February 22, 2010

“Conservative” Evangelicalism: Threading a Frame Work for Discussion, Part 3

Dear Guests of IDOTG:

If you have not had an opportunity to read the previous submissions I encourage you to do so by returning to Part 1 and then Part 2 to get the full details from this helpful discussion. I want extend my appreciation to Pastor Will Dudding for our discussion at the RAM blog and then the comment he submitted here under Threading a Frame Work, Part 2. And now more of the thread commentary with Brother Will. Be sure to continue through the editor’s notes that follow.

Brother Will:

I’ll wind down our discussion with sermon excerpts from Dr. Mark Minnick who the RAM blog article had to do with. I’ll draw your attention to Rom. 16:17-20.

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

In 1997, at the Mid-America Conference on Preaching, Dr. Minnick preached a two part series on that passage. His sermon title was, The Scriptural Response to Teachers of Doctrinal Error. Dr. Minnick said:

What is this paragraph [Rom. 16:17-20] talking about? If you would look at verse 17 you will see that it is a paragraph dealing with people who are teaching contrary doctrine. . . . These are people who are teaching as truth doctrine that actually is alongside orthodoxy. They are teaching what is a contradiction to, what is the opposite of, what is antithetical to, the doctrines that are taught in the Scripture.... But when some man is the prime instigator, promoter, and advocate of an unbiblical position, we must expose that man as we denounce the sin he is promoting.”

Charismatic theology, disgraceful speech and ecumenical compromise are “unbiblical, contrary” doctrine and/or practices. They are, “antithetical to the doctrines that are taught in Scripture.” Do we agree on that point? Piper, Mahaney, Mohler, Duncan, Driscoll, et. al., have been admonished, refuse to respond to correction and are unrepentant. If we agree, then as Minnick also said,

If you take those terms [v. 17] and you ponder them for just a moment, what becomes apparent is this: our response in the first place is mandated. We have no subjective decision to make. The decision has already been made and the mandate is objective; it is in print! It has been in print for centuries! I exhort you, ‘mark’ them and ‘avoid’ them. . . . The response that we are given is a mandated response.

We are obligated to obey what is here!”

Will, I appreciate we’ve had this brief exchange. Most in our circles, who have an affinity for the conservative evangelical camp, bristle at any suggestion that we must admonish, withdraw, mark and possibly avoid them.

In the near future I am going to post additional articles at my blog on the theme we’ve discussed. I’d enjoy discussing this more thoroughly, with you, Don Johnson and any others who are willing to do so.


Editor’s Note:
Please continue to closing commentary drawn from this series. It will include an admonition to my IFB brethren who rush to embrace and/or endorse conservative evangelicalism- its star personalities, fellowships, conferences and coalitions.

I would also encourage my readers to visit Don Johnson’s blog to read his alternative approach to this discussion. You can peruse the comment thread where Will, Don and I shared our thoughts with one another. See The Vision Thing at an Ox Goad, eh?

Again my appreciation to Pastor Will Dudding who has been open and responsive to the legitimate concerns raised in regard to the doctrine and/or practices of conservative evangelicalism and, furthermore, what the Scriptural implications are. With so many in Fundamental circles becoming reluctant to make a personal application of the biblical mandates toward the conservative evangelicals, when they are clearly called for, Pastor Dudding’s willingness to give serious consideration to these things is encouraging. I am hopeful more will reconsider what their responsibility is to the Scriptures as they seek to strengthen their ties with conservative evangelicalism’s star personalities and their fellowships.

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