Credit Where Credit Is Due, Part 2

NickImageRead Part 1.

After graduating from college, I had the providential fortune to arrive at seminary just as William Fusco took up the presidency. In addition to the burden of leadership, Fusco was caring for an invalid and dying wife. Through the deep trial of his (and her) faith, the character of Christ shone with uncommon clarity. Without ever abandoning the key principles of his fundamentalism, Fusco consistently displayed a gentle spirit of kindness and personal sacrifice that I have rarely seen matched and have never seen surpassed. He was a man who overflowed with love of the Lord and love for people.

During my first year at seminary, I also met two professors whose teaching has marked me for life. The first, Charles Hauser, taught me more about dispensationalism and Christian living than anyone else. His most important contribution lay in his example. He modeled stability in the middle of trials, and his steadiness was as instructive to me as his classroom content.

The second, Myron Houghton, was George’s twin brother. Myron’s grasp of systematic theology exceeded anything that I had ever seen or thought possible. It seemed that he conversed with nearly every theological perspective, from multiple varieties of evangelicals to Roman Catholics to Adventists. He was constantly learning and constantly thinking. He significantly influenced my soteriology, but his real impact was on my ecclesiology. He made the case for ecclesiastical separation, including what is sometimes called “secondary separation.” Incidentally, it was substantially the same case that appears in Ernest R. Pickering’s book, Biblical Separation, of which Myron was later to become the editor. The key points of my understanding today do not depart from his ideas in any significant way.

My second year at seminary brought two more professors whose influence was both instant and profound. To this day, I consider Robert Delnay to be the best-rounded model for the life of the mind I have ever known. As a historian, he told a coherent story that provided a framework for understanding the current state of Christianity. As an exegete, he made the text of the Greek New Testament come alive for his students. As a homiletician, he taught a theory of rhetoric that could reach the affections without stooping to manipulate the appetites. From the beginning it was clear that he held the convictions of a fundamentalist, but he had a wonderfully sardonic and irreverent way of deflating the pompous self-appointed gatekeepers of the faith. Beyond all of this, he introduced a kind of spiritual urgency and intimacy with God that one can only label (as A. W. Tozer did) mysticism.

My second year also brought Ralph Turk to teach on our campus. Turk had spent most of his ministry as a pastor, but his intellectual curiosity took him into some unusual places. Ours may have been the only fundamentalist seminary ever to offer a seminar course on the thought of Kierkegaard—much of it taught in Turk’s living room. I’m grateful to this day.

Other professors on that campus were also influential. Robert Myrant taught me to love historical theology in addition to church history. R. Bruce Compton not only taught me Greek and Hebrew, but also modeled valuable lessons in the meaning of friendship. Gary Gordon was the friend who first drew me to the lectern and who guided me through the faltering early stages of teaching.

As I reflect back upon those formative years, I can see where my experience of fundamentalism differed from the experience that I hear so many describe. In fact, it differed in several ways. Among the most important are the following.

First, the men who most influenced me were utterly honest. They hid nothing, either about fundamentalism or about themselves. They were willing to admit their own faults and weaknesses, just as they were willing to admit the faults and weaknesses of the fundamentalist movement. Since they created no illusions for me, they left me little room for disillusionment.

Second, these were people who valued the life of the mind and the broad pursuit of learning. They loved and pursued an increasingly deep grasp of the Scriptures, of the system of theology, and of the life of faith. They also displayed and fostered an inveterate curiosity about ideas with which they did not agree. They were willing to travel outside of their own intellectual neighborhoods in order to make sense of other points of view. They showed me that dispassionate understanding was fundamental to a strong and clear defense of the faith—the only dividing line between polemics and mere propaganda.

Third, these people were genuinely humble. They might be gripped by big ideas, but they never aspired to be big names. They were not climbers, politicians, gatekeepers, or power mongers. Somebody once pressured me to name my heroes. In a sense, that’s what I’m doing now. The problem is that my heroes are all people who are unknown to the people who want to know who my heroes are. My heroes were content to be who they were and to minister in the calling that God had given them.

