Friday, December 31, 2010

Six Statements You Didn't Often Hear Six Years Ago

A couple weeks ago a friend reminded me of Herr Zeller's line from "The Sound of Music," referring to life in Austria after its 1938 annexation by Hitler's Germany: "Nothing in Austria has changed. Singing and music will show this to the world. Austria is the same." (In an odd twist of fate, "Herr Zeller" was played by the actor, Ben Wright. And this author currently lives on "Zeller Lane." Weird.)

I don't want to get too philosophical about change, but I want to make one point: Change often isn't best assessed by the people who are taking it mainstream in the moment they're effecting it. That's not a critique or a deliberate, vague reference to any one person.

As we wrap up another year of a particular sort of change within fundamentalism that, in my opinion, is for the better, I thought I might leave us with a few things that have been said more than once over the past year, in most cases by more than one person. I wonder if that might offer a bit of historical perspective on the present developments, or even whether there are new developments.

That's not to say they weren't being said six years ago. I think all of them were actually said six years ago. But I'll contend that they weren't being said as publicly or as forcefully by as many people in positions of perceived leadership with as broad a receptive audience. I'm curious to see what sorts of statements you might have observed. Here's what leapt to my mind:

  1. I have more in common with some conservative evangelicals than much of the fundamentalist mainstream.
  2. Let's invite a particular sort of conservative evangelical to be our guest speaker.
  3. We need to apply separation just as aggressively towards people to the right of us as to the left of us.
  4. We need to recognize that some of these issues are complex judgment calls, not all of us are going to see all the issues the same way, and we need to grant one another the freedom to apply biblical principles in the ways their consciences dictate.
  5. Platform fellowship doesn't imply full mutual endorsement.
  6. All of us are "disobedient brothers" in one way or another.


Jeff said...


Pardon me, but don't you ever get tired of harping on this topic? You more of an old fundyist than you would wish to admit. Why not devote your blog to something edifying?


Ben said...

Jeff, you're a straight shooter in my experience and I appreciate that. I respect it as much when we disagree as when we agree, which was the context when I first told you that years ago after some provocative comments you made in Lansdale.

So at this point, I'm not sure how saying the obvious (and saying it's good) is harping, particularly when there's a resistance to both the obvious and to the idea that it's good. You're a historian, and I don't think historians find much about historical revision to appreciate.

I've read some pretty strong statements that you've made in the past about platform fellowship and cooperation with particular conservative evangelicals. At this point, I wonder if there might be a more edifying option than decrying my harping, particularly when I don't intend to harp but to engage with the ideas that are in play.

Would it be helpful for you to do one or more of the following? 1) Engage my argument as an historian by assessing the change or non-change yourself, 2) Reaffirm your previous statements, 3) Redefine your position.

I really do expect I'd benefit from reading that sort of thing, even if I disagreed.

Happy new year to you and yours in the central time zone!

Noits said...


For what it's worth, I've been saying all of the above except for #2 for about the past 25 years. The only reason that I wasn't saying #2 is because it was already being done in the Fundamentalism of which I was a part.

In fact, I learned all of the above from the Fundamentalists who schooled me. I was drawn to Central Seminary in part because it was led by Fundamentalists who were already saying these things (and of course, some others were already objecting). If anything, Central Seminary is rather narrower today than it was twenty-five years ago.

Perhaps if you'd explored the options within Fundamentalism a bit more thoroughly you'd have found the places where such things were being said. I grant you that some of the places that are saying these things now were not saying them seven our eight years ago. Still, it's not as if it's unprecedented to hear these things from Fundamentalists.

Noits said...

Sorry--failed to sign. Don't know where the "Noits" came from.

Kevin T. Bauder

d4v34x said...

It seems to me it might be more difficult for those who come from a stream of fundamentalism where these type of statements were not regarded as unthinkable to fully fathom just how unthinkable they were/are in other streams.

Kevin T. Bauder said...


Perhaps, but I don't really think so. We were aware of those other versions of Fundamentalism. We saw them as aberrations and thought of them as the minority.

Of course, they thought of themselves as the only true Fundamentalists.

What has happened over the past thirty years is that some have moved out of Fundamentalism into broad evangelicalism (Cornerstone, Cedarville, perhaps ABWE), while some that tended toward hyperfundamentalism have begun to move into a more mainstream position (the FBFI).

The identity crisis seems to be occurring around this latter group. Those who thought that their extremism was the only true Fundamentalism are alarmed by the change. Younger men who were exposed to the change earlier on, however, are impatient with the pace and often the tactics of the complainers.

