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A Great Weekend with Hardingville Bible Church

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to go up to Hardingville, New Jersey to preach the morning and evening services at Hardingville Bible Church in Monroeville. It was great to be back up at Hardingville and to spend some time with good friends and share some fellowship together.

Going back up to Hardingville is a lot like going "home" for me. The over four years that we lived in the parsonage on Whig Lane Road rank as the longest that I have ever lived anywhere consecutively in my life. (We will have equaled that amount of time in this house in August of next year.)

I thank the Lord for the opportunity to open up His Word and preach at Hardingville this weekend, for the receptive congregation, for liberty as I preached, and for fellowship that we were able to have with the Frasers (who hosted us over night) and with the Shaws and Stimpsons (who had us over for food) and with all the other folks we were able to spend some time with. It was a great and encouraging time.

Just my thoughts,


A Couple of Football items

Friday, December 26, 2008

This is the time of the year when even mediocre teams like Notre Dame can play in and win college football bowl games and when the National Football League season gets serious. As a Philadelphia Eagles fan, my team is in need of a good game this weekend over the arch-rival Dallas Cowboys and then some help from some other teams.

I recently read two articles about football that present things in a different way.

The first story is a story about a Christian school in Texas that played a team of young people who were in Maximum Security. The head coach of the Christian school had an idea to do something different with the game which made a huge impact on the young men from the correctional facility. Rick Reilly writes about it here in a column that reads "There are some games where cheering for the other side feels better than winning."

The other story is not as poignant as the first, but was interesting from a football standpoint. A high school coach in Arkansas decided after his team surrendered a punt return for a touchdown in the second game of the season that he was through with punting - for the whole season. Coach Kevin Kelley of Pulaski Academy in Arkansas decided that the math was on his side and decided to forego punting. While I do not know if this would work for everyone, it seemed to have worked for Coach Kelley and his Pulaski team as they won the Arkansas 5A state high school football title earlier this month. This article can be found here.

Just thought these were interesting stories and thought I would pass them on.

Just other people's thoughts.


Merry Christmas from the Sansone family

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas from the Sansone family,

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:11)

With all of the great things of which Christmas reminds us, the greatest would have to be the reminder that God sent His Son to be our Savior. I recently read a quote that helped to capture the importance of this truth.

If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator;
If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist;
If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist;
If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer;
But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.

The year 2008 has been a busy year for the Sansone family. We have all grown a little older and have started some new adventures and we are thankful to God for His working in us and through us and for our family and friends who support us, pray for us, and love us.

One of the new adventures we are experiencing this year is the homeschooling of the Josiah and Christina. Having the three kids at home all the time is a blessing and a challenge. Josiah and Chrissy like homeschooling, but also miss being around their friends at school. We are using the Hard Drive/DVDs from BJU Press for the homeschooling, so the teaching load is not bad, just trying to keep everyone on schedule - especially with Missy still working part-time at PRMC.

We were able to enjoy some special times this year. In August, Christina was baptized by her daddy at a special baptism service that we held in a church that we borrowed for the service. We also enjoyed an extended visit by Grandma Cheek for a few weeks in August. It was great to have Frank's mom here for his birthday this year and it worked out to have her visit extended a little bit so that she could still be here for Christina's baptism. We also enjoyed some visits to Assateague Island to see the wild horses roaming the island and to Ocean City to spend some time on the boardwalk. Missy and the children made a couple of extended visits to Ohio, including Rebekah staying for almost a month with Mom Mom and Grandpa Lewis and Great-Grandma Marken. (While Mommy, Josiah and Chrissy were with her for part of the time, Daddy missed her greatly.)

Part of the reason Rebekah was in Ohio for so long was that the rest of the family was able to go to The Wilds Christian Camp in North Carolina for a week. It had been a few years since we have had the opportunity to go down there. This year, we had enough teens and juniors to justify a trip as a church and traveled down for a great week.

We also were able to enjoy a great week at Tri-State Bible Camp for the Annual Conference of the FFBC. We always love the week of Annual Conference. The opportunity to see some friends and fellow-laborers in ministry is one that we look forward to each year.

As we celebrated the birth of our Savior, we rejoice in God's goodness to us for another year and look forward to what God is going to do in and through us in the next year. We pray that this year and this season has been a time of blessing and reflection upon the King of Kings. May God grant you a prosperous new year, as well.

In Christ,

Frank and Missy Sansone
Josiah, Christina, and Rebekah

2008 Church Christmas Letter 2

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
Matthew 2:10

Dear Church Family,

When the wise men saw the star, they rejoiced. Christmas is a time of great rejoicing. It is a time when we rejoice in time spent with family and friends. It is a time when we rejoice with the songs of the season and the things that remind us of yesteryear. Most importantly, Christmas should be a time when we rejoice in the birth of the Savior.

This year has been an exciting and difficult year here at Fellowship Baptist Church. We have had the excitement of the salvation of Lila, followed a week later by the sadness of the stroke to Nancy. We have had the excitement of being given one van only to discover we couldn't get it through Maryland's inspection. We have had the excitement of the Lord's provision of another wheelchair accessible van and the excitement of a good turn-out for our summer Vacation Bible School. We have had the difficulties of many of our church family facing times of physical, financial, and even spiritual trials.

In November, I preached a message in which I referenced a quote from Winston Churchill regarding "insurmountable opportunities." The phrase was meant to convey the idea that the task ahead was a task of difficulty, but was also a task that could reap great benefit and great fruit. As I look ahead to the coming year, I believe that we, as a church, are facing some "insurmountable opportunities" from a human perspective, but I rejoice that even as the Christmas story reminds us, "with God nothing shall be impossible." (Luke 1:37)

In the coming days, we, as a church, need to be more diligent than ever in our attempt to reach out for Christ and to stand for Him in the midst of a lost and dying world. May I ask you to seriously pray about your involvement here at Fellowship Baptist Church during the days ahead? I am excited about some of the things that we have planned for the days ahead, but I recognize that for many of them to have the impact that they can and should have, we, as a church family, need to show ourselves faithful.

1 Corinthians 4:2 tells us that "it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful." The requirement isn't exceptional abilities or great wealth - it is faithfulness. As we look forward to another year of ministry, may we be faithful in our attendance, faithful in our witnessing, faithful in our Christian walk, living for and depending on Christ in every area of our life.

May God give you a blessed Christmas season and may the New Year be a year in which we all grow closer to Christ and see Him work in us and through us in an even greater way.

In Christ,

Pastor Frank Sansone and family

2008 Church Christmas Letter 1

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
Matthew 2:10

When the wise men saw the star, they rejoiced. Christmas is a time of great rejoicing. It is a time when we rejoice in time spent with family and friends. It is a time when we rejoice with the songs of the season and the things that remind us of yesteryear. Most importantly, Christmas should be a time when we rejoice in the birth of the Savior.

God is a giving God and has given unto us His Son, Jesus Christ, to born in a lowly manger, to live a sinless and spotless life, to die on the cross for our sins, and to rise again in power and glory.

As the Christmas season is upon us, may our minds not only be filled with visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads, but may our minds and hearts be filled with a love for the One who gave everything for us. The Bible tells us in John 3:16 that "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." The Bible relates to us the wonderful truth that Jesus Christ came to save us from our sin and that he lived a perfect, sinless life and died a cruel death on the cross of Calvary to be our Substitute and our Savior.

December is a special time for at Fellowship Baptist Church, and we would like to invite you to join us for our Special Christmas Sunday Service this coming Sunday, December 21. As part of our service that morning, the children will be performing a program called "There's A Song in the Air." We will also have a great time of singing, special music, a special Christmas-themed message and a Fellowship Lunch with plenty of great food and good fellowship after the service.

Whether you are a regular attender or whether you have not been out for awhile, wouldn't this Christmas Sunday be a great Sunday to come back out and join us at Fellowship Baptist Church?

May God give you a Blessed Christmas in which the Gift of Christmas remains foremost in your mind.

In Christ,

Pastor Frank Sansone

A Couple of Christmas Related Items

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I have a few things that I have wanted to post, but Christmas tends to be a busy time. Some of this may be helpful, and some of this may be something to keep in mind for next year.


Thanks to Jason over at, I was alerted to a book giveaway at a site called "Bible Geek Gone Wild." I had never visited the site before, but I am always a sucker for free books. I have to say that I think the layout of the site is very cool. I would love to be as creative and capable as Shaun over at Bible Geek Gone Wild is at his website.

Anyway, he is doing a 12 Days of Christmas give-a-way. Unlike a lot of other contests, you don't have to sign up for some mailing list or necessarily post a link if you don't wish to. (I won a book a few days ago and am just now even mentioning it.)

There are still a few more days left if you want to stop by and visit him at


I realize that many of you have already figured this out, but I am, after all, a little slow.

One of the comments that I often get from friends and family members is that they have no idea what to get me. Especially those that know that I love books (which is about everybody that knows me), wish they knew if there were any particular books I want - and they are afraid of buying me a book because they either 1) do not know if I already have it or 2) do not know if it is a book I would actually want.

Thankfully, there are a number of sites available now to help with this problem. I have to admit that I have not been using them as I should and I am not posting them until now, so they probably won't do my family and friends any help for this year, but I will try to do better in the future.

