In the post Trevecca Nazarene University Promoting Mysticism and Pagan Practices, Dr. Dan Boone weighed in with some interesting comments. By the way, this post generated the most hits on my blog since I started it last year, with over 1,000 hits for almost three days in a row. I used to average about 250 hits a day, so that shows us the level of interest which I had not anticipated. It certainly raised some ire, especially amongst some Trevecca students and some alumni as well, who objected to my “attacks” on the school. My clarification was that I was attacking the unbiblical practices which are being promoted by Dr. Boone and the leadership at the school, and making an argument that these should not continue. I also made the point that is not just Trevecca, but other schools as well, that are involved in contemplative spirituality, such as Northwest Nazarene, Point Loma Nazarene, and Mount Vernon Nazarene, and possibly others.
Following is Dr. Boone’s last comment, out of three which he made. To see the entire string of all three comments, go here. But we will focus on this third and what seems to be the most controversial. let me say that I really appreciate the fact that Dr. Boone has jumped into the fray. As one person commented recently, he was glad to see at least one leader with the guts to express his thoughts on these matters that we are concerned about. It is very rare, and the norm in the past year or so has been absolute silence. A thundering or deafening silence, if you will. So loud is the silence, it hurts my ears. So my respect goes to Dr. Boone for that reason, that he is not afraid of duking it out in the public forum. I wish more leaders would do that, because the give and take and the debate, is where we can see where people stand on these issues more clearly. And I don’t believe Dr. Boone stands alone on this, rather I believe he definitely reflects the thinking of the majority of our university leaders today, which if true, is very alarming to me and others.
Here is the one which we will look at:
Dan Boone, on February 9th, 2010 at 5:34 pm
What an exchange! Wow! I am so thankful. As a university president, I love to find opportunities to teach our students about important issues. Religious fundamentalism is one of the hot topics in the world today and this website has given me the best model, other than Islamic fundamentalism, to demonstrate to students how religious fundamentalism works. Let me be clear, I think these folk are good American citizens and despise, as we all do, the terrorist attacks on America. But the strategies and tactics of religious fundamentalism are pretty consistent across the board. A small group of people declare themselves the authority in interpreting some ‘holy’ text, they create litmus tests of orthodoxy, they name the enemies who will not bow to their demands nor confess under their accusations, they seek the largest targets they can find to gain the greatest attention (like a university or denomination- or a Twin Towers if they are Islamic) , and then they attack. Because they bow to no authority, other than their own interpretation of God, they are inerrant. Because they themselves operate no church, denomination, university , or government, they can freely snipe at those who do.
This is wonderfully educational.
This is what happens when religions have no accountability. I am accountable at many layers for my walk, talk, and leadership as a minister in the Church of the Nazarene. The sponsors of this blog are free of accountability – other than “God”, I’m guessing they will say. But when your “God” already believes your opinions, is this really the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ or is it a god made in their own image? Friends, this is exactly how fundamentalism works.
Now, I must confess a sin. I did not listen to some friends who told me that I would not find a rational conversation here. I am most likely viewing these websites for the last time and would urge all thinking Christians to join me in the exit. Maybe we can stun them with our silence. In the meantime, I am working on a book called “A Charitable Discourse on the Things that Divide Us”. I’ll discuss Jihad in the church. Trevecca will soon post an open letter to the Reformed/Concerned Nazarenes.
I am proud of our university and wish to let everyone know that if your cup of tea is the kind of “Christianity” posted here, Trevecca probably isn’t for you. We won’t be trying to conform to these folk, nor soft-pedaling around them. But if you are looking for a Wesleyan-rooted, Biblical, hospitable, spiritual-formation teaching, servant-oriented, prayerful, serious-about-changing the world national research university of the highest calibre – check us out. We’re open for business and loving life on the hill.
Blessings to all, Dan Boone
Let’s look at some of the more interesting parts of this:
“Religious fundamentalism is one of the hot topics in the world today and this website has given me the best model, other than Islamic fundamentalism, to demonstrate to students how religious fundamentalism works. Let me be clear, I think these folk are good American citizens and despise, as we all do, the terrorist attacks on America. But the strategies and tactics of religious fundamentalism are pretty consistent across the board.”
I believe it was my brother in Christ, Brad White, who pointed out that this was very similar to Rick Warren’s comment a few years ago. Here is what the great compromiser Rick Warren said back then in 2006 in an interview:
“Today there really aren’t that many Fundamentalists left; I don’t know if you know that or not, but they are such a minority; there aren’t that many Fundamentalists left in America.”
