not pure Calvinism. Dever endorses regeneration before faith. Of course this is to be expected of a Reformed Baptist. It has not been the prevailing Baptist, Fundamentalist, or Evangelical position.

Mark Dever may have many good things involved in his ministry and for which he may be commended. But his emphasis and teaching must be honestly recognized.

Basically, what Calvary Seminary has done is invite a speaker who may give every impression that this school views the Reformed Baptist, militant Puritan Calvinism, position as accepted as a viable option to be considered. Would this happen If the school founder were alive? Would the founding Dean, Warren Vanhetloo have approved? Or would he have graciously but firmly resisted such a speaker at their conference. I took systematic theology from Dr. Vanhetloo. He emphasized the sovereignty of God and we were exposed to the sublapsarian position of AH Strong. However, in spite of having a THM from Calvin Seminary, he would not use the term Calvinist regarding himself.

It may be that we have often been too critical regarding platform presence based on associations of a speaker with others. However, we should not be indifferent to what the speaker himself believes and represents.

The Reformed Baptist churches that I am aware of do not provide a good example of balanced Bible teaching and effective evangelism. Capitol Baptist church may be an exception but it is not the norm of this group.

There are other emphasis by Mark Dever regarding the church that appear different from most independent Baptists or Bible Churches. The issue is not having a CE verses a Fundy. It is the Reformed Baptist position and all it represents.

It is my position that Fundamentalism involves the excersize of the core principles set forth by Paul at Acts 20:17-35. This requires due diligence in varying degrees and ways to protect from not only heresy but dangerous and adverse opinions.

Jim's picture

Quote:
... is a militant Calvinist exclusionary attitude

Question: Why is the adjective "militant" a virtue with "fundamentalism" (as in "militant fundamentalist" but a vice with Calvinism?

Bob T.'s picture

Jim Peet wrote:
Quote:
... is a militant Calvinist exclusionary attitude

Question: Why is the adjective "militant" a virtue with "fundamentalism" (as in "militant fundamentalist" but a vice with Calvinism?

Jim,

IMHO the term militant was first applied to Fundamentalism by George Dollar in his book "History of Fundamentalism." The book came out while I was at Central. I remember Dr, McCune saying he didn't like the term but did not know of an adequate alternative. Dr. Dollar used the term of those who were diligent to detect error and stand for truth. Actually, I like the term "diligent." Diligent indicates on watch for and doing the right thing. Militant indicates an imposition upon another. I view many present day Calvinists as placing such an emphasis on the alleged "Doctrines of Grace" so as to make them a test for truth that is the foundation and capstone of all their theology and seek to exclude those who disagree and impose on those not so enlightened as them.

Pastor Harold's picture

A whole lot of young pastors are like the Mark Denver you are describing.
We don't base our theology on A H Strong, Calvin, or Vanhetloo. Though we may agree with them in some/many areas, we could care less what past collage founders would think about us today. If they were to come back, they would have a heart attack when they saw the condition of our country. These things would be minor compared to those issues. If we returned to the separation standards that some are advocating, we would be nonexistent in two generations.
I praise God for young preachers that are not afraid to break from tradition and follow the Bible. We are seeing this occur in the SBC, and to be quite honest it scares the older generation to death. I am tired of shooting at my own army. And I am tire of witch hunts. I have to admit I have participated in both.

Ron Bean's picture

Quote:
As a five point Calvinist, Reformed in theology, he has stated that only 5 point Calvinists may appear in the pulpit of Capitol Baptist. This is a militant Calvinist exclusionary attitude. It was a public statement. As an amillennialist, he has called a church to be in sin if it has a millennial position in the statement of faith. Pretty well does away with dispensationalism in churches.

Are churches that refuse to have 5 point Calvinists or non-dispensationalists in their pulpits also demonstrating a militant exclusionary attitude?

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

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