Mark Dever Keynote Speaker at Lansdale Conference

ab_yr.jpg

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

Yay.

Dever used to be my pastor, and he's an extraordinary man.

I was at Capitol Hill Baptist two nights ago,and Dever recommended and gave away a book by BJU professor Mark Sidwell called "Free Indeed." He's been helpful to a lot of fundamentalists, so this makes sense.

Careful or Careless?

I guess this answers my questions about this statement:

Central Seminary ethos statement on Fundamentalism wrote:
For this reason, we believe that careful, limited forms of fellowship are possible.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Which Mark Dever ? A false rumor?

Now there was a Mark Dever who said:

1. You are in Sin if you have your church have a Millennial statement in your statement of faith.

2. That he would only allow 5 point Calvinists in his church pulpit.

3. That he is in and loves the Southern Baptist Convention.

4. That he endorses Reformed theology.

5. That he endorses the Reformed Lordship Gospel without reservation.

6. Dispensationalism is heresy.

Since I am fairly sure this Fundamental Baptist school would avoid that Mark Dever, is there another person of the same name who is invited to speak? Where is he from?

However, this may be a false rumor as I heard they have also invited the less controversial Rick Warren and I know now that is not true.

A bit snarky?

Don Johnson wrote:
I guess this answers my questions about this statement:

Central Seminary ethos statement on Fundamentalism wrote:
For this reason, we believe that careful, limited forms of fellowship are possible.

Don,

Whether or not you agree with the action and choices, your own statement seems less than "careful," I must say. It has already been conceded in the Central statement that some fellowship was seen as possible. This is an academic setting (the conference is hosted by an accredited institution of higher learning). It is not substantially different in many senses than Fundamentalist faculty members participating in settings like ETS or NANC. You are implying that this is essentially a careless and reckless action- in a careless and reckless manner yourself, it seems to me. If you understand this to be "careless" fellowship, what exactly were you envisioning "careful" fellowship would look like?

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Bob T. A Source Please

Bob,

Can you give me a source for anything you just said, particularly point 6? If you can't then, I respectfully ask that you withdraw your comment on grounds of gossip.

I'm pretty sure that the Mark Dever you're describing, doesn't exist, at least in part. If you're going to slander someone, please at least be kind enough to the truth to give source and context, not to say that everything you said is slanderous. Yes he he does endorse reformed theology. So what? He's in the SBC. Obviously.

Also, Dever would say that Ligon Duncan (yes, THAT Ligon Duncan) is in "sin" for allowing baby baptism, but it's not so serious that he won't have fellowship with him. It's a low-grade sin to believe and practice something the Bible is clearly against. In the same way, it's a low-grade sin to speak with absolute clarity about something the Bible is less clear about. That's how I think he would answer point 1.

If you look at the picture on the website, it's the same Mark Dever. Just to clear it up.

Dever on "statement of faith .... a particular millennial view"

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2009/07/13/dever-you-ar...

Quote:
So if you’re a pastor and you’re listening to me, you understand me correctly if you think I’m saying [color=red ]you are in sin[/color ] if you lead your congregation to have a statement of faith that requires a particular millennial view. I do not understand why that has to be a matter of uniformity in order to have Christian unity in a local congregation.

Seems that would touch on Dispensationalism that is pre-mill / pre-trib

Oh yay. Context.

So he's saying that leading a church to have a doctrinal statement with ANY millennial statement is sin. Given the way I know he's using the word sin, I agree with him. He's saying it sets the bar higher than the Bible for membership, which is wrong.

He is most definitely not saying in this quote that "dispensationalism is heresy." Otherwise you would have to say that every millennial view is heresy. Not all sin is heresy.

@Shayne - Oy vey back

Clarifications:

  • I'm not defending Bob T's comment # 6 above (source unknown to me)
  • And I am not criticizing the Advancing the Church conference
  • And I appreciate http://www.9marks.org/ and what I've read there
  • I've read Nine Marks of a Healthy Church and I value it
  • But with regard to the sin comment above .... I heartily disagree with Brother Dever

But Jim,

If you disagreed with Dever on this point, would that make it wrong for him to come to a conference? Could he still be helpful in an academic context such as this? I suspect you would allow for disagreement.

you are welcome to your opinion

Greg Linscott wrote:
Whether or not you agree with the action and choices, your own statement seems less than "careful," I must say. It has already been conceded in the Central statement that some fellowship was seen as possible. This is an academic setting (the conference is hosted by an accredited institution of higher learning). It is not substantially different in many senses than Fundamentalist faculty members participating in settings like ETS or NANC. You are implying that this is essentially a careless and reckless action- in a careless and reckless manner yourself, it seems to me. If you understand this to be "careless" fellowship, what exactly were you envisioning "careful" fellowship would look like?