Anyway, one of the one's that I like is a site called "Things I Want." Things I Want is set up so that you can place a link on your toolbar and if you happen to be surfing anywhere on the web and see something that you would like, you can click the link on your browser toolbar that says "Add to Things I Want" and voila, it is added to your list. You can also add comments, prices, how badly you want it, etc. when you add a product. My short list of Things I Want is located at (okay, the Kindle is kind of "Pie in the Sky", but at least you can get the idea.) allows a similar feature, although I just started it in preparation for this post. My wish list as Amazon is located at

Anyway, just a couple of practical things that may help somebody.

Just my thoughts,


Hey, that's me on TV

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Today I had an interesting experience. I was actually on TV on our local station, WBOC, in a segment called "Heart and Soul" regarding the issue of the death penalty or capital punishment.

In a recently released report by by a panel commissioned to study capital punishment in the state of Maryland, the commission voted 13-9 to recommend the abolition of capital punishment in the state of Maryland (more details here).

This morning I received a call from a reporter from WBOC who asked me some questions regarding this commissions study and arranged to interview me on camera. I have never done anything like this, so I was (understandably, to me) nervous.

A little while later, Kim Holmes and a camera man named Rob were meeting me at the church.

The interview was very short and they only used about one sentence, but the whole article was short, and while they did not include any of the Scripture passages that I quoted in answering the questions, they at least did not misrepresent me in their editing. (Something I was concerned about.)

The reporter and camera operator were both nice and professional. I understand the need to edit (after all, I served on the editorial staff of my high school newspaper so many years ago), but I wish there could have been a way to keep in some of the verses I discussed. (Genesis 9:6 and Romans 13:3-4)

I was hoping to find a link to it online at the WBOC site, but I can't find it. We did try to record it, so if I can figure out how to get it up here, I will do so. (Be warned, it's not much.)

The actual article that aired had a quote from a Catholic priest that was for getting rid of the death penalty and a quote from me saying that we should not get rid of the death penalty.

I don't know how these guys like Dr. Bob Jones, III, Dr. Mohler and others go on all these shows for longer segments.

Anyway, just my thoughts.


A Note About Goodsearch and Goodshop

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Note About GoodSearch and GoodShop

GoodSearch is an organization that provide an opportunity to support the churches and charities in a pain-free and cost-free method. At the end of 2007, after researching Goodsearch, I completed the steps necessary for Fellowship Baptist Church of Salisbury to be able to receive funds from the Goodsearch program. We recently received our check from Goodsearch for 2008 in the amount of $76.56 and I thought this would be a good opportunity to explain the program and to encourage you to use Goodsearch and Goodshop if you use the internet - or have friends and family that use the internet.

How does Goodsearch work?

Goodsearch provides a donation to the church whenever you use Goodsearch to search the internet - instead of using Google or some other search engine. The search results are powered by Yahoo!, so the search results are good results. Anyone who uses the internet already uses some method to search the internet, with Goodsearch, we are simply asking that choice of search engine to be Goodsearch and that the designated charity be Fellowship Baptist Church of Salisbury.

It is a blessing to be able to receive this money and for a small church like Fellowship Baptist Church of Salisbury, even a relatively small amount of money like this can help offset the cost of Sunday School curriculum or Vacation Bible School materials or Jr. Church materials or tracts or bulletins. The more people who use Goodsearch for us, the more we are able to raise. The amount of money raised last year was from a relatively few people searching.

In addition to being able to receive donations by simply using GoodSearch as you search the internet, over the last year or so, Goodsearch has added a program called GoodShop. GoodShop uses the same concept, except that instead of making a donation for searching, it makes a donation when you buy something online by going through GoodShop to get to the store's online presence. The stores represented by GoodShop are places many of us go shopping anyway, such as Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, Staples, Petsmart, etc. The difference is that you would be making your purchases online instead of at the store. Depending on the store, you may even be able to make your purchase online and pick it up at the store in person (or have it shipped to you - or to a loved one in another part of the country for Christmas). The amount of donation from Goodshop purchases are a percentage of the overall purchase, so that purchasing that Wii from Wal-Mart could result in a donation of $4.50 (1.5% of $300).

How do I use Goodsearch?

Goodsearch has made the process pretty easy. You can either go directly to the site ( and enter "Fellowship Baptist Church of Salisbury" in the box that asks "Who do you Goodsearch for?". This should only have to be entered once. You could also just simply CLICK HERE and it will already be pre-populated with the information for Fellowship Baptist Church. In addition to this, they also have a Goodsearch toolbar that you use that adds a Goodsearch search box to your Internet browser, allowing you to search for anything you want from anywhere on the internet (using this feature, you don't have to leave the page you are looking at in order to search for something else).

You can Goodsearch at your home computer or from any other computer you use. Even if you don't use the internet very much, perhaps a friend or relative may be willing to "Goodsearch" for us (my sister and mom in Illinois use Goodsearch for our church). If you need help with setting this up, please see me.

While we are not going to raise a large amount of money through this method, it can definitely be a help. If we had just 20 people using Goodsearch an average of five times a day for searching, we would raise $365 during the course of a year.

So, thanks to Goodsearch for the recent donation and thank you to all of you who already use Goodsearch for Fellowship Baptist Church. If you don't, would you consider helping us out in this way? Click here to get started.

Just my thoughts,


"God offers love to all, including humanists"

Saturday, December 06, 2008

"God offers love to all, including humanists" is the title of an op-ed in a secular newspaper today.

I almost turned this into another "Who Said This?", but I wanted to go ahead and link to the source in this post instead of waiting for responses.

I noticed an op-ed piece published in today's edition of a secular newspaper by a well-known Christian leader. In this editorial, he is apparently responding to something somewhat scornfully wrote against Christians - and against his institution in particular. (I will have to track down the original article later, since I have to leave as soon as I post this.)

Here are a couple of quotes.

Let the humanists grope like blind men for the meaning of human existence. It is their right to judge all things based upon mere human reason if they choose, but the Creator God waits at the end of their way. They can't avoid their Judge forever. If they could only see how small and insignificant mankind is in comparison with the great and eternal God of Heaven, they would bow their hearts in reverence before him rather than lift their arm in defiance against him

But the cross of Jesus Christ shows the greatness of God more than all his creation does. His love reaches to humanists, rapists, baby killers, homosexuals -- all who choose to embrace sin and thereby go astray. "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him" (1 John 4:9).

The great Creator God made himself known to us in the person of his Son, Who said, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father" (John 14:9).


Any sinner who recognizes the folly of his sinful choices and the futility of succeeding by defying God and then humbles himself at the foot of the cross can be the recipient of the Savior's loving pardon. No sin is too great, and no sinner is too hopeless to be beyond the reach of the great love of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Any guesses? (Scroll down for answer and source)

Dr. Bob Jones, III in the December 6, 2008 version of The Greenville News.

The article is here.

The answer to "Who Said This?"

Saturday, November 29, 2008

In my last post, I posted a comment that I had recently read and asked people to guess who was the author. I also asked whether you agree with the comment or not.

The quote was:

"Separation is not isolation, it is contact without contamination."

No one guessed it, although some of the guesses were pretty good. Andy Efting's guess of J. Vernon McGee was pretty good, I thought, as both individuals had significant radio ministries and commentaries on every book and the commentaries from both are more on a "popular" level than on a "deep" level.

A couple of you commented that you would like more context in determining whether you agreed with the statement or not. I think there is wisdom in that, so I will give the context for the three places I found it.

The quote is from Warren Wiersbe and shows up in a discussion on 1 Peter 2, Psalm 1, and in a book entitled God Isn't In a Hurry.

The first place I found this was attributed to Wiersbe in a discussion of 1 Peter 2:5. Unfortunately, there was no context to this use.

After looking it up, I found this quoted in a discussion on Psalm 1:1

The context of the quote in Psalm 1:1:

First, we must be separated from the world (v. 1). The world is anything
that separates us from God or causes us to disobey Him. Separation is not
isolation but contact without contamination. Sin is usually a gradual process.
Notice the gradual decline of the sinner in verse 1. He is walking (Mark 14:54),
standing (John 18:18) and then sitting (Luke 22:55).

The last place I found it was quoted from Warren Wiersbee's book, God Isn't In a Hurry.
A church on the move must confront reality and meet people where they are.
Separation is not isolation--it is contact without contamination. Jesus
was the friend of publicans (tax collectors) and sinners. Many church
members don't have any unsaved friends, or if they do, they keep them at a
distance. Jesus was crucified outside Jerusalem, where the crowd was so
cosmopolitan that the inscription on his cross had to be written in three
languages. Many churches today have abandoned the marketplace and spend
their time reminding one another of the gospel. -- Warren Wiersbe, God Isn't in
a Hurry
(Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1994), p. 89.

In the lack of context of the first quote, I would have to say that I have concern for the statement without any context.

I would obviously agree with the idea that we can impact the world without being contaminated by the world.

I do wonder about a couple of things regarding the quote, however.

1. The picture of Haggai 2 seems to point out that connecting something holy to that which is unholy does not make the unholy thing holy, but instead makes the holy thing unholy. (The example is of the priest's garment and dead bodies.) This would clearly indicate that the type of contact is definitely in play in regards to this concept.

2. I am not sure that "contact without contamination" is really an accurate description of "separation." While it may be true that we need to have appropriate contact with those that are lost, etc., I really don't see how this relates to separation. In other words, I think by juxtaposing the two ideas "separation" and "contact with contamination", he is bringing into the idea of separation that which is not really relevant.

