December 29, 2010

The Best of 2010

Dear Guests of IDOTG:

It is time for the 5th Best of IDOTG (2010) series. What qualifies an article for Best of status? A number of factors including a particularly credible theological piece or a review of significant events that affect the Christian (IFB) community. With well over 100 articles to choose from it is difficult to narrow the list to ten, but here are the Top Ten from 2010.

Northland International University’s Convergence with Evangelicalism: What Does This Mean For Impressionable Students?

“In April 2010 Matt Olson, Sam Horn, Les Ollila and Doug McLachlan traveled to the Grace Community Church (GCC) to meet with John MacArthur, Phil Johnson and Rick Holland. After a day of discussions the NIU men came away finding no reason not to have and increase fellowship with them. Inviting GCC’s executive pastor, Rick Holland, to speak in chapel confirms a new alliance for NIU with evangelicalism.”
John Piper to Feature 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 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.” (Continue to, John Piper, “I’m Going to Need Help to Know Why I Should Feel bad About This Decision.”
Sharper Iron Sizzles In and Over the Iron Skillet
“I would encourage the few current or potential advertisers who feel strongly about Fundamentalism to consider if SI is the best place to invest the resources God has entrusted to you. SI is a site that frequently allows for, promotes, and its leadership happily joins in on, the redefining, castigation and besmirchment of fundamentalism.... To any fundamentalists who still has their membership with or participates at SI: I understand that you feel you may be posting for the lurkers, posting to represent what the best of fundamentalism has to offer. That is very noble and primarily why myself and others used to participate at SI putting up with the moderator’s bias, shrill complaints and gang-tackling. There comes a time, however, when you have to consider whether or not you can post at a site that does not cherish the fundamentalism you do and instead of building up fundamentalism redefines and besmirches it with impunity.” For additional commentary on SI see, I Had to Ask, “How Does This Sharpen Me?”)
A two part series by Dr. Manfred E. Kober, Lordship Salvation: Forgotten Truth or a False Doctrine?
“If you were Satan, which doctrine would you want to undermine? Which area of theology would you pervert, to prevent people from being saved? An individual may be wrong about the doctrine of the church or deny the millennial kingdom and yet doubtless be gloriously redeemed. However, if a person is wrong on the doctrine of salvation, specifically, the prerequisites for salvation, he misses the very heart of the gospel. One would expect Satan to attack in the area of soteriology. Indeed, he has! The informed and discerning believer soon realizes that there is a battle raging among evangelicals and fundamentalists over the matter of the conditions for salvation.”
Kevin Bauder & Dave Doran to Join Mark Dever at Lansdale: Is This a Fundamentalism Worth Saving?
Anyone believing this cooperative fellowship with Dever is going to be the full extent “limited form of fellowship,” is mistaken. Dever is just the latest step toward greater compromise of genuine biblical separatism for expanding the boundaries of limited fellowship. Dever is the bridge that will take Bauder, Doran and those they are seeking to influence to completely embrace the entire T4G/Gospel Coalition community.
Salvation and Discipleship by Dr. Rick Flanders
One of the most hotly debated issues in the Lordship Salvation (LS) controversy revolves around the doctrines of salvation and discipleship. Most LS advocates see these as one and the same. LS advocates blur the lines of distinction, which creates an evangelistic message that conditions the reception of eternal life on a lost man’s upfront commitment to what should be the results of a genuine conversion in discipleship. Dr. Rick Flanders wrote an article in 2007 titled, Salvation and Discipleship that addresses this vital issue in the Lordship Salvation controversy.
Let’s Get Clear on This: A Response to Kevin Bauder’s “Cannonball” Cogitations: “Foremost Defenders of the Gospel Today?”
“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 [Calvinistic] Fundamentalists, “converging around a particular interpretation of the Gospel.”
Do Fundamentalists and Evangelicals, “Believe, Preach and Defend the [Same] Gospel?
“There is no universal ‘mutuality in the gospel’ among evangelicals and fundamentalists. ‘Evangelicals and fundamentalists are [NOT] united in their allegiance to the gospel,’ because there is a vast difference between what evangelicals and non-Calvinists in Fundamentalism believe to be the one true Gospel. It is irrefutable, and Kevin Bauder is well aware, that many men in Fundamentalism reject Calvinistic soteriology in the form of Lordship Salvation as a false, works based Gospel. It is, furthermore, indisputable that virtually every man in ‘conservative’ evangelicalism is a passionate advocate for Lordship Salvation, which Bauder is also well aware of. Men in Fundamentalism who reject Lordship Salvation as a false works-based message are as aware as Bauder is that evangelicals are almost universal in agreement on Lordship Salvation as John MacArthur defines it.”
Faith Baptist-Central Seminary Merger Talks Shelved: An Opinion Piece
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.
Can an Unregenerate Person Believe the Gospel?
“Those who insist that God must regenerate a person before that person can believe define total depravity as man’s total inability to respond positively to God. They believe that an unregenerate person cannot even understand and believe the gospel. This view is held by Reformed theology and strong versions of Calvinism…. Many biblical arguments show that man’s sinfulness does not require regeneration before faith…. To say that a person goes from being spiritually dead to eternally alive before he believes in Jesus Christ is both absurd and contrary to biblical teaching.”

