Blueprints for a Pauline Foundation

Justin Johnson

One hundred years ago two wealthy oilmen funded the widespread distribution of twelve volumes describing the fundamentals of Christianity [1]. These books helped to strengthen the foundation of Bible Christianity from the doctrinal attacks of liberal Christianity.

These books explained the core teachings of Christianity such as the inspiration and inerrancy of scripture, the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, the virgin birth, substitutionary atonement, and the physical resurrection of Christ.

They communicated a stern warning that if the church did not build upon these fundamentals, then it would surely fail to live up to its task of being the “pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15).

The Fundamental Capstone

Thirty years later seventy essays were published with a goal to build upon the foundations of Bible Christianity established years earlier [2]. The author of this book made it clear that he agreed with “intelligent spiritual Christians” regarding the core fundamentals, yet could not agree with three things still being taught by fundamentalists:

  1. That the Old Testament began with the first chapter of Genesis
  2. That the New Testament began with the first chapter of Matthew
  3. That the dispensation of the grace of God began with Peter in Acts chapter two

It was the purpose of those essays to “present constructive Bible messages building up from the foundation to the capstone of Divine truth.” A failure to learn those lessons would lead to a faulty and inconsistent belief system and a weakened testimony to the truth.

Building on the Fundamentals

Today, churches have forgotten the solid stones laid by our dispensational predecessors, and have gone further to ignore the fundamental pillars articulated so boldly one hundred years ago.

The message of “Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery” specially given to Paul is not a new invention or a foreign manifestation to Bible truth. It represents the natural and intelligent doctrinal conclusion of building upon the fundamentals of Christianity.

In our day, this intelligent stand requires defending the inerrant word of God as it has been preserved for nearly 400 years in our Authorized Version; never casting doubt on the full deity of the Lord Jesus from his divine conception (virgin birth) to the miraculous resurrection, and discarding the sensationalism that cheapens the atoning work of Christ’s cross.

The apostle Paul, who alone explained the mystery information revealed to usward, gives major proof texts to every fundamental doctrine of Christianity [3]: inspiration (2 Tim 3:16), deity (Col 2:9), substitutionary atonement (2 Cor 5:21), and resurrection (1 Cor 15:16-17).

After one hundred years confusion continues to prevent any real growth in the church. The beginning of positive change starts with building upon the foundation of Pauline truth as it is built upon the fundamentals of the faith (1 Cor 3:10-11). The pillars have already been defined. We need only do the work.

1The Fundamentals: A testimony to the truth is now published in a two volume set and is available online.
2The Unsearchable Riches of Christ by J. C. O’Hair is available online.
3 – Grace Ambassadors dedicated an entire weekend seminar to the fundamentals of Christianity (watch online).

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Published: August 21, 2010
Last Modified: May 29, 2020
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