Kevin Bauder on The King James Only Movement And Fundamentalism

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The error of the King James Only movement is opposite but equal to the error of the new evangelicalism. The new evangelicals wanted to remove the fundamentals (i.e., the gospel) as the boundary of Christian fellowship. The King James Only movement wishes to add to the fundamentals (i.e., the gospel) as the boundary of Christian fellowship. Neoevangelicalism could be called “sub-fundamentalist,” while the King James Only movement is hyper-fundamentalist.

Of course, the King James Only movement is only one species of hyper-fundamentalism. Hyper-fundamentalism may revolve around personal and institutional loyalties, idiosyncratic agendas, absurd ethical standards, or the elevation of incidental doctrines and practices. The thing that characterizes all versions of hyper-fundamentalism is the insistence upon draconian reactions for relatively pedestrian—or even imaginary—offenses.

Hyper-fundamentalism and the new evangelicalism are mirror images of each other. The old neoevangelicalsim damaged the gospel, not by denying it, but by attacking its role as a demarcator between Christianity and apostasy. The hyper-fundamentalist does the same kind of damage by adding something else alongside the gospel. If anything, King James Onlyism is worse, for it shows contempt for the Word of God. It attacks the heart of Christianity by sitting in judgment over its source of authority.

via Now, About Those Differences, Part Twenty Three | SharperIron.

Cross-posted on Re:Fundamentals.

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4 thoughts on “Kevin Bauder on The King James Only Movement And Fundamentalism

  1. Nazaroo December 16, 2010 / 9:20 am

    Kevin is an interesting case. On the one hand, he offers KJVonlyists a bone, which one can hardly object to, and which should be quoted here:

    Bauder: Let me go further. I confess the King James Version to be the Word of God. It is Holy Scripture. I hold it to be authoritative. When I read it (as I do each day), God holds me responsible to obey what I read. (Sharper Iron)

    So it is surprising that Bauder goes after KJVOnlyists so rabidly.

    He seems to want to compress the KJV people into one small group of unreasonable fanatics.

    But I have found that the majority of KJV people simply can’t be stereotyped into this simplistic one-dimensional cartoon stick-man.

    Most of the KJV people I have met are more like the “Dean Burgon” type. They acknowledge that the KJV can be improved and that the language needs updating. In fact, most KJV people use an acceptable modern translation alongside their KJV, such as the KJV2000, the NKJV, or the 21st century KJV.

    I just don’t see most KJV people, even diehard Baptist/Fundamentalists falling into the ‘category’ that Bauder wants to paint them into.

    There are other statements I would object to in this excerpt, but the final lines seem the most offensive and extremist:

    Bauder: The hyper-fundamentalist does the same kind of damage by adding something else alongside the gospel.

    I just don’t find any KJV people doing this. Bauder seems to suggest that KJV people cut off non-KJVOs, and won’t even eat with them or have any kind of fellowship with them. I’ve just never met this kind of extremism, except in non-Christian cults. KJV may get exasperated by the stubbornness of Hortians (their only real perceived enemies), but they don’t condemn Christians who read other bibles as apostates or heretics.

    Bauder: If anything, King James Onlyism is worse, for it shows contempt for the Word of God. It attacks the heart of Christianity by sitting in judgment over its source of authority.

    Its hard to take a statement like this. KJVOs deeply respect the word of God as they perceive it, delivered to English-speakers in the KJV. Bauder himself began the post with our quote above, and seems to want to claim the high ground that KJVOs take for granted, for himself alone.

    Its as though he just can’t accept that KJVOs have a high reverence for Holy Scripture in its written form, because he disagrees with their “judgment” (discernment) regarding the Canon of the NT.

    He seems to want to confuse the term ‘judge’ in the sense of discern with ‘judge’ in the sense of condemn to death (what Jesus talked about) or condemn to hell (as some Pharisees wrote off sinners).

    All the KJVOs that I have met do not condemn people for being naive about the issues of the NT text. They don’t expect ordinary people to be textual critics, or have a knowledge of the history of Bible translation. But they do expect other Christians to be open to learning some history, and listening to some arguments.

    peace
    Nazaroo

  2. James Snapp, Jr. January 4, 2011 / 8:28 pm

    Bob & Friends,

    Happy New Year! I’m posting not as a reply to anything in this blog-entry but because this was the only Leave-a-Reply screen I could find. (The recent entries seem not to have them at all.) Anyway, I was searching for something and found one of your earlier posts, from back in January of last year, I think, in which someone presented A. T. Robertson’s views about something. I just wanted to chime it to let you know that the citation used there is not from A. T. Robertson; it’s from B. B. Warfield.

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.

    • Bob Hayton January 5, 2011 / 1:53 pm

      Yes I believe I corrected that. I’ll have to doublecheck. I did a post with a quote from Warfield actually.

      Also the reply/comment feature was broken for a while. I’m working through some site bugs. Sorry about that.

      Thanks,

      Bob

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