December 14, 2010

Pious Drudges” Evangelist Dwight Smith Responds to Dr. Kevin Bauder’s Now, About Those Differences, Part 23

It was my ninth grade year at Fourth Baptist Christian School in Minneapolis, MN. I had finished classes for the day and was just stopping by to see my youth pastor. He was a good youth pastor, and in many ways, one of the best that I would have. He took these few moments to disciple me. We chatted for a while and somehow began discussing the Bible.

In the course of conversation the Version Issue came up. He began waxing eloquent on the “pros” or “cons” of different Bible versions. Because of the training he was receiving from Central Baptist Theological Seminary, he believed that all Bible versions in spite of their omissions and additions were the Word of God. He failed to consider the possibility that the Devil just might be interested in polluting and distorting God’s Word, and he dismissed the concerns of those who by conviction held to the King James Version. As he was expressing his far reaching knowledge of Biblical languages, he stopped short and motioned for me to come behind his desk. When I did, he pointed to his open Bible where he had turned to Acts 8:37. I looked down to see where, with a black pen, he had completely blotted out these essential words. In the course of his discourse he said, “You see, Dwight, this verse is not in the original manuscripts.” Who knows what practical benefit he hoped to impart by believing and then teaching this to me. I didn’t think to ask if he had ever seen a copy of the original manuscripts. I didn’t know that he had received this “profound” information from some liberal, Christ-denying author. He was simply parroting what he had heard some seminary professor (naïve at best, deceptive at worst) say about the Bible. In his mind, it was only the logical step to completely mark out portions that “did not belong” in the Sacred Text. For these and a myriad of other Biblical reasons, I have chosen to hold to the Received Text and the King James Bible, and to reject the Westcott & Hort Text and all modern translations. This happened in the 1980’s. Apparently at Central, not much has changed.

The current president of Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Kevin Bauder, has been offering, for all who care to read, a wide smorgasbord of self-conflicting and Bible-deficient tomes. In part 22 of his series he dismissed the need to expound on 2 Thess. 3. This is a sad display of what happens when a man or institution turns to human reason instead of the Bible for their moorings. In his most recent installment, he levels another illogical attack against anyone who holds to the King James Bible and its underlying Received Text. To his credit, he did differentiate between those who simply hold to the above mentioned position and those who believe in double inspiration, or that one can only be saved from the King James Version, and a few other aberrations. However his most recent diatribe is flawed on several counts.

If there were time, we could show that his attack misses the point of why some brethren have come to these convictions. We simply believe that this issue is a part of defending the great doctrines of the Inspiration of the Scripture (I Timothy 3:16-17, II Peter 1:19-21), the Preservation of the Scripture (I Peter 1:23-25, Psalm 12:6-7), the Infallibility of the Scripture (Proverbs 30:5-6) to name a few. We believe that the Devil has, since Genesis 3, tried to alter, distort, confuse, and pervert God’s Word (Genesis 3:1, 4-5; Luke 4:10). We believe “That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). We believe that adding to or taking away from the Word of God is a direct violation of Deuteronomy 4:2, Proverbs 30:6, Revelation 22:18-19 and brings the severest of God’s judgments. We believe that every generation has had and will have a perfect copy of God’s Word available to them (Isaiah 59:21). This is the point Bauder completely misses of why we hold to this conviction.

If we cared to, we could at length address Kevin Bauder’s cloaked love for and affinity to the founder of his institution, Richard V. Clearwaters. Bauder attempts to quote Clearwaters as being on his side of the argument. In fact, Clearwaters was not. He said on page 86 of his autobiography On the Upward Road, “All of the Bible is important. Jesus referred to even jots and tittles. We cannot say this part is important in the Bible and this part isn’t important. If we were to remove some part of the Bible at some time and place, it will be missed.”

Again on page 87 he stated

Every word is important, a Biblicist will appeal to the words and all the words of Scripture.” On page 88 he declared, “If you violate one part, you violate it all. It’s all a solid unit put together. So I think a Biblicist gets to be a lonely person first of all because he is called a ‘literalist’ or a ‘worshipper of a black book’. He believes the whole Bible is inspired, every word and every jot and tittle…Many translators do violence to the Word of God. For instance ‘Through the blood of His cross’ Phillips omits the word ‘blood’, so that it reads, ‘Sacrifice of the cross’. These self-styled translators are diluting (polluting might be a better term) the Bible by twisting it to accommodate their updated theology.”
It doesn’t sound like Bauder and Clearwaters are on the same page.

