Tuesday, February 17, 2009

More Indifference?

Here's a question—a sincere question. What happens when you give false doctrine* a platform? Do you leverage the stronger relationship to draw the person that advocates the false doctrine towards a more biblical position, or do you legitimize and perpetuate the false doctrine?

But of course, that's not the only question. Don't we also have to ask whether people who advocate false doctrine are worthy of being held up as Christian leaders? Isn't that what so many of us have grown up being taught? Didn't the historic neo-evangelicals think that they could move teachers of false doctrine towards orthodoxy by engaging them relationally and partnering with them strategically?

Surely we haven't reached the point where it's ok to say Scripture says things it doesn't say, just because folks aren't obnoxious or don't make a huge deal out of it. Have we?

*This old post develops my point about false doctrine a bit more, but here's the gist: I believe that claiming the Bible is the sole authority of your faith and practice while including in your statement of faith that you refuse to "accept" any translations other than the KJV is nothing less than false doctrine.

47 comments:

Charles E. Whisnant said...

Did you receive the paper from FBC Hammond for Feb 2009. Oh boy!

They listed the churches and colleges that hold to the KJV onlyism.

I totally agree with your view. And I went to Hyles- Anderson for a year.

To me its false doctrine to say that the KJV is divine inspiration.

Greg Linscott said...

I dunno. The statement seems carefully worded enough where other positions are not condemned outright- only that the TR and Masoretic are what they themselves accept and use. I am not defending their position here, but it does not necessarily mean they conclude that other versions or texts are not legitimate- only that they are comfortable enough to say that (at least) one source text is reliable.

And if you pick out Sexton, you have to pick out Paisley, too. It also seems that if they were "only" KJ, they wouldn't share the platform with guys like JH3.

Ben said...

Greg,

1. How can they claim Scripture as the sole authority for faith and practice and hold these views--regardless of what they mean--in their statement of faith? That in itself is a horrific misuse of Scripture.

2. What do you think "accept" means? It can't mean "use" because they say that in addition to "accept." What is a valid, biblically defensible meaning of "accept." In other words, what they don't accept, they by implication reject. What are they rejecting in the non-KJV? Inspiration? Authority? At the very least, this "statement of faith" leaves a hole big enough an economic stimulus package sized pile of false doctrine.

Greg, I just can't believe that you really want to line up on the KJVO side here.

Greg Linscott said...

FWIW, I would have leaned a similar way until fairly recently. All I am saying is they could have worded it stronger than they did, and that their behavior would seem to indicate that those who accept other versions or texts are not false brethren.

Michael C. said...

I'm curious how this works. If Preacher X says he believes something for biblical reasons, and I disagree that the Bible teaches what he believes, then we should not cooperate because he promotes false doctrine?

For me, teaching paedobaptism as a biblical doctrine would clearly fall into this category. Does that mean I could never invite a presbyterian to speak in my church? No T4G?

I don't think so. Fellowship doesn't necessarily imply doctrinal indifference. Originally fundamentalism was a movement that unified over the gospel even where there wasn't homogeneity of doctrine across the board. That kind of fellowship raises hairy questions sometimes, but I think it is generally a good thing.

I'm not 100% sure where KJVO falls on the scale of error, but I think that is the point to discuss here. How Sexton prioritizes and handles the issue would certainly be a consideration.

For me, I tend not to get worked up about paedobaptism or limited atonement, although I think they are both pretty shaky exegetically. On the other hand, I am much more easily exercised at a hint of arminianism or KJV-only teaching. It's hard to put aside personal experience in thinking about these matters.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Ben,

Just to give you a little flavor of what you're dealing with. You wrote this post, and then 'voila,' Charles says you're talking about the divine inspiration of the KJV. That's what he thought you meant. I'm not Sexton apologist, but that's not what Sexton has in his doctrinal statement. But you didn't correct the association of that position with Sexton.

Second, you talk about a KJVO being false doctrine. I would debate you any time of the week and show that your position is the new and heterodox view. Yours is the revision of the WC and LBC by Warfield in the late 1800s. Don't even depend on me for that information. Depend on Richard Muller in his Reformed Post-Reformation Dogmatics, four volume set. I just saw it for sale at Monergism. Read volume two. He is a genius like, historian, par excellence. His treatment of the Trinity in volume four is one of the best available. He obviously reads German and Latin. He gives the history of the doctrine of Scripture. He is a professor at Calvin Seminary, in some church history seat there.

I'm not attempting to make you angry. It's just the truth. You are welcome to show that what I'm saying is wrong. Here's what I expect from guys: "It's too stupid too debate." Or like what you said to Greg, "I just can't believe that you really want to line up on the KJVO side here." Hmmmm.

Charles E. Whisnant said...

