Surrejoinder to Voddie Baucham

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Voddie: Thank you for these additional points of follow-up.

First of all, thank you for articulating your strong commitment to regenerate church membership, with implication for observance of the Lord’s Supper. I accept your assurance that this is not an FIC issue even though Presbyterians will differ from Baptists on these matters. Perhaps a bit more dialogue is needed on this to crystallize the issue even more clearly.

I’m not sure what was unclear about my response regarding the Mohler blog. As I tried to indicate, Dr. Mohler had planned to post a blog but did not end up doing so, and when I realized this I tried to have the reference removed, but the book was already being printed. As already planned, note 17 will be reworded in future printings.

As to Renfro and the Perspectives on Family Ministry volume, I don’t recall the exact details now, but I believe the manuscript only reached me in the final stages of working on the chapter. I am certainly prepared to consider Renfro’s response and note any salient points in any future editions.

With regard to “segregation” language, I am sincerely glad to hear you say that you don’t necessarily disagree with me (though it certainly sounded like you did when you wrote in your post that “[t]he term is appropriate … it simply communicates a truth … the word fits … Segregation is simply the most appropriate term for the church practices in question”). When you compare this issue with my use of the word “extreme” in a single, passing reference and call this a “double standard,” here is the difference (at least the way I see it): I used a given word once (in the context of seeking to differentiate between various models of family integration), while “segregation” language represents a consistent pattern of usage in family-integrated circles. Perhaps the reason for this proliferation is that the term “segregated” serves as the preferred antonym to “integrated.” I think this is just plain unfortunate. But I’m glad to hear that you don’t necessarily disagree with me on this issue. I hope that other family-integrated church advocates will follow suit and avoid “segregation” language in the future. How about this: I’ll change the one instance of “extreme” in my chapter to something like “thoroughgoing,” and you desist from using “segregated” from here on out. Agreed?

I am also glad to hear you say that, “We have never argued that ours is the only way to do church.” That’s very refreshing. I sincerely hope that you are representative of other family-integrated churches in this regard. This is the kind of humility that will make future dialogue a whole lot easier, in my opinion.

Finally, thanks for your gracious tone and apology (accepted!). I’m genuinely grateful for our dialogue, and others have told me they have found it helpful as well. Be assured that I will continue to ponder the concerns you raised as I continue to reflect, and perhaps write, on the subject.

Your brother in Christ,



  1. Bacham writes, “We have never argued that ours is the only way to do church.”

    This seems to contradict the statement from the official position of the NCFIC: “We affirm that there is no scriptural pattern for comprehensive age segregated discipleship, and that age segregated practices are based on unbiblical, evolutionary and secular thinking which have invaded the church.”

  2. The frustrating part about debates such as these is that man relies on their “heady” knowledge while making long, articulate statements and rarely is the Bible invoked or referenced to back up rhetoric or beliefs. Any debate I enter I always try to just fall-back on to the infallible Word of God to make my argument for me. If the Bible isn’t enough to defend an individuals argument, then perhaps there is something wrong with his belief.

    Just a little food for thought amidst such great debate and wisdom.


  3. Dear Brother Kostenberger,

    I have enjoyed reading your book: God, Marriage and Family and respect the work you have done.

    Thanks for this opportunity to share a few of my thoughts on the topic at hand.

    As a member of a non-FIC, reformed, credobaptist church and a single mother, I have been blessed and encouraged by FIC’s in a way that non-FIC’s have not been able to.

    The breakdown of families in our nation has been so hurtful, and in seeing an emphasis in FIC’s on fathers taking leadership responsibility for their families I’ve been so encouraged. I’ve seen many, many Christian fathers delegate spiritual responsibility for their homes to their pastors and youth ministers. I’ve seen others reign in the home with machoism and oppression. From what I’ve experienced, one aspect of FIC’s is an emphasis on fathers sheparding and serving their wives and children with sacrifice, humility and strength, not only once a week but every day of the week. I’m surprised that this was not highlighted during these discussions.

    As someone who has been affected by the lack of humble spiritual leadership in the home and who has seen our society fall apart more each day both inside and outside the church, I am convinced that our nation needs FIC’s.

    One of the FIC’s that has stood out from the crowd is Household of Faith Community Church in Gresham, Oregon. Pastor Harris has done an amazing job of casting the FIC vision.

    Dr. Kostenberger – have you considered touring the country and meeting with some of the more “successful” or “well-known” FIC leaders to go more in-depth? Pastor Harris in Oregon, Scott Brown in North Carolina and Voddie Baucham in Texas are three who come to mind. I’m sure there are many others. There are also many messages given in support of FIC’s that are available on the internet or via CD. Perhaps listening to several of those any of the leaders mentioned above recommend would also be of blessing?

    May the Lord be with you as you continue to research and investigate. May he bless your work and your writing continually.

    Ms. L

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