Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Separation and Historic Fundamentalism: Some Essential Perspective

Nate Busenitz has written a valuable analysis of the diversity of views on separation within the historic movement known as fundamentalism. Ironically, his analysis indicates that 21st century militant Southern Baptists are as separatistic, if not more so, than Bob Jones, Sr.

His conclusion:
Could it be that, for many of the first-generation fundamentalists, second-degree separation was not viewed as an explicit biblical doctrine, but rather as a wisdom issue in which biblical principles were to be applied on a case-by-case basis? This certainly seems like a plausible explanation. After all, it would explain why such godly men with similar convictions could respond so differently on the separation issue.

Of course, if it is correct, it may mean that some contemporary fundamentalists will need to rethink their own one-size-fits-all application of secondary separation... if they want to stay true to the history of their movement.
I think J. Gresham Machen may have had something to say about this. More to follow . . .


Anonymous said...

Where is the discussion about this, O Fundamentalist readers? Do you accept this thesis or are you ignoring it?

Ben said...

As much as it contradicts my principles to interact with anonymous comments, I'll point out that there is some worthwhile discussion going on at Faith and Practice, to which my original post links. I would prefer that the discussion take place there.