October 9, 2011

Calvary Baptist Seminary (Lansdale) to Host Dr. Haddon Robinson

In my (Sept. 2010) article on Dave Doran and Kevin Bauder joining Mark Dever on the conference platform at Calvary Baptist Seminary (Lansdale, PA)1 I included this statement.
“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.... Compromise is a learned behavior. It typically progresses this way: Crawl, then Walk, then Run. Kevin Bauder and Dave Doran have...outgrown the crawling stage.”
In less than a year Calvary Baptist Seminary (CBS) under Tim Jordan and Sam Harbin have achieved the running stage of compromise. They are running to open wide the seminary doors to embrace and welcome New Evangelicalism. The following promotional announcement appears at Calvary’s website.
Spring Forum: Save the date, Monday, March 19, 2012, for the Spring Forum with speaker, Dr. Haddon Robinson, Professor of Preaching at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and author of several books, including Biblical Preaching.  Dr. Robinson was recognized by Christianity Today in the top 10 of its “Top 25 Most Influential Preachers” from 1956-2006.  We are honored to have him as our guest speaker.  Make plans now to attend this thought-provoking event.2
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary is the Wheaton College of the Northeast!  No one could possibly dispute the parallel trajectory of the two schools.  Board members of Gordon Conwell include Chuck Colson. Haddon Robinson3 is touted from the Gordon-Conwell website as the “Harold John Ockenga Distinguished Professor of Preaching; Senior Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program.” Dr. Robinson was President of Denver Conservative Baptist Seminary in Denver, CO. (1979-1991).

Gordon-Conwell is New Evangelical at its core.  Lifestyle choices of students are, of course, not to be confronted. It’s blatantly interdenominational to the point of ecumenical.  Gordon-Conwell is the institution that led New Evangelicalism to kill fundamentalism in New England. Gordon-Conwell is home of the Harold John Ockenga Institute (est. 1985). Women training for ministry would have been in Robinson’s classes. In Robinson’s book Biblical Sermons you will note that he has published one by Nancy Hardin!  (Noted as a Woman’s Conference speaker).  It can at least be stated that Dr. Robinson’s tenures at Denver Baptist Theological Seminary and Gordon-Conwell teaching woman in preparation for pastoral ministry and his publication should cause those who are careful to question where Dr. Robinson stands on the matter of feminism in the evangelical community.

In announcing Haddon Robinson as its Spring Forum speaker CBS gushes over Robinson’s resume, which includes his teaching at the New Evangelical Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (GCTS). The New Evangelical flagship publication Christianity Today honors Robinson.4 CBS is “honored to have” a New Evangelical as their guest keynote speaker. CBS may be honored to host one of the lead names and faces of New Evangelicalism, but many see hosting Robinson as a badge of dishonor, compromise and betrayal of the biblical principles of separation. 

In February 2011 CBS hosted Dr. Mark Dever for their ATC conference.  Dever is a SBC pastor; amillenialist, and he embraces worldly approaches (RAP, Hip/Hop) for church growth and/or worship. Mark Dever is adjunct faculty at Gordon-Conwell.   In my series of articles on Dever with Kevin Bauder and Dave Doran together in cooperative ministry at Lansdale I noted that that convergence would not be the end of compromise.  Under what rationale does CBS bring in Haddon Robinson? It is irrefutably clear today that CBS is not half done with its repudiation of authentic biblical separatism and growing its cooperative efforts with New Evangelicals. Do you recognize the drift, the slide, the trajectory of CBS?

The invitation of Haddon Robinson marks CBS’s nearly complete departure from the principles and practice of authentic biblical separation. Calvary Baptist Seminary would not extend an invitation to New Evangelicals unless its leadership has already become or are determined to move into the New Evangelical realm. The invitation to Haddon Robinson is CBS’s rebirth into what will surely transform the seminary into a full orbed New Evangelical ministry.


For Related Reading:
Sharper Iron: Censorship by Omission?

Will Central Seminary (MN) Continue the Drift Away From It's Historic Moorings?

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

2) CBS Ministry Forum Page, Calvary Baptist Seminary, Lansdale, PA., accessed Oct. 6, 2011

3) Gordon Conwell’s Faculty Page

4) Christianity Today’s “Top 25 Most Influential Preachers,” in addition to Haddon Robinson includes: Mark Driscoll, Billy Graham, Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, John Piper, Barbara Brown Taylor. Tragic that CBS gushes over their guest speaker’s top ten appearance among names such as these.


  1. Addendum:

    I think it is fair to ask Drs. Dave Doran and Kevin Bauder their opinion of Calvary’s invitation to Haddon Robinson. Would they be willing to sit on Calvary’s platform with Robinson just as they did along side Mark Dever. Do they caution and admonish Jordan to step back? Will they participate in or attend the Spring conference at Lansdale. How will they advise their students and/or congregation who indicate they will attend the CBS conference to hear Haddon Robinson?

    Will Dave Doran’s new way of doing separation in academic contexts allow him to excuse another egregious compromise of authentic biblical separation for the sake of fellowship, this time with New Evangelicals? Will Kevin Bauder dismiss and ignore this compromise by dismissing it just like he did Al Mohler signing the Manhattan Declaration as a “single episode...occasional inconsistency

    Actually, I don’t expect to hear anything from either man about Robinson at CBS. IMO, Calvary’s invitation to Robinson will be ignored by both Dave Doran and Kevin Bauder. That said, I sincerely hope to be 100% wrong and instead find both of them to show that in this case that they are committed to the principles and application of authentic biblical separation.


