Steve Hays' response can be viewed HERE.
I want to address some of Steve's responses to Frank in light of Scripture and a biblical ecclesiology.
Hays's first point is as follows:
Frank never says that "because" their specific ecclesiology disagrees with his own, then they must not have a mature view of Scripture. Rather, Frank's point seems to be that because AHA is ACTUALLY structured the way it is, it lacks a mature view on the matter of ecclesiology. Frank says without ambiguity,
Frank takes for granted a certain ecclesiology. If members of AHA don't share his ecclesiology, in principle or practice, then that must mean they lack a "mature view of Scripture."
Hays' comments are much more general than Frank's as one can see. I think this is unfair. But this seems to be Hays' preferred method. In other words, Frank has pinpointed a specific practice that would likely NOT be the case IF AHA had bothered to develop a biblical ecclesiology. Hays' rebuttal misses the point and can be characterized as an ad hominem response from my perspective.
"there is no visible, accountable leadership structure. After inquiring with someone who knows, I was able to get a short list of fellows who are sort of running AHA, but that list is not readily visible to the public."
Hays then makes the following statement:
Quite frankly, I find this very hard to believe. Rhology posts AHA videos and articles on Triablogue ALL THE TIME. In addition, I have been attacked by Hays myself over my criticism of AHA which follows the same line that Turk employs. It is hard to believe that Hays' is as in as much darkness on the matter of AHA as he infers. Moreover, if Hays' is as uninformed about AHA as he claims, how is it that he can come to their defense. Secondly, just because an organization is national, that does not mean that we cannot pinpoint their ecclesiastical views. Of course an organization can establish clearly biblical views on its ecclesiology the same as it can for any other doctrine of Scripture. Such a statement makes very little sense.
Now, I don't have any opinion about AHA in general. For one thing, I don't know much about the organization. For another thing, to the extent that AHA is a national organization with many members, it's not possible to generalize about their ecclesiastical views or ecclesiastical affiliations.
Hays then trots out a Red Herring. If you have interacted with Hays much, you will recognize this as one of his favorite arguments. He quotes F.F. Bruce:
Is it correct to say that no local company of Christians has the right to the designation "church" unless and until elders and deacons are in evidence?Is this the situation in modern American churches? Are we really just getting the Church going so much so that we have 15 people who are newly regenerated in some remote village and they are without leadership...yet? Of course not! This is apples and oranges, folks. But it is a tactic Hays seems to love to employ. AHA members CLAIM to be part of local bodies. The leaders claim to be part of local bodies and accountable to those bodies. But where are those pastors and elders and bodies listed on AHA's site? Turk is spot on in his comments. This has been my experience with AHA. Hays' Red Herring is obvious.