September 22, 2011

Is Kevin Bauder the Right Choice to “Argue for Biblical Separation” in Fundamentalism?

Earlier this month I was directed to a pair of blogs* that are promoting a new book.  The book is titled, Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism (Author/Editors: Andrew Naselli, Collin Hansen). Normally, I would not have been drawn to the, Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism.  What caught my attention, however, was that Dr. Kevin Bauder is one of the four contributors.  Still I was not particularly interested until I found that Dr. Bauder’s primary contribution is in the form of an essay on Fundamentalism. My concern heightened when I read that Dr. Bauder intended to “argue for biblical separation.”

Dr. Bauder’s track record in recent years of redefining and/or castigating Fundamentalism with a broad brush would, for many in Fundamental circles, disqualify him from speaking for or on behalf of them. Especially disconcerting would be his speaking on behalf of the fundamentalists’ application of separation principles defined in Scripture. Dr. Bauder has, furthermore, been highly allergic to presenting and especially applying the principles of biblical separation to his new acquaintances in evangelical circles.

Kevin Bauder is one of a select few men who have introduced and aggressively advocated a redefinition of one of the hallmarks of historic Fundamentalism, which is authentic biblical separation. Dr. Bauder is attempting to influence a paradigm shift away from separation, for the sake of a pure church, long practiced as taught from the Scriptures by balanced Fundamentalists.1 Instead his replacement theology is one of tolerance and accommodation for those who reject in practice the God-given mandates for separation. Men who share and likewise propagate Kevin Bauder’s new “gospel driven separation” and/or “gospel-centric fellowship” paradigms are becoming more like evangelicals in principle and the application of separation.  A theology, which in his own practice of, he repeatedly allows for, tolerates, excuses or ignores doctrinal aberrations, ecumenical compromises, cultural relativism and worldliness in ministry of the evangelicals. He gives great leeway for evangelicals who run rough shod over the Scriptural principles of admonishing, withdrawing from, marking and avoiding (2 Thess. 3:6, 14-15; Romans 16:17-18) the disobedient among us and separation from unbelievers (2 Cor 6:14-17; Eph. 5:11; 2 John 7-11). Another example would be the new twist on separation known as “separation in academic contexts.”2 Hence, the reasons why one editor of the new book (Collin Hansen) notes very little difference between Kevin Bauder and Al Mohler who has gone well beyond any “single episode” of ecumenical compromise.

Following are select examples of why many men would have a genuine problem with the selection of Kevin Bauder to write on behalf of and speak for Fundamentalism.
1) His incendiary article, Let’s Get Clear on This.
Let’s Get “CRYSTAL” Clear on This: A Response to Kevin Bauder’s “Cannonball” Cogitations

2) A pattern of castigating Fundamentalism while heaping lavish praise on the star personalities of the so-called “conservative” evangelicalism apart from any serious discussion of or admonition to them for the numerous doctrinal aberrations, ecumenical compromises, cultural relativism and worldliness in ministry among them.

3) His 2009 three part attack (jointly from his blog and Sharper Iron) on the legacy of Bob Jones, Jr. and John R. Rice.
Again, I am very disappointed at the language Bauder uses against his fellow fundamentalists, evidently chiefly against [John R] Rice: ‘pugilistic and bellicose,’ ‘alpha males,’ ‘the big boys,’ ‘bullies,’ ‘chieftains,’ etc. Is this the kind of language a fundamentalist leader should use? With an opportunity before him to promote unity, healing and reconciliation in the IFB community Dr. Bauder chose to pursue a different tact. Instead he further polarized factions, alienated many and fueled further division among men in and around the FBFI.”(Kevin Bauder: A Call for His Removal From the Platform of the FBFI Annual Fellowship)
4) His unprovoked attack on Bob Jones University policy from the platform of the 2009 FBFI Annual Fellowship.

