I have often said that I thought that separation was not a doctrine but a principle. Many fundamentalists get upset with our evangelical brothers because they do not adhere to this doctrine. Of course once you make something live at the level of doctrine then all you need to do is massage it a little to make it into a fundamental doctrine and then you separate from anyone who doesn't agree with you on it.
It seems that this is what happened thirty years ago. The evangelical world got divided by fundamentalists into themselves and neo-evangelicals. Whoever was not in the fundamentalist camp was de facto a neo-evangelical. Many fundamentalist leaders seem to still be operating under this paradigm. While many young people who have grown up in fundamentalism are enjoying the writings of Piper, MacArthur, Carson, et al., and are being built up by attending T4G, Ligonier, Shepherds or Desiring God, too many older fundamentalists keep on preaching about the evils of neo-evangelicalism and muttering about the wickedness of young fundies who are drinking the cool-aid of the false teachers. Some of that generation just cannot grasp that the ministries of the men in the conservative evangelical circle are resonating with young fundamentalists because of their biblical grounding. And the move by young fundies into that orb was put in motion by a lack of biblical teaching on the very thing, separation, that was supposed to keep us away from these men.
I have been listening to an excellent class from IBC. Taught by Dr. Kevin Bauder of Central Seminary, it is really the first time I have heard a fundamentalist leader clearly teach, from the Word of God, a cogent view of separation and how to apply it. I have to run now because he is at the part where he is going to talk about separating not only from foolishness on the left but also goofiness on the right!