But please, spare me the "this is an academic conference" baloney. It is the first fleshing out of what Doran and Bauder have been hinting at for some time. It is pure sophistry to hide behind the "academic" banner. FWIW, I have repeatedly disagreed with fundamentalist participation in ETS. I haven't thought much about NANC, so no comment there.

In asking what "careful" fellowship would look like... well, I haven't conceded that as an option. I have been critical of using this kind of language and have been asking what it means. This move seems to be the answer to my question. And yes, I do think it is careless, at best.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

NANC

Many schools in the fundamentalist orbit have sent not only faculty, but students to NANC conferences, especially at Faith Baptist in Lafayette, IN. Whether you agree with the action or not, it has been behavior well-established for a number of years, and they have had a great bit of involvement with people whose ecclesiastical and separatist positions would be along the same lines as what we're discussing here (if not actually further from a separated Fundamentalist position than Dever).

I'm interested in what will be coming from the sources (Calvary, Doran, Bauder, et al). In one email discussion with a friend, he raised the distinct possibility that these appearances could actually lead to a forum where the differences are hashed out to some degree between Dever and those on the separatist side, such as the discussions at NLC on educational matters (I seem to recall hearing about an accreditation discussion involving BJ3), or the Calvinist discussion between Burggraff and Doran. I will admit I was not expecting this, myself, and I'm not necessarily celebrating- though I'm not troubled by it as you are, Don. I would like to see what unfolds.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

I personally think part of

I personally think part of what Bauder and Doran are doing is smoking out the movement fundies and hoping to retain the principled fundies. This thread is a great representation. The chicago way is naturally upset over this, but that is expected.

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.

Knew this would cause controversy

I appreciate Mark Dever and what he has done to strengthen local churches. I do not agree with him in every jot or tittle.

Why are some taking cheap shots at Central? Last time I looked it was Calvary in Lansdale that has invited Mark Dever.

There is nothing wrong with being a Southern Baptist. Fundamentalists could learn a few things from our SBC brethren, maybe being gracious is one of them!

Seems like no matter who is invited to speak at a conference, there will always be some uptight fundamentalist who look for the evil in everything! What a shame.

What does Dever do?

I don't know much about Dever other than reading 9 Marks blog a few times.
I can understand why Don and Bob and others would find Dever's remarks about premillennialism and calvinism to be troubling.
(I personally think the one about premil. in a doctrinal statement to be surprisingly off the mark... I mean, I'm premil, but I would not begrudge a presbyterian church putting amil. or something in their doctrinal statement. If they want, a local church can put their views on tap dancing in their doctrinal statement)

But really, his opinions on these things are not separation issues. The more relevant question for ecclesiastical separation is what does he do? That is, does he participate in ecumenical evangelism? Does he partner with ministries that deny the fundamentals of the faith? Any of that sort of thing? As far as I know, that's not his custom, so...

I do think that events sponsored by academic institutions are a bit different. It's part of the character of a school to expose students to diverse views. So having a conference speaker shouldn't really be assumed to be a blanket approval of all he does--at any conference really--but this is maybe a bit more obvious when a school is hosting the event.
It's never been clear to me why being "on the same platform" was considered a kind of rubber stamp "This guy's one of us" thing.
But some have long seen it that way.

an example

Capitol Hill and Mark Dever refused to participate in a local Billy Graham Crusade.

He presented a paper on JI Packer at Beason.

One was non-cooperation for the gospel, the other was academic discussion (and he criticized JI Packer at times to boot). In his 9Marks discussion with Mark Minnick, they agreed on the principles of separation, but differed in application. He sharpens my understanding and application paradigm on the issue often.

Encouraging Conference

Although I don't comment here often, I wanted to state that this conference is an exciting development that I would love to attend, although I will not be able to. I just attended a 9 Marks conference at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, NC last weekend, which I greatly enjoyed. It wasn't my first conference where Dever was speaking, and I hope it isn't my last. It would be great to hear Bauder and Dever at the same conference. Dever is an example, along with others, of what I think is good about conservative evangelicalism. And Bauder's writings on fundamentalism has shown me a fundamentalism worth saving (to borrow a phrase).

Joe G.

Professional conference attender

There are just about enough appealing conferences now that if I got paid to attend them I could be a "pro"
...and probably pretty good work--if you can get it. Biggrin

I welcome this development. I

I welcome this development. I attended the 9Marks Weekender Conference this last spring and found it highly beneficial. Although I disagree with some aspects of Dever's theology and find the "having a millennial view in your doctrinal statement is sin" statement strange, I'm glad he is willing to speak at this conference and that Calvary is willing to have him.

