The Hidden History of the Historic Fundamentalists, 1933-1948, Reconsidering the Historic Fundamentalists’ Response to the Upheavals, Hardships, and Horrors of the 1930s and 1940s by Jim Owen

Jim Owen, former Associate Professor of History at The Master’s College, believes that historic fundamentalists, especially dispensationalists, have been unfairly portrayed by historians (including many evangelicals). These historians see “historic fundamentalists…as theologically ‘challenged’, politically indifferent, socially uncaring, and economically only one small step above a Social Darwinian Neanderthal” (p. xv).  Owen writes this massive tome to set the record straight, specifically by “redress[ing] the misinformation” and demonstrating that an “important segment of historic fundamentalism was vigorously active in seeking to help alleviate the distress and poverty that attended the Great Depression” (p. xxiv).  Additionally, “Historians must be questioned as to why they have allowed this important segment of historic fundamentalist’s history to be ignored, denied, misinterpreted, reinterpreted or downplayed so that the contribution they did make is never given due consideration” (p. xxiv).  Owen’s goal is to prove that “the infamous fundamentalist siege mentality with its supposed indifference toward things…

Why Social Justice is Not Biblical Justice, An Urgent Appeal to Fellow Christians in a Time of Social Crisis by Scott David Allen

Scott Allen is president of the Disciple Nations Alliance which exists “to equip the church to rise to her full potential as God’s principal agent in restoring, healing and blessing broken nations” (p. 250).  Allen’s goal is to demonstrate that social justice, or what he terms “ideological social justice,” (pp. 3-4, 38, 43-44) is not the same thing that Scripture describes as justice.  It is important, the author maintains, that we use the same dictionary if we are going to be able to communicate (p. 1) and, unfortunately when it comes to social justice, that is often not the case.  The author describes biblical justice as living out the Ten Commandments in our everyday relationships (pp. 23-24), while ideological social justice “is based on the belief of dominant groups who create systems and structures which marginalize others and promote their own interests” (p. 38).  (A helpful chart outlining numerous contrasts…

Social Justice: Modern Roots and Promoters

(Volume 25, Issue 1, February 2019/March 2019) As we attempt to evaluate the social justice movement,[1] especially in light of the debates within evangelicalism surrounding the publication of The Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel, it would be helpful to trace its roots.  The emphasis on social justice that is now all but omnipresent within Christianity did not appear out of thin air; there are predecessors and forerunners who have paved the way for comingling of the biblical gospel with a social agenda producing a hybrid gospel and mission for the church.  In two earlier TOTT papers, “The Social Gospel” Parts 1&2,[2] the development of the 19th century Social Gospel movement which led to theological liberalism was detailed. In those articles, it was documented that German rationalism, higher criticism, Enlightenment and Romanticist thought were interlaced and embraced by first European and later American Protestantism. When the dust had settled,…

Social Justice

(Volume 24, Issue 6, December 2018/January 2019) Of the hot-button issues circulating right now, in both society and the church, nothing has drawn more interest and debate than social justice. In society at large much unrest and controversy is evident particularly in regards to three areas.  First, there are the interrelation concerns, expressed most clearly in the #MeToo movement, which is an effort directed at the alleviation of sexual harassment and assault, primarily targeting women. Next are the debates involving human sexuality, especially LGBTQ items.  Finally, matters of race and ethnicity have surged afresh in recent years.  As these concerns filter down to the church, to a certain extent the response of God’s people is clear. The Scriptures powerfully condemn all forms of immorality, sexual misconduct, and abuse.  Sadly, the church has not been totally spared the accusations of sexual misconduct, with a number of high profile leaders recently being…