Here is what Jack Shapp said in his paper from FBC about the KJV February 2009

"No one single, modern-day translastor (those who translate the Bible into modern languages for missionaries) believe he is writing his transltion by inspiration. They believe they are working hard to provide a faithful and accurate copy of the Word of God in that new languague . God is not inspiring these translations: God is preserving His Word through the hard work and dilgent study of the transalator. That's exactly what happen in 1604-1611 with our King James Version."

The terms is "preserving," verses
inspiration.

I have preached from the KJV all my 45 years of teaching, and believe I have taught the Word of God. Herein I have no doubt about that.

What I don't believe is this: The KJV is the only Word of God. I don't believe every word of the KJV is without error. That is, there could have been a better word made in the translation. And secondly, the "thee" and "thy" was not meant in the term preserved.

The term "inspiration" was only applied to the words that God gave the writers of the Bible, and they were not given to the translater, therefore error of words could have and was made in the translation.

What God has perserved is the message of Christ, Himself,the means of salvation and righteousness and that I am very confident that its without error, found in the KJV, NKJV, NASV, ESV and some others.

To say that only the KJV is perserved with the truth would not be true.

Ben said...

Michael,

Thanks for that question. Let me clarify. I'm using the term "false doctrine in a 1 Tim 1:3; 6:3 sense. I think those are the only two occurrences of the term in Scripture. You seem to be using the term in a broader sense. So in your sense I'd agree that paedobaptism is a false doctrine (i.e. not true). But in the more technical biblical sense I wouldn't consider it false doctrine because it doesn't meet the contextual qualifications there, at least IMO.

Ben said...

Kent,

I don't know if Sexton is talking about inspiration or not. The "statement of faith" is at best the product of phenomenal incompetence. Well, I suppose it could be brilliant ambiguity designed to achieve certain ends.

I'm going to resist the urges to have a KJVO debate. I'm glad to say it's been a long time. I'm assuming you've read the translators' preface to the 1611 KJV, so I'm assuming their arguments against KJVOism will not be persuasive. I'm assuming you've also heard the point that the KJVO position for the English language would have been utterly impossible in 1610, and you've been unpersuaded by that.

Given that context, I can't imagine I would accomplish anything through further discussion. I'm sure you realize I would share the convictions of all English speaking people prior to 1610—that your position is the novel one.

Ryan Martin said...

Ben, while I sympathize with your point, it seems as if you are saying all heterodoxical teaching has (and, by implication, all doctrines have) equal weight. "Indifference" (at least as I am familiar with the term) is when someone who holds to the gospel treats someone who explicitly denies the gospel as if he is a true Christian.

I want to be clear here. I am not addressing whether or not the institution you reference should invite the speaker you reference. Nor am I saying that this particular error is minor. I do not believe, however, that ones espousal of the KJV as the only English translation is a capital error to the same extent as giving platform to those who do not believe Jesus is God or that the Bible is inerrant. It may be a serious error, and one that would warrant the approach you recommend (I actually agree with you on that point) but it is not blatant apostasy.

Ryan Martin said...

By the way, for more on this, you can see my post on indifferentism.

Ben said...

Ryan,

I meant for my response to Michael to address that concern. It's possible you started commenting before I posted, or maybe I just wasn't clear enough. As I explained in that reply, I'm not suggesting that all doctrines have equal weight. I am suggesting that we're observing indifference to false teaching.

But to make another point, I do think there has to be some heinous category for teaching that purports to have biblical authority, but is just completely foreign to Scripture, such as Sexton's affirmations about families of original manuscripts and English translations. If my church inserted an article in our statement of faith that only red-heads are qualified for the office of pastor, that error might be far LESS weighty than Sexton's, but it's so ridiculous and biblically indefensible that it calls for a high level of repudiation and disassociation.

seeingclearly said...

And here I thought this whole post was about the guy who allows his people their choice concerning mode of baptism...

Larry said...

Ben,

Let me first offer a disclaimer: I think BJU should not invite Clarence Sexton to anything. I would not do it. I think it gives a platform to the wrong kind of theology and approach to ministry, and not just about the Bible.

Now to my question/point: Is Clarence Sexton willing to leave the matter of Bible versions up to conscience? In other words, is "accept" a statement that "This is what we do, if you do something else that is fine"? If that is his view, then I have no issue with it really (though again I think he is wrong).

Furthermore, is this a main point of his ministry? IOW, is this something he is almost universally known for and constantly returns to such as David Cloud, DA Waite, Peter Ruckman (who I know don't all believe the same thing)? How close is this to the center of his ministry? The closer it is to the center, the more problemmatic it is, IMO.

I don't know where Sexton comes down on this. I think his position is wrong, as he states it. But is this the same as the Graham controversy of 50 years ago? I am not sure that it is.

I think KJVO is a false doctrine and an attack on God's word. I don't think saying that the TR is best, or that the KJV is the best translation is the same thing (though I think it is demonstrably wrong).