I think perhaps that it is this group of younger men who have trouble believing that there has always been and is now another version of Fundamentalism. In fact, my experience is that they tend to read their worst experiences into all Fundamentalists, including those who differ by miles from the kind of Fundamentalism to which they object.

Perhaps I am mistaken, but I believe that I have seen a tendency to reject Fundamentalism in all its versions tout court, and to leapfrog directly to some version of non-Fundamentalist evangelicalism. To me, this is a disappointing trend. What is often lost is not merely connection with the Fundamentalist movement, but also any robust understanding and application of the Fundamentalist idea.


Jeff said...


IMO, you love to stick your finger in the eye of the fundamentalism. You don't like it and have to justify your current position (where ever that is) given you have some brief history to it.

Oddly even, I remember from my BJU days that comments like "where a man's feet are pointed is more important than where he is actually standing." But hey, as you say I am a historian.

But my views on theology are not historically driven per say. I stand where I stand and do what I do (or don't do) hopefully for biblical reasons, not historical ones.

I have a long history with the SBC. I was baptized in an SBC church, married in one and have most of my extended family in many. Some of my closest friends are Southern Baptist. My first spiritual Paul is a godly SBC now-retired pastor. I now have a PhD from an SBC school. But I have not chosen to walk in the way of Nashville. However, I have never felt the need to blog about why I am not SBC and repeatedly point out what I perceive as their weaknesses to justify my non-participation. I might say something in a private conversation to someone who matters, but why become know as an antagonist of the SBC?

I just think you could use your blog for something CONstruction.


Ben said...

Kevin, I hope that the final paragraph of my post left room for some of the realities that you point to. That's certainly what I intended. I'll certainly admit that my familiarity with the stream within the GARBC that you often speak and write about (I assume that's what you refer to here—and that I've appreciated hearing about) has been completely foreign to me. That's not to say I know nothing at all of the GARBC, but the stream or perhaps the geographic area I've encountered has been unlike what you've described.

I do wonder what you have in mind when you refer to the minority. My experience wouldn't rival yours, but it's not particularly narrow. My sense of the majority/minority leads me to think of YOU very much as an aberration on most points. I mean that as a compliment, set in contrast to what I perceive to be a strong majority of fundamentalists in the BJU/PCC/MBBC/NIU/Sword/FBFI/Hyles/WCBC/BBF crowds (and obviously, we could pile up many more letters). Very seldom have I encountered people within fundamentalism who love what you love for the reasons you love them.

Even as you describe some of the different trajectories within the GARBC, I'd be curious to see how the numbers of all the different streams I've referred to actually stack up. That might give us a better sense of majority or minority or perhaps plurality. You may be able to speak to that with more precision than I.

Ben said...

Jeff, I'm still trying to figure out how making observations about good change is antagonism. But you seem to have a certain fix on my psyche that I'm wholly oblivious to, so maybe you're seeing something I'm not.

Shayne McAllister said...

Noting the course of change isn't antagonism. I graduated from BJU in 2005, almost six years ago, at the same time Stephen Jones was installed as President. Among my own peers, I've seen a vast amount of change in attitudes towards evangelicalism. If you had told me six years ago of different friends' views on this subject, I would have laughed at you. Ben's list of statements by leaders of fundamentalism are amplified among my peers, and even more strongly for some kind of rapprochement between the best of fundamentalism and evangelicalism.

Looking at the course of change is (forgive me) fundamental to a study of history. Ben is doing that quite well. Jeff, occasionally Ben likes to jab fundamentalists in the ribs a little, but it's friendly jabbing (unless said fundamentalist is a false teacher). One could argue Dr. Bauder has had some friendly jabs in his articles over at Sharperiron, and maybe he could use his time better and be more edifying. He's chosen his topic and a lot of people are reading his work. He thinks it's a good use of time and energy, and I respect that. I don't always agree, but I always learn.

Shayne McAllister said...

Another thing that wasn't around six years ago was widespread use of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter among fundamentalists and evangelicals. The real game change is not that people are changing their positions, or reapplying their principles to new situations. The real game changer is that other people can see these new attitudes very easily.

The ability to control the conversation about the fundamentalist movement from a pulpit or chapel platform has been removed or very much supplemented by conversations on the internet. Facebook has made this conversation so easy, and I think it stands in the background of a lot of the change that's taken place.

d4v34x said...

Dr. Bauder, I appreciate the cautions you offer to the "impatient projectors", one of which I probably tend to be.

Perhaps it is those of us from the extreme stream that have a hard time imagining the true(?) size of what you call the mainstream. My experience/perception has more closely paralled Ben's as far as that goes. But my experience is limited, and my perception could just be more simply explained by the birds of a feather principle.

