Monday, December 13, 2010

Are the "New Calvinists" the New "New Evangelicals"?

I'm not sure there's a consensus definition of the Neo-Evangelicals of the latter half of the 20th century. Clearly, they consciously rejected the separatism of the fundamentalists of the first half of the century, as well as its perceived cultural isolation. Clearly, they possessed a robust optimism in their capability to recover biblical fidelity in mainline denominations and gain a voice in culture.

But as I read more of their story, often in their own words, I'm struck most of all by their indefatigable pursuit of credibility—whether credibility in the academic sphere or in the public square. They believed that they needed better scholarship to win a hearing from apostate academics, and better cultural engagement to win a hearing from unbelieving society. I can't get past an irony I sense—that many of them understood themselves to be textbook Calvinists. I don't mean mischaracterize them, but their strategies seem to imply that unconditional election and irresistible grace needed a little turbo boost.

Today's Neo-Calvinists seem to be cut from much the same cloth. Granted, they don't have the same optimism for the mainline denominations. In large part, they're non-denominational—often detached from and pessimistic towards denominations, whether liberal or conservative. And they're not particularly interested in academic credibility.

What they do share in common with the old Neo-Evangelicals is a commitment to cultural engagement. They call it a missional mindset, or a missional life. To many, "missional" means not just a life committed to proclaiming the gospel, but meeting the needs of society in a way that demands a hearing for the gospel and enhances its credibility. Ultimately, this all cultivates a transformed or "redeemed" culture.

I'm sure I'm oversimplifying, and I'm not suggesting that acts of mercy are the pathway to gospel compromise. I'm simply arguing here that we should see a crucial point of continuity between two prominent movements in two different generations. Darryl Hart's concerns expressed in this essay aren't exactly identical to my point, but I think they're relevant:
I have said many times that the prefix “neo” is more important for understanding neo-Calvinism than the noun. But the more I read neo-Calvinists, I wonder if they actually read Calvin or simply make up what they contend to be the Reformed faith. [and later] Charles Finney and John Calvin have joined sides.

36 comments:

Ben said...

I've actually been thinking the same thing. I'm working on a paper on holistic ministry, and one of the recurring points that comes up with many who argue for cultural engagement as part of ministry is to tie it to the success of the gospel.

Henry's Uneasy Conscience repeatedly emphasizes that Christians have to be on the side of reform and address these issues or they will become irrelevant (apparently the worst thing that could happen...and somewhat similar to the argument of modernists for why they "updated" Christianity).

In Wright's Mission of God's People he claims that the reason the early church was so successful in their missionary work was that they really lived out transformed lives and cared for the needy, and as a result Christianity went from being a miniscule minority to dominating the world. He points out that research shows that the number one reason people don't become Christians is the hypocrisy of Christians, so what Christians need most in their witness is the combination of word and deed. (And I always thought the reason people didn't become Christians was their blindness and unbelief; their suppression of the truth and their unwillingness to glorify God).

I don't think a holistic approach to ministry has to base it on the need for influence/relevance or the success of the gospel, but it does seem that's where a lot of people ground it, whether neo-calvinist or not. It's just that the neo-calvinist should know better.

Ben Edwards

Ben said...

Among the things I wanted to include in the post but didn't is one that I probably should have: I'm aware of the passages that speak to the convicting power of our good works, such as Matthew 5:16 and 1 Peter 2:12. I'm concerned that dependence upon them is sub-Christian (and sub-Calvinist), as if the gospel were insufficient apart from them.

And on that point, I'm thinking most particularly of 1 Corinthians 1:18-25. Apart from the power of the gospel brought to bear effectually by the Spirit, the gospel will be nothing more than foolishness or a stumblingblock to anyone.

Ben said...

Ben,

Though I haven't read any of Wright, Henry's Uneasy Conscience is where I first caught a whiff of what I'm writing about here. Though much of what he wrote resonated with me, his professed Calvinism wedded to his thirst for credibility and relevance was puzzling.

brian said...

