March 30, 2010

John Piper to Feature Rick Warren at 2010 Desiring God

Earlier this month I requested and have now received written confirmation from Bethlehem Baptist Church (BBC) that John Piper invited and will host Rick Warren as a keynote speaker at his (Piper’s) 2010 Desiring God conference.

The source from BBC said Desiring God will, “…eventually be posting registration instructions and conference details, including a video from John Piper on why he invited this year’s speakers,” including Rick Warren.

To date the Desiring God site for national conferences does not disclose Rick Warren or any other speakers for this year’s event. Piper’s explanation for the invitation to Rick Warren will I’m sure be thoroughly critiqued by a wide circle of concerned believers.

Rick Warren needs little introduction to Fundamental or evangelical circles. Most would recognize Warren has personally done more harm to authentic biblical Christianity in recent years than most any other pastor in Christian circles. For example:

Warren embraces deliberate pragmatism of the worst kind: He believes that anyone one can be reached based on “finding the key to that person’s heart.” Warren says, “We let the unchurched needs determine our programs; the unchurched hang-ups determine our strategy; the unchurched culture determine our style; the unchurched population determine our goals.” (Purpose Driven website)

Warren routinely misuses Scripture: The Bible is a tool that Warren manipulates to cover his own ideas with a veneer of divine authority.

Warren promotes extreme ecumenism: He has forged ties with the Roman Catholic Church, the Baptist World Alliance and the United Nations. Warren said, “I see absolutely zero reason in separating my fellowship from anybody,” Noting he has theological differences with many of the diverse denominations that invite him to speak, Warren added, That doesn't stop me from fellowshipping with them.” When he heard of the SBC's withdrawal, he added, “I thought, ‘This is silly! Why would we separate ourselves from brothers and sisters in the world?’” (Rick Warren at the Baptist World Alliance- Global Baptists Are in This Together.)

Warren redefines ministry in terms of social activism: Warren’s Global Peace Plan for “Purpose Driven Nations” includes involving himself with the UN, Council on Foreign Relations, etc. in order to rid the world of “poverty, disease, and illiteracy” by forming entangling alliances between churches, secular businesses, and governments. This is an agenda completely foreign to and for Warren replaces the Great Commission and the New Testament church as laid out in Acts and the Pauline Epistles. Through his cooperative efforts, Warren aligns himself with the same UN that seeks to rid the world” of unborn infants through their murder while still in the womb.

Warren accepts the worst sort of evangelistic reductionism:Wherever you are reading this, I invite you to bow your head and quietly whisper the prayer that will change your eternity: ‘Jesus, I believe in you and receive you.'’ If you sincerely meant that prayer, congratulations! Welcome to the family of God!”(PDL, p. 74).
Rick Warren’s Saddleback church is one of this generation’s most stark fulfillments of the Apostle Paul’s prophetic statement,
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables, (2 Tim. 4:3-4).
Even all of this is not enough for John Piper to exercise restraint and refrain from featuring Rick Warren at Desiring God.

John Piper hosts and endorses the ministry of Mark Driscoll who has preached at Robert Schuler’s Crystal Cathedral and is notorious for his disgraceful filth speech in the pulpit. Now Piper adds Rick Warren to his approved list of keynote speakers. No one can understand or explain why Piper embraces Rick Warren except Piper himself. This is a huge disconnect from what Piper writes in his books. One must question that Piper believes what he writes in his own books.

Will this be enough for John MacArthur, author of The Truth War, to finally obey the warranted biblical mandates to withdraw from John Piper. To cease from featuring Piper at his Resolved youth conference and/or sharing platforms with him? If MacArthur’s track record speaks to this, he will not.

There is a Trojan horse being allowed access to IFB circles and seminaries. In a thread at the pseudo- fundamentalist site Sharper Iron, Dr. Gerald Priest (DBTS faculty) wrote,
Kevin [Bauder]…has spent very little time warning us about the pitfalls and problems of conservative evangelicalism…. What I fear is that we may be allowing a Trojan horse into the fundamentalist camp. And after a while, if we keep going down this track, any significant difference between conservative evangelical and the fundamentalist institutions may disappear.” (See- Let’s Get “CRYSTAL” Clear on This: Kevin Bauder’s, “Foremost Defenders of the Gospel Today?”

Is this finally enough to halt the Trojan horse, in the form of John Piper, at the door and bar him from entrance into the Fundamentalist camp?

Kevin Bauder and Dave Doran are among Fundamentalism’s most vocal advocates of tolerance for and acceptance of the so-called conservative evangelicalism. Will John Piper’s hosting Rick Warren finally be enough for them to raise a genuine alarm to our next generation over Piper’s theology and practice? Is this finally enough to openly call for separatism from Piper in unvarnished terms? Will this be enough to discourage lavish praise of Piper’s ministry apart from any serious ministry of warning?

Will this be enough for a segment of Reformed IFB men to finally “withdraw from” and “have no company with” (2 Thess. 3:6, 14), to “mark” and “avoid” (Rom. 16:17) John Piper? Or will Piper’s hosting Rick Warren, just as his charismatic theology, hosting a RAP artist in his church, etc., be tolerated, allowed for and excused for the sake of increased exposure to and fellowship with him?


LM

Please continue to John Piper Explains Why He Invited Rick Warren to Desiring God for his web cast explanation in his own words.

See the third in this series, What are the T4G Men For to Do?

Continue also to- John Piper, "I'm Going to Need Help to Know Why I Should Feel Bad About This Decision."

UPDATE (3/31/10):
Here is a recording of John Piper explaining why he Invited Rick Warren to speak at Desiring God (4:36). I don’t think [he’s] a pragmatist...I don’t think he’s emergent. At root I think (Rick Warren) is theological and doctrinal and sound.” Really? You decide. IMO, whatever Piper’s reason for hosting Warren it is inexcusable!

Site Publisher’s Note:
John Piper has announced he is taking an extended leave of absence from ministry through 2010. He will, however, be engaged in Desiring God.
As you may have already heard in the sermon from March 27-28, the elders graciously approved on March 22 a leave of absence that will take me [John Piper] away from Bethlehem from May 1 through December 31, 2010…. I asked the elders to consider this leave because of a growing sense that my soul, my marriage, my family, and my ministry-pattern need a reality check from the Holy Spirit.
See Desiring God for his full disclosure.

March 24, 2010

Let’s Get “CRYSTAL” Clear on This: A Response to Kevin Bauder’s “Cannonball” Cogitations: “Foremost Defenders of the Gospel Today?”

