What Can We Learn from Christian Fundamentalists? Matthew C. Hoskinson 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.

Matthew C. Hoskinson

hoskinsonNothing is more critical to the Fundamentalists’ mindset than to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered. They take this responsibility with a laudable gravity. Doctrines are examined to see whether they are in keeping with the faith. Practices are evaluated to determine whether they reflect godliness or worldliness. Their goal in both respects is to guard the gospel from doctrinal and practical aberrations that would dilute its message and power.

Like all Christians, Fundamentalists are subject to the problem of depravity. Consequently, they themselves may deviate into aberrant doctrine (e.g., KJV-onlyism). Sometimes, their practical applications appear to be as important as (or even more important than) the gospel. At other times, they may separate from a brother or sister without taking time to understand the work of Christ in that person’s heart. These errors notwithstanding, their biblically-rooted desire is to take seriously the call to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered. Broader Christianity would do well to imitate that mindset.

Matthew C. Hoskinson (Ph.D. Theology) is the pastor of ministry vision at Heritage Bible Church in Greer, South Carolina.

March/April 2008, ©9Marks

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