When The Master’s University (TMU) hired BJU’s Vice President Sam Horn as its President and when a friendly picture of West Coast Baptist College President Paul Chappell surfaced with John MacArthur on Twitter, some of us believed that a convergence was taking place between the left flank of Fundamentalism and the right flank of Evangelicalism.
However, after only one year in office, Horn resigned as President of TMU. A year after Horn’s departure, Austin Duncan, Director of the MacArthur Center for Expository Preaching, produced a podcast (March 8, 2022) where he interviewed MacArthur on the topic “MacArthur and the Fundamentalists” (https://open.spotify.com/episode/34Dbvzbvnjctqfke7PKcSk).
There are lighthearted moments in this podcast such as MacArthur’s recollection of the Southern Baptist Convention’s W. A. Criswell calling him a “Baptist”. MacArthur also remembers when R. C. Sproul suggested “Imputationalists” as a possible label for Bible-believing Christians. MacArthur replied to Sproul, “That’s not going to work, R. C. They’re going to think we’re cutting off people’s limbs!”
Springing off of MacArthur’s conversation with Sproul, Duncan asks, “If MacArthur isn’t entirely comfortable with the term ‘evangelical’, would he embrace the term ‘fundamentalist’?” Duncan observes that MacArthur has a “tenuous relationship with Fundamentalism;” he “appreciates aspects of it, but doesn’t identify with it.”