February 22, 2011

Dr. Ernest Pickering, “The Separatist Cause is Not Advanced by Featuring Non-Separatists

On Tuesday, February 8 the Sharper Iron1 (SI) site posted an excerpt from Dr. Ernest Pickering’s Biblical Separation: The Struggle for a Pure Church. The excerpt was submitted by Brother Kevin Mungons of Baptist Bulletin and Regular Baptist Press. In his introductory remarks Mungons wrote,

Several bloggers have recently addressed the subject of separation, suggesting that current leaders such as Kevin Bauder, Dave Doran, and Tim Jordan are moving to a position that contradicts the teaching of an earlier generation of fundamentalists…. Disappointed with the rough-and-tumble disagreements of his era, Pickering concluded his seminal Biblical Separation with a critique of fundamentalism’s well-documented foibles—advice that would have saved us a lot of grief, had we listened. A portion of the book’s conclusion follows.” (bold added)
We can all appreciate the outstanding teaching within the pages of Dr. Pickering’s Biblical Separation: The Struggle for a Pure Church. Sharper Iron did not include any portion from Dr. Pickering’s classic that speaks plainly to the efforts of Drs. Kevin Bauder, Dave Doran, Tim Jordan and Matt Olson to embrace, feature and cooperate with non-separatist evangelicals. Dr. Pickering’s advice to them would have saved us a lot of grief, had they listened.

Today we will consider whether or not certain present day Fundamentalists, who claim a heritage in and militancy to authentic biblical separatism, are acting contrary to the teaching of and have drifted from the moorings that Dr. Pickering defined for biblical separation. Following is a timely subsection from Biblical Separation that addresses an application of authentic biblical separation.  The subsection is titled, Whom to Invite to Your Platform.
“Some leaders operate on the principle that they will use speakers who are well-known even though they may be shaky in their convictions in some areas-because they have special abilities that are helpful and thus can be a blessing to their congregations. The wisdom, however, of following this course of action is very doubtful. For instance, the president of a separatist school may be asked to consider using some outstanding Bible preacher in his chapel or Bible conference. The man may have expertise in the Scriptures, be fundamental in doctrine and possess a tremendous gift of communication. He may also be one who goes everywhere, evidencing little discernment in the choice of places he ministers, speaking one week at the separatist college and perhaps the next at a Bible conference controlled by new evangelicals or their sympathizers. Some see no harm in using such a man. They look only at the messages he delivers from the platform which, in themselves, may be without fault.

But a man is more than his pulpit message. He brings to the pulpit a lifetime of associations, actions and perhaps writings. He comes as a total person. Is he in his total ministry the type of person you would want the young people at the separatist college to emulate? Perhaps you, as an adult, mature believer, could make the necessary adjustments in thinking and divorce what he is from what he says. Most of the youth would not be able to do that. The same would be true of most church members. They would be influenced by the man’s example as well as by his preaching. If he is a compromiser, his example would be harmful, and the college president would be at fault for setting him up as such. The separatist cause is not advanced by featuring non-separatists.” (Biblical Separation: The Struggle for a Pure Church, Implementing Separatist Convictions, Whom to Invite to Your Platform, p. 229.)
This week Dave Doran and Kevin Bauder have joined non-separatist SBC pastor Dr. Mark Dever on the platform with Tim Jordan at the Calvary Baptist Seminary, Lansdale (CBS) Leadership Conference. They are sharing the platform with Dr. Dever and working in a cooperative ministry effort with him. Mark Dever is an SBC pastor, teaches at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, which is a leading institution for New-Evangelical compromise and the home of the Ockenga Institute2 and he sits on the board of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (home of the Billy Graham School of Evangelism & World Missions).

Mark Dever brings to the platform with him, amillenialism. Additionally, he brings all of the baggage of the Southern Baptist Convention with him to the platform. Knowing all of this CBS invited Dever to their platform. This week, without reservation or seeing any need to justify speaking there, Dave Doran and Kevin Bauder happily share the platform with the man who brings that baggage with him to it. Is this the manner of biblical separation that Dr. Pickering taught or practiced?

In 2010 Dave Doran and Matt Olson featured non-separatist evangelicals in their church, seminary and college pulpits.3 From 1979 Dr. Pickering warned against compromise and fellowship with non-separatists.
The separatist cause is not advanced by featuring non-separatists.”
Words fitly spoken to men and SI, who are reaching out to and advancing the cause of non-separatist so-called “conservative” evangelicals. Convicting words from a Fundamentalist on the principles and application of authentic biblical separation. We see men who would be accommodating rather than militant, appeasers rather than separatists, unifiers at the expense of fidelity to the doctrine. Dr. Pickering’s commentary clearly reveal Kevin Bauder, Dave Doran, Tim Jordan and Matt Olson practice that which is antithetical to his teaching on a specific application of separation- platform fellowship. They have moved to a position that contradicts the teaching of an earlier generation of Fundamentalists, Dr. Ernest Pickering in particular.

