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The Hypocrisy of Contemporary “Conservative” Evangelicalism

Many young fundamentalists vocalize their hatred for the errors of fundamentalism, especially concentrating on Jack Hyles, bad preaching, shallow evangelism, political bullying, and standards pushed with little to no exegetical basis.   They also decry the excesses and abuses of revivalistic practices.  Of course, at the top they spew venom against the exclusive use of the King James Version.  They are angry and they’re not going to put up with it anymore.

One repercussion of the above mentioned items is the pendulum swing over to the “conservative evangelicals” by these young or youngish fundamentalists.   Certain evangelicals provide a perfect shelter for runaway fundamentalists.  They provide an almost perfect checklist for youngfundamentalist-matchmade.com.  And the fundamentalist will defend his new asylum with the fervor of a revivalist.

Why the Loyalty to “Conservative Evangelicals”?

I believe that much of the new loyalty to these evangelicals is fueled by the fundamentalist seminaries.  The seminary professors there aren’t as critical of the evangelicals as they are of fundamentalism.   They see, I believe, violations of their own principles or at least preferences to a much greater degree among fundamentalists than they do among the so-called conservative evangelicals.  They feel more comfortable with evangelicals than they do fundamentalists.  You catch this mood by the way these fundamentalist professors and presidents talk about these evangelicals and the great respectfulness they talk to them.

By the way, what conservative evangelical, who young fundamentalists love, has a small church?  Interesting.  They are drawn to those with earthly success.  Success isn’t justified by numbers, right?  That’s one thing we hate, right?  The numbers game.   But they like the guys that got big.  How did they get big?  What did they do to get that way?  This is all tell-tale in what is happening within this movement.

There is now underway a movement toward giving a new label to conservative evangelicals.  They’re now paleofundamentalists.  They are fundamentalists of the old stripe of fundamentalism, who fought mainly for the fundamentals, and we’re talking now 75 to 100 years ago.  These historic fundamentalists supposedly remained indifferent to anything that fell below a major doctrine (the fundamentals).   And I’m just reporting what I’m reading.

The feelings of the refugees from fundamentalism also are stirred by the published authorship of the conservative evangelicals.  They pump out books.  The fundamentalist fugitives read and study their books in seminary classes.   They then think:  “if we are so impressed with their books, then why is it that we don’t just join them.”  The lists of recommended reading are almost entirely evangelical—hardly anything of fundamentalism.  I recognize fundamentalists haven’t written much, but it’s still an elephant in the fundamentalist seminary class room.

Disapproval of “Conservative Evangelicals”

Very little critical is said of the conservative evangelicals.  Only recently has any popular evangelical been the target of any fundamentalist denunciation—the one guy is Mark Driscoll.  Driscoll had been constantly beloved in fundamentalist writings, only with minor disclaimer for potential future deniability.  John MacArthur and Phil Johnson granted permission to fundamentalists to join the opprobrium of Driscoll.  He had broken MacArthur’s and Johnson’s rules of decorum, so everyone was now welcome to start shelling Driscoll with them.  MacArthur and Driscoll started pummeling Driscoll a few months ago and now it is open season on Driscoll.  Even John Piper has come out in vintage Piperesque fashion to talk about the good spanking he was going to give Driscoll while they remained in fellowship together.  (I believe that this is an example of how evangelicals separate.  They write essays and make statements.)

I would like to begin to illustrate to you the hypocrisy of this crowd of people, the conservative evangelicals.  Beyond Driscoll, the fundamentalists can’t seem to see the hypocrisy.  That is a kind of hypocrisy in itself.  There’s also the hypocrisy of seeing all the foibles in most of fundamentalism with very little about evangelicalism.  But before I start exposing this problem, I’d like to expose some Scripture that applies to the problem.  I want us to think together about a segment of Romans 15.

Romans 15:15-21

Here’s the text so you won’t need to look it up:

15  Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God, 16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. 17 I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God. 18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, 19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation: 21 But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.

I recognize that with a passage of scripture like this in an essay, there’s a tendency for your eyes to avert the passage and go to what I’m saying about it, even evangelicals and young fundamentalists who are reading.  Let’s make sure to read through the text.  I mean, you want to, right?  At least to check me out, to see if I’m treating the text correctly?

The “grace of God” had a certain effect on Paul (v. 15).   And we see in v. 16 that the grace was available to him to minister the gospel of God to the Gentiles, and not just in any way.  The grace of God worked toward the result of these Gentiles being an acceptable offering up to God.  And then he goes to elaborate on that in the next few verses.

This is what the young fundamentalists miss about the conservative evangelicals.  The conservative evangelicals like to talk about the grace of God, but they are as guilty as the Hyles’ people and the revivalists at manipulation in order to get their results.  The reason they’re big is not the grace of God.  The grace of God operates in a different way than what we see with them.  If it is the grace of God, then it will look like what we see Paul describe in Romans 15.  What does characterize a work of God?

The Instrumentality

In v. 17, Paul says that Jesus is glorified “in those things which pertain to God.”  The instrument of the glory of Jesus Christ is something that is God.  Paul wanted a result that he could give God as an offering (v. 16).  The second “ministering” in v. 16 is a word that applies to the sacrificial service of the priest, speaking of priestly offerings.  The word “sanctified” is a form of the word “holy.”

Jesus is glorified in a work, when it pertains to God.  Works that don’t pertain to God, but pertain to human techniques and strategies, these are by nature unholy.  They’re profane or common—they don’t pertain to God.   The work produces sacredness in its adherents because it is sacred itself.

We see constant man-made, worldly techniques in the work of John Piper.   A recent Calvinist publication reveals this with a review by Peter Masters (you’ve got to read this whole article), the pastor of Spurgeon’s church, the Metropolitan Tabernacle:

The author begins by describing the Passion, conference at Atlanta in 2007, where 21,000 young people revelled in contemporary music, and listened to speakers such as John Piper proclaiming Calvinistic sentiments. And this picture is repeated many times through the book – large conferences being described at which the syncretism of worldly, sensation-stirring, high-decibel, rhythmic music, is mixed with Calvinistic doctrine.

We are told of thunderous music, thousands of raised hands, ‘Christian’ hip-hop and rap lyrics (the examples seeming inept and awkward in construction) uniting the doctrines of grace with the immoral drug-induced musical forms of worldly culture.

Masters does more than report what is happening, when he diagnoses:

Indeed, a far better quality Calvinism still flourishes in very many churches, where souls are won and lives sanctified, and where Truth and practice are both under the rule of Scripture. Such churches have no sympathy at all with reporter Collin Hansen’s worldly-worship variety, who seek to build churches using exactly the same entertainment methods as most charismatics and the Arminian Calvary Chapel movement.

The new Calvinists constantly extol the Puritans, but they do not want to worship or live as they did. One of the vaunted new conferences is called Resolved, after Jonathan Edwards’ famous youthful Resolutions (seventy searching undertakings). But the culture of this conference would unquestionably have met with the outright condemnation of that great theologian.

Masters doesn’t leave it alone to Piper.  He goes after another fundamentalist icon, John MacArthur, with this further criticism:

Resolved is the brainchild of a member of Dr John MacArthur’s pastoral staff, gathering thousands of young people annually, and featuring the usual mix of Calvinism and extreme charismatic-style worship. Young people are encouraged to feel the very same sensational nervous impact of loud rhythmic music on the body that they would experience in a large, worldly pop concert, complete with replicated lighting and atmosphere. At the same time they reflect on predestination and election. Worldly culture provides the bodily, emotional feelings, into which Christian thoughts are infused and floated. Biblical sentiments are harnessed to carnal entertainment. (Pictures of this conference on their website betray the totally worldly, showbusiness atmosphere created by the organisers.)

