Last Sunday I published a blog post listing five observations regarding the KJV-only debate that so often surfaces in our world. The response has been huge and I have tried to answer each comment and question as best I could. Please forgive me if I somehow failed to answer yours. Some were fairly negative – I was called “liberal” and a “compromiser” by a few. Some warned me that I was on a “slippery slope” and shared stories about people who have even left the faith after going down “that path.” Some of my pastor friends shared that some good people in their churches were concerned as well. On the other side, many were very positive. My personal favorite was from Dr. Rick Flanders’ daughters who basically said that their father had taught them much of the same truths that I had written. Dr. Flanders has certainly influenced my thinking in many, many ways, so that was a personal blessing and encouragement. I did receive many comments and follow-ups that covered all sorts of topics within the debate itself. My friend Bill Patterson (who sat with me in most of my Greek and Hebrew classes at PCC many years ago) pointed out that the debate does involve two manuscript families and, depending on which family you emphasize, can lead to very different conclusions. Of course, he is right (he usually is!). My friend Dwight Smith shared some similar thoughts. A few just said I was courageous for simply bringing this up and making the case that I made. So here are some follow-up comments:
- I am not going liberal. I am the same person I have always been – a Baptist who is fundamental and who is a member of a church that is Independent (or unaffiliated, as some would now say it).
- I am not compromising. I am simply stating what I have experienced to be true. There are some really great Christians who see things differently than I do and I can love them and serve them.
- I repeatedly used the phrase “those I know” to draw attention to the fact that I wasn’t making across the board assessments. I was simply speaking of friends who love God, who are also fundamentalists in their doctrinal positions, who believe very similarly to me, and yet arrive at varying conclusions. I am convinced it has always been this way. Any reading of church history would certainly attest to that fact.
- I have no problem discussing and evaluating our different views. I am firmly convinced that, unless we do so with love to brothers and sisters in Christ, we accomplish absolutely nothing – except perhaps circling the wagons in our own little circles and then shooting at those outside our circle. I don’t have to shoot at a brother or sister in Christ who arrives at a different conclusion than I. I can, like Paul, rejoice that the gospel is preached by them. I can pray with them, talk with them, try to understand them, ask questions of them, and share my views with them. I can also respectfully listen to their views.
- I know there are many issues that deserve attention. Our varying views of preservation certainly do. Our views of which translations are accurately translated and which ones are acceptable for use in the church do as well. I hope that all of us will continue to think, to grow, and to love. In the process, I hope that we will see a great harvest of souls saved and discipled and that the gospel will continue to be carried to the ends of the earth.
I love all of you. I am thankful for every person who reached out to challenge me, to disagree with me, and to support me. Come see me anytime. I will buy you a coffee and share with you my latest dad jokes. Trust me, they will be awesome! Just ask any teen who heard me speak this summer. Well, on second thought, maybe you shouldn’t. Just take my word for it. They will be awesome!
Thanks for reading.
Your sincere friend,