Houghton on The Abuse of Militancy

by Greg Linscott

Dr. George HoughtonA good friend and mentor of mine from my college days was Dr. George Houghton, Vice-President for Academic Services and Dean at Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, Iowa. “Dr. George,” as he is referred to by his students (to distinguish him from his twin brother and fellow Faith prof Dr. Myron Houghton), has contributed a great deal to why I would identify as a militant Fundamentalist. His class on Apologetics was vital in helping me understand the issues at stake as they related to Fundamentalism and New Evangelicalism, while also engaging them with a kind and reasonable tone.

The quote I include below is taken from one of his articles published in the Faith Pulpit entitled “The Matter of Militancy.”

Some, no doubt, shy away from militancy because it can easily be abused. Militancy, however, is not the same as meanspiritedness. It does not have to arise from poor motives or the desire for personal power. It does not need to be imbalanced, where “issues” become one’s hobby horse. Nor does it imply a lack of ethics – rushing into print without checking the facts, false labeling, or guilt by association. If some may be guilty of these abuses, the corrective is not an abandonment of militancy, but, rather, an ethical, careful, kind and yet firm outspokenness which stands for the truth and is willing to defend it against error. May God help us to be militant fundamentalists!