I’ve been talking about this for awhile, engendering hatred from younger and even older fundamentalists.  They don’t want to hear it.  Their guy exposits well.  He doesn’t use the King James Version.  They show a high degree of shallowness and an almost complete lack of discernment in their evaluation of Piper and MacArthur.  They might listen now that Masters has said something, but they have been extolling them despite these things and have pushed Piper and MacArthur.  It will come across as disingenuous now—Johnny come lately.  Jesus is not glorified.

Piper and MacArthur like to connect themselves to the Puritans, but they are so far away from much of what the Puritans wrote.  They work in those things which “pertain to men,” that “pertain to sinful culture,” that “pertain to worldliness.”  It doesn’t produce something different than the world.  It produces a more conservative version of the world, but not something separate.  Piper and MacArthur neither preach separation.  They don’t practice separation.  They don’t produce separatists, that is, they don’t produce sanctification through the Spirit.

If you read Johnson carefully over at his blog Pyromaniacs, you will hear him say that how good men are in the pulpit, speaking of their communication skills and ability to connect through their speech, being what yields success.  It’s blatant revivalism.  The other Pyromaniacs glory in their rock music and their knowledge of contemporary culture.  They don’t like the degree that Driscoll gets to, but they do movie reviews and often quote rock music lyrics from godless pagans who hate God.  Much more could be said and be given in example, but Jesus is glorified with things that pertain to God.   Those things do not pertain to God.

Pastor Peter Masters doesn’t even leave out Together for the Gospel, when he writes:

A final sad spectacle reported with enthusiasm in the book is the Together for the Gospel conference, running from 2006. A more adult affair convened by respected Calvinists, this nevertheless brings together cessationists and non-cessationists, traditional and contemporary worship exponents, and while maintaining sound preaching, it conditions all who attend to relax on these controversial matters, and learn to accept every point of view. In other words, the ministry of warning is killed off, so that every -error of the new scene may race ahead unchecked. These are tragic days for authentic spiritual faithfulness, worship and piety.

True Calvinism and worldliness are opposites. Preparation of heart is needed if we would search the wonders and plumb the depths of sovereign grace.

We have to have Peter Masters write these things because fundamentalists won’t.  You don’t hear Kevin Bauder or Dave Doran or anyone of the separatist fundamentalists.  When you do hear a few men saying things in their midst, small church pastors, they are savaged.  It’s a sad time when the things which pertain to man are acceptable to us, especially since they aren’t approved by God.

Extra: Others, including myself, have been saying the same thing as Masters for awhile.   We see Peter Masters’ review article is linked at Scott Aniol’s Religious Affections and then at SharperIron.  I’m interested in hearing how they’ll react with someone saying exactly what myself and others of the supposed lunatic fringe have been saying. Maybe it will be “right” now.  I’m pointing out the political nature of fundamentalism—in so many cases it isn’t WHAT is being said, but WHO is saying it.  Truth is truth.

Extra #2: Phil Johnson gave Greg Linscott a quote over at SharperIron in response to Peter Masters’ article.  Here’s my take on Phil’s comment.  He starts with introductory words of respect for Peter Masters.  By the time he’s done, writing on and on, the words of respect are lost.  His comment, in my opinion, is condescending to Masters.  I noticed two other aspects.  First, he makes reference to Greg Linscott’s note to him and says he agrees that NO ONE is saying the things that Masters is saying (which, of course, means that he has a private interpretation of matters—anyone can see he is saying this—this is where he starts tearing apart Masters’ article, while feigning that he isn’t).   Second, the respect he does have for Masters is based on his success, his numbers, that the auditorium is full.  Here are the exact words:

[H]e took a historic but nearly-dead congregation and shepherded it through a season of growth and fruitful evangelism, so that it is now full every Sunday, I think he is entitled to speak his mind on the worship issue.

This smacks of new measure Finneyism.  It is a perfect example of what I’ve talked about regarding these evangelicals.  They talk against revivalism, but they deal like revivalists.

(to be continued)

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Categories: Brandenburg, Culture, Revival
  1. June 9, 2009 at 8:30 pm | #1

    Kent,

    Sure, there are some who do defend the conservative evangelicals to a fault. But the elephant in the room is that if we agreed with them completely, we wouldn’t be calling ourselves young *fundamentalists.* We call ourselves fundamentalists because we are fundamentalists and we see some weaknesses in even the most conservative Evangelicals.

    The older Fundamentists have a golden opportunity to regain credibility by admitting the problems in Fundamentalism and joining the fight against them. Instead, they are playing petty games and politics… and bashing the conservative Evangelicals.

  2. June 9, 2009 at 11:20 pm | #2

    Jason,

    Are you really fundamentalists if you follow the false worship practice of conservative evangelicals? I’m just asking. I can be happy about some appreciating the doctrine of separation, but we won’t be there much longer with the way we see things going.

  3. June 10, 2009 at 2:11 pm | #3

    Exactly who do the “older Fundamentalists” need to “regain credibility” with.

    It is a major presumption that the “older Fundamentalists” have lost credibility (with anyone that matters anyway).

    We “older Fundamentalists” have not moved in our positions. The so called Young Fundamentalists may not like those “ancient landmarks,” but it is they that seek to find acceptance while seeking to establish a broadening theological inclusivism. The point is they have moved away from Fundamentalism (if they were ever really there) into Evangelicalism, which has always been where they are now regarding theological inclusivism.

    They want to be known as Young Fundamentalists because the old fundamental churches won’t have them as pastors if they call themselves Evangelicals and try to redefine Fundamentalism. Inclusivists always want to be included even when they are being illusive and deceptive about their theological positions.

    • artdunham
      June 14, 2009 at 2:23 pm | #4

      Brother Ketchum,

      I am not a “YF” nor do I call myself a Fundamentalist. Mainly I don’t call my self a Fundamentalist because I don’t know what it is. This is no new situation. There are at least 57 different kinds of Fundamentalists in this country. I think every doctrine of Scripture is important, and the “fundamentals” are just enough to be saved, not to label myself.

      Let me field the question you asked about the older Fundamentalists. The older Fundamentalists who turned a blind eye to the false doctrines of Hyles, et al; the Fundamentalists who allowed a child molestor to re-gain prominence and even become a “missionary”; the Fundamentalists who tolerate bad doctrines at Bible Colleges because they have good “standards”; the Fundamentalists that can’t have a serious conversation about the preservation of Scripture because they are too busy accusing you of not believing the Bible; – All of these older “Fundamentalists” should have had their feet held to the fire, but…

      An example of this is Brother Sweatt’s message at the FBFI meeting. He said there were “excesses” by some of the brethren who may have been “larger than life” but that no one who was not living through those days has a right to criticize Hyles, etc. He then criticizes Spurgeon, A.T. Pierson, etc. Brother Sweatt is older than I am (51) but not old enough to have lived through those days.

      He also lamented that we didn’t have some of these “larger than life” men to emulate today. God grant that their kind never return, but I’m sure they will.

      I agree with Brother Kent completely about the hypocrisy of the CE crowd, but the “Fundamentalist” crowd may have invented it. In case you’re wondering, I am an Independent Baptist preacher who is neither Calivinistic nor Armenian. I believe the Word of God. I believe repentance is more than saying “yes” between bites of corn flakes, and I believe that the biggest problem in most IFB churches is lost members on the role.