5) His misrepresentation that 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. 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 Dr. Bauder is also well aware of.”( Do Fundamentalists and Evangelicals, “Believe, Preach and Defend the [Same] Gospel?)
6) Excusing Al Mohler signing the Manhattan Declaration, which gave Christian recognition to the deadly enemies of the cross of Christ (Phil. 3:18) and compromised the gospel as nothing more than a “single episode…occasional inconsistency.”**

Kevin Bauder Discussing: Al Mohler’s “Occasional Inconsistency?”

Al Mohler Signs The Manhattan Declaration: Was This a First Time Foray Toward Ecumenism?

7) In a sometimes bloviated 20+ part Differences (between fundamentalism and evangelicalism) series Dr. Bauder never made a serious attempt to present the principles of separation and make a decisive application of them to any of the evangelicals who disregard biblical principles to hobnob with unbelievers, apostates and those who preach/practice egregious forms of aberrant theology and worldliness.
Those things are not representative of one who would presume to champion separatist Fundamentalism! Those things are what unbiased editors would consider non-starters for consideration of an author to argue for biblical separatism in Fundamentalism.

What we do know is that those things are representative of a man who has set in motion a paradigm shift away from that kind of authentic biblical separation preached and especially practiced by godly, balanced Fundamentalists for decades. If one would like to become familiar with the kind of biblical separatism that balanced, charitable Fundamentalists have practiced I would refer any reader to two books by Dr. Ernest Pickering. Those books are: 1) Biblical Separation: The Struggle for a Pure Church, and 2) The Tragedy of Compromise: The Origin and Impact of the New Evangelicalism. I would also recommend three additional books for your consideration. They are: Be Ye Holy: The Call to Christian Separation and Contending for the Faith by Dr. Fred Moritz and The Dividing Line: Understanding and Applying Biblical Separation by Dr. Mark Sidwell.  For the best of what the Fundamentalist would define, from the Scriptures, as his stance on and for separation those volumes by Drs. Pickering, Moritz and Sidwell are a must read.

Gospel driven” separatism or “Gospel centric” fellowship is the new mantra coming from men who circulate in Fundamental circles, some of whom claim to be “militant” separatists. When like-mindedness on a particular interpretation of the gospel becomes the near sole reason for fellowship and/or separatism the whole counsel of God is seriously negated, and the door is opened to tolerate, allow for, ignore and excuse all sorts of aberrant theology, ecumenical compromise, cultural relativism and worldliness.

Dr. Bob Jones III in the Spring 2011 BJU chapel shared these timely remarks with the student body,
We have been talking in some of the last messages about the error that can result from those whose credo is, ‘Well, it’s all about the gospel, as long as a man is preaching the gospel I can go to that church…and I don’t have to worry about all the rest of it….’ If we take the attitude that it’s only about the preaching of the gospel and that makes everything else acceptable we’re going to embrace a lot of error.” (March 3, 2011- The Faith of the Gospel)
Tolerating, ignoring or excusing “a lot of error” for the sake of the so-called “gospel centric” fellowship is not representative of genuine fidelity or militancy to the God-given mandates for separation.

Many Fundamentalists do not appreciate, do not accept and will not recognize Kevin Bauder as an appropriate ambassador for genuine, balanced Fundamentalism especially on the principles and practice of separation. In what I still consider being one of the most concise and cogent responses to Kevin Bauder’s incendiary article, Let’s Get Clear on This Dr. Gerald Priest wrote,
Kevin has been quite lavish in his praise of conservative evangelicals while castigating so-called fundamentalists…. 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.”
Dr. Priest’s fear is well founded. We are well down that track. The primary significant difference is fidelity to biblical separatism. “Significant differences” are being blurred and beginning to evaporate. I’d like to tell you that lines are blurring because evangelicals are at long last beginning to obey the God-given mandates, but sadly that is not the case. Instead we have certain men who identify with and circulate in Fundamental circles who through their colleges, seminaries, through their blogs, through Sharper Iron and by their actions are influencing this and the next generation of Fundamentalists to relax on militancy in separatism.

