Is It Possible to Be King James Only and Not Be Militant about It?

Over on my primary blog, I posted today about Dr. Kevin Bauder’s eight characteristics of hyper-fundamentalism. One of those characteristics is adopting “a militant stance regarding some extrabiblical or even antibiblical teaching“. Bauder then mentions the King James Only question as an example of this. He concludes that characteristic with: “When individuals become militant over such nonbiblical teachings, they cross the line into hyper-fundamentalism.”

I completely agree with Dr. Bauder, that it is militancy over a nonbiblical teaching which is the sticking point. A commenter on my blog mentioned that he felt Bauder was just trying to paint all King James Onlyists as hyper-fundamentalists. I countered with this: “He specifically mentions being militant over a non-biblical position. So people who prefer the KJV, even with strong convictions, who nevertheless remain non-militant in their stance on that question and who don’t make one’s view of the KJV as a mark of being a legitimate fundamentalist or not (the 6th characteristic), they would not be hyper-fundamentalist. I know several who are KJV only who would probably not be hyper-fundamentalist.”

My question to the readers here is, “Do you agree? Can one be King James Only and not be militant about it?” Certainly one can question the prevailing assumptions of textual criticism and not be militant, but can one be KJV only and be cognizant of the fact that it is a sticky issue and others don’t agree for valid-sounding reasons?

The Rules of the Debate

This is a debate blog. Healthy discussion is the whole point of maintaining a blog about the KJV Only controversy. Ground rules are essential to any debate, and its best to make the expectations very clear up front.

We’ve had to delete comments, edit them and even ban people from commenting in the past. But as this is a group blog, sometimes we’ve disagreed with ourselves in how to enforce the rules and what expectations we have.

With the recent redesign, I thought now would be a good time to lay down some explicit rules and then let previously banned posters have a second chance at following the new rules. This is our turf, and I’m the founder of this blog and pay the bill for hosting it. So please respect our right to moderate as we see fit. I’ve borrowed from the discussion guidelines at our sister site: Re:Fundamentals to come up with the following guidelines:

1. Please write your comments plainly and neatly. Remember that written text often sounds different in another’s head than it does in yours. Be ready to clarify; and on the other side of things, be ready to ask good questions.
2. This is a discussion among Christian brothers and sisters, for the most part. It should read like a discussion among brothers and sisters, not like hate mail or attacks (from either side).
3. Name calling and ad hominem accusations are not appropriate for this discussion and such things will be edited out of your comments. Repeat offenders will be moderated, warned, and if necessary banned.
4. The authors of this blog represent diverse Christian traditions. We often model proper interaction in responding to each other’s articles.
5. The opinions of commenters are their opinions. We do not assume responsibility for their statements.
6. Stay on topic or take the discussion off-line.
7. Do not make lengthy quotes from sources using cut and paste. These quotes will be abridged by the site administrators.
8. We welcome re-posting and tweeting on the topics and issues we raise. We ask that you link back to the original article in your re-post and do your best not to reproduce whole articles or quote us out of context.
9. These guidelines will be amended and appended as necessary to maintain a healthy environment of discussion.

Presuppositional Apologetics & KJV Onlyism: A Question

My friend John Chitty asks a question of those familiar with E.F. Hills and his book The King James Version Defended.  The question centers on Hills’ use of the “logic of faith”, and the idea of presuppositional apologetics.

I’m sharing the question to let our readers chime in, here or over at Chitty’s blog.

…since Edward F. Hills, author of The King James Version Defended is a graduate, not only of Yale, but also of Westminster Theological Seminary, and that much of Hills’ defense of the Textus Receptus (the popular name of the Greek text that underlies the King James Version New Testament) is written from a characteristically Reformed standpoint… when he further makes his defense from what he calls “The Logic of Faith,”… this must be his way of applying presuppositional apologetics to the defense of the superiority of the Greek Text underlying the King James Version, as well as that translation itself.

My question for presuppositionalists who’ve read The King James Version Defended, therefore, is: Am I right? Was Hills a presuppositionalist, and is his so-called “Logic of Faith” a fair representation of the presuppositionalist apologetic, and is belief in the inherent superiority of the Textus Receptus therefore the consistently Reformed answer to the question, “Which New Testament text is closest to the original manuscripts?” [emphasis mine]

If you are familiar with presuppositionalism or with E.F. Hills, please feel free to chime in. John would appreciate your interacting with the comments already over at his blog. Or feel free to leave your thoughts below. I will post my reply under this post here, as well as on Chitty’s site.