Joel said...

It is attractive to some that there is a perception of a change, but I wonder--obviously there's some problem with it being perceived as a change.

"Perhaps I am mistaken, but I believe that I have seen a tendency to reject Fundamentalism in all its versions tout court, and to leapfrog directly to some version of non-Fundamentalist evangelicalism. To me, this is a disappointing trend. What is often lost is not merely connection with the Fundamentalist movement, but also any robust understanding and application of the Fundamentalist idea."

I don't think it is mistaken. Fundamentalism taught us to judge people by their associations. The last act of fundamentalism someone leaving in search of something better does, is to take their word for it at least with regard to themselves.

I don't think they used to do this, like Ben does; and look what slice I come from! But they're going about it in the same disingenuous way (I don't get that, this insistence that it's nothing new; what happened to 'fundamentalism is hosed'? Maybe that was just me. Now the majority was right all along?) and what it probably all adds up to is: nothing ever changes.

I really don't think anything crucial will be lost if fundamentalism disappears. It is not necessary, it preserves nothing important, and except that it keeps the internet interesting from time to time, who would miss it?

I, for one, would sorely miss Lou. Have you seen the top 10 on his blog? Please don't let his stats discourage him.

Jeff said...

Ok Ben . . . your point seems to be that fundyism is changing . . . ok, what isn't changing?

6 years ago -

* Facebook was a new idea
* T4G-2006 was a year away
* Brett Farve was still playing for Green Bay . . . arch rivals of his new team - Minnesota
* BJ3 was still president of BJU; and Dave Jaspers at MBBC
* Northland was still a college and so was Pillsbury
* We had a conservative in the White House and the economy was still up, as was the value of my house!

But today . . . all is different. Who would ever have imagined that gays could serve openly in the military? Or that Oprah would have her own network?

Everything changes (except God of course who is immutable) . . . even fundyism.

Some things change for the better and some for the worse.

Things change.


Shayne McAllister said...


The key here is that fundamentalism has normally portrayed itself as that which does not change. "The Olde Tyme ________" was held up and revered (maybe even good things). As with the laws of the Meades and Persians, an inability to change well has has had some really bad consequences.

So for example, the statement "We need to apply separation just as aggressively towards people to the right of us as to the left of us" I think is a wonderful development which will actually stem the flow of young fundamentalists like me out of the movement.

d4v34x said...

So we ought sit back and watch and never applaud, encourage, or provoke said change?

d4v34x said...

Sorry, last comment was begun before Shayne sneaked in there and was addressed to Jeff.

Shayne McAllister said...

I'm pretty sneaky that way.

Also, whoever didn't think Oprah would have her own network, or that gays would serve openly in the military by now. . . I could definitely have believed it.

Ben said...

Much here that I agree with. Shayne's point about social networking is important, but I want to broaden it.

Three or four years ago I had lunch with a pastor acquaintance who was in a particularly separatist current of BJU-stream fundamentalism. He said, "The internet changed everything." Paraphrasing the rest of his side of the conversation: Pastors can't just get up and take whatever shots at Piper and MacArthur they want because people in the pews know who they really are and what they're really about. When they make uninformed accusations, they lose credibility because laymen are reading those guys and seeing how they handle Scripture credibly.

That was the day I knew for sure what was going on in the world I know. The world Joel and Shayne and my friend with the hieroglyphical screen name know.

Shayne McAllister said...

Right Ben. I had breakfast with a random pastor in Kentucky who went from fundamentalist baptist to Calvinist/Baptist/9 Marks largely because of tapes from John MacArthur then later books by John Piper, then books by Mark Dever. I know that Jonny Mac's tapes had a profound impact on fundamentalist thinking in my father's generation. Now multiply that impact by 10,000 possibilities of sermon podcasts, blogs, twitter feeds, ect. Not only is the impact of outside influncers more profound, it's more diverse and fragmented.

Jim Peet said...

@Jeff S: Re statement: "Why not devote your blog to something edifying?"

I find this blog edifying.

Anonymous said...

I'd have to agree with Dr. Bauder here. I don't sense much of a change in philosophy, but instead, an increased emphasis on talking about these issues that has brought them more to the forefront. Speaking as the son of a fundamentalist preacher who's actually been mentioned several times on this blog, these are things that he and his friends have always taught to me. They're just not issues that have always come to the forefront, because believe it or not, most people have bigger fish to fry. Namely, getting the gospel to a lost and dying world and building God's church.

Lou Martuneac said...

