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trapperhoney

Fundamentals

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We got into a discussion of discipleship being needed in our churches today and it got me wondering.  What do we as IFBs consider to be the fundamentals of our faith?  In college we were directed to a publication by R.A. Torrey called The Fundamentals.  It was a four volume set.  My father had a copy, and I got a copy for college graduation.  I did a search recently and I can't find the four volume set for sale anywhere.  Is it still recognized in our circles?  It was my understanding that The Fundamentals is where the term Fundamentalist came from.

Anyway, my husband and I would like to work on putting together a series of lessons and studies on the "sound doctrine" -- the fundamental truths -- of our faith and would welcome input about which topics we should cover.  Of course the top three would be the Bible, God (Trinity) and Salvation.  Any input is appreciated!

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My son, my wife and I are working on building our own discipleship book (it's going to be a while because it is being done as a series of SS lessons right now at a rate of one one per week).

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When I teach the fundamentals, I always hit the following topics:

Bible (inspiration, inerrancy, preservation, and "literal" interpretation), God (person, nature, trinity), Christ (divinity, humanity, virgin birth, resurrection), Sin, and faith-based Salvation

 

Speaking about the movement of Fundamentalism in general, the following have been considered "fundamentals of the faith":

- The inerrancy of the Bible

- The literal nature of the Biblical accounts, especially regarding Christ's miracles and the Creation account in Genesis

- The Virgin Birth of Christ

- The bodily resurrection and physical return of Christ

- The substitutionary atonement of Christ on the cross

 

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My son, my wife and I are working on building our own discipleship book (it's going to be a while because it is being done as a series of SS lessons right now at a rate of one one per week).

Look forward to seeing it.     David Cloud has a very good one, designed to take a year. I used it, though I made a few modifications, becuase it seemed like some subjects needed more, and some seemed to go into too much repetition. Overall, though it was very good. I spent a year using it for my Sunday Morning lessons for the entire church, because its good to get back and go over the basics from time to time. I did it at my ten-year anniversary.

When I teach the fundamentals, I always hit the following topics:

Bible (inspiration, inerrancy, preservation, and "literal" interpretation), God (person, nature, trinity), Christ (divinity, humanity, virgin birth, resurrection), Sin, and faith-based Salvation

 

Speaking about the movement of Fundamentalism in general, the following have been considered "fundamentals of the faith":

- The inerrancy of the Bible

- The literal nature of the Biblical accounts, especially regarding Christ's miracles and the Creation account in Genesis

- The Virgin Birth of Christ

- The bodily resurrection and physical return of Christ

- The substitutionary atonement of Christ on the cross

 

All good. THough there are many who would add to these, some more, some less. But these are deifinitely absolutes. I think the differences are WHY something is a fundamental. Some say a fundamental is such because it is a must for salvation-others, because they are issues so clearly taught in scripture and necessary as a doctrine in the life of a Christian. I would, personally, say heaven and Hell, as well as the coming New Heaven and Earth, and the lake of fire, as being fundamentals.

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All good. THough there are many who would add to these, some more, some less. But these are deifinitely absolutes. I think the differences are WHY something is a fundamental. Some say a fundamental is such because it is a must for salvation-others, because they are issues so clearly taught in scripture and necessary as a doctrine in the life of a Christian. I would, personally, say heaven and Hell, as well as the coming New Heaven and Earth, and the lake of fire, as being fundamentals.

Yeah, I agree with all that. I do typically add eschatology-related stuff because it's a position taken by the church. To me, something is fundamental when it has potential to affect someone's ability come to know Christ (i.e. salvation). Every major doctrine points back to that to some degree, for if we don't have a proper understanding of God or sin or man or the Bible or Christ etc, then we'll never come to a true understanding of our need for him, and that makes it a fundamental issue. A fundamental is something that cannot be compromised without undermining the Gospel. Whether or not one should drink alcohol, gamble, wear pants, hold their hands up during worship, go to movies, or whatever are not critical to the core of Gospel message, but creation, the Fall, the virgin birth, divinity of Christ, etc. are.

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I'm glad you add eschatology related scripture to your studies, "The Sword" (sorry, I don't know many people's names here).   I have to say that eschatology has always been one of the most interesting topics of study for me.  It is important to God or He wouldn't have included so much prophecy in the bible!!! It serves to bolster faith... we see how many prophecies God foretold in the past and they all came true, and we know He is always faithful to keep His promises, it's exciting to know He will fulfill everything He promised!!! Although I wouldn't recommend a study on eschatology to a new believer, as they are still needing "milk" and not "meat" yet.  I also cling to the blessed hope and look forward to meeting the Lord in the air... knowing the Lord can/will come back at any moment calls us to holier living right now and also gives us (me, anyways) the urgent desire to spread the gospel.  