In recent days Dave Doran wrote very clear, unambiguous statements indicating what would constitute for him grounds to withhold fellowship from brethren. These are documented in The RAP on Mark Dever series.4 However, when faced with Dever’s obvious crossing the boundary that Doran set for himself, it is as if he (Doran) suddenly developed amnesia. He refuses to apply his own principles for separation. This begins to make one wonder why believe what Dave Doran writes or says about separatism, when his being at Lansdale with Mark Dever this week confirms that he personally ignores what he writes/says about separation. I see Dave Doran (as well as Bauder, Olson, Jordan) moving his fellowship increasingly toward non-separatists. I see a pattern of selective application of the timeless principles.
There is a disconnect between what Dave Doran writes on separation and what he does in practice.
Alleged separatists in IFB circles will keep walking the pathway of compromise. They are on this winding road to have their fellowship with non-separatist evangelicals. They are on the same slippery slope that men like Jerry Falwell chose years ago. They must believe they can succeed where Falwell, and many other lesser known who took the same steps, failed. They are headed, by choice, in that direction. Just like Falwell, van Impe, et.al., they are going to wind up in some kind of tragic “theological wasteland.”

What does Dr. Ernest Pickering say to men who claim to be separatists and unchanged in separatist convictions, who are increasingly featuring and cooperating in ministry with non-separatist evangelicals?
The separatist cause is not advanced by featuring non separatists.”
Dr. Pickering’s message from Biblical Separation is clear. The actions of Bauder, Doran, Olson and Jordan to embrace, feature and converge with non-separatist evangelicals demonstrates movement away from and what is contradictory to the teaching of earlier fundamentalists, in particular Dr. Ernest Pickering.

There is still time for the evangelicals’ apologists, who still circulate in Fundamental circles, to listen to Dr. Pickering’s advice and to heed his admonitions for biblical separation for the sake of a pure church. Lord willing these self-described biblical separatists, some who claim to be unchanged militant separatists, will rethink the direction they are headed toward and cease from influencing impressionable young people to follow them into compromise with so-called “conservative” evangelicals.

With the prayers and admonition of God’s people those men might be recovered and reverse course before much longer. I am hopeful they will one day repent and invest the balance of their lives undoing the damage they are presently doing to authentic biblical separatism. The kind of militant, consistent, balanced separatism that Dr. Ernest Pickering defined in Biblical Separation: The Struggle for a Pure Church.


LM

Site Publisher Addendum:
In the next we will excerpt portions from another of Dr. Ernest Pickering’s works. In that article we will once again recognize certain men in IFB circles are acting in ways that undeniably “contradicts the teaching of an earlier generation of fundamentalists.”

Footnotes:
1) For various discussions in regard to SI please visit, Sharper Iron: In the Iron Skillet

2) The Ockenga Institute in honor of early new evangelical leader Dr. Harold J. Ockenga (1905-1985) a founder and the first president of Gordon-Conwell, member of the board of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. This new evangelical inspired Gordon-Conwell is where Mark Dever chooses to teach and cooperate.

3) In 2010 Dave Doran hosted in his seminary or church pulpit Michael Vlach, Conrad Mbewe and Bryan Ferrell. Matt Olson at NIU hosted non-separatists Rick Holland, Wayne Simien and will feature another non-separatist SBC theologian, Bruce Ware, in a summer module.

4) The RAP on Mark Dever, Part 1

Related Reading:
Dead Man's Curve

Dr. Rick Arrowood: Answering Questions About the Changes We Are Seeing in Fundamentalism

1994 & 1995 FBFI Resolutions: Southern Baptist Convention
Those who call for cooperation in pulpit ministries between Fundamentalists and Southern Baptists either misread the nature of the conservative movement in the Convention, or themselves have compromised the cause of Biblical separation.” (Dave Doran, 1994).

…we [Doran, Olson, Jordan] do not see how independent fundamental Baptists can make common cause with Southern Baptists.” (Dave Doran, Tim Jordan, Matt Olson, 1995).
Is NIU “Unchanged?” NBBC Position Statement on Issues in Contemporary Christianity

Kevin Bauder: It Won’t Fly With Those of Us Who Know

NIU’s Convergence With Evangelicalism: What Does it Mean for Impressionable Students?

