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My Thoughts on the Recent Controversy

Friday, May 22, 2009

My title is taken from Andy Efting's post on Unsearchable Riches. As most of the Fundamentalist blogosphere is aware, there has been a virtual dust-up in regards to some comments that Pastor Danny Sweatt made at a recent FBF Regional Meeting.

I have been too busy to actually listen to the message (and thus, I have not made any comments on any location about this), but I have read enough of the comments and read enough of the sections that others have quoted to get a pretty good feel of what was said.

While Bob Bixby, Kevin Bauder, Dave Doran, Chris Anderson, Don Johnson, John Piper, Andrew Naselli and others have all commented on either the sermon itself or on the response to the sermon, so far the thoughts of Andy Efting seem to reflect my thoughts the best.

So, while Andy adds some personal comments that I have not experienced, let me say that I think his post on this controversy is (so far) the closest to my thoughts on it as well. In particular, he addresses two of the concerns that I have on this issue:
1. The promotion of Hyles and Gray - I was hoping I was reading this wrong and he didn't actually do that.

2. The idea that Fundamentalism and Calvinism are somehow incompatible. It surely does not take a Calvinist to look at the influence in Fundamentalism of men like Michael P.V. Barrett, Ian Paisley, John McKnight, J. Greshem Machen, Dave Doran, et al to see that Calvinism is not incompatible with Fundamentalism. While there are legitimate issues with the ministries of Piper, Driscoll, etc., from a Fundamentalist perspective the issues with their ministries is not because of their Calvinism, but because of their associations, ministry philosophy, language, etc.

So, if you are dying to know what I think about this (which I am sure no one is), reading My Thoughts on the Recent Controversy by Andy will be the closest thing to my thougths that you are likely to see regarding this. (At least until/if I get a chance to listen to the message and formulate some thoughts.)

Just someone else's thoughts,



Don Johnson said...

Hi Frank,

In many ways the problems with the sermon have been blown way out of proportion. You should listen to it to get a full sense of it.

But yes, Hyles and Gray were unfortunately mentioned positively, and Calvinism was handled very clumsily. However...

However I don't think that the message actually said that Calvinism was not compatible with fundamentalism. What Sweatt was picking up on was the wave of Calvinistic interest and connecting that with the Calvinism of Piper et al. And these connections can be legitimately made to some extent - I read somewhere that Piper is one of the major reasons for the resurgence of Calvinism. I think it was on Dever's blog.

But the problem with the young isn't the Calvinism per se, but the lack of discernment with respect to the Conservative E's serious compromises and other errors. Part of the reason for that may be that they are willing to give them a pass because of the Calvinist connection, but that isn't the sole reason.


So Sweatt handled his topic clumsily, some were offended, others flipped out, and a great scab was torn off the wounds in fundamentalism and the result is the hysterics you see everywhere.

Anyway, I hope you can find the time to listen to the message and knowing there are problems with it try to see what the message was after. Yes there were problems, but I don't think the message was as bad as some are making out.

Of course, it has now been a week since I listened, and we have been rather occupied with the controversy since. I should listen again myself, I think.

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Andy Efting said...

Thanks, Frank. I don't know how to do those trackbacks, either.