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daveatlanta
07-04-2006, 02:50 PM
What are the differences between "fundamentalist" and "conservative" when it comes to seminaries? Or are there differences at all?

El_Guero
07-04-2006, 04:02 PM
Dave

This is IMHO.

There are differing types of fundamental seminaries. An IFB church is less likely to want a pastor from an SBC church than from one of the Independent and Fundamental seminaries. These seminaries are usually attached to the ministry of a local church.

Most of the fundamental seminaries fall along 3 wide spectrums: the century old fundamental baptist churches; the modern fundamental baptist churches; and the independent fundamental churches. Independent fundamental churches have often built up non-denominational schools and seminaries (i.e., Bob Jones University).

This is where it really gets confusing and in some ways controversial: conservative is often equated with fundamental. But the distinction between the words is often a very personal choice. Fundamentalists are usually very conservative, but some Catholics can be much more 'conservative' than some 'fundamentalists'. Conservative is a label for seminaries that has not been utilized as much as I thought it might. Not all conservative groups would equate themselves as fundamental and not all fundamental groups would call themselves conservative.

OK - the fancy definition is over.

Most conservative Christians (if not all) hold to the 'fundamentals' that were published by R. A. Torrey. Most if not all, fundamentalists are conservative. Most (if not all) SBC seminaries are considered* fundamental - but an IFB church would probably prefer a pastor from their college (or seminary). One line that has been blurred ALOT has been in the area of separation. The 'fundamentals' have [been (sic)] often utilized as reasons for one group of Christians to separate from other groups of Christians. This separation of Christians because of the 'fundamentals', has REALLY become blurred over the last 20 to 40 years.

In Him

Wayne

* definitions being what they are, the SBC would consider all of their seminaries to be fundamental. I am not sure that all IFB'ers would give the same designation.

El_Guero
07-04-2006, 04:08 PM
In regards to NOBTS, most should consider the school conservative.

However, in SBC circles I have sometimes heard Fundamentalism equated with Calvinism. When this has been the case of individuals describing NOBTS, NOBTS was described as NOT fundamentalist (i.e., NOBTS was not calvinistic enough to be called fundamentalist).

The greatest irony is that Dr. Patterson is often used as the example for this reasoning - but, his brother-in-law at NOBTS is probably as Calvinistic as he is. I would like to note that from what little I know about their theology (IMHO), both men fall close to what SBC have been historically (IMHO) new-light calvinists.

PastorSBC1303
07-04-2006, 04:13 PM
Neither Patterson nor Kelley are considered calvinists of any brand

El_Guero
07-04-2006, 04:39 PM
I aggree with that. I wasn't clear again. I am on a roll, let me be clearer - I was referring some people wanting them to be 'calvinists'.

Rhetorician
07-04-2006, 05:09 PM
In regards to NOBTS, most should consider the school conservative.

However, in SBC circles I have sometimes heard Fundamentalism equated with Calvinism. When this has been the case of individuals describing NOBTS, NOBTS was described as NOT fundamentalist (i.e., NOBTS was not calvinistic enough to be called fundamentalist).

The greatest irony is that Dr. Patterson is often used as the example for this reasoning - but, his brother-in-law at NOBTS is probably as Calvinistic as he is. I would like to note that from what little I know about their theology (IMHO), both men fall close to what SBC have been historically (IMHO) new-light calvinists.

E G,

What may I ask is a "new-light calvinist"?

This may be a new-fangled label that I need to add to myself. Please advise.:smilewinkgrin:

sdg!

rd

El_Guero
07-04-2006, 05:43 PM
r d

That term is (from what I understand) old. I learned it in seminary. I actually did learn alot.

And it has been a long time since I learnt it - so forgive if I miss it a little. It is the group of baptists (sometimes read calvinists) that hold (among other things) that 'those' that God forknew, 'those' are the ones that He chose to give the 'new light' so that they would come to faith.

Wayne

I did not read this article, but it was out there.
http://mb-soft.com/believe/txc/newlight.htm

Lagardo
07-04-2006, 11:45 PM
I aggree with that. I wasn't clear again. I am on a roll, let me be clearer - I was referring some people wanting them to be 'calvinists'.


I guess Kelly is as much a Calvinist as his brother-in-law who recently gave the "against" side of the discussion of Calvinism at the Pastor's Conference.

And yes, I suppose there are people who want everyone to be calvinists.

Where you lose me, besides suggesting that these two seminary presidents have been called calvinists is this assumption that calvinism and fundamentalism has beeen equated in the SBC. I would argue that conservatives find both in their numbers, but I have not noticed the two labels being mutually exclusive.

El_Guero
07-05-2006, 12:06 AM
Well, I have heard calvinism and conservative baptism equated by some in the SBC as the form of fundamentalism that the leaders of the fundamental movement within the SBC believed in.

My first day on campus before classes (SWBTS), I was approached by a local calvinistic baptist church and told that if I was not with them, then I was not part of the historic baptists.

And I have heard that I had to be a Calvinist, to be a Baptist.
And I was told that DTS & SWBTS were liberal because they were not Calvinists (10 years ago).
And I have heard that if I was not a hyper-Calvinist, that I could not be a Baptist.
And I have heard that all Baptists have always been Calvinists (supralapsarian).

