Lance Ketchum on "Authentic Fundamentalism," Hyper-Fundamentalism, Hyper-Calvinism, and "Young Fundamentalists"

6294 reads

There are 28 Comments

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

It is hard to understand how Ketchum can make statements like, "When independent, fundamental Baptists (I.F.B.) practice separation, most churches that are interdenominational are excluded by that separation without other considerations.  This practice has certainly always included all those believing in paedobaptism and those holding to any sacramental views of salvation.  Therefore, independent, fundamental Baptists would not cooperate with fundamental Presbyterians and Congregationalists without consideration of any other doctrines to which they might agree" (underline added) when the very first fundamentalists were, indeed, a mixed denominational lot comprised mostly of Baptists and Presbyterians. 

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

Jim's picture

The problem with prefixes and adjectives & "fundamentalism"

Off the top of my head:

  • Hyper-Fundamentalism (comment: but there is no "Sub-Fundamentalism" of which I am aware!)
  • Young Fundamentalism (or ist) (I can't recollect seeing this one, but if there is a "young-fundamentalism" I suppose there must be an "old-F". Complicating this is that you have young men fresh out of HAC who are "Old Time" Religioners and old  gray-headed bald guys who are "young at heart" (or so they claim!))
  • Old-Time Fundamentalism (guess there is an "old")
  • Authentic Fundamentalism 
  • Moderate Fundamentalism (generally means they compromise!)
  • Militant Fundamentalism - key verse is Jude 3
  • Pseudo-Fundamentalism (The opposite of the "Authentic")
  • Baptist-Fundamentalism
  • Nondenominational Fundamentalism
  • FINO = Fundamentalism in Name Only
  • KJV-Fundamentalism
  • Hard-shelled Fundamentlism (probably aways used in a disparaging / derisive way - who wants to call oneself "hard-shelled"?!
  • imperial Fundamentalism (the guy who has the mega-church with the CDS, the college and the seminary)

 

In my view, the term "Fundamentalism" (which is a really great idea and has served its purposes!), which has in the last decade become associated with suicide bombers and other crazies, has ceased to mean anything at all. At least anything valuable in the market place of ideas. 

It seems that every Fundamentalist looks at the other kinds and says in essence "You are not a true Fundamentalist"

----- My coming out (I've done this before ... and this is not an Anderson Cooper coming out!) ----------

It's not that I:

  • Reject the term Fundamentalist
  • Reject the idea (already said that it's a good idea!)
  • It's just that where I live (and I don't mean Plymouth), I would never use the term of myself. The Lances, etc can say (not that they even know who I am) "Peet is not a Fundamentalist".
  • I'm OK with that
  • Want to know what I believe ... see the doctrinal statement ... know where I worship and serve ... and know how I live (which is far from perfect!)

Rejecting the label and the label makers 

By the way ... still happy with these labels: Calvinist, Baptist, Republican 

 

 

Mark Mincy's picture

Ketchum states: "I only use the King James Bible in my preaching and I believe God has preserved His inspired Words in the Received Text.  However, such a belief has never been an exclusion from historic independent Baptist fundamentalism.  In fact, in most part, it has been a tenet of historic independent Baptist fundamentalism.  For the most part of history since A.D. 1611, it has been a basic tenet of historic Protestantism.  It was never any different until the Anglo-Catholic influence of such men as Tischendorf, Westcott, and Hort came on the textual scene..."

And the compiler and "textual critic" of the Received Text was Erasmus - a Roman Catholic monk!

The above is just one example of many fallacies in the article.  The sad truth about articles like this is that they exemplify the mentality that drives folks like myself away from "fundamentalism".  Even sadder is the fact that this mentality (I believe) has driven many people away from the church altogether.  There is no honor (eternal or temporal) in stubborn belligerence.

Mark Mincy

DavidO's picture

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:

It is hard to understand how Ketchum can make statements like, "When independent, fundamental Baptists (I.F.B.) practice separation, most churches that are interdenominational are excluded by that separation without other considerations.  This practice has certainly always included all those believing in paedobaptism and those holding to any sacramental views of salvation.  Therefore, independent, fundamental Baptists would not cooperate with fundamental Presbyterians and Congregationalists without consideration of any other doctrines to which they might agree" (underline added) when the very first fundamentalists were, indeed, a mixed denominational lot comprised mostly of Baptists and Presbyterians. 

You missed the distinction he wishes to draw between Interdenominational Fundamentalism (which includes your "very first fundamentalists") and Independant Baptist Fundamentalists which can by definition only include Baptists. 

He's auguring for a narrow and strict latter over and against the former. 

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

David,

He's also arguing in the same article that IFB=historic fundamentalism. He claims the interdenominational fundamentalists are some kind of new attempt at compromise. He's trying to use both sides of the discussion to his advantage.