Dear Guests of IDOTG:

We have arrived at the final stage of this series. Over the last 2+ weeks this series has included two previous articles by me that review and react to Kevin Bauder’s Let’s Get Clear on This. See-

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

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


You may also read the special contributions to this discussion A Letter from Dr. Richard V. Clearwaters to Kevin Bauder submitted by Evangelist Dwight Smith and Muddying the Clearwaters submitted by Pastor Marc Monte.

In this series we have thoroughly reviewed Let’s Get Clear on This by Dr. Kevin Bauder who has become conservative evangelicalism’s chief apologist in and to Fundamentalism. We have discussed a series of disconcerting issues with the so-called conservative evangelicals. While all of the issues are highly troublesome there is a single great danger that trumps all of the others combined. In this article we are going to discuss conservative evangelicals and a segment of Fundamentalists, “converging around a particular interpretation of the Gospel.”

Dr. Bauder wrote,

The sad truth is that the most forceful defenders of the gospel are no longer to be found within the Fundamentalist camp.”
Pastor Monte answered this from one perspective, for example.
“Kevin’s charge that ‘the most forceful defenders of the gospel are no longer to be found within the Fundamentalist camp’ constitutes nothing short of slander. Perhaps Dr. Bauder does not know the fundamentalists I know. I can name scores of pastors who regularly and rigorously defend the gospel. Ah, but therein lies the rub. Note, I said ‘pastors.’ You see, Bauder’s concern is that professional scholars defend the gospel, not lowly pastors.” (Muddying the Clearwaters)
Prior to and following Bauder’s broadbrush besmirchment of Fundamentalism’s defenders of the gospel he refers to *evangelicals such as John MacArthur, John Piper, Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan, et. al., in terms of, “their vigorous commitment to and defense of the gospel.” Bauder thinks the conservative evangelicals, “…are the foremost defenders of the gospel today.” Are they? Do they defend the Gospel? This is the area of my primary concern and what follows is my response to it.


I. Conservative Evangelicals Have Compromised the Gospel.

In November 2009 it was disclosed that Al Mohler and Ligon Duncan had signed the Manhattan Declaration (MD), which is the first cousin of Evangelical & Catholics Together. See- Al Mohler Signs the Manhattan Declaration. In part 2 of this series I wrote,
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…. 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.
With this betrayal of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which makes these men disobedient brethren; how can Bauder conclude that these men are “defenders of the gospel”? Surely Bauder has not forgotten that it was conservative evangelicals, not Fundamentalists, who eagerly signed the Manhattan Declaration. Surely he understands the Gospel was compromised and Christian recognition was given to the “enemies of the gospel.
While on the one hand ‘the Fundamentalist label is no guarantee of doctrinal fidelity,’ neither is the conservative evangelical label a guarantee either. Indeed, this supposed fidelity to the gospel in their various associations is undermined by their lack of separation from that which compromises the gospel. Al Mohler, for example, is considered one of the darlings among conservative evangelicals, yet he has caused great harm to the gospel by his endorsement of men and movements that have confused and corrupted it (e.g., Billy Graham, Duke McCall, and most recently the Manhattan Declaration). Fundamentalists should rightly separate from him as a disobedient brother. And although MacArthur, Sproul, and others have courageously criticized such endorsements, they still invite Mohler to their platform, because, they say, he speaks for the gospel, even after he has endorsed the social gospel. (If the Manhattan Declaration does advocate another gospel is this not a heresy from which we should separate and likewise from those who endorse it?). And I might add that there are plenty of conservative evangelicals that promote some form of the social gospel, which, as we well know, was a major plank in the neo-evangelical agenda.” (Dr. Gerald Priest, June 2009 in reaction to Kevin’s Bauder’s Let’s Get Clear on This.)

Cooperative efforts with the deadly “enemies of the cross of Christ” (Phil. 3:18) are inexcusable.

The Bible necessitates separatism from men who have committed, do not respond to admonishment and have not repented of this act of rebellion against the Scriptures and the Lord Jesus Christ whom they call upon as Lord. There is, however, a greater and more grievous issue coming from among believers in the New Testament Church.


II. Together for the “Lordship Salvation” Gospel.

When have Evangelicals ever converged as Lordship Salvation/Calvinists? One pastor shared with me that the old evangelicals were followers of Billy Graham who was certainly no proponent of Calvinism. Today’s evangelicals are by and large the heirs of the old new-evangelical empire, regardless of how Kevin Bauder thinks or wants to portray the history. They are converging around a “particular” interpretation of the Gospel that defines well the tenants of Calvinism, while allowing non-cessationists1 and ecumenicals2 to be part of their coalition platform. That interpretation of the Gospel is Lordship Salvation.
The Lordship Salvation controversy primarily revolves around the requirements for salvation, NOT the results of salvation. A genuine conversion should evidence itself in genuine results. New believers will vary in levels of growth, but growth should be evident to some degree. The primary focal point of controversy, however, is Lordship’s requirements for the reception of eternal life, i.e., how to become a Christian. (IDOTG: [Revised & Expanded Edition], not yet released)
Following are examples of Lordship Salvation as it is defined by some of its best known advocates.

Salvation is for those who are willing to forsake everything…. Thus in a sense we pay the ultimate price for salvation when our sinful self is nailed to a cross. . . . It is an exchange of all that we are for all that Christ is. And it denotes implicit obedience, full surrender to the lordship of Christ. Nothing less can qualify as saving faith.” (John MacArthur, TGATJ, p. 78, 140.)

And he needed to be willing to submit to the Lord Jesus, even if it meant he had to give up all his earthly possessions. He might not ask, but the requirement for eternal life is the willingness to give it all up if he does.” (John MacArthur, Hard to Believe, p. 9.)

One of the most comprehensive invitations to salvation in all the epistles comes in James 4:7-10 ... The invitation in 4:7-10 is directed at those who are not saved...” (From the 20th Anniversary edition of TGATJ, p. 250).
Pastor Steven Lawson from the 2007 Resolved Conference,
If you want to receive this gift it will cost you the total commitment of all that you are to the Lord Jesus Christ. There are many here who think they are saved, but are not; they have never really done business with God… “You need to make terms of peace with this king or you will be subjected in damnation forever…. His terms are this: you must love Him more than anything. If you cannot do this, you will meet Him in the final judgment and glorify God in your destruction.” See- An Example of Lordship’s Man-Centered Message
These and many more statements like them have never been edited, explained or eliminated. In fact, they have been reiterated and reinforced.

