Home > Brandenburg, Separation, The Church > The “Essential Doctrine” Doctrine Is Just Being Assumed with No Proof

The “Essential Doctrine” Doctrine Is Just Being Assumed with No Proof

October 4, 2010

Evangelicals and Fundamentalists today say that that the right kind of fellowship or unity aligns with the “essential doctrines of Scripture.”  On the other hand, at least fundamentalists (since few to no evangelicals talk about separation at all) say that we are to separate only over “essential doctrines of Scripture.”   Kevin Bauder, who leads Central Baptist Theological Seminary, writes:

To be a Fundamentalist is, first, to believe that fundamental doctrines are definitive for Christian fellowship, second, to refuse Christian fellowship with all who deny fundamental doctrines (e.g., doctrines that are essential to the gospel), and third, to reject the leadership of Christians who form bonds of cooperation and fellowship with those who deny essential doctrines.

David Doran, who pastors Inter-City Baptist Church in the Detroit area and leads the Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, writes:

Believers and churches must separate from those who deny essential doctrines of the faith.

Those are two representative fundamentalists.  They write the same thing that evangelicals do.   D. A. Carson, professor at Trinity, says:

The Bible itself insists that there is a core of doctrines that are most important. As soon as you start assuming the center and then just focusing on the marginal items, the next generation will be looser on the center.

This “essential doctrine” doctrine is invented for the purpose of fitting in with more people.  It isn’t at all some kind of development of doctrine from scriptural exegesis.  No way.  It’s popular for selling more books, for being bigger, for opening up more speaking engagements, for a fake peace.  Guys don’t have to face conflict.  They can believe differently and its not a big deal.  People can do a lot of things that they want to do and not hear about it.  This “essential doctrine” doctrine isn’t from the Bible.  It is assumed with no proof.  It dumbs down love and unity and truth.  A few years ago I wrote this:

But let’s be clear. We know why “core” and all these exciting new theological terms are being used. Men want to be able to water down belief and practice and not be punished for it. The world loves minimizing and reducing, so these same churches will be more popular with the world. And then all the churches that love being popular will also be popular with each other. It’s like a big peace treaty that we could hand out a Christian version of the Nobel Peace prize. We can all smile at each other and get along while we disobey what God said. Then you’ve got a guy that says everything is important, and that’s, you know, an attack on unity. It’s a fake unity like what people have at a family reunion. Real unity is based on what God said.

Not only does the Bible not teach the “essential doctrine” doctrine, but it teaches against it.  God killed people for violating certain teachings outside of the “essential doctrines.”

*************************

Here are links to articles where I have developed this scripturally and some otherwise:

http://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.com/2007/04/secondary-tertiary-or-essential.html

http://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.com/2007/04/secondary-tertiary-or-essential-part.html

http://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.com/2007/05/who-ranks-into-primary-and-secondary.html

http://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.com/2007/05/secondary-tertiary-or-essential-part.html

http://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.com/2007/05/secondary-tertiary-or-essential-part_19.html

https://jackhammer.wordpress.com/2009/02/04/ranking-doctrines/

https://jackhammer.wordpress.com/2009/02/11/the-point-and-presumptuousness-of-ranking-doctrines/

https://jackhammer.wordpress.com/2009/02/18/separation-and-ranking-doctrines/

https://jackhammer.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/deconstructing-fugate-and-schaap-and-a-conclusion-about-ranking-doctrines/

http://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.com/2007/06/what-did-h-ironside-say-about-tertiary.html

I’m not saying that ‘what God kills people for’ is the best argument.  It just shows how serious God is about things that fundamentalists might say are non-essential.  I don’t think we should say something isn’t essential if God kills you for violating it.

When you read D. A. Carson, as in above quote of him, and others that I have read, you see that a new attack on separatists is that they are actually diminishing the gospel or attacking the gospel, so in essence preaching a false gospel, by saying that other doctrines in addition to the gospel are important.  This is a subtle, new, and dangerous attack.  I am reading the same kind of attack coming from professing fundamentalists.

We should get our doctrine from the Bible.   It’s ironic, but evangelicals and now fundamentalists are saying that, if it isn’t stated in scripture, we should allow liberty, but there is no liberty about the “essential doctrine” doctrine, which isn’t in the Bible.

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  1. October 5, 2010 at 5:38 am

    Does anyone really believe that the teaching that Jacob worked for 14 years before he received Rebecca as his wife (or only worked 7, then received her and worked 7 more) is as essential to the Christian faith as the deity of Christ?

    Did God “kill people for violating” every teaching in the Bible? Seems like David lived after committing adultery. Some people were killed for the same thing others were not killed for doing (the sons of Korah are killed for rebelling against Moses. Miriam is not killed for doing the same thing.Num.12, 16. Sometimes the Israelites are killed for complaining and sometimes they are not).

    What God chooses to end a life for is apparently complex but the fact that anybody lives at all proves that not all “violations” are equally important.

    Jesus Himself asserted that there were weightier matters in the law (Matt. 23.23)

  2. d4v34x
    October 5, 2010 at 7:10 am

    Hi Bro. B.,

    I’m curious about your assertion that people dilute the so-called peripherals in order to make the church more attractive to the world.

    Which is more truly offensive to the world? The idea that they are sinners accountable to God and in need of Jesus’s sacrifice for salvation from eternal death, or the idea that some music is appropriate for worshipping God and some isn’t?

  3. October 5, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Hi Aaron,

    Your answer is about like what I’ve read as evidence. I’ve read no fundamentalists who have developed it from Scripture. Phil Johnson and John MacArthur, I’ve read, attempt a development of the idea that there are major doctrines and minor doctrines, but they did not go any further to show that we separate only over the major ones. So no one has written on this. I’ve written a lot on it and my development has not been answered, except to say something to the effect that I’m not an important enough thinker to listen to, because I use only the KJV. Who has made that a major doctrine?

    OK to your proofs. First, you are only going as far as saying that some doctrines are more important than others, which is tenuous at the least. You don’t even get to the biblical proof that we separate only over those important ones. Both those parts are part of the doctrine that I wrote about above, so you have not met that burden.

    Your first question doesn’t prove anything. Just because God doesn’t kill over everything doesn’t mean that He isn’t angry. What I said is that He does kill over what men today would say are non-essentials. He didn’t kill Jeroboam for what He did, but we do know that He killed all of Jeroboam’s descendants for what Jeroboam did.

    Your only seeming proof here is the weightier matters. I’ve dealt with that in my series on this on my blog (WIT). “Weightier” is barus, which is essentially “more difficult.” They did the easier things and left the harder things to do undone. It’s easier to tithe of mint than it is to do justice, for instance. Jesus was not teaching, don’t tithe. He said, don’t leave tithing undone, but don’t tithe at the exclusion of the harder things to do. Certain practice of Scripture is impossible without being saved, being regenerated, why they couldn’t do the harder things.

    I’ve dealt with this over at my blog in a five part series, I believe. I would love for someone to answer that. I’ll link to it later, but I’ve got to go teach.

    D4,

    I’ll be back later.

  4. October 5, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    D4,

    I’m one to say that orthopathy is as important as orthodoxy. You believe there is one God and you love Him with all your heart. If you don’t know what loving God is, you’re going to violate that. Is dumbing down the love of God a non-essential? I would say, like Scott Aniol, that the wrong music is more dangerous in many respects, than the wrong doctrine, because of the damage to affection for God. Plus, it’s a worship issue. If you offer God what you want, not what He wants, that’s false worship.

    I’m attempting to look at this from God’s perspective. What we say is peripheral is important to Him. He thought, for instance, that the right recipe for the altar of incense was not peripheral. He killed Nadab and Abihu for changing the percentages in the ingredients.

    As far as why or how do I know that people are trying to be popular (or something like that) that take this view. I would be talking in general. How do you know when someone loves the world more than God? John knew this was the case. How? You listen to their words and watch their practice.

    Aaron again,

    Shouldn’t we start with what the Bible says, see that this “essential doctrine” doctrine is something God wants, and then implement it. We don’t even see this developed in the history of Christian doctrine at all. You can find hints of someone saying that one doctrine was more foundational than another, but not to the extent that they divide it up into primary and secondary. The only people I see do this are the Pharisees and religious leaders in the Bible. They ranked doctrines to make life easier for them, who were being saved by works. I see the fake unity as the same. We rank doctrines to enable something God doesn’t want, unity with people violating scripture.

    Thanks for coming over Aaron. You are always welcome here to talk. I’m sorry if it makes you get flack for coming here to talk.

  5. October 5, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Kent:

    You wrote, “This ‘essential doctrine’ doctrine is invented for the purpose of fitting in with more people.” Exactly, and here is how in the main it is being propagated.

    We hear the increasing drum beat of a “gospel-driven separation.” This IMO is a paradigm shift away from separation for the sake of a pure church such as Dr. Ernest Pickering articulated in his classic, Biblical Separation.

    What this “gospel-driven separation” translates into is seeking unity around Calvinistic soteriology. If they can agree with men on Calvinistic soteriology (in the form of Lordship Salvation) they are and have shown the willingness to tolerate and excuse doctrinal aberrations such as charismatic theology, worldliness in ministry and brush aside ecumenical compromises such as Al Mohler and Ligon Duncan signing the Manhattan Declaration.

    LM

  6. d4v34x
    October 5, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Bro. B.,

    I guess that means your answer to my either/or is maybe one/maybe the other, and I get where you’re coming from even though I was really talking pure offenseviness. I do not deny that some things are dropped merely to allow bigger numbers. I do think that doesn’t mean every case of what you would see as failure to separate comes from that, though. Probably a sharp difference of opinion you and I have.

    Brother Martuneac- I don’t think you have to be a Calvinist to be a Lordship guy. You might have to be a Biblicist, though.

  7. October 5, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Lou,

    Thanks for coming by. I agree with paragraphs one and two. Correct. On the third, I do think there is more of a desire to include folks who are Calvinists with these Calvinists. Calvinism does seem to be the major factor for unity, which is why we get this: Driscoll-Dever-Doran.

    D4,

    I’m talking about the “essential doctrine” doctrine itself, not even so much how it plays out in practice. Shouldn’t we be able to give a good defense of it biblically and historically before we start implementing it? It seems that implementation is the very essence of its existence.

    Jude wanted to talk about the common salvation, but he had to go further and defend the faith, which is the entire body of truth, which in the case of Jude, was beyond the doctrine of salvation. And then look what he talks about.

    • October 5, 2010 at 2:37 pm

      Kent:

      Not to make light of it, but your alliteration: “Driscoll-Dever-Doran” is not far off from what may become reality just over the horizon. This embrace of Dever is going to lead to embracing the rest of that group and for some it will include Driscoll and for most of them Piper’s influence will lead them to charismatic theology and Rick Warren’s pragmatism. It is already happening with some of our younger generation. I fear Doran and Bauder (through their blogs and in other tangible ways I won’t detail now) are showing them the way and influencing that direction. FWIW, I remember several years ago Doran wrote an article for SI, he spoke glowing of some aspect of Driscoll’s ministry. At the very bottom in a small footnote was a mild word of caution about Driscoll’s methods.

      Lou

  8. Duncan
    October 5, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Aaron: Paragraph 1 – that would be Rachel, my friend.
    Paragraph 2 Let us justify God in all of His sayings. Korah was killed but his sons were spared – in another case, Achan and his family were killed. To an honest heart before God the answer is simple – Korah’s sons did not take part in their father’s rebellion while Achan’s children did take part in their father’s theft. As to God not killing Miriam and David, the reason is a simple one-word answer: repentance. God knew that both Miriam and David would repent of their sins, and so did not kill them. Conversely, He knew Saul would not repent of his sin, and so slew him by allowing his suicide.

  9. October 5, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Kent:

    You wrote, “This ‘essential doctrine’ doctrine is invented for the purpose of fitting in with more…. They can believe differently and its not a big deal. People can do a lot of things that they want to do and not hear about it.”

    I immediately thought of Peter Masters in his article, The Merger of Calvinism With Worldliness.

    “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.”

    Doesn’t that essentially sum up what we are witnessing among a certain segment of men in IFB circles? The ministry of warning is being killed off. You don’t find men, who claim a heritage as separatists finding their voice to raise a genuine ministry of warning over the genuinely disconcerting issues such as those Masters rightly addresses and more.

    LM

  10. Buddy Woolbright
    October 5, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Don’t we as believers have the divine promise of divine guidance into ALL Truth? I’m not sure who decides what is the “core” or what is “essential”. There is far too much warning in the scriptures against false doctrine, against compromise and against false practice, for anyone to take the liberty of turning it off for the sake of milchtoast unity. We just stand on God’s Word, believe It, practice It and fellowship where we can. God’s Truth always takes precedence over our own opinions and traditions.

  11. Jerry Bouey
    October 5, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Piper and Warren are already having conferences together now – so it is beyond just uniting under the banner of Calvinism. Water down the truth enough, and they all can work together.

