What does 'FUNDAMENTALISM" mean to you?

Discussion in '2006 Archive' started by MRCoon, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. MRCoon

    MRCoon
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    I have been surprised by the change in Fundamentalism from what I grew up with in the 70's & early 80's. Back then very few would acknowledge or willing accept the tag of Fundamentalism and this was usually saved for those "kooky independent fire-and-brimestone preaching" baptist churches. Now it seems to be a more acceptable and washed-out tag. :confused:

    In the late 80's when I joined the military I was running from God, my Dad's Church, my parents religion, and my limiting christianity (or so I thought). After being away from Church and God's leading for over 10 yrs I guess I missed a lot of the changes and so I'm curious what everyone's definition of "FUNDAMENTALISM" is.

    BE NICE [​IMG] and respectful of each one's opinion. This is not a point/counter-point kind of thread...I just want to see what the differences are. [​IMG]
     
  2. Bob Dudley

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    Someone once said that anyone who subscribed to the Sword of the Lord newspaper - so, I guess that'd be me [​IMG]

    I like Curtis Hutson's definition. He said anyone that was separated and believed in the five fundamentals of the faith: divine inspiration, virgin birth and deity of Christ, substitutionary death of Christ, bodily resurrection of Christ, and the literal second coming of Christ.

    I’d probably add that most fundamentalists (though not all) are KVJO types.

    I also think there is another group emerging: Biblicist. They are like fundamentalists but not as separated (they’ll talk to others) and are usually not KJVO people.
     
  3. John of Japan

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    As you know, I grew up in a prominent Fundamentalist family. So Fundamentalism to me is a normal state of mind! :D

    Growing up Fundamentalist wasn't enough, though. I studied carefully on my own both the history of the movement and the positions of the movement, and I met personally and got to know and hear preach many of its luminaries. Here are my conclusions.

    (1) To be a Fundamentalist you must stand for the Fundamental doctrines. There are many lists of the Fundamentals, but my own, based squarely on the Scriptures which point out the "must believe" doctrines of the Bible, consists of: (a) the verbal plenary, that is to say "God-breathed" (2 Tim. 3:16) inspiration (Rev. 22:18-19); (b) the doctrine of Jesus Christ (2 John 9-11), including His deity, virgin birth, incarnation, substitutionary death on the cross, resurrection and 2nd coming; (c) the Gospel of Christ, meaning His substitutionary atonement for our sins through His death and resurrection (Gal. 1:6-8). If you will look carefully at each of these Scriptures, you will see that God gave severe warnings to those who get these wrong, and that is why they are my list of the Fundamentals.

    (2) To be a Fundamentalist, though, it is not enough to believe the Fundamentals. Every Evangelical does that. It is also necessary to stand for the Fundamentals. This means a Fundamentalist will oppose false doctrine, including historically the doctrines of liberalism (a strictly human Christ, the social gospel, evolution, a Bible only inspired in a human way, higher criticism, etc.). Fundamentalists often paid a price for their stand. Just before I was born, my grandfather was blackballed from the Texas Baptist Convention for opposing evolution at Baylor U., his alma mater. Later my father also took a stand and left the SBC after planting churches for it in Kansas in the early 1950’s.

    (3) The Fundamentalism I grew up with had standards of personal separation: "I don't drink, smoke or chew, or run with them that do!" This is often excoriated as "legalism" (the belief that works produce holiness), and in some cases in the modern IFB movement might become that. However, it was much more a result of the holiness concepts of the Keswick movement and such Evangelical/Fundamental Bible conferences as the Lake Winona conferences I attended as a boy. The Fundamentalism I grew up with had standards not for the purpose of becoming holy, but to "keep unspotted from the world"--that is, to avoid temptation and avoid tempting others.

    (4) The Fundamentalism I grew up with included a strong emphasis on personal evangelism, as opposed to the non-evangelistic social action of the social gospel or even the New Evangelicalism. Fundamentalists are often excoriated as not believing in social action, but that is a lie. The Fundamentalism I grew up with believed in social action for the purpose of winning souls. That is why "rescue missions" for alcoholics, the homeless and drug addicts were started by Fundamentalists all over the US. I've been to them or preached in them ever since I was a boy.

    Notice the things not included in the Fundamentalism I grew up with in the 1950's and 1960's. It does not include the doctrine of preservation, which did not become prominent in the movement until the 1970's and 1980's. It also does not include an exclusivistic attitude that, "There are only two of us Fundamentalists left, MRCoon, and I've been worried about you, lately!" :eek:

    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!
    [​IMG]
     
  4. MRCoon

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    Hey thanks for working me into that post buddy! ;) I appreciate it, but it was you I was worried about what with your Japanese MV Bibles and all [​IMG] You know I'm just kidding :D
     
  5. gtbuzzarp

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    Since we're on the topic, I thought this might be interesting. This is what "Fundamentalism" means to Rick Warren. Well, at least according to the person that wrote the response for him.
    Click here:
    Warren's Fundamentalism Clarification

    If you recall Warren previously said that fundamentalism (Muslim, Jewish, secular, and Christian) was one of the big enemies to the 21st century.

    Click here: (scroll to the bottom of the article)
    Fundamentalism is Big Enemy of 21st Century

    I never thought I was, but the way John of Japan puts it, I just might be a fundamentalist!
    Who would you say are the most notable "fundamentalist" theologians or had the biggest influence?
     
  6. Plain Old Bill

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    John of Japan You have it right. I think that fits into the R.A. Torrey description of Fundamentals.
    I suppose most people here would consider me a fundamentalist.I would consider myself a fundamental Biblicist. I am not KJVO but preferred.
     
  7. Plain Old Bill

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    Oh by the way my hero in the fundamentalist circles is John R. Rice.
     
