Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Fundamentalist Indifferentism?

It's a curious thing, this fundamentalist impulse to attack labels and "-isms." Truth is, fundamentalists pick and choose. That's how you know what's important to them.

Gresham Machen, Dave Doran, and Kevin Bauder all agree*: In theological controversies, those who deny the historic faith aren't the final arbiters in the direction a fellowship or movement takes. Neither are those who stand ready to defend biblical truth at all costs. No, the people who decide the direction are the great bulk in the middle—men who claim to be biblicists but whose slinky spines bend whatever direction seems to keep peace. When they refuse to take a stand, those who deny the faith win since there is no collective will to expel error. Bradley Longfield's The Presbyterian Controversy documents this thesis well.

Machen, Doran, and Bauder call these men in the middle "indifferentists." I've believed for some time that fundamentalism is saturated with its own forms of indifferentism. Matt Olson's recent sermon at NBBC, discussed here and here, is just the latest example of it, no worse than many others that preceded it.

Olson's attitude is summed up in the statement, quoting a previous NBBC President, "We're no-point Calvinists. There's no point in talking about it. Don't be on either side—hyper about it or hyper against it."

To be fair, Olson attempted to clarify his words in the comments section of Bob Bixby's post, saying, among other things,
I do place great value on theology and discussing systems like Calvinism. It is part of education and growth in the life of any believer. By [sic] burden for students is when it becomes a point of pride and arrogance and when a system becomes the standard over the Word of God - and hero worship.
As much as I'm grateful for that clarification, I don't believe that he chose his words without purpose, just as I believe that spoke with purpose when he made the following comments:

I've found myself stymied in my attempts to find coherence in Olson's talk. In just 32 minutes, he struck two seemingly incompatible chords. First, he emphasized NBBC's ongoing identity as "an independent, fundamental, Baptist college and emphatically identified himself as a separatist Baptist.

Second, he outlined his opposition to adopting the Calvinist label and some imprecisely defined level of inquiry into Calvinist theology. His assertions include:
I am a little bit troubled when I get around people who are riding a system.

When you start to use labels, I think you can get yourself into trouble on a number of fronts. It becomes confusing. It becomes divisive.

[It is not healthy to the body of Christ] to be hyper-Calvinist to where you're always trying to figure out the mind of God. The secret things belong to the Lord.

There comes to a place where you just have to leave it with God.

You have to come to that place where you are in awe of God . . . not in awe of your own mind or your own ability to process those things.
I've never quite grasped why so many ministry leaders attack the Calvinist label when they would be horrified if their constituencies caught wind of some compromise on the systems and labels of fundamentalism, separatism, dispensationalism, pre-Tribulational Rapturism, cessationism, independent and Baptist. Why would men like Olson embrace some labels enthusiastically, even shaping their relationships and associations around them, and proceed to call other labels divisive?

Notice, Olson's not arguing that Calvinism is wrong. He's arguing that it's not that important and creates unnecessary divisions. But why is Calvinism more divisive than so man other "-isms"?

What's even more curious about this address is that Olson notes in a caution to aggressive anti-Calvinists that Hudson Taylor, Charles Spurgeon, William Carey, and John Paton all happily described themselves as Calvinists. Would Olson consider those men to have caused confusion or created division? Would he have been troubled to have been around them because they were riding a system? Does he really consider people who are trying to figure out the mind of God to be hyper-Calvinists? Who is suggesting that we should go beyond what Scripture affirms in order to construct a rationalistic, speculative theology? Are we not obligated to squeeze every ounce of biblical truth out the revelation we have? History is not on Olson's side, and he makes that case against himself.

I can't imagine that this sort of indifferentism is what Olson really means. But it is what he said, and the slice of the blogosphere that hears his clarifications won't include all the students who were conditioned to think in a certain way about certain dimensions of theology and the people who speak seriously about it.

It does seem that Olson used a certain style of rhetoric in an attempt to address another problem. He discussed in both his address and his comments on Bixby's blog that he was really trying to confront pride. I respect and appreciate that. I don't share his perspective that rhetoric is the right approach. Describing a theological position as "not worth talking about" is an ineffective way to address the destructive attitudes that my accompany it. That strategy may have worked in the past. It doesn't work now, and it undermines credibility among sincere, inquisitive theological minds.