  12. d4v34x
    October 5, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Kent, I’ll answer this way– I think one should be able to defend any doctrine or principle. But one could also make the case that the RPW is assumed. The defenses I’ve seen for that one might be less weighty. And every time I “badmouth” the RPW, I have to say I like it and the worship it results in is the kind of worship I think is best.

    Furthermore I should say that I wasn’t really fair to Lou. I’m sure he looks to the Bible to derive his doctrine. I shouldn’t have taken that swipe.

    On the other hand, I don’t know why his comment here (and most others everywhere else) have to bash a historic Baptist doctrine (see London Baptist Confession, New Hampshire Baptist Confession, etc).

  13. October 5, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    D4,

    I’m really talking about the biblical veracity of the “essential doctrine” doctrine. Is that something men have gleaned from scripture or did they invent it to justify a particular behavior?

    And I got a chuckle out of your historic Baptist doctrine comment. I’m teaching historical theology right now and I believe Calvinism has some history to it. I believe you’ll likely find your doctrine in history, but Baptists believe that Scripture is the sole authority, of course. I want to be a Calvinist, but Scripture gets in the way for me. Baptists were also persecuted by the Calvinists.

  14. Bill Hardecker
    October 6, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Paul didn’t practice the “essential doctrine” doctrine. His doctrine of unity included baptism in Eph. 4:5. Of course baptism even in the historical Fundamentalist movement, was ignored or made non-essential.

  15. d4v34x
    October 6, 2010 at 11:23 am

    So I went back and read Jude. It’s been longer than I remembered, I think. Jude seems to be warning there of false teachers that do two things– misrepresent grace as a license, and deny Jesus Christ, both of which strike at the heart of the gospel. I’m not sure Jude is a refutation of the “non-essential” idea.

    By my recollection though, Bro. B., do you not functionally practice an essential/non-essential idea? I remember reading where you are partially separated from other local churches by some differences even though you don’t withdraw full fellowship. Am I mis-remembering?

    • Anvil
      October 6, 2010 at 12:12 pm

      D4,

      That’s exactly the problem with those who say that all doctrine is the same. They deny in words that *any* difference in doctrine is acceptable, and then practically affirm it when they have people in their pulpits (i.e. anyone other than themselves) who do in fact disagree with them in some small (although there is supposedly nothing small) area or another. I’ve never heard a good explanation or biblical justification for even this amount of overlooking of difference, given the stated belief. If all doctrine is worth separating over, then there is no possibility of any kind of fellowship outside the local church, and even inside, if our admonishing and exhortation of one another does not result in 100% agreement all the time, and people followed this belief honestly, separation would continue until we were all churches of one.

      I understand that it is scripture, not pragmatism, that should guide our actions, but if our interpretation of scripture leads to something that contradicts something else in scripture, it’s a pretty good sign that that interpretation is wrong.

      • October 6, 2010 at 12:44 pm

        Anvil,

        You say that you don’t want it to be pragmatism, but repeatedly, when I talk about this (and you are free to do so, by the way, at least here), you want to explore the inconsistencies to those with this position. I’m showing that it is scriptural, so it can be practiced.

        You say that we overlook differences. We don’t overlook differences, but yet you keep saying that we do, and you’ll say something about the differing ‘divorce and remarriage’ position of D.Mallinak and myself—that’s your best proof that it is wrong. You don’t go to scripture—isn’t that pragmatic on your part? Mallinak and I don’t overlook our differences at all. Our church decides the basis of the fellowship and we say that on divorce, that basis is that we are against divorce. We also say that it isn’t always about disagreement in doctrine, but whether the difference results in disunity (Rom 16:17-18). I repeat these things to you and you seem to just dismiss them. You don’t offer a scriptural response, just a “gotcha” game, which is enough to justify a non-essential, essential teaching in your book, it seems, despite scriptural evidence against it. Against it. Scriptural evidence against it.

        We’ve also said that we don’t “cut people off.” That is, we allow people to grow, like someone joining a church. They aren’t causing division over differences—they are growing. I take different positions than I did 20 years ago.

        We separate over more than just the “essentials,” whatever those may be. We fellowship with churches that don’t hold to the same positions on everything, but it is giving people time to grow and discerning whether it is causing a problem in our church. However, we believe unity is found in the church.

        My position is a scriptural position and one that can be practiced consistently not only with the position we take, but also with Scripture. That ought to be what is important to you and to everyone else.

        One more thing. We get together with churches. We cooperate with them. Fellowship with them. Many churches. Less than what fundamentalists and evangelicals do, but still many. And we do not ignore doctrine. We get together based on common doctrine. We are all the same. Are the differences? Some, but those would not be ignored. We would talk about them, unlike what ever, every happened when I attended FBF meetings. The way to keep “unity” there was to dismiss and ignore differences. That doesn’t honor God. Does not.

        So there we go. Again.

  16. October 6, 2010 at 11:59 am

    D4,

    Nice reread of Jude. I’d like it to be said that Jackhammer sends people to Scripture. We know that Jude went beyond the common salvation with his defense of the faith. All lasciviousness comes from an abuse of the grace of God, but what is lasciviousness? It certainly goes beyond the gospel. If we are going to judge something as a violation of the gospel that is a particular practice of lasciviousness, which might be wearing immodest clothes, for instance, then I’m fine with that explanation. I don’t have a problem with gospel-centered if that’s what it means. I see some of that usage with Phil Johnson when he says that bad speech is conduct unbecoming the gospel—but with PJ and his boss, it seems, that the essentials are anything that they say are essentials. And do they separate? No. Not according to what’s laid out in scripture, which means no.

    However, I was using Jude as one argument, which I believe still stands. But look at all my links above. I make many, many arguments. Many. So we haven’t really even gotten started. This post is not really making the argument; it’s just saying that they are assuming what they haven’t proven. That still stands.

    Regarding your question—no. You are mis-remembering. I’ve written a post on how we separate either here or at WIT. I’ve preached on it. And we are talking about it in our WOT conference. We don’t separate over non-scriptural issues (Rom 14).

    Thanks.

    Bill,

    Thanks. True.

  17. October 6, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Kent

    You said, “We separate over more than just the “essentials,” whatever those may be. We fellowship with churches that don’t hold to the same positions on everything, but it is giving people time to grow and discerning whether it is causing a problem in our church.” You also said, “We get together based on common doctrine. We are all the same. Are the differences? Some, but those would not be ignored. We would talk about them, unlike what ever, every happened when I attended FBF meetings.”

    Where do you find Scripture for this position? It seems to me you have adopted the fundamentalist paradigm save for you believe you “talk” about your differences but do not separate over them.

    The “essentials” I would have thought was obvious – even you can discern that some doctrinal beliefs carry the warning that they put you outside the kingdom of God (e.g. 2 John 9). Whereas others clearly do not e.g. the dying thief was not baptised, did not join the 1st Baptist Church of Jerusalem yet was assured of heaven. If you are going to apply Romans 16:17 at all to your Mallinak situation then I do not know how else you could be consistent save for adopting the traditional fundamentalist paradigm.

  18. October 6, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    1. Kent affirms that all doctrines are important, and that Scripture teaches so.
    2. By doing so, Kent is not denying that some doctrines carry more weight in the consequences of obedience/disobedience, or that some doctrines are more difficult to live out.
    3. Kent denies that separation should be over what we consider “essential/nonessential” doctrine because the Bible does not teach the idea, so we cannot use it as a Scriptural means of separation.
    4. The church chooses what it unites over (statement of faith) and so the church chooses what it divides over…but it cannot use the arbitrary and unscriptural idea of essential/nonessential doctrine.

    Does that sum up your position, Kent? Tell where I’m wrong. I’m trying to understand your approach to separation.

  19. October 6, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    Paul,

    I know that your ‘go-for-the-jugular” style bothers some, but I actually get a kick out of it. You really prove nothing from the Bible. At most you attempt to show me to be inconsistent, without really succeeding at that. If my inconsistency is enough to justify a particular doctrine, then we are truly falling on hard times in our biblical and historical theology.

    You would really do better to participate in the art of the follow-up question. I said we had “differences,” but those differences you should not assume to be some kind of difference in discerning what is either essential or non-essential. None of those conversations are had. We also have differences in non-scriptural matters. For instance, different churches use different hymnbooks. Some churches use different titles for their pastors, like associate or assistant. Some take up their offerings in the back in a box, while others pass a plate. Some may practice the Lord’s Table once a month and others once a week, others once a year.

    Our practice of Romans 16:17, I would think, would be a joy to you, obedience to that verse. We believe unity is in the church. We don’t say that we separate over only the essentials. We don’t. We haven’t reduced teachings of the Bible to non-essentials. Romans 16:17 is written to a church and the practice is for a church. Our church has one doctrine, but individuals in our church aren’t there yet. The standard is that they can’t cause division on the one doctrine. If our church were to discover that we were wrong on something the Bible taught, we would change together. That’s how we have done it.

    Joe,

    1. Agreed.
    2. Agreed.
    3. Agreed.
    4. Agreed.

    I see this in the Bible. We look at all the unity and separation passages and it’s what we see the Bible teach. We are dealing with this in our Word of Truth Conference—this being our second year on the subject. When we are done with our third conference, we’ll have a book written on it.

    Thanks.

  20. October 7, 2010 at 1:11 am

    Hi Kent, I am glad we do not run away with our ball when we are challenged. I am not intending to be polemical per se just testing your claims by the Scripture. You do shoot from the hip in your claims but you do allow them to be challenged. It is good that you have no problem with that. Let me also say, that my remarks should never be seen to endorse the Dever-Doran compromise which is revisiting the Falwell-Van Impe model of fundamentalism. How it is now acceptable for Doran and Bauder to hang out as best friends with a Southern Baptist Rap Pastor is beyond me. I must have missed that “historic” position growing up.

    I let the readers be the judge of whether you are inconsistent or not. As I understand your remarks you argue for some doctrinal disagreement between you and Pastor Mallinak which does not preclude fellowship. Now, as I read it that is not a disagreement on things such as choice of hymnals but doctrines such as divorce. So as you condemned the fundamentalist paradigm of essentials/non-essentials as being unscriptural, I wanted to know on what basis you reached your position vis a vis Mallinak’s church. My guess is that you are using Romans 16:17 but if you can force through fellowship in that text on the basis of “minor” doctrinal difference then why condemn a Fundamental Baptist and a Fundamental Presbyterian Church fellowshipping as long as they agree to disagree on baptism and agree to “talk” about their differences. Surely it is just a matter of degree.

    I also do not limit fellowship to the essentials of saving faith as there are other doctrines that are necessary to protect the purity of the essentials such as biblical separation from apostate churches.

    Joe

    I like a lot of Kent’s doctrines but I do think he does go too far at times. You said, “The church chooses what it unites over (statement of faith) and so the church chooses what it divides over.” I don’t think you are giving us a new revelation here. Unless you are saying that every doctrine must be exactly perfectly agreed on before it can fellowship with another church, then on what basis does the Church choose to fellowship if not a essential/nonessential paradigm? How is this different from the traditional fundamentalist one?

  21. Jerry Bouey
    October 7, 2010 at 1:22 am

    I have been following this thread and wondering how people could defend allowing doctrinal differences on issues that are clearly spelled out in the Bible (and no, I don’t find any Scripture that teaches we are only to separate on areas that deal with salvation/the fundamentals of the faith), such as baptism. The Bible is pretty clear that the only type of water baptism the Word of God teaches is believer’s baptism by immersion – any other doctrine/practice than this is deliberate compromise and should be separated from, not endorsed or overlooked because “it is not essential to salvation.” Again, there are no Bible passages that endorse that type of sinful/willful compromise.

    • October 7, 2010 at 8:39 am

      Jerry – I know this may come as a great surprise to you but the vast majority of believers since the Reformation were not Baptists including the KJV translators, Puritans, Westminster Divines, Covenantors, Leaders of 1st, 2nd and 3rd Great Awakenings. The Holy Spirit never convicted us that we were “sinning” in not immersing our nose hairs! Why wasn’t is so “pretty clear” and a “sinful/wilful compromise” to all of them?

      I do not want to revisit the issue of immersion baptism here as Kent and I had it out in full before on another thread. You can start with baptizo translated as “divers washings” in Hebrews 9:10 within the context of the OT citation from Hebrews 9:13.

  22. October 7, 2010 at 1:41 am

    Hi Paul,

    I sometimes wonder what time it is in Singapore. It’s 12:24am here. If someone were searching for the one doctrine/practice that we have had to decide as a church how we’re going to deal with other churches/men, it’s the divorce-remarriage one. If there were two others, they would be music (degree of difference) and then certain methods, mainly promotion or marketing. I could write exactly what we think on this, but it would be lengthy. That doesn’t mean we’ve reduced the doctrines with these to non-essentials. We just have to decide on what the doctrine is. On divorce, our church draws the line at “we hate divorce.” That may seem too lenient for someone who is no-divorce and no-remarriage, but we are deciding something about the doctrine. Mode/recipients of baptism is a little more obvious. I understand people’s concerns though.