The NT idea of separation seems to be more restrictive than simply "don't be contaminated." For instance, in 2 Corinthians 6, where we are told to be separate, the same context includes "touch not the unclean thing." And the question of "what fellowship hath light with darkness"?

Anyway, thanks for participating. I may add more later, but I need to get to bed.

Just my thoughts,


Who Said This? Plus some

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

From time to time some blogs I visit include a little game of "Who Said This?" or "Name that Quote" or whatever you want to call it.

I came across a quote today that I thought was worthy of being used in such a situation, but with a twist.

First, the quote.

"Separation is not isolation, it is contact without contamination."

Second, the game.

Who said the above quote? (No goodsearching, googling, etc.)

Third, the "Plus some"

Do you agree with this quote? Why or why not?

Have some fun,


My Thoughts on a Glorious Concert

Monday, November 17, 2008

My family and I recently enjoyed a great concert with the Bob Jones University Symphonic Band. I wrote this post the next day, but I have not had the right computer connected to the internet since then to post this article.

Recently, on a Tuesday night, my family and I had the privilege of attending a concert by the Bob Jones University Symphonic Band at Faith Baptist Church in Salisbury. We had a great time as we were able to enjoy the majestic sounds of the band as they played such great numbers as Crown Him with Many Crowns, Like a River Glorious, How Great Thou Art, and The King of Love My Shepherd Is. The music was excellent and filled the auditorium. It was also neat at some points to be able to sing with the symphonic band, although the nature of the band in the setting was such that you could sing as loud as you desired and no one was probably going to hear you (a good thing for those surrounding me.)

In addition to the great music, conductor Dan Turner did an excellent job of both keeping the evening very balanced and interesting. In the early beginning section, the music featured a selection of patriotic numbers such as This is My Country and God Bless America. During this time, Dr. Turner kept things light-hearted as he took some time to help educate the listeners by going through and introducing all the different instruments and having the band members demonstrate the various instruments. The whole presentation of the various instruments was done in such a way that it was enjoyable - tidbits were included, the few seconds of each instrument playing were generally of things funny and/or familiar (the Flintstones, Mario, etc.). The tidbits about the instruments were also a mix of interest and humor. For instance, he explained the way that a clarinet makes its sound and talked about the reed that is used, which is only grown in a place in France. He also talked about the fact that if you stretched out the French Horn (I think) it would be 18 feet long - although he commented on it with humor to this effect: "If you were to take the French Horn and connect it to the bus and drive the bus so that it stretched out the instrument, that would probably be a good thing - and it would reach about 18 feet." (Not an exact quote, but close.)

When the group moved towards the sacred numbers, an appropriate change in tone took place and explanations regarding some of the truths of the messages of the songs were given. At times we were encouraged to read the words in the hymn book as the band played the song so that we could get a fuller effect of the message being played. It was very well done and very appropriately done.

My children liked it so much that my nine-year old daughter used her hard-earned money to buy a CD which she has played which she has regularly played as she went to bed since then -and they begged me to bring them back to the school the next day as the BJU Symphonic Band was going to give another concert for Faith Baptist Academy on Wednesday morning. I let them talk me into it and we went and the band played a completely different selection of music and did another wonderful job. They even introduced all of the instruments again, but even that varied in a lot of ways from the presentation the night before to keep up interest of those (like us) who were there for both concerts.

It was a great night and a great morning. Thank you, BJU for your willingness to send out a team like this to be a blessing and encouragement. Thank you, Faith Baptist Church, for you ability to and willingness to host such a group. We enjoyed it very much.

Just my thoughts,


Some Veteran's Day Thoughts

Monday, November 10, 2008

Today, November 11, is the day in the United States of America when we celebrate Veteran's Day.

Over a year ago, I started an extra blog entitled, Daily Quotes and Illustrations. This blog is an attempt to put together quotes from a variety of sources and on a variety of topics together in a place where I and others could easily access them. Each quotes is catagorized by topic (or topics) and speaker. (And yes, unlike here, there are advertisements from Google ads on that site - I established it when I was trying to figure out if I could find a way to make some extra income - I would still like to do so, but it doesn't look like blogging is going to be able to accomplish that).

Anyway, I posted this comment from President Ronald Reagan in regards to Veteran's Day and thought I would share it here as well. There are also a number of other patriotic quotes from various sources among the many quotes over at Daily Quotes and Illustrations.

It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our
country in wars far away. The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers
in our mind as old and wise. We see them as something like the Founding Fathers,
grave and gray-haired. But most of them were boys when they died; they gave up
two lives — the one they were living and the one they would have lived. When
they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and
grandfathers. They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave up
everything for their county, for us.All we can do is remember.- Ronald Wilson
Reagan Remarks at Veteran's Day ceremony, Arlington National Cemetery,
Arlington, Virginia, November 11, 1985.

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs has a nice Veteran's Day site that includes a lot of good information about Veteran's Day - including a History of Veteran's Day.

Thank you to all who have served and to who all the families of those who served.

Just my thoughts,


The American Republic voted today

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I may have some of my own thoughts regarding the election in an upcoming post, but I wanted to share this for now.

Michael Hammond, a lawyer with Cramer, Price and de Armas in Florida who is the brother-in-law of my former Youth Pastor and has served as Special Counsel to the Florida House of Representatives (1991-2001) posted these words in a note on Facebook yesterday. I thought some of my readers may appreciate these words.

The American Republic Voted Today

On a cold day in January the most powerful political figure in the world, The President of the United States of America, will voluntarily relinquish the reigns of power and become, once again, an ordinary citizen. At the same time the most powerful political figure in the world, The President of the United States of America, will take up the reigns of power.

Perspective is a powerful thing. The founders had it. We have a republic in which the peaceful transfer of power occurs every 4 to 8 years. We are blessed.

I have a friend who was born and raised in Zimbabwe. Her mother still lives there. My conversations with her reinforce my appreciation for the great country in which we live. Unlike other countries, we follow an idea, a philosophy of limited government controlled by the governed. We do not follow personalities or demagogues.

Whether your candidate wins today or not, the Republic will go on. Our reasoned discourse can continue as long as we commit ourselves to it. We have the power to reject the shouting heads on TV (they used to be talking heads, now they mostly shout) and converse constructively with each other about the important issues of the day. We have that power because we live by founding principles that give us that power.

My friends, let the journey continue.

Just someone else's thoughts,


Some more reflections - in response to a question

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Andy Rupert, a friend and OBF member who blogs over at Isle Kerguelen, made a comment on my post regarding the Pillsbury situation and then followed up his comment with an email request for me to elaborate. Since the comments of old posts often get ignored and since the length of this is really more of a post than a comment, I thought I would go ahead and make this comment a post (as well as including it in the comments of the Reflections post).

Before I do so, I would remind you of two things I said in the post in which Andy's comments are found.

I am saddened to hear of the demise of Pillsbury. It has had a great heritage and I am concerned for the students, faculty, and staff members of the institution. I imagine it is especially difficult for some who have poured their hearts and lives into this ministry and have prayed for them during this time.


Historically it has often been the institutions of the movement who have been used of God to propagate, promote, defend and expand the idea. While I recognize that God does not need a particular institution, I believe it would be wise for those of us who hold to the idea of Fundamentalism to seek to do what we can to pray for, encourage, support and strengthen (including providing correction where necessary) those institutions that also hold to the idea.
Now for the comment and the reply.

Andy's comment was the following:

From my quick read through Dr. Bauder's article, I think I agree with his assessment. For instance, when he writes about the idea being greater than what the movement created, I think he has it right. See the following quotation:

"If we are going to talk about saving fundamentalism, then let us be clear that the thing we need to save is the idea. All of our associations, colleges, seminaries, mission agencies, preachers’ fellowships, networks, alignments, and coalitions are of value only to the extent that they maintain and perpetuate the idea. If they are not propagating the idea, then let them perish."

In the follow-up email, he asked about my concerns regarding the Bauder article on Pillsbury Baptist Bible College. Below is my response (with some slight alterations).


I think a couple relevant quotes may help here.

From my post: Even though I would agree with Dr. Bauder that the "idea" is more important than the "movement", I think we may be jumping the gun on the movement.

To use the Pillsbury demise as a chance to claim even the "movement" is dead is a stretch that seems unsupportable in light of the three evidences I included in my post.

Also, from my post that I linked to in this post:

I am not arguing for the movement, so much as the idea, as properly understood. I would say, however, and this is important, that those who genuinely subscribe to the idea of Fundamentalism will not find themselves without some fellowship within the "movement" of Fundamentalism (as broadly understood). I would also say that often (not necessarily always) those guys who claim to be retaining the "idea" of Fundamentalism while shedding the "movement" tend to reveal that they have abandoned more than the "movement" when one examines their ministries and considers the associations that they do make.

While Bauder is not an example of this personally, my experience has been that the YFs are eating up the "anti-movement" comments from Bauder and others, while not holding to the idea - resulting in the worst of both worlds.

My initial reading of quotes like the one you gave by Bauder was also favorable, until I begin to think through them more.