I'm not saying, it should take precedence over "more important" things such as the gospel and salvation... that should be the main focus, in my opinion. There is nothing more important than a person's salvation!  I listen to many many sermons daily and I am appalled at some churches (even IFB churches) who do not give an altar call or an invitation to accept Christ during or at the end of their sermons.  They may assume their entire congregation is saved, but there may be some going through the motions (maybe even older parishioners) and never having really come to Jesus in the realization they are a sinner and NEED the savior! So I think that's important for any church or ministry to keep that always as the main focus. 

As far as books or series (printed or otherwise), Trapperhoney, I don't have any recommendations. Sorry, I know that's not helpful. But in my view, the word of God and the message of salvation is clear and simple enough for a child to understand.  And I'd not want to promote anything written by man (even though there are some excellent study helps and lesson plans I am sure) but the Holy Ghost moves upon those hearing the words of scripture. Much of Romans chapter 10 shows us excellent knowledge about how one comes to Christ.  Romans 10:17 "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God".

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Yeah, I agree with all that. I do typically add eschatology-related stuff because it's a position taken by the church. To me, something is fundamental when it has potential to affect someone's ability come to know Christ (i.e. salvation). Every major doctrine points back to that to some degree, for if we don't have a proper understanding of God or sin or man or the Bible or Christ etc, then we'll never come to a true understanding of our need for him, and that makes it a fundamental issue. A fundamental is something that cannot be compromised without undermining the Gospel. Whether or not one should drink alcohol, gamble, wear pants, hold their hands up during worship, go to movies, or whatever are not critical to the core of Gospel message, but creation, the Fall, the virgin birth, divinity of Christ, etc. are.

Very good point!  There are some things that we can disagree on and not be in error, but as it relates to the Gospel, those can't be compromised.

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 I'm not saying, it should take precedence over "more important" things such as the gospel and salvation... that should be the main focus, in my opinion.

Eschatology is important, but it can be over done.  We were in a church where one man was basically obsessed with end times prophecy.  He led us through a study of Revelation on Wednesday nights that took over a year.  And then he went back and "recapped" for another six months!  This was the same church of the pastor who got offended when hubby admitted that he verified everything he taught for himself in scripture.  We left about that time.  We later heard that the gentleman was still teaching in Revelation several months later....

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I'd never presume to try to be a date-setter. With that said,  I also think that the time is near.   It's all up to God... He has the master plan and knows the time and season He has for future events.  Yes, it can become an obsession to some, and if that's ALL of the bible they study then it's unhealthy.  But I'm also aware that less and less churches study and teach on it and I don't think there's ever been a more appropriate time for eschatology study and sound teaching than now, especially since there are so many wack-o's out there spouting nonsense by picking out a verse and saying it pertains to this or that event when they've taken it out of context and haven't rightly divided the scripture, and probably have never even read a whole chapter of the bible, lol.  Then they set a date and/or write a book about it and make fools out of themselves.  Sadly, it reflects on all Christians to the secular world.  That's why it's important to know biblically sound doctrine and study it rather than just take a wild guess as many of those types do.  But I agree, God has a LOT more to say to us in His words than just prophecy.

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Yeah.  My hubby's friend who changes beliefs based on how he feels at the time, he sent hubby a link to a book on the internet where this person has taken multiple passages of scripture and is preaching that the rapture will happen on September 23, 2015 -- the Day of Atonement on the Jewish calendar.  Ugh.  Fortunately hubby was able to show him how much of a nut this person is. *sigh*

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I agree that we shouldn't set dates for various reasons.  And I also think the rapture could take place any day any moment!  But I also wonder if since Jesus fulfilled the Spring feasts on those exact particular days, it wouldn't be a far stretch to think He could fulfill the Fall feasts on those particular days as well.  I wouldn't guess what year and it's easy to speculate on which feast would refer to which event.  I wouldn't think that the feast of atonement would line up with the rapture, although many past scholars do believe it does, including Clarence Larkin (he wrote a great book about dispensations and doctrine around 1909 or something like that... he does have sound biblical reasoning on all other topics however).  I have my own theory on the fall feasts based on personal study of the Jewish feasts, but I don't generally talk about it with others because I don't know it for a fact... there's nothing in the bible that says it WILL happen on a certain day or feast... so I don't talk about it at all with unbelievers.  I tend to think it COULD happen on the feast of trumpets for many reasons... BUT once again, I don't presume to KNOW that, since the rapture is imminent and could happen ANY day! (Today would be a good day, or ANY day works for me, lol). It's all in God's hands and since He didn't specifically tell us in the bible what DAY or what YEAR what HOUR, I just pray every day... "Come for us in the clouds soon Lord Jesus" .  Or as Revelation 22:20 puts it: "Even so, come, Lord Jesus".  I'm looking forward to that day any day it may happen.  I don't know how anyone can live life now days without the blessed hope in Jesus. 