Credibility we don't need. Congruity we must have.

In other words, whether the world thinks I'm sane or stupid doesn't matter. What does matter is that my actions be in line with my beliefs, that my faith work itself out in love, and that my walk be worthy of my calling.

If it's not, then I would argue that it CAN be a stumbling block. Yes, people don't believe because they are blinded by the god of this world. People don't believe ultimately because the Spirit does not awaken their heart with the eyes of faith. But people also don't believe because they don't hear. And I think it's legitimate to say people don't believe because of what they see (or don't see) in us.

Insofar as the neo-whatevers want credibility, they will be doomed to serve two masters. But if it's congruity they are calling us to, I will heartily agree.

I don't think dependence on good works is necessarily (though it might be) saying the gospel is insufficient. But I think to divorce one from the other is to say the gospel is impotent.

Lastly, if we take the Calvinist (biblical) logic that word and Spirit are sufficient for salvation too far, isn't the logical conclusion to do "gospel bombings" and just saturate the world with tracts and copies of the word and pray for the Spirit to do the rest? What role is there for a living, breathing, and loving personal and coorporate witness to the transformed life?

Ben said...

Brian, I don't mean to be disagreeing with anything I understand you to be saying. When I wrote my first comment When I wrote my first comment (the one after the other guy named Ben), I had some of the same things you point out in mind.

The missional movement seems to me to include both the congruity and credibility tracks. Would you agree?

Joel said...

Ok, I am somewhat confused...which neo-Calvinists are you referring to? Is it the traditional understanding of Neo-Calvinists.... beginning with Abraham Kuyper, followed by the likes of Herman Bavinck, Herman Dooyeweerd, Nicolas Wolterstorff, Al Wolters, and Richard Mouw? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-Calvinism
Hart's essay refers to James Smith from Calvin College, who is cut from the same cloth as these other neo-Calvinists.

Or are you referring to the young, restless and reformed group that Time magazine has labeled "New-Calvinists or Neo-Calvinists such as the Mark Driscoll that focuses on being missional? http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1884779_1884782_1884760,00.html

I will refrain from commenting until I know which group you are talking about...

brian said...

I honestly haven't read widely enough in the missional movement to know. I was mainly responding to what seemed like the danger of oversimplification. I think we need to be wary of both adding to the gospel and oversimplifying it. BTW-I'm not accusing you of either.

I know John Frame is not a part of the missional movement, but he is a notable voice in the calvinist camp. Did you see his thoughts on Justin Taylor's blog? Definitely a strong statement against seeking credibility, specifically in the world of theological education.

Ben said...

I can't speak for Ben (at least the Ben who runs the blog) but I assumed the reference to neo-calvinists was the traditional sense of the term. It would also apply to many in the YRR group, but not necessarily all. Hart usually distinguishes the neo-calvinist one-kingdom theory from the two-kingdom theory that he proposes, and the one-kingdom theory was introduced via Kuyper and those who followed after him. It's views are largely absorbed in the YRR movement today (thus, the overlap).

And I wanted to highlight that I'm not saying that good works have no relationship to the gospel, but to tie them to the success of the gospel (especially as the key issue) is faulty. That's why I said, "I don't think a holistic approach to ministry has to base it on the need for influence/relevance or the success of the gospel." I think there are more biblical foundations for it.

Ben Edwards

Ben said...

I'm actually referring to the overlap Ben Edwards refers to. Obviously, it would be difficult for Kuyper, Bavinck, etc. to be the new "New Evangelicals." And depending on how you draw the lines, not all the YRR crowd would fit the profile of what I'm describing here. (I'm assuming Collin Hansen would lump me into that movement, for example.)

FWIW, it seems that Wikipedia distinguishes (whether consciously or not) between Neo-Calvinists and New Calvinism.

Lou Martuneac said...