      We can argue with Jason about this, but he is right about the lack of real Bible preaching that exalts the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Fundamentalist ranks.

  4. June 10, 2009 at 5:44 pm | #5

    Lance,

    I think you would know more about the things you said than what I do. I would say that I don’t know what older fundamentalists think about the things of what I’ve written about above, except for you and Don Johnson. They probably lack an online presence, which isn’t necessary, since the church is the pillar and ground. Thanks for your comment.

  5. June 10, 2009 at 5:59 pm | #6

    Kent:

    I am not thoroughly familiar with you or this site, but I do appreciate much of what you noted in this article. I only had time for a quick perusal, but you have addressed a number of the concerns I have raised elsewhere only to get the Swiss cheese treatment for my efforts.

    You wrote, “We have to have Peter Masters write these things because fundamentalists won’t. You don’t hear Kevin Bauder or Dave Doran or anyone of the separatist fundamentalists. When you do hear a few men saying things in their midst, small church pastors, they are savaged. It’s a sad time when the things which pertain to man are acceptable to us, especially since they aren’t approved by God.

    There are, of course, some separatist fundamentalists who will and do say these things. Likewise to Masters coming out on the “conservative” evangelicals, it had to be John MacArthur to be the first to ring loud-and-clear the alarm bells on Mark Driscoll’s filthy speech patterns. To date you can find barely a whisper of protest or concern from men in IFB circles. Even after MacArthur ran his series on Driscoll it got almost no attention at IFB blogs.

    If you aren’t Dr. Master’s (or a man of like pedigree) and you raise these concerns you can be sure the hot-lead is going come flying in from every direction. That was my experience when I posted articles and/or commentary (at another blog) expressing my concerns from a Scriptural standpoint on MacArthur’s Resolved Conference and Driscoll’s “corrupt communication” (Eph. 4:29).

    There are IFB Evangelists (Eph. 4:11-12) I know personally who will not hesitate to speak out on these disturbing trends just as Masters did. They have their own sphere of influence and ministries in which they will from a Bible-based foundation. What you won’t see is these men doing it at Sharper Iron because they would be, as you wrote, “savaged” and (if I may) jack-hammered for their efforts.

    It is amazing to me how so many of the YF who gravitate toward the so-called “conservative” evangelicals and will allow for and tolerate their disturbing practices that they would never allow for, tolerate or be able to get away with in their own IFB ministries. They tout and endorse the books and preaching of the “conservative” evangelicals, but rarely do you hear a strong word of caution about their Youth (Rock) concerts and the charismatic leanings of a certain star (John Piper) in the “conservative” evangelical camp.

    Thanks again for this article.

    LM

  6. June 10, 2009 at 7:29 pm | #7

    Not all YF’s follow the same “practices of worship.” The point is, many are running as fast as they can from what the older Fundamentalists did. If you guys want any influence on these YF’s, you have to get to the point of understanding what really drives them and I am convinced that very few older Fundamentalists do.

    If, on the other hand, you don’t care about influencing them, that is your choice. But they are the kids in your youth group. They are your preacher boys. You must either understand them or lost them. It’s your call.

  7. Joshua
    June 10, 2009 at 8:10 pm | #8

    I’ll throw in my 2c as a young man in an IFB church here.

    Why should Pastor’s here be trying to have an influence on these “Young Fundamentalists”? They are supposed to be influencing young men in their churches, not trying to sway an aggregated mass of online malcontents.

    Now the young men group together (Scripture has nothing positive to say about the grouping of youthful folly) and swap opinions on doctrine and their elders/church leaders. It just so happens that they’ve gone outside of their church and picked the conservative evangelicals as their new teachers.

    If they think that is Biblical and wise, then let them do so. The point of this post seems more exposure of error and hypocrasy then an attempt at persuasion.

  8. Joshua
    June 10, 2009 at 8:28 pm | #9

    I feel like the shifting of the “YF” is better likened to the exodus of children from the faith. Scores of children raised in Christian families see hypocrisy and dead “faith”, want nothing to do with it and walk off into the world. The parents share a significant part of this blame

    In the same way, much of the way in which these young people will walk depends upon the Pastor, the men of the church and the spirit of the Church. If the Pastor and church invests and teaches these young men, then most should resist the siren of the neo’s. If all the young men are seeing is hypocrisy and weakness, then little wonder if they walk into the arms of Driscoll et al.

    This is the beauty of the “I” in IB. Individual families have massive influence upon their children. Individual churches have massive influence upon their young men. If they are wise, they’ll warn them against inter-church youthful association and education. Here in Australia many IFB youth are plagued by a forum called “Give Me Truth”. It’s a mess of confusion and mixed messages as they try and trash out truth in an arena of youthful ingorance unchecked by parents and Pastor. The worst elements of our churches gain the loudest voices there, with massive post counts on every topic under the sun that wouldn’t gain them a lick of credbility if folks knew who they really were.

    If Pastor’s do their work and train their men and church properly, I think you can avoid this stuff. I don’t think that trying to understand and win back the YF crowd that are now walking in their own wisdom is the key. That battle was lost in individual churches a long time ago.

  9. June 10, 2009 at 11:16 pm | #10

    Joshua,

    You have demonstrated my point exactly. Your explanation of why YF’s are what they are demonstrates that you do not understand the concerns of the YF’s.

    When I talked about influence, my point was that the older Fundamentalists’ churches are breeding YF’s every day. The kids you are seeing saved and discipled now will be YF’s in a few years because as these young people are growing, they are starting to ask questions and then many of them are leaving. Some will give up on fundamentalism and go to Hillsong. Some will will not give up on fundamentalism and will become YF’s.

  10. June 10, 2009 at 11:21 pm | #11

    And by the way, Joshua, the fear of open discussion you demonstrate in your comments about GMT is the exact thing which is driving these young people away.

    (BTW, I responded to that old post finally. Sorry for the delay bro.)

  11. Joshua
    June 11, 2009 at 5:53 am | #12

    Well, I partly agree with you Jason.

    Kids raised in a Christian home who get or see no answers to their questions from their parents will almost invariably look elsewhere. I guess if that’s what you think the Old Fundamentalists Pastors are doing then yeah, folks will get discontented and look elsewhere. I’ve only ever seen up close 1 IB church, the one I’m currently in, because I’m ex Baptist Union.

    I don’t think that’s what you’re getting at though. You’re trying to link old Pastor’s rejections of your new winds of doctrine, then pin the change on that. The Pentecostal says we aren’t growing because we don’t have their “inspiring worship”. The Young Fundagelical says we have problems because we won’t drop the King James and praise the Lord for androgyny in dress. In each case the blame is pinned on whatever false belief the other happens to have that we haven’t accepted.

    I see you are familiar with GMT. It isn’t a great move of the Holy Spirit to congregate the young and foolish outside of their coverings. You have no Scripture for it, while there is plenty of Scripture (and example) against it. I don’t fear open discussion, it’s just that GMT is an unBiblical medium for it. SI seems another example of the same problem, just with a few years added to it. It is rife with hypocrisy, which is being exposed here.

    Young Fundamentalists are doing all their associating online, and choosing new leaders to follow. Heaping scorn and contempt on current Fundamentalists while turning a blind eye to their new Evangelical teachers just shows how little of this is a noble stand for Biblical truth. It’s classic itching ears.

    Thanks for the response, I’ll have a read.

  12. June 11, 2009 at 6:22 am | #13

    Defining the issues of Young Fundamentalism is really quite simple. The issue is not their right to ask questions. The issue is that they ask questions to merely be questioning everything. The point is they do not want the “old” answers. They want “new” answers. They want more tolerant answers. They want more permissive answers.