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We got into a discussion of discipleship being needed in our churches today and it got me wondering.  What do we as IFBs consider to be the fundamentals of our faith?  In college we were directed to a publication by R.A. Torrey called The Fundamentals.  It was a four volume set.  My father had a copy, and I got a copy for college graduation.  I did a search recently and I can't find the four volume set for sale anywhere.  Is it still recognized in our circles?  It was my understanding that The Fundamentals is where the term Fundamentalist came from.

Anyway, my husband and I would like to work on putting together a series of lessons and studies on the "sound doctrine" -- the fundamental truths -- of our faith and would welcome input about which topics we should cover.  Of course the top three would be the Bible, God (Trinity) and Salvation.  Any input is appreciated!

I have a good copy of that set...... and it's quite nice...but it actually isn't what I'd recommend for a study of "Fundamental"  Christian Doctrine....It's a collection of essays not really an exposition of Basic Fundamental Doctrine.

If I were to suggest anything for the "Fundamentals" of Christian Doctrine, I would probably go with Paul Enns's "The Moody Handbook of Theology"

http://www.amazon.com/Moody-Handbook-Theology-Paul-Enns/dp/0802434347

It's inexpensive....very approachable....and written essentially for the "layman" <---and I loathe that term.....

I am assuming you want to teach basic Systematic Theology, that's a great way to start.

I (and probably most Independent Baptists) don't care for their view on the "Church" so, the topic of Ecclessiology is one you'll have to teach on your own or they'll get the notion of Universal Chuchism etc.....But, that's almost unavoidable as far as I know.  Someone here can probably recommend a better resource for the topic of Ecclesiology and I'd teach that separately. But other than that.  That's a source I'd recommend.

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If I were to suggest anything for the "Fundamentals" of Christian Doctrine, I would probably go with Paul Enns's "The Moody Handbook of Theology"

http://www.amazon.com/Moody-Handbook-Theology-Paul-Enns/dp/0802434347

It's inexpensive....very approachable....and written essentially for the "layman" <---and I loathe that term.....

I have to disagree with you a little bit on this resource for trapperhoney's stated purpose. This was one of my textbooks in seminary, and truly it is a very good one. However, it's more of an overview of all flavors of Christian doctrine from the various time periods and the major contributors. It does go through all of the major doctrines, but not necessarily from a fundamental perspective specifically. If you want to get a sense of how the various denominations and theological school (e.g. Calvinists, Arminians, Charismatics, etc.) view the different doctrines, it is an excellent book. However, if you're looking for something that lays out the doctrines from a fundamental perspective, I don't think you'll get much out of this book.

If your intent is to teach Bible doctrines (even a full systematic theology) from a fundamental perspective, I would highly recommend Abeka's Bible Doctrines for Today.

http://www.abeka.com/abekaonline/bookdescription.aspx?sbn=101222

It's a 12th grade book so it should be easy for just about anyone to go through while being thorough enough for an adult. I would not consider it an exhaustive resource, but it is a great book to start with for teaching fundamentals.

Thank you!  Speaking of Systematic Theology, I have a complete set of Lewis Sperry Chafer's.  It was my father's.  Is this a good set?  I haven't looked it over myself....

Chafer is "ok." He was one of the early leaders in Dispensationalism (which has gone through many positive updates since his involvment), but he was a staunch Calvinist. You won't be able to use his work for anything related to soteriology (salvation) or ecclesiology (church) and it would be questionable for hamartiology (sin) and eschatology (last things).

I have not yet found a systematic theology that I am willing to fully endorse. Millard Erickson's Christian Theology (http://www.christianbook.com/christian-theology-third-edition-millard-erickson/9780801036439/pd/036439?event=ESRCG) was our main seminary textbook. He leans Calvinist in several places and makes compromises on creation, but generally gives an objective treatment of all sides of each doctrine before giving his opinion. I would classify it as a "read with discernment" resource.