Ben:

Following is an excerpt from Rob Congdon on the “New Calvinism.” Complete audio can be heard via the link below. The lecture was given at Brother George Zeller’s church in Middletown, CT.

http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/audio/conference/201009/20100914.mp3


I want to highlight some of the new and subtle dangers of Calvinism. I don’t want to get us distracted today by aspects and doctrines of the TULIP. The reason I don’t is I believe that there are substantial resources and books available to help you understand how these [TULIP] should be viewed biblically, whether they are right or wrong. Instead I want to highlight some of the more subtle dangers of Calvinism especially the newly morphed version of Calvinism that has been labeled “New” Calvinism. Just as there has been associations forming between non-emergent emergents and purpose-driven adherents there is a very unlikely association forming between the adherents of the emergent movement and the “New” Calvinists. What I’d like to show you is what is the common thread that is pulling them together.

“New” Calvinism is a relatively new movement that is attracting large numbers of the young 25-35 year old age group. If you are older than that they don’t care about you because you are going to be pushed off the scene. They are being lead and influenced by the writing of middle-aged and 60+ year old pastors, a total contrast to the emergent church, which gets attracted to the young men who are pasturing and teaching. These are older men such as John Piper, Al Mohler and Mark Dever.

“New” Calvinism typically is categorized as orthodox Calvinism that has combined with what is called “non-cessationism.” The belief that the gifts of the Spirit, that signs and wonders have continued to this day. New Calvinism emphasizes doctrine, Bible study and incorporate contemporary worship music into their services. On the fringe of that group you’ll find John MacArthur and R. C. Sproul because of the Reformed influence.

Lou Martuneac said...

Ben:

Following is an excerpt from Rob Congdon on the “New Calvinism.” You and your guests may find it helpful. Complete audio can be heard via this link to an MP3 The lecture was given at Brother George Zeller’s church in Middletown, CT.

Congdon said,

I want to highlight some of the new and subtle dangers of Calvinism. I don’t want to get us distracted today by aspects and doctrines of the TULIP. The reason I don’t is I believe that there are substantial resources and books available to help you understand how these [TULIP] should be viewed biblically, whether they are right or wrong.

Instead I want to highlight some of the more subtle dangers of Calvinism especially the newly morphed version of Calvinism that has been labeled “New” Calvinism. Just as there has been associations forming between non-emergent emergents and purpose-driven adherents there is a very unlikely association forming between the adherents of the emergent movement and the “New” Calvinists. What I’d like to show you is what is the common thread that is pulling them together.

“New” Calvinism is a relatively new movement that is attracting large numbers of the young 25-35 year old age group. If you are older than that they don’t care about you because you are going to be pushed off the scene. They are being lead and influenced by the writing of middle-aged and 60+ year old pastors, a total contrast to the emergent church, which gets attracted to the young men who are pasturing and teaching. These are older men such as John Piper, Al Mohler and Mark Dever.

“New” Calvinism typically is categorized as orthodox Calvinism that has combined with what is called “non-cessationism.” The belief that the gifts of the Spirit, that signs and wonders have continued to this day. New Calvinism emphasizes doctrine, Bible study and incorporate contemporary worship music into their services. On the fringe of that group you’ll find John MacArthur and R. C. Sproul because of the Reformed influence.

Ben said...

Lou, though your comments are at best marginally related to the point of this post, I'm quite happy for them to stand (though I'm not sure why you've lifted your self-imposed Paleo-boycott). Nevertheless, this thread will NOT degenerate into a broad discussion of whether Calvinism is biblical or the present nature of spiritual gifts.

I would like any of our readers to know that, by your assessment and my non-resistance to it, you and I do not hold to the same gospel. That would seem to me to be relevant.

Lou Martuneac said...

ben:

I thought I'd let Brother Congdon assist in the definition you and your readers are seeking. That is all I dropped the note for.

LM

joel said...