If we so chose, we could highlight his misunderstanding or misrepresentation of a “middle of the road” position. He, along with others of his ilk, is trying to redefine terms such as Historic Fundamentalism, New Evangelicalism, Conservative Evangelical, etc. In other words, he is attempting to shift things to the left while claiming all along that it is just the center he is calling people toward. This sounds like some political double speak I’ve heard recently.

If we wanted, we could underline that, while he is for the time being president of a Theological seminary that claims to be Biblical in every way, and while he is allegedly instructing men in the ministry both onsite and online concerning pertinent Biblical topics, he does not cite one verse of Scripture, KJV or otherwise, to back up his arguments. This absence of an appeal to and from Scripture is a common characteristic of Kevin’s writings though the school over which he presides claimed Isaiah 8:20 as its founding and theme verse. We could underline this discrepancy if we wanted to, but we won’t.

If there were enough space, we could emphasize that he never once mentioned that this is a textual issue at its core. One would expect more intellectual understanding from the current president of a seminary. If there were more space, we would address this, but space is limited.

If we desired, we could note Bauder’s papal like edict to “in his opinion” tell us all when, where, and from whom to separate without one Biblical reason to do so. Again this seems strange coming from one who professes to know so much (23 installments at this point) about the matter of our “differences.” If we desired, we could note this, but desire is waning.

What we’d like to highlight is a couple of significant matters. First, Kevin Bauder, tells us that he prefers the King James Version, that he preaches and teaches from it, has memorized it and even quotes it. He declares the King James Version to be the Word of God, states that it is authoritative, and holds it in high esteem. However, when someone else says they too prefer the King James Bible, but for reasons other than Kevin Bauder’s, we are to separate from them. This is just arrogance!

Second and most interesting are the implications of his call for wholesale separation from those who believe the Bible. When naming several good churches and institutions, Kevin summarily lumps them into a hyper-fundamentalist category. Then he associates them in the same broad brush with Billy Graham and Harold J. Ockenga? He then declares that these “hyper-fundamentalists” should be separated from with more speed and more publicity than even the “grandchildren” of the above mentioned compromisers.

Just what does this mean, Dr. Bauder? There are thousands of young people who matriculate each year to Bible-believing schools such as Ambassador, Baptist College of Ministry, West Coast, Heartland, PCC, Crown, New England Baptist, Golden State, and others. Have they missed the will of God for their lives? Should the students attending these schools immediately sever their enrollment? Should they then come flocking to your bastion of life and “truth?” Should the pastors who support and preach for these institutions refuse to do so immediately at your word? What about the evangelists who hold to the King James Bible for reasons different from your own? Should the pastors who have them scheduled cancel their meetings on the spot? Should the missionaries who hold to a King James Bible position be dropped because they haven’t checked in with and been cleared for support by Kevin Bauder or Central Seminary?

And what of the many good men who have given us helpful, solid, and balanced information on such a crucial subject as the Word of God? Should men like Bud Calvert, Dell Johnson, Joel Mullinex, Rick Flanders, Ron Comfort, Sam Davidson, Kevin Folger, John Goetsch, Lloyd Streeter, and a host of other wise men be cut off, ignored, and rejected because they don’t line up with your line of thinking? How about the creationist, Henry Morris, who in his life not only defended creationism, but also the King James Bible? Should his writings and teachings on this subject be ridiculed and dismissed?

Should we follow your lead to separate from, ignore and disdain the “hyper-fundamentalists” who in spite of graduating from Central, came to their own personal conviction that the Received Text and the King James Bible should be embraced and the modern Eclectic Text and its offspring versions should be rejected? These would include such godly men as David Sorenson and Charles Surrett to name a few. Are you calling for separation from these men as well?

Are you implying that Bob Jones University should no longer host their long time friend Ian Paisley who wrote “My Plea for the Old Sword?” Though he is not even a Baptist he has enough sense to note the folly of embracing modern versions and their underlying false text.

Does this mean that you are even calling for those who worship at the altar of the French theologian John Calvin to immediately halt their study of his writings? After all, even he held only to the Traditional Text that underlies the King James Version. Kevin Bauder, just what exactly do you mean by this call for a full-blown separation from the proponents of the King James Version and the Received Text?

The irony of this whole matter is this. While Dr. Bauder is trying to tell Independent Fundamental Baptists to separate from those who simply believe the Bible and denounce the Devil’s attempt at perverting it; he is, along with others, leading an all out charge back into the realm of the New Evangelical camp! He has an undeniable affection for the conservative evangelicals, and claims they are not like their “grandfathers.” A compromiser is still a compromiser even if he is called a “conservative.”

