The real root of fundamentalism
1863 – Dr. A.T. Robertson, universally known as the greatest Greek scholar of his day, was born in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. In that he died in 1934 he lived during the Fundamentalist/modernist battles. However, like many of his Southern brethren he never became involved in those controversies except to oppose A.H. Strong’s pantheism. Following is one of his most famous quotes: “Give a man an open Bible, an open mind, a conscience in good working order, and he will have a hard time to keep from being a Baptist.” Baptists have long held the tenet that the Bible is our only rule of faith and practice. Literal interpretation leads one to dispensational/premillennialism. In the early days Fundamentalists could be found in most denominations but today Fundamentalism is primarily a Baptist movement. All others refer to themselves as Evangelicals. Dr. A.J. Frost, a Baptist Bible teacher addressed the 1886 International Prophecy Conference with the thesis that the world’s moral condition was “growing worse, etc.” based on II Tim. 3:13. Ernest R. Sandeen concluded that millenarianism was the root of Fundamentalism. But the real root is the literal interpretation of God’s Word. Dr. Robertson taught the book of Colossians from his Greek N.T. in the Calvary Baptist Church in New York City as Dr. H.A. Ironsides listened. Then he listened as Dr. Ironsides taught 1st and 2nd Thessalonians in English. Dr. Robertson told Dr. Ironsides that if he had his life to live over again he would be much more positive about this matter concerning premillenialism, because in all of his ministry he had never met a premillennialist who was a Modernist. [George M. Marsden, Fundamentalism and American Culture (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), p. 66. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 606-07.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
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