I tried to comment, but I think I wrote too much so it didn't post. I will break it up into three segments. Living in Grand Rapids, I interact with alot of neo-Calvinists (one-theory kingdom proponents). Many are my urban ministry colleagues that strive hard for community and transformation which alongside the preaching of the gospel. However, when not enough measurable change is taking place (there are still a huge degree of social pathologies such as gang violence, "babies having babies," poorly run/funded schools, drug-dealing, unemployment and underemployment in the cities of America), they willingly embrace huge government involvement in order to speed up the process. I might be generalizing, but you get the idea. If they would extend their biblical grid from Creation-Fall-Redemption to Creation-Fall-Redemption-Judgment/Consummation, I believe they would less likely to be pragmatic in their approach because in the end it is God that will judge the earth and make everything right...not us. They also would be inclined to be less naive about sin and the government is a fallen structure that may have good intentions but can and has caused great harm as a channel of social change among inner-city communities.

joel said...

Also,

I would give these new Calvinists the benefit of the doubt with their missional emphasis not being linked to pragmatism. I used to use phrases such as "earning the right to be heard" or that my good works gave credibility to the gospel. I'd always known that my works had absolutely nothing to do with the salvation of people. Eventually I realized that my choice of words really did matter and I starting talking about good works that adorn the gospel. Maybe I am wrong, but I suspect many of these new Calvinists haven't really thought through what they are saying, and really do reject pragmatism more than you realize.

Joel said...

Lou, since I was the one that asked the questions and you came to warn me about new Calvinists, I will respond to you. Even though I am somewhat older (I turn 42 in a month) my worldview could be labeled as a young fundamentalist as well as a young Calvinist. Contrary to your generalizations, the young fundy/young Calvinists that I know do know how to Biblically discern when it comes to the men that you mention. You see, from the years of studying and from my background growing up in the GARBC (I also currently a member of a GARBC church), My particular stripe of Christian Fundamentalism (GARBC) always distinguished between "neo"-evangelicals and conservative evangelicals. We separated from the Billy Grahams by not participating in his crusades. However, we maintained relationships with certain conservative evangelicals that weren't as strong on the separation issue as we were. The Pipers and the Mohlers of today a generation ago were leaders such as Joe Stowell Jr., Warren Wiersbe, and Chuck Swindoll. Back then John MacArthur was welcome in many GARBC churches and approved colleges but that relationship regressed somewhat when he took over LABC and turned it into the Masters college and Seminary. My point is that your PCC-influenced fundamentalism is not the only form of fundamentalism out there. In fact, ever since I can remember, in my circles your beliefs were viewed more as an extreme,fringe of fundamentalism by the majority within the GARBC. I believe that the Fundamentalist movement has always been fractured and never really unified.

I think this is why you have beef with Dr. Bauder. He is articulating what the GARBC association of 1300 or so churches (which is a part of his educational and church background) has always held when it comes to the application of separation. The background that you come from is more rigid when it comes to applying the doctrine of separation. Sorry Ben that I strayed from the real topic of New Calvinism.

Lou Martuneac said...

Joel:

I think we have had some good interacted at my blog. A few reactions to your comment to me here.

I do know how to discern, knowing when to eat the chicken and spit out the bones.”

I do to, and have expressed my appreciation for certain books/stands by MacArthur for example.

What I am, as you put it “railing against” is the dangerous influences I see that men like Kevin Bauder and Dave Doran are introducing to the IFB community. IMO that beyond endorsing the men, methods, conferences and doctrine of the evangelicals KB and DD are well down the road to becoming evangelicals in practice by affiliation themselves. My concerns include that they are happy to tolerate allow for and excuse evangelical's aberrant theology (Charismaticism) worldly methods of ministry (Resolved) and the egregious ecumenical compromises to have their fellowship around the new paradigm shift to a “pure gospel,” which is Calvinistic soteriology in the form of Lordship Salvation. If the men who desire the new convergence with the ce camp are transparent they will not deny that Calvinism is the magnetic attraction, and with that center point of agreement, they will allow for a great deal of the disconcerting issues among the ce men.