Consider for a moment these “conservative evangelicals.” These are the ones who accept and overlook pedo-baptism (John Piper, Ligon Duncan). These are those who play rock music in their public worship services and teen gatherings (John MacArthur, John Piper, Al Mohler, Mark Dever, etc. ad nauseum). These men associate freely with liberals and new-evangelicals such as Billy Graham (Al Mohler) and such as Rick Warren (John Piper). These are the conservative evangelicals who remain in a denomination that promotes women preachers (John Piper). These so-called conservative evangelicals who teach that the Charismatic sign gifts are active and should besought after today (Piper, Mahaney). All of these men and others, who Kevin instructs us to welcome with open arms, are constantly promoting the aberrant heresy called Lordship Salvation. One question being asked is, “Which is more grievous, to believe the King James Bible for reasons different than Kevin Bauder or to promote the Amillenialism of Mark Dever and his allegorical interpretation of Bible prophecy? This is just to scratch the surface of their errors, and yet we’re being lectured by an out of touch seminarian on why we should embrace these men and separate from those who just believe the old Black Book! What gives?

A well respected pastor friend of mine shepherds a church in a northern state. The former pastor of this church was a young Central graduate, who sat under the tutelage of Kevin Bauder. This former pastor was teaching about the Bible during a Sunday school class. Because of his aforementioned training and the unbiblical bias that accompanies it, he was teaching that the Words of God are here, there and everywhere, lost in the sea of extant manuscripts and various and sundry translations. Needless to say, this created confusion amongst the church members. Some of them began to question him and his conclusions. One converted Catholic church member held up his King James Version and asked, “If what you are saying is true, is this the Word of God?” The former pastor responded, “No!” That church member shrugged and said, “What’s the use?” Then he walked out and hasn’t darkened the door of any church since. If what the former pastor is teaching is true, why should he? Brethren, the answer of this former pastor is wicked unbelief, and it is time we call it just that!

Now when unbelief calls for separation from belief, and at the same time leads the naïve to unite further with unbelief, all under the guise of belief, someone should stand and clarify the matter. Kevin Bauder, let’s settle this here and now. Those of us who happen to believe that God did inspire his Word and preserve it for every generation; those of us who unashamedly hold to the Received Text and the King James Version of the Bible and reject all modern translations that flow from the Westcott & Hort Text; those of us who do believe that the Devil is and has been working to pervert, omit and add to God’s Words; we have long since been suspicious of your direction and motives. Now we know who you really are. If you and your friends want to leave us to hold hands with and draw those you seek to influence into the chilled night air of New Evangelicalism, the door is wide open and they will happily receive you.

Just don’t claim on the way there that you are standing in the old paths.

On September 6, 1977, Ronald Reagan spoke in his daily two minute radio broadcast on the subject of the Bible. What he said was fascinating. He showed such simple child-like faith in the Word of God that all would do well to emulate. As he showed the King James Bible to be the best-selling book in the entire history of printing, he questioned the newest attempts made to improve it and “make the Bible more readable and understandable.” He went on to compare the beautiful and accurate language of the King James Version with the cheap, inaccurate, and irreverent language of the modern versions. He concluded by saying,
“The sponsors of the ‘Good News’ version boast that their Bible is as readable as the daily paper – and so it is. But do the readers of the daily news find themselves moved to wonder, ‘at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth’? …Sadly the tinkering and general horsing around with the sacred texts will no doubt continue as pious drudges try to get it right. It will not dawn on them that it has already been gotten right.”
Mr. President, another “pious drudge” in Plymouth, MN, has officially decreed that it has not been gotten right. In fact, according to him, folks like you and me should be immediately severed from his world. Mr. President, thanks for the warning.

Evangelist Dwight Smith –

Evangelist Dwight Smith Ministries

For Related Reading:

A Letter from Dr. R. V. Clearwaters to Kevin Bauderby Evangelist Dwight Smith
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…. I have observed an inordinate affection towards pseudo-intellectual teaching and a disdain for old-fashioned, confrontational, Bible preaching…. 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…. 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.”
Muddying the Clearwaters by Ps. Marc Monte
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…. 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.”
Kevin Bauder: It Won’t Fly With Those of Us Who Know

Kevin Bauder and Dave Doran to Join Mark Dever at Lansdale: Is This a Fundamentalism Worth Saving?

John MacArthur Refreshes Kevin Bauder’s Short Term Memory: “Conservative” Evangelicals Extended Christian Recognition to Roman Catholics

Site Publisher’s Note:
My personal preference for preaching/teaching and study is the KJV, believing it to be the most reliable version of God’s Word today. I do, however, allow for other believers soul liberty and autonomy of the local church to choose as they feel lead.

