What Fundamentalism Must Do to Survive: Fundamentalism’s Great Red Herring

In order for Fundamentalism to survive as true historic Fundamentalism, the belief in and defense of fundamental doctrines that are essential to the Christian faith, we have noted so far that Fundamentalism must embrace criticism, recognize it is in a fight for survival against internal problems, and become willing to positively critique itself for the purpose of improvement. With that said, my second “must do” for Fundamentalism is really just a branch off of that first criticism.

Fundamentalism has grown accustom to what I like to call “Fundamentalism’s great red herring”–Evangelicalism.[1] Oh, it doesn’t take too much time in many Fundamentalist camps before you hear the call against Evangelicalism. But let me say one note of caution, for the most part, Fundamentalists critique evangelicalism fairly accurately. The accuracy of their critique is, therefore, not my critique. Further, the existence of their critique is not my critique (for we ought to identify problems). My critique is that evangelicalism has become many Fundamentalists’ red herring.
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What Fundamentalism Must Do To Survive: Embrace Criticism

The first thing Fundamentalism needs to do in order to survive as historic Fundamentalism, as Fundamentalism was intended to be, is to embrace criticism. So yes, I am criticizing Fundamentalism for not taking criticism well—-we’ll see how that turns out for me. To lay out my basic thesis, Fundamentalism must become open to criticism and self-examining. Fundamentalism also needs to owe up to its failures.
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What Fundamentalism Must Do to Survive: Preface

I would like to introduce the beginning of a new series entitled, “What Fundamentalism Must Do to Survive.” A large part of what has sparked this articles series is due to some recent events in which an extremely large segment (practically the entire movement) of Fundamentalism was attacked. (Without diverting from the issue at hand, I should add that the attack was done in a wrong method as well as included all of Fundamentalism in a critique that is only true of a portion of the movement). However, being quite a critic myself, this attack on Fundamentalism did make me think. Although this attack was invalid in several ways, it provides a great opportunity for Fundamentalists to do some searching and self-criticism in regards to what truth there was in the attack (no matter how small it may be) and to look for further problem areas of Fundamentalism, because that is always a good thing to do.

But first, allow me to give a brief definition of Fundamentalism for those who know nothing anything about Fundamentalism or those who might have a different idea of what Fundamentalism is than myself (so that we are all on the same page on how the term is used). Continue reading

The Presbyterian Seperatist: J. Gresham Machen

This is a paper I wrote my Junior year, spring semester of 2011, at Maranatha Baptist Bible College for a class entitled “Fundamentalism.” This is a narrowly focused biography of one of my heroes, J. Gresham Machen, specifically on how his actions made him a leader in the separatist movements during his day.

Machen was definitely a leader in Fundamentalism’s separatist withdrawal from liberal and modernistic ecclesiastical institutions in the 1930’s. His militancy against liberalism and those who made friends with liberals characterized the latter half of his life. He split from the Presbyterian Church to establish a pure Presbyterian denomination. He faced the difficulties of beginning a new mission board after condemning the Presbyterian board of its liberalism. He made an exodus from the moderate infested Princeton to found Westminster Theological Seminary. And lastly, his writing of Christianity and Liberalism set the doctrinal foundation for his separation. He chose the difficult path of honest devotion to the purity of orthodox doctrine by rejecting the popular path of what appeared to be unity but was truly dishonest partnership. He was certainly a man whom many found themselves able to follow in Fundamentalism’s fight of separation, and is an exemplary role model for separatists today.

PDF of Paper

Originally posted on former blog, I’m Calling Us Out.