The solution to proud Calvinists is not theological reductionism. A better solution would be to embrace authentic Calvinistic soteriology. Nothing could be more humbling than to grasp the depths of one's own depravity and hopelessness apart from God's sovereign work to create a new heart within us. Nothing impresses humility upon the human soul than grasping the reality that we respond to his effectual call in a way that we never would or could have apart from his unconditional election.

For that matter, why not recommend that students read C.J. Mahaney's Humility? If anyone can talk to young Calvinists about humility, he's the guy. Of course, he's not an independent-fundamental-Baptist-dispensational-cessationist. But does that make it too much to ask?


*One of my axioms for life and ministry is, when Machen, Doran and Bauder agree, I'd be an idiot to disagree.

36 comments:

Charles E. Whisnant said...

I am an independent-fundamental-Baptist-dispensational-cessationist and you can label me a Calvinist. And so! I usually don't say I drive a car, I usually say I drive a Dodge Van.

When Christian believers hear the clear teaching of the Word of God, generally the Holy Spirit gives them understanding the truth.

When teachers misrepresent terms, like Calvin and Luther and Spurgeon and Calvinism, etc. people learn to dislike the terms.

I have taught Calvinism for thirty years, and the people agree with the teaching. If I say are you a Calvinist, they say, no way. Funny, I teach what Calvin taught on salvation.

By the way, I only agree with Calvin in the matter of salvation.

Don't teach Calvin or Spurgeon, or even my friend MacArthur, teach the principles.

Greg Linscott said...

Ben,

Out of curiosity, would you consider John MacArthur's concern for eschatology presented at Shepherds last year to be in the same vein as what you (and Bob) are expressing?

Ben said...

Greg,

I'm not sure what you're asking. I don't think MacArthur is an indifferentist, and I don't think he was accusing non-Premillennialists of indifferentism. He wasn't saying some labels are essential and others should be repudiated. He was saying that non-Premillennials are wrong, and that's a completely different kind of argument from the one Olson made.

I'm just missing how his point parallels or contradicts anything Olson said. Sorry about that.

Greg Linscott said...

I guess it seems to me that there are areas within Christianity where indifferentism of one sort or another is tolerated. I have heard people say they are "pan" millennial- it will all "pan out" in the end. I have heard some say that any polity will work well as long as Spirit-filled men are involved, and no polity will work if they aren't. On we could go.

It seems to me that given the IFB climate, the language MO used is a means of attempting to get mired down in needless controversy. Based on MO's blogosphere clarification, I am further convinced that he is not indifferent as much as he was speaking in Fundamentalist vernacular, if you will.

Ben said...

Greg,

Well that's helpful, since my point is not about making MO a target (as if his comments were atypical), but about drawing attention to a selective and inconsistent indifferentism in the "fundamentalist vernacular." Folks just can't trumpet labels in one paragraph, repudiate them in the next, and expect to be taken, shall we say, "seriously." It's incoherent. It's not a fundamentalist vernacular worth saving.

Your first paragraph opens a longer conversation. I may come back to that later.

Don Johnson said...

Just one comment, Ben.

I'd recommend that you look up an article in the Detroit Journal by McCune - Doctrinal Non-Issues In Historic Fundamentalism. You can read it here:

http://www.dbts.edu/journals/1996_2/nonissue.pdf

The point Matt was trying to make is really the fundamentalist position, according to McCune. It is not that these doctrines are unimportant, but that fundamentalists generally have chosen not to make them matters of division.

To hear some neo-Calvinists talk, the gospel = Calvinism, and Calvinism is the sum and substance of conversation. It is this attitude that fundamentalists have attempted to avoid (not always successfully).

FWIW

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Charles E. Whisnant said...

>To hear some neo-Calvinists talk, the gospel = Calvinism, and Calvinism is the sum and substance of conversation. It is this attitude that fundamentalists have attempted to avoid (not always successfully). Don says.

Indifferentism: the belief that variations in doctrine and practice within a religion are unimportant

Many Fundamentalist say any variations of preaching and association from their position is wrong. And the best way to deal with variations of their position is to attack the labels.

I am glad that some are willing to address the issues and labels, rather than avoiding them.

MacArthur is not an indifferentist. He doesn't address labels in preaching but does address them in a forum which would be better address.


"Speaking in Fundamentalist vernacular," I like that term.