December 10, 2010

The Convergence of Fundamentalism and Non-Separatist Evangelicalism by Pastor Tod Brainard

Dr. Kevin Bauder is President of Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Plymouth, Minnesota. Let me say first of all that as editor of The Projector, I have followed the ministry of Dr. Kevin Bauder and have appreciated his writings and ministry in past years. We have even printed an article or two of his in The Projector. I have no interest in getting into a brawl with Dr. Bauder or in carrying on a tit for tat discourse. However, in recent time I have watched him move Central Baptist Theological Seminary from a Biblical Separatist entity to a conciliatory, accommodating entity toward men and ministries who are clearly not Biblical Separatists. This is quite revealing as the founder of Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. R. V. Clearwaters, was a very strong, model Biblical Separatist. It seems that Dr. Bauder is now leading the charge for the acceptance and fellowship of those he calls, “Conservative Evangelicals.” Prior to the advertisement that Dr. Mark Dever will be speaking, along with Dr. Bauder [and Dave Doran], at Calvary Baptist Seminary in Lansdale, PA, he wrote this back in March of this year on his web-blog, In the Nick of Time:
Conservative evangelicalism encompasses a diverse spectrum of Christian leaders. Representatives include John Piper, Mark Dever, John MacArthur, Charles Ryrie, Bruce Ware, Bryan Chapell, Wayne Grudem, D. A. Carson, Al Mohler, Tim Keller, John D. Hannah, Ed Welch, Ligon Duncan, Tom Nettles, C. J. Mahaney, Norman Geisler, and R. C. Sproul. Conservative evangelical organizations include Together for the Gospel (T4G), the Gospel Coalition, the Master’s Seminary, the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors, the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals (at least in its better moments), and Ligonier Ministries. These individuals and organizations exhibit a remarkable range of differences, but they can be classed together because of their vigorous commitment to and defense of the gospel...

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.

Frankly, conservative evangelicals do seem to take doctrine more seriously today than many Fundamentalists do. Not that the Fundamentalists are unwilling to discuss doctrine! Many of them are at this moment arguing for a “biblical” doctrine of the perfect preservation of the King James Version or of the Textus Receptus. Others have speculated that the work of redemption was not completed until Christ carried His material blood into the heavenly tabernacle, there to abide as a perpetual memorial before the presence of the Father. Still others have engaged in shrill campaigns of anti-Calvinism while defending theories of human nature that almost beg to be described as Pelagian. Such Fundamentalists are too numerous to be dismissed as aberrations—indeed, their tribe seems to be increasing.

Conservative evangelicals have oriented themselves by fixed points of doctrine. They have scoured apostasy from the world’s largest seminary. They have debunked Open Theism. They have articulated and defended a Complementarian position against evangelical feminism. They have rebutted the opponents of inerrancy. They have exposed and refuted the New Perspective on Paul. They have challenged the Emergent Church and laid bare its bankruptcy
The “Conservative Evangelicals” have a great articulator in Dr. Bauder. Dr. Bauder gives a positive overview of the movement but says nothing as to their position on ecumenism and Biblical Separation. Read again Dr. Bauder’s definition of neo-evangelicalism. According to his definition, New Evangelicals of the past would qualify as “Conservative Evangelicals” today. Very Interesting. Can this be? Dr. David Beale in his book, In Pursuit of Purity, states “According to (Harold J.) Ockenga’s definition ( of new-evangelicalism which phrase he coined), new evangelicalism differs from Fundamentalism in three major areas: (1) a repudiation of the doctrine of separation; (2) a summons to greater social involvement; and (3)a determination to engage in theological dialogue with liberalism.”1 How is it that according to Dr. Bauder, “Conservative Evangelicals are not New Evangelicals”, yet the founder of New Evangelicalism labels the three major areas of difference from Fundamentalism that current “Conservative Evangelicals” identify with? I do not buy Dr. Bauder’s statement. Dr. Bauder’s “Conservative Evangelicals” repudiate the doctrine of separation, they are for greater social involvement, and they are determined to engage in theological dialogue with liberalism as is seen by their associations with what are considered liberal religious organizations.

In addition, as early as 1956, Christian Life magazine carried a descriptive article on New Evangelicalism and listed eight general features of the movement: (1) “A friendly attitude toward science”;(2) “A willingness to re-examine beliefs concerning the work of the Holy Spirit”; (3) “A more tolerant attitude toward varying views on eschatology”: (4) “A shift away from so – called extreme dispensationalism”; (5) “An increased emphasis on scholarship”; (6) “A more definite recognition of social responsibility”; (7) “A re-opening of the subject of biblical inspiration”; (8) “A growing willingness of evangelical theologians to converse with liberal theologians.”2 It sounds very much like “Conservative Evangelicals” to me. Or are they New Evangelicals? Nowhere in these eight things is there a reference to “peaceful co-existence with apostasy.” Rather, the new-evangelical wanted the opportunity to dialogue with liberalism.