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

Larry's picture

Moderator

It seems to me that at least part of Lance's problems is he uses his own dictionary.

Case in point, he calls MacArthur a hyper-Calvinist. That term has a generally accepted meaning and it is widely known. In addition MacArthur's positions are widely known. So when people who know what is widely accepted hear Lance's statement, they rightly look askance at Lance, and doubt his credibility. And they should.

Then Lance gives his own definition of hyper-Calvinism (which amounts to limited atonement). Well, by Lance's definition, MacArthur is a hyper-Calvinist. The problem is that very few use Lance's definition. Limited atonement has historically not been considered hyper-Calvinism. Hyper-Calvinism has typically been tied to duty faith and the universal offer of the gospel.

If Lance had said, "MacArthur is a proponent of limited atonement," he would probably be correct. But Lance didn't. He took a widely accepted word, reappropriated it, and then used it.

Here's come another rub (just guessing here). What Lance means by limited atonement is probably not what most proponents of limited atonement mean. This is why labels are sometimes misleading. They have meaning in the mind of the speaker, and in the mind of the hearer. But if they have different meanings in each, it causes confusion.

It is similar to the other thread where Don Johnson talked about Dever and the "flourishing connection" he had with Acts 29. When people who (at least think they) understand "flourishing connection" and know what Dever's connection was to Acts 29 (apparently a single lecture on church planting in which Dever began by expressing disagreement over the same issues many fundamentalists have with Acts 29), they question the credibility of the speaker (not just the statement). When I asked Don about this some time ago, he didn't have much other evidence (in fact, none that I recall, though I could be wrong) of other connection between Dever and Acts 29, flourishing or not. But he had adopted a definition of "flourishing connection" that did not seem to cohere with reality. Now we can disagree with Dever about the propriety of speaking at Acts 29, but should we say things that aren't true about the connection between them? I am willing to be corrected here if someone can show this "flourishing connection." I don't keep up with it, but I have asked before and I have googled it and can't find it.

In another instance, Lance says that Kevin "equates hyper-fundamentalists to be synonymous with neoevangelicals.  So I guess I, and all those that believe like I believe, are now both hyper-fundamentalists and neoevangelicals."

Well, the problem here is that anyone who read Kevin can see that's not what Kevin said. In fact, they don't even have to get Kevin's article, or go to Central's site. They can read Lance's own quotation where Kevin said they "mirror images" or "equal errors." He did not say they were the same thing, at least so far as I can tell. Perhaps Kevin can clear this up if he thinks it was unclear. But again, the lazy use of language creates problems. And when people see what Kevin said and compare it to what Lance says about what Kevin said, they look askance at Lance and doubt his credibility.

The problem is that when fundamentalists do these kinds of things, other people find out about it. As has been often pointed out, this is no longer the world where you have to take the speaker's word for it. Google is way to accessible for some fundamentalists to act as they used to. When listeners and readers find out something isn't true, or is misrepresented, they don't just reject the instance; they reject both the person who said as untrustworthy, and the movement who perpetuates it.

Fundamentalists, of all people, should have a commitment to the truth and to clear communication of it. When we say things that aren't true, we risk a lot. Aside from differing about where to draw the lines, a lot of young fundamentalists and ex-fundamentalists are greatly troubled by the what some people say about other people.

Lance (and Don and whoever else) is certainly able to make his views known and to argue for them. But the speaker must embrace the things that come because of poor communication. And he must have an absolute commitment to be truthful, even if he doesn't help the points he wants to make.

Pastor Joe Roof's picture

So, Independent, fundamental, Baptists separate from historic Protestantism but cite historic Protestantism in defense of being KJV only.   hmmm

wdlowry's picture

I made this point at the site, but lest it doesn't get approved:

 

In the same breath, [Dr. Bauder] equates hyper-fundamentalists to be synonymous with neoevangelicals. So I guess I, and all those that believe like I believe, are now both hyper-fundamentalists and neoevangelicals. That is his right.

This is a misrepresentation of the paragraphs quoted from Dr. Bauder. He is not saying that both groups are the same, but that the errors they represent are equally serious.

TylerR's picture

Editor

I did not grow up a Christian. I came to Christ shortly before joining the military, and grew up in KJVO fundamentalism while in the service. I am profoundly grateful for the godly Pastor I had. He was anti-Calvinistic and doggedly KJVO - but he was gentle and kind about his views. I have since moved away from that branch of fundamentalism, because the rhetoric I saw, and see Dr. Ketchum advocating, is simply not historic fundamentalism.

I am very grateful the Lord led me to a balanced fundamentalist Seminary. I have seen others echo these thoughts on the associated thread - but Dr. Ketchum and his brand of fundamentalism will be gone in another generation. I do not say this with malice. They have taken extreme positions on separation from anyone and everyone who is not in the exact place they are. They will continue to be more and more marginalized until they virtually disappear.