The vernacular of preachers while preaching verses their vocabulary in writing may seem to vary. While I will teach the Doctrines of Grace clearly while preaching, I will not deny the system of Calvinism in writing.

I totally agree with Ben: "Folks just can't trumpet labels in one paragraph, repudiate them in the next," And that is normal in many circles.

Is it a strawman idea to try to destroy the label without explaining your position clearly?

Greg Linscott said...

Re: vernacular- if you think about it, this is a device valued in more than this area. Preachers often reduce points to slogan-ish statements that may or may not be of value outside their presented context or assumed familiarity of the audience.

BTW- I am not defending the practice- just observing it happens.

Ben said...

Don,

I read that article not long after it came out and have referred to it from time to time since.

I assume that you're NOT arguing that because something was a non-issue in fundamentalism that it's forever settled that it should not be an issue. I also assume that you're NOT arguing that it's historical non-issue status doesn't make it something worth studying or talking about.

So if my assumptions are correct, then my only disagreement with your characterization of what MO said is that he actually didn't say what you say he said. You're interpreting what he actually said. In fact, when he clarified his comments on Bixby's post, that's not what he said he meant.

Ben said...

Greg,

I think that's true. I doubt that it's seldom, if ever, helpful.

One example that comes to mind is from the revivalist vernacular. "Accept Jesus into your heart" and "invite Jesus into your life" common ways to describe conversion. But it's foolish to assume that everyone knows what those slogans mean.

The fact is, those vernacular slogans communicate something false about conversion, no matter how unintentional that falsehood may be.

Aaron Blumer said...

If "indifferentism" refers to what we are willing to contend for (or against), don't we all have to be selectively indifferent?

I respect Oleson's desire to want MBBC to be accommodating to both avowed Calvinists, quiet Calvinists and even anti-Calvinists. His statements seem to me to be an attempt to say "ultimately all truth matters, but not all truth is worth is fighting your brother over."

Charles E. Whisnant said...

"ultimately all truth matters, but not all truth is worth is fighting your brother over." ?

When the matter of truth is salvation I would say its worth addressing clearly. I don't like the term "fighting" over. But willing to address the issues.

In the end the Holy Spirit must clear our minds so that we can understand the truth. We need to state clearly our position biblically and then allow the Holy Spirit to sink in the truth in to our minds.

terpstra4 said...

Ben
Basically you are asking why do Fundamentalists regard Calvinism as unimportant and why as cessasionism and pretribulational rapture reasons to separate from each other?
Those issues became distinctives during the years following separation with the modernists, while the Calvinists debate happened in Baptists circles many years before that.
I don't think our circles have ever really discussed this subject in recent history (GARBC has some), because the label Calvinism is so offensive to some.

Ben said...

Aaron,

I agree with Charles. Disagreement on some aspects of Calvinistic soteriology will impose few limitations on fellowship and cooperation. Disagreements on others will have profound implications. I can think of few levels of fellowship tighter than membership in a local church. My church takes membership pretty seriously, and we don't count how many prospective members affirm when we interview them. But if they can't affirm that regeneration "is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel," or that "such only are real believers as endure unto the end," then they can't join the church.

So I don't think contending for truth necessitates indifferentism. I can disagree with a brother vehemently on a particular issue, but that doesn't mean I have to fight him over that issue. No one would call Kevin Bauder and Michael Barrett indifferentists, but their strong disagreements on dispensationalism and ecclesiology don't preclude all forms of fellowship between them.

Another form of non-indifferentism would be a conviction that Scripture does not speak to an issue. If a person becomes convinced that Scripture does not intend to speak clearly to a particular doctrine—perhaps reprobation or the timing of the Rapture—then he's not an indifferentist because he doesn't contend for that doctrine.

I don't think either of these approaches are what MO is adopting.

Ben said...

Terpstra,

Sorry about the last name. I'm not sure which one you are. ;-)

I think that's a big part of the issue, which gets back to my reply to Don. Just because something is a doctrinal non-issue in historic fundamentalism (20th century) doesn't mean it SHOULD be a non-issue.

And of course, just because it was an issue then doesn't mean is still should be.

As an aside, I'm pretty sure I'm not wrong to say that pre-Trib Rapturism was not an issue in the early stages of the development of the movement. Though I'm sure that depends what the standard is.

Ben said...

A wise friend who is not in blog-commenting mode e-mailed me some comments this morning. I asked to post one of his paragraphs anonymously, and he offered for me to put his name on it. I'm going to leave it anonymous.