In addition, Dr. Bauder makes the strong assertion that Conservative Evangelicals have “scoured apostasy from the world's largest seminary.” Is this not Puritanism, rather than separatism? When I read of Dr. R. Albert Mohler and Dr. Timothy George signing the Manhattan Declaration in September of 2009 in cooperation with Roman Catholics and the National and World Council of Churches’ members, my first thought was, “This is cooperation with apostasy!” With one sweep of the pen, however, Dr. Bauder has declared that Conservative Evangelicals are not new-evangelical and that Conservative Evangelicals have “scoured” apostasy from the world’s largest seminary without providing any proof. What Dr. Bauder seems to be alluding is that staying in and “scouring” rather than separating from apostasy really does work after all! He is ignoring the history of past attempts to “scour apostasy” by giving tacit approval of what these men have supposedly done, that is, staying in and not coming out from among them yet without giving any real proof this has actually happened. History has always proven that “trying to clean out apostasy while staying in” leads to apostasy not to purity. I would encourage all to read the late Dr. Ernest Pickering’s books, Biblical Separation: The Struggle For a Pure Church and The Tragedy of Compromise. (Note: Dr. Earnest Pickering was past president of Central Baptist [Theological] Seminary)

Separation is God’s answer to apostasy in any generation!

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, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (II Cor. 6:14 – 7:1).

Dr. Bauder does often speak on separation issues, yet seems to have blind spots regarding separation from disobedient brethren and ecclesiastical separation.(Matthew 18:15-18; Romans 16:17-18; I Cor. 5:1-13; II Thessalonians 3:6, 14-15; Titus 3:9-10). Is there absolutely no separation issue here with “conservative evangelicals?” Read on.

 Mark Dever, The New Darling

Dr. Mark Dever has become the new darling of those who profess to be Fundamentalists. Dr. Dever is considered to be “scary smart” by his close associates and has a charming personality. There is no question that he is a brilliant scholar and considered to be conservative in his understandings of the Gospel and an apologist for the same, though many are concerned of his commitment to Reformed dogma. However, when it comes to doctrinal issues such as Biblical Separation, he is way off the mark of Scripture. Dr. Mark Minnick, Pastor of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Greenville, SC, and a professor at Bob Jones University, was on Dr. Dever’s radio program in Washington nearly two years ago to debate the issue of ecclesiastical separation and that of separation from disobedient brethren. It is clear from that interview that Dr. Dever does not share Fundamentalist views on ecclesiastical separation or secondary separation. In addition, let it be known that Dr. Mark Dever also serves on the Board of Directors of Southern Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Though this Seminary is considered by some to be “conservative,” it is funded and supported by the compromising Southern Baptist Convention. Space does not permit a full examination of the compromises of the current Southern Baptist Convention but they are well documented.

Dever’s Alliances
[See below for an important site publisher addendum]

Capitol Hill Baptist Church, (Mark Dever is Pastor there), is a member of the District of Columbia Baptist Convention which is affiliated with the following three national associations: American Baptist Churches, USA; Southern Baptist Convention, and the Progressive National Baptist Convention.3 The American Baptist Churches, USA and the Progressive National Baptist Convention are both members of the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches which are both blatantly apostate. In addition, the American Baptist Churches, USA and the Progressive National Baptist Convention maintain affiliation with the Baptist World Alliance which in turn maintains ecumenical relations with the apostate Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (Roman Catholic Church). It does not take a person long to realize that Mark Dever’s associations and that of his church reveal associations with apostasy. If I am playing Ring-Around-the-Rosie and I join hands with Mark Dever, and Mark Dever joins hands with the District of Columbia Baptist Convention, and the District of Columbia Baptist Convention joins hands with the American Baptist Churches, USA, Southern Baptist Convention, and around to the Baptist World Alliance and the World Council of Churches and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, sooner or later we come full circle and we realize that we all are holding hands together.

To say that my hand-holding of Dr. Dever is a separate issue from Dr. Dever’s hand-holding with compromising associations is disingenuous and deceptive.

Dr. Dever writes eloquently on many Biblical subjects, but rejects Biblical Separation. He is like many of our time who like to have the appearance of holiness, but deny the basic premise of holiness, the doctrine of Separation! The late Carlton Helgerson, who served on the New England Chapter of the Billy Graham Crusades, wrote this after separating from New Evangelicalism,
From Genesis to Revelation the doctrine of a moral law of God, namely the Biblical Doctrine of Separation is there. More is said in the Bible on this subject than on salvation. In fact, the Doctrine of Separation is involved in the doctrine of salvation. God’s Word clearly teaches separation from alien religions, from idolatry, and from apostasy. Furthermore, it teaches that true believers separate themselves from professing believers who are disobedient. But this new religion, calling itself evangelical, not only ignores the doctrine but treats with scorn those who adhere to it.”.”4
Helgerson further remarks,
“Its attitude toward the doctrine of separation is that it is outmoded, unrealistic, and incompatible with the contemporary emphasis on love (editor: Christian Unity). Pride of intellect is characteristic of this movement. It looks to the demonstrable, takes the position that the only passages of Scripture to have validity in our day are those which the human intellect can recognize as worthwhile
Division is Betrayal of the Gospel?