Fourth, my mentors gave genuine evidence of the fruit of the Spirit and of a personal walk with God. Since the institutions that they served were smaller, I had the opportunity to observe them in a very personal way. Where I went to seminary, the faculty and staff were constantly subject to real hardships and afflictions. They proved themselves in the midst of adversity and displayed the character of Christ with all sincerity.

Two of their virtues stand out. One is that they were temperate men, not given to bombast or overstatement. The other is that they were gentle men. Even when standing firmly for the truth, they evidenced a commitment to the care of souls. The consequences of their words and deeds mattered to them, and they were deeply concerned to use power judiciously and rightly. They refused ever knowingly to manipulate people, let alone to coerce them.

Through the years I have met more of their kind: Donald Brong in Iowa, for example, or Douglas McLachlan in Minnesota. Because God graciously brought such men to me at the crucial decision points in my life, my experience of fundamentalism has been dramatically different than the stories that I hear other men tell.

To be sure, I’ve seen my share of power-hungry, manipulative, idiosyncratic, truth-twisting, unethical, and even pathological fundamentalists. Ever since that conversation with George Houghton, however, I’ve believed that they do not genuinely represent what fundamentalism is. Rather, they are like an infection within the body of fundamentalism.

Such men stand under the judgment of the idea of fundamentalism. If fundamentalism is a biblical idea (and I believe it is), then they also stand under the judgment of the Word of God. They are best dismissed with incredulity, held at a distance, and otherwise ignored. You might call that “separation.”

The genuine leaders of fundamentalists do not go to extremes. Instead, they go back to basics. They do not huff and puff. They do not romp and stomp. They are not given to full-auto verbal assaults. If they bare their teeth and draw their swords, it is only when the innocent and powerless need to be defended. Rather, they faithfully and quietly minister in the callings that God has given them.

Hold such in esteem.

Psalm II
John Milton (1608-1674)

Why do the Gentiles tumult, and the Nations
Muse a vain thing, the Kings of th’ earth upstand
With power, and Princes in their Congregations

Lay deep their plots together through each Land,
Against the Lord and his Messiah dear?
Let us break off, say they, by strength of hand

Their bonds, and cast from us, no more to wear,
Their twisted cords: he who in Heaven doth dwell
Shall laugh, the Lord shall scoff them, then severe

Speak to them in his wrath, and in his fell
And fierce ire trouble them; but I, saith hee,
Anointed have my King (though ye rebel)

On Sion my holi’ hill. A firm decree
I will declare; the Lord to me hath say’d,
Thou art my Son I have begotten thee

This day; ask of me, and the grant is made;
As thy possession I on thee bestow
Th’ Heathen, and as thy conquest to be sway’d

Earths utmost bounds: them shalt thou bring full low
With Iron Scepter bruis’d, and them disperse
Like to a potters vessel shiver’d so.

And now be wise at length, ye Kings averse,
Be taught ye Judges of the earth; with fear
Jehovah serve, and let your joy converse

With trembling; kiss the Son least he appear
In anger and ye perish in the way,
If once his wrath take fire like fuel sere.

Happy all those who have in him their stay.

[node:bio/kevin-t-bauder body]

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There are 68 Comments

Rolland McCune's picture

Jim:

On principle only, not my personal fondness for RVC, what, in the name of common decency and all that's Christian, is the point of introducing Doug McLachlan's first tenure at Fourth into this discussion? Because (1) knowing Doug (one of the finest and brightest students I've had, 1st of a small handful of summas from DBTS) as well as anyone, he would eschew vigorously such an act, (2) coming from a former fundamentalist who converted to a conservative evangelical always carries extreme prejudice both in motive and content, and (3) posting a website for the cyber world to see is nonsensical. Your parting shot that "dead fundamentalists were not perfect" was gratuitous, inflammatory and unconscionable. If this is any kind of resemblance to the apparently newly discovered and coveted kind and gentle fundamentalism, you have discredited them and embarrassed yourself. The mean, bad, unholy 'ole fundys usually were not as resourceful as you. This is as kindly and gently as I can put it.

