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.I think J. Gresham Machen may have had something to say about this. More to follow . . .
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.