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Archive for June, 2011

[blog under construction]

Following are several websites listing numerous IFB (Independent Fundamentalist Baptist) links.

Being brought up with a “fundamentalist evangelical” Wesleyan Holiness background, there are several teachings which I have found different in IFB churches. For example, I knew very little if anything about eternal security or C.I. Scofield or dispensationalism until I attended an IFB church.

Nonetheless, there are many, many things in IFB churches which I truly admire. For this reason, I am providing lists of links of IFB websites. To the fundamentalists among us (Baptist and otherwise) I think you will find many of these links very helpful:

Baptist Top 1000

Baptist Top Sites

FundamentalTop500.com

IFB 1000

KJV 1611 Topsites

KJV Bible Top 500

WKJV Radio’s Top 100 Sites

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(revised 11/03/12)

In this blog, I am listing  things rarely found in Postmodern churches today (New Evangelical, Emerging, Emergent and Emergence). Conversely, these are traits you should look for when seeking a biblically sound church:

Bible versions
– Inerrancy of the Word of God
– Preservation of the Word of God
– King James Bible as the best English translation of the only authoritative sources: the Textus Receptus New Testament and Masoretic Old Testament. (However,  I oppose the heresy of Ruckmanism; click here for an article on this heresy by Bro. David Cloud, an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist.)
– Miracles – every miracle and supernatural event in the Bible is true, not figurative or a myth

Creation
– Six  literal 24-hour days of creation
– A young earth explanation of fossils, with a flood that literally covered the whole earth
– Total condemnation of all types of evolution, including theistic evolution

Discernment (preaching against false teachers)
– Repudiation of Catholicism
– Repudiation of Emerging/Emergent teachings
– Repudiation of Spiritual Formation and contemplative prayer/contemplative spirituality
– Repudiation of all false Pentecostal teachings (Word of Faith movement, Charismatic movement, Third Wave, etc.)

Eschatology
– Premillennial return of Jesus Christ
– Repudiation of Dominion “Reconstructionist” theology and Kingdom Now theology

Evangelism
– Racks of gospel/salvation tracts that don’t omit “negative” doctrines such as sin, Judgment Day, Hell, the Lake of Fire, etc.
– Church members visiting door-to-door, having county fair booths, etc. to witness about salvation through Jesus Christ
– Children’s VBS teaching children the gospel message of Christ dying on the cross for our sins

Fundamentalist distinctives
– Adherence to the teachings of “The Fundamentals” (1910-1915) [note – at this link, the various articles can be read online]. I am not referring to “fundamentalist” here simply as Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB), but in the broader sense of adherencing to the teachings of “The Fundamentals” (1910-1915). I should point out that some of the articles in “The Fundamentals” contain very serious theological errors. But, for the most part, they represent biblically sound doctrine.
– A “militant” opposition to ecumenism and false teachers
– Separation (primary and secondary) from ecumenism and false teachers

Here is a Wikipedia article on “The Fundamentals” (may not be accurate)

Gospel hymns sung such as:
And can it be that I should gain
Are you washed in the blood?
At Calvary
At the cross
Behold! Behold the Lamb of God
Behold Him now on yonder tree
The old rugged cross
There is a fountain filled with blood
There is power in the blood

[I am adding similar hymns to this list as I locate them]

Click here for hymns with the keyword “blood”

Click here for hymns with the keyword “Calvary”

Click here for hymns with the keyword “cross”

Additional sources of hymn info:

http://www.digitalhymnal.org/idxtitle.cfm
http://www.hymnal.net/songindex.php/h/A

Hell
– Preached as a lake of fire, a place of eternal damnation

“Negative” preaching

Salvation messages
– Jesus Christ preached as the only way to Heaven
– Altar calls/invitations for sinners to repent and accept Christ as Saviour
– “Crisis conversions” (making a decision, at a specific point in time, to accept Christ). This, followed by lives truly devoted to following Christ (i.e., a denial of  the heresy of  “easy believism”/ “easy prayerism”).