Mahaney, Mohler, Duncan, Dever
Mark Dever, C. J. Mahaney, and R. Albert Mohler were contributors to a document issued Together for the Gospel (T4G) which lists the imperatives of the movement. They write; “We deny that any church can accept racial prejudice, discrimination, or division without betraying the Gospel.” 5 Who can argue that the church should accept discrimination and racial prejudice, but to say that “division” betrays the Gospel is to say exactly what the New Evangelicals said in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. Division over error is how the Gospel (which by the way includes the whole of Scripture, not just salvation truth) is kept pure and protected for God’s glory, yet we are led to believe that “division” betrays the Gospel. Unity at all costs is the heart throb of New-Evangelicalism.

Witnessing the Convergence of Non-Separatist Evangelicalism (old name New Evangelicalism) with Fundamentalism

There is a joining together of former Fundamentalists discontented with Biblical Separation, tired of the “old Fundamental prohibitions” and those who were never Biblical Separatists, but somewhat conservative in their doctrine, open on eschatology, open on social drinking, and open on music that blends a decent message with the music of the corrupt culture. They are meeting in the middle, so to speak. Their common ground: Rejection of Biblical Separation. Basically, they are saying, “Accept me on my terms: Don’t criticize who I hang out with, what I listen to, what I watch, what I drink, where I go, who I follow, what associations I maintain. Those are under ‘Christian liberty’ and, therefore, are off limits.” I ask you, is this Biblical?

If we say we believe in the authority of the Scriptures, then we must also believe that it authoritatively speaks to all areas of life and godliness. It stands to reason that limited or watered down authority is not a sovereign authority. The Non-Separatist Evangelical reins in the authority of the Scriptures and limits it to certain areas it deems as core doctrine. However, daily life is considered under the realm of personal tastes, rather than under the domain of the authority of the Word of God. The Non-Separatist Evangelical has so compartmentalized his or her life that they only apply God’s authoritative Word to certain areas deemed what I call “God zones;” refusing to apply them to those areas deemed “My life zones!” This, of course, is the height of arrogance and self-love and reduces the Scriptures to nothing more than a salad bar where we pick and choose what we like and leave behind what we don’t like!

Having a Form of Godliness

Corrupt self-love is the heart of apostasy. II Timothy 3:1-9 indicates that in the last days perilous times shall come. What will be the key note of the last days? Self-love and the satisfaction of self! Professors of faith in Christ will demonstrate in the last days the characteristics of being: “lovers of self, covetous (loving things that we do not possess and willing to do anything to have them), boasters (self-praise), proud (self-love), blasphemers (loving what God hates), disobedient to parents (loving my self-will over and against the authority placed over me), unthankful (loving what I have without being thankful for it), unholy (loving the profane), without natural affection (having unnatural concepts of love for children, spouses, animals, fellow man, the environment, etc), ...lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (that is the practice of Biblical separation!). Dear reader, can the Bible be any clearer? Separation is God’s answer to the corruption of apostasy, yet that very truth is what is being rejected by the Non-Separatist Evangelical.
In my opinion, Dr. Bauder is seeking to administer the morphine of “Conservative Evangelicalism” to ailing Fundamentalism to finally put it to sleep.
What is lost in the passing of Fundamentalism? Lost is the Biblical truth of going outside the camp to Christ, bearing His reproach, contempt, abuse and shame. We are laying down our arms to pick up the olive branch. Militant, Separatist Fundamentalism is anathema to the Non-Separatist Evangelical and, in their estimation, the sooner it is buried the better. Dear Reader, all I can say is, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”

Reprinted by permission: The Projector, Fall 2010. Ω

1) David O. Beale, In Pursuit of Purity: American Fundamentalism Since 1850, Greenville, SC: Bob Jones University Press, 1986, p. 262.

2) Beale, pp. 256 – 266.

3) http// Look under Capitol Hill Baptist Church and its affiliations. “Google” American Baptist Churches, USA and Progressive National Baptist Convention and see their ties to the National Council of Churches, World Council of Churches, Baptist World Alliance, and the Roman Catholic Pontifical Council Promoting Christian Unity.

4) Pastor Carlton Helgerson, The Challenge of a New Religion, Burlington, MA: The Church of the Open Bible, 1971, p. 11, 19

5) http// See Article XVII

Site Publisher’s Note:
It has come to my attention that there may be several errors in this article on the biography of Dr. Mark Dever. Yesterday I addressed one of them. Today, however, I’d like to offer additional details for your consideration.

1) On the District of Columbia Baptist Convention- I have confirmed that Mark Dever and/or his church are not a member of this organization. In fact, there is a story in Christianity Today (2002) where Dever himself makes this very clear. You will find the link to that interview in the thread below.