So perhaps there are some nuances here that make this deserving of more thought.

Greg Linscott said...

Second to Ryan and Larry. :-)

Ben said...

Larry, I think I agree that it's not equivalent to Graham. But I don't think the problem is eliminated even if we adopt the most charitable reading of "accept and use," as you have. He's still claiming that Scripture teaches this position when he calls this a statement of faith and says (in the same paragraph) that the Bible is his sole authority for faith and practice.

If I follow the arguments from Larry, Ryan, and Greg, I think this is what you're arguing: "This statement of faith is profoundly flawed and reveals a high level of theological incompetence. But this level of fellowship isn't indifference because this isn't a gospel issue."

Fair enough?

If so, would it be fair to say, at the very least, that giving Sexton a platform betrays indifference to theological incompetence, though not false teaching on the gospel?

Incidentally, I've never argued that it's false teaching on the gospel, but that it does meet the biblical standard for "false teaching" based on the 1 Tim passages I cited above.

Larry said...

...But this level of fellowship isn't indifference because this isn't a gospel issue."

That's not what I am saying. Whether or not it is "indifference" by the usual definition, probably not. But I don't think "indifference" is the only important thing (and I don't imagine Ryan or Greg would either).

If so, would it be fair to say, at the very least, that giving Sexton a platform betrays indifference to theological incompetence, though not false teaching on the gospel?

Absolutely. That's why I say BJU should not be giving him a platform because of his theology and approach to ministry.

However, I don't know enough about his position to make dogmatic statements about it. Perhaps I am just out of the loop here.

I would again say this: If Sexton is saying that the TR/KJV is his personal conviction but he is allowing others to differ without condemnation, that is one thing. If he is saying that other people must hold his conviction because it is the only biblical conviction allowed, that is different.

Look at it this way: How many people who use and prefer texts based on the critical text have attacked the NIV because they believe it compromises verbal plenary inspiration? How is that different than someone saying, "I think the TR (or UBS) is the best text and the KJV (or NASB) is the best translation. If you use the NKJV (or NIV) you are compromising biblical doctrine of inspiration."

I know people who would say (or at least come very close to saying) everything in parenthesis. But we go after those who say the stuff not in parenthesis but sometimes let people off who say what is in parenthesis.

And that may be a very convuluted way of putting it, but I am not feeling like wordsmithing this morning, so I will let it stand as written and hope it makes some sense.

In the end, I still maintain that BJU should not have invited him. I think it gives a platform to a bad theology and bad philosophy of ministry.

Ben said...

Larry,

I should've clarified that you don't take this as indifference in the gospel sense of indifference. And I was not suggesting that you think this level of cooperation is appropriate—merely that it's not inappropriate on the grounds of gospel indifference. I agree you on all those points.

And concerning your NIV analogy, there would be no criticism of Sexton on a "false teaching" level if his argument was that the TR is the best text and the KJV is the best translation, and those are the only texts we use. I might not even call it false teaching if he said they're the only text and translation ANYONE should use. But when you claim biblical authority for that position, I think it's false teaching in the 1 Timothy sense.

Kent Brandenburg said...

One of Phil Johnson's criticisms of fundamentalism with which I agree is no due process. It is a sinister brand of separation. Poo-pooing a juxtaposition of English inspiration and original language preservation has no due process written all over it. Paisley, by the way, is as KJVO as Sexton, maybe more so.

Maybe you know or maybe you don't, because I don't know that I've read a blog or a book by the CT side that points out that they are dealing only with a translation, not the actual text of scripture. I believe their omission of that important point is at best the product of phenomenal incompetence or I suppose it could be brilliant ambiguity designed to achieve certain ends. It at least renders that whole line of argumentation a moot, except for Ruckman and Riplinger, and conveniently ignores the historic position on preservation (history does precede fundamentalism).

You are wrong that you possess the belief on this doctrine taken by believers (English or otherwise) previous to 1610. Read Owen's biblical theology, translated in 1994 from the Latin into the English. Aland in The Text of the New Testament wrote: "[W]e remember that in this period [the textus receptus] was regarded as preserving even to the last detail the inspired and infallible word of God himself."

Read Muller and Owen among many others, but they are easily accessible. They write in English.

Kent McCune said...

Ben --- Why do you think Sexton is claiming Biblical authority for his position on TR/KJV? After perusing these comments it seems like that is the crux of your beef.

Based on what I would hope would be a neutral/charitable reading of their doctrinal statement, I just don't perceive the same link between "the Bible is our only rule of faith and practice" and their statements about accepting the TR/KJV as you seem to see. I took that phrase to mean simply that the Bible is their only rule and is not added to with the traditions of man. Seems like a stretch to assign to that phrase an espousal of Biblical authority for their "acceptance" of TR/KJV.

Bob Hayton said...

