Title: Billy Graham and the end of evangelical unity
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00098865/00001
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Title: Billy Graham and the end of evangelical unity
Physical Description: viii, 309 leaves : ; 28cm.
Language: English
Creator: Butler, Farley Porter, 1946-
Copyright Date: 1976
Subject: Fundamentalism -- United States   ( lcsh )
Evangelicalism -- United States   ( lcsh )
Religion -- United States -- 1945-   ( lcsh )
History thesis Ph. D   ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- History -- UF   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Thesis: Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography: Bibliography: leaves 303-308.
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Vita.
Statement of Responsibility: by Farley P. Butler, Jr.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00098865
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 000169391
oclc - 02900094
notis - AAT5797


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For Patricia


I wish here to express my appreciation to Father Michael V.

Gannon, chairman, and to those who served on my supervisory committee:

Arthur L. Funk, Delton L. Scudder, R. Hunt Davis, and C. John



Acknowledgments . . . . . . . .

Abstract . . . . . . . .


I. Introduction . . . . . . .
Notes . . . . . . . .

2. The National Association of Evangelicals
Notes . . . . . . . .

3 Thp Sini fircanrrp nf Spnarntinn

Notes . . . . . . .

4. The Role of Mass Evangelism . . .
Notes . . . . . . . .

5. The Sword and Billy Graham ...
Notes . . . . . . . .

6. Donald Grey Barnhouse . . . .
Notes . . . . . . .

7. The Developing Division ....
Notes . . . .

8. "Is Evangelical Theology Changing?"
Notes . . .

9. The Turning Point: April, 1956 . .
Notes . . . .

10. Christianity Today and the New Coaliti
Notes . . . .

11. Ecumenical Evangelism . . . .
Notes . . . . . . . .

12. The Deepening Controversy . . .
Notes . . . . . . . .






: : : : : : : :

Chapter Page

13. The New Theological Alignment .... . . . . . 230
Notes . . . . . .. ... . . . . . 248

14. Why the Division? . . . . . . . . . 250
Notes . . . . . . . . . . 268

15. The Lessening of Conservative Alienation . . ... 270
Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . 287

16. Conclusion . . . . . . . ... .. . 289
Notes . . . . . . . ... . . . 302

Selected Bibliography . . . . . ... . . . . 303

Biographical Sketch . . . . . . . . .. . 309


Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



Farley P. Butler, Jr.

March, 1976

Chairman: Michael V. Gannon
Major Department: History

Fundamentalism is a religious movement which arose in the late

nineteenth century espousing conservative, orthodox theology, and

opposing the liberalism which was growing within American Protestant-

ism. During the 1920s the fundamentalists engaged in an unsuccessful

effort, the modernist-fundamentalist controversy, to rid American

churches of liberal, non-orthodox influence. By 1940 fundamentalism

had become strongly separatist, organized in a great variety of ex-

plicitly orthodox fellowships, and convinced that the mair,-line denomi-

nations were apostate. Through that time "fundamentalism" was often

used to describe conservative evangelicalism generally, and there was a

broad spiritual unity among orthodox believers, typified in the found-

ing of the National Associationof Evangelicals (NAE); The NAE initially

included within its leadership strong separatists, such as Bob Jones

and John R. Rice, but was primarily led by men fully orthodox but less

separatist, such as Harold John Ockenga. This study examines the

process through which the unity of that conservative evangelicalism

ended, producing two movements: evangelicalism and fundamentalism.

Following their defeat in the denominational wars of the 1920s

the fundamentalists worked in relative isolation, little noticed by those

outside their group. In the years just after World War II, several

fundamentalist evangelists began to succeed in attracting large crowds

to evangelistic meetings. This trend was climaxed by the emergence of

Billy Graham in 1949. Once again the fundamentalists had a spokesman

who could fill stadiums, and speak to a national audience. They looked

forward to a renewal of the crusade against liberalism. Graham's

roots were in fundamentalism; in the early years he worked with Rice,

Jones, and other fundamentalists; and his message was the fundamental-

ist gospel. Graham soon found, however, that it would be possible to

enlist the main-line denominational churches to support his crusades

if he moderated his fundamentalist stance. While he continued to preach

the gospel, mention of "theological error" was eliminated from his

message, and he moved toward ties with the broader church. Fundamen-

talists urged separation.from all non-orthodox, religious leaders,

but generally continued to support Graham, until he became identified

with the "new evangelicals."

Between 1946 and 1956 the new evangelicals, led by men such as

Ockenga, Carl F. H. Henry, and Edward John Carnell, emerged as a group.

Encouraged by the over-throw of liberalism by neo-orthodoxy, the con-

servative mood of post-war America, the "revival of religion" of the

1950s, and the success of Graham, the new evangelicals hoped to remake

fundamentaism, rendering its orthodox theology a viable competitor in

the modern market. They wished fundamentalism to be less dogmatic in

theology, more open to "conversations" with non-orthodox theologians,

more concerned with social problems, and less insistent about matters

of external ethics. They wanted greater emphasis on scholarship, and

boosted their position by ridiculing the separatist fundamentalists,

pressing their case through such magazines as Eternity, Christian Life,

and Christianity Today. Graham had attempted to retain fundamentalist

support, but during 1956 he Fully identified himself with the new evan-

gelical campaign against fundamentalism, and in preparations for his

New York crusade worked closely with the non-orthodox, Protestant

leadership. Fundamentalists responded with sustained attacks on Graham

and the new evangelicals.

Though aggressive in evangelism and growing numerically,

fundamentalism emerged from the conflict in near total isolation, with-

drew from all except separatist organizations, and placed even greater

emphasis on those distinctive to which the new evangelicals had ob-


Many conservative evangelicals rejected parts of the new evangeli-

cal program, but most refused to withdraw support from Graham and thus

fell into the "evangelical" group. With the fundamentalists eliminated,

the new evangelicals solidified their position, and evangelicalism

moved steadily in the direction which they had wished.



During the last quarter of the nineteenth century many factors

came to bear on the American situation which together successfully

challenged the dominant position of conservative orthodoxy within many

Protestant denominations. Many historians have pointed to that period

as a watershed in American history. During those years the importation

of ideas from Europe, and the domestic elaboration of those ideas,

prompted the overthrow of accepted systems in many areas. In economics,

politics, and religion the new ideas challenged the old. In American

Protestantism a movement called "fundamentalism" arose.to oppose those

new ideas in religion.

Usually identified as "liberalism" or "modernism," the complex

of new religious ideas was based upon German biblical criticism and a

religious rationalism. Among the important elements of religious

liberalism were the following: de-emphasis and even denial of the

supernatural, skepticism concerning the reliability of the Christian

scriptures as a record of historical events and rejection of any claim

of supernatural inspiration, optimism concerning human nature and the

possibility of perfecting man through education, rejection of the con-

cept that human nature was in a "fallen" state and therefore in need of

some kind of supernatural salvation, denial of virtually all tradi-

tional Christian doctrine, and presentation of Jesus as a great teacher

and example. Religious liberalism often associated itself with

political and social liberalism, and liberals, believing that the key

to improving the condition of man was to improve his environment, were

often active in promoting plans for social engineering.

Set off sharply from this liberalism was the fundamentalism which

came into being to oppose it. Shaped largely through a series of pro-

phetic conferences in the 1870s and 1880s, fundamentalism joined a

strong biblical literalism with.an apocalyptic, premillenial eschatology

and by the turn of the century had a well-developed ideology on which

to base its attack against liberalism. Fundamentalism cannot be iden-

tified by any doctrinal description, despite the enthusiasm of all

fundamentalists for constructing doctrinal statements. George W.

Dollar, a foremost fundamentalist historian, defines historic funda-

mentalism as the "literal exposition of all the affirmations and atti-

tudes of the Bible and the militant exposure of all non-Biblical

affirmations and attitudes." The most important thing to understand

about fundamentalists is that they believe themselves to be the repre-

sentatives of biblical Christianity, and they insist that a divinely

inspired Bible gives them authority for such a claim. Doctrinally,

fundamentalists subscribe to what can be defined as traditional,

Protestant orthodoxy. They assert vigorously belief in the inspira-

tion of the Bible, the direct creation of man by God as described in

Genesis, the fall of man in Adam, God's provision for the salvation of

mankind through the death of His sinless, virgin-born Son, Jesus Christ,

the bodily resurrection of Christ and His Second Coming, and salvation

through personal faith in Jesus Christ.2 However, many Christians

believe these same doctrines but would not be described as fundamentalists.

At no point has fundamentalism been a well-organized movement, and at

no point has an exact description of its boundaries been possible. In

the early years fundamentalism shaded evenly into general conservative

Protestantism, but fundamentalists eventually became an isolated group.

During the early years of the century religious leaders of

liberal views had moved into positions of influence within most of the

major denominations, but in the years following the First World War

fundamentalists made strong efforts to reverse the trend and to re-

serve leadership positions for those of orthodox theology. These

efforts were unsuccessful, but the struggle over the denominations

blended with the secular-religious conflict over evolution, which

climaxed in the famous Scopes trial of 1925, to be called the funda-

mentalist-modernist controversy. During the fundamentalist-

modernist conflict the conservatives lost nearly every major battle,

and eventually the liberals not only retained their right to posi-

tions of leadership within the major denominations, but gained con-

trol over most of them. Most conservatives adjusted to the new situa-

tion and remained within their denominations. A considerable number,

however, left to form new groupings led by staunch fundamentalist

spokesmen who often had been ejected from the denomination because

of their loud criticism of liberalism. They also formed countless

organizations to facilitate fundamentalist fellowship and to advance

evangelism and the attack upon liberalism. Of these the World's

Christian fundamentall Association has received the most attention.

Formed in 1919 as the result of a prophetic conference the previous

year, this organization directed many of the fundamentalist activities


through the height of the fundamentalist-modernist controversy. It was

guided through much of its thirty-year history by William Bell Riley,

long-time pastor of First Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota,

though after 1940 its influence greatly diminished. During the late

1930s and the early years of the Second World War fundamentalism was

generally in disorder. The last great denominational struggle of the

era occurred among the Presbyterians during 1935 and 1936, and again

the fundamentalists lost. J. Gresham Machen, who had led a group of

orthodox scholars in leaving Princeton to found Westminster Theologi-

cal Seminary in 1929, was in 1936 ousted from his denomination when he

led in the establishment of a conservative foreign mission board which

operated in competition with that of the denomination. By this time it

was clear that the contest for control of the denominations was over,

and that the conservatives would not be able to renew the battle. Most

fundamentalists concentrated their efforts in local projects, church

evangelism, and a great variety of small, non-denominational fundamen-

talist organizations. At the same time certain fundamentalists were

again trying to frame national fundamentalist organizations. The

discussions surrounding the eatablishment of two national organizations

would reveal important differences among fundamentalists concerning the'

approach to be taken in the new situation. In 1940 it was still quite

appropriate to speak of fundamentalists, conservative evangelicals,

or "Bible-believing Christians" when referring to roughly the same

group of people. It is the purpose of this study to examine the pro-

cess whereby conservative evangelicaliin became divided into evan-

gelicalism and fundamentalism.


Both the American Council of Christian Churches (ACCC or ACC)

and the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) were founded during

1941. Both were strongly orthodox in theological position. The American

Council of Christian Churches was founded by Carl Mclntire and most

directly followed in the steps of the early fundamentalists. A strongly

separatist group, the American Council made opposition to. the Federal

Council of Churches of Christ in America (FCCCA or FCC) its major

activity. The Federal Council had been formed in 1908 and was pri-

marily a vehicle through which liberal churchmen hoped to mobilize the

churches for their program of social action. Mclntire was one of those

forced out of the Presbyterian church in 1936 with Machen and remains

one of the more controversial and sensational fundamentalists. More

often than other fundamentalists, he receives attention from the

national news media because of his involvement in "patriotic" activi-

ties. Mclntire's position was that complete separation from the main-

line denominations was necessary, and the American Council included

only denominations which enforced orthodoxy within their ranks. More

complex than the American Council of Christian Churches was the National

Association of Evangelicals (NAE). That organization included a wider

range than did the American Council. It has always included a large

number of separatist fundamentalists, and in the early years important

separatists, such as Bob Jones, were among its leadership. Also within

its leadership were men who were orthodox in belief but less separatist

in temperament. In time the NAE moved toward a softer position, and

the strong fundamentalists withdrew. Even in the announced purposes

of the organization the desire was clearly stated that the claims of

sound doctrine might be presented with less unpleasantness than often

was the case in fundamentalist controversy. An important result of the

division which this study examines is that fundamentalists and evangeli-

cals no longer work together in such organizations as the National

Association of Evangelicals.

The development of the National Association of Evangelicals and

of conservative evangelicalism would be much affected by a movement

which was just beginning in the late forties. The establishment of

Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California, in 1947, under the leadership

of Harold John Ockenga, Presbyterian pastor of Boston's Part Street

Church, provided a center for the discussion of the weaknesses of funda-

mentalism. In the next few years an able group of young scholars be-

came associated with the Fuller effort to refashion fundamentalism.

Most important among these were Carl F. H. Henry, Harold Lindsell, and

Edward John Carnell. At Fuller was developed the concept of the "new

evangelicalism" which would replace fundamentalism, preserving its

adherence to sound doctrine, but correcting its misplaced emphases.

New evangelicalism was designed to present orthodoxy in a form

more competitive than pugnacious fundamentalism. It hoped to avoid

the stigma which had fallen upon. the fundamentalist label. Orthodoxy

was to be rendered intellectually respectable by the appearance of con-

cessions to the scientific viewpoint. This first surfaced in a book

by Bernard Ramm published in the fall of 1954, The Christian View of

Science and Scripture.3 This would necessitate a "reopening" of the

question of the inspiration of Scripture, though this was always

approached-with extreme caution. An increased emphasis on scholarship

was planned to avoid charges of obscurantism. New evangelicalism was

to place new emphasis upon social responsibilities, which, it was

charged, fundamentalism had failed to do. Although during the period

of this study, little beyond conservative pronouncements on controversial

social-economic-political issues were ever made by new evangelical

spokesmen, considerable energy was expended in calling for evangeli-

.cal involvement in this area.

New evangelicalism planned the greatest changes in the area of the

relations of conservative evangelicals to liberal theologians. Funda-

mentalists had always held liberal theologians in considerable contempt,

basing their attack on liberal spokesmen on biblical injunctions con-

cerning separation from false religious teachers. Fundamentalists be-

lieved that the defeat of the conservatives in the great denominational

struggles of the 1920s was due primarily to the reluctance of Christians

to become involved in controversy. They believed that there were

generally more orthodox believers among the membership of the churches

than confirmed liberals, but that the conservative believers had not

acted to keep the liberals from positions of influence until they had

lost control of the organization. Fundamentalists therefore held that

constant vigilance was necessary lest any form of non-orthodoxy gain a

toehold in any orthodox organization. The new evangelicals saw the

situation differently. Most of them looked forward to the restoration

of orthodoxy to a position of respectability inside the major denomina-

tions. Thiy spoke confidently of the conservative swing in the churches,

and produced analyses which exaggerated the similarity of dialectical

theology toevangelical orthodoxy. They felt orthodoxy must be

maintained, but a less strident tone should be adopted for theological

debate. They spoke of new approaches to theologians of other view-

points, and strove earnestly to earn the respect of non-evangelical

theologians. New evangelicals stressed the contribution of neo-

orthodoxy in dethroning liberalism, while fundamentalists saw in neo-

orthodoxy a more dangerous form of liberalism.

The new evangelicals eventually made against the fundamentalists

many of the charges which liberals had long made. They exhorted the

fundamentalists to make greater demonstration of Christian love, while

ridiculing them for their insistence on maintaining doctrinal separa-

tion. The fundamentalists became even more bitter toward the new

evangelicals than toward the liberals.

While these differing opinions had long existed within conserva-

tive evangelicalism, they had remained submerged, and evangelicals and

fundamentalists had worked together in a great many organizations.

Only in the 1950s as the new evangelicals began to urge their convic-

tions upon others through the evangelical press did the controversy

become heated. They did so because by that time they began to feel that

the opportunity existed for returning orthodoxy to a position of re-

spect within the mainstream of Protestant theological discussion. The

late forties had witnessed a resurgence of conservative evangelical

activity, with numerous conservative evangelists attracting wide atten-

tion. The emergence of Billy Graham in 1949 and his rapid rise to

national prominence had set the stage for the division within conser-

vative evangelicalism.

