so who cares about separation?

The average fundamentalist cares. Do evangelicals care?

In spite of recent interest in the fundamentalist question by Mark Dever and his ministries, doesn’t it seem that the interest is more of an amused curiosity rather than genuine interest?

As evidence, where is there ongoing discussion of the Dever-Minnick interview? Fundamentalist sites or evangelical sites?

Dever himself made a follow up post to the interview on the 9Marks blog. Who participated? Mostly fundamentalists and ex-fundamentalists.

Is there any serious follow up? Not so as you can see.

And then there is this from the latest 9Marks ejournal, under ‘Events’:

CCCC 2008 Annual Meeting
Buffalo, NY
July 21 to 24, 2008
Mark Dever

Worship God 08
Gaithersburg, MD
July 30 to August 2, 2008
Mark Dever

The CCCC professes to be a theologically conservative organization, but they allow for the ordination of women (pdf) if individual churches want to do it. And they don’t think much of charismatic gifts, but if you think it’s ok, just don’t bring it to our annual meeting…

And the Worship God 08 conference? Well, just go over to their site and check out some of the music.

So who is interested in separation?

Should we be optimistic of any real change coming from the conservative evangelical side?

I’m not holding my breath.



  1. Mark Dever says:

    Dear Don,
    Thank you for your many thoughtful comments here and elsewhere. Just an observation. I think it is possible to be sincerely interested in obeying what God teaches about separation in Scripture, and yet not agree on which issues should be separated over, and to what extent.
    With sincere regard in Christ,
    Mark Dever.

  2. I love the local church, have for many years. I have a love for Christ, I have a love for the Word of God. I don’t have a lot of love for the tag “Independent Baptist Fundamentalist.” Even though I would say I am.

    I do take the Word of God seriously, I take teaching the Words of God very seriously. I believe I am more apt to be biblical than fundamental baptist. I would rather use biblical terms than baptist terms. To be fundamental is not necessary to be biblical in terms that many would put on the term.

    I love fellowship with those who love the Lord Jesus Christ, and desire to see God’s glory, and have a passion to see Christ lifted up and praised.


    I believe what the Word of God says are far more important than what I have to say. Therefore I would rather teach from a biblical perspective than my own.

    Our people in our churches are smarter than fifth graders. They are more interested in what the Bible teaches then what we believe being a fundamental believes.

  3. Bro Dever, thank you so much for stopping by.

    I recognize that some of what we are discussing is a matter of “what should we separate over.” My observation in this post, however, is with regard to the seriousness with which we treat the subject. I mentioned my meeting with pastor Minnick last week. I didn’t mention something of the serious interest and demeanor of all who were participating. I have a few comments on that in a pending post.

    May I say that the fundamentalist ethos and philosophy heightens our interest in these things? We have paid a price for holding our positions and are vitally concerned with making certain our positions are right. We don’t generally treat these matters lightly, and we tend to take them very seriously.

    Well, I could go on… but there will be more later. I do appreciate your taking the time to read and comment.

    And for Charles,

    Most of what I am writing about is fundamentalist philosophy. I am concerned that the younger generation (specifically, my two preacher-boy sons) have a thorough understanding of fundamentalist philosophy AND that they adopt it … but not just because I say so, but because I have articulated a thoroughly biblical point of view. I write for them. All others are welcome to watch, and chime in as you have.

    I hope that helps explain my constant interest in this subject. (My readership isn’t all that huge… about 25 visitors a day. But I am writing just for two young men.)

    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  4. Don

    I can not think of a better reason than those two young men whom you have great influence in ministry upon. I would also pray that fundamentalism will be kind to you, and know that you have a heart and a love for the Lord and the work of the ministry.


  5. Don,

    Do you know for sure that Mark Dever made that comment?

  6. Hi Don, LTNS

    Good topic for discussion – goes back to the Masters line which is that lack of seperation stifles warning and effective ministry in all areas.

    I am in some ways a fundie, and I certainly do believe in seperation, but not to the extent and degree of some (such as PM). However, I’d have to say that endorsing (as that is what it is) a denom that ordains women by speaking for them is way out of my comfort zone – this issue goes to the heart of God’s created order and once this domino falls, others will follow.


  7. Hi all…

    Kent, no way of knowing, but as in all matters on the blogosphere, one has to take such identifications on faith – if someone were to fraudulently use another’s name, that would be a serious problem. I don’t think that is the case here, but if it is, I am sure I would hear about it shortly.

    Jonathan, I do stop by your site occasionally, it is always interesting. I am going to write more on what separation is in the future. I think it is widely misunderstood.

    Charles, thanks for the kind words. We are all in a daily battle. May God keep us faithful. And ultimately, we all answer to the Lord. Mark Dever and other conservative evangelicals don’t answer to me. The reason I highlight their doings here from time to time is to illustrate how we differ so that I might make my application of doctrine plain. Ultimately, we all have a much greater master to answer to. Hopefully when all is said and done something will remain and we won’t enter heaven ‘so as by fire’.

    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3