"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Observations on the Life of a Fundamentalist

Phil is a pastor friend of mine from Norman, Oklahoma who sent me a comment via email, believing it too long to post on this blog. I read Phil's words and believed that he articulated quite well some observations he has made on 'Fundamentalism' over the years. Please understand that I believe the kingdom of God, including the Southern Baptist Convention, is plenty big enough to have our share of men and women who hold to the views of Fundamentalism. I not only do not begrudge their views on life and spiritual matters, I would never insist they themselves change. The rub comes if and when our Southern Baptist Fundamentalist brethren take leadership roles in the SBC and then DEMAND everyone be like them.

After you read Phil's comment, which I have made as a post of its own, you might let us all know what you think about whether or not some in the SBC are in danger missing the purpose of our convention (cooperative missions) by attempting to make sacred that which the Bible never calls sacred, and accusing people who don't agree of being in 'sin.' My father preached an excellent message this morning on the difference between the 'function' and 'form.' He rightly concluded that the New Covenant Scriptures are primarily concerned with the 'function' (purpose) of life . . . but the various 'forms' (the methodologies) in how the life of Christ is lived out in the world should be as fluid and flexible as the number of unique individuals the Spirit has converted. It is my hope that we Southern Baptists always put our emphasis on our cooperative purpose and give freedom to others in the manner in which they fulfill that purpose. Here's Phil's observations . . .

I was a Chaplain at a children's Home and Pastor outside of McAllen Texas. I live on the Children's Home campus.

When Lester Roloff was killed, his large children's home in Corpus Christi. the Rebecca Home had to lay off more than a hundred workers within a month or two. These people had no money to leave the Valley to return to Ohio and Indiana areas from where they came. We hired about twenty-five of the men who brought their families to live on campus with them.

With the Roloff people we ended up with a mix of Bob Jones U., Hyles Anderson U, Tennesse Temple, and Liberty U people with some self taught people. It was a strange mix. All of them were what we called King Jameist. The Valley from Brownsville to Rio Grande City is a virtual hot bed of Fundamentalism. The main listening religious channel in the Valley was and probably still is KJAV on your dial. The MC of the radio program would not allow any guest on the talk station who even compared a modern translation with the KJV.

After conducting chapel every morning or after the regular weekly worship services, there would be five or six "Preachers" outside my office door armed with their KJV and ready to do battle because I had quoted out of the NASB or Phillips.

I litterally loved it. I have a mean streak in me that is covered over by good looks and a lovely personality. I was as mean as one should be with Fundamentalist and that is mean. I think during those times I was the sweetest Dad, husband and pastor of my life as I vented my hostility on those narrow between the eyes, so narrow in fact, their glasses are all unifocals and both eyes see out of the one glass.

A few of the things the Fundamentalist brought to our table while we trying to help them recover so they could find where they wanted to go:

1. No television whatsoever. We had televisions in all seven homes for the eighty in-service children and they began an immediate movement to make us get rid of them..

2. No processed sugar of any kind in any food. Our kids loved candy.

3. No caffeine of any kind such as chocolate, soft drinks, tea and coffee.

4. No versions of the Bible but the King James Version.

5. No limbs to show at any time which meant that men in one hundred plus temperature had to wear long sleeve shirts at all times while working on our two hundred and seventy acres.

6. No women in authority over men and manhood usually began at twelve, fourteen and sixteen depending on which group you battled.

7. No compromise on any thing at any time. Compromise was considered worst than lust, adultery, stealing, murder or reading or teaching using a modern translation which were almost cardinal sins of unforgiveness.

8. Females can never wear pants or slacks at any time or any age including toddlers, even if the hips were twice as wide, zipped up in back or side unlike men's pants. After twenty minutes on the play ground, slides, monkey bars, our boys could tell what color panties all the girls were wearing and would tell us so.

These people had very little joy in the Lord and seemed to have as their primary mission the destruction of everyone else's joy. I must say the Falwell people were the broader minded among the five groups and were called "Liberals."

If you want to know the main reason for home schooling within these Christian groups, look no further than female teachers in the Junior High and Senior High public schools. Women must never take authority over men.

At times I felt they did more damage to the cause of Christ in few minutes than all the demons of Hell could do in a full years work.

God bless,


Phil in Norman.

169 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm left thinking all that took place in the 50s, but then when I looked up when Roloff died (sorry, was not familiar with him) I see he died in the 80s.
But even now I know people who still hold to those beliefs.
Becca

Dave Miller said...

I am usually known as a pretty hard-core conservative guy to those who know me. It is always interesting being around the Independent Fundamental crowd. They want nothing to do with Southern Baptists because we are too liberal.

It is interesting being in a group where I am the liberal.

Scotte Hodel said...

In the late 80's I went to Central Mexico with another member of my church on my first "mission trip." I was volunteering to help a missionary couple, Fred and Debbie, who had reached a level of credibility in the area so that they were very involved in local welfare program. (They now serve in Mazatlan.)

Debbie commented to me that one of their earlier volunteer helpers had asked her, "Now, you do teach these people from the King James Version of the Bible, right?"

"No, we use a Spanish translation."

I remember an interview John Cleese (of Monty Python/Fawlty Towers fame), in which he said that he could never write comedy about Christ because he was flexible enough to deal with any situation. Religious people, however, were easy targets.

From Phil's story, he appears to have been right.

sb blogger said...

Certainly this describes a set of christians that are different than the rest of the world.

John Mann said...

Wade,

Is this a descriptive or a prescriptive post? In other words, are you describing something that is currently happening in the SBC or simply trying to keep this from happening? If you are describing something already going on, could you please provide some info on exactly who is advocating the use of KJV only and who is requiring women to wear pants? If it is prescriptive, would you mind explaining why you beleive we are moving to days of KJV only, etc.?

Darby Livingston said...

"It is interesting being in a group where I am the liberal."

In my experience, both with others, and in my own heart, liberal starts just a little less than me and legalistic starts just a little more than me.

Those of us who see things differently within the body of Christ should be careful of our judgments of others considering some other Christian somewhere IS judging us just as harshly. Most of our judgments are matters of degrees, not categories.

Philip Miller said...

I'm certianly not the sharpest tool in the shed, but even I can spot a strawman argument when it's this blatant. I find it difficult to believe that you would even compare the brand of "fundamentals" that are described in this post with the fundamentals who's influence you seek to battle in the SBC. This would be like an unbeliever comparing you with Fred Phelps because you both call yourselves Christians. But at least he would do so in ignorance. Surely you can do better.

Jack Maddox said...

Wade

I am very curious to the point of this post. Are you saying that Phil's observations represent a sect of group within the leadership of the SBC? If so, could you please elaborate. Or are you simply afraid this is the route we are heading? If so, of course I disagree. If you are implying that this is the real danger of the current SBC, you have constructed a tremendous straw man. I believe you to be far more fair minded than to do this. Thus, the question remains...to what end this post?

jrm

Alan Paul said...

Jack, Philip and John... talk about missing the point! I would assume Wade is pointing out that there are those in the SBC that would require everyone lining up behind them in secondary issues or leave the convention. It's their way or the highway. Not exactly a "cooperative" mindset. Those folks of that particular mindset need to realize that the Holy Spirit didn't take a vacation and leave them in charge of everyone else's spiritual lives. Maybe you all need to go back to his post and read the last sentence of the first paragraph...

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
My retired missionary cousin, Dan Ray, was asked in an ‘attack mode’ “You do use the King James; don’t you?”

He enjoyed giving his reply: “No. We use the Korean Bible” to Patterson.

The New Bylaws of First Baptist Colleyville, TX under the ‘guidance’ of Frank Harber, have:

“The Holy Bible referred to in these Bylaws is the King James Version of the Old and New Testament of the Christian Faith, or any later translation that may be adopted or used by the Leadership Board from time to time.”

In the minutes of my present church is written:

“Rex Ray made the motion to give new converts another translation other than King James. There was no second.”
I’m glad our present pastor does not use KJ from the pulpit.

A year ago, upon the death of a couple in our church, they gave their farm to the Lester Roloff foundation.

Where we lived 15 years ago, our neighbor’s church was ‘King James Only Church’. I attended their revival.
Instead of praising Jesus, the preacher praised their church. I felt like I was among a cult. They gave me Roloff’s book and I returned it marked up cover to cover.

Dave Miller said...

I don't think anyone would (I hope I'm right on this) try to compare the Independent Fundamental crowd of Lester Roloff and his ilk to any group in the SBC today.

Whatever Paige is, he is not Lester Roloff.

I am pretty sure, guys, that Wade was not implying that. I don't think he would try to stretch that far.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

I'm deeply concerned about some areas of SBC life, and yet I am very, very excited about many other areas of SBC life. It seems that we only hear your concerns and even, shall I say, diatribes against the problematic areas of SBC life. I'm a beleiver that if we focus on the gospel, focus our attention on faithful leaders and true Great Commission churches, we'll be well on our way to avoiding the past ills and present dangers.

What is your positive vision for the SBC? What pastors should we be following (Dever, Keller, Driscoll, Piper...)? What message should we be proclaiming? It would be great to hear this stated positively, and not just negatively.

In the battle for faithful SBC churches, I believe can't just rant against a defective vision for the SBC, but must focus on creating a better, more compelling positive vision that others can taste as being true, good, and honoring to Christ. I hope you can be a part of creating that positive vision.

- ben w.

Les Puryear said...

The legalism characterized by this post is the worst kind of self-righteousness. The list of eight examples reflect the commands of men, not the principles of scripture.

I suppose if Jesus walked in carrying the Septuagint, they would attack him as well.

These attitudes exist all around me in the part of NC where I pastor. The foolishness of men is disgusting when it is expressed in extra-biblical rulemaking.

Perhaps those who are wondering about the point of your post find it hitting much too close to home.

Tim Guthrie said...

This post describes something other than SBC Conservatives. No one wants this. The use of people from the schools mentioned does not even fit.

I wonder what the implication is. Straw is indeed abounding!

Tim Guthrie said...

I might add: I am sure some somewhere do want the reflections of this post but they are indeed weak in mumber and theology.

Les, it is not hitting home - it is swinging in the air!

Anonymous said...

Les said, "Perhaps those who are wondering about the point of your post find it hitting much too close to home."

I agree.

Steve

Wade Burleson said...

Jack, Philip and John,

Alan Paul's comment says it all for me.

Blessings,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Ben W.

I'm not sure you have read many of my posts. I have written often on the strengths of the SBC - and continue to believe in them. I think repeated, persistent, clear and passionate reminders that we are a 'cooperating' convention will keep us cooperating.

Blessings,

wade

Jim Paslay said...

Wade,

I would conclude that Phil's definition of "Fundamentalist" would be different than most moderates who feel disenfranchised by the SBC leadership in the 1980s and 1990s. They see everyone who believes in an inerrant Bible as a fundy! They believe that anyone who accepts the 2000 BF&M to be a fundy! I guess the definition of a "fundy" depends on the one making the observations.

I have served as a pastor in Oklahoma since 1986. I have been in three different associations. I have met only one other pastor that fits Phil's definition of a "Fundamentalist" and he is no longer pastoring.

I'm still not convinced that true "fundies" are in leadership positions within the SBC. Most pastors with their "Independent" streak want nothing to do with the SBC. They are too busy condemning us for being liberal on a variety of issues. They also show themselves by calling the KJV the King James Bible. If we have any like what I've described, they are few and far between!

CB Scott said...

Rex Ray,

Will you tell me who the "Patterson" in you comment is?

"He enjoyed giving his reply: "NO. We use the Korean Bible" to Patterson."

cb

Debbie Kaufman said...

I knew Lester Roloff personally. He spoke at the church I grew up in several times and was a guest in my parent's home when I was a kid and teen. I believe the issues we face may be different, but the results and the methods are still the same.

Rex Ray said...

Dave Miller,
Since I was the only one to mention Patterson, and you said, “Whatever Paige is, he is not Lester Roloff”; I sense you were replying to me.

I agree the two had different views of King James. Roloff believed King James was better than the original manuscripts. He based it on the first Ten Commandments being destroyed by Moses; and the ‘second’ Ten Commandments were better than the first. Therefore it didn’t matter what manuscript was used for King James because God waited to reveal his perfect Word in English.

Patterson wrote the forward to the King James Criswell Study Bible which said in part: “Harmonization of apparent discrepancies and explanations of passages thought by some to contain error are afforded the reader.”

I asked Patterson if they explained all the ‘apparent discrepancies’ or just some of them.

He answered in a loud voice for all to hear: “We got all of them!”

I asked about the girl being dead in Matthew and alive in Mark and Luke.

He said for my ears only, “We got all we could.”

It would be interesting since the SBC has adopted the Holman Bible, (it has the girl alive in all three books) to know which Bible Patterson now prefers.

Does anyone know?

Jack Maddox said...

Wade and all

I did re read the post and still straw abounds in abundance.

Wade, what is your point in using this characterization of one brand of fundamentalism which was not and is not related to the past or present SBC as some type of 'warning' of what could be if present leadership continues?

You protest when one utilizes rank and file classical liberalism as a representation of present day SBC moderates, and I would say rightly so. What makes this any different?

jrm

Rex Ray said...

C B Scott,
Sorry, I didn’t see your question until after I posted. But I guess you know by now by using Miller’s “Paige” and my “Patterson”, my cousin was talking to Paige Patterson when he was president of the SBC.

wandering pilgrim said...

This would be insanely funny if it weren't the God's honest truth just how blindly intolerant fundamentalism really is.

I can't remember the last "fun" fundamentalist I have ever met. A little church I used to preach at had another fellow who helped with the preaching and evangelism, who one Saturday when we were going to go through the area door to door (it was also mid summer and 100 degrees) had on very conservative shorts(what would liberals shorts look like?) with sneakers.

Well the "head pastor" who liked to refer to himself as the "local apostle" let him have it for giving the women in the congregation something to lust about. His response was priceless - "Brother, if these women have lust in their heart it darn sure isn't because of my hairy, bowlegged knees! It was already there!"

Anyway, however true or untrue the letter may be, the fact is, this is exactly how the majority of fundies think, and how sad it is that those who hold to biblical inerrancy, and such biblical doctrines such as reformed theology are couched as flaming liberals by either the fundies or even many others in the SBC.

Hang in there!
sdg,
jpt

Anonymous said...