At the pseudo-fundamentalist Sharper Iron site the following thread comment excerpts were posted in recent days.
John Piper advocates both an initial justification and a final phase of justification when the believer stands before Christ as seen at 2 Cor. 5:10. He [Piper] clearly states its purpose is our final examination of works involving our salvation. He states our works will be examined to determine if we were and are truly justified (go to his sermon on that passage on the Desiring God website). He states our salvation is the issue…. He [Piper] endorses Puritan oriented Calvinism that includes a false doctrine of assurance and Justification that must be proven by works before Christ. We are witnessing the silent disintegration of Grace alone, by faith alone, through Christ alone….
Examples of a final phase of justification includes,
There is no doubt that Jesus saw a measure of real, lived-out obedience to the will of God as necessary for final salvation.” (John Piper, What Jesus Demands From the World, p. 160).

Endurance in faith is a condition for future salvation. Only those who endure in faith will be saved for eternity.” (R. C. Sproul, Grace Unknown, p. 198.)
All of these examples above, and there are many more, are irrefutable evidence that the message most conservative evangelicals teach, Lordship Salvation, is antithetical to the Gospel of grace.
A change of life through submission to the lordship of Christ should come as a result of salvation. It is antithetical to the Scriptures to take what should be the RESULT of salvation and make the resolve to perform those things in discipleship the REQUIREMENT for salvation.... Lordship Salvation places demands on the sinner for salvation [justification] that the Bible does not. (In Defense of the Gospel, [Rev. & Exp. Edition] not yet released).
Lordship Salvation changes the terms of the Gospel!

John MacArthur is a sincere servant of the Lord, of that we have no doubt.... We believe in his advocacy of the so-called lordship salvation he is wrong. He desperately desires to see holiness, lasting fruit, and continuing faithfulness in the lives of Christian people. This reviewer and we believe all sincere church leaders desire the same.... But the remedy for this condition is not found in changing the terms of the gospel” (Dr. Ernest Pickering: Lordship Salvation: An Examination of John MacArthur’s Book, The Gospel According to Jesus)
Lordship Salvation is a man centered, non-saving message that corrupts “the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3) and frustrates grace (Gal. 2:21).3


The message of faith only and the message of faith plus commitment of life [LS] cannot both be the gospel; therefore, one of them is a false gospel and comes under the curse of perverting the gospel or preaching another gospel (Gal. 1:6-9), and this is a very serious matter.” (Dr. Charles Ryrie, Balancing the Christian Life, p. 170)
Lordship Salvation is a perversion of the Gospel! Its spread must be resisted. Its advocates must be marked and avoided in defense of the Gospel and to protect the unsuspecting from falling into the trap of Lordship’s man-centered message.



III. Are Kevin Bauder’s Conservative Evangelicals, “The Foremost Defenders of the Gospel Today?”

No, They are not! Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan, et. al., erred grievously when they signed the Manhattan Declaration. Al Mohler sat as chairman for the 2001 Billy Graham crusade in Louisville, KY. These things are not done by “genuine defenders of the gospel.”

Men like Kevin Bauder, for the sake of fellowship with and promotion of conservative evangelicals, have ignored, tolerated, allowed for and/or excused these acts of disobedience to the biblical mandates. (2 Cor. 6:14-17; Eph. 5:11; 2 John 9-11). Is this not also an act of disobedience?

Bauder closes Let’s Get Clear on This by stating,
We must do nothing to weaken their hand in the face of the enemies of the gospel.”
The Inspired Commentary speaks to us today from the apostle Paul’s first century admonition.
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:28-31)
Hobnobbing with unbelievers through the MD opens the door for “grievous wolves [to] enter in among you.” Furthermore, “of our own selves” men have arose “speaking perverse things” in the form of Lordship Salvation’s assault on the Gospel of grace.

Does the Bible teach that man must add to faith in whom Christ is and what He did to provide salvation a “commitment of life,” or a promise of submission to the lordship of Christ in order to be saved? Or does the Bible teach that man’s salvation is by grace through faith, apart from any work, promised or performed? Dr. Robert Lightner wrote,
Salvation is either by God’s grace or by human effort, commitment, or work. It cannot be by both, anymore than law and grace were both means of salvation in Paul’s day.” (Sin, the Savior and Salvation, p. 203)
Lordship Salvation as it is defined by men such as John MacArthur, John Piper, Steven Lawson is a departure from and a corruption of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

When Together for the Gospel (T4G) and The Gospel Coalition events converge in alternating years they converge around Lordship Salvation. For the sake of clarity these conferences should come to be better known as:

Together for the Lordship Salvation Gospel, and
The Lordship Salvation Coalition.

Those are terms that accurately define the message that conservative evangelicals and a segment of IFB men are converging around in those fellowships.

The egregious errors of Lordship Salvation’s works-based salvation (justification) trump all of the other aberrant theology (Charismatic teaching), ecumenical compromises and worldliness in conservative evangelicalism combined.



IV. Conclusion to the Series:

Kevin Bauder insists, “We must do nothing to weaken their hand.”

There is little more we can do to weaken the hand of the conservative evangelicals beyond what they have done by their own hand already. Their hands and their voices are severely weakened in defense of the Gospel for reasons, which we have given evidence of today. Yet, Kevin Bauder encourages and calls upon Fundamentalists to sit at their feet and learn from them.

At the conservative evangelical Sharper Iron site Dr. Gerald Priest (Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary faculty) posted a comment that included the following,
Kevin [Bauder] 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…. What I fear is that we may be allowing a Trojan horse into the fundamentalist camp. And after a while, if we keep going down this track, any significant difference between conservative evangelical and the fundamentalist institutions may disappear.
A Trojan horse is being allowed into the fundamentalist camp. Kevin Bauder is passionately advocating for opening the gates to allow it free roam in IFB circles and leading the next generation to within its reach. Bauder’s actions on behalf of conservative evangelicalism and repeated castigation of Fundamentalism has all the earmarks of an effort to define conservative evangelicalism as if it is the embodiment of true, historic Fundamentalism. He is wrong!

Among men in Fundamentalism who are encouraging increased acceptance of conservative evangelicals, we are seeing any number of patterns develop, which include:
Tolerate, allow for and excuse the aberrant theology, ecumenical compromise and worldly methods of ministry in conservative evangelicalism for the sake of fellowship with them around Calvinism and Lordship Salvation.

Endorse and attend events such as T4[the LS]G where these men are in leadership and/or are its keynote speakers apart from any genuine “ministry of warning.”

Welcoming conservative evangelicals to the lecterns of our **Bible colleges and seminaries putting our next generation in harm’s way by exposing impressionable students to compromised Christian leaders and scholars, which is not only dangerous, but is an act of disobedience.