Rolland McCune

Rolland McCune's picture

Doug McLachlan graduated from CBTS, not DBTS, with a summa MDiv.

Rolland McCune

James K's picture

This turned ugly. At least the content was addressed and you weren't responded to bombastically Jim. A discussion on the past personalities is no place to introduce a story about a past personality. Put some ice on that knee.

Fundies turned CE "always carries extreme prejudice both in motive and content."

Thankfully that is never true of Fundies.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

Jay's picture

Where are you coming from? Dr. McCune responded graciously and pointedly to Jim's post, and I would be surprised if anyone else thought that McCune was over the top. I don't see a real problem here, and don't understand why you think "this turned ugly".

Is there something that I'm missing 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

Jim's picture

http://sharperiron.org/article/moving-toward-authenticity-musings-fundam...

Quote:
Under his leadership, Fourth Baptist Church grew to be a church of approximately 1100-1200 people. In 1982, at the age of 82, Dr. Clearwaters retired from pastoral ministry. I was the first man to succeed him as senior pastor of the church. I can assure you, he was “a hard act to follow.” The difficulty of following such a man was exacerbated by the fact that he and his wife remained in the church as members of the body after Marie and I arrived. It was difficult for them not to interpret every change that we made as, in one way or another, either a rejection of them or an exaltation of ourselves. This was further complicated by the radical difference in our leadership styles. For a significant minority of lay-leaders in the church at that time, adjusting to McLachlan was more than they could handle. Some of them took covert, and on occasion overt, steps to move us out of the pastoral leadership of Fourth Baptist Church. For us this was an entirely new experience, something we had never faced in our two previous pastorates.

The bottom line is that we spent five very difficult years in that position, and found it necessary to leave.

I'm at 4th. I wasn't born yesterday. RVC was a tough act to follow and people know about it

I am not trying to sully anyone's name!

In response to:

Quote:
what, in the name of common decency and all that's Christian, is the point of introducing Doug McLachlan's first tenure at Fourth into this discussion?

It's completely on topic!

To:

Quote:
gratuitous, inflammatory and unconscionable. If this is any kind of resemblance to the apparently newly discovered and coveted kind and gentle fundamentalism, you have discredited them and embarrassed yourself.

Call it what you want! I am not embarrassed at all!

James K's picture

Jay, see Jim's post.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

Pastor Marc Monte's picture

Thank you, Dr. McCune, for your kind words about my personal hero, Dr. Richard V. Clearwaters. Many outsiders remember him for his militant stance against apostasy and compromise. But there was also a side of Doc that his congregation knew: a kind-hearted pastor who loved the souls of men. Allow me one illustration:

It was our first time to attend a Baptist church. My father had passed away the previous year, and my mother was searching. Mom had enrolled my twin brother and me at Fourth Baptist Christian School in order to satisfy a last request of my dad who had been a public school teacher and didn't like the direction of the schools. We had absolutely no idea what a Baptist was--let alone an independent, fundamental one. Mike and I persuaded mom to take us to church several weeks after we started the school year. We had never done this as a family before. We were nervous that first Sunday. We parked in the large south lot and entered through the main entrance. There was a flight of stairs and a large lobby just ahead. When we got to the top of the stairs, an elderly gentleman met us, recognized us as first-time visitors, spoke kindly to us, and led us to seats on the back row of the front section (the auditorium seated 2,500 or so). He made sure we were comfortable, and then he went on his way. I remember my mother commenting on how nice the church was--that it even had ushers! Well, when the service began, our "usher" walked out onto the church platform. You guessed it: it was Dr. Clearwaters himself! My mother was absolutely amazed that the pastor of such a large church would recognize us as visitors and take a personal interest in us. From that moment on, she was hooked! We were all saved through the ministry of Fourth Baptist Church. Mom is 83 now, but she still recalls with a tear in her eye the kindness of an "usher" that would ultimately point her to Christ.