Wade,

Actually, I read nearly all of your posts! And I apologize if I overstated my previous comment. My point is simply that I'd suggest cooperation should not be our rallying cry - but Christ and His Gospel (and I'm confident you agree). Cooperation is the natural result when we all see the holiness of God, the peril of sinners, and the truth of the Gospel. I'm suggesting that this needs to be our theological vision for the SBC, this should be the center of our discussions and meditations, and then, anything less than Gospel-cooperation will look like foolishness.

Maybe I'm just a wannabe theologue, but it seems that a blog-series on the realities of Hell or the glories of communion with God or on the boundlessly gracious person of Jesus Christ would excite real desire for Great Commision Cooperation; and who could disagree with such posts? (okok, I'm sure someone could, but then we'd really know their stripes.)

I fear your current focus might be alienating those you intend to partner with (as some of the comments suggest). I would suppose that a focus like I've suggested above would be great for your soul, great for your readers, and (indirectly but assuredly) great for the SBC.

Might I suggest a one-month moratorium on expounding the errors of others to allow more space for noting the glories of Christ? This reader would certainly welcome that.


God bless,
- ben w.

Rex Ray said...

Jack Maddox,
You said, “Wade and all.”

Hey! I guess “all” includes little ole me even though you told me December 6, 2007:

“..you win! The CR was all about power…Sorry Rex, but I am breaking up with you. That’s right…no more talkie talkie.”

I’m glad you’ve had a change of heart, and I’ll try to answer your question if I can figure out what you’re asking.

Let’s see…you say, “Wade, what is your point in using this characterization of one brand of fundamentalism…as some type of ‘warning’ of what could be if present leadership continues?”

It looks like to me, your question is a statement . (This fundamentalism can happen if present leadership continues.)

Your other statement and question reminds me of Dave Miller saying, “What did he say?”

Jack Maddox said...

Rex

Actually my question was posed to Wade. My post makes that clear. I am really not the least bit interested or concerned with what you think. If I was, I would have asked you.

The "Wade and all" was in context to being told to read the post, because obviously if one does not tow the party line on this blog then they obviously did not read the post correctly.

The question was directed to Wade...thats why it says "Wade" not "Rex" but "Wade"...if I was asking Rex I would have said "Rex" but I didn't, I said "Wade". Is that clear enough for you?

Good to see your still keeping web logs of what everyone has ever posted in regards to you...a little scary, but I suppose everyone needs a hobby.

jrm

Bryan Riley said...

Here were my thoughts as I read this prayerfully. Often those who call themselves conservative use the "slippery slope" argument for maintaining their position - for holding to their view - and the lambast anyone who is "more liberal" than them, even if only a little, because those positions are just a slip, slide and away to heresy.

With this post we have the basis for making somewhat of the same argument the other way. While many want to jump up and down and say "not me!" "I'm not a 'crazy' like that!" What really is the difference between being someone who preaches thou shalt not go to an r-rated movie and someone who says thou shalt not wear any clothes showing any skin??

Ron said...

TO Philip Miller, Dave Miller and Jack Maddox, I would agree with Debbie Kaufman in stating that the issues may be different with the current SBC leadership and the fundamentalists described here but the results and methods are the same. I think there is a strong comparison between the radical fundamentalists described by Phil in Norman and the conservative resurgence. People such as Roger Moran, Ron Wilson and other leaders of the conservative resurgence would fit right in with this group. Their goal is always to find reasons to divide.
There are some that have the same viewpoint on the KJV as the fundamentalists. I have spoken in SB churches where I was told to use the KJV. I also had the experience of having a fundamentalist call me and ask if I was using the King James Bible in my teaching with the Chinese. When I told him I was using a Chinese Bible, he was dumb struck and acted is if it never occurred to him that people in other parts of the world could not use the KJV. That shows how ethnocentric these people are.
I can remember in the early days of the resurgence many conservative Southern Baptists were considered suspect and unworthy of being considered for leadership positions in the SBC or resurgence for similar reasons. If you church had a strong WMU, you were suspect. If your church had RAs and Gas instead of AWANA you were suspect. I can recall hearing leaders of the resurgence say that pastors who churches were strong supporters of the cooperative program did not deserve to be allowed to serve in leadership positions of the SBC because they were obviously easily fooled into supporting liberalism. They took their lead from Adrian Rogers who referred to the cooperative program as a “golden calf or sacred cow”. I forget which.
Anonymous, in the early days of the resurgence there were those who said that Christ and His Gospel should be the rallying cry, as well as missions and the Bible. They were scorned by leaders of the resurgence and accused of not being tough enough. In any case, in the spirit of a positive vision I will say there are many things in the SBC that are being done right. Our missionaries, both home and foreign, are doing great things for the Kingdom of God and many churches and individuals are providing wonderful support as well as taking personal responsibility to carry out the great commission. Many of our state conventions and associations are using innovative programs to reach the lost and start churches. Many churches are growing and making a difference in their communities.
Unfortunately, under the leadership of the Conservative Resurgence the SBC as a whole is doing worse in evangelism, measured by baptisms, in giving to the cooperative program, and unifying our convention behind the inerrant Word of God than before the resurgence. I am a conservative and an inerrantists who believes we need a true theological conservative resurgence.
Rex Ray, I will always remember a ride I took with your cousin Dan Ray through the rice fields of South Korea. I think my hand prints are still on the door handles I was holding on so tight. The Koreans loved him.
Ron West

Wade Burleson said...

Jack,

Allow me to ask an honest question:

Is it possible that the same manner you are offended with the notion there may be 'fundamentalism' in the SBC - and deny it exists - is the same manner that other Southern Baptists in decades past felt when they were told 'liberalism' existed in the SBC - and they were identified as liberals even though they protested they were not?

Just asking.

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

In other words - do alleged straw man arguments work both ways - LEFT and RIGHT?

Philip Miller said...

Wade,
As someone who reads your blog frequently, I would observe that this post has hit on an interesting low. Surely you're not suggesting that it's OK to construct strawmen arguments and insinuate fundamentalist links that don't fit simply because such tactics were unfairly used by others in the past? Or are you?

Jack Maddox said...

Wade

Unlike you on many occasions I will answer your question. : )

first of all to say that your post offended me is just not the case. I am never offended by that which is patently false, however I will stand against it and call it for what it is, in this case, a straw man.

Secondly, I have never said there is not fundamentalism in the SBC. I simply deny that it exists in the manner it has been described in this post. Especially in regards to our current leadership.

However, to answer your question.

A straw man misses the mark of honest debate whenever it is used, no matter who it is that uses it or their motives. If such extremes were the case prior to and during the CR, then they were just as wrong as this post is. I believe history has shown us that there were some instances this kind of extremism was used by adherents of the CR. I believe it was however the exception rather than the rule. It was wrong then, it is wrong now.

However, the CR was basically an effort to stop the spread of neo-orthodoxy in our institutions of higher learning and our denominational agencies. If you are equating the degree of ultra or hyper fundamentalism in this post with todays leadership in the SBC you are simply wrong at best and dishonest at worst. I choose to believe you are simply wrong. I do not believe it would have been near a stretch to equate the influx of classical liberalism's toxic tentacles in the modernism and neo orthodox leanings of much of the leadership and inteligencia of the pre CR SBC. Now admit-ably, that is simply my opinion, but I believe it was one you once shared yourself.

If your point is to sound a warning that you fear this is the direction we are heading, then by all means carry on. Perhaps history will show that you saved the SBC from the seedy ghost of Lester Roloff and his Hyper-Fundy minions whom Phil describes in his post.

jrm

Jack Maddox said...

Wade

Now that I answered your question, would you be so kind to answer mine from my first response. I will restate it for the sake of not having to look back

"Are you saying that Phil's observations represent a sect of group within the leadership of the SBC? If so, could you please elaborate. Or are you simply afraid this is the route we are heading?"

jrm

Bryan Riley said...

I could ask my question again: What is the difference? (Between forms of fundamentalism)

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

I continue to wonder what is going to happen when "those" that do not believe women should be in authority of men, seek to do more than talk about it, but seek to actually put this in place in the local church.

Bryan Riley said...

Tom, it's a common practice all over the world in dynamic, Spirit-filled evangelical churches.

Bryan Riley said...

Oops, i think i misread your comment, Tom.

John Mann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Mann said...

Alan [and Wade],

If the the simple point of this rather elaborate post is to prove that there are those like Roloff within the convention who would like to see an exclusionist mindset that are, to paraphrase Debbie, "different issues but same same results," then there is a huge disconnect. The point of the e-mail is not conformity, it is conformity on specific issues. These specific issues make up the majority of the e-mail, which is Wade's argument against his perception of Fundamentalism in the SBC. It remains a rather large leap to see the e-mail has having any possible connection with SBC life today.

Wade Burleson said...

Jack and Philip,

When people lose sight of the purpose of our convention - which is cooperation for missions - and make issues of 'doctrine' by denying the essentials or making sacred the non-essentials we have a problem whether we call it liberalism, fundamentalism - or as Debbie Kaufman and Bryan Riley and others have so well put it in this comment stream - the spirit and principles of both.

Lin said...

"Actually my question was posed to Wade. My post makes that clear. I am really not the least bit interested or concerned with what you think. If I was, I would have asked you.

The "Wade and all" was in context to being told to read the post, because obviously if one does not tow the party line on this blog then they obviously did not read the post correctly.

The question was directed to Wade...thats why it says "Wade" not "Rex" but "Wade"...if I was asking Rex I would have said "Rex" but I didn't, I said "Wade". Is that clear enough for you?

Good to see your still keeping web logs of what everyone has ever posted in regards to you...a little scary, but I suppose everyone needs a hobby.

jrm"


If you want to have a one on one conversation with Wade why not e-mail him? Blogs are public community conversations. So, even if you are not the LEAST bit interested in what Rex or the rest of us have to say, there was NO need to publicly insult him.

My goodness!

Jack Maddox said...

Lin

First of all let me apologize to you if you were offended and I would think you were by your reaction to my response to Rex. Allow me to explain. Anyone who keeps up with wades blog knows that Rex and I go back and forth. I actually have a great deal of respect for Rex and value his opinion, although I strongly disagree. Rex and I jab at each other over these issues and have done so for some time. My comments to Rex are very tongue in cheek and I believe he understands this. You will find that Rex can more than dish it out and probably has to take a half a baby aspirin just to get to sleep based upon what I may or may not say to him. However, I do apologize and will confirm my love for Rex and all of those with whom I disagree. My comment to rex was really in jest, I believe Rex understands this, as do most of the folks who frequent this blog. Again Lin, my apologies to you.

jrm

ps - Rex, I still could care less what you think : )

Jack Maddox said...

Wade

I have no problem with what you have stated. I just think it unfair and even untruthful to build straw men to prove our point. it only takes away from your own position and cost you in credibility

jrm

Wade Burleson said...

Jack,

If it were my goal to try to influence people's opinion of me, I can guarantee you I would follow your advice.

Blessings,

Wade

Jack Maddox said...

Wade

My comment concerning credibility was not directed towards your personal credibility, but the credibility of your position and argument. I should have worded it better.

jrm

Wade Burleson said...

Jack,

By the way, when you say to Rex "I still could care less what you think" you are actually communicating you care a great deal about what he thinks.

Unfortunately, I believe you intend to say grammatically "I still could NOT care less what you think". But then again, Rex probably, could not care less what you think. :)

Can we not all just hug one another.

:)

Blessings Jack,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks, Jack, for your last comment.

I completely understand issues with wording.

I often do not express myself well in writing either.

Wade

Jack Maddox said...

Big hugs for all a big kiss on the cheek for Rex!

jrm

: )

ps -if all could pray for me today. I have a funeral and a man in ICU, another church member in the hospital, a wife who is deathly ill with the flu and I feel as if I might be getting it. Thanks for the prayers and sincerely, love to all and blessings on this day!

jrm

Wade Burleson said...

Will pray for your Jack as I write. I, too, am headed out for ministry.

Blessings to all.

Wade

Ron said...

Jack Maddox,
You get very sensitive to the possibility that someone would equate the fundamentalist label to many of the present leaders of the CR but then make the statement, "I do not believe it would have been near a stretch to equate the influx of classical liberalism's toxic tentacles in the modernism and neo orthodox leanings of much of the leadership and inteligencia of the pre CR SBC."
I knew several of those leaders you describe as having neo-othodox leanings. That would include, Baker James Cauthren, Keith Parks, Russell Dilday, Loyd Elder and a few other agency and institution heads. None of them had neo-orthodox leanings. Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to this knowledge. How old are you and what were you doing in the pre CR SBC? Did you personally know any of these men you label with neo othodox leanings? Tell me what theolgocial beliefs they had that made them neo-orthodox. I am talking about true leaders, not some obscure seminary professor or self declared spokesman for the moderates. These are men with reputations and families that you are talking about and you should not use labels carelessly when you describe an entire generation of leaders who led us into some of our greatest gains in missions and baptisms in the history of the SBC.

John Fariss said...

I'd like to re-frame the issue here, at least slightly. As I read Wade's words and the comments of various contributors (both those who understand it as a "strawman" argumemt, and apparently deny such fundamentalism within the SBC, and those who see litle if any difference between Lester Roloff and Paige Patterson), it is the difference between Fundamentalists and fundamentalists, or either of them and conservatives, or moderates, whatever. Those distinctions get very blury, and are especially confusing to those outside the SBC. It might be more productive to frame this issue in terms of sociology.

The late Rev. James Hopewell was an Episcopal missionary in Africa; after he retired, he taught at Emory University. He noticed that various places of worship and adherents had differernt orientations, one of which he called the "canonic perspective." These were people who accept some sacred writing as authoritative, and rely upon it, identify their essential life by it, and reject any perspective which is in direct opposition. There are other persectives, all of which are also found in various churches/places of worship, and in fact, most people accept one of the four perspectives he identified as their central organizing principle, but also accept to a limited degree a second which they do not see as in conflict. (Actually, this is the same principle as found in Gary Chapman's "Five Love Languages".) Moderation of this canonic perspective depends on which secondary perspective the person has, and to what degree. Consequently, the difference between a Lester Roloff and a Paige Patterson, and I say this without criticism of either, is 1) how canonic their perspective is, and 2) to what degree that perspective is moderated by which which of the three other orientations Hopewell identified. I actually think this this is more revealing about the nature of Fundamentalism (with or without the capital "F") than any so-called Biblical or theological definition.