I think the point of Ben's post is that for the BJU style fundamentalism, they are inconsistent with separation. If they had John Piper or Mark Dever go to their conference, it would be indifferentism. If they have Sexton, it's no big deal. If Ron Hamilton went to the Desiring God Conference or Together for the Gospel, he'd be giving a platform to false doctrine/practice. If he instead goes to the Hyles-Anderson Pastor's School, everything is fine.

Sexton advertises his college (Crown College) in the Sword of the Lord which is firmly KJV Only. He runs in KJV Only circles mostly.

Obviously, BJU having Sexton in does not make them KJV Onlies. He'll not speak on that subject. They will be helping and encouraging him, and partaking of blessing from his ministry. And the same would happen if John Piper came there too. But the movement and the party line prevents them from taking that step. Hamilton going to Pastor's School is fine because he's just helping them, sharing his music philosophy, and etc. 'Course the same would be okay if he went to Shepherd's Conference or T4G.

There are probably other illustrations of this slant toward one kind of false doctrine/practice against another kind. It's not only the KJV issue.

Reforming Baptist said...

Ben,
Your up in arms about BJU inviting Sexton to speak over the issue of KJVO "false doctrine" is not fair. How up in arms were you when Mark Driscoll the "cussing preacher" spoke for John Piper?

Sexton's doc statement isn't teaching anything false. He chooses to use and accept the KJV and the TR,et. al as his thing and he isn't separating from others who don't. Fine. What's the difference with that and MacArthur's association with CJ Mehaney whose whole ministry is to produce Calvinist rock n' roll?

IMHO, your outrage is inconsistent...at least with what I get outraged about when I look at both sides fairly.

Clarence Sexton is a good man who has built his ministry on the wacky side of fundyism. Was that a mistake? Sure...but it is what it is already and if he were to totally separate from the SOTL crowd as one of us pions have, it would cost him his entire ministry. That would not be in his best interest or the best interets of the kingdom of God.

However, what can he do at this point? I think he's steering people in the right direction and letting them arrive where they should be on their own. I know alot of Crown grads who followed Spurgeon and the historic Baptists that Sexton recommends and they are turning into Calvinists.

I'm cool with that, I wouldn't send my students to Crown, but if I had to recommend a college on the whacky side of fundyism, that would be the only one I could recommend and pray that the student follows the Spurgeon trail right out of the camp which he is in.

Charles E. Whisnant said...

Having been in Crown Point, and the church where Mr. Sexton is, and currently the Crown Point took over the Norris College in Fort Worth, where Dr. Barber is, they are 1611 KJV (only) men, pure and simple. And I attended Dr. Barber's church in college back in 1966. Having attended Hyle Anderson and FBC in 1980's, I have been, and my son attended Pensacole College, hay, I know KJV men rather well.

Just get a copy of the Special Editon of The Voice a publicaiton of FBC of Hammond, and you will all Crown College doctrinal statements on this subject. Petty simple. They all have in general this statement.

"We believe that the Bible is preserved in the Masoretic Hebrew Text, the Greek Textus Receptus AND the King James Version English Bible."

They all say, that not one institution lists that the KJB is INSPIRED.

Read carefully what they say about inspiration and preservation. Interesting.

Ben said...

Kent,

I don't mean to exclude Paisley. I've just never looked at his statement of faith. This isn't a Calvinist thing.

Thanks for the point that history predates fundamentalism. We agree on that. It seems like so many of these kinds of arguments run to what the fundamentalists said in 1920, as if that were the beginning of truth. You're right to make that point.

But if you can find me a quote from Owen—in any language—in which he says that the KJV is the only translation that we should accept and use, I'd really love to see it.

Ben said...

Kent,

I don't see how you can claim that the Bible is your only rule of "faith" and then trot something out in your statement of "faith" that is completely foreign to, to say nothing of indefensible from, the Bible.

Ben said...

RB,

Among many reasons, I don't think John Piper has ever trumpeted a theology of separation that demands everyone to separate from everyone doesn't separate from someone who proclaims false doctrine.

I'm not going to respond to all of your post because it would lead me to make the same point I've made numerous times about claiming Scripture teaches something that it plainly doesn't teach.

I will say this: Sexton could keep using the KJV exclusively and change his statement of faith so it doesn't contain false doctrine. If he did that, you wouldn't hear a peep from me (even though I would still prefer not to see him held up as an example at BJU's Bible Conference).

Ben said...

Thanks for that background, Charles. Though I suspect that none of these "1611 KJVO" men actually use the 1611.

Ben said...

Bob,

Well said.

Though if you're suggesting that Ron Hamilton wouldn't catch flak for, say, leading the music at T4G or Shepherd's, I think I'd disagree. He would alienate a huge swath of his market, I suspect.

Bob Hayton said...

Ben,

My goof. Replace "would" with "should" before the line about Hamilton at T4G.

What you suggest will happen is exactly my point.

Thanks for the post.