Services
– Many well attended services throughout the week – Sunday school, morning worship, youth group, Sunday evening service, Wednesday prayer meeting

Sins condemned
– Abortion
– Extramarital sex
– Homosexuality

Finally, a question: do the unsaved in your area believe your church preaches “foolishness”? Do they mock your church and ridicule your church? Do they say your church is “narrow minded” and “judgmental”? If not, watch out – your church is not preaching the full, true gospel – the gospel of salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. The message of “The Blood and The Cross”, as I call it. This message of the gospel is not attractive to the world, to them that perish:

17For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.  18For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.  20Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 22For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom23But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness24But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.  25Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.  26For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;  28And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:  29That no flesh should glory in his presence.  30But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:  31That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. (I Cor. 1:17-31, KJV)

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Even among fundamentalist Baptists, some fundamentalists are more separatist than others. The following article about John R. Rice 1) lists many “big names” among fundamentalist Baptists, and 2) explains their varying degrees of separation.

Note – although I would consider myself among the extreme separatists, I also love the gospel preaching of Rice and others who are not as separatist…

Following is the Wikipedia excerpt:

John R. Rice

(Wikipedia article, may not be accurate)

Separation from separationists

In 1959, Rice and Bob Jones, Sr. held a series of one-day rallies in different parts of the country in an attempt to explain the separationist position to the wavering, and Jones urged that the Sword [of the Lord] be made “the official organ” of separatist fundamentalism. Meanwhile, Rice made new, younger, friends. One was Jack Hyles, who in 1959 had become the pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana; another was Curtis Hutson, who eventually became Rice’s successor. A third was Jerry Falwell, pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia. (24)

In 1971, Rice planned a “great world conference on evangelism” that would bring together the various strands of fundamentalism. (25) But Bob Jones Sr. had died three years earlier, and his son and successor, Bob Jones Jr., objected to the inclusion in the conference program of two Southern Baptists, W. A. Criswell and R. G. Lee, whom Jones considered “compromisers and traitors to the cause of Scriptural evangelism.” (26) (It did not help that shortly before Jones Sr.’s death, Criswell had referred to him as “a senile old fool.”) (27) Jones also opposed Rice’s insistence that there be no criticism of Billy Graham (and presumably, Neo-Evangelicalism) at the conference. (28) Rice argued that his position on separation was the same as that held by Bob Jones Sr. and that there was “nobody living in this world who was more intimately acquainted” with the late evangelist. (29) Not surprisingly, Jones Jr. disagreed, and he and Rice engaged in an exchange of views about separation–Rice in The Sword of the Lord, Jones in a pamphlet, “Facts John R. Rice Will Not Face.” To Rice the importance of soulwinning trumped what he considered minor disagreements among Christians about biblical separation.

The upshot was that Rice’s planned conference was postponed and then canceled. In November 1971, Bob Jones Jr. and Bob Jones III were dropped from the cooperating board of The Sword [of the Lord] to be replaced by Jerry Falwell and Curtis Hutson. (30) In 1976, Jones, Ian Paisley, and Wayne Van Gelderen organized their own “World Congress of Fundamentalists” in Edinburgh [I located this history of the World Congress of Fundamentalists]. Unlike the split with Billy Graham, however, Rice’s refusal to agree with separationist fundamentalists like Bob Jones Jr. and Ian Paisley only enhanced the growth of The Sword [of the Lord]. By the mid-1960s, the paper had more than recovered its losses after Rice’s criticism of Billy Graham; in 1974, circulation of The Sword of the Lord was over 300,000. (31) Rice had been a major participant in shaping the two most important divisions of late twentieth-century fundamentalism, the split between fundamentalists and Neo-Evangelicals and then the creation of two fundamentalist factions: Rice’s more sentimental and irenic; Jones’s more academic, doctrinal, and confrontational.

Wikipedia Endnotes

24. Howard Edgar Moore, “The Emergence of Moderate Fundamentalism: John R. Rice and ‘The Sword of the Lord,'” Ph.D. dissertation, George Washington University, 1990, 294, 304-06
25. An advertisement in The Sword said that its purposes were to “stir revival fires…[and]promote the fellowship without compromise of fundamental churches, pastors, and people in soulwinning.” The Sword of the Lord (June 18, 1971), 4.
26. Jones to Rice, September 16 1971, in Moore, 322-323
27. Bob Jones, Cornbread and Caviar: Reminiscences and Reflections (Greenville, SC: Bob Jones University Press, 1985), 169
28. Moore, 326.
29. Moore, 336.
30. Moore, 329.
31. Viola Walden, John R. Rice: The Captain of Our Team(Murfreesboro,TN: Sword of the Lord Publishers, 1990), 527.


