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Posts Tagged ‘New Evangelicals’

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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