Next, my problem is not with a big tent. I know what the tent has included for quite some time and have been comfortable with it. But now that tent is widening at the expense of caving in on absolute fidelity to the God-given mandates for separation. When we have men who are giving Al Mohler a pass for signing the Manhattan Declaration we have a collapse of fidelity to the Scriptures in application, that is clearly called for- for the sake of widening the tent. Bauder dismissed the signing as an “occasional inconsistency,” Doran boiled it down to saying it was merely a, wrong decision based on bad judgment.”

BTW, Doran recently wrote, “There is a difference between the [Manhattan] Declaration itself and the people who signed it and even the act of signing it. To say that it was at the very least bad judgment to sign it is not in any way being sympathetic toward the document itself.

None of us disagree over the MD being bad news; no one is being sympathetic to the MD document. That is not the crux of the controversy. The issue is Mohler, Duncan, et. al., signing it. The evangelical signers compromised the gospel and gave Christian recognition to the enemies of the cross of Christ (Phil. 3:18). They are unrepentant. This is inexcusable!

Bottom-line, who’s moving? Who’s changing to accommodate and pursue the convergence? Clearly it’s not the evangelicals.

FWIW, I have a great deal of experience from within and beyond PCC. Primarily through my years of missionary service I have a wide range of close fellowship and good friends in the PCC BJU, Maranatha, Ambassador and beyond spheres of influence. For me there are certain absolutes. I am not concerned about what school or fellowship my absolutes align me with because I draw my absolutes from what the Bible tells me.

Some men seem to think and act as if it is a cardinal sin is to be convinced of something. In the current controversy I am convinced that the new convergence with evangelicals Bauder and Doran are influencing is not in the best interest of the NT church, Fundamentalists in particular. I am not inclined to stand idly by, not going to stop sounding the alarm, I will raise cautions and bring the Scriptures to bear challenging men to unbiased fidelity to the Scriptures, even if it means they have to give up their new friends in evangelicalism.

Finally, you wrote, “I believe that the Fundamentalist movement has always been fractured and never really unified.” Agreed!

And it is time for a new fracture. I have encouraged the men who want to have their fellowship with evangelicals to make the move, just go to them. Frankly, I don’t know what they're waiting for.

I appreciate your concerns.


LM

James Kime said...

Joel, great points about the kingdom. The judgment portion is too important to miss yet many still do.

Personally I think the new calvinism will fall like every other movement in church history that centers primarily around one doctrine.

Ironically, new calvinism is very similar to the neofundamentalism represented by Lou here. Their cultural engagements betray a pragmatism you wouldn't have necessarily thought would exist.

Lou, they are still fundamentalists. They reject the neofundamentalism of your ilk. I would encourage you to actually read what Bauder has been writing about instead of your kneejerk reactions to them. Your schtick about being the fat kid not picked for the dodgeball game is tired and played.

Joel said...

Lou, you said, "Bottom-line, who’s moving? Who’s changing to accommodate and pursue the convergence? Clearly it’s not the evangelicals."

However,my point has been all along that neither has Bauder or even Doran or this sect of fundamentalism. They never changed. By the way, you are clearly exaggerating when it comes to saying that the Bauder's and Doran's are "accommodating and pursuing convergence." They have not embraced the conservative evangelicals as fellow fundamentalists. They may sit on the platforms with CE's but that has happened in the GARBC since its inception. They criticize the CE's but not as harshly as you have. Funny that you attack the Charismatics about false doctrine when you are in fact acting like you have the supernatural "gifts of prophesy and discernment" to warn people of things that haven't happened yet as if the are going to happen (pursuing convergence with the CE's)

Remember that Doran's church used to be in the GARBC in the 1980's. Again, they are merely articulating what groups such as the GARBC and IFCA have always held when it comes to separation. This discussion is merely revealing the fact that those who are under the banner of fundamentalism have always and will always be fragmented (as we both agree). I remember in college picking up a book called "Heart Disease in Christ's body, where the author revealed letters from Dr. Bob Jones Jr. and others were accusing other fundamentalists (including those from the GARBC and the IFCA) of the same compromises that you speak of. I am done talking about this issue because it really has nothing to do with the topic at hand. Lou you and I can debate what is historical fundamentalism on your blog site :)

Lou Martuneac said...