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While researching Fundamentalism and New Evangelicalism, I came across the following statement by David Cloud:

In the first half of the 20th century evangelicalism in America was largely synonymous with fundamentalism.

Many historians make this connection, including Mark Ellingsen (The Evangelical Movement) and George Marsden (Reforming Fundamentalism). Marsden says, “There was not a practical distinction between fundamentalist and evangelical: the words were interchangeable” (p. 48).

When the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) was formed in 1942, for example, participants included such staunch fundamentalist leaders as Bob Jones, Sr., John R. Rice, Charles Woodbridge, Harry Ironside, and David Otis Fuller.

By the mid-1950s, though, a clear break between separatist fundamentalists and non-separatist evangelicals occurred. This was occasioned largely by the ecumenical evangelism of Billy Graham. The stronger men dropped out of the NAE. The terms evangelicalism and fundamentalism began “to refer to two different movements” (William Martin, A Prophet with Honor, p. 224).(1)

David Cloud later goes on to make this disheartening statement:

Because of the tremendous influence of these men and organizations, New Evangelical thought has swept the globe. Today it is no exaggeration to say that almost without exception those who call themselves evangelicals are New Evangelicals; the terms have become synonymous. Old-line evangelicals, with rare exceptions, have either aligned with the fundamentalist movement or have adopted New Evangelicalism. The evangelical movement today is the New Evangelical movement. For all practical purposes, they are the same. “Part of the current confusion regarding New Evangelicalism stems from the fact that there is now little difference between evangelicalism and New Evangelicalism. The principles of the original New Evangelicalism have become so universally accepted by those who refer to themselves as evangelicals that any distinctions which might have been made years ago are all but lost. It is no doubt true to state that ‘[Harold] Ockenga’s designation of the new movement as New or Neo-Evangelical was abbreviated to Evangelical. … Thus today we speak of this branch of conservative Christianity simply as the Evangelical movement’” (Ernest Pickering, The Tragedy of Compromise, p. 96).(2)

I was intrigued by David Cloud’s statement above:

Old-line evangelicals
[fundamentalist evangelicals], with rare exceptions, have either aligned with the fundamentalist movement [Independent Fundamentalist Baptists or IFB] or have adopted New Evangelicalism.

Where are these “rare exceptions”? Do any fundamentalist evangelicals exist today  apart from the IFB?

I found the following lead:

In 1941, fundamentalist firebrand Carl McIntire, who had been a leader in the group that split off from Westminster Seminary in 1937, started a separatist fundamentalist  national organization called the American Council of Christian Churches (ACCC).(3)

Intrigued, I located the ACCC website. At this link I found the following statement:

The American Council of Christian Churches is a Fundamentalist multi-denominational organization whose purposes are to provide information, encouragement, and assistance to Bible-believing churches, fellowships and individuals; to preserve our Christian heritage through exposure of, opposition to, and separation from doctrinal impurity and compromise in current religious trends and movements; to protect churches from religious and political restrictions, subtle or obvious, that would hinder their ministries for God; to promote obedience to the inerrant Word of God.

Praise the Lord for this fundamentalist association!

Click here for the source of the following intriguing bio, which mentions three similar associations:

In the ministry since 1977, Rev. Tom Hamilton has pastored First Baptist Church of Anglesea, New Jersey since 1991. He has served on the Executive Committee of the ACCC since 1994, and was elected treasurer in 2002. He maintains active membership in [three associations]:

1) the Independent Baptist Fellowship of North America

2) the  Fundamentalist Baptist Fellowship [International] [FBFI – formerly the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship of America according to a Wikipedia article]
and
3) the World Council of Biblical Churches [this association is connected with the ACCC; I plan to contact the ACCC to see if the World Council of Biblical Churches has a separate website. Click here for a brief history of the World Council of Biblical Churches. Warning – this brief history is somewhat critical.]