Brother Bauder:

You wrote, “Perhaps I am mistaken, but I believe that I have seen a tendency to reject Fundamentalism in all its versions tout court, and to leapfrog directly to some version of non-Fundamentalist evangelicalism. To me, this is a disappointing trend.”

IMO, you are not mistaken. Brother Kevin isn’t it possible that, from within IFB circles, you are a significant contributor to the disappointing trend, the leapfrog that is happening as you describe it? With your steady stream of heaping “lavish praise” on evangelicalism as well as its star personalities; what did you expect those you are influencing to do?


Anonymous said...

We had a conservative in the White House about 6 years ago?


Bush was just a much a globalist (which is not a good thing) as Obama is. Obama and Bush are both serving the globalists, the only difference is one is coming from the right and one from the left. But in the end, it really doesn't matter. Soros contributed to both Obama and Bush in the latest election. They both would have served his agenda.

Are fundamentalists still so out of touch that they actually think the Republican party and News Corp are Christian organizations? (My apologies to the guy who made this comment. I'm not trying to pick on you personally or be unkind to you directly.)

Jon Askonas said...

Perhaps I can speak for the young, being one of them. I grew up in MBBC-FBFI-BJU stream fundamentalism, went to a Christian school, all that. I can't speak to the historicity of, well, much at all (I haven't been around for it), but I can speak to developments over the past 10 years or so amongst the young. As others have already alluded to, the decentralization of information via the internet has shattered false, pulpit imposed walls of separation. My friends and I, those that desired to walk with God, were drawn towards speakers embodying a passion not for condemnation but for evangelism and Christ-centeredness. We found the resources within our circle to be paltry; the "lions" of fundamentalism seemed to be slumbering. We looked elsewhere; we looked for the image of Christ reflected in fallen men, not for perfection. We were content to sometimes disagree with those we listened to and read, well-trained in biblical exegesis by our local church, but hungry for the truths of God applied to contemporary problems in a fallen world. We were each of us saddened by and disgusted with the pettiness, legalism, and anti-intellectualism sometimes displayed around us. Now we're students, spread out in institutions of different stripes (BJU, NIU, Liberty, and Georgetown). What has not changed is our journey out of what would be recognized as Old Tyme Fundyism. I think we each came to the conclusion that at some point or another it had drifted away from the very Biblical principles it had sought to protect, exchanging Christian charity and brother-love for something else.

PS: We'll be at Preserving Truth this week and look forward to meeting you, Dr. Bauder.

Ben said...

Hey Lou, let me just ask you again: Are you more upset with Bauder because he doesn't embrace your understanding of the gospel, or because he is willing to participate in some limited forms with other people who do not embrace your understanding of the gospel?

Lou Martuneac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lou Martuneac said...

Ben: Trying again by splitting it in two)

Upset?” Sorry, but I don’t know what you mean. I’m not even the concern here; am I? I am not one who is trying to influence the next generation to converge with evangelicals; am I? I am not teaching the next generation to allow for, tolerate and excuse evangelicalism’s charismatic theology, disdain for biblical separatism, ties to the SBC and ecumenical compromises; am I? Nevertheless, here is how I propose we handle your question.

1) Kevin can first answer my question about his thread comment above. Here it is again:

“IMO, you (Kevin Bauder) are not mistaken. Brother Kevin isn’t it possible that, from within IFB circles, you are a significant contributor to the disappointing trend, the leapfrog that is happening as you describe it? With your steady stream of heaping 'lavish praise' on evangelicalism as well as its star personalities; what did you expect those you are influencing to do?”

2) Once he does answer my question he can tell all of us if he believes John MacArthur’s Lordship Salvation interpretation of the gospel is the one true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Once we know what Bauder’s personal position on the Gospel of the evangelicals he is encouraging cooperation with, then I can probably formulate some kind of answer for you. Continued in the next...

Lou Martuneac said...

In earlier statements Bauder said “The sad truth is that the most forceful defenders of the gospel are no longer to be found within the Fundamentalist camp, which is a serous misstatement and means he instead finds these defenders in evangelicalism. He also stated that the evangelicals and Fundamentalists believe, preach and defend the [same] gospel. We know that the second statement is a serous misrepresentation because many, many Fundamentalists reject Lordship Salvation’s works based message that is taught and defended by virtually every one of the so-called “conservative, evangelicals, which Bauder is promoting a convergence with.

So, there it is. Once Dr. Bauder replies to my question to him above, which I’m sure you find to be fair play, and then once he identifies whether or not he personally embraces LS and believes that LS represents the “pure gospel,” i.e., the one true gospel, then I can better address your question to me.