Self-described “militant” separatists are moving away from the principles of separation by redefining and loosening the boundaries. They will not admonish compromisers in evangelicalism whom they are seeking out to fellowship and cooperate with in ministerial settings. That segment of men within fundamentalist circles is moving toward evangelicalism and consequently, whether they recognize their shift or not, are becoming non-separatist evangelicals.

The convergence of Kevin Bauder, Dave Doran and Tim Jordan with SBC pastor Mark Dever at the 2011 Advancing the Church conference (Calvary Baptist Church & Seminary, Lansdale, PA) is stark relief of the shift toward the murky waters of the new paradigm on separation. Northland International University’s new trajectory away from its historic Baptist, Fundamentalist separatist roots is another stark example.3

Do we wait for the release of Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism before rendering a final judgment on Kevin Bauder’s contribution? Of course!  All things considered, including the personal bias of the editors: The choice of Kevin Bauder gives the appearance of a political move to advance the cause of blurring the lines of distinction between separatist Fundamentalism and so-called “conservative” evangelicalism.

Many Fundamentalists reject Kevin Bauder as an ambassador for or a personal representative of Fundamentalism. If Dr. Bauder champions authentic biblical separation in this book and calls on the evangelicals to obey God’s mandates for separation we will be grateful. We would, however, then have a huge disconnect between what he wrote for this book and what we have observed him advocating and doing in practice. What we expect instead is another attempt to force authentic biblical separation into conformity with the new mantra of a paradigm shift toward a “Gospel-Driven” separation and/or “Gospel-Centric” fellowship.4  We expect an on-going attempt to blur the lines of distinction of a clear divide along Scriptural lines of separation between Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism.

The selection of Dr. Kevin Bauder to represent separatist fundamentalism raises legitimate questions about the credibility of this volume. The book will suffer among many in IFB circles primarily due to Kevin Bauder being chosen to represent what he has often been redefining, castigating, insensitive and/or hostile toward with a broad brush.


Update: For another critical review of Kevin Bauder’s contribution to this new book I urge you to read This Does Not Bode Well by Pastor Brian Ernsberger.

1) A Pure Church or a Pure Gospel: Does It Really Matter?
I see at least two possible gaps created by focusing on a pure Gospel as opposed to a pure church. First, it seems that it would encourage far ranging fellowship and unity with all groups and sects within professing Christianity. While it is true that all professing believers would by default be on record concerning the Gospel, we are not even remotely rowing in the same direction after that point.... Secondly, if ecclesiastical separation is focused on the purity of the Gospel, then it would seem that believers could join with non-believers in endeavors under a larger religious banner where the purity of the Gospel is perceived to not be at risk.”
2) Is There a Second Definition for “Separation” in Academic Contexts?
Should men be any less militant about ‘guarding the gospel through biblical separation’ in the ministry of a local church than guarding the church itself? The desire to have scholarship presented and/or accepted by others in your field has the potential to pull one away from the local church and toward an institutional focus. My concern is that this completely opposed to the biblical focus, which centers on the church’s role in maintaining sound doctrine and separation from error or disobedient brethren. Unfortunately, there can exist a natural tendency in the institutional setting to make scholarship preeminent, creating an ongoing temptation toward tolerance of error in the pursuit of credentials, academia and recognition.”
3) See- Is NIU “Unchanged?”
Has NIU remained unchanged? In 2010-11 school year would NIU hand the Northland Baptist Bible College Position Statement on Contemporary Issues in Christianity to a visiting pastor and/or parent and state that the university still abides by the philosophy and practice it defines? Is the NBBC Position Statement still in force, or has it been set aside to allow for what has the appearance of a change in direction for NIU? Did the name change from NBBC to NIU negate and dissolve the Northland Baptist Bible College Position Statement on Contemporary Issues in Christianity?”
4) In the early pages of Dr. Bauder’s essay there are several indications that the new paradigm of Gospel Driven separation and Gospel Centric fellowship will be the main theme of his essay. See the subsection, The Idea of Fundamentalism and Minimal Christian Fellow

