Definition of New Evangelical

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by yankeefan, Jul 27, 2001.

  1. yankeefan

    yankeefan
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    What is the difference between an evangelical and a new evangelical. I have heard these terms used on this forum on several occasions and I am unclear what the theological differences mean. I am curious because these seem to be popular phrases on other sites and I would like to get the opinion of the different scholars on this site. I did attend a Baptist University for 3 years and I have had several different theology classes and still have never heard these terms before.
     
  2. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Today, not much.

    A brief history:

    In the early part of the century (from 1908 to the 40s) there was a divide between two groups: the fundamentalist/evangelical (who were one and the same) and the modernist/liberal (who were essentially the same). In the 40s there was a move among some fundamentalists/evangelicals to break away from the long held positions of the movement and start a new movement. Harold Ockenga coined the term "new evangelical" in an address at Fuller Theological Seminary.

    One of the issues was broad unity across the theological spectrum against those outside of faith broadly defined. The National Association of Evangelicals was founded to present a unified front. They felt that the old style separatism risked marginalizing Christianity to the point of having no effect. In the early days of the NAE, men such as Bob Jones Sr and Jr, John R Rice, and others were members. They eventually withdrew when they saw the direction it was headed. Carl McIntire tried at the same time to start a group (the ACCC) but was rebuffed by those who rejected his strict separatism. He eventually started his group but it never attained the national status of the NAE.

    Another of the major issues was respectability as a movement. They felt that fundamentalism/evangelicalism to that time was academically disreputable. They began to seek after dialogue where they could sit down with those who denied the Bible and gain a good academic reputation with them. In essence, truth would sit down with error as equals at the table of ideas. As someone characterized it, the new evangelical was saying, "I will call you brother if you will call me Doctor." Black Saturday at FTS (early 50s I believe) was the eventual climax of the inerrancy debate where some of the professors denied inerrancy and it brought to a head the academic pursuit of the New Evangelical's search for respectability in academia. Inerrancy had been sacrificed on the altar of respectability. Marsden's Reforming Fundamentalism is the history of FTS and is worth a read.

    Another of of the major issues for them was the lack of social involvement of the fundamentalists/evangelicals. The long held position was that the church was a spiritual organization primarily geared for meeting spiritual needs. The FCCC (1908) had launched in America what became known as the social gospel and had essentially abandoned the spiritual distinctions of biblical Christianity. The New Evangelicals did not wish to abandon spiritual ministry; they simply wanted to include social work as an "alongside of" activity. The net result fifty years later is that many organizations have virtually abandoned spiritual ministry for social work (e.g., Samaritan's Purse).

    It seems to me that New Evangelicalism had some noble goals and that they never intended to end up where they did. But along the way they gave up some priorities that allowed them to stray.

    New Evangelicalism as commonly used today refers to one who holds the essential doctrines of the Christian faith but refuses to separate from those who do not.

    It is important to realize that "New Evangelicals" is not a term that was derogatorily applied to them by the fundamentalists. It was the term they chose. It is also important to note that the fundamentalists did not separate from the New Evangelicals. The New Evangelicals left the fundamentalists. (See they are separatists at heart).

    There should be a new book coming out soon on this issue by Rolland McCune, who taught for many years at Central and then taught and was president at Detroit for a long time. It should be very interesting.

    Larry Oats (Maranatha BBC) wrote his PhD dissertation (Trinity) on this topic as well. It was very interesting.

    There are other good books on the history, from both sides of the table.
     
  3. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    A rather lengthy conclusion to "A Brief History of the NAE" which was the national association of the New Evangelicals. The documentation has been omitted due to the inability of the website to handle footnotes. I hesitate to post something of this length but in conjunction with the other discussion in another thread on this topic, perhaps it will be instructive.
    _______________

    This brief history gives insight into the founding principles of the NAE. The idea to form such a group was not in and of itself wrong. Such an idea had definite historical precedent among fundamentalists. In fact, the work of militant fundamentalist W. B. Riley in the WCFA was praised by the NAE as having “accomplished more than any other organization in keeping alive the issue between modernism and fundamentalism. … It has raised an uncompromising testimony against apostasy which has executed a tremendous influence throughout the world.” The BBU and the Fundamentalist Fellowship had tried a similar union, though more denominational in scope. However, all these had failed. The NAE has maintained a presence since 1942.

    The major issues on which the NAE should be evaluated are the issues of truth and separation, issues which are integrally related. It is apparent that the NAE did not set out to water down the doctrine of truth. Initially, the doctrinal concerns were great for many involved. As is evidenced by their doctrinal statement, what they subscribed to was indeed the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith. However, for these men there was a greater concern—the concern of evangelical unity. While they were intent on maintaining a doctrine basis, the basis was constructed so as to provide the largest possible umbrella for the greatest number of members. This meant that the organizational ideals for such an organization determined the doctrinal standards to be stipulated.