Thank you,


Shayne McAllister said...

If Lou says he believes in another gospel than the evangelical one, then I guess we have to take his word for it.

d4v34x said...

"Many 'Fundamental' churches have maintained a certain level of cultural conservatism and separatism, and yet have erred to various degrees on crucial issues such as the true nature of the gospel, saving faith, biblical inspiration, expositional preaching, and a consistent hermeneutic. On the other hand, there has been an appreciable acceptance of conservative evangelicals without a willingness to discern important differences regarding ecclesiastical separation, cultural relativism, cessationism, and dispensational/covenant theology."

It does not seem to me, Brother Lou, that your accusations towards Dr. Bauder line up with this statement from the website for the conference he is keynoting this weekend.

Which do you think pushes the next generation towards the CEs more? Transparently caricatured portrais featuring sinister mustaches and horns, or a recognition of the positives tempered by cautions about the pitfalls?

d4v34x said...

source for quote above:

Anonymous said...

@ Jeff S

How is this not an edifying blog? Ben has examined his past experiences within the movement and offered an evaluation of it. At times that may poke a finger in the eye. So be it. Should the starting position be that anything/everything about Fundamentalism is right and not worthy of a closer examination?

@ Shayne

In case you didn't know, Lou has a blog. He has also written a book. He also likes to quote himself over and over. He even did it in this blog. I think he has all of his responses on some kind of hotkey.

He has argued time and again that he thinks the gospel is like a buffet where you can pick and choose which truths about Christ are necessary to believe in.

@ Lou

Why is it you can't answer a question without pointing your finger at others and demanding they do what you say first? Your johnnycomelately brand of fundamentalism is not rooted in the movement like what Kevin has been addressing. YOUR type of fundamentalism is doing more to drive people away from actual fundamentalism.

Try to actually engage a discussion without coming across like some kind of banshee screaming behind the fence because you weren't picked for the game.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lou Martuneac said...

Ben/All Readers:

I think the following review by Dr. Rolland McCune would be a very helpful consideration to Kevin Bauder’s wondering why there is a “disappointing trend…to reject Fundamentalism in all its versions” what he called a “leapfrog” effect.

Dr. Rolland McCune, in the Spring '95 Sentinel, reviewed Dr. Douglas McLachlan’s Reclaiming Authentic Fundamentalism. After crediting McLachlan with offering many good insights and saying some needed things about the shortcomings of Fundamentalism, McCune says: “There are some concerns, questions, and suggestions that should be raised. The tone of the book comes across as decidedly negative for the most part, almost anti-Fundamentalist at times. It bears the marks of frustration and reaction. One would think that Fundamentalism today has been led into a wasteland of spiritual declension and practical ineffectiveness. It would have been better to acknowledge the contributions and sacrifices of past leaders than to imply they were a cadre of name-seeking ladder-climbers. It would also seem to be more appropriate to call for some in-house self-corrective measures than to cast Fundamentalism into an ‘us-them’ configuration that could easily facilitate a breakaway mentality....” (Source, Calvary Contender, July 1995.)

Please, carefully consider and reflect upon those remarks by Dr. McCune.


Ben said...

Lou, I don't know if I agree with McCune's point in that review or not, but by invoking his name, you open an interesting aspect of the conversation. Given his historic ties to CBTS and DBTS, it would be instructive to hear his perspective on the developments of the past few years.

Lou Martuneac said...


IMO, that paragraph would be his perspective on what is going on today. However, and I am not one to know with any certainty, but I don't think he will be weighing in on the current controversies in a public venue.

One reason I posted McCune's review of McLachlan's book is for the young guys who are being influenced today by men who are "decidedly negative for the most part, almost anti-Fundamentalist at times."

Certain men who are castigating Fundamentalism with the broad brush is why so many in the upcoming generation are in a "breakaway mentality" and doing a "leapfrog" to non-separatist evangelicalism.


d4v34x said...

"Certain men who are castigating Fundamentalism with the broad brush is [sic] why so many in the upcoming generation are in a "breakaway mentality" and doing a "leapfrog" to non-separatist evangelicalism."

That's quite an assertion. I don't suppose you have anything really solid to back it up.

Lou Martuneac said...

I think I’ll let Dr. Gerald Priest’s remarks help us on this one. He was reacting to Bauder’s Let’s Get Clear on This article. Now, after reading this maybe you’d like to share some thoughts on Dr. McCune’s review above.