The doctrine of "separation" had assumed an important place in

fundamentalist preaching. Fundamentalists insisted that the Bible

demanded strict separation from those religious teachers who denied

essential elements of the faith. They had come to believe that it was

failure to observe the doctrine of separation which had allowed liber-

alism to grow in the denominations and which eventually resulted in the

ouster of the fundamentalists. Fundamentalist leaders spent many hours

detailing applications of the doctrine of separation. One typical

fundamentalist spokesman charged churchgoers to have nothing to do with

"false prophets" in the following words: "To associate with them in

any way; to fellowship with them in any program; to give them the

benefit of any support, moral or material; to belong to their churches;

to lend them your influence; to give them the slightest indication of

recognition, respect or honor; is to ignore, deny and disobey the

plain teaching of the Bible and to compromise with the forces of Satan

and Hell!"4

The roots of Billy Graham were deep in fundamentalism, and in the

early years his pulpit ministry fully reflected that fact. His rise

to national prominence was generally hailed by fundamentalists as an

answer to their prayers for the restoration of mass evangelism and

orthodoxy to a place of importance in national life. His work had

been with fundamentalist organizations, and he had been a speaker at

many fundamentalist functions. He had spoken against "apostasy" as

strongly as other fundamentalists, and there was little to indicate

that he would become the center of a struggle which would cause great

bitterness among conservative Christians. Eventually Billy Graham

came to be the issue in the division of conservative evangelicalism.

This would take time, however, for fundamentalists would be slow to

reject a spokesman who for the first time in many years could present

their case before a national audience. Fundamentalists such as John R.

Rice,who had campaigned for years for the return of mass revivalism,

would only with great reluctance turn against an evangelist who could

fill a stadium with thousands and thousands of people. For long,

Rice, and other fundamentalists, saw Graham in the classic role of

fundamentalist evangelist and rejected the charges by Carl Mclntire

that the young evangelist did not measure up to fundamentalist ideology.

McIntire pointed to Graham's association with non-evangelical ecclesiasti-

cal figures, and to his disinclination to jeopardize his wide support

by strong attack upon error. Still, Rice and most fundamentalists

continued to support Billy Graham warmly.

Billy Graham had always solicited fundamentalist support, and

had waved aside accusations concerning his relations with non-

evangelical ecclesiastics,but in the spring of 1956 he began a course

which would certainly divide the conservative camp. Graham fully and

publicly identified himself with those who were promoting the new

evangelicalism, at the same time rejecting the fundamentalist label.

He took a position in an internal dispute within the Southern Baptist

Convention completely endorsing the denomination'sviewpoint and

rejecting the fundamentalist contentions. In October of 1956 the

journal Christianity Today appeared and was known to reflect the

views of Billy Graham and the new evangelicals. No longer could any

fundamentalist imagine that Graham fully endorsed the fundamentalist


Christianity Today clearly set forth this new evangelical posi-

tion as an alternative to fundamentalism. New evangelicalism was

presented as a moderate middle position, avoiding the extremes of both

classic liberalism and fundamentalism. The new evangelicals never

arrived at a consistent evaluation of neo-orthodoxy, though they were

warmer in their comments toward that group than toward any other.

The editors of Christianity Today generally spent much time on the

thought of Karl Barth, considering such theologians as Emil Brunner,

Rudolph Bultmann, Paul Tillich, and Rheinhold Neibuhr little more than

nuisances and obstructions to the picture of the conservative swing in

the churches which they were constantly describing.

By the time of the Billy Graham Crusade in New York City, which

opened in May of 1957, the split between the new evangelicals and the

fundamentalists was virtually complete. During the preparations for

the crusade it became clear that Graham had cast his lot fully with the

broader church, and non-orthodoxy was fully represented in the crusade

committees. Graham spoke against the fundamentalists in an interview in

Chris-acn Life magazine, and challenged the National Association of

Evangelicals at the annual meeting of that organization in Buffalo,

New York, to avoid the narrow extremism of fundamentalism.

The fundamentalists launched a full-scale attack against Graham,

urging withdrawal of support from his crusades. Fundamentalist

journals rehearsed Graham's career, repeated his many pledges not to

allow non-orthodox churchmen any leadership positions in the campaign,

and pointed out that these men now held many places of honor within the



Fundamentalists characterized Graham's position as being that the end

justifies the means. Article after article was now printed in the Sword

of the Lord, the Christian Beacon, and ether fundamentalist papers

criticizing Graham, the New York campaign backing, and the total program

of new evangelicalism. Throughout the next months, bitter controversy

continued between the new evangelical supporters of Graham's ecumenical

evangelism and the fundamentalists. Most conservative evangelicals

found it easier to support Graham. His enormous personal popularity

and the magnificence of his success were in most cases the deciding

factors. Those who attempted to remain neutral in the dispute generally

found their way to the Graham side. Those fundamentalists who had

worked in the National Association of Evangelicals and had taken a

more moderate stance on some issues than that of the American Council

of Christian Churches were pushed far toward the McIntire group. Many

conservative evangelical organizations were disrupted by the dispute,

and some denominations, such as the Conservative Baptists, suffered

severe internal dissension. The National Association of Evangelicals

was able to take no consistent position, though it was generally

sympathetic toward Graham. Had the issue been new evangelicalism,

rather than Billy Graham, the fundamentalists would have been much

stronger within the NAE, but when the question was presented as support

or non-support for Graham, Only those truly grounded in fundamentalist

conviction would take the fundamentalist side.

By the end of the New York crusade it was clear that Graham

would in the future work primarily with the established churches.

Christianity Today reported after each crusade that the "great central

segment" of the church was more united than ever before. Some working

relationship with the neo-orthodoxy that was dominant had been arranged,

and the pattern of New York was followed in city after city. While

the Graham organization and most of the religious press pointed to this

unity oF the great central segment, fundamentalists insisted that the

lack of any sound doctorinal basis for this activity exposed evangeli-

cal churches to the danger of contamination by these non-evangelical

sources. The fundamentalist warnings were heeded by few, however, and

the fundamentalists found themselves more isolated than ever. The

deep sense of alienation which is part of fundamentalism was furthered,

and the minority mentality of the group was reinforced. As the decade

of the 1950s ended Graham had become a spokesman for the established

churches, and fundamentalism had virtually ceased to be visible.



George W. Dollar, A History of Fundamentalism in America
(Greenville, S. C.: Bob Jones University Press, 1973, p. xv.
J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism (New York:
Macmillan, 1926).

3Bernard Ramm, The Christian View of Science and Scripture
(Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1954).

4Robert Wells, "False Prophets," Sword of the Lord, September
17, 1954, XX, 10.



Early in the 1940s two organizations came into being which would

attempt to unite evangelicals on an interdenominational basis. The

earliest was the American Council of Christian Churches (ACCC or ACC)

founded and dominated by Carl Mclntire. The ACC was a militant opponent

of the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America (FCCCA or FCC)

and its primary activity often seemed to be direct attack upon that

organization. Because of the stridency of its attack on the Federal

Council of Churches and the disinclination of many evangelicals to

follow the leadership of Mclntire there was widespread sentiment that

another agency of evangelical unity was needed. Out of this concern

the National Association of Evangelicals came into being.

In 1942 a number of evangelical leaders met at the Coronado Hotel

in St. Louis, Missouri, and laid definite plans for the formation of a

national organization which would function in behalf of conservative

evangelicalism. IThe New England Fellowship, an evangelical organi-

zation, had earlier been built by J. Elwin Wright, recognized as the

founder of the NAE, and the NAE naturally drew considerable inspiration

from that effort. In May of 1943 the constitutional convention

of the National Association of Evangelicals met in Chicago, and the

*organization began to take shape as well as to elaborate its distinctive


! I


At the time of the St. Louis meeting, the basic position of the

organization, to the left of the American Council of Christian Churches

but far to the right of the Federal Council of Churches, had been

established. Efforts were made at that time by the Mclntire group to

bring these men into the ACC, but they were not successful. Mclntire

insisted that all who wished to join the ACC must withdraw from the

FCC. Many of the men involved in the formation of the new group were

members of denominations which were part of the FCC and were not dis-

posed to withdraw from their denominations. Other procedural issues

were involved, but the major difficulty was Mclntire's insistence

on complete separation from any connection with the FCC and from any

denomination which was a member of the FCC. All attempts at compromise

failed, and it seemed that many preferred to remain out -of the Mclntire

orbit. One proposal offered was a compromise that included groups

connected with the FCC if they were willing formally to go on record

as repudiating the FCC. This proposal was rejected by the majority of

the NAE leaders. Dr. Stephen Paine, who voted with the majority in

1942 and was several times president of the NAE,-stated in 1951 that

excessive shyness on the part of the NAE men at the meeting in 1942 may

have lost an opportunity for the unity of evangelicals in one organiza-
tion facilitated by recognition of the FCC as a common enemy.

Early in the constitutional convention held in Chicago in 1943,

the differences between the NAE and the American Council of Christian

Churches were publicly developed. Dr. J. Elwin Wright, the founder

and executive secretary of the newer organization, claimed the "great

mass of thoughtful and earnest Christians" approved the determination

: I


to "work constructively on the great problems which the church faces,"

and went on, "They do not approve of a negative approach to the

problem of modernism. Nevertheless, they are solidly with us in our

effort to place the issues of apostasy before the nation." After

recognizing in two sentences the contribution of the fundamentalist

leaders of the past who "raised their voices against the encroachments

of modernism," he declared,

However, we had better frankly admit that fundamentalists have
not always been wisely led. This movement will have to live down
the errors in strategy of others in the past. We will continue
to meet with defeat . unless a new strategy under competent
leaders is evolved.
Some of us have been slow to realize that not all modernists
are hopeless apostates. May God give to us the ability to dis-
cern that we may save, through our gentleness and brotherly
kindness in dealing with them, some of these who are in a state
of confustion.3

This was to be the stance of the new organization, united witness to

the "historic evangelical faith," spelled out in a carefully drawn

statement of faith, but without the bitter and constant criticism of

the liberal leaders of the FCC and the mainline denominations which

absorbed much of the time of Mclntire's ACC. At the Chicago meeting

a NAE leader described the statement of faith which had been adopted:

One: "We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only
infallible, authoritative Word of God." On that position,
Protestantism must rest if she is to coRtinue to be the church
of Christ.
Two: "We believe there is one God, eternally existent in
three Persons--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."
Three: "We believe in the deity of Christ, in His virgin
birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious
and atoning death, in His bodily resurrection, His ascension to
the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power
and glory." This is our clear affirmation of our faith in the
deity of Christ, not merely His Mdivinity. There are those who
declare that they believe in the divinity of Christ Jesus,
meaning by this that both we and He have divinities, but asserting


that the divinity which is in Christ is present in larger measure
than in any other being. Our position is clearly this: That we
believe in the deity of Christ; that is His being of the very
essence of God, the Son of God, the First Begotten from the dead.
Four: "We believe that because of man's lost and sinful
condition, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely neces-
sary for salvation."
Five: "We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit,
by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life."
Six: "We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and
the lost. They that are saved unto the resurrection of life and
they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation."
Seven: "We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in

Certainly, the NAE men did not consider themselves "soft on apostasy."

Indeed, throughout the early years liberal spokesmen rarely made any

great distinction between the men of the NAE and those of the ACC.

Further, the presence among the NAE leadership of old-time defenders

of the faith, such as Bob Jones, and the amount of time spent in de-

nunciation of liberalism, clearly placed the organization in the

theological spectrum. In the published report of the constitutional

convention of 1943, in answer to the question: "What is the attitude

toward the ACC?" it was stated in part, "Doctrinally there is no

disagreement between the American Council and the N. A. E. The leader-

ship and policy of the American Council are not satisfactory to the

great body of evangelicals. . its policy of indiscriminate criti-

cism contributes to the defeat.of its own purposes." At the same time

the Federal Council, because of its "lack of a positive stand on the

essential doctrines of the Christian faith, its inclusion of leaders

who have repudiated these doctrines, and its active support of programs

and institutions which are non-evangelical or apostate, does not repre-

sent the evangelicals of America."5

During the early years of the organization, the leaders of the NAE

generally refrained from extensive public criticism of the American

Council. At times harsh words were spoken and often accusations by the

American Council men, usually by Mclntire through the Christian Beacon,

were answered, but most of the leadership of the NAE continued to hope

that the breach with the ACC could be healed and that merger of the two

organizations might eventually'be possible. Strong fundamentalist

spokesmen, such as Bob Jones and John R. Rice, were heard in the dis-

cussions of the NAE, and they as well as many others hoped to bring the

two groups together. In March, 1944, Rice, editor of the Sword of the

Lord, urged his readers to pray for the merger of the NAE and ACC.6

The desire of the NAE men to include those who had not withdrawn from

denominations connected with the Federal Council, and the unwillingness

of Mclntire to "fellowship" organizationally with these men, continued

to be an obstacle, however, and the two groups grew further and further

apart. The inclusion of various pentecostal groups within the NAE

added to the difficulty, and well before the end of the decade recon-

ciliation seemed far away.

Despite the clearly expressed desire of the NAE men to avoid the

kind of controversial activity that marked the American Council, an

important function of the organization was the attack on liberal and

non-evangelical domination of the Protestant establishment. This diffi-

cult position found expression in a letter, published in the report on

the 1943 convention, written by James DeForest Murch, long-time editor

of the NAE organ, United Evangelical Action:

I believe the Chicago meeting to be one of the most significant
gatherings in the current history of American Protestantism. Its

spirit was intelligent, positive, constructive and forward
looking. . [The organization seems] a medium through which
evangelicals may achieve satisfactory co-operative action and
protect themselves from liberal and totalitarian ecclesiastical

A resolution of the 1948 annual convention expressed the purpose of the

organization: ". . to provide a fellowship for those who oppose

apostasy, and who desire a means of unitedly presenting the claims of

Evangelical Christianity."8 The third of five objectives was published

in the report on the 1949 annual convention:

To establish a common front for the promotion of evangelical
truth against the inroads of heresy (commonly called modernism
or liberalism). To challenge all Christian groups and institu-
tions to a positive declaration of the church's evangelical
heritage and to lift the standard against all forms of infidelity,
heresy, and apostasy.9

J. E. Wright gave the following strong statement at the annual convention

in 1946:

I am more than ever impressed with the need of maintaining
a most positive stand against infidelity and apostasy in Christen-
dom. . The National Association of Evangelicals has little
reason for existence if it fails to make clear its repudiation
of the false doctrines of-modernism which are endorsed and propa-
gated by prominent leaders of several of the interdenominational
organizations of this country, notably those of the Federal Council
of the Churches of Christ in America.
Men who deny the deity of Christ, the virgin birth, the
miracles of our Saviour, the efficacy of His shed blood to save
us from our sins, His physical resurrection, and His personal
return in power and glory are not Christians but are lost and
doomed sinners in need of repentance even though they may occupy
places of honor in the Church. The effort of all evangelicals
must ever be to purge their churches of these pagans.1

It would be difficult to find a more total condemnation of unorthodox

theology in the pages of the Christian Beacon itself. Many such state-

ments by the early leaders of the NAE demonstrate that they saw opposi-

tion to Protestant unorthodoxy as a major activity of the organization

though they hoped to escape the stigma which attached to the controversial

activities of McIntire and the earlier fundamentalists. In 1972, at

the thirtieth anniversary of the National Association of Evangelicals,

Dr.Clyde Taylor, general director of the organization, looked back and

noted the situation which called the movement into existence: "Protes-

tant leadership was largely polarized. Theological liberals had gained

control of most of the old-line denominations and were quite willing to

use political pressures to curtail or eliminate an evangelical voice

in their churches. Evangelicals needed a united voice to safeguard

their freedoms." 11

In the same article Taylor cited the three issues which separated

the NAE from the American Council:

1. The question of immediaLe and complete separation from
denominations and corporations in which apostasy existed.
2. The question of creating an official council of churches as
against a fellowship of evangelicals for united action.
3. The issue of a polemical and negative approach as against
a constructive approach.12

The first and third of these issues were the most difficult, though

they were tied closely to the second. The NAE allowed membership to

churches, church councils, denominations, various evangelical agencies,

and individuals, while the ACC was a genuine council of churches ad-

mitting only denominations to membership. Neither the NAE nor the ACC

would admit denominations which were connected with the Federal Council,

though the NAE would admit individual churches of denominations which

held membership in the FCC. Perhaps the third was the most important

division between the two groups. Clyde Taylor has pointed out that

most of those involved in the formation of the NAE had not been per-
sonally involved in the fundamentalistt controversy of the 192 13
sonally involved in the "fundamentalist controversy of the 1920's."

The Presbyterian group led by Mclntire and the General Association of

Regular Baptist Churches, represented by Robert T. Ketcham, the two

largest groups in the American Council, were both formed in withdrawals

from main-line denominations which were considered to have apostasized.