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

40 comments:

  1. Excellent article.

    It appears, to me atleast, that in his introductory remaks, Mungon is a bit unstable in his thinking. On one hand he rightly points out that Pickering's separatist advice is good ("would have saved us a lot of grief had we listened"), but on the other hand, seems to question the fact that Bauder, Doran and Jordan are guilty of behaving like non-separatists ("suggusting that current leaders"). Maybe I am reading too much into his comments.

    Nevertheless, this article has been helpful to me in discerning what biblical separation looks like. Thank you.

    Jimmy

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  2. Thanks Jimmy:

    My primary goal for this article was to demonstrate from/in Dr. Pickering’s own words that the form of separation currently being practiced by certain men (named above) is not the separatism of Dr. Pickering even though it is claimed at SI they do.

    At SI there was the usual censorship by omission to further the interests of and protect evangelicalism, its star personalities and those “current leaders” in IFB circles who are changing (losing their militancy) to accommodate the fellowship they seek with non-separatists in evangelicalism. The problem is that these “current leaders” are taking the trail of compromise and trying to influence/lead the impressionable to follow them there.

    The irony is that the excerpt from Biblical Separation used at SI appears in the same section (the following page I think) as the excerpt I shared here. Brother Mungons, is not an unstable man. He knows of the excerpt I posted here, could have offered both perspectives, but chose for one alone.


    LM

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  3. Thanks for the clarification:

    "Brother Mungons, is not an unstable man. He knows of the excerpt I posted here, could have offered both perspectives, but chose for one alone".

    I was under the mistaken impression that brother Mungon was writing for SI, and therefore interpreted his comments from that framework. My mistake.

    Jimmy

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  4. Thanks, Lou, for posting this article. It is time for the sleepy to WAKE UP! Examine the evidence, read the Scripture's admonitions on separation and stand fast in the faith once delivered to the saints.
    The stand has never been a popular one, but it is a necessary one.

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  5. Brian:

    I appreciate that. What is going on, the evidence is plain and observable.

    I am especially grateful for the article you posted at your blog, Dead Man's Curve which I've linked to in the Related Reading section after this article.


    Lou

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  6. This evening Pastor Marc Monte sent me an e-mail requesting I submit the following comment in this thread on his behalf. LM


    To me, it’s unconscionable to chart a course of change and then vehemently deny it. I have no respect for such. I have far more respect for Carl Henry who spelled out his position in The Uneasy Conscience of Fundamentalism. At least he had courage enough (and character enough) to take his stand for compromise boldly!

    We must at all costs bolster the Biblical positions on these important issues. If we don’t return to and/or maintain solid Biblical preaching that includes the exposure of error, our churches and schools will follow the path of popularity. This is what we’re seeing today.


    Marc Monte

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  7. Lou, two problems here in my opinion.

    First, you quote a portion of Dr. Pickering's book that is a gray area, which you can tell by the way he handles it. He believes he lays out the best application, but its far from binding across the board.

    But what you're doing here when you say things like "They have moved to a position that contradicts the teaching of an earlier generation of Fundamentalists, Dr. Ernest Pickering in particular." is assuming they had it all exactly right. They may not have.

    Secondly, you point out Falwell as a cautionary example, but, having just read fascinating book by one semester student there (he was sort of an undercover journalist), I'd say Fundamentalists already share as many of the Falwell foibles as we shun, including a tendency towards easy prayerism, over emphasis of politics, hit or miss discipleship, Arminianism, and most importantly, a full understanding of the overarching power of the gospel.

    These are things many CEs do get right. Perhaps broader Fundamentalism ought to focus moe on some of the rudiments before nitpicking the ministries of others.

    David Oestreich

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  8. David:

    Thank you, but I see no problems here. Dr. Pickering is speaking exactly to platform fellowship. Doran and Bauder joining Dever of the Lansdale platform, knowing all the associations and issues he (Dever) brings with him, are acting in a way that is clearly contradictory to what Pickering taught. Furthermore, in my previous series The RAP on Mark Dever

    I documented Dave Doran writing, “…obscure the distinction between the church and the world…by embracing worldly approaches for the church’s growth and/or worship…. The distinction between the church and the world must be guarded.... these are the biblical justifications for and biblical boundaries of ministerial cooperation and fellowship.”

    With Mark Dever’s personal affinity for the RAP, Hip Hop medium in his personal life and approval of it in ministry he crosses the boundary that Doran set for ministerial cooperation. However, when faced with Dever having crossed the boundary that he (Doran) set for himself, Doran appears to have contracted amnesia. Has this become a trigger illness when it comes to evangelicals who cross boundaries.

    One of my goals here is to show that SI/Mungons are wrong when they suggest Kevin Bauder, Dave Doran, and Tim Jordan do not contradict the teaching of an earlier generation of fundamentalists, namely Dr. Ernest Pickering from the excerpt I've cited.