Kent McCune said...

Well, I'm with Larry and Greg. I think you're making a mountain out of a mole hill. "Accept" and "use" seem bland enough to convey "to each his own, but this is what we're doing". And the fact that he would preach at BJU clearly demonstrates he isn't buying into the whole radical-divisive KJVO thing. Peace.

Bobby Mitchell said...

Ben,

You are right that they are inconsistent. My brother is a graduate of Crown. I have heard Sexton many times in person. I have met him and talked with him several times. I have been to his church and school several times. I have read his papers. I have several friends who are graduates. I pastored a family that has since moved to his church and school.

Temple/Crown are KJO for the English peoples. Period. That is what they are and what they teach. That is what all of their teachers teach. That is what all of their guest preachers believe and preach. That is what they are and have always been. I am happy for that, but I do not fellowship with them anymore because of the easy believism and some other things that I'll not get in to here.

My point is that for Greg, Roland, and others to think that because of the simplicity of the wording of their Statement of Faith they are not really KJO reveals that these men are not very familiar with Temple/Crown.

BJU's position and the position of the FBF makes them EXTREMELY inconsistent in having Sexton preach there.

BTW, the same goes for Paisley. Check out his book, MY PLEA FOR THE OLD SWORD. You will not find a stronger statement for the KJ ANYWHERE. He says it is inspired. See for yourself.

Bottom line of these type of conferences with such a "broad spectrum"-- P-O-L-I-T-I-C-S.

For those of you that believe that KJO for the English peoples is heresy, you should absolutely agree with Ben that this is inconsistent. If you don't agree then you are either just ignorant of the facts or you are little politicians yourself.

Bobby Mitchell said...

I meant Greg and Kent McCune, not Roland. Sorry.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Owen's Proposition for His Book, OF THE INTEGRITY AND PURITY OF THE HEBREW AND GREEK TEXT OF THE SCRIPTURE, reads:

"The sum of what I am pleading for, as to the particular head to be vindicated, is, That as the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament were immediately and entirely given out by God himself, his mind being in them represented unto us without the least interveniency of such mediums and ways as were capable of giving change or alteration to the least iota or syllable; so, by his good and merciful providential dispensation, in his love to his word and church, his whole word, as first given out by him, is preserved unto us entire in the original languages; where, shining in its own beauty and lustre (as also in all translations, so far as they faithfully represent the originals), it manifests and evidences unto the consciences of men, without other foreign help or assistance, its divine original and authority."

Owen came to this out of an actual bibliology, not evidentiary apologetics. He had theological presuppositions as a basis. We don't stand on evidentiary apologetics. The just shall live by faith. This statement rejects an eclectic text and critical text view. You are left with English and other language translations from the perfectly preserved text. Owen recognized the existence of textual variants and like other believers from that period, they still believed in a perfect original language text. They called the translations from that text the Word of God.

I understand that you might then argue for an NKJV, but that is a whole different subject as it relates to the crux of this issue, and that is the preservation of Scripture. The men of God of that generation believed in the inerrancy of the apographa.

Kent McCune said...

Bobby --- LOL. I guess I'm ignorant or a little politician! Is there a Door #3? :-)

Actually,I never said Crown wasn't KJVO. I merely disputed Ben's assertion that they were claiming biblical authority for their position. I also pointed out that they do not seem to be divisive about their position on the KJV -- i.e., they can fellowship with others of a different persuasion, which Sexton's appearance at BJU Bible Conf. seems to confirm.

As you know, there are various stripes of KJVO. I would change my tune if anyone could point out with facts that Crown believes the KJV English translation is divinely inspired. If not, then we're talking about manuscript and translation preferences which they hold to with conviction. Fine with me as long as they aren't divisive about it.

Ben said...

Wow, Kent B, THAT'S all you've got? Owen's not inconsistent with the eclectic text position at all. He says all of God's Word is preserved in the original languages. He makes nothing resembling an argument for which families or manuscripts represent the originals.

Every eclectic text advocate I've ever encountered would wholeheartedly affirm that all the original readings are preserved, but there's no one manuscript that has all the right ones. Not even a TR advocate could say there's one manuscript that gets everything right.

What you really need to grasp is that just because all of God's Word is preserved in the extant MSS doesn't mean that every person everywhere in every moment of history had access to every original reading. You certainly have no guarantee that Erasmus did.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Ben,

It's certainly not all I've got. I've put mounds of quotes on my site, Jackhammer, and then some in my online debate with Frank Turk, but you seem to have missed these two parts of the quote with an eclectic reading style:

"as the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament were immediately and entirely given out by God himself"

AND

"his whole word, as first given out by him"

How were they immediately and entirely given out? How were they first given out?

Ben,

Read the first three canons of the the Formula Consensus Helvetica (1675) (just translated into English in 1990), if you want to be able to interpret Owen's statement. You're not helped by reinterpreting what he believed.

