August 11, 2010

Faith Baptist-Central Merger Talks Shelved: An Opinion Piece

Dear Guests of IDOTG:

Just a few days ago it was jointly announced by Faith Baptist Bible College & Seminary and Central Baptist Seminary that merger talks have ceased. There will be no merger.

As the deliberations have progressed, it has become apparent to both institutions that, for the time being, Central and Faith should minister collaboratively rather than as a single, merged institution.” (FBTS: Statement on Proposed Faith/Central Merger)
With one exception from a wide circle of men who communicate with me there is wide-spread relief the merger is not going forward. IMO, Faith had nothing to gain and everything to lose. A merger was doomed from the start for reasons we now see in the light of day.

Each institution has an ethos/culture statement. These include convictions, priorities, and what one will tolerate or not tolerate. They exposed significant differences that apparently became major factors for the merger not going forward. Divergent tolerate and not-tolerate stands made it certain and I didn’t ever think the merger ever had a chance because of this more than any other reason.

Central’s faculty produced their ethos statements. Judging by the content of the Fundamentalism & Evangelicalism statement I initially believed and confirmed it was written by Kevin Bauder. The ninth paragraph is very telling. It opens with this statement,
Because of these differences we do not believe that complete cooperation with conservative evangelicalism is desirable.”
May I?
The paragraph closes with this statement,
For this reason, we believe that careful, limited forms of fellowship are possible.”
For many what should come immediately to mind is the camel’s nose in the tent. “Careful, limited forms of fellowship” now. Sure, but it never ends there; does it? Later there will be unfettered, full cooperation. If you crack the door open, even a little, it will eventually be found wide open.

Much could be said here, it is probably enough to say that elements from the institutional ethos/culture statements of each school would have yielded contributing factors for the cessation of merger talks.

A primary reason for a personal blessing for me that the merger is shelved is that through a merger Faith Baptist Bible College & Seminary would have had the face and views of Kevin Bauder stamped on their ministry and institution. That would IMO have initiated a demise of Faith just like Bauder’s face and stamp has contributed to and is accelerating the waning ministry of and influence for balanced biblical separatist Fundamentalism of Central Baptist Seminary.


Addendum: (8/27/10)
Just heard from a friend who wrote, “How odd it is for 2 staunch Calvinists (Bauder/Doran) to react against the Faith/Central non-merger, which in their thinking should be accepted as Sovereignly ordained.”

Site Publisher Note: Article edited- August 27, 2010 @ 11:50am.


  1. Addendum:

    As an aside, the first common-sense rule for any seminary president should be: Stay OFF the Blogs!


  2. Site Publisher’s Note:

    In a few days a major piece on this theme will be posted at a companion blog. I will advise on and link to it from here.

  3. To add a bit more of a personal observation, Kevin Bauder has, at least over the past year, been actively engaged in a redefining effort of what it means to be a Fundamentalist in his various series of articles he has posted. In Central's Ethos statement on Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism in the 10th paragraph he opens, "We wish to be used to restate, refine, and strengthen biblical Fundamentalism." Why not just "return" to Biblical Fundamentalism? In his 8 marks of strong Fundamentalism he has sought to narrow the focus in order to broaden the tent of coverage. Never before have I heard of the "fundamentals of the gospel." Fundamentals of the Faith, yes, but "fundamentals of the Gospel?" Referring back to my article you posted, he is trying to put anyone who would oppose this as being against the Gospel. When in reality I and others are not against the Gospel but against his redefining efforts.
    As Jeremiah of old said, "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls." (Jer. 6:16) But as in Jeremiah's day so it is in ours, to finish the verse, "But they said, We will not walk therein." Kevin Bauder has on several occasions repudiated deceased warriors for the faith. He has not once spoken against any of the CE men's aberrant doctrine. He has not once spoken of doctrine. The adage, Doctrine divides, is correct and right. It always has and always will divide. May many wake up, open their eyes, unwax their ears, and be discerning of those like Bauder who are seeking to undermine the historic Fundamentalist position.

  4. Brian:

    Thanks for comments. You wrote, "In his 8 marks of strong Fundamentalism he has sought to narrow the focus in order to broaden the tent of coverage."

    The tent of coverage just large enough for the camel of so-called "conservative" evangelicalism to get is nose through. The whole thing will come later with Kevin Bauder still running interference for and leading it in.