July 2, 2011

Top 10 Most Viewed #5: Three Perils of Fundamentalism’s Next Generation

Dear Guests of IDOTG:

For your consideration I am reproducing selected excerpts from Faith Pulpit, February ‘00, Three Perils of Fundamentalism’s Next Generation, by Dr. Alan D. Cole, Th.D.

I. The Peril of Persecution

One characteristic of postmodernism is not just disdain for absolutes or a debate with absolutes, but also an attack on absolutes and on those who hold them. When Fundamentalism declares positions such as the complete authority of the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17), the sin of homosexuality (Romans 1:26-27), and the leadership of the parent in the home (Ephesians 6:1), it places itself in a head-on collision with postmodernism and multiculturalism.

II. The Peril of Pride

The new generation of Fundamentalists faces the peril of thinking that they are superior to the founders of the movement. There is the temptation to look at foibles of past men and respond with disdain toward them and the positions they advocated. There is the danger of thinking that one is enlightened, and therefore that past battles were trivial. When this mindset grips a young man, he is in danger of allowing, or perhaps even promoting, a drift from the movement's founding commitments.

In a previous Faith Pulpit article (May/June 1996), Dr. Robert G. Delnay discusses “Third-Generation Christians.” He states that “in the third generation the importance of deliverance and of the founding issues gets less and less.” He further warns of the possibility that “the third generation will have brought about the end of the founder’s dream.” These trends can also be a possibility within Fundamentalism. Personal and ecclesiastical separation, and an exposition and defense of the faith can all become less significant to one who is unaware of their importance or Biblical basis. One may even reject the whole stand with the excuse that “he knows better.” He may struggle with the pride of youth and view himself as superior to those who have sacrificed for his spiritual growth.

III. The Peril of Pluralism

The next generation faces the temptation to avoid controversy under the guise of toleration.

Being a Fundamentalist is not just wearing a label. It is a firm exposition of and commitment to a theological position, and, in particular, to personal and ecclesiastical separation. It is the application of all doctrine to everyday life. It seems that some, in their attempt to promote a softer and less distinct Fundamentalism, have forsaken their commitment to its declaration and practice. At the heart of this issue is an attempt to be more relevant to mankind while forgetting faithfulness to the Lord and to His Word. When one attends ecumenical conventions for male leadership, when one uses “Christian Rock” or Contemporary Christian Music to build his youth group, when one is unwilling to defend and declare personal and ecclesiastical separation, he is guilty of religious pluralism. He is combining the world with the Word and clouding the lines of distinction between them.

What should be done in light of these blurred distinctives? We must expound the Scriptural truths of separation and apply those truths to daily living. We must recommit ourselves to holiness in the home and in the church.

For the full article follow this link to, Three Perils of Fundamentalism’s Next Generation, Faith Pulpit, February '00 -Alan D. Cole, Th.D.

Site Publisher’s Commentary:
Much of what the author speaks of from 10 years hence is unfolding before us in this present day. Some men who claim a Fundamentalist and/or separatist heritage have undertaken an on line effort (through their own blogs and the pseudo- fundamentalist Sharper Iron site) to redefine and/or, “…promote a softer and less distinct Fundamentalism.” This redefined Fundamentalism calls for toleration of non-cessationism, cultural relativism, ecumenicalism and compromises of the Gospel among so-called “conservative” evangelicals.

By making articles such as this visible to the IFB community reasonable voices are being raised afresh for this generation that they might resist calls for a compromised “softer and less distinct Fundamentalism.” Three Perils of Fundamentalism’s Next Generation may help vulnerable young fundamentalists choose holiness, righteousness and fidelity to the Scriptural mandates for personal and ecclesiastical separatism in the face of a competing message.

Originally Published June 2010-
Three Perils of Fundamentalism’s Next Generation

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