Men such as Ketcham, who had fought long, hard battles to withdraw from

the Northern Baptist Convention, were not inclined to associate them-

selves with organizations which involved the slightest link with the

ecclesiastical enemy. Men such as Mclntire, who had had the church

buildings of his congregation taken by the denominational machinery,

were inclined to a sterner view than men who had been spectators to the

controversy, even though they might not be separated by theological

differences. For their part, not having been involved in intense

ecclesiastical battle, certain of the NAE leaders were "to some extent

scared" of the "vehemence of the American Council men" and "their pre-

occupation with the Federal Council."14

Comment on the leadership of the two organizations was offered

by fundamentalist editor John R. Rice in 1944. Rice was closer to

Mclntire in philosophy than to the men who led the NAE but was working

more closely with the NAE and promoted it in the pages of the Sword of

the Lord. He long maintained cordial relations with both organizations

and often expressed the hope that the NAE would move toward a firmer

position against apostasy. Rice never worked closely with Mclntire or

the leadership of the American Council. He and Bob Jones led the

fundamentalist faction within the NAE, though Jones was more involved

-in the organization than Rice. As mentioned, Rice urged his readers

to pray for merger of the NAE and ACC. In an article in March, 1944, he

noted that the American Council was led by "the more aggressive fundamen-

talists, men who have boldly broken with the modernistic leadership in

their denominations." The NAE was led principally by men "who have stayed

inside the denominations," men naturally less aggressive. Rice further


They are afraid of the boldness of the American Council. They
are afraid of the leadership of Dr. Carl Mclntire. They are a
little embarrassed, we believe, by the independents in their own
ranks. [The ACC men] . have sometimes accused the National
Association of Evangelicals of being compromisers, not willing to
openly attack the Federal Council and its modernism. And I am
very sorry to say that the National Association of Evangelicals,
through their official spokesmen, have sometimes gone so far as
to accuse the American Council leaders of self-seeking and false-
Actually, though American Council leaders may be sometimes
over critical, each of them has paid a real price for leadership,
. their aggressive leadership is needed in the National
Association of Evangelicals. They have more experience in fight-
ing modernism and in standing for the fundamentals of the faith.15

Under attack by the Mclntire group for failing to maintain a

clearcut stand against infidelity, the leaders of the NAE through the

years were drawn often to set forth carefully the position of their

organization. The phrase "Cooperation Without Compromise" was the theme

of the 1949 annual convention which met in Chicago, and was the title

of the authorized history of the organization written by J. D. Murch

and published in 195.16 During the 1949 convention Stephen W. Paine,

then president of NAE, delivered an address in which he set out the

limits of cooperation. He first noted that in "all of the major branches

of Protestantism" men were deserting the faith and relegating it to the

"category of myths, and have gone about it to set up another gospel

whicli is not the gospel. . ." Referring to the brethren of the

American Council, he stated, ". . their group and ours are one in the


Faith, even though we are not agreed as to organizational policies."

He insisted that NAE cooperation did not ". . involve any compromise

whatsoever in the tenets which comprise the basic core of evangelical

faith common to all Bible-believing groups." "N. A. E. is not an in-

clusivist organization. It has no place whatsoever for those not wholly

evangelical in faith." He then scored the Federal Council of Churches

for its inclusion of leaders who denied various elements of the evangeli-

cal faith. After pointing out that the NAE did not seek to impose upon

its member churches in the area of denominational distinctive, Paine


.we have found that our area of agreement embraces those
truths which we all hold to be essential to salvation. Ie have
come to realize that despite areas of disagreement, we are deal-
ing with people who give evidence of being New Testament Chris-
tians and who have a theological platform consistent therewith.
We therefore base our co-operation fully and solely upon the
common faith of us all, allowing each other complete freedom in
our distincives.

He criticized the ACC for invading the area of denominational distinc-

tives and indeed criticized the FCC on the same basis. The issue of

affiliations was then brought up, and Paine declared that the NAE would

not place under scrutiny the connections of its members. He recognized

those scriptures which forbid "fellowship with the unfruitful works of

darkness" and "yoking together with unbelievens" and stated: "Therefore,

we will not have in our fellowship any unbelievers if we know it." He

then came to what was near the central question and asserted that he had

heard oF no verse which says, "Have no fellowship with those who have

in your opinion fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness." He

then concluded that the NAE holds neither denominational distinctive,

nor the matter of affiliations, to be uniriportant, but does not make


any attempt to regulate its members in these areas.7

Throughout the decade this theme was sounded again and again by

NAE spokesmen. Clearly they endorsed the principle that non-evangelical

figures are to be excluded from fellowship, but just as clearly they

refused to make an issue of the affiliations of their member churches.

The address by Dr. Stephen Paine which was summarized in the preceding

paragraph was presented in 1949. It rehearsed many points which had

been made in a sermon given at the previous year's convention by the

same man, but by 1949 the tone had changed somewhat.. The 1948 version

was conciliatory toward the American Council; by 1949 positions had con-

siderably hardened.18 In 1951 Dr. Paine authored a pamphlet distri-

buted by the NAE, "Separation"--Is Separating Evangelicals, which re-

vealed the extent to which the issues had developed.19

In February, 1948, Dr. Robert Ketcham, at the time president of

the American Council, identified the question between the ACC and the

NAE: "The issue is not denunciation and repudiation of apostasy. The

real issue is whether or not separation from apostasy should be added to

repudiaton and denunciation. This and this alone is the present issue

between the American Council of Christian Churches and the National

Association of Evangelicals."20 Paine used this statement by Ketcham

as the introduction of his discussion of the differences between the

organizations. He readily agreed that "the Scriptures enjoin the non-

cooperation of believers with apostasy, . but of course differed

with the ACC men on the application of this principle. He stated that

the ACC position "puts into one package-all denominations .in the Federal

Council, whether apostate or non-apostate, and declares that the


evangelical Bible-believing Christian who stays in membership connection

with any of them is disobeying the commands of Scripture." He then

pointed out that some of the leaders of the ACC, referring particularly

to Mclntire, did not leave their denomination but were ejected and

expended considerable unsuccessful effort in an attempt to be reinstated.

It is important to note that Paine in no way suggested that he opposed

withdrawal from an "apostate" denomination, but in fact claimed credit

for the NAE in bringing many churches out of their denominations. What

he did insist upon was that the timing of any such withdrawal be left to

the conscience of the individual Christian or church. The position of

Paine and of the NAE was summarized in the following statement:

Realizing the different stages and degrees of modernism in the
various FCC denominations, as well as the varying types of organi-
zational representation and control, and the varying degrees and
stages of conviction among evangelical men and congregations, the
NAE decided that, recognizing the historic Protestant principle
that believers should separate from apostasy, it must also recog-
nize the Protestant principle of individual freedom of conscience
in assessing and determining the Lord's promptings.21

Long before 1951, NAE leaders had seen signs that their softer

approach was bringing the desired results. In 1947 J. Elwin Wright

declared: "N. A. E. is winning the respect of evangelicals across the

nation. . ." He also noted that "some who have scorned fundamentalism

through the years are admitting that a new spirit has come into the

conservative movement in America. . There is abundance of proof that

the policy of building a constructive program rather than majoring in

diatribes against modernists is much more effective than the policy of

continuous attack which is favored by a few critics of N. A. E."22

Others would suggest that a considerable amount of diatribe was

included in the program of the NAE. In 1950 John R. Rice informed his


readers that though the founders of the organization did not intend

that "it should be in active opposition to the Federal Council of

Churches," in practice "it has become necessary for the N. A. E. to

openly show the dangers of the Federal Council's program, and I am glad
they do."23 Certainly as the NAE leaders were drawn into theological

battle, they found it necessary to take more forthright positions than

they intended, but even at the 1943 convention one speaker referred to

the Federal Council of Churches as the "children of this world" while

another saw Protestantism divided into two parts: "(1) Those who have

departed from the true Christian tradition; (2) Those who adhere to the

Christian tradition without equivocation or reservation."24 And no

less a spokesman than Dr. Stephen Paine suggested in 1948 that the

mission of the NAE would involve the negative as well as the positive;

that it would be necessary to tell "what the faith is not" as well as

what it is. He further indicated that this might involve "implicating
some person or agency, as the Federal Council of Churches."25 One who

is familiar with the rhetoric of evangelical and fundamentalist groups

will nonetheless feel the milder tone of the NAE "exposure of unbelief."

Thus, the NAE was heavily involved in criticism of liberalism

within the major Protestant institutions. Throughout the years of

its existence, denunciation of non-orthodoxy was prominent in the

speeches given at the annual conventions, the literature distributed by

the organization,and the NAE journal, United Evangelical Action. This

criticis;i,';as usually carried on in a more scholarly fashion and in more

subdued tones .than the attacks on liberalism made by the independent

fundamentalists and the men of the ACC, but throughout the decade

fundamentalist influence was still strong within the National Associa-

tion of Evangelicals. Attack on error did not have the prominence in

NAE circles that it did in fundamentalist circles, however, and cer-

tainly was a lesser concern in NAE than in ACC.

The dispute between the NAE and ACC placed many evangelicals in

a difficult position. Most wanted no part of the squabble and failed

to align themselves with either group. Others became extreme partisans

and actively worked against the "opposing" organization. Some, such as

John R. Rice, attempted to remain on friendly terms with both groups.

The complexities of the situation are seen in reactions occasioned by

the publication, in the Sword during the Spring of 1949, of several

articles by Carl Mclntire which were strongly critical of the Federal

Council of Churches. In answer to a letter from a reader who disliked

the McIntire criticism of the FCC, Rice wrote:

I am not connected with the American Council of Churches,
but with the National Association of Evangelicals. And Dr. Carl
Mclntire, I understand, has sometimes criticized me because I
do not break fellowship with all the good men in denominations
which fellowship with the Federal Council of Churches. I am
regularly engaged in large union revival campaigns and I work
with all the people of God who believe the Bible and preach
salvation by the blood of Christ. I may say very frankly that
I have sometimes been irritated by the extreme to which
Mr. Mclntire sometimes goes, particularly in labelling some of
us as compromiserss" who strive for unity and who have good
fellowship with good, solid, Bible-believing Christians who
remain in denominations where there is modernism. I feel I must
maintain my fellowship with all those who truly love the Lord
Jesus and believe His Word, even though they may do wrong, and
I think they do, in being yoked up with unbelievers contrary to
the command of II Corinthians 6:14-18.
Whatever else can be said for Mr. Mclntire, it surely
is ttre that he loves the Word of God and defends it. It is
unfortunately true that Harry Emerson Fosdick, that Bishop G.
*Bromley Oxnam, Bishop McConnell and many others who lead in the
"Federal Council of Churches are really infidels. . They
scoff at the integrity of the Bible, at the dioty of Chirst, at


salvation through the atoning blood. In my judgment, no sincere
Christian can be indifferent, in the face of such blatant and
wicked treason to historic Christianity. I am against that kind
of infidelity in the church. It is not Christianity ..
.What Mr. McIntire is saying on this matter needs to
be said, and I am for him saying it and frankly and honestly back
him up in a necessary protest.

So, while I do not go as far as Mr. Mclntire-in breaking
fellowship with godly Christian people who have not left the
major denominations, yet believe the same gospel he believes
and oppose the infidelity of principal leaders of the Federal
Council of Churches for the same reason that Mr. Mclntire does.
Therefore, I asked permission to run his series of articles in
The Sword of the Lord.26

This would represent the thinking of the more conservative elements in

the National Association of Evangelicals during the first decade of its

existence. Toward the end of the decade, some of these fundamentalist

leaders began to drift away from the organization, partially in dis-

satisfaction with its position with regard to separation, partially

because of a dispute over evangelism. Rice and Bob Jones represented a

group of evangelists within the organization who urged that the NAE be-

come actively involved in the promotion of evangelistic campaigns through-

out the country. At first there was some enthusiasm for such a program

within the organization, but as it became clear that certain of the

member groups were opposed to mass evangelism, the plans were dropped.

During the early 1950s several of the fundamentalist leaders, including

Rice and Jones, ceased to be actively involved"in the organization.27

This more fully confirmed leadership in the hands of men who had not

been involved in the fundamentalist-modernist controversy and moved

the organization in a "softer" direction. The polemic of the NAE

against unorthodoxy became less polemical and the divergence between

the fundamentalists and the "evangelicals" grew more marked.


Had the NAE men, the Baptist fundamentalists led by Rice, the

independent fundamentalists represented by Jones, and the men of the

American Council been joined together in a strong organization with a

clear platform, the history of evangelicalism in the next years might

have been far different. As it was, the energy and interest that came

to the evangelical community in the years after the war, highlighted

by the emergence of Billy Graham as a national figure, found the evan-

gelicals disunited and unable to speak with any compelling voice to

the shape which the "revival' of the 1950s would take. Since their

defeat in the struggles of the twenties, the evangelicals had operated

in relative isolation, little affected by the shifts in the theological

temperature of the surrounding community, exerting little influence on

the national scene. Neo-orthodoxy had challenged and finally unseated

liberalism as the dominant force in American Protestantism, but this

struggle had been of only peripheral interest to most evangelicals.

Even those evangelicals who remained within the major denominations

tended to be much more involved with evangelical, interdenominational

activities than with the programs of their denominations. With the

surge of evangelical activity following the war and the emergence of

Graham in 1949, the evangelical community again would find it necessary

to consider its relationship to the whole of American Protestantism,

and indeed to the whole of American society.



INational Association of Evangelicals, A Report of the Consti-
tutional Convention (Chicago, 1943), p. 9.
2Stephen Paine, "Separation" Is Separating Evangelicals
(printed privately by J. Elwin Wright, 1951), pp. 38-39.

3NAE, Report of Constitutional Convention, p. 8.

41bid., pp. 23-24.

5Ibid., p. 39.

6Sword, March 24, 1944, X, 3.

7NAE, Report of Constitutional Convention, p. 55.

8NAE, A Report of the Sixth Annual Convention (Chicago, 1948),
p. 39.
9NAE, A Report of the Seventh Annual Convention (Chicago, 1949),
p. 1.

0NAE, A Report of the Fourth Annual Convention (Chicago, 1946),
p. 51.

11United Evangelical Action, Spring, 1972, pp. 8-9.
121bid., pp. 8-9.

13!bid., p. 9.

14Paine, "Separation," p. 39.

15Sword, March 24, 1944, X, 1-3.
16James DeForest Murch, Cooperation Without Compromise (Grand
Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1956).

17NAE, Report of Seventh Convention, pp. 23-29.
18NAE, Report of Sixth Convention pp. 40-47.
19aine, arat
Paine, "Separation."


20Robert Ketchum, quoted by Stephen Paine, "Separation," p. 3.

Paine, "Separation," pp. 3-5.

22NAE, A Report of the Fifth Annual Convention (Chicago, 1947),
p. 9.
Sword, October 13, 1950, XII, 7.
24NAE, Report of Constitutional Convention, p. 16.

25NAE, Report of Sixth Convention, p. 46.

26Sword, April 8, 1949, XI, 1-6.

27Interview with Clyde Taylor, Washington, D.C., August, 1973.



John R. Rice began the publication of the Sword of the Lord on

-September 28, 1934, as simply the voice of the evangelist in print

"preaching the gospel, rebuking sin, defending the faith, teaching

the Bible, and winning sinners to the Lord Jesus Christ." The paper

would maintain a constant war "on booze, on horse race gambling, on

modernism and unbelief in the churches, and on sin of every kind, in

the church as well as out." Readers were told that if they wished a

friend to know what it meant to be a fundamentalist, they could give

him a subscription to the Sword.1 And indeed, through the years there

has been no better place to gauge the position of fundamentalists than

in the pages of the Sword. Fundamentalists have been far too indi-

vidualistic to allow any one spokesman's position on a subject to stand

for that of fundamentalism. There have always been disputes within

fundamentalism, as there have been within most other groups, but the

Sword, because of its continuous publication since 1934 and because

Rice has always been near the center of fundamentalist thought, is the

best single source on fundamentalist attitudes during the years with

which this study is concerned. The unwillingness to compromise on

matters thought, rightly or wrongly, to be matters of principle was a

central element in the fundamentalist mentality and is reflected always

in the Sword.

Fundamentalists always believed that there had been more "Bible-

believers" than "liberals" in the churches during the years of the

great denominational wars, and attributed the defeat of the conservatives

to the refusal of the orthodox leadership of the denominations to elimi-

nate non-orthodox teaching before it could gain control of the denomina-

tional machinery. In the minds of the fundamentalists, the conquest of

the denominations by liberalism was an act of treachery. Liberals came

into power in the denominations secretly, usually denying that their

views varied from accepted positions.. Only after the machinery was

firmly in their own hands was the real nature of their position re-

vealed, and only then did the average church member begin to be af-

fected by the liberal teaching. The failure of orthodoxy to retain con-

trol of the denominations was therefore seen as the result of the re-

fusal of the conservatives to examine carefully the teaching of those

suspected of non-orthodox views and exclude any who veered from

orthodoxy. Those who had withdrawn from their denominations during the

struggles of the twenties and thirties were ever on their guard lest

the liberalism from which they had withdrawn gain entry to their new

organizations in the way that it was considered to have entered the

old. While many were critical of this fundamentalist effort to expose

and resist encroachments of non-orthodox teaching, the fundamentalists

pointed to the disastrous results which the policy of charity in matters

of doctrinal difference had brought the old denominations. In funda-

mentalist eyes, the old-line denominations were virtually all apostate

or near apostate, and none retained even a fraction of the.vigorous

testimony which it had during the nineteenth century. Only the


Southern Baptist Convention, among the major denominations, remained

largely uncorrupted, and there was great concern in fundamentalist

circles over the teaching of evolution in Baptist colleges and softness

toward the "higher critical view of the Bible" in Southern Baptist

seminaries. Rice in particular was concerned about the Southern Baptist

Convention, as his work had been within that group, though by 1934 he

had been for some time in independent work. His brief association with

J. Frank Norris, a Texas fundamentalist Baptist and bitter foe of the

Southern Baptist Convention, encouraged more vocal attack on suspect

elements within the convention. Though after he broke with Norris his

relations with the convention temporarily improved, by the 1940s

concern over conditions within the Convention was again a major element

in the Sword.