I am saved and serving the Lord today because of the love, vision, burden, and plain old hard work of my pastor and hero, Dr. Richard V. Clearwaters. His fundamentalism was the most authentic I've ever seen! The critics may say what they want. I knew Dr. Clearwaters as a man among men--a man who loved Christ and the souls of men. Thank you, Dr. McCune, for your kind remarks.

Just clinging to my guns and religion... www.faithbaptistavon.com

Brenda T's picture

In listening to the audio that accompanies the "musings" of Dr. McLachlan that were posted here on Sharper Iron, one will hear him state that he is not intending anything to be a pejorative against Dr. Clearwaters or demeaning of Fourth Baptist Church.

Quote:
Doc was highly educated. He possessed a brilliant mind both legal and theological. He was a committed Biblicist which is still my favorite term for what I’d like to be. . . . I love the term Biblicist. He was a militant separatist and he was a strong Baptist. . . . His leadership style as we all know was autocratic and authoritarian. He was a child of his time . . . he led his generation very well. I don’t mean that he didn’t have a gentle side to him – he did. . . . He was gentle with me on more than one occasion. But he was a strong, autocratic leader and in his day and time I think he probably had to be [because ] of the battles he had to fight. . . . I do not fault Doc and Mrs. for remaining at [Fourth after his retirement ]. . . . I am not suggesting that the problems I faced in those first five years [at Fourth ] were altogether the fault of other people. In my relative youth . . . I managed to open my mouth and insert foot on more than one occasion making some significant proposals without having first adequately prepared our people. . . . These were blunders of my own, and such blunders provided certain [lay ] leaders with the kind of data that they felt they needed and they were quick to exploit them. . . . These were my own blunders . . . some of the weight rests on me. . . . I hope nothing I say here is interpreted as demeaning this church . . . this was a glorious church all the years of Dr. Clearwaters’ ministry.

The audio can be heard here
http://centralseminary.edu/pastors-dayfall-conference-audio-available

Susan R's picture

is how responsible are we, especially those in leadership, for the 'impressions' we leave with others? It may be true that someone's actions are not characteristic of their ministry- IOW, they misspoke or did something that 'seemed like a good idea at the time' only later to realize with regret that it was another bad idea in the long sad history of bad ideas.

But is it fair to allow good men to be mischaracterized by those actions? And then, is it not fair to acknowledge that these same men did do some things that were very questionable and at times downright imprudent, rash, and misguided? Sadly, there are also those whose rowdy behavior IS the hallmark of their ministry. If at any time a man's ministry is reduced to being powered by the force of his presence and personality, it's time to step away or step down.

When I was a kid, Lester Roloff was everyone's hero. We took a day off school after his death because everyone was shattered. I still have the Bible that he autographed for me. The soft spot I have in my heart for him is as big as Nebraska. But I am allergic to the idea of 'spiritual heroes'. No man should be on a pedestal so high that we can't see and learn from their flaws. I think that since many of these men are on the other side, they would be absolutely fine, if not ecstatic, with today's leaders correcting their follies, whether many or few.

In the end, the criteria for judgement of any man is the Word of God, not our affection or nostalgia. But with what measuring stick we judge others, we are also judged.

Rolland McCune's picture

Susan:

Your point about acknowledging that leaders made missteps, et al., is well-taken. But to me all that can be taken for granted in ordinary discourse of this nature. The need to add that "he was not perfect" and such is not really relevent, and is often so pedantic as to lose its point, somewhat on the order of the self-evident warning labels mandated for products on the market.