I have not read it yet, but based on other books of his that I've read, I would like to check out Norman Geisler's Systematic Theology: In One Volume. I obviously can't endorse it without reading, but his other books have been solid.

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I THINK THE BIGGEST ISSUE IN SETTING THE 'FUNDAMENTALS' IS PROPERLY DEFINING WHAT A 'FUNDAMENTAL' IS.

Oops, sorry for yelling. Okay, so when I was first an IFB, the fundamentals were described to me as the absolute necessities for a person to be born again. But that really would just be the fundamentals of salvation, not necessarily the Christian faith. So we have to then define, what ARE the fundamentals, the non-negotiables, of the Christian faith? And can one still be saved, but not follow some of them, due to error or bad teaching?

I know a former member of the board, who shall be nameless, as its not my intent to speak ill of him personally, holds what almost seems a grudge against the OB site, because we dare allow people who don't hold to his specific brand of fundamentalism, and essentially considers some, me included to being heretics. Am I a heretic because I believe in a post-trib/pre-wrath rapture? Because I believe the tribulation is not specifically God's wrath, but that the wrath is an event at the end of the period? Does this make me a heretic, unsaved, unwashed, and worthy of separation? I know with some , it does. I lost some friends when I took that position, and I suspect some might doubt my salvation. However, as I understand it, the literal pre-millennial return of Christ IS a fundamental to many, but I haven't seen a pre-tribulation rapture as a fundamental, to most. So, in this way, I am still a fundamentalist.

So, what DOES make up a fundamental?

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I THINK THE BIGGEST ISSUE IN SETTING THE 'FUNDAMENTALS' IS PROPERLY DEFINING WHAT A 'FUNDAMENTAL' IS.

...

So, what DOES make up a fundamental?

For this answer, I'll re-post my original.

Speaking about the movement of Fundamentalism in general, the following have been considered "fundamentals of the faith":

- The inerrancy of the Bible

- The literal nature of the Biblical accounts, especially regarding Christ's miracles and the Creation account in Genesis

- The Virgin Birth of Christ

- The bodily resurrection and physical return of Christ

- The substitutionary atonement of Christ on the cross

From a historical perspective, the rise of Fundamentalism and what defined it were the above 5 issues. Without these, the Christian faith is either undermined or altogether not at all Christian, which is why the became the benchmark way back when (early 1900s I believe). Additionally, without these one cannot have any assurance of salvation, even though they are not all salvation-specific issues. I would argue that fundamentalism today, including the IFB variety, still holds on to these 5 tenets, even if they have added something to them.

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For this answer, I'll re-post my original.

Speaking about the movement of Fundamentalism in general, the following have been considered "fundamentals of the faith":

- The inerrancy of the Bible

- The literal nature of the Biblical accounts, especially regarding Christ's miracles and the Creation account in Genesis

- The Virgin Birth of Christ

- The bodily resurrection and physical return of Christ

- The substitutionary atonement of Christ on the cross

From a historical perspective, the rise of Fundamentalism and what defined it were the above 5 issues. Without these, the Christian faith is either undermined or altogether not at all Christian, which is why the became the benchmark way back when (early 1900s I believe). Additionally, without these one cannot have any assurance of salvation, even though they are not all salvation-specific issues. I would argue that fundamentalism today, including the IFB variety, still holds on to these 5 tenets, even if they have added something to them.

So my view on the timing of the rapture doesn't exclude me from the ranks of historic fundamentalism, then.

But clearly, what makes up a fundamental today seems to change vastly. I suspect there are quite a few peripheral doctrines that might make up fundamentals, as well, today-reality of Heaven and Hell, and others.

Edited by Ukulelemike

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So my view on the timing of the rapture doesn't exclude me from the ranks of historic fundamentalism, then.

But clearly, what makes up a fundamental today seems to change vastly. I suspect there are quite a few peripheral doctrines that might make up fundamentals, as well, today-reality of Heaven and Hell, and others.

Correct, I would say a post-trib/pre-wrath position would not inherently exclude you from fundamentalism. I would say the preponderance of eschatological issues do not have any direct bearing on the issue. In truth, fundamentalism has always transcended denominations that have wildly different views on the topic. Now, if we were to talk about the Independent Fundamental Baptist variety of fundamentalism, it gets a little more narrow and most are traditionally dispensationlist of some variety, but even then I don't know that it gets more specific than that in most places. I would assert that fundamentalism is not a monolithic movement beyond the aforementioned 5 fundamentals of the faith. I would also agree that other things like you mentioned have crept in as a benchmark in some circles, but I don't think it necessitates exclusion from the ranks (as it were). For example, there are so many varieties of KJV-only, which has become another hallmark of fundamentalism, and we see that here on this website alone.