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

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Aaron Blumer wrote: So having

Aaron Blumer wrote:
So having a conference speaker shouldn't really be assumed to be a blanket approval of all he does--at any conference really--but this is maybe a bit more obvious when a school is hosting the event.
It's never been clear to me why being "on the same platform" was considered a kind of rubber stamp "This guy's one of us" thing.
But some have long seen it that way.

When BJU asked Sexton to speak at Bible Conference, it gave made some here on SI upset....BJU is a school. Maybe it's different because it's Bible conference, though.

I'm trying to digest all this....

I think you're right Becky.

I think you're right Becky.

I was surprised to see this announcement too.

Aaron shared the same perspective in a different context on another thread recently. If we are going to live by principles, we have to let them cut both ways. I was one who complained about Sexton in the past. While I appreciate "much" of what Dever does, until he is ready to push for the removal of all disobedient churches within the SBC (separation), I do not think I am not willing extend this level of fellowship to him.

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

Aaron Blumer wrote: There are

Aaron Blumer wrote:
There are just about enough appealing conferences now that if I got paid to attend them I could be a "pro"
...and probably pretty good work--if you can get it. Biggrin

Aaron, what do you do in your "real job"?

Quick Stab

Becky Petersen wrote:
Aaron Blumer wrote:
So having a conference speaker shouldn't really be assumed to be a blanket approval of all he does--at any conference really--but this is maybe a bit more obvious when a school is hosting the event.
It's never been clear to me why being "on the same platform" was considered a kind of rubber stamp "This guy's one of us" thing.
But some have long seen it that way.

When BJU asked Sexton to speak at Bible Conference, it gave made some here on SI upset....BJU is a school. Maybe it's different because it's Bible conference, though.

I'm trying to digest all this....


While I agree with Don that Dever is problematic and that we shouldn't just give a blanket endorsement of everything he says and does, I think Sexton is different for two reasons:

  1. Sexton's http://templebaptistchurch.com/statement_of_faith/ position on Bibliology is wrong. The doctrinal statement of his church reads:
    Quote:
    The Masoretic Text of the Old Testament and the Received Text of the New Testament (Textus Receptus) are those texts of the original languages we accept and use; the King James Version of the Bible is the only English version we accept and use. The Bible is our sole authority for faith and practice.

    (Again - I have no problem with preferred MSS or versions...I have one! However, if you are going to acknowledge the KJV as "THE ONLY ENGLISH VERSION" we accept, then I don't see how you can avoid a double inspiration position. That's a heretical position.)

  2. BJU's Bibliology is orthodox, yet by sharing a platform with someone who argues for a KJV Inspired position, they give him and his teachings (indirect) support and uphold him as a kind of model, especially since they are a University / Seminary. This is exactly why BJU argues Graham was so bad for Christendom (and they argue it correctly - I agree with them there.)
  3. Differences on positions in eschatology do not result in the Fundamentals of the Faith being compromised. I disagree with Dever strongly, and have considered the normal, literal hermeneutic as one of the Fundamentals of the faith. But a person can be saved and sanctified and be a post-mill Christian. A person that teaches that you must use only the King James Bible is wrong (again, I'm going off of the logical steps from a KJV-Inspired position).

    Becky, is this thread ( http://www.sharperiron.org/filings/3-24-10/14345 ]Together For The Gospel: Jack Schaap and John Vaughn?? ) the right one? I'm trying to find it now.

"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

Dave Doran has posted a

Dave Doran has posted a comment on his blog explaining his thought process in determining who he willwork with and how and applied it specifically to this upcoming coference at Calvary. I found it enlightening.

http://gloryandgrace.dbts.edu/?p=400 ]http://www.gloryandgrace.dbts.edu/

*** Forum Director ****
I updated the above link to point to the specific blog post instead of the site in general
*****************

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

I don't know what you are

I don't know what you are asking when you asked if that was the article? It is certainly one of the articles that discussed speakers at conferences, but since that was a church, it's a bit different situation.

The topic of a speaker causing waves has been an issue several times here at SI.

Worth a read

I think this is well worth a read in this context.

Quote:
Clearly the answer to the question, "Are conservative Southern Baptists fundamentalists?" is "No." This answer does not mean that Southern Baptists are not good people who genuinely want to serve the Lord or that the conservatives have not made advances within the Convention. Rather, the answer reveals that the conservatives are not going in the same direction as fundamentalists. Organizations which have been historically identified as separatist and fundamentalist need to decide whether they are willing to partner with conservative Southern Baptists and thus depart from their historic direction. If they are willing to do so, they should drop the fundamentalist identification.

http://sharperiron.org/are-conservative-southern-baptists-fundamentalists ]The rest here .

Is that the right question to be concerned with?

Aaron, but we aren't talking about Southern Baptists. In this discussion we are talking about a particular Southern Baptist, Mark Dever. And even more, isn't the more important question not whether or not someone wears a label but whether or not they practice separation?