By the bye, the four men in the above pic are Dennis Whitehead, Gil Seddon, Doug McLachlan, and myself--all CBTS and Fourth Baptist comrades who first came together in 1967, and we're all still very good friends after 44 years, albeit sinners all.

Rolland McCune

Susan R's picture

Rolland McCune wrote:
Susan:

Your point about acknowledging that leaders made missteps, et al., is well-taken. But to me all that can be taken for granted in ordinary discourse of this nature. The need to add that "he was not perfect" and such is not really relevent, and is often so pedantic as to lose its point, somewhat on the order of the self-evident warning labels mandated for products on the market.


I agree that "No one is perfect" is a meaningless cliche. I'm thinking more along the lines that we can learn specifically what to do and not do based on examples of faithful leaders, both past and present. Just as we learn from examples in Scripture... we know the mistakes David made that led him into sin, for instance. It isn't an attack on David's character to talk about what he did and how to avoid that in our own lives.

I believe that sometimes when we are considering the successes and failures of men and women who have served the Lord faithfully, discussing their faults or failures is often viewed as 'disloyal' or an attack on their ministry. David's moral failings didn't negate his reputation as a man after God's own heart, and it is notable that he didn't make that mistake again.

James K's picture

Jay, to be more specific, consider what was being discussed.

Rolland was giving his experiences with Doc. Jim posted a story that may or may not be true that gave another side to who the man was. What was the response? It was ridicule and suspicion not only on the original storyteller, but also Jim.

These kinds of hits are all too familiar, frequent, and expected.

Doug has clearly sided with Kevin on these issues related to the kinds of fellowship one can have with the CEs. Given Doc's stand on secondary separation, I wonder where Rolland thinks Doc would have sided. At the same time though, I understand the fear or need some have to not publicly say certain things.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

Aaron Blumer's picture

This almost seems off topic now but...
I didn't encounter the ministries of the Houghtons and William Fusco until pretty recently. So the effect was, "Well, well, there even more of these kinds of leaders than I thought." I expect there are many, many more who faithfully labor day by day and leave an enduring blessing on the lives of those they reach.
And I look forward to meeting more of them.

As for the old how good/bad were the first generation fundamentalists and how similar/different should we be compared to them... I don't really get where the controversy is there. I mean, I've been reading and I can't seem to identify what is actually in dispute.
We're all agreed that the front line fighters of old were flawed but accomplished a great deal....aren't we?
We're all agreed that their successors are also flawed--and that it's too soon to tell what's been accomplished, but "a great deal" is certainly theoretically possible.
So where's the rub?
I suppose it may be where some have located the flawedness of the front line fighters of old (FLFOO?)... and where we locate the flawedness of the later generations. ("Locate" as in what kind of flaws and who had them.)
But I really think we're talking about nuances there, too.
Nobody thinks RVC's style, for example, was absolutely never overly muscular. And I doubt anybody would claim that the generation that is reacting to that generation's machismo is never overly conciliatory or passive.

So... for my part, the remaining nuances don't seem to amount to much. I think we all know that generations tend to overreact to the perceived excesses of their predecessors and, as a result, create new excesses and so on. And we don't usually get to see the excesses clearly until we have hindsight.
So how about if we just learn what we can from the past and do our best in the present?

Alex Guggenheim's picture

In the meantime the CE's over at TGC are teaching us what we can expect from fellowship with them:

http://apprising.org/2011/11/01/thomas-merton-and-the-gospel-coalition-b... Thomas Merton and the Gospel Coalition Blog

http://apprising.org/2011/11/02/gospel-coalition-contributor-mike-cosper... Gospel Coalition Contributor Mike Cosper Defends Retreat with Roman Catholics

Right, Merton the Mystic taught:

Quote:
At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth, a point or spark which belongs entirely to God,…the pure glory of God in us…as our sonship… It is in everybody,…

And this is not quoting a source simply for the sake of a man making an observation and then using it to illustrate a Biblical truth, no this is Cosper, a TGC contributor, using Merton as a source of spiritual enlightenment.

