Because of their emphasis on separation, the body of approved source material for fundamentalists is a very small and often changing list. Quite often when a fundamentalist goes to look for a book or sermon on a given topic there just isn’t one by one of the three fundamentalist leaders he’s still on good terms with. This problem has created an extensive taxonomy of disclaimers as fundamentalists attempt to quote experts while maintaining a proper separated distance.
The Anonymous Quote The easiest way to avoid being pinned down to supporting a particular person is just not to name them at all. Pastors use this one all the time. “Someone once wrote…”
The Parenthetical You can slip the warning right into the middle: “I’d like to read this quote by John MacArthur — now we know that John MacArthur is a Calvinist and that you just can’t trust anything he says about salvation, the gospel, or witnessing but I’d like to read this anyway…”
The Vague Warning This is the catch-all warning for when a speaker just doesn’t want to get into it: “Unlike the books written by fundamentalists, you need to read this book with a lot of discernment but there is this one good sentence which reads…”
The Book Label “The contents of this book are not necessarily endorsed by [insert institution name here]. In fact this book may be complete heresy but we keep it in our library anyway in case there is something that really fits well into a sermon illustration someday.”
When you’re separated from everyone it sure does make using a good quote tricky. Imagine a fundamentalist pastor repeating something he read on this blog for example…