    Our church is not Calvinist, but a Calvinist could join our church if he did not cause division on the doctrine. He would, however, have to be baptized by immersion. He might not believe in no-divorce and no-remarriage, but he would not be able to practice that way in our church or cause division over it. Our church has one doctrine and practice. We fellowship with churches with the same doctrine and practice. We treat other churches a little different than our own church members. Our own members hear preaching on these subjects all the time, so are more responsible to change. With other churches, I would expect that some need time to change too. That’s what I mean when I say we don’t cut people off. We are to be patient with all men. We want to do that.

    The separation texts don’t tell us the biblical doctrines and practices that we don’t separate over, that are not included as a basis for unity. The whole of scripture says everything the Bible teaches is the criteria. we don’t get to exclude anything that God said. Someone doesn’t get to violate scripture without repentance and stay in our church, so if someone is excluded from fellowship who is in the church, we should treat people outside the church in the same way. This seems simple to me. Perhaps someone could tell me what is so hard to understand about it.

  23. d4v34x
    October 7, 2010 at 7:10 am

    Kent Brandenburg Someone doesn’t get to violate scripture without repentance and stay in our church, so if someone is excluded from fellowship who is in the church, we should treat people outside the church in the same way. This seems simple to me. Perhaps someone could tell me what is so hard to understand about it.

    I think its the awareness of the understanding of Soul Liberty, which has not historically been limited to /adiaphora/. We can allow liberty on things within the church if they don’t cause division in the (local) church and don’t do damage to the gospel or holiness– your Calvinism example is an apt one. We can allow greater liberty between local churches as it is less likely to cause division, as long as the care for the gospel and holiness remains. And Evangelical Fundamentalists like Bauder and Doran absolutely do point out the differences. Bauder has spent weeks doing it at SI.

    • October 7, 2010 at 8:41 am

      Dave:

      You wrote, “And Evangelical Fundamentalists like Bauder and Doran absolutely do point out the differences. Bauder has spent weeks doing it at SI.”

      If you please, answer me this- Why do you suppose that Bauder, in 16 parts and counting, has yet to seriously raise the ecumenical compromises of the evangelicals such as Al Mohler signing the Manhattan Declaration? Why is that missing from his series?

      This new convergence with so-called conservative evangelicals is being influenced by Bauder, Doran and Jordan. SI is contributing to this influence and they offer virtually no ministry of warning or caution whatsoever. On the contrary, anyone who tries to offer cautions and alternatives to this new direction being propagated by Jordan, Bauder and Doran or warn about these excesses of the evangelicals is gang-tackled by the SI moderators and ridiculed by Bauder, Doran, Straub, et. al., with impunity.

      LM

  24. d4v34x
    October 7, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Brother Martuneac,

    I hesitate to speak for Dr. Bauder. He may be planning to further (he has done so elsewhere prior, albiet in passing) address the MD; he may not. It may be that he sees it as one incident, not a trend–he’s been sticking with the trends and overarching differences. That’s a guess.

    This “new” confluence didn’t start with Bauder and Doran, I don’t think. The real issue here is that for many years many fundamentalists have used Carson, MacArthur, Paul Tripp, Ed Welch (and a host of other CE commentators I can’t think of) for study, teaching, and counseling (NANC, anyone?) resources; it is silly to let them do much (most?) of our theological heavy lifting, but decry them as nearly apostate.

    We can keep posting 25 year old pictures of Al Mohler on a golf cart with Billy Graham, taking negative comments about John R. Rice out of context, etc., etc. At best it misses the point (that much of fundamentalism’s gospel has been anemic for decades and while at least a vein of the CEs’ hasn’t!); at worst it comes of as partisan haranguing.

  25. October 7, 2010 at 10:29 am

    D4,

    This is a good discussion and I know there is a lot ignorance and confusion out there, which is why we have a three part Word of Truth Conference at our church for three Novembers in a row on separation and unity. We are looking at the passages and exegeting and applying them.

    Soul Liberty is in essence liberty. We don’t have the liberty to sin. We don’t have liberty to cause division in a church. We don’t have liberty to spread false doctrine. Liberty is more a responsibility than a privilege, but, I believe, for Baptists, it has primarily been a distinguishing factor from Roman Catholicism and state churchism and coercion. We don’t need a priest. We don’t need an intermediary to study the Bible. Those kind of things. I believe that evangelicals and many fundamentalists have turned soul liberty to an occasion for the flesh and the grace of God into lasciviousness.

    I like to keep this on a doctrinal-practical thread, what Doran himself is kind of asserting with his “this and that” columns on biblical principle and application. We should start first with what exactly does the Bible teach on separation.

    I listened carefully to the Minnick-Dever interview and what I heard Dever say is that he is still a Southern Baptist because it would be a shame to lose the buildings and the money. Why aren’t people addressing that? Are SBC’s fellowshiping with those who preach a false gospel by being in the cooperative program? Isn’t there still liberalism in the SBC? I mean, it’s gotten better, but what about, “Come out from among them.” We separatists have pointed out the problem of reformation from the inside out for years, as to its unscriptural nature and what it’s meant in history. And now we’ve got guys that are fine with the SBC because of the soft peddling on Dever and his kind.

    I respect Dever. I like the 9 marks, all nine of them. But he should add a 10 at least, separation. I think he knows it. Speaking out is not biblical separation. So now we’ll have men join the SBC and it will be fine. What’s that going to do?

  26. Jerry Bouey
    October 7, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Paul, the Reformers and most denominations came out of Rome. Perhaps they were blinded by their traditions or unwilling to rock the boat – EITHER WAY, the Bible is pretty clear on it’s teaching of baptism, regardless of other’s excuse as to why they will not accept it or see it.

  27. d4v34x
    October 7, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    “The genius of fundamentalism is the recognition that all doctrines are not created equal.” ~Dr. Kevin T. Bauder

    whole article at: http://www.centralseminary.edu/publications/20060908.pdf

    In which Dr. Bauder both agrees with Dr. Mohler’s “doctrinal triage” model and seeks to correct the latter’s understanding of historic fundamentalism’s implementation of it, as well as chides him for his failure to call out the first-order “spades” in the SBC.

  28. October 7, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    D4,

    I’ve read and listened to a lot of Bauder. I’ll look at your linked article. In the quote, I don’t see that as a “genius”—that almost seems like tongue-in-cheek. Where is “call out” what the NT says is the response to false doctrine or practice? I can be happy for “call out,” but it falls short of obedience.

    Thanks.

  29. Don Johnson
    October 10, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    D4, I like your term, “evangelical fundamentalists”. I think you might have a winner there. I think I’ll start using it.

    d4v34x :
    This “new” confluence didn’t start with Bauder and Doran, I don’t think. The real issue here is that for many years many fundamentalists have used Carson, MacArthur, Paul Tripp, Ed Welch (and a host of other CE commentators I can’t think of) for study, teaching, and counseling (NANC, anyone?) resources; it is silly to let them do much (most?) of our theological heavy lifting, but decry them as nearly apostate.

    But nobody is decrying them as nearly apostate, are they? That’s not the issue.

    The issue is that they cooperate with people who are in serious error in various ways. You can’t work with them without getting entangled in more serious compromises.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  30. d4v34x
    October 11, 2010 at 7:08 am

    I admit to hyperbole there, Don. Although from the tenor of certain denunciators might lead one to believe they are apostate.

    You are welcome to join us Evangelical Fundamentalists. Even if it’s only in limited cooperation :^) . Which cooperation, btw, I think is the foil to your last assertion.

  31. d4v34x
    October 11, 2010 at 7:11 am

    Also, I, when using “Evangelical” to modify fundamentalist, use it in the technical sense.

  32. Dave Doran
    October 11, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Just to correct the record, Lou wrote:

    “FWIW, I remember several years ago Doran wrote an article for SI, he spoke glowing of some aspect of Driscoll’s ministry. At the very bottom in a small footnote was a mild word of caution about Driscoll’s methods.”

    I have never written an article which spoke glowingly of Mark Driscoll’s ministry for SI or anywhere else. I have no idea what you are talking about Lou, but if you’ll point me to where I did anything close to this, I’ll repent in sackclothe and ashes. If you, on the other hand, have just falsely accused me, that would be the appropriate response on your part.

    • October 11, 2010 at 2:17 pm

      Dave:

      I have taken a few moments to search SI 2.0 for the article. It appears the search feature does not allow one to drill down deep enough to bring the article back. Seven pages of links appear for your name. Furthermore, several articles under the search for “Driscoll” for example no longer have a url to pull the article back up to read.

      I know what I read at SI, which was an article written by you that contained positive commentary on some aspect(s) of Driscoll’s ministry. Then at the bottom you had a footnote disclaimer on Driscoll. It was for a fact at SI and may still be at SI 2.0. Therefore there will only be an apology for not being able to find it. If I stored the article in my archives on my home computer I will provide it tomorrow.

      Dave your misremembering here is not unlike when in 2006 at SI you concealed your identity behind Pearson Johnson’s log in to post vitriol toward me in a thread, which you have never repented of. And you kept up the deception that it was not you posting under Pearson’s log in when an evangelist wrote you (with a carbon to me) about what was being communicated by who the evangelist thought was Pearson. Not until you were asked point blank by me if it was you posted as Pearson that you confessed the truth.

      LM

      • Dave Doran
        October 11, 2010 at 3:47 pm

        Well, I’ll be glad to see whatever you find. I certainly will concede that my memory may be faulty, but I am pretty sure your fertile imagination is getting the best of you.

        FWIW, I’ve been quite clear in my criticism of Driscoll on my blog, e.g., 5/28/09 and 5/29/09. I really can’t recall saying anything positive about Driscoll’s ministry methods ever, let alone writing an article on it.

        As for your continued smear of me regarding the situation at SI, we’ve gone down this path before. You are misrepresenting the facts on this as well. It really is astonishing how small minded you are–since you are unable to substantiate a false accusation you decide to shift attention by tossing out a different one. Pathetic and disingenuous.

  33. October 11, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Dr. Doran,

    Have you written an exegetical defense of the “essential doctrine” doctrine? I would be interested in reading something that someone like yourself has written in defense of it. I’m talking about something that shows that this is taught in the Bible. To be clear, not something that says that certain doctrines are more foundational than others and the violation of which would result in worse punishment. I’m talking about the whole package: the biblical basis for only the essential doctrines being a basis for unity and then separation.

    • Dave Doran
      October 11, 2010 at 3:31 pm

      No, I haven’t written an exegetical defense of the point in question. I think we’d need to do a little work on defining the question more clearly, or at least so that we both are starting at the same place, but it’s a worthwhile pursuit to tackle. Maybe later this fall.

      BTW, no need for the honorific; Dave is fine by me.

  34. October 11, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    For the record, I don’t believe that Dave Doran supports Driscoll, based on two recent blog posts that he wrote:

    http://gloryandgraceblog.dbts.edu/?view=plink&id=180

    http://gloryandgraceblog.dbts.edu/?view=plink&id=182

    Those are both pretty strong against Driscoll. They don’t leave any doubt, I don’t believe, that he does not support Driscoll.

    My question relates to the Doran-Dever fellowship in light of the Dever-Driscoll fellowship—the wisdom of this. But there is more to it than that and I’m going to write on it next here.

    It seems that the “essential doctrine” doctrine has become essential, but without enough effort to find it in the Bible. I can see someone saying it is a philosophy or a chosen way of operating without saying that the Bible actually teaches it. Something like: “This is how we’ve chosen to operate—we fellowship with those who agree on these five doctrines that we have chosen as essential. This is a philosophy that we’ve found works for us. We get in less fights that way.”

  35. October 11, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Dave:

    You don’t support Driscoll now, but the article in which you included complimentary elements toward Driscoll, with the footnote disclaimer was well before 2009. BTW, Kent is right, “My question relates to the Doran-Dever [Piper] fellowship in light of the Dever-Driscoll fellowship—the wisdom of this.”

    The facts are what they were at SI exactly as I described them, you used Pearson’s log in and hid your ID until you were called out for it after the thread closed. No misrepresnetation whatsoever and you know it. Yet you still claim it never happened and refuse to repent of it (Ps. 66:18).

    LM

    PS to Kent, I’ll drop it there, unless Dave needs another reminder.

    LM

    • Dave Doran
      October 12, 2010 at 10:28 am

      Were you able to find the place where I “spoke glowing of some aspect of Driscoll’s ministry” (while relegating a mild word of caution to a footnote) yet?