The second issue of the Sword contained a message by Rice which

set forth his position on the matter of separation from unbelief. That

message would be reprinted through the years with changes in illus-

trations, specific names and places, but with no change of position.

The sermon was titled "The Unequal Yoke: What the Bible says about

Christians yoking up with unbelievers in lodges, in marriage, and in

churches and denominations."2 The text was II Corinthians 6:14-18:

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for
what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and
what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath
Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an
infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?
for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I
will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them,
and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing:

f 1

and I will receive you; And will be a father unto you, and ye
shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. [KJV]

Rice applied these verses without hesitation, declaring that Christians

ought not be joined with unbelievers "in marriage, in lodges, and in

churches." Though Christians should certainly associate socially with

unsaved people and witness to them in the normal concourse of daily

living, any "yoke" which implied mutual responsibilities and identifica-

tion must be avoided. Not only was this based on the passage in II

Corinthians, but it was said to be "one of the plainest doctrines in

the Bible." He cited the emphasis on separation given to the Jews in

the Old Testament. Jews were to be set apart by circumcision, by

special dietary restrictions, and by marital restrictions. They were

told not to plant a vineyard with two kinds of seeds, not to wear a

garment made of two kinds of material, and not to plow with an ox and

an ass yoked together. These were cited as evidence that the doctrine

of separation was a major theme of the Old Testament. While the cere-

monial provisions of Jewish law did not apply to Christians, the

principle of separation assuredly did.3 The New Testament was said

to be as much concerned about the matter of separation, with special

emphasis given to matters of religious observance. Christians should

have "no 'yoke,' no 'fellowship,' no 'agreement,' no 'part,' no Concordd,'"

with unbelievers in churches and religious programs. A newspaper survey

was cited to demonstrate serious variance between orthodox belief and

the opinions of a significant number of ministers, and it was pointed

out that the New Testament predicted the emergence of "false teachers

and false prophets." The New TeStament said that the introduction of

false teaching was to be done privilyy" and with "feigned words," and

Rice commented further:

What an accurate picture that is of modernists! They pretend
to believe in the Bible, the miracles, salvation, Heaven, etc.
But when they say the Bible is inspired, they mean just like
other good books are inspired. They say that Jesus is the Son
of God, but they say that so are we all the sons of God! They
may say they believe in miracles, but in the next breath they
say that the radio and printing press are mirl-les. Actually
their words are "feigned words." for secretly, that is, privily,
they are bringing in damnable doctrines that deny the Lord who
bought them, deny the Bible, God's Word ..
The sad truth is told, in verse 2 above, that "many shall
follow their pernicious ways"! In these wicked, modern days,
many people follow unbelievers and modernists. Verse 3 tells us
that such unbelievers and modernists still claim to be preachers,
still claim to be Christians, though they do not believe the
very fundamentals of the Christian faich, . But they hold on
to the form of Christianity while they preach their wicked un-
belief. . 4

Rice was definite as to what Christians should do when they found them-

selves in churches, denominations,or religious organizations with such

ministers: they should get out. "They should not be yoked with un-

believers in the churches and religious work. To be in a church with

unbelievers, skeptics, and doubters is to disobey the plain command of

Christ." Rice then stressed the injunction of Jude to "earnestly con-

tend for the faith," waving aside the objections of any who might dis-

like "contentions" and insisting that the Scriptures enjoin Christians

from having any peace with "modernists, rationalists, unbelievers,"

or "false teachers." He then explained:

Honest Christians may differ as to some details of Bible inter-
pretation, but honest Christians cannot differ about the deity
of Christ nor whether the Bible is all God's Word, infallibly
true, nor about the blood atonement nor about the miracles such
as the virgin birth and the bodily resurrection of Christ, the
creation of the world by the direct act of God, etc., nor about a
literal Hell. When a man dissents from what the Bible says on
such great fundamentals of the faith, then that man has no right
to call himself a Christian, much less a preacher of the Gospel
or a teacher of the Bible. Such a man is an impostor, a deceiver,
a false prophet. . an infidel in the garb of a preacher, with

language of deceit because of covetousness, is a wolf in sheep's
clothing, a base hypocrite. He forfeits the respect of decent
people and should have open scorn and public exposure at the
hands of true Chris ians everywhere. The Bible commands us to
contend earnestly for the faith.5

Though fundamentalists might differ with one another on a great variety

of subjects, might even differ violently, among those who enthusiasti-

cally accepted the fundamentalist label there was agreement on the

importance of this emphasis. Modernism, liberalism, whatever name

might be given to any non-orthodox position, it must be exposed as non-

Christian and resisted with all possible vigor. Christians must separate

themselves from it and refuse it any recognition. Once it became

clear that control of a church, denomination,or other religious organi-

zation could not be retained by orthodoxy or retrieved, Christians

bore a responsibility to withdraw to a doctrinally pure testimony. If

the non-orthodox could not be ejected, then the orthodox must withdraw.

Such thinking caused the withdrawal of the Orthodox and Bible presby-

terians from their denomination, the withdrawal of the Regular Baptists

and the Conservative Baptists from the Northern Baptist Convention and

countless smaller groups from other denominations. Great variation

existed among these groups on the degree of separation required, and

controversy on this point was often bitter among fundamentalists, but

all agreed that the maintenance of a doctrially pure testimony was de-

manded by God, and all were determined not to allow the circumstances

which forced their withdrawal to be repeated.

An article in the March 22, 1935, Sword revealed no mellowing of

Rice's position. In defending the fundamentalist crusade against

modernism, he began with Cain and Abel and traced the development of

true religion as against false religion through history, finally stat-

ing, "The modern terms for these extremes of religion are fundamental-

ism and modernism." He then contrasted the two:

A Fundamentalist is a believer.
A Modernist is an unbeliever.
A Fundamentalist is old fashioned.
A Modernist is new fangled.
A Fundamentalist insists on a supernatural, infallible
Bible, a supernatural Savior, a supernatural salvation.
Modernists insist on a human, fallible Bible, on Jesus as
a good prophet, teacher, example and martyr instead of a Savior
and a salvation of human righteousness.
Bible Christians are Fundamentalists.
All infidels are Modernists.6

Donald Tinder, in an analysis of fundamentalist Baptists in the

North and West, suggests four degrees of separation which were prac-

ticed by fundamentalists with regard to modernism:

1 Those who considered separate .: in their personal and local rela-
tions to be sufficient.
2 Those who withdraw from a denomination where modernism was present,
but who continued to fellowship with those fundamentalists who
remained within.
3 Those who refused to fellowship even with those fundamentalists
who remained within the tainted denomination.
4 Those who would fellowship only with fundamentalists who were of
their particular denominational position. That is, only with
Baptists who were not part of a denomination containing modernism.7

Tinder used the term fundamentalist in a somewhat broader sense than

it has been used in this study. Generally, the fundamentalists so

designated in this study are those in Tinder's"categories 2, 3, and 4.

Robert Shuler, pastor of Trinity Methodist Church in Los Angeles,

remained within that denomination throughout his life and was a

most vigorous opponent of non-orthodoxy, but suggested before his

death that he would not remain within it if he were a young preacher.

W. B. Riley fought liberalism within the Northern Baptist Convention

during his life and withdrew from the denomination while on his death-

bed. Most important fundamentalist leaders, however, left their

denominations, either voluntarily or involuntarily, during their

active years. Even among those who remained within a denomination,

there was usually little active denoniinational involvement. Often

their personal interpretation of their relationship to the denomination

amounted to separation, though technically they were members. The

ecclesiology of the various groups of fundamentalists which remained

in denominations containing non-orthodoxy often justified their tie with

the denomination by denying that it existed. They usually held that

the only Biblical institution was the local church, and therefore any

tie with a denomination was only technical.8 Separation was a vital

element, perhaps the vital element, in the fundamentalist mentality.

Fundamentalists might quarrel with one another as to when a denomina-

tion had actually become "apostate," but there was little disagreement

that when that point was reached, it was the obligation of the Christian

to withdraw.

A typical sermon on the subject of separation was printed in the

November, 1941, Sword. Titled "God's Call to Separation," the sermon

was by Robert E. Neighbour, a fundamentalist Baptist.9 Emphasizing that

this was not a minor point, Neighbour opened by declaring:

The call of the whole Bible is the call to separation.
Today I ran through some of the various scriptures that give
the call to separation. Beloved, I was engulfed in a sea of
truth. Accordingly, I just picked out a few scriptures which
I thought most vital.

First-came several verses from the Genesis creation account with the

headings: '"Light Separated from Darkness," "The Waters Above


Separated from the Waters Below," "The Waters Separated from the Dry

Land," and "Day Separated from Night." The following comment, on the

fourteenth verse, was typical: "If we are the children of light, and

the children of the day, the night cannot dwell with us. We have no

place of fellowship with the night." It was next pointed out that

Abraham was called out from his homeland, and from him came a separated

nation. Neighbour next pointed to the fetching of Rebekah as a bride

for Isaac and then turned with greater attention to the bringing of

Israel out of Egypt by Moses. Here he stressed the efforts of Pharaoh

to persuade the Israelites to leave their herds behind, and then to go

not far away. All of these were of course treated with the separation

theme in mind. Turning to the New Testament,he first read II Corinthians

6:14-18, the passage most often referred to by fundamentalists as a

text for messages on separation, and then commented: "The heart of the

Bible is God's call, 'Come out.' What are we to come out of? Out of

everything--out of ourselves, out of the world, out of darkness, and

into Him, our all in all." Having presented the separatist theme in

broad principle, Neighbour turned to suggest specific things from which

Christians were to be separated. First he stated that evil brethren

should be avoided, citing I Corinthians 5:11. "I have written unto yon

not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator,

or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extor-

tioner; with such an one no not to eat." Then, false teachers become

the object of separation, and Neighbour quoted several passages, finally

reading a most important separatist passage from II John:


For many deceivers are entered into the world who confess
not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver
and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those
things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ,
hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath
both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and
bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither
bid him God speed. For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker
of his evil deeds.

His closing illustrations concerned two women who questioned him at

the end of a meeting. The pastors of the women had each denied some

point of orthodox doctrine, and his advice to each was unequivocal:

"Stay in that church only long enough to get out."0 This sermon, and

an innumerable company of others which could be presented, reveals that

separation had become far more than one scriptural injunction which

placed upon believers certain obligations. Separatism had become vir-

tually a system of doctrinal interpretation. It provided structure to

the entire biblical message and was determinative of that message at

numerous critical points. It was more than an injunction designed to

protect the church and the individual believer from the ravages of

the false teacher, though it was certainly that. In the fundamentalist

system it became part of the plan of God for the ages and one of the

dominant themes of Scripture.

Donald Tinder points out-that one of the important activities of

the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches, a group led for

many years by Robert Ketcham which withdrew from the Northern Baptist

Convention (American Baptist Convention), was the dissemination of

warnings concerning false teachers. He writes:

Biblical instructions about false teachers were plentiful.
H. C. Van Gilder, first full-time representative for the GARBC,

summarized many of them: Mt. 13:38 predicts the contemporaneous
existence of true believers and false pretenders in the world
and probably therefore in the local church, since otherwise the
pretension would not be very convincing; I John 4:1-3 and
Galatians 1:5-9 predict invasion by false apostles and deceitful
workers who are to be judged, contended against (Jude 3,4),
excluded (II John 10,11) withdrawn from (Eph. 5:11, I Timothy
6:3-5, II Timothy 2:20-21). Van Gilder believed the 'clearest
exhortation to be in II Corinthians 6:14-7:1, which says in part,
"Be ye not unequally yoked with unbelievers. . 11

The attitude of fundamentalists toward those who held other theo-

logical positions was in their own thinking closely tied to their doc-

trinal views. Fundamentalists of course claimed to get their contempt

for other theological positions, as well as their orthodox theology,

from the Bible. They were therefore usually insensitive to any criti-

cism of their abrasive approach. In reply to a letter from a

modernist, who had objected to Rice's classification of him as an

infidel, Rice answered that he could not address the man as a Christian

brother because his publicly expressed beliefs showed him to be an

unbeliever. Rice wrote, "I wrote you in the language of the Lord

Jesus Himself, quoting His words in Matthew 23 to others, like yourself,

very religious in observance, but denying Christ's deity, rejecting Him

as Saviour, as you do." And later, commenting on his reply, he said:

Any modernist who brings any gospel besides the gospel of indi-
vidual salvation by personal faith in the blood of Christ should
be accursed, and Paul repeated it, "Let him be accursed!" Paul
was not 'civil' to these religious hypocrites pretending to be
Christians. . Instead of dealing with infidels and modernists
(who deny the Bible and deny the deity of Christ and forsake the
historic position of Bible Christianity) on the mere shallow
plane of human civility, why not deal with them on the Bible
basis commanded by our God and our Saviour?12

This did not mean that fundamentalists were being exhorted to have no

sensitivity to the human feelings involved. Rice had broken with

J. Frank Norris, as had virtually all of fundamentalism, largely

because of his intemperate attacks on other Christian leaders. Writing

at the time of his split with Norris, Rice suggested that even though

modernism must be exposed--he considered this to be axiomatic-- funda-

mentalists needed to "magnify the great fundamental of Brotherly love.

.Even the exposure of modernism ought to be so fairly done and in

such brotherly love toward the misled Christians involved, that the

fewest possible scars will be left. . Brotherly love is one of the

greatest of the fundamentals."13 Some might doubt that Rice in all

cases followed the advice he gave here.

Evidence of the consistency of the fundamentalist concern with

separation is the fact that the Swordthroughout the years, periodically

has printed a brief message by James M. Gray, one-time president of

Moody Bible Institute, delivered at the height of the fundamentalist-

modernist controversy and dealing with the relationship of the two

theological positions. Gray quoted a famous January 3, 1924, editorial

which set modernism solidly over against fundamentalism:

Christianity according to Fundamentalism is one religion. Chris-
tianity according to Modernism is another religion. Which is
the true religion is the question that is to be settled in all
probability by our generation for further generations. . The
God of the fundamentalist is one God; the God of the Modernist
is another. The Christ of the fundamentalist is one Christ;
the Christ of Modernism is another. The Bible of Fundamentalism
is one Bible; the Bible of Modernism is another. . Which God
is the Christian God, which Christ is the Christian Christ, which
Bible is the Christian Bible. . The future will tell.

Gray concluded:

The Christian Century is right.
How can any compromise be effected between these two
things? . How can these two worlds be bound together? Can
believers be yoked with unbelievers? Can righteousness have
fellowship with unrighteousness? . Can he that believeth
have.part with the infidel?14

Both Gray's sermon and the 1924 Christian Century editorial continued,

and continue, for fundamentalists to be valid expressions through

which to relate oneself to the American theological spectrum.

Consistently through the years, opposition to non-orthodox teach-

ing and the call for separation from "false teachers" and worldly liv-

ing occupied a major position in the fundamentalist effort. In September

of 1954 the Sword printed a message by Robert L. Sumner which had been

a winner in the Sword's annual sermon contest. The sermon was titled

"The Twentieth Century Issue Facing Twentieth Century Christians."15

Its topic was separation; its text was II Corinthians 6:14-7:1. The

following week another sermon contest winner appeared. Entitled "False

Prophets," this message by Robert Wells dealt even more rigorously with

doctrinal deviation.16 Many have been critical of the fundamentalist

attitude toward those of other theological positions. This was one of

the chief criticisms made by the new evangelicals with whom this

study is concerned. Fundamentalists were never willing to allow differ-

ence of opinion over what they called the "fundamental doctrines" to

be considered mere differences of opinion by honest men searching for

the truth. To the fundamentalist there need be no "search for truth,"

for the truth was already in hand. Those who chose to deny it were

engaging in wilful unbelief and in deliberate attempts to undermine

the belief of the faithful. Wells cited biblical evidence of "deliber-

ate design on the part of these false teachers." He warned: "Coming

from the ranks of the unbelievers, they enter the ranks of the believers.