If we understand Wade's article in these terms, doesn't it explain a lot without getting into "I believe the Bible more than so-and-so does"? It seems to me and also explain why some of us "have" to have Bible verses to justify everything, while others are content to rely on "general Bible teaching." In fact, the Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament utterly lacks Scriptural quotations and prophetic formula both, which suggests to me that those writers (David, Solomon, etc.) may not had a very canonic perspective; but that does not mean they are less Biblical for it.

Note also that a person with a hyper-canonic perspective may be a Christian, a Moslem, a Mormon, etc., depending on what they take as their text: Bible, Koran, Book of Mormon, etc., while others from the same religion may seem much less extreme.

John Fariss

James Gibson said...

Here's a classic "King Jamesist" at his hermeneutical best.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDxcyqeRc-4

I assume this is the type of "fundamentalist" referred to in the e-mail.

greg.w.h said...

The word "strawman" implies that Phil was offering an argument. I think he, instead, was offering a cautionary tale.

If we cannot recognize the similarities between the tale and the SBC PERHAPS all is well and good and we shouldn't be concerned.

Or, perhaps, we're simply in denial. I have seen each of the behaviors Phil mentioned either in SB churches or in members of SB churches that were influential. Liz Corwin was the wife of the missionary couple that were the "Hostel" parents for the MKs in Jakarta my freshman year in 1978-1979. She had grown up in Oklahoma and told us about the various extra-biblical rules that were levied onto churches in an attempt to protect the members and their children from what was seen as a sinful culture around them. You'll recognize many of them:

1. No card playing (because cards were often used for gambling)

2. No dancing

3. No movie going (dark theaters followed by dark drive-ins)

Many of my peers lived in households that used the MPAA rating system (created by Hollywood in the 60s as a self-legislative replacement for the government censorship of the Hays Commission) to determine whether a movie was sinful or not and the rules ranged from no PG to no R movies.

We had one missionary family (that I love dearly by the way) that interpreted the Mosaic dietary requirements as having practical value and imposed those requirements on the family. I was always fascinated by their reasoning, and there is strong evidence that supports the view especially among groups of people who live nomadically in desert regions.

Not only is John's suspicion on the Proverbs not being entirely canonic both apt and obviously wry, but there are almost certainly "wordly" proverbs "of the day" included in the more directly Spirit-breathed ones. As Christians we talk about ALL truth being God's truth, but we rarely conceive that the book of Ecclesiastes seems to be a kind of "best of" human wisdom or that the Song of Songs might MERELY be a guide to human romantic, sexual love.

I think the hyper-canonic perspective comes from a sincere desire to fully obey God. But given Jesus's response when his men were accused for working on the Sabbath when they ate grains of wheat picked while wandering through a field, I think we should recognize that the hyper-canonic perspective is RARELY God's perspective. That it provides a shell of security to protect us from the sense of uncertainty (especially given that God is OFTEN silent) is certain. But the fact that it often is human formed causes us to wonder if it moves dependence from God--who permits all kinds of seemingly random trouble and difficulty to come to his people--to something or someone else.

For me that is the message of the cautionary tale: it isn't how smart we are or how carefully we read and implement Scripture. It's that we place our full and ONLY trust on Christ Jesus (yeshua--Yahweh delivers) for deliverance.

When we see people going down the path of making the ambiguous certain through their pronouncements, when they impose ONE translation (and not the original Hebrew or Greek!!) as the only faithful translation, when they dive into building hedges around unsinful actions (think dancing, drinking, and even chewing....or going with the girls that do) in order to protect us from sinful ones...then the cautionary tale bears fruit in warning us of those leaders.

Greg Harvey

OC Hands said...

It seems to me that readers of this blog separate themselves into two camps: those who tend to agree with Wade and those who do not.
The question that comes to my mind when I read these comments is simply "Why?" Why do some agree, and some do not? It doesn't seem to matter what the topic is, some who post have the same question--why blog on this topic? Why bring this up? They refuse to see the relevance of the subject matter, and are unwilling to admit that the subjectw which Wade addresses pose real problems for the convention if allowed to go unchecked.

I have had some very unsettling experiences with folks who call love "fluff" and equate discussing love as it relates to our relational responsibilities with other believers as going down a slippery slope. The harshness that I perceived in their spirit was disturbing to me, totally devoid of compassion. It was my first time to meet with this attitude, but I have seen it manifested on this blog and elsewhere. If this is representative of fundamentalism within the convention then I am 100% with Wade in raising some flags to say that having people with these beliefs and attitudes in places of leadership is a dangerous thing.

Unfortunately, the CR and its opposition did have some of these elements that were displayed in various state conventions and at the national level. Namely--if you don't subscribe to our way of thinking and beliefs--out the door. It would be a shame to see this happen again. I am personally thankful for men like Wade who are determined that the "exclusivist" approach does not prevail in today's convention, but that for the sake of proclaiming the good news where it is still news, we decide to "cooperate" as we historically have done.

Dave Miller said...

At first, I had hoped Wade was not trying to criticize by analogy here. It seems clear from follow-up comments that it is not as i hoped. I think it is ridiculous to compare the SBC powers (traditionalists? Baptist Identity?) with Lester Roloff and the lot.

There is way too much argument ad absurdum going on in these debates. The traditionalists argue that we should restrict PPL because it will lead to us becoming the Southern Baptist Assembly of God. No one, not Dwight McKissic or anyone else is trying to do that. But PPL is being opposed by raising the absurdist argument.

This argument, if in fact it was what Wade intended, is just as absurd and silly. No one wants the SBC to become a Lester Roloff-type denomination. (Oh, there may be some preacher in Texas somewhere who wants that, but not the traditionalist leaders).

We need to deal with real issues, not launch absurd and illogical attacks on one another based on caricature or fear-mongering.

We have some real disagreements in the SBC. This kind of absurd argument won't solve anything.

Anonymous said...

I went back and reread Wade's post. He wrote about having a problem with people who (my paraphrase) say they are Baptist and then try to make everyone else conform to their opinions. (If I misinterpret, correct me.) I remember hearing a speaker years ago - maybe when the SBC change first started - say that the Catholics were becoming more liike Baptists (one example, they were encouraged to read the Bible) while Baptists were becoming more like Catholics (example, demanding conformity).

Whatever you call this "go along with what I say or else" attitude that seems to prevail in the current SBC, it's not Baptist. Sorry, guys, I know I'm female, and thus, according to the prevailing BF&M, not qualified to have an opinion unless it agrees with whatever male is supposed to be in authority over me at the time, so ignore this, but the idea is out there.

Baptists have found things to disagree about for a long time. But at their best, they have come together to work together on what they can agree on, doing the work Jesus left for us to do: proclaiming the Good News and helping those in need (these two usually go together). It seems there was a meeting about this recently but many condemned it, in my opinion because they weren't running it.

When Jesus' disciples complained about someone else casting out demons in His name He told them anyone who is not against us is for us. Too bad there isn't more of this attitude around.

Susie

Bob Cleveland said...

First you take a thread .. weave it into a string .. weave that into a rope .. weave ropes into a hawser. Then you can take the hawser and tow a barge or a ship or lift a weight. But you can't break it.

Just how far do you think the SBC needs to go down the road being traveled right now before you've got a pattern you can't break? Firing women .. axing missionaries who won't sign the BF&M, when I doubt they were ever asked to sign the bible .. turning away missionaries when they were not baptized in an SBC church (and yes I know the deal there) .. dismissing candidates to whom God has sovereignly given the gift of an unknown tongue.

Make your own list.

Wake up, people. The pot is about to boil and we're still trying to swim in it.

Dave Miller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bryan Riley said...

John Farris,

Nice comment. Gary Thomas has a book called Sacred Pathways that identifies different ways people relate to God more naturally. he breaks it down into 9 pathways. I worry about labeling and over generalizing, but I like the way it helps people see that just because someone approaches God with a different worship style doesn't mean that person is less of a Christian.

ml said...

I was glad to see that Falwell's group was the liberal fundamentalists in the group mentioned since Falwell's church is now an SBC church. You know, Jim Richards, 1st VP of SBC, attends the same church renown for its fundamentalist campaign against SWBTS? hmmm . . . Of course there are fundamentalist moderates and liberals, too. All are equally dangerous if they attempt to require a rubber stamp on their pet theologies. Gardner-Webb, for example, refuses to hire men professors who will not teach woman as SR. pastors. This is yet another form of fundamentalism.

Jack Maddox said...

Ron

Actually I did not name any of the men you mentioned. In fact many of the leaders of that time were professed conservatives...but not all. But it is not I alone that came to this conclusion. I would reference you to the report of the peace committee.

To answer your question...I am 44 years old and was saved in 1984....5 years after Houston. Does that disqualify me from having a historical opinion concerning the pre CR days?

by the way....Russell Dilday was Pres of SWBTS when I attended there

jrm

Rex Ray said...

“Wade and all”, smile
I’ve been reading so many good comments (and others) on this post, I’m late replying.

Ron West, you really hit the nail on the head. While on a pulpit committee, I had to fight not to require the KJV to be used in the pulpit. When we started AWANA, I asked what translation was used. The reply was: There is no translation but the King James.”

You said, “When I told him I was using a Chinese Bible, he was dumb struck and acted as if it never occurred to him that people in other parts of the world could not use the KJV. That shows how ethnocentric these people are.”

I guess Paige Patterson felt the same as he could only say, “Oh” in response when Dan told him he used the Korean Bible.

Yes, I can see your knuckles turning white in riding with Dan. He’s the only driver I’ve yanked the steering wheel from to get back in our lane, but it was too late as the ‘passer’ took to the ditch. The guy must have been a Christian because we didn’t get any hand signals when he passed again…he did pass with more caution.

We drove to the 2004 SBC, and heard Paige give a parting blow to the BWA in accusing them of being homosexual friendly.

Bob Cleveland,
You made a very good comparison of a ‘hawser’ being unbreakable.

I’d like to do the same in reverse. You take a hawser, but substitute ropes that dissolve in water…becomes a string…becomes a thread…becomes the end of the SBC.

Keith Parks as President of the IMB, argued the glue that held Baptists together was missions, but the C/R argued the glue was doctrine.

Time has shown doctrinal glue was not water-proof, and what is holding us together is becoming a thread.

Now the cry is ‘cooperation’, but we will not have cooperation until the cry is missions.

Belief Matters said...

I have been reading Who are you to judge? by Dave Swavely. It is excellent so far...

Dave Miller said...

Rex Ray, are you dodging me?

I would like to think my erudite logic so overwhelmed you that you decided there was no way you could respond!

I am waiting like a maiden at the dance for your response.

greg.w.h said...

BeliefMatters (Jeff) wrote about the Swavely book. I googled up a quote from p. 8 that makes the book look promising to me:

“The sin of judging is negatively evaluating someone’s conduct or spiritual state on the basis of nonbiblical standards or suspected motives” (p. 8).

Greg Harvey

Anonymous said...

I wonder if we should use the term legalists instead of fundamentlist to label some of these groups.

Chad Whitley said...

Susie,

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Title: The Moody Handbook of Theology
Summary Evaluation of Neo-Fundamentalism

Neo-fundamentalism may be identified as the modern movement that, while holding to the historic fundamental doctrines of Scripture, has evolved into a movement with different emphases and perspectives. Neo-fundamentalism has remained true to the historic doctrines of the Christian faith, steadfastly defending those doctrines in pulpits and classrooms. However, although historic fundamentalism has fielded intellectual giants like Robert Dick Wilson, W. H. Griffith Thomas, Bishop J. C. Ryle, J. Gresham Machen, and many others, neo-fundamentalism has tended to reject intellectualism and seminary training.

This anti-intellectualism has resulted in aberrations of orthodoxy, particularly seen in the “King James only” movement. Even though early fundamentalists certainly believed in the inspiration of the autographs, some neo-fundamentalists have tended to go further and actually advocate the inspiration of the King James Version, even including it in their doctrinal statements.

Neo-fundamentalism has also tended toward legalism, adding explicit statements regarding behavior to doctrinal statements.

In addition, neo-fundamentalism has also advocated secondary separationism, calling for avoidance of other Christians who do not follow the same rigid standards. In advocating this attitude, neo-fundamentalism has tended toward divisiveness, splitting of churches, and fostering of ill will among genuine Christians. This is an unfortunate commentary on those who otherwise hold to correct doctrine. Ultimately, sound doctrine should issue in life-changing behavior, the relational expression of which must be love (John 13:34-35; 1 John 2:10,11; 3:14). Love is the Christian’s duty even when engaged in conflict with heresy or immorality. The biblical admonitions to love need to be taken seriously, especially where alleged compromise is not in the realm of doctrines central to the faith.

Anonymous said...

Phil, I am not sure what Wade would exclude of your post and I will not because this is plenty for me. but if you think those things you described is the essence of a fundamentlist then you are way out in left field. I was a fundamentalist when it was a good word, I am a fundamentalist now as your kind ridicule us and I will be one when I go home to be with the Lord and I do not expect to be ashamed of what I have believed when I enter heaven. Because what I believe is Scriptual and this compromising emerging Church can believe and do whatsoever it likes. The same yesterday, today and forever is what rings in my ear. I read no one else's comments, I've no time for that.
The only thing funny about me is my humor of which I find none in Wade's excerpt from your post.
Said in love and concern.
Jim Sadler

Debbie Kaufman said...

Jim: Now I challenge you to read the very verse you semi-quoted and read, study it in it's context. What or who is the same yesterday, today and forever? Your beliefs or something else? What were the authors actually saying?

ml said...

Wade and All, I heard an excellent formula definition the other day:

Church + Gospel - Culture = Fundamentalism

Church + Culture - Gospel = Liberalism

Gospel + Culture - Church = Parachurch

and none of these is a biblical model.

CB Scott said...

Rex,

There must be a mistake on someone's part here. Dr. Paige has never advocated the strict use of the KJV.

That is just not true. Where he is wrong he is wrong, but it is just wrong to accuse him of this.

You or your cousin has made a mistake. That story is not accurate.

cb

Wade Burleson said...

Bob Cleveland,

Your comment resonates with me.

Doug said...