I am a bit puzzled

I really am puzzled who get listened to on the internet . . . you can be a ministry drop-out, working in the secular world with a blog site and be certified to comment on a man like Mark Dever. Or you can be a pastor of a pretty small church but because you are all over the internet making comments and are blunt, then you are qualified to speak. Mark Dever has done more than most men for the cause of Christ. Do I like his view of eschatology . . . no. But he is not the enemy.

Where was the loud cry when John Vaughn spoke for Clarence Sexton and with Jack Schaap. Oh yea, and Mike Schrock was there also.

So, given the choice of hearing Mark Dever or Jack Schaap . . . hummmmmmmmm this is really a tough choice to make . . . NOT! Mark has done much to help redirect the SBC ship and, if you actually know anything about him, his music, preaching and style of ministry, is as strong as anything . . . no its really stronger than most everything in fundamentalism.

I for one wish I could go to Lansdale in February and am glad both Dave and Kevin have chosen to ignore the lunatics and do what is right.

Keep up the good work guys

Jeff Straub Wink

Jeff Straub

Careless fellowship

Careless fellowship would be to limit or include fellowship where the Bible is silent. Unanimity seems to be the kind of fellowship that fundamentalism has embraced all these years. I for one am glad to see this breakthrough which was attempted last year with the Standpoint conference, but getting too many EV's and Fundies together in the same room was problematic. We just had Steve Lawson (SBC and 5 Point Calvinist) for a preaching conference at our church and we had people from the FBFI, GARBC, IFCA, as well as a broad array of Evangelicals all in one building: all together with one goal in mind: to preach the word faithfully and expositionally! That's something we can all unite around without compromising our individual theological commitments.

Dr. Straub's comments are

Dr. Straub's comments are spot on. I was one that sounded the bell loudly about Dr. Vaughn preaching with Schaap. Some of the same people who are banging this drum loudly were deadly silent about Schaap and Vaughn and they were equally as silent when Phelps preached with Fugate. This is simply disingenuious. People can have the soul liberty to speak with those men, but so does Doran with Dever (and Jordan for that matter). I have been to Dever's church. I visited on a typical Sunday night. They take their worship very seriously at Capitol Hill - much more than many Fundamental churches do. They also take Church Disipline more serously than most Fundamental churches. God has used Dever to steer Capitol Hill in that direction.

I should add that Don has raised concerns about the areas I mentioned here, so I think he has earned the right to comment on Dever. Smile I do also find it odd that Jordan is not being critiqued anywhere near the level that Doran and Bauder are - He is the one that actually scheduled Dever to speak!

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church

makes no difference

@ Dr. Straub... I think it's better to weigh arguments on their own merits rather than heed or discard them based on the source's alleged credentials (though I'll concede that somebody's history in the "arguments" category might recommend not wasting the time). In this case, how does one's occupation relate to his ability to think about the separation issues involved here? Can't see how that holds any weight. There are situations where the ad hominem is valid but I don't see how it is with this one.

@ JGearhart... the article I linked to was writted by Dr. George Houghton some years ago. I don't know if he would hold to the same opinion today, but the key phrase is "willing to partner with conservative Southern Baptists."
I'm not inclined to be critical of Calvary's decision in this, but I do think this relationship with a Southern Baptist does raise important questions--as DrH's article shows--and they are worth thinking about.
...and yes, everybody is qualified to think about them.

Straight Ahead!

Outstanding!

I won't say "I knew this would work," but you better believe I'm thinking it! This looks like the beginning of a brave new world. Now all we need to do is add Mac to this line-up and the Kingdom will almost be here! I'm grateful to see the line up that's here. I will work hard to be at this.

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;

Really??

Jeff Straub wrote:
I really am puzzled who get listened to on the internet . . . you can be a ministry drop-out, working in the secular world with a blog site and be certified to comment on a man like Mark Dever. Or you can be a pastor of a pretty small church but because you are all over the internet making comments and are blunt, then you are qualified to speak. Mark Dever has done more than most men for the cause of Christ. Do I like his view of eschatology . . . no. But he is not the enemy.

Dr. Straub,

Is this really the line of argumentation you wish to take on this?

1. Attack the people commenting because they may not be currently in ministry or have a big church? Wow.

2. Question the right of people to criticize Dever or the conference because "Mark Dever has done more than most men for the cause of Christ"? Seems like that same line of argument has been used over the years to defend everybody from Billy Graham to Jack Hyles. Surely you would recognize that "having done more for the cause of Christ" does not make one immune to criticism or immune from error.

Jeff Straub wrote:
Where was the loud cry when John Vaughn spoke for Clarence Sexton and with Jack Schaap. Oh yea, and Mike Schrock was there also.