Here are several similar associations:

Global Independent Baptist Fellowship

International Council of Christian Churches (ICCC)(4)

Other multi-denominational fundamentalist websites:

“Fighting Fundamentalist” Evangelicals (my blogsite)

The Biblical Evangelist magazine: “A Voice for Historic Evangelical Fundamentalism” (Vols. 34 on are online)

Further info on Carl McIntire can be found at:

1) http://digital.library.ptsem.edu/ead/collection/222
[a detailed biography]

2) A Wikipedia article which may or may not be accurate

3) A link somewhat critical of McIntire

4) a brief bio of McIntire [a bit critical]
http://wittenberg-door.blogspot.com/2011/05/today-in-church-history-carl-mcintire.html

5) 477 audio sermons by McIntire, at sermonaudio.com

In spite of his shortcomings, Carl McIntire sounds like a wonderful man of God. (It’s hard to differentiate between his true faults and name calling by those who opposed him.) I hope to write a separate blog about him soon.

Articles about the ACCC:

American Council of Christian Churches“, Encyclopedia of American Religion and Politics,  by Paul A. Djupe, Laura R. Olson, pp.  21-22 (online text)[the article is rather critical of the ACCC]

Wikipedia article on the ACCC [I can’t guarantee Wikipedia’s accuracy]

ENDNOTES

(1) David Cloud, New Evangelicalism: Its History, Characteristics, and Fruit

(2) David Cloud, New Evangelicalism

(3) Barry Hankins, American Evangelicals: A Contemporary History of a Mainstream Religious Movement, p. 36 (many pages are available online)

(4) For more info on the ICCC, see article on the ICCC in Encyclopedia of Protestantism, by J. Gordon Melton, p. 295)(online Google preview is available)

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(revised 01/23/15)

You say you’ve never heard of a “separatist fundamentalist” Wesleyan Holiness church? I’m not surprised – such a church is practically unheard of nowadays. Yet I would say 99% of Wesleyan Holiness churches were separatist and fundamentalist prior to 1942 (when the National Association of Evangelicals was formed, popularizing heretical New Evangelicalism). Note – I’m defining “fundamentalist” in this blog as adhering to the  Fundamentals, a series of articles between 1910-1915.

Even as late at 1970 or so, Wesleyan Holiness churches still exhibited separatist and fundamentalist traits. Specifically, they still had regular altar calls, used the King James Version exclusively, and sang hymns exclusively (no guitars, drums, etc.).

Unfortunately, today, virtually the only separatist fundamentalist Wesleyan Holiness churches are in the Conservative Holiness denominations. Read on…

————————————————————————————-

Biblically sound churches need biblically sound pastors. Such men of God are increasingly rare in these End Times. How do we find true men of God? What should we ask prospective pastors?

I am developing a list of questions for a prospective pastor, for a hypothetical separatist fundamentalist Wesleyan Holiness church. (These are the things I personally would look for in a pastor coming to my church.) Many of these questions are adapted from a list by Manny Silva.  Click here for his original list, entitled “Questions For a Prospective Pastor.” Manny Silva’s questions are marked with the notation “(MS)”.

A few of my questions reflect my personal theology. Most should be asked by every biblical church. Here are the questions:

1. A simple Yes or No answer: Are you a born again Christian?  If yes, can you give a specific date when you had a “crisis conversion experience”, when you repented of your sins and accepted Christ as your Saviour? Please share your testimony – when, where and how you accepted Christ. Also, please explain your concept of salvation. Does your concept of salvation line up with John Chapter 3? And do you believe Jesus is the only way to Heaven?

2. What is your educational background for the ministry? Were the schools you attended biblically sound? If not, why did you attend these?

3. Have you pastored, led youth, etc. elsewhere. If so, where?

4. Are you Spirit filled? We are not referring to “Spirit baptized” here. We are looking for a pastor who is mature in Christ, 100% committed to the Lord, walking in obedience to His Word,  and showing all the “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22-23).  We do believe the Holy Spirit can work today miraculously. However, the supernatural manifestation gifts have been so greatly abused, that we strongly frown on the practice of these gifts in a local church. Paul himself alluded to preaching, teaching, etc. as being more important than the gifts of tongues, etc.

5. Wesleyan Holiness – Do you follow the teachings of the “separatist fundamentalist” Holiness movement (as taught in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s)?

6. Do you consider yourself “Independent”? Can you agree to not be tied to, nor accountable to, any denomination? [This would not rule out fellowship with like minded churches.]

7. Fundamentalist – Do you adhere to the series of articles entitled “The Fundamentals” (1910-1915)? This would include 1) being “militantly” opposed to false teachers, and 2) being willing to separate oneself and one’s congregation from false teachers.