    In this regard, Shelley denoted three reasons why these men were intent on founding such an organization. First, there was a “dissatisfaction with other expressions of Christian unity.” Most notably in view was the FCC which had been infected with theological liberalism from the beginning. No doubt the FCC was in view when the NAE’s constitution avowed that “in many areas of Christian endeavor the organizations which now purport to be the representatives of Protestant Christianity have departed from the faith of Christ.” Perhaps the ACCC was also in view. In a statement from the constitutional convention of 1943, the NAE declared, “Doctrinally there is no disagreement between the American Council and the N. A. E. The leadership and policy of the American Council are not satisfactory to the great body of evangelicals. … its policy of indiscriminate criticism contributes to the defeat of its own purposes.” Clearly, the men of the NAE had no use whatsoever for the exclusive separatism of the ACCC. Thus the call for unity was greater than the call for separation and denunciation of error.

    The second issue that Shelley points out is the “sense of isolation among conservative Christians.” There was a sense of urgency to accomplish great things but these men felt that such things were to far reaching to be accomplished by individuals or by small regional groups. In his address to the 1942 St. Louis meeting entitled “The Unvoiced Multitudes” Ockenga said, “I see on the horizon ominous clouds of battle which spell annihilation unless we are willing to run in a pack.” There was a sense of desperation to band together to try to initiate a national revival. In the minds of these men, “zeal for truth had too often trampled Christian unity underfoot.” Once again, idealistic unity took precedence of the truth.

    The third motive, Shelley says, was “the firm conviction that a positive witness could be given by united evangelicals and only by united evangelicals.” This conviction entailed a necessity for all of like mind to band together. As with the previous reasons, the existing methods (either organizational or individual) were not accomplishing satisfactory results. Therefore, it was time for something to be done to unite evangelicals nationwide. It is interesting none of these three motivations were driven by doctrine. Indeed, doctrine appears to be assumed or relegated to a lesser concern than the unity that was being sought.

    The only basis for association in the NAE was (and still is) subscription to the statement of faith. Its purpose was to ensure “evangelical status” for the members. The NAE commented on this issue,
    "We have adopted a doctrinal statement. We believe it is a good one. It is concise. It is definite. It is sufficiently exclusive to bar the various heresies of the land. It is inclusive enough to admit evangelicals who hold a great diversity of view on minor doctrinal matters. It is undoubtedly essential that we have a doctrinal basis. Without it, the organization would almost inevitably drift into heterodoxy with in a decade."

    At the same time, the NAE openly admitted that signing a creed was no magical formula for orthodoxy. Indeed a signature was only as good as one’s personal commitment to the doctrine signed. Herein lies what was perhaps the greatest weakness of the NAE—the lack of an enforcement with regards to doctrine. While their statement of faith was reductionistic, it did contain what most would consider the major part of the essential elements of orthodoxy. One could have wished for a stronger statement in some areas yet the greatest weakness of the doctrinal statement itself was its lack of a call to obedience. Combined with the lack of enforcement, such an omission of a call to obedience would quickly lead to a watering down of even the doctrine they had included such a statement. By not mandating separation from those who did not share the doctrine beliefs (such as the FCC) there was the inherent possibility of those who, while attesting to belief, did not share the commitment to it. Therefore, the truth was held out to be an ideal to be subscribed to, but apparently not an standard to be driven by.

    Closely related to the idea of truth is the doctrine of separation. As previously pointed out, the main objective in founding the NAE was to provide a unified evangelical voice because these men did not feel that the FCC accurately represented their position. In an article entitled “Here Are Answers,” the NAE leaders emphasized their opposition to the FCC.

    "The Federal Council, because of its lack of
    a positive stand on the essential doctrines of the Christian faith, its inclusion of leaders who repudiated these doctrines and its active support of programs and institutions which are non-evangelical or apostate, does not represent the evangelicals of America. The National Association of Evangelicals was organized because of this fact and its creation is a testimonial to the conviction of its constituency that the Federal Council does not represent Bible believing Christians."

    In spite of its glowing statement of rejection of the FCC however, the actions of the evangelicals in refusing to denounce and demand separation (the very thing they accused the FCC of failing to do) left open the door for compromise. In fact, the NAE considered their very existence as a voice of opposition. However, their insistence of the NAE on a positive approach devoid of the controversial tone of the ACCC made their position inherently weak and their voice less than effective.