    The issues in both camps among certain segments of men are real. No disagreement. FWIW, I do not consider embracing worldly forms of entertainment medium for the church, ecumenical compromises with unbelievers or apostates and Charismatic theology, all of which is found among the evangelicals, nits. These are termites in the NT Church. They are dangerous compromises of doctrine that must be exposed, the men be admonished, rebuked and called to repent of these things.


    LM

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  9. Dave/All:

    It becomes increasingly clear that Dave Doran (Bauder, Olson, Jordan) has made up his mind that it’s better to deal with the troubling inconsistencies of the evangelicals than to stay with the inconsistencies of the certain Fundamentalists.

    I'll have more on this in a future article.


    LM

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  10. "...it’s better to deal with the troubling inconsistencies of the evangelicals than to stay with the inconsistencies of the certain Fundamentalists."

    That is a very interesting analysis of their position, and I think it must be true. However, it got me to thinking if that choice or distinction actually has to be made. Why put up with any clear disobedience in order to remain part of a "group" or "camp" or maintain fellowship? I see the problems among many fundamentalists just like Bauder or commenter David above, and I have therefore separated from much of "fundamentalism", but it doesn't have me running to another crowd to find fellowship. Just because I separate from Person X does not mean I have to find Persons Y or Z to fill the gap, does it?

    OR, perhaps it means exactly that if I have a college to run and to fill with students, or a mission board to fund. Perhaps at the root of the problem is the straying from the local-church-oriented pattern of ministry that we were given in the New Testament?

    Hope that makes sense.

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  11. Victor, Thank you bringing this to light, for those who see no problem with what Bauder, Doran, Olson, Jordan are doing with Evangelicals, they will in their defense decry the supposed faulty fellowship of mainstream Fundamentalists with those of the hyper-Fundamentalist persuasion. While I would imagine there may be some of that fellowshipping going on, it is very slight. And the reason for that is most, if not all, hypers have separated from mainstream Fundamentalism because they see us as compromisers on the various issues that they have gone hyper on (the KJV issue for instance). Anyone who does not dot their "i's" and cross their "t's" as they do are seen as compromisers and are to be separated from, so my dealings with the hypers is already nil by their practice and by mine. So that argument doesn't really hold any water.

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  12. Lou, you and Pastor Marc Monte do know that Pickering graduated from Dallas Seminary, was a leader in the GARBC, AND led at least one church to switch from the KJV to the NIV -- right?

    Are you sure you want to try and claim him for your team?

    Keith

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  13. Keith:

    Yes, I am familiar with Dr. Pickering’s biography, but was not aware of the KJV/NIV issue. Nevertheless, I am on record preferring and using the KJV exclusively. I do, however, allow soul liberty and autonomy of the local church for others to choose as they feel lead. I have visited churches that used the NIV and other versions. I did not rent my garment and run out into the foyer shrieking, “heresy.” OK?

    Anyway, this is not a matter of teams, it is truth. SI/Mungons suggest that Doran, Bauder, Jordan (and Olson) are no different in their separatism than earlier fundamentalists, and they cited Dr. Pickering. Well, we have shown here that SI is wrong!

    It is irrefutable that KB/DD/TJ/MO has drifted far from the moorings of biblical separation that Dr. Ernest Pickering taught and practiced. In a few days I will publish another stark example of these current leaders drift from the authentic biblical separatism of Dr. Pickering.

    Thanks,


    LM

    PS: Next time full name; I have announced that I am tightening my rules for participation.

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  14. At SI an event blogger posted this from the Advancing the Church Conference at Lansdale.

    “He [Dever] closed with some admonitions to everyone in the room. He challenged us to reach out to the other Christians in our lives, regardless of denominational distinctives, and find ways to advance the gospel in our areas of influence.” (Transcription of Mark Dever by SI blogger Tom Mount 2/22/11)

    Does the bold portion ring any bell; an ecumenical bell? I hear one...

    Promise #6- “A Promise Keeper is committed to reaching beyond any racial and denominational barriers to demonstrate the power of Biblical unity.”

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  15. Anonymous said, "Lou, you and Pastor Marc Monte do know that Pickering graduated from Dallas Seminary, was a leader in the GARBC..."

    And the point? The Dallas Seminary at the time was much more separated, as was the GARBC (even more so). In fact, that is the entire point in question here, that the leading "fundamentalist" organizations have left the same separtist moorings they once clung to. The GARBC was the very definition of militant separation at its founding and remained so through Pickering's time there. It's position today is irrelevant to the point of Pickering's position.