You can read those canons here---
http://www.wscal.edu/clark/helveticformula.php

Here is a portion:

Therefore the Church justly ascribes to it his singular grace and goodness that she has, and will have to the end of the world (2 Pet 1:19), a "sure word of prophecy" and "Holy Scriptures" (2 Tim 3:15), from which though heaven and earth pass away, "the smallest letter or the least stroke of a pen will not disappear by any means" (Matt 5:18).

Canon II: But, in particular, The Hebrew original of the OT which we have received and to this day do retain as handed down by the Hebrew Church, "who had been given the oracles of God" (Rom 3:2), is, not only in its consonants, but in its vowels either the vowel points themselves, or at least the power of the points not only in its matter, but in its words, inspired by God.

Kent Brandenburg said...

One more thing. You say that nowhere did anyone get everything right. That's not what genuine Christians have historically believed. That is a new belief. The existence of textual variants does not prove that no one got everything right. Your assumption should be that someone did get everything right, because that fits biblical presuppositions.

Bobby said...

Kent McCune,

I simply meant ignorant of what Crown/Temple is. I didn't mean to imply that you are ignorant in the general sense of the word. I'm sure you are anything but that.

Have a great day.

Kent McCune said...

Bobby --- No worries. :-) Have a good one.

Joel Tetreau said...

So Kent,

You're telling us that the belief that one manuscript, or one translation, or one copy does not exist that perfectly replicates the originals to perfection, "is a new belief?" You're also telling us that the single view in authentic historic Christianity is that there was one "translation" or "copy" that as you say, "Got it all right."

Are you sure you want to stay with that answer?

Straight Ahead!

jt

Kent Brandenburg said...

OK Joel, first, thanks for your questions. Second, I hope your achilles is doing better. Tough injury. I saw a guy detach his, left a hollow spot right there where it once was. I had trouble with mine too until I started wearing arch supports, which took tremendous pressure off the achilles, so I wear them in all my shoes.

Third, your first question: "You're telling us that the belief that one manuscript, or one translation, or one copy does not exist that perfectly replicates the originals to perfection, "is a new belief?"

I've not been telling anyone what you put in that leading question. What I have been saying is that I have yet to hear from any Christian, pre-enlightenment (pre-18th century), who did not believe in the perfect preservation and availability of every Word that God inspired in the original manuscripts. Everyone says there are variants in the hand copies.

When you read the Bible, Joel, do you get the impression anywhere in there that Christians would be responsible for restoring a lost text, or does it read as though God would preserve every Word for Christian to live by? I'd be glad for you to show me anywhere in Scripture that teaches there is more than one set of Words or that there are actually two acceptable sets of Words, two Bibles.

Your second sentence is a statement that starts with, "You're also telling us..." And then you said something I didn't say. I said that the position of pre-enlightenment Christianity was a perfect Bible. They believe they had available every Word to use, based on scriptural presuppositions.

That is my final answer.

Ben was questioning the indifference of fundamentalism, because they don't separate from a particular bibliology. I think it is worth talking about what is historic bibliology. You and others want to make it a talk about the existence of textual variants in hand copies.

True Presbyterian said...

The truth is that the hypocrisy lies at BJU who spend their time undermining the KJV and Biblical authority. The reason their graduates are rabidly anti-KJV yet confused with the Sexton/Paisley issue is because they imbibe the theory and have worked out how it should end up in separation from people like Paisley. However, what they have not discerned yet is that BJU do not do principle but pragmatism. Sexton and Paisley have big following and BJU wants some of those dollars. They then intimadate the small guys at the local church level to fall into line and keep quiet.

Here is just a few quotes from Paisley's book which is available freely online:

http://www.ianpaisley.org/article.asp?ArtKey=plea11

Ian Paisley rightly observed,
Paul exhorted “the holding fast of sound words,” and in the doctrinal realm the Authorized Version is pre-eminent in doing just that. The Holy Word itself poses the question- If the foundations be destroyed what can the righteous do? - Psalm 11:33.The blunt answer is they cannot do at all, they are undone……..Let us get the matter right. The Bible is not the production of man but the product of God. It is the Word of God. It was not delivered unto the scholars - Greek, Hebrew or otherwise, but to the saints. “The faith which was once delivered to the saint” Jude 3. God has delivered His Book to the custody, not of the scholars, the universities, colleges or seats of learning, but only to His saints.
Can any ordinary saint who has no knowledge whatever of the original languages know what is a proper version of God’s Word or which is absolutely reliable? The answer is “yes” or else Jude verse 3 is error. Jude verse 3 is not error but divinely revealed truth. The attempt to bamboozle the ordinary saints of God with irrelevant controversy must be demonstrated. The ploy to take from the saints their divinely appointed role of custody of the Book and place it in the hands of scholars must be exposed for what it is, a device of the devil himself. Thank God for the simplicity which is in Christ which devastates the duplicity which is in Satan .