I believe I have an outside perspective. I didn't grow up in a particular "camp" all my life. I choose my Seminary not because my Pastor told me to go to it; I already had a BA and 10 years in the military. I am not a kid. This hyper-fundamentalism (yes, I use the label) is distasteful to young men like myself who are serious about fundamentalism and want to serve the Lord. It will not last, and I don't particularly think it should.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Paul J's picture

But when I looked him up on facebook we have 5 mutual friends but then again he had 3,340 friends.  The ones we share are Midwest fundamentalist which strikes me are sort of the point.  He is the proto-type of my view of the Midwest version of fundamentalism.  Does anyone know how many people are represented by the "Midwest Independent Baptist Pastor's Fellowship"?  600?  1500?  3340?  The scope of these fights just, amuse/tire/annoy me.  Does it really make any difference?  Or it just a tiny squabble in a little corner of the shrinking tent called fundamentalism?

G. N. Barkman's picture

Historic Fundamentalism was interdenominational.  That's a fact.  Anyone who reads the history of the movement knows that.  Historic Fundamentalism was a coming together of Bible believing Christians from many (perhaps it would not be wrong to say all) denominations to endeavor to preserve the fundamentals of the Christian faith which were being undermined by liberalism.  In the beginning, it was primarily a fight within the various denominations for control of the schools, mission organizations, publishing houses, and denominational machinery.  When those endeavors failed, "fundamentalists" withdrew into their own churches, and began to organize fundamentalist schools, mission boards, and publishers.  Fundamentalists of various stripes would often cooperate in some of these endeavors (such as non-denominational schools), but more often formed their own fundamental denominational organizations.  I use the term "denominational" in the doctrinal sense.  Many Fundamentalists continued to enjoy fellowship across denominational lines in organizations such as the American Council of Christian Churches, and in attendance at large fundamental Bible conferences, camps, etc.

In the light of this history, what does it mean for IBF types to "separate" from, say, Bible Presbyterian types?  If you mean fail to join with them in joint foreign missions endeavors, is that the same as separating from them?  Most Baptists are not enthusiastic about sponsoring Presbyterian missionaries, and vice versa.  Is that the same as separation?

The terminology is too imprecise.  Is separation the same as electing not to become financially involved in a joint ministry endeavor?  Or is separation a matter of breaking fellowship because of apostasy?  As long as those who claim to be Fundamentalists continue to confuse such issues, thoughtful, Bible-believing Christians who are serious about defending the Faith are going to be leery of identifying themselves as Fundamentalists.

G. N. Barkman

TylerR's picture

Editor

I had to read "In Pursuit of Purity" by David Beale as a text when I studied historic fundamentalism in Seminary. I concur with the post above - Dr. Ketchum's version of fundamentalism is not historic.

To be honest, the massive thread associated with this post has done nothing but make me sad. I want nothing to do with the inter-fellowship politics of those who are spoiling for the title of "the most fundamental fundamentalist." It all makes me sick.

I am not calling out anybody in particular - merely the strand of fundamentalism Dr. Ketchum is representative of. I have no idea who the man is. I don't care who the man is. I only know I want nothing to do with his brand of fundamentalism. He appears to be a man who doesn't know how to pick his battles.

 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Steve Davis's picture

I don't know Lance either. If that's Mid-Western IBF I hope it doesn't move eastward. As for Central, no display (unless they repent I suppose). Maybe it's a good things that the lines are being drawn.

"Our next preaching conference will be August 12th and 13th, 2013 at Ravenwood Baptist Church in Chicago, IL.  The subject of the preaching will be – The Local Church: the Pillar and Ground of the Truth.  Dr. Clay Nuttall will be the main speaker.  By the way, Central Baptist Theological Seminary will not be allowed to set up a display there either."

Andrew Henderson's picture

Steve Davis wrote:

By the way, Central Baptist Theological Seminary will not be allowed to set up a display there either."

 

Steve,

If I were Central I would wear that as a badge of honor. I would even think about putting it in my marketing materials. 

Andrew Henderson

Jim's picture

Steve Davis wrote:
By the way, Central Baptist Theological Seminary will not be allowed to set up a display there either."

 

It hurts so good!

 

Likely that someone enamored with MIB PFIF (or however one would pronounce it) wouldn't be happy at Central anyway!

Paul J's picture

Having lived in the Midwest and now being on the East Coast for the last 25 years this is just so foreign. I find it comical that they have 7 followers on the website.  Once again I'm guessing they are a significant segment of the Church they must number in the 10's of hundreds ... well 7.

