Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Weekender Registration Just Opened

Over the past year here in DC it's been great to spend some time with all the fundamentalist pastors, seminarians, and bloggers who've been in town for 9Marks Weekenders. Word on the streets is that more plan to be in town this March.

Registration for March just opened about 45 minutes ago, and it's already about 20% full. So if you're thinking about it, think fast.

Here's the registration link.

13 comments:

Ross Shannon said...

Thanks for the heads up Ben! I know a couple guys coming from Northland circles--I'll let them know they need to act fast.

Paul said...

Why would a fundamentalist want to attend something put on by a Southern Baptist Church?

Ben said...

Paul,

I think it's because, way deep down, true fundamentalists care more about the quality of the message—its exegetical, biblical fidelity—than about associations and affiliations that might make them hesitant about the messenger.

Right?

Greg Linscott said...

Paul,

I attended the one this past September (in the company of two FBFI board members and two Central Seminary students, actually). It is something every Fundamentalist could benefit from, I believe. It's helpful to see some of the similarities as well as the differences firsthand. But mainly, it is just a wonderfully encouraging experience to see the ministry of CHBC in action. No matter their affiliations and what you might think of them, there is no compromise in the way they preach, pray and worship, and that is something any Fundamentalist church could learn from.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Greg,

So then why do we separate from Southern Baptists? I thought we had reasons. Do we see those reasons as now invalid?

Paul said...

Ben and Greg, you are both right. And there are many more reasons why a fundamentalist should attend.

So Kent, you should make the trip and see for yourself.

Greg Linscott said...

Kent,

Even if we do, attending a service or a conference is not along the same lines as partnering with the SBC.

I still believe it is a valuable experience, learning some positives and confirming some of the problems a Fundamentalist might have in that context.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Is it possible to have a valuable experience while disobeying Scripture? I'm just discussing here, Greg, btw.:-)

If we think it is disobedience to God's Word to remain in the Convention for all the reasons fundamentalists have historically said, are we not accomodating that practice with our association? What fellowship does Dever lose because he refuses to break from the convention? Isn't there something about this in Romans 16 and 2 Thess. 3? You don't have to agree with this, but perhaps you might admit that this might be right. Biblical separation is biblical love. In other words, it's possible I can love Dever more without fellowshiping with him. I can rejoice in the truth that he does practice.

Ben said...

Kent,

To clarify, I don't think it's absolutely, unequivocally, always wrong for a church to remain in the Convention. Circumstances vary. Churches vary.

Greg, would you agree with that?

Greg Linscott said...

Kent,

If you want to argue history, consider the words of Ketcham:

-------------
The GARBC constitution stipulates that a church entering its Fellowship must not only be sound
in the faith but must also withdraw all fellowship and cooperation from any convention or group
which permits modernists or modernism within its ranks. We do not permit dual fellowship or
“membership,” as it is sometimes called.
There is, however, a phase of separation that needs to be more clearly understood. That phase
has to do with our relationship to and attitude toward others who differ. Just where does the
Association stand on the matter of cooperation with individuals, churches, and groups outside its
own fellowship?

Scores of times across this continent the question has been somewhat as follows: “There is a
Baptist church in my town that still belongs to the American Baptist Churches. The pastor is a
sound, godly man, preaching the gospel and winning souls. How far can I, as a GARBC pastor,
and my church, as a GARBC church, cooperate with this man and his church? For instance,
would I be violating the principles of the GARBC if I engaged in a two-church union
evangelistic campaign with him or encouraged fraternization among our young people?”

The answer has always been about as follows: “That depends entirely upon the man and his
church.
If the man is perfectly content in the old Convention and has no notion of withdrawing;
if he realizes there is something, even quite a bit, wrong with the Convention but believes it is
not enough to worry about; if he holds that he can stay in with his membership statistics adding
up in Convention totals while he judiciously ‘designates’ church funds to ‘good’ missionaries in
the Convention; if he holds that we were unwise in withdrawing from the Convention and is
critical of our present position; if he intends to maintain status quo, then we do not know how
you could logically have such church fellowship or cooperation with him, for cooperative efforts
would seek to build up and strengthen a Convention church and weaken your own. Your young
people would be inclined, in some cases, to go to their summer camps, where they would be
under influence and teaching that, in many Convention camps, is anything but true to the Word.
This would all militate against your own separated position.

“On the other hand, if this brother is thoroughly aware of the Convention situation, is heartsick
concerning it, and is slowly, carefully, and wisely releasing information concerning its apostasy
to his church;
if he is thus seeking to inform his membership with the express purpose that
someday, a few months or even a few years later, he and his church will intelligently and
forthrightly walk out of the Convention, and it is his full intention to do so, then by all means
there not only could be but should be fellowship and cooperation with that brother and his
church. A man like that and a church like that are the very ones the GARBC is out to help.
--------------

Now granted, some of the specifics are different here. Yet, there is no doubt that there is at least similarity between the example Ketcham provides and the actions of Dever and co. Dever regularly distinguishes and points out error within the SBC, and has taken decisive moves, especially within his local context, to separate from error. He regularly informs his congregation about problems within the convention (think Rick Warren, for example). I came across other information while there that led me to believe that loyalty to the SBC was not a necessary, non-negotiable part of the church's identity.

Where would this kind of man have been categorized in the early days of Fundamentalism? It seems that the possibility at least exists that men like Ketcham would have given due consideration to a man such as this- "This is the kind of man we want to help." This doesn't mean that we have to agree with his practice- but it does mean that it isn't honest to paint him with a broad SBC brush and not consider his specific actions and attitude in his context.

Ben said...

Greg,

That's a fascinating quote. It's interesting that Ketcham doesn't propose the scenario you describe with Dever, which is probably more a reflection of the substantially different historical contexts--the ABC of the past vs. the SBC of the present.

We cross-posted, so you may have missed my question to you above, though your editorial comments on Ketcham imply an answer.

Greg Linscott said...

Ben,

It's a difficult question for me to process. I am a separatist- and so would have some idealogical differences with Dever and Mohler on their position to remain "within." Yet, I look at some organizations such as the GARBC and wonder how many of the old-timers would tolerate some things in that association- yet there are men I love and respect who are taking principled stands in that context as well. How does that differ from what Dever and Mohler are attempting?

There is much to ponder and digest.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Greg,

I thought the Ketcham quote was interesting too, although I disagree with him based on principle. However, I think that there is no way to persuade anyone if you don't some time with them. If someone seems like he is moving the right direction, I believe we should be patient with him, something like we see in 1 Thess. 5, "Be patient with all men."

I'm going to take that as you think I might be right. I understand that some people (not you, Greg) think that separation is mean, angry, and legalistic, or terms like those. I wonder if someone could be doing right if he doesn't say anything about the separating issue. In other words, how does a person know that we think the Convention is wrong if we don't mention it?