      Not a hard question and it only has limited possibilities for an answer: (1) yes, I did find it and here it is; (2) no, I couldn’t find it, so I retract my statement and apologize for making a claim I cannot back up; (3) do nothing and move along like you haven’t made a false accusation; or (the one, if you do anything at all, you are most likely to do) (4) no, I can’t find it, but even though I know it happened, I’ll withdraw my statement (while noting that Doran is lying Trojan horse smuggling in worldly Calvinism, the Lordship Salvation heresy, and ungodly ecumenicism into Fundamentalism).

      So which will it be Lou?

      • October 12, 2010 at 11:01 am

        Dave:

        I have not finished searching yet. You did write what I described with the footnote. I have no intention of withdrawing my statement at this time.

        Now, are you prepared to repent of concealing your ID behind Pearson’s log in at SI? And continuing the misrepresentation via e-mail after the thread closed. What you did was blatantly dishonest and that leaves ONE option: Repent Dave!

        Your combative attitude in the blogs, your vitriolic speech toward those you disagree WITH, your parenthetical commentary above does much to reveal your brawler’s attitude. In all seriousness you’re becoming known and recognized as a brawler. Have you considered counseling or stepping down from the ministry?

        LM

        PS: Among other things being brought to light for legitimate commentary having your brushing aside Mohler’s ecumenism exposed is really getting to you; isn’t it?

      • October 12, 2010 at 11:14 am

        worldly Calvinism“, Dave?

        I think you need to direct your ire toward Peter Masters. He is the man who lowered the cross hairs on your new friends at Shepherds, T4G and The Gospel Coaltion conferences, your new friends in the so-called “conservative” evangelicalism. Try this on from Masters and maybe you can take a few on line shots at him; OK.

        The Merger of Calvinism With Worldliness.

        “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.”

        To All:

        Doesn’t that from Masters essentially sum up what we are witnessing among a certain segment of men in IFB circles? The ministry of warning is being killed off. You don’t find men, who claim a heritage as separatists, who are eager to embrace the evangelicals, finding their voice to raise a genuine ministry of warning over the genuinely disconcerting issues such as those Masters rightly addresses.

    • Dave Doran
      October 12, 2010 at 12:17 pm

      Since you persist in misrepresenting the facts, I’ll correct them once more: (1) I did in fact comment via Pearson Johnson’s membership at SI, but I indicated that upfront; (2) I did not deny or misrepresent this to anybody; (3) when accused of wrongdoing by you, I approached the leadership at SI about it and submitted myself to their judgment on the matter; (4) they did not think that I had mislead anybody and was not guilty of what you are alleging. I will certainly concede that had I known that it would give you a handy club to wield against me anytime you need it, I’d never have done it.
      Lou, your opinion of me doesn’t matter to me one bit, but when you lie about me as you have done now on several occasions, it deserves to be challenged. I have searched my own files for anything about Driscoll that fits your description and came up with nothing. I contacted the folks at SI to see if they had recollection of or access to anything that fits your description and they have nothing. I’ve written and said a lot of things, so maybe I had said something which I can’t recall, hence my offer to publicly repent of it were you to provide evidence that I actually did what you said. You’ve not provided any evidence, just dogmatic claims that it is so. Yet, somehow I’m the brawler.
      I realize that a reputation for truthfulness probably doesn’t matter that much in auto sales, but it does when you are addressing serious Scriptural issues. Let me restate my original point—if you show me where I said about Driscoll’s ministry what you allege, I’ll very clearly and publicly repent of it. If you are unable to substantiate your allegation, then I would think a man of integrity would withdraw that allegation (and do it without justifying himself by throwing out other charges).
      Kent, thank you for stepping in and I apologize for my part in creating a sideshow that has taken away from the point of your thread.

      • October 12, 2010 at 1:49 pm

        Dave:

        It is you who is perpetrating a falsehood. Nowhere in the SI thread did you identify yourself by name as posting under Pearson Johnson’s name. And you continued the deception with the evangelist after the thread closed in the private e-mail, exchange that I received carbon copies of by you both. SI vouching for you? Please, with their legendary bias that can’t even be taken seriously. On the other hand many who observed what you did then, and have no personal bias such as SI, found your deception highly unethical. Nuff said.

        On Driscoll, you wrote it, I read it including the footnote and recall it clearly. Nuff said.

        Your opinion of me doesn’t matter to me one bit, your vitriol, insinuations, mocking, condescension and misrepresentations of me I could not care one bit about. I consider the source, you, realizing your emotions are showing and true character is coming through to your shame.

        Bottom line, this is a distraction from the main theme of this thread and the main threat you pose to the next generation. Your efforts to influence the next generation to tolerate, allow for and excuse the aberrant doctrine, worldly methods of ministry and ecumenical compromises of the so-called “conservative” evangelicals is the true and greater threat you present. It is that that I am going to do everything I can to expose and caution against from the Scriptures, which I have been doing since early 2009. I am going to caution brethren against what you and Bauder are trying to influence a generation toward. I will warn as many as possible so that they will not fall into the trap you are steering them toward. That is my commitment to you. Is that Nuff said?

        Kent, with that I’ll go back on message with you here.

        LM

      • October 12, 2010 at 2:12 pm

        Lou,

        I don’t know enough about what you guys are talking about to say who is right and who is wrong. I’m going to give my honest take on it, however. Pastoring for 23 years, I’ve seen numbers of these situation in a church.

        I’m fine with Dave’s explanation. I think you should let it go. Concentrate on what you see as the big picture, keep it to the principles and their application. You won’t run out of material there. When you go after the type of things I read you going after, it hurts your cause. It looks like it is more personal than anything. I think you have some legitimate things to say on this, but they become discredited by it becoming personal. I see Dave as just attempting to defend himself against where he thinks he has been misrepresented. I would do the same thing. I think you should just believe the best about him where he has explained himself. He’s been hard enough in what he’s said against Driscoll for me to believe he isn’t supportive of Driscoll.

        Again, however, I think in the long run, the action of banding with Dever, who fellowships with Driscoll, is where the problem is going to be. Driscoll as a practice has not exhibited behavior in fitting with sound doctrine, that is, he has misrepresented the gospel with his conduct. We all do that when we sin, but this is directional and lifestyle with Driscoll. Separation isn’t one of Dever’s nine marks, so he endorses the Driscoll practice with his fellowship. Now Dave is getting together with Dever. I understand that John Vaughn went to be with Jack Schaap, so in principle, we’ve got no difference between Vaughn and Dever. That’s why I’m not with the FBF myself either, but Vaughn’s actions do not excuse Dever’s. We also have the SBC in the mix here, and I’m wondering about what’s happened there. I think Calvary in Lansdale has got bigger problems than having Dever at their conference.

        Thanks Lou.

  36. October 11, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Kent:

    Your article leads with this, “Evangelicals and Fundamentalists today say that that the right kind of fellowship or unity aligns with the ‘essential doctrines of Scripture’.”

    Reiterating and reinforcing what I posted here on Oct. 5 @ 12:16 & 12:52…

    Looking at whom certain men are choosing/preferring to fellowship and share platforms with, open their pulpit and seminary to demonstrates that some thing. Reading the various articles and commentary about “gospel-driven separation” and watching how men like Doran, Bauder and those they seek to influence are gravitating today I am increasingly convinced that the one “essential doctrine” is Calvinistic soteriology.

    With agreement on that “essential doctrine” we are seeing an increasing pattern from alleged separatists of tolerance for and/or excusing issues such as Dever’s fondness of Driscoll, aberrant Charismatic theology, ecumenical compromises and CCM rock-n-roll events such as the Resolved conference. Fidelity to authentic biblical separatism is being swept aside for the sake of this new convergence with so-called “conservative” evangelicals. This convergence will not stop with Dever. Soon, this embrace will include the entire T4G and Desiring God camp. Bauder and Doran are showing the next generation the way there.

    LM

  37. d4v34x
    October 11, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    “Bauder and Doran are showing the next generation the way…”

    Lou Martouneac does “180” on compromisers!

  38. October 11, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    Lou,

    I really do not know what fundamentalists think are the essentials. I know they think that essentials should be the basis of fellowship, but I do not know what those essentials are. I am beginning to think that ambiguity is part of the strategy and then deniability (“I’m not saying that’s an essential or that isn’t an essential.”) It would seem that we could put our finger on exactly what those are so we know exactly what to separate over and what not to separate over. Of course, all of this illustrates the ridiculousness and the impossibility of this “essential doctrine.”

    I do see among the Calvinists a circle-the-wagons type of attitude about their Calvinism. It brings together an assortment of characters. However, I know Calvary isn’t Calvinist. My reading of Bauder is that he isn’t making Calvinism the issue of fellowship or separation. The conservative evangelicals happen to be mainly Calvinists, I think, in part because Calvinism does have a way of anchoring theology, being less trendy. I’m not saying they aren’t trendy, but less so than the typical evangelical. The Calvinism of these new conservative evangelicals limits its “God-centeredness” to soteriology in many cases, missing it in doctrines of separation, both personal and ecclesiastical.

  39. October 12, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Kent:

    I appreciate your comment above. I’ll have several reactions for you, but let me begin with a few thoughts on this statement from you.

    I am beginning to think that ambiguity is part of the strategy and then deniability (‘I’m not saying that’s an essential or that isn’t an essential.’)

    I agree that there is some ambiguity, and most likely on purpose. However, if you read what men like Doran and Bauder are writing you can find the non-ambiguity. Let’s just take as you noted, “doctrines of separation, both personal and ecclesiastical.” It is irrefutable that many evangelicals have little passion for the biblical mandates for separation from unbelievers, apostates and the disobedient among us. Examples include Al Mohler sitting as chair for the Billy Graham crusade. Graham is the high priest of ecumenical evangelism, he has for decades honored and promoted most every false gospel teaching denomination especially Roman Catholicism.

    Back to Mohler who chaired the Louisville Graham crusade and just last year signed, along side Roman Catholic priests and apostates, the Manhattan Declaration (MD). Again, irrefutably, Mohler, Ligon Duncan and host of lesser known so-called “ conservative” evangelicals who signed the MD compromised the gospel and gave Christian recognition to the deadly enemies of the cross of Christ. Mohler, Duncan, et. al. are unrepentant.

    What was Doran and Bauder’s response to their signing the MD? Doran summarized it as merely, “a wrong decision based on bad judgment.” Bauder brushed it aside noting it as an “occasional inconsistency…single episode.”

    What those reactions show us is that fidelity to the God-given mandates for separatism from unbelievers or the disobedient in NOT on Doran or Bauder’s radar as an essential doctrine when it comes to the so-called “conservative” evangelicals. The evangelical’s egregious violations of God’s mandates for separatism are being given a pass for the sake unity around Calvinistic soteriology, IMO.

    Keep watching this. Are Bauder and Doran avoiding and/or negating the obvious difference on separation among evangelicals? No matter the age or culture the mandates from God for separation from unbelievers and to withdraw from the disobedient are immutable.

    Are beginning to see a trend, an attempt to redefine these timeless truths? Is it possible we are seeing a redefining of the Scriptures on separatism, possibly in both principle and application because certain principles and applications have become inconvenient truths?

    LM

  40. October 12, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Kent:

    You wrote, “My reading of Bauder is that he isn’t making Calvinism the issue of fellowship or separation.”

    When you see the following themes, “Gospel Driven Separation” and “pure gospel” from Bauder, Doran and other Calvinists in IFB circles it is Calvinistic soteriology in the form of Lordship Salvation that they are speaking of and no other interpretation of the gospel.

    Calvinistic soteriology is their “pure gospel” and it is increasingly going to become clear that Calvinism is the rallying point and magnetic attraction for fellowship and cooperation with the evangelicals, who as you rightly noted are almost to a man Calvinistic. It is around Calvinism that a circling of the wagons is forming up.

    Lou

  41. October 12, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Kent:

    What I often wonder is what will Doran and Bauder be thinking when they see increasing numbers of the next generation, whom they are trying to influence toward embracing evangelicals, become just like the star personalities of evangelicalism in doctrine and practice. What will they think when they see the next generation embrace Piper’s Charismatic theology, join Dever’s backing of Mark Driscoll, imitate MacArthur’s Resolved CCM/Rock conference and practice Mohler’s ecumenical compromises with unbelievers and apostates?

    I, for one, will be looking back to this day and age when Bauder and Doran pointed and lead our younger men is those directions.

    LM

  42. d4v34x
    October 12, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Brother Martuneac,

    I can answer your question, sort of. Firstly, your question assumes an outcome that remains to be seen. While I have just entered the decade of my “40s”, I think I’d be considered a “young fundamentalist” having grown up in the Watertown, WI camp of the movement.

    Here’s what I see happening (I see this at SI, Paleoevangelical, personal conversations, BCTC at Lafayette, IN, etc). People recognize a gospel saturated philosophy in the CE’s that is, in ways, more fully orbed than some of the fundamentalism they were reared in. They want to reclaim that.