Kevin has been quite lavish in his praise of conservative evangelicals while castigating so-called fundamentalists. Yet he has spent very little time warning us about the pitfalls and problems of conservative evangelicalism…. Like Kevin, I would give credit to the conservative evangelicals where credit is due. I say ‘Amen’ to everything they have done well in defense of the gospel of Christ. But not at the expense of discrediting fundamentalism for the valiant battles it has fought against some of the very things many conservative evangelicals are espousing which compromise the gospel, yet which many of the current generation do not seem to take very seriously.”


d4v34x said...

I'll comment on McCune, but first I'd like to note that in answer to a request for substantiation to your two part accusation that Bauder is 1)unfairly castigating fundamentalism, thereby 2) causing many young people to defect to non-separatist evangelicalism, you posted a quote that merely echoes part one. That is not substantiation. Have any numbers on or quotes by any from the defecting masses?

Anonymous said...

I'd simply like to offer three thoughts on the quotes by Drs. McCune and Priest: (1) it is wise to caution all of us about the possible danger of tearing down rather than constructively critiquing, so these are good words for us to consider; (2) since Dr. McCune did not advocate separating from Doug McLachlan, nor has Dr. Priest advocated separating from Dr. Bauder, the expression of their concerns should be viewed as constructive critique of brothers and fellow separatists, not a call to cut them off (and this kind of open disagreement within our relationships is what we need more of); and (3) it really is quite repulsive to see these quotes being brandished about by a man who thinks their authors believe a false gospel and who is using them only to score points.


d4v34x said...

Re: McCune; I have not read McLachlen, so I have no way to know if McCune's assesment is accurate; I'll assume it is. I'd still be unable to judge if Bauder's criticisms are more or less harsh than McLachlen. In that sense quoting McCune here doesn't help much.

However, I have seen fundamentalist churches that could be described as "a wasteland of spiritual declension and practical ineffectiveness." There are real problems we ought to adress or guard against.

We can't be so proud that we can't listen to criticism of our segment of Christianity. Furthermore, sometimes the best way for us to see areas in which we are failing is to be shown how other groups (who may have their own problems) have retainted vitality and vibrancy in those very areas.

We don't get to dismiss wholesale the CEs because of their foibles and ignore our own serious problems just because we've never participated in a Billy Graham crusade.

This is why we have the passage about the beam and the speck.

Anonymous said...

DMD, that is exactly right. It is disingenuous and opportunistic to appeal to friends and like believers of Kevin as though it was an attack against Kevin.

Mike said...

My thought exactly--Don't Dr. Priest and Dr. McCune both preach/teach the gospel that Lou would be condemning--his so called Lordship Salvation false gospel where someone can have Christ as Savior but not as Lord. I think that is an egregious using of someone for your own purposes when you supposedly don't agree with what "he" would say is the main problem with them.

Mike said...

Maybe that wasn't so clear--Lou would condemn Priest and McCune for their gospel--in Lou's gospel, you can have Christ as Savior without Him being your Lord.

Lou Martuneac said...

To Ben and His Guests:

Dr. Doran’s first two points are enlightening and no doubt helpful. His third point, however, is sadly inflammatory (“repulsive, brandished”), provocative and misguided. Since I have never given careful attention to the contents of the gospel preached by Drs. McCune and Priest, I have certainly never presented them as purveyors of a “false gospel.” I believe that Dr. Doran’s third comment was unnecessarily emotional, pejorative and quite off the point that I attempted to make when I carefully, accurately and properly cited the warnings of two esteemed fundamentalists.

Simply put, Drs. McCune and Priest have suggested that those in our fundamentalist family who evidence a critical spirit may need to be heard, but always with a spirit of cautionary wisdom. In fairness, those who enter any dialogue ought to be given the privilege of carefully quoting sources - even if the source is a sworn enemy. In this case, I have great personal regard for both Drs. McCune and Priest and have benefited greatly from their writings - especially as presently applied to the dialogue, new direction and influences being offered by Drs. Doran and Bauder.

I can only hope that those who are reading Drs. McCune and Priest will read them with as much profit as I have gained.


Mike said...

It's not inflammatory Lou. It's correct. You took someone that you disagree with on the most basic and fundamental of doctrines, salvation, and use them for something more secondary to promote your cause. That is the inflammatory part on your side. I find it hard to believe that you would know what they believe about fundamentalism, but not about the gospel??
It sounds like you have read enough of both of them to know what they believe. So to say that you don't know where they stand on the gospel leaves a lot of doubt.
Furthermore, your closing sentences in your last paragraph are just what many many fundamentalists have said about CE's--for which you take them to task constantly. It appears that you want to have your cake and eat it too. People are just pointing out the hipocrisy of being inconsistent--doing exactly what you charge so many others with doing.
I personally agree with you that if you find the truth somewhere, it should be agreed with, no matter who says it. But the hypocrisy on your part is glaring.