Many years ago, before I ever met a real fundamenalist myself, my pastor defined one as:
"No fun, quick to dam, and a little bit mental". When I moved to the south, and met many for myself, I came to see that my pastor's definition was more truth than I knew!

Jeff said...

Many of the most "conservative" Southern Baptist who are leading our seminaries (ie, SBTS, where I live and minister in Louisville) would outwardly express their abhorrence of the type of legalistic fundamentalism Phil in Norman spoke of in this post. They may even speak out about it on a radio program or propose an "official" statement against it in the convention or local media.

Sadly, these self-same leaders who would openly disdain such legalism would not even realize that they, too, are on the exact same road as the Independent Fundies in regards to legalism in the lives of believers and in the culture as a whole.

No, their legalism may not come packaged in skorts, long-sleeved shirts, and KJVs - It would rear its ugly head in the form of definitive statements about the sinfulness of those who chose not to have children (or who do not seek to populate the earth single-handedly), theology that relegates gifted women to the kitchen, and arrogance that would make the pharisees blush.

The Southern Baptist Convention can operate as a wonderful organization for the mission of the Gospel. BUT, me thinks it will cease to do so if the Sanhedrin continues to seek power and conformity among the ranks of regular Bible-believing baptists.

Belief Matters said...

Greg, It has been very helpful to me on a personal level. I would highly recommend it for all people. In fact I am considering preaching/teaching thru it on Sun Night.

Alan Cross said...

Bryan,

Your "slippery slope" argument is exactly right. If we should beware of a slippery slope toward liberalism, should we not also beware of a slippery slope toward fundamentalism? Which slope are we leaning toward right now?

Let us just be Biblical. If the Bible does not teach it, and it cannot be absolutely backed up by Scripture, then I want no part of it. Of course, there are different interpretations of Scripture on certain issues and we need to allow liberty, but if we have a biblical defense for a practice, then we should give grace to brothers who differ slightly on certain issues. Beyond that, we should not put on people what the Bible does not teach. That practice actually pushes people AWAY from Christ, their only hope for salvation.

The Pharisees did that.

Jack Maddox said...

Rex

Maybe I misunderstood you. Are you saying that AWANA requires the use of the KJV only? This is not true. Perhaps I misunderstood you.

jrm

Bry M. said...

http://www.gracewayonline.com/audio/hairology.mp3


Dr. GI Barber on Hairology. This is a great spoof but says it all about some of the Fundys I use to run with.

Bry McClellan

Dave Miller said...

Jeff, I think you are wrong in what you say. there is a significant difference between the Lester Roloff legalism in this blog and the actions and beliefs of conservatives.

You may not agree with the conservative position on the role of women, but it is based on sound biblical exegesis. I am not saying it is the only way to read scripture, but I am saying that our viewpoint comes from a reasonable reading of scripture.

There is another significant difference. Has Mohler tried to mandate that all Christians must have kids? No, he expressed an opinion, however strongly. Has he kicked a childless couple out of SBTS?

You may neither like or agree with Mohler, but to try to morph him into Bob Jones, Sr. is ludicrous.

Dave Miller said...

This has become one of the most ridiculous comment threads I have seen. I support reform within the conservative movement of the SBC. But Wade's attempt to paint the SBC leaders with this broad brush of independent fundamentalism and legalism is ridiculous and illogical.

These supercilious arguments trying to identify Paige Patterson et al with Lester Roloff are weak.

Lin said...

"There is another significant difference. Has Mohler tried to mandate that all Christians must have kids? No, he expressed an opinion, however strongly. Has he kicked a childless couple out of SBTS? "

All legalism starts as an 'opinion' by someone influential.

Steve said...

One nice thing I don't think anyone has said -
Even within the most way-out-there wacko, angry, rules-laden Fundamentalism that has been discussed, no one is strapping bombs to the mentally handicapped or children, no one is shooting off Katyushas into a neighboring country or hiding launchers next to schools, no one is carrying grudges from 13 centuries ago, and there is no bloodthirsty murder cult seen as the only way to heaven, as with the man-created disaster that is Islam. Even when Christians are at their modern worst they are incomparably better than some others. Similarly, I would say that the darkest and most fevered thoughts of these we criticise here are nothing compared to the real actions that made the young Mao Zedong smile as he built his revolution, leaving a horrid trail across China.

Jeff said...

Dave,

I agree with you - there obviously is a difference in the Roloff legalism of this post and true, Biblical conservatism. BUT, this is not the "conservative" to which I referred. I, on the other hand, referred to the legalism that is coming out of some of the SBTS seminaries, which is only disguised as Biblical conservatism.

The legalism coming from some of the SBTS leadership has a much different (and dare I say self-preserving) agenda than does the conservatism that the Bible teaches.

As far as the role of women is concerned, I agree wholeheartedly with you that there is "a" conservative view of the woman's role that is based on sound Biblical exegesis. I just do not concur that the role of women that is taught at SBTS or by Mohler is, as you asserted, "the" conservative position on the role of women. After glancing at your blog, I would even say that we are probably on the same page on this issue.

Mohler is free to have any opinion that he wants to on peripheral issues. My problem is when he asserts those opinions (such as the childlessness issue, as one example) as if they are Gospel truth. True, I do not know that he has kicked anyone out of SBTS due to being childless. But, there are a number of people from other denominations who attend SBTS and differ in a number of theological issues, so I am not sure the "kicked out" argument holds water.

I do not agree with Mohler on a number of issues. I do not know him personally to decide whether I like him or not. AND, I am not trying to make Mohler into Bob Jones, Sr. I think that time will tell if he is doing that himself....

Bryan Riley said...

Dave Miller,

Do you find it helpful, edifying and wholesome when someone comes to you and tells you that something you have said is the most ridiculous thing that person has ever heard, even when there may be some truth in the opinion?

G. Alford said...

Fundamentalist are very much alive and in Leadership in the SBC…

Liberalism and Fundamentalism are both unbiblical. One takes away from what the Bible teaches and the other adds to what the Bible teaches. Under the leadership of John Sullivan the Florida Baptist Convention has slid far down the “slippery slope” to full Fundamentalism.

John Sullivan is unapologetic about “Adding to what the Bible teaches…”

G. Alford said...

P.S.

If you follow the link above "John Sullivan" hit the show original post when you get there...

Dave Miller said...

Bryan, you exaggerated my comments. I said this is the one of the most ridiculous comment threads I have seen. I did not say that any one's comments were the most ridiculous I have ever seen.

But, I do have a burr in my saddle and it is starting to irritate me more and more.

We have some serious issues in the SBC, but instead of talking about them, we are resorting to arguments ad absurbum like the one Wade advanced here. We are using scare tactics (The reformers want to open the doors so far that we will return to the days when moderates ruled; the traditionalists are just Indy Fundies in more modern clothes). We paint our opponents as silly, or evil, or power-mad, or whatever.

SBC outpost, many commenters on this blog, and sometimes the host cast Paige Patterson (of whose fan club I am not a member) as if he is antichrist (I know - inflated rhetoric, but I am frustrated). There are things I disagree with Paige about (as I do Wade) but I see no reason to try to turn Dr. Patterson into the bogeyman. I have confronted people on other blog sites who made unfair attacks on Wade. To me, the same thing is happening against SBC leaders.

I think it is getting ridiculous.

Jim Paslay said...

Let's see, if missions is the glue that holds the SBC together, then does it matter what we believe? What Jesus are we to proclaim? The historical Jesus that neo-orthodoxy is still trying to find, or maybe the stripped down version of Jesus that redaction criticism offers. Missions alone won't get us there!

I am in agreement with Dave Miller's comments concerning Wade's article. I'm sorry but this dog won't hunt!

Debbie Kaufman said...

Jim and Dave:Where did Wade mention Paige Patterson? I cannot understand how you can look at the events in the past 2 years alone and not see that not only does this dog hunt, but it's bringing back the game in it's mouth.

Anonymous said...

Rex,

I have to agree with cb scott. Dr Patterson was my pastor in the early 70's and he did not use the KJ Bible back then and never advocated the KJV. If my memory serves me, I think he encouraged us students to use the New American Standard version as an everyday study Bible back then. I do know he gave me a parralel translation NT for my library. The New Testament had Phillips, KJV, NASV and one other translation. If you knew Dr Patterson personally, and not through "heresay" and BP articles, you'd know the man is a scholar and prefers the original languages. He probable prefers the Greek New Testament and the Hebrew Old Testament. That's the Paige Patterson I knew.

Thanks for letting me share.
David Spriggs

PS Just got back from taking one of my sons to College for a Weekend at Liberty University. Guess what? Johnathan Falwell did not use the KJV in the chapel service I attended. Students stood and raised their hands in worship. Girls wore pants to class. They had the Newsboys in concert at the Vines Center last weekend too! So much for Falwell being a Fundamentalist with the empahsis being on the middle syllable. I believe the man was the genuine article .. the fruit of his life and ministry bears wittness to this.

Rex Ray said...

CB Scott,
You said, “Dr. Paige has never advocated the strict use of the KJV…you or your cousin has made a mistake. That story is not accurate.”

After reading your comment, I thought I might have remembered the wrong name. I called Dan. He and his wife remembered the incident. In the 70’s, they had gone to Criswell College to see about doing some partnership with the Koreans. Paige was interested in knowing what the Koreans believed, and that was when he asked Dan if he used the King James.

I don’t know what Bible if any that Paige may advocate. I’m just telling what he said to my cousin. The story is true and accurate.

BTW Dan’s wife told me that all the Foreign Mission Board did was send their checks until Keith Parks became President, and after that, rules started coming. Her opinion may prove true by what Parks wrote the Baptist Standard February 11, 2002:

“It has never been clearer that the fundamentalist leaders have changed the very nature of the SBC. Our charter states that the ‘purpose of the SBC is to elicit, combine, and direct the energies of Southern Baptists for the propagation of the gospel at home and abroad.’ Their highest priority is not missions. It is doctrinal conformity.”

That “elicit, combine, and direct” is a little scary. Looks like all the fundamentalist had to do was add ‘control.’

Jack Maddox,
The first year our church started AWANA, our only choice of literature was King James. When I asked the lady who was introducing the program about another translation, she snapped at me as if she was a KJV only person, and said there is no other translation. The next year we had a choice of the Holman Bible.

BTW I’ll admit I had it coming on my first comment to you. I still think I quoted you saying the funniest thing ever written on Wade’s blog.

Dave Miller,
How would you qualify to be “waiting like a maiden at the dance…”? You don’t have a fake name and disguised as a male pastor; have you?

Remember history records a ‘beloved’ priest being celebrated in a parade, but the people turned into a mob and killed the priest when the priest fell from the horse and had a baby. I guess they felt really strong about no women pastors. (I hope nobody jumps me on this story…I’m becoming quite jumpy myself.)

Sorry for the delay on commenting on your blog. I visited a brother-in-law at an Oklahoma hospital today, and will do the same tomorrow after a funeral of my wife’s aunt.

Wow! It’s midnight, and I was going to sign off, but I just read your last comment. You said:

“The reformers want to open the doors so far that we will return to the days when moderates ruled.”

Are you saying moderates can’t be blamed for the mess the SBC is in? In that case, maybe moderates should lead us back to sanity.

I agree with Alford and will say Liberalism is a ditch and Fundamentalism (legalism) is a ditch. Between the two ditches, moderates (true conservatives) say on the road. The C/R was so afraid of the Liberal ditch; they jumped in the Legalism ditch.

Patterson’s influence has help change the SBC into what it is now. Paul said, “It takes only one wrong person to influence all the others.” Patterson has proven that. True, he is not the “bogeyman”. Right now he’s being taught by civil law how to use Christian ethics.

Dave, I believe the burr under your saddle is if the C/R is proven to be a smoke screen to obtain control and power, you would have to admit you were fooled and your ego can’t handle the truth.

Jim Paslay,
You say, “If missions is the glue that holds the SBC together, then…”

Then you go off with your scare tactics of stuff that’s been said so much that not only will that stuff not hunt, but it won’t even scratch its own fleas.

Bryan Riley said...

Dave, all I did was ask you a question, which you didn't answer.

I will also say that I'm only 37, was only a kid being taught that all liberals were going to hell when the CR was taking place, and don't know Paige Patterson at all and never even think of him in these discussions. In fact, you might find that I rarely comment on the overly "political" SBC kinds of posts. I'm simply a man and husband hoping that he's leading his family to follow Jesus.

Rex Ray said...

David Spriggs,
You said, “I have to agree with CB Scott. Dr. Patterson was my pastor in the early 70’s and he did not use the KJ Bible back then and never advocated the KJV.”

I do not disagree with you at all. The logical conclusion of these two ‘conflicting’ stories may be that Patterson was so ‘awakened’ by my cousin’s answer that he changed his mind, or it was just a rash statement he said off the top of his head. The only person who knows why he said it would be Patterson.

You said, “If you knew Dr. Patterson personally, and not through ‘hearsay’ and BP articles…”

I’ve only talked to Patterson once for five minutes. Within the last minute of that conversation, he told a lie by saying, “We got all of them”, and 30 seconds later he ‘whispered’ in my ear, “We got all we could.”

My father taught me if a person will lie over something small, they will lie about anything. I will refrain from saying anything more, except the mega Prestonwood church, after Patterson preached there the night I talked to him, left the BGCT and its pastor took Patterson’s place as President of the SBC. It seems they pass the privilege of being president around to favorites or maybe favors being returned. Huh?

It seems Bobby Welch had his eyes opened by the end of his term (2004) as he said, “There’s not one problem in the SBC that could not be solved by agreeing to save souls.”

Jim Paslay, could he have been referring that controlling Fundamentalists were more interested in pushing their agenda of doctrine than saving souls?

CB Scott said...

Rex Ray,

It does grieve me to watch you dig this deeper. I have often agreed with you. I cannot do so here. What you are saying is just not true.

Your cousin did not "awaken" Dr. Patterson to anything.

Also, you, with such ease, call him a liar relating to a five minute conversation. If you knew him at all you would have recognized he was just simply raggin' with you. That is if he said any of what you say in the first place.

Rex, You are better than this. I know you are. You need to back away from this and look at it again.

Dr. Patterson has done some foolish things of late, but he has never been so ignorant as a biblical scholar to advocate a "King James Only" position. He would not now and he never has. Hid father before him was a scholar. Dr. Patterson "learned at his feet." Rex, this is not true.

