It is very rare that I will have something beneficial to report on from the pseudo-Fundamentalist Sharper Iron (SI), but today is an exception. I have to go back to August for this article, which was to post then, but I held in reserve to instead focus on other more pressing issues at the time.
On August 26, 2010 SI posted the Central Seminary (Kevin Bauder’s) Ethos Statement on Fundamentalism & Evangelicalism. The thread opened with a comment by an RPittman, whom I am not personally familiar with. At the close of Pittman’s first comment (in the thread) on Central’s ethos statement he asked,
“Is this the torpedo that sank the talks between Faith and Central?Kevin Bauder, who rarely acknowledges any legitimate critical questions or comments, reacted with sarcasm and ad hominem insinuations. Brother Pittman followed with a fair, pointed and balanced reaction to Kevin Bauder. With that a portion of Brother Pittman’s response at SI follows.
“Dr. Bauder, I regret that our conversation has to begin with sarcasm. However, I must have missed something. Would you please kindly point out in my post where I questioned your motivation? You are reading something that is not there. I have made no pretense of judging you or your faculty’s motivation. I suppose that I should know my own mind and intentions better than you because I wrote the post. I don’t like this stratagem because it has the effect of putting me in a bad light from the start. Furthermore, I am plain-spoken and candid in my comments....You’ve aired these or similar views previously. I do not, however, think this statement* is representative of Central’s position on separation in the past. Do you think that old-time Fundamentalist Dr. R. V. Clearwaters would have agreed to this statement? Do you think George W. Dollar [would] be [in] agreement with this position? BTW, W. B. Riley made statements that are very close to KJVOism. Perhaps, you ought to broaden your perspective.”With a growing number of blogs and individuals beginning to publish open criticism of the way in which Kevin Bauder has been trying to redefine, and castigate Fundamentalism, chip away at biblical separatism, plus run interference for the evangelical’s doctrinal aberrations and ecumenical compromises I get the definite impression that he is beginning to find that militancy in Fundamentalism is not a dead as he might like for it to be.
But where does SI playing favorites come in?
I just read a comment (#25) from RPittman (RP)to Aaron Blumer (SI site publisher) that is so emblematic of how things have always worked at SI. RP asked Aaron,
“Now, Aaron, why did you fly to the good Doctor's defense? Why didn’t you defend me when Dr. Bauder direct sarcasm toward me?”The history of SI has always, always been to play favorites; to gang-tackle, bully and/or marginalize anyone who does not toe the SI party line, attack and chide anyone who dares to confront Bauder or one of the stars of evangelicalism. The SI moderators pounce on, malign and impugn others at will with no admonition from Blumer whatsoever.
Blumer, Rogier, Peet, SusanR, et. al., gang-tackle any non-Calvinist, non-LS, non-gusher over the evangelicals who dares raise a legitimate challenge and this has been another glaring example. Bauder, of course, is given free rein to speak down to Brother Pittman with impunity.
This is the history of SI’s bullying those who are not in the SI fold and why so many have quit and/or never joined in the first place. Many remember how the SI team attacked John Himes over Bauder’s unprovoked attack on John R. Rice and Bob Jones, Jr. How the SI moderators and Blumer maligned and scolded Dwight Smith over his clever letter from “Doc” Clearwaters to Kevin Bauder. (See- A Letter from Dr. Richard V. Clearwaters to Kevin Bauder)
Aaron Blumer and his moderators exemplified once again the obvious bias against those who express legitimate concern with Kevin Bauder’s articles, Calvinism, the star personalities of evangelicalism and their fellowships. Playing favorites and political bias is the hallmark and history of SI’s site publisher, admins and moderators.
And Aaron has to conduct surveys to figure why SI is failing, why so many have quit participating; why he has to keep appealing for operating funds from what is left of SI's membership through various means?
*Bauder wrote, “What is surprising is that anyone would think this statement says something new. It is a fair representation of the mainstream Fundamentalism in which I was reared.”