    The NAE instead chose a position of infiltration. Rejecting the ACCC’s idea that the denominations and present organizations were irredeemable, the NAE believed that they could work from within to turn these organizations back to truth. They thought that a broad-based organization could wield enough religious and social influence to have practical effects. The implications of such a policy of infiltration had far-reaching implications that may not have been fully considered. One such implication was that they abandoned the “fundamentalist stridency” in favor of a positive evangelicalism. They did not set out to condone error but the constant positive message and failure to denounce apostasy in all forms led to such a position of toleration of false doctrine. Such a tacit toleration sent a message that such error was serious enough to be spoken out against. Another implication was that evangelicalism would be a loosely defined movement, “held together by common parachurch agencies and associated educational institutions.” The obvious downfall of this was the elimination of truth as a defining issue. The bare doctrinal statement of the NAE with its lack of enforcement through separation could not stand the test that it would face in the agencies and educational institutions. Soon the agencies and educational institutions associated with the NAE would be able to define the movement instead of the truth defining the movement which in turn would control the agencies. The third and perhaps most far-reaching implication was that it opened the door to ecumenical involvement.

    In this case, truth and doctrine were no longer the definitive measure of associations; common goals took their place. The NAE felt that the common goal of presenting a united front in many areas was of greater import than the truth and doctrine that lay behind the front. “To be sure, the new Evangelical movement was quite explicit in its desire not to forfeit the fundamental theological commitments of Fundamentalism.” Yet in the end, that is exactly what they did.

    Near the end of his life, W. B. Riley saw in the NAE the same defects as in the WCFA. He said,
    "Its defeat has been accomplished by men who professed allegiance but who betrayed the cause when the showdown came … Fundamentalism has failed … because certain of its members in places of power have been willing to give comfort to the enemy; yea, on occasion to draw the sword against their own brethren in the enemy’s behalf … to request that Fundamentalists lock hands with rejectors of the Blessed Hope in order to join the non-millennialist in the separation of Church and State is to ask too great a sacrifice to gain a desirable end."

    Carl McIntire summed it up this way: “From Dr. [Stephen W.] Paine’s viewpoint, separation has separated evangelicals; from our viewpoint, obedience has separated evangelicals.” While perhaps one would not subscribe to the ways and methods of McIntire and the ACCC, the one committed to the absolute authority of Scripture must in this point agree with him. To conclude, as Butler summarizes Dr. Paine, that “the NAE holds neither the denominational distinctives, nor the matter of affiliations, to be unimportant, but does not make any attempt to regulate its members” is to engage in a paradox. If it is “not unimportant” then should not it be regulated? For inexplicable reasons, this escaped the minds of those men who were supposedly committed to the authority of Scripture as prescribed by their own doctrinal statement. They avowed that Scripture was their authority. Yet when Scripture made an assertion (concerning separation) they rejected it or redefined it to allow them to pursue their own ends. In this, they are held solely responsible. While it would have been inappropriate for the NAE to step in to regulate its members, it would not have been inappropriate to refuse membership to those who did not share their beliefs.

    The lofty idealism of a united evangelical voice to represent the concerns of Bible believers was a good and noble idea in and of itself. However, it was infected with faulty presuppositions, namely, that unity was more important than doctrine. The theological reductionism to seek such unity spelled certain doom for those committed to Scripture. Men such as Bob Jones Sr, Bob Jones Jr., and John R. Rice attempted to steer the NAE in the right direction but in the end they were outnumbered and withdrew showing their commitment to Scripture to be higher than their commitment to a cause. The NAE’s lack of separation was certainly in line with their stated goal not to interfere in the autonomy of their member organizations. Sadly, it was manifestly inconsistent with their subscription to the truth of Scripture. In the end, unity won over Scripture, and evangelical Christianity in America never recovered.

    The men of the NAE should have given more consideration to the issues of division as reported by Murch. The second issue regarding the council of churches as against a fellowship of individuals in the final analysis was probably of little import. However, the first, concerning separation, and the third, concerning a constructive approach as against a negative, polemical approach proved to be of the utmost important. There is an inherent weakness when an organization assumes a “positive only” stance. It renders impossible the delineation of the lines of demarcation that separate one organization from another because it forbids speaking against another organization. The NAE, while professing to stand against false doctrine, refused to comment on it and thus rendered it tacit legitimacy. Simple existence, as the NAE claimed, was not enough of a statement. The call for truth is always a call for speech. Error cannot simply be ignored as if it is no force. It must be fully and forcefully denounced. Had the NAE taken a stand of speaking against error, they would have no doubt protected themselves from the inclusion of those who sympathized with error. Furthermore, the refusal of the NAE to demand separation from its members and to model it in their own conduct indicated a willingness to work with error in certain avenues. Truth and separation always go hand in hand by nature. Truth is notable by the absence of error and by its inability to tolerate error. It cannot help but expose error. It cannot, even tacitly, give approbation to those who would contradict and despise the very truth itself. In this regard, the presuppositions of the NAE, namely that a positive approach would cause error simply to cease to be a force if ignored by enough people, proved to be a drastic misjudgment. Rather than ceasing to exist, error infiltrated the NAE and rendered it virtually powerless to accomplish the goal of national revival that they intended.