Refrain from teaching or obeying the biblical mandates to admonish, withdraw from, mark and avoid in regard to their aberrant theology, ecumenism and worldliness in ministry. (Rom. 16:17)

Articulate, but highly reluctant to make a personal application of the “biblical obligations” for Gospel-Driven separation.

Ecumenical compromise and Lordship Salvation’s assault on the Gospel of grace are NOT the works or doctrine of genuine, “defenders of the gospel.”


LM


Please proceed to the thread for two very important appendix entries to this article.

1) John Piper and C. J. Mahaney believe and teach that the Charismatic sign gifts (tongues, the gift of prophecy) are active and should be sought after today.

2) The message of ecumenism is that doctrinal differences are not so great that they can’t be set aside to work together for some common cause. Similarly, ecumenism can be defined as the setting aside of theological differences to work in cooperation towards mutually shared goals.

3) Examples of Lordship Salvation’s works based message can be read at:

Summary of Lordship Salvation From a Single Page

Lordship Salvation: Charles Spurgeon's Personal Testimony Speaks Against It

Lordship’s Man-Centered Message

John MacArthur’s Mandatory Performance Guidelines for “Lordship” Salvation
With excerpt from Dr. J. B. Hixson’s Getting the Gospel Wrong.

*Incredibly Kevin Bauder links Charles Ryrie and John MacArthur as co-defenders of the Gospel. Is Bauder unaware of the sharp divide between MacArthur and Ryrie on the nature of saving faith?

**The irony following Dr. Priest’s caution about the Trojan horse is DBTS president Dave Doran announcing in Separation in Academic Contexts he will be (and has in fact) begun hosting conservative evangelicals for “academic lectures and presentations” at DBTS. This subject will be discussed in an upcoming article.

March 18, 2010

Muddying the Clearwaters by Pastor Marc Monte

There is a sad irony in Kevin Bauder’s recent article “Let’s Get Clear on This.” As president of *Central Seminary in Minneapolis, Bauder is the heir to the fundamentalist, separatist legacy of Dr. Richard V. Clearwaters. Clearwaters was many things to many people, but he was preeminently a fundamental Baptist separatist who preferred the label Biblicist above all others. He was a scholar, pastor, and champion of local church ideology. He often spoke of the “lengthened shadow of a man,” meaning the legacy a man leaves after he is gone. Central Seminary is part of Doc’s “lengthened shadow;” but, sadly, the shadow bears little resemblance to the man who cast it.

Bauder’s position differs markedly from the strong separatist stance of R.V. Clearwaters. “
Doc,” as he was called, had no trouble “calling a spade a spade.” Bauder struggles with that. For example, Bauder distinguishes the conservative evangelicals (CE) from the fundamentalists by admitting their “anti-dispensationalism,” toleration of “Third-Wave charismatic theology,” accommodation of contemporary pop culture, and toleration of “apostates.” Yet, with that significant admission, Kevin hesitates to label any of these men “New Evangelicals.” If tolerating charismatic theology, adopting contemporary culture and tolerating apostates is not “New Evangelical,” I don’t know what is. Those who knew Clearwaters realize that he would have no problem naming these traits as characteristic of the New Evangelicalism. The idea that these men don’t practice “infiltration” techniques does not mean they are not New Evangelicals. For the most part, they don’t need to “infiltrate” anything; they have their own avowedly New Evangelical institutions over which they preside.

Having charitably distinguished CE’s from fundamentalists, Bauder immediately attacks fundamentalists as doctrinal obscurantists. For reasons known only to himself, Bauder mocks those whose doctrinal concerns include bibliology, the blood atonement, and sovereignty/freewill. Apparently Bauder feels that the doctrinal concerns of fundamentalists are illegitimate and ill-informed. He goes as far as stating that fundamentalists “
have lost their doctrinal sobriety.”

Quite to the contrary, serious fundamentalist scholars have engaged in vital theological debate. While the text of Scripture appears of little consequence to Bauder, many fundamentalists recognize a settled, pristine text as essential to the “
faith once delivered.” (Jude 3) The nature of the blood atonement of Christ, a central theme of the Gospel, has been vigorously defended against those who would repudiate “slaughterhouse theology.” Far from being fringe issues, these matters strike at the heart of Biblical Christianity, and fundamentalists take these things very seriously.

Kevin’s charge that “
the most forceful defenders of the gospel are no longer to be found within the Fundamentalist camp” constitutes nothing short of slander. Perhaps Dr. Bauder does not know the fundamentalists I know. I can name scores of pastors who regularly and rigorously defend the gospel. Ah, but therein lies the rub. Note, I said “pastors.” You see, Bauder’s concern is that professional scholars defend the gospel, not lowly pastors. And here is the crux of the issue: Dr. Bauder sees it as the job of the Christian scholar (college and seminary professors) to defend the Gospel. The Bible, however, knows of no such thing. Paul said that the local church is the “pillar and ground of the truth.” In other words, the local church—not the college or seminary—is the first line of defense for the truth. Fundamentalist pulpits have not surrendered the Gospel. Fundamentalist pastors defend the Gospel every week. Pastors, not seminary professors, are responsible for the conservation and proclamation of the Gospel. By and large, the fundamentalist brethren are doing a splendid job at this—most without even referencing the latest book by John Piper.


The real issue with Bauder’s article is not whether fundamentalists should refrain from calling his beloved CE’s “New Evangelicals.” The real issue is an intellectual elitism that minimizes the importance of the local church and its pastor in defense of the faith.

Dr. Clearwaters understood that the local church was charged with the propagation of the truth. He founded a seminary, not to undermine local church authority, but to bolster the prestige of pastors in their efforts of defending the faith.

The bottom line is simple enough: Fundamentalist pastors are doing a superb job of defending the Gospel in their pulpits. They’re doing so without worrying about such foreign errors as “
Third-Wave Charismatic Theology” and “Open Theism.” They’re boldly preaching Christ and Him crucified. They’re not known among the scholars, and most don’t have widely-read blogs. But they’re getting the job done for God.

Rather than fawn over the intellectual elites of our day, Dr. Bauder would better serve his constituency by turning out an army of seminary graduates who love souls, preach the Gospel fearlessly, defend the faith, separate from error, and boldly hold forth fundamentalist, Baptist convictions. And he should honor his godly predecessor by an unapologetic, thoroughgoing Biblicist stance.

In short, Dr. Bauder,
Don’t Muddy the Clearwaters!


Pastor Marc Monte
Faith Baptist Church (Avon)

*See Thread for History of Central with emphasis on Doc Clearwaters.