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  16. Victor:

    Thanks for adding your insights into this discussion. “And the point?” Exactly! We are discussing the changes, the loss of militancy for the sake of fellowship with non-separatists, of men who claim a heritage in and faithfulness to the principles of biblical separation. Men who are redefining the applications to have their convergence with a growing assortment of evangelicals, new evangelicals and ecumenical compromisers. It is tragic and a sad repeat of the kind of compromise we saw with Falwell and others who went down that winding road. These men have changed and it is shameful to hear their cries of we have not changed.

    Just with Dever alone, whom they are embracing this week at Lansdale, he is on the faculty/board of Gordon-Conwell a new evangelical school and with Southern Baptist Theological with ecumenical Al Mohler and the Billy Graham School. You won’t hear one word from Doran or Bauder anywhere about these associations because it might cause them to have to justify their embrace of Dever this week. And they will not say anything because they apparently see no wrong in it.

    When I saw that article by Brother Mungons at pseudo- fundamentalist SI I thought this needs to be answered especially because Mungons knows that book and that Pickering never would have gone along with what Doran, Bauder, Olson, Jordan are doing now. Frankly, I’m disappointed with Mungons helping SI with its historic bias and censorship to demonize Fundamentalism while promoting evangelicalism and its star personalities.

    Any objective read of either of his classics Biblical Separation and The Tragedy of Compromise and you know without any doubt that what these men do today is far from the biblical separation Dr. Pickering articulated and practiced.

    Thanks again,


    Lou

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  17. Lou,

    You mention three evangelicals that were at Detroit last year: Michael Vlach, Conrad Mbewe and Bryan Ferrell. How do you know these people are evangelicals?

    Ed Gardner

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  18. Ed:

    Thanks for asking. I have their biographies. Please Google each name and you will have the details.


    LM

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  19. Lou,

    I'm familiar with each individual, so I'm aware of who they are. What I'm not aware of is how you've determined they are evangelicals.

    If all you are going off of is a bio, then at best you know where they are ministering (and perhaps have ministered in the past) and where they went to school. I didn't realize those things were what determined whether or not someone was an evangelical or fundamentalist. I always thought it had more to do with theological understanding and philosophy.

    If we simply went off bios, then Bauder, Doran, Olson, Jordan, etc. would clearly be fundamentalists, since they went to fundamentalist schools and served at fundamentalist ministries.

    I'm not sure it's the best approach to be accusing brothers in Christ of disobedience based simply on a bio you found via google.

    Ed

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  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  21. Ed:

    I certainly intended for you to dig deeper than Google, that is a start. But let’s address your writing, “What I’m not aware of is how you’ve determined they are evangelicals.

    I guess an easy answer is that because they call themselves “evangelicals.” Dave Doran and Kevin Bauder call them “evangelicals.” Beyond and more importantly they are in practice doing what is common to evangelicals and that is in large part disobey the God-given mandates for separation from unbelievers, the disobedient and worldliness. Not meaning to drop the blanket on every evangelical with each of the above. Mark Dever teaches at Gordon-Conwell a thoroughly New Evangelical seminary. That is troubling for you; isn’t it? That would be a good indicator that he is evangelical; right?


    LM

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  22. Lou,

    So, could you point me to where Michael Vlach, Conrad Mbewe and Bryan Ferrell have referred to themselves as new evangelicals? I've never seen where they have self-identified in that way, but could have easily missed it.

    Thanks,

    Ed

    PS. Dever is a side issue (he's not one of the people who were at Detroit), so I'm not going to address that.

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  23. Ed:

    In my previous reply to you I took my comments to apply beyond Vlach, Mbewe and Ferrell. You did note I referred to Dever. It would have been helpful had I been more definitive about how I was expanding my discussion; that I was speaking to a broader range of men beyond the three that were invited by and spoke in Doran’s pulpit and/or seminary. Nevertheless, I can’t imagine any one speaking honestly would conclude that Vlach, Mbewe and Ferrell would not be identified within the evangelical community. I would invite Dave Doran to post an article at his (no comments allowed) blog to inform his readers that these men, he hosted in his pulpit and seminary, are NOT evangelicals. That is if he believes they are not.

    Again I’ll take some responsibly for lack of clarity, but I did name Piper and Mohler specifically as “New” Evangelicals, I did not include Vlach, Mbewe and Ferrell.

    I’d appreciate if you would read carefully, just as I will seek to be more defining as to what I am referring. OK?


    LM

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  24. Next, I’m curious why you would be uncomfortable discussing Dever in this context. After all, Dave Doran and Kevin Bauder just embraced this SBC, evangelical who teaches at the new evangelical Gordon-Conwell, sits on the board of SBTS, embraces the Rap, Hip Hop medium of (Shei Linee and Curtis Allen) as a personal choice for listening and for use in ministry, and he as virtually every evangelical rejects and refuses to practice authentic biblical separatism.

