February 13, 2020

Is Bob Jones University Moving Closer to “Pseudo-Fundamentalism?”

Today we are looking at Bob Jones University’s 2020 Bible Conference, The God of All Comfort. We’re grateful for the university’s long tradition of setting a few days aside to focus hearts and minds on the Word of God. Is it possible that the conference could somehow be controversial? The Bob Jones University (BJU) Conference site states,

“This year’s offering will support Save the Storks—a pro-life organization that supports crisis pregnancy centers as they assist expectant mothers through pregnancy and the birth of their child. They also provide valuable resources to centers by dispatching Storks mobile medical units, providing training services and offering marketing assistance to crisis pregnancy centers.”1

Herb McCarthy
Save the Storks board chair is Herb McCarthy. For 16 years Herb McCarthy was VP of Crusades for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.2 Save the Storks is ecumenical3 in its associations.

We are abhorred at abortion, and pray for an end to the insidious practice. Must BJU collaborate with an ecumenical organization to financially support pro-life efforts?

We see the BJU Bible Conference offering to Save the Storks as a mark of social activism and financially supporting ecumenical compromisers. We can’t imagine such a thing happening, prior to the coming of Steve Pettit and Sam Horn, when Dr. Bob Sr., Jr. or III occupied the president’s office.

The Bible Conference offering might have been sent to where it could do the most good for the cause of Christ. If not invest the Bible Conference offering back into the university surely there are ministries that would make worthy recipients of the offering. Ministries such as: foreign itinerant church planting missionaries or domestic Christian camps that are reaching lost kids for Christ and edifying our youth?

One of The Gospel Coalition (TGC) leaders, Thabiti Anyabwile on ecumenism in the civil rights movement said, “…the civil rights movement becomes a fairly ecumenical movement. The question I ask is, ‘Is that a net positive thing, a good thing, or a net negative, a bad thing?’  I think in many respects it is an indifferent thing. I’m not sure it affects the church negatively.” Anyabwile went on to support, “collaboration of co-belligerency of alliance forming for an obvious positive social good.”4

Last semester Andy Naselli, a member of TGC, was invited to BJU as a special speaker. (See below, This is Not Your Father’s BJU, a Continuation) BJU collaborating with and financially supporting Save the Storks for a “positive social good” is not an “indifferent thing.” We see BJU adopting methods that have more in common with The Gospel Coalition’s ecumenical movement than with the separatist, fundamental university it once was.

There was a time when things were happening at the schools and Fundamentalists had spoken out. From 1994 for example,
The FBF [Fundamental Baptist Fellowship] in the late 1970s termed the direction taken by Jerry Falwell as “pseudo-fundamentalism,” which was defined as New Evangelicalism in embryonic form. We believe that this observation was correct as subsequent events have shown…. Fundamentalists repudiated Falwell’s brand of compromise while he claimed to be a Fundamentalist. His refusal to be governed by Scriptural commands of separation is evidenced today in Falwell’s participation in Tim Lee’s CORE conferences, in the convention speakers on the platform of Liberty University, and the appearance of Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son and heir apparent, on Falwell’s platform recently (bold added).5
You might say, “Ohh, BJU would never become what Liberty did.In light of BJU hosting Tim Tebow, Ken Ham, Billy Kim, Cantus, Andy Naselli and collaborating with known a New Evangelical Herb McCarthy consider these questions,
  1. Over the past five years has BJU moved closer to or further from “pseudo-fundamentalism?
  2. Over the past five years has BJU moved closer to or further from fellowship with and the practices of so-called “conservative” evangelicals?
  3. Over the past five years has BJU moved closer to or further from its stand for the “Scriptural commands of separation?”
In recent years enough has come to light (see related reading below) that leads us to believe BJU is morphing into a kind of “pseudo-fundamentalism.”


Related Reading:

This is Not Your Father’s BJU, a Continuation


3) Generally speaking, ecumenism is a movement that seeks to bring various denominations together for mutual cooperation. The mixing of denominations can compromise core Bible teachings.

4) Thabiti Anyabwile on Ecumenism of the Civil Rights Movement (Jan. 24, 2019)

5) FBFI Resolution 1994.03 Regarding the Jerry Falwell Ministries.

February 11, 2020

Sam Horn in Historical Perspective: Northland & Bob Jones University

Previously we discussed Dr. Sam Horn departing Bob Jones University for John MacArthur’s The Master’s Seminary. We found that Sam Horn and the compromising evangelical, non-separatist school constitutes a very good fit. In the article we said, “...Sam Horn’s appointment to Master’s will lead to greater collaboration between so-called ‘conservative’ evangelicals and BJU.”1

In April 2010 then Northland International University (NIU) president Matt Olson along with Sam Horn, Les Ollila and Doug McLachlan traveled to John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church (GCC). There they met with MacArthur, Phil Johnson and Rick Holland. Following that meeting Northland invited Rick Holland (GCC executive pastor) to preach in Northland’s chapel (Oct. 2010). The significance here is that,

  1. Opened a new alliance between NIU and non-separatist, compromising evangelicals.
  2. Sam Horn orchestrated the meeting at Grace.2
Northland never recovered from that event and the subsequent compromises that followed. Moving forward we find BJU today on much the same trajectory, of embracing evangelicals including honoring them with a pulpit presence.  Most recent case in point: Gospel Coalition member and Piper’s Bethlehem Seminary faculty Andy Naselli in a prominent speaking role (Nov. 2019) on campus.3

With Sam Horn departing for Master’s will BJU reverse the drive toward evangelicalism and return to the university’s legacy as a fundamental, separatist institution? Since Steve Pettit assumed the presidency ecclesiastical compromise and embracing the spirit of pseudo-fundamentalism has continued unabated. All observable changes indicate the university is committed to much the same course that resulted in Northland’s demise.

