Facts for Fundamentalists to Face -- By: George W. Dollar

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 124:494 (Apr 1967)
Article: Facts for Fundamentalists to Face
Author: George W. Dollar

Facts for Fundamentalists to Face

George W. Dollar

[George W. Dollar, Professor, Historical Theology, Dallas Theological Seminary.]

Fundamentalism in America is facing many new tests which threaten its survival. Like a mighty ocean liner, American Christianity is caught today in a wild and treacherous storm. Waves are mountain-high, and everywhere there is peril, loss of life, and uncertainty in course and direction. Some have chosen to stay with the ship and attempt to influence its course. Others have manned a lifeboat and sought to escape. Although depleted in numbers, they still attempt to follow their Captain. In such an hour fundamentalism needs to assess old and new dangers and to seek new Spirit-given power to survive the dangers of the contemporary ecclesiastical storm.

Contemporary Evangelicalism

Fundamentalism is faced today with a new evangelicalism more inclusive in its fellowship and more tolerant of doctrinal variation. Fundamentalists have been hard put to know how far to co-operate with and how far to resist this tendency. The dilemma facing many individuals and Christian organizations is that to resist or to criticize is to be labeled reactionary, to co-operate is to be labeled compromising. Many have attempted, accordingly, to steer a neutral course.

The recent Berlin Conference on Evangelism illustrates the problem. Although some fundamentalists refused to attend, those who did—while impressed with the unanimity of the desire to extend the preaching of the gospel to a lost world—came home with some misgivings. Can a true program of evangelism be built upon a theological structure in

which some of its leaders—especially continental theologians—are known to have serious questions concerning the inerrancy of Scripture and other cardinal doctrines. The recognition of Oral Roberts, famous Pentecostal preacher widely known for healing meetings and emphasis on charismatic gifts, raised questions with others. Many considered the congress a setback for the ecumenical movement in that the congress was a show of strength of evangelicals with reference to the World Council of Churches. Others considered it capitulation to ecumenicalism in that there were few doctrinal standards erected and fellowship was widely inclusive. Fundamentalists who are concerned are faced with lack of organization, finances, or means to correct or to improve the situation.

Contemporary Romanism

History is replete with evidence showing the antagonism of Romanism to Biblical Christianity. Its historic persecution of protesting saints, its drive for world power, and its animosity to Biblical evangelicalism has been evident.

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