For Related Reading:
Are we Recognizing the “NEW” New Evangelicalism?
All over America and the world at this hour there are churches that are drifting into New Evangelicalism without the remotest knowledge that they are doing so. They are being carried along with the shifting winds of compromise and have long since departed from the solid biblical position established by their predecessors. Young pastors, many without firm doctrinal underpinnings, have led their churches to believe that in order to reach the masses they must abandon the strict biblical principles of yore and embrace more fluid and attractive positions. They have changed, but they do not realize that they have changed”.
Kevin Bauder, “It Won’t Fly With Those of Us Who Know by Ps. Marc Monte.
If Kevin desires to take Dr. Clearwaters’s venerable institution a different direction from the founder, he should do so without pretending to be guardian of the legacy. I knew Doc well enough to know that he would not be at all happy with the direction of Central Seminary under Bauder’s leading. It’s bad enough that his school is headed in a decidedly leftward direction. Please, Dr. Bauder, don’t make it any worse by pretending some affinity with one of the greatest separatist Christians of the last century.
A Letter From Dr. Richard V. Clearwaters to Kevin Bauder
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.”
*Portions of the above are drawn from comments I posted at the blogs I refer to above. They are Roger E. Olson and Justin Taylor’s Between Two Worlds.  The former I never heard of until this month, but Roger E. Olson is one of the four men who contributed an essay/chapter to the book.  Taylor’s blog I have visited rarely. Kevin Bauder posted an article at his blog (In the Nick of Time) regarding the upcoming release of this new book.
** I am aware that in the new book Dr. Al Mohler included a statement on his having signed the Manhattan Declaration. He expresses some regret, but has he repented? That is a subject for an upcoming article.


  1. Lou, what did you think of Bauder's argument in the book?


  2. Tony:

    I'm trusting that is an innocent question. I suggest you read the article again, especially the latter portions.


  3. You give your opinion on Bauder's character. Never once do you quote the book, bring up an idea he states in the book, or anything of the sort. I believe Tony was asking an innocent and honest question.

    I don't really think it is fair or right to judge the book by its cover on this one. What happens if the book shows that Bauder takes a stand for biblical separation? Would you stop bashing him?

    Honestly, I believe it was a good choice. He has a passion for biblical separation. He separates over the essentials, meaning the fundamentals, those things which directly effect the gospel.

  4. Nick:

    Kevin Bauder reveals his character from what he writes, says and does. I have simply documented some of those things he has written, said and done.

    Let me assume you do not know the book has not been released, but an extended excerpt has been provided on line. I have read that excerpt, which includes an excerpt from Bauder's chapter. In my article I referenced the on line segment and linked to it?

    I get the sense you really did not read my article, but may have instead got offended early and went right to the comments box to vent. You then ask, "What happens if the book shows Bauder takes a stand for biblical separation?" Again, I wonder if you read the article. If you had you would know that I addressed that very question.

    "Bashing?" I have shared seven examples of how he has bashed and sullied his own reputation among a large segment of godly, non-extremists in the IFB camp. Any bashing be done to Bauder is IMO largely self-inflicted.

    Later, in this thread, I am going to share a very recent example from Kevin Bauder of why for many IFB men he is not an acceptable representative for biblical separation among Fundamentalists.


  5. My apologies Lou. I must have glanced over what you said. I simply assumed it was already out and you had read it before you posted this. Sorry.


  6. Lou:

    Kevin Bauder as you have shown has a history of attacking what he thinks is wrong with Fundamentalism and Fundamentalists. He also has a history of agreeing and excusing non-separatist evangelicals. You are in a no-win situation so be advised that non-separatists will attack you for exposing Kevin Bauder's weakness on Biblical Separation. Great Article!