The Northland/Bob Jones pattern is virtually the same, casting off its fundamental, separatist roots, and the common denominator is Sam Horn.

Bob Jones University is learning what the colleges learned the hard way when they took the road of embracing evangelicalism.  And that lesson is: You cannot turn a college to a hard right or hard left and expect to have your alumni with you.

Earlier we noted from the previous article, “Sam Horn’s appointment to Master’s will lead to greater collaboration between so-called ‘conservative’ evangelicals and BJU.”  As it turns out we don’t have to wait to very long. In March we’ll see BJU hosting another evangelical from Sam Horn’s newest employer, The Master’s Seminary. 

On Thursday morning we are going to see a new way in which BJU is moving closer to a form of new evangelicalism.


1) The Master’s University & Seminary Appoints Sam Horn President

2) Northland’s Convergence with Evangelicalism

3) This is Not Your Father’s BJU, Redux

February 7, 2020

The Master’s University & Seminary Appoints Sam Horn President

The Masters University & Seminary Appoints Dr. Sam Horn President.

“It is an honor for any higher education institution to have a current vice president become president of another university,” says BJU President Steve Pettit. “Both Dr. Horn and Bob Jones University are greatly honored today by Dr. Horn’s presidential appointment.”
We believe Sam Horn and the evangelical Masters Seminary are a very good fit. Sam Horn got his D.Min. from John MacArthurs Masters Seminary in 2007.

The announcement from the Bob Jones University (BJU) website puts a positive spin on the announcement, but is it truly a good thing when a BJU alum is president of any evangelical institution? That doesnt speak well of a BJU alumnus that they would accept a position with an evangelical institution. Unless, of course, Sam Horn has at heart been an evangelical all along.  That would certainly explain why he brought to Northland International University the things that he did, which contributed to the schools demise.1

With his departure for Master’s what does Sam Horn leave in his wake at BJU? Very much the same conditions he left Northland in, which ultimately destroyed the once fine fundamental Baptist college. Now he leaves BJU on the same trajectory toward non-separatist evangelicalism. It is, furthermore, worth stating the changes at Northland could not have happened without President Matt Olson’s willing participation in it. And you can be sure that the path BJU is on toward evangelicalism is not happening apart from President Steve Pettit’s knowledge and backing.

We believe Sam Horn’s appointment to Master’s will lead to greater collaboration between so-called conservative evangelicals and BJU.


See, https://today.bju.edu/news/the-masters-university-and-seminary-appoints-dr-sam-horn-president/

Continue to: Sam Horn in Historical Perspective: Northland & Bob Jones University
With Sam Horn departing for Master’s will BJU reverse the drive toward evangelicalism and return to the university’s legacy as a fundamental, separatist institution? All observable changes indicate the university is committed to much the same course that resulted in Northland’s demise.

1) NIU Presents Executive Pastor of Grace Community Church to the Student Body 

Related Reading:
BJU’s Subtle Rejection of Ecclesiastical Separation: Is This Northland All Over Again?
For BJU Sam Horn’s participation in the E3 Pastors Conference [alongside SBC preachers] is much more than the University hosting the vocal group Cantus (a male ensemble partially comprised of practicing homosexuals) for an artist series, more than hosting new evangelical Billy Kim and his Korean Children’s Choir, and more than an ambivalent dress-code change.  This is BJU’s leader of ministerial training sharing a platform, in joint ministry, with SBC pastors. Make no mistake, Dr. Horn’s appearance at the E3 Pastors Conference is a departure from BJU’s legacy as a separatist institution, which raises the stakes of compromise to an unprecedented level with serious implications for BJU’s School of Religion and the Seminary.

February 5, 2020

New Calvinism & the Millennial Generation: The Perfect Storm

In recent years there has been a great deal of attention focused on the New Calvinism. Many of the so-called “conservative” evangelicals have been at the forefront of advocating this movement and its devastating effects.

Shortly before the July 2009 FBFI Annual Fellowship convened The Merger of Calvinism with Worldliness by Dr. Peter Masters was published (Sword & Trowel 2009, No. 1). Copies of the article were distributed to delegates at the fellowship. The articles release could not have been better timed because it dealt squarely with the subject matter of the Q&A Symposium, “Let’s Discuss Conservative Evangelicalism.”