It is a specific act and for a specific purpose." They were said to

be "Satan's ministers," and their activities were seen as "sinister,

malicious and insidious." On denominational particularisms, on questions

of baptism, church polity, and in other areas, there might be disagree-

ment among "Bible-believing Christians," but with regard to such

clearly taught matters as creation, the fall of man, the validity of

Old Testament prophecy, the virgin birth, the sinless life and sub-

stitutionary death of Christ, and his resurrection and deity, there

could be only two alternatives, acceptance or rejection. And any

preacher or professor rejecting any of the doctrines deemed essential

by the fundamentalists was considered a false teacher. It is impor-

tant to note that fundamentalists always made a distinction between

a religious figure and the common sinner, who made no profession of

Christianity and whose ideas about religion were expected to be false.

The "sinner" was the object of compassionate missionary effort, the

"false prophet" was the object of denunciation. The fundamentalists

insisted that such a distinction had biblical warrant. The apostle

Paul wrote in the New Testament many tender entreaties addressed to

the sinner and the erring Christian, but Wells also noted warnings

that certain men "pervert the gospel of Christ" and teach "another

gospel which is not another." Fundamentalists were confident they

could distinguish simple sinners from the pernicious false teachers who

were the objects of their attack. Commented Wells: "Although Jesus

ate with publicans and sinners, His Word tells us that we are not to

have fellowship with false teachers." They also made room for "weaker

brothers," who held erroneous doctrine though they were in fact

Christians, but toward those deemed fa4se teachers, fundamentalists were

unsparing in condemnation. Warned Wells:

These wolves of Hell have so clearly disguised their naturally
beastlike qualities and camouflaged their hairy,brutish,
ferocious, ravenous character with the sheep's clothing of a
pious profession and the terminology, forms and trappings of
orthodoxy, that they have proven that it is possible to
"deceive the very elect." They have gained influence, posi-
tion and power through their cunning conniving and in this set-
ing they inject the deadly,.devastating poison of error, false-
hood, heresy and downright unbelief into the bloodstream of
the human race.17

He charged that the evidence of the activities of such teachers in

S"each of the major denominations in America" would require scores and

scores of volumes while "nearly every religious institution" would

require additional volumes. The efforts of the Federal Council of

Churches (recently become the National Council of Churches) would

necessitate "literally hundreds of volumes more." Wells then pro-

duced the 1924 Christian Century editorial as evidence of the chasm

between modern religious thought and fundamentalism's orthodoxy, and

went on to attack the suggestion of one liberal theologian that the

father of Jesus might well have been a German soldier stationed near

Nazareth. The rejection of substitutionary atonement by Harry Emerson

Fosdick, pastor of Riverside Church in New York and long a prime

target of fundamentalist criticism, was presented as the essence of

false teaching.

Wells quoted six verses which he said presented God's instruc-

tions for a Christian with regard to false prophets; the Christian

was instructed to

.. avoid them" Romans 16:17
"Be rot unequally yoked" (with them) II Corinthians 6:14
. come out from among them" II Corinthians 6:17
". withdraw" (from them) I Timothy 6:5
. receive him not into your house" II John 10,11
". .. earnestly contend for the faith which
was ohce for all delivered unto the saints." Jude 3

Wells declared, "To associate with them in any way; to fellowship with

them in any program; to give them the benefit of any support, moral or

material; to belong to their churches; to lend them your influence; to

give them the slightest indication of recognition, respect or honor;

is to ignore, deny and disobey the plain teaching of the Bible and to

compromise with the forces of Satan and Hell!" And in a final declara-

tion Robert Wells charged:

If these men are ministers of Satan and ambassadors of Hell,
and they are; if they are deceivers whose determination is .to
destroy the flock, and they are; if these men are preaching
damnable heresies, denying the'Lord that bought them and turning
the grace of God into lasciviousness, and they are; if, in the
sight of God, these men are wicked, ungodly, sensual men who have
not the spirit of God, and they are; if these men are as the
Bible declares, actually ignorant, presumptuous, arrogant fools
who revile those things they cannot understand, and they are; if
they are indeed leading multitudes of precious never-dying
souls to their eternal damnation in Hell, and they are; they are
the most vicious enemies of God and His Son and His church with
which we have to contend. They are dangerous, deadly criminals
in the realm of moral and spiritual truth and they need to be
exposed. There must be no compromise in this. We must "take
the gloves off" and in obedience to Divine exhortation, earnestly
contend for the faith!18

Fundamentalists accepted the analysis of the 1924 editorial of

Christian Century as one of the permanent markers of religious division

in America. They were not totally ignorant of the changes brought to

the theological world by the emergence of neo-orthodoxy, and from time

to time,articles analyzing the dialectical theology appeared in funda-

mentalist literature. The neo-orthodox theologians were always cate-

gorized with the older liberals,however, and the basic distinction was

held to lie between orthodoxy and non-orthodoxy, rather than between

neo-orthodoxy and liberalism. One of the distinctions between the new

evangelicals and the fundamentalists would be their attitudes toward the

emergence of neo-orthodoxy. Fundamentalists tended to see neo-orthodoxy

only as a complicating factor, one making it more difficult and more

needful to measure faithfulness to the Word. There was great variation

among new evangelicals with regard to neo-orthodoxy, and a fuller dis-

cussion of their views will be made later, but they tended to take a

more favorable view of the influence of the dialectical theologians,

stressing their contribution in dethroning classical liberalism. The

new evangelicals were certain that the changes in theological climate

in America called for a re-evaluation of conservative strategy,while

fundamentalists were even more confident that there had never been a

greater need for bold condemnation of false teaching.

The battle against non-orthodoxy absorbed considerable fundamen-

talist attention, but the pages of the Sword reveal that other matters

received equal attention. One of the consistent emphases of John R.

Rice and most fundamentalists over the years was the promotion of

evangelism. An evangelist himself, Rice devoted much effort to return-

ing mass evangelism to the prominence it had experienced earlier in

the century. It was Rice's hope that city-wide campaigns, backed by

all orthodox churches, could again capture the imagination of America and

act as the spearhead of the drive to restore orthodoxy and spiritual

vitality. In the late 1940s the attempt to restore mass evangelism as

an important part of the ministry of the church seemed to be succeed-

ing,and the high point of this success was the emergence of Billy

Graham, a fundamentalist evangelist, into national prominence in late




Sword, September 28, 1934, I, 1.

2Rice, The Unequal Yoke (Murfreesboro, Tenn.: Sword of the
Lord, 1944).

31bid., p. 4.

4Ibid., p. 16.

5 bid., pp. 17-18.

Rice, "The Reproach of Being a Fundamentalist," Sword, March 22,
1935, I, 1.

Donald Tinder, "Fundamentalist Baptists in the Nqrthern and
Western United States" (Ph.D. dissertation, Yale University, 1972),
p. 452.

8Ibid., pp. 411-412.

R. E. Neighbour, "God's Call to Separation," Sword, November 21.
1941, XI, 1-3.

lTinder, "Fundamentalist Baptists," p. 394.

12Sword, February 9, 1945, XI, 1-2.
1Sword, April 8, 1937, III, i.

14James M. Gray, "Controversy, Compromise or Consent--Which?";
Sword of the Lord, May 9, 1947, IX, 1-3; Christian Century, January 3,
1924, XL
Robert L. Sumner, "The Twentieth Century Issue Facing Twen-
tieth Century Christians," Sword, September 10, 1954, XX, 1, 9-10.
16Robert Wells, "False Prophets,"'Sword, September 17, 1954,
XX, 1, 7-10.

i i


171bid., p. 8.

18Ibid., p. 10



The defeat of the conservatives in the denominational wars, the

effects of the First World War and the social and economic changes

which followed, as well as the excesses of certain evangelists, had brought

the end of mass evangelism as it had .been practiced by Moody and Billy

Sunday and a host of lesser evangelists. The major denominations were

generally opposed to the involvement of the churches in programs of

mass evangelism, and other than the Southern Baptist Convention, no

major denomination considered evangelism the major task of the church.

Tent revivalists, pentecostalists,and a variety of independent evange-

lists continued to hold "evangelistic meetings," and fundamentalists

continued to hold "special revival meetings" sponsored by individual

conservative churches but the days of massive union meetings sponsored

by many churches throughout a city seemed to be over. The only nation-

ally prominent revivalists tended to operate apart from any church con-

nection, sometimes, as with Aimee Semple McPherson, starting churches or

denominations of their own. Such revivalists as did achieve national

notice usually did so more because of scandals connected with their

work than because of any impact upon communities or churches. Many

sects and cultic groups were aggressive in evangelistic activities and

profited from the lessening of emphasis upon personal religion by the

established churches. Grover C. Loud expressed the opinion of the

major Protestant denominations when in 1928 he wrote that revivalism

was a thing of the past.2 Though earlier in the century,evangelists

such as Sam Jones, B. Fay Mills, Reuben A. Torrey, J. Wilbur Chapman,

and Billy Sunday himself had held great meetings supported by the churches,

by 1930 it indeed seemed that the day of the large revival meeting was

over. Those conservatives who still supported the concept of mass

evangelism and the techniques of revivalism which had been developed

by Moody and Sunday failed even to secure the support of fellow conser-

vatives. In fundamentalist circles the single church revival took the

place of the large union meeting, and city-wide meetings were no longer

held in most parts of the country.

The methods of revivalism continued to be practiced in these single

church meetings, however, and many conservatives looked hopefully for a

day in which the large union meeting would return. John R. Rice pro-

moted the concept in the pages of the Sword, and through"Sword Confer-

ences"held throughout the country. Other evangelists continued to work

through the churches, and during the Second World War their efforts be-

gan to bring some success. In the last years of the war there seemed

growing signs that churches were looking more favorably toward mass

evangelism. Youth For Christ and other independent evangelistic organi-

zations were demonstrating that evangelism among young people could be

effectively done on a city-wide basis, and evangelists were again gain-

ing the attention of the broader community.

Early in 1945 Southern Baptist evangelist Hyman Appelman conducted

revival meetings in Los Angeles whichiwere supported by a variety of

conservative groups, including the American Council of Christian Churches


and the National Association of Evangelicals. The meetings were very

successful, with nightly attendance averaging 4,000, and were supported

by over 200 churches. Robert Shuler, fundamentalist pastor of the

large Trinity Methodist Church in Los Angeles, reported on the meetings

in his paper, the Methodist Challenge. Having been an evangelist him-

self, Shuler was pleased to see in the meetings evidence that God had

not ceased to bless through mass evangelism as the critics of revival-

ism charged. He wrote: "The Methodist Church may be through. She may

never come back. But the revivals are still here, when the conditions

are met. More than that, God is not through. Nor is He through with

mass .evangelism." He pointed to the massive youth meetings which had

recently been held by conservative evangelical organizations in New York

and in Chicago as further evidence of the continued effectiveness of the

revivalist methods. His own church and two others were the only Methodist

churches participating in the campaign, and the Methodist leadership of

the city had been "openly critical" and "hostile" to the meetings. All

the churches cooperating in the crusade were said to be "fundamental and

evangelical" though of every denominational persuasion. The movement

was sound, there were "no modernists or liberals in it!" There was no

disagreement among the churches concerning the inspiration of Scripture.

Shuler reported:

All believe the Bible to be the Word of God. They all believe
in the Virgin Birth of Jesus, the blood atonement, the bodily
resurrection of Jesus, salvation by the faith of man and the
grace of God, and a victorious life in Jesus Christ. Among
them are Calvinists and Arminians, those who baptize by various
modes and in various manners, people who are very emotional and
people who are the opposite.

Baptists furnished the greatest support, with considerable numbers of

Nazarene, Pilgrim Holiness, Church of God, Pentecostal, Presbyterian,

and Congregational churches also participating. Though the secular

newspapers had "practically ignored" the meetings, and the Methodist

denominational press would probably fail to "so much as mention" them,

Schuler saw in them "a mighty refutation of the claim of the Federal

Council of Churches that the work of Christianity must be done some

other way and that educational processes must take the place of a Holy

Ghost revival." The most important thing in Schuler's eyes was that

there were plans for these same agencies to work together in sponsoring

such meetings throughout the country.4

John R. Rice also placed great significance upon the success of the

Los Angeles meetings and similar meetings which were held in Philadel-

phia. In an article on "Union and Independent Revivals," he insisted on

the necessity of large city-wide meetings to put the gospel before the

greatest number of people. He strongly endorsed the kind of campaigns

being held by Appelman and exhorted churches to participate energeti-

cally. He noted the favorable report of the Philadelphia crusade which

had been printed in the Christian Beacon and some words of warning

concerning the inclusion of churches with modernistic leanings in the

sponsorship of any such meetings. Rice had long maintained that union

meetings should be sponsored exclusively by "Bible-believing, fundamen-

tal churches" and agreed that Mclntire's warning was important, but

the burden of his comments was to urge readers not to allow resistance

to compromise to be used as an excuse for rejecting the concept of

union meetings. Rice believed that if the word of God were preached as

it should be in the meetings, "these infidels falsely calling themselves

Christians, will not want to enter with us into revival campaigns."


He further believed, "modernism will not grow in a red hot revival,"

and warned, "A false idea of separation that keeps us from revival is


In the spring of 1946 Rice, Bob Jones, and Paul Rood came to

Chicago in a city-wide evangelistic crusade sponsored by over

200 churches and evangelical agencies. The campaign was the first

such city-wide effort since Billy Sunday had been in the city twenty-

eight years before. The three speakers were all strong fundamental-

ists. Rood,with WI. B. Riley, had been one of the founders of the World's

Christian Fundamental Association. The meetings enjoyed wide conserva-

tive support, with such organizations as Wheaton College, Moody Bible

Institute, Chicago Evangelistic Institute, Northern Baptist Seminary,

Lutheran Bible Institute, the Child Evangelism Fellowship, Salvation

Army, and Youth For Christ entering enthusiastically into the campaign.

The evidence was mounting that orthodoxy was yet an energetic element

in the church and that the obituary which had been pronounced over

fundamentalism ever since the twenties had been decidedly premature.

In October of 1948 the Sword printed an article which revealed

much about the attitude of John R. Rice and other fundamentalists

toward mass evangelism. Rice had long been involved in a controversy

over a book which had been published by Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer earlier

in the century, titled True Evangelism.6 Chafer was strongly orthodox,

long president of Dallas Theological Seminary, and was a premillenial

dispensationalist. The book was an attack on the revivalistic methods

employed in mass evangelism and had been originally published in the

days of the declining popularity of revivalism. Chafer had been

y I

unfavorably impressed by the techniques of Billy Sunday, and the book

denounced public invitations, mass meetings, and other aspects of revival

ism. Moody Bible Institute had secured the rights to some of Chafer's

works and announced plans to republish True Evangelism. Rice launched

a-campaign to prevent any republication of the book, even offering to

buy Moody's existing inventory, but was unsuccessful. This dispute over

mass evangelism was the major concern of the Sword during the late

forties,when revivalism again seemed on the verge of acceptance by at

least the conservative churches.

In this article Rice attempted to explain why he took unpopular

positions on a variety of issues, even though it closed certain doors to

him and sometimes cost him friendships. Seeking to answer this question,

Rice revealed much concerning his view of the purpose of revivalism.

He warned that "the cheap way of trying to have revivals without ever

touching fundamental moral problems and without bringing conviction for

sin and transformation in life are indeed shallow and powerless efforts

at revival." The evangelist must also assume responsibility for "getting

people right on the main fundamental doctrines" if he wished to see

great revival. Preaching the great doctrines and strong preaching

against worldliness were necessary to great revival. They were neces-

sary because,in Rice's view, separation from worldliness and adherence

to orthodox doctrine were important criteria as to whether revival

existed or not. Modernism would not grow in a "red hot revival," as

Rice had .e lier said, because revival necessarily included preaching

against modernism and other forms of false doctrine, because one of the

fruits of revival was orthodoxy of belief. Rice went on to tell of a

night several years past when he had vowed to God to expend every effort


to bring back city-wide revivals, whatever the cost. He disclaimed

any presumption that he was responsible for the resurgence of evangelis-

tic activity then underway, but rejoiced in the fact. He supposed that

there were "a hundred times" as many union revival campaigns as there

had been ten years before. He then described the purpose of all this


I am not trying simply to get a few open doors for
revival services for myself. I am trying to change the thought
of a whole generation: . I am trying to b~ig emphasis agafn
to the power of the Holy Spirit. I am trying to convince
preachers again that they need to preach against sin and worldli-
ness and call God's people to seek God's face and turn from their
wicked ways. I am trying to make America believe again that
God answers prayer. I am trying to get American homes turned
back to God, to get family altars established, to teach parents
to discipline their children and make them obey. I am trying
to bring back a fundamental viewpoint about the Bible and about
God and about soul winning that is essential to the winning of
We are trying to take the long look and to color a
whole generation. It takes longer to start a loaded freight
train of a hundred box cars than to start one empty. In trying
to turn a whole generation back to revival we will lose some
battles but, by God's grace, we will not lose the war.
So one must accept some defeats now for the good that will
follow. I must preach to Christians to "come out from among
them, and be ye separate," and against the lodges and the movies
and the dance and tobacco, though it loses me some friends now.
But it is turning hundreds of other preachers to preach on
these subjects. It is growing a conscience among tens of thou-
sands of Christians about holy living. In the long run, such
preaching will bring more revivals, save more souls, than if I
preached pleasantly, pleased everybody, and had all doors
open.7 [Emphasis added]

Apart from the reference to lodges, these lines represent fairly the

views of most fundamentalists on the purpose and nature of revivalism.