I have posted a rebuttal to your statement on my blog. I am so confident in this that I must rebuke you openly. You are wrong.

This is Wade's blog. I am a guest here. Wade has said nothing of Dr. Patterson in his post. Dr. Patterson's name came up in this comment thread from others.

This is my last comment relating to this matter on this thread. I will not highjack a post to defend Dr. Patterson which did not accuse Dr. Patterson.

Rex, you accused Dr. Patterson falsely. You need to do the right thing. This is your doing and not Wade's. I hope you make it right.

cb

Jack Maddox said...

Debbie

I hate to be redundant, but if you remotely think that Dr. Patterson resembles the description of this post or his vision for the SBC has anything to do with what we have read, then you are very, very mistaken. The dog is not even in the field!

jrm

Jack Maddox said...

Rex
I have to call you on this brother. When you daye the Holman bible in context to your AWANA story, you show your hand. AWANA is not a KJV only organization. Never has been. This from the AWANA web site

"Flexibility is the Key When Selecting a Bible Version

Many people, many Bibles – what’s a church leader to do? Allow for flexibility as you promote the program. TruthScripts provides all resources in three versions – King James Version (KJV), New King James Version (NKJV) and New International Version (NIV).

For group recitation, it would be best to select one version for all to recite. If time allows, you can also recite the passage in a second version to accommodate alternate preferences.

For individual learning, you can choose to allow each participant to select his or her preferred version to memorize."

This thread just gets sillier and sillier

jrm

Jack Maddox said...

CB

Thank you. I will say that in all of blog town there is not a fairer man. I echo what you say and I believe Rex to also be a fair man. He is simply mistaken concerning PP and the AWANA accusations.

jrm

Dave Miller said...

Rex Ray,

Sorry about the hardships you have been facing. Hope all goes well today.

But, that comment about me in the dress was the straw that broke the fat guy's back.

The gloves are off. I am sharpening my rhetoric. See you on my blog.

Dude!

Dave Miller said...

Debbie, I live in Iowa - metaphors about dogs hunting and game in their mouth go right over my head. Could you try something in a football metaphor?

Look, I have been an interested observer on this site and have been supportive of many of Wade's stated purposes and points of view.

You are right. He never mentioned Paige. But Paige Patterson and the other powerful leaders of the SBC were the clear focus. Why a rant about "Fundamentalists" if not directed at the leaders of the so-called fundamentalist wing of the SBC.

I thought this argument was unfair and (sorry, Brian) ridiculous. If we can dismiss people by pinning the Fundy tag on them, then we do not have to deal seriously with their ideas and opinions. It is typical political dialogue. Demonize your enemy to marginalize him.

It is unworthy of noble Christian argument.

I don't know if that dog will hunt. I'm still mad at the hunter for killing Bambi's mother.

truth, not religion said...

In my childhood in Oklahoma the sermon on "hairology" was more real than not real. I WAS RAISE AND TRAINED BY REAL FUNDY'S. I HAVE STRUGGLED FOR 35 YEARS TO SHAKE IT OFF.

Wades point is right on the mark. There are some who are trying to change the SBC to their view of ALL THINGS.

I know what I am about to say is harsh and it is intended to no person, just to make a point.

I grew up in a small all white town. One day I asked one of the loval church leaders who was a fundy legalist all the time. (hell and damnation all the time)

WHAT IS A LIBERAL"

HIS ANSWER; "SON, A LIBERAL IS A FAGGOT LUVIN' BABY KILLER WHO DOESN'T BELIEVE THE WORD OF GOD"!

Since then I have observed that to some, a liberal is ANYONE WHO DISAGREES WITH THEM ON ANYTHING.

So, Lets say we have a guy who truly loves Jesus, (the real Jesus, you know, the Son of God who died on the Cross) (for those who are confused) And this guy who loves Jesus is a liberal in some people's eyes. (because he disagrees with them)

So, this guy has hair so long he can sit on it, is wearing bell-bottomed jeans, has on no shoes, is sipping a little wine and using a New English Bible.

Let's say he believes in women ministers, and doesn't vote republican and did not attend an SBC school and loves Keith Parks and Dr Dilday

If this guy leads someone to Jesus and they give their live to Christ,

WHO DOES THE WORK OF CONVICTION?

WHO SAVES THEM?

"HE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED!!!!!"
and “ALL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED”.

Acts 2:21 Acts 16:31 Romans 10:9 and 10:13

( end of argument) It does not say, all who call on Jesus and have perfect interpretation, application and understanding will be saved,

THE FIGHTING IS ABOUT THE BILLIONS OF SBC DOLLARS.

grace
wtreat

Chris Johnson said...

Dave,

Are they still playing football in Iowa?

:)

-Chris

greg.w.h said...

Jack:

I saw this in a Google cache:

We're a KJV only church so we use KJV AWANA materials. Our version goes, "Study to show theyselves approved unto God..."

We've had our kids in AWANAs at seven different churches as I've moved the family around. Since the church actually runs the club, the church has a LOT of control over how it is run. And even if the AWANA organization did not provide KJV materials, I'm sure that the local church could still implement such a limitation.

If there are any AWANA organization missionaries reading Wade's blog that care to challenge that assumption, go for it. Otherwise we might as well accept that Rex spoke accurately about it. But Jack's point that it wasn't the AWANA organization itself that made a big deal about the use of a specific version is also a cogent viewpoint.

By the way: the name of the Holman Standard Christian Bible (which does not include the word "version") as well as the SBC-wide insistence on using it as the primary version for publications certainly reminds me of King Jamesist viewpoints that rever to that "version" as the King James Bible and the insistence that everyone use it.

Greg Harvey

Bob Cleveland said...

Is missions the "glue that holds the SBC together"?

What .. the SBC is "together"?

Debbie Kaufman said...

Jack: Where in anything have I written the name Paige Patterson. You are taking a non point and turning it around. However, I would offer up for your consideration Sheri Klouda and Dwight McKissic. So I am personally putting Paige Patterson, who refers to BH Carrol and Anabaptist history, up for a look see. Fundamentalism is not just about being KJV only, in fact now that is almost a non-argument. There are other factors to consider, the main one being separatist from those who disagree with them on points considered most important to them.

greg.w.h said...

Correction: Holman Christian Standard Bible. Pushed go before I got that corrected. My apologies.

Greg

Wayne Smith said...

Read Les Puryear’s Blog post and tell me if this would pass the test for membership in your church? Rex Ray and I have a lot/most KJV people all around us here in Bonham, Texas.

http://lesliepuryear.blogspot.com/2008/02/softened-heart-beats-its-last.html

In His Name
Wayne Smith

stearnsybears said...

KJV Proverbs 11:25 The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be also watered also himself.

Charles Stearns

Jack Maddox said...

Greg

You are correct in ans that AWANA does not PROHIBIT the use of the KJV. You also correctly stated that it is the church that decides.

If Rex insists that this is a AWANA missionary, them the missionary was incorrect. If it was simply a church member then that in now ay reflects upon AWANA.

jrm

Jack Maddox said...

Wayne

I read Les's story and I would say that without a doubt our folks would receive this brother and rightly so.

jrm

D.R. said...

I have read pretty much all the comments so far, and have yet to see a real definition of a fundamentalist that would group together Dr. Mohler, Paige Patterson & Lester Roloff and yet exclude Wade Burleson, Frank Page, and pretty much any other conservative blogger on here.

Let me explain. The definition that continues to be offered is that Fundamentalists believe extrabiblical positions they demand others adhere to.

So while those on this thread and in the SBC may be divided on PPL, women seminary profs, or whether it is a sin to be intentionally childless, there are several extrabiblical views we demand in the SBC to which we all ascribe.

First, the BF&M, though logically Biblical isn't in the Bible. Inerrancy isn't a word used in the Bible either (we arrive at it through the Bible and the use of reason). Being anti-abortion isn't a Biblical command (nor is not having an abortion), yet we all probably hold that view and preach also. We all agree it's a heresy to reject Trinitarianism and demand that standard in the SBC, yet it was rigorously debated for hundreds of years and the doctrine was a result of Biblical teaching, reason, and apostolic support.

And that's what a good deal of fundamentalist thought is (or at least what is called fundamentalism on this blog). Take for instance women wearing pants (something I think we all agree is silly to believe and argue over). Those who take this position argue from Scripture using Deut. 22:5 adding Complimentarianism and reason to it. And they conclude (albeit incorrectly, though logically given the culture - at least as it was 40 years ago) that men's attire is to be pants and women's is to be skirts.

We apply a similar argument when we deal with inerrancy. We take Scriptures like 2 Tim. 3:16, add reason and the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, and arrive at a logical conclusion.

Mohler does this as well with intentional childlessness. He begins with the Biblical commands to "be fruitful", adds to it Church History and assumptions made in the Bible regarding children and marriage, and finally blends these together with reason.

So, when I see fundamentalism used here, it just seems to be a pejorative to define those with whom we disagree regarding extraBiblcal teaching. I see no universal objective standard.

So, am I out in left field here, or is there a objective definition of fundamentalism that includes/excludes all that fit or don't, or are we merely labeling people based on a need to denigrate them and separate ourselves?

Jeff said...

D.R.,

I guess I would agree with you regarding the fact that our discussion of fundamentalism has not really come up with a clear defintion that would exclude most of us who are blogging. Essentially, we all fundamentally hold to some things that help us to try to live regular, everyday lives for Jesus.

The nature of making decisions in an unregenerate world as regenerate folks demands that we make some assumptions, even educated guesses, as to the right moves to make in life. Everything under the sun that we run into daily is obviously not specicifcally addressed in The Bible (and it is a good thing - we would probably misinterpret and/or spin those specifics, too!).

It seems to me that the bulk of the division is coming from 1) Some influential SBC folks are almost insisting that other SBC folks adhere to their personal assumptions on nonessentials of the faith. 2) Some very opinionated and motivated people are already in/or are positioning themselves for leadership denominationally, when, in fact their opinions do not have any place in the agendas of the convention.

From what I can see, this issue of fundie or not (or even the definition thereof) is only a side issue, as the real question seems to be "for what does the Southern Baptist Convention exist?" Do we exist to be on mission together, sharing Christ cooperatively? Or do we exist to, as a Convention, convince the masses of our personal assumptions and extraBiblical beliefs?

It is completely fine with me that Mohler believes that all Christian couples should have children. It is ok with me that others in our ranks believe in an active gift of tongues. Why does it matter if all of our missionaries experienced believer's baptism in the swimming pool at a friend's house? The beauty of being a baptist is that we are free to be autonomous and interpret Scripture, make assumptions, and reason how we see fit (hopefully by the leading of the Holy Spirit). The problem comes when we exclude other Bible-believing, missional Southern Baptists from denominational service because they do not agree with our assumptions.

It seems to me that if the question as to the purpose of the Convention is not answered soon, we will not even have to worry about any of it. If my assumption (which I do not require or even desire that anyone agree with) is correct, the SBC will cease to exist in its present form. If we cannot learn to put the Gospel message of Christ first in our agendas, we really should cease to exist as a Convention. I, for one, am questioning whether being labled as a Southern Baptist is even productive to that end these days.

greg.w.h said...

D.R.:

I think your comments are both thoughtful and thought provoking. There is also at the heart of the human experience the concepts of tribalism, clannism, and nationalism that draws lines that exclude and include. So we ought to be quite careful about falling prey to those kinds of thoughts and should continually examine our thinking for their presence.

I have no problems with viewing terms like "Trinity", "inerrancy", and "infallibility" as reflections of biblical theology and doctrine. They are extra-biblical terms, though, so we should use them with care lest they force onto the Bible viewpoints that isn't present in the book itself. I've commented specifically on inerrancy in the past. It isn't a very practical doctrine since we do not have ANY of the original manuscripts. But it notionally represents the expectation that God would not intentionally make fools of those who trust the Bible and trust him and therefore he has provided us with written revelation that is trusthworthy. I think the use of 2 Timothy 3:16 is actually a better doctrinal statement than the word "inerrant", myself. And even then, you need to spend a little time explaining why a thought Paul had about the Hebraic Scripture should be extended to his own words and to the entire NT canon. And to do that you need to discuss the canonization of both the OT and the NT.

The word "inerrant" becomes a short cut for meaningful doctrinal discussion and cuts short differences in doctrinal opinion within that discussion. To the extent it does that, I dislike the extra-biblical nature of the word itself even though I acknowledge the same spirit that anyone else who uses the word intends.

Similarly the coined word Trinity is a short cut for a concept that is at the very least finitely richer if not infinitely so. I give it a bit more creedence than "inerrant" because it has an older genesis within the Church (or, more accurately, within the Ecumenical Council of Nicea that adopted it to refer to the doctrine it represents.)

I don't necessarily disagree with Mohler on his view of people not having children possibly being in sin. But to say that out loud means we have to acknowledge that the Roman Catholic view on birth control is probably dead on. And from there you have to accept that whatever children that come are your destiny no matter how physically and spiritually suited you feel you are for them. It seems to me to be a weight instead of a blessing in that circumstance and sounds tone deaf being said by someone who worships a Savior who said his load is easy and his burden is light.

To say I am against abortion is less than a smidgen of what I think it means to be pro-God and pro-life. It, too, is a shortcut to well-developed thought. If I'm anti-abortion, should I not be pro-adoption FIRST? And that means I shouldn't pay for orphanages because they illustrate our sinfulness of not accepting the blessings that other people have rejected.

Similarly on the subject of women dressing as men. On the one hand: it sure is convenient when we can look at outward appearances in order to judge the other person (hence the general convenience of the American system of skin-color-based slavery) On the other hand: what freedom is involved in forcing people to comply with our judgments?

So if I were to turn your question around a little: the fundamentalism that harms seems to me to be the effort to use religious understanding to force compliance. There certainly is also a kind of orthodox belief that speaks optimistically of commonly held views without forced compliance and without exclusion (accepting that the Holy Spirit WILL conform all of the elect to the "eikon" of Christ Jesus.) That kind of fundamentalism--based on a shared set of fundamental beliefs--is indeed the result of the life of the mind lived in harmony with the Mind of Christ.

But the fundamentalism that attacks, that labels, that insists, that separates, that assassinates, that derides, that requires...that fundamentalism is the one I think we should oppose.

Greg Harvey

D.R. said...

