Yesterday, 10:05 AM
Definitions of terms are desperately needed here, both of "mainline" and of "fundamentalist." By some definitions only baptists and pentecostals would be fundamentalists, by other definitions fundamentalists would refer to a particular type of baptist, by still other definitions virtually any Protestant that actually believes in Biblical inerrancy would be a fundamentalist. What exactly we're talking about desperately matters here. Whether by "mainline" you mean conservative Presbyterians, Lutherans and Anglicans or only the liberal ones is also of desperate importance.
For the sake of argument I'm going to define some terms. Perhaps my definitions are arbitrary, but they're no more arbitrary than anything else, so here goes.
"evangelical" refers to baptists and pentecostals and "non-denominationals".... basically any conservative credobaptists. "fundamentalist" I'm going to ignore because its too vague for me to really define, I'm just going to use "evangelical." HU and I and any other Presbyterians, Lutherans, or Anglicans are conservative magisterial Protestants. "mainline" is usually used to refer to liberal "magisterials" so I'll just define it that way, that's stuff like the PCUSA, ELCA, and Episcopal Church.
Now with that out of the way, I'd certainly agree that evangelicals are much more often on the receiving end of Ronin's style of argument from liberal magisterials. Evangelicals at least try to read Paul and they accept him as authoritative on principle even if I think they interpret him badly in practice. By contrast liberal magisterials (and liberal Catholics) certainly tend to do the type of thing Ronin is doing, to varying degrees. And when evangelicals are involved in that contest with liberal magisterials (or liberal Catholics) the evangelicals are going to be the ones to defend Paul. I'm certainly willing to grant this.
But when conservative magisterials become involved it gets more complicated. In general conservative magisterials are MUCH more concerned with confessions and things like ecunemical councils, we don't see them as infallible but we see them as subordinate authorities, which to some would seem "more catholic" in that way. Evangelicals tend to have a lower view of the historic church and how much it got right than conservative magisterials. In our minds this winds up being "Jesus is cool but screw the church" to some extent.... yes that's crude and vague but its a tendency we see to ignore historic precedent in exchange for the innovations of the moment. Of course to a point all Protestants agree that the individual's interpretation gets some weight (as we reject the idea that the "catholic church" is infallible) but we tend to have a very high bar for making clean breaks with history, whereas baptists are more comfortable with doing that as long as they think they agree with Paul.