Dr. Dell Johnson

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Pastor_Bob, Apr 3, 2004.

  1. Pastor_Bob

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    I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Dell Johnson this past week at the Ozark Regional A.C.E. Student Convention. Dr. Johnson, formerly of Pensacola Christian College, is known for his series of video tapes defending the Traditional Text position. He was the guest speaker for the week.

    I was privileged to spend a few hours with Dr. Johnson discussing the various issues surrounding the versions/text debate. He, IMO, takes a very balanced and scholarly approach to the subject.

    I am in the process of reading The Unbound Scriptures - A Review of KJV-only Claims and Publications by Rick Norris.

    Dr. Johnson, who knows of Rick Norris but had not seen the book yet, took the book for an evening and wrote some thoughts in it for me regarding the claims of Mr. Norris. He also went through the bibliography and highlighted some books and made notations, pro and con, concerning many of the books. He was a great help in suggesting which books would benefit me in studying this issue. I was amazed that he cautioned me regarding a few books that I own dealing with the version debate. Many of these are KJV-Only authors.

    It was a tremendous blessing for me to spend time with this gracious man of God.
     
  2. Plain Old Bill

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    Dr. Bob,
    I was just reading some articles this morning by Rick Norris on the IFB reformers page.Rick Norris seems to have a lot of information and background articles available on this page. If you have'nt been there before it might be of interest to you.
     
  3. Dr. Bob

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    Bill - that was PASTOR Bob (what can we say - we both have the world's GREATEST NAME) who is a co-moderator of this forum!

    Dr. Johnson will be forever linked with radical KJVO because of the unsolicited videos sent by Pensacola Christian College to so many churches on which he was the spokesman. He is not, of course, of that ilk and I am thrilled to see Dell working with ACE schools and educators.

    (Odd irony - I was the speaker for ACE 1984-91 while Dr. Johnson was teaching at Pillsbury Baptist College in Minnesota. I then taught at Pillsbury - after he had left - and now HE is speaker for ACE!!)

    Must have been a blessing for you to have lunch with him!
     
  4. Phillip

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    Could you provide the link? If I missed it.
     
  5. Pastor_Bob

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    [​IMG]

    Very true. He very emphatically distances himself from Peter Ruckman, Samuel Gipp, et al...

    One statement that he made to me that is so very true when discussing this topic is, "The issue is the 'text' and not the 'translation.'"

    His "official title" is Ministry Director of Academic Research, but he travels to many state Student Conventions to speak to the students and sponsors. He is a very animated speaker; the young people really connected with him this week.

    For those who are wondering: He did not mention the version issue one time in his preaching.
     
  6. Pastor Larry

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    I hope that Dell Johnson's approach is considerably different than what he gave out on those tapes. I have never met the man but I do know that I have rarely seen such uninformed pomposity get such a wide distribution. I sincerely hope he has modified his position since leaving there. In the tapes, he came across to me as very uninformed and patronizing. I realize he was being forced to peddle the company line. I am glad to hear that apparently he has changed.
     
  7. Plain Old Bill

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  8. Pastor_Bob

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    The Articles of Faith for Pensacola Christian College are listed in their catalog. Dr. Johnson personally wrote the statement regarding the Scriptures.

    Is this doctrinal statement one that you could agree with?
     
  9. Pastor Larry

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    Did you know they actually changed the doctrinal statement?? If you have an old catalog compare mayb 2001 or 2000 with the current one. You should see a change. I can't remember exactly what the verbiage of the change is, but this is the "softer" version of it. I hae apparently thrown away my old catalogs I have from them. If you have some old ones, if you get a chance, look back at them and see.

    As for the doctrinal statement, No I can't agree.

    1. Matt 24:35, IMO, is not referring to verbal preservation but to the fulfillment of promises, particularly those in Matt 24. I believe in preservation. That is simply not the verse to prove it with.

    2. He appears to limit preservation to the "traditional Greek and Hebrew manuscripts." That is inadequate, IMO. God has preserved his word in the multitude of manuscripts.

    3. I can agree that the KJV is an accurate English translation. (This I believe is where the change in the doctrinal statement is.)