It sounds great and elicits an initial "Amen" when Bauder writes, "If we are going to talk about saving fundamentalism, then let us be clear that the thing we need to save is the idea. All of our associations, colleges, seminaries, mission agencies, preachers’ fellowships, networks, alignments, and coalitions are of value only to the extent that they maintain and perpetuate the idea. If they are not propagating the idea, then let them perish."

However, upon further reflection, I think statements like this may actually be part of the problem, because of what it implies and what it leaves out.

First, the implication of the statement:

It implies that Fundamentalists are interested in saving Fundamentalist institutions no matter whether they support the idea of Fundamentalism or not. This seems to be creating an animal that doesn't exist - or at least exists so rarely as to be listed on the endangered species list. Are people in the OBF clamoring for Cedarville to be preserved? Of course not? Fundamentalist are not interested in saving the historically Fundamentalists institutions that are no longer Fundamentalist - either the ones like Cedarville that have headed in the direction of repudiating Biblical separation or the ones like HAC that are off on a KJVO/easy believism tangent. There may be interest in RESCUING them by some, but not just in preserving them in their current wrong direction. I would hope that there is interest amongst those in the OBF of strengthening the OBF and of preserving the Visitor, etc., not because the OBF wants to be "king of the hill of Fundamentalism", but because it recognizes that it has an important role in presenting a united and outspoken voice for Biblical Fundamentalism. No one fits the description that Bauder is arguing against - no one in "mainstream Fundamentalism" is clamoring to save the bad institutions just for the sake of saving them.

Second, the omission of the statement:

While Bauder supports the idea of letting the institutions that don't hold to the idea of Fundamentalism perish, he makes little argument for supporting those institutions that do continue to hold strongly to true Fundamentalism. This omission leaves us with a vacuum. While the internet is starting to change some of this by giving the little guys a voice, the reality is that it has been historically the institutions of Fundamentalism that have had the "bully pulpit" to expound, promote, and encourage others in their understanding of the idea of Fundamentalism. It is the united voice of the OBF - a Fundamentalist institution - allows for this idea to be sounded out with a louder sound than the solo pastor of a small church would be able to sound it out. Historically, it has been those who have had a voice - either because they were representative of something larger than themselves (such as an institution like the OBF, the FFBC, the ACCC, or the mission boards or the various colleges or seminaries) or because their voice was somehow promoted and spread (e.g. Luther and the press - or even Ashbrook and Here I Stand) that have been able to promote the idea of Fundamentalism - or at least to have had effectiveness in doing so. Surely there have been plenty of small church pastors who have preached messages and taught their people the Biblical doctrine of separation, but which of those influenced you or the other young men out there? In general, no one even hears of these warriors and instead it is the ones who are somehow involved with an institution that have been used to articulate the position to a greater audience. I was influenced by Pastor Ashbrook through his writing long before I ever met him in person. I was influenced by Dr. Pickering even though I never met him personally. These men were able to make an influence on me, in part, because they had a voice - and it was, in part, their involvement with the institutions of Fundamentalism that gave them that voice - or at least allowed that voice to be able to be spread where I could hear it. When we make an argument that the institutions are not that important, we should think a little about the implication of such a point. Even Kevin Bauder, who writes much that I generally like and appreciate is being heard because of his role in a Fundamentalist institution.

Now that I have rambled, let me get back to my specifics in regards to the Pillsbury article.

I believe that Bauder's whole premise in the article is fatally flawed. Dr. Bauder wrote, "Pillsbury Baptist Bible College is a microcasm of what is happening within institutional fundamentalism everywhere." Really? He does not support this idea at all in his article, he just lays it out there as though it is self-evident. The problem with that is that ignores the facts right in Pillsbury's "back yard" - Maranatha and Northland have grown incredibly during the same time that Pillsbury has dwindled. Rather than use the Pillsbury situation to address the real issues with Pillsbury, it was used as an evidence that "the mainstream of historic fundamentalism is dwindling."

I don't have a problem with him not going after the issues that seem to have led to Pillsbury's demise - I probably would not have touched on them if I had been in his situation and would not have commented here or at SI if it were not for Dr. Bauder's article. I do have a problem with using that demise as an evidence for something that it is not.

If we were to see a similar pattern at the other schools, he may be able to make the case he tried to make. But as it stands, I think his premise is way off.

BTW, I seriously meant what I wrote about praying for the folks at Pillsbury. One of my groomsmen was a former teacher there and I believe the later presidents really tried to do a good job of turning the ship back around. Clearly there were multiple reasons for the demise of Pillsbury. I think Dr. McCune (or was it his son) is correct that part of the problem was probably the vacuum of leadership created by Clearwaters' departure. I think a large part of it was the alienation of its support base due to the (at least perceived) leftward lurch under Potter (which is not all on Potter, btw, it also raises questions about the board in general in selecting him). I am sure part of it was the fact that there was healthy competition nearby. I imagine some of it may have been due to various financial pressures - especially with the upkeep of a campus that was as old as Pillsbury.

For those who have tried to deny the effect of the leftward lurch, I think they need to recognize that this did play a key role. If we as a church gave out copies of The Visitor and then all of the sudden Chris started using it to espouse Open Theism, I would not put out copies of The Visitor anymore and I would be very wary of ordering it again unless I had complete confidence that Chris had gotten the axe and someone I really knew I could trust (e.g. Pastor Ashbrook himself) was back at the helm.

The same principle works the other way, btw. Notice the Democrats response to Joe Liberman. Eight years ago, he was their Vice Presidential nominee. Two years ago he was defeated in his own party's primary because he did not agree with the Dems radical anti-war sentiment. Now that he spoke at the Republican Convention and has campaigned for McCain, they are talking about putting him out of the caucus (unless they need his vote to prevent a filibuster). What do you think the chances would be of him speaking at the Democratic Convention in four years? Let alone being their Presidential or Vice Presidential Nominee.

Anyway, I have probably said too much. I hope this clarifies. Feel free to ask me if I did not answer part of what you were asking.

In Christ,

Frank Sansone

The Great and Powerful O

Friday, October 31, 2008

Growing up, I would almost always watch the classic film The Wizard of Oz when it came on television. I am sure many of you have also seen the movie. Lately this movie has been on my mind a lot as I think about the presidential election that will take place in a few days here in the United States of America.

After Dorothy lands in the land of Oz, she is concerned about going home and is told that she should go to see the "Wonderful Wizard of Oz", as surely he could solve her problems. Along the way, she picks up the brainless scarecrow, the heartless tin man, and the cowardly lion who all are excited to join the adventure with her as they travel to Emerald City to see the Wonderful Wizard of Oz - the One who can solve all of their problems.

When they finally get to see the "Great and Powerful Oz", they are awestruck and scared as they see the scene on the screen of what they think is the "Great and Powerful Oz." Unbeknownst to them, the real "Wizard" of Oz is simply a man behind a curtain. In reality, he is not a wizard, not so powerful and not so wonderful. It takes the little dog Toto to pull the curtain back and reveal the Great and Powerful Oz for the fraud that he is.

In many ways, this scene seems to be playing out in this election. Senator Obama is a very eloquent speaker. When I watched him speak at the DNC in 2004, I said immediately that he would be running for President - and that he would be likely to win. He comes across as a very reasonable man who seeks to inspire hope. A man who seems to be "different" than some of the candidates that have proceeded him from the left, such as Kerry or Gore. In that speech in which he was introduced to most of America, he seemed to put forth a moderate tone - one that argued that we should stop seeing ourselves as "Red States" and "Blue States" but as the "United States." He hit the right note and I believe this resonated with a lot of people.

The problem, however, is that the speech at the DNC and many of his speeches since then present a man on a screen. They present an appealing image, but the real Obama - the one hiding behind the curtain - seems to be a very different person.

The problem that we are faced with today, however, is that the news media, whose traditional roll has been to pull the curtain back and let us see what is behind the curtain, is instead desperately holding on to the curtain to keep it closed. They have decided that the "image" of the Great and Powerful O is the one that people must continue to believe and have done everything they can to shut up any Toto that dares to try to pull the curtain back. Look at what has happened to "Joe the Plumber" - a man who dared to try to pull the curtain and had his house descended upon by the media and had his private records illegally searched and has experienced an all-out onslaught against him in an attempt to discredit him.

There have been some Totos out there trying to pull the curtain back, but the Totos are being silenced or they are not strong enough on their own to effectively reveal what is behind the curtain - to reveal the true nature of "The One".

On the screen Obama shows himself to be reasonable on so many issues, but behind the screen is something vastly different.

On the screen, "The One" seems to be "reasonable" to many people in the area of abortion. Seeming to be relatively moderate. Claiming like he did in the last debate that "nobody is pro- abortion", many people can console themselves that he is not really that radical on the issue. Behind the curtain, however, he is an extremist in the area of abortion. While serving in the Illinois State Senate, Obama argued against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act in 2002. This was a bill that would have required medical treatment be given to babies who survived abortions - in other words, LIVE BABIES. To consider how radical this is, a similar bill passed the U.S. Senate 98-0 - not even one of the many "pro-choice" liberal Senators voted against it. During the course of this election season, he pledged at a Planned Parenthood gathering that the first thing he would do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act - which would have the effect of overturning laws against partial-birth abortion, laws requiring parental notification for minors having abortion, and multitudes of other reasonable restrictions that have been placed on abortion over the years. In addition to this, it would have the effect of overturning the Hyde amendment - meaning that once again that people who oppose this gruesome act would be forced to have their tax money pay for elective abortion.