    That means they want answers that are less militant and not dogmatic. These are two terms that Young Fundamentalists hate: MILITANT & DOGMATISM. Another word they hate is the word HERETIC or its derivative, HERESY. This is especially true when dealing with issues of worldly music and Reformed Theology (in its many degrees). These MUST be issues we are allowed to disagree on, but must be agreeable in our disagreement (in other words, we must be hypocritical in our disagreement).

    Young Fundamentalists want to be heard. Let me take that one step further; Young Fundamentalists DEMAND being heard. They want RANK and VOICE equal to men who have earned RANK and VOICE. There is a disgusting arrogance among Young Fundamentalists for anyone that will not allow them to question everything and challenge anyone. Granted, they certainly have the right to question and challenge, but their arrogance and disrespect is almost unbearable.

    As for the issue of “keeping” Young Fundamentalist, I merely ask why would we cater to such nonsense. It is covertly divisive and overtly destructive to the ministry of a local church. Yes, there is always a tension in the discipleship process, but there must also be a degree of trust and submission. There must be an acknowledgment that the person doing the discipleship might actually know more than I do and, therefore, I should listen instead of merely question everything.

    I am 62 years old and have spent 40 years of my life on this BATTLEFIELD. Yet, there are certain men, when I have the opportunity to spend time with them, I ask questions and merely listen taking notes. I do not ask questions to merely question their beliefs. I ask questions to UNDERSTAND what they believe and why they believe it.

    In fact, I think I can honestly say that I try to do that with anyone I talk to, young or old. However, after 40 years of in depth study of the Scriptures, there are some things that people say that are just too incredulous to give any credibility. The difficulty is trying to be patient enough with their ignorance to take the time necessary to try to correct it.

    There is no one more difficult to help on their journey to the knowledge of Truth than the person who is sure he has already arrived at his destination. I am still on the journey and so I still give ear to credible sources who have proved themselves credible. However, being tolerant of the TEMPER TANTRUM mentality we see in this dynamic really tries my patience to its extremes.

  13. June 11, 2009 at 7:24 am | #14

    Brother Ketchum:

    You wrote, “Young Fundamentalists want to be heard. Let me take that one step further; Young Fundamentalists DEMAND being heard. They want RANK and VOICE equal to men who have earned RANK and VOICE. There is a disgusting arrogance among Young Fundamentalists for anyone that will not allow them to question everything and challenge anyone. Granted, they certainly have the right to question and challenge, but their arrogance and disrespect is almost unbearable.

    This is the sentiment among many of the mature men in the IFB camp. Not a select few, but many.

    Several men have told me that they see these angry YF’s behaving with the very elitism, arrogance, intolerance and harshness they (the YF) bitterly criticize departed me from our IFB heritage.

    I recall one of them, in the recent flare-up, complaining that he saw no room for himself in the leadership of the FBFI so he won’t join. Earn it! That kind of whining reminds me of the local TV commercial, J. G. Wentworth, “It’s my money and I want it now.”

    A pastor I know coined the term, “The Way Up is Down.”

    Lou

  14. June 11, 2009 at 7:08 pm | #15

    @ Lance Ketchum,

    I’m sure what you are describing does happen and may be your experience with the YF’s. But I would encourage you to consider that perhaps your world view colours the way you interpret the YF’s. If you truly understood how the YF’s think, I find it hard to believe you would conclude what you’ve posted above.

    I’ll give you a few thoughts. If your view of us seems to contradict these statements, I would encourage you to go back and reconsider your view of us. These statements are of course generalisations.

    -We have a deep love and respect for the older generation. That’s why we engage them instead of walking away from them.
    -We desire to engage the older men respectfully. If at times we come across otherwise, it is often because we feel betrayed by the older generation or we feel like we’ve been backed into a corner and the only option is to strongly defend the truth (of course sometimes it’s just that we’re being fleshly).
    -We do not like the word “militant,” but only because it gives the mental image of someone looking for a fight. We believe that John Piper and John MacArthur are the ones doing battle royal for the faith right now while our own Fundamentalist leaders are fighting over little things like pants on women.
    -We do not like the word “dogmatic” because it implies that we’re not approachable and that we concede no gray areas of difficult interpretation. When it comes to the Fundamentals, we are dogmatic and sometimes the older men are the subject of our dogmatism.
    -We tend to shy away from the word “heresy” in favour of the term “false teaching” because the word has strong Roman Catholic overtones, but weak biblical basis. The KJV (a good translation) only uses the term once and that not referring to false teaching.

    Sir, I do not know you but if you have been in the battle for 40 years, I’m sure you have much to contribute to the younger men. If you could come to a point of truly understanding the YF’s, no doubt many of us could more easily benefit from your experience and wisdom.

    @ Joshua

    I don’t hold to any “new winds of doctrine.” I’m am a fellow Independent Baptist Fundamentalist. I hold to the same doctrines the early Fundamentalists held to. I hold to the same doctrines Spurgeon held to.

    Spurgeon used modern translations in his sermons as did the early Fundamentalists like R. A. Torrey. You may be right on this issue, but if you are, it’s a new understanding, not the old one. Some of the most respected men in Australian TR-onlyism have admitted this to me openly. I have not embraced any new doctrine.

    What I’m saying is that when young people have questions, you have to be able to give them honest, open answers and you have to be able to trust the truth so much that you will push them to ask others and read BOTH sides of the various issues. If you give them only one side or two sides but give a simplistic/inaccurate explanation of the other side, you will lose their trust. This is what I’m observing happening.

    I am on the leadership team at GMT. I helped forge the direction and philosophy of that site. I invite you to come on over any time and bring up any topic for discussion. We love the truth and if you have it, please help us understand where we’re mistaken.

    Also, when you say “outside their coverings,” I assume you mean their local churches? We believe each of our members needs to be accountable to a strong local church. All the members of the leadership team are members of local churches and we often go to our church leadership for advice and counsel.

    Grace to you.

  15. June 12, 2009 at 12:51 am | #16

    Men,

    I’m several hours away from home with little computer access, but my son got back and told me there was a discussion, so I popped over to find out. Thanks for the discussion. I’ll say more later, but it is interesting, and I’m glad you think you can find it here.

  16. June 12, 2009 at 7:34 am | #17

    Jason,

    Before I engage you in this conversation, tell me a few things about yourself so that I can enter the conversation without suppositions.

    1. How old are you?
    2. What, if any, theological training have you had?
    3. Are you a member of a local church? If so, what local church are you a member of and how would you describe the theological position of that local church?
    4. Are you personally involved in soul winning and making disciples within your local church (not just on the web)?
    5. What is your “world view”?

    If you want to know about me, you can find out just about anything you want from my web site:
    http://www.disciplemakerministries.org/index.html
    http://www.disciplemakerministries.org/Pages/AboutDr.%20Ketchum.htm
    http://www.disciplemakerministries.org/Pages/Recommendations.htm
    http://www.disciplemakerministries.org/Pages/DoctrinalStatement.htm

    If you want to know my “world view,” you can look at the two charts below:
    http://www.disciplemakerministries.org/PDFFiles/Dispensational%20Chart.pdf
    http://www.disciplemakerministries.org/PDFFiles/Dispensational%20Chart%20-%20FIVE%20COVENANTS%20-%2011×17.pdf

  17. June 12, 2009 at 7:35 am | #18

    Lou,

    I like reading Bauder and Doran. There’s a lot about what they say that I like. However, they have not and still do not come out and say about these conservative evangelicals what Masters has said. He names their names and tells it like it is. Doran did comment on it on his blog, but he said essentially that it was interesting and that it should be a table discussion at the national FBF meeting. That isn’t a ringing endorsement in my opinion. In the title to Doran’s blog, he plays on words (he’s an intelligent man) with the Calvinist “sweating” new Calvinism, surely making reference to Dan Sweatt. Is he saying that Masters is parallel with Dan Sweatt with that title.

