Perhaps you remember an educational game called Amazon Trail. Part of the game involved ‘fishing’ so you could survive on your trek up the Amazon. Whenever you speared a fish, the program would tell you what kind of fish you had captured and a voice would ask, “What shall we do with this?” Over and over and over… as my kids played it, this line kept repeating itself from our kitchen. Enough to drive you batty (short trip for some of us).
Recent happenings in the ecclesiastical world make me ask that question: what shall we do with this?
A fellow who is fairly well-known in fundamentalist circles involves himself with many interesting collaboraters/partners/ministries…
- He boasts of having his music recorded by Chuck Swindoll’s church choir – the same church that, according to reports here and here, also hosted well-known modalists. What shall we do with this?
- He operates a blog where some of the regular contributors are on the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, on the staff of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis – well-known evangelical institutions. What shall we do with this?
- He publishes a book with a forward by a well-known evangelical who teaches at Westminster Theological Seminary, and is also on the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. What shall we do with this?
A few years ago I stirred up a furor about this fellow by creating a category on oxgoad “FINO Sightings?” This was in relation to a post where he had recommended a notorious but popular evangelical. (FINO = Fundamentalist In Name Only)
As the years have gone by, the evangelical connections this man has are steadily increasing. I am not branding these evangelicals as “unclean” or reprehensible people. They all have some interesting things to say at times, but they clearly have adopted an evangelical philosophy. What shall we do with this? Can this fellow legitimately continue to claim to be a Fundamentalist? Should fundamentalist institutions and churches continue to offer their pulpit to him? Should we endorse or use his music? (His music is good, but his alliances are becoming increasingly questionable.) What should fundamentalists who partner with him do about these growing evangelical connections?
I’m sorry to see men go down paths like this. It creates confusion for fundamentalist Christians – if we cooperate with a man like this, are we endorsing the connections that he involves himself with? Can we say that this fellow really is a fundamentalist when he is so actively involved with evangelicals?