Near the close of that symposium The Merger of Calvinism with Worldliness article was mentioned within the context of a moderator’s question. The first responder, Kevin Bauder, immediately redirected the discussion away from the article and its implications for the so-called “conservative” evangelicals. The focus was never recovered for a detailed discussion of the articles relevance to the subject for which the symposium was convened.

Let’s now look back at an article by Dr. Rob Congdon in which he defines the danger of “New” Calvinism.
For the most comprehensive review and analysis of, and the answer to the New Calvinism you must read the works by Dr. Rob Congdon. You can find them at his website, Congdon Ministries International in the bookstore. Previously he wrote and we featured here New Calvinism’s Upside-Down Gospel.1
For those who are genuinely saved but have fallen under the teaching of New Calvinism, there is also concern. They, along with unsaved New Calvinists, are being led down a path that quite possibly is leading to a re-unification of Protestant churches with Roman Catholicism. Eventually, this union will spawn the worldwide religion described in Revelation…. John Piper, Al Mohler, Mark Dever, Mark Driscoll, and other New Calvinist leaders influence these young adults through their speaking, writing, and Internet blogs. They also encourage their followers to read the writings of past authority figures such as Augustine, Jonathan Edwards, and John Owens, as well as other influential Reformers or Puritans. While some of these writings provide useful spiritual insight, they also contain false biblical teaching. It is these and other writings that encourage mysticism, signs and wonders, and a continual looking back to the cross. Instead of complacent Christianity, New Calvinism seems to offer a sense of passion that is experienced through meditation on the majesty of God and the cross.
Rob Congdon’s new book is titled, New Calvinism & the Millennial Generation: The Perfect Storm.2

New Calvinism is a system of theology that combines: Reformed, Covenant, Puritan, and Augustinian theologies with present day, Post-Modern culture in an attempt to make Christianity seem more relevant to today’s Christian. Recognizing that churches are declining in numbers, fewer people are being saved, and that many Christians are carnal, not leading holy lives, concerned Christian leaders are looking back to the earlier days of the church for a solution. One solution they are turning to is New Calvinism. They are re-thinking and re-invigorating their teachings in order to make it relevant to our generation of Christianity. 1)Relevant is a key goal of New Calvinism. 2)Adherents to New Calvinism believe that the answer lies in reaching out and building bridges between all segments of Christianity. 3) According to the teachings of New Calvinism, the spiritual gifts of signs and wonders are valid for the church today. 4) New Calvinism seeks to create and redeem culture. 5) New Calvinism unites with Worldliness.
Related reading from 2009 by Dr. Peter Masters,
The new Calvinists constantly extol the Puritans, but they do not want to worship or live as they did. One of the vaunted new conferences is called Resolved, after Jonathan Edwards’ famous youthful Resolutions (seventy searching undertakings). But the culture of this conference would unquestionably have met with the outright condemnation of that great theologian. 
C J Mahaney is a preacher highly applauded in this book. Charismatic in belief and practice, he appears to be wholly accepted by the other big names who feature at the ‘new Calvinist’ conferences, such as John Piper, John MacArthur, Mark Dever, and Al Mohler. Evidently an extremely personable, friendly man, C J Mahaney is the founder of a group of churches blending Calvinism with charismatic ideas, and is reputed to have influenced many Calvinists to throw aside cessationist views. 
The new Calvinism is not a resurgence but an entirely novel formula which strips the doctrine of its historic practice, and unites it with the world. 
Why have the leading preachers servicing this movement compromised so readily? They have not been threatened by a Soviet regime. No one has held a gun to their heads. This is a shameful capitulation, and we must earnestly pray that what they have encouraged will not take over Calvinism and ruin a generation of reachable Christian young people. 
A final sad spectacle reported with enthusiasm in the book is the Together for the Gospel conference, running from 2006. A more adult affair convened by respected Calvinists, this nevertheless brings together cessationists and non-cessationists, traditional and contemporary worship exponents, and while maintaining sound preaching, it conditions all who attend to relax on these controversial matters, and learn to accept every point of view. In other words, the ministry of warning is killed off, so that every error of the new scene may race ahead unchecked. These are tragic days for authentic spiritual faithfulness, worship and piety.3
If you cannot recognize error you, your church and your family are at risk of being unwittingly swept into this movement. New Calvinism is introduced with great subtlety by certain star personalities among the evangelicals. The unsuspecting could easily be deceived into believing that New Calvinism is God’s plan for the New Testament church. I can think of no current resources that will better equip to you recognize, reject and refute the egregious errors of the New Calvinism than that of Dr. Rob Congdon’s works on this subject.

Originally appeared September 3, 2013.

Site Publisher Addendum (Feb. 2020):

Kevin Bauder w/ T4G's Mark Dever (2011)
We’re hopeful the FBFI will recapture its voice to remind the membership of previous resolutions:
11.2 Ecumenical compromises of the evangelicals (Mark Dever, J. Ligon Duncan III, C. J. Mahaney, and Albert Mohler)  05-02 John Piper’s non-cessation of the charismatic sign gifts, and
Address the threat “New” Calvinism poses to the New Testament Church.