Historic Fundamentalism

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by 4His_glory, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. 4His_glory

    4His_glory
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    Hisorically as we survey fundamentalism, we will notice fundamentalism was much broader in its borders than it is now.

    Fundamentalists were bot only Baptist, but also Methodist (Bob Jones Sr.), Presbyterian (J. Gershem Machen), plus serveral other denominational persuasions. They espoused differnt theological positions: some were Calvinists, some were Arminians, some were Pre-Trib some were Post-Trib, some were strict creationists, others were Gap Theorists (C.I. Scofield). But all of them agreed upon the fundamental doctrines of the faith, which I think have been looked at before in this forum.

    The question I wish to raise is, when did fundamentalism become what it is today, or at least what many wish to limit it to today? Were the early fundamentalists wrong for displaying the unity they did around the core doctrines of orthodoxy and alowing disagreement in other areas? If they were right, then is it possible to bring fundamentalism back to its hisorical roots? If they were wrong, then explain how they were.

    Your thoughts, comments, and insights please. [​IMG]
     
  2. Pastor Larry

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    I think fundamentalism, like any historical theological movement, has grown and changed. The thing that fundamentalists were united on historically were the fundamentals of the faith and the necessity for exposure and separation from error. The latter is what is lacking in modern fundamentalism. Fundamentalism, by its nature, is largely Baptist, though not exclusively. There are still fundamental presbyterians and probably some methodists. But the denominational structure of those groups made them more susceptible to compromise, both in doctrine and separation.

    Fundamentalism is not so much a movement as an ideal. It is simply not like it used to be, simply because we live in a completely different culture and age.
     
  3. USN2Pulpit

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    Wasn't it begun in about 1912 as a response to the Azusa Street revivals? (the spread of pentacostal holiness doctrine)

    There was a series of tracts published called "The Fundamentals," which I believed covered these topics:

    </font>
    • Inerrancy of Scripture</font>
    • The vicarious substitutionary death of Jesus Christ for our sins</font>
    • virgin birth of Jesus Christ</font>
    • pre-millinieal return of Jesus Christ for His church</font>
    • bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ - as well as the saints in the last day</font>
    This is some of the history I learned in my seminary classes as the roots of what we now know as "fundamentalism."

    Maybe Dr Bob can "grade" my report. I think I'm fairly close.
     
  4. Squire Robertsson

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    Errm, no. Fundamentalism coalesced as a movement a few years before the Azusa Street "Revivals". It was born out of the accomodation to apostasy and heresy by the main stream denominiations in the late 19th century.
     
  5. USN2Pulpit

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    Squire, I can see where I've erred. The term "fundamentalism" was coined at the time of the tracts, but the movement existed (unnamed) much sooner.

    from "A Summary of Christian History," (the textbook for SBC Seminary Extension courses:
    Hey Squire Robertsson, please don't tell my professor...
     
  6. 4His_glory

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    Pastor Larry,

    Yes funamentalism has changed, but is all change goood? It seems to me that there are some who call themselves fundamentalists, and truly believe they are walking in paths of their "forefathers", who have a very narrowed few of what a fundamentalist is.

    Also not all the early fundamentalists were sepratists, at least not at first. There were many who stayed in the old main line denominations to try to "reform" them from the inside.
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    No, not all change is good. Didn't mean to imply that.
     
  8. Dr. Bob

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    There were true fundamentalists in almost EVERY denomination in 1890-1920, as each group tried to fight the encroaching modernism and liberalism that was taking over their institutions and denomination.

    Why not more fundamentalist in all these denominations today? They LOST. The denominational juggernaut ran over them and either they left or could not fight and win.

    Among Baptists? Most (SBC) did NOT get fully taken over by modernists so have fought battles since 1925 first BF&M of conservative v liberal. ABC (Northern Baptists) lost. GARBC, CBA and a hundred splinter groups have continued to hold "fundamentalism".

    And the fundamentalists in the SBC have won! Kinda.
     