Where was the loud cry? Earlier in this thread, someone linked to the discussion on SI regarding it. Looking at the discussion, there was about 1 person (Dan P) defending it and the rest were generally agin' it. The rest of the "Fundy Blogosphere" seemed to be pretty much against it as well. Compared to this thread, where those raising concerns are outnumbered by those defending the choice, I would think that there is/was a much bigger concern raised over that situation than this one. (And I would agree with the concern about speaking with Schaap, btw.)

This conference raises some concerns in my mind. I have great respect for Dr. Doran and I have read through his short version of his reasoning of this. I am still weighing it. For instance, I am not sure I would consider this primarily an academic conference, since its theme/title is "Advancing the Church" and the general focus of the NLC seems to have been on churches and pastors rather than academics over the years. Also, while I have often heard the "academic conference" argument in regards to sharing of podium and lean towards that view, I am not sure it is a slam-dunk that just because something qualifies as an academic conference that it somehow lessens the carefulness or thoroughness with which separation needs to be practiced.

Either way, even if I eventually come to the conclusion that this is a good thing, I don't think the way to argue for that would be to essentially argue that 1) the people against it are unqualified hacks and 2) MD has done great things, so who are you do to disagree. (My simplistic hyperbole noted).

Just my thoughts,

Frank

Even if

To William D

WilliamD wrote:
I for one am glad to see this breakthrough which was attempted last year with the Standpoint conference, but getting too many EV's and Fundies together in the same room was problematic.

William,

One of the reasons we at Standpoint Conference (www.standpointconference.com) switched gears this time is because that ship has already sailed (as demonstrated by this thread). The new focus is to get everybody dealing with REAL issues -- the theme of our conference for 2011.

Mike Durning

Credibility

Random thoughts- I completely understand Dr. Straub's frustration. I prefer to read information and ideas from credible sources, but the internet gives a level platform for all to present their ideas, regardless of a person's authenticity, agenda, or integrity. This is both a bad thing and a good thing, because it does force us to deal with the issues themselves instead of personalities and pedigrees. Not fun, but I think necessary, mostly because of the problems in our IFB past with blind loyalty and hero worship. What's difficult is when we have to use Proverbs 26:4 instead of Proverbs 26:5- we are sometimes afraid, I think, that if we don't rebuke the kooks then they will be believed. But the only people who will believe the kooks are those who want to believe them. They are looking for something kooky to latch onto, because they can't deal with truth, especially not Biblical truth. I completely believe that if someone wants truth, God through the Holy Spirit will guide them to truth. The rantings of imbeciles will not resonate with them, and they will continue their search for wisdom elsewhere. I have to trust that and let it go.

The up-side is that all the kooks tend to gather in one place, thus making them easy to identify and avoid. http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php ][img ]http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-alien010.gif[/img ]

As far as who is holding hands with whom on various platforms, I believe it is important to note during the decision making process that many pastors don't delve deeply into the teachings and personal conduct of men with national recognition in certain circles. Which is not a good thing, but there ya' go. There is a transfer of trust that takes place when a respected man or institution 'approves' another man or institution. If Dr. Snodgrass has Dr. Lichtenstein on the platform, because I trust Dr. S, I now trust Dr. L- after all, Dr. Snodgrass would never steer me wrong, right? There are still people out there who have little knowledge of the true teachings and conduct of Hyles and Co.- hard to believe, but true- and they think that Hyles was a great man because they heard a couple of sermons and read a book and Dr. Snodgrass had him in his pulpit.

The purpose of the conference or fellowship is important IMO, and I think there is some differentiation between a primarily academic conference attended by pastors and teachers, even if the topics are theological issues, and a church-sponsored conference attended by lay people. Personally, I would attend them with a completely different frame of mind, just as I read books by various authors from a different perspective and level of credulity.

Ad hominem arguments

Aaron, I weary of the foolishness of the internet. Some guys (and perhaps ladies, though I am not shooting anyone in particular, but I'll be an equal opportunity critic) seem to have nothing else to do but comment on everything. Like the rest of the world needs their opinion about everything. Often these discussions are DOMINATED by the same voices. It used to be that, in most cases, someone actually had to have something credible to say to be heard. Today, every Tom, Dick and Harry with a computer can start a blog and pontificate. They don't actually have to be qualified to say something to merit being heard, they just have to have a computer keyboard. That alone is their entrance into the conversation. Ok, so the internet gives the little guy a voice . . . Why is it the big guys never participate in these discussions? Most are too busy in the Lord's work.