This is the kind of fellowship you can expect from CE's, you know, like TGC where they have no objections to such instruction, at least apparently so.

I am no fundamentalists but I get far more what Dr. Rolland McCune says and what Dr. Clearwaters stood for and why than I get from the Fraternal Order of Kind and Gentle Theology Group.

James K's picture

Alex, who said anything about wholesale endorsement of CE? There is obviously a reason why you aren't a Fundy. I guess that would lump you in the CE group, to which McCune applauded. Pure gold.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

Greg Long's picture

Huh? What does your comment have to do with this post, Alex?

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Rolland McCune's picture

James:

I frequently surf SI for things that interest me, and quite infrequently post a comment on things I think I understand. But your responses on this thread cause me nothing but frustration because they come across, to me at least, as one of the biggest collections of convoluted nonsense I've ever seen. How a story, which "may or may not be true," purporting to give "another side" to a previous post or account of a deceased fundamentalist leader and his ministry (Response # 43), ever be justified or commended is indeed troubling. Response # 47 is so esoteric and apocryphal that it defies untangling. I've been told that my intelligence is normal but I'm stumped on this one. I guess I'll have to stay on the porch for a while and ponder the "gold" in the thought of "McCune applauding a CE group." At this point it appears to be nothing but good old fashioned iron pyrite. If I ever understand these things, I may sally forth again on SI.

Rolland McCune

James K's picture

Rolland,

1. Saying the story "may or may not be true" had to do with the fact that I do not personally know anything about it.

2. It was certainly another side or perspective on the ministry of Clearwaters from what you personally experienced.

3. Response 47 was pointing out the irony of you, a secondary separationist, applauding a self identified nonfundamentalist.

As for your intelligence, I have no doubt that it is amazing. Anyone with the knowledge to put together the works you have is an incredible feat. I hope you didn't get the impression I was calling that into question.

I hope that clears things up and we can all move along.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

Alex Guggenheim's picture

James K wrote:
Alex, who said anything about wholesale endorsement of CE? There is obviously a reason why you aren't a Fundy. I guess that would lump you in the CE group, to which McCune applauded. Pure gold.
I don't know James, who did say anything about wholesale endorsement? You are responding as if I asserted someone did say something about it, I didn't. Show me where I did, but you cannot. Pure gold.

Let's see, if I am not a Fundy I have to be a CE as if no other theological identification exists. Now this would be called "Fool's Gold".

Greg Long wrote:
Huh? What does your comment have to do with this post, Alex?

Huh? Huh? (Let me double the gratuitous fun!) It was a response to a post. The poster who made the post recognized it and responded to it. If you are still stuck on "huh?" let me know and I will give you the exact post.

But in the case you are dissatisfied with my responding to a comment (heaven forbid I do this and not just respond directly to the OP as if we may not respond to one another in a thread) here is the relevant section of the OP to which I was responding:

Quote:
He significantly influenced my soteriology, but his real impact was on my ecclesiology. He made the case for ecclesiastical separation, including what is sometimes called “secondary separation.”
The issue? Separation. Now from here, if you remain confused or unappreciative of what I see as a connection between this portion of the OP and my comment well, it is just going to have to be that way.

Greg Long's picture

Alex Guggenheim wrote:
The issue? Separation. Now from here, if you remain confused or unappreciative of what I see as a connection between this portion of the OP and my comment well, it is just going to have to be that way.
I guess it will, indeed, have to be that way.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

James K's picture

Alex, you aren't a fundy but are evangelical and conservative. If you prefer to cast off the idea of conservative evangelical, maybe you would prefer evangelical conservative. I hope you weren't terribly offended over it. Even if you were, I am content to just move along on this as well.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

Alex Guggenheim's picture

James,

Seeing that I hold to a wide range of views, I no longer employ these terms in describing my theological orientation. I attempted CE for a while but discovered it included many compromising considerations and the tolerance of awful theology. No offense was taken, by the way.

