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Author Topic: Herschel Martindale  (Read 15278 times)
theresearchpersona
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« on: February 06, 2009, 06:05:56 am »

So the guy is nice (so far as I know, at least if on his good side), and what respect he's due for his age, let him have it. But he's always given me the creeps. He never seemed to be that "up" on his greek (I didn't really even know any, yet was suspicious), and he never seemed a very sound teacher--a ranter and muser, and who'd quote more Scripture than the normal GC teacher, and throw-in Greek to impress people; around here some once more intimate with the inner workings of GC have been able to comment on the fellow.

Because of Herschel's importance as an influence in GC, an ultimate celebrity if you will, what do you know about him? I know he comes from the Brethren in background (usually=not good), it appears that he was from among the Open Brethren (still not good, though, despite their wonderful zeal), which does not indicate, however, that it wasn't a group unaffected by those ol' Spurgeon called the "Darbyites" (the "closed" brethren, though particularly I know of certain GC teachers who might be described enamored with Darby, and I would not be surprised if Herschel was also affected).

I remember someone with more personal experience here said he was very anti-calvinist.

What else do we know about Herschel?
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askingquestionsaboutGCI
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2009, 11:09:27 am »

If any of you want to check him out, here's his website:

http://martindaleministries.com

The link below goes to samples of some video series he's done.  You can get a chance to listen to some of his teachings yourself and form your own opinions. 

http://martindaleministries.com/~EquippingTools.cfm
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puff of purple smoke
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2009, 11:28:54 am »

What we know about Herschel..

He was involved in the original "Blitz" with Jim and Dennis in 1970. MtZ and various history sermons confirm this.

In chapter three of Marching To Zion it connects him to the "unity above doctrine" teaching:
Quote
Related to this was the view held commonly throughout the Blitz concerning disputes and controversies in general. In Herschel Martindale's discussion of contention given in Albuquerque on September 16, 1977 (see page 78) he stated that about a year earlier he had changed his thinking on the subject. He went on to say,

Quote from: Herschel
       Always in my past whenever there had been a question or a difference of opinion, I'd always felt the right thing to do was to evaluate the sides, evaluate the situation - let each person give their side, listen to them and try to decide who's right and who's wrong in a contention or a division or strife or something of that nature, and try to give counsel, then, according to what you evaluate is really right or wrong. This was the only way that I'd ever known to deal with anything as far as differences were concerned among Christians. Incidentally, that is not biblically sound - it's humanly sound, but it's not biblically sound.

       In Titus 3 and verse 9 it says, “But shun foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the law”; and it goes on to say, “for they are unprofitable and worthless.”

       Now, let me ask you the question… What is it that's “unprofitable and worthless” in this verse? …Strife and disputes… But now here's the question that comes into my mind: Wasn't one of the parties disputing right and one wrong?… What is worthless and unprofitable is not the side that is wrong - it's any controversy… If you were to tell a person… if he's sitting there grappling with a particular problem, and you tell him, “Avoid it,” you almost rebel against that, don't you? You almost think, “But now wait a minute! I really believe that this guy's right!” But that's never the question.

He also wrote two articles on "Slander" in the double issue of The Cause (The Joy of Justice), located here and here. In them he argues that slander can be the truth, among other things. Keep in mind that this was the double issue designed to explain away GC's rash of excommunications, so teaching that truth can be slander is a dangerous justification of improper excommunication techniques. Two rebuttals here and here with an in-depth examination of what biblical slander is.

There is also some discussion of him in a thread titled "Herschel's 'demotion'" here. I don't know too much about that incident.

I am not aware of Herschel ever being promoted as an "apostle" - although I believe under McCotter's definition as explained in his Leadership book, he may have been (or is still) one.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2009, 11:36:17 am by puff of purple smoke » Logged
Linda
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2009, 01:33:56 pm »

Quote
In them he argues that slander can be the truth
When terms are redefined, no meaningful conversation can happen.

Also, what a brilliant way to remove people from hearing the truth. Tell them it's slander and thereby control information in a "spiritual" way. This stinks.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2009, 02:25:27 pm by Linda » Logged

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Linda
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2009, 02:30:39 pm »

Here are a couple of quotes on unity and truth.
Quote from: Charles H. Spurgeon
To remain divided is sinful! Did not our Lord pray, "that they may be one, even as we are one?" (John 17:22) A chorus of ecumenical voices keep harping the unity tune. What they are saying is, "Christians of all doctrinal shades and beliefs must come together in one visible organization, regardless...Unite, unite!"