2) On the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS)- Mark Dever is not a member of the SBTS board. Mark Dever is, however, noted at sites such as Wikipedia as a long-standing member of SBTS’s board of trustees.

3) On the radio program in Washington- Mark Dever does not have his own radio broadcast that I am aware of. In May 2008, however, Mark Dever conducted a 9Marks interview with Dr. Mark Minnick. I tried to provide a link to that interview, but according to several online sources it “could not be found or has been intentionally disabled by the content owner.”

I have alerted the author of this article to these biographical concerns. He has informed me that he is doing additional research to either reconfirm what he has written, revise or retract what may be in error. I appreciate the contact from several men who have with a good motive and spirit brought these things to my attention.

For related reading see:

Conservative Evangelicalism’s Distortion of the Doctrine of Separation, by Dr. Lance Ketchum
“In recent years we have had men rise up out of professed Bible believing Christianity (commonly referred to as Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism) to propose that Scriptural separation is not intended to maintain local church purity (Ecclesiastical purity) relating to doctrinal purity and practice, but merely intended to maintain purity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Therefore they propose that local churches should not separate over other lesser important doctrines such as issues of Church polity, Pneumatology, or Eschatology (to mention a few areas they propose as lesser important areas of Truth). I believe this is little more than another level of an attempt to keep Bible believing Christianity culturally relevant in a national and world culture where true Bible believing Christianity is being rapidly relegated into cultural obscurity.”
Kevin Bauder and Dave Doran to Join mark Dever at Lansdale: Is This a Fundamentalism Worth Saving?

Excusing the Brother for the Sake of His Sister: Is This the New “Fresh Application” of Biblical Separation Principles?

A Letter From Dr. Richard V. Clearwaters to Kevin Bauder

December 5, 2010

John MacArthur: A New Book on Lordship Salvation

Dr. John MacArthur has begun promoting a new book SLAVE to be released January 2011. I watched a YouTube video in which MacArthur announces his new book. I am troubled even by the way in which he promotes the reason for the production of this book.

Studying the New Testament I discovered a distortion of truth when it came to the word ‘doulos.’ The book Slave is about the hidden word that unlocks the believer’s identity. There had been a conspiracy to cover up a truth that is so essential to the New Testament that without it we misunderstand our relationship to Jesus Christ.”1
MacArthur asks us to believes that after 2,000 years with the New Testament (NT) in our hands he alone has uncovered some hidden truth, that was distorted or concealed through “conspiracy, a cover up.” We are being asked to believe that no pastor or teacher before him in NT history has made this discovery in the Bible. Claims like that ought to raise a red flag of caution among believers even before cracking the cover of this new book.

With MacArthur having changed the terms of the Gospel, in the form of his Lordship Salvation theology, this book has all the promise to be another abuse of Scripture. Since John MacArthur has already changed the terms of the Gospel, there is virtually no possibility his new discovery will square with the whole counsel of God. From his sermon Slaves for Christ2 MacArthur said,
When you give somebody the gospel, you are saying to them, ‘I would like to invite you to become a slave of Jesus Christ…give up your independence…give up your freedom, submit yourself to an alien will, abandon all your rights, be owned by, controlled by the Lord’. That’s really the gospel.”
Nowhere in MacArthur’s definition of the gospel above, what MacArthur claims to be the good news of Jesus Christ, God’s saving message to the lost is the sinfulness of man, the cross of Christ, His resurrection or faith/believing referenced at all. He speaks of the gospel (salvation) in terms of discipleship and these are two very different doctrines. This is the theme you are going to find in his new book.
The crux of the Lordship debate is over the requirements for salvation, not the results of salvation…. 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 that the Bible does not. A new life through submission to the lordship of Christ should come as a natural result of salvation, but the Scriptures never identify submission as a requirement for salvation, justification.” (IDOTG: Biblical Answers to Lordship Salvation)
Slave will be another major apologetic for Lordship Salvation’s man-centered, works based corruption of the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor. 11:3). Slave will be another in the line of books in which MacArthur, just as he did in The Gospel According to Jesus, redefines discipleship of the believer and twists those things meant for the born again child of God into evangelistic appeals to the lost.


Kevin Lane has posted an article on the new book by John MacArthur. May I suggest you read, The Bible X-Files at On My Walk.

If you are considering purchasing a personal or gift copy of In Defense of the Gospel: Biblical Answers to Lordship Salvation please consider doing so through Bob Jones University’s Campus Store

For a brief exposé on one of the chief errors of LS see, Summary of Lordship Salvation From a Single Page of John MacArthur’s The Gospel According to Jesus and/or John MacArthur’s Discipleship Gospel

1) You Tube Promotional Video

2) Slaves for Christ quote is taken from 1:06 of the video.