March 12, 2010

Let’s Get “CRYSTAL” Clear on This: A Response to Kevin Bauder’s “Cannonball” Cogitations, Part 2

Dear Guests of IDOTG:

Part 1 of this series, A Response to Kevin Bauder’s “Cannonball” Cogitations was posted on Sunday, March 7. If you have not had an opportunity to read part one you really should use the link before proceeding here.

Today, I am picking up where I left off in part one, which I closed with,

In my second response to Kevin Bauder’s Let’s Get Clear on This I am going to address his numerous expressions along the theme that the conservative evangelicals,

…are the foremost defenders of the gospel today… their vigorous commitment to and defense of the gospel …a coalition of Christian leaders who have directed our focus to the centrality of the gospel.”

Are they; have they? I will answer that question in the next.
In this installment I am going to let certain so-called “conservative” evangelicals represent themselves. It is from their own testimony that we challenge Kevin Bauder’s claim they are “defenders of the Gospel.” In the second and final half of this article, scheduled to appear next week, I will address what has been the missing consideration in this discussion, but clearly the most significant.

Before I begin with the first, however, I want to review an unusual claim that Kevin Bauder made in regard to these “defenders of the Gospel.” He wrote,
Conservative evangelicalism encompasses a diverse spectrum of Christian leaders. Representatives include John Piper, Mark Dever, John MacArthur, Charles Ryrie…. , but they can be classed together because of their vigorous commitment to and defense of the gospel.
Earlier this week I e-mailed Bauder’s statement above to two friends who have worked in close cooperation with Dr. Ryrie on various projects over the years. The reaction of both men can be summed by one who said:
Evidently Bauder has not caught wind of the gospel debate to say that MacArthur and Ryrie both defend the same gospel.”
Nuff said!

Are conservative evangelicals, “the foremost defenders of the gospel today?”

I want to make clear that in this section I am not broad-brushing all conservative evangelicals. I will be making a specific application to certain specific individuals.

Al Mohler and Ligon Duncan are among the original signatories to the Manhattan Declaration, the first cousin of its forerunner, Evangelicals & Catholics Together. Mohler and Duncan reject the admonitions of their peers, including John MacArthur, and remain unrepentant. No mention of this incident made its way into Bauder’s article. Why not?

Compromising the Gospel through ecumenism- giving Christian recognition to the “enemies of the cross of Christ,” (Phil. 3:18) is NOT what genuine “defenders of the Gospel” do. This is, however, exactly what Mohler and Duncan did, which was an affront to the Gospel and treason to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Incidentally, signing the MD was not limited to conservative evangelicalism’s star personalities- Mohler and Duncan alone. There is at least one lesser known who has a speaking assignment for a breakout session at T4G who also signed the MD. I refer to Dr. David Platt (#171 under the MD’s List of Religious & Organizational Leaders Signatories, accessed 3/10/10).

The problem for men like Bauder, who crave closer cooperation with conservative evangelicals, is this: If Dr. Bauder recognizes what was done in the Manhattan Declaration and acknowledges it was an act of disobedience, which it is, then he is duty bound to obey the biblical mandates to “withdraw from…admonish, mark and avoid” the disobedient brethren who do these things (2 Thess. 3:14-15; Rom. 16:17). His duty does not end there. As a responsible seminary president he must also warn his faculty, staff and student body to likewise refrain from cooperation and/or fellowship with the disobedient. Then as he follows that to its logical and stark conclusion he would naturally want to discourage attending T4G because Mohler and Duncan are among its leadership and the keynote speakers.

Dr. Bauder wrote, “We must do nothing to weaken their hand in the face of the enemies of the gospel.” In Bauder’s world we do not admonish, mark or avoid the evangelicals who have weakened the gospel by hobnobbing with the “enemies of the gospel,” as was done when Mohler, Duncan and Platt signed the Manhattan Declaration.
For the sake of the clarity of the gospel, believers and churches must separate from those who compromise the faith by granting Christian recognition and fellowship to those who have denied essential doctrines of the faith (Rom 16:17; Phil 3:17-19; cf. 2 Thess 3:6-15)…. We cannot extend Christian fellowship to those who deny fundamental doctrines of the Faith. We cannot ignore the disobedience of those who do so.” (Dave Doran: From his Gospel-Driven Separation series: Starting at the Right Spot, Part 1, Glory & Grace blog, Nov. 23, 2009, accessed 3/10/10).
Nevertheless, at T4G, men who claim fidelity to the biblical obligations defined above will happily sit under the teaching ministry of Mohler, Duncan, Platt, et. al. during T4G as if the Scriptures above do not exist.

The crux of this controversy is not really about saving or slaying a movement even though some may have that as an agenda. What is truly at stake and the focal point of debate is whether or not men are going to live in absolute fidelity to the Word of God. Will men make a personal application of the biblical mandates without partiality, or they will redefine and/or brush aside the mandates to legitimize their fellowship with disobedient brethren?

In the next and final installment of this series we will examine the one remaining issue that removes any doubt that many of the conservative evangelicals, the star personalities in particular, are far from Kevin Bauder’s alleged, “foremost defenders of the gospel today.”

In the interim, however, exciting news. I am publishing an article submitted by a first time contribution to this blog. This preacher offers a unique, no non-sense approach to how Kevin Bauder constantly extols the “virtues” of evangelical Protestants while, at the same time, deriding the “vices” of Fundamental Baptists.

You do not want to miss this article schedule to post early Monday morning.


Please continue to- A Response to Kevin Bauder’s “Cannonball” Cogitation: “Foremost Defenders of the Gospel Today?”

For special contributions to this discussion see- A Letter from Dr. Richard V. Clearwaters to Kevin Bauder submitted by Evangelist Dwight Smith and Muddying the Clearwaters submitted by Pastor Marc Monte.

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