The dictionary defines systemic as:

“of, relating to, or common to a system”

“systemic” in Frederick C. Mish, ed., Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed. (Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003).

The discussion on the fundamentalist blogosphere lately has been very heated over stories of scandal and sexual abuse in or connected with ministries widely viewed as fundamentalist. (I phrase it that way because some may dispute the fundie credentials of some of these ministries.)

I really don’t want to get into a “fact-finding-fault-finding” scream-a-thon here. But Bob Bixby brings the word ‘systemic’ to the discussion and others have said similar things. By systemic, Bob says he means

I think it is right to say that she was wrongly treated because of a systemic abuse of victims in fundamentalist circles. I insist on the word “systemic” because I do not think that IFB people consciously scheme about how to make people suffer.

I do agree that abuse is systemic in the culture of IFB. It is systemic because of the general IFB understanding of church, discipline, sin, authority, and the Bible.

So… systemic… “of, relating to, or common to a system”

(Now, before we go on, let’s note that Bob is broadening the topic from sexual abuse to ‘abuse of victims’ and that this issue is ‘systemic’ because of the IFB “understanding of church, discipline, sin, authority, and the Bible.” Bob is painting with a very broad brush and using the current scandal to attack his favorite whipping boy, independent Baptist Fundamentalism.)

But is ‘sexual abuse’ and ‘child abuse’ systemic to Christian fundamentalism?

A friend of mine sent me a few links tonight about another very very tragic and disgusting story about another independent Baptist and another scandal. I’m not going to include any links, its just a completely disgusting story. In this case, it appears there is a serious sin issue, this time on the part of a pastor. That’s all the details I’ll give.

But the story gave me pause. Not another one! And then again, this question came to mind: is ‘sexual abuse’ and ‘child abuse’ systemic to Christian fundamentalism?

Because if it is, every right thinking fundamentalist needs to GET OUT, fast.

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national review on marriage

Very good article here:

What a healthy marriage culture does is encourage adults to arrange their lives so that as many children as possible are raised and nurtured by their biological parents in a common household.


We cannot say with any confidence that legal recognition of same-sex marriage would cause infidelity or illegitimacy to increase; we can say that it would make the countervailing norms, and the public policy of marriage itself, incoherent. The symbolic message of inclusion for same-sex couples — in an institution that makes no sense for them — would be coupled with another message: that marriage is about the desires of adults rather than the interests of children.

The article is of course written from an entirely non-Biblical perspective, but I think it has some arguments from a philosophical and practical standpoint that Bible believers can use.


deny the gospel by deeds

I mentioned earlier that I am listening to Kevin Bauder’s sessions at International Baptist College. I still recommend them to you in order to understand Bauder’s thinking. As I listen, I find myself mostly in agreement with his exegesis, but I do have significant differences with him on several non-exegetical points. I’ll talk more about that later.

Tonight, I’d like to comment on a point Bauder makes several times in the lectures, but doesn’t appear to elaborate on. (I am almost finished with lecture 8 of 10 lectures.)

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