Ron,

Way up on the comment thread you challenged Jack Maddox to

Tell me what theolgocial beliefs they [sbc leaders and professors] had that made them neo-orthodox. I am talking about true leaders, not some obscure seminary professor or self declared spokesman for the moderates.

This is an important statement. So often we are told that the CR was about power and we downplay the abhorrant theology prevalent in our Seminaries from the 60's-90's.

Here is an old article by Russell Moore that names professors and leaders who held to unorthodox beliefs. Many of them, including Molly Marshall, believed that faith in Christ is not necessary for salvation and that after death those of other religions would be given a chance to repent (she has also called substitutionary atonement "divine child abuse").

In fact according to Alan Neely, a founder and Executive Director of the Alliance of Baptists, "leading figure in the SBC 'moderate' movement," and former professor at SEBTS ('76-'88), who wrote in 1990, that “[p]rior to 1979, the SBC was . . . composed of a small number of theological fundamentalists, a much larger number of theological conservatives, and an influential but not large group of theological and social progressives, most of whom were teaching in seminaries, colleges and universities":

Until the 1980s, for example, I never knew a Southern Baptist seminary professor who affirmed all of these doctrines ["the infallibility of the Bible, Virgin Birth of Christ, substitutionary atonement, bodily Resurrection of Christ, and the pre-millenial Second Coming"] . . . Often they would qualify the ones they did affirm.

Additionally, it is well known that Frank Stagg (prof at SBTS '64-'78) rejected substitutionary atonement and Temp Sparkman (MWBTS prof in the 70's) believed and taught universalism.

We can also look at the books used in seminaries before the CR. Paul Tilich, Karl Barth, and a host of neo-orthodox or liberal scholars were used exclusively in many classrooms.

And finally, if we examine the currently professed beliefs of former seminary professors, we can also peer into the culture of teaching from the 60's-90's. For example Paul Simmons, former prof at SBTS stated as far back as 1985 that homosexuality was not sinful (he also claimed in one book that abortion could be a command of God for population control). And there are a number of other former influential professors and SBC leaders who have embraced either homosexuality or inclusivism or both (such as Walter Shurden and Bill Leonard).

Hope that answers your challenge.

Anna A said...

A couple of clarifications from your Catholic visitor.

The legend about the priest having a child really refers to a woman Pope. (And it is very much a legend.)

About birth control. The Catholic Church teaches that children may be spaced for valid reasons, but that Natural Family Planning be used.

And, if there are serious problems, the couple should have a good priest to talk to, about other methods, etc. (I'm not too clear on this, because I'm a never married single.)

Debbie Kaufman said...

DR: This however is something that is not the problem now. This is about Conservatives excluding Conservatives.We can't be living on past glories. It may not have been about power back in the CR, but the same cannot be said for now. At least in my opinion. Even in the days of the CR, the methods used were dirty.

Lindon said...

DR, Some of us were around during the CR and saw the broad brush used to get rid of people that were not liberals at all. The methods used were dirty and a means to an end which became obvious was really about power.

The problem now is that the parameters keep narrowing as to who is 'Christian enough' in the view of a few men to serve in the SBC. Lottie Moon would not qualify today.

D.R. said...

Debbie,

Quickly, I was answering Ron's challenge to Jack regarding neo-orthodoxy and liberalism before the CR. I never said it had anything to do with what is going on now, nor did I assert that. I simply pointed out that we have narrowed the parameters in the past for good reasons, not merely power. I agree there were abuses, but they didn't merely exist on the side of conservatives - liberals too abused their power to block conservative appointments to seminaries like Southern. Dr. Tom Nettles once remarked that had liberals at Southern been less vocal and combative toward the appointment of conservative faculty members, there might still have been numerous moderates at Southern today.

D.R. said...

Lindon,

I never denied there were abuses, but to deny their were no provocations is equally ignorant. I simply dealt with the challenge offered by Ron.

Why is it that every time one brings up real problems in the seminaries before the CR, people feel the need to remind everyone that there were abuses, as if that excuses or negates the fact that there were real problems that needed to be dealt with?

Tom Parker said...

d.r.,

Since your age is listed as 31, meaning you were born around 1977, what do you really know about the CR and what it really needed to do?

Only By His Grace said...

Dave,

My email to Wade was a comment to the previous article that Wade posted. Wade made this very clear in the introduction. I was going to post the comment on the last blog about the Kansas Church not allowing a woman's referee to work the "state" tournament game.

The comment is not a "straw man" posted by either Wade or me to knock Dr. Patterson. I try not to knock people but stick to their arguments. Not any place do we mention either Paige Patterson or the leadership of the SBC. I have commented a number of times on this Blog and on SBOutpost. I have not said anything about either the SWBTS or SBTS Presidents except to agree with Wade why we think the SBTS President would not make a good President at this time in SBC history for the Southern Baptist Convention. To us, it is a conflict of interest and just waving a red flag at those that are already uneasy with the SBC.

I think Debbie sees that article above is in light of the last article Wade posted. She is a pretty smart lady. The issue is women in authority over men. It was a knock down fight by the Fundametalist to fire Jr. High and High School female teachers in our Christian school. We had a school with about five or six hundred students if I remember correctly. Being Pastor of a church and being the chaplain of the Home, I had full plate and tried not to be involved with the School.

What argument are you talking about being unfair and ridiculous? Is it someone's comment, my part of the article or Wade's introduction? I am not clear at what or whom you are fighting. It had to be Wade I am too pretty to be "unfair and ridiculous."

Dave, I am praying you get your politics straighten out. You can go the Democrat primary and vote with me when you do. You will find it feels good to be in God's will and you will make a great Democrat. Just think CB Scott on one side and you on the other with me in the middle. Ah, me. I feel the ecstasy already. We might even get to see Oprah. If we could pull in Rex Ray, It could be like the gunfight at O.K. Corral and we could be Doc Holiday, Wyatt, Morgan and Virgil Earp giving it to those Clantons, chase them all the way out of Dodge. You just don't make a good Republican. Your heart is not in it. You are too nice a guy.

Phil.

D.R. said...

Tom,

Your question is really just an logical fallacy (ad hominem - or possibly "poisoning the well"), and despite my age I can recognize those pretty easily. Though, to answer that, I lived through a good portion of it and saw its effects very clearly in my home church and in college.

As for my knowledge of the CR, which I guess is really your contention - I did some fairly extensive research in Seminary, writing two papers and reading pretty much every book written on the subject from both perspectives. And on top of that I have spoken to plenty of participants from across the theological spectrum.

Of course, none of that really matters since what I wrote above is plainly documented in the books of those professors to which I referred previously. All you have to do is look it up.

Only By His Grace said...

Jim Sadler,

Since you addressed me directly, I will note a couple of things that indeed identify you as a Fundamentalist, but you flunk English grammar because you did not capitalize "fundamentalist."

I make a world of difference between "Fundamentalist" and "fundamentalist," and that is an orthodox difference going back in SBC circles almost a century since the fight between FBC Ft. Worth (J. Frank Norris) and FBC Dallas ( George Truett).

There was a big difference between "Fundamentalist" and "fundamentalist" long before there was a denomination of "Fundamentalist" or "Independent Fundamentalist."

I believe in the fundamentals of the faith, and I will list what I believe if you prefer and the organizations to which I have used and to which I belonged over forty-five years SBC pastor.

Yet, to you I am a Liberal.

One question to you which I know most likely you will refuse to answer, in your definition, "What is a Liberal?

Please be both thorough and exact.

Phil

John Killian said...

Brother Wade,
I graduated from Tennessee Temple and they did not advocate a King James only position. I know that you did not say that, but I did want to clarify that point. The letter from Phil of Norman might have left that impression.
John Killian

Only By His Grace said...

Jim,

Since these comments seem to have stopped, here is where I have been that helps to make up who I am. If I am liberal so be it.

The most important people in developing my theology besides having a major in history, a major in Literature and a minor in philosophy which helped me greatly, I graduated from OBU and SWBTS with MA in History (Holocaust emphasis) at North Texas State U.

Donald Grey Barnhouse,
Navigators Topical Memory System,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon,.
G. Cambell Morgan,
C.I. Scofield.
Ethelbert W. Bullinger.
Hershel Hobbs who was on my ordination committee.
Josh McDowell.
Charles Welch.
Martin Buber--"I and Thou."
Charles Hodge.

I follow no man, only God as revealed through Jesus Christ in the Holy Scriptures.

I believe in the basic fundamentals of the faith such as the infallibility of Scripture (plenary), perfect sacrifice of Christ which is fully sufficient to forgive all sin in order that a believer can go to Heaven, the literal physical resurrection from the dead, the literal physical second coming of Christ to receive believers to Himself and to judge a lost world and a real Satan.

I am a Six Point Calvinist but really do like neither Calvin nor Calvinism (pedeobaptism, separation of church and state, changing of substance into real blood and flesh of Christ, church polity), I believe Arminianism leads to Universal Salvation which I reject. I believe in the absolute high and very thick wall of Separation of Church and State in the traditional Baptist sense before the Revolutionary War.

Those are my fundamentals and you are absolutely accurate I am not and hope to never be a Fundamentalist. It is a spirit that judges all while falling very short themselves.

Organizations I belonged to down through the years but have left mostly behind because they have become right wing political hit recruiters for the rich having left their first call:

See, Wade, I have a mean streak and can offend just about everyone:

Evangelism Explosion Trainer while having five churches where I was the Pastor certified as EE certified churches including my church here in Norman, The Navigators, Campus Crusade for Christ, Focus on the Family, Southern Baptist pastor over forty-five years, served on ASSIST teams on Associational and State levels in both, chairman of evangelism committees in Denton County, Parker County, and Tarrant County in Texas and in Garvin County and Caddo County here in Oklahoma.

I am a pre-mil dispensationalist to the right of Scofield, but I happen to believe there is room in the SBC for a-mils and pos-mils and pan-mils. I like a large tent where there are tent walls and ceilings but far apart walls and high ceilings where a person can be creative and allow God to reveal to him things not yet found in His Word.

I really do not care if the member who joined my church was baptized long ago for the right reason or by the right church as long as he agrees with my church right now.

If you want to speak in tongues, get after it. If you are going to promote the speaking of tongues publicly, do not expect to serve on my staff or teach in my church. What the SBC church across town allows is their business and is answerable to God not to me or anyone else.

Maybe I am a Liberal if you will tell me what one is. I would love to have long hair down to my buttocks, but I would settle for a little on top of my head, I am a recovering alcoholic in forty-seven years of recovery so I drink no wine, I do take a bath when Janey makes me, and I am submissive to my wife when she says take out the trash or change Seth's dirty diaper. The trash always win for that kid can really stink.

Not mad, not angry, love to argue, too much I am afraid.

Only by His Grace Through Christ.
Phil.

Lin said...

"Why is it that every time one brings up real problems in the seminaries before the CR, people feel the need to remind everyone that there were abuses, as if that excuses or negates the fact that there were real problems that needed to be dealt with?"

Because those abuses concerned real people who had their lives and reputations ruined. They are real people just like Dr. Klouda is a real person who has been wronged merely for being a woman.

Are you implying that 'collateral damage' was to be expected?

CB Scott said...

Phil,

I just read your "bona fides." Would you like to relocate?

Alabama "ain't" bad in the winter. :-)

cb

D.R. said...

Jeff and Greg,

Thanks to both of you for your thoughful responses. I meant to comment on them earlier, but after I posted the other comment I couldn't quite believe the reaction and felt I should respond.


Jeff,

I essentially agree with what you wrote. I believe the PPL and baptism issues were an overreaction to real issues that the IMB chose to deal with in an manner that proved too agressive. But I think the aftermath has spun out of control and is now a full out "us v. them" battle where labels are used pejoratively to deflect and accuse rather than clarify. I also think this has brought about an opening for people to attack their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and that is unfortunate (and I am speaking of BOTH sides).

In the end, we do need parameters AND we need to be able to cooperate with those with whom we disagree on non-essential matters. What we really need is balance.


Greg,

I generally agree with what you are saying, especially the idea that we use terms as short cuts for explaining more complex ideas. But we must be careful to clarify labels and explain them well to others. For instance, inerrancy, for all its drawbacks is probably the best term. What we haven't done effectively is explain how it applies to Scripture and what is means to affirm or reject it.

The point of my post is that I haven't seen is a definition of "Fundamentalism" that really applies and explains correctly what those who use it are attempting to assert.

You said, "I don't necessarily disagree with Mohler on his view of people not having children possibly being in sin. But to say that out loud means we have to acknowledge that the Roman Catholic view on birth control is probably dead on."

I disagree. The Catholic view I am guessing you are referring to from your further comments is the idea that birth control is inherently wrong. This is not what Mohler believes. He doesn't disagree with the idea of family planning. What he deems "moral rebellion" is entering into a marriage with the preconception that you will not have ANY children EVER, or after becoming married, choosing childlessness as a permanent personal preference.

Finally, I agree with your last two paragraphs, but would add that we must establish what are our shared fundamental beliefs and also fence how far outside of those we are willing to bend when we cooperate.

D.R. said...

Lin,

You said, "Because those abuses concerned real people who had their lives and reputations ruined. They are real people just like Dr. Klouda is a real person who has been wronged merely for being a woman."


Again, how many times do I have to say that I acknowledge there were abuses during the CR before you believe me? The Klouda case is unfortunate and very sad, but it DOES NOT mean that there was not liberalism in the SBC BEFORE the CR that needed to be expelled from the convention. BTW, Lin that statement represents another logical fallacy - a "Red Herring."


You asked, "Are you implying that 'collateral damage' was to be expected?"

No, are you implying that there was either no liberalism in the convention then or that those who signed documents and pledged to teach according to the BF&M should not have been held accountable?


Let's not play the ridiculous question game, Lin. It doesn't change the fact that there were good reasons for the CR (nor does it justify all that was done in the name of Christ during that time).

Tom Parker said...

d.r.,

You sure hate questions, don't you?

D.R. said...

No Tom,

I hate poor logic. And I hate when people try to distract from other's points by using that poor logic. Also, I've answered all the questions that have been asked.

So, let me ask you a question.

Would you agree or disagree that everything I said about what the professors I mentioned above believe and teach is true?

Or asked another way,

Do you deny that there was any liberalism in the SBC before the CR?

Only By His Grace said...

