I have three blog posts I've really wanted to write, but they are difficult to write without spending a lot of time. I'm a percentage done on all three and can't finish any of them. I've been in this condition for three weeks. I'm still writing posts though. Today, I make it easy on myself for another day by attempting to put myself in a chart done by Tyler Robbins on SharperIron, which he has titled, "A REPORT CARD ON BAPTIST FUNDAMENTALISM IN 2018." People at SharperIron have attempted to do this on various occasions and I knew that comments would explode for this post.
What I'm going to do here is attempt to put myself in his chart where I fit and see which category I must be of his four categories: fundigelicals, "movement fundamentalists, cultic fundamentalists, and reformed-ish fundamentalists. I have said that I'm not a fundamentalist, but I'm sure most would say that I am. I really am not, but there isn't another category for me by Tyler Robbins. He doesn't have evangelical, fundamentalist, and then whatever. I think I'm whatever, but I'd be happy to hear explained why I'm not. I'll use his descriptors in the left hand column to place me in a category.
Leadership and Style
Here our church is dual elder and collaborative approach, which he has as reformed-ish. We have two pastors and I don't consider the other pastor my assistant. I don't see "assistant pastor" in scripture, but I do see multiple elder. We have two. We work together at this. In a typical month six different men will preach/teach.
Here "movement" fundamentalist and reformed-ish are the same, excellent, systematic doctrine emphasized. I don't think anyone who listens to me preach or our other men, watches our conference, or reads my blog would think we're characterized like the other two categories, fundigelicals or cultic fundamentalists. I know we're not uneven quality, shallow, and indoctrinating.
I would have to understand what the descriptions mean here. I'd be glad to take the scripture, biblical and systematic theology, to any ecclesiology of any of the four categories. Inbred Landmarkism? I have to guess that he means men who have mimicked each other in their view of the church, apparently proceeding from mid-nineteenth century Southern Baptist church leaders, not the Bible or even historic. English separatism isn't cultic? I would debate this any day.
Does parachurch fall in here? What kind of authority do these institutions have? Why are they so powerful in fundamentalism?
On his chart, I have to be "movement" fundamentalist, to be honest. I don't see them fight for the gospel like our church does. They also don't emphasize lordship, that I see. I've been generally attacked by "movement" fundamentalists on the gospel.
Tyler misses it here. I don't see cultic fundamentalists today with a major emphasis on separation, if he's including Paul Chappell, Clarence Sexton, and that crowd. I don't see Detroit as exemplary. Central is better as fundamentalists go. Hobby horses, I would guess, would include music. Central has that hobby horse too, so where does music come into play? I can't find myself in this category.
Does church discipline fall under separation? I was in movement fundamentalism and I never saw it practiced, ever. Ever.
I could only be reformed-ish fundamentalist here. We are building the kingdom through biblical evangelism, making disciples -- no gimmicks. Our concern is glory to God through faithfulness to His Word.
I could only be reformed-ish fundamentalist here, based on his description.
I could only be with his reformed-ish fundamentalist description --- our preaching is 90 percent exposition.
Perhaps two other categories could be added, the so-called cultural issues, which could include complementarianism, or no? You could also include worship. Which of the four categories keep a high view of God in the worship? I wouldn't put all of the reformed-ish in that description. Not all of movement fundamentalism is either. Does that mean nothing? Or is it a hobby horse?
Tyler did the best he could. It's a tough task that will be criticized by others. Everyone has a bias. I think he's open to correct where others point out that bias.
On most of these, Tyler would have me, our church, at reformed-ish fundamentalist. He might feel the necessity to call us cultic. We use and defend the King James Version. We separate over every teaching of scripture. We are local only in ecclesiology. Where do you think we fit? Use your name and give an explanation. Most anonymous comments will be deleted.