    Furthermore they recognize in Piper, Dever, MacArthur, Phil Johnson, James MacDonald, and especially Driscoll/Rick Warren, areas of danger/inconsistency. They seek to avoid that. This isn’t a zero sum pie. It’s not all Al Mohler or nothing. But if its a choice between some Piper theology to augment a fundamentalism that has been lacking, or just the same old lacking fundamentalism IT’S A NO BRAINER.

  43. October 12, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Lou,

    We don’t want to entertain accusations against an elder here except with witnesses. I differ from Dave Doran, but I haven’t found him to be a brawler. When I’ve offended him and sought forgiveness, he has been forgiving. I appreciate that about him. I’m happy to have Dave out here talking. His being combative in doctrine, that I respect.

    I think you have a point to be made, but you want to keep it just to the point to be made, and make sure you don’t go beyond that point. My hope for anyone is that we confront a violation of Scripture with Scripture and then wait for some kind of correction, alignment with the truth, or repentance.

  44. October 12, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Kent:

    Thanks for your kind reminder, I appreciate it. I’m done with Dave now. FWIW, I can produce several witnesses (pastors) who believe from first hand observation and/or personal interaction with Doran that he is a brawler (likely a by-product of his playing hockey). Many have noted his, “sarcastic and caustic nature,” but that is not for this thread. We’ll go back on message from here.

    Lou

  45. Dave Doran
    October 12, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Kent,

    I’ll just note that if Lou would like to produce those witnesses, I’d be glad to listen to their concerns so that they, and Lou, can follow something close to a biblical pattern for making accusations and rebuking a brother. I am content for this to happen here or in another forum. If I have sinned in this way, I certainly would want to make it right and I would hope that my accusers would want to see it made right. I’m extending the offer publicly, but I also will be contacting Lou’s pastor to see if we can arrange some means to have this matter presented in a way that honors biblical principles.

  46. October 12, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Dave,

    I think that’s a good attitude about accusations and actually very generous of you. I believe, Lou, that since this is a Bible requirement, that we should get the witnesses here to fulfill that requirement. If not, even if they are true, the accusations should be dropped. I understand that they were still entertained, but I think we should treat them like they were never said.

    Lou,

    It sounds like that Dave is willing to acquiesce if you will produce the witnesses. That is now your responsibility. I’m going to assume that you will get them lined up.

    Dave and Lou,

    I’ll be glad to judge what I believe is the veracity of what I hear from witnesses. I think I’m pretty objective here.

    One more thing for anyone reading,

    I like that Dave is willing to face his accusers like he does. I haven’t seen him, like many fundamentalists, to be someone who backs down when someone writes something about him or something he has written. He’s a busy man and he has taken his time to do this. I applaud that. I haven’t found many men to be like that, where they will go straight to the person. That speaks of someone, I believe, that wants to get things settled.

  47. October 12, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Kent:

    In that most of these men do not and will never particiate in the blogs, I will treat it like it was never said, but stand by what was said.

    LM

    • October 12, 2010 at 3:18 pm

      Lou,

      The 1 Timothy 5 instruction doesn’t say anything about whether it is truthful or not. Even if it is truthful, it should not be entertained without 2 or 3 witnesses. If we have no witnesses available, then the accusation itself is a problem, Lou. The men who are your witnesses may not like to write on blogs. That has to be enough for you not to make an accusation.

      I’m convinced you need to do more than drop it. And what I’m saying will help you. Whatever criticism you have of what Dave does, it will be more effective if you keep it all yourself within the bounds of Scripture. So let’s not just let it stand. You need to retract it without letting it stand here. I also think you should tell Dave that you should not have made the accusation without witnesses.

      • October 12, 2010 at 4:48 pm

        Kent:

        I am reading your notes to me and elements have struck a chord. Thank you.

        1) I won’t be raising Dave’s actions at SI again in the public forum. It was four years ago and I am going to leave it between him and the Lord. It was a needless distraction from the legitimate issues and concerns that have been raised in this thread.

        2) Apart from producing the witnesses this was not the appropriate place or time to identify Dave as a brawler. I, therefore, retract that commentary entirely. To Dave I acknowledge I should not have made it here without first verifying that witnesses would be willing to substantiate.

        With that I trust we’re done on the subject.

        Thanks again,

        LM

      • October 12, 2010 at 5:03 pm

        Lou,

        Thanks. God gives grace to the humble and that was humble.

        Dave,

        Has Lou said enough to close this out with you on the personal matter?

  48. October 12, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Kent:

    You wrote, “Concentrate on what you see as the big picture, keep it to the principles and their application. You won’t run out of material there.”

    Thanks for that, sound advice and I really appreciate it.

    Lou

  49. Dave Doran
    October 13, 2010 at 6:25 am

    Kent,

    I am fine with closing this out here. The initial point of disagreement about Driscoll is unresolved, but I am fine to leave it as is since it has boiled down to Lou’s word against mine and can’t move forward without any proof. Clearly, I think he is mistaken and he thinks I’m lying, so there’s not a lot of goodwill with which to work.

    Thank you for not letting this accusation go unchallenged. Of all people, those of us who take the Bible seriously should not allow ourselves to be conformed to this world’s tendency to call people’s character into question loudly, then walk away from the accusation quietly. Somewhere back up this thread is a point of discussion worth pursuing, so let’s put this sidebar to bed.

    • October 13, 2010 at 11:59 am

      OK Dave. Thanks for dropping by.

  50. October 13, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Kent:

    It is really not so hard to identify what some of the so-called “non-essential” doctrines are. For some ground work here is how Dr. Gerald Priest in 2009 described Al Mohler and Ligon Duncan’s signing of the Manhattan Declaration (MD).

    Al Mohler…is considered one of the darlings among conservative evangelicals, yet he has caused great harm to the gospel by his endorsement of men and movements that have confused and corrupted it (e.g., Billy Graham, Duke McCall, and most recently the Manhattan Declaration). Fundamentalists should rightly separate from him as a disobedient brother. And although MacArthur, Sproul, and others have courageously criticized such endorsements, they still invite Mohler to their platform, because, they say, he speaks for the gospel, even after he has endorsed the social gospel. (If the Manhattan Declaration does advocate another gospel is this not a heresy from which we should separate and likewise from those who endorse it?).

    As I noted above in 17 parts (to date) of Bauder’s Differences series he has yet to give serious attention to one of the most stark differences between Fundamentalists and Evangelicals, which is open, willful compromise of the biblical mandates that forbid cooperating with unbelievers, apostates and withdrawing from the disobedient among the brethren. No Scriptures on separation in principle or application in regard to the evangelicals who signed the MD have been entered into his series that I can recall. Why does such an obvious difference between fundamentalism and evangelicalism not appear in the series?

    Both Bauder and Doran dismissed signing the MD as merely, “a wrong decision based on bad judgment” (DD), an “an occasional inconsistency…single episode” (KB). Furthermore, DD has already attended The Gospel Coalition and the Shepherd’s conferences placing himself under the teaching ministry of Al Mohler and John Piper. That is tacit endorsement of their ministries. Doran has recently hosted three evangelicals in his pulpit and seminary. Both men will be seated along side Mark Dever at Lansdale next year.

    You quoted Doran who wrote, “Believers and churches must separate from those who deny essential doctrines of the faith.” Yet, the evidence suggests that for Doran (and Bauder) the evangelicals open disdain for biblical separation is not going to be considered an “essential doctrine of the faith..” The indication is that when it comes to determining fellowship decisions with evangelicals, fidelity to biblical separation is among the “non-essentials.”

    In my article on Northland International University hosting Rick Holland in chapel I wrote,

    When a man’s shoes are pointed west, he is headed west; pointed east, he is headed east. When you look at a man’s friends, fellowships and conferences he attends; whom a man opens his pulpit, chapel ministry or seminary to, whom he shares platforms with, it tells you something about him. It tells something about an institution. It tells you what he and the institution is now or what they soon will be.”

    I think is has become crystal clear what direction certain men in IFB circles are headed in, and fidelity to biblical separation is being relegated to a “non-essential” by them to keep the path clear.

    LM

  51. October 13, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Kent:

    Note one more portion from the Dr. Priest comment. He wrote, “…they [JMac, et.al.] still invite Mohler to their platform, because, they say, he speaks for the gospel, even after he has endorsed the social gospel.”

    Keep watching this. With the new “pure gospel, gospel driven separation” mantra coming from Calvinists in our circles I believe they are going to follow the evangelicals lead on Mohler and the like because they agree on and rally around Calvinistic soteriology in the form of Lordship Salvation. Agreement around Calvinistic soteriology is going to keep the door swinging ever wider to accommodate more compromises of the Scriptures for the sake of fellowship. IMO, tolerance for and/or acceptance of John Piper’s charismatic theology is just around the corner.

    Lou

  52. October 13, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Lou,

    I think you have some legitimate questions with regards to associations and fellowship and the practice of ecclesiastical separation. We see changes in fundamentalism. I think it does relate to a reevaluation and a reassessment of fundamentalism, and especially militancy. Militancy is not being judged based on the old paradigm. What was once a separating issue is now deemed, it seems, not to be a separating issue—charismaticism, fellowship in the SBC, etc. However, in this post, I want to look at something more root or principled and that is, what is the biblical basis for the essential/non-essential doctrine, what is the proof for that. I think it relates, but it does get off track right now to move into all the names and who had who, etc.

    I’m pretty sure that Matt Olson isn’t a Calvinist, so I don’t think the Rick Holland thing relates to that. Matt Olson and Northland have made a shift on their relationship to “cultural fundamentalism.” They have shifted in separation on cultural issues. You can hear that in Olson’s presentation, linked at SI, on Music. I listened to the first sermon and he is discounting many of the things that he was taught in the past and saying that they weren’t scriptural—he mentions versions, dress, music and media, and Calvinism. It seems that Northland isn’t going to separate over these things anymore if I’m hearing him correctly. They are going to separate over “the gospel.” So that does relate to what I’m talking about here, but I want to keep it to the idea at this point.

  53. October 13, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Kent:

    Good read on Northland’s new direction. I also listened to Olson’s sermon #1, agree with your reaction. Having Rick Holland from Grace Comm. Church, the founder of MacArthur’s Resolved (CCM/Rock) conference, may signal Northland’s new view on music.

    They are going to separate over ‘the gospel’.”

    But, which gospel? Calvinistic soteriology in the form of Lordship Salvation’s faith, plus committment of life, or the gospel of grace through faith alone? If there line up for summer Doctor of Minstry modules is any indication we already have a good indication; they’ve adopted Calvinistic soteriology as their “pure gospel.”

    LM

  54. Don Johnson
    October 13, 2010 at 11:43 am

    hi kent

    I am writing from my phone by my dad’s hospital bedside. I am follwing the conversation via e-mail as I have opportunity to check it occasinally through the day.

    my comments won’t be too cmprehensive as a result…. phone keyboard a pain

    We keep hearing the word ‘gospel’ as defining the boundaries for separation. I think this is creating more limited boundaries than past generations of fundies. I know that you want to deny any boundaries, but in previous discussions I think you have conceded that you are able to cooperate with brethren who dont agree with you on every point.

    when we see this new paradigm of ‘gospel driven’ separation we are hearing a chorus that sounds like some evangelicals and some ‘evangelical fundamentalists’ are saying almost identical things as you point out in your original article.

    it seems to me that this is where the current fight within the boundaries of ‘fundamentalism’ is being fought. We really need to hammer this out. Are the boundaries strictly limited to the gospel (and what. exactly, is meant by the ‘gospel’)? are their other areas (ie cultural issues) that remain legitimate boundaries? of course, I think the boundaries include a good bit more than just the gospel, but I’ll have to leave it until I can type with a regular keyboard.

    one comment re the sidebar – could we leave aside the slurs about occupatin (car salesman, pastor of small church, etc)? these snide side-comments have nothing to do with any of the arguments being made and really cheapen the arguments of those using the slurs.

    maranatha!
    don johnson
    jer 33.3

  55. October 13, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Don,

    I hope things work out well with your dad. Thanks for commenting.

    Yes, I think that fundamentalism is not separatist enough, based on what I read in scripture. But I would rather fundamentalism be strong. We are being forced to think about some of the foundations of fundamentalism—what is it? This is the first I’ve ever heard this “the gospel” definition brought in. I’m sure that fundamentalists would stand for the gospel, but they have stood for more than that. I think I understand why the line of demarcation is moving. These men see more in common with the conservative evangelicals than most of fundamentalism.

    I don’t think this has all landed yet. It is in the moving stage. I personally don’t see Calvinism as being the major issue like you do. After all, Dever is in the SBC, where Calvinism is in the minority. Calvary Lansdale isn’t Calvinist. And Bauder says he thinks there are non-Calvinist conservative evangelicals. I think that it mainly surrounds the “essential/non-essential” doctrine. Cultural issues, including music and dress, are non-essentials. I think when the moving stage is over that booze and movies will be non-essentials.