    I would encourage you and every reader to refer to The RAP on Mark Dever

    Dave Doran stated why he believed his speaking at Lansdale with Dever did not need to be justified. One of his guidelines was over whether or not a man [Dever], “…obscure[s] the distinction between the church and the world by denying the transforming power of the gospel, by embracing worldly approaches for the church’s growth and/or worship.”

    We did learn that Dever does embrace worldly approaches for church growth and/or worship, the RAP, Hip Hop medium. Yet, Dave happily went to Lansdale to minister along side a man who has contributed to obscuring the distinction between the church and the world. Even Dr. Peter Masters wrote on this very trend of worldliness in ministry among the so-called “conservative” evangelicals. Doran wrote about this, but when a real test of commitment to what he wrote came with Dever and RAP/Hip-Hop, well….

    That leads to me back to reiterate the crux of this article. Dave Doran, Matt Olson, Kevin Bauder and Tim Jordan do NOT exemplify or practice the kind of separatism that Dr. Ernest Pickering taught in his classic Biblical Separation the section I cited here in particular. Doran and Bauder’s platform fellowship with Mark Dever this week proves the point. In Doran’s case especially- he has lost the sense of militancy as he once articulated it. Later on I will be publish another example of how Doran has changed and his militancy waned. Lord willing he can be recovered and repent. Until then I’ll do what I can to blunt his attempts to influence the next generation to follow him in compromise of biblical separation for the sake of developing cooperative efforts with his new non-separatist evangelical friends.


    LM

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  25. Lou,

    I'm sorry for creating confusion, but I assumed when you call someone a 'Non-separatist evangelical" that was the same thing as calling them a "new evangelical." Could you explain the difference in your mind between the two?

    I also assumed your comments about referring to themselves as evangelicals as applying to the three individuals under our discussion, since you said: "'What I’m not aware of is how you’ve determined they are evangelicals.'
    I guess an easy answer is that because they call themselves “evangelicals.” (the "they" in my sentence was in reference to those three, so I assumed the "they" in your sentence referred to those three.)

    Regarding those three individuals being part of the "evangelical community" I suppose it would depend on what you mean by that phrase. In one sense, all fundamentalists are evangelicals. But, if you mean associated with non-separatist evangelicals, then I would be willing to say they are not a full part of that community. I am unaware of any of them publicly embracing or practicing the new evangelical philosophy. I know of no involvement with ecumenical evangelism or a repudiation of separation. In fact, they all have some ties to fundamentalist ministries.

    Now, I don't know enough about them to say they definitely practice what is often referred to as secondary separation. But John R. Rice repudiated secondary separation--would you be as concerned if John R. Rice had spoken at Detroit?

    Ed

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  26. Lou,

    Regarding Dever: it's not that I'm uncomfortable in discussing it, it's just that it is outside of my concerns in this discussion and I feel it will sidetrack them. You've repeatedly expressed concern about these men speaking at Detroit last year, so I was wondering what about them concerned you.

    You've been clear in what concerns you about Dever, but whether I agree or disagree with you on those concerns is not important when considering your concerns about the men under discussion and why you consider it wrong to have them speak at a fundamentalist ministry.

    Thanks,

    Ed

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  27. Ed:

    Thanks for getting back to me.

    I really don’t mind discussing a wide range of issues in the current controversy, but we’re drifting from the main theme of this article. The discussion here is over the SI/Mungons claim that Doran, Bauder and Jordan (I add Matt Olson) practice the same separatism that Ernest Pickering articulated in Biblical Separation. I have cited page 229 from the book and by their actions that they have drifted from what he teaches for platform fellowship. I trust you see the contradiction; don’t you?

    BTW, the rule here is that we have a two-way street, not one way.

    Regarding Dever: it's not that I'm uncomfortable in discussing it, it's just that it is outside of my concerns in this discussion and I feel it will sidetrack them. You've repeatedly expressed concern about these men speaking at Detroit last year, so I was wondering what about them concerned you.

    But Dever is one of the main themes of this article and that is why I am steering it back in that direction. Why do I refer to the three evangelicals speaking at Detroit last year? Because in part it shows, just as at NIU, that Doran/Olson have already opened their pulpits to non-separatists and have put impressionable people at risk because of it. Our men are not just reaching out to and going where they can to hob-nob with evangelicals they are opening the pulpits their Fundamental church and schools to them. Good time to read Dr. Gerald Priest once more,

    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. Fundamentalists will become even ‘nicer’ to the conservative evangelicals and they in turn will appear more ‘respectable’ to the fundamentalists. It may be that some fundamentalists desire this. But then, would they not also have to forfeit the label?