    Thus the lessons of the NAE should be clear. Truth must be maintained as a primary principle, not as a secondary one. Truth must be the foundation of unity rather than the superstructure built upon unity. Error and apostasy must be not simply ignored but denounced. It cannot merely be pretended that it doesn’t exist; it must be fought against like the enemy that would drain life itself. In the end, it must be remembered that founding presuppositions will guide and guard the organization. Set them properly and the truth will be guarded. Set them improperly and the truth will be damaged. The war is fought in the trenches of confrontation but it is prepared for in the war rooms of the presuppositions. To lose the latter will be to surely lose the former.

    [ July 27, 2001: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     
  4. Barnabas H.

    Barnabas H.
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    Wow! Next time, please give me the abridged version. ;)
     
  5. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Yeah, I know it was long and like I said, I hesitated to include it all. However, it is difficult to edit. There are so many implications of the New Evangelical philosophy and methodology that people do not consider. Tunnel vision sets in and history is doomed to repeat itself. Inclusivism without regard for doctrine has never protected or furthered a pure church as history has shown. Every generation thinks they will be the first to succeed; it hasn't happened yet however. But like someone said, "The only we have learned from history is that we have learned nothing from history."
     
  6. Hal Parker

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    I think the problem for many of us is this. We hear people or groups referred to as 'neo-evangelical' or 'neo'by people who don't really know what the terms mean.

    I never heard the the term neo-evangelical until I started attending an IFB church. I heard one sermon outlining the dangers of neo-evangelicalism. I listened to it for a while and realized that the positions he attributed to neo-evangelicals were more apt to describe neo-orthodox people.

    IFB preachers often use neo as a dirty word for people they disagree with over something. As an operational definition the average church member gets the idea that a neo-evangelical is someone who takes the same doctrinal stand that we do, but doesn't draw the same line in the sand as we do over some issue like the length of a man's hair, etc.
     
  7. CorpseNoMore

    CorpseNoMore
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    Larry, I repost my last message in this thread. I think it's germaine to the topic of this thread. I offer it here with only modest editing from it's original form.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    ...I didn’t really intend to get into this thread. I only wanted to make a comment. But I just couldn’t help myself … I am sick … I need help.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It is a common malady... I empathize with you. ;)

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    I asked about Rom 16 because it seems to me to be pretty clear. I have never understood why there is any discussion about separation from false teacher and disobedient brothers.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I don't disagree with that, in principle. In fact, a former pastor of mine belonged to one
    of those community ministerial associations, which seem to have no purpose but to show that the ministers are behind the civic projests like beautification and what-not. I told him I couldn't see any valid reason for a conservative evangelical preacher to belong to such things... but I digress.

    The question is... what constitutes "false teachers and disobedient brothers?" As I
    ackowledged to Doc C., as I see it, we are to separate from apostates & impenitents. In the historic "fundamentalist" coalition, the "fundamentals" were, it seems to me, (as I understand it) as much if not more a device for ecumenism on the positive side, in addition to the separation on the negative side. Meaning of course, that people like Jay Adams & Jerry Falwell could fellowship, even though they had significant differences with each other in their theologies. In other words... the "fundamentals" provided the objective barometer for separation criteria, so as not to willy-nilly commit illegitimate separations.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    Originally posted by Pastor Larry: To talk about Scripture absent of any individual seems to not follow the biblical command “to mark them” as well as the biblical example
    (1 Tim 1:19-20; 3 John, 2 Tim 3, Christ himself with the Pharisees, etc.). It seems that by being unwilling to name names we have
    become, as one of my prof’s used to say, “more Christian than Christ.” Maybe there are people who need to hear that truth still reigns over “love.”
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Uh... Larry, were already in that thread. MacArthur was here attacked, and I'm here
    attempting to rebut that. I was suggesting that you start a exegetical thread if you
    think it is needful. If you wish to start a thread that "marks" someone, then if there is a person here that disagrees with your assessment, that will become the subject of that thread... not the exegesis of the Romans passage, generally.

    Moreover, the admonition "to love" is a Biblical TRUTH, those in whom it is absent can hardly be said to be obedient to the truth, in any credible way.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    However, “failure to separate from deficient doctrine” is one of the
    “self-definitive” aspects of neo-evangelicalism that I am addressing
    here.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Huh? Why does this sound more interpretive than "self-definitive?" Do you mean NEOs
    take a pledge, "I hereby sware to fail to separate from deficient doctrine? Btw, surely
    you've read self-professed NEO Harold Lindsell's book "The Battle For the Bible". Is this not a "marking" of false doctrine? What's more, it's not a book that a strict separatist could've written with any notice, for, in fact, some give it credit in being instrumental for the turn-around in the SBC, and you've already indirectly admitted that most IFBs only write to themselves.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    Many used self-published or small presses because they have neither the intellectual tools nor the desire to get the intellectual tools to write on a significant level and therefore a major house wouldn’t touch them. Separation then becomes an “out” for not doing their homework.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I suspect that "out"... that is,this separation cop-out, will be a just the way to escape the argument of this book, as Chick Daniels wrote in the other thread:

    ...the way the KJV-Only mind works is different from the way our minds work. Once
    they hear that a Fundamental Baptist Seminary has produced such a book, it doesn't give any credibility to our side, it just means to them that the place has gone apostate and should no longer be considered a Fundamentalist seminary
    !