8. Evangelical – Do you consider yourself evangelical? If so, do you consider yourself Classic Evangelical, New Evangelical, or Neo-Evangelical? Please define each of these three terms.

9. What is your eschatology? Do you believe the End Times/the Tribulation is coming soon? And do you believe Christ is coming soon (either before, during or after the Tribulation)? Or do you have an Emerging/Emergent eschatology?

10. What is your philosophy of church leadership? Do you believe in taking total control? Or are you submissive to elders, deacons, and/or voting by members?

11. Do you follow a doctrinal statement? If not, why not? [Emerging/Emergent churches usually do not have doctrinal statements.]

12. If you pastored a church previously, did your church have a doctrinal statement? If so, did your church really believe and  follow its doctrinal statement? Or was it just empty words? Were there any mismatches between the church’s doctrinal statement and what you preached?

13. (MS) A simple Yes or No: Do you believe the Bible is the inerrant, infallible Word of God in everything it teaches?

14. (MS) If you answered No to question 1, who and by what authority determines which parts are in error? Please give some examples of those errors.

15. (MS) Again, if you answered No, explain how anyone can have confidence in the Bible if you claim that some parts of the Bible are in error.

16.  Do you exclusively use the King James Bible? If not, why not? We are looking for a pastor that uses the KJB exclusively in the English, yet is not Ruckmanite (click here for more info from David Cloud). This pastor should hold to the Textus Receptus-KJB (TR-KJB) position, as explained here by Bro. Cloud.

17. How evangelistic are you? Do you regularly preach salvation messages (what we call “The Blood and The Cross”)? Do you have regular altar calls? Do you send out church members to witness door to door, pass out tracts, etc.?

18. Do you have a passion for missions? Please explain your philosophy of missions. Do you feel the main goal of missionaries to help fulfil the Great Commission? Or do you believe in more of a charitable “social gospel” type of mission work?

19. (MS) Do you believe in evolution? If you do, why does the Bible describe creation as the historical way we were created?  How do you explain the New Testament references to Adam by Jesus and the apostles?

20. (MS) If you believe in evolution, does that mean that you believe that Adam and Eve were not real, since you believe we were created through evolution?  What about Romans 5:12, and other similar references in the Bible?

21. (MS) Do you believe that God does not know the future? [the heresy of open theism]

22. (MS) If yes, how does that make us confident in the Biblical prophesies, if we state that God may not know the future?

23. (MS) How does the Bible teach us to pray?

24. (MS) Do you believe that lectio divina is biblical? If so, please give solid scriptural reference that supports it.

25. (MS) Is God capable of making mistakes?

26. (MS) Whether you are familiar with Brian McLaren’s writings or not, do you consider him a Christian, if he denies the substitutionary atonement of the cross, and has stated that people can find Jesus and stay within their own faith?

27. Do you oppose abortion in all cases? If not, in what cases do you believe abortion is permissible?

28. (MS) Do you agree with Tony Jones’ statement that unrepentent homosexuals can still be Christians?

29. (MS) Do you agree with Rob Bell’s teaching that when Peter sank in the water, he really lost faith in himself, and not in Jesus?

30. (MS) Do you believe in sanctioning official ecumenical gatherings and functions with a Roman Catholic Church?

31. (MS) If Yes, is it okay then to also fellowship with Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons in their churches?  If not okay, what’s the difference and why?

32. (MS) Prayer labyrinths are very popular now in evangelical universities and churches.  What is your position on labyrinths and whether they are biblically sound?  And would you ever consider using one in our church?

33. (MS) Is the use of prayer beads or prayer ropes biblical?  If not, what is your thought on the fact that Barefoot Ministries [a Nazarene publisher] sells a book that promotes the use of prayer ropes (praying the rosary, in other words).

34. (MS) Do you believe that the Bible is the SOLE authority for Christian faith and practice?

35. (MS) Do you believe pastors should always encourage their congregation to be Bereans, in other words, don’t automatically take their word for it, but search and verify the scriptures, as Paul commended the Bereans?

Again, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Many more questions should be asked when seeking a biblical pastor. Here are some more lists of questions:

1) Questionnaire for Pastoral Candidate

2) Prospective Pastoral Candidate Questionnaire, University Baptist Church (seeking a fundamentalist pastor).