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

Site Publisher Note:
This article by Pastor Monte is the latest in a series of responses to Kevin Bauder's Let’s Get Clear on This. Some sites such as the pseudo-fundamentalist Sharper Iron have a tendency of intolerance toward some commentary that is critical of Kevin Bauder’s article(s) and the so-called conservative evangelicalism he advocates on behalf of. I am, however, willing to make various reactions, recollections and/or perspectives available, such as Pastor Monte’s above, to my guests for their consideration.

For the first two from my series, which reviews Kevin Bauder’s Let’s Get Clear on This see- Let’s Get “CRYSTAL” Clear on This: A Response to Kevin Bauder’s “Cannonball” Cogitations

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

You may also read A Letter from Dr. Richard V. Clearwaters to Kevin Bauder submitted by Evangelist Dwight Smith.

March 14, 2010

A Letter from *Dr. Richard V. Clearwaters to Kevin Bauder

Dear Dr. Bauder:

No doubt you are a bit familiar with me and the ministry God gave me in the not too distant past. I had humble beginnings, being born in Kansas into a Christian home. However, I turned from God in my teenage years. He lovingly brought me to Himself through the tragic loss of my brother and through an old fashioned, three week evangelistic meeting in Washington State.

God led me to train for ministry at the Moody Bible Institute. It was there I learned the essentials of Bible Institute training – The English Bible, gospel music, and personal evangelism. At this school, I heard the men who shaped my philosophy of ministry – men like R.A. Torrey, Billy Sunday, G. Campbell Morgan, and Griffith Thomas. From here, I received further training at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kalamazoo College, and the Chicago University.

From my early days as a Christian, I knew God had called me to the pastorate. As you may know, The Lord allowed me to pastor in Wilton Center, IL, Kalamazoo, MI, Cedar Rapids, IA and then Minneapolis, MN. My last pastorate spanned over four decades and was certainly full of God’s rich blessing. Many great revivals took place during my tenure as the pastor! Many people were saved! God even allowed me to found the Pillsbury Baptist Bible College and the school which you now lead.

It may seem strange that I am writing to you since my decease, but it is not nearly as strange as some of your recent writings are to me. I have noticed with great consternation, the e-posts you have placed on sharperiron.org and other places. As the founder of Central Baptist Theological Seminary, an Independent Baptist Seminary, it is not a little troubling to me.

I want to appeal to a sense of love for and loyalty to the Scripture. When Central Baptist Theological Seminary was founded, we chose Isaiah 8:20 as the theme verse. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Do you believe this, Kevin? I am certain that you do. Allow me to bear my burden to you.

It is astounding to me that in many of your recent writings on a professedly fundamental, Baptist site, you seem to constantly extol the “virtues” of evangelical Protestants while, at the same time, deriding the “vices” of Fundamental Baptists. Reading your posts would lead some to wonder if you weren’t just writing a resume for some “conservative evangelical” seminary to read and then hire you. No doubt, Fundamental Baptists have their “flaws,” as do others in a different theological orbit, but must you constantly point these out with little or no qualification? It is hard to read even one of your tomes without hearing you constantly jab at the perceived flaws of some past and even present Independent Baptists. Could this constant derision of Fundamental Baptist preachers be sourced in bitterness toward those who have disappointed you in the past? Is this generalization of the movement, of which you “claim” to be a part, healthy? Do you think it is possible that your constant diatribe against “your own” is one of the main reasons some young people are leaving sound churches for “greener pastures?”

Also, while reading your articles, I have observed an inordinate affection towards pseudo-intellectual teaching and a disdain for old-fashioned, confrontational, Bible preaching. Make no mistake, old fashioned, confrontational Bible preaching is exactly why I founded Central Seminary. My burden was to train men with an airtight understanding of the Scripture, with the ability to stand in pulpits across the land and preach “thus saith the Lord,” with the desire to start churches and win souls to Christ. To the contrary, I did not start the school over which you preside, for men to flounder in unbelief, for them to wonder for decades where they stand, or for them to be given to counseling, teaching, and academic idolatry. I often told the men I was training, “We use the mind here, but we do not worship it.”

On another count, I am grieved when I see you lauding extreme Calvinists who are not even Baptists. Brother Bauder, they and their ilk are not responsible for founding the school called Central. Extreme Calvinists were not the ones who funded its inception. They did not show up each week to knock on doors and tell people about Christ. They were not the sacrificial givers who willingly gave to make God’s vision possible. I could not depend upon them to start and operate the WCTS radio station. They were not the ones who yielded themselves to make a Baptist camp possible. They did not give to support the cause of missions around the world. Yet you cannot seem to praise them enough? You call them an ally, when historically they have proven to be opponents of Fundamental Baptists? Is this right? These, that you laud, include the Aaron’s who have compromised in areas of separation. They include the Jehoshaphats who “love them that hate the Lord.”

A few weeks back you wrote an article called Conundrum and with amazing transparency told of your journey to where you are now. You listed several authors, left, center and right, who have helped shape who you are today. While I appreciate your honesty, it saddened my heart to hear how men, some of whom have little regard for the Law and Testimony, so influenced your life. I sought in vain to read where Paul, John, Peter, Matthew, Elijah, Michaiah, Samuel, or any others of the many Bible servants influenced you. I looked to no avail, for some of the godly, Fundamental Baptist men of the past to have molded your life. Why, Kevin? Why allow these new-evangelical, left-leaning men to have such sway in your heart? Surely you must know this is not what will build character in your young ministry students. Do you know that? Certainly you have heard the axiom, “What the parents do in moderation, the children will do in excess.” Doesn’t this give you pause to weigh carefully the consequences of your published e-words? Where is your caution as a preacher-training “parent?” Why do you continually laud men who violate Bible truth and systematically reject what we tried to teach in the early days of Central?

Lastly, I must say, that I preached my entire ministry from the KJV. Was that wrong, outmoded, or ineffective? You seem to loathe anyone who does preach from this Bible and won’t preach from another? With the help of God, I was able to see Fourth Baptist grow through old-fashioned preaching, soulwinning and discipleship. While this may contradict the conservative evangelical code, is this unacceptable or a violation of the Word of God? I preached the Bible faithfully, stood for it vigorously, and opposed the liberals, modernists, and evangelical protestant compromisers of my day. Did I miss some verse that contradicts these paths? Did I fail in my ministry in these areas? Be sure, I made some mistakes, and could elaborate them quite clearly, but in these matters, did I disobey God? We experienced real revival at our church, in our youth group, and at our schools. Is this out of date and no longer en vogue for the 21st century?

