On July 18, 2014, Dr. Kevin Bauder posted an article critiquing the national FBFI conference held a little more than a month before in June. Now, right up front I want to note that I too was at the conference.
On a personal note, I must say, Dr. Bauder, the handlebar mustache is one hundred plus years too late. Please, if you desire to be taken seriously then trim the ends of your mustache, the handlebar mustache gives you a comical look, but I digress.
Back to the article, towards the closing of his article, Dr. Bauder gets to the real reason for his writing, the criticism of Calvinism. Now, I give him credit for coming to this in a much better tone than he did back in the early summer of 2009 when he ranted and ran off on his tirade against about five minutes of Pastor Danny Sweatt’s message at the southeast regional FBFI conference in the spring of that year. Back then, Dr. Bauder didn’t just tirade and rant in one article but did so in two articles and finished with snippets from his inbox about his self-made brouhaha. Here in 2014, during the panel discussion Thursday morning it was mentioned that five point Calvinism had no room in the FBFI. Personally, I heartily rejoiced with that proclamation. Anyone who has had any contact with a five point Calvinist knows that their mindset is, “my mind is made up, don’t confuse me with the facts,” and “I’m right, you’re wrong.” No, there is no room in any organization, or fellowship, or church for that matter, for five point Calvinism and the Biblical alternative (which isn’t Arminianism, by the way, though Calvinist only see things as either/or, Calvinism/Arminianism).
Dr. Bauder continues and voices his displeasure with a message delivered which he calls a “moralistic allegory of Scripture” and wonders how the fellowship could have tolerated such preaching.
This writer is struck by Dr. Bauder’s dislike for the allegory from the pulpit. Dr. Bauder dislikes this? How can this be? I am dumbstruck! I am really quite astonished and sit in utter disbelief that he would say such things about allegory. The reason that I am in this state of shock is because I clearly remember this same Dr. Kevin Bauder writing an allegory. He titled it, The Fortress. He posted this article on February 11, 2011 at his, In the Nick of Time blogsite. Now, there is a hugh difference though between Dr. Bauder’s allegorical article and that preacher’s “moralistic allegory of Scripture.” When that preacher was finished with his message, all who heard him knew exactly what he said and what he meant. No one with any gray matter between his ears who heard the message could walk away wondering, just what did he mean by all that “moralistic allegory of Scripture”? However, we are still wondering just what exactly is Dr. Bauder talking about in his article? The reason for this difference? The preacher explained his way through his “moralistic allegory of Scripture” like any good allegoristic author would do, so that his listeners/readers can fully understand him. Dr. Bauder has not followed suit. He has left the full meaning of his allegory to the whims of the readers’ imagination, so we are left with multiple “truths” being touted by the various readers, with no possible way of determining which “truth” is “the truth” that the author wished to convey. I would have to conclude then, that the preacher at the conference knows how to use allegory for the benefit of his audience, and Dr. Bauder has yet to master allegory. Hey, maybe that’s why Dr. Bauder voiced his displeasure.
In closing, let me say quite clearly, I am not opposed to expositional preaching. As Dr. Bauder pointed out, “Dr. Steve Hankins also delivered a good expository sermon” and I heartily concur and state that it wasn’t just “good” it was excellent. Dr. John MacArthur should listen to the sermon, he could actually learn what expository preaching really is. I preach expository messages. I also preach topical, textual, and textual-topical sermons (to use John A. Broadus’ homiletical classifications of sermons). Variety from the pulpit is a necessary piece to the evangelizing and edifying efforts of the preacher as he stands behind that sacred desk and proclaims God’s Word.