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“Are We Fundamentalist”
by Dr. Peter Masters   
March 17th, 2010

THERE ARE NOW TWO KINDS OF EVANGELICAL.... The old is the authentic, biblical position. The new is far off the track, not in its basic view of salvation, but in its readiness to compromise with doctrinal error and worldly ways. The new is selling the faith for earthly respect and recognition... and churches are being ruined.

Today, old-style evangelicals are in the minority.

Old-style evangelicals are often called fundamentalists, particularly in the USA. New-style evangelicals adopted the term, 'new evangelical' to describe themselves in the 1950s. ...We are told that the fundamentalist label was first coined in America in 1920 to describe militant evangelicals. ... It would be fairer to say that fundamentalist is someone who cares about the defense and preservation of the Gospel...

Those of us who are old-style evangelicals are now being labeled as fundamentalist by our critics, the new-style evangelicals. A repetition is occurring of what happened at Antioch, where the 'the disciples were called Christians first' (Acts 11.26). That glorious name was given to them by their critics....

Why are the new-style evangelicals calling us fundamentalist? They are doing so for reasons of tactical self-advantage. ... Harold J. Okenga, the distinguished Boston pastor, joined with Carl F. Henry and Billy Graham to steer American evangelicals into a more liberal position, they were keen to be known as the new evangelicals. They founded the magazine Christianity Today as the flagship journal for their new direction. ...

The new evangelicals were inclusivistic rather than separatistic. They ... urged Bible-believers to stay in compromised denominations.... Liberal scholarship was studied and in many respects embraced.... The old, sharp line between worldly activities and spiritual activities was swept away, and believers were encouraged to be much more involved in worldly culture, leisure and entertainment. ...

...the new evangelicals began to put less stress upon the new, and to speak of themselves simply as evangelicals, and the old-style believers as fundamentalists. This made them sound more orthodox. All that remained was to give the term fundamentalist an objectionable, negative image, and the new evangelicals would then appear to be mainstream.

This is precisely what is now happening in Britain. The new evangelicals are appropriating to themselves the exclusive use of the term evangelical, and calling old-style believers fundamentalists. Like their American mentors they define the latter term in the most objectionable way.

by Dr. Peter Masters Minister of the Metropolitan Tabernacle in central London A ministry started in 1865 by Pastor C. H. Spurgeon



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