Mike said...

Lou Again,
It wasn't inflammatory. James and myself both thought the same thing. I thought it before I read DMD's post. We were just reacting to what you say and write, not to DMD.

Anonymous said...

I agree completely that one normally may quote from authors without agreeing on all points with them. When a person, though, establishes a pattern of using quotes without thinking through the implications of such uses, it smacks of cheap debate tricks (e.g., not seeing that McCune challenging McLachlan would seem to undercut the idea that Bauder has somehow taken Central away from the direction of his predecessor.)

I didn't see my statement regarding the quotes as inflammatory. I saw it as militancy, and I am sure Lou can come up with a quote of me defending militancy.


Ben said...


1. I don't see how you can possibly think that RM's comments about the tone of a book written 18 years ago has anything to do with this conversation. I seem to say that to you a lot, but don't let it stop you.

2. For someone who acts as if he knows a lot about the gospel the CEs preach, I find it ironic that you have been so inattentive to the doctrine of Drs. McCune and Priest. It's not as if they're hiding under theological rocks. I mean, Volume 3 is still kinda new and all but RM has a Systematic Theology in print. Perhaps you assumed he believed your version of the gospel because he's a fundamentalist? Odd.

3. Whether or not you've paid attention to Dr. Priest's theology, I don't see how you can possibly find his comments helpful when he acknowledges CE defense of the very gospel that you call false! You keep playing both sides of the fence. Not that I want you to stop. I have a pretty high regard for the reading comprehension of the people who stop by here, for the most part.

IOW, I agree with Dave, DMD, Mike, James. Perhaps you're providing DMD with some nice illustrations for tomorrow's conference though.

Ben said...

d4v34x, I'd encourage you not to simply assume that RM's critique of DM is on target. I've read Reclaiming twice and never had that reaction. Not in the slightest. I'm not suggesting it wasn't provocative or critical at points, but I have no recollection of the tone RM alludes to. But it's been a while, so I could be wrong.

Frankly, I have a hard time imagining DM having a sharply negative tone. It's never struck me as his style. I have picked up that tone from time to time with RM, but others here know both of them far better than I.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
d4v34x said...

Ben, I merely meant assume for the purposes of this discussion and noted that, even if true, it doesn't help us assess Bauder much.

But I have nobler things to attend to and best get to them lest I be anonymously chastised . . .

No wonder kids all over the midwest are going to school without their lunches packed!

Anonymous said...

There is nothing quite like cowardly ignorance. (And it only took my ten seconds to type that.)


Ben said...

Dear Anonymous (the one who does not sign DMD at the bottom),

I'm not at all in the habit of deleting cheap and rather uninventive personal attacks. But then, on the rare occasions when they occur, they're most often directed at me, and I appreciate the entertainment. In your case, since you've engaged a welcome guest, I'll try to be a decent host and make an exception.

And I'm sure you know, it is not only seminary presidents who will give account for how they steward their time.

joel s. said...

I wish I had checked this blog six days ago, especially to Dr. Bauder's observation that Cornerstone U., Cedarville, and ABWE have moved from fundamentalism into broad evangelicalism. As a recent adjunct professor of Cornerstone U. I can assure you that is not the case. Yet they have moved away from historic fundamentalism as defined by Dr. Bauder into the Conservative evangelical arena. The differences between Fundamentalism and Conservative Evangelicalism as defined by Dr. Bauder is spot on and those are the reasons that at least Cornerstone and Cedarville are no longer historically fundamental. I would argue that ABWE is still within the historically fundamental camp. For instance, ABWE would not tolerate those within the charismatic movement as missionaries. Whereas in my urban ministry class at Cornerstone I had 5 or so students that were connected heavily to charismatic churches in Grand Rapids.

At the same time, Cornerstone and Cedarville have maintained thriving relationships with certain GARBC fundamental churches within Western Michigan, Indiana, and throughout the state of Ohio.

In contrast, I have found that a Broader evangelicalism has a disdain for historic fundamentalism, especially for its embrace of dispensationalism. Dispensationalism becomes the "whipping-boy" and the reason for every perceived problem and Cornerstone and Cedarville just don't think that way. They still have an affection and even respect their fundamentalist brothers and sisters, although they would think of them as somewhat quirky.

I know maybe it is just semantics, but I think it is important to make this distinction between broader evangelicalism and conservative evangelicalism in regards to Cornerstone and Cedarville to be more pinpointingly accurate.

Brian said...