Such teaching is false, reckless, and dangerous. Truth alone must determine our alignments. Truth comes before unity. Unity without truth is hazardous. Our Lord's prayer in John 17 must be read in its full context..."Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth."

Quote from: John Milton
Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so truth be in the field, we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and falsehood grapple; who ever knew truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter.
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MidnightRider
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2009, 02:37:46 pm »

I remember someone with more personal experience here said he was very anti-calvinist.

Yes, that is correct.
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theresearchpersona
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2009, 03:02:25 pm »

I remember someone with more personal experience here said he was very anti-calvinist.

Yes, that is correct.

Was he specific? Being a part of GC I'd guess the "L" part, or perhaps the part about God mercying whom He will, by His will? Did he just say Calvinistic stuff in general? Enlighten me whoever knows.
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saved
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2009, 01:17:24 pm »

So the guy is nice (so far as I know, at least if on his good side), and what respect he's due for his age, let him have it. But he's always given me the creeps. He never seemed to be that "up" on his greek (I didn't really even know any, yet was suspicious), and he never seemed a very sound teacher--a ranter and muser, and who'd quote more Scripture than the normal GC teacher, and throw-in Greek to impress people; around here some once more intimate with the inner workings of GC have been able to comment on the fellow.

Because of Herschel's importance as an influence in GC, an ultimate celebrity if you will, what do you know about him? I know he comes from the Brethren in background (usually=not good), it appears that he was from among the Open Brethren (still not good, though, despite their wonderful zeal), which does not indicate, however, that it wasn't a group unaffected by those ol' Spurgeon called the "Darbyites" (the "closed" brethren, though particularly I know of certain GC teachers who might be described enamored with Darby, and I would not be surprised if Herschel was also affected).

I remember someone with more personal experience here said he was very anti-calvinist.

What else do we know about Herschel?

Why does Brethren=usually not good?

Yes, anti-Calvinist... I'd have to ask dh for details.

Interestingly influential.... not arm-twisting influential or breath-taking-charisma-influential, but people around him want to please him and take his opinion into consideration when making decisions.  I'm not sure if he completely realizes how much that's the case.

Balanced by an apparently sincere heart of concern for people, both for their salvation and their growth.  When other GC pastors were giving me the creeps, or annoying me, or making me nuts, he was always kind, considerate, and respectful.  No "sister ask your husband at home" from him!  Even when I was a baby Christian he was always interested in hearing whatever I had to share.  Once in a horrible (i.e., don't press me for details) situation where someone desired to confront me I found myself with the other person and their spouse, Herschel and Mardean, and me.  Hello?  What about including my spouse?  Well, in the end Herschel listened and the other person ended up rebuked instead of me!  Aside from my gratitude, I appreciated his willingness to listen and understand the situation... much more so than some pastors I could name.

I knew someone (a non-Christian) completely enamored with his teaching.  I thought it was OK, but not as fabulous as this other person seemed to think.  I've heard a lot worse, though, too.

He has a real heart for internationals.  (Man, what a GC-esque way to say it!  But really, he does...)  Which means he's less interested in glitzy "seeker-sensitive" services and more in services that internationals can replicate back home.  (Which aligns with my thinking, so I've always appreciated that about him.)  He's traveled overseas extensively.

And I guess as long as he's alive there's still time for "every nation in our generation" to come true...

Why are you asking?
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MidnightRider
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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2009, 04:19:13 pm »

Was he specific? Being a part of GC I'd guess the "L" part, or perhaps the part about God mercying whom He will, by His will? Did he just say Calvinistic stuff in general? Enlighten me whoever knows.

It has been 25+ years since I talked with him about it, so beware of my memory. But here is what I recall.

At a weekend conference, Herschel taught a small-group session on "God's Will for Your Life". It was the standard GCx message on the subject: God wants to reach the world with the gospel, so God's will for your life is for you to spend your time reaching the world with the gospel.

I had read only a little about Calvinism at the time. But there was something that raised my curiosity as he taught. God wants everyone saved. He _really_ wants everyone saved. That isn't just one thing among many that He wants, it is THE thing He wants. Etc. He kept emphasizing this.

So I asked (I think I waited until the session was over) if that is so, why isn't everyone saved? Herschel's answer was that it is because man has free will.

To the best of my understanding now, that answer implies an Arminian view of at least 4 of the 5 points. But I did not make that deduction at the time.

