New Direction for Sharper Iron

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by Rhetorician, May 12, 2008.

  1. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
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    Men and Brethren (and Ladies too of course!),

    If you, as a Fundamentalist, do not know about your own web page Sharper Iron, "a pox on you and your house."

    Seriously though, it is a great thing. I consider myself to be a "recovering fundamentalist" but still like "to keep up with all things theological" as well as facts and trends. If you have not discovered it you need to do so. You can go there:

    http://www.sharperiron.org/

    I have done a book review for them that is supposed to be posted in a month or so. I have just read a book by Colin Hansen--Young, Restless, and Reformed. I bring up the book in order to make a bridge thesis statement.

    Hansen's book has "kept me 'in the know'" about the "what" and "why" of the young Calvinists. SI (Sharper Iron) will keep all of us with a "fundamentalist bent" "in the know" about the "what" and the "why" of the young fundamentalist. And what they are doing, what they are saying, how they feel, what they believe, etc. At least those of us who are the "old grey heads" can at least overhear the conversations and not be totally "in left field."

    I post it just now b/c they are going through an administrative change, and those not familiar with it can get the gist of their philosophy and history by reading the opening page. If you have not visited it you should. You will find it worthwhile and eye opening to say the least.

    It is right up there with sliced bread or the pocket on a shirt.

    "That is all!"
     
  2. Mexdeaf

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    I second the motion, although I am about as far from Reformed as you can get without being Unreformed. I think SI as a whole is pretty balanced.
     
  3. Jon-Marc

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    I may not be "reformed" but I'm definitely "informed". I used to call myself a Fundamentalist until the world started calling terrorists "fundamentalists". I have no desire to be associated with the likes of them.
     
  4. paidagogos

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    Fundamentalists or fundamentalists?

    As I have vigorously argued, Fundamentalism is a remarkably diverse phenomenon. It varies geographically, denominationally and generationally. SharperIron is representative, more or less, of only one segment of Fundamentalism, specifically Young Fundamentalists (YFs) who are generally enamored with John McArthur and John Piper and are graduates of Clearwater, Northland, Maranatha, Baptist Bible College (Clarks Summit), BJU, Central Seminary, et. al. However, graduates of Ambassador, Crown, Hyles-Anderson, West Coast, etc. are not found here in any significant numbers. Interestedly enough, Liberty does not seem to hold sway comparable to their size. Except for a few disgruntled alumni, PCC appears to lack significant presence too. Also, the Sword of the Lord crowd does not appear here.

    The geographical spread is extremely intriguing. It is not a Southern thing by any means. The Midwest, West and Northeast appear surprisingly strong in representation. In fact, the South is definitely underrepresented in proportion to its population of Fundamentalists. Most of the Southern elements are resurgent conservative SBC, who are not in the mainstream of historic Fundamentalism. (The SBC was not as infiltrated with modernism/liberalism during the height of the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy and did not become part of the historic Fundamentalist movement.)

    The denominational mixture is heavily GARB, Bible church, SBC or independents from the old line of historical Fundamentalists. The independent Baptists who withdrew from the SBC are not present here. The KJVO's and separatists are missing too.

    Most of the active participants are the YFs but there is even a distinction within the YFs. These YFs are quite different from their fathers and their views vary considerably from the previous generation. They are definitely children of their generation whereas their fathers were outside the cultural mainstream. Their fundamental doctrinal positions align with the verities of the faith but they are questioning many of the less central teachings. The doctrine of separation that characterized and divided their fathers is now a peripheral matter of questionable significance. They have merged and blended with the more conservative elements of evangelicalism.

    Because this is a medley of individuals—some Fundamentalists and some evangelicals—it would not be useful to confuse this group as encompassing Fundamentalism. Rather, we ought to recognize and label (YFs) their particular branch of Fundamentalism. In fact, they may at some point be no longer recognizable as Fundamentalists when blended with evangelicals. Then, I question whether we ought to continue calling them Fundamentalists or if we ought to simply label them as Evangelicals. What do you think?
     
  5. Squire Robertsson

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    Paid, what you see on SI is representative of the FBF\GARBC line that grew out of the Northern Baptist Convention. So, why can't we have a spot in the sun?