    Matt Olson’s sermon was so ambiguous, you could only get what he was saying if you knew how to read between the lines. This is the nature of a chapel in a parachurch organization that draws from a wide range of churches. His major theme was that it must be in scripture to practice it, but most of the sermon was not from scripture, just opinion.

  56. October 13, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    These men see more in common with the conservative evangelicals than most of fundamentalism.”

    Agreed and what they see most in common is Calvinism. This leads to asking who is moving.

    The evangelicals have not and may never move toward a more faithful position on separatism. We do not see Calvinistic men in our circles who are moving toward the ce camp calling on the ce men to move closer to obedience to the biblical principles or application of separatism. They talk and write about it, but will not bring these scriptures to bear on the ce men and hold them accountable for obvious betrayals of those principles. So, we see men who claim a heritage of separatism moving in the direction of the evangelicals, they are accommodating the evangelicals lack of fidelity on separation to have fellowship with them.

    If we have a stake in the ground that is God’s mandate for separation from unbelievers and the disobedient; who is moving away from it? The evangelicals have long since been far from that stake in the ground so I see “these men” inching away from it to have their fellowship with the evangelicals. That is why I feel separation is become a non-essential as they seek fellowship around Calvinistic soteriology.

    And Bauder says he thinks there are non-Calvinist conservative evangelicals.”

    I’d like for Kevin Bauder to name any conservative evangelical among the T4G/GC/DG leadership that is NOT a Calvinist.

    LM

  57. d4v34x
    October 14, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Kent Brandenburg …[The ‘gospel-only separators would say] music and dress, are non-essentials. I think when the moving stage is over that booze and movies will be non-essentials [to them as well.

    For the sake of argument, if you agreed there were essentials, you’re telling me movies would be one of them?

  58. d4v34x
    October 14, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Agreed and what they see most in common is Calvinism. This leads to asking who is moving.

    I think this assertion is without basis. I think a robust Gospel theology is what they see in common. My opinion/experience/perception only.

    I’d like for Kevin Bauder to name any conservative evangelical among the T4G/GC/DG leadership that is NOT a Calvinist.

    He doesn’t have to to substantiate his claim that there are CE’s that aren’t Calvinist. Flourish away, that point won’t stick.

  59. October 14, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Dave:

    Thanks for the reply. You wrote, “I think a robust Gospel theology is what they see in common.”

    It is Calvinistic soteriology in the form of Lordship Salvation (LS) that to a man in the T4G ce camp that is the “robust Gospel” they see in common. Because that is their “pure gospel” focal point for fellowship they (Doran/Bauder, et. al.) have shown an the willingness to allow for, tolerate and excuse the egregious ecumenical compromises, aberrant doctrine and worldiness in ministry of the so-called “conservative” evangelicals.

    Bauder claims there may be a ce who is not a Calvinist. As I said I don’t believe there is any non-Calvinist in the T4G/DG/GC leadership and furthermore not one who is not an advocate of LS.

    LM

  60. d4v34x
    October 14, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Hi Lou,

    I know at least one LS guy (who also happens to be a perfect preservation, local church only blogster [he’d just call himself a Baptist, though]) who isn’t a Calvinist.

    But I don’t have enough experience to know if Calvinism pushes one towards LS in every case. At any rate, I think I see the distinction you’re making.

    Bro. B.,

    Have you read Scott A’s article on agreement on principle being more important than practice? Sort of gets at your main point here, even if its from maybe a slightly different angle.

  61. October 14, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Dave:

    Thanks for the come back. You wrote, “But I don’t have enough experience to know if Calvinism pushes one towards LS in every case. At any rate, I think I see the distinction you’re making.

    Calvinism has a tendancy to push one toward LS. I do, however, know several Calvinists personally who reject the LS interpretation of the gospel. Among the T4G leadership I’d be stunned iof any of them stated they reject LS as, John MacArthur, for instance defines it. IMO, T4G is best defined as Together for the LS Gospel.

    Lou

  62. October 14, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    D4,

    For the sake of my own time and keeping this on track, I’m only going to nod with interest at your first paragraph.

    However, I do believe that Bauder and Doran see the conservative evangelicals with a more biblical gospel, and that swings them that way. I think they should have some gospel issues with Dever though. He’s in the SBC which provides shelter for liberals still. It seems their standard of fellowship has less to do with someone’s actions (biblical separation) than it does their lipservice (telling everyone that the liberalism is wrong without separating). Is the latter the scripturally prescribed response to liberalism? Should you be commended for the latter when it falls woefully short of what God requires? And Dever explains to Minnick that he stays in the SBC because of money and buildings.

    I’ve read the Scott A article and agree that we should start with principle. I stood and talked with the jr. high pastor of a Rick Warren type church yesterday afternoon for about 1 1/2 hrs during evangelism, and he wanted to hear the practice but I refused until we covered the principles. Moving to practice without the principles is superficial and short-lived, will almost surely fail.

    • October 14, 2010 at 3:18 pm

      Kent:

      You wrote, “And Dever explains to Minnick that he stays in the SBC because of money and buildings.”

      I first came to Marquette Manor Baptist Church in 1984. Dr. Wayne VanGelderen, Sr. was pastor then. In 1985 I asked why some pastors stay in the SBC when there is good reaosn to come out. Dr. VanGelderen said,The fight is for the furniture.” By that he menat, as you noted, they were staying in to fight for control of the schools.

      Lou

      • October 14, 2010 at 5:37 pm

        Fight for the furniture. A good line. I haven’t noticed one of the 9 marks being: money and buildings.

  63. Ben
    October 14, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    I don’t want this to get off-topic again, but I did want to provide some evidence related to one of the accusations against Dave Doran above. He was accused of posting under Pearson Johnson’s name at SI in 2006 without indicating it was him and not Pearson, while Dave said he indicated up front that it was he who was posting. If you take a look at this link, you will find the first post under pjohnson’s name with a “PLJ/dd” at the bottom, indicating that it was Dave Doran who was posting. So, Doran was being accurate that he did indicate it was him at the beginning.
    http://20.sharperiron.org/printthread.php?t=3047&page=3&pp=40

    • October 14, 2010 at 3:22 pm

      Ben:

      You are behaving very unwisely when this has been dropped. I am asking our host Kent to delete your comment or I am going to publish proof that Doran was conceling his ID as the thread continued.

      Kent, please consider dropping Ben’s intrusion into what was to be a closed matter.

      Thanks,

      Lou

  64. October 14, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Lou,

    I’m going to allow both Ben and your comments to stand. I say publish all the information in the appropriate place (not here) where the topic is being covered and people can have their say. As long as we can look at the evidence, I don’t think there’s any he-said/he-said situation. Ben provided a link, so people can check out the veracity on its own. And you can come back and link your evidence here, Lou. The previous issue was something that needed witnesses that were not provided. I don’t think Dave minds having published what he actually did or said with a link to the evidence.

    Ben,

    Who are you? Are you Ben of paleoevangelical?

  65. October 14, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    To All (with Kent’s OK):

    Now I’ll set the record straight.

    In the SI thread you’ll notice that Dave Doran used the pjohnson (Pearson Johnson’s) log in. Doran would address me as “Lou” in each of his notes to me. He (Doran) never signed off as Dave Doran. All you find is pjohnson as the header, nothing more.

    I consistently replied to this pjohnson addressing him as “Pearson” believing it was Pearson. For example:

    Pearson: Deal with the doctrinal problems! (See comment- 8/22/06 @ 12:25pm)

    In every exchange I had with the alleged pjohnson, I addressed him as “Pearson.” Doran NEVER acknowledged in the thread that I was interacting with him, NOT Pearson Johnson.

    After the thread closed Doran received an e-mail (I have the carbon) from an evangelist who was sharing concerns with Doran he had with who he thought was Pearson posting to me under pjohnson. The evangelist e-mailed the pastor (Dave Doran) of Pearson Johnson because he wanted to ask Dave about Pearson’s demeanor in his SI posts to me. Doran’s reply to the evangelist offered no admission that it was in fact him (Doran) posting as pjohnson at SI. He (Doran) kept up the façade that it was Pearson and not him posting as pjohnson.

    When I suspected foul play I asked, in an e-mail to Doran with a carbon to the evangelist, if it was him (Doran) posting as pjohnson in the SI thread. Only then did he (Doran) admit that it was him. I was not the only person deceived. After the truth came out I contacted several others who had read and/or participated in that thread and none of them, to my recollection, knew it was Doran posting under pjohnson.

    Bottom line, Doran behaved deceitfully in the SI thread and in private e-mails on purpose.

    LM

  66. October 14, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Here is more proof others, active in the thread, were unaware it was Doran who was posting as Pearson Johnson.

    See comment from Todd Wood on 8/22/06 @ 12:42pm, near the end of the thread, where Todd wrote, “Pearson, my apologies, but again, those were sweet words early on! Brother Lou, some more Issues of the Heart in Romans. I love talking the gospel.” Brother Wood is addressing who he believed to be Pearson.

    Doran never identified himself by name and continued the deception in e-mails exchanges that followed the thread’s closure as I noted above.

    LM

  67. d4v34x
    October 14, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Re the SI thread: 4 years ago yet so little has changed. That’s sort of depressing.

    Re this thread: Bro. B., I’ll have to go back and listen to the Dever-Minnick thing before I comment on that.

    As far as calling this E/NE thing a doctrine, maybe principle is better. Like the RPW– not explicitly stated, but derived. We still have the disagreement on the principle level, which is problematic.

    I have to concede that it is much more referred to than expressly developed/defended.

    Also, I admire the way you’ve handled all the parties commenting here. Well done.

  68. Ben
    October 14, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    I think a few more facts should be noted in order to properly evaluate the SI thread.

    First, I’ve often seen Doran interact at SI through other people’s accounts because he does not keep an account there. I don’t know whether or not he had an account in August of 2006, but it may well be that he was logged in under Pearson’s name b/c he did not have an account in his own name.

    Second, it’s true that Todd Wood misidentified Doran as Pearson. But, if you look at his comment on August 21st, 2006 12:45 PM, you will see he first misidentified him as Phil Johnson. He was corrected by Greg Linscott in a comment on August 21st, 2006 01:42 PM where Greg said “I am reasonably certain that pjohnson ‘PLJ/dd’ is Pearson Johnson/Dave Doran” indicating that Greg obviously realized that Doran was commenting under Pearson’s account. So, though Todd and Lou mistook him for Pearson, Greg recognized who it was and clearly pointed it out, because he recognized that he had identified himself in his first comment.

    Third, he did acknowledge in the thread that he was using Pearson’s account by signing his first comment with his initials. I pointed that out in my previous comment. Greg later identified him as well. The fact that not everyone picked up on that does not mean that Doran was being deceitful.

    Fourth, to accuse him of being deceitful on purpose seems to depend on the ability to know his heart and motives at the time, which are usually hard things to know. So, the only way we can evaluate it is based on what he actually did. If he was purposefully trying to deceive, why did he begin his first comment by identifying himself? It would seem like a pretty poor approach to being deceitful.

    There are certainly other explanations for a failure to identify himself in the remainder of the thread that would also explain why he began by identifying himself: e.g., maybe he didn’t consider it important to correct people who overlooked his initial identifying signature, or maybe he was simply being careless in his communication. To assume that he was being purposefully deceitful not only ignores the evidence that he did identify himself (and that others recognized that) but also seems uncharitable.

    Since motives are hard to determine, we could ask the individual what they were trying to accomplish. Doran has already pointed out on this thread “I did in fact comment via Pearson Johnson’s membership at SI, but I indicated that upfront; (2) I did not deny or misrepresent this to anybody;” So, to accuse him of being purposefully deceitful in that thread includes an accusation that he is purposefully being deceitful in this one. That is a rather strong accusation to bring against an elder, especially when a more charitable explanation fits the facts as well if not better.

    Kent,
    I’m not the Ben from paleo. You probably don’t know me. I’m just a Bible student who usually lurks on these blogs, but since I was curious and actually found the SI thread under question, I decided to make the evidence available for people to determine which interpretation of the account better matched with reality, especially since IMO (which admittedly doesn’t count for much) the evidence seems to clear an elder of an accusation against his integrity. And since the evidence is now available for people to consider, I’m more than happy to let them draw their own conclusions. Thanks.

  69. Ben
    October 14, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    One more thing: I just noticed that right after Greg said that pjohnson was Doran, pjohnson commented: “Greg is correct”, once again, admitting that he was Doran.

    And let me also say that I think brother Brandenburg has done a commendable job at moderating this discussion.

  70. October 14, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    Ben:

    Is may be just an oversight, but are you are failing to address and explain why it is after numerous times I (and like Todd Wood) addressed him specifically as Pearson he (Doran) refused to clear up that misconception.

    And furthermore, why don’t you take a stab at explaining why after the SI thread was closed he (Doran) kept up the façade (in e-mails between me, Doran and an evangelist) that he was not the one posting as Pearson Johnson in the SI thread? I could not begin to know his motives were for such gamesmanship, but what he did is plain and obvious. His actions were less than ethical, they were deceitful yet he continues to claim he was truthful and transparent throughout the whole episode.