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thank you very much for the 5 tenets.  I think that is what I'm looking for :)  We have come so far since the beginning of fundamentalism, so many things have changed in society, and unfortunately the church has been changing with it (and not in a good way) that getting back to where it all began might be a good thing to do.

sorry to hear that about Chafer.  of course, I was quite surprised to learn of Spurgeon's leanings, since he is held in such high esteem by IFB pastors I know.  Doesn't seem to be any truly sound IFB theologians, or at least a systematic theology.  will have to check out Geisler.  we used some of his books at the college I attended.

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thank you very much for the 5 tenets.  I think that is what I'm looking for :)  We have come so far since the beginning of fundamentalism, so many things have changed in society, and unfortunately the church has been changing with it (and not in a good way) that getting back to where it all began might be a good thing to do.

sorry to hear that about Chafer.  of course, I was quite surprised to learn of Spurgeon's leanings, since he is held in such high esteem by IFB pastors I know.  Doesn't seem to be any truly sound IFB theologians, or at least a systematic theology.  will have to check out Geisler.  we used some of his books at the college I attended.

Well, Spurgeon, despite being pretty Calvinist, was also very evangelistic, so it almost negates his Calvinism. Not completely, but some.

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Doesn't seem to be any truly sound IFB theologians, or at least a systematic theology. 

There really isn't unfortunately. Most IFB theologians who are capable of doing it are wholly engaged in ministry. That's not at all a bad thing, it just leaves the bookshelves a little replete of quality material. If I can ever find a way to pay for a doctorate (and rebuild my wife's patience for schooling), I'd like to write one. We'll just have to see what the Lord's plan is on that one.

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If you look here:  http://www.wayoflife.org/publications/index.html    you will find some excellent books, written from an IFB perspective.  One this I have been wanting to get, is the Fundamental Baptist Digital Library, which is composed of 4100 books and articles pertaining to the faith. Some of the items included are:

WAY OF LIFE’S ELECTRONIC BAPTIST/WALDENSIAN HISTORY LIBRARY which includes the equivalent of 16,000 printed pages of material including:
-
A History of the Baptists by Armitage (1890)
-
History of the English Baptists by Ivimey (1811)
-
Bye-Paths of Baptist History by Goadby (1871)
-
A History of the Baptists by Christian (1922)
-
General History of the Baptists in America by Benedict (1813)
-
A History of the Christian Church - Waldenses and Albigenses by Jones (1812)
-
History of the German Baptist Brethren by Brumbaugh (1899)
-
History of the Donatists by Benedict (1875)
-
Bogomils of Bulgaria and Bosnia by Brockett (1879)
-
Early English Baptists by Evans (1862)
-
Evils of Infant Baptism by Howell (1852)
-
Divine Right of Infant Baptism Examined by John Gill
-
A Concise Baptist History by Orchard (1855)
-
Baptists Not Protestants by Carroll
-
Did They Dip: An Examination of the Practice of Baptism by English and American Baptists Before 1641 by Christian (1896)
-
History of the Ancient Churches of Piedmont by Allix (1690)
-
Miller’s Church History (1881)
- History of the Papacy (1888) and A History of the Waldenses (1860)
-
A History of Protestantism (1899) by Wylie
-
History of the Inquisition in Spain by McCrie (1879)
-
Protestant Persecution of Baptists in America by Joseph Banvard
-
Popery Drunk with the Blood of the Saints by Dowling
-
Annals of the English Bible by Anderson (1845)
-
History of the Ancient Christians in the Piedmont Valleys of the Alps (1618)
-
History of Pentecostalism by Cloud

**So what you have is not just David Cloud, but some excellent writings all the way back into the 17th century.

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Ukelelemike,

Thank you for bringing to our attention Bro. Clould's resource library. Excelent material by different authors.

Alan  

And that's just one item you can get for like, $50, and there's a lot more than that, too. I suspect some of these things you'd be hard-pressed to find in print anymore.

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Well, Spurgeon, despite being pretty Calvinist, was also very evangelistic, so it almost negates his Calvinism. Not completely, but some.

Like so many other "Calvinists" such as William Carey, considered the father of modern evangelism; as well as others like George Mueller, Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield.

It's a misnomer that "Calvinists" don't share the Gospel. As Spurgeon said, we don't have to understand how God uses such we just have to do as He commands and spread the Gospel.

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