Thursday, April 5, 2007

Dr. Malcolm Yarnell, "Were It So?"

I want to make public apology to all for my hit-and-miss presence on this blog lately. I warned earlier in the year that teaching responsibilities would severely curtail my faithfulness in blogging at points in the semester. Last week I was grading papers. This week I'm grading test. Oh yeah…then there's a little something called Resurrection Sunday! So, all of you are busy, too, meaning that it matters little to you that I'm not posting or commenting much. While I'm strangely silent, I'll direct you all to a recent sermon by Dr. Malcolm Yarnell. The sermon fascinates me because, in one fell swoop, Dr. Yarnell has managed to subsume into a single sermon the topic matter from the past several really good conversations on this blog. I think you'll all enjoy it. OK…so maybe not everyone will enjoy it, but it is quite thought-provoking. Here it is. I'll be back on Monday.

24 comments:

sbc pastor said...

Bart,

Thanks for posting Dr. Yarnell's sermon / research paper. It was a word straight from the Word that we Southern Baptists need to hear and to heed. The SBC and SWBTS are very fortunate to have such a great theologian. God bless!!!

In Christ,
JLG

Todd said...

Dr. Yarnell takes some huge leaps in his paper. For instance, "Paul was an expository preacher"? While I affirm expository preaching and have been preaching through the book of Luke for over 18 months with still two chapters to go, I think it is stretching the definition of expository preaching to describe Acts 17 as expository. He definitely believed the gospel was proclaimed in the OT (Romans 1.2), but neither his sermons nor his letters give evidence of a verse by verse exposition of OT texts.
Further, to claim that Paul established congregationaly governed churches is a stretch. Again, while I affirm congregational government, many forms of church governance can be found in the Bible. Paul told Titus to "appoint elders in every town" (Titus 1.5), hardly a congregational thing to do.
Lastly, I continue to be concerned about Yarnell's comments here and in another article in the Southwestern News that makes it sound like Baptist are the only true body of Christ. His warnings about "evangelical ecumenism" sounds more like "stay away from everybody who doesn't look exactly like us." He insinuates that if everyone "submitted their theology and ecclesiology entirely to Jesus Christ as revealed in Scripture," then they will look like Baptists. Of course, not just Baptists, but a Yarnell baptist. A dangerous stretch.

cml said...

How fortunate we are to have this outstanding scholar teaching at the finest seminary in the world, S.B.T. S. If this is an example of the present teaching there at Southwestern, the men and women are receiving the truth, the Bible. Thanks for the post.
cml

Debbie said...
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Debbie said...

I agree with what Todd has said. The first paragraph in Dr. Yarnell's message caught my attention. I am wondering who these people are in the sphere of the SB churches that he is referring to?

Colin said...

Todd,

Expository preaching is taking the point of the passage as the point of the sermon. It is not line by line. If the point of an OT passage was to look forward to Christ, and Paul used that as his point, he was being expository.

When you pick up the Bible, you form a theology. That theology then dictates where you go to church. If the church you are going to is "doing it wrong," why are you going? I am a Baptist because I believe they have it right. Therefore, I would naturally conclude a Scriptural church would look like a Baptist one. The statement is common sense and good theology all wrapped in one.

Debbie said...

Read Sam Storm's interview on Twelve Witnesses, Art Rogers site. I believe this deals with a lot of what Dr. Yarnell has said. No church has it exactly right Colin. I do agree with what you have said to Todd(yes, I know you have not addressed me) concerning forming our theology through the reading of the Bible and choosing a church. I too am a Baptist because I believe they got it right, not 100% right however. When exclusion of other conservatives happen simply because of disagreement on matters not fundamental to the faith, that is when they are getting it wrong and instead of leaving, it should be corrected. That is what the Bible says to do when one is in error does it not?

Colin said...

Debbie,

What does the Bible say in regards to differing opinions on doctrine?

Also, in your opinion, where do Baptists get it wrong? Just curious...

Debbie said...

Colin: In answer to your question I believe Romans 14 covers this as well as passages in loving your brother. Paul only addressed those wrong teachings that related to the deity of Christ or what we know as the fundamentals of the faith. 1 John is the same way. Show me any passage in scripture that dealt with PPL or show me in scripture where only an apostle or minister baptized for only one example. Loving one another seems to be the protocol here. As for your second question, right now what I mentioned in my last post is the major disagreements I have. I am Baptist because I agree with the SB doctrine. Autonomy is another reason. I pray that does not disappear, because when that happens we will no longer be the second largest or even the third largest. The number of 16 million will eventually dwindle down.

