Throughout history, there have been debates that are long forgotten so that the modern reader has no appreciation. Thus far in the posting of The Fundamentals on this blog, we have seen the errant approach and effects of higher criticism. Chapter 8 is no different, but the chapter addresses a topic from 100 years ago that not many modern Christians have never heard of. During my seminary career, I did not come across this topic outside of its reference in The Fundamentals.
The author, David Heagle, was addressing a doctrinal objection that was relevant in his culture, even though it may not be in ours. This is a necessary practice for two reasons. First, cultures change. Satan can use new forms and methods to combat Christianity. It is not wrong to biblically address these forms. Fundamentalism needs to be fluid in its addressing of culture. Some arguments of the 1970’s may not be relevant in 2014, yet some arguments of 2014 would have never been considered in 1970. I recently testified before the NH House Judiciary Committee stating my case to not amend the NH Constitution to promote homosexual marriage. Early Fundamentalists would have never dreamed that this is necessary.
Second, many of the arguments against orthodoxy are not really new. Those who ignore history are destined to repeat it. Many modern heretics and critics take their play books from the past and regurgitate the error. By being familiar with the past, we can guard against attacks on sound doctrine in the present and future.
Did you know that the Tabernacle in the Old Testament was real? Your reply most likely is, “Of course, why wouldn’t it be?” Skeptics and critics 100 years ago tried to disprove the tabernacle’s authenticity by claiming that priests who lived later in history added the story of the tabernacle into the Old Testament. They suppose the tabernacle was a creation and sketch of pure imagination while the Jews were in exile in Babylon. This is the basis for Chapter 8.