2) An Open Letter to Pastor Search Committees. I found this questionaire very interesting. It states in part, “Very few Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) churches are looking for a pastor who is theologically a liberal or fundamentalist.” The document discusses fundamentalist positions, the Southern Baptist Convention, etc. [Personally I would look for a pastor who is more fundamentalist than they are seeking.]

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I stumbled across a review of The Sword of the Lord: The Roots of Fundamentalism in an American Family, by Andrew Himes. Click here for the entire review.

NOTE – I am NOT providing these excerpts because I agree with the stance of the reviewer or the author. In many instances, they are critical of fundamentalism. Nonetheless, the book still provides many insightful historical insights. Bottom line – I do not necessarily recommend buying the book, but if you find a used or discount copy, go for it.

Following are some excerpts. I have emphasized certain points by bolding, and inserted comments in [bracketing]:

“A wonderful new book about Fundamentalism”
By rogereolson, June 8, 2011 10:05 pm
[I would not say the book is “wonderful,” but I am leaving this book review title intact]

I capitalize “Fundamentalism” because here I’m talking about the movement.  Increasingly I am adopting the practice of distinguishing between two sense of many religious labels: the movement of that name and the ethos described by that label.  For example, evangelicalism is an ethos shared by people in virtually every denomination.  [New Evangelicalism] (with a capital E) is the post-WW2, post-fundamentalist movement initially led by Billy Graham, Harold John Ockenga, Carl F. H. Henry, et al.

The wonderful new book that I highly recommend to you is The Sword of the Lord: The Roots of Fundamentalism in an American Family by Andrew Himes (foreword by Parker J. Palmer) (Seattle: Chiara Press, 2011).  Himes is the grandson of John R. Rice, one of the leaders of the Fundamentalist movement in the 20th century.  This is the biography of a family that, through that family’s history, traces the origin and evolution of Fundamentalism in America.  It is gripping, vivid, insightful, mostly accurate (I have a few quibbles with details) and especially emotionally moving to those of us who grew up in this religious milieu…

The book jumps around some, so at times it’s hard to follow the chronology, but it begins with the distant ancestors of the author and his grandfather John R. Rice, publisher and editor of The Sword of the Lord magazine who died in 1980 and age 85.  His life, recounted in detail in the book (although it is not strictly speaking his biography), was inextricably entwined with 20th century Fundamentalism of which he was, with Bob Jones and Carl McIntire (unfortunately not mentioned in the book) one of the notable leaders.

Himes’ book alternates between vignettes of the lives of his ancestors and their fundamentalist friends and associates and mini-essays about American and especially Southern evangelical Christianity.  It also contains chapters about Himes’ own life without being his autobiography.

My own interest in this subject and what kept me reading almost non-stop is more than my interest as a historical theologian especially interested in the history and theology of American evangelicalism (and Evangelicalism).  Primarily it was the similarity between Himes’ family and faith community and my own growing up.  (Himes left it as did I without it leaving us!)  I grew up in Pentecostalism and many Fundamentalists rejected us, but we shared with this genre of American Christianity most of its ethos.  (Movement Fundamentalists rejected us because of our belief in and practice of speaking in tongues, divine healing through the “gift of healings,” prophecy, etc.  We rejected them because of their outspoken criticism of us AND because we were not as seperatistic as they.  I grew up surrounded by adherents of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches [GARBC] and we did not get along even though we shared a great deal in common.)…

 Especially interesting are his insider’s accounts of his grandfather [John R. Rice’s] falling out with Billy Graham in the 1950s and then his grandfather’s falling out with Bob Jones in the 1960s.  One thing is clear about that.  Himes believes that John R. Rice’s rejection of Billy Graham, with whom he was very good friends, was [partly] over the latter’s inclusion of “modernists” in his crusades beginning with his New York crusade in 1957… 

This book is not a scholarly examination of Fundamentalism; it is a family history written from an insider’s perspective relying on lots of good research to fill in the details.  The one major problem I have with the book is the absence of Carl McIntire.  McIntire was a major leading of American Fundamentalism along with John R. Rice and Bob Jones and others mentioned in the book.  I don’t see how it is possible to give a 300 plus page account of American Fundamentalism and not even mention him.  One reason that’s an oversight is that, unlike Rice, McIntire separated from the “neo-evangelicalism” of Ockenga right at its beginning in the 1940s.  It took Rice and Jones and others until the 1950s and 1960s to separate from, for example, the National Association of Evangelicals.