Mike Harding's picture

I realize that sites such as SI have a way of leveling the playing field. Sometimes that's good, but not in this case. I have been a student of Dr. McCune for many years at DBTS where I received both my M.Div. and Th.M. while pastoring a very busy and demanding church. I usually arrived at DBTS in Allen Park, MI from Troy about 6:30 in the morning to get ready for my first class. I think in the ten or more years I attended there I can count on two hands the days I didn't see Dr. McCune at 6:00 AM in his office studying, reading, or praying. I had no intention of pursuing those degrees at DBTS when I took my first class from Dr. McCune. After that class, however, I was hooked. Not only did I take every class that Dr. McCune ever taught at DBTS, I traveled several thousand miles to another seminary in order to take a class from him that he had not taught at DBTS.

In all my years at DBTS, I have never known another student, graduate, faculty member, staff member, or local pastor to ever address him in a public venue as "Rolland". All of us without exception had and have such enormous respect for the man's education, teaching, books, syllabi, character, integrity, work ethic, history, longevity, graciousness, and courage that we would never view or address him in such common terms in a public venue.

I realize that some individuals' ignorance is only surpassed by their arrogance, but in this case if I had ever said something so careless so as to evoke a public and stern rebuke by such a man as Dr. Rolland McCune, I would simply take a quiet seat in the back of the room and consider deeply what I had said.

Pastor Mike Harding

Jay's picture

I completely agree with what Mike said, and I'd also like to add that just because someone is complimented on this site doesn't mean that we should necessarily feel compelled to balance that out with stories that reflect poorly.

I should hope that after I'm dead and gone, people will be able to say nice things about without having to recall all the times I messed something up or was wrong.

"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

Rolland McCune's picture

James:

Thank you for the interpretive notes provided in # 50. However, in the common interests of total transparency and acknowledgment of risidual depravity, I must clarify my claim to normal intelligence in # 49. I was told I have a normal IQ later in life, after I was kicked out of the first grade for shaving. I relate this for the benefit of all while I'm still a living fundamentalist who is not perfect.

Rolland McCune

James K's picture

Mike and Jay, I can appreciate what you are saying. I do not believe for a second that Rolland wishes anyone to even slightly bow to him because he sees himself superior to anyone. Yet many do in fact elevate those with degrees. As a baptist, a fundamentalist, and more important a fellow believer, I choose to not follow your choice on this. I personally never thought that calling someone by their first name would be mistaken as some kind of slight. I know many godly men who intentionally do not want to be referred to as Dr,. even though they have earned the title as well. It is my personal position to refer to fellow believers by their first name. No believer is elevated over any other. Your preference is just that. So is mine.

Now I'm done.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

Aaron Blumer's picture

We really hate to close threads, but I'm sort of wishing we'd closed this one after the first dozen posts or so.
Not one of our finer moments.

Nobody is against kindness and gentleness in their place and nobody is against taking firm stands that have to be taken. Nobody here is even against aggressively denouncing serious error.
And surely everyone here knows that discerning when it's time for kind and gentle and when it's time for firm stands (though these can sometimes occur simultaneously) is sometimes quite difficult.

The OP isn't even about relationships with non-fundamentalists. It's about character and good examples.

Paul J. Scharf's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:
We really hate to close threads, but I'm sort of wishing we'd closed this one after the first dozen posts or so.
Not one of our finer moments...The OP isn't even about relationships with non-fundamentalists. It's about character and good examples.

I'm still wondering how and why in the world this happened on a post that was originally dedicated to celebrating some less-well-known-than-they-should-be professors to whom honor is due. I would have preferred 10 posts by their former students giving them such honor rather than 60 going off in all directions discussing various aspects of all that is good and bad about fundamentalism.
It's really quite discouraging. I feel bad for the men listed in the article -- I kind of hope they don't read this thread.

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