    Yes, Greg did reference Doran, but isn’t it obvious that at least two participants in the thread did not read that one line comment because they kept addressing who turned out to be Doran as Pearson and to reiterate Doran never attempted corrected the misunderstanding?

    Sorry, but irrefutable facts are that he as willfully and purposefully covering his identity when he was being addressed by me as Pearson, contacted via e-mail by an evangelist about the incident and he is over four years still unrepentant.

    I think this has gone far enough. Like you I believe others who have any concern can decide for themselves. Several others who observed the event at the time it unfolded felt Doran was deceitful. The objective fact is that Doran willfully concealed his identity is spite of his being repeatedly addressed him as Pearson.

    LM

  71. October 15, 2010 at 12:51 am

    Ben/All:

    Another example from the SI thread in question.

    On Aug. 20th @ 7:59am under the pjohnson log in, who we much later discovered was Dave Doran posting as Pearson Johnson, he (Doran) posted the following. I’ll post this in abbreviated form to get to the point.

    Lou,

    Three quick points:

    1. Are you familiar with the old gag…

    2. Both Mike Harding and I did answer your question…

    3. …the theme was the Supremacy of God and the speakers that addressed this theme were Les Ollila (in education), Rolland McCune (in ecclesiastical separation), Mark Minnick (in preaching). Dave Doran (in missions), Rod Bell (in leadership), and Mike Harding (in salvation).

    Under #3 you can plainly see that Doran is referring to himself as if he is Pearson naming Dave Doran as a one of the conference speakers.

    LM

  72. Anvil
    October 15, 2010 at 5:50 am

    Lou,

    I have to take issue with your idea that concealing your identity is always deception. It is something time-honored in literature and other similar places. When used properly, it’s not an attempt to deceive — it’s to keep the conversation focused on facts rather than who the person is. When someone answers a person using a pseudonym unknown to him, it takes away (mostly invalid) arguments like “Well, of course YOU would say that because you are …” (Fill in the blank.) And this is not just to cover scurrilous arguments — it’s also been used out of a sense of genuine humility to keep what would be positive attention for the writer focused elsewhere instead. In some cases it’s used to protect a writer saying things that need to be said from those who would abuse their power and punish the speaker because they don’t like what is being said. There were many who wrote anonymously around the time of the American Independence because of how the British would misuse their power if they knew the authors of what had been written.

    No doubt, pseudonyms can be misused, which is why some sites like SI don’t allow them (although they did in the beginning, which you can see in the thread that was posted here, and not just by pjohnson). Too many people can succumb to the temptation to lob grenades and hope or expect that since people do not know who they are, they won’t be held responsible for what they have said or written. Pastor Brandenburg has allowed them (as long as they are not used in such a fashion and don’t go against his posting rules), and so I continue to do so, because I prefer attention focused on what is said, rather than who the person is who says it (as if that somehow alters the truth value of the statement made).

    What this argument comes down to though, is that refusal to confirm or deny something is not the same as lying. This is also the basis for our laws that allow a suspect to remain silent and not be guilty of perjury. Sometimes refusal to answer can cause one to be guilty of “contempt of court,” essentially, disobedience, if there is an authority relationship. However, that is still not the same as deception.

  73. Don Johnson
    October 15, 2010 at 6:33 am

    but, Anvil, pseudonymity isnt the charge, as I understand it. Rather, it is misrepresentation. It would be like you posting here under my name, rather than anvil.

    This is not to say I agree with Lou on this point. I don’t have time to look into it. Just an attempt to clarify things.

    maranatha!
    don johnson
    jer 33.3

  74. Ben
    October 15, 2010 at 6:53 am

    A few comments and I really plan on being done 🙂

    I did address why Doran failed to identify himself later in the discussion by giving other possible explanations: “maybe he didn’t consider it important to correct people who overlooked his initial identifying signature, or maybe he was simply being careless in his communication.” Anvil pointed to another: maybe he felt that it would have in some way hindered the discussion by reiterating his identity.

    Regarding what happened after the SI thread was shut down: I can’t address that, b/c I don’t have that information. However, Doran’s explanation here matches up perfectly with the evidence we do have in the SI thread: “(1)I did in fact comment via Pearson Johnson’s membership at SI, but I indicated that upfront;” which I pointed out he did in his first comment. And “(2) I did not deny or misrepresent this to anybody;” which when Greg indicated that pjohnson was Doran, Doran responded “you are correct” (i.e., he didn’t deny that.) So, since his explanation matches up with the evidence I do have, I’m left to assume it would match up with the evidence I don’t have.

    And I think Anvil’s last paragraph is very pertinent here. Though the issue here is not about pseudonymity, it is that a refusal to confirm or deny means being purposefully deceitful. (Since the issue is not really that he “hid” his identity, since he identified himself at least twice in the thread.

  75. October 15, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Anvil/Ben:

    I appreciate your take, but the hard evidence demonstrates otherwise. Doran claims then and now he was not trying to post anonymously. He claims that he was fully transparent in revealing his ID in the thread. Yet, in the thread and especially in the post thread e-mail exchange he went out of his way to avoid identifying himself as the one posting as pjohnson, even though he knew that he was thought to be and was being addressed as Pearson. That is deceiving those who were commenting with him as though he was Pearson. There is more than enough evidence, such as I offered above to go beyond reasonable doubt. Doran naming himself as though he is Pearson naming Dave Doran. C’mon guys; it does not pass the smell test.

    I also believe Don is correct in suggesting, “misrepresentation“, which is generous. In any event deception and/or misrepresentation is a fact and it was willfully committed by Doran. He behaved badly and for him to maintain that he did nothing out of sorts, to give himself cover, is simply not true.

    Thanks again,

    LM

  76. Me
    October 15, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Lou,

    Looks like you have been caught yet one more time just not telling the truth. Following Ben’s link (which you don’t dispute is the conversation you are talking about), it is clear that Dave Doran identified himself at the very beginning of the conversation, unless you think that “dd” is a reference to something or someone else (and it’s hard to imagine what else it might mean). It stands to reason that everything else in that conversation is the comments of Dave. That notation is commonly used in the business world to indicate authorship. The only legitimate complaint is that it’s backwards. It is normally author followed by typist, such as DD/plj.

    The fact that you referred to him as “Pearson” only shows that you weren’t paying attention. Others got it apparently (if not from the “dd” then from Greg Linscott); you missed it. That is a testimony to your confusion, not to anything that was wrong. As for the emails and this “evangelist” it’s hard to tell if you are telling the truth about that. I think we all have seen enough from you to have reason to doubt that you are. You have supposed legions of emailers who never seem to have any existence outside your mind and your own writing. These many pastors who have internet access to read these things and email access to email you never seem to actually show up anywhere or to email anyone else. Strange, isn’t it? It is a lot like gossip … talking about someone behind their back rather than to their face. To your credit, and perhaps the only thing to your credit, you actually talk publicly about this rather than behind “closed doors” so to speak. It doesn’t look good for you, and it doesn’t work well for you, but at least you don’t hide like these other supposed people do. The idea that they don’t participate in the internet is simply false. They do, as we know from the fact that they read and make comments. They just apparently make them privately to you rather than to the person they are dealing with. For all your concern about Dave’s sins here, perhaps you should be calling on these people to stop the sin of gossip and stop the practice of hiding rather than coming out and standing up for their position. Say what you will about Dave; he doesn’t hide from people.

    This is also testimony to your long standing tactic of focusing on personalities rather than issues. It serves no place in the debate about serious issues that are facing fundamentalism. The issue of you missing or misunderstanding the “dd” has nothing to do with issues currently at hand. The fact that you are bringing up a minor conversation from four years ago is a stunning exercise of missing the point.

    Think about it: Here we are, facing some great challenges in fundamentalism, standing at a crossroads of sorts where some very distinct issue are being discussed in a serious way … and what does Lou do? Brings up a conversation from four years ago that has to do with personality, not with substance.

    And yes, I am posting anonymously because I don’t want to be a part of your personality game. I don’t want to be the subject of your next rant about something. No, I am not pretending to be someone else. I have no posted here before. I don’t intend to post here again.

    Let’s talk about issues. Forget Dave. Whatever he did four years ago at SI is irrelevant to the issues at hand. It simply makes no difference. If Dave did try to hide something, then he did. But how is that relevant to this? It’s not, and you know it. So stop …

    Go back to complaining about Dever at Calvary, or Minnick at Troy or something. At least those are current issues.

  77. October 15, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Kent:

    My policy is to ignore any among the anonymous, but I am going to react briefly to one aspect from this anonymous person.

    Let’s talk about issues…” If we are going to talk about the issues, as you noted, “Here we are, facing some great challenges in fundamentalism, standing at a crossroads of sorts where some very distinct issue are being discussed in a serious way.”

    At my blog, to FrontLine magazine and elsewhere I have contributed a great many serious articles to these “great challenges in fundamentalism.” Dave Doran, along with Kevin Bauder are key figures in the challenges facing fundamentalism.

    In our circles Dave Doran and Kevin Bauder pose the greatest threat to this and the next generation of fundamentalists. Fidelity to balanced biblical separatism is a chief hallmark of Fundamentalism. Doran and Bauder are not just themselves, but seeking to influence others, outside their immediate sphere of ministry influence, to relax the principles and application of biblical separatism to accommodate their desire to unite with the so-called “conservative” evangelicals. That is a serious issue I intend to keep writing serious articles about as they are necessitated.

    Why don’t you read these articles and then decide if I am taking the issues seriously.

    For FrontLine I wrote, The Manhattan Declaration: Is This Another Step Toward the Supra-Religion?

    Northland International University

    Do Fundamentalists & Evangelicals, “Believe, Preach and Defend the [Same] Gospel?”

    Thanks,

    LM

  78. Me
    October 15, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Dave Doran, along with Kevin Bauder are key figures in the challenges facing fundamentalism.

    In our circles Dave Doran and Kevin Bauder pose the greatest threat to this and the next generation of fundamentalists.

    If this is true, then fundamentalism is not nearly in as bad a shape as might have been thought. We could certainly do worse than Dave Doran and Kevin Bauder.

    Why don’t you read these articles and then decide if I am taking the issues seriously.

    I have, and you’re not. You are not commenting on substance. I don’t know of anyone who thinks that what Dave Doran said four years ago in a long forgotten (by everybody but you) conversation is a serious issue of fundamentalism. But you do.

    When you were kindly asked by Christian Markle (who is almost unanimously recognized as kind, gentle, and committed to separatism) to address the Scriptures, you refused for the sake of time, merely pointing to a few articles that didn’t really address the issues, and a few books where other people addressed the issues. Yet, ironically, you have time to run all over the blogosphere posting comments.

    So you have time to drag up conversations from four years ago, and time to carry on all kinds of email conversations with people, but you don’t have time to address the Scriptures that were inspired by God 2000 years ago.

    And you think that is seriously addressing the issues of fundamentalism.

    And by considering that, then you can understand my point.

  79. Dave Doran
    October 15, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Well, things have been hopping here. At the risk of keeping this goofy rabbit trail alive, please forgive me for offering a final word from me on the whole discussion. I stand by my original response to Lou’s accusation regarding the SI fiasco. I am fine with letting anybody read that thread and evaluate if my response fits that or not. Obviously, I agree with Ben and Me (which isn’t actually me, btw). I honestly can understand if someone questions my judgment for pursuing the route I did in that SI discussion, but questioning my judgment is different than impugning my integrity. As I wrote above, I submitted myself to the judgment of others at the time, so I was not trying to hide or evade anything.
    I hope anybody who reads this will note carefully Lou’s tactics. This all started when he made a claim about me that I challenged, yet offered to repent if he proved it. When he was not able to prove it, he shifted the subject (as he has done at other times and in other places) to something which he believes discredits me (and I think he believes would embarrass me and get me to drop my point). Once that didn’t work, he turns to a third accusation which he cannot support. When confronted about the wrongness of that, he “withdraws” it making sure everybody knows that it does so only because he couldn’t support it, not because it’s not true. He has made three charges against me. He has successfully shifted the discussion away from the initial one which he could not prove because his only “proof” is that he remembers it.
    I didn’t comment originally because I thought I could convince Lou of anything. I gave up that hope over a decade ago. Frankly, I knew that Lou could not back up his claim about me, so I wanted to show everybody how he would avoid accepting responsibility for making unfounded claims. When it was exposed that he could not back up his claim, he attacked me. When that line of attack was closed off by the moderator, he launched a new attack. This is how the story goes with Lou.
    Lou, I will gladly yield the last word to you. Kent, I genuinely apologize for this going down this path. I don’t apologize for trying to clarify the record about the Driscoll matter, especially since a Driscoll-Dever-Doran connection was being made. This drifted way off that path and I did not expect it to become this ridiculous.

