Calvinism and Fundamentalism?

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by Rhetorician, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
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    Question to all:

    Observation first:

    There is a great deal of research and consternation going on in some circles about the "resurgence of the Doctrins of Grace" here and there. This revival is also happening in the "Fundamentalist's camps" as best as I can tell from an outsider's viewpoint.

    Question is:

    Is the resurgence of Calvinsism (Soteriologically speaking) becoming the "new Fundamentalism?"

    Let me have, and I know you will!! :smilewinkgrin:
     
  2. Luke2427

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    You know I could not bypass this one.

    True fundamentalism and Calvinism tend to go hand in hand.

    One can be Arminian and be theologically liberal. But one cannot be truly Calvinistic and be truly liberal.

    Calvinists have been stalwarts of true fundamentalism throughout the ages.

    We got our King James Bible via the hands of mostly Calvinists. Beza (a student of Calvin) was responsible for the text that later came to be known as the TR from which mostly Calvinists translated our KJV.

    Luther, Knox, Edwards, Spurgeon and a host of others are top names when we think of men who contended for the faith once delivered unto the saints. And all of these men were THOROUGHLY Calvinistic.

    Many fundamentalists are not Calvinists. But no honest person who knows our fundamentalist heritage (and heritage is certainly more than the past 60 years!) cannot and would not deny that Calvinists deserve our gratitude for delivering fundamentalism down to us through the ages.
     
  3. Earth Wind and Fire

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    I view Fundamentalists as loony tunes & have a very different view of Pauline Doctrine Churches.....They are orthodox, they are historical, they are reformed. I can go out with a Orthodox Pastor & have a beer for example & discuss theology. You cant do that with a Legalistic Fundamentalist.
     
  4. glfredrick

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    I think that many "see" the resurgence of Calvinism, often called "New Calvinism" as if the Reformed doctrines have ever gone away or are anything new, as the new version of fundamentalism.

    I also think that many who hold to some form of Arminian-derived theology are frightened that their way of life, churches, theological constructs, etc., will somehow "go away" or otherwise be subsumed by this movement. But, I believe their fears are not founded on sound reasoning nor on a view of theological principles, but rather merely on the fact that they have built a strawman enemy out of Reformed doctrines and are now afraid of their own rhetoric.

    Specific fears that I can see are:

    • A fear of the loss of missions work
    • A fear of the loss of personal evangelism
    • A fear that a new set of "rules" or "laws" will be enacted that will force those who do not hold to a set of doctrines to change or leave their churches, schools, etc.
    • A fear that creedalism will once again reign supreme in the church world
    • A fear of legalism
    • A fear of anti-nomianism
    • A fear of "change"

    In turn, an examination of these points shows that none are particularly true for those in the Reformed camp, but they have so long been promulgated as the enemy position by those outside that camp that the perception has become reality for those doing the fearing.

    A fear of the loss of missions. This, like the next fear, a loss of personal evangelism, stems from a false dichotomy that links Calvinism with a deterministic God, whereby all actions are so dictated by God that there remains no room for human involvement. Thus, the actions of missions and evangelism are non-starters because "God does all the work anyway..." Of course, that some of the greatest mission and evangelism efforts in the history of the church stemmed from those with a Calvinistic or Reformed doctrine seems to never come to light, or be ignored by those who do not cotton to the idea that Calvinists can and do support both missions and evangelism -- perhaps for reasons other than Arminians -- but nevertheless, true just the same.

    A fear of a new set of laws or rules, plus creedalism and/or antinomianism. There are conflicting responses here, for antinomianism is the polar opposite of a Pharisaical (law or rule based) view of church operation or theology. On the one hand, it is feared that the "rules" of the church will be set aside because of the doctrines of Grace, which seeming allow for "anything" to be acceptable behavior, practice, etc. On the other hand, the fear that mirrors the old Fundamentalist legalism is exactly the opposite, nothing goes and mistrust everyone and everything. In truth, neither position is correct, and neither accurately describes those who hold to the Doctrines of Grace. The "rule" is God's Word, the authority is a Sovereign Lord, and we are saved by grace through faith to serve that God by doing what it says in His Word.

