Sunday, February 03, 2013

Fundamentalist Floundering, pt. 1

The commentary under Kevin Bauder's recent open letter to Lance Ketchum exposed a trove of fundamentalist absurdity.  I can't stay away from two of the points, both of which strayed from the thread of Bauder's letter.  Mike Harding, a fundamentalist leader, wrote:

Lance Ketchum in his published post by necessary implication condemns the London Baptist Confession, the Second London Baptist Confession, the Philadelphia Baptist Confession, and the New Hampshire Confession of Faith which is the most accepted confession of faith among historical, biblical, orthodox, separatist churches in North America. Our own fundamental association of Baptist churches in Michigan openly confesses the NH Confession and requires pastors to sign a statement that they and their churches are in agreement with said document.

Then he wrote a comment he titled, Apples and Bowling Balls:

As a member of the resolutions committee at the FBFI, note that we have passed umpteen resolutions against all forms of King James Onlyism.  It is heterodoxy, plain and simple.  We respect those who hold the King James preferred position as well as those who use other well-done formally equivalent translations such as NKJV, NASB, and ESV.  Most of our members are either majority text or eclectic text such as myself, Minnick, et. al. 

Concerning CCM (the wedding of pop/rock styles with Christian words for worship) the FBFI has consistently opposed it to this day.  The two issues are not remotely identical.

And the compiler and "textual critic" of the Received Text was Erasmus - a Roman Catholic monk!

The above is just one example of many fallacies in the article.  The sad truth about articles like this is that they exemplify the mentality that drives folks like myself away from "fundamentalism".  Even sadder is the fact that this mentality (I believe) has driven many people away from the church altogether.  There is no honor (eternal or temporal) in stubborn belligerence.

And then another guy, this:

So, Independent, fundamental, Baptists separate from historic Protestantism but cite historic Protestantism in defense of being KJV only.   hmmm

OK, let's take these one at a time, because they're four different problems about the same issue.  Fundamentalists and evangelicals keep telling themselves these types of things and they're wrong.

First one, Harding doesn't believe the London Baptist Confession here:

The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which at the time of the writing of it was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages.

The Philadelphia Baptist Confession is the same and these mimic the Westminster Confession of Faith.  Their understanding of providential preservation, of "kept pure in all ages," was the perfect preservation of Scripture.

John Owen wrote:

The whole Scripture, entire as given out from God, without any loss, is preserved in the copies of the originals yet remaining. . . . In them all, we say, is every letter and tittle of the word.

This is clear from a multitude of quotations from the authors and signers.  Harding doesn't believe this.  Based on his own terms of evaluation, he's heterodox and factional.

Then Harding says that his music issue and King James Onlyism are not remotely identical.  Wrong again.  There is one truth, one goodness, and one beauty.  Without one truth, you lose one goodness and one beauty.  There is one God.  He wrote one Bible.  Harding's position necessarily says more than one set of words for the Bible.  This is the relativism that gave us subjective beauty or more than one beauty.  They are directly related.   You could also say that man is deciding what the truth is and then man is deciding what beauty is.  Both are man-centered.

For comment number three, the received text didn't originate with Erasmus.  None other than Kurt Aland himself writes:

We can appreciate better the struggle for freedom from the dominance of the Textus Receptus when we remember that in this period it was regarded even to the last detail the inspired and infallible word of God himself.

This is the view held by Baptists and Protestants.  Saying that Erasmus originated the textus receptus is people with an agenda repeating ignorance.

The last comment from a guy who pulls his history from a cracker-jack box.  Baptists didn't get their position from Protestants.  They got it from the Bible.  Just because they agree with Protestants, doesn't mean that they took their doctrine from them.  The Baptists didn't disagree with the WCF on preservation of Scripture.  Baptists wrote the same statement in Philadelphia Baptist Confession.  Most Protestants today don't even take the same position.  They are the one who departed from their own belief.

One Wednesday I'll move to the second point.

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