  7. No problem, Tony. This is a long article. Longer than I normally publish for a blog article. Because of its length it takes some time and effort to grasp all of what I've presented. Nick appears to have missed a great deal.


  8. Pastor Brainard:

    Thanks for the encouraging remarks. His history of bias as you've noted is plain to any objective observer.

    Watch this next comment for another example of his new way of doing separation.

    Kind regards,


  9. The following excerpt is from From Kevin Bauder’s On Not Singing (9/19/11).

    Still, whenever believers live in community, they find that they are forced to tolerate what they regard as evils within the community. Tolerating a (perceived) evil in another is not the same thing as practicing evil. If we have not a category for tolerable evils, then we shall not be able to live in community at all.”

    The article was a good piece right up until that last paragraph. Three times Kevin Bauder calls for tolerance of evil. Bauder is telling us that we need to tolerate what we think to be evil for the sake of fellowship.  Isn’t that exactly the new way of doing separation being advocated by Kevin Bauder?  Tolerance of evil for the sake of fellowship. 

    This is the new paradigm.  This is the “winding road which ends up in a theological wasteland” and ultimately New Evangelicalism.  Is there any wonder why men cannot accept Kevin Bauder as a legitimate spokesman to “argue for biblical separation” among Fundamentalists?


  10. Lou,

    As you know I do not identify myself as a Fundamentalist but this does dilute my interest in the vibrancy of this group. Bauder, to me, is clearly a hybrid-Fundamentalist and not a good one at that. There are much better hybrid forms which one could possibly accept but something as simple as his praise of John Piper or silence of Piper's very gross departures from Protestant, Evangelical and Fundamentalist orthodoxy belies his claim of being a Fundamentalist or even a hybrid-Fundamentalist. His ranges are too severe to claim property rights in Fundamentalism.

    Bauder may have some strong points but whatever they may be they are undercut by some of his glaring deficiencies such as the Piper blindness or his attempts at "philosophicalism" manifested by recent articles at SI on "Truth and Reality" which seemed to be an attempt to satisfy the wants of philosophy and its practitioners along with attempted displays of his mastery of such which seemed to me (the articles) to be marred by elementary missteps.

  11. Alex:

    Couldn't agree more. Bauder's silence on Piper is no mere oversight. It is the practical application of his new "gospel centric" theology for fellowship and separation. This is why he will not openly admonish, let alone raise legitimate concerns over Piper’s "gross departures."

    From Bauder's "On Not Singing" article (I refer to above) in which he speaks of a "category for tolerable evils" we see the application of that new principle with Piper.

    For Kevin "tolerable evils" with Piper include: RAP in the church (ditto Mark Dever), Charismatic theology, and the convergence with Rick Warren. Why are those things (and there's more) tolerable? It's simple: Kevin Bauder and men who also embrace his new paradigm shift on separation find their "gospel centric" fellowship with evangelicals around Calvinistic soteriology in the form of Lordship Salvation (LS).

    For the sake of fellowship Bauder is prepared to and had in fact been very tolerable of "evil" whether he wants to recognize it as real or "perceived."


  12. Good article and good conversation in the thread. Lou, you brought up one of Bauders's latest articles. I wonder if Dave Doran will slam Bauder for his praise of Olson like he slammed you for your praise of Olson being against Calvinism. I know, I won't hold my breath on that one, but I see a bit of hypocrisy if Doran stays silent. Or else, he will reason away Bauder's statement.
    We have referred to this "gospel centric" separation as a paradigm shift within Fundamentalism. It is in a sense and it isn't. This is simply once self-identified fundamentalists practicing what is evangelicalism when it comes to fellowshipping.

  13. Brian:

    Did I ever want to mention how Bauder gave Olson an "atta boy," then ask Doran for his how 'bout it? Until now I thought it best to ignore Dave's childish tirade. Nevertheless, IMO you have it pegged. There is no way and no how Dave will call down Kevin for gushing over Olson agreeing with him. We won't see so much as a "tsk, tsk, for shame Kevin."

