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An explanation of my subtitle, “ The New Protestantism," may serve also as an outline of the attitude of the present volume.
The Protestantism with which we are familiar, the old Protestantism, was a declaration of independence directed against a tyranny which dominated all phases of human life, intellectual, religious, and social. Today we are fallen under a different tyranny, the tyranny of what, to balance it against Roman Catholicism, I may venture to call pseudo-scientificism.
I The problem confronting the Reformers of the sixteenth century was to vindicate the Bible as against ecclesiastical tradition; the problem for the Reformers of the twenti. eth century is to vindicate a despised and discarded Bible against so-called science already grown arrogant and dogmatic through the numbers of its adherents and the hypnotism of illustrious names.
The author's idea, and that of those whom he represents, is that modern Christians have tried the method of Gnosticism and Neo-Platonism about long enough, seeking to translate the doctrines of Christianity, and the historic facts on which Christianity is founded, into the language of biology; and that a reversal of this method, the method of a NeoProtestantism, is at least worth trying, and about the next thing in order. It would seem as if every possible method of compromise has been tried, with invariable failure and confusion. Why not for once treat the Bible as the men of the sixteenth century treated it! Why not take the Mosaic accounts of Creation and the Deluge at their face value, and examine the claims of the popular Evolution philosophy in the light of primitive Christian principles, without any compromise whatever!
Few if any books of modern times have attempted any complete restatement of the fundamental truths of Christianity in the setting demanded by the exigencies of the present situation. But the number of those who in their hearts are still clinging to the Bible as in very deed the authentic word of God, is out of all proportion to the small amount of attention they have hitherto attracted in the literary world; and it is merely as voicing the views of this very large group of what may be called the ultraconservatives, that this book is written. It is no empty boast to say that all the fundamental positions here taken are in complete harmony with the views of thousands of people of culture and education scattered over the whole civilized world. The present volume merely gives voice to the unformulated thoughts of these multitudes, who have caught such vivid glimpses of the needs of the present hour that they already recognize another great world reform as now due, a reform centering around that first and most basic truth of religion, namely, our relationship to the Creator and his relationship to us.
The scientific arguments employed by these Neo-Protestants are given here, of course, only in outline. For the details of these arguments the reader is referred to the other published works of
THE AUTHOR. Pacific Union College, California.
Preface to the Third Edition
WHAT probably should be termed the first Fundamentalist book was the present writer's “ Outlines of Modern Science and Modern Christianity," a work of 270 pages, which appeared in the summer of 1902, and was soon out of print. It was a very crude affair, as are most writers' first books. But, so far as I am aware, it was the first book in modern times which rejected Lyell's geology as well as Darwin's biology; it not only appealed to the Flood as the probable cause of the fossiliferous rocks, but gave a general outline of what has since been named “Fundamentalism.” Previous to this date, books had been written against Darwinism, but not a peep had been heard for over half a century against the geological part of the theory, which is now seen to be its most important part,-also its most vulnerable part.
For several years I tried to find a publisher for a better and more complete statement of the geological argument. Finally, at my personal expense, I published in 1906 a papercovered volume entitled: "Illogical Geology, the Weakest
“ Point in the Evolution Theory.” * When my college textbook, “ The New Geology," appeared in 1923, its line of argument was soon adopted by Dr. George Barry O'Toole in his “Case Against Evolution" (Macmillan, 1925), which has become the authoritative Roman Catholic work against the evolution theory; by Floyd E. Hamilton's "Basis of Christian Faith” (Doran, 1927), which represents the Presbyterian side of the case; by Byron C. Nelson's “ After Its Kind” (Augsburg, 1931) and “ The Deluge Story in Stone" (Augsburg, 1931), which give the argument of a Lutheran; as well as by various other authors.
* NOTE.— This work was afterward revised, and is now published in illustrated form under the title: "Evolutionary Geology and the New Catastrophism." (Fourth edition, 1926.)
The word “Fundamentalism" seems to have been coined by the editor of the Watchman-Examiner, having been sug. gested by a series of booklets entitled, “The Fundamentals," which began to appear in the autumn of 1909 under the edi. torial supervision of Dr. A. C. Dixon, who soon after held Spurgeon's pulpit in London. Dr. Dixon had read my “ Illogical Geology ” with very hearty approval; and when the first edition of the present volume appeared in 1916 (which was also only in paper covers), it received the very cordial indorsement of such outstanding conservatives as Prof. William Cleaver Wilkinson, of the University of Chicago; Dr. James M. Gray, of the Moody Institute; President Russell H. Conwell, of Temple University, Philadelphia; and many others. As time has gone on, it has become increasingly evident that a frank return to the Flood theory of geology is the only safe or sensible course for Bible believers to adopt in their attitude toward the Evolution theory.
For several years the present volume has been out of print. But while some portions might be materially improved now by rewriting, it has been decided to reissue it with only a few verbal corrections here and there. In the eyes of some of the writer's friends this volume already has attained some historical significance, as showing the attitude of the New Protestantism during the early days of the World War.
G. McC. P.
Berrien Springs, Michigan.