Louis Bauman - Theology


Bauman held strongly to beliefs (and concerns) of other early twentieth century fundamentalist, being deeply against classic liberalism and consumed with end times prophecy. He believed that Benito Mussolini was the anti-Christ, and was a strong Zionist. However, unlike other fundamentalist of his time, he also held to many, although arguably not all, of the pietistic and Anabaptist influenced distinctives of his Brethren tradition. This unique mixture (or what later would become tension among Grace Brethren themselves) is laid out in The Faith Once for All Delivered unto the Saints. In this work Bauman lays out his convictions in four sections, the first (Basic Doctrine) and last (Prophetic Doctrine) being very fundamentalist in nature and the middle two (The Great Commission and Practical Doctrine) distinctively Brethren.

Several of Bauman's fundamentalist perspectives did create strong disagreement among many of his Brethren Church peers and along with the events at Ashland College brought about the denominational split of the late nineteen thirties. The Sermon on the Mount of Matthew 5-7, a foundational passage for Brethren and Anabaptist groups in general, was viewed by Bauman in a classical dispensationalism framework as a passage intended for the Jews and not the New Testament gospel intended for the Church in the "Age of Grace." Bauman said regarding the Sermon on the Mount that "there's no gospel in it because there's no blood in it." At the height of conflict between "Ashland" and "Grace" Brethren groups, Bauman wrote:

We hold in common with our Brethren of The Grace Seminary Group that The Sermon on the Mount, coming from the lips of the incarnate God, is the highest, holiest, purest, most perfect law that ever has fallen, or ever will fall, upon ears of men. It is the law of the Kingdom of Heaven...The Gospel of salvation calls for blood atonement; for a belief in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; and, for faith in the resurrection of Christ from the dead--not one word of which doctrines are found in the Sermon on The Mount.

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