February 4, 2013

Kevin Bauder: Show Us the “Great Many Points” Where You “Challenged Their Views

We are continuing through an on-going critical review of Kevin Bauder’s Open Letter to Lance Ketchum.  Previous articles, in most recent to first order, include:

“Kevin [Bauder] 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…Like Kevin, I would give credit to the conservative evangelicals where credit is due. I say ‘Amen’ to everything they have done well in defense of the gospel of Christ. But not at the expense of discrediting fundamentalism for the valiant battles it has fought against some of the very things many conservative evangelicals are espousing which compromise the gospel, yet which many of the current generation do not seem to take very seriously.” (Dr. Gerald Priest: Can We Be Even Clearer? Reacting to Dr. Kevin Bauder’s Let’s Get Clear on This, March 2010)
That was nearly three year ago and the pattern of Kevin Bauder has been the same.  He continues to heap “lavish praise” on the evangelicals.  He has, furthermore, embraced non-separatist evangelicals in fellowship and cooperative ministry efforts. Kevin offers, “little warning” (none serious) about the  “pitfalls and problems” and in various ways continues “discrediting fundamentalism.”

On Saturday, at Sharper Iron (SI), Kevin Bauder proclaimed himself to be among those who are “the last and best hope for saving old fundamentalist institutions like the FBFI.1 Some will find this disturbing. Especially disturbing in light of Kevin’s three part series in 2009 (just days before the FBFI Annual Fellowship in Schaumburg) in which and without provocation, Kevin trampled the names and legacies of Bob Jones, Jr. and John R. Rice.2 Then from the platform during the 2009 FBFI fellowships Q&A symposium Kevin dodged the moderators question directed to him on the evangelicals to instead besmirch Bob Jones University.

Let’s now continue our review of Dr. Kevin Bauder’s Open Letter to Lance Ketchum. Kevin wrote,
Nevertheless, at a great many points I have challenged their views: in some cases over miraculous gifts, in other cases over church polity, in yet others over contemporary methodologies.”
But then on Jan. 29 at SI, Kevin wrote in reply to Pastor Don Johnson,
I think that you are overrating the number and quality of my interactions with conservative evangelicals… The truth is that I have never initiated any of those conversations (except for one or two where I was going to be offering critiques, and allowed them to see the critique and challenge it before I published it)…. Truthfully, I have not sought out interaction with them, but I refuse to run from it either.”
Kevin has “challenged” evangelicals “at a great many points?”  But Kevin also said that Brother Johnson is “overrating the number… and that he (Bauder) has not sought out interaction with them?” If Pastor Johnson overrates the number of Kevin’s interactions, and Kevin has “not sought out interaction with them,” we are left to ask:
Where and when has Kevin Bauder seriously “challenged” them “at a great many points?”
Kevin Bauder has been eager to publicly praise the so-called “conservative” evangelicals. In Kevin’s inflammatory Let’s Clear on This3 article and his 24 part Now, About Those Differences series he heaped “lavish praise” on the evangelicals. The question is: Can Kevin Bauder document and/or link us to the great many points in which he has publicly challenged their views? We would like to see samples of the great many points he publicly challenged them, and with a serious application of the Scriptures on the aberrant theology, ecumenical compromises and “contemporary methodologies4 of the evangelicals. Can Kevin document or link us to the great many points where he has publicly challenged the evangelicals with same gusto and fervency with which he publicly praises, bestows honor toward, runs interference for insulates them from legitimate criticism?

From his blog, Kent Brandenburg asks,
Do you [Kevin Bauder] have available a similar kind of criticism of any evangelicals like you have criticized Lance Ketchum? I could appreciate your wordsmith applied to John Piper, instead of what seems like only glowing praise….”5
Would Dr. Bauder kindly direct us to the great many points, in which he has publicly challenged and brought the Scriptures to bear on John Piper for teaching that the miraculous sign gifts are active for today? Can Kevin guide us to the great many points where he publicly challenged the leadership (Mohler/Dever/MacArthur, Piper, Duncan, et. al.,) from the Scriptures over their contemporary methodologies?

Can Kevin Bauder show us when and where he has among his “great many points” publicly challenged Al Mohler for signing the Manhattan Declaration, an act that compromised the gospel and gave Christian recognition to the “enemies of the cross of Christ” (Phil. 3:18)? 6
Surely Dr. Bauder can show us samples of where at a great many points he has publicly challenged, reproved or admonished the evangelicals.
We have seen over at least four years Kevin Bauder has not reeled in his “lavish praise” of evangelicals nor begun to give serious warnings about the doctrinal aberrations, ecumenical compromises, “pitfalls and problems of conservative evangelicalism.”  He has not and will not publicly “reprove” or “rebuke” them. (2 Tim. 4:2) He will not publicly “admonish” them. (2 Thess. 3:15) He does not “mark” them or caution believers to “avoid them.” (Rom. 16:17)  Instead Kevin Bauder has tolerated, allowed for excused and ignored their major errors in theology and practice.  He has, furthermore, embraced them in fellowship and cooperative ministry efforts. His pen and his actions encourage his followers, the young and impressionable in particular, to join him in the compromise of the biblical principles of separation for the sake of fellowship with non-separatist evangelicals.

1) At SI (2/2/13) to Pastor Don Johnson Kevin Bauder wrote, “Don, don’t you get it? People like me [Kevin Bauder] are the last and best hope for Old Fundamentalist institutions like the FBFI.”

2) With a track record that includes unprovoked attacks like this we trust that Kevin Bauder will not be offered a chair on the FBFI board of directors. Please continue to, A Call for Kevin Bauder’s Removal From the Platform of the 2009 FBFI Annual Fellowship
Dr. Bauder’s criticisms of Dr. Jones and Dr. Rice was not speech that edifies. It was not a display of Christ-like love. Bauder’s tone was not the sound of humble integrity. The caricatures of Jones and Rice, while barely skirting personal attacks, certainly did not honor the Lord or those men. It is irrefutable that the speech with which Dr. Bauder described Drs. Jones and Rice is antithetical to what the FBFI leadership called for.”
Kevin Bauder is willingly and with purpose advocating for the conservative evangelicals and leading our younger generation to them. And to fuel the push he needs a demon to be skewered and fled from. Fundamentalism is his demon, which he finds in various historical contexts, personalities and/or forms.”
4) “Contemporary methodologies.” This appears to be the new sanitized version for what we commonly refer to as “worldliness,” as in worldly methods of ministry.  Are we supposed to believe this new term will soften, put a kinder face on the cultural relativism, CCM/Rock culture of the evangelicals?

You [Kevin Bauder] say that no one is ridiculing [Lance] Ketchum in the MBA, but your open letter then defends anyone who might ridicule him.  You would have a hard time stopping the ridicule because you plainly intimate that Ketchum deserves the ridicule.  You haven't ridiculed him---you just think he deserves the ridicule he does get.  With that no ridicule, who needs ridicule?  And then you read ridicule in the comment section.  No one confronts the ridicule there.  Why would they?  You've said that he deserves it, so open season on ridicule.  Some of the ridicule in the comment section comes from those who have little but ridicule at their disposal, because they can't exegete out of a paper bag.  I've always thought ridicule was easy.  I'm even doing a little here (just that I'm admitting it, unlike you).  Lots of your defenders at SharperIron would be very easy to ridicule, including you, but how valuable is ridicule as a weapon for change?
6) Al Mohler and the Manhattan Declaration. In the coming days we will discuss Kevin Bauder’s claim that Mohler’s brief statement, essentially a single sentence, in an obscure book is genuine “biblical repentance.”

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