Revivalism which was not designed to produce separated, doctrinally

correct Christians was not worth the effort. Though in the short run

it might seem easier to avoid offense on unpopular issues, the purpose

dictated that exhortation against doctrinal error and worldliness


occupy an important position in revival preaching. To reverse the

verdict of the previous generation on fundamentalist orthodoxy in doc-

trine and morals was a central concern of all revivalist activity. Rice

was indeed trying to "change the thought of a whole generation."

Fundamentalists insisted that the real test of a revival meeting was

not the number of people who attended, or even the number who walked the

aisle, though as anyone else they wanted large numbers, but the real

test was the condition of the churches when the meetings were over. If

the churches were not stronger in the faith, if Christians were not

living more separated lives, then, however many might have come forward

at a meeting, revival had not come. But the fundamentalists felt they

were on the verge of a great revival. They saw in the renewed interest

in revivalism and mass evangelism an opportunity to recall wavering

churches to the faith and to strengthen and extend the ministry of

those which had been true. Revivalism would be the spearhead of a

renewed attack on the forces of religious liberalism. Once again the

fundamentalists would challenge the unbelievers who had through deceit

captured so many denominations and churches. This renewed attack on

religious liberalism was a central element in fundamentalist conceptions

of mass evangelism.

Late in 1949 the Los Angeles revival crusade of Billy Graham was

brought to the attention of the nation by the conversion of three

celebrities and efforts of the Hearst newspapers. Singer Stuart

Hamblen, war hero Louis Zamperini, and wire-tapper Jim Vaus each

publicly announced his conversion in fth Graham meetings, and the famous

"puff Graham" telegram from 'Jilliam Randolph Hearst made Billy Graham


a national figure. Time, Life, and all the secular press reported the

activities of the crusade, and once again a fundamentalist evangelist

was able to speak to a national audience. The meetings in Los Angeles

were extended,and over-night Graham was brought out of the obscurity in

which fundamentalists had worked ever since the end of the Machen con-

troversy in the Presbyterian church.

Billy Graham's roots were in fundamentalism. In his youth his

family attended an Associate Reformed Presbyterian church, a denomina-

tion with separatist origins. He had been converted under the preach-

ing of evangelist Mordecai Ham and had been ordained as a Southern

Baptist. Graham attended Bob Jones College for one semester but

found the regulations of the school, then located in Cleveland, Tennes-

see, too confining, and transferred to Trinity Bible Institute near

Tampa, Florida, where he spent nearly four years. He then attended

Wheaton College, graduating with a major in anthropology. All three

schools were strong conservative institutions. John R. Rice had moved

to Wheaton partly to be near the college where each of his daughters

would attend. Stanley High, in his authorized biography of Graham,

makes much of the broadening influence of Wheaton upon Graham, but he

has exaggerated the "enlightened" aspect of Wheaton to contrast it with.

the schools Billy Graham earlier attended.8 During the years Graham

was at Wheaton, the school was far more "separated" then it later

became. As one of the major centers of the new evangelical movement

with which this study is concerned, Wheaton would eventually move a

considerable distance from the fundamentalism of Bob Jones and John R.

Rice, but this came after Graham's college days. Following graduation



from Wheaton, Graham served as pastor of a small Illinois church for a

little over one year, but in 1945 he joined with Torrey Johnson in the

work of the new Youth for Christ organization, as its first field repre-

sentative. He traveled with Youth for Christ rallies throughout the

United States and to Europe for three years. During 1947 Dr. W. B.

Riley, long-time fundamentalist leader and pastor of the First Baptist

Church of Minneapolis, urged upon Graham the presidency of Northwestern

Schools,which Riley had founded. Northwestern Schools included a Bible

school, liberal arts college, and theological seminary, and Riley

hoped to get the young evangelist as his successor as president of the

fundamentalist institution. Graham finally agreed on the condition that

he be allowed to continue his work with Youth for Christ. Graham served

as president of the fundamentalist institution for three and a half

years, until the pressures of time and the difficulties of running the

schools at a distance caused him to resign.

Through the years as president of Northwestern Schools and in

his evangelistic work with Youth for Christ, Graham worked closely with

many fundamentalist leaders. His activities were regularly reported in

the fundamentalist press. Rice devoted considerable attention to a

Graham preaching mission in England early in 1947. In the fall of

1948, Graham was one of the speakers in a Sword of the Lord Conference

on Evangelism held in Chicago. Other speakers included such fundamen-

talist leaders as Bob Jones, Joe Henry Hankins, Clarence Erickson,

Bob Jones, Jr., William McCarrell, and of course John R. Rice. The

conference was supported by Wheaton Cnllege and was the first of many

conferences on evangelism conducted by the Sword.

* I

In June of the same year, Graham had agreed, after serving as

.interim president for six months, to become the full president of

Northwestern Schools. Rice, as a member of the board of trustees of

the institution,reported on the event in the Sword.1Q He was warmly

enthusiastic about the efforts of the young evangelist-president. !le

expected the great progress the school had made in the last year "to

continue under the strong leadership of Dr. Billy Graham." At the

urging of Rice, Graham had been given an honorary doctorate by Bob Jones

College after his appointment as president of Northwestern. In his

report to the Board of Trustees, Graham had emphasized his loyalty to

the program of the late W. B. Riley.

Publicly and privately you know the doctrines for which
we stand without compromise. We stand exactly where W. B. Riley
stood. . Every faculty member and staff member must sign
each year our statement of faith which includes all the great
cardinal doctrines. We will not tolerate liberalism or modern-
ism, and we will not compromise on any issue in which this
school stands so firmly entrenched.11

In the first issue of The Pilot, a Bible-study magazine published by

Northwestern Schools, to come out after the death of Riley, Graham

assured the constituency of the schools that he would follow in the path

of Riley:

For more than a quarter century the Pilot has been one
magazine in the field of Christian publications which has never
compromised, and has ever made a strong defense of the truth.
It has indeed been militant in its stand against Modernism in
every form. During the past few weeks some friends have wondered
if there would be any change in the Pilot as it enters 1948, a
new year, under new leadership. . the Pilot will continue
to be a voice for fundamental, evangelical Protestantism, and
willcontinue, as the motto has always stated, "Holding Forth
the Word of Life."12

In March of 1944 Graham had written Dr. Bob Jones, Jr., president of

Bob Jones College, concerning the work of that school, "I am absolutely

sold on what it is doing and what it stands for."13 This profession of

loyalty to the position which the fundamentalist school held was re-

newed repeatedly during the next years. In early 1947 Graham wrote

again to Bob Jones, Jr.: "I want'you to be personally assured of my

love and loyalty to you, Dr. Bob, Senior, and all that Bob Jones College

stands for. I count it a sincere privilege to have had some early

training there."14 In December of 1949,after the breakthrough in Los

Angeles, Graham wrote to Bob-Jones, Sr.: "Your counsel means more to

me than that of any other individual in the nation. Your long years of

experience not only as an evangelist but as an educator of Christian

young people makes you, as it were, the model toward which we are pat-

terning our lives."15 Certainly fundamentalists had every reason to

expect that the events in Los Angeles in late 1949 heralded a new day

for fundamentalism and that here was a man to lead the crusade to re-

store the old ways to the churches of America. Few could have suspected

that the new decade would bring the division of conservative evangeli-

calism or that the evangelistic efforts of Billy Graham would become

the focal point of the division. Indeed, for a time, it appeared that

the success of Graham in mass evangelism might move the fundamentalists

represented by Jones and Rice further from those represented by Mclntire,

Ketcham, and the American Council and closer to the men of the

National Association of Evangelicals.

After Los Angeles, Graham held meetings in South Carolina,

climaxed by filling the stadium of the University of South Carolina

in Columbia, and then moved on to a series of meetings throughout the

New England area. The New England meetings had been arranged by


Harold Ockenga, pastor of the Part Street Church in Boston, founding

president of Fuller Theological Seminary and the "father of New

Evangelicalism." The New England meetings were very successful, and

Newsweek reported that Graham had "clinched his title as America's

greatest living evangelist."l6 Though there were certainly criticisms,

the secular press was generally kind to the young evangelist. Many

commentators were impressed by his sincerity. By the end of the decade,

Graham seemed to have brought revivalism back in much the form that the

fundamentalists wanted. Yet, in the early fifties there was an element

in the Graham presentation that set him apart from other fundamentalist

evangelists. His sermonic style had certainly changed since his days

with Youth For Christ. Stanley High commented favorably on this

change, noting that he had "come a long way." Referring to Graham in

the early days, High wrote: "The way he preached was pretty much in

the tradition of the 'Hot Gospeller.' His voice was strident. He was

inclined to rant. The same sound effects in politics would, in most

places, be called demagoguery."17 Many, though by no means all, funda-

mentalists were more accustomed to the more vigorous preaching style.

Nonetheless, until near the middle of the decade,all but a small group

of fundamentalists were strong supporters of Graham, considering him

one of themselves. And this was a view in which Billy Graham concurred.

In late 1951 Graham was criticized by Chester Tulga, a fundamentalist

of the Conservative Baptist Association. Graham wrote to Tulga:

Mr. Tulga, this is an hour when our nation is standing at the
crossroads. If you are going t) hurl stones, hurl them at the
world, flesh, and devil. Hurl tiem at the modernists, but
please let's not hurl stones at each other. I beg of you that
we love each other. None of us will ever agree on everything,
but we do agree on the fundamentals. My separation and my
theology have not veered one iota from that of W. B. Riley.1S

! I



1Lawrence L. Lacour, A Study of the Revival Method in America:
1920-1955 (Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University, 1965), p. 228;
William W. Sweet, Revivalism in America (New York: Scribner's, 1944),
p. 174.

2Grover C. Loud, Evangelized America (New York: Lincoln McVeagh,
1928), p. 369.

3Robert Shuler, "Mass Evangelism," Sword, February 16, 1945,
X1, 4.

4Ibid., pp. 1, 4.

Rice, "Union and Independent Revivals," Sword, February 16,
1945, XI, 1, 3.

6Lewis Sperry Chafer, True Evangelism (Chicago: Moody Press,

7Rice, "We Take Our Stand," Sword, October 29, 1948, X, 1-6.

8Stanley High, Billy Graham (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1956),
p. 113.

9Sword, February, 17, 1947, IX, 1-3.

10Sword,June, 24, 1948, X, 2.

1The Pilot, January, 1948, XI, 113.

13Billy Graham letter to Bob Jones,Jr., dated March 14, 1944.

14Graham letter to Bob Jones, Jr., dated January 16, 1947.

!5Graham letter to Bob Jones, Sr., dated December 29, 1949.
1 6 ,
Nce'sweek, May 1, 1950, pp. 66-67.

.17High, Billy Graham, p. 86.

18Graham letter to Chester Tulga, 1951.



In the Sword, defense and promotion of Billy Graham blended

easily with Rice's long-standing advocacy of mass evangelism. In March,

1951, the first major article answering the critics of Graham appeared

in the Sword, written by Rice himself. Titled "Billy Graham and

Revival Critics," the article began: "There have always been critics

of great evangelists. So now there is a rising tide of insistent criti-

cism of Billy Graham." The Christian Herald had been critical of Graham's

suggestion that there might be only two years left, asserting that no

man knew the day or the hour.2 Rice explained that Graham had told him

that he had been misquoted, that he referred not to the end of the world

but to judgment on America and that though date-setting was wrong,

Graham was surely right to warn of impending judgment if America did not

mend her ways. An English evangelical publication, The Life of Faith,

had printed an article by Thomas Rees which found fault with Graham for

a variety of reasons and had been quoted favorably by several American
evangelical magazines. Rees had said the statistical reports of the

meetings were inflated. Rice claimed they were as accurate as they

could be under the circumstances and that they were more accurate than

most such reports from church organizations. Rees had charged that many

of those who came forward in a revival meeting were not genuine converts.



Rice answered that,of course,all who walked the aisle were not first-

time converts. Some were backsliderss" in need of rededication, others

were not sincere and did not remain true; but this had been the case

in every evangelistic ministry, even that of Christ, and there was

reason to believe that the relatively non-emotional style followed by

Graham would yield a higher percentage of genuine converts than was

ordinarily the case. Rice declared:

I do not know what the motive is when people criticize the Billy
Graham campaigns, but I believe, whether it is ignorance or
jealousy, or a critical, judging heart, that all such talk is
wicked and sinful. It does not honor Christ and is not the mark
of a devoted Christian brother.

What is wrong with a Christian who cannot be happy over thousands
brought to Christ?4

Rice also answered criticisms of Graham which had been made by

Carl Mclntire in The Christian Beacon. Graham had appeared on the

radio program"Town Meeting of the Air"with Dr. Ralph Sockman, identi-

fied by Rice as "a well-known Methodist modernist." The subject of the

broadcast had been "Do We Need the Old-Time Religion?" Harold Ockenga

had questioned Graham, and Truman Douglas questioned Sockman. Rice

charged that Sockman had been insincere. He had

.used the weasel words that infidels use, pretending to be
Christians when they are not, pretending to believe the Bible
when they do not, pretending to worship ,Jesus Christ when they do
not admit His virgin birth or His deity, pretending to believe
the fundamentals of the faith and the old-time religion of the

Graham, however, had made his position clear. He had strongly set

forth the great doctrines of the faith. He had stressed the necessity

of the new birth, the necessity of a personal surrender to Christ. He

had spoken against the "pragmatism, behaviourism, relativism, secularism,


and materialism" of the age. Rice judged that since he had only

twelve minutes, he 'did well to get in "the plain teaching that all are

sinners, that the Bible is true, that Christ is the only Son of God,

that men must be born again by repentance and faith in Jesus." But

the comments of Rice which followed take on considerable meaning in the

light of the division which eventually caine. Rice wrote:

Dr. Mclntire did not like Dr. Ockenga's questions. That is an
entirely different question, but I think Dr. Ockenga was honest
and straightforward in his position. Dr. Mclntire and I are both
old debaters, campaigners, controversialists. Very likely I
would have demanded to know whether Dr. Sockman believed in the
virgin birth and the plenary inspiration of the Bible and the
bodily resurrection. No doubt Dr. Mclntire would have done so.
But at the same time he would probably not have done the wonder-
ful job that Billy Graham did--preaching the gospel to millions
of sinners who heard the program. . I fear Dr. Mclntire's
quarrel with Dr. Ockenga and the National Association uf Evangeli-
cals leads him to accuse Billy Graham in this matter. . I
believe Dr. Mclntire is thoroughly sincere in his hatred of
modernism. I think that his attack on Dr. Billy Graham has not
justified the facts and that he ought not to have made it. ...
I think he was a good champion of the historic faith. He was
not a debater and did not pull Dr. Sockman cut of his hole. But
he stated the position of the old-time religion so favorably that
Sockman felt he needed to be for it, too.7

Still trying to maintain friendly relations with both the NAE and the

ACC, Rice was here clearly being pulled closer to the NAE. To Rice at

this point, the failure of Ockenga or Graham to clearly distinguish

their position from that of Sockman could be excused. The shortness

of time, their disinclination to use that time for theological debate,

perhaps their lack of certainty regarding the views of Sockman, all

provided excuses for the failure. In any case, the gospel had cer-

tainly been presented without compromise. Though he might have tried

'to force Sockman to admit his position, he could well excuse Graman

and Ockenga for not doing so. Mclntire, however, saw more clearly

the outlines of the new evangelicalism. To Mclntire, the fact that

Sockman was allowed to give the impression that he too was for the old-

time religion was the most important and most unfortunate thing about

the program. In his eyes the harm done by leaving the impression with

millions of viewers that the gospel which Graham preached and that which

Sockman preached were essentially in agreement did harm which far out-

weighed the good which was done. Further, Mclntire rightly saw that

this was, not coincidence, oversight, or a lack of time, but a further

development of the program against which he had competed for the alle-

giance of conservative Christians for over a decade. Ockenga would in

1957 describe the strategy of the new evangelicalism: "Instead of

attack upon error, the New Evangelicals proclaim the great historic

doctrines of Christianity. ... .The strategy of the new evangelicalism

is the positive proclamation of the truth in distinction from all errors

without delving in personalities which embrace the error."8 Mclntire

saw in this the strategy-that had allowed his own ouster from the

Presbyterian church and had allowed liberalism to gain control of the

major denominations. In time Rice would accept Mclntire's view of

the Graham-Ockenga strategy, but in 1951 his great concern for mass

evangelism caused him to reject the assertions of Mclntire that Graham

was moving in new and dangerous directions. Rice for nearly six more

years would continue to defend Graham against attacks based largely on

principles which Rice himself held strongly, but the attacks on Graham

came not jirely, or even primarily, from fundamentalists such as

McIntire, for most fundamentalists still strongly supported Graham.

