On March 30th at his In the Nick of Time blog, (reprinted at the pseudo- fundamentalist Sharper Iron) Dr. Kevin Bauder published an article titled, Facts & Lies. In it he presumes to occupy high moral ground. Does Kevin Bauder set the right example from which to instruct others?
“As I read the blogs of Dr. Kevin Bauder, I see an attempt to re-write the history of fundamentalism in America. No one has that privilege. Are we not hypocrites when we deprecate the secular intellectual for attempting to re-write our American history, only to set ourselves up to do the same with the history of Baptist fundamentalism? We are who we are, regardless of how some may want to re-define or re-name us.”1Dr. Rick Arrowood is one among the chorus of concerned voices over Dr. Kevin Bauder’s revisionist history of Fundamentalism. Scores of informed pastors and teachers have either publicly or privately expressed concerns over Kevin Bauder’s revisionism. Pastor Don Johnson wrote,
“Kevin Bauder’s latest installment [Differences, Part 18] tells the history of separation from a point of view totally foreign to me…. And I am astonished that credulous readers of Kevin Bauder seem to swallow this revisionism as if it were entirely accurate.”2Many see an agenda driving Kevin Bauder’s revisionist histories and omission of known facts in various articles. The agenda appears to include blurring the lines of distinction between fundamentalists and so-called “conservative” evangelicals over what constitutes authentic biblical separation. New and novel definitions for separation have been devised by men who circulate in IFB circles.3 And in practice those who claim a heritage and allegiance to “militant” separatism are becoming increasingly non-separatist for the sake of fellowship and cooperative ministry with non-separatist evangelicals. This quest for acceptance by and fellowship with non-separatists is not limited to the so-called “conservative” evangelicals. Recent developments demonstrate that self-described separatists have extended their outreach and tolerance for to the new “New” Evangelicals.4
“Most fundamentally (the word is deliberate), both groups are united in their affirmation and exaltation of the gospel. None of the differences that we have examined to this point results in a denial of the gospel. Both fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals believe the gospel, preach the gospel, and defend the gospel.” (viewed April 6, 2012)He has been publicly and privately shown that a “relevant fact,” a widely known fact was omitted and the position of many men in fundamentalism had been seriously misconstrued.
The truth is that many men in Fundamentalism do NOT “believe, preach or defend” the Lordship Salvation Gospel of the evangelicals. They instead reject LS as a false gospel and resist its spread as fervently as they would Roman Catholicism’s sacramental system because both are works based, non-saving interpretations of the Gospel.5Virtually the entire camp of evangelicals, its star personalities, holds to the Lordship Salvation (LS) interpretation of the gospel. The “relevant fact” is that there are hundreds of Fundamentalists who reject LS as a false, works based interpretation of the Gospel. Every objective participant in or observer of the gospel debate over the past 20+ years knows this is a fact. Kevin Bauder knows this and, therefore, deliberately omitted a highly relevant fact.
As I have documented in this article you [Kevin Bauder] are perpetuating a fallacy on unity in the Gospel. It is intellectually dishonest to declare, without qualification, there is unanimity on the Gospel between fundamentalists and evangelicals. It is an egregious misrepresentation. Scores of fundamentalist pastors, teachers and evangelists reject Evangelicalism’s Lordship Salvation as a false interpretation of the Gospel and you know this to be true. You do not speak for Fundamentalism. Fundamentalists speak for themselves and many of them passionately reject Lordship Salvation and would have every right to be offended by your suggesting Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism believe, preach and defend the [same] gospel.”6Kevin Bauder’s statement stands as a stark example of a dishonest caricature he was willing to publish for the sake of fostering fellowship with evangelicals who “believe, preach and defend” Lordship Salvation. An interpretation of the gospel, which hundreds of fundamentalists reject as a works-based message that corrupts the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor. 11:3) and frustrates grace (Gal. 2:21). The position of many men in fundamentalism on the gospel was misconstrued by Kevin for the purpose of suggesting a common ground on the gospel, where there is none, with evangelical advocates of Lordship Salvation. Fundamentalists who reject LS were slandered by Kevin Bauder. He has refused to edit, qualify, include the relevant fact, or eliminate the statement entirely. The statement, as Kevin wrote it, and refuses to revise, is a lie!
Dr. Bauder, you wrote, “In order to tell the truth, we must not omit any relevant fact.” You have a track record of omitting relevant facts about the star personalities and fellowships of “conservative” evangelicalism. You have consistently demonstrated a serious problem with acknowledging and addressing the truth about the evangelicals’ doctrinal aberrations, ecumenical compromises, worldliness and cultural relativism. You have gone out of your way to avoid appealing to and applying any Scriptural principles to these issues among your new friends in evangelicalism.