  9. av1611jim

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    A FUNDAMENTALIST IS A BORN-AGAIN BELIEVER IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST WHO:
    Maintains an immovable allegiance to the inerrant, infallible, and verbally inspired Bible;
    Believes that whatever the Bible says is so;
    Judges all things by the Bible and is judged only by the Bible;
    Affirms the foundational truths of the historic Christian Faith:
    The doctrine of the Trinity,
    The incarnation, virgin birth, substitutionary atonement, bodily resurrection and glorious ascension, and Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ,
    The new birth through regeneration by the Holy Spirit,
    The resurrection of the saints to life eternal,
    The resurrection of the ungodly to final judgment and eternal death,
    The fellowship of the saints, who are the body of Christ;
    Practices fidelity to that Faith and endeavors to preach it to every creature;
    Exposes and separates from all ecclesiastical denial of that Faith, compromise with error, and apostasy from the Truth; and
    Earnestly contends for the Faith once delivered.


    In light of the above, I would say that there are very few of us left. As Dr. Bob has pointed out, many stayed in their denom's and lost the battle. Those that "saw the light" (so to speak) left their denom's and developed the loosely knit bunch called IFB. At least this is how I understand the historical context of the past 75+ years.

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  10. LRL71

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    While I was in college (Clearwater Christian College, Clearwater, FL), I was introduced to various fundamentalists from across the denominational spectrum: independent Methodists, Brethren, Bible churches, Free-Will Baptists, IFB's, Reformed Baptists, Bible Presbyterians, and independent 'community' churches. A common denominator is that with the exception of Brethren churches, all other fundamentalist denominations are actually independent churches that are loosely associated with a larger 'denomination' of churches that represented a type of that denomination. Fundamentalism today is primarily headed by churches that are independent, but of like faith and practice (although disagreeing with other non-Fundamentalist doctrines, like Arminianism versus Calvinism, Congregational led-churches versus elder-led churches, and other minor doctrines). It should be said that Pentecostalists cannot be considered 'fundamentalists' because they do not believe in 'sola Scriptura'; they believe that the revelatory gifts still apply today and cannot therefore believe in 'sola Scriptura'.
     
  11. dhiannian

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  12. paidagogos

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    Dr. Bob,Sr. was not one of the early Fundamentalists but he came into the movement later when he left the NAE. Machen was never a Fundamentalist. He was orthodox but he would not identify with Fundamentalism. The SBC never joined the Fundamentalists. There is a letter, supposedly extant, where Basil Manly wrote Dr. Wm. Bell Riley saying, "We cannot join your Fundamentalist movement because we are Baptists, not ecumenicists.
     
  13. Paul33

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    The early fundamentalists tried to reform their denominations. Separation only became an issue as it became clear to some that they weren't going to succeed.

    Then the battles over separation began. As those who pulled out first became irritated with those who stayed in.

    It may be of interest to some that William B. Riley stayed in the NBC until right before his death.

    So separation, historically, is a later addition to fundamentalism, and is what is causing so much confusion still today.
     
  14. gb93433

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    What I read kind of reminds me of what I heard a preacher say. "You can be a fundamentalist but you don't have to act like one." The problem is often that a fundamentalist is not really a fundamentalist in terms of faith and love but a controlling anatagonist in practice. Jesus had trouble with those folks.
     
  15. 4His_glory

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    I tend to agree with Pickering's assement that within early fundamentalism, there were the "stay-inners" and the "come-outers", both of who were fundamentalist and both who were instramental in the fundamentalist/modernist debate.
     
  16. Pastor Larry

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    No, not really. The difference is the "speed of separation." I believe Riley admitted he should have separated. They stayed as long as they thought they could reform and then separated. That is the way it should be done today.
     
  17. Paul33

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    He stayed right up until his death. Hmm.

    Was a pension involved?
     
  18. Jeff Straub

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    Dr. Bob,Sr. was not one of the early Fundamentalists but he came into the movement later when he left the NAE. Machen was never a Fundamentalist. He was orthodox but he would not identify with Fundamentalism. The SBC never joined the Fundamentalists. There is a letter, supposedly extant, where Basil Manly wrote Dr. Wm. Bell Riley saying, "We cannot join your Fundamentalist movement because we are Baptists, not ecumenicists. </font>[/QUOTE]
     
  19. Jeff Straub

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    Let me try this again. Someone wrote the following . . . paidagogos I think,

    There is a letter, supposedly extant, where Basil Manly wrote Dr. Wm. Bell Riley saying, "We cannot join your Fundamentalist movement because we are Baptists, not ecumenicists.

    This cannot be. Manly Jr. died in 1892 an his father in 1868, long before the F-M controversy. My guess is that EY Mullins said this if anyone

    Jeff Straub

    He led the SBC contingent at the infamous Indianapolis meeting where the riley motion of the NHCF was voted down.

    Jeff Straub
     

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