TylerR's picture

Editor

Indeed. One of these seven followers is Lance himself . . .

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Rob Fall's picture

I'm happy these types of folks are homebodies.  They never seem to cross the Great American Desert.

Ahh, the nicety of living on the western side of the Continental Divide.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

James K's picture

Another hit piece by the "Dr" who demonstrates a lack of understanding.  Being able to read various authors doesn't mean you understand them "Dr".  It is this point that is glaringly obvious.  The only people who are encouraging the "Dr" to continue are those who have an axe to grind or are simply even more ignorant than him.  Gone are the days when butchers can say whatever they want from the pulpit and not be fact checked.  When the screechers even have to correct him on hyper calvinism, you know he was way off.

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.

Ron Bean's picture

I had the opportunity to meet and hear Dr. David Brown when he spoke at a church I attended. That church's pastor was an ardent five point Calvinist and he and Dr. Brown were and are good friends. Lance needs to watch his back.

 

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

James K's picture

Ron, good counsel, you just wrongly judge who needs to watch their back.  The fundamentalist illuminati has those like the "Dr" put out nonsense to further enslave the ignorant.  The sheep who have outwitted the butchers know enough to not return.

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.

PSFerguson's picture

There needs to be some balance here in evaluating Ketchum's views. I find myself agreeing with some things he has to say while disagreeing with others.

Undoubtedly, he is right about the KJV/TR point. Reformed churches (Baptist and Presbyterian) historically embraced the TR as the "authentical text" as a counterpoint to Rome's Alexandrian Vulgate Text. The modern CT perspective that is gaining ground in modern Fundamentalism is a departure from the historical position. I can posit a long list of historical quotes to demonstrate that. 

Where Ketchum jumps off the deep end is his view on separation and definitions of what constitutes a fundamentalist. He seems to forget the overwhelming   numbers of historic fundamentalists were non-IFB theologians and pastors. Chafer, Scofield, Frank E. Gaebelein, Dwight Pentecost, Vernon McGee, Lloyd Jones, Machen, Paisley, McIntire, Jones (Sr and Jr), were all Presbyterian/Congregationalists in polity. Even men like TT Shields the Toronto Baptist was avowedly Amillennial. Men like Clarence Sexton who embraces non-IFB pastors in his associations is only following in that tradition of defining a "fundamentalist" as someone beyond the dispensational pre-Trib IFB group. Here in Singapore almost no fundamentalist is an IFB. The vast majority are Presbyterian with a small minority of Reformed Baptists. 

 

 

Alex Guggenheim's picture

"Eat the meat and spit out the bones"...sorry Lance but exegetically negligent Bible Teachers like John Piper are afforded this grace, you are not. Ah the sweet smell of duplicity.

But for those who have a touch of integrity and do wish to discovr more about Ketchum, he has a large body of material with constant exegesis underpinning his teaching on various topics and texts. But that might spoil what you have already determined to only believe about Ketchum.

"Boo hoo you are so mean, one-sided and unfair to (fill in the blank)", I hear whined quite often when some CE or NE has his work criticized so as to imply these ones crying would never be so one-sided. I guess and the crying was just an act.

I disagree with any form of King Jamesism. I do, however, recognize textual origins which is the basis of his concern, not the inspired translation of the onlyists. That argument is historical whether you agree with his position or not.

I am not a fundamentalist in identification. In fact we have been attending a denominational church recently. But if I had a choice between Lance Ketchum and John Piper, well Lance actually exegetes and Piper invents things often via rationalism mixed with various Bible texts.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Alex,

I am not sure one poison tasting better than another is a valid approval system. 

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

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Totally agree.

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

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

PSFerguson wrote:
Undoubtedly, he is right about the KJV/TR point. Reformed churches (Baptist and Presbyterian) historically embraced the TR as the "authentical text" as a counterpoint to Rome's Alexandrian Vulgate Text. The modern CT perspective that is gaining ground in modern Fundamentalism is a departure from the historical position. I can posit a long list of historical quotes to demonstrate that.
Actually, that's not right. People used the KJ because it was the best out there. But as better translations came along, making improvements on the KJ, historic leaders clung to the originals, not the translations. Spurgeon is a perfect example. He was more than willing to use a better translation when he felt it existed. This is just one example from his preaching.

“Notice that I made a correction in the version from which I am reading.  The Authorized Version has it [i.e., Isaiah 9:3], ‘Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy.’  This is not consistent with the connection; and the Revised Version has very properly put it, ‘Thou hast multiplied the nation, thou hast increased their joy.’  I have not any learning to display; but I think I could show you, if this were the proper time, how the passage came to be read with a ‘not’, and I could also prove to you that, in this instance, the Revisers were right in making their alteration.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892)
Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, vol. 38 (1892)
Sermon #2265, p. 337

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