‘Muslim fundamentalism, Christian fundamentalism, Jewish fundamentalism, secular fundamentalism – they’re all motivated by fear. Fear of each other.’”
“Now the word “fundamentalist” actually comes from a document in the 1920s called the Five Fundamentals of the Faith. And it is a very legalistic, narrow view of Christianity.”
This sounds so close to what Dr. Boone stated, that I wonder if he spends a lot of time reading up on Rick Warren, and has found that Rick Warren’s views on fundamentalism resonates with his own. They certainly seem to take the same tone, which is apparently a distaste for those who would call themselves… fundamentalists. It almost seems like a dirty word to Rick Warren and Dr. Boone.
What does that document state as to what the Five Fundamentals are? Warning to all emergents, this may not be to your liking:
* The Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ
* The Virgin Birth
* The Blood Atonement
* The Bodily Resurrection
* The Inerrancy of the Scriptures
So to the “regular’ Nazarene or Christian, are you shocked? Surprised? Outraged? Is there any one of these statements that you would disavow and NOT consider a fundamental of the faith? If so, let me know. Better yet, if you dare to call yourself a fundamentalist, please let me know. If I need to keep your name anonymous, for fear of retribution, I will. I am being a little sarcastic here, but in seriousness, both Dan Boone and Rick Warren went over the top, and with just a few words they managed to disparage a whole lot more Christians than they could imagine. To Rick Warren, I would say, you got it wrong; there are plenty of fundamentalists left in this world, and we are keeping a good eye on you, sir, because we object to your compromising, hand holding with anybody you can to reach your unobtainable goal of peace in the world, no starving children, and no more poor people. It is an impossible task for humanity, sir, and it goes against everything the Bible says about how peace will come to this world!
As far as Dr. Boone, I am disappointed, although grateful for him to enter into the “conversation.” (Pun intended). He goes on:
…”they create litmus tests of orthodoxy, they name the enemies who will not bow to their demands nor confess under their accusations, they seek the largest targets they can find to gain the greatest attention (like a university or denomination- or a Twin Towers if they are Islamic) , and then they attack.”
Well, here Dr. Boone, right after complimenting us for our good citizenship and patriotism, contradicts himself and puts us in the same category as Muslim terrorists. The previous compliment does not negate the slam on fundamentalists following that, but I understand the tactic. I have seen it in the political arena when liberals attack conservatives while smiling as they twist the knife ever so slowly, and it is the same here, when liberals/emergents attack those who are exposing the fallacies of emergent ideology and all its mystical trappings and “new” ways to “listen” to the voice of God. As it says in Ecclesiastes , “there is nothing new under the sun.” It is just done or said in a novel, different way, but its all the same. Some of us call it rebelling against God.
Finally, one more comment deserving of attention:
“A small group of people declare themselves the authority in interpreting some ‘holy’ text,”
Some ‘holy’ text? Dr. Boone, did you mean the Bible, by any chance? I find it deplorable that you would reference God’s holy word in such a manner. We don’t talk about some ‘holy’ text around here. We call it the Bible, the Holy Scriptures, the inerrant, infallible word of God. Not “some holy text”. We do not declare ourselves the authority! But we do declare that the Bible is THE AUTHORITY! In fact, it is the ONLY authority that is infallible. It would amaze you, I think, to find out that most likely, the vast majority of Nazarenes believe that it is the infallible, authoritative word of God. And no, we do not accept the ridiculous argument from many emergents that folks like us are practicing “bibliolatry.” It is not idolatrous to respect the very words that God has passed down to us, through the inspiration of men such as Paul, David, Jude, and all the authors of the 66 books of the Bible. I praise God for giving us His holy, perfect word, and that gives me the confidence to trust in Him completely.
One final thought: you are accountable to God, as are all of us, Dr. Boone, as are all university presidents, and those students are directly under your responsibility.
Are Nazarenes Fundamentalists? Yes, I believe there are many of them.
Are they jihadists, comparable to Muslim terrorists? Only someone bent on smearing fundamentalists would believe that.
Fundamentalists, please don’t be shy or embarrassed to admit you are one, in spite of how the emergents try to paint you. Do not move an inch for them. There’s a whole lot more of us than they would like to admit, and I believe that is their worse nightmare.
He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God. Psalm 62:6-7