May 26, 2020

Recognizing Kevin Bauder’s Contribution to The Future of Fundamentalist Education: Students

Kevin Bauder
Dr. Kevin Bauder’s current blog article is, The Future of Fundamentalist Education: Students. There he writes about fundamentalist, “Schools [that] have closed and those that remain are scrambling for students.” He cites issues and strategies, as he sees them.

How often did Kevin Bauder lead the way in his criticism of all-things fundamentalism? It has been difficult to recall him ever share any unqualified praise of the fundamentalists others have respected. Instead he posted questionable revisionist histories of fundamentalism and castigate fundamentalists. For example,

Again, I am very disappointed at the language Bauder uses against his fellow fundamentalists, evidently chiefly against [John R.] Rice: ‘pugilistic and bellicose,’ ‘alpha males,’ ‘the big boys,’ ‘bullies,’ ‘chieftains,’ etc. Is this the kind of language a fundamentalist leader should use?”1 Kevin Bauder also wrote, Fundamentalism is still home to quite a few people who were willing to burn incense to the emperors.”2

I was at the 2009 FBFI Annual Fellowship. Toward the end of the Q&A Symposium moderator Dr. John Vaughn directed a question to Dr. Bauder about the conservative evangelicals, which was the subject of the Q&A.  Concerns that Kevin Bauder might launch another unprovoked attack against historic Fundamentalism were realized. Bauder just could not let his three previous attacks on the legacy of Dr. Bob Jones, Jr. and John R. Rice be “Nuff said.” Bauder dodged the question put to him to instead besmirch Bob Jones University for having hosted various candidates for political office. Then current BJU president Stephen Jones was unable appear in the symposium as scheduled. So, Bauder directed his darts at the most recognizable personality from BJU on the panel: Dr. Mark Minnick. Clearly Dr. Minnick was uncomfortable with Bauder ambushing him with criticism of BJU administration decisions and calling on him to explain it. Dr. Minnick graciously tried to leave the discussion for the BJU administration to answer, but Bauder kept up the pressure. Kevin Bauder’s performance was a disgrace.

On March 30, 2012 Kevin Bauder published an article titled, Facts & Lies. Of that article it was noted,
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.3
Of another article a reviewer had this reaction, “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.”4

February 2013 Kevin Bauder announced that he believed it is his “duty” and “responsibility” to clean up the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International (FBFI). His self-appointed duty to clean up the FBFI included “hauling out the trash.”5

At the pseudo-fundamental Sharper Iron Kevin Bauder (2/2/2013) made this statement to Pastor Don Johnson, “Don, don’t you get it? People like me [Kevin Bauder] are the last and best hope for Old Fundamentalist institutions like the FBFI.”

In March 2010 Pastor Marc Monte reviewed Dr. Bauder’s Let Get Clear on This article,
Having charitably distinguished conservative evangelical’s from fundamentalists, Bauder immediately attacks fundamentalists as doctrinal obscurantists. For reasons known only to himself, Bauder mocks those whose doctrinal concerns include bibliology, the blood atonement, and sovereignty/freewill. Apparently Bauder feels that the doctrinal concerns of fundamentalists are illegitimate and ill-informed. He goes as far as stating that fundamentalists “have lost their doctrinal sobriety.”6 
In addition to castigating fundamentalism Bauder heaps lavish praise on so-called conservative evangelicals.
“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…. 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…. What I fear is that we may be allowing a Trojan horse into the fundamentalist camp. And after a while, if we keep going down this track, any significant difference between conservative evangelical and the fundamentalist institutions may disappear.7
A “Trojan horse” has indeed been allowed in the fundamentalist camp, and it is Kevin Bauder who encouraged opening the gates for it. Kevin Bauder’s Trojan horse is in large part why Northland International University ultimately closed and Bob Jones University is in serious decline.
Dr. Bauder w/ Mark Dever

Many have recognized Kevin Bauder’s revisionist histories and omission of known facts in his articles. He has been blurring the lines of distinction between fundamentalism and so-called “conservative” evangelicalism. How often have we seen him defend, tolerate, allow for, ignore or excuse the aberrant theology and ecumenical compromises of his evangelical friends? Kevin Bauder has practiced, taught and encouraged abandoning “militant” separatism for the sake of fellowship and cooperative ministry with non-separatist evangelicals.

These examples above, and to follow below, exemplify how Kevin Bauder contributed to why fundamentalist, “Schools have closed and those that remain are scrambling for students.” Kevin Bauder shares responsibility for why The Future of Fundamentalist Education: Students is in doubt.


Addendum: An email reply to the article above.
Brother Lou, I have often wondered about the fascination of other fundamentalists with men like Kevin Bauder. In my opinion, there has long been a bent of self-promotion in boards of fundamentalist institutions that not only insulates, but borders on incestuous politics. I cannot think of any other explanation for how pseudo-fundamentalists have risen to the top perches of fundamentalists institutions while rejecting a cardinal doctrine…Separation. Kevin Bauder and others of his fold have taken license to castigate faithful fundamentalists of the past whose voices are silenced by the grave. Had those ancient prophets lived to this day, I have no doubt that pseudo-fundamentalists would have been exposed and driven from the fold. Instead, they have used their institutional perches, their ivory towers, to gain a following of young fundamentalists” who confuse intellectual rhetoric with spiritual fervency for the faith.

(See, Missionary John Himes, grandson of Dr. John R. Rice.)
2 Ibid.
3) Answering Questions About  the Changes We are Seeing in Fundamentalism

4) Show Me the Silent Majority

6) Kevin Bauder: Muddying the Clearwaters

7) Dr. Gerald Priest reacting to Dr. Kevin Bauder’s Let’s Get Clear on This, March 2010.

Related Reading:

To dismiss Al Mohler and Ligon Duncan signing the Manhattan Declaration as merely a, “wrong decision based on bad judgment,” (Dave Doran) an “occasional inconsistency…single episode,” (Bauder) is the look and feel of a “downward drift toward compromise” of the Scriptures (2 Thess. 3:6, 14-15; Rom. 16:17), in the form of tolerance for the sake of fellowship.
A Letter from Richard V. Clearwaters to Kevin Bauder

It is astounding to me that in many of your recent writings on a professedly fundamental, Baptist site, you seem to constantly extol the “virtues” of evangelical Protestants while, at the same time, deriding the “vices” of Fundamental Baptists. Reading your posts would lead some to wonder if you weren’t just writing a resume for some “conservative evangelical” seminary…. No doubt, Fundamental Baptists have their “flaws,” as do others in a different theological orbit, but must you constantly point these out with little or no qualification? It is hard to read even one of your tomes without hearing you constantly jab at the perceived flaws of some past and even present Independent Baptists…. Is this generalization of the movement, of which you “claim” to be a part, healthy? Do you think it is possible that your constant diatribe against “your own” is one of the main reasons some young people are leaving sound churches for “greener pastures?”
We’re Not Convinced Kevin Bauder is a Help to Fundamentalism

Dr. Kevin Bauder generated anger and resentment of the younger generation of preachers toward Fundamentalism.  He has, furthermore, encouraged their movement toward the spiritual dangers of the new wave New Evangelicalism. When the upcoming generation, finally land in the compromised evangelicalism of John Piper, Al Mohler and Mark Dever (some have already done so) we need look no further than Kevin Bauder who, from within fundamentalism, was given free rein to influence them in that direction.  

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