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    When did anyone here ever call Mac a “gelly”? I don’t believe anyone is disrespecting him. Disagreement does not equal disrespect. MacArthur is the one who clearly put himself in the evangelical camp.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I believe you have carelessly not made a distinction between "NEO-evangelical" and "evangelical." MacArthur said, he was "evangelical"... it's his critics who label him NEO. Being an evangelical, is not simply a generic party description, it's what WE are! (That includes you)

    It distinguishes us from ROME(and liberalism) like no other word can do. It is meant to be in contradistinction to the sarcedotalism of the RCC. WE(evangelicals) believe, men
    MUST be converted by the miraculous interposition of the Holy Spirit, through the
    means of proclamation of the Evangel.

    The inference that I believe should be drawn from MacArthur's words, are that, he wants his distinctions drawn on sound doctrine, not on prejudicial cosmetic secondary
    standards. Like it or not, this is the reputation "fundamentalism" has earned for itself with the vituperative bellicose behavior of the "worst of us," as you say.

    back again,

    CNM
     
  8. CorpseNoMore

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Hal Parker:
    I think the problem for many of us is this. We hear people or groups referred to as 'neo-evangelical' or 'neo'by people who don't really know what the terms mean.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Hi Hal, yes that's right; alot depends on the user of the epithet. It's kind-of like the terms liberal and conservative slung around haphazardly in political races. People conveniently adopt and shun the labels when they are alternatively useful and detracting. What's more, the terms are relative: conservative, as compared to what?; liberal, as compared to whom? With this kind of illustration I hope it's easy to see the kind-of pitfalls of imprecise definition we face when labeling others in the Church.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Hal Parker:
    I never heard the the term neo-evangelical until I started attending an IFB church. I heard one sermon outlining the dangers of neo-evangelicalism. I listened to it for a while and realized that the positions he attributed to neo-evangelicals were more apt to describe neo-orthodox people. IFB preachers often use neo as a dirty word for people they disagree with over something.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Again. The problem is here vividly intimated. Misseducated preacher-boys get ahold of a convenient word, which they seldom (if ever) provide the kind-of historical setting that PastorLarry does here, probably because they can't. They flippantly attach names to it, presumably for the purpose of smearing the thusly-named individual, so as to make them off-limits for examination by their congregants, a kind-of religious McCarthyism. (That's Wisconsin senator Joe McCarthy from the 50s anti-communist crusades.)

    I do not think it's a word that you will find promiently in Christian literature; I find it used primarily in two instances. In the historical sense that PastorLarry has recounted, where a group of Christian intellectuals became disturbed with the minimalist theology developing in "fundamentalism."

    The first being this small cadre: Harold J. Ockenga, Carl F.H. Henry, Harold Lindsell, Edward Carnell, Gleason Archer, Charles E. Fuller and of course Billy Graham. In this instance, it's one of those quirky terms that eccentrics adopt for an idea. Men use it for "movements" they wish to foster, and little boys use it for clubs they wish to establish, i.e. "the He-man woman hater's club," ala Lil' Rascals.

    The second group that uses it (with even more regularity) is fundamentalist preachers, particulary the most shrill and anti-intellectual of the lot. Their motivation, from most appearances noted above.

    cordially,

    CNM
     
  9. Pastor Larry

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>The question is... what constitutes "false teachers and disobedient brothers?" As I
    ackowledged to Doc C., as I see it, we are to separate from apostates & impenitents. In the historic "fundamentalist" coalition, the "fundamentals" were, it seems to me, (as I understand it) as much if not more a device for ecumenism on the positive side, in addition to the separation on the negative side. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I think you are right that the fundamentals did establish a positive and negative side. (However, the fundamentals as originally conceived were not five.) I am concerned as you later say about the minimalist theology being propounded by ecumenism in the name of unity. Truth is supreme and we must preach the truth. Minimalist theology runs the risk of minimalist truth and the legitimization of error.

    False teachers are those who contradict clear biblical teaching (as opposed to deductions or logical conclusions). Disobedient are those who do not obey (oddly enough). Sticking with the example we have already used. Jack Hayford is a false teacher. He contradicts clearly revealed truth. On the basis of Rom 16:17-18, 2 and 3 John, MacArthur should have marked him (as he did in CC) and should have separated from him (as he did not do). That makes him in this instance disobedient.