On the screen, "The One" seems to be reasonable on foreign affairs. He speaks before massive crowds in Germany and seems to present a nice face for America. He claims on his website that the Obama/Biden ticket has established "a strong record as true friends of Israel, stalwart defenders of Israel's security." Behind the curtain is the man who has shown great instability and carelessness in the area of foreign affairs - saying he would sit down without pre-conditions with Chavez, Castro and Iran's leader (which he has tried to twist into not being a reference to Ahmadinejad), etc. not realizing the support that such a meeting would give to those leaders. Behind the curtain, he is friendly with former PLO spokesman Rashid Khalidi who would prefer a "one-state solution" - meaning the abolition of Israel. Behind the curtain, he was totally wrong on the surge and would have preferred for American troops to come home in defeat from Iraq.

On the screen, "The One" seems to be reasonable on the economy, claiming tax-cuts for the middle class. Behind the curtain he reveals to Joe the Plumber that he wants to "spread the wealth around." Behind the curtain he reveals on a NPR radio show that the very liberal and activist Warren court did not go far enough. Behind the curtain he has voted for tax increases. Behind the curtain he has called for the elimination of the Bush Tax Cuts - which he won't call a tax increase but has the same effect. When the curtain was briefly pulled away by the Joe the Plumber, Obama went off script and revealed he wanted to "spread the wealth around."

On the screen, "The One" seems to be a well-educated and articulate man - which he surely is to a degree. Behind the curtain he has made a number of statements that would have gotten Dan Quayle lambasted by the media. For instance, he commented in Oregon earlier this year, "I've now been in 57 states. I think one left to go." Can you imagine if Sarah Palin had made a similar comment. It would given as evidence of how stupid she was. This is not an isolated incident, in fact, Michelle Malkin has a number of posts on these, including here.

Will someone pull away the curtain? Will people stop during these last few days and think about the real Obama rather than the one on the screen?

We will wait and see.

Just my thoughts,


For a much more comprehensive treatment of some of these issues, including actual footage of Obama commenting about abortion and other issues, see this post at

Reflections upon reading the Reflections

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Last week I read the news that Pillsbury Baptist Bible College in Owatonna, Minnesota announced that it will "cease academic activities" at the end of this calendar year.

Pillsbury Baptist Bible College has served as a strong Fundamentalist institution over the years. In the early days, Pillsbury had such presidents as Dr. Monroe Parker, Dr. Richard Clearwaters and Dr. B. Myron Cedarholm. There have been some unfortunate times of difficulty over the years, including a disagreement between between Drs. Clearwaters and Cedarholm (which is discussed in a 1999 article in Frontline Magazine entitled, "The Cedarholm/Clearwaters Conflict.")

I was saddened to hear of the demise of Pillsbury. It has had a great heritage and I am concerned for the students, faculty, and staff members of the institution. I imagine it is especially difficult for some who have poured their hearts and lives into this ministry and have prayed for them during this time.

The day after I heard of this, I was able to pray with the president of a sister school and was told that the schools were likely going to make an exception for Pillsbury students that would allow them to transfer their credits to the schools even though Pillsbury was accredited as a Bible Institute rather than a College. CORRECTION: Pillsbury is accredited by AHBE as a four-year Bible college, but apparently this accreditation is different than the accreditation that the particular school usually accepted - thank you, Professor David McGuire for the correction. I appreciated the desire of this president and the other schools to try to help out these students in a very difficult time.

Dr. Kevin Bauder of Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Minnesota, who I have referred to in a number of articles here at A Thinking Man's Thoughts and of whose ministry I have appreciation, has written an article on the Pillsbury situation in his newsletter In the Nick of Time and that has been recently published at ShaperIron and generated some discussion - here.

While I appreciate some of the things Dr. Bauder has said, I do wonder, however, if the premise of this article by Dr. Bauder and the subsequent comments may be going a little too far and I wonder if we should ask those who are busy chiseling on the marble to think a little bit further before they finish making the tombstone.

Even though I would agree with Dr. Bauder that the "idea" is more important than the "movement", I think we may be jumping the gun on the movement - or at least the use of Pillsbury as indicative of the movement seems to be a bit of a stretch.

(For some of my further thought on the "Idea" and "Movement" of Fundamentalism, see my post, The Best and the Brightest - The Idea of Fundamentalism and the Movement of Fundamentalism.)

While I am not an expert on Pillsbury by any stretch, I question whether the case can accurately be made that the collapse of Pillsbury is merely a microcosm of a greater collapse of Fundamentalism. The reasons I question this include the following:

1. The decline of Pillsbury occurred at the same time when at least two of the neighboring Fundamental Colleges were experiencing a time of increase. While I do not have the figures, I am pretty sure that both Maranatha and Northland are significantly larger today than they were in 1990. (Faith may be as well, but I am less familiar with Faith.) I do not have the numbers, but I would guess the combined attendance at the three schools (Pillsbury, Maranatha, and Northland) is greater now than it was then - even with Pillsbury's decline.

2. The decline of Pillsbury did not occur without some issues being present at the school. As even Dr. Bauder has alluded, "Pillsbury nearly closed in the mid-1990s when it experienced multiple turnovers of administration and a purge of the faculty. This was not the first controversial period in the history of the college." The numerous changes in leadership and the changes in philosophy that some of those changes included would make most institutions unstable. (Although perhaps there is some question regarding cause and effect.)

3. Pillsbury experienced a change of leadership and focus at one point that seems to have resulted in the alienation of both alumni and other constituents due to a left-ward shift (or, so as not to get sidetracked, a perceived left-ward shift). I appreciated the efforts of some to try to "right the ship" in subsequent years, but damage like this is difficult to undo. It puts questions in the minds of folks who may be influential in helping to recruit students to a school or support the school in other ways. I know that while I was a youth pastor, we took college trips up to MBBC and NBBC from New Jersey and later added FBBC, but we were in a "wait and see" mode when it came to PBBC and never actually included it in our list of schools to visit when we took our "Northern College Trips". While we were not a huge church (at the time we probably had between 50-70 in our youth groups, I think), we did have students that attended each of the other schools we visited, and if other churches also were cautious about PBBC because of the earlier changes, this could have had a definite effect on their enrollment and ultimate survival.

Some have objected to this idea that the "left-ward leer" of a college President over a decade ago can have that much affect. I understand this objection, but I think it is misinformed. I also don't think it is necessarily a Fundamental/New Evangelical issue. In fact, I would imagine this were true even in the secular arena.

Imagine a similar scenario. A new president is selected at a well-known conservative educational institution, but the new presidents announces that he is supportive of Obama and Pelosi and the rest of the liberals in politics of the day. Even if subsequent presidents attempt a return to traditional conservative issues, unless a major mea culpa with sackcloth and ashes and comes from those involved in the hiring of the left-leaning president, many conservatives are going to be wary of recommending and supporting the institution - and wisely so. (BTW, the same would be true of a liberal institution that suddenly came out as conservative on some major issues - look what happened to Joe Liberman.)

I further question the wording of Dr. Bauder where he says the following:

The question is not whether fundamentalism is collapsing. The question is how we should respond to the collapse. More fundamentally, the question is how we should even be thinking about these events.
Is Fundamentalism collapsing? It seems that is a foregone conclusion to Dr. Bauder, even though he admits it is difficult to know the real state of Fundamentalism. I hear what seems to be almost a glee in some circles (certainly not Dr. Bauder) in that apparent collapse, but I question whether those who are celebrating should think through the bigger picture more clearly.

In 1925, Harvard liberal Kirsopp Lake wrote regarding Fundamentalism in The Religion of Yesterday and Tomorrow
“It is a mistake, often made by educated persons who happen to have but little knowledge of historical theology, to suppose that Fundamentalism is a new and strange form of thought. It is nothing of the kind: it is the…survival of a theology which was once universally held by all Christians….The Fundamentalist may be wrong: I think that he is. But it is we who have departed from the tradition, not he, and I am sorry for the fate of anyone who tries to argue with a Fundamentalist on the basis of authority. The Bible and the corpus theologicum of the Church is on the Fundamentalist side”

I recognize that the this applies to the idea more than the movement, but historically it has often been the movements who have been used of God to propagate, promote, defend and expand the idea. While I recognize that God does not need a particular institution, I believe it would be wise for those of us who hold to the idea of Fundamentalism to seek to do what we can to pray for, encourage, support and strengthen (including providing correction where necessary) those institutions that also hold to the idea.

Just my thoughts,

Frank Sansone

Fellowship Baptist Church to Celebrate 10th Anniversary this Sunday, October 12

Friday, October 10, 2008

If you live in the Salisbury, Maryland area,Fellowship Baptist Church of Salisbury, Maryland would love to invite you to join us as we celebrate our 10th Anniversary on Sunday, October 12, 2008.

Ten years ago a small group of believers began to meet in a home and eventually formed what became Messiah Baptist Fellowship. Pastor Steve Wagner served as Pastor of this small group of believers and they were soon able to secure a meeting place next to the Red Door Sub Shop on South Salisbury Boulevard. Over the next five-plus years, this little church remained faithful to the Word of God under Pastor Wagner's leadership and was privileged to see some folks come to Christ for salvation and some other believers who were looking for a good church come and join Messiah Baptist Fellowship.