    That said I don't worry about how some men try to run interference for or derail conversation away from the true crux of controversy. There is enough public information on and from Kevin Bauder to deem him unfit to "argue for biblical separation" as the Fundamentalist would argue for and practice it.

    As for your final thought: I think it is becoming increasingly obvious that Bauder, Doran, et. al., (and the yf's they influence) are slowly morphing into non-separatist evangelicals, but I don't think they realize just how far they've drifted.

    Next week I will publish at least one more on this subject.

    Thanks for stopping by.


  14. I actually did read the article and I wasn't offended by it at all. Be careful assuming that someone is offended like that. I read the article and gave you my thoughts.

  15. Nick:

    The holes in your opening comment indicate you did not read the article in its entirety, at the minimum not read very carefully if you did.

    Secondly, that initial comment reads like of an offense taken. "Bashing?"

    Btw, does the Fundamental separatist teach tolerance of evil for the sake of fellowship? As I demonstrated above, Kevin Bauder does.


  16. This is easy. Bauder is a fundamentalist. Bauder is more separatistic than the other three authors. Therefore he is able to represent a separatistic fundamentalism in that forum.

    Everyone grants there are folks to the right of Bauder (even Roger Olson, now) who want people to know Bauder doesn't speak in their name.

    I think folks who want to distance themselves from Bauder ought to do so loudly and vigorously so everyone knows who stands where.

    As you know, I lean Bauder's direction.

    David Oestreich

  17. Dave:

    Thanks for the input. Three non-separatists don't make Bauder a separatist. And the other three are not moving toward becoming biblical separatists, it is Bauder who is moving toward them, which is away from biblical separation for the sake of fellowship with with them, even at the expense of tolerating evil, which he recently declared as I noted above.

    What he says and what he does cries, SINO- Separatist In Name Only. What he does is becoming an increasingly obvious and huge disconnect from what many who follow and are influenced by him think he represents.


  18. I suppose the consideration of Bauder being chosen was not done for fundamentalism but everyone else. Fundamentalism is too splintered to have a single head that even most of fundamentalism would agree with. Personally, I think he is a fine choice for these reasons:

    1. He comes from the fundamentalist background.
    2. He has argued for fundamentalism in a conference for evangelicals.
    3. He is aware of the historical developments and various parties within fundamentalism.
    4. His view is different enough from Confessional Evangelicalism to warrant a separate position.

    Fundamentalism is simply too big of a tent. However, if you try to narrow it down, you isolate other fundamentalists and they would say he doesn't represent them.

    Lou, to your point, Clearwaters and others you put forth only represented a portion of fundamentalism. So they would be helpful in understanding a fragment.

    Bauder is an independent baptist, KJV, dispensationalist. I think he is closer to you Lou than he is to Mohler. No one agrees across the board with associations.

    Josh Lucas

  19. Josh:

    Thanks for the input. I am not able to reply in great depth at this time, but here is what I want to share.

    Because of the seven issues about and from Bauder I detailed above he should have been eliminated from the potential candidate pool. He has on his own become a lightning rod for and of controversy.

    I note in your first paragraph several worthwhile considerations. "Bauder was not chosen for Fundamentalism..." If that is true he never should have been considered to represent and speak for Fundamentalists in the first place. Fundamentalism is splintered with Bauder (and Doran) significant contributors to the splintering. Again, that is enough for an unbiased editor to drop Bauder (and Doran) from consideration.

    The editors considered having more than one writer for the essay on Fundamentalism. That tells me they knew there is too great a fracture to use just one man. They should either gone with representation by committee or keep searching for a man without the obvious disdain for much of Fundamentalism and who gushes over evangelicals.

    I honestly believe that a significant factor for his being chosen by these two particular editors was to continue the pattern of blurring the lines of distinction over separation to foster more fellowship and cooperative efforts.


