May 29, 2020

The Hufhand Report: Friday’s Focus on Fundamentalism

A recent article written by Dr. Kevin Bauder, has come to my attention, and with it, he has opened up a can of worms, in regard to the strategy of Bible colleges and Christian Universities in their approach to getting students.

         This article appears to be an about face for Dr. Bauder, who has consistently downgraded fundamentalism every chance he got, over the last 10 years.  Actually, there is much in the article, with which I would agree, and have written about.  Please forgive this feeble attempt to understand how we got into this mess.

           The answer to this dilemma is a return to old time Biblical fundamentalism, but few people are interested in doing that.  Reflecting on the past, there was a time when many young men went off to college, simply to major in some particular course of study, such as History, Engineering, Literature, Political Science, etc.  In the course of time, they began to seek God’s will for their life, aided by the influence of godly pastors.  As a result, some of them gave themselves to the ministry, at which time; they would choose a seminary where they would focus on studies pertaining to the ministry, such as languages, Bible, apologetics, and theology. Generally, their choice of seminary came through their denominational preference. 

         All of this changed when the denominational Seminaries started to become liberal in their theology.  The advent of such schools as Moody Bible Institute, Biola, Detroit Bible Institute, Temple University, and Bob Jones University, etc., became the answer to this onslaught of liberalism.  The products of these Christian schools produced thousands of young men and women who had no place to serve, hence, the church planting movement of the 1920’s through the 1970’s.  Now here we are, back where we started from in the beginning.  Someone has stated, “What goes around, comes around.”  This is what has happened.

         As a result of the former strategy, every community in America had a denominational church of one kind or another, to which young men could attend.  The pastors of those churches were always on the lookout for young men who would make good ministers and he would take them under his wing and steer them into the ministry.  The number of men going into the ministry adequately supplied the church or churches in each community with a pastor.

         However, the strategy that began with the advent of the Bible colleges was different. The church planting movement came about as a result of thousands of young men surrendering to the ministry, with no place to serve upon graduation from college.  Most of the pastors and missionaries presently serving, or have recently retired, are products of those fundamental churches, as well as fundamental schools.  On the other hand, some of us, like me, are products of churches that were in liberal denominations.  My pastor didn’t really care where I went to college, as long as I went to their particular denominational seminary.  If I did that, my pastor assured me of a nice comfortable pastorate somewhere in the country.  I didn’t take him up on it.

         Once the fundamentalist movement got started in earnest, back in the 1920’s, fueled by several aggressive church planting associations, such as the CBA of A, the GARBC, the BBF, and the IFCA, it wasn’t long until churches began to dot every little town and village in America.  The Bible schools were pumping out preacher boys by the hundreds and soon there was a “glut” of preachers with few places to serve, except in communities where there were already at least one or two well attended Gospel preaching churches.  New churches were started in these towns, and soon there were three or four in it, and to make matters worse, churches began to split and splinter, and soon, there were hundreds of small struggling churches scattered all across the landscape of our country, which is the case today, with no pastors to fill them, as the number of pastors continues to decline.  To make matters worse, hundreds of pastors are walking away from the ministry every month.

         With the advent of Christian day schools starting up in the 1970’s, it altered the focus of most pastors.  Where they were once aggressively growing their Sunday Schools and Churches, through soul winning programs and evangelistic preaching, they began concentrating on building their Christian schools. And although the Christian school has been a blessing and did alleviate the glut of preacher boys coming out of college, because now many of them became involved in the Christian school, it did nothing to head off what would tragically follow.

         What we have to understand is that the choices we make are often fraught with unintended consequences and one of the consequences is the product of our Christian schools. Instead of training our young people for the battlefield through the ministry of the local church, we educated them in the Christian school to ignore where the battle was.  We actually took them out of the battlefield, which was the public school system.  What we really accomplished in our Christian schools was to develop a callousness toward the things of God.  The Bible became a textbook, instead of love letter and a manual for Christian living.  Instead of causing their hearts to be tender toward the ministry, we actually turned their hearts away from it.  Let me tell you a story and I’m done with this.

         This goes back to the days when Bob Jones III was still President of BJU.  He wrote a letter to all of the BJ pastoral graduates in regard to something that literally broke his heart.  Even as I write, I hesitate to mention it; for fear that it might return the grief to his heart.  He told of inviting many of the Christian schools that had a basketball team, along with their cheerleaders, to a week of competition and comradery at the University.  Thousands of young men and women gathered together.  As they gathered in the Auditorium, to hear the 75cent pitch about the school, they were then told about the different courses of study that were positioned through-out the building, naming each one, and then dismissing them to go where their interest was.