I think the lightening rod effect of the terminology will die down over time, but I have heard the reasoning, "I will not go there (often the seminary described with this is SBTS) because they are too Calvinistic. [or more recently] I went to SWBTS because Dr Patterson is a Calvinist."

I have heard at least a dozen men say things like this over the last decade. And believe it or not, after the first 2, I kept my mouth shut and focused more on my degree than who was arminian or calvinist.

AND several professors actually went so far as to table that discussion as the class began - not just in systematic. From the professors words, there must have been some strong discussions that I missed.

I think alot of it is misperception. Everything from not realizing that Arminianism is a long way from Calvinism to thinking that no Baptists have ever believed anything other than Calvinism. Personally, I do not mind Calvinism as long as it includes healthy evangelism. I am not comfortable with Arminianism.

Long 2 cents.

PastorSBC1303
07-05-2006, 12:08 AM
[or more recently] I went to SWBTS because Dr Patterson is a Calvinist."

I cannot imagine anyone that is even remotely associated with the SBC making such a comment...

El_Guero
07-05-2006, 12:36 AM
After the third person that got angry over Calvinism - I just got into the shadows.

But, that quote is really close to what I have heard. I pulled out my 'Baptist Study Bible'* that Dr Patterson was an editor of and made sure that I knew he was at most a 'new-light' calvinist, I just chalked it up to 'experience' and moved on.

I did talk with Dr. Patterson on occasion, but since what he has written is out there, I did not feel a need to make certain that his 'personal beliefs' and 'public beliefs' were congruent. I just ignored the chatter - the hyper-calvinists that I saw were MUCH more intense than any of our discussions on the board.

I was told that GGBTS and NOBTS were liberal because they were not calvinistic.

I usually just kept my mouth shut. If someone has been around Baptists and been in more than one church and not heard differing shades of 'the 5 points', I think one wasn't listening too much. IMHO.

*old Criswell Study Bible

daveatlanta
07-05-2006, 10:23 PM
OK, let me come at it from a different direction. Does anyone think that going to a "fundamentalist" seminary means giving up any hope of pursuing a scholarly education?

The reason I ask is because I have heard that being a fundamentalist is 'being so conservative that even moderate conservatives want to distance themselves from them'. However, scholars like FF Bruce or NT Wright would be considered conservative (yet not fundamentalist) and are highly respected within all of academia, even among liberals.

Any thoughts or insights on this?

El_Guero
07-05-2006, 11:31 PM
I believe that a fundamental seminary should compete well with any other serminary. It is about the quality of the professors, IMHO, when evaluating two good seminaries.

Study hard!

Plain Old Bill
07-07-2006, 04:55 PM
Did you have any particular schools in mind?What are your long term plans?You may want to think about a secular degree with a some kind of vocational skill training first. Thier are many bi=vocational pastors.There are also many who go into the ministry and opt out for various reasons.

Are you still in the military? If so why don't you save yourself some money and first take the CLEP test, then take your other core courses? That would save you time and money.Any good school would require you to take the core courses anyhow(math science,history,humanities,languages,ect..).

Also one man's fundamentalist is another man's liberal.It would be good to know what you consider fundamental.It would also be good to know if you are going to remain a Southern Baptist or head another direction.BBFUI has thier own circle,different IFB groups have thier own circles and you would want to know what they consider a good school if your intentions are to go to one of those groups.:wavey:

daveatlanta
07-07-2006, 11:10 PM
Also one man's fundamentalist is another man's liberal.It would be good to know what you consider fundamental.It would also be good to know if you are going to remain a Southern Baptist or head another direction.BBFUI has thier own circle,different IFB groups have thier own circles and you would want to know what they consider a good school if your intentions are to go to one of those groups.:wavey:
Yes, I've been discovering just that - one man's 'fundamental' is another man's 'liberal.' That's why it's so difficult for me to get an understanding of the differences.

This also threw me when I read this on the 'fundamentalsit' thread:


Originally posted by Dr. Bob:
George Dollar, guru and author of A History of Fundamentalism, classified FUNDAMENTALISM at the end of the 20th Century in these three categories.

Here are the categories, definitions and a few schools that will help a person visualize the distinction. ALL ARE FUNDAMENTALISTS!

MILITANT Fundamentalism = expound all Biblical doctrine AND expose all error and compromise and those who believe such

Examples: Maranatha BBC, Bob Jones, Clearwater Christian, Faith BBC, BBC Springfield, BBC Clarks Summit, Central Seminary, Calvary Seminary, Detroit Seminary, Pillsbury BBC, Faith Seminary

MODERATE Fundamentalism = expound all Biblical doctrine BUT will not expose error and compromise or those who believe such

Examples: Biola, Cedarville, Dallas Seminary Grace Seminary, Cornerstone, Moody, Tennessee Temple, Westminster Seminary

MODIFIED Fundamentalism = believe most (not all) Biblical doctrine AND will actively cooperate with apostasy and compromise

Examples: Fuller Seminary, Gordon-Conwell, Trinity College and Seminary, Wheaton, LaTourneau, ORU, Western Conservative Baptist
The part that especially threw me for a loop was when he named Gordon-Conwell and Wheaton as examples of 'modified fundamentalism' who would "actively cooperate with apostasy." Acively cooperate with apostasy? Good gracious! That's a very strong way to catergorize these great schools that have produced excellent conservative scholars.

