Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant Evangelicalism with Dr. Michael Svigel Ep. 19

If pressed, I am a catholic, orthodox, Protestant evangelical. The capitalization of each of those descriptors is intentional and important – and each of us ought to aspire to the same self description. I think history demands each Christian on earth must be those four things, and I mean the best meaning of those four things.

What is the relationship between Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Evangelical churches? Do we share a common faith? May we consider one another brothers and sisters in Christ? Is there any hope to understand Church history? We attempt to tackle all these questions and more.

In this interview with the Department Chair of Theological Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, the discussion ranges across time and earth, asking and answering questions that come with each new generation.

Do you know your place in church history? Have a listen and think deeply with us. You can find Dr. Michael Svigel’s work here, and his faculty information here.

Consider a donation to this show to help Adam keep the pace he has set. Thank you all for listening.

2 Replies to “Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant Evangelicalism with Dr. Michael Svigel Ep. 19”

  1. Adam, this was an interesting podcast. Several provocative points, and some concerns about some of what Dr. Svigal said on a few things but regardless. The one point on the personal side I’d like to offer comment on is about Baptist Fundamentalism. You both seemed hard on them, and I can understand why. I personally may be willing to see a cultish tendency within some of them, but there should be no suggestion that they are a cult as such. I trust your usage of the word “sect” was not intended to say that.

    More to the point, I think your presentation of fundamental Baptists is a bit simplistic (as you mention with reference to another group). I would ask you have you ever read writings from them from institutions like Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, Bob Jones University, Maranatha Baptist Seminary, Central Baptist Seminary, or even the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International (a fellowship of pastors)? I think you will find that your characterization of fundamental Baptists does not fit with this segment of the movement, and it doesn’t with my fundamental Baptist church. The movement does have diversity, in the same manner this podcast claims that the RCC is. Regarding the KJV-Only issue especially, I would strongly suggest fundamental Baptist does not equal KJVOnly as you suggest. For a representative work of those in the movement who are not KJVOnly see From the Mind of God to the Mind of Man and God’s Word to Us. This doesn’t take away from the vocal and influential voices of such as Peter Ruckman, but only to suggest that there is more diversity on that issue and others as well. For your own interest, I would strongly recommend reading a scholar history of Baptist fundamentalism written from within the movement. Two that come to mind, one that I have read and one that I haven’t, are listed below.

    Larry R. Oats, The Church of the Fundamentalists available from Based on a PhD dissertation done by this fundamentalist at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. For a synopsis, my review is on my blog (
    Kevin T. Bauder, One in Hope and Doctrine, published by Regular Baptist Press.

    I was not raised in Baptist fundamentalism, though I wasn’t far from it in a couple ways. As I observed, I have found the movement hard to understand at times, but my comments today are a reflection of better understanding I’ve gotten over time. One thing is sure, it does seem there are winds of change within the movement. And those changes merit your consideration as one speaking about church history. Further more, Fundamental Baptists may have issues, but I would hope you would give to even your KJV Only and “Bible thumping” Fundamental Baptist brothers the same type of forbearance, though in different areas, as you suggest we should give to Charismatic movement in global contexts. One could argue that even Peter Ruckman is more closer to the truth than some of the Charismatics in global contexts. Thank you!

    1. Thank you Jacob, for your considered feedback.

      Regarding my comments on the IFB, I was referring narrowly to the KJVOnlyist sect. In the normal ecclesial parlance I am used to, there are concentric circles of catholicity, with the center being catholic, orthodox, Protestant evangelicalism in its best confessional moments, followed by the many forms of somewhat catholic, somewhat orthodox churches who would be borderline heterodox (and we all are in some ways to be sure), followed by a further-out circle of full heterodoxy. This is where I would put the IFB KJVOnlyists – and as such they are the classical sect; they are not catholic, they are barely orthodox on the essentials, and in practice they separate from the Reformation churches. In some of their more radical exponents, it may be true that they are borderline to nearly full-on cultists.

      But as for the groups of fundamentalist Baptists you referenced, I did not have them in view in my podcast comments. And you are right, I should, and do, extend the same motions of fellowship and hopefulness for these groups as I do the average Charismatic groups around the world. I can’t have strong confidence in the salvation of any of their individual members, but I have hope nonetheless, especially in comparison with Rome and the Eastern Orthodox churches, for whom hope is slim.

      Again, thank you for your listenership and feedback.

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