Dr Ian Paisley also rejects the Hortian claims,

"Their high claims rest upon the infidel textual theories of the leaders of religious apostasy in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Like produces like and one has only to glance at the unfolding of the unbelieving “Higher Textual Criticism” to be struck by the unbelief of the textual theorists, the textual editors and the textual transmitters. Overwhelmingly they are found in the camp of the enemy who rejects that God ever gave to the world an Infallible Bible.
No Bible believer should be deceived by the parading of great names in the field of Biblical “scholarship,” when these very men are but the parrots of the rationalists of another century. The case they present is not their own but a modem presentation of an ancient heresy. By lowering the Bible from the heaven of its divinity to depraved earth they declare it to be but an ordinary book of mere human production."

Dr Ian Paisley comes straight to the point, “There is no middle ground. We either have a reliable Bible in our mother tongue or we have not. What is the use of God verbally inspiring the Bible if He did not preserve it verbally for all generations?.”

I wonder will BJU Board Member, Mike Harding be preaching what he stated on Sharper Iron,"KJV Onlyism is the greatest embarrassment to historic Fundamentalism that I know."

Thought not...the same Harding who is against CCM but forces himself to attend Calvary Lansdale Conferences with the "worship team" and is for inter-racial dating but forgot to mention it until Dr Bob did on Larry King!

Dave Doran said...

"True Presbyterian"--if you are going to make accusations, then have the guts to identify yourself. If you don't have the integrity to do that, then step back from the keyboard.

You have lied about both Mike Harding and Calvary Baptist Church. You have slandered BJU by acting as if you know the motivations which drive the selection of their Bible Conference speakers. Since I've been one of those and happen to be the kind of speaker that irritates the pro-Paisley, pro-Sexton crowd, your argument is terribly shallow and reflects more your own values than anybody else's.

Ben, I don't think you should let this stand.

True Presbyterian said...

Dave Doran

I see I must have hit a nerve when a Seminary Professor is rashly accusing me of lying. Just to set your mind at rest and that of Ben I will substantiate my statements so you can withdraw your false accusation.

Here is what Mike Harding stated:

"We have had Tim Jordan in to speak for our men's retreat and evangelistic sportmen's banquet. Tim is a very interesting speaker and overall does a good job. Prior to this thread some former staffers of ours who are now pastoring called me as to their impression of the conference. They thought the opening of the conference with the Lord's supper was out of place for a conference. Normally that is the function of a church at one of their local church worship services, particularly in light of the fact that 1 Corinthians 5 describes the Lord's supper as an instrument for local church fellowship and discipline, neither of which would apply at a conference made up of hundreds of outside visitors. Secondly, Tim removed his long time music man and has started using a worship team in his place both in church and at the conference. Third, the music throughout the conference was on the contemporary side of the scale. Fourth, everyone was to dress business casual. I have attended this conference both as a speaker and as a participant. This was definitely a change and a calculated one. Tim is my friend; we play golf together; we are not separating from each other. However, the Leadership conference definitely sent a message to the participants that we need to modernize or update our worship approach. Personally, I am not comfortable with this emphasis."

http://www.sharperiron.org/showthread.php?t=4944&page=2&pp=7

Now, Bob Jones III stated in 1999 that the rabidly anti-KJV book that he commissioned "From the Mind of God to the Mind of Man" is the most important book for Fundamentalism. Now bearing in mind what Ian Paisley has written and what Clarence Sexton stands for on HIS OWN WEBSITE why in the world would BJU ask either of these two men to preach at their conference? The only logical conclusion is that BJU needs those IFB/Presbyterian dollars to fund the massive outgoings at BJU. Why if they believe that the Alexandrian Texts were the better ones and helped launch the NASV would they make the KJV their official Bible?

May be you could explain the consistency of this Mr Doran. I certianly cannot think of a reason. As Br Barandenburg said recently - BJU against accreditation:BJU-linked preachers against accreditation then BJU for accreditation:BJU-linked preachers for accreditation - POLITICS!

Any wonder such consistent inconsistency makes people cyncial about BJU and their axis of influence.

BTW, if BJU is so motivated by "pure Bible reasons" in selecting their conference speakers - can you explain why for the last 30 years they have overlooked asking their local Free Presbyterian Minister in Greenville, Dr Alan Cairns to speak at their Conferences? Any one can objectively recognize that he is a truly outstanding speaker and the most popular preacher on Sermonaudio.com since its inception....politics...wonderful thing!!

Dave Doran said...

I will reply once, but I do so with great contempt for the cloak you are hiding behind. My hunch is that you're not afraid to reveal yourself, but that you've discredited yourself enough to know that nobody listens to you when you identify yourself. Since writing "Ture Presbyterian" takes to long, how about I just call you Sam for short.