    The fear of creedalism. For many Baptists and baptistic agencies, churches, believers, etc., the doctrine of Baptist "freedom" stands foremost as "the" Baptist distinctive that sets "us" apart from other denominations and "the world." The problem is that some form of creedalism exists in any religious structure as a matter of fact. Whether written or oral, whether codified into text or merely lived out by cultural pressures, there are standards, creeds, confessions, etc., that form the basis of doctrines as derived from Scripture and tradition. What may be feared in actuality, is "someone else's" creed or confession. Not that there are creeds or confessions.

    The fear that the "New Calvinism" (which, by the way is anything but new) will set aside and/or force a change in churches, schools, doctrines, etc., is largely misplaced fear. The doctrines of grace point to a sovereign, all-good, God, who has revealed Himself to us through His Word, through the prophets, and through Jesus Christ incarnate. We cannot overstep the bounds that God has laid out for us, some of which are love for one another, unity in the church, and actually "doing" what God told us to do. If any given school or church is not actually doing these things, then they may have some rationale for fear, but to the extent that they are holding the Word of God, rightly divided, and acting on that Word in ways that advance the kingdom of God, then there really are no bones to pick, other than in minutiae of theology that will likely not be settled indeed until the advent of the Kingdom.

    What I have seen, in my own ministry, is that I have been turned down for ministry positions because I come from a seminary that is seen as being at the forefront of the "New Calvinist" movement. I have been shut out of pastorates, Directors of Missions, church planting, and other positions largely because I am percieved as a "Calvinist." Because of that, I wonder if it is the "New Calvinists" that we need to fear, or the status quo...
     
  5. Luke2427

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    I agree. But you are a fundamentalist. Legalists are not fundamentalists. These IFB psychos (not all IFB's just the psycho ones) have hijacked the term. Nonetheless, what fundamentalism really is, is what you and I are.

    You cannot be orthodox and NOT be a fundamentalist in the true sense of the word.
     
  6. glfredrick

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    I think that adding the "ist" or "ism" to the end of fundamental is the issue. For one to be an "ist" or "ism" of any sort is to buy into a worldview system, not merely hold a set of beliefs, such as the fundamentals of the faith.

    You are correct, in that anyone who is orthodox (small "o") in the Christian faith will hold to the fundamentals of the faith. You are not correct that those who hold to the fundamentals of the faith are all Fundamentalists.
     
  7. Luke2427

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    excellent, excellent, excellent post. I cannot improve upon it. You are dead on.
     
  8. Luke2427

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    We agree, I think. The only thing is that a fundamentalist is SUPPOSED to be one who practices or is concerned with the fundamentals.


    But many modern Fundamentalists have hijacked the term and made it mean what it does not really mean.

    You, Glfrederick, are a fundamentalist, in the same sense that the word is SUPPOSED to be used.
     
  9. glfredrick

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    Yup... I guess. But, for the record, I also don't go in much for labels. I find them divisive. Though I use them for discussion sake, I do not prefer "Calvinist," Arminian, etc., as I feel they are hopelessly outdated and carry much baggage that should have been shed long ago.

    After 500 years, one would think that we could come up with a new term and/or a whole new concept that is even more biblical than TULIP, which has issues (as does its counterpart).
     
  10. Tom Bryant

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    wow glad you all are not judgmental like the psycho, hijacking, loony fundamentalists are. What would you call them then?
     
  11. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Shush.....dont tell anybody up North..... That name has as much negativity connected to it.... Kinda like escaping from the State Psyco ward.
     
  12. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Brother, perhaps you need to move to Pennsylvania.....they wont be that way to you here....you can go work for Sproul or Westminster or for the Reformed Baptist Denom in Carlyle near Harrisburg.
     
  13. Tom Butler

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    There is a sense in which Calvinists are fundamentalists, as described by glfredrick and Luke2427.

    If we use the term IFB (Independent Fundamentalist Baptist), the we think of a different description, and it's not Calvinist. In fact, anti-Calvinist would be more accurate.

    If the IFBs are worried, it goes beyond their disagreement with the five points of Calvinism (which they consider heresy). Calvinists, as a general rule, present the gospel in a different fashion. Not a different gospel, but a different way of calling men and women to Christ. IFBs translate this to mean non-evangelistic. To IFBs, Calvinists are anti-mission, anti-evangelism because they don't do invitations and altar calls. And if they do, they are done differently.