Mark Dever does not care what we think of him. And frankly, why should he. What have we done to merit his consideration? Mark has done more to promote true biblical Baptist ministry in these days than most anyone I can think of. This doesn't mean he is without flaw. Can this same argument be used of Billy Graham? Of course, but who is talking about Billy Graham? Most guys who criticize Dever, don't know much about him except that he is a Southern Baptist. Truth is his preaching is substantive, whatever you think of his eschatological views, his church is top shelf, and his ministry to the wider church is outstanding. We all ought to read Polity or Nine Marks. I don't know of a fundamentalist who is making the kind of impact that Mark is making.

Most of us need to put away our keyboards and go back to the work to which God has called us. Do we really need to weigh in on every conversation, multiple times? Would our sheep be better fed if we devoted more time to them? I really wonder how some guys feed their sheep with the amount of time they spend at their key boards. They troll the internet blogs entering into everyone's conversation. Do we find Dever, Mohler, Piper, MacArthur doing this? They don't need to. They actually have a voice, a legitimate voice.

Aaron, I'm not knocking SI here, but I am saying that I weary of these kinds of forums that give universal access to most any one with an opinion. Many guys have too much time on their hands. I just wonder if, when we stand before the judgment seat of Christ, we will not be severely rebuked for our misuse of time. We are to redeem the times. I am not sure that the internet is the appropriate place to do this. Why should we care what a guy thinks who has no real standing? Small churches are not in and of themselves a problem. Many faithful men has pastored them. But since most pastors of small churches have little help, they must do everything themselves, which means they have little time to waste. Let's be about our business and give our keyboards a rest. Or maybe we just need to turn off the modium. :tired:

Jeff Straub

Valid point

Quote:
This conference raises some concerns in my mind. I have great respect for Dr. Doran and I have read through his short version of his reasoning of this. I am still weighing it. For instance, I am not sure I would consider this primarily an academic conference, since its theme/title is "Advancing the Church" and the general focus of the NLC seems to have been on churches and pastors rather than academics over the years. Also, while I have often heard the "academic conference" argument in regards to sharing of podium and lean towards that view, I am not sure it is a slam-dunk that just because something qualifies as an academic conference that it somehow lessens the carefulness or thoroughness with which separation needs to be practiced.

Although I still believe Sexton at BJU isn't the same as Dever at ATC, this point is pretty solid. When I used to attend the Lansdale Conferences (haven't been able to do so for about 5-7 years now), it did seem to be more of an academic type conference than a overall church strengthening thing...by which I mean that the audience was primarily aimed at pastors who were leading churches.

"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

Pastor-focused

Jay C. wrote:
When I used to attend the Lansdale Conferences (haven't been able to do so for about 5-7 years now), it did seem to be more of an academic type conference than a overall church strengthening thing...by which I mean that the audience was primarily aimed at pastors who were leading churches.

Which is consistent with most of Mark's speaking outside our local church. He is more likely to accept invitations to speak to pastors and elders or future pastors and elders (seminarians). In addition, he prioritizes speaking engagements to groups of pastors and elders to whom he has not previously spoken.

Of course, sometimes the people come to the speaker. We just finished another Weekender (I think a couple of folks mentioned these upthread) with 70 pastors, seminarians, and lay leaders attending. If anyone here signs up for a Weekender, let me know in advance and I'll provide you a free place to stay if I'm able.

Off topic but...

We're getting off topic really, but... just one more? (Could start a thread on the value of internet discussions I suppose)

Jeff S. wrote:
In most cases, someone actually had to have something credible to say to be heard. Today...

I don't think that time ever existed. I share your annoyance at uninformed pontificators, but they have always been among us--they just did it in church newsletters, pamphlets, "newspapers," etc. The communication threshold was higher, it's true, but it was not higher in the "qualifications to hold an opinion" category. Rather, it was higher in the expense category--the communication scope-per-nickle ratio was higher.
Before Gutenberg much higher yet.The Internet is a continuation of the mass communication trend that began w/old Johannes.

So today, geniuses and idiots alike can get their notions out to potential millions for just about no money at all. Historically, you had to be successful enough at something to raise the funding. That is one big difference.

@Frank... about http://sharperiron.org/comment/18798#comment-18798 ]this : I don't think Jeff is mainly talking about folks posting here. But the same arguments would apply. Either verifiable knowledgeability should be required in order to "be heard," or it shouldn't.
Personally, I think the should/shouldn't is a moot question. The reality is, there is no such requirement anymore and folks will judge the quality of Internet opinion pretty much on a case by case basis.
But as in times past, people who have established a reputation will tend to be taken more seriously. In the days of pamphlets and newsletters, people did that too.

I still get stuff in the "snail mail" that goes straight to the can. And there must be zillions of blogs I never read... and a few I go out of my way to read because they have a track record of being worth the time.

Internet influence

Aaron Blumer wrote:
And there must be zillions of blogs I never read... and a few I go out of my way to read because they have a track record of being worth the time.

