are you a fundamentalist?

The question was asked of D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in this interview. The question comes at about the 5:50 mark. The follow-up question, ‘what is the difference between you and the fundamentalists?’

Are you a Fundamentalist?

Very interesting.



  1. Brian Ernsberger says:

    Thanks Don, for finding this interview. Interesting indeed. He draws on a bit of the caricacturization of fundamentalism as being the fundamentalism that he is not. Sad, because he was very much “fundamentalistic” if I may coin a new term. He considered himself a “conservative evangelical.” Again, interesting that he would use that term in 1970 in this interview. Just a few years earlier, Dr. Robert Lightner, in his book, Neo-Evangelicalism, would write in the definition chapter, this for conservative evangelicalism, “Some evangelicals believe the term evangelicalism should be prefaced by the word conservative because some liberals claim to be evangelical. It does not seem necessary, however, to further clarify the term evangelicalism in this way. If and when the liberal uses it, he ought to define it because one cannot truly be an evangelical and a liberal at the same time.” The first edition of this book was published in 1959 and the second edition in 1965.
    I think early on the evangelicals recognized to some extent that their movement was starting to cover a wide expanse of what called itself Christianity. From the break with Fundamentalism to its right and extending to the left to “infiltrate” liberalism. That indeed has become a wide expanse of beliefs.

  2. Keith says:

    Evangelical originally just meant protestant. So, a conservative evangelical was a conservative protestant and a liberal evangelical was a liberal protestant. You could also be a conservative or liberal Roman Catholic.

    Long before the ’70s Fundamentalism had earned itself a bad reputation — deserved or not. And, in Britain they did not have the same split as we did with the fundies/neos. They had their own splits (Packer types and Lloyd-Jones types), but it played out differently.

    • Well, actually, your understanding of Evangelical is quite deficient. Here is the definition:

      Also, e·van·gel·ic. pertaining to or in keeping with the gospel and its teachings.
      belonging to or designating the Christian churches that emphasize the teachings and authority of the Scriptures, especially of the new testament, in opposition to the institutional authority of the church itself, and that stress as paramount the tenet that salvation is achieved by personal conversion to faith in the atonement of Christ.
      designating Christians, especially of the late 1970s, eschewing the designation of fundamentalist but holding to a conservative interpretation of the Bible.
      pertaining to certain movements in the Protestant churches in the 18th and 19th centuries that stressed the importance of personal experience of guilt for sin, and of reconciliation to god through Christ.
      marked by ardent or zealous enthusiasm for a cause.
      an adherent of evangelical doctrines or a person who belongs to an evangelical church or party.

      evangelical. Unabridged. Random House, Inc. (accessed: March 24, 2011).

      You can see by number 4 that it didn’t originally just mean protestant.

      It is well known that the experience in Britain isn’t the same as North America. I think Lloyd-Jones was more of a fundamentalist than he thought he was. I don’t think he had a clear grasp of the distinctiveness of the term or of the significance of the issues. He did have experience in N. America, but it was limited and I don’t think he quite understood how things stood over here.

      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3

  3. Keith says:

    Well, actually Don, my understanding my be deficient, but yours appears to be truncated.

    There were centuries before the 18th (I know it’s hard to believe). And, in those centuries — especially in the Lutheran countries, but also in the Anglo world — evangelical was used to designate non-Roman Catholic.

    For proof, just look at any number of Lutheran church buildings which — usually in German — have a cornerstone indicating that it is an “Evangelische Kirche.”

    In the Anglican church one leaned toward being an evangelical or an Anglo-catholic.

    Yes, dicitionary definition 4 indicates the Whitefield/Wesley evangelical renewal in England followed by its influence in the U.S. — from these same men through guys like Jonathan Edwards, etc. I find myself in the stream flowing from this definition.

    Further, I was not trying to eliminate all of the other dictionary definitions you’ve provided. I was only pointing out that for a Welshman to call himself a “Conservative Evangelical” the connotations are quite different than they are for a contemporary American fundamentalist.

    • As to your final point, I think I have been saying that all along, haven’t I? I realize British categories are different than N. American. L-J isn’t exactly like a Fundamentalist here, but he isn’t exactly like a Conservative Evangelical here also.

      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3

  4. Keith says:

    Yes, you have been saying things like that. My first comment in this thread was directed at Brian, not you. I should have been more clear.

    • Come, now, this is a blog. Clarity is not our objective. Misunderstanding, verbal abuse, invective, flame-wars, and the like. That’s our business. How are we going to achieve that if you start bringing clarity into the discussion?

      Don Johnson
      Jeremiah 33.3