What Can We Learn from Christian Fundamentalists? Mark A. Minnick Responds

Editor’s Note: 9Marks Ministries recently dedicated their recent eJournal issue to discussing Fundamentalism. SharperIron has received permission from them to reprint the articles here for discussion. We will post ten articles over the next two weeks. If you would like the complete eJournal or would like to subscribe to further editions, please go to www.9marks.org.

Mark A. Minnick

minnickBefore suggesting an answer, I need to state two qualifiers. The first is that I’m writing of the Fundamentalism with which I’m familiar, not everything calling itself such. The second is that Fundamentalism isn’t fixated on a single issue. Along with conservative Evangelicals, Fundamentalists are majoring on the core scriptural truths which comprise the Christian Faith, that is, on the fundamentals. But unfortunately there’s a watershed dividing them from many Evangelicals.

It’s expressed succinctly in the title of an Iain Murray booklet called The Unresolved Controversy: Unity with Non-Evangelicals. The title strikes to the heart of the issue. We have an unresolved controversy, the scriptural rightness or wrongness of uniting in spiritual endeavor with non-Evangelicals. If I understand Murray’s concern, this evidently isn’t a great divide between only Fundamentalists and Evangelicals, but between Evangelicals themselves.

So it seems to me that one critical thing Evangelicalism could learn from Fundamentalism is the necessity of coming to a verdict on this question Scripturally. Does Scripture, either by its directives, examples, or good and necessary inferences tolerate, let alone encourage, our uniting for spiritual endeavor with teachers of another gospel?

Mark A. Minnick (Ph.D.) is the pastor of Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Greenville, South Carolina, is on the New Testament faculty at Bob Jones University, and is a contributing editor to Frontline, the magazine of the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship.

March/April 2008, ©9Marks

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