In a previous article Is Kevin Bauder the Right Choice to “Argue for Biblical Separartion?” we discussed the selection of Dr. Kevin Bauder’s contribution to an essay in the new book, Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism.
“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.”I followed that article with a timely repeat of excerpts from Dr. Ernest Pickering’s classic, The Tragedy of Compromise in, Are We Recognizing the “NEW” New Evangelicalism? For example Dr. Pickering wrote,
“The basic problem is this: Many fundamentalists, when speaking of the New Evangelicalism, are referring to the original positions and writings of the early founders of New Evangelicalism such as Carl Henry and Harold Ockenga. They repudiate heartily the thoughts of these earlier leaders, but either in ignorance or willingly they fail to recognize the updated version, the “new” New Evangelicalism. It is always safer to berate the teachings of those historically farther removed than of those who are currently afflicting the church.”Later I will address a few items that appear in Dr. Kevin Bauder’s article The Book is Out from the In the Nick of Time blog. Today, however, I am going to highlight and discuss a paragraph from another article by Dr. Bauder from the In the Nick of Time blog. The following excerpt is 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 these many months now? Tolerance of evil for the sake of fellowship. This from Kevin Bauder is one of the most clear examples of what Dr. Ernest Pickering warned of from his book The Tragedy of Compromise. Dr. Pickering warned of, “the subtle drift toward new evangelicalism.” He went on to write, “…there are fundamentalists who are either becoming or already are New Evangelicals. Some are actually adopting New Evangelical philosophies while still proclaiming that they are not New Evangelical.” (p. 159)
From On Not Singing Kevin Bauder essentially calls for men to come up with a category of “tolerable evils” for the sake of fellowship with those who believe, preach, defend and practice what are to be reclassified as “tolerable evil.” I know of no greater example of new evangelical compromise than that. In that brief paragraph, Bauder uses the words “tolerate” and “community” in conjunction three times. Of course, with “community” he means not just expanding fellowship, but cooperative ministerial efforts in the NT church.
In my opinion, the tolerate evil for fellowship statement by Kevin Bauder demonstrates beyond a reasonable doubt that he is drifting into New Evangelical philosophy for the sake of establishing and influencing others to join him in fellowship with the non-separatist evangelicals. This is the new paradigm. This is the “New” New Evangelicalism. 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?
Bauder’s recent statement seems quite seminal. It does, however, show a mindset that is probably foundational to his willingness to excuse Al Mohler’s signing of the Manhattan Declaration and ignoring Mohler’s leading a Billy Graham crusade. (See Al Mohler Signs the Manhattan Declaration, which will be discussed in a future article with Mohler having briefly mentioned of his signing the MD in this new book.)
It is increasingly obvious that Dr. Kevin Bauder has morphed into some kind of evangelical hybrid. Clearly he is bent on breaking down the barriers that preclude a true biblical separatist from heaping lavish praise on, embracing and working in cooperation with non-separatists, who hold to aberrant doctrine, practices worldliness in ministry and are known ecumenical compromisers.