    That may be disconcerting to some. But the founders of Maranatha were men who went through the old NBC schools (Eastern and University of Chicago). The Northerners split from the Southerners in the 1840s.

    IMHO, much of what is pushed as "cultural" separtion is the culture of 1930s East Texas.
     
  6. skypair

    skypair
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    Well...

    This is all quite interesting. :wavey: I like the GARBC, a convention I was part of for 18 months via my home church at the time in Bellevue, NE while stationed at Offutt AFB.

    What paidagogos says is interesting, if true. I'm definitely Southern SBC. Would I find anything offensive? Does "Evangelical" now mean "liberal?"

    I think I'll look into this.

    skypair
     
  7. Squire Robertsson

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    To the first question, no. Think of SI as a place where you have to ask for grits with your breakfast as they serve hash brown potatos as the default.

    As for the second, no. Most folks on SI are more careful in their use of terms than that.
     
  8. Rhetorician

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    Squire Reponse

    Squire,

    FTR, the Baptists of the South split with the Baptists of the North rather than the other way round. It came about because the Northern Abolitionist leaning leadership held the power of appointment of the missions board which were located geographically in the NE.

    The Baptists of the South pushed the point when they wanted Southerners who owned slaves to be appointed and the Northerners refused. This happened in Augusta, GA in May, 1845.

    The question of whom left whom may not be very important in some discussions, except for the pride we "South-ran-ers" have to maintain.

    "That is all!"
     
  9. Rhetorician

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    Squire Reponse #2

    Squire,

    I just read and wanted to make a couple of comments on what you declared above.

    There is a new thing that seems to be happening with the younger Fundamentists that may make the older generation spin in their graves. They are even calling themselves (some of them--progressive--or even Evangelical) by a new name.

    What may be happening could be the same type of stuff that is going on in the SBC. "There arose a king who knew not Joseph" as it were. The old "Conservative Resurgence" does not mean much to the younger, say 35 and down, crowd. They have very little denominational loyalty. And they are becoming Calvinists. And they are leaving the SBC in droves and going to other groups where they are unhindered and have a "place at the table."

    It seems that the young Fundamentalists are doing the same type thing. They seem to want to open up dialogue with conservative believers especially the Evangelicals. SI may be one indicator of that.

    I have also noticed as I shop the many web pages on educational institutions that many of the BJU grads coming out now have turned to the doctrines of grace (Calvinism). There are many many things happening and old timers like myself need to observe and keep up more I suppose.

    FWIW!

    "That is all!"
     
  10. Squire Robertsson

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    Rhet, have you read Francis Wayland's Notes on the Principles and Practices of Baptist Churches? I take my stand from that book.
     
  11. Rhetorician

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    Squire Response

    Squire,

    I think I have that one. I went to the Baptist Archives in Nashville and made a copy of one of his and I think that was it?

    Please do a favor for me. Do some research and find the page numbers so I can go and read it if you will please?

    I have cited in other works at least 6-8 sources that say, in essence, what I have said above. In fact I did a rhetorical criticism of WB Johnson's Inaugural Address of the May 1845 meeting in Augusta, GA. This may not be "common knowledge" amonst the Baptists of the Northern Persuasion but is surely is to us lesser folk who had to deal with that war of "Northern Aggression!":laugh:

    If you could do that for me I would greatly appreciate it.

    Pre posting edit:
    You got me to thinking, so I think it it time for a history lesson. And FYI history lesson, NOT a "I know more than you" sarcasm history lesson. You can find my (above) thesis demonstrated in the following sources:

    1. Earl E Cairns, Christianity Through the Centuries, p. 433.

    2. Leon McBeth, The Baptist Heritage, Four Centuries of Baptist Witness, pp. 389ff, Chapters 10 & 11.

    3. Robert A. Baker, The Southern Baptist Convention and Its People, pp. 148, all of Chapter 8.

    4. Williston Walker, A History of the Christian Church, p. 659.

    I could probably find 5-10 more but these are just what I have on hand.

    This is for you and all who might have an interest. There is nothing like a little late night research project to get one going. Please send me the information on Wayland. I will look forward to reading it.

