I am a person who likes to read intent. I learn from what I have read, and apply it to my life and ministry. This is the motif of my blog: practical theology. Here are a couple things we can learn from fundamentalism.
There are basically two extreme both ending in the same results concerning fundamentalism. First, if you recall, fundamentalism was a backlash to theological liberalism. The fundamentalist I believe had their hearts in the right place when they decided to break away from the parent organizations, whatever they may be, because avoiding conflict lead to theological compromise. If this happens enough, all doctrine is thus eroded away, ultimately ending in some form of universalism, which kills missions.
The other extreme is the flip side of that coin, which is intentional separatism. Many fundamentalist groups pride themselves in their separatism, but separatism is just as bad as avoiding compromise. If it is allowed to perpetuate, schism upon schism will occur to the point that there is no cooperation. This too is the death of missions. There is no conceivable way that a single local church can reach the globe alone. Cooperation is absolutely required. If it does not exist, then missions will die.
Wade Burleson is right on his observations on narrowing the parameters for cooperation. It is going to the second extreme, and if it is allowed to continue, missions will die. If missions in the SBC are going to survive, then it has to strike a balance between the two. The principle I like to use is the principle of the lowest common denominator. This is a foundational set of doctrines that a group agrees so they can cooperate. For Southern Baptists, this should be the Baptist Faith and Message. This document by no means though is set in stone, and needs to be updated periodically to reflect the changing culture. The choice to cooperate is in the hands of the local churches because there is a bright-line. Certainly, some won't cooperate, but such a principle allows for cooperation without perpetuating either extreme, thus allowing missions to thrive.
joe kennedy said at 5/17/2006 11:14 PM...
besides, let's face it. maybe the way we do international missions should change anyway. think hudson taylor. are we really doing that?