To Joel,
You stated, "I would argue that ABWE is still within the historically fundamental camp. For instance, ABWE would not tolerate those within the charismatic movement as missionaries."
I give you this observation from recently, ABWE has a record of accepting missionaries from evangelical churches. There is one missionary couple I saw in their publication last year that comes from Mark Driscoll's church in Seattle, hardly a bastion of Fundamentalism. I recently had a missionary contact me that was with ABWE who comes from an evangelical church elsewhere in the state where I pastor. I would not consider ABWE within historic fundamentalism.

Ben said...

Brian, your comment about my "anonymous chide" came through to my e-mail. No idea why it's not online. I was referring to the person who took a shot at DMD's use of time, FWIW.

Ben said...

I deleted that post, so you won't see it now.

Anonymous said...

Ben, you will have to remember this thread if you decide to do a top 10 in December.

joel s. said...

Dear Brian,

As for ABWE having a missionary couple coming from Driscoll's church, I went through the past two years combing through their candidate classes for evidence of this and found none (you can find THE MESSENGER online at ABWE's web page). So I am alittle bit skeptical of your assertion (but I am happy to be proved wrong). As for a missionary from ABWE from an evangelical church, I'd be interested in knowing who the missionary was and what church he came from.

I'm thinking we may have some differences of what constitutes historical fundamentalism. I've had several interactions and disagreements with Lou about this, (I see you agree with him often on his blogsite) of the many different stripes of fundamentalists that trace back their history to the beginnings of the movement.

For instance, my heritage is GARBC. My GARBC church, since the 1940's has supported evangelical mission organizations such as TEAM, SIM, New Tribes, Wycliffe along with the ABWE's and the Baptist Mid-Missions. In fact, the head of TEAM grew up in my church, Berean Baptist of Grand Rapids and still supports he and his wife. My point is, that there are huge segments of historic fundamental churches/groups such as the GARBC and the IFCA that do not see eye to eye with the certain IFB types such as yourself about separation and have maintained relationships with conservative evangelicals for generations yet are part of the fragmentation of historic fundamentalism since the beginning. Your view about separation within fundamentalism is only one idea among many, even though you seem to try to make it as if it the only historic one.

I might add that as much as you and Lou and others desire to save young fundamentalists from the "corruption" of the Bauders and the Dorans that you are constantly fighting against, instead your group is perceived by many young fundamentalists coming across more like the the Baptist fundamentalists that are parodied in "

Shayne McAllister said...


I wonder what one means by "from Driscoll's church." Did they attend for a short time? Did they get gloriously converted there? (Can I get an Amen? You do know people get saved there all the time?) That doesn't mean that now for the rest of their life they have to be automatically associated with every mistake Driscoll has made. In a movement defined by associations, unfairly leveled charges of guilt by association is all too common.

My church plant had some of the original, active, and long time members of Mars Hill attend for about a year until an Acts29 plant started up in our area. Given that about a third to half of our church went to BJU, we were surprised they stuck and fit in so well. They were extraordinarily well-taught, and really helpful folks. We were happy to have them.

Brian said...

To Joel and Shayne,
Sorry for not getting back to you on the ABWE missionary. First, it was not in last year's candidate class (2010) or 2009's but in 2008's class which happens to be missing in the online magazine version. I did finally find my hard copy from 2008 and yes, a couple who lists Mars Hill Church, Seattle as their church. I brought this up because of the statements made that ABWE was a fundamentalist mission agency. Mark Driscoll has blasted fundamentalism on occasion, so I find it a bit odd that a couple from his church would then go and be accepted for missionary service through a supposed fundamentalist mission agency, in this case, ABWE.

Shayne McAllister said...


I find it to be a good thing rather than a bad thing that ABWE can have a missionary from Mars Hill Church, Seattle. Generally I think Mark Driscoll doesn't understand how diverse fundamentalism is, but he critiques the bad sectors quite well. Either way, the candidates don't have to account for their pastor's mistakes to a mission board. Maybe they've changed views on some things since leaving Mars Hill, or they see the gospel commitment of ABWE and are completely unaware of how other Christians may judge their associations.

While it is an odd situation, it's a good kind of odd.


Brian said...

Well, Shayne we obviously see these things from quite different perspectives. While I can and do rejoice in the salvation of sinners, yet I will not condone necessarily the places where they responded to the Gospel. But again, that is not what brought my thoughts to this thread, it has to do with the assumption that ABWE is still very much a fundamentalist mission board. Reality says its not when you open the door for candidates to come from self professing non-fundamentalist churches. No, it's not a good thing. We shall agree to disagree on this one.