  80. Gary
    October 15, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Ben,

    I don’t think that you were using wisdom in bringing back up a dropped subject.

    To all,

    1 Thess. 5:22 states: Abstain from all appearance of evil.

    Dave may know in his heart that he meant no deceit, but clearly Lou is seeing an “appearance of evil”. In hopes of fully restoring their fellowship, maybe Dave should just appologise for the appearance of evil. Lou in return should accept the appology and leave the rest in God’s hands.

    To Dave and Lou,

    A couple of scriptures come to mind:

    Eph 4:26-27
    1 John 3:15

    God Bless

  81. October 15, 2010 at 9:39 am

    To All Persons:

    An Open Apology

    This morning I have been mulling over my raising the thread issue that took place at SI 4 years ago. While I disagree with and did not appreciate much of the commentary from Anonymous, the personality concern did strike a heart chord with me.

    I realize that I allowed the flesh to get in the way of the Spirit’s influence and leading in my life. My emotions got in the way of what would have been otherwise better judgment.

    Therefore, I offer my sincere apology for having raised the issue at SI and I repent of it. I have this morning given this over to God, asked Him to forgive me for allowing my flesh to control me.

    Whether he apologizes or not I have forgiven Dave Doran and have buried the issue once and for all.

    Yours faithfully,

    LM

  82. October 15, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Anonymous:

    Maybe you’ll take seriously some comments from Dr. Gerald Priest who reacted to Kevin Bauder’s Let’s Get Clear on This.

    For example he wrote,

    Second, Kevin has been quite lavish in his praise of conservative evangelicals while castigating so-called fundamentalists. Yet he has spent very little time warning us about the pitfalls and problems of conservative evangelicalism.

    Al Mohler, for example, is considered one of the darlings among conservative evangelicals, yet he has caused great harm to the gospel by his endorsement of men and movements that have confused and corrupted it (e.g., Billy Graham, Duke McCall, and most recently the Manhattan Declaration). Fundamentalists should rightly separate from him as a disobedient brother. And although MacArthur, Sproul, and others have courageously criticized such endorsements, they still invite Mohler to their platform, because, they say, he speaks for the gospel, even after he has endorsed the social gospel. (If the Manhattan Declaration does advocate another gospel is this not a heresy from which we should separate and likewise from those who endorse it?). And I might add that there are plenty of conservative evangelicals that promote some form of the social gospel, which, as we well know, was a major plank in the neo-evangelical agenda.

    What I fear is that we may be allowing a Trojan horse into the fundamentalist camp. And after a while, if we keep going down this track, any significant difference between conservative evangelical and the fundamentalist institutions may disappear. Fundamentalists will become even ‘nicer’ to the conservative evangelicals and they in turn will appear more ‘respectable’ to the fundamentalists. It may be that some fundamentalists desire this. But then, would they not also have to forfeit the label?”

    What we are witnessing is certain men among us and their institutions are becoming “nicer” to and shifting their fellowship and allegiance toward evangelicals. I see these men holding the gate open for the “Trojan horse” of evangelicalism to enter and roam freely in fundamentalist churches and institutions.

    With the current events at Northland and DBTS (opening their pulpits, chapels and classrooms to evangelicals) we are seeing the first signs of “difference[s] between conservative evangelical and the fundamentalist institutions” disappearing. The evangelicals will stamp their principles on the church and institution including ecumenical compromise. For example Al Mohler signing the Manhattan Declaration, which as Dr. Priest put it, “caused great harm to the gospel,” yet both Bauder and Doran excused it.

    And on that last note from Dr. Priest we have seen that Dave Doran has publicly cast off, forfeited the label “fundamentalist.”

    Now, if you, Anonymous, have issues with what Dr. Priest write, please share them.

    LM

  83. d4v34x
    October 15, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Lou, when you say /Frontline/ magazine, are you talking about the FBF’s /Frontline/?

  84. d4v34x
    October 15, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Never mind. I didn’t see the apology/hopefully end of thread stuff. No need to answer.

  85. October 15, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Dave,

    It seems that Lou, hopefully to enough of a degree, has buried the whole identity thing. Personally, I think its a waste of time that I would not have had a problem in the first place. I wouldn’t have cared if you wrote under Baron T. Muffwinkle’s name. We judge the content. I like people to say their name, because it’s more upfront, but it seems you identified yourself enough and have explained, in my opinion, enough. It’s a non-issue as far as I’m concerned. But I let the surrogates hash it out in public perhaps to get it done with.

    On the Doran-Dever-Driscoll thing, I know you don’t support Driscoll. I’ve got two issues with the Dever thing: 1) SBC, and 2) fellowship with guys like Driscoll. I don’t see how that this could be good for the doctrine of separation. Maybe you have an end game that no one sees, like you’re going to confront Dever in public at the meeting and ask him to leave the SBC and disfellowship from Driscoll, so you are at peace with this. That would be a good use of your hockey skills in my opinion. 😀

  86. Dave Doran
    October 15, 2010 at 11:16 am

    If anbody is interested in what I’ve said about the Manhattan Declaration, you can find a collection of what I’ve written about it here: http://gloryandgrace.dbts.edu/?s=manhattan+declaration

    I’ll let you decide if I excused it.

  87. October 15, 2010 at 11:20 am

    My last word, although the thread is still open. Is the “essential/non-essential doctrine” doctrine being assumed without biblical proof? I still argue that men rely on this without it coming from the Bible. And why is it more popular than ever? Hardly a trace in historic doctrine and now its all over the place.

    D4 said that he thinks that its like the regulative principle of worship in a sense. I don’t agree. I believe there is much more proof for the RPW and for the “essential/non-essential,” there is a lot of proof against it—so a wide chasm of difference there. I would even say apples and oranges.

  88. October 15, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Dave:

    This is how you summarized Mohler signing the Manhattan Declaration. In the Bronx Declaration you wrote it was, “a wrong decision based on bad judgment.”

    In context you wrote, “Just so I am clear, I don’t believe that some of the conservative men who signed the Manhattan Declaration intended to forge an ecumenical relationship which compromises the gospel by giving Christian recognition to people without a credible profession of the gospel. That wasn’t the intent, but it is the result. That makes it, in my mind, a wrong decision based on bad judgment. As I told a group of seminary students last week, I think a charitable interpretation of this matter recognizes the gap between deliberate pursuit of theological ecumenism and a wrong decision based on bad judgment.

    The Bible knows nothing of a charitable response to men who willfully give Christian recognition to the deadly enemies of the cause of Christ (Phil. 3:18, compromise the gospel, both of which Mohler did and is unrepentant over. We are to admonish him as a brother and if he refuses correction, which he has, we have only one biblical mandated response to the disobedient, which Mohler clearly is as Dr. Priest noted. We must obey God and withdraw from and avoid him. Yet you told impressionable seminary students that they can be chartable as if nothing serious or damaging to the cause of Christ took place.

    Do you agree with Dr. Priest that Mohler:: 1) “caused great harm to the gospel” and that 2) “Fundamentalists should rightly separate from him as a disobedient brother,” as the Scriptures demand? (2 Thess. 3: 6, 14-15) ?

    Would you personally or recommend to other believers that Mohler should be welcomed into our pulpits and colleges? Would you encourage seminary students to join you at conferences (TGC/T4G/DG and Shepherd’s) where Mohler is in leadership and/or a key note speaker?

    LM

  89. Don Johnson
    October 15, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    wrt the essential/non-essential question, i think it is a topic worthy of more discussion. Dave seemed to indicate so earlier also, butsuggested we needed to better frame the question. May I propose that Kent and Dave and some ox-like guy could devote a few blog articles to the subject?

    and for those interested, my dad just came out of surgery ok. more hurdles to come but we’re past this one.

    Maranatha!
    don johnson
    jer 33.3

  90. Me
    October 15, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    One last time hopefully.

    With respect to Priest’s comments, I think they express some legitimate concerns in overstated ways. I think they also miss the point at points.

    Neither Bauder nor Doran have been lavish in their praise of CE men. They have pointed out some good things and taken a stand against some bad things. They both said it was wrong to sign the MD. Neither “excused” it. They simply disagree with you about how serious that was, and IMO, their arguments make more sense than yours do.

    I tend to side with those who say it was wrong, but not a betrayal of the gospel. Mohler made it clear that it was a cultural issue, not a gospel one. Mohler has been clear that he thinks the RCC gospel is a false gospel. It is true that most people do not know the difference between the biblical gospel and the RCC gospel, but Mohler’s signing or not signing really doesn’t change that.

    I don’t think Mohler has endorsed the social gospel, so I have no idea where Priest comes up with that from.

    Priest is right that it “may be” a trojan horse. It also may not be. Time will tell if it is wrong, and how serious it is. But there is nothing wrong with desiring to appear nicer (so long as we actually are nicer and are not just playing games with it). It is incorrect to charge that a nice person must give up the label of fundamentalist. There is no virtue in being a jerk to people. We can stand for the truth and confront error while showing the grace of God at work in our lives. Fundamentalists have an unfortunate history both of being wrong and of being a jerk (e.g., the MacArthur/blood issue, where many fundamentalists were [and still are] both).

    I think it would be hard to find someone who has been publicly as clear as Mohler has on the biblical gospel in his speech and preaching. He has taken it on in the public square and clearly proclaimed the exclusivity of Jesus, salvation by faith alone, imputed righteousness, etc. Fundamentalists may be as clear (though some are not), but they are certainly not as public, which is fine … we each must minister in the sphere that we live in and take advantage of the opportunities we have.

    I agree with Doran and Bauder that the battle will no longer be won by labels. The younger generation sees through that. Labeling someone “evangelical” will no longer be sufficient evidence that we must separate. My guess is that most younger men do believe in separation of some sort, and many will separate from fundamentalism particularly over what they see as abuses of separation, dishonesty in accusations against others, etc. I don’t think fundamentalists will help themselves with that.

  91. Don Johnson
    October 15, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Hi Kent,

    Writing from an internet cafe… fullsize keyboards are so much easier to use!

    With respect to this comment from “Me”:

    I agree with Doran and Bauder that the battle will no longer be won by labels.

    When has it ever been about labels alone? I recognize that at a somewhat simplistic level, we have all heard people use labels as a kind of shorthand for bigger issues. I also recognize that some people haven’t studied the issues sufficiently to rise much above a label level.

    But in the bigger scheme of things, when has it ever been simply about labels when it came to the real influence makers in fundamentalism (or evangelicalism for that matter)? Do you think John R. Rice operated that way? Bob Jones, Jr, or the IIIrd? Others?

    I would contend that at the macro level, where influential decisions were/are made, it has never been simply about labels. How hollow would that be? Surely we have had some real leaders who were aware of issues and made their decisions about labels or not along the way. As that was communicated down the levels of influence, I am sure some is lost in translation along the way. And I am sure that some errors have been made in the process, who is infallible? But I would reject the notion that the decisions for a fundamentalist philosophy can simply be reduced to labels alone at any point in the history of biblical fundamentalism.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  92. Don Johnson
    October 15, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    One more thing, above, ‘Me’ said:

    I have no posted here before. I don’t intend to post here again.

    Wow, that resolve changed quickly.

    I’ve learned not to make such rash promises online. It is just too tempting to post again.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  93. October 20, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Kent:

    In this thread I have spoken about the magnetic attraction of Calvinism. It is and I have been saying for nearly two years that Calvinistic soteriology is the rallying point for Calvinists in Fundamentalist circles with the so-called “conservative” evangelicals.

    At the *Independent Baptist Fellowship of North America (IBFNA) national meeting in June Dr. Dan Brown of Central Seminary (MN) made this remark in a message he gave while discussing the evangelicals,

    Calvinism is serving almost like a new ecumenism. It is a new way of drawing these strong people together. These men are having an enormous influence over our young people.”

    The Calvinists in Fundamental circles, when they want to be transparent, will acknowledge that Calvinism is the magnetic attraction. That is why, therefore, they are increasingly willing to tolerate, allow for and excuse the charismatic theology, worldliness in ministry and ecumenical compromises of the evangelicals. All of these you can be sure have been relegated to non-essentials. The term “pure gospel,” which men in our circles are floating, is for them Calvinistic soteriology in the form of Lordship Salvation. Agreement around that form of soteriology excuses virtually any other consideration that would call for separation or admonishing and withdrawing from brethren in the evangelical camp.

    LM

  94. November 8, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Kent:

    Sorry to use this place, but I don’t have an e-mail address for you. Yesterday my pastor, Dave Schlagel told me he knows and has met you. Had good things to say about his meeting you. Appreciates that you are firm in your convictions.

    Anyway, I posted a new article today. In it I quote you from this article. Thought you’d like to know. here is the hyper-link-

    Excusing the Brother For the Sake of His Sister

    My e-mail is indefense06@gmail.com

    LM

    Please delete, if you like, after you’ve read this.

  95. November 8, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    OK Lou, Thanks.

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