Joel:

You wrote, “By the way, you are clearly exaggerating when it comes to saying that the Bauder and Doran are ‘accommodating and pursuing convergence’.”

No Joel, the facts prove otherwise.

The convergecne is already well under way. Doran has hosted in recent months three evangelicals in his pulpit and seminary. Bauder is without any doubt the evangelical’s chief apologist in Fundamental circles. The platform at Lansdale with Dever is just the first of more of the same to come.

It is IMO naive to think that this is not a convergence in the works with KB and DD trying influence all they can to follow their lead.

It is plain and obvious to any objective observer that KB and DD are refining separation in terms of a “pure gospel” and this new fad of “academic contexts” to legitimize allowing for and excusing the Charismatic theology, worldly methods of ministry and ecumenical compromises of the evangelical to have fellowship and cooperation with them.

Again, bottom-line, it is Calvinism that is the magnetic attraction. They are in agreement on Calvinistic soteriology and therefore KB-DD will tolerate the rest because of their agreement around the Calvinistic “pure gospel,” which is Lordship Salvation.

And we have new incontrovertible evidence that Northland has changed to have the same accommodation with evangelicals. Tragic.

Join me at my blog if you'd like to hash this out further. I'd be happy to open an article for just you and I to discuss it. et me know via e-mail or in a current thread.


LM

Ben said...

Joel,

I think those were some helpful comments. And I agree that the language we use is important, especially in speaking to those who are not sympathetic to a particular viewpoint. I think a lot of this people would reject pragmatism in theory, but too often they allow it to infiltrate their thinking and/or practice. Of course, we do too :)

Ben Edwards

Ben said...

If I may contribute one more post to the digression here, I'd like to address Lou's attack that Bauder and Doran are: "happy to tolerate allow for and excuse evangelical's aberrant theology (Charismaticism) worldly methods of ministry (Resolved)"

It may not even be necessary to do this, but I don't think it's possible to really accuse either man of doing those things. I don't think either of them have had a proponent of charismatic theology in their churches or seminaries. Rather, their ministries have perhaps the best defenses of cessationism in Fundamentalism. They are also conservative in their worship and ministry practices, more so than the majority of Fundamentalists (to accuse Bauder of approving of worldly music simply reveals an unawareness of his position and writings.)

I just find it ironic that some of the most articulate defenders of cessationism and some of the clearest advocates for a truly conservative approach to ministry are being accused of denying these very things. It simply shows how oblivious some people are to the issues.

One final note: It's also amusing to me when people are concerned about Dever's upcoming involvement at Calvary in Lansdale because of his "worldly" music. They should be thankful Dever isn't speaking about music at the conference, or he would have to take the majority of Fundamentalists' to task for their "worldly" worship.

Lou Martuneac said...

Ben:

Curious that you neglect to cite my statement(s) leaving out the most glaring and indefensible compromise of Doran and Bauder on behalf of the evangelicals. Do try to get the statement and its context if full, which is-

“My concerns include that they are happy to tolerate allow for and excuse evangelical’s aberrant theology (Charismaticism) worldly methods of ministry (Resolved) and the egregious ecumenical compromises to have their fellowship around the new paradigm shift to a ‘pure gospel,’ which is Calvinistic soteriology in the form of Lordship Salvation.”

And this…

“It is plain and obvious to any objective observer that KB and DD are refining separation in terms of a ‘pure gospel’ and this new fad of ‘academic contexts’ to legitimize allowing for and excusing the Charismatic theology, worldly methods of ministry and ecumenical compromises of the evangelicals to have fellowship and cooperation with them.”

That is tolerance and they were happy to dismiss it. Both Doran and Bauder excused Mohler signing the Manhattan Declaration respectively as merely a, “wrong decision based on bad judgment” and nothing more than, “an occasional inconsistency...single episode.” And KB knows that was not the first or only ecumenical compromise by Mohler.