  2. Any respect I had toward Calvary Seminary is gone. I personally find the invitation to this man repulsive. This man has been more influential in changing the way preaching was done that perhaps any other. Rather than help preachers refine the skill of actually verbally proclaiming the word, we now have conversational nothings without prophetic power. I lay that at Robinson's feet and roll my eyes at Calvary.


  3. If people roll over in their graves over the things we do in this life then Dr. Jordan's dad is certainly rolling, probably more like trying to kick the casket open to get to his son. This is deplorable, shameful and I would trust that all allusion to being a fundamentalist institution is being removed because they have clearly climbed over the fence that separates fundamentalism from evangelicalism.
    Sad, sad, sad.

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  5. Josh/Brian:

    While this has frustrated many it should not have taken any by surprise. The Feb. 2001 conference with Mark Dever, Dave Doran and Kevin Bauder was a precursor for more of the same and worse compromise to come.

    As I noted above I am very curious to see if Doran and Bauder will have anything to say about this. And if they will be participating in the conference even if only as attendees.

    The landscape is really take shape for compromise. Northland, Central and Lansdale: All on new trajectory that has at the end gross theological downgrade and New Evangelicalism, as if the so-called "conservative" non-separatist evangelicalism is not in itself a betrayal of God's Word.


  6. It looks like another step in the continuing trend of schools like Northland,Calvary,and Central. It makes me wonder how many in leadership at these schools are in favor of these trends. I always viewed these three schools as very close in nature especially considering the close friendships that the collective leadership has had over the years. So it seems to me that a whole group of people including those at the schools and many of their pastor friends around the country have all shifted to some degree. I think that is what I find most alarming.

    My question is who is going to stand up against the trends of compromise?

    Lou, thanks for you work in sounding the alarm. You won't often be well liked for it but it is needed at times.

    Jim F

  7. Jim:

    Several once biblically separatist fundamental schools have embarked on the same path that schools like Liberty trod before them. I assume the leadership at NIU, CBS and Central assure themselves that they never wind up where and like Liberty is today.

    I am not sure anybody in particular needs to stand up to the comprise of the schools. It boils down to each church, pastor and parent or student to determine if they can accept the new New Evangelicalism that the schools are drifting towards. If they are comfort with the new trajectory they will drift as well. If not, they will withdraw from those schools.

    Btw, I heard from a source close to NIU that they suffered a 20% drop in enrollment this semester. I have no way to affirm that, but the source is reliable.

    Thanks for the kind closing paragraph. I take what I do very seriously although knowing that I have, at times, done it imperfectly?


  8. Lou,

    I understand what you are saying. The biggest part in my mind is to stand up to those who push for a false view of the gospel be it at schools, churches or wherever. I guess Northland will just have to deal with their ramifications financially. Fact is if they won't provide the kjnd of education expected from fundamental Bible believing churches, then those churches and families can send their young people elsewhere. Same goes for Calvary although I would hope that at that point a person could use enough judgment to decide if that is the best place to go.

    Imperfect or not, it is sometimes amazing to me how people get worked up over your so called "rants." To bad they don't get worked up over a false gospel if you know what I mean...

    Jim F

  9. To add a different slant to this issue of Robinson and Lane going to Calvary, it amazes me that this issue is not raising the ire of more men within cyberspace.
    At another blogsite (which shall remain nameless, though it is known to be pseudo-fundamentalist site in these here parts) they linked to Calvary's page about Robinson coming, they had a few hundred reads and less than 10 comments. A day later they link to an obsure blog of an even obsurer blogger and the same blogsite goes ballistic because the article highlighted some concerns over Kevin Bauder's opening paragraphs of his chapter in a new book on evangelicalism. That brought over 2200 reads and 63 comments.
    Is there something wrong with this picture? I think so.
    People are playing to personalities instead of following precepts and principles.

  10. Brian:

    I will name the site, which is the pseudo- fundamentalist Sharper Iron. It's not just the bias and playing favorites of SI at work here. SI's bias, especially among its moderators, is irrefutable. However, if you read the opening comments at the SI thread you see they applaud and supporting the outreach to new evangelicals. Read the first by Joel Tetreau.

    You had the nerve to question and raise doubts of one of SI's stars, Kevin Bauder. There was no way they were going to let that go not just unchallenged, but without an attempt to kill the messenger. So much today among the angry yfs and the ce wanna be's is personality driven. And heaven help you with them if you raise any legitimate questions and/or concerns with their star personalities.


  11. Brian:

    I have one more reaction to what transpired at your blog over the Kevin Bauder essay. While I was happy that Don Johnson shared what I feel was legitimate criticism of Kevin Bauder's style of writing, which I concurred with, I was disappointed that once SI got their collective noses out-of-joint Don seems to have bailed on you.

    Instead of carrying on with whatever he had to add to the discussion he initiated at your blog he instead goes to SI and commits to carry on a discussion there on the subject. He apologized there for his comment about Bauder's writing style, which is fine, but why not at your blog where the comment he wrote appeared in the fist place

    I can't help but thinking that SI rewarded Don's posting there and propping up their comment thread by adding one of his new articles to their Filings.

    It saddens me that Don is willing participating at and IMO being used by SI to generate commentary to prop up their incessant attacks on Fundamentalism and promotion of evangelicalism.