    LM

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  28. Ed:

    On the JR Rice question, I never met the man and do not know the depth and reach of what you said was his rejection of “secondary” separation. I do, however, have some insight and experience that I’d share with you off-line. Send me an e-mail if you like. That said, had John R. Rice had the kind of associations of an Al Mohler and John Piper I would have been gravely concerned then, as I am now with Doran/Bauder/Jordan/Olson reaching out to the non-separatists in the T4G community and as Doran/Olson/Jordan have done put those men in their church/college pulpits.

    One of the flash points here is that while any objective observer can see that KB, DD, TJ and MO have changed, have lost their militancy to have their fellowships with evangelicals, they deny it. It is plain that our men have decided to tolerate, allow for and excuse aberrant theology, ecumenical compromise and worldliness that they would never tolerate or allow for in Fundamental circles. As I said above and wish to strongly reiterate,

    It becomes increasingly clear that Dave Doran, Kevin Bauder, Matt Olson and Tim Jordan have made up their minds that it’s better to deal with the troubling inconsistencies of the evangelicals than to stay with the inconsistencies of certain Fundamentalists.

    Fine, go that way, but please do not bristle when the obvious is noted and please do not deny the obvious. And while they go that way I will continue to do all I can to call on and encourage believers to fidelity toward the God-given mandates and resist the influences of men to follow them down the winding road of compromise.

    Ed, I want to keep addressing more of what you written above, but today is pretty well used up for that. Business and family day issues take precedence. Maybe a one-on-one would be beneficial. What do you think?

    God bless you,


    LM

    ReplyDelete
  29. Lou,

    Thanks for the offer, but I'm not really interested in going back and forth on Dever. My concern is that you keep accusing Detroit of having non-separatists in, but I haven't seen anything to convince me that those three men were non-separatists when they came to Detroit. Thus, I would encourage you to stop making that accusation without further proof.

    I realize my comments were a little off topic, but I didn't know where else to bring them up so I thought I'd do that here (since it was a part of the article). However, I've said what I felt I needed to say and will gladly drop it so you can continue the discussion how you see fit.

    Thanks,

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  30. Lou,

    Since you requested a "two way street" I will briefly share some of my thoughts on the Dever issue.

    I am aware of and have listened to his interview on Christian rap. I was somewhat surprised to hear Dever's remarks on it, since I know his church is extremely conservative in regard to music. They do not have a choir nor do they rarely do any special music because they believe the Scriptures promote congregational singing. And the focus of their service is a 50-60 minute biblical message, so they are nothing like a CCM type church (they don't have a praise band or even an orchestra...just piano and organ).

    That's what I imagine Doran is going off of (Dever's actual practice of ministry in his church) in his consideration of making a distinction between the church and the world. I've seen Doran say he's willing to cooperate to a degree with a difference in application as long as you are committed to and try to implement the principle, and he probably sees the worship of the church as Dever's commitment to and implementation of the principle even if Dever doesn't apply it the same way Doran would (i.e., Doran may disagree with Dever on the issue of rap, but doesn't feel as though Dever's stand on that issue negates his actions elsewhere).

    You obviously feel different. I would think that is an area of wisdom and discernment, not obedience/disobedience.

    So, having tried to interact with your thoughts, I'll bow out.

    Thanks again,

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  31. Lou,

    I'm sorry, but I did want to add something else for us to think about regarding Dever and fundamentalism. You indicated above that they all claim the title new-evangelical. Well, Dever actually calls himself a fundamentalist on p. 87 in the book "J. I. Packer and the Evangelical Future: The Impact of His Life and Thought." I don't know if that makes him a fundamentalist, but it could show he does not consider himself a new evangelical.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  32. Very well then, but they (Vlach, Mbewe, Ferrell) are in and identify with evangelicalism; right?


    LM

    ReplyDelete
  33. To Ed,
    I realize that the three men mentioned have generated a side issue here and you are desirous of the pertinent information to identify these three named men within the Evangelical community. First, Michael Vlach comes from JMac's church/seminary, clearly self-identified Evangelical ministries. Second, Conrad Mbewe you can find his blog and sift through his archives, look at his links, etc. As he visited the States last year, he repeatedly spoke in Evangelical venues (besides speaking at Doran's church). He spoke with and, up until 2010, was directly associated with the YMCA (not exactly a Bible centered ministry). Bryan Ferrell is a name I am not familiar with.
    I wish to add to this by giving an excerpt from Dr. McCune's book, Promise Unfulfilled, in another post. Which I think addresses an bit of the issue here.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Here is the excerpt from McCune’s book, p. 153, under the subtitle The Implementation of Ecclesiastical Separation, Investigation.

