Defending the Idea of Fundamentalism

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by Salty, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    There is an excellent article of fundamentals in the current issue of the Baptist Bulletin (GARBC)

    It is an excerpt from the book "Four Views of the Spectrum of Evangelicalism"

    1. Postconservative Evangelicals (Roger Olson)
    2. Generic Evangelicals (John Stackhouse, Jr)
    3. Confessional Evangelicals (R. Albert Mohler Jr)
    4. Fundamentalists (Kevin T. Bauder)

    There was an interesting quote:

    "Hyper-fundamentalism is not fundamentalism. It is as a parasite on the fundamentalist movement. For many years it was simply a nuisance, largely ignored by mainstream fundamentalists. Ignoring the problem, however, permitted it to grow."
     
  2. Tom Bryant

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    The problem is when we attach the word "hyper-" to anything. It's an easy way of minimizing the people involved. I imagine that there are as many differences on the definition of fundamentalism as there are people and to the person doing the defining, the others are either hyper- or not really fundamentalists.

    I understand what the original definition of fundamentals was, but now the word is used to describe fundamental Muslims and fundamental Catholics, as different as they both are from fundamental Christians.
     
  3. JesusFan

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    I still trying to get what is the major difference between an Evangelical baptist like myself, and fundamental baptists...

    Would uit mainly be in how we approach the issue of seperation?
     
  4. Luke2427

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    I think that is an excellent quote.
     
  5. John of Japan

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    Yes, ecclesiastical separation. The rift that now exists was made certain by the watershed of the 1957 New York Crusade of Billy Graham, in which his organization preferred a NY committee with rank liberals on it to the fundamentalist led version led by Jack Wyrtzen. After that evangelicals went their own way, with Graham as the public figure and ecumenical evangelism as their preferred method of growth. The evangelicals called their movement New Evangelicalism, and turned their back on us fundamentalists, preferring the company of theological liberals.
     
  6. Zenas

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    Good explanation, John. I know you have strong feelings about these events but you refrained from using a lot of adjectives and expletives that you might have. I do have one issue with your statement. Graham and company did not turn their back on you. They would have loved for you to have stayed with them. You withdrew from them, not the other way around. I know, your views of ecclesiastical separation compelled you to do so but still it was your choice to leave their company.
     
  7. JesusFan

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    That was main thing that always bothered me about Billy Graham, as though respected that he was a godly man, inheriting mantles of paul/Moody etc for his generation....

    Did Not like the fact that his group was "partnering" with groups like RCC/Liberal mainline churches etc!

    Would not mind it as much if he was working with individual pastors that were conservatative and really saved, but NOT entire non Cross churches/demoninations!
     
    #7 JesusFan, Nov 23, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2011
  8. John of Japan

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    I wondered if anyone would pick up on that. :smilewinkgrin:

    The historical data is against your view here.

    (1) Note that they called themselves "New Evangelicals." This meant that they belived the old evangelicalism (ergo fundamentalism) was flawed and needed to be changed.

    (2) Billy Graham was not fired from the board of the Sword of the Lord. John R. Rice asked him if he could still agree with the newspaper masthead which said, "Opposes worldliness and modernism," and Graham said he could not, and then resigned. Rice did not fire Graham, Graham asked Rice to remove his name from the cooperating board. The facts of this are in both Graham's and Rice's biographies.

    (3) See the book Reforming Fundamentalism: Fuller Seminary and the New Evangelicalism, by George Marsden, on the history of Fuller Seminary and how they changed their focus away from fundamentalism. The Amazon blurb says, "Marsden convinces us that Fuller's origins in the fundamentalist-modernist debate, its movement from separatism to engagement with mainline Protestantism, and its attempt to define biblical inspiration in a critical age combine to make it a microcosm of contemporary evangelicalism."

    (4) Harold John Ockenga was the inventer of the term New Evangelicalism in 1947. In his famous press realease on New Evangelicalism (December 8, 1957), he said, "The New Evangelicalism has changed its strategy from one of separation to one of infiltration." Fundamentalism did not change. The New Evangelicals changed, deciding to infiltrate the liberals.

    I think these facts among others show that it was originally the New Evangelicals who left the Fundamenatlists, and not vice versa.
     
  9. John of Japan

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    Check your resume. You may be a Fundamentalist without knowing it!
     
  10. JesusFan

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    i would tend to see myself as being part of the "new Evangelicals" except would NOT be willing to compromise the Bible by accepting modern critical theology about the Christian faith and doctrines...
    Know what they are, yes, accept them, no way!
     
  11. John of Japan

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    The NE view was not just that we should be willing to engage the critics of Christianity, it was that we should actually cooperate with theological liberalism in education, evangelism (hence the Graham NY Crusade of 1957), etc. Thus the NE term "infiltrate."

    Nope, there was quite a bit of apologetics done before then. Look at the philosophical arguments for the existence of God in Strong's (1909) and other older systematic theologies for just one example. NE is not just apologetics.


    In the 1920s to the 1950's modernism was a synonym for theological liberalism, with its higher criticism, its attacks on the deity and virgin birth of Christ, its portrayal of the God of the OT as a "dirty bully" (G. Bromley Oxnam), its denial of the inspiration of the Bible, etc. Read Christianity and Liberalism (1923) by Presbyterian scholar Machen.

    You are correct about where Fuller ended up. But I believe that is the natural result of cosying up to liberalism.

    Then you are a conservative evangelical.
     
  12. Zenas

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    I wasn't aware of this and it probably means you're right. But did Graham and company kick you out of their own organization or was it the Sword of the Lord folks who chose to leave it?
     
  13. John of Japan

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    John R. Rice and Billy Graham had separate organizations. Billy Graham chose to resign from the board of the Sword of the Lord, but to the best of my knowledge Rice was not on the board of Graham's organization. So there was no organizational unity.

    They were close friends (but not in the same denomination), and Graham was very appreciative of Rice's efforts through the Sword of the Lord to support and praise Graham until 1957. In particular, Graham was grateful that Rice went to be at his Scotland Crusade and did the 1950's equivalent of blogging about it. Graham remembered Rice with fondness (and vice versa), though they did not cooperate in ministry after 1957. He and his wife sent a huge floral wreath to the Rice funeral in 1980.
     
  14. JesusFan

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    Think that there is NOT that big a gulf between conservative Evangelicals and Fundamentalists, Eh?
     
  15. Salty

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    My understanding as to why Billy was willing to cooperate with RC was for a chance to have them hear the Gospel.

    Up here in the North - esp Northeast - well over 50% of cities are Roman Catholic. Back in those days RC were blindly lead by the Bishops. If the Bishop told them they could not attend a Billy Crusade - they would be afraid to as the threat of purgatory or even ex-communication would be held over their head.

    So, either they come and hear the Gospel from Billy and get a Bible tract - or they nevr get the Gospel .

    I don't have a direct link for that, if someone can corroborate this info, I would appreciate it.
     
  16. John of Japan

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    There has been some rapprochement in recent years.
     

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