a conversation on fundamentalism, Presbyterians, and other stuff

The Bayly brothers, David and Tim, are long-time ‘on-line friends’ of mine. I have been corresponding with them for so many years I can’t remember how long its been. Though we have some theological differences (of course) and some philosophical differences, I find their courage and straight talk to be very refreshing in our mealy mouthed age.

Over the last few days, an interesting discussion has been going on in response to a post of Tim’s regarding the question: Is the PCA fundamentalist? I have had a couple of comments in the thread, but much more prominent names have also. The comments are drifting in a couple of different directions, as comments are wont to do, but I think the thread is worth reading for a number of reasons.

One of the comments comes from Rick Philips, a PCA pastor in Greenville who blogs over at a site called Reformation 21. Don’t miss his analysis of fundamentalism at about comment 35 or 36.



  1. Don, I”m not sure what Rick means by “feudalistic ecclesiology of institutional control.”

  2. Well, I agree, it is unclear. I think he is talking about the leadership role educational institutions seem to play, as opposed to primarily leadership of pastors/churches, but perhaps that is simply my reading into his comment.

    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  3. Feudalistic control is easy to understand IMO. They, as Phil Johnson has described, don’t give due process. It is like an old boys club. Of course, this is interpreted as bitterness, which does more to illustrate the truth. I’ve never been happier outside of the influence of the feudalistic control. What I’ve heard it called through the years is “bowing to Greenville.” You could replace “Greenville” with Watertown or Detroit.

    It’s possible that things have changed, because I’m not in the loop any longer, but it is what I witnessed when I was in it.