Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Round 3

You will know this name.
The more one probes the differences between Roman and Protestant, Liberal and Evangelical, the deeper they prove to be; beneath the cracks on the surface lie fissures which run down to the very foundations, broadening as they go.

14 comments:

Michael C said...

I'm going to open the guessing with J. Gresham Machen?

Ben said...

A "reasonable and lucid" (as I would expect) but incorrect guess.

Ben said...

I know you're out there. Everybody too scared after the last one? Need hints already?

It's a living person.

Irenaeus II said...

Al Mohler said it on January 13, 1999.

If someone else said it, they probably quoted him.

Late.

Ben said...

Maybe Dr. Mohler was quoting this person, since Mohler was a great deal younger when it was originally spoken.

Andy Efting said...

J. I. Packer

Ben said...

Nice work. It's from Packer's 1958 book Fundamentalism and the Word of God. Did you remember the quote somewhere or were you taking a stab?

Here's the preceding context of the original quote:

"Christian bodies of all sorts are constantly urged to come together, sink their differences and present a united front to the forces of secularism and Communism. It is taken for granted that the differences in question are small and trifling—unsightly little cracks on the surface of an otherwise solid wall. But this assumption is false. Not all the cracks are mere superficial disfigurements, some of them are the outward signs of lack of structural integration. The wall is cracked because it is not built on the same foundation."

This, of course, preceded the 1960s ecumenism of the Anglican church, Packer's split with Lloyd Jones, and an obscure document known as "Evangelicals and Catholics Together" (ECT).

Andy Efting said...

I was taking a stab. The hints about it being a living person and someone who spoke it a great deal prior to Mohler narrowed it down to a rather small set of elderly possibilities.

Ben said...

Andy,

I'll drop that t-shirt in the mail as soon as the Paleo-gear is available. Right now I'm taking weaving classes to keep costs low. Raw cotton is pretty cheap in these parts.

truth & justice,

I'd be pretty curious to hear what exactly it was that Mohler was talking about back in 1999. You seem to have something specific in mind.

Irenaeus II said...

Actually, it wasn't Mohler. I was trying to sound authoritative on the issue by attaching a date to it.

I feel dirty now, like Jayson Blair.

Michael C said...

Truth and Justice was so confident I figured the game was over. Then Efting comes out of nowhere to claim the victory.

That is indeed an interesting quote in light of Packer's later activities.

Ben said...

Ah, the power of intimidation. Pull something out of thin air but say it loudly and forcefully enough with some specific details to imply authenticity and the masses will believe it. Pretty sneaky.

I should try this when I preach.

Andy Efting said...

An interesting quote in Evangelicalism Divided, pg. 143:

"When Dr. Packer spoke on 'Unity in Truth: the Anglican Agony' at Latimer House in 1997, he lamented that tolerance of the intolerable had become the Anglican way, yet 'felt that there was no alternative but to take G.K. Chesterton's advice and "Go on gaily in the dark!"'. These words, said the reporter, were given 'with tears in his eyes.'"

Very sad words ...

Donald C S Johnson said...

I suppose it will sound self-serving to say that I thought about that little book when I first read the quote... didn't want to stick my neck out, though... so I'll just not mention that. (g)

For those of you who have not read Packer's book on Fundamentalism and the Word of God, it is well worth reading. It was done in the late 50s, I think. One of the most valuable ideas in the book was the clear distinction Packer makes between Liberalism, Catholicism, and Evangelicalism. They all rest on entirely different foundations, he said. (That was the bit in the quote that made me think of him.)

One thing I didn't like of the book was Packer's dismissal of fundamentalism. Essentially, he said, they were useful during the fight with modernism, but since that battle is over and won, we don't need them any more. (Remember this is the 50s, in the thick of the Graham/Fuller/Christianity Today compromise.)

Anyway, the book is small, it is likely available in a good library, or you can find used copies around in different places.