So, yes, I am still a bit confused by who calls what fundamental or conservative.

thjplgvp
07-08-2006, 01:28 AM
You might be interested in this article on Conwell the man.

http://www.kjvonly.org/aisi/2006/aisi_9_7_06.htm

Don't let the KJVonly tag bother you he is actually KJVP. You can subscribe to his monthly news letter which is usually pretty good.:smilewinkgrin:

UZThD
07-08-2006, 03:17 PM
I was at Western Seminary for four years in the 90s. How is/was Western co operating with apostatacy?

Paul33
07-08-2006, 11:28 PM
I was at Western Seminary for four years in the 90s. How is/was Western co operating with apostatacy?

If Dollar is slandering, and if we have warned him repeatedly not to do that (the case could be made that he has been warned not to slander), should we now separate from him because of his blatant sin of causing division in the church?

Should we be militant in our opposition to sin?

Pastor Larry
07-09-2006, 08:33 AM
Dollar is dead, Paul. And while I haven't read Dollar completely, I don't think pointing out apostacy and compromise in the church is causing sinful division. If it was, then we would have problems with Paul who did the same thing often under the command of Christ.

But UTHZD, were you at Western Seminary or Western Conservative Baptist Seminary? I think these are two different places. Western CBA was entangled, I believe, in the issues that led many to split from the CBA over the issue of compromise. Remember, Dollar wrote back in the 70s. I don't recall all the issues, but I think that is what he is talking about. Research the history of the CBA and Western. You might come up with something.

UZThD
07-09-2006, 10:37 AM
Dollar is dead, Paul. And while I haven't read Dollar completely, I don't think pointing out apostacy and compromise in the church is causing sinful division. If it was, then we would have problems with Paul who did the same thing often under the command of Christ.

But UTHZD, were you at Western Seminary or Western Conservative Baptist Seminary? I think these are two different places. Western CBA was entangled, I believe, in the issues that led many to split from the CBA over the issue of compromise. Remember, Dollar wrote back in the 70s. I don't recall all the issues, but I think that is what he is talking about. Research the history of the CBA and Western. You might come up with something.

==

Larry


Thanks,

I was at Western in Portland (1990-94) which according to an adminstrator there has the same relationship with the CBA it always has had despite the name change from WCBS.

I think NW CBA lists Western as one recommended school.

I would like someone who has read Dollar to define for me what Orthodox Biblical beliefs WS denies.

I am aware that one prof there seems to be egalitarian re gender reqs for church offices. I know some profs join televised secular forum discussions to argue against, eg, gay marriage or abortion. Profs regularly contribute to ETS meetings. Perhaps these are viewed ( wrongly IMO) as coopertating w-apostacy?

I did have a book on CBA history and do recall pretrib being an issue at one time. Unfortunately I cannot find that book now.

I think I would not call gender roles or tribulational views necessary parts of a definition of orthodoxy. But I'm sure that some would.

If no one can define for me why Dollar accused Western , I guess, for now, I'll disregard the importance of that accusation.

If someone has read Dollar and it is mentioned in a thread that Dollar did accuse Western then possibly an inquiring reader of that thread should not have to research the issue but might expect the reader who describes Dollar's words to answer.

Plain Old Bill
07-11-2006, 06:52 PM
I think you qould be best served by defining your own set of parameters and looking for a school that best fits that description.:wavey: This is a lifetime decision and ultimately you have to please God and yourself.While it is important to seek wise counsel remember who the important parties are.

daveatlanta
07-12-2006, 07:27 AM
I think you qould be best served by defining your own set of parameters and looking for a school that best fits that description.:wavey: This is a lifetime decision and ultimately you have to please God and yourself.While it is important to seek wise counsel remember who the important parties are.
Yes, I've come to that conclusion as well. There are just too many opinions on what is 'conservative' and what is 'fundamental.' Thanks Bill for your sound advice.

Paul33
07-12-2006, 10:31 AM
Dollar is dead, Paul. And while I haven't read Dollar completely, I don't think pointing out apostacy and compromise in the church is causing sinful division. If it was, then we would have problems with Paul who did the same thing often under the command of Christ.

But UTHZD, were you at Western Seminary or Western Conservative Baptist Seminary? I think these are two different places. Western CBA was entangled, I believe, in the issues that led many to split from the CBA over the issue of compromise. Remember, Dollar wrote back in the 70s. I don't recall all the issues, but I think that is what he is talking about. Research the history of the CBA and Western. You might come up with something.

No kidding, Larry! Dollar is dead! Wow!

Seriously. It is causing division when you slander other believers. G-C does not compromise with apostates. G-C believes in the fundamentals of the faith, all of them. So to say they are "modified" and that they don't believe "all" of the fundamentals and that they compromise and promote apostacy is blatant slander.