  8. John3v36

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  9. Plain Old Bill

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    Right.I think most everybody here has thier own personal copy.
     
  10. Bob Dudley

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    Yep, both hard copy AND on the computer. Never leave home without them!
     
  11. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Pray for me that I don't go apostate! :D
     
  12. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    What a coincidence, Plain Old Bill--mine too! ;) ;)
     
  13. Plain Old Bill

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    Great minds think alike. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  14. John of Japan

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    Hi, gtbuzzarp.

    In the clarification article you gave the link to, it says this: "Now, if you believe that these fundamental truths are essential to the Christian faith, then you are a "fundamentalist" in the very basic sense of the word, and within that definition and context Saddleback Church is unapologetically fundamentalist."

    This shows a profound ignorance of the history of the movement. As I mentioned above it is not enough to simply believe the fundamentals, one must take a stand against false doctrine, in particular liberalism, to be a true Fundamentalist.

    I'll have to answer your question about theologians later--gotta go on "dendo" (evangelism) with Habazaki San. [​IMG]
     
  15. menageriekeeper

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    Speaking from a liberal point of view, JoJ's definition of fundamentalism is what I grew up with.

    I tossed out #3 and became a liberal when it became apparent that those teaching me this couldn't tell me why they believed smoking and playing cards were sins worthy of hell. This kind of thinking is that makes fundamentalists cross the line into legalism.
     
  16. John of Japan

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    Fundamentalist Scholars

    If you look through the authors of the articles in The Fundamentals, you see many of the early scholars of what we might call "Original Fundamentalism." The editor, R. A. Torrey, was an evangelist but also a true scholar with degrees from Yale. When he did further grad study in Europe he struggled with higher criticism, coming out a Biblicist. I would call him the "Father of Fundamentalism." Anything he wrote is good!

    Other well-known scholars in The Fundamentals include: James Orr (his view on inspiration was influential), W. H. Griffith Thomas, James M. Gray, B. B. Warfield, C. I. Scofield, G. Campbell Morgan, A. C. Dixon, etc. Therefore, "Original Fundamentalism" was a fairly "big tent" movement.

    These early Fundamentalists led the fight in several major denominations to oust the theological liberals. The biggest battles were in the Northern Baptists (later American Baptists), Southern Baptists and Presbyterians. Leaders in these fights during the 1920's to 1930's included A. C. Dixon and W. B. Riley (Northern Bapt.), J. Frank Norris (SBC), and in the Presbyterians B. B. Warfield (though he preferred the term “Bible believer”), Francis Schaeffer and Carl McIntyre.

    Unfortunately, the battle was lost in all of these denominations (though it heated up again later in the SBC). The Conservative Baptists came out of the Northern Baptists (and later the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship out of the Conservative Baptists when they didn’t deal with their own problems), the Southwide Baptist Fellowship was born out of the Fundamentalists in the South who came out of the SBC, and the Bible Presbyterians were born when Warfield and others were defrocked.

    In the 1950’s a new controversy heated up when New Evangelicalism was born. I won’t take time to describe that here. If you’ll look for my BB thread last year, “What Would You Have Done in 1957?” you will see my take on that. http://www.baptistboard.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi/topic/10/5602.html?

    Leaders who emerged in the 1950’s and stood as Fundamentalists in that controversy included John R. Rice (my grandfather), who had vast influence until he died in 1980 through his paper, The Sword of the Lord, Bob Jones, Sr. (founder of Bob Jones U.), Lee Roberson (founder of Tennessee Temple, my alma mater) Monroe Parker (a mentor of mine), Ernest Pickering and Carl McIntyre of the Bible Presbyterians. However, Francis Schaeffer took the New Evangelical side. If you’ll read Schaeffer’s The Great Evangelical Disaster, you’ll see that Schaeffer in his later years took a stand against evangelicals who believed in an errant Scripture, and I got the impression that he wished a little for the old days!

    In the 1970’s Jack Hyles and Jerry Falwell emerged with their super churches and different visions for Fundamentalism. Hyles and his “Pastor’s School” promoted church growth, and Falwell promoted political action with his “Moral Majority.” In the meantime, the fight in the SBC heated up again, in particular over Biblical inerrancy, and is still going on. That is a story all in itself. I left for Japan in 1981, and you probably know much of how things have gone since then.

    Gotta finish my Japanese income taxes, due today. Sayonara. [​IMG]
     
  17. John of Japan

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I'll have to admit there are ignorant Fundamentalists who think a lack of personal separation is what makes a liberal. Anyone who thinks this, however, does NOT understand liberalism like the Fundamentalists I grew up with (and hang around with nowadays). Theological Liberalism is a movement stemming from German rationalism that disbelieves and even opposes fundamental doctrines such as the deity of Christ, His virgin birth, the inerrancy of the Bible, etc. I seriously doubt that you are a liberal, menageriekeeper. I suggest you claim the term "evangelical" instead. ;)
     
  18. MikeinGhana

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    The extremists in any movement always get the most press. That is sad because it tends to drive people away. Most true fundamentalists are not extreme in their views of separation and standards. There may come a time when we true fundamentalists will give ourselves a new label to distance ourselves from those who give us a bad name.
     
  19. Joseph M. Smith

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    When labels get tossed around in the popular press or just in everyday parlance, they soon lose precision. "Fundamentalism" as applied to various groups, particularly Muslim activists in places like Iran, seems to refer to a certain rigidity of attitude and exclusivism of perspective rather than a particular set of ideas. I have heard people speak of someone as being a "fundmentalist liberal" to refer to an intransigent attitude.
     
  20. John of Japan

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    True, Mike. I've already heard more than one Fundamentalist leader discuss this. At a meeting in Tokyo just over 10 years ago, I heard Dr. Bob Jones III say just what you did. [​IMG]
     

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