"As one who also doesn't use the label Calvinist to describe himself (most I will say is Calvinistic), I think you are not giving full credence to the point of debate. If a label does not fit well, why wear it? Folks on both sides of the aisle (Calvinist and non-Calvinist) would take exception to my using that label for myself because I don't believe all that they believe that label signifies. What's the point of a label that doesn't communicate clearly?"

This was my reply:

"On your second point, your argument is more coherent and lucid than the argument offered by the person you’re defending. If that’s the point he was making, I wouldn’t disagree. But that’s not what I’m hearing him say. He attacked the category of labels right after he claimed several of them for himself."

Greg Linscott said...

| I don't think either of these approaches are what MO is adopting.

Ben,

If this is indeed true, then 1. it certainly isn't new to NBBC, and 2. What then do you do with Doran and Bauder ministering there on campus? Are they, too, now indifferent?

Charles E. Whisnant said...

Ben
"He attacked the category of labels right after he claimed several of them for himself."

Herein is the real issue. So many will do this, they will put on the front they don't believe but at the same time use it.

An example, one preacher, just vented his displeasure for MacArthur, while at the same time was using his outline. I was there when he did this.

Clearly if the scripture is ambiguous we should be ambiguous and not push the point, and that is not indifferentism.

When you disgree with a brother over a doctrine, fighting over it is not the point, but at the same time you don't attack the brother, you address the doctrine.

Indifferenatism would say, "its not that important to address." And would not address that issue with your brother. I can't do that.

Too often I will address the doctrine scriptural with out the label and they will agree, if I mention the label attached to it, they will disagree, with what they had just agree with. That is typical.

In most preachers mind the term calvinism is clear. When you say separated fundamentalist, it is clear what they are saying.

When clearly taught, clearly understood, terms and labels can be helpful.

I taught tonight the plurality of elders without saying the terms, and they agreed, next I will apply the term to the teaching. I want mock the term Elders just becasue I am an Indepentant Baptist.

Frank Sansone said...

Ben,

It seems you argue against yourself by submitting the comments from your church.

"But if they can't affirm that regeneration "is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel," or that "such only are real believers as endure unto the end," then they can't join the church."

Most Fundamentalists and a whole lot of non-Calvinists would affirm both of those things as they are written. Why stick a label on them and use it to divide? What good does that do? How does it edify the body of Christ? If even CHBC with its outspokenly Calvinist Pastor does not require its members to claim to be Calvinists, why should a purposely broader institution such as NBBC be required to take an instutional position on the issues.


Charlie,

I agree that "when the matter of truth is salvation I would say its worth addressing clearly", however, much of the debate regarding Calvinism is not really a debate over the matter of salvation, but over matters relating to salvation - which are different in their nature.

Whatever your position on the atonement, a person can understand salvation apart from agreeing with your position on the atonement. In fact, in witnessing, the difference often involves only slightly different phrases. (E.g. "Christ died for you." vs. "Christ died for sinners. You are a sinner." )

In Christ,

Frank

Charles E. Whisnant said...

Frank

Agreed. The church I pastor the pastor taught the people the opposite of what I really believe in the matter of salvation. As well as another half doctrinal issues. They know the terms to be negative. Therefore I don't use the term while preaching. But at the same time I don't say any negative comments about the terms either.

If terms are going to be divisive, be careful how you use them. Agreed, and that I don't believe would be indifferentism.

Talking with your people who don't understand, is different than talking with preachers who should understanding.

In a Seminary setting, you should address terms, and labels. Students should have an understanding of all the doctrine from all points of view.

Ben said...

Greg,

My theology doesn't insist that someone becomes an indifferentist because he has some level of cooperation with someone else who displays some level of indifferentism on some point of doctrine.

Ben said...

Frank,

I'm sorry if I'm not following. How is the New Hampshire Baptist Confession imposing a label?

And how does anything I've said suggest that NBBC should be required to take a specific position or adopt a label? Whether or not that would be a good thing is a different conversation. I'm just trying to figure out what I've said that's led you to that conclusion.

Greg Linscott said...

Ben,

Don't tell me you reject second-degree indifferentism... Someone might just have to be indifferent about you... :-)

Ben said...

Wait, I thought I was second-degree! It's the third degree that I don't see in the text.

Now I'm confused.