DR. Bob Jones, III

          In writing his letter to us, and I still have the letter, he asked this question: “Do you know how many of those thousands of students came to the School of Religion?”  To his grief and sorrow, he said, “Just one.”  That was 20 years ago.  Imagine what it is today!  No wonder there is such a dearth of ministerial students.  The fire has gone out in our churches, as well as our Bible colleges and Universities.  And I’m sorry to have to say, much of it must be laid at the door of our Christian schools and pastors who lost their focus. Let’s face it, with a few exceptions, most of our once thriving fundamental churches are dead or dying.  There is little to no life in them.  Although the Christian school endeavor, along with the Bus ministry, has declined greatly, the problem of young men entering into the ministry still exists, and is getting worse. What fundamentalism needs today is a champion; i.e. someone like Billy Sunday, Bob Jones Sr., W.B. Riley, a Bob Ketchum, a John R. Rice, a Lee Roberson, or a Tom Malone, who will step up to the plate and lead the way.  God help us, and if it doesn’t happen, we can write our own obituary.

Dr. Lawrence Hufhand

The Hufhand Report:
Friday Focus (May, 29, 2020)
Reprinted by Permission.

Related Reading:

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.  

May 7, 2020

Dr. Bob Jones, Jr. “If [BJU] Ever Changes...I Pray the Lord Closes its Doors.”

Recently, a 1983 Bob Jones University (BJU) alum wrote, 
“Many a time I can remember Dr. Bob, Jr. saying, ‘if this place ever changes its strong fundamentalist stand I pray the Lord closes its doors.’ I believe we are now seeing God’s long-suffering being shown to BJU, but when will that long-suffering end and the doors close?”1 
It is a modern day tragedy what is happening at BJU. Many BJU grads cite Dr. Jones, Jr. as we read above. Some say he also said something to the effect that if BJU ever departed from its “strong fundamentalist stand” students should “come back and close the school.” Ironically it is through the actions of BJU graduates, Steve Pettit (80’) and Sam Horn (86’ 88’ 95’) that the school has lost its ‘strong fundamentalist stand.’ Going forward, unless some radical intervention takes place, it will be through BJU graduate Steve Pettit that the university’s doors are destined to close.2

I have heard/read comments from grieved alumni such as,
“I wish FBFI/IFB pastors would form a block and publicly take on the BJU Board. The University was a fundamentalist institution and it should be taken back by all who invested their lives, students, and for many…their fortunes in the place.”
Most of the alumni, fundamental Baptist churches and long-time friends of BJU have seen enough of how Steve Pettit and Sam Horn transformed the school toward ecumenical inclusivism to abandon the university.

Reasoned discussion with and appeals to the current administration have been exhausted. BJU’s base has been alienated to the point where that even if the school did an immediate about-face it is uncertain whether any would return to support it. What is left that might restore hope and confidence that BJU would be returned to its founding principles? It would likely take a Board of Directors and Trustees public rebuke and dismissal of Steve Pettit.

To stabilize and ensure the university’s return to its separatist principles it would, furthermore, be necessary to request the resignation of and/or purge any board members who encouraged and/or defended Pettit and Horn’s changes. Otherwise, going forward, there would be internal battles over philosophy, which would doom the school.

These are tough things to propose.  It appears there is little left to do other than: 1) Watch the university continue on an ecumenical trajectory or 2) as one alum said, It “…should be taken back by all who invested their lives, students, and for many…their fortunes in the place.”

If BJU were to survive the transformation it won’t look much like it did prior to Steve Pettit’s arrival. It may well become the next Cedarville, Liberty or Grand Rapids.  If that were to happen we suppose a great many grieved alumni would hope for “Bob Jones” to be dropped from the university’s name.

1) William Brown at Musings of a Fundamentalist, BJU Then & Now…NGU
2) Revised for this posting, BJU Then & Now…NGU

Related Reading:
Is BJU Moving Closer to Pseudo-Fundamentalism?

This is Not Your Fathers BJU
An Analysis of BJUs Position Paper on Calvinism, Arminianism & Reformed Theology

May 5, 2020

Bob Jones University...Then & Now Series

Brother Machen White has posted a new article at the Musings of a Fundamentalist blog. There is a series of articles there under the heading, BJU…Then & Now.

“On Tuesday May 12, 2020 CLC will be hosting two special guests for its annual fundraising event; NGU president Gene Fant and…Dr. Steve Pettit of BJU. By participating in this event, [Steve] Pettit is not only solidifying his position of fellowship with highly compromised SBC Gene Fant, he also, along with [Sam] Horn and Bobby Wood, finds himself shoulder-to-shoulder in ministry cooperation with new evangelicals and apostates.”

For the complete article see, BJU...Then & Now: North Greenville University

This revelation further cements a tragic reality, which is: Steve Pettit continues to transform Bob Jones University into an ecumenical, non-separatist school.