    Scott Aniol came out and said he agreed with Masters and that is controversial. For one, Scott has tremendous discernment in this area. The others, I don’t know what is going through their heads that they can’t see what Masters sees and understands.

    Masters didn’t get where he got by doing what Piper, MacArthur, and the others have done, and more Piper than MacArthur, I know, but still MacArthur when you look at Master’s College and the Resolved Conference, and the lack of personal separation at Grace Community. They show that they understand personal separation by how they react to Driscoll, but they either can’t see their own worldliness or they see it and can’t back down now without losing credibility. The first, ignorance, is the better option.

    Everyone else,

    These young men talk about worldliness being a matter of the heart. Sure it starts with the heart. We know that. But Masters has it right about how bad it is when it relates to worship. This is how Rom 15 applies. Their worship pertains to man. They think that the words are what matter, when they know that the music is what they use to tie into the flesh of the people. The music targets the passions through the body, instead of starting with the knowledge of God in the mind that influences the affections and then the will. This is what Edwards said to look for when something is artificial. Masters understands this. I suppose that MacArthur and Johnson either don’t or they don’t want to rock the boat.

    Regarding young fundamentalists, I agree that real Christianity in the home and church are what matters most. I don’t see my young men threatened by young fundamentalism. The only way they would be threatened by that is by means of outside influences, i.e., Bible colleges and seminaries. We don’t have those kinds of outside influences on our young people. They would have to choose to go that way, not because of our church, but because of the direction of their parents and not directing them to somewhere that would not have these influences. And just because we don’t have the influence of the outside seminaries doesn’t mean that our guys are not getting depth. I will post some of the papers of our seminary students (here at our church) sometime, so you can see the product. These are young men who love the Lord and have a depth that surpasses what I read elsewhere, but mainly a devotion to God.

  18. June 12, 2009 at 8:06 am | #19

    Kent:

    Thanks for the reply, I have just a moment, more another time.

    You wrote, “Scott Aniol came out and said he agreed with Masters and that is controversial. For one, Scott has tremendous discernment in this area. The others, I don’t know what is going through their heads that they can’t see what Masters sees and understands.”

    I applaud Scott, need more of his voice.

    IMO, the men moving toward the “conservative” evangelicals see, “what Masters sees and understand” it just fine.

    In the opinion of some good men in IFB circles I speak to, they feel that many of the YFs (and more mature one) have simply grown tired of taking a stand against the CCM rock-n-roll trend. Simply put, they decided to cave-in on that one.

    I also heard the opinion that the men who want to have fellowship with the “conservative” evangelicals want it so badly they won’t dare raise any protest over the rock music, which would naturally spoil their fellowship.

    Lou

  19. June 12, 2009 at 9:16 pm | #20

    About the part where you mentioned that they(Pyros) quote pagans who hate

    God. What exactly are they trying to do quoting the rock music lyrics? Show that

    they are cool/culturally sensitive? Was it proper for Paul to quote a pagan poet

    in his sermon on Mars Hill to illustrate a truth about God while he was

    evagelizing?

  20. P S Ferguson
    June 13, 2009 at 6:56 am | #21

    At the court of Emperor MacArthur, things get more and more surreal. I was reading through SI today on this subject and it is amazing how transparent some are in their intentions (ironically they are never called to account like Sweatt!). “Pastor” Ed Vasicek states,

    “My wife and I dance, I had been a fan of contemporary Christian music since the days of Larry Norman (bought my first Lamb album in 1974), I’ve had a beard since 1989, our church has had a website since 1996 — but we would not allow heresy to be taught in our church, and we value the fundamentals so much that we make it clear where we stand. And I completely dislike the KJV and forsook using it back in 1979.”

    Jamie Hart makes clear, “I’m haven’t intended to leave fundamentalism, but perhaps I’ve been kicked out of it by some. I have changed a few of my views in regards to music, secondary separation, and influences (I listen to Piper, Dever, MacDonald, and sometimes even Driscoll!!! I agree that I can listen and glen from these men without “buying” everything they say).”

    Aghast at such a prospect, the perennial cuddly Joel Treteau screams,

    “Jamie, My friend, why run? Why run? Look….if you have truth on your side, and they have noise on their side, why abandon the high ground? They do not speak for Heaven….they speak for themselves. I love the quote by Edmund Burke, “The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing…” While I’m not calling men who would ask you to leave fundamentalism “evil,” I would say that some of them are sincerely “twisted” about a number of issues. Many of them were honestly twisted because they listened to respectful men who were “twisted” on those same issues….What about the multitudes of brothers and sisters who are looking for someone to explain how to be Biblical in a contemporary world?”

    Another thing that constantly annoys me is the perpetuating of the myth by those born after 1975 that John MacArthur and Piper invented expositional preaching whereas for the last 100 years Fundamentalists have listened to shallow and doctrinally weak sermonettes. I grew up in Northern Ireland and heard solid exegetical and evangelistic sermons from the Free Presbyterians and men like the Baptist Pastor Willie Mullan. Hundreds of solid messages are on record on places such as sermonaudio that is light years ahead of the frankly effeminate, lightweight sermonettes of Piper and Driscoll. Dr Peter Masters is no mean preacher either.

    Men like Martyn Lloyd Jones, Campbell Morgan, McCheyne, Bonar etc did it for decades before I was even born. YFers repeat these falsehoods ad nausem as a deceptive political ploy to get sympathy from people who don’t think through issues carefully. Repetition does not cure fallacy! Indeed, I am reading through Lloyd Jones on Romans this summer and out of fairness I bought MacArthur’s commentary on the book. One could not help but been struck by the lack of depth in the latter and the absence of cutting applications. I challenge any readers to do likewise and test my conclusions.

    Phil Johnson wants to take a stand against wordly speech and moral relativism (we agree) but thinks there is nothing wrong with musical relativism using wordly music from the same zeitgeist that initiated the wordly speech. Phil does not do irony, evidently! It is true that MacArthur generally presents himself in conservative clothes. However, Driscoll isn’t a wolf in an evangelical’s clothes, he is a wolf in wolf’s clothes!

    It is not that we do not understand the Young Fundamentalists’ arguments for change, we do, but we don’t agree. We see the tunnel they want to go down, but we don’t see the light. Their knowledge of scriptural hermeneutics and Church history is frankly sophomoric, and that actually constitutes a gratuitous insult to sophomores. Lord Falkland made a perceptive observation on the eve of the English Civil War, “When it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change.” The immature and Biblically illiterate Young Fundamentalists need to learn this lesson.

    Well done Dr Masters. Seems we British, a token Canadian (Don) , as well as Kent are the only ones talking any sense. Unfortunately for Dr Masters he is a Dean Burgon TR man. So that is two reasons why he is outside the pale for most American YFers!

  21. June 13, 2009 at 9:43 am | #22

    Hi all, I am at the end of a killer week, so haven’t seen this article till now.