And to remind all readers Mohler, Duncan and a number of other lesser-known evangelicals signed the MD, which compromised the Gospel, and gave Christian recognition to the deadly enemies of the cross of Christ.

Just out of curiosity what is your reaction to men who signed the MD? Does the Bible give instruction on what the response of believers should be to believers who do such things, reject the admonition of brothers and are unrepentant?

It’s no attack, when statements of fact by Doran and Bauder are in the public forum.


LM

joel said...

Lou,

Well, I guess I'll continue the discussion here. Are you referring to II Thess. 3 in regards to withdrawing from the disorderly brother? If so, the context is quite plain that the disorderly brother was able bodied and refusing to work. Pretty far off from signing a goofy declaration that really only shows that they all call themselves Christians and they are concerned about the same things...about the sanctity of life, defense of marriage, and religious liberty. By the way, I have several concerns about the document and couldn't sign it myself, but I am not going to separate from my personal friend, Dr. Joe Stowell Jr. for signing it. So Lou, if you haven't already, you might want to separate from me because your beliefs are that I am somehow compromising by not separating from Dr. Stowell who you would consider the disorderly brother.

I still think you have it quite wrong with Bauder and Doran. You have made separating with CEs a "all or nothing" proposition, which is understandable because your particular stripe of fundamentalism has always seen it that way. However, appearing on the same platform as a CE or having one at your institution has historically taken place in the GARBC all the way back to Dr. Ketcham. For instance, in the 1960's and 1970's as Dr. Ketcham was close friends with Warren Wiersbe, Ketcham would often preach at Moody Memorial Church. Yet they did not see eye to eye when it came to Biblical separation. Bauder and Doran are just articulating a different application of the doctrine of separation, but has just as much history as your IFB community. By the way, I actually think that Bauder and Doran are too conservative on this subject (mostly as it pertains to what worldliness is). So I am not a Bauder and Doran apologist. I probably fit into Joel T.'s fundamentalist taxonomy as a type C.


If you want to be challenged, check out Ben Edward's paper, Charity in the Church, on II Thess. 3:6-15. It is one of the most thorough, exegetical studies that I've read on this passage. Ben, if you haven't yet, you ought to get it published....its a great piece of work. http://missionsmandate.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/charity-in-the-church-missions-mandate.pdf

Ben said...

Thanks Joel. I wouldn't even know where to start in getting it published, but hopefully it can be a help to people who find via Missions Mandate.

Ben Edwards

Ben said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ben said...

Lou,

Does the Bible give instruction on what the response of believers should be to believers who repeatedly put out false accusations and refuse to repent of or even to acknowledge their error?

BE

Lou Martuneac said...

Joel:

Earlier you wrote, "Lou you and I can debate what is historical fundamentalism on your [IDOTG] blog site."

As I indicated I would have hosted you there for a one-on-one with no interruptions.

Here? No thanks.

We'll just drop it, and I wish you a Merry Christmas. Same greeting to both Bens.


LM

James Kime said...

Drive bys...hit and runs...controlling the information...distorting reality...predictable.

Coincidence you are from Chicago.

Ben said...

Joel, I think those are fair qualifications. I also think there's a caution here that's worth raising.

Lou, what does anything you wrote have to do with anything this post is about? I may have missed something. I was skimming.

James "Elliot Ness" Kime, I think it's time to let the "Chicago way" thing go. 1) It reminds me of the time someone told me about conversational terrorism. Oh yeah, that was you. ;-) 2) I don't see Lou as a "made man." And 3) I want Lou to keep posting, even if he is violating his own paleo-boycott. I'm convinced that the dissemination of his views helps to clarify the fundamentalist state of affairs.

Lou Martuneac said...

Ben:

Let’s review this thread. I submitted a comment that IMO would be helpful to the subject matter here, New Calvinists. That was an excerpt from with a link to an audio by Rob Congdon who has done a great deal of work on the “New” Calvinism (12/16, 8:31am). You replied. That is all I stopped by for and I was done.