    "That is all!":wavey:
     
    #11 Rhetorician, May 15, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2008
  12. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Wow - there is a thought provoking statement. Seriously, that really helps to clarify a lot of what I have wondered about "cultural separation" and where some of the ideas came from.
     
  13. learner

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    not-so-young fundamentalists anymore

    The "young fundies" at SI are not necessarily a representation of recent Christian college grads, in my opinion.

    From what I can tell, a number of recent grads (within the last 8 years or so--wonder if 9/11 had some sort of impact?) are FAR left of SI, and would probably not feel "at home" there. Some of these are headed into orthodoxy (as in the Greek or Roman kind). Could it be a reaction against the extreme Hyles type of church they grew up in?

    The current SI membership seems to consist mainly of 35's and up. Just my observation.
     
  14. Squire Robertsson

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    Rhet: I'm more than willing to grant slavery as the proximite and commonly held reason for the breaking up of the Triennial Convention. However, Wayland wrote of other problems. These concerned the relationship of the local church to outside organizations.

    His foundational point was "A Baptist church can not be represented." This point can be seen in the way the Northern Baptists organized themselves in functional groups of individuals not churches. Northern Baptist Churches to be sure contributed to the support of the various orgs, but boards were not made up of "representatives" or "messangers" from the various churches. The boards were composed of concerned individuals.
     
    #14 Squire Robertsson, May 15, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2008
  15. Mexdeaf

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    You may be correct concerning recent grads, but mull on this-- how many of us 50- somethings are still running in the exact same paths theologically, fraternally, and ideologically (music, movies and clothes styles for example) that we were in 25 years ago? For example: I didn't leave the 'Sword' crowd- they left ME.

    Many of the 'old line' fundies have moderated their stances over the years- to wit John Rawlings (BBFI), Randy Ray (SWBC), and others (and to their credit, I might add). Who is to say that the neo-fundamentalists won't become more like their forefathers as they grow older?
     
  16. Danger Dog

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    I've heard of it, never been, but will check it out.
     
  17. skypair

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    Just had a chance to see my pastor/nephew last week and he is of this ilk. His church took "Baptist" out of their name and he's starting to lean toward the "emerging church" theology of the church becoming a society or more like society (as I understand it. Maybe you all could shed some light.).

    "Bible coders" is what I would say. Anyone remember all the "Bible code" writings? There are "secrets" lying in scripture that your "average Joe" can't see but your "illuminated Joe" can. :laugh: Course, the "code" has to have its own vocabulary to make it unassailable by the "average Joes" who just wouldn't understand and to make comparisons with real scripture that much more difficult.

    skypair
     
  18. Gregory Perry Sr.

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    SBC/NBC...reasons for the split

    Gentlemen,
    I am a member both here and on SI so I am finding this discussion both interesting AND enlightening. I classify myself as a Bible-Believing(KJV) Independent,fundamental,Southern Baptist who leans away from denominationalism as a whole and leans toward a more strict loyalty to the Word of God in particular. Frankly,it's a wonder I haven't headed into the House Church movement after all the crazy unbiblical stuff I have observed over the years in the "traditional" churches. I'm FOR the Bible...and the true New Testament Church (whatever it may be). In short, I'll be glad when the trumpet blows and we'll be face to face with our Lord. All the controversy will end THERE....AMEN!!!!! All that said,I'm wondering if some of you more scholarly types with study resources I don't possess could tell me if there was ANY evidence of a Masonic contingent at work in the 1845 split that produced the NBC/SBC. I knew about the slavery part of the issue but I also (as a current member of a conservative SBC Church) know that many of the older members were/are involved in lodges/fraternal orders. I know of some in my own church(if you know what to look for...Bibles,rings,etc.) I haven't tried to "stir up trouble" in my own church about it but I do know it exists and I have NEVER heard anyone preach against it in ANY SBC context. The Question is.....Did the Masons have anything to do with the "birthing" of the SBC...or was it all the Slavery/Abolitionist thing? I find it sad that the issue that heralded the split WAS NOT loyalty to the Lord Jesus Christ :tear: . Heaven will be such a sweet place...amen? I look forward to it.

    Bro.Greg Perry Sr.:jesus:
     

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