Sensing the Lord's leading into full-time Jewish missions, Pastor Wagner and his wife relocated to South Carolina where he continues to serve with Messiah Ministries. Dr. William Woodhall, who had faithfully served as Pastor of First Baptist Church of Lewes, Delaware for 33 years served as the Interim Pastor of Messiah Baptist Fellowship for most of 2004 and provided needed stability to this small flock during this time without a full-time Pastor.

In October 2004, Messiah Baptist Fellowship called Frank Sansone to serve as Pastor and Pastor Sansone and his family officially started on December 5, 2004. The last few years we have rejoiced in God's continued working in our church. Over these last few years, we have seen the Lord add to His church and we have seen growth in the people of God. In the Spring of 2006, the Lord provided us with a building at 1308 Robins Avenue and we changed our name to Fellowship Baptist Church. Since then, we have also rejoiced as this new building has allowed us to have the addition of Sunday School for all ages, some youth activities, and the excitement of Vacation Bible School in the summer. We have also rejoiced in Baptisms in the Nanticoke River and at a neighboring church, and the recent provision of a handicap-accessible van in specific answer to prayer.

For our 10th Anniversary, we invite you to join us for a very special Sunday. We would like to extend a special invitation to any of our friends who have been part of the ministry here over the years to "come home" for this Sunday. We also invite our neighbors and friends from the Salisbury area to join us for this Special Anniversary Sunday. All of the men who have served as Pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church will be preaching. Dr. Woodhall will be preaching during the Sunday School hour at 10:00 a.m., Pastor Sansone will preach the morning service at 11:00 a.m. and Pastor Wagner will preach the afternoon service at 2:00 p.m. We will also be have a special lunch at the church between the morning and afternoon service, complete with good food prepared by the folks at Fellowship.

If you would like more information or have any questions, please feel free to call the church at 410-341-7100.

Just my thought of invitation,


Internet Resources for Pastors

Friday, August 01, 2008

Many of you contributed ideas last year when I asked this question and I hope to hear some feedback this year, as well.

Earlier this week I was asked about updating the information I provided last year regarding internet resources and blogs for Pastors at the Annual Conference of the Fellowship of Fundamental Bible Churches at Tri-State Bible Camp in Montague, New Jersey. As this week has been pretty busy with Vacation Bible School (and with trying to make a final decision regarding homeschooling this school year), I have not yet had much time to put a lot of thought into this.

So... I am asking for help.

My previous suggestions are found here:

Internet Resources for Pastors

Recommended Blogs for Pastors

I know that I missed some big ones in the area of Internet Resources, especially. (E.g. I failed to list

So, as I attempt to update these lists (before Monday at 11 a.m.), I would love to have some suggestions.

Thank you for your thoughts,



Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My wife and I have often thought about homeschooling, but have always "chickened out." Well, as the school year approaches, we are again thinking about homeschooling. We like the current school where our children attend, so it is not something against them, but we are thinking of making the switch this year.

We have a 6th grader, 4th grader, and a 4 year old. We are thinking of using the BJU Hard Drive Distance Learning option for this year, but are still thinking. I recognize that some hardcore homeschooling families will probably think this is a cop-out, but in our situation we are thinking this may be a way to see how we like educating them at home without overwhelming us. It looks Missy will still have to work some - even with not having the expense of Christian School - so I would be involved with this as well. (Of course, I would still like to be involved even if the Lord somehow provided in such a way that Missy did not have to work at all.)

Anyway, I am not looking for a big debate about homeschooling. I am aware of many positives and negatives from having worked with a number of homeschooling families over the years. I am more interested in hearing about the following things:

1. Is anyone familiar enough with the BJU Hard Drive system to offer some thoughts regarding it? (Also, we have heard that you can get a good deal by going to one of the "hotel meetings." The closest one to us is about three hours away - are the deals enough to make such a trip worth it?)

2. Any thoughts or advice for a family thinking of making the move in our situation?

3. One of the reasons we are considering this move is to give some more focused attention to one of our children who is struggling academically. In doing so, we are also trying to decide if it is a better option to have her stay in the grade she would be in if she stayed at the school and work extra with her to shore up the weak areas or if we should have her repeat the grade she just completed.

4. At Hardingville, we had a large church with a number of opportunities outside of school for the children to have interaction with others. I believe the homeschoolers at HBC who were involved with King's Kids and Youth Group got "the best of both worlds" in regards to time at home and interaction. Our little church does not yet have these options. Should this be a concern?

Anyway, I would love to hear some input.



A Great Week at The Wilds

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Last week, we had the privilege of taking a group of teens and juniors down from Fellowship Baptist Church of Salisbury to camp at The Wilds Christian Camp in Rosman, North Carolina.

The Wilds is a great camp that focuses on doing all things excellent for Jesus Christ. The camp verse is 1 Corinthians 10:31 and is not just a verse put on a sign and forgotten about, but serves as a driving force behind all that is done at the camp - "Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

The speakers for the week were Evangelist Will Galkin for the teens and Evangelist Ed Dunlop for the juniors. I was pleasantly surprised at how generally low-key the invitations were from both men.

To the parents, thank you for giving us the opportunity to take your young person to camp. Pray for and with your children. Talk to them not only about the fun adventures at camp, but also about what God taught them through His Word.

To the teens and juniors, thank you for a great week. You were a joy to take down to The Wilds. Don't allow the distractions of the world to draw your focus away from Christ and "continue thou in the things thou hast learned." (2 Timothy 3:14)

To the others in the church. Thank you for praying for the young people and praying for our safety. Thank you, as well, for giving generously to help offset some of the expenses.

Just my thoughts,


Some Belated Independence Day thoughts

Saturday, July 05, 2008

While my ultimate citizenship is in Heaven (Phil 3:20), I also greatly appreciate the country in which God has allowed me to be born and raised. America has its faults, but America is a great country.

It is alleged that Alexis de Tocqueville (the author of Democracy in America) stated:

I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers - and it was not there . . . in her fertile fields and boundless forests and it was not there . . . in her rich mines and her vast world commerc - and it was not there . . . in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution - and it vas not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.
Sometimes with the encroaching liberalism and ungodliness that is rampant in areas, I wonder how long it will be when we have to finally say that "America has ceased to be good", but the idea of America is a great idea. While the great freedom in our land allows for the ungodliness to run rampant, it is that same freedom that allows Christians in America to have relatively few restrictions when it comes to being able to exercise our faith with little fear of imprisonment or punishment.

One of the great traditions we have in celebrating Independence Day here in the United States is the small town parade. Complete with firetrucks, clowns, marching bands, and floats by local groups and candy thrown out to watching children, small town parades represent an American spirit that says "take some time off, be with folks you don't know and celebrate something great."

Yesterday, I had the privilege of visiting the parade in Pitman, New Jersey with my children. While we did not see a lot of the parade, it was a great chance to catch up with a few friends from Hardingville and have a little visit "back home." The parade is proceeded by a 4-mile race and I noticed a number of folks I know still had their numbers on from having run in the race. One of these days, I hope to show up and run the race myself - it has been far too many years since I ran any kind of race. (I think my last road race was when I was on staff at BJU back in the early 1990s.)

For those looking for quotes regarding America or Independence Day, I have a few posted at my "Daily Quotes and Illustrations" Blog - (click the label for America or Patriotic or Independence Day.

Just my thoughts,


Father's Day Cards banned in Scottish Schools

Since Father's Day has already past, this story may be a little outdated, but as I only saw the article recently, I could not comment on it any earlier :).

It seems as though a number of schools in Scotland banned the children from making cards for Father's Day.

The Telegraph reports:

Thousands of primary pupils were prevented from making Father's Day cards at school for fear of embarrassing classmates who live with single mothers and lesbians.

The politically correct policy was quietly adopted at schools "in the interests of sensitivity" over the growing number of lone-parent and same-sex households.

The Telegraph article is located here.

Another article about this is found here.

While I understand the desire to be sensitive to children, this seems to be a little overboard.

Just my thoughts,


Good thougths about change in worship

Saturday, June 21, 2008

If you are like me, when you hear the words "change" and "worship" together, it likely puts up a "red flare," since most who advocated a change in worship are generally advocating adapting the worship of God towards the appetites of the world.

However, Pastor Matt Jury has written a good article entitled A Village Re-Elects a Dead Mayor: Some Thoughts on Worship at his new blog - Life is Worship.

Matt has been gracious over the last two years in arranging accommodations for me during the National Leadership Conference in Lansdale and is eager to get going in this new adventure in blogging. He is off to a good start, check him out.

Just my thoughts on his thoughts,


What do missionaries do all day?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I have had similar questions over the years regarding "What does a Pastor do all day?" Missionary David Hosaflook in the Balkans provides a humorous answer in this post.

And, if you want something of a more serious fare, read his previous post - A Strategy of Saturation for Syncritistic Peoples

Just his thoughts,


What does a teacher make?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

In most of the United States, school is out or is getting out very soon. With the end of the school year comes a lot of excitement, some sadness, a sense of relief on the part of some and sense of dread on the part of others.

One of the time-honored traditions regarding the end of the school year is to get a gift to thank the teacher for their work with your children during the school year. It is a shame that this is often the only time that the teacher gets such recognition, but it is hopeful that most teachers at least get some type of recognition during this time of year.

Over on IVMan's Blaque, I found this item that I thought was fitting in thinking about the impact of teachers.

