Ironically, I'd be more comfortable if they'd expanded their reach to include Muslims, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and any other willing group. They could have skirted the problematic mutual affirmation of Christian status and simply called themselves "people of faith." But I'd be most comfortable if they adopted John MacArthur's conviction that "the document falls far short of identifying the one true and ultimate remedy for all of humanity’s moral ills: the gospel." I've written more times than I can remember about evangelicalism's obsession with cultural transformation at the expense of the centrality of the gospel (and this certainly applies to many fundamentalists as well).
But I really want to make another point. In his earlier post, Doran said about the declaration:
At the least, it substitutes a sociological-historical definition of Christian in the place of a biblical-theological one. At the worst, it runs the risk of minimizing the biblical message of grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.As I read that comment, it occurred to me that much of fundamentalism has done essentially the same thing. I'm preparing to argue that fundamentalism has displaced and marginalized the gospel. This has happened by disconnecting the transformational power of the gospel in progressive sanctification, and by replacing the gospel with moralistic do-it-yourself reform and uniform standards of behavior and association.
In other words, fundamentalism, by and large, has prioritized a culture—a narrow set of parameters for the practice of personal and ecclesiastical separation—over the gospel. And in so doing it has redefined what it means to be a fundamentalist, every bit as much as the Manhattan Declaration has redefined what it means to be a Christian. Both errors have theological roots. And both errors strike at the gospel.