Don Johnson said...

Hi Ben, didn't mean to post and run... been traveling today, but now home in time to travel some more tomorrow.

Just to clarify what I would say: No, I don't think one should never discuss Calvinism or any other system. But there is a difference between Calvinism and "evangelism" (or perhaps better, "proselytizing"). In our church we have had people who were definitely Calvinists and others definitely not. We have a lot of people who probably don't know enough about it to be described as one way or the other. We have not made an issue of it, though I tend to preach "not-Calvinist". When I do so, I am doing it to preach the Scripture as I think it rightly reads, but I hope I am careful not to trample over the Calvinist brethren who might be in our midst.

Essentially, I guess I see this as a Romans 14 issue. One's position on Calvinism isn't essential to one's position in Christ, so it is not something that should be a matter of division.

But with respect to the ongoing stance of Fundamentalism at large, Yes, I do think that Fundamentalists should not make this an issue of broader fellowship (though it might define local fellowship). Same goes for the other doctrines in McCune's list. They are matters about which we should be indifferent.

Again, as to what Matt was saying, I took both his original comment and his later clarification to be saying the same thing as I said above. Maybe I am missing it, but I don't see the inconsistency.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Dave Vawter said...

Is it a strawman idea to try to destroy the label without explaining your position clearly?

Yes, thats why its best to avoid them. When you name something with a controversial label, you are now arguing not against the doctrines found in that school of thought, but against the perceptions of your audience as to the validity of the label, whether they even know what the word signifies or not.

I really do tire of all the labeling and people wanting to use the fundamentalist vernacular to ensure that everyone understands that they are in the right camp.

Separation on non-fundamentals is killing the movement, it is killing individual churches, and it is providing a place for ignorance and pride to grow behind labels without any biblical basis for such positions. There are issues and labels that might have been significant when the movement began that no longer bear any significance in our culture or our churches, and there are some that have not been dealt with that should be. Anything that does not grow and change will become irrelevant, but I think in some cases, Ben is right, its more than that, its a result of indifferentism. Anytime you start your argument with "you shouldn't care about [fill in the blank]" you have lost the argument. I know men like Doran understand this, I have heard him say it. Those who understand the terms and the history have to engage the new ideas, the younger people who weren't there to see the relevance of some of the issues, and who may not see why the ideas they are encountering in the theological world today should be passed off as unimportant at least for enlightened discussion.

Don Johnson said...

Those who understand the terms and the history have to engage the new ideas, the younger people who weren't there to see the relevance of some of the issues, and who may not see why the ideas they are encountering in the theological world today should be passed off as unimportant at least for enlightened discussion.

I agree with this, but let me counter that the younger people need to have the humility to realize that those who went through the battles did so for a reason. They need to make an effort to understand what went before also. It isn't a one-way street.

The argument here is whether it is right or wrong to make an issue like Calvinism a defining point for cooperation. The fundamentalist has typically argued No to that question. That's the right answer.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Aaron Blumer said...

"No one would call Kevin Bauder and Michael Barrett indifferentists, but their strong disagreements on dispensationalism and ecclesiology don't preclude all forms of fellowship between them."
Agreed.
Maybe Oleson's point was that his own efforts to resolve Calv. vs. Armin. has repeatedly ended in frustration on several points and, therefore, he'd prefer to consign the whole squabble to the Divine Mystery Zone and leave it there. I would have to say I heartily sympathize.
If you see a question as unanswerable, isn't it a kind of "indiferentism" to stand by while others claim the answer is clear and simple?
To say it another way, which is more indifferent:
a. "I don't think these questions matter so I'll just dodge the whole business" or

b. "I don't think these questions are answerable with anything like finality so I'll assert that we ought to leave them alone."

I know some will say "How can questions of salvation be unanswerable?" But we're really talking about 1 or 2 of the famous "five points" that are (usually) disputed... and these have to do with how to reconcile what seem to be paradoxical passages of Scripture.
I think I have to respect a guy who says "I've worked on this long and hard and I just can't see how it can be settled... ergo, let's just get along." That's not indifferentism, really.

Joel Tetreau said...

So Ben,

Would you consider our friends in Dunbar to still be guilty of "indifferentism" had Matt said, "Guys..Some of our guys believe X, others believe Y and still a few others believe Z concerning TULIP. Study, come to your best conclusions, but then please respect the fact that here at NBBC we don't teach that one specific view of TULIP is the "best." It is possible for good men to believe a variety of things about TULIP...."