    You decry the use of names in these discussions. I think it is possible but unfruitful to teach/preach without application. In naming names, all we are doing is applying the truth to life. Love is a biblical truth, and according to Eph 4, we are to speak the truth in love. We do not water down the truth in the name of love. We speak it because of our love for God, our love for the truth, and our love for our hearers so that the body might be built up in the truth. I have gone out of my way, not to be unloving but to demonstrate a true appreciation for MacArthur’s good contributions to ministry and preaching while not being afraid to say he is inconsistent.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>PL:: However, “failure to separate from deficient doctrine” is one of the
    “self-definitive” aspects of neo-evangelicalism that I am addressing
    here. CNM: Huh? Why does this sound more interpretive than "self-definitive?" <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If you read the unfortunately rather long post above, I give sources where the NAE made a conscious decision not to separate from those of deficient doctrine. “Deficient doctrine” is my word choice; the concept is borne out in their word choice and shown by the last fifty years.

    It is true that many so-called “fundamentalists” will reject anyone or writing that doesn’t agree with them fully. That is not all of us though. Chick was unfortunately right in his comments. Some will use that out and in so doing will show themselves not to be true fundamentalists. Of course, I question whether a KJV Only is a fundamentalists anyway because the hallmark of fundamentalism is commitment to truth, something they checked at the door.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>I believe you have carelessly not made a distinction between "NEO-evangelical" and "evangelical." MacArthur said, he was "evangelical"... it's his critics who label him NEO. Being an evangelical, is not simply a generic party description, it's what WE are! (That includes you)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I am an evangelical in the true sense of the word as defined above. All fundamentalists are evangelicals. That is why the term “New Evangelical” is so instructive. They coined it about themselves to distinguish themselves from the “Old evangelicals” (people like me) who believed in truth and separation over truth. If you know MacArthur, he has separated himself from the Old Evangelicals.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>The inference that I believe should be drawn from MacArthur's words, are that, he wants his distinctions drawn on sound doctrine, not on prejudicial cosmetic secondary
    standards.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I don’t think associating with false teachers is a “prejudicial cosmetic secondary.” I think it is the issue. MacArthur has made no secret of his desire to dissociate with militant fundamentalism and that is unfortunate. There are some problems with some people in fundamentalism but the movement itself is committed to biblical orthodoxy and obedience. MacArthur is really an enigma though. He takes a strong authoritative stand on some things but not on others. It is truly hard to figure him out.
     
  10. CorpseNoMore

    CorpseNoMore
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    Larry here's part of another post I hadn't got a chance to reply to.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    Preaching to and preaching for/with are two different things. I am making a distinction; you apparently are not.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Well, it's not that I'm NOT making a distinction, it's that I'm making a different distinction than you are. I really don't know all the circumstances of the episode that concerns you. But I'm confident that if it was a mistake, it was just that, a mistake. It was nothing consequential regarding his over-all ministry. (I do hope you never make a mistake that causes people to stampede to separate from you.) :(

    "Preaching for," in my mind, carries with it the inference of advancing an agenda. In that regard, I doubt it was "preaching for."

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    I am simply saying that when MacArthur preached for Hayford, he made somewhat of an “alliance” with him in that he did not condemn or refute his wayward theology on a significant issue. (Its not like Hayford thinks that Paul was married; it is a theology of significant error.)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Look, I don't know what Hayford's theology is, But I suspect it's not as horrid as you intimate. Leaving aside his approval for, and teaching of, Charismatic phenomena (If you could do that academic exercise for a moment, please) is his theology much different than Stanley, Swindoll, etc. What I'm getting at is Hayford seems to portray a broadly evangelical stance, and as Charismatics go is rather restrained, certainly much more so than Benny Hinn and the TBN crowd.

    I've only heard him preach less than a half dozen times, and frankly, if I didn't know the voice I'd swore it was Stanley or Swindoll, or Ben Haden... actually it was more biblically direct than what the average psychologically oriented sermon Stanley or Swindoll give. I'm not really criticizing them so much as noting that there wasn't anything to quibble with. Surely you've heard him preach. It's quite sober and biblically conscious, not the emotional drivel that typically comes from the Charismatic world.

    Now as far as the Charismatic phenomena, most of it is emotional overkill in worship, a problem, yes, but the critical issue that should concern one who associates with Hayford, in particular, is whether he believes continuing authoritative revelation is being given by God. That is to say, of the kind that can be equated with Holy Scripture. If Hayford teaches contrary to that, or has been silent on the matter, MacArthur may have decided that while he didn't endorse certain aspects of Hayford's teaching, none of it was heretical. I admit I'm speculating, but I do sense a stark difference between Hayford and the typical well-known Charismatic.