This is where I think arguments like those of Dr. Straub are really way off the mark -- the internet has made it easier to get a platform to speak, but not necessarily to be heard. It is too easy to ignore those you don't believe are worth listening to, and that is true even here on SI. (As you scroll down through a list of comments, it's very easy to ignore posts from certain readers if you wish to.)

Like you, I take the time to read certain blogs because I have found it worthwhile to do so, and ignore "zillions" of others either because they are not worth the time or because I haven't heard of them.

I understand that there is phenomenon that allows certain sites to rise to the top in numbers of readers just by being contrary or by some other anti-establishment bent. And to an extent, that means they are being "heard," but that doesn't really give them influence among thoughtful people. Dr. Straub can ignore those voices just as easily as I can.

If you are talking about the "mob" in general, well, that has been a problem as long as there have been forms of government other than absolute dictatorship. Anyone who can mesmerize a crowd can get followers, but for such a movement to last beyond the charismatic leader, it usually has to have some substance, or it's influence will die off after the leader is gone.

Some might argue that uneducated church members who are easy to influence usually listen to those who are not worth hearing, and that that wasn't true in the past when the sources were more limited. I would argue that the problems were just different then, but that didn't make those types of members any better members than they are now that they can listen to any source they wish. It just means that those who proclaim the truth must not assume a captive audience, and must be that much better at proclaiming and explaining the truth. Those who will not listen to that wouldn't have done so in years past either.

Dave Barnhart

Akademik Konference

Don Johnson wrote:
But please, spare me the "this is an academic conference" baloney. It is the first fleshing out of what Doran and Bauder have been hinting at for some time. It is pure sophistry to hide behind the "academic" banner. FWIW, I have repeatedly disagreed with fundamentalist participation in ETS. I haven't thought much about NANC, so no comment there.

In asking what "careful" fellowship would look like... well, I haven't conceded that as an option. I have been critical of using this kind of language and have been asking what it means. This move seems to be the answer to my question. And yes, I do think it is careless, at best.

Don:

I think your point on "academic conference" is well taken. I do not know if Calvary would present it that way. For example, if Mark Dever speaks Wednesday night during the conference when the church usually meets for prayer meeting and church members attend, does that change anything? Although I'm adjunct professor at CBTS I am no longer at the church and have not been part of the discussion except early on. And I heartily supported the idea when it was raised. So I speak only for myself. But I understand that making an academic distinction might be difficult to support in the minds of many as a justification, if one is needed, for inviting Mark Dever. To many the distinction sounds artificial. I do not know if this "a fleshing out" of anything Bauder and Doran have hinted at. I may be wrong but I rather doubt that Tim Jordan consulted with them to see if they would speak or support him if he or the seminary invited Dever. However, either way, in my opinion, it's not only good thing but pleasing to God to see his people come together in face of a world hostile to the gospel. Our disunity over our opinions and preferences and leaders has surely been an obstacle to the testimony of Christ’s Church. Let us disagree and do so vigorously when needed but let’s be careful to separate only when Scripture commands it.

Personally I wouldn't have a problem with Dever speaking whether it was an academic or church context. I’d have him speak at our church but as a busy pastor I would imagine he doesn’t accept many Sunday speaking engagements. If we look for agreement on all associations, all positions, and make every doctrinal extrapolation essential matters. I still think many don't get the difference between disobedience and disagreement. Disobedience to God's Word not to ours. Is Mark Dever a disobedient brother? No more than you and me in some ways but not flagrantly as far as I know. Would I disagree with some of his statements and interpretations? Probably. But that happens whenever you have two people in the same room. IMO, the kind of fundamentalism which practices a separation which goes beyond Scripture is thankfully shrinking. It will always be around because there are always some who from their personal fiefdoms think they can determine for others all the bounds of fellowship and partnership in the gospel. And shades of Elijah, they and they alone stand true.

Steve

[size=8 ]*** Forum Director ****
Fixed quotation
**************************[/size ]

academic schmacademic

Steve Davis wrote:
I think your point on "academic conference" is well taken.

Thanks, Steve.

In my opinion it is at best a quasi-academic conference, but it really doesn't matter either way. It is interesting that Dave in his justification post seems to concede the point (to some extent at least):

Dave Doran wrote:
Since this is a conference connected to Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary, I take it to be mainly an educational/academic setting, but that is a point open to debate since it is closely connected to Calvary Baptist Church.

Yes, Dave says "mainly academic", but he recognizes that it isn't clearly a purely academic situation.