Then Joel (12/17, 10:24am) and later Ben wrote to me with questions and comments. What was I do to? Ignore them and then have you say I am dodging them? So, I acknowledged and answered them.

And if you will look back up the thread you will see that Joel initiated all of this off-topic discussion and said much at the close of his first to me. He wrote, "Sorry Ben that I strayed from the real topic of New Calvinism." I suggested to Joel that we carry on our discussion at my blog. I offered to open a thread at my blog for him and I to do so. which he then declined. So, bottom-line it was NOT me who initially took the discussion away from the subject of your article, was it? Agreed?

So, if you’re going to chastise you need to level your criticism to each of those who drifted off topic, including me; right?

With that I’m going back to my holiday break.


LM

joel said...

Ben,

Lou is right. You can level the charges on me as well because I did respond to Lou's rabbit trail what he believed the neo-calvinism we were talking about. Although, I did actually address the actual topic at hand(Neo-Calvinism and pragmatism).

Lou, as I thought more about it, I wasn't sure that starting up a new conversation on your blog was what I wanted to put my "allotted" blog time towards. That's why I continued it on this site. To you, this issue is primary and defining within fundamentalism, while I am inclined to see that it as secondary. Actually the things that I'd rather work through, debate, and hammer out online are things such that address how the gospel relates to social responsibility because the ministry I oversee reaches out to the urban poor. That is why I initially commented on this post because Ben made an acute observation about neo-calvinists (one-kingdom theory proponents), which directly relates to what I do for a living. So Lou, I do apologize for making a backhanded invitation to continue the debate on your blog. My blog time just doesn't allow for it (Now I have officially refused).

Lou Martuneac said...

Ben:

Are men in fundamental circles pursuing convergence with evangelicals? I believe they are.

One other here, Joel, says that is an exaggeration; is it? Ben, in your 9Marks article An Evangelical-Fundamentalist Convergence under the section Why the Growing Convergence you wrote, “But there are deeper realities in this current Evangelical-Fundamentalist convergence.”

http://www.9marks.org/ejournal/evangelical-fundamentalist-convergence

To be honest I did not read the entire article so if you’d prefer to suggest there is no actual convergence underway, please say so. However from what I perused you indicate there is an active convergence. I’d appreciate if you’d state for me and your readers whether or not you believe there is an active Evangelical-Fundamentalist convergence in the works.

In any event, I don’t know why so many, who are so desirous of a convergence of a certain segment of Reformed fundamentalists with evangelicals, bristle when the obvious is stated.


LM

James Kime said...

Very well Ben. I thought I saw a metal club somewhere and thought someone was gonna get kneecapped.

Ben said...

Lou, the difference between you and Joel is that he has made comments in this thread that are actually related to the original post. Also, he didn't post anything off-topic except in response to you. Additionally, it's ridiculous to suggest that I'd accuse you of dodging when I asked you not to carry on the off-topic conversation. But really, no worries. I'm not upset about it. I just don't find your tangents interesting or helpful.

As for the convergence, absolutely yes, I do think it's happening. But I'm not at all sure Doran and Bauder are a part of it. So both my article and Joel's argument that you're overstating can be true. That remains to be seen in my mind.

But then, you don't really think Doran or Bauder or Dever or I are evangelicals, do you? This brings me back to a question I asked you somewhere else on the interwebs: Are you more upset that Doran and Bauder are breaking new ground in fellowship with people outside the fundamentalist movement you associate with, or that they reject your understanding of the gospel?

Ben said...

One more thing. I don't expect that Doran and Bauder would agree with me on this, and I certainly don't think this is what they mean to be doing. But I believe they are clearing out space and making it easier (for people who share my sensibilities that the mainstream of fundamentalism is theologically and spiritually bankrupt on a number of counts) to build bridges to healthy outposts in the conservative evangelical world.

So are they part of the convergence? I suspect not. But I'll argue they're facilitating it.