    The reason that is relevent is because there are so many doctrinal deficiencies in the IFB world, that I dare say don't raise much talk of separating from them. The root of those deficiences being a swallowing of Finneyism. Which involves the acceptance of things like:

    <UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>embracing Free Will, and conversely abandoning the doctrine of total depravity
    <LI>abandonment of the biblical doctrine of repentance
    <LI>easy-believism
    <LI>emotionally manipulative altar-callism
    <LI>dictatorial pastors run amuk doing as they please
    <LI>binding of the consciences of others regarding minor issues of personal behavior
    <LI>services devoid of any sense of worship
    <LI>sermonizing histrionics that glorify the preacher more than God
    <LI>widespread repudiation of the body-of-Christ
    <LI>mystical quasi-Roman Catholic view of the blood of Christ
    [/list]

    These serious problems are not just here-or-there they are widespread in Baptist fundamentalism. I grant that many of them are also present in Charismatic circles, and some of them in Hayford as well, but the point is you can draw the net pretty tight when "separation" becomes one's central driving priciple. I dare say many fundamentalists, probably are very latitudinarian when it comes to separating from another self-proclaimed IFB.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    That failure brought an invitation from a group that agreed with Hayford but not with MacArthur? Why did they invite him? It seems clear to me that his association with Hayford called into question his stand.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It may have said that they understood his position and still considered him a brother and a gifted Bible expositor from whom they could benefit, despite differences. Your speculation is as good as mine.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    That their presumptions may be more presumptuous then an IFBs is truly loaded. What presumptions do I make?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That all theolgical questions are equally weighty. Actually, I don't think you believe that, but your separation position and practice seem to infer so. Also that one questionable event makes one personna-non-grata.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    I am operating off the spoken testimony of MacArthur that I heard from his own mouth. I believe his words were, “They evidently thought I had changed” though I might have the wording wrong. I believe it was on a tape from when he preached at the Toledo Reformed Theological Society meeting at Emmanuel Baptist Church (interestingly enough, a church Pickering pastored for about ten years). It was the fall of 1997 I believe but I may have the year wrong.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I can just here Mac say that now, and I havn't heard the tape. I bet he laughed mildly after the phrase, and probably the audience too. Beyond that, it obviously was his "conclusion," after having gone through the experience. Yes it's "interesting," to say the least... should we infer that Emmanuel Baptist Church is now NEO-evangelical? [​IMG]

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    As for MacArthur and BJU, again in MacArthur’s own words (I believe from the same tape), he and BJIII talked about it and cleared up the matter by BJIII admitting that
    MacArthur was right. BJU did not whip anyone into a frenzy over it. The Sword of the
    Lord did that.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If you haven't read Phil Johnson's recounting of the matter, here it is.

    What's All the Controversy About John MacArthur and the Blood of Christ? A reply to some lies being perpetrated by fundamentalist zealots.

    this post is long enough, I'll return to it later,

    CNM

    [ August 02, 2001: Message edited by: CorpseNoMore ]
     
  11. CorpseNoMore

    CorpseNoMore
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    This is where you wrongly associate me with others who would wrongly do what you
    have just said. MacArthur does not have to make the same decision I make.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Well if I've specifically impugned you, I am sorry. But generally, I'm trying to do two things, (1) either get you to forcefully acknowledge the petty misapplication and abuse of the separation principle by many IFBs(which you've intimated is true), AND subsequently hoping you'll be as hard on them for their unbiblicalness as you are on NEO-evangelicals, or... (2) press you into a wholesale defense of all IFB separation. I doubt that you want to do the latter, so the question is will you do the former, or punt?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    I have not condemned him for what I believe to be his unbiblical form of church government because it is semi legitimate issue of disagreement.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Well I can see were gonna be in for another big thread down the road, but I really will let that one go for now. Maybe next month?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    I have not condemned him for I believe to be a wrong position on the old nature/new nature issue.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    How could you? A condemnation would be rather impudent since he stands with virtually all the puritans, and most mainstream Baptists until the late 1800s. You could disagree sure, but a condemnation I think would be putting yourself arrogantly out on a limb.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    My point is that obedience to the word means that we separate from those who teach falsely in the face of clear revelation. MacArthur has adamantly and rightly condemned Hayford’s theology as wrong. It seems that the verses I quoted put beyond question what MacArthur’s response should have been.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Possibly? In the end I might agree with you on the substance of the matter, though as I said I think Hayford is probably a kind-of moderate. Nevertheless, I think MacArthur would have to make a practice of this to warrant separation, especially considering it's Hayford and not Hinn.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    You are absolutely right on this issue. There is discernment required. And I have enough discernment to know that he really doesn’t care what I think. The application is
    subjective in some areas but not in all. I don’t think it is subjective concerning
    charismatic theology.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Larry you are a trenchant thinker, and can exegete circles around me, but I had hoped you were also more nuanced in your musing. As there is diversity in evangelicalism, so everyone is not "NEO," so there is diversity in "Charismatic theology." There are Charismatics who denounce the Toronto blessing. There are even Charismatic Calvinists.

    Now I'm not launching into a defense of miraculous phenomena, I'm just trying to suggest there is something more sophisticated in dissection then simply Charismatic and NON-Charismatic. It may be possible to say that people believe that they pray "in tongues," when what they are really doing is offering unintelligible praise. This would be akin to saying "Amen," "Praise the Lord," "Hallelujah," only as I said unintelligible mumbling.