Regardless, whether academic or church based, it doesn't matter to me. The question we need to address is whether it is appropriate to cooperate with evangelicals at all. I think Dever is a fine man and I am sure I would profit from his preaching. I have a couple of his books - though I don't think he really articulates anything in them that I wasn't taught at BJU. But Mark has ties with men I really can't endorse. He supports Mark Driscoll's Acts 29 organization. The broad compass of the SBC is problematic. I wish he would clearly distance himself from those ties and embrace a more separatistic approach. (I'm not holding my breath.)

Steve Davis wrote:
Our disunity over our opinions and preferences and leaders has surely been an obstacle to the testimony of Christ’s Church. Let us disagree and do so vigorously when needed but let’s be careful to separate only when Scripture commands it.

Well, true, let's only separate when Scripture demands it. But I am not calling for separation. I think one of the problems we have had in this discussion is a confusion of terms. Separation has been applied to every form of distancing that Fundamentalists have advocated. When it comes to a man like Dever, who I like and respect, it isn't separation but non-cooperation that I advocate. I can profit from his ministry in some ways, use his materials, etc, but because of his associations, I don't want to enter into joint ministry with him due to the other entanglements he is involved in.

Obviously the Calvary folks and Dave and Kevin think differently. It remains to be seen how others react.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Good point

Quote:
This is where I think arguments like those of Dr. Straub are really way off the mark -- the internet has made it easier to get a platform to speak, but not necessarily to be heard. It is too easy to ignore those you don't believe are worth listening to, and that is true even here on SI. (As you scroll down through a list of comments, it's very easy to ignore posts from certain readers if you wish to.)

Like you, I take the time to read certain blogs because I have found it worthwhile to do so, and ignore "zillions" of others either because they are not worth the time or because I haven't heard of them.


I was actually prepared to make this argument...there are all kinds of blogs and things that I COULD follow, but simply can't (won't) spend a massive amount of time to follow everything. Frankly, I let SI / Facebook / Instapundit do that vetting for me (in some regards) in that I can peruse a bunch of blogs I follow via the Foundry, then click through to the individual posts if I think they merit my time. There are a few - very few (Pensees, Linscott's blog, Pyromaniacs...) - that I'll bookmark, but usually, if it's worth commenting on, it winds up as a Filing or in someone else's quote/thread. Of course, I also send quite a bit of suggestions to the Filings people, so that factors in as well.

Also, there are some people that I see posting (again, usually on SI) and I usually know that we'll disagree on just about everything there is, so I don't click through to the blog.

No, Aaron didn't pay me to write that Smile

"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

Jeff Straub wrote: I really

Jeff Straub wrote:
I really am puzzled who get listened to on the internet . . . you can be a ministry drop-out, working in the secular world with a blog site and be certified to comment on a man like Mark Dever. Or you can be a pastor of a pretty small church but because you are all over the internet making comments and are blunt, then you are qualified to speak. Mark Dever has done more than most men for the cause of Christ.

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.

Someone said, "Truth is truth

Someone said, "Truth is truth wherever you find it."

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

But echoes....

Becky Petersen wrote:
Jeff Straub wrote:
I really am puzzled who get listened to on the internet . . . you can be a ministry drop-out, working in the secular world with a blog site and be certified to comment on a man like Mark Dever. Or you can be a pastor of a pretty small church but because you are all over the internet making comments and are blunt, then you are qualified to speak. Mark Dever has done more than most men for the cause of Christ.

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.

Of course, just to be clear, the critics "who had done waay less than he" shared the same criticisms of Sweatt as such "no-names" as Kevin Bauder. Smile

Separation???

So, since Bauder, Doran, & Jordan are compromising fundamentalists because Jordan invited Mark Dever to speak at Calvary's conference & Bauder/Doran will share the platform, should Mark Minnick and Scott Aniol drop out of the Preserving the Truth conference in order to maintain the purity of their fundamentalist credentials??? I mean, should they share the platform with men who shared the platform with Dever? Won't they be tainted by rubbing shoulders with those who rubbed shoulders with a "non-fundamentalist" conservative evangelical Calvinist with an eschatalogically open Articles of Faith?

http://truthconference.org/

In the words of my favorite Church History prof.... "I speak as a fool."

Spreads like the flu

Can some one get some SBC hand sanitizer for those at this conference? Maybe a place of quarantine and purifying at least? I have been in the SBC so don't respond to this post you may catch some thing from a heretic like me. God have mercy on you Mark Denver you poor afflicted soul.

Mark Dever is a

Mark Dever is a bible-centered Pastor who has a ministry that is consistent with historical fundamentalism. He practices biblical separation although he does not practice it in every degree that some fundamentalists do. He is not a flawless man and neither are any of the critics of Calvary Baptist Seminary.

I just do not see Calvary Baptist Seminary, David Doran, Kevin Bauder, or Tim Jordan going outside of biblical parameters by serving at a conference together.

Pages


▴ Top of page