The strongest attacks on Graham came from sources such as the Christian

Century and from sources within conservatism which had long been criti-

cal of revivalism. It was much more satisfying to fundamentalists to

attack the liberal critics of Graham and claim him as one of their own

than to examine the basis of his evangelism too closely. Mclntire had

already presented, in this editorial on Graham's appearance with Sock-

man, a critique which included what would be the basic elements of the

fundamentalist attack on Graham when the division finally came in 1956.

Mcintire wrote that the encounter with Sockman gave "an indication of

the very nature of the Billy Graham ministry and campaigns."

No questions can be raised concerning apostasy, or the so-called
city-wide campaigns do not become city-wide. And one of the
conditions that Dr. Graham lays down for his campaign is that all
cooperate--liberals, modernists, fundamentalists--and all cooper-
ate in supporting his evangelistic ministry and his ministry
supports all of them! Naturally, on such a platform he is not
in a position to question or to challenge or literally to denounce
the great sin of the apostasy of our age. His ministry is
devoid of any recognition or any consciousness of the apostasy
in the church, and the converts which are led to the Lord in the
campaigns are left to go to "the church of their choice" without
any instruction or indoctrination. They go into the modernist,
apostate churches, into the National Council of Churches, and
some even, as any number have gone, according to reports, into
the Roman Catholic Church itself.9

Rice challenged each of these assertions. Graham did not make any such

demand that all churches be invited to participate, and he challenged

Mclntire to produce any proof that he had done so. Graham had in fact

denounced apostasy in the very radio program under discussion, and Rice

pointed to Graham's specific references to the "pragmatism, behaviourism,

relativism"--and Rice added the phrase--"which go with modernism." He

noted tha: Graham had charged: "We humanized God and deified man. We

outlawed the supernatural." This was a "direct slap at modernism." The

weakness of Rice's argument at this point indicated the extent of his

determination to support mass evangelism. As a veteran campaigner

against modernism, Rice knew that the examples he was citing bore little

resemblance to the kind of defense of the faith which either he or

Mclntire would normally credit. He then reported that Graham had

assured him that he always urged converts to join a "Bible-believing

church" and never settled for-the mere "church of your choice." Rice

further observed that "one converted in a great revival campaign with

solid Bible preaching does not usually feel at home in a modernistic

church." Rice denied that Graham converts were led to join churches

affiliated with the National Council, and he labeled as "false rumor"

the charge that Graham converts joined the Roman Catholic Church. Rice

quoted Graham in reporting that in Atlanta a committee which had been

set up before he arrived in the city had not been set up according to

his wishes. Graham had said it was difficult to control the situation

when the committee had been set before he arrived, but Graham added,

"I will insist that no modernist be given a place of responsibility

and leadership in my campaigns." Rice then wrote the following sen-

tences, which suggest that he had been working to hold Graham to the

fundamentalist program, even while defending him against the charge that

he had left it.

I talked with Billy Graham at some length. He does not
claim to know all the answers. He said, "Dr. Rice, I need help."
I know that he has leaned heavily on the counsel of Dr. Bob Jones
and Dr. Charles E. Fuller, for example. I believe that, con-
sidering his youth and the rapidity of his rise to fame, Billy
Graham has held his head remarkably clear and kept his course.
I believe that God is with him. I believe that those who criticize
him and deride him and would hinder his ministry sin against God
and must answer for it.10

Rice concluded the article by returning to the attack on the book by

Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer, True Evangelism, and again revealed the context

in which he was then considering the ministry of Billy Graham. Ser-

mons by Graham continued to appear in the Sword, along with news of the

Graham campaigns and letters from Graham expressing his confidence in

Rice and his appreciation of the support given him in the Sword.

In April, 1952, the Christian Century printed an analysis of

the results of the Billy Graham campaign which had taken place in

Seattle during July of the previous year.12 The analysis was presented

as a "factual study" and offered with the greatest show of objectivity.

It was to set forth "without comment" the'facts and judgments" gotten

from the churches of Seattle through a survey conducted by the author

of the article, Arthur Lester Frederick, a liberal and the head of the

department of religion in a Methodist college. Predictably, the re-

sults of the survey were generally unfavorable toward Graham and were

reported by the national news media.13 Graham sent to Rice an answer

to the Frederick article, asking that it be published in the Sword.14

Rice again placed the defense of Graham in the context of the de-

fense of mass evangelism, opening the article: "There will always

be those who oppose mass evangelism. . the great soul winners--

Spurgeon, Moody, Torrey, Sam Jones, Finney, and Billy Sunday--have been

criticized. Hence it is not surprising that there are critics of

the Billy Graham campaigns." Rice noted that Graham had written ask-

ing him to "go into the matter thoroughly," and he quoted Graham,

"I feel the entire cause of mass evangelism is at stake in this

matter." Graham challenged the validity of Frederick's survey, point-

ing out that Frederick discounted those converts who were already

members of churches, while he felt they were as much converts

as any others. Wrote Graham: "One of the differences in present-day

evangelism and the old-time evangelism is that our churches are filled

with unconverted people; 65% of our decisions are by church members who

have their name on a church roll but have never been born again.

Naturally, the modernists do not like their members to be disturbed."

In the letter, Graham also addressed charges made by Mclntire that

modernists had been allowed to cooperate in the campaigns.

Contrary to any rumors that are constantly floating about,
we have never had a modernist on our Executive Committee and
we have never been sponsored by the Council of Churches in any
city except Shreveport and Greensboro--both small towns where the
majority of the ministers are evangelical. I do not think you
will find any man who has sat under my ministry in any of these
campaigns who would testify that I ever pulled a punch.15

The answer to the Frederick article which Graham included had been

written by Dr. Albert J. Lindsey, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church

of Tacoma, Washington. The critique of the Frederick article contained

several elements which would become common in evangelical refutation of

liberal denigration of the results of the campaigns. It was noted

that as chairman of the religion department of the Methodist College of

Puget Sound and a known liberal, Frederick "would be definitely pre-

judiced against Billy Graham and his campaign." It was pointed out

that Frederick's survey taken only three months after the campaign,

had not reflected the complete'results. Frederick had reported only

534 church additions, whereas Lindsey showed that within seven months

after the end of the campaign, convert cards returned by pastors re-

vealed 1,971 persons to have been received into churches as a result

of the crusade. Lindsey challenged Frederick's implication that

converts under fourteen years of age should be discounted, claiming


that "hundreds of thousands of Christians today can trace their conver-

sion to childhood." Frederick had reported that $67,268.67 had gone

to "Graham and team for love offering, TV, "Hour of Decision" broadcast,

and various missionary and other causes." Lindsey challenged the

"inference . .that the evangelistic team received the larger portion,"

when the full financial statement of the crusade revealed clearly that

the team had received only $16,883. Lindsey concluded with an attack

on Frederick and the religion department which he headed:

a far more important survey and analysis is that
which might be made of the Religious Department of which
Dr. Frederick is the head. . it would seem to me that a far
better usage of Mr. Frederick's time could be made in the evalua-
tion of his department in the light of God's Holy Word. . if
these facts were clearly made known, some Christian parents . .
would at once remove [their children] from the department if
not from the entire school.
I am sure that Professor Frederick was not the logical one
to evaluate the spiritual ministry of Billy Graham for he speaks
and writes a different language.1l

In commenting on the entire matter, Rice was even more vehement.

Frederick was "wholly unsuited" to make such a survey. He was per-

sonally a modernist rejecting the "essentials of the Christian faith."

Rice described Frederick:

He does not believe the Bible is the infallibly correct Word of
God. He does not believe in the virgin birth, the bodily resur-
rection, nor the blood atonement of Jesus Christ. He is not a
Christian in the historic meaning of the term. More than that,
he is well known as an opponent to Bible Christianity.17

In addition, he had written the article for "the notorious spokesman

of modernism and unbelief in America, the Christian Century, an

article made to sell such an infidel magazine would be suspect by

honest people from the start." Frederick could have gotten accurate

statistics from the people handling the follow-up of the campaign, but

he chose not to, relying instead on a telephone interview. Rice charged

that most of those interviewed had been ministers who-were opposed to

the campaign from the beginning and could not be expected to have gained

much from the campaign. He wrote, "To ask these men who were against

the campaign from the start, and who did not attend nor participate if

they had been mistaken, and if the campaign was a great success, shows

.either the most naive and childish understanding of people, or it was

a deliberately slanted effort to discredit the Billy Graham campaign."

Rice concluded:

we would say that an honest analysis of the Billy
Graham campaign in Seattle shows that there are much permanent
results, that such a great city-wide campaign gets members for
fundamental and sound churches but does not get them for modernist
churches. It shows that sound churches get members with less
expense and trouble in a great campaign, such as the Billy Graham
campaign, than through the ordinary course of church activities
without revival campaigns.
.The Greek Orthodox ministers, the false cultists
and the modernists in Seattle do not like the Billy Graham cam-
paign. So what? Dr. Frederick made some money out of his
article, and the modernists got the kind of dope they wanted to
get, but honest, Bible-believing Christians may judge of the
facts for themselves as given by Dr. Albert Lindsey . 18

This article has been dealt with extensively because it set the pattern

which would be followed in many such articles over the next four years.

This was a battle more to the liking of Rice. The combatants appeared

in their proper roles. To defend Graham against the charges of Mclntire

made him uneasy, and his defense of criticisms from that direction

would require increasing qualification as time went by, but to defend

Graham and revivalism against charges brought by the liberals required

no hesitation. It was a contest in which the parts were well re-

hearsed and could be spoken with certainty.


The ever-growing success of Graham was seen as an answer to Rice's

longstanding call for the return of union revivals. The crusade in

St. Louis was reported in an article headlined,"Pastors Endorse Billy

Graham Crusade in St. Louis: First United Effort in Thirty Years Sets

Attendance Record."19 As evidence of Graham's acceptance beyond the

conservative evangelical circle began to appear, it was reported with

approval by the Sword, seeing in such acceptance a wider opportunity

for the preaching of the gospel and the calling of churches back to the

old-time religion. In the report of the 1953 St. Louis crusade, the

emphasis was upon the wide support of the crusade among the churches,

and a past moderator of the St. Louis presbytery of the Presbyterian

church, Dr. James W. Clarke, was quoted on the benefits which the

crusade had brought to the churches.

In my own church we have felt direct and encouraging results of
the Crusade. Of Billy Graham I would say, I appreciate his
humble, Christ-like nature, his attitude of understanding and
love despite adverse circumstances, and his tremendous emphasis
upon the necessity of the converts getting into a local church
and going to work in the program of that church.20

Graham had placed no emphasis on the "apostasy" in the churches, and

non-evangelical ministers were beginning to find that they could cooper-

ate in a Graham meeting without being embarrassed by specific attack

from the pulpit upon non-orthodox positions. The positive proclamation'

of the gospel could be tolerated as long as there was no specific

preaching against "error." Rice was willing to overlook the lack of

clear denunciation of error and rejoiced in the widening audience

which was being given to the fundamentalist gospel. Though a small

group of fundamentalists, led principa'ily by Mclntire, continued the

attack upon Graham, most were content to wish that he would take a

r I

stronger stand against modernism and continued to claim him as one of

their own. Because the broader church was again willing to take notice

of the efforts of the conservatives, in the person of Billy Graham,

a re-evaluation of the relationship of orthodoxy to the-rest of the

church would be necessary. Specifically, the doctrine of separation

would be called into question. Originally designed to protect evangeli-

cals from infiltration by liberalism, too rigid application of the

doctrine seemed to many evangelicals to needlessly hamper efforts to

seize the present opportunity to again bring evangelical orthodoxy

before the entire church and indeed the nation.

In 1954 the Billy Graham crusade in England gained broader church

support than had any American crusade. Enthusiastic support from within

the Church of England and from the Free churches was common. In

England there had been no fundamentalist-modernist controversy of the

dimensions of the American struggle, and in fact many "fundamentalists"

had not seen any need to leave the Church of England. The lines be-

tween various theological 'positions were not as tightly drawn therefore,

and these lines were not as closely tied to institutional lines. The

religious press of England was strongly in favor of the Graham crusade

and gave extensive coverage to the preparation. The tremendous

success of the meetings tended to further smother criticism, and many

churchmen who were far from evangelical were glowing in their praise

of the efforts of Graham and the evangelistic team. In May the Sword

reported at length the enthusiastic reception which Graham had received

from the religious press of England. Rice noted that the religious

press had been "virtually unanimous" in endorsement of the campaign

andquoted The Times in support of the assertion. Rice informed his

readers that the Church of England Newspaper carried large headlines,

and commented on the hope of the huge crowds filling the great Harringay

Arena for a renewing of the work which Torrey, Moody, Spurgeon, and

Wesley had done. "In their distress at contemporary religion they

clutched at the hope that a similar man with a genius for the mass meet-

ing will in 1954 set in train a similar development." A writer in the

same publication described the meetings:

There was no sweep of emotion, no tears, no hysteria. Billy
Graham is essentially a healthy young man. He has the engaging
American habit of saying something far more shrewd and sensible
than you had ever expected. You have heard the Scriptures ex-
plained just as clearly in your parish church, Sunday after Sunday,
and I may say, just as eloquently. But there was a difference.

Another writer professed to have seen growth in the young evangelist.

Where two years ago he would have considered Billy Graham just another

American "hot-gospeler," he now thought Graham a man "who had been

given an exceptional gift by God."21 With such leading non-orthodox

churchmen as Dr. Leslie Weatherhead giving such enthusiastic support to

Graham, Rice might have paused to reflect upon the cause for their

enthusiasm. Certainly no indication of such reflection was given in

the pages of the Sword. Rice had long warned that no Fundamentalist

need expect anything but abuse .from the modernists and other "un-

believers," but the fact of Graham's warm reception by men of far from

evangelical viewpoint did not in May of 1954 seem cause for negative


One year later, renewed criticism of Graham by Carl Mclntire

brought more defense by Rice, but with stronger than ever qualification.

Billy Graham had given a lecture at Union Theological Seminary in

February, 1954. Evidently, Mclntire had come across the text of his

remarks only much later, for over one year later the Christian Beacon

printed the lecture which Graham had given, with critical comments by

McIntire. In the address Graham had made a positive presentation of the

gospel, but had not made any effort to distinguish his position from

those commonly held at Union Seminary. He had also during the lecture

made reference to having enjoyed a season of prayer in the company of

Dr. Jesse Bader, long-time Executive Secretary of Evangelism for the

Federal Council and then National Cu'ncil of Churches; Dr. John S.

Bonnell, a non-orthodox Presbyterian; and Charles Templeton, an ex-

evangelical. Mclntire claimed the address suggested the gospel

preached by Graham and that of the modernists were the same. He charged

that Graham had compromised at Union Seminary and that he had failed

to take a clear stand for the faith.22 Rice was "not pleased that

Dr. Billy Graham seemed to mention favorably Or. Jesse Bader, Dr.

Bonnell, and Charles Templeton," but he did not think it was "necessarily

a compromise." Rice thought that the circulation of the statement in

printed form could well do harm, though it probably did no harm in the

message in Union Theological Seminary. Rice was "pleased that Billy

Graham took a clear stand that the Bible is the authoritative Word of

God." He went on:

No one could possibly say that Billy Graham is a modernist or
tending toward modernism from that address.
I personally feel that Billy Graham should have taken a
clear-cut stand against modernism in the message, and feel that
I would have done so. However, it is only fair to say that that
is probably one reason Billy Graham was invited to speak there
and I was not. I do not think it wrong to preach to sinners
anywhere, provided one does not endorse their sin nor allow
people to think he endorses their sin.

Rice claimed that Graham had matured considerably in the year since the

address had been made and that he would be much more confident in de-

claring his position after his crusade in London more firmly established

him. He doubted that now Graham would "especially cater to Dr. Jesse

Bader, Dr. Bonnell, and Charles Templeton, though he would be a cour-

teous Christian and a good friend to any man who wants his friendship."

That the dispute over Graham was pushing Mclntire and Rice apart was

reflected in the following Rice comment:

I believe that the Christian Beacon is unfortunately more
concerned with its fight on the National Council of Churches
and its insistence on secondary separation than it is in the
Great Commission in getting people saved. So this paper does
not think it amiss to harm Billy Graham's ministry. I do think
it wrong. I pray for Billy Graham every day. I thank God for
him with holy fervor every time he comes to mind. I have un-
speakable joy in the great revival campaigns God is giving through
him. I do not believe that Billy Graham is infallible. I do not
believe he is a superman. I do not necessarily agree with every-
thing he does or says. But I believe he is God's anointed man,
being used tremendously in great revivals, and that every
Christian in the world ought to rejoice in these revivals.23

So wrote Rice in April of 1955. Before another two years passed, the

Sword would be deeply involved in controversy over the new evangeli-

calism, and Graham would be regularly attacked as the chief spokesman

of this movement trying to reform fundamentalism, but in the next months,

the promotion of Graham in the pages of the Swg d would be extensive,

even as the intentions of the new evangelicals became clear. But Rice

would long refuse to accept the Graham association with the new evangeli-

cal program.