We talked for a while. He said that he did not completely agree with either Calvin or Arminius. Both said some good things. He had trouble at Dallas Theological Seminary because graduates were required to sign a doctrinal statement that seemed too Calvinistic to him.
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theresearchpersona
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« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2009, 05:31:24 pm »

At a weekend conference, Herschel taught a small-group session on "God's Will for Your Life". It was the standard GCx message on the subject: God wants to reach the world with the gospel, so God's will for your life is for you to spend your time reaching the world with the gospel.

I had read only a little about Calvinism at the time. But there was something that raised my curiosity as he taught. God wants everyone saved. He _really_ wants everyone saved. That isn't just one thing among many that He wants, it is THE thing He wants. Etc. He kept emphasizing this.

So I asked (I think I waited until the session was over) if that is so, why isn't everyone saved? Herschel's answer was that it is because man has free will.

There's real trouble, though, with any 'teacher' who asserts 'free will': it shows a total ignorance of Christian theology (no offense to anyone), at least to such a degree as to be disqualifying to be a teacher. The basics on will: will is not free, it is subject to nature. Even God is portrayed in Scripture as not being free, but subject to His own nature, 'in whom there is no shadow or variableness of turning'. That's truly frightening.

To the best of my understanding now, that answer implies an Arminian view of at least 4 of the 5 points. But I did not make that deduction at the time.

The really troubling thing today is "Arminian" is bandied about even for things that are essentially Pelagian; real Arminians despise that so many Churches today are being called "Arminian". Trouble is (for me), the essence of Arminianism is still Pelagianism. If we interpret Scripture utilizing the clearest statements rather than trying to impose doubtful, vague, or more ambiguous passages, though, in response to Herschel's teaching, it states 'not by the will of man'. Those clear statements subject man to God; upon that hinges, even, the very meaning of 'grace' and 'mercy': such teachings in Scripture as 'I will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy', (God), are undone to assert to the contrary. Strange, however, that Herschel indicated 'they both had good things to say' when Arminius was dead before the controversy arose: his disciples discreetly gained positions of influence for themselves before openly submitting their views for examination: when they were they were thoroughly subjected to scripture, ended-up rebuked, and that counsel even wrote that their views led to denying Christ's deity--which was, of course, balked at: the Remonstrants actually ended-up doing just so, though, either questioning, or declaring, so, depending on the person.

It's one thing to assert that God wants all to be saved, another to say it's according to man's will and not God's; the first instance we basically have Lutheranism (Luther's teachings, much of Lutheranism today deviates, as it rapidly did, including some of the conservative institutions which declare that Luther didn't dare teaching something like 'double-imputation' which is right out of his works); fo rthe latter we have a heresy on hand. This is why I don't like bare proof-texting with passages: they must be handled within the entire doctrinal-theological corpus, paying attention to how the words (or phrase units) are used 'philosophically' (i.e. technically), contextually, etc..

We talked for a while. He said that he did not completely agree with either Calvin or Arminius. Both said some good things. He had trouble at Dallas Theological Seminary because graduates were required to sign a doctrinal statement that seemed too Calvinistic to him.

That's a little odd, being it's a Dispensationalist (or it was/has-been traditionally) institution. It's a bit different today with the development of Progressives, but if we're to consider how long he's been teaching outside of Texas, as well as from documents the period in which he would have been there, in his time that's wasn't the case.
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« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2009, 12:23:07 pm »

The really troubling thing today is "Arminian" is bandied about even for things that are essentially Pelagian; real Arminians despise that so many Churches today are being called "Arminian". Trouble is (for me), the essence of Arminianism is still Pelagianism.

It was Luther's argument in The Bondage of the Will that Erasmus' interpretation of the Bible, if followed through consistently, would lead to Pelagianism. Erasmus was trying to argue for free will while avoiding Pelagianism, although it would be anachronistic to label his position Arminian.

I think I mentioned elsewhere that I did a book report on Erasmus and Luther's books for a college class. It created quite a stir. I would heartily recommend the reading of those 2 books, together with J. I. Packer's intro to The Bondage of the Will. Luther's book is a masterpiece. Erasmus was not able to match Luther's knowledge of the Bible and logic.

If we are looking for a silver lining in the cloud, it is that many people do not follow all of the implications of their mistaken beliefs. As Gordon Clark said, many of us will be saved by Blessed Contradiction. 
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« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2010, 03:01:44 am »

On a positive note, his wife, which I spent time with, knew Billy Graham personally.  She is a great woman.  Not sure about him.  She went to college with Mr. Graham.

-Blonde
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