    Four factors relative to the actual practice of the doctrine of ecclesiastical separation must be considered. First, separation begins with adequate investigation of the other parties or participants involved in the proposed collaboration. This means being knowledgeable of their beliefs, testimony or image that is projected, comments on current issues, and leaders, and attitudes toward fundamentalism and separatism, among other things. For example, where do they stand on some points of crucial doctrine other than the “five fundamentals” of the faith, such as the Baptist distinctive, or the doctrines of grace and salvation? Investigation would also include the others’ influence, associations, reputation (for what are they really known?), and what they condone. Also to be asked: What is the real intent behind the proposed endeavor or fellowship? Such an investigation will take time and effort but it will prevent embarrassment later, or worse, an unbiblical entanglement.

    We must do our homework. Sadly, far too many Fundamentalists today are not and are heading into a wasteland.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Lou,

    To answer your question: as far as I know them (and I have some familiarity with all their ministries) they are neither "in" nor identify with new evangelicalism. I know students from Ferrell's church who go to Bob Jones University--is that new evangelical?

    I know fundamentalist ministries in Africa who interacted with Mbewe before he spoke at Detroit.

    I'm less familiar with Vlach, but I know of no new-evangelical cooperation he has been involved in.

    That's why I asked your reasons for concluding they were new-evangelicals.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  36. Ed:

    I have to be a little more direct this time. In regard to Vlach, Mbewe and Ferrell you have written as though I, “…identify [them] with new evangelicalism.” You asked my, “reasons for concluding they were new-evangelicals.”

    I have not identified the three men that Doran had last year as New evangelicals. They would IMO be among the so-called “conservative” faction. Mbewe I am not as certain with as the other two.

    I’ve been very clear again for you. I think I’ve given you benefit of the doubt twice on a misspeak. So, let’s draw the right distinctions here; OK?


    LM

    ReplyDelete
  37. Ed:

    I have to ask, just to make sure myself, you do recognize that there is a difference between the conservative evangelical and the new> evangelical; right? You do know that there is divide there, much like we'd divide out the hyper-Calvinist out from the non-hyper.


    LM

    ReplyDelete
  38. Brian:

    Thanks for adding some info on Vlach and Mbewe. It is readily available to those who wish to be informed and learn whether or not they are of the evangelical stripe, which they obviously are. These are the three that Doran had in his pulpit and/or seminary. So, the convergence with Dever is not the jaw dropper some saw, it is just the latest in a growing pattern of reaching to and embracing non-separatist evangelicals. Although the BIG name got a lot more attention than the first three Doran has shared a platform with in the church.

    On July 13 Dr. Bryan Ferrell was the special guest speaker for ICBC’s Summer Bible Conference. Now, the Ferrell bio is much like Vlach's- heavily weighted by and tied to John MacArthur's seminary. Here is the pertinent information.

    Dr. W. Bryan Ferrell serves as the pastor/teacher of Timberlake Baptist Church in Lynchburg, VA. Dr. Ferrell is in faculty at The Expositors Seminary (TES), which in his bio states,

    He earned a Master of Divinity in pastoral ministry in 2003 from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, VA and later, a Doctorate in Expository Preaching in 2008 from The Master’s Seminary in Sun Valley, CA.”

    FWIW, of the 17 faculty members at TES 10 were trained at John MacArthur’s The Master’s Seminary, including Bryan Ferrell.


    Lou

    ReplyDelete
  39. James Kime:

    This is the 3rd maybe 4th time I am reminding you that for a pattern of bad behavior, personal ad hominem and vitriol you were banned from this blog. Attempts (such as today's) to submit comments will always be rejected and deleted without consideration of their content.


    LM

    ReplyDelete
  40. Brian:

    Because of it relevance and value to this discussion I am reposting the submission you left earlier today.


    Here is the excerpt from McCune’s book, p. 153, under the subtitle The Implementation of Ecclesiastical Separation, Investigation.

    Four factors relative to the actual practice of the doctrine of ecclesiastical separation must be considered. First, separation begins with adequate investigation of the other parties or participants involved in the proposed collaboration. This means being knowledgeable of their beliefs, testimony or image that is projected, comments on current issues, and leaders, and attitudes toward fundamentalism and separatism, among other things. For example, where do they stand on some points of crucial doctrine other than the “five fundamentals” of the faith, such as the Baptist distinctive, or the doctrines of grace and salvation? Investigation would also include the others’ influence, associations, reputation (for what are they really known?), and what they condone. Also to be asked: What is the real intent behind the proposed endeavor or fellowship? Such an investigation will take time and effort but it will prevent embarrassment later, or worse, an unbiblical entanglement.

    We must do our homework. Sadly, far too many Fundamentalists today are not and are heading into a wasteland.


    PS. Brian Ernsberger

    ReplyDelete