What does a teacher make?

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued, “What’s a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?”

He went on to tell the other dinner guests that he thought it was true what they say about teachers - “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.”

To corroborate his statements, he said to another guest, “You’re a teacher, Susan. What do you make?”

Susan, who had a reputation of honesty and frankness, replied, “You want to know what I make?”

“I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could. I can make a C+ feel like the Medal of Honor and an A- feel like a slap in the face if the student did not do his or her very best.”

“I can make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall in absolute silence.”

“I can make parents tremble in fear when I call home.”

“You want to know what I make?”

“I make kids wonder.”

“I make them question.”

“I make them think critically.”

“I make them apologize and mean it.”

“I make them write.”

“I make them read, read, read.”

“I make them spell “definitely and beautiful” over and over again, until they will never misspell either one of those words again.”

“I make them show all their work in math and hide it all on their final drafts in English.”

“I make them experience music and art and the joy in performance, so their lives are rich, full of kindness and culture, and they take pride in themselves and their accomplishments.”

“I make them understand that if you have the brains, then follow your heart … and if someone ever tries to judge you by what you make, you pay them no attention.”

“You want to know what I make? - I make a difference.”

“Now, what do you make?”

Just some borrowed thoughts,


May is over

Thursday, June 05, 2008

In May, I gave challenged myself to "30 days of blogging" in which my goal was to write a blog post every day.

I did not quite accomplish my goal of blogging every day (at least if you count only A Thinking Man's Thoughts - I think I may have posted every day on one of my side blogs - Daily Quotes and Illustrations,but it is much easier to maintain and a weak attempt to make some aspect of computers pay for itself) but this will be my 27th post since I started what I hoped to be "30 days of blogging" - so 90% is not too bad.

I learned a few things during the process that I hope will help me in the future (and had some things reinforced.)

1. I do still enjoy blogging, so I probably will keep doing it. (Besides, as my recent post indicated, Blogging is good for you.)

2. I am probably not an "every day" blogger. There are too many things in real life that necessitate attention to commit to posting every single day. (And, besides that, see number 6 below.)

3. I am long-winded (although I do not know if that is the right terminology when used in connection with writing instead of talking). I admire the skill of guys like Chris Anderson to get their point across succinctly. This will have to be one of the things that I seek to develop.

4. Blogging is much more fun when it is interactive - which is probably why a forum like SI tills appeals to me (even if it can be frustrating at times). Posts that receive comments and feedback seem to be more enjoyable, even if they are posts that are not as "deep" or involved - or even if they do not get as many hits as other posts.

5. People who come here looking for specific information from a search engine tend to only look at that information and move on (for instance, I still get a lot of hits of people looking for information on Pastor Jim Schettler - but most of the people who come to the site looking for him don't hang around and look at other pages).

6. Very few people pay attention to blogs (or at least, my blog) during the weekends. (I think the same is true of other, larger blogs - like SI - on the weekend as well.) This tells me that posting a lot on the weekend would be a waste of time.

7. Posting at least somewhat regularly is good for readership.

Just a few thoughts,


Some Good Thoughts at Stray Thoughts

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Barbara over at Stray Thoughts has probably one of the best blogs for Christian ladies that you can find on the internet. Even though I am not her target audience, she has a regular place on my bloglines and she writes well. While there are a lot of posts that are specifically geared towards women, she is also very purposeful about being a testimony and representing Christ well on her blog.

Her post on June 3rd is aptly titled, "OK, I've had about enough". In it, she takes on the blasphemous and frustratingly common expression "O my God." The prevalence of this expression has reached epidemic proportions and I appreciate her words on the subject.

Just my thoughts,


Pickering Books Available for Free Downloadng

Dr. Ernest Pickering was one of the outstanding spokesmen for Fundamentalism in former days. He was instrumental in helping many have a better understanding of the doctrine of separation and had such a knowledge of Scripture and love for the ministry, that even after he became blind, he continued to preach at churches and conferences.

Dr. Pickering wrote a number of books and it has been great that Regular Baptist Press has been active in putting many of these books back into print recently. I picked up an updated copy of Charismatic Confusion at the National Leadership Conference in Lansdale, Pennsylvania earlier this year, and I am especially looking forward to holding in my hands one of the new, updated copies of Pickering's classic - Biblical Separation: The Struggle for a Pure Church which has been updated recently by Dr. Myron Houghton of Faith Baptist Theological Seminary.

I noticed today (HT: SI) that Regular Baptist Press is providing a couple of Pickering's booklets as Free .pdf downloads from their site - here.

The first of these books is The Fruit of Compromise: The New and Young Evangelicals. (link to .pdf). This book was written by Dr. Pickering in 1980 and it should be an interesting read. I don't think I have ever read it, so it will be interesting to read it in light of the current state of evangelicalism.

Looking over the table of contents, I notice that the last section of this short, 44 page book gives "Direction for Fundamental Christians" and gives some great sub-headings that I will hopefully read soon for the meat - "Courageous Leadership is Needed", "Proper, Balanced Instruction Must Be Given", "Enlightening Information Must Be Made Available", and "Decisive Action Must Be Taken".

The second of the books is The Theology of Evangelism (link to .pdf).
Regular Baptist Press describes this book by saying that this 68 page booklet:

"describes the theological framework of New Testament evangelism with an emphasis on a balance between divine sovereignty and human responsibility. They author also address practical matters such as evangelistic methodology and compares current issues to the methods used in the early church."

I hope these comments whet you appetite and that you download and read these two booklets.

Also, for further reading on Biblical Separation, see Kevin's article The Making of Biblical Separation.

Just my thoughts,


Free Audiobook of Pilgrim's Progress

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Pilgrim's Progress from This World to That which is to come is probably the mostly read and best-loved book in the world after the Bible. Having been translated into over 200 languages and in print continuously since its first introduction in 1678, persecuted Baptist Pastor John Bunyan has supplied the world with a masterful allegory of the Christian's life and journey that has stood the test of time and cultures.

This month, is providing a FREE DOWNLOAD of Pilgrim's Progress. I have not had the time to listen to this production, but the other books that I have downloaded from have all been of very good quality. Unless you already have an audio copy, may I recommend you follow this link and get the copy from - the price is right.

Also, if you don't have a hard copy, the Christian Classics Ethereal Library has FREE versions of this book in a number of formats here (.pdf, Microsoft Word, Plain Text, etc.). (Of course, I would recommend that you go out and by a regular hard copy to read, instead - much better than reading off of a screen.)

Just my thoughts,


(HT: Jason Button)

Fundamental Missionaries threatened for "Hate Crimes"

Monday, June 02, 2008

The issue of so-called "hate crimes" legislation is a serious issue for Christians who take the Bible seriously. This is not because the Bible encourages "hate", but because Western society has twisted the meaning of "hate" and much of the legislation that is being pushed in regards to "hate crimes" really are more of an attempt to sensor and silence those who desire to speak out than they are to prevent or deal with actual crimes of hate.

Recently, two missionaries with Gospel Fellowship Association were "threatened with arrest for committing a 'hate crime' and were told they risked being beaten up if they returned" for passing out Gospel leaflets in a predominantly Muslim area of Birmingham, England (according to this article on the website of the British newspaper Telegraph). Even though the officer in question may have been overstepping his bounds, this is not a unique incident.

In an earlier post on The FFBC Blog (The Danger of So-Called "Hate-Crimes" Legislation), readers were reminded that this type of legislation continues to be pushed in the U.S. and has already passed in the house. Since then, it has also passed in the Senate, but has yet to reach President Bush's desk. President Bush has threatened a veto if the bill reaches his desk.

A resolution passed by the Fellowship of Fundamental Bible Churches in 1999 deals with the topic of hate crimes still rings true.

Since Cain murdered Abel, all crimes of violence have been "Hate Crimes". Those murdered in a robbery or as a result of domestic violence are just as dead as the one who was targeted by a racial or religious fanatic for extermination. The very radicals who tried to abolish the death penalty and now attempt to forestall the execution of every convicted criminal are those pushing for stiffer penalties for individuals accused of "Hate Crimes".

The homosexual lobby is behind much of this legislation, which goes far beyond dealing with crimes of violence. Their real target is not those who commit acts of violence, but those who would criticize their ungodly way of life. The White House and various members of Congress have backed this legislation, perhaps because of their own immoral lifestyles. Much of this legislation is aimed at "thought control" rather than crime control.

The Scripture tells us that "Whoso sheddeth mans blood by man shall his blood be shed" (Genesis 9:6). If a serious effort was made to enforce the death penalty much of the violent crime in our country would disappear. We urge our legislators to reject so-called "Hate Crimes" legislation, to recognize the real purpose of those who sponsor it, and to remember that, constitutionally, laws should apply equally to all citizens convicted or accused of a crime.

The above information I posted on The FFBC Blog. I will make an additional comment here in regards to this, since this is a personal site and not a site directly affiliated with any ministry.

To those of you conservatives who are seriously thinking about sitting out this election, may I remind you that there are a number of issues like this where a Presidential veto may be the only thing stopping the issue from moving forward. For the record, here is an article regarding McCain's position on this issue - McCain Campaign Tells Brody File: No on Hate Crimes Bill.

Just my thoughts,


Blogging is good for you!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Blogging is good for you! At least that's the verdict of this article in Scientific American.