    First, just a comment to Jason, who said:

    We do not like the word “militant,” but only because it gives the mental image of someone looking for a fight. We believe that John Piper and John MacArthur are the ones doing battle royal for the faith right now while our own Fundamentalist leaders are fighting over little things like pants on women.

    Overlooking the slander of fundamentalists, if you don’t like militancy, you aren’t one. It is the essential nature of fundamentalism.

    Piper is doing battle royal for the faith? What a laugh. Mr. Lapdog who hangs with Open Theists and beats Driscoll with a wet noodle. That’s battle royal???

    Now, to Kent, re the article:

    First, one of the problems we have is that the only leaders who have been speaking out are two seminary presidents who have been essentially touting the yf line. They may not entirely agree with all the yfs want, but they appear to be at least pandering to their sensibilities. Their motivation isn’t entirely clear, but that seems to be what is happening.

    The other leaders have been relatively silent. Part of the reason is that they do not really keep up with the on-line world. I suspect they are less aware of the power of blogs and internet conversations for galvanizing opinion, so are being caught blind-sided by it. It is similar to some of the things that happened in the political world as blogs began to have a major impact over the last few years.

    In addition, there has likely been a fear factor in taking the issue on because of the potential for division and loss of constituency. I don’t think they should just blow away the young turks unnecessarily, because there is some potential that over time they could get with the program. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that what we have happening is a recurrence of the perpetual plague of moderates who are not fundamentalists. So… I think we may begin to see a few things change. I hope we see these changes over the next week and I have some reason to think my hope is more than wishful thinking on my part.

    Finally, I think that in the colleges and seminaries there has been a failure to develop critical thinking because some professors (maybe not all) are devotees of Piper et al themselves. They pass around their books uncritically, so it is no wonder the young think these fellows are the cats meow. We really do need our pastors and leaders to call our seminaries and colleges to account for this. I don’t have a problem with using evangelical books per se, but be sure to include critiques and guide our young men in critical thinking. They won’t develop it by themselves.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  22. June 13, 2009 at 10:57 am | #23

    How much about God do you have to know to worship him?

  23. June 13, 2009 at 4:35 pm | #24

    OK, I’m back from a family vacation. We went Monday to Saturday. I wrote a little while there during a little time that I was online. I’m not going to give every comment I could give. I really enjoyed a lot of what I read in these comments.

    Lance,

    I love the way you opened up that conversation with Jason. That was classic and perhaps a lesson for how to do it. I also appreciate you providing all those links.

    Phil,

    Evangelicals quote rock lyrics because they know their adherents listen to rock music. Is it wrong to quote an unsaved person? I think your example of Paul says “no,” but I do think it matters what the context of it is, how much, and why you do it. Thanks for the comment. My email is betbapt at flash dot net. I write it like that because I think it keeps one from spam.

    Paul Ferguson,

    I loved your whole comment. Just very, very good. Let me give quotes to what I really liked. And there was nothing I think I could disagree with.

    “One could not help but been struck by the lack of depth in the latter and the absence of cutting applications.”—You are speaking of MacArthur’s exposition and the hard applications is what is missing in the evangelical exposition. More needs to be made of this. I was in a church this last Wednesday night (because there was nothing close to us that I would be able to recommend) that was a very good interpretation of James 1:2-12, but the application was almost non-existent. He could have really preached, but “no.” He would be a MacArthur like preacher. I think the interp without the application lends itself toward pride and attracts worldly “Christians.”

    “Their knowledge of scriptural hermeneutics and Church history is frankly sophomoric, and that actually constitutes a gratuitous insult to sophomores.”—This is very good (and funny too).

    Don,

    You had very good comments too. A lot of what you wrote seems very simple.

    I liked these comments:

    “I suspect they are less aware of the power of blogs and internet conversations for galvanizing opinion, so are being caught blind-sided by it.”

    “They pass around their books uncritically, so it is no wonder the young think these fellows are the cats meow.”

    You said you think some great change will occur in the next week. What are you talking about?

    And Phil again,

    I believe that you have to know enough about God to be saved. 2 Peter 1 says that is an epignosis, that is, deep knowledge of Christ. Thanks.

  24. June 13, 2009 at 8:13 pm | #25

    @ Sir Don,

    There was no slander intended or actuated by my comment. I was just pointing out the fact that the typical Fundamentalist is so far removed from the typical non-Fundamentalist that he doesn’t even realise he isn’t connecting.

    Piper, MacArthur, and (I cringe to say it) Driscoll are engaging the culture and raising a voice for the truth. Sure, Piper hangs out with Open Theists (something that I believe is dead wrong), but at least he also confronts the error openly and passionately within the broader culture.

    You guys have written us off as non-Fundamentalists, but the reality is, we didn’t run over there and become Evangelicals (for the most part). Many of us are stayed here and remained fundamentalists. We have our concerns with Driscoll and Piper and, yes, even MacArthur. But we have much deeper concerns about Fundamentalism. In the end, we will be influenced by those who show a strong commitment to the Word and to the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  25. June 13, 2009 at 8:58 pm | #26

    Jason:

    You wrote, “Piper, MacArthur, and (I cringe to say it) Driscoll are engaging the culture and raising a voice for the truth.”

    No, Jason. They are becoming what the culture is thinking cultural relevance will get them a hearing. But the world and its attractions do NOT carry with it the power and blessing of God. Furthermore, what you use to get a following you’ll have to use to keep that following.

    Mike Harding and I have discussed this. He said to me, “What you win them with, you win them to.”

    The you wrote, “In the end, we will be influenced by those who show a strong commitment to the Word and to the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

    MacArthur, Driscoll and Piper do NOT preach the saving message of Jesus Christ. They have corrupted the Gospel through the works based, man-centered Lordship Salvation message that frustrates grace (Gal. 2:21).

    LM

  26. June 13, 2009 at 9:01 pm | #27

    Sure, Piper hangs out with Open Theists (something that I believe is dead wrong), but at least he also confronts the error openly and passionately within the broader culture.

    Sorry, but this does not work either. In a recent FrontLIne magazine articles Dr. Mark Minnick called out Piper for giving N. T. Wright a pass. Minnick demonstrated that Wright is a wolf, and criticized Piper for glossing over it to give high marks to Wright on some book he wrote. The title and exact details escape me, but the FrontLine article spells it out.

    LM

  27. June 13, 2009 at 10:32 pm | #28

    @ LM

    People don’t need to be saved from their culture. They need to be saved from their sin. And Jesus Christ is the only one who can do that. And when he does it, he will sanctify them from the inside out.

    As far as I know, I think very similarly to Mike Harding on culture, music, etc. so I’m not sure where that point was going.

    I have been in a lot of circles of Fundamentalism for a long time and I have rarely heard the gospel preached as clearly and as pointedly as Piper and the boys typically preach it. You can say what you want, but that is what draws us to them. It’s not their applications in the area of music… some of us like them in spite of their music.

  28. June 13, 2009 at 10:37 pm | #29

    @ LM

    Re: Open Theism.

    Be that as it may, I have personally heard Piper preach a scathing message against Open Theism. I agree that I’m not comfortable with how he applies his position on separation (that’s why I’m still a Fundamentalist), and I’m glad Minnick confronted him about that. Good on him. But the fact is, Piper/Jmac/Driscull (!) are doing more to combat error and false teaching in our day than any three Fundamentalists you could name. It’s not that our guys aren’t talking… it’s just that no one’s listening.

  29. June 14, 2009 at 4:17 am | #30

    Dear Jason:

    No, Piper and MacArthur preach a works based, non-saving message that calls on the lost man to front-load faith with a commit to certain expected behaviors of a mature believer in Christ to be come a Christian.