CB.
My DOM is from Alabama. We play golf most weeks and we argue politics all the time, pray a lot together and laugh alot.

I have a weak church in the worst area of Norman. We reach a lot of single parent kids, baptize about fifteen or twenty each year. We feed over thirty families with about a hundred and fifty dollars worth of groceries each month.

Our adults are very loving and I have the best music man in the state whom I hope I never lose. We have worked together here the last thirteen years. God is very good.

Phil.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

I agree the two had different views of King James. Roloff believed King James was better than the original manuscripts. He based it on the first Ten Commandments being destroyed by Moses; and the ‘second’ Ten Commandments were better than the first. Therefore it didn’t matter what manuscript was used for King James because God waited to reveal his perfect Word in English.

Sorry just now getting to this thread.

Holy cow-I have heard a lot of KJ only arguments before but this is scary. Using this kind of analysis you can make anything mean anything.

Btw, Ray Davies is tearing it up on Letterman right now.

Shibboleth,
David Mc

Anonymous said...

OK. guys.
Labels applied to people are useless unless they are specific: Democrat, Republican, Christian, Muslim, Baptist, Catholic all have an agreed on meaning, though some may disagree as to how good a particular person is as one of these. Most commenters here are probably Baptist, though we may disagree as to whether certain others are true Baptists :-).

But liberal, conservative, fundamentalist are thrown about like confetti. Liberal seems to be anyone who doesn't believe something I consider true. Fundamentalist seems to mean (unless self-applied) anyone who holds to a belief or practice I consider weird, extreme, or old-fashioned. Such terms seem useless to me. They're just used to condemn another's viewpoint (though some apparently consider this a valid use).

But I consider it a very valid point that the SBC leadership keeps pushing ideas that are not useful in working together to spread the Good News. They keep narrowing the parameters of acceptability to serve, at least in things they control.

That last word - control - may be the key, though many of you will disagree with my thought that the whole change in the SBC has been about control. I won't argue that issue here, except to say that if you are in power, whenever you exclude people there are then fewer people to dispute your power. For example, if men exclude women from some jobs, that reduces their competition by half.

Many say there was too much freedom before the change, but in that case where do you stop in restricting freedom? Jesus said the truth will set you free, but many seem to think it means their own truth sets them free but does not apply to anyone else.

Jesus prayed that His followers would be one with each other, but we haven't succeeded, have we?

Susie

Rex Ray said...

What happened? When I left for a funeral, I was getting a kiss from Jack Maddox, but when I came back, he said, “Rex, I have to call you on this brother”. CB is saying, “I must rebuke you openly. You are wrong.”
Anna has corrected my story of a priest having a baby; to a pope having a baby. She is correct and I was wrong…I knew all the time she was a pope…don’t know why I said priest. Maybe the same reason Patterson asked my cousin a question.

First I want to apologize to Jack. He said, “Maybe I misunderstood you. Are you saying that AWANA requires the use of the KJV only?”

His was a simple and fair question, and I should have answered: “AWANA does not require the use of the KJV only.”

Instead I wrote: The first year our church started AWANA, our only choice of literature was King James. When I asked the lady [a stranger] who was introducing the program about another translation she snapped at me as if she was a KJV only person, and said there is no other translation. The next year we had a choice of the Holman Bible.”

I knew by the tone of the stranger’s voice, she was not referring to AWANA but to her personal views. The director of our AWANA wanted King James, and told me that was the only translation we could get at the time. I gripped all year, and the next year our church bought King James and the Holman.

I want to explain the situation that Wayne Smith brought out by describing my SS class. Every member is a deacon except one person. Out SS material is King James. I bring my Living Bible that I’ve had 30 plus years. Do you get the picture? Again, I’m sorry.

Rex Ray said...

CB Scott,
You said, “Your cousin did not ‘awaken’ Dr. Patterson to anything.”

OK…I have no problem with that. If you recall, David Spriggs said, “Dr. Patterson…did not use the KJ Bible back then and never advocated the KJV.”

I replied: “I do not disagree with you at all. The logical conclusion of these two ‘conflicting’ stories MAY be that Patterson was so ‘awakened’ by my cousin’s answer that he changed his mind, OR it was just a rash statement he said off the top of his head. The only person who knows why he said it would be Paterson.”

My 83 year old cousin Dan is the easiest going guy you will ever meet. He does not have an axe to grind with Patterson, and this is the only story I’ve heard him and his wife tell which was several years ago. If you want to debate the Bible with him, he always replies, “I don’t argue words.” He took over his father’s work in Korea and retired after 39 years. His son, Mark has been in Australia over 20 years. He is close friends with Jerry Rankin.

CB, now that I’ve been ‘brought up to date, I admit I had the wrong view of what Translation Patterson favored. About a year ago, I asked on Wade’s blog: “Since the SBC has adopted the Holman Bible, what will Patterson believe about the KJV?” or words to that effect. No one answered my question. I even wondered if he had anything to do with changing the girl from dead to alive in Matthew in the Holman since that was the contradiction I had asked about at Prestonwood.

Prestonwood
I got there early to pass out an 8 page article I had written before Patterson started preaching. I put about 400 under windshield wipers before two guys told me I was not allowed to do that. I couldn’t believe they were serious. After much talking I complied with their wishes and retrieved them. I was thinking if I was my brother, I could be spending the night in jail. The title was “Leaders, In Christ Name, May Deceive, and Patterson was the only person to get one.

I missed most of the sermon but stood in line to shake his hand. I told him I had a missionary son in Israel and at the age of 65, I had swum 4 miles across the sea of Galilee, but it took less courage to do that as it did to ask him a question. I opened the Criswell Study Bible to where he had written:

“Harmonization of apparent discrepancies and explanations of passages thought by some to contain error are afforded the reader.”

I said, “I’ve asked many people what this means and nobody has an answer. What does it mean?”

He gave a quick example.

I said, “I mean do the explanations cover all or just part of the discrepancies?”

There was a crowd around us, and he looked at them and said loudly, “We got all of them!”

I said, “We’ve just studied in Sunday School about the ruler’s daughter being dead in Matthew. But Mark and Luke say she’s alive at the time the ruler was talking to Jesus.”

He leaned over and said in my ear, “We got all we could.”

CB, you said, “…he was just simply raggin with you.”

I don’t know what “raggin” means. All he had to do was say ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ It’s obvious he didn’t want to tell the truth. I believe the Bible says to say anything that misleads the truth, is a lie.

I believe what he said in my ear was the truth. If he raged anyone, it would be the crowd around us. They’re the ones that went home that night believing Criswell’s Bible explained ALL the discrepancies.

If Patterson was answering on TV about the “dead” girl, I believe he would have talked a long time. But to me, I was a nobody holding up the line, and the fastest way to get me out of there was the simple truth. We shook hands and that’s when I gave him my paper.

On the first issue, I have two witnesses, and you have an opinion. On the second issue, I was there and you were not. On those grounds, I refuse to be rebuked even from a friend.

Ron said...

D.R.,
I appreciate your response to my challenge to Jack Maddox but I do not believe you have answered it. I was specifically talking about leaders of the SBC and said not some obscure seminary professor. I think everyone you mentioned was a seminary professor and I do not believe any of those mentioned would qualify as a leader of the SBC. I hope that doesn’t offend any seminary professors that are reading this. Some possibly could be leaders. Bill Leonard would probably come closest to being a leader of those you named. Just because someone is a seminary professor doesn’t make him a leader. If you doubt me go to any SBC church and ask the average person in the pew how many seminar professors they can name. Some do have influence on a limited number of pastors or students. There were 400 to 500 seminary professors pre CR and I don’t think there were more than 5 to 10 that had serious charges made against them.
I will nevertheless accept your implied challenge and answer your charges.
First I would question any article by Russell Moore. He is not exactly an unbiased writer and has been known to stretch the truth. Take for example, his claim to have been attacked by a former jman at a meeting of moderates a few years ago. The way he described it you would have thought he needed to spend weeks in the hospital to recover.
I do not believe his statements about Molly Marshall. Here are her words when she tried to answer these charges when they were made against her by Al Mohler when Mohler would not allow her to respond.
In an Aug. 16, 1994, letter to Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr., Marshall said she affirmed each of the articles in the Abstract of Principles, ranging from the Scriptures to the judgment. Marshall signed the principles "in good conscience" as a tenured professor in 1988, she wrote in the letter.
On Article 9 concerning repentance, Marshall stated, "Unrepentant persons who do not experience the conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit and the concomitant transformation of life are spiritually dead in their sins. They will not share in the eternal life granted to those in Christ. Hence, I clearly refute the notion of universalism.'
Under Article 20 on the judgment, she commented, "The judgment is made on this day concerning how an individual has responded to Jesus Christ. One's positive response to him as Christ and Lord determines one's everlasting status, i.e., to life eternal or punishment. I repudiate the idea that all will be saved (universalism)." Marshall concluded the letter to Mohler with the statement, "I concur with the Abstract of Principles and have been teaching faithfully within its framework."

You then quote Alan Neely as a leading figure in the SBC moderate movement. There has never been a “moderate movement” in the SBC. That implies some type of organization or coordination.
I am not sure where the rest of your quotes come from. The statement by someone that until the 80s they never knew a professor who affirmed all of these doctrines, to include the infallibility of the Bible, Virgin Birth of Christ, substitutionary atonement, bodily resurrection of Christ and pre-millenial Second Coming, is garbage. I was a seminary student in the 70s. My professors, such as Jack Gray, Cal Guy, Rush Bush, etc. would not have a problem with these doctrines. I don’t recall all their views on pre-millenialism but the others were affirmed daily by my professors at SWBTS.
I haven’t looked up any quotes by Stagg or Sparkman but I do remember Sparkman was over the line on some of his statements. I would also say that Paul Simmons should have been fired long before he was allowed to retire.
The statement that the books by Tilich, Barth and a host or neo-orthodox or liberal scholars were used EXCLUSIVELY in many classrooms is garbage. When I was in Russ Bush’s class he required us to read a book written by an atheist. Did that mean he promoted atheism?
As far as Shurden and Leonard embracing homosexuality and inclusivism, I doubt it. If by inclusivism you mean the belief that those who have not heard the name of Jesus may have a chance to be saved, as I have heard it used before. That list would also include Billy Graham, C.S. Lewis, Josh McDowell and others.
I repeat my claim that the leaders of the SBC pre CR were not neo-orthodox. In fact I would claim the leaders I named were as conservative theologically as the leaders today if that includes men such as Paige Patterson, Al Mohler and Richard Land. If you want to also include CR leaders such as Ollin Collins, Bill Hancock, Roger Moran and Ron Wilson, I will say they were more conservative pre CR.
D.R. tell us how old you are and where you were in the pre CR SBC.
Ron West

Bryan Riley said...

A few thoughts in general response to this thread, for fun:

1. I'd suggest, stealing a bit from Thomas a Kempis, that it is better to practice Christianity than to know how to define it.

2. Some would argue I am elevating orthopraxy at the expense of orthodoxy. May it never be said. They are a dynamic dualism that cannot and must have one elevated over the other (like faith and works, living water and consuming fire, mercy and justice - all the paradox of God and His ways).

3. I always liked it when challenged by a teacher who believed differently than me. I grew through it. You know, trials do produce fruit.

4. To D.R. I would say that perhaps a fundamentalist is what happens when someone believes they need not listen to the voice of God throught the Holy Spirit any more. They can just rely on their brilliant brain and read the text and eventually know it all. Of course, what this misses is faith and the realization that our brains can't figure out God's mind and that knowing God has nothing to do with academic or factual knowledge.

ml said...

Greg actually it is Holman Christian Standard Bible otherwise known as HCSB or a.k.a. Hard Core Southern Baptist

I stole that from Ed Stetzer

Debbie Kaufman said...

This is the biggest danger of a Fundamentalist. I can hear the view of one who does not agree with Calvinism, I can hear the Biblical evidence they give and I can accept they have this view although I would disagree with them. I might even tell them why I believe what I believe on the subject, but I would not start a war against them, I would not make a move to have them removed from office if they hold one in the SBC, I would rejoice in their desire to be a missionary in the SBC or a trustee somewhere. I would want them to speak in my church. A Fundamentalist on the other hand would let me know their view is not a view but straight from the Bible. They would not speak to me if I did not change my mind or they would keep after me until I did change my mind. If I still did not 'repent' from my view or conviction, they would do everything they could to remove me from fellowship and office. The ends would justify the means, there would be no method off limits. They would refuse any form of communication from me. They would force me out. That is the difference.

Darby Livingston said...

Bryan Riley,

This isn't a personal attack. Do you really mean what you wrote in point four to DR? How exactly does one listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit without the word he inspired and illumines? Do you really believe that faith is increased as biblical understanding decreases? And you really think that knowing factual knowledge gleaned from Scripture does nothing to enhance one's knowledge of God? I hope you can explain this better than it came across in that paragraph. Were you just being sarcastic?

ml said...

I have been watching this thread unravel for a couple of days. For a respite of in-house name calling let me suggest we consider how we appear.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamentalist

It’s always interesting to see how what we might revile against is what we are perceived to be by those observing from the outside. Yea we criticize and label, sometimes even appropriately, but we also forget that the minute our war is with flesh and blood the enemy has taken the upper hand. Most every Southern Baptist, correctly or wrongly, is considered a fundamentalist by the non-religious. We can divide and sub-divide and vigorously attack one another and all the while we forget that our believability is at stake [John 17]. And yet saying this I am the least likely to espouse a fuzzy, postmodern ecumenicalism. But then myopia is a dangerously loved human phenomenon.

greg.w.h said...

ml:

I fundamentally agree with your comments on fundamentalism. :P

I had corrected the word order from Holman Standard Christian Bible to Holman Christian Standard Bible after my initial misusage. Thank you for adding the "HardCore SB" expansion of HCSB. I had not heard that before. Of course...hardcore is only bad when you're talking about pornography, right? ;)

You also said:

And yet saying this I am the least likely to espouse a fuzzy, postmodern ecumenicalism. But then myopia is a dangerously loved human phenomenon.

I think the real question we should ask ourselves is this: To what extent does God accept defective theology as adequate faith in saving people? Because we should be sensitive to the fact that he does not regularly correct wrong theology in miraculous and visible ways. And given some Southern Baptists adherence to cessationist viewpoints, it isn't likely that he WILL intervene (either because they are right in their cessationist beliefs or because their lack of faith impedes miraculous interaction).