Colin said...

Debbie:

I do not understand your baptism question.

I am not talking about PPL. Frankly, I am not convinced the Bible addresses it. I have friends who do it, and I do not doubt their sincerity. I leave it between them and God.

Paul certainly addresses other issues of error outside Christ's deity. The Gospel (Gal 1:6,7; 3:1-5) and those advocating circumcision as a sign of salvation (Phil 3:2), for instance. He things to say about doctrine and doctrinal error: Eph 4:14, 1 Ti 4:6; 6:1,3; 2 Ti 4:3; Tit 1:9; 2:1,7,10), including issues of sound doctrine, the "wind of doctrine and trickery of men," purity in doctine, doctrine conforming to godliness, and to refute those bringing a different doctrine.

My point was to get you to see the difference of obedience to sound doctrine (Romans 14), and the one doctrine advocated throughout Scripture, not the two, or three, or multiple competing doctrines. It is our perogative and duty to try and get the one doctrine right. So my next question would be in regards to the whole of Romans 14 advocating abstaining from activities that cause your brother to stumble. If unity was the call initially, and if brothers from the beginning laid down the doctrinal position that was advocated by the "stronger brother" in the name of love and unity of the "weaker brother," which would be laid aside- advocating and practicing PPL, or denying its existence in the Scriptures? Who is the stronger brother in this issue?

Debbie said...

Colin: Purity in doctrine? Paul also said that we see through a glass darkly. We are human so what would purity entail? As for the other things you mentioned, I believe that is salvic in nature, therefore that would be under the fundamentals I previously mentioned if you will read my whole post. Anything to do with salvation is clearly pointed out in scripture. There are other issues that as I said I believe Romans 14 for example covers as well as Galatians 1. To exclude for those things other than salvic and immersion vs. infant baptism would be something I would also include. There are differing views as in eschatology for example that would fall under the seeing through a mirror darkly that differing views would be acceptable and still be SB, even according to the BF&M.

Debbie said...
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Debbie said...

Colin asked:Who is the stronger brother in this issue?


I say: The one who would not exclude those who have or believe in a PPL.

Colin said...

Debbie:

So the weaker brother is the one who has or believes in PPL?


Also, purity in doctrine is what Paul said, not me. "Show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine.." (Tit 2:7). What does that look like? I would start at Deut 29:29, and consider all imperatives of the NT. In context, I do not think Paul was saying the Bible and its doctrine are dim to us. We have clear instructions, and to dismiss them citing confusion or limitation to our human condition is not the attitude the biblical authors take- nor does Jesus on the Sermon on the Mount. Therefore, opinions spoken of in Rom 14 (which you never explained how) do not trump explicit instructions of the faith handed down to us.

I wish I had more time, but I am limited in my engagement of this issue. But I am still blown away you think the PPL'rs are the weaker brothers.

Debbie said...

I'm blown away too Colin, because that is not what I said.

Colin said...

If anyone cares to explain to me what just happened, I am all ears.

Bart Barber said...

Todd,

I affirm Dr. Yarnell's sentiments—especially what he has said about evangelical ecumenism. There is nothing dangerous about what he has said here. Dr. Yarnell believes in religious liberty and would pose no danger to anyone's theology.

Those who are "dangerous" are those who, never having reached any level of comfort with being a Baptist, are dead set to make certain that nobody else can be a Baptist, that no denomination can be committed to Baptist principles, and that all must concede that being a convinced Baptist is somehow contrary to historic Baptist principles!

Mr. Finn said...

"Those who are "dangerous" are those who, never having reached any level of comfort with being a Baptist, are dead set to make certain that nobody else can be a Baptist, that no denomination can be committed to Baptist principles, and that all must concede that being a convinced Baptist is somehow contrary to historic Baptist principles!"

Bart, now that is funny, my friend. Well said.

NAF

finn remix said...

BTW, your comment was not funny "ha, ha," but funny "those people scare me."

NAF

Debbie said...

That would take us back to the question "What is a Baptist?" which there seems to be more than one answer to.

Bart Barber said...

Nathan,

Thank you, my sectarian friend! :-)

Bart Barber said...

Yes, Debbie, there are multiple proposed answers…

Just as there are many proposed answers to the question "What is a Christian?"

But many proposed answers is not the same thing as many answers.

Debbie said...
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Debbie said...

I can certainly agree with that, but if one were to go by history, there seems to be multiple versions of that as well.