One thing this book rightly makes clear is the key, cornerstone, distinctive doctrine and practice of Fundamentalism that separates it from Evangelicalism is “biblical separation.”  Rice and other Fundamentalist leaders believed it wrong for evangelicals to have Christian fellowship with heretics and people living unholy lives (as they defined holiness).  Jones and Rice fell out over the doctrine and practice of “secondary separation” with Jones emphatically advocating it and Rice being much less enthusiastic about it.  Secondary separation is the refusal of fellowship with fellow Christians who are having fellowship with heretics, modernists, unholy people, etc…

I could go on singing the praises of this book, but instead I’ll just recommend that you buy it and read it. [Again, I do not recommend buying it-DM] It’s well worth it if you have any interest in American Christian history and especially Evangelicalism including Fundamentalism.  The material about J. Frank Norris and William Bell Riley alone is worth the price!  (They were early associates of Rice’s and warhorses of the Fundamentalist movement in the 1920s and afterwords…)

This Amazon link to the book provides 53 customer reviews.

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(revised 06/14/14)

I hope to add a few more comments tying this memorial blog with the purpose of my blogsite. First, following is the text of my tribute to Dad. This was just one of the tributes read at his memorial service. [You’ll notice I am not including first name, last name, and other personal details. I am trying to keep this blog as anonymous as possible. My wife and I have been victims of identity theft, thus we try to avoid sharing personal details even of other family members.]

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for Dad
A tribute from son David

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for Dad and all the things he taught me.

 First, Dad (and Mom) taught me how to accept Jesus Christ as my Saviour. At a very young age, I remember Dad preaching salvation messages. Also, I remember Mom giving a children’s salvation message called “The Wordless Book.” It included this song by Frances J. Roberts:

 My heart was black with sin,
U
ntil the Savior came in.
His Precious Blood I know,
Will wash me whiter than snow.
And in God’s Word I’m told
I’ll walk the streets of gold.
I’ll read my Bible and pray,
And Grow in Him every day!

I received Christ as my Saviour at a young age, thanks to my godly parents.

 Second, Dad showed me how to be a good friend. Many of you in this memorial service may have been present when my wife and I got married. Dad was my best man at the wedding. I thank the Lord that Dad was in good health at the time and got to take part in a wonderful way.

Third, Dad showed me how to be a good husband. He always showed true love and care for Mom. Truly Dad followed the admonition found in Ephesians 5:25:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.”

Fourth, Dad showed me how to be a good father. He was a good listener and a good advice giver. I never saw him lose his temper, and I never heard him cuss. Here he followed the admonition found in Ephesians 6:4:

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

Fifth, Dad showed me how to study God’s Word. Dad always seemed to have his Bible in the car when he went out. Often he also had several commentaries, a huge concordance, and other sermon preparation materials. He spent hours preparing sermons, both at home and away. But even when he wasn’t preparing sermons, he was studying God’s Word. Truly Dad followed the command found in II Timothy 2:15:

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Last, I want to share about the evening Dad passed away. I had been thinking about this the last couple days before his passing: all our loved ones, and especially our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, had in a sense been getting ready to welcome Dad into their presence. When Dad passed away that evening, it was our family’s moment of greatest sorrow. But at that very same moment, Dad was experiencing his greatest joy. His loved ones in Heaven were joyously greeting him in a great time of reunion. But far more joyous for Dad, was that, for the first time, he was meeting our Lord face to face. Regarding this wonderful moment for believers, we have these words of comfort in I Corinthians 13:12:

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for Dad.

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The memorial service was a memorable one. Dad was remembered as a righteous man of God who preached the wonderful old time gospel message of salvation. I thank the Lord for all those who said “amen” to comments like this from the speakers.

The wonderful missionary relative who preached the sermon alluded to the fact that the King James Version had been “put on the back shelf.” I believe Dad grieved over this – as do I.

Another wonderful missionary relative read Scripture and prayed. He, as well as others, commented that Dad was a righteous man of God, faithful to the end.

His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.  (Matt. 25:21, KJV)

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