Dr. Rolland McCune – The Formation of Liberalism

Today would have been the 86th birthday of one of my seminary professors, Dr. Rolland McCune. Dr. McCune went to be with the Lord June 17, 2019.

There have been many thoughts running through my mind since he died, and today is no exception. Perhaps I will write out those thoughts, but not today.

There were many tributes and accolades given leading up to and following Dr. McCune’s death. I was surprised (or maybe I shouldn’t have been) at the relative lack of notice of his commitment to fundamentalism. (I will be the first to confess my lack of omniscience and will gladly be corrected on this point.) His devotion to biblical fundamentalism was essential not only to who he was, but to his ministry in the seminary.

I was an M.Div student at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary from 1994-2000. It was during those six years that Dr. McCune completed his tenure as seminary president and full-time professor. Half-way through my seminary career in 1996 Dr. McCune took seven chapel sessions to address the topic of fundamentalism because he wanted to make sure that students knew what it was. He said,

“We need to be reminded of our roots. You’re sitting this morning in a fundamental, separatist Baptist seminary. How did we get this way? We need to be reminded of that….One of the reasons that fundamentalism is somewhat in disarray in certain quarters is that people are simply not aware of their roots. They’ve not been told these kinds of things. For that reason we go through this every now and then.”

I purchased the cassette tapes of those messages and have since listened to them many, many times. I can’t thank God enough for his continued ministry in my life through these. I’ve subsequently digitized them and will post them over the next few days.

If you buy his first book, Promise Unfulfilled: The Failed Strategy of Modern Evangelicalism, you can read what he taught in these messages. What you’ll miss in the book are the interesting and invaluable rabbit trails, applications, anecdotes, and of course his personality. You’ll hear his devotion, scholarship, seriousness, and his humor.

Dr. McCune was committed to biblical fundamentalism, to teaching and educating seminary students to not only know what it is but to convince them that they should be such.

With this introduction, here is Dr. McCune’s first message of the series on fundamentalism. It is titled, “The Formation of Liberalism.”