    Furthermore, it has been acknowledged elsewhere that the true magnetic attraction that draws you/other to them is Calvinism.

    That is why you will tolerate and give them a pass for their lack of biblical separation where it is clearly called for, their troubling views on eschatology and pneumatology and poor music standards (using the music styles from the anti-God culture), all of the above which most IFB men would never allow for or tolerate in their own ministries. Isn’t that right?

    LM

  30. June 14, 2009 at 4:29 am | #31

    Jason:

    Below is a link to one of many articles I have written to irrefutably prove, from the writings of LS advocates, that Lordship Salvation, as it is defined by John MacArthur for example, is a works based message that frustrates grace (Gal. 2:21).

    Read it and let me know in that thread, or here if you like, how that LS interpretation of the Gospel is not man-centered and works based?

    Summary of Lordship Salvation From a Single Page

    LM

  31. June 14, 2009 at 7:17 am | #32

    Lou,

    I’m not even interested in your LS issue. Sounds to me like you’re carrying on something from a long time ago.

    The issue to me is the gospel of Jesus Christ. These men preach it courageously and carefully. While I don’t agree with these men on everything, I respect them for their conscientious exposition of the Word of God.

    The fact that they are Calvinists is incidental to me. They may be preaching Calvinism, but all I’m hearing is the gospel of the glorious grace of Jesus Christ. Seems that happened to Spurgeon a lot as well. He preached his Calvinism and to this day, what people are hearing is the gospel of the glorious grace of Jesus Christ.

  32. June 14, 2009 at 12:53 pm | #33

    Jason:

    We need not discuss the LS message here.

    But make no mistake about- the LS message of John MacArthur is a false and non-saving message. You are in error if you believe that what he (and Piper) is preaching to the lost is the “glorious grace of Jesus Christ.”

    LS is antithetical to the message of salvation by grace through faith.
    faith. LS’s commitment of life FOR salvation is works and works, promised or performed, save no one. LS is arrived at by forcing into or extracting from the Scriptures things that are not there to float LS’s demands of the lost for commitment of life in “exchange” FOR salvation.

    Finally, I will never rest from identifying and dealing with LS and its prime advocates to help prevent even one more unsuspecting believer from falling into the trap of LS.

    LM

  33. June 14, 2009 at 3:31 pm | #34

    @art dunham

    Let me field the question you asked about the older Fundamentalists. The older Fundamentalists who turned a blind eye to the false doctrines of Hyles, et al; the Fundamentalists who allowed a child molestor to re-gain prominence and even become a “missionary”; the Fundamentalists who tolerate bad doctrines at Bible Colleges because they have good “standards”; the Fundamentalists that can’t have a serious conversation about the preservation of Scripture because they are too busy accusing you of not believing the Bible; – All of these older “Fundamentalists” should have had their feet held to the fire, but…

    An example of this is Brother Sweatt’s message at the FBFI meeting. He said there were “excesses” by some of the brethren who may have been “larger than life” but that no one who was not living through those days has a right to criticize Hyles, etc. He then criticizes Spurgeon, A.T. Pierson, etc. Brother Sweatt is older than I am (51) but not old enough to have lived through those days.

    Art, first of all, with respect to the ‘blind eye’ comments, Fundamentalism has never been monolithic and these situations were never static. The Hyles and Gray situations were things that came to light over time. I grant you that some men behaved badly when they came to light. They should be held accountable for that and we should distance ourselves from those who attempted to cover these situations up. But it is simply rhetoric to blast all fundamentalists and fundamentalism itself because some people behaved badly when these things came to light.

    It is also just rhetoric to slime fundamentalism because these men eventually became known for their scandals. There was a period of time when their scandals were unknown and their ministries were seemingly more orthodox and successful. You aren’t suggesting that we should go on a witch hunt against any current figures simply because they might get involved in a scandal some day, are you? Surely, if past history is any example, scandals will yet again arise among men who appear blameless today. It will embarrass us when hit happens. What are we supposed to do right now, before these things come to light?

    it is simply slander to constantly be using the Hyles and Gray whipping boys to attack fundamentalism today. Most of us never had anything to do with them anyway, and what little associations we may have once had (I herd Hyles preach twice, does that count?) were negligible and irrelevant.

    As for Danny Sweatt’s message, you are seriously misunderstanding him. I invite you to check my blog under the title “pastor sweatt has a point“. When he spoke approvingly of Hyles and Gray, he was talking about a specific place and time, not the whole of their ministries.

    He also is not saying we need larger than life figures as Hyles and Gray turned out to be, but he is saying that we need some men who are willing to stand up and lead fundamentalism in a fundamentalist direction. Ironically, the most vocal leaders in fundamentalism today appear to be attempting to lead us away from fundamentalism to some extent. The rest are keeping quiet. So far.

    Finally, ‘lack of biblical preaching’???? I have a Hebrew word for that… balonim! (That’s at least two balonah.)

    No doubt there are some preachers in fundamentalism who are not very good. (Check other movements for the same, by the way.) But by far and away, the most consistent faithful expository preaching today is found primarily in fundamentalist pulpits. I simply don’t believe there is a lack of biblical preaching in fundamentalism, by and large.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  34. June 14, 2009 at 4:21 pm | #35

    Lou,

    I’d love to talk about “Lordship Salvation” with you sometime, but for now I’d rather not bring it into this conversation. It isn’t because I don’t want to talk about it, but because it is not the theme to this thread. I never mentioned it in the post. I understand that you have a lot invested in your opposition to this belief, but I’d like to keep it out of this thread for sake of continuity. Thanks.

    Don,

    I actually really relate to what Art wrote. There is a branch of fundamentalism with terrible preaching. Art has likely been exposed a lot to that branch, as was I at Maranatha when I went there. And then even in the FBF as I attended, I thought the preaching was poor, according to what I believed preaching ought to be. I think there are guys that are good examples to emulate today in fundamentalism, more than there has been before. Of course, as you know, I’m not a movement fundamentalist nor an evangelical/new-evangelical, so I sympathize with Art on that as well. My interest is in preserving scriptural doctrine and practice through the church. I would be happy to see fundamentalists or evangelicals move to what scripture teaches on anything and everything.

    Many men did intersect with Jack Hyles at one time. I heard him probably 45-50 times. He preached three times a year at Maranatha and I was there 13 years in Watertown. Then I heard him at Lucerne three times, Wisconsin Youth Conclave three times, and a conference once. I got the Sumner article my second year after planting the church here. No one warned me about Hyles ever. I never ever heard him exposed in the FBF while I was there. They preached against Promise Keepers and the Evangelical-Catholic Coalition, two issues that weren’t much of a mystery to me.

    Art,

    We’ve talked a lot here about fundamentalist hypocrisy. There is plenty of that still around. As you mentioned, I targeted the Conservative Evangelicals. However, I couldn’t say I disagreed with anything that you said. I’m going to tell my fundamentalism story sometime here and would even welcome criticism of it.

    Joshua,

    I don’t think I said anything to you, but I appreciate your comments.

    Jason,

    You can’t separate sanctification from justification in a true gospel. Jesus didn’t save us to be worldly. He didn’t save us for false worship. The grace of God doesn’t produce either of these things. I could say much more about this. If you listened to Phil Johson’s Titus message, then you would hear that there is conduct not becoming the gospel. In other words, the gospel doesn’t produce certain conduct, so that if you see it, what are you supposed to think?