Does he intend us, then, to isolate on sharpened di-stink-tives? Or does he intend us to practice a certain amount of give and take? And does he prefer that we are united along lines of give and take or divided along those lines? To what extent is it his intent that we administer doctrinal continuity and doctrinal confirmity? And to what extent is that the job of the Holy Spirit?

Looking at particular examples of correction leaves us with the impression that God's appointed leaders partake actively in correction of the flock. But other examples even show that at times they disagreed.

We act as if this is all completely fathomable with human reasoning and when it fails to fall apart so easily, we tend to rely on spiritual credentials--presumably created at the hands of a Holy Spirit that does not provide further revelation that enhances the Bible nor creates certifying miracles today--or the will of the majority as a proxy for God's more direct leadership. I have to admit that I find little soul satisfaction in either viewpoint and even greater disappointment with the excesses that D.R. mentioned occurred as a result of the CR because of simple lack of restraint (and I acknowledge both sides chose war over peace).

I guess to me the kind of fundamentalism that the world distrusts is the kind I tried to outline earlier. It is self-assured without humility and lacking self-restraint. We should examine ourselves daily and ask if we are like that.

Our ONLY confidence is in Christ Jesus. While our intellects sometimes seek to expand that confidence through all manner of artifice (think the hedging of law by the Pharisees or Bill Goddard's pronouncements on rock music being based on African rhythms under Satan's influence), it is misplaced to put any confidence in intelligence.

And once we start admitting that, then we become approachable and can help other sinners identify first with OUR sin and then secondly with OUR Savior. And in that we become living sacrifices. It's hard to be an arrogant or even a fundamentalist living sacrifice in my opinion. We sacrifice ourselves to being completely God's people in those situation and unless we're willing to be completely poured out--setting aside all of those things of this world we deem important--God may not be able to accomplish what he desires to accomplish. I've been surprised by Him too often to insist that he conform his mind to mine. Instead it is my intent that he transform mine to his so that my living sacrifice can be complete and completely effective.

Greg Harvey

greg.w.h said...

I said

Looking at particular examples of correction leaves us with the impression that God's appointed leaders partake actively in correction of the flock. But other examples even show that at times they disagreed.

I meant to say "particular examples of correction in the Bible and specifically those in the New Testament."

My apologies to Wade for exceeding the speed limit on comments. I just think the discussion is fascinating and deserves our best thought and our best discussion. I've tried to provide that.

Greg Harvey

John Fariss said...

Ron:

You gave an excellent answer to D.R.'s comment. I was thinking of answering it, but you did so much more thoroughly than I could have. I went to SEBTS pre-CR, and I will share this tidbit: we, at times, used textbooks written by Tillich, Barth, etc. We also used books by people like Hobbs and Bloesch. But that did not mean that we were taught their systems as absolute truth. Rather we were being exposed to their thinking in a critical way to have the tools to develop our own perspectives. The aim (explicitly stated during my time there) was so that we would be prepared to be both Biblically informed and intelelctually rigorous, which is why SEBTS's motto/verse was 2 Timothy 3:17--that wasn't adopted post CR, it was their verse many years before. (And please: don't anyone take this as a suggestion that post-CR students are taught differently, or have less intellect, etc., because not having attended any SBC seminary post-CR, I am suggesting nothing about their education.) Case in point: in a New Testament theology class taught by a professor considered quite liberal, we were assigned a paper on the authorship of the Pauline epistles. One student--one who was heavily invested in CR--asked the prof, "What if I think Paul wrote all of them?" His answer was that as long as you come to that conclusion based on logical evidence, that's fine, but if you say Paul was the author because the KJV says or implies he was the author, you won't get a very good grade. He demanded scholarly citations and evidence, which (as I see it) is the purpose of a higher education. I don't know what this other student got on his paper, but I got an "A" on mine, and I took a position much more conservative and tradition that the professor's.

And BTW, re: definitions of Fundamentalist, fundmentalist, conservative, etc.: I suspect that none of us will get very far as long as we use definitions tied to belief, or interpretation of the Scriptures. Don't all of us agree that certain things in the text are meant to be taken literally, others figuratively or allegoricially? It seems to be that meaningful definitions of the terms have to go into sociological concepts, possibly related to Hopewell's work that I brought up on Feb. 18, about a third of the way through this current thread.

truth, not religion said...

To:
Only by His Grace....Phil

Amen! Do you need any staff members?? (I might even volunteer)

:-)

grace
wtreat

sure wish I had an email on you.

Lin said...

"Again, how many times do I have to say that I acknowledge there were abuses during the CR before you believe me?

So, what was done about it? Anything? Any public apologies? Restitution? Back pay? Did anyone even admit to anything?

I see what is happening to Dr. Klouda now and there are people out there who SHOULD be speaking out but are not. Why is that? Because winning and keeping power is more important than one woman Hebrew professor in the Body of Christ. That is why.

God is Sovereign, DR. He WILL get His Work done with or without the SBC. We do not have to litter the way with bodies to do it.

A reading of scripture shows me that ONE lone sheep was very important to HIM! How quickly we forget all the 'one anothers' in scripture.

Bryan Riley said...

Darby, I don't take it as a personal attack at all. Thank you for the question. I appreciate that someone read what I wrote and that it raised questions in their mind.

I wasn't being sarcastic and I meant what I wrote, but of course it can be unpacked quite a bit and can apparently be very misinterpreted because the way you characterize it is not at all what I meant. It probably just shows how difficult it is to communicate something briefly on a blog comment. I really don't know from where you took the notion that I was trying to say faith increases as biblical knowledge decreases. Where I mention faith I am talking about the fact that if we truly could know all we needed to know we would no longer need faith and would be like unto gods ourselves, which is likely part of the reason why God has only revealed things in part and asked us to trust Him.

Part of what i was saying is that knowledge of the letter, without spiritual understanding (through the Holy Spirit) is worthless. you know, a natural man cannot understand the things of the Spirit. Another part of what I was saying is that God still speaks to people today, something with which I know some people disagree.

Clearly, factualy knowledge is important and I realize you don't know me, but those who do would know that I strongly believe in being a great student of the bible(for those who can), but I was simply trying to demonstrate that there is a huge difference between academic knowledge and personal knowledge. I can know all the facts about my wife: her birthday, her eye color, her hair, her clothing sizes, her personality, etc., but still not really know her. Many languages have two different verbs for knowing - knowing facts and knowing personally. I'd argue that knowing God personally is the goal; knowing facts about Him is only one of the means to that end.

Lin said...

Ron West,

What you have written is exactly what I have seen and heard myself concerning the CR and SBTS.

And I totally agree about Moore. Someone recently sent me an article he wrote a few years ago about complimentarians being too feministic and argued that we need to become more patriarchal. (It was only a matter of time) The guy is scary.

Lin said...

"And you really think that knowing factual knowledge gleaned from Scripture does nothing to enhance one's knowledge of God? "

Paul Washer says something similar. We can know scripture and have lots of knowledge about God without having the power of the Holy Spirit. Knowledge of God (through scripture) does not mean salvation. Satan knows scripture and a lot about God, too.

Bryan Riley said...

Thanks, Lin. I meant to add that as well. I didn't want to write a treatise here, but I also wanted to give people something to think about.

Darby Livingston said...

Bryan,

Thanks for the gracious response. I am happy to see you meant what I was hoping you meant. :) I wasn't trying to sharpshoot you at all, and agree with your further explanation. There are those in our culture who are loosy-goosy with doctrine and undermine the sufficiency of Scripture with their ideas of faith and Spirit. That's why I asked.

Wayne Smith said...

Bryan Riley,

Thank you for being one who walks and talks in the Spirit of Jesus Christ and your Witness..
Some people don’t know what about 18 inches means. There is about 18 inches between the Head and the Heart. A Spirit filled Christian has Heart Knowledge instead of Head Knowledge.

In His Name
Wayne Smith

Only By His Grace said...

Ron,

Thank you for you excellent comments about the professors at SWBTS pre-1980.

I graduated from Ok. B. U. in '66 and from SWBTS in Dec. '70. I was a pre-mil. Dispensationalist. back then, still am. Here are some of the profs I had who were like the ones you mentioned (Cal Guy, Jack Grey in Missions); add to them ones I had when I was there:

Dr. Tolar, Dr. Estep, Dr. Curtis Vaughan, Dr. David Garland, Dr. Patterson, Dr. Northcutt, Dr. Tidwell, Dr. Baker, Dr. Roy Fish, Dr. McGorman, Dr. Seigler, Dr. Drakeford, and a few others. All these men were well with in orthodox and believed the fundamentals of our faith.

I had Dr. Hendricks for Systematic and Dr. Newport for Phil. of Religion, but I never heard anything from them which would indicate neo-orthodoxy.

We studied passages in the both the Old and New Testament that were and are questioned by many scholars, but they never personally defended these.

All were a-mil (counting historical pre-mil as a-mil such as Dr. Vaughan) and no dispensationalist on faculty which I did not mind. If they could knock my position, it deserved to be knocked. With some I would argue and fight, but they were always respectful to me a person and a student.

Phil in Norman.

Only By His Grace said...

Wtreat ("truth, not religion"),

Come on. We have two miles of solid apartment complexes going direct south. Talk about a mission field. Our county is the most un-churched county in Oklahoma. I know Stillwater is full of pagan heathen, but this is ridiculous.

Phil in Norman

Dave Miller said...

Back to the original point of the post, and referencing Debbie's comment.

I wish we would not use the word Fundamentalist in this regard. I know that is impossible. Just to the right of my monitor, I have a four volume set called "The Fundamentals." It was first published in 1917, during the modernist controversy, and attempted to define the core of Christian truth that was "fundamental" to biblical Christianity and to the gospel.

Those who adhered to these became "fundamentalists."

That the term fundamentalist has come to describe legalists and people who make a moral issue of King Jimmy (we're old friends - grew up together) is a shame.

It is such a great word. Every one of us should be proud to be described as fundamentalists. The silly-legalism branch of Christianity has co-opted a word that once had a noble meaning.

Oh well, you can unring the bell, I guess.

Dave Miller said...

Sorry, "you can't unring the bell."

Dave Miller said...

Phil, you and I may be last dispensationalists left in captivity.

truth, not religion said...

To Phil in Norman,

I am familiar with some of that area.

In 1970 I played in a high school rock and roll band under the water tower in Moore by I-35. In 1978-79 I helped build Quail Springs Mall and Heritage Park Mall, helped build the observation tower for the railroad at the GM plant and other things during the boom in OKC. I Lived in the OKC area from 78-81.

Now am 400 miles north and freezing. Am trying to get the wife to move south where it is warmer.

pray brother, pray.

grace
wtreat

A term I formed in seminary after I was called a fundy one day and 10 minutes later was called a liberal.

"a liberated fundalmentalist that is moderately conservative."

Actually, i am so conservative I squeek when I walk!

Anonymous said...

So...Every pastor in the whole cotton-pickin' world quotes, "if thine eye offends you cut it out".. More than 1/3 of Christianity Today-reading pastors have admitted to using internet pornography ( and that's just the CT-reading ones that bothered to respond to the poll -- the real number is probably much higher,)Why in the world are more people not ridding themselves of the TV? While it is considered irresponsible and even abusive to allow a teenager to drive while drunk, why do we allow them to watch what we KNOW will cause them temptation ( much less adults?) Why is it ridiculous to s-u-g-g-e-s-t we rid our homes of this?
If you have the convictions of homeschooling, eating healthfully, and not watching t.v. ( name three shows that don't violate some of God's laws--I mean, I forgot, what is the Southern Baptist rule for the number of OMG's or G-D's before it's not a GOOD movie.."it was just a quick scene and I closed my eyes") --Really, isn't that a straw man argument?!? Are you a legalistic fundamentalist if you humbly reject this way-- and believe that it is required of Chritians to be set apart as holy? When people mock you and try to tell you that you are wrong and that you need to be "mainstream" aren't THEY the legalistic fundamentalists?
Any absolutes here???

Bryan Riley said...

Anonymous, I think your ideas are fantastic and many if not all would be wise to abide thereby, but to require it of others is a step that not even God Himself wrote down for us. Therefore, it would be wiser of you to do that in your own life since you clearly have a conviction of it, live a life of love, when urged to do so by the Spirit let others know your own personal application, humbly admitting that you do this out of your own weakness, and allow the Holy Spirit to work out that scripture you quote into others' lives as the Spirit leads them to do.

Bryan Riley said...

Moreover, if one were convicted to throw away one's TV because of the weakness one has for watchign things one shouldn't, that individual probably shouldn't have a computer that can connect to the internet.

Bryan Riley said...

As for absolutes, I think we can absolutely say that God is just, God is merciful, God is faithful, God is love, God is gracious, God is kind, God is great, God is. And He is every aspect of His character not just today, and not just yesterday, but forever. He also is all of those things to the infinite degree.

Does anyone else find it somewhat ironic that a book on the fundamentals involves four volumes??

Rex Ray said...

Debbie Kaufman,
I agree with you 100% when you wrote on February 20: “A fundamentalist on the other hand would let me know their view is not a view but straight from the Bible.”

What you said is echoed by the Baptist Standard (November 11, 1998) in quoting the statement by the President, Miles Seaborn, of the SBTC: “Every one of us is a warrior to preserve God’s inerrant word and he would not give another nickel of his tithe to anywhere he thought was ungodly.”

Also, their Executive Director, Jim Richards was quoted: “Theological agreement will be the first foundation of the new Convention. Those who depart theologically will be identified and called to repent. To the foes of SBTC, we say, we’re not in competition with you, but we’ve been called to contrast you.”

To those that do not agree with their view, it looks like the SBTC is saying they are foes, ungodly, will be identified, called to repent, and contrasted.

Debbie, with this type of leadership in the SBC (Richards is now Vice President), what do you think will be the chance of cooperation?

Rex Ray said...

Jack Maddox,.
CB and I are friends again, but I was wondering about you. You told Wade, “Big hugs for all and a big kiss on the cheek for Rex!”

After I made an unclear reply to you, you said, “Rex, I have to call you on this brother.”

I apologized, and clarified my statement. I have turned my cheek for another kiss, but I guess the “guy in the red convertible” got it. smile

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