Dr. Bauder, all given appearances seem to indicate you are intentionally trying to lead those who follow your writings, the students of Central, and even Central itself away from the Testimony upon which it was founded and into the compromising orbit of protestant evangelicalism. As Samuel of old who, after his death, confronted Saul in his error, I plead with you to turn back “to the Law and to the Testimony.”

Sincerely,


Richard V. Clearwaters


*Written by Evangelist Dwight Smith who for several years attended Fourth Baptist Church, was challenged by Richard V. Clearwaters and whose dad was trained directly under his ministry. He may be contacted at the Evangelist Dwight Smith website.

Addendum from the Author:
For some time I have avoided posting on SI because of the condescending tone and critical spirit displayed by many of the contributors and moderators. Last fall, I signed up, and last Friday posted my first message. Their reaction indicates that the brothers at SI, in large part, are open to criticism as long as it is not directed at them.

Dwight Smith

Site Publisher Note: First appeared at the pseudo-fundamentalist Sharper Iron site (3/12/10) in a thread under Kevin Bauder’s Nick of Time, article, Let’s Get Clear on This (3/7/10). Permission was received from Dr. Clearwaters, I mean Evangelist Dwight Smith, to reproduce his thread comment here as a main page article.

For my series, which reviews Kevin Bauder’s Let’s Get Clear on This see- Let’s Get “CRYSTAL” Clear on This: A Response to Kevin Bauder’s “Cannonball” Cogitations

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

For an extended discussion of SI’s handling and deletion of the Clearwaters letter see, SI Gang-Tackles “Doc” Clearwaters! Well Sort of

I have furthermore produced a second companion article to review an article related to Kevin Bauder’s Let’s Get Clear on This. The article I review is written by SI site publisher Aaron Blumer titled, I Learned it From Fundamentalists.

It is a genuine well written and heart felt depiction of his life’s journey in and around historic Fundamentalism. I commend him for this article and his expression of it. It does, however, raise some legitimate questions and comments that I would put to Aaron in his capacity as SI site publisher.

See my review of Aaron’s article at Aaron Blumer: Learned it From Fundamentalists for your consideration.

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.


LM

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.

March 11, 2010

Bob T: The KJV & Me

Dear Guests of IDOTG:

Well, one more time- This morning I had planned to post the second installment of Let’s get “CRYSTAL” Clear… , which is my review of Kevin Bauder’s article, Let’s Get Clear on This. This will be posted on Friday. The delay is because of a second issue that arose yesterday.

Yesterday afternoon at the pseudo- fundamentalist *Sharper Iron (SI) site Bob Topartzer posted a comment in which he identified Lordship Salvation, as John MacArthur defines it, as a false gospel. He wrote the following, which I heartily agree with:

“[John] MacArthur declares a false Gospel and has made his version of the so called Lordship Gospel a distinctive of his church.”
However, in the midst of his extended comment he responded to another man’s query with the following,
You mentioned ‘reading Lou.’ I have read his book and it is poorly researched and he does not understand the issues. Lou is a KJVO person. His is also a gospel of legalism.” (bold added)
I don’t mind folks criticizing my book. When you put your theology out for public consumption you had better count on criticism well meant, or to demonize and/or defame.

What Bob’s criticism does for me, however, is allow me the golden opportunity to announce that the revised and expanded edition of In Defense of the Gospel: Biblical Answers to Lordship Salvation will be released in about 30 days. This edition has six well known, respected preachers and/or theologians who take a very different view of my book than Bob have offered an opinion. Four submitted endorsements that appear on the new back cover. The remaining two each submitted a foreword that appears in the opening pages of the new edition.

Now, on the balance of Bob’s statement, and in reverse order. As for his charging me with a “gospel of legalism” I will not give this any possibility for credibility with a reaction to it.

On the KJV:
I read and study from a KJV Bible. When I was 23 and newly saved I went to a secular bookstore and bought the Living Bible because I liked the photo on the front cover and it seemed easy for me to read. That’s all I knew being only days old in the Lord. Not long after I found out about some of the problems with a paraphrase so I think I bought an RSV, or NASB; I don’t recall. Later in 1987 I did buy my first KJV and have been using that version ever since. The KJV is my preference.

I reject the extremes such as those coming from Ruckmanism. My personal preference is the KJV because I truly enjoy the language and believe it is the most reliable translation. My conviction toward those who prefer a different version is to allow for soul liberty and the autonomy of a local church. I also allow for men and ministries to decide for themselves as their conscience directs them. I have friends with various views in the debate and I allow for them the same soul liberty they have allowed me.

In the mid-90’s when I was a deputation missionary through Baptist World Mission I visited dozens of churches. Never once did the version controversy become an issue at any of these. I was at three or more churches that used a version which was not a KJV. I can assure my readers that I did not rise to my feet, rent my garment, and run out the back door shrieking “HERESY!!!”

My reputation belongs to God, and God knows the truth!

That is my normal mind set when absurd comments to or about me, such as Bob posted yesterday, make their way on to the Internet. However, after consulting with pastors I trust they suggested that with this one I shouldn’t just let it stand without any correction for the sake of others reading.

I have posted this correction to Bob’s statement so that all reading can know the truth about my personal view of the KJV debate and so they can see that Bob Topartzer is not being accurate or honest.

Feel free to post any comment or question.


LM

*If I had not publicly resigned my membership at SI over nine months ago I might have posted this- there.

While Appreciating Dave Doran’s Sensitivity...

Dear Guests of IDOTG:

For this morning I had planned to post the second installment of
Let’s Get “CRYSTAL” Clear…, which is my review of Kevin Bauder’s article, Let’s Get Clear on This. Posting of the second installment will be delayed until Friday for the following taking precedence.

Yesterday I was alerted to and have read a statement by Dr. Dave Doran at his Glory & Grace blog. In his current article, These are not the movements you’ve been looking for… the following excerpt appears,

Bob and Lou think I teach a false gospel.”
I am saddened by Dave’s remarks in that, to the best of my recollection, I have never alleged him to “teach a false gospel.” Furthermore, I have to date never personally heard or read Dave Doran “teach a false gospel.”

I apologize if anyone ever thought that I have accused Dave Doran of teaching a false gospel and encourage all persons to read, or who have read the scores of my on-line articles, to let me know if, indeed, that has ever occurred.

While appreciating Dave’s sensitivity and acknowledging his right to post his feelings, let me be very clear- I have never (to the best of my recollection) stated Dave Doran teaches a false gospel.

Kind regards,


LM


Note: Earlier today I sent Dave Doran an e-mail to advise him that I would be posting the above this morning. I also extended to him the same opportunity to provide me with any documented example of my having stated he teaches a false gospel, so that I may apologize.