  20. What I meant by him not being chosen for fundamentalism was that this wasn't another book written by a fundy for a fundy. It was written by a fundy for those outside. I think you know that but, I wanted to be clear for others as to what I meant.

    If his article is true to what fundamentalism originally stood for, then it is certainly going to be a legitimate defense. I will wait to read it before I judge it. However, the choice of Bauder is something I see as a good thing. Those interested in fundamentalism from reading this book might just google him and find out some of the controversial things he has said and done. This could provoke research our direction by those who otherwise wouldn't know. You may even get some attention on your blog because Bauder was chosen instead of others. Would that have happened if someone else was chosen? Maybe, maybe not.

    Just my thoughts.


  21. Josh:

    Thanks for the clarification. I will get back to you tomorrow.


  22. "I honestly believe that a significant factor for his being chosen by these two particular editors was to continue the pattern of blurring the lines of distinction over separation to foster more fellowship and cooperative efforts."

    I do not in any way mean to be hostile, but do you have any proof for making such a statement. Only asking, because such proof would be an incredibly condemning piece of evidence in proving Bauder's change of position. However, if no proof exists, you seem to entering into an area difficult to defend biblically.

    Just wondering. Thanks.

    Frank Dupont

  23. Frank:

    I appreciate your input and do not find it hostile at all. From the outset we must see and agree that the great divide between Fundamentalism and the so-called “conservative” evangelicalism is in fact fidelity to the principles of biblical separation. At the 2009 FBFI symposium Dr. Mark Minnick clearly articulated that key point.

    Can I prove there was a meeting and from it a definite intention to choose Kevin Bauder for the purpose of blurring the lines of distinction? No. In this article I have noted that in my opinion his selection was due in part to continue the perpetuation of blurring the lines of distinction, which was predicted by Dr. Priest and is becoming increasingly obvious.

    The smoking gun, however, is in his track record and the track records of the two editors, Andy Naselli in particular. And the track record of Kevin Bauder is a combination of open hostility toward Fundamentalism, moving toward and heaping lavish praise on non-separatist evangelicalism.

    These seven examples from the article here define for me why an objective editor should have disqualified Bauder from consideration.

    1) His incendiary article, Let’s Get Clear on This.

    2) A pattern of castigating Fundamentalism while heaping lavish praise on the star personalities of the so-called “conservative” evangelicalism apart from any serious discussion of or admonition to them for the numerous doctrinal aberrations, ecumenical compromises, cultural relativism and worldliness in ministry among them.

    3) His 2009 three part attack (jointly from his blog and Sharper Iron) on the legacy of Bob Jones, Jr. and John R. Rice.

    4) His unprovoked attack on Bob Jones University policy from the platform of the 2009 FBFI Annual Fellowship.

    His misrepresentation that fundamentalists and evangelicals “believe, preach and defend the [same] gospel.”

    6) Excusing Al Mohler signing the Manhattan Declaration, which gave Christian recognition to the deadly enemies of the cross of Christ (Phil. 3:18) and compromised the gospel as nothing more than a “single episode…occasional inconsistency.”

    7) In a sometimes bloviated 20+ part Differences (between fundamentalism and evangelicalism) series Dr. Bauder never made a serious attempt to present the principles of separation and make a decisive application of them to any of the evangelicals who disregard biblical principles to hobnob with unbelievers, apostates and those who preach/practice egregious forms of aberrant theology and worldliness.

    Collin Hansen noted that he finds little difference between what Mohler and Bauder wrote. We know Mohler is not moving toward obeying the principles of biblical separation. We know that Bauder is part of the new paradigm shift on separation, moving away from the separatism that men like Dr. Ernest Pickering defined, that he is drifting away from the moorings of the God-given mandates.

    Collin Hansen has a number of issues, some of which Dr.Peter Masters noted in his article The Merger of Calvinism With Worldliness. (Everyone needs to read that article.)