    If IFBs fear change, it is exactly because they understand the implications. New Calvinists can't present the gospel and call men to Christ they same way IFBs do.
     
  14. Luke2427

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    I said that I am a fundamentalist, Tom. I am. But Fred Phelps says that he is as well. Well, he is a loony, term hijacking, psycho fundamentalist.

    A more moderate version of him is a guy named Phil Kidd.

    Sammy Allen is an even more moderate version.

    Jack Hyles and thousands like them are psycho fundies of varying degrees of psychosis.

    You know this to be true.
     
  15. Luke2427

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    I might not mind moving up there now that you guys got Christie for governor. I really like that fat guy I think!:thumbsup:
     
  16. Dr. Bob

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    To the op - yes, the more one gets into the WORD and not into the man-made nonsense that many fundamentalists wallow in, the more you will get to a biblical position on the doctrines of grace.

    I am a historic fundamentalist (not the looney-tune crowd who have tried to hijack the name) and historic Baptist. 1644 and 1689 London Confessions, both of which are 100% calvinistic/reformed. There is no discontinuity between believing the basic truths that are called "fundamental" and basic truths about a sovereign God.

    ~~
    As to the utter falsehood that the AV translators were "calvinists" I cannot allow such nonsense to be considered by some to be correct. They were 100% Anglican Catholic. I assume the person making that statement was thinking of the precious Geneva Bible that was translated into English calvinists. Much of it was "borrowed" and appears in the AV and later revisions for sure.
     
  17. Luke2427

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    Bob, are you denying that Beza's "TR" was the text from which the translators translated the King James Version???

    Will you put your rep on that?
     
  18. glfredrick

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    I heartily agree with your assessment.

    Are the implications of the IFB or Arminian perspective valid? Does it make a difference the WAY men are called to Christ?

    One implication that I can see between the two perspectives is the best "tool" for the task of evangelism. If, on the one hand, coming to Christ occurs because we convince men to come to Christ by the power of persuasion, then powerful arguments, guilt, emotional appeals, and lots of time for introspection are all part of the preaching package -- indeed, that is largely the case. If, on the other hand, those who come to Christ do so because God draws them, then the most powerful weapon in one's evangelistic arsenal is prayer to God, i.e., "Pray the Lord of the harvest..." That does not eliminate the need to preach, but it does place the emphasis in a different area.

    Another question is along the same lines. Why can't a Calvinist use the same method as an Arminian to present the Gospel? Many a Calvinist would agree with the statement, "Believe like God does all the work and preach like man makes all the decisions." The two are not mutually exclusive, and from the Scriptures, we see Paul, who presents a fully God-sovereign theology, working to persuade men to come to Christ. That Paul, Peter, and John do this in part fuels the fire between the two positions -- and in large part is why I advocate a new theology that takes into account the whole of the Bible.
     
  19. Tom Bryant

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    Actually since I never met Dr. Hyles other than have him sign a Sword of the Lord Bible when he was preaching with Dr. Rice, I can't say that I know he had a psychosis. I also don't have your level of professional training at spotting those mental diseases... you are a psychologist or psychiatrist, right?

    This thread is full of believers who paint all fundamentalists with the Phelps brush. But they are not all, not mostly, not even a large minority of fundamentalists are like him.

    If you want to disagree with fundamentalists, fine, that's your right. But you become more like Phelps when you decide to call names likes psycho and loonie. But what would I know I was only educated and trained by fundamentalists. I am not really the expert, you guys apparently are.
     
  20. Luke2427

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    :laugh:

    No, what you are is touchy. Touchy, touchy. Take a chill pill there Tom. I think you are a fantastic person. I think you are sharp as a tack, handle yourself with a great deal of class and solid as a rock theologically.

    Take it easy, Tom. Have you ever heard of Phil Kidd?

    If so, that guy represents a lot of IFB thinking where I am from.

    Silly rules against all kinds of things the Bible does not even address. Legalism in the truest sense of the word.

    These guys preach psychotic things. You have to be psychotic to speak for the Almighty so vehemently where he has not spoken. I don't need a degree in psychology to see that. Neither do you. You know there are plenty of fundy nut jobs in IFB. There are plenty of awesome people like you too (seriously).

    But the nut jobs tend to give all of you a bad name. they are the enemy- not me.

    Easy tom... easy...
     

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