Sam, you have lied about Mike Harding in that you misrepresented in two ways: (1) he spoke out about the inter-racial issue well before the announcement on Larry King (and he has said so publicly); and (2) your lengthy quote does not say that he forces himself to attend in spite of the worship team at Lansdale--he writes about a conference he did not attend and later, in the same thread you cite, apologized for the inaccuracies of what he wrote. You have written falsely.

Sam, you also have misrepresented Calvary since they don't have a "worship team" as you claim. And you offered no proof of that.

Sam, you changed the subject regarding BJU. I did not say anything about their supposed inconsistency in having speakers in. I said you have judged their motives without proof or ability to do so (cf. 1 Cor 4:5).

It's guys like you that make me wish that Al Gore had never invented the internet. Instead of just sowing discord among the few friends you have, we all now have to put up with it. So, Sam, I have stepped up to defend my friends Mike, Tim, and Stephen and will now leave it to Ben's judgment as to whether he should allow you to do what you always seem to do.

Ben said...

Dave,

I'm not sure I've fully comprehended the point TP is making, and I'm not likely to spend much more time on it. I doubt many others will at this point. I suspect your credibility will outweigh TP's on the Harding/Calvary issues, in any case, and I appreciate your clarifications. Glad to know he spoke publicly against the dating ban. I don't ever remember a BJU grad doing that. Personally, I think the incoherent argumentation from these KJVO types exposes their theological/intellectual bankruptcy so much that letting the foolishness speak accomplishes more than censoring it.

On your other point, slander is saying something false. My understanding is that it's legally something said recklessly or while knowing its falsehood. What TP has suggested about BJU is an unsubstantiated, undocumented judgment of motives. Whether it's true or not, I don't know. Again, I don't expect his credibility to be convincing.

True Presbyterian said...

Dave "DMD" Doran

I appreciate the attempt to play the amateur detective and psychologist but you are wrong on both counts. I do not need lectures on anonymity from someone who operates under "DMD" pseudonym!! My name is irrelevant as this blog welcomes anonymous entries - you don't make the rules Ben does! Incidentally, for a professor at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary you have a pretty poor grasp of factual reasoning and logic. I would not like to follow your method of grading! A typical example of your inaccuracy was the claim that Al Gore invented the internet. I will let you google the answer to that one or you can ask one of your freshman students to help!

Let me turn to your substantive allegations:

(1) You have twisted the facts rather than withdraw your false accusation. Here is what Harding actually wrote:

“Tim removed his long time music man and has started using a worship team in his place both in church and at the conference. Third, the music throughout the conference was on the contemporary side of the scale. Fourth, everyone was to dress business casual. I have attended this conference both as a speaker and as a participant. This was definitely a change and a calculated one. Tim is my friend; we play golf together; we are not separating from each other.”

The point was not that Harding was later proven wrong about Lansdale having a worship team but that Harding THOUGHT his “friend” Tim did and was happy to keep having him as a speaker at his church in light of this. The fact that it later transpired that Harding was wrong does not excuse him of the hypocrisy.

(2) Harding joined the Board of BJU before they dropped the interracial ban. He states this on SI (http://www.sharperiron.org/showthread.php?t=7548&page=11&pp=7). Now, if you want to substantiate that he preached against the ban and refused to join the Board of BJ until they dropped the rule then I will withdraw the claim. I strongly suspect you cannot but I will let you take up the challenge. You also may want to explain why Detroit Baptist Seminary never spoke out ONCE in public against BJU’s behaviour!

(3) I note you have avoided addressing the hypocrisy of Harding when he states, “KJV Onlyism is the greatest embarrassment to historic Fundamentalism that I know.” Now BJU has invited a Sword of the Lord KJVO Speaker in Sexton and a Presbyterian KJVO in Paisley and Harding isn’t even embarrassed about that! Apparently Paisley and Sexton do not even represent historic Fundamentalism and yet they are invited to represent Fundamentalism in public at BJU and Harding as a Board member of BJU says nothing!! I would advise all passing my Greenville during Bible Conference to hold their noses as the stench of hypocrisy is rife!


Ben

I think you will find that on the question of credibility that my facts stack up unlike Dave Doran’s unsubstantiated slanders against me and his attempts to twist the facts. By his own words, he is biased because Harding is his pal and he is a speaker at BJU. Loyalty to friends is one thing but loyalty to the truth is surely the greater ideal.

As for your comment, “I think the incoherent argumentation from these KJVO types exposes their theological/intellectual bankruptcy so much that letting the foolishness speak accomplishes more than censoring it,” perhaps you should note the fate of Mike Harding when he made a similar comment and now has been made look rather foolish. I also suspect that Kent Brandenburg would Biblically, historically and logically make a fool out of you if you dared to repeat your claim over on his site. He takes on all comers from the KJVO position and all leave with their tail between their legs.