    Did you read Bauder’s recent article at the In the Nick of Time blog? Read the last paragraph of On Not Singing and there you will find him calling for tolerance of evil for the sake of fellowship. That is the new paradigm shift that Bauder, Dave Doran, Matt Olson, et. al., are practicing and trying to influence this and the next generation to follow.


  24. You begin to add all of this up and you have to ask: Why would the editors take a man with a track record of hostility toward Fundamentalism and movement away from authentic biblical separatism to write an essay on behalf of that which he has been castigating? You may have heard this expression in sermons, just as I have, it goes lie this: Show me your friends and I will show you what you are now or soon will be. Who is Kevin Bauder reaching out to? Who is he massaging? Who is he ingratiating himself to through a combination of silence on their aberrant doctrine and worldliness, while castigating the very separatist Fundamentalism he claims to represent? He is seeking out his fellowship and cooperative efforts in ministry with non-separatist evangelicals.

    Well, that was more hurried than I’d like. Your comment/question deserves more than I have time for right now. But I am convinced that Kevin Bauder was in part chosen to perpetuate the blurring of distinction along the lines of biblical separation. That is my opinion.

    Kind regards,


  25. Josh:

    I have already addressed this point, but if as you suggest Bauder's essay is true (an accurate representation of Fundamentalism’s fidelity to biblical separatism) then we have a huge disconnect between what he wrote and what he does in practice and articulates in many of his articles, some of which I referenced in this article.

    Another eyebrow raiser is Collin Hansen saying he found little difference between the Kevin Bauder and Al Mohler essays. So, that leads me to ask: Did Al Mohler write like a fundamentalist separatist, or did Bauder articulate the loose application of separation common among evangelicals?

    Whether or not people Google "Kevin Bauder" and learn about him or find my blog is IMO irrelevant. Bauder's track record of late should have disqualified him from consideration in the first place.


  26. Lou, I understand what you are saying. Allow me to play the advocate for a minute though.

    Hansen's observation is just that. The strange thing about the SBC is that historically, it wasn't part of the fundy/modernist divide. It wasn't until a long time after that that the SBC had to go through their own fundy/modernist divide. Their method of dealing with it was different from what became the fundy movement. The conservatives stressed fidelity to the confession, which was supposed to unite them. Thus, someone like Mohler who lived the fight, will argue for a separation that purges rather than retreats. I don't mean retreat in a negative connotation.

    Machen was a confessionalist and he was front and center in alot of the liberal controversy. He stressed a pure doctrine. Of course he was presbyterian.

    So there is alot of overlap between the theology of confessionalism and fundamentalism. How that takes shape and how that is applied is where so much of the differences are. I would bet that the article is about what fundamentalism is at its core rather than how it is applied.

    Does Bauder practice separation? Sure. Is it a separation that other fundamentalists like? Yes and no, depending on what faction of fundamentalism is being asked. For what it is worth, I disagree with Bauder on many issues. Separation is just one of them.


  27. Josh:

    Another welcome addition to this discussion. Sorry, I have to reply in brief. At work and using my phone.

    I understand the controversy in the SBC ultimately that a fight for the furniture. By furniture I mean to hold the schools. Hence the purging approach.

    Your thinking the article (Bauder's essay) is about what Fundamentalism is at it's core is very possible. My focus has largely been on Bauder's statement that he wrote to "argue for biblical separation"of Fundamentalism. No need to reiterate why I believe, from the evidence of his own writing and doings, that he personally is an unacceptable representative of Fundamentalism on the subject of separation.

    The clear difference is in application of separation principles. As I have noted those differences, lines of distinction are becoming hazy.
    And the differences are becoming hazy, but not because evangelicals are moving toward obeying the Scriptures on separation, marking and avoiding.


  28. For another critical review of Kevin Bauder's contribution to this new book I urge you to read This Does Not Bode Well by Pastor Brian Ernsberger.