Kevin Bauder critiques my recent post “Response to Tyler Robbins” beginning this way:

In Pastor Don Johnson’s description of “Convergent” evangelicals, the first item is “Anti-separatism (or at least non-separatism).” This descriptor is so vague as to be nearly incomprehensible, and to the degree that it can be comprehended it is misleading. To know what Pastor Johnson means by “anti-separatism,” we would first have to know exactly what he means by separatism. Presumably he is thinking in terms of some version of ecclesiastical separation, though exactly what his theory of ecclesiastical separation is, I have never quite been able to understand. At any rate, assuming that he is accusing “Convergents” of rejecting (or at least not implementing) ecclesiastical separation, the accusation is terribly unfair.

Even the Neoevangelicals were not completely anti-separatistic. They never argued for engaging in Christian fellowship with Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists, Shintoists, Jainists, Sikhs, Bahaists, Theosophists, Spiritists, Atheists, Satanists, Seventh-Day Adventists, Millennial Dawnists, or Mormons. They clearly understood that no Christian fellowship was possible with adherents of these gospel-denying systems.

It is true that I did not define what I meant by anti-separatist, but I think brother Bauder is well aware of what I mean by separatism as he goes on to describe it later in his post. I think his opening, however, is an odd attempt to muddy the waters as he argues that the New Evangelicals were somehow still a kind of separatist. If everyone is a separatist, no one is a separatist. Clearly the New Evangelicals were not for separation from theological liberalism, rather they sought to infiltrate and cooperate with liberalism for various ends, some of which Bauder lists in his post.

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Response to Tyler Robbins

This article is to respond to a lengthy piece by Tyler Robbins reacting to an article in our most recent FrontLine magazine. Tyler is unhappy with the article by Dan Unruh entitled, “Why I Left My Fundamentalist Church.” Dan’s article is among a collection of articles in this issue dealing with what we are calling “convergence,” that is, the phenomenon of individuals formerly connected with the fundamentalist movement who are now embracing certain aspects of the Evangelical movement. This change of position really is a new thing, it isn’t fundamentalist and perhaps it isn’t strictly evangelical either. Dan is writing about one part of that phenomenon where convergent pastors have decided to move their formerly fundamental churches into a more evangelical position. I wrote an article on this myself some months ago, entitled “What to do when your church leaves you.”

I should also say that my answers here are my personal opinions. I am not speaking for the FBFI at all, the only individual who speaks for us is Dr. John Vaughn, otherwise when the board speaks, we speak through position statements adopted in our meetings.

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He’s a separatist! He’s a separatist!

Isn’t he?

So much for the rumor that John MacArthur separated from Piper over his connections to Mark Driscoll, C J Mahaney, et al.

Yet some of our leaders are fine with cooperating on platforms with fringe members of this crowd… are they really coming our way?

we’re not comfortable, so here’s a statement about something

Interesting development at NIU. Daniel Patz produced a response to the alarm raised over the woman preaching in the NIU chapel the other day. I am not quite sure how to characterize this. Apology? Damage control? “Sorry if you’re offended?”

Perhaps some reaction to whatever it is might be helpful. It is not that I think you need the benefit of my opinion, but rather that issues of complementarianism/egalitarianism have long been an interest of mine. I’ve debated the issues at length on an old forum sponsored at one time by the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. (One thing we should say – the names for this issue are most unwieldy – too bad they couldn’t have come up with something more catchy!) This particular instance reveals the weak side of many professing complementarians – when push comes to shove, they will weasel around.

I am quoting the statement in its entirety, but will interact paragraph by paragraph. I provide the link above so readers can verify that I am quoting the statement entirely in its form as copied from the linked site on 2014.4.24.

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Woman preaching at NIU?

That’s what this looks like.



One of the plagues of our day is the softening of orthodoxy among Bible-believers. I wonder how we came to this.

Kevin Bauder posted an essay recently where he discusses Bob Jones Jr, among other things. He has this to say about Dr. Bob:

Whatever else Bob Jones may have been, he was never timid. He had a tender side alright, but (and I mean none of this to be derogatory) he was a vigorous, robust, confident, assertive, tenacious, resilient, square-jawed, straight-backed, tough-as-nails, heavy-duty, industrial strength, hardnosed, bull moose, larger-than-life, uncompromising fundamentalist leader who most definitely did not suffer fools gladly. He was the captain of his team, the general of his armies, the chieftain of his tribe, the commander of his troops, the admiral of his fleet, and the master of his domain.

Having known and loved Dr. Bob, I would say that this description is pretty well accurate. Dr. Bob was not shy about his convictions. He was also as warm-hearted as a man could be, at least in my experience. [Read more…]

affirmative action

Affirmative action is an old story, an old issue. It used to be much talked of, but I think even liberals got tired of it. Lately, however, I have heard some Christians espousing the need for affirmative action for churches and Christian institutions to redress past wrongs. Some of my Christian friends, who once (and might still) considered themselves politically conservative are applauding these statements.

It is more than astonishing to see this. It is as if we suddenly turned into liberal parrots, mindlessly repeating left wing talking points. This is just wrong. Affirmative action has high sounding motivations, but it fails on many levels, not the least of which are Scriptural levels.

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a strange thing about Strange Fire

I’m listening to the audio of the Strange Fire conference. Good stuff for the most part. I am sure there are points to quibble with in content from time to time, no one gets it one hundred percent right all the time. I have to say, overall, that this is an impressive effort. I encourage everyone to listen. Having said that, there are two things that stick in my craw, one is perhaps minor, the other may be major.

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article on Mohler’s BYU visit

Just a heads up in case you don’t follow Proclaim & Defend every day (you should!)… I put up a post today raising questions about Al Mohler’s recent appearance at Brigham Young University.


I love peace, but next to peace…

Above all things I love peace, but next to peace I love a fight, and I believe the next best thing to peace is a theological fight.

— A. C. Dixon, in the Ecumenical Missionary Conference, New York 1900, I (New York, 1900), p. 364, quoted by George M. Marsden, Fundamentalism and American Culture, Oxford University Press, (Oxford, 2006) 101.