A Critical Review of Kevin Bauder’s Open Letter to Lance Ketchum: Kevin Bauder, Al Mohler and the Manhattan Declaration
“…Al Mohler was one of the signatories of the Manhattan Declaration, which resulted in his extending Christian recognition to Roman Catholics. Mine was only one of a host of voices that questioned the theological integrity of this decision.”3
“Al Mohler felt liberty to sign the Manhattan Declaration. Other conservative evangelicals not only did not feel that liberty, but were critical of Mohler for doing that. Personally I think that in signing the Manhattan Declaration Mohler is acting inconsistently with his own principles, but I think we give a man a certain amount of liberty for an occasional inconsistency. Which of us isn’t occasionally inconsistent? I don’t think the occasional inconsistency is what establishes a position. I think we take Mohler and others in terms of their overall conduct not in terms of a single episode.”4
Can Kevin point us to a source, a point in time where he publicly questioned the “theological integrity” of Al Mohler signing the MD?
“But when the ECT statement was released, it was something very different from what I expected. The statement went into rather substantial detail on issues of doctrine and theology, claiming basic agreement, and promising even the possibility of common witness. I did not sign the statement. I could not in conscience sign the statement…. The central objection is found with this partial paragraph: ‘All who accept Christ as Lord and Savior are brothers and sisters in Christ. Evangelicals and Catholics are brothers and sisters in Christ’.”
There are some additional excerpts from Standing Together, Standing Apart for our consideration.
“With…the cultural challenges now before us, Evangelicals, Roman Catholics, and the Orthodox should stand without embarrassment as co-belligerents in the culture war. The last persons on earth to have an honest disagreement may also be the last on earth to recognize transcendent truth and moral principles—even the sanctity of human life itself.”
“Our agenda for cultural co-belligerence must include three dimensions covering philosophical, theological, and cultural challenges. The first two are necessary foundations for the third.” “At the theological level, we must contend together for the ontological Trinity as more than a metaphor....” “As Timothy George, my own church history professor at Southern Seminary, began his introductory class lecture, ‘My job is to inform you that there were Christians between your grandmother and Jesus—and that it matters’.”
“Seventh and finally, we must be ready to stand together in cultural co-belligerence, rooted in a common core of philosophical and theological principles, without demanding confessional agreement or pretending that this has been achieved.”
“Duty to clean up the FBFI,” and that he (Kevin Bauder) is “the last and best hope for old Fundamentalist institutions like the FBFI?” 9