    I'm NOT saying this is desirable for edification in public worship. So take a deep breath, and don't type what you were going to type. I'm only saying that if such persons at the same time believed as you and I do that the canon is closed then those people would NOT be heretics even though their practice was not ideal.

    The rest of your post was either dealt with in other ways or too lengthy to cover. I would like to see that dissertation by Larry Oats. I wonder if Trinity would send something like that through inter-library loan?

    cordially,

    CNM

    [ August 04, 2001: Message edited by: CorpseNoMore ]
     
  12. CorpseNoMore

    CorpseNoMore
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    I think you are right that the fundamentals did establish a positive and negative side. (However, the fundamentals as originally conceived were not five.)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    IFBs can slice it any way they want; whether by the so-called "five fundamentals:" inerrancy of the Bible, the Virgin Birth, Christ's substitutionary atonement, his bodily resurrection, and miracles affirmed in 1910 by the Northern Presbyterian Church, or the more developed presentation by R.A. Torrey & Co., either way, John MacArthur is a TRUE fundamentalist by all cogent theological measuring sticks.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    I am concerned as you later say about the minimalist theology being propounded by ecumenism in the name of unity. Truth is supreme and we must preach the truth. Minimalist theology runs the risk of minimalist truth and the legitimization of error.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You might want to read that again. The "minimalist" theology is a remark directed at IFBs. (I agree that the mindset that brought us "Promise Keepers," and such things, carries with it a slavish avoidance of doctrinal matters, which I am VERY critical of.) However, it is large portions of Baptist fundamentalism that I've witnessed over the years as being: anti-intellectual, anti-theological, and anti-historical.

    This is the minimalist approach that has brought us the King James Only movement, knee-jerk anti-Calvinism, easy-believism, etc. In this regard, I was speechless when I witnessed on this very board a number of members noting their praise for Emery H. Bancroft's Christian Theology. Now I'm sure that Mr. Bancroft is a wonderful Christian gentleman who loves the Lord, and who was dedicated to teaching his students. But I have to say, that this book is the most "minimalist" approach to Systematic Theology I've ever run accross, kind of a Reader's Digest version. I sold my copy about ten years ago to Kregel Used Books, for about $1.50. It was, btw, my theology textbook when I was at IFB Bible College.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    That is why the term “New Evangelical” is so instructive. They coined it about themselves to distinguish themselves from the “Old evangelicals” (people like me) who believed in truth and separation over truth. If you know MacArthur, he has separated himself from the Old Evangelicals.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Nevertheless, you have yet to provide the quote where MacArthur has described himself as a "NEO." I still assert it is something that his enemies attach to him in order to discredit him anyway they can. I'm not talking about you Larry, but I can't help but feel how obtuse you seem to be in regard to the war on MacArthur in many IFB circles. Over at The Fightin' Fundamentalist Forum over the years we've have had a number of stories recounted about John MacArthur.

    Jack Hyles is reputed to have said, "John MacArthur is the most dangerous man in America." Hyles also is reputed to have made a point of saying that "he never does expository preaching" because topical preaching is more biblical. Also at Hyles' "Pastor's School" they are reported to start the activities off every year with a song on "the Blood," and the song leader dedicates it to John MacArthur. If you haven't read the Phil Johnson essay about the "Blood" issue that I linked at a post above, then I encourage you to do so. Perhaps, "neo-evangelical" is a academic technical term for you, but for some folks it is simply part of the plethora of smear phrases.

    In my mind, what MacArthur is "separating" himself from is (1) the severe doctrinal deficiences, running rampant in IFBism, which I noted in a post above, and (2) KJV-Onlyism, and (3) such theological weighty issues which captivate the attention of so many fundamentalists, like: mod-haircuts, pants on women, syncopated performance soundtracks, etc.

    MacArthur strikes you as an enigma because people like you and Dr. Bob have such a rosy view of "fundamentalism." Fundamentalism is no longer, imo, a doctrinal & practical conception, it's a "party," like the Democrats and Republicans complete with secret handshakes and the like, which one must ape in order to be counted. People like MacArthur in my view are what the fightin' fundamentalists of the 1920s are now; yes slightly enigmatic, but still active in the evangelical Church. Separating fundamentalists are in my book retreating fundamentalists.

    cordially,

    CNM

    [ October 28, 2001: Message edited by: CorpseNoMore ]
     
  13. Psalm145 3

    Psalm145 3
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    "Neo-Evangelicalism" is a philosophy whose chief feature is unwillingness and failure to obey 100% the Word of God.

    Satan majors in half-way obedience. Half-way obedience is really disobedience.

    Colossians 4:12...stand perfect and complete in ALL the will of God.

    [ August 06, 2001: Message edited by: Psalm145 3 ]
     

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