separation

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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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?

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.

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Northland Today (2013.4.23)

I am not going to load this post up with a lot of commentary. Just three points:

I guess that is what this means:

It has been our desire to reach out to scripturally solid churches who in the past have not been familiar with Northland as well as continue to serve our current constituents.

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Don’t send your kids to Northland

“Thank you Steve for your contributions to the church!” – Matt Olson, sharing a link to this video music presentation on his Facebook page.

Really, in my opinion, you shouldn’t send your kids to Northland International University. The school and its president have taken a strange turn – this is the latest example. Several of Matt’s friends on Facebook, mutual friends of ours, protested at this link in the comments that followed. You won’t find those protests any longer, they’ve been deleted (after Matt responded to one).

The latest comment, “Have you been hacked, Matt?” Alas, if it were only that simple. I’m afraid all of us who once supported Northland have been hacked.

Don’t send your kids there, you will be very disappointed.

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fundamentalists and ETS

Over at Theologically Driven, John Aloisi makes these remarks:

Trueman believes that the main problem with the “evangelical mind” is not that Christians are absent from the academy, but rather that both within and without the academy “evangelicals” lack any agreed upon gospel.

… In light of where I acquired my copy of this book [the recent meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society], I thought it rather ironic that Trueman singles out the ETS for special criticism in this area. He notes that the society’s innocuous 43-word statement of faith could be affirmed with integrity by conservative Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and Eastern Orthodox people alike. If such is the case, why call it the Evangelical Theological Society?

Exactly.

I have long argued that the ETS is no place for fundamentalists. Trueman’s observation is absolutely correct, the ETS has a very minimalist doctrinal statement that almost any professing Christian, of almost any stripe, could sign without any twinge of conscience.

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hoorah, I guess

Something blew by today that makes me wonder. Should I comment? Big announcement, excitement, pleased with accomplishment… I’ve seen some of the work, it’s pretty good, I guess. But…

Does it mean collaboration with Mr. Grace Awakening? It would appear so…

When the word collaboration is used… ok, “collaborated”… with a ministry that is skewed, some say antinomian… one has to wonder at the level of discernment.

It is disheartening. The upcoming musical release will be well done, no doubt. We will have little to criticize about content and style, I am sure.

But man… what are we to make of this level of cooperation?

I hope some of the fellows coming out of fundamentalist institutions are learning what fundamentalism means and why its important. Many of the most noticeable ones just don’t seem to get it.

Still, one of our best and brightest has been noticed by a prominent church with an internationally known pastor and has produced something. Hoorah, I guess.

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getting what matters most

I have great confidence in this next generation. They get what matters most.

So says Matt Olson, president of Northland International University, here: “Confidence in the Next Generation”. Matt is infused with this confidence after spending a Sunday at Grace Bible Church of Philadelphia, PA. From the way he writes, it sounds like several Northland grads are involved in the ministry of this church and a NIU staffer will continue to be on the staff of Northland while moving to Philadelphia and becoming part of this church.

Matt describes the church this way:

My soul was refreshed and encouraged as I saw a variety of things taking place at Grace. At Grace they focus on Christ in all that they do. This was evidenced by their worship, expository preaching, and deliberateness of their service. This is a church that is multi-ethnic, has a heart for the city, thriving with young people, and getting ready to launch a church plant in the next 9-12 months into another part of the city. They get what matters most.

One would expect a Christian college president to be pleased with graduates who are busy serving the Lord. No surprise there! But there is something surprising for a fundamentalist who formerly included Northland International University among his recommended colleges and universities.

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discerning the discerners

Kent Brandenburg has an excellent analysis of recent comments by Todd Friel and Phil Johnson at a “Discernment (?) Conference.” Part 2 really lays it out, but you need Part 1 to get the context.

Part 1

Part 2

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defining ‘conservative evangelical’

A couple of my recent reading sources lead me to look at the term ‘conservative evangelical’ from a different perspective other than my normal ‘rabid fundamentalism’. One source is a book edited by Timothy George and David Dockery, Theologians of the Baptist Tradition. The other is an article by Michael Clawson appearing on Roger Olson’s site, “Young, Restless, and Fundamentalist: Neo-fundamentalism among American Evangelicals(HT: Sharper Iron).

Both of these sources come at the question from the evangelical side of the spectrum, in the case of Clawson and Olson, it is on the outside of conservative evangelicalism looking in, whereas George and Dockery are more or less on the inside of the movement. Both sources offer some interesting observations of the so-called ‘conservative evangelical’ movement.

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