  35. June 14, 2009 at 4:27 pm | #36

    Hi Kent,

    Fair enough, I will take back my vigorous defense of fundamentalist preaching. I agree that there are circles where poor preaching tends to be the norm.

    I think this is a hot button with me because the circles I have moved in (generally the FBF world and the BJU orbit) has not generally been characterized by poor preaching. Of course that is my perspective.

    And I also am somewhat defensive for preachers. Even poor preachers, if they are faithful to the Bible, are preaching God’s truth, no matter how ineptly. I think we should always strive for improvement, but if God can use Balaam’s donkey, he can use the feeble efforts of guys who don’t have the gift of the gab. I think in the main the fundamentalist preachers I have heard have been biblical. Not all have been great speakers.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  36. Joshua
    June 14, 2009 at 6:02 pm | #37

    Jason:

    If you’re involved in GMT at that level, then I doubt there is anything I can say that will dissuade you from you current course of action.

    Backing Conservative Evangelicals because they are “doing more to defend the faith” is like backing the Pharisee’s because they’re taking those Sadducee heretics to task. Someone has come along and pointed out there is something wrong with both sides.

  37. June 14, 2009 at 6:16 pm | #38

    Kent,

    I agree. My point is that the gospel understood accurately and carefully will lead neither to legalism nor license. I know I tend to err on one side or the other on a daily basis so I’m thankful that he who began this work in me will continue to do it.

    Joshua,

    Pray for me, brother.

  38. Joshua
    June 14, 2009 at 7:51 pm | #39

    Hey Jason,

    That’s a good thought. I will.

    Joshua

  39. artdunham
    June 15, 2009 at 4:13 am | #40

    Brother Don,

    I think that Brother Kent cleared up my rant a little, and I appreciate it. I don’t wish to “slime” Fundamentalism, nor do I wish to attack good men. Like Kent, I am not a movement Fundamentalist, nor was my father. He taught me that the Word of God was more important than a movement or a “following.”

    You may know what Brother Sweatt meant in that message, but I have listened to it three times. I have every right to “judge” those men and the men who covered up for them. That is where the credibility gap lies with the “YF” crowd. What I don’t like about the “YF” guys is that they whine too much about meanness and extol men who really don’t like us at all.

    As to the preaching comment: I can’t tell you the number of times as a preacher struggling with a small work, that I would go to a fellowship or preachers meeting needing to hear the Word of God. Usually I heard a wonderful topical outline pointing out the speaker’s knowledge and affiliations. If you don’t believe that exists, then I don’t know what to say to you. But, we are brethren, and I hope that my comments didn’t offend you.

    Brother Kent,

    I look forward to hearing your Fundamentalism story. Thanks for the kind words.

  40. June 15, 2009 at 12:59 pm | #41

    Kent:

    Thanks for the note. It was not my intention to continue on the LS issue in this thread. I simpy wanted to get it on record when Jason suggested a “grace” message is coming from certain men in the “conservative” evangelical camp.

    Returning to topic with the next comment.

    Thanks again,

    Lou

  41. June 15, 2009 at 1:05 pm | #42

    Now, back to topic.

    In private meetings I have been discussing the piece by Dr. Masters on the “New Calvinism

    IMO, Masters raised the issues that if the IFB camp is going to have a split, it won’t be over Calvinism. If a split comes it will be and should be over those trends that motivated him to write the article.

    Master’s wrote, “In other words, the ministry of warning is killed off, so that every -error of the new scene may race ahead unchecked. These are tragic days for authentic spiritual faithfulness, worship and piety.”

    Fundamentalism and the FBF is historically a separatist movement. Recognizing error, warning of error and separating from those who will not abandon and repent of error.

    We have men in IFB circles who show a strong preference for fellowship and cooperation with the “conservative” evangelicals (ce) crowd at the expense of ignoring the biblical mandates on separation when they are clearly warranted.

    I’ll repeat myself from months of this discussion. We have men in IFB circles that are willing to tolerate and look past doctrinal aberrations and methods of ministry among the “conservative” evangelicals that these same IFB men would never allow for or tolerate in their own ministries.

    LM

    • artdunham
      June 15, 2009 at 2:30 pm | #43

      Brother Lou,

      You said:

      We have men in IFB circles that are willing to tolerate and look past doctrinal aberrations and methods of ministry among the “conservative” evangelicals that these same IFB men would never allow for or tolerate in their own ministries.

      I agree with that statement 100%. I also believe that there are IFB men who allow the same among their friends while “shouting” about it among the CE crowd.

      I believe the time has come for us to be independent MEN of God and state the truth whatever the consequence to any affiliation, friendship, or Bible College.

  42. June 15, 2009 at 3:25 pm | #44

    Brother Art:

    Thanks for the follow-up.

    You wrote, “I also believe that there are IFB men who allow the same among their friends while “shouting” about it among the CE crowd. I believe the time has come for us to be independent MEN of God and state the truth whatever the consequence to any affiliation, friendship, or Bible College.”

    IMO, you are correct on both counts. It seems to come much easier for IFB men to see the inconsistencies among, let’s say a Methodist and/or “conservative” evangelical and point those out, than to openly express obejections when the same issues are found in our own IFB camp, when they are found.

    Fellowships and friendships often influence reactions, and that is unfortunate. I often ask this question:

    Where does your first loyalty lie, to God and His Word or to your friends and fellowships?

    Kind regards,

    Lou

    PS: I believe we have spoken once before; have we? My e-mail is-
    indefense06@gmail.com

  43. June 16, 2009 at 7:41 am | #45

    Kent,

    I think one of the most definitive parts of your article is in the section on Instrumentality.

    You said, “In v. 17, Paul says that Jesus is glorified “in those things which pertain to God.” The instrument of the glory of Jesus Christ is something that is God. Paul wanted a result that he could give God as an offering (v. 16). The second “ministering” in v. 16 is a word that applies to the sacrificial service of the priest, speaking of priestly offerings. The word “sanctified” is a form of the word “holy.”

    Jesus is glorified in a work, when it pertains to God. Works that don’t pertain to God, but pertain to human techniques and strategies, these are by nature unholy. They’re profane or common—they don’t pertain to God. The work produces sacredness in its adherents because it is sacred itself.”

    This is excellent!

    This area needs to be expanded upon because it defines both the problem and its solution; i.e. accurate teaching regarding the doctrine of grace (God’s supernatural working through the ministries of the Holy Spirit).

    The issue of hypostatic union (in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit) and hypostatic unity (the filling of the Spirit and empowering of a believer by the Spirit ) is the issue here. This latter issue (hypostatic unity) is what defines revival.

    The pragmatic man-made techniques of those seeking acceptance of society by trying to become culturally relevant is ludicrous when viewed in light of the doctrine of grace and it is in complete contradistinction to the doctrine of grace. Uniquely, this is being done by many people who refer to themselves as Sovereign Grace people.

  44. June 16, 2009 at 1:41 pm | #46

    Lance,

    Thanks for the comment. I agree with you on Romans 15. It is another passage that helps us understand the problems with the evangelical/new-evangelical “worship” and then growth techniques. Thanks for your ideas and expansion. I’ll be writing more today with hopes of getting something out later tonight as a second part.

  45. Rebecca Glass
    June 16, 2009 at 2:15 pm | #47

    Please can you do a printer-friendly version (without all the comments)? Great article!

  46. June 16, 2009 at 10:36 pm | #48

    Rebecca, I’ll have to defer to Jeff on the appropriate software that will allow us a printer-friendly copy. I agree with you that I love that feature in articles that I want to hand out or just read. It looks better and saves on paper. Thanks for reading.

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