    But knowing the stand that Pensacola has taken over the past 10 years, this statement is not, IMO, a fair representation of what they actually believe. They took a much stronger position on this issue than this statement appears to communicate.

    This statement is weak in that:
    1. It uses a faulty basis for preservation.
    2. It does not acknowledge the true extent of preservation. It is obvious that all manuscripts of Scripture are preservations of God's word. They are not "not God's word." It is simply inadequate to limit preservation to one manuscript family or tradition. One might say, "We think the best representative of the infallible Word is found in the traditional Hebrew and Greek manuscripts." While I would disagree, I think that better communicates the true picture.
    3. It is worded in such a way as to not explicitly acknowledge the existence of other faithful, accurate translation. This to me sounds like a political attempt to work "KJV" into the doctrinal statement in way that appeases and appeals to the KJVO crowd while giving PCC "plausible deniability" by saying "We didn't say it was the only translation." I think it is a ruse to put it in this way. It sounds like an attempt to play to both audiences. At this point, having seen Johnson's performance on those tapes and knowing the background of this discussion, I am very skeptical of anything in that regard. I know how political Pensacola is. I know that Mutsch absolutely refused to meet personally with someone whom PCC attacked by name. The person called and volunteered to fly down there at his own expense to meet and try to work this thing out like gentlemen. Mutsch refused. That was simply uncalled for. There was a lot that went on in the mid to late 90s that a lot of people don't know about. Which helps my conviction that this was a political stunt to try to gain a bigger "market share" of the Christian college market.

    But I thought from the beginning that these tapes and this stand from PCC was a political move to distinguish themselves from BJU, their main competition in terms of larger fundamental Christian colleges.
     
  10. Pastor_Bob

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    I was not aware of any changes. The only catalog I have is the 2004-2005 edition.

    I cannot begin to speak for Dr. Johnson or PCC, but I would like to offer my thoughts on your objections to their doctrinal statement.

    The words "pass away" do not mean "to fulfill." I believe Jesus is saying clearly, and means specifically that His words would not pass away. The word used here (parerchomai) is used for both Jesus' words, and heaven and earth. It is also the same word Jesus used in the garden when he said, "Let this cup pass from me." I don't think anyone would argue that He was praying for fulfillment, but that it might "go away" or "pass away."

    The truth is, heaven and earth will indeed pass away (II Peter 3:12,13). The earth, as we know it today, will not remain with us as it is now. On the other hand, Jesus said that His words will be with us forever as they were when He spoke them.

    I believe this to be a very good verse to substantiate the position of verbal preservation.

    Again, these are my thoughts and may very well not reflect the position of Dr. Johnson or PCC. I would assume that they do, in fact, consider all of the manuscript evidence available. They only consider those readings reliable that are in agreement with the traditional texts.

    I would certainly fall into this catagory. I did not look into PCC until we had a young lady from our church consider attending there. Ity is only in the last two years that I have looked into this institution.
     
  11. Pastor Larry

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  12. Pastor_Bob

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    They are preserved for the simple fact that we have them today; the point is are they the preserved words of God? I do not think that either one of us believe that just because a manuscript is extant that is undeniably the Word of God in its entirety.

    Those manuscripts, or parts of those manuscripts that are in agreement with the Scripture "received" by and considered as authentic by the early church and the church throughout history, can be considered the preserved words of God. I believe that is the position of Dr. Johnson and PCC.

    I realize this is simplifying the matter a bit. I do not intend to insult your intelligence
     
  13. Salty

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    I agree its a great name, but to avoid confusion, I spell my name backwards. [​IMG] :cool: :D

    boB

    Ps, Dr BOB, can we have a post just for Bobs's?
     
  14. jshurley04

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    I too enjoyed the meeting last week, although it was very tiring for me. Dr. Johnson came across very well in his sermons and it seemed he was able to connect with both the kids as well as the adults in the meeting. All of his sermons for the week were recorded on CD and given to Lee Parsons. The recordings may be a little soft but they are recorded none the less.

    If the statement about the scriptures was written by Dr. Johnson then it is a very appropriate place to stand and I would not have any problems with it at all. He struck me as someone that I would have liked to have gotten to know better, but he always seemed to be in a rush off after the service, especially the morning services.
     

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