In an exchange between Dave Doran of DBTS and Phil Johnson of Grace Community Church - The Master's Seminary, the following definitions within Fundamentalism emerged. You may not agree with these definitions, but for the sake of argument, please humor me. -------------------------------------------- David Doran: But your whole premise misses the real point. Eliminate all the labels and boil it down to what a person believes on the fundamental doctrines and about ecclesiastical separation. You come away with two groups—separatists and non-separatists. Among the separatists, there seems to be another division into two groups. On one hand, there are those who will separate from apostasy and those who compromise with it. On the other hand are those who will separate from apostasy, but not from those who compromise with it (or at least not consistently do so). Here’s the big question: which of these belief systems best fits Grace Community Church and the Master’s Seminary? I would love a direct answer to that question. Phil Johnson: You won't like my answer, but it's direct. We're in that important third category you refuse to recognize: the true independents. We don't fit your paradigm. Nonconformists. We are separatists; we are harsh critics of the evangelical mainstream; we are militants who don't like compromise. We also care deeply about truth from biblical, historical, and practical perspectives; we recognize the supreme authority and absolute inerrancy of Scripture; and we are therefore not willing to join any movement where matters of conscience are decided by a few men who are high in the hierarchy of the movement. That makes us outsiders as far as both evangelicals and fundamentalists are concerned, and yet both groups insist that we belong to the other. Dave Doran: But we can’t act as if the problems of separation sprang up out of nowhere—they sprang up precisely because of the rise of a group of non-separatist fundamentalists. And since the rise of that group, fundamentalists have been divided on how to respond to them. My point is that there are limited options in terms of your beliefs regarding separation: (1) no ecclesiastical separation; (2) separation from apostates, but not from those who fellowship with them; and (3) separation from apostates and those who fellowship with them. Can you really think of any other options? I can’t. Phil Johnson: Sure: (4) Separation from apostates, from those who fellowship with them, from those who fellowship with others who fellowship with them, and from everyone else who is associated with any of those people. ------------------------------------------------ By separatists and non-separatists, Doran means Fundamentalists and New Evangelicals. I think Doran is wrong in his assessment of who constituted the New Evangelicals. I think history will show that the majority of New Evangelicals were fundamentalists who wanted to practice primary separation only, and not secondary or extended separation. There were also those who did not separate from apostates (did not come out) who were classified as new evangelicals. So yes, there were those who fellowshiped with apostates in denominational settings, the non-separatists. Using their definitions of 1. Non-separation - failure to separate from apostates; 2. Primary separation - separating from apostates only; 3. Secondary separation - separating from apostates and from those who fellowship with them, 4.Hyper-separation - separating from those who fellowship with those who fellowship with apostates, we can construct a chart of Fundamentalism. 1920s Fundamentalism = 1 transitioning into 2. The fundamentalists and modernists co-existed within the major denominations. Unable to regain control of their denominations, they began to practice separation from apostates by withdrawing from the denominations. 1940s Fundamentalism = 1, 2, 3, 4 in two branches. As fundamentalists began to withdraw, they began to criticize those who took too long in "coming out." Soon those who were practicing 2 began to practice 3 against those who were still practicing 1. As the conflict turned inward and progressed to 4, a group of fundamentalists sought to return to a more moderate position in regards to separation. This group of fundamentalists, self-identified as "new evangelicals" practiced only 1 and 2. The remaining fundamentalists continued to practice 3 and 4. 2000s Fundamentalism/Evangelicalism Evangelicalism splintered into progressive evangelicals (doctrinal error) resulting in new "apostates" and those who fellowshiped with them (1). Conservative evangelicals continued to practice 2 against the old and new apostates. Hyper fundamentalists practiced 4, but they called it 3, not wanting to admit the true nature of their practice. A new breed of fundamentalists from the younger generation, calling themselves "historic fundamentalists" practiced 3. They separated from apostates and those who fellowshiped with apostates, but they were no longer willing to separate from conservative evangelicals who were practicing 2. Conservative evangelicals did not fellowship with apostates, but they weren't overly concerned about fellow believers who did. It seems that conservative evangelicals (2) and historic fundamentalists (3) are making a rapproachment. There is considerable fellowship taking place between these two causing quite a cocnern among the older generation of fundamentalists as represented by DBTS, NBBC, BJU, etc. Very gracious men, like Doran (a 4 who thinks that he's a 3), are trying to address this issue. Will there be a coming together of conservative evangelicals and historic fundamentalists into a new movement?