“Relevant facts” and the natural fall out of disconerting facts about the doctrine and practices of conservative and new New evangelicals have a strange way of not seeing the light of day when Kevin Bauder touches on those men. Instead his pattern has been to heap lavish praise upon them while tolerating, allowing for, excusing and ignoring the troubling areas.7 No more stark example of burying factual ecumenical compromise exists than that from Kevin Bauder and Dave Doran when they both (respectively) dismissed Dr. Al Mohler signing the Manhattan Declaration as a “single episode…occasional inconsistency,” merely a “wrong decision based on bad judgment.”
Additional examples exist of Kevin Bauder’s revisionism, omission of facts and slander. Following is typical of reactions from those who know.
History falls prey not only to revisionism; it also suffers at the hands of those who seek to slant its record to their own benefit…. If Kevin [Bauder] 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.8Today, we have documented a pattern of Kevin Bauder finding truth inconvenient, the personal view of an entire segment of fundamentalists to be misconstrued and/or omitted. Kevin Bauder has a pattern of disseminating or suppressing facts and expressing those things to gain an advantage.
“Kevin [Bauder’s] charge that ‘the most forceful defenders of the gospel are no longer to be found within the Fundamentalist camp’ constitutes nothing short of slander. Perhaps Dr. Bauder does not know the fundamentalists I know. I can name scores of pastors who regularly and rigorously defend the gospel…. Dr. Clearwaters understood that the local church was charged with the propagation of the truth. He founded a seminary, not to undermine local church authority, but to bolster the prestige of pastors in their efforts of defending the faith.”9
Before Kevin Bauder presumes to occupy the high moral ground and lecture down at others about facts and lies he would do well to become consistent in practice of disclosing “relevant facts,” and refrain from misconstruing facts with malice. He would do well to refrain from omitting and/or ignoring facts for the sake of a personal agenda.
1) Dr. Rick Arrowood: Answering Questions About the Changes We Are Seeing in Fundamentalism
2) Pastor Don Johnson: Show Me the Silent Majority, Oct. 2010.
3) 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? Exposing impressionable students to compromised Christian leaders and scholars is not only dangerous it is an act of disobedience.”4) Among the “new” New Evangelicals are men such as John Piper, Al Mohler, Mark Dever and Haddon Robinson. Recent actions by Kevin Bauder, Dave Doran, Tim Jordan, Matt Olson, Andy Naselli, et. al., indicate that Bauder’s “limited form of fellowship” has yet to demonstrate defined limits in practice.
5) Do Fundamentalists & Evangelicals, “Believe, Preach and Defend the [Same] Gospel?
7) Dr. Gerald Priest: Can We Be Even Clearer, (March 8, 2010)
“Kevin has been quite lavish in his praise of conservative evangelicals while castigating so-called fundamentalists. Yet he has spent very little time warning us about the pitfalls and problems of conservative evangelicalism.... Kevin commends fundamentalist institutions for welcoming conservative evangelical speakers, but offers no warning regarding the baggage some bring with them that could endanger our movement.”8) Pastor Marc Monte: “Kevin Bauder, It Won’t Fly With Those of us Who Know…”
9) Muddying the Clearwaters
A Letter from *Dr. Richard V. Clearwaters to Kevin Bauder
Also, while reading your articles, I have observed an inordinate affection towards pseudo-intellectual teaching and a disdain for old-fashioned, confrontational, Bible preaching. Make no mistake, old fashioned, confrontational Bible preaching is exactly why I founded Central Seminary…. I did not start the school over which you preside, for men to flounder in unbelief, for them to wonder for decades where they stand, or for them to be given to counseling, teaching, and academic idolatry. I often told the men I was training, “We use the mind here, but we do not worship it.”
Why, Kevin? Why allow these new-evangelical, left-leaning men to have such sway in your heart? Surely you must know this is not what will build character in your young ministry students. Do you know that? Certainly you have heard the axiom, “What the parents do in moderation, the children will do in excess.” Why do you continually laud men who violate Bible truth and systematically reject what we tried to teach in the early days of 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. As Samuel of old who, after his death, confronted Saul in his error, I plead with you to turn back “to the Law and to the Testimony.”Al Mohler Signs The Manhattan Declaration: Was This a First Time Foray Into Ecumenism?
What is Lordship Salvation: Summary of Lordship Salvation From a Single Page