* It is a stress-coping method

* It improves memory

* It improves sleep

* It boosts immune cell activity

* It reduces viral load in AIDS patients

* It speeds healing after surgery

The article also comments that: "A study in the February issue of the Oncologist reports that cancer patients who engaged in expressive writing just before treatment felt markedly better, mentally and physically, as compared with patients who did not."

As you will notice, it is not just blogging, but also expressive writing in general that is involved in some of this research. This would indicate that some of these things (perhaps all of them) would also be true of those who write privately, rather than writing on a public forum such as a blog.

I can logically connect some of the benefits without too much thinking, but I am curious to what kind of connection they end up finding about some of the other areas.

For instance, I can understand the benefit of blogging as a "stress-coping method", since the process of thinking things out, talking them out, writing them out, etc. helps us to get our thoughts in order and look at things in a better perspective.

I can understand the benefit of blogging as an aid to memory - since the very aspect of writing something down is usually an aid to memory - so writing a whole post about something should be helpful to your memory.

I would be interested, however, in the more medical connections that they found.

I also wonder which of these would be more true and less true of blogging than other forms of expressive writing. For instance, the community aspect of blogging would seem to be a helpful thing in some areas. While the public nature of blogging may be less stress-relieving than just writing things privately (after all - don't we all tend to be a little self-conscious about what others may think regarding what we have written?)

So, fellow bloggers, what are some benefits that you see from blogging?

Just my thoughts,


HT: Bet at Dappled Things

Chris Anderson's take on the Minnick Interview

Pastor-blogger extraordinaire Chris Anderson has posted his thoughts on the 9 Marks interview of Mark Dever interview of Mark Minnick in a post entitled, "2Marks on 9Marks." (Don't you like the clever title?)

I tend to agree with much of what Chris has written. (Don't count that against Chris!)

As usual, it is much clearer and shorter than my thoughts on the same topic.

Just his thoughts,


Mark Dever's Interview of Mark Minnick - Part 1

In a previous post, I highlighted the 9 Marks interview of Dr. Mark Minnick by Dr. Mark Dever on the subject of Fundamentalism and the Doctrine of Separation.

While I have only known of Dr. Dever's ministry for the last couple of years, I appreciate a lot that I have read and heard coming out of the ministry in D.C., although I agree with Dr. Dever that he would not be considered a Fundamentalist in the way that I understand Fundamentalism.

I had the privilege of attending Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Greenville for a couple of years during Dr. Minnick's early years as the Sr. Pastor of the church. I also had Dr. Minnick for a few classes at Bob Jones University and consider him a very gifted preacher and godly man.

What I would like to do in this post is to kind of give a "lay of the land" in regards to the interview, with my comments interspersed. I want to do this so that those who have not had a chance to listen to the interview can at least attempt to follow along.

The interview apparently took place in February at Capitol Hill Baptist Church and was, in part, the result of an earlier get-together between Dr. Dever and some Fundamentalist Pastors in the Greenville area. The interview does not indicate who, other than Minnick, was at that meeting, although some of the names have been indicated in other places in the blogosphere.

In the beginning of the interview, Dr. Dever seeks to start by introducing the topic - Fundamentalism and separation - and introducing the interviewee - Dr. Minnick. If you are familiar with Dr. Minnick, there is not a lot in this first section to draw attention to other than a couple of quick things.

1. Dever made it clear very early in the interview (1:25) that there was a clear area of difference between Minnick (and the other Pastors at that meeting) and himself was over the issue of "how we associate with other Christians - how we decide to do that" (i.e. separation). It seemed to me that early on Dr. Dever was wanting to get at the core of the issue. I appreciated that and felt that he kept trying to do this over and over throughout the interview.

It must have been a little frustrating to him that Dr. Minnick seemed to have been more interested in making sure that Dr. Dever understand the areas of agreement - and to recognize that Fundamentalism was not some weird unorthodox monster hiding in the corner like some Evangelical leaders try to portray it. (See the recent Evangelical Manifesto or Rick Warren's comments on Fundamentalism for a couple of examples of this.)

In a large way, it was very frustrating to me as well. However, as I reflected on this a little more, I think that I may not have given Dr. Minnick enough credit in my initial thoughts regarding this. Dr. Minnick was not on his "home turf" and the reality is that while guys like Don, Greg, Andy, Chris, Ben, Bob and others in the "Fundamentalist Blogosphere" - including most of those who will read this and many who discuss these things at SI - have been discussing exactly the point of tension that Dr. Dever was asking about, Dr. Minnick undoubtedly realized that the audience of the 9Marks interview goes beyond this small group of people - and was probably therefore more careful that I would have been about making sure people get a better "big picture" of Fundamentalism. In other words, this is not Dr. Doran in the comments section of Chris or Ben's blog discussing the finer points of these issues (something that appeals to people like me who are intimately concerned with these issues), but rather a broader audience that, in general, is pretty ignorant of Fundamentalism - and whose ignorance of Fundamentalism is often fueled by the very unbalanced and uneducated critiques of Fundamentalism that I mentioned earlier. So, while I would have loved for Dr. Minnick to just have delved into the issue of Fundamentalism and separatism strongly from the beginning, I recognize that his approach in this area, while not as satisfying to guys like me, was probably the wiser approach, as it helped to correct some of the common mischaracterizations about Fundamentalism before hitting on the more minute points. (I also wonder if there is an aspect of still wanting to "go as far on the right road" as you can, so emphasizing the areas of agreement at this point may have been viewed as more helpful in that attempt.)

2. Dr. Dever also commented during this point, that while Dr. Dever sometimes refers to himself as a "fundamentalist" he is not a Fundamentalist in the way that Dr. Minnick would mean the term. Dr. Minnick's answer here was "I think we are [agreed] in our instincts and I think we are agreed in terms of Biblical principle - its probably the extension of them that would be where the difference comes."

This is one of those points where I would have loved to have heard more elaboration from Dr. Minnick. Perhaps some more had been said in the Greenville discussion that clarified this for these two men, but I wonder about the agreement in terms of Biblical principle. Perhaps someone from CHBC can fill me in here: Does Dr. Dever believe that it is ever necessary (outside of the context of a local church) to separate from professing believers? It may be - after all, perhaps that is part of what the de-funding of the D.C. Convention was about - but I am not sure I have heard him articulate this position and would find this a significant shift from the arguments that Evangelicals were making regarding this concept as little as 10 years ago. (When the mantra often seemed to be - "No. That only applies to laziness.")

3. It is also during this part of the interview that Dr. Minnick is given the opportunity to define Fundamentalism and gives the definition that I mentioned on my last post:

A Fundamentalist is a person who believes the essentials of the Christian faith and believes that they are also the essentials for fellowship and cooperation - particularly spiritual cooperation.

I appreciated this definition from Dr. Minnick. While I may have opted for a little more militancy in my definition of Fundamentalism (perhaps more along the lines of Curtis Lee Laws' - "those who hold to the great fundamentals and mean to do battle royal for the faith." ), I like the fact that this definition keeps a focus on two of the key aspects of Fundamentalism - the insistence on orthodoxy and the importance of limiting fellowship to those who are also orthodox.

4. It is also during this first section where Dr. Dever comments that Dr. Minnick is advocate of "what we might call a ‘deliberate Christian' or ‘deliberate cooperation'" (a play off of Dr. Dever's book The Deliberate Church.

5. Dr. Dever also mentions that he had read Dr. McCune's book - Promise Unfulfilled: The Failed Strategy of Modern Evangelicalism - and found himself agreeing with much of his critique of Evangelicalism. He also stated he found himself only in "mixed agreement" with what Dr. McCune positively advocated. I would love to have seen some follow-up at that point - what areas of what Dr. McCune advocated was he in agreement with and what areas was he in disagreement with and what areas was he unsure. (Again, perhaps this will be covered in a follow-up interview with Dr. McCune :) ).

6. Dr. Dever then asked for a "quick tour" of Fundamentalism as a whole, since listeners will know "different parts of the elephant." While Dr. Minnick was correct in identifying the fact that Fundamentalism is not monolithic, I felt that this is one of the areas where he could have been much more clear in indicating that much of what he called "sectarian Fundamentalism" is repudiated by mainstream Fundamentalism and has ceased to be "Fundamentalism" due to its leaving of orthodoxy on issues such as its pragmatic soteriology and radical views on inspiration.

7. In this section, Dr. Minnick also responds (in response to a question regarding Hyles, etc.):
The fact is that in terms of the practicalities of cooperation and association they just don't intersect much. In some cases it isn't really a studied issue where they came to a definite determination at this point in time we no longer will interact with each other.
While there is probably truth to that for some Fundamentalists. The problem with this is that there SHOULD BE a definite determination that we will no longer interact with this type of "so-called" fundamentalist.

8. In the end of this section, Dr. Minnick points out that the question is laid out in the title of a book by Iain Murray based on a sermon that was preached at Grace Community Church - "Unresolved Controversy - Unity with Non-Evangelicals."

Dr. Minnick comments that
That was the issue that divided the Evangelical world 60 years ago. The Fundamentalism that I am familiar with took the position that that controversy is resolved in the Bible and "No. You ought not for spiritual purpose fellowship with and cooperate with non-evangelicals."

Since I see that this is getting long, I will stop here for tonight. (Besides it is past my bed time.)

Anyway, these are just some thoughts,