In the first part of this presentation, I suggested incorrectly that the issue that resulted in several churches pulling out of the IFBAM was Calvinism. The issue actually was something different. My apology to Dave Doran of Inter-City Baptist Church, the IFBAM, and anyone else that was hurt by that incorrect analysis. We’ll try to do better with “the facts.” Straight Ahead…..Joel
(My apology that this article has been slow in coming. I had hoped to publish this in late summer. We have been so busy here at Southeast Valley Baptist Church that I simply have not been able to take the time to finish this until now. Blessings on you as you read and think through the issues found here. Looking forward to future interaction here— regardless of what “type” you are. Straight Ahead! —Joel)
I’m getting to the place where I dislike writing. It’s not the work of placing ideas on paper that is the challenge. It’s not even having good people disagree with some element of my presentation. The frustration comes when people try to read “into” what is written. Often instead of taking what is written at face value, guesses are made as to the motivation or “deeper meaning” of a composition. I am told by those who are both gifted and experienced (and I am neither) in writing that I might as well get used to it.
That being the case, we once again start this article with the obligatory fence-building. First, what I write here is simply my understanding of what is happening within Fundamentalism today. Second, I do not think I’m better than those who have a different “take” on the past, present, or future of the movement. Third, I offer the following combinations of ideas, views of history, and solutions to present challenges to Fundamentalism with a strong optimism about what God is doing with separatist ministries today.
Note: This article was originally posted November 1, 2005.
Rice, John R. I Am a Fundamentalist. Sword of the Lord Publishers. Murfreesboro, TN. 1975.
Arguably, the two grandfathers of modern Fundamentalism are Dr. Bob Jones, Sr., and Dr. John R. Rice. Jones founded Fundamentalism’s most influential school, Bob Jones University, and was at its helm from 1927 to 1968. Rice launched Fundamentalism’s most influential periodical, The Sword of the Lord, in 1934 and served as its editor until his death in 1980. Rice is called “the twentieth century’s mightiest pen” because of his many published works.
Jones wrote the forward to Rice’s biography, Man Sent from God, written by Evangelist Robert L. Sumner. In his forward, Jones described his “good friend” Rice as “one of the greatest spiritual assets this nation has.” He went on to complement Rice by saying, “Dr. Rice is doing God’s work in God’s way.”
BP News is the official press of the Southern Baptist Convention. In a recent “First‐Person” article (August 23, 2006), Albert Mohler issued “A Call for Theological Triage and Christian Maturity.” The article, which has been posted twice on Mohler’s own blog, reiterates an argument that he has repeated in several venues. It is an important argument, and Mohler expresses it thoughtfully.
Mohler’s thesis is that theological issues vary in importance, and that the level of importance affects the levels at which Christian fellowship is possible. Most important are “first‐order” doctrines. These teachings are the “most central and essential to the Christian faith.” They represent the “most fundamental truths of the Christian faith.” Indeed, “a denial of these doctrines represents nothing less than an eventual denial of Christianity itself.” Among them, Mohler lists “the Trinity, the full deity and humanity of Jesus Christ, justification by faith, and the authority of Scripture.”
Note: Dr. Sam Horn is host of The Word for Life radio program.
by Dr. Sam Horn
Unity and harmony were important themes to the Apostle Paul. He addressed these themes throughout the New Testament in passages such as Romans 12:4-5, 14-15; 1 Corinthians 10, 12; and Ephesians 4:4. Perhaps one of the clearest cases where Paul’s concern for unity and harmony is expressed is found in Philippians 4:2-3 where he addressed two women who were at odds with each other. Although Paul does not reveal the cause or nature of their division, it is obvious their conflict was well-known to the assembly and had escalated to the point that public confrontation was needed.