See this follow up and this one as well. See a response to the original article at 9Marks and one at another blog. Finally, see here Dave’s excellent response (and he says, hopefully, his last word) on the subject. Hear, Hear! Exactly right, Dave.
A little kerfuffle between Fundamentalists and Conservative Evangelicals erupting over Dave’s quite reasonable questions illustrates perfectly why we have two groups of men, Fundamentalists on the one hand and Conservative Evangelicals on the other. Fundamentalists don’t get why CEs are willing to be collegial and congratulatory of those who betray the faith. CEs don’t get why Fundies question their respect for their ‘moderates’.
Hence the divide.
This divide is exactly what Mark Minnick was talking about in his message message last Sunday night.
This kerfuffle illustrates the point beautifully. Consider these comments from Greg Gilbert at 9Marks:
I can certainly understand where the concern comes from. Duke McCall was not a theological conservative. He was a theological moderate who thought that the issues on which the Conservative Resurgence advanced were not worth dividing over. So he resisted it. Even in his acceptance remarks at the dedication, McCall talked about how different presidents in the seminary’s history "tacked to port or starboard" as their times demanded, a statement that was met with stony silence by the two or three thousand gathered to hear him. McCall was and is wrong about that; the Conservative Resurgence was not about tacking to port or starboard. It was about faithfulness to the inerrant and inspired Word of God, and we can all thank God for raising up Dr. Mohler to return the seminary to that core conviction.
Nevertheless, none of that makes me think that it was wrong to name the pavilion for Dr. McCall.
It is quite clear in recent messages by fundamentalists that there is much to admire about Mohler’s work at Southern. It is also quite clear to me that there are many beneficial things put out by 9Marks and the various men associated with it. Greg Gilbert himself often has a good deal of insightful comments on pastoral theology.
But there is a divide right here at this point, a divide that remains and distinguishes fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals. The conservative evangelical side of the divide embraces in general the softer, collegial, tolerant philosophy of new evangelicalism (while perhaps being militant at some points). Fundamentalism, on the other hand, insists on militancy at all points (whether we are successful at consistency or not is of course an open question).
In any case, kudos to Dave for raising the issue and providing a classic example and illustration of the distinction. Kudos for his fundamentalist rationale in the last post cited above as well.