ABOUT  US:  CONSERVATIVE,
EVANGELICAL,  FUNDAMENTAL

 

Being non-denominational, we associate ourselves with the titles “Conservative,” “Classic Evangelical,” and “Historic Fundamental.”

 

Conservative

According to the definition of “Conservative” in the Moody Handbook of Theology, we are Conservative, “Conservative is a general term that identifies a person or organization that stands opposed to liberal Christianity and hold to the historic doctrines of the Christian faith” (Enns, 653).

 


Evangelical

According to the definition of “Evangelical” in the Moody Handbook of Theology, we are Evangelical:

The foundational doctrine of evangelicalism is the inerrancy of Scripture as found, for example, in the doctrinal statement of the Evangelical Theological Society: “The Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written and is therefore inerrant in the autographs.” Evangelicals generally hold to verbal plenary inspiration (Matt. 5:18) rather than conceptual or mechanical inspiration.

Evangelicals believe in a triune, sovereign God, coexisting as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In particular, the deity of the Son and the personality of the Holy Spirit are affirmed.

Evangelicals also teach that man was created innocent (Col. 3:10), but through Adam’s transgression sin entered the human race and is passed on to succeeding generations (Rom. 5:12). Because of the fall man is totally depraved and corrupted, requiring the grace of God to act in providing redemption. Jesus Christ paid this redemption price for the entire human race as a sufficient substitute (Matt. 20:28; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Tim. 2:6). Through His atoning death Christ satisfied the justice of a holy God and thereby reconciled man to God (2 Cor. 5:19). To affirm the reality of redemption, Christ rose bodily from the grave (Matt. 28:6), a harbinger of good things for believers who will follow in His train (1 Cor. 15:20-23). Christ ascended bodily into heaven (Acts 1:9) and will return again in His physical person (Acts 1:11).

Evangelicals are divided concerning the nature of end-time events. Premillennialists believe Christ will establish a literal kingdom on earth for a thousand years, amillennialists believe Christ’s return will usher in the eternal state, and postmillennialsits believe Christ will return after the millennium.

Salvation by grace through faith and not works is an important doctrine in evangelicalism (Eph. 2:8-9). Through faith alone, the believer is declared righteous (Rom. 5:1) and reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:19). Because the name evangelical implies “good news,” evangelicals believe strongly in evangelism, the necessity of telling the message of salvation by grace through faith (Matt. 28:18-20; Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8) (Enns, 654-655).

Although we are Evangelical, we are somewhat reluctant to use this title of ourselves because of the way classic Evangelicalism has become confused with Neo-Evangelicalism. Today, many Neo-Evangelicals boldly refer to themselves as merely “Evangelical.” Nevertheless, a distinction between the two must be made as Neo-Evangelicals generally embrace some theologically liberal beliefs with which we very definitely disagree. For some Neo-Evangelicals—though not all—these liberal beliefs have resulted in an acceptance of the social gospel, ecumenicalism, a rejection of the inerrancy of Scripture, and the acceptance of scientific theories which contradict the plain reading of Scripture. We strongly reject these teachings.

 


Fundamental

According to the definition of “Fundamental” in the Moody Handbook of Theology, we are Fundamental:

The word fundamentalist was first used in 1920 by Curtis Lee Laws, Baptist editor of the Watchman-Examiner, to identify someone who stood for the historic doctrines of the Christian faith in contrast to modern religious liberals who rejected doctrines such as the inspiration of Scripture, the deity of Christ, and the genuineness of miracles. …

Historically, fundamentalism has been used to identify one holding to the five fundamentals of the faith adopted by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. in 1910. The five fundamentals were the miracles of Christ, the virgin birth of Christ, the substitutionary atonement of Christ, the bodily resurrection of Christ, and the inspiration of Scripture. Fundamentalism has stood for the historic fundamentals of Christianity, particularly as developed in The Fundamentals. These were initially issued as twelve booklets edited by R. A. Torrey and A. C. Dixon. … The series responded to liberalism’s higher criticism; denied evolution; affirmed the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch; supported the unity of Isaiah; defended inspiration, the virgin birth, deity, and the atonement of Christ; and addressed many other issues. Writers included the conservative giants of the faith: W. H. Griffith Thomas, J. Orr, A. C. Gaebelein, B. B. Warfield, C. I. Scofield, H. C. G. Moule, A. T. Pierson, C. R. Erdman, and many others (Enns, 655-656).

Although we are Fundamental, we are somewhat reluctant to use this title of ourselves because of the way historic Fundamentalism has become confused with Neo-Fundamentalism. We strongly disagree with Neo-Fundamentalism and its militant tendencies. According to the Moody Handbook of Theology:

Whereas historic fundamentalism emphasized separatism from apostasy, later fundamentalism stressed “secondary separation”—avoidance of other conservatives who associated with liberals. … Neo-fundamentalism has remained true to the historic doctrines of the Christians faith, steadfastly defending those doctrines in pulpits and classrooms. However, although historic fundamentalism has fielded intellectual giants like Robert Dick Wilson, W. H. Griffith Thomas, Bishop J. C. Ryle, J. Gresham Machen, and many others, neo-fundamentalism has tended to reject intellectualism and seminary training.

This anti-intellectualism has resulted in aberrations of orthodoxy, particularly seen in the “King James only” movement. Even though early fundamentalists certainly believed in the inspiration of the autographs, some neo-fundamentalists have tended to go further and actually advocate the inspiration of the King James Version, even including it in their doctrinal statements.

Neo-fundamentalism has also tended toward legalism, adding explicit statements regarding behavior to doctrinal statements.

In addition, neo-fundamentalism has also advocated secondary separationism, calling for avoidance of other Christians who do not follow the same rigid standards. In advocating this attitude, neo-fundamentalism has tended toward divisiveness, splitting of churches, and fostering of ill will among genuine Christians. This is an unfortunate commentary on those who otherwise hold to correct doctrine (Enns, 660-661).

  


 Works Cited:

Enns, Paul. The Moody Handbook of Theology. Revised and Expanded Ed. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2014.