is there an answer here?

On another blog, a discussion is ongoing regarding the Mark Dever – Mark Minnick interview. I, along with some others, contend that our friend Mark Minnick didn’t answer the last question Dever asked. Others say that he did answer. I have taken the trouble to transcribe the last six or seven minutes of the interview, hopefully accurately, so that you can analyze what was said and come to your own conclusions.

Here is the transcript, beginning at about 1:01:35 of the interview:

1:01:35 Dever: “What would we have to do to change for you to be free to preach here?”

Minnick: “Well, I want to say, one, and I’m glad there’s, you know, you asked that question so that I’d have the opportunity to say this, how very very deeply I respect you and what you’re doing here. I mean, you wouldn’t have come to Greenville and I wouldn’t be here today, I don’t think if there wasn’t, certainly on my part, a great deal of respect for you and a great deal of appreciation for what you’ve done and for what the conservative side of evangelicalism is doing. And if I could just make any appeal to anybody in that it would be one, to really resolve that controversy … [overtalk] … and which I think you have, Ok, as far as I can understand…”

Dever: “Well, it’s a, it’s a continuing matter, brother, I mean, I recently spoke at a conference…”

Minnick: “The applications are, right?”

Dever: “Yes”

Minnick: “But in principle…”

Dever: “That’s right”

Minnick: “All right, and so I guess my, when you ask, what would people have to do so that we were in common cause, it would be to see any brother who is consistently applying that to his associations, its clear that he’s not muddying the water by putting his hand outside the box now and again, because that confuses the people who look to any of us for leadership. So when, when it’s an unambiguous message that’s being given you’re saying Ok, you know, we’re … there … there’s no longer the divide between us.”

Dever: Ok, so what do we have to do to change in order for you in good conscience to be able to preach in a church like this?

Minnick: Well, I think we talked a little about this when you were in Greenville

Dever: Yup

Minnick: As I remember too and I, you know, we were agreed on this that there are … um … you go as far on the right road with any brother as you can … um … so there’s that if, if, if you’re going in the same direction, then there’s certainly biblical room for trying to go together in that direction. There’s also the issue however of the people who are looking to you for leadership and with whom you have credibility and the fact is that you don’t always have a chance to explain to everybody that you have a good name with as to why you are doing a certain thing and why you were with certain people. And a good name is rather to be chosen, you know, than a lot of things, certainly than great riches and a lot of other things as well. A speaking uh…, a good name is rather to be chosen than a speaking opportunity I would say … all right … so, when that other brother is giving the same clear signal you are and he’s public about it … um … then there’s little likelihood that you’re going to confuse the people looking to you for leadership and it frees you, that other brother free you. But until he does, until he’s really public about that, he’s kinda got you over a barrel.

Dever: Yuh, and what does being public about that consist of?

Minnick: I think just, I think one, that that is his consistent preaching and teaching, that he’s known for having settled these issues and that he’s … it’s apparent that he’s trying to consistently apply that.

Dever: And can anyone at Bob Jones that you know of on the religion faculty, let’s say on the religion side, see that being done consistently in any church that would cooperate with the Southern Baptist Convention?

Minnick: Well, when you were in Greenville I think you told us that there is no liberalism left in the Convention. I don’t know enough about the Convention to know whether that’s the case or not. But what I do know is that the convention for all of these decades, um, has been conditioned by a philosophy, an approach on these things that is different than what I see the Scripture teaching so I, I would think there’s an awfully lot that would have to be done throughout the Convention to bring the leadership, the pastors, the Christian leaders, you know, up to the point where they were consistently showing that they understand the sep… the need for separatism, and, and until such time … uh, you know you would have cause I think for concern about getting too affiliated with, uh, the Convention.

Dever: Right. Mark, our time is up…

What do you think? Towards the end, a glimmer of an answer might be emerging, in my opinion, but it seems to me that the question: What do we [conservative evangelicals] have to DO to change the division that continues to exist between us? in the main was left unanswered.

So… did he answer or didn’t he?



  1. Dave says:

    “the question … in the main was left unanswered.” Don, the words “in the main” is why I suggest that he did answer it, but not to your liking. IOW, Minnick gave an answer, but it was not specific enough or direct enough for you to feel he answered it fully.

    I, like you, don’t want to go back and forth about it, but you asked and I wanted to make sure to give you an answer. :)

  2. Bobby says:


  3. Gary says:

    If brother Minnick answered the question specifically, and if Dave thinks he answered it specifically, then the definition of “answer” has changed significantly.

    No! The question remains unanswered. And it deserves to be answered…Biblically.

  4. Just an opinion here, and I will refrain from stating an opinion on whether Minnick offered a clear, unvarnished answer.

    The lines that have for decades delineated a clear difference between genuine Fundamentalism and evangelicalism are growing fuzzy.

    The on-going trend (primarily among Reformed men in Fundamentalism) toward embracing the ministries of Piper, MacArthur and Dever are the building blocks that will eventually lead Fundamentalists beyond the so-called “conservative” evangelicalism.


  5. He responded to the question, but he did not answer the question. He did not come close to answering the question, an answer that should be easy for any fundamentalist to answer. You say there is a glimmer of an answer at the end, but if he was trying to answer the question, it would have been easy.

  6. Dave says:


    These comments by you at Ben’s place caught me quite by surprise since they sound so much like what Minnick said to Dever:

    DJ: “In light of that kind of history, for those of us who are committed fundamentalists to embrace some of these men, we will have to see real, significant, public breaking of old compromising ties. That is what it boils down to.”

    MM: “so, when that other brother is giving the same clear signal you are and he’s public about it … um … then there’s little likelihood that you’re going to confuse the people looking to you for leadership and it frees you, that other brother free you. But until he does, until he’s really public about that, he’s kinda got you over a barrel.”

    Seems like the same answer.

  7. Hi Dave

    That’s why I said there was a glimmer of an answer right at the end. However, Dever appeared to be asking for some specifics, which Mark didn’t choose to reply with for whatever reason. I think I gave a few specifics in my replies…


    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3