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This article looks at confessional family resemblances between the fundamentalist controversy in the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America and the church union controversy in Canada. These resemblances have been obscured by focusing on the doctrinal dimensions of the former and the socio-institutional features of the latter. The role of the prominent American fundamentalist J. Gresham Machen in the transformation of Canadian unionists into modernists sheds light on the underlying tensions that sparked the two controversies, as well as the distinctive dynamics of the resistance to church union that shaped the confessional identity of both the Presbyterian Church in Canada and the United Church of Canada after 1925.