Graham realized the great concern which had been created among

fundamentalists by the publication of his Union Seminary address and

moved to repair the damage. Turning to personal diplomacy, he arranged

for Rice to be flown to Scotland to visit with him during his crusade

there. It was while with Graham in Scotland that Rice had prepared

his article on the Union Seminary speech. The May issues of the Sword

were devoted in large part to reporting the Scotland crusade. The

feature article of the May 13 issue was titled "7 Miracle Days With

Billy Graham." In this article the personal kindnesses shown the funda-

mentalist editor by Billy Graham and the tremendous spiritual impact of

the crusades were stressed. Rice commented that in spite of the con-

siderable liberalism in the Church of Scotland, "the Scottish ministers

were deeply moved by the London Crusade of Billy Graham. They saw the

need to call the people back to God and the Bible and the church."24

The real results of the Graham diplomacy with Rice were reflected in

the June 17 issue.

The article was entitled "Questions Answered About Billy Graham"

and was a frank discussion of the concerns which had disturbed many
fundamentalists. Rice included seven questions:

1. Is His Preaching Sound Bible Preaching?
2. Are the Billy Graham Methods Sensible, Spiritual, Trustworthy?
3. Does He Seek the Sponsorship of Modernists?
4. Does He Use and Endorse the Revised Standard Version of the
5. Does He Sometimes Consort With Modernists?
6. Do the Billy Graham Crusades Strengthen Modernistic Churches
and the Cause of Modernism?
7. Does Billy Graham's Future Promise to Turn Out Out-and-Out for
the True-to-the Bible Position?

The first two questions Rice answered in the affirmative without reser-

vation. Rice quoted several liberal observers to place Graham theologi-

cally with the most rigorous of the fundamentalists. He found no

grounds for any complaint with regard to Graham's theology. His re-

vivalistic iaiethodology was also "beyond criticism" in Rice's eyes.

He observed that Graham had over the years become more and more sub-

dued in his preaching and his invitations, and felt that the methods

being used by Graham could not be offensive to anyone who believed

that the gospel should be preached at all.

To the third question Rice could not be as dogmatic. He first

disposed of a particular criticism which had been made of the Scotland

crusade. Dr. John S. Bonnell had been reported by the news media to he

joining Graham in Scotland at Graham's invitation. Rice informed his

readers that the report was in error. Bonnell had recently written an

article, published in Look magazine, in which he stated that many

Presbyterian ministers did not believe in many of the historic doctrines

of Christianity,with the implication that Bonnell concurred in at least

some of the opinions he was reporting.2 Bonnell was therefore not in

good odor among fundamentalists, and when it was reported that he had

been invited to take part in the Scotland crusade, many fundamentalists

were very critical of Graham. Rice related that Graham had assured him

that he had not invited Bonnell to Scotland, but that he had been

brought over by Scottish churchmen who thought Bonnell would be helpful

in overcoming certain local liberal opposition to the crusade. Once

there Bonnell was given a place on the platform, but according to Rice

was never introduced by Graham'and was invited to lead in prayer only

once, after Graham had gone to the counselling room. Rice reported

what Graham told him on the matter:

.he felt that he must not have any man speaking for him as
an official of the campaign or taking part on the public program
of the campaign who is not true on the great fundamentals of
the Christian faith. But he feels it is not wrong to preach
to modernists and their people, when he can do so without com-
promise, making his own position definitely clear, and standing

up for Christ and the Bible. Dr. Graham does not feel that he
is called or fitted for controversy on many matters of theology,
but does feel definitely called to preach a clear-cut Gospel,
sharp and clear on the great fundamentals of the faith.27

Referring to the Scotland crusade itself, Rice admitted that certainly

there was liberalism within the Church of Scotland, which invited

Graham, but that as far as he knew, "no modernist had any place of

official leadership or honor." Again Rice admitted that Graham had

been sponsored by "some groups which included modernists in the group,

but he was not sponsored by modernists, and in every case it was known

that the preaching would be fundamental and scriptural." Finally he

summarized the understanding he had reached with Graham on the question

of modernist sponsorship.

As I understand Billy, he has definitely pledged that he
will not have any man in leadership in his campaigns to repre-
sent him officially who is not true to the inspiration of the
Bible, the deity of Christ, His blood atonement, and such
fundamental truths. He does want preachers invited to bring
their congregations, just as he wants other groups who need the
Gospel to attend.28

Such was the arrangement that had been made in Scotland. It was not

satisfactory to either party and would break down before another year

had passed. Many fundamentalists would not work with modernists in the

crusades, even if the places of leadership were held by evangelicals.

Graham would soon see that the denominations would accept no such

arrangement. To get genuine cooperation from the denominational leader-

ship, places of power and honor within the crusades would have to go to

non-evangelical churchmen. Liberal, or non-orthodox, ministers would

hardly be inclined to join enthusiastically in a campaign where they

were so obviously barred from leadership. If the crusades were to con-

tinue to widen their base of support and thereby increase their

attendance, the liberal churchmen must be brought in, and brought

in fully, as partners to the enterprise. On the other hand, Graham

was reluctant to lose the fundamentalist backing. Most conservative

churchmen would continue to support him no matter what he did, but per-

sonal considerations, as well as the fact that the strongest fundamen-

talists tended to be the most energetic workers, encouraged him to make

some effort to keep hard-line fundamentalist support. Further he knew

that if he was publicly repudiated by such men as Rice and Jones, the

controversy created might cause cautious fundamentalist-evangelical

institutions to assume a neutral position, which could seriously weaken

his support. Finally Graham was himself a fundamentalist. The con-

cessions which he would eventually make to enlarge his constituency

were no doubt painful to him in the beginning. When he privately con-

demned the Bonnell article to John R. Rice in a hotel room in Scotland

in 1955, he was not dissimulating. Seven years before, at a function

of the Conservative Baptist Association, he had been asked what he

expected from the World Council of Churches meeting in Copenhagen, and

he replied, "I believe they are going to nominate the Anti-Christ."29

Graham had traveled much, had met many new people, and been exposed to

new forms of worship, but underneath it all, some of the old views

remained, and sometimes in his sermons and his public statements they

showed through. Though he would soon cast his lot completely and en-

thusiastically with the new evangelicals, he still would know that many

of the men with whom he was working in the crusades were not "born again

Christians," as he understood the term.

On the next question, Rice again was forced to hedge. Graham had

recommended the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, which had been

published by the National Council of Churches. Rice pointed out that

many conservatives had endorsed the New Testament portion, which came

out before the Old Testament, aln that he himself had allowed the Bible

to be sold in the Sword of the Lord bookstore in Wheaton before the con-

troversy brought its weaknesses to his attention. What Rice failed to

mention was that he, in accordance with good fundamentalist practice,

had discontinued any promotion of the work and had repudiated it, while

Graham had allowed his endorsement to stand.

"Does Dr. Billy Graham sometimes consort with modernists?" Rice

rightly addressed the question of what was meant by consort, though he

did not answer the question. He thought that Graham had "unwisely had

fellowship with modernists on some occasions." He did not think there

was any intentional compromise involved and was not even sure there had

been any unintentional compromise, but Graham did have some Friends who

were modernists, and they had "done him great harm," and Graham's asso-

ciation with them had "done the cause of Christ harm." He went on to


I am not an enemy of Billy Graham and I am not a critic. I am an
out-and-out friend and defender of Billy Graham. And I feel that
in general, the idea that Christians must love sinners, must
seek sinners, and must not hold themselves aloof from sinners is
right. Dr. Graham is a friendly man, a transparently sincere
man. He is eager, of course, to reach as many people with the
Gospel as possible. I think that when he reported that he,
Dr. Charles Templeton, Dr. Bonnell, and Dr. Jesse Bader had a
day's prayer meeting in the hotel room in New York, he wrongly
left the impression that these men are trustworthy Christians.
I do not set out to judge these men, but I do not think that they
are reputable and trustworthy Christians. . I do not say that
these men are unconverted. I do not say that they mean to be
dishonest. I do not judge that. I simply say that they ought not
to be presented to the public as Bible-believing, Bible-preaching
men of God; and I think Billy Graham's influence on the matter
has been hurtful to some people, and has certainly put him in an
embarrassing position.30

Graham has associated himself in the public mind with these non-orthodox

spokesmen and had begun to dissociate himself from the fundamentalists.

Rice noted that Graham's personal friendship with "some who are not

sound in the faith has caused him to make bad statements in some cases."

Rice referred specifically to Graham's rejection of the fundamentalist

label in the early days of the Scotland crusade. Graham had been asked

to define fundamentalism, but instead replied: "I am neither a funda-

mentalist nor a modernist, but a constructionist." Rice admitted that

certainly there were fundamentalists who were "cantankerous," who were

sometimes "overzealous," "unwise, unkind and perhaps not accurate," but

he argued that that was not true of all fundamentalists and that the

implications of such statements as Graham had made were harmful. Rice

went on to say that he was personally a fundamentalist, and so was

Graham, and "he ought to have said so." Rice offered the excuse that as

a Southern Baptist, Graham might have been turned against the term by

its special use in those circles to refer to the small group which had

worked with J. Frank Norris. Rice had himself once changed the name

of a church of which he was pastor from Fundamentalist Baptist Church

to Galilean Baptist Church, in order to excape the stigma of Norris'

reputation after he had broken with Norris. Graham might also have been

influenced by the fact that Mclntire and the American Council leaders

who were strong fundamentalists had attacked him "not always wisely

and, I think, not always accurately." Graham's harsh words against

fundamentalists would "discourage good Christians from supporting and

praying for Dr. Graham," but Rice ohscrved that as long as Graham took

a clear stand on the fundamentals of the faith, "it is a minor matter

whether he calls himself a fundamentalist or not."

On the next question Rice could again be more definite. The

SGraham campaigns absolutely did not advance the cause of modernism,

but instead were serious blows to modernism wherever they were held.

Modernism had been "set back greatly in Scotland by the All-Scotland

Crusade." Rice reported that the rumors that converts were sometimes

sent into modernistic churches were not true. He had personally heard

Graham several times instruct the converts that they should go to a

church "that preaches and promotes the Bible, a soul-winning church."


Neither Billy Graham nor his associates ever left the impression,
in my hearing, that it did not matter whether they went to a
modernistic church or a Bible-believing church. .. I would
say that the influence of the Billy Graham Campaign is always for
the fundamentals of the faith and the implication is that
Christian people ought to support sound churches and preachers,
and that new converts ought to go into sound churches.

To the final question Rice gave an answer which reflected many of

the factors which influenced the actions of fundamentalists, both be-

fore and after the split with Graham. Does Graham's future promise

to "Count Out-and-Out for the True-to-the Bible Position?"

Who can foresee the future? And who can properly weigh the
varying tides and currents of influence? I speak humbly. I do
not pretend to know all the answers. But I feel that two things
ought to be said on this point.
First, I have prayed for long hours and have propagandized
in The Sword of the Lord and have set an evangelistic pattern,
have insisted on evangelistic preaching and so no one has a better
right, I think, than I, to rejoice in the great Billy Graham
campaigns. Kneeling in a YMCA room in South Chicago fifteen years
ago, I prayed till 2 a.m. and begged God to bring back great city-
wide campaigns, mass evangelism. I promised God I would leave no
stone unturned, that I would suffer any persecution, any privation,
any ,oil He would allow me to suffer, to help bring back mass
evangelism. I speak then, with abounding joy of the tremendous
.campaigns in which multiplied thousands of people have found
-Christ. Thank God for the upsurge of interest in evangelism.
Thank God that He has raised up many blessed evangelists, includ-
ing Billy Graham. So I think we may say that, on the whole, the

Billy Graham crusades will call out thousands of preachers to
preach the Gospel. I think these crusades will send missionaries'
to the foreign field. I think they will turn multitudes of
young people to believe the Bible and to be influenced by his-
toric Christianity. I think that, on the whole, Billy Graham's
future promises to have a tremendous impact for the true-to-the-
Bible position. And for that we thank God.31

No man who had dedicated his life to bringing back mass evangelism could

lightly break with the campaigns of Billy Graham. The feelings of Rice

reflected those of countless other fundamentalists. Though Graham had

much altered the pattern of revivalism with which they were familiar,

though he had seemingly deliberately disassociated himself from them, he

yet preached the fundamentalist gospel before audiences which no one

else could attract, and most fundamentalists continued to claim him as

one of themselves. The first point which Rice had made--that his commit-

ment to mass evangelism was too strong to allow him to back away from

Billy Graham--could well have stood for the great majority of fundamen-

talists, but his second point also echoed their views. Rice warned

that "some of the greatest men of God have made serious mistakes."32 He

then went on to describe how the close association of D. L. Moody with

men who were not fully orthodox had had tragic consequences, from the

fundamentalist point of view, both in his family and in institutions he

founded. Fundamentalists remained convinced that to keep the modernist

camel out of the tent, they must' be ever vigilant against the nose.

The events of the coming months would push Rice, Jones, and most

fundamentalists away from Graham and toward Mclntire and the American

Council. The spring of 1956 would see many Sword articles defending

Graham against liberal critics, and the defense would be made with the

old energy, but the controversy with the new evangelicals would continue

to heat up and it would become clear that Graham, the new evangelicals,

and most conservative Christians were moving in a direction which the

fundamentalists were unwilling to take.



Rice, "Billy Graham and Revival Critics," Sword, March 2, 1951,
XIII, 1-3, 6-8, 12.
Christian Herald, December, 1950, pp. 12-14.

3The Life of Faith (London: n.d.).

4Rice, "Revival Critics," p. 3.

Christian Beacon, January 18, 1951, pp. 1-3.

6Rice, "Revival Critics," p. 6.

'Ibid., p. 7.

8William E. Ashbrook, Evangelicalism: The New Neutralism
(Columbus, Ohio: printed privately by Calvary Bible Church, 1970 ed.),
p. 5.

Christian Beacon, January 18, 1951, p. 2.

10Rice, "Revival Critics," p. 12.

11Sword, January 31, 1951, XIII, 2.
2Arthur L. Frederick, "Billy Graham's Seattle Campaign,"
Christian Century, April 23, 1952, LXIX, 494-496.
"Evaluating Graham," Newsweek, April 28, 1952, pp. 84-85.

14Rice, "Billy Graham's Seattle Campaign Reviewed," Sword,
June 6, 1952, XIV, 1, 9, 12.

15Ibid., p. 9.

1 Ibid., p. 12.




1Sword, June 12, 1953, XIV, 3.
Rice, "What England Thinks of Billy Graham," Sword, May 7,
1954, XX, 4, 7, 9.
2Carl Mclntire, "Billy Graham at Union Seminary," Christian
Beacon, March 16, 1955, pp. 1-2.
23Rice, "Billy Graham at Union Seminary," Sword, April 22, 1955,
XXI, 3.
Rice, "Seven Miracle Days with Billy Graham in the All-Scotland
Crusade," Sword, May 13, 1955, XXI, 1, 4-7.

25Rice, "Questions Answered About Billy Graham," Sword, June 17,
1955, XXI, 1, 9-11.

26John S. Bonnell, "What Is a Presbyterian?" Look, March 23,
1954, pp. 86-93.
7Rice, "Questions Answered," p. 9.


29G. Archer Weniger, "The Position of Dr. Graham Before He
Embraced Ecumenical Evangelism" privately distributed by San Francisco
Baptist Theological Seminary, n.d., p. 2.

30Rice, "Questions Answered," p. 9.

31Ibid., p. 11.





Following World War II evangelicals were forced by their renewed

prominence to consider again their relationships to each other, to

other elements of the Christian community, and to the secular society

in which they lived. One of the earliest manifestations of the

direction in which this re-evaluation would take some evangelicals came

in the pages of Eternity magazine, edited by Donald Grey Barnhouse.

Barnhouse was a Presbyterian, a graduate of Princeton, and a long-time

leader of fundamentalism in the Philadelphia area. Always a strong

individualist, Barnhouse had been vocal in his denunciation of apostasy

in the Presbyterian church. Because of the unbelief of the leaders of

the Philadelphia presbytery, he once refused to participate in a com-

munion service which the presbytery held in his own church. At another

time he advised a young minister to shave his head if the hands of the

elders and ministers of the presbytery should touch him in ordination.

He once wrote: "We have long held that it is necessary for Christians

to be out of the Federal Council because of the doctrinal modernism of

that body."l In the controversy of the thirties he had been tried

and found guilty by the Presbyterian church of charging another

minister publicly with heresy. The trial was a high point of the

fundamentalist-modernist controversy iiT the Philadelphia area, but

Bamrhouse had accepted the verdict and remained within his presbytery.

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