What’s Happened to Biblical Fundamentalism?
After researching one of my first teachers at seminary, Dr. James D. Price, I found this information.
Dr. Price was my “Exodus to Deutronomy” class professor and a Hebrew language expert at Temple Baptist Theological Seminary, in Chattanooga, TN. At the time he was also executive editor for the OT portion of the NKJV. I walked into his office one day and saw the draft of the OT text on his counter. It was at least 5-6″ tall of 8×11 sheets! Sadly, his work has been maligned by radicals in KJV-onlyism. This kind of reaction is the cause of such things as discussed below, and is a vivid reminder of the multifaceted approach of our adversary to reverse the Truth and promote the Lie.
(Copied from… About Damien T. Garifolio)
“The true Christian was intended by Christ to prove all things by the Word of God, all churches, all ministers, all teaching, all preaching, all doctrines, all sermons, all writings, all opinions, all practices. These are his marching orders. Prove all by the Word of God; measure all by the measure of the Bible; compare all with the standard of the Bible; weigh all in the balances of the Bible; examine all by the light of the Bible; test all in the crucible of the Bible. That which cannot abide the fire of the Bible, reject, refuse, repudiate, and cast away. This is the flag which he nailed to the mast. May it never be lowered!” — John Wycliffe
Christianity thrives on challenge. This is how we grow closer to the Lord on a personal level. It is also how the church flourishes in her task to fulfill the Great Commission. Christianity has always been under attack from various enemies, and God has gloriously gifted His people with men and movements to counter those attacks. One such movement began about the turn of the twentieth century. It was known as fundamentalism. This brave movement which swept across a variety of denominations arose to confront the challenges of its day: rationalism, higher criticism, skepticism, and Darwinianism – all of which are referred to generally as modernism. The modernists undermined the fundamental truths of Christianity, and the fundamentalists were willing to do battle royal for those truths.
As fundamentalism carried on, however, it shifted its combative focus away from modernism and toward secondary differences among Christian brethren. By “secondary” we mean not imply that these things are not important, but that they are not fundamental, that is, necessary, to the Christian faith. No longer was fundamentalism about defending the inspiration, authority, and inerrancy of the Bible; the resurrection of Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, His miracles, His blood atonement, and His deity; or salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Rather, fundamentalists began to direct their contention toward Christians who simply did things differently: dress standards, music standards, Bible versions, worship service times, and style. While all this is taking place, more challenges are rising up to attack Christianity. The New Atheism, political correctness, and militant Islam are just a few examples of how the absolute truths of Christian teaching are once again being undermined. If fundamentalism is to stand for what it intended to stand for, it should once again direct its militant spirit toward these enemies, not our brothers and sisters in Christ.
The author of this blog was part of a young generation of fundamentalists becoming disillusioned with this movement, who love and treasure its ideals and its history, but see an incredible gap between philosophy and application. This blog was one of many that seek to provoke others within this movement to begin a rebuilding process so that fundamentalists may meet the challeneges of today and tomorrow. However, I have since been convinced that the only way to salvage fundamentalism is to leave it. This blog does not serve as an anti-fundamentalist soap box, but a way for those in fundamentalism, who see the same problems, so hopefully find some answers to their questions. In addition to this, it must be pointed out that evangelicalism is not perfect. All segments of Christianity ought to carry the banner, “Semper Reformada: Always Reforming.” It is necessary to constantly reform so that we may be more like Christ. If we can admit this necessity in our personal walks with the Lord, we should be able to admit it concerning doctrine as well.
Biblicism can be both a negative and positive term. I hope to use the latter here. Instead of focusing on narrow-minded Bible thumping, I seek to use the definition that points to the centrality of the Bible as our source of Truth. It is the source of Truth only because Christ is the Truth. If Christ, the Truth, gave us His Word, we must constantly return to it. To meet the challenges of our generation, Christianity needs a Return to Biblicism.
7 comments so far
Albert Medina on July 30, 2008
Hi fundamental Biblicists,
I found your blog while reading some comments about teetotalism from fundamental Baptist pastor Kent Brandenburg’s blog. A quick look at your blogroll and recommended links reveals where you are coming from theologically. We are on the same ground.
I was raised “neo-evangelical,” and was attracted for some time to Baptist fundamentalism. By God’s grace, I ended up where you are now. I hope to see your thoughts on that controversial issue called “second-degree separation.” Reformed Christians hardly talk about that anymore. Thanks. 🙂
Hutch on November 1, 2008
I’ve taken the liberty of posting about your blog, and hope that it will send some traffic your way! The post will be up tomorrow in the early morning.
I, too, feel that fundamentalism has lost its historic roots, and wandered from the intentions of the men that founded the movement. Unfortunately, evangelicalism, as well, is now a movement with no boundaries whatsoever, so it seems we must carve out a new movement of our own!
Thank you for your well-written posts, and I’m glad to have found you, and added you to my blogroll.
ModernBibleReader on May 13, 2009
Unbelieveable! I love this blog – I stumbled over it, and LOVE the analysis of DA Waite’s process of how he distorts quotations and his logical fallacies. I’ve long suspected his “evidence” was bogus, but didn’t have the resources to find these quotes. I am very glad to see someone who does actually print the whole, unedited, undistorted quotes. This proves he is intentionally and willfully creating a distorted view to support his position, not letting the facts speak for themselves. People don’t have the resources to track down these obscure quotes.
Would you put a third-party fringe candidate in charge of your country? Would you put a homeopathic remedy salesman in charge of your hospital? Would you put a changeling in charge of your daycare? Would you put DA Waite in charge of Bible preservation?
The Bible Didn’t Say -or- The Bible Says That? « Blogthechurch’s Blog on March 4, 2010
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Robert Tewart on May 16, 2010
Hello. Just wanted to drop a note to let you know I think you have a really good blog here. I’d love to exchange links with you. If you scroll down on the right sidebar at my site (www.streetfishing.org) you’ll find a nifty graphic link. Just copy the code and add to your site. OR you can just make a text link if you prefer. I’d be happy to do the same. You can reply at my email–firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep up the good work.
Jamie on August 17, 2010
Do you have a bigger copy of the Tony Hutson picture you have posted on your blog?
Linda on October 6, 2011
I read your post about not blogging anymore – at least for now. I want to let you know I just found your blog last night when I was searching for some answers for my son who has been seriously questioning the validity or prayer, Jesus’ death upon the cross, etc. and your site for prayer really helped me with some of the answers for him – some things for him to think about. Thank you so much for leaving these posts here.
Please do not feel guilty blogging when you feel you should be studying. Your posts will reach the people God wants it to reach even though you may never know who all those people are. You aren’t just blogging – you are ministering to the world and there are those of us who will find it. I hope you will one day feel moved to take up posting here again.