Ben, I know Matt didn't say that in the recording in question, but if he would have said that, would you still be accusing him (them) of indifferentism?

If you are, are you suggesting that in all areas institutions should pick a view, defend the view and be willing to die for said view?

Great thread by the way!

Straight Ahead!

jt

Ben said...

Don wrote:
"The argument here is whether it is right or wrong to make an issue like Calvinism a defining point for cooperation."

Don, that is most certainly NOT the argument here. I'm going to oversimplify the argument to make the distinction as clear as I can, but here goes. The argument is that it is NEVER a good idea to say that any point of theology is not worth talking about. There's more to it than that, but I'm trying to be clear about how wrong I think your assessment it.

Ben said...

Aaron,

I feel like there are too many times in this conversation when we are discussing what we think MO said even though we're not totally sure. That makes it pretty difficult to have a meaningful conversation. And that's part of my point.

Ben said...

Joel,

Had he said that, this post would not exist. Or it might have focused on some of the good things in the talk.

One minor caveat: When you write, "please respect the fact that here at NBBC we don't teach that one specific view of TULIP is the best," I assume you mean that different professors are permitted to advocate for what they believe (within orthodox boundaries), but there is no institutional position. If you mean professors can only present what others have believed without, not articulate their personal convictions, then that's another conversation.

Don Johnson said...

Hi Ben, regarding your comment:

The argument is that it is NEVER a good idea to say that any point of theology is not worth talking about.

Well, it appears that we are at an impasse (as usual). Nevertheless, a bit more...

Matt was quoting Dr. O. As most of us know, Dr. O often delivers one-liners to make his point. Do you think, truly, that either of them really believes we should never talk about Calvinism? Do you think that is really the point they are trying to make?

The point of that quip is that those discussions that only produce fruitless wrangling and are about proving points are really unbecoming of Christians. I would be shocked if either Matt or Dr. O would insist that it is never appropriate to discuss Calvinism.

Now, you say that your summary is an over-simplification. Fair enough. My points in this comment only address your oversimplification. Perhaps you will dismiss them as inadequate in consequence.

Ultimately, though, in re-reading your original post, it seems more that you are taking umbrage at a supposed slight against Calvinism rather than really appreciating and understanding what Matt was addressing.

Finally, my comment about the argument being about "whether it is right or wrong to make an issue like Calvinism a defining point for cooperation" has more to do with the ongoing conversation in the thread than with your original post. ... just to clarify, hopefully!

Don't know if there is anything more to say, but you can always count on me to say something!

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Charles E. Whisnant said...

I feel like an outsider in a inside discussion. Nevertheless, it seems most seminaries have the same discussions in their theological department.

Seminary should be a place for open discussion on all points of theology. That is how we learn.

Too I think we need to have a class on how to address issues rather than how to put people down for their belief.

You should learn how to encounter the different view. I was so shocked to learn there were other views than my own in theology, chuch government,and translations.

These blogs are often a good time to encounter different points of view, but little space to address them with any substances, other than one liners.

Herein is why I like to visit the websites of those who post here.

Personally,thanks for the comments. And the effort you fellows put into your bloggers.

Charles E. Whisnant said...

I feel like an outsider in a inside discussion. Nevertheless, it seems most seminaries have the same discussions in their theological department.

Seminary should be a place for open discussion on all points of theology. That is how we learn.

Too I think we need to have a class on how to address issues rather than how to put people down for their belief.

You should learn how to encounter the different view. I was so shocked to learn there were other views than my own in theology, chuch government,and translations.

These blogs are often a good time to encounter different points of view, but little space to address them with any substances, other than one liners.

Herein is why I like to visit the websites of those who post here.

Personally,thanks for the comments. And the effort you fellows put into your bloggers.

Jay C said...

Wow, what consternation arises out of such a short speech!

FWIW, As someone who is both a BJU and NBBC grad, I think that Joel said earlier is closest to what Matt Olsen said. Considering that he opened his [now-infamous] comment by asking how many points you have to be to be a Calvinist, I took it to be exactly that - it's a non-issue because the school itself does not take a formal position on the issue.

Considering the amount of heated discussions that I've witnessed over the TULIP and related matters on just SI, I totally get where he's coming from and am slightly amazed that so many did not.