Some Fundamentals -- By: Melvin Grove Kyle

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 085:339 (Jul 1928)
Article: Some Fundamentals
Author: Melvin Grove Kyle


Some Fundamentals

Melvin Grove Kyle

Some who have wearied with the controversy between Fundamentalists and Modernists, or who are immovably wedded to one side or other of the discussion, may be disposed to turn the pages rapidly at reading the title of this article. To all such I hasten to say, do not be alarmed; I do not intend at this time to get into that boisterous controversy, however much I may belong in ft. Those who are fond of classifying everybody would, I suppose, unhestitatingly set me down as a Fundamentalist, seeing that for fifteen years I have been Archaeological Editor of the Sunday School Times. But I am not fond of flinging opprobrious titles at my adversaries—facts are better missiles,—and I rather resent having any one inform me that he is a Modernist, for I am not a moss-back. In the words of the venerable Dr. Patton, that stalwart of conservatism amidst the pygmy host of new philosophers, “I am fundamental enough to believe all the great doctrines of historic Christianity and modern enough to belong to the twentieth century.” And that is that!

The fundamentals of which I have something to say are of a very different kind. They are in some respects even more fundamental, for they have to do with the ecclesiastical life and activities rather than with doctrinal formularies. I am going to speak of the way doctrinal formularies are put into practice, which after all is the most important of fundamentals.

I. Principles

First let us remind ourselves of two fundamental principles of Protestantism, the static character of truth and the right of private judgment.

General truth is static. The common mind, guided as it ever is by that oldest of philosophies, common-sense, has never supposed anything else than that truth is static, reliable, always to be depended upon. But there is an all too prevalent philosophy abroad in these days, invading many realms of thought, sometimes grossly materialistic and sometimes vaguely idealistic, that is more akin to the theory of that old Greek philosopher, Heraclitus; that all things are in a flux. A more modern expression of the idea is that truth is evolving, has indeed no stability whatever; the truth today will not necessarily be truth tomorrow, and the truth for me may not be the truth for others. Rather, everything is going forward, moving up, even God himself! we are told that he has made considerable progress recently! Just who is the super-deity, not so mutable, who is able to stand on the sidelines and perceive all this, we are not informed.

It seems all but incredible that such an idea should gain acceptance in this of all ages. It might gain a place among the vapourings of Christ...

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