March 7, 2010

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

Dear Guests of IDOTG:

On Friday, March 5, 2010 Dr. Kevin Bauder (president, Central Baptist Theological Seminary) posted an article Let’s Get Clear on This at his Nick of Time blog. The article will appear at *other sites.

In my response to follow I will not be addressing his article apart point-by-point, but instead address the issues I find most disconcerting from it.

Dr. Bauder’s article is no mere “cannonball in the pool of Fundamentalism,”1 as one pastor has suggested. It is instead the latest from a full magazine of cannonballs fired on Fundamentalism.2

Upon my initial reading of Bauder’s article I hoped to draw some general conclusions and close with one response. Since then I have, however, developed what will be a two-part response. Let us, therefore, begin with the first, which is the more lengthy of the two.

Beginning with getting myself on record I will briefly comment on the following from Dr. Bauder:

These Fundamentalist critics…are seldom willing to express these same concerns over the excesses of the hyper-fundamentalist Right.
Bauder references unnamed “critics” he cites at the lead of his article. There do exist and are for me elements and/or personalities within the broader Fundamentalist community that I am uncomfortable with. Some, I am highly uncomfortable with. I am certainly willing to and have historically expressed concerns with some of these elements and groups.3

Now I'll engage the body of his article. Dr. Bauder wrote,
American Christianity never has been neatly divided between new evangelicals and Fundamentalists. Other groups have always existed, and one of them is the group that we now designate as conservative evangelicals.”
I am not among those who consider the body of so-called “conservative” evangelicals to be full-blown New Evangelicals. I do, however, believe some of them have the capacity for, the seeds are planted within, are well watered, and have been germinating for the “conservative” evangelicals to sprout into New Evangelicals.

Dr. Bauder wrote,
Conservative evangelicals are different from Fundamentalists, but they are not new evangelicals. New evangelicals were committed to a policy of re-infiltrating ecclesiastical organizations that had been captured by apostates. They wanted to live in peaceful coexistence with apostasy. They were willing to recognize certain apostates as fellow-Christians and to cooperate with them in the Lord’s work. These are attitudes that conservative evangelicals explicitly reject. To apply this label to a conservative evangelical is completely unwarranted.”
Nearest to full-bloom new evangelicalism among the conservative evangelicals is Dr. John Piper.

John Piper still affiliates with the old Baptist General Conference, aka- Converge Worldwide.** This denomination he identifies with is a member of the National Association of Evangelicals. His church, Bethlehem Baptist Church, was fully involved with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s 2009 Rock [n-Roll] the River Tour. With these things on his present resume- why would it be “unwarranted” to label Piper a new evangelical? Is this not a form of Infiltration theology, not dissimilar to the historic new evangelicals?

Al Mohler and Ligon Duncan, star personalities in conservative evangelicalism, are willing to work with apostates “in peaceful co-existence.” They have recognized, by extension, “certain apostates as fellow-Christians.” This is irrefutable with their signing the Manhattan Declaration and is just one of Mohler’s many forays into ecumenism. In his article Bauder essentially ignores this pattern of ecumenical compromise with apostates.4 The Bible is very clear!
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them,” (Eph. 5:11).

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” (2 Cor. 6:14-17).

Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed,” (2 John 9-10).
Mohler and Duncan know these God-ordained mandates yet disobeyed the Lord to enter into a cooperative effort with unbelievers and rank liberals by signing the Manhattan Declaration.

Some conservative evangelicals are not full-blown new evangelicals, but they are its first cousin. Piper is in the lead toward new evangelicalism with Mohler and Duncan in very close proximity. Tragically, many who are attracted by Piper’s magnetism will be drawn along with him. Regrettably that number will grow among the young fundamentalists who are enamored with Piper and are being encouraged by Dr. Bauder and other pastors to embrace him.

Dr. Bauder also wrote,
Fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals still do not agree about what to do with Christian leaders who make common cause with apostates.”
The problem is quite simple. Conservative evangelicals, by and large, simply refuse to make a personal application of the biblical mandates for separation from apostates and/or disobedient brethren.

Has Bauder forgotten that conservative evangelical men signed the Manhattan Declaration? No, he has not forgotten this. Kevin Bauder, Dave Doran and men such as these are determined to close ranks and pursue fellowship with their likeminded Calvinistic counter-parts in conservative evangelicalism. Signing the Manhattan Declaration, which granted Christian recognition to the deadly “enemies of the cross of Christ” is, therefore, tolerated and no hindrance to fellowship because, as Dave Doran concluded from his blog, signing it was merely a “wrong decision based on bad judgment.”5

Must He Trash Our Own:
One of the most troublesome elements in Bauder’s article is a repetition of a pattern to eagerly trash, often without provocation, our own in Fundamentalism. Bauder besmirches Fundamentalism to in part build up conservative evangelicalism. In this latest article he offers virtually no qualities that exist in a balanced Fundamentalism worthy of special commendation. He is, however, eager to commend the conservative evangelicals in expanded and glowing terms. You would be hard pressed to recognize in his article so much as an unvarnished whisper of admonishment to the conservative evangelicals or “ministry of warning6 for our younger generation about the obvious doctrinal aberrations, ecumenical compromises and worldliness in methods of ministry in conservative evangelicalism.

As if Dr. Bauder had not crossed the line before, this article removes any lingering doubt of it.

Dr. Bauder cannot think that this is helpful for the fundamentalism that he thinks is worth saving.7 I think it is neither balanced nor fair on any level and IMO was not intended to be fair or balanced.

IMO, it is irrefutable that Bauder is willingly and with purpose advocating for the conservative evangelicals and leading our younger generation to them. And to fuel the push he needs a demon to be skewered and fled from. Fundamentalism is his demon, which he finds in various historical contexts, personalities and/or forms. He could make his case for close cooperation with the conservative evangelicals while leaving Fundamentalism out of the discussion, but chooses not to.

Among conservative evangelicals there are aberrant doctrines, such as non-cessationism, ecumenical compromises and worldly practices of ministry, including corrupt communication from the pulpit and the world’s Rock/CCM/RAP culture in worship. Theology and practices that are “contrary to the doctrine which we have learned.” They reject admonitions of their brethren and are wholly unrepentant. They are therefore numbered among the disobedient. These things therefore, demand our obedience to the God-given mandates.
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them,” (Rom. 16:17).
Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us… And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother,” (2 Thess. 3:6, 14-15).
These Scriptures are not open to selective application! They cannot be redefined or ignored to escape the force of what is there.8 Yet there appears to be an effort to reinterpret or dismiss these scriptural principles. Have these Scriptures become inconvenient truths?*** Will these passages be redefined or ignored because they interfere with a desire to fellowship and cooperate with conservative evangelicals?

Dr. Dave Doran wrote,
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.9
Will Kevin Bauder heed these biblical obligations? Will Dave Doran heed his own biblically defined terms for Gospel-Driven separation? Will they teach the next generation of Fundamentalists, by their own example, that one cannot be loyal to the Scriptures while simultaneously cooperating with, fellowshipping alongside and hosting men who are among the disobedient as if nothing is amiss? Those who refuse to “admonish” or “withdraw from” the disobedient, to “mark and “avoid” them become disobedient themselves. The Scriptural mandates that forbid hobnobbing with unbelievers, and brethren like Mohler and Duncan who gave unbelievers “Christian recognition and fellowship” are NON-negotiable.

In a personal discussion with one preacher he noted,
The insidious part is that if one disagrees with the rush to embrace evangelicalism’s star personalities and their conferences, he will likely be painted as ignorant, unloving, divisive and an obstructionist.”
Another pastor shared with me that,
Separation from believers who are disobedient is a loving response to their disobedience. It is a demonstration of our love for the Lord (John 14:15) and it is a demonstration of our love for the disobedient.
The first step toward New Evangelicalism is refusing to live in fidelity to the Scriptural mandates that call for separation when it is clearly warranted.
The basic problem is this: Many fundamentalists, when speaking of the New Evangelicalism, are referring to the original positions and writings of the early founders of New Evangelicalism such as Carl Henry and Harold Ockenga. They repudiate heartily the thoughts of these earlier leaders, but either in ignorance or willingly they fail to recognize the updated version, the “new” New Evangelicalism. It is always safer to berate the teachings of those historically farther removed than of those who are currently afflicting the church.10
Unfortunately some men in Fundamentalism, who presently identify themselves as biblical separatists, appear to be “either in ignorance or willingly…fail to recognize the updated version, the “new” New Evangelicalism. ” Kevin Bauder appears to be among them.

The trend of some Fundamentalists toward the “conservative” evangelicals appears to be how can I foster fellowship with them instead of what are the “biblical obligations” for me in the face of their aberrant theologies, compromising the Gospel through blatant ecumenism and worldly practices in ministry. (Revised excerpt from Are We Recognizing the “New” New Evangelicalism?)

Is everything coming from conservative evangelicalism aberrant or destructive; of course not. Is everything coming from Fundamentalism the ideal; of course not. There is, however, more than enough in contrary doctrine and practice of the conservative evangelicals to cause a balanced Fundamentalist, who longs for unity in the body, to step back and instead,

Call on Them to Become the Best of What Fundamentalists can be in Balanced, Biblical Separatism.

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.


LM

Please continue to Part Two in this Series.

For a related discussion please continue to- “Conservative” Evangelicalism: Threading a Frame Work for Discussion, Final

UPDATE: (3/8/10)
Today, with Don Johnson’s assistance, I am able to post the electronic periodical from Bauder’s “retired seminary professor” that triggered his (Bauder’s) cannonade. It was Dr. Warren Vanhetloo from his Cogitations. Vanhetloo’s remarks were wise, balanced and charitable; much better than Bauder’s gun powder reaction. Please go to the thread (appendix) under this article for Vanhetloo’s cogitation.

Site Publisher’s Note:
In well over three years of publishing at IDOTG I do not recall having asked my guests to share the link to this blog with others in their circles of friends, family or in their sphere of influence. The issues we are dealing with, however, are no small matter. This for me is not about saving or slaying movements. It IS about fidelity to the Scriptures, warning the church about those among us who are “speaking perverse things” (Acts 20:30) and ultimately a defense of the Gospel, will I will address in Part 2. That said, I encourage each of you to share a link to this article, or any related articles with anyone with whom you believe might be encouraged and/or edified by what is here.


ENDNOTES:
1) Dave Doran: Time for a Group Hug, Glory & Grace blog, (accessed 3/7/10). Curious title for an article that addresses what can be consider Bauder’s strangle-hold (in print) on Fundamentalism.

2)
Kevin Bauder: A Call for His Removal From the Platform of the 2009 FBFI Annual Fellowship

3) If the occasion arises from the
hyper-fundamentalist Right and the need is clear I would raise an alarm. Presently, however, there is no effort I am aware of that compares to the wide spread efforts to embrace the hyper-fundamentalist Right such as exists to embrace conservative evangelicalism.

4) Al Mohler’s pattern of ecumenical compromises includes:
  • Naming the SBTS School of Evangelism after, and in honor of Billy Graham
  • Chairman of the 2001 (Louisville) Billy Graham Crusade
  • Dedicated a new SBTS pavilion in honor of past president Duke McCall- a rank liberal
  • Original signatory to the Manhattan Declaration
  • Board member- Focus on the Family
5) Dave Doran, A Bronx Declaration, Glory & Grace blog, (accessed 3/7/2010)

6) Dr. Peter Masters, “
In other words, the ministry of warning is killed off, so that every error of the new scene may race ahead unchecked.” The Merger of Calvinism with Worldliness

7) With Bauder’s increasing published hostility toward Fundamentalism, the only kind of Fundamentalism he appears to see is “
A Fundamentalism Worth SLAYING.”

8) Kevin Bauder does not hesitate to obey the mandates to “
admonish, mark, withdraw from…avoid” in regard to the so-called, “hyper-fundamentalist Right and vocalize these things with great gusto. When he comes to the contrary doctrine and practices of the conservative evangelicals, however, he seems to contract a serious case of laryngitis for the mandates.

9) Dave Doran: From his
Gospel-Driven Separation series: Starting at the Right Spot, Part 1, Glory & Grace blog, (accessed 3/7/10).

10) Dr. Ernest Pickering,
The Tragedy of Compromise, p. 159.

*Shortly after this response was published Dr. Bauder’s article was reproduced by the
pseudo-fundamentalist Sharper Iron site.

**The Swedish Baptist Conference became - The Baptist General Conference, which became - Converge Worldwide.

***In an upcoming article I will be discussing a trend to subdivide and redefine the “
biblical obligations” for separatism. This new effort appears designed to clear the way for evangelicals to minister within the ministries of a local church that alleges commitment to the heritage and principles of biblical separatism. I would have posted this week had it not been for the need of a timely response to